Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Domestic dominance, official kingdom

Many a married man, knows that it is best to leave the broom where it is and not to alter the furniture.

He also knows that it is he who rules at his office, but why change positions, and create a battle, which can never be won.

There was once an article which has the words of a man who ran his career and home affairs with out deep scratches.

His answer to the question of “ how” he says, I don’t make small decisions, that is my lady, as what I should wear or she should wear, the coloring of the wall or the shade of the furniture.

I only deal with BIG things as should states bomb Iran, should man make plans for the trip to Mars, u know BIG BIG things.

Maybe mans look is far sighted, and a womens vision is more closer, it is best to leave it to their own territories, for a romantic candle light dinner at home or at a resort which she decides.

Pop, I, the spinach men

The grass is green,

The greens are fresh

The vendors are sweet,

and all that matters is the heart to get them and prepare.

If there was a cartoon with romance which stays in my mind it is Popeye show.

Since I am into spinach as a nutritious food and its variety, I am reminded of the tune and strength of the episodes.( toot toot popeye the sailor man)

Now that the rains have started the trickle of greens into the market has become constant, getting to know them and their preparations can help in getting around.

There are certain vendors who deal with only greens, according to the seasons they spread their wares, this season it is the thumbai pannai, a combination of two varieties, which complement each other and bring on a balance of taste and nutrition.

A bundle of them costs 2 rupees and for a family of 4, 3 bundles will do,but more will help as the preparations taste better on the 2nd day with the fermentation process.

One tedious process can be getting the leaves pinched and cleaned of mud particles.

We prefer the clay pot for this variety preparation and tamarind as a base.

The other variety I like a lot is the aarai keerai, which goes well with just onions and rice, my favorite and also my dads.

A plate of rice and this and a fork can get one to heaven and back.


Monday, 30 August 2010

Farewell, My Concubine (1993)[* * * * *]

I saw this multiaward winning classic for only one reason: because Jackie Chan had lived this from the time he was 7 - 17 yrs old. And survived the torture.

The movie is about the routine abuse of children in the Chinese Opera, often abandoned there by their parents. I found it unbearable to watch the 19-hour training days, corporeal punishments for tiny errors: daily beatings, being made to stand in the cold all night, hanging by the legs, tying up, sexual abuse, everything. I couldn't watch without forwarding it by leaps. Also it was a chinese version so I award all those stars for bringing to light the excrutiating details of child torture.

Children driven by ambitious men to achievement must be hell on earth, whether in gymnastics, drama, opera or music. However plastic their early learning ability, condemn it. The 'training' of animals for entertainment is supposed to be derived from this kind of child training, just as animal slavery today is just a replacement for human slavery in the past.

How Jackie (center) emerged from his hellish childhood to be one of the most likeable and easygoing actors, not twisted and cynical, is a mystery. In his autobiography he writes that he was beaten everyday even after 19 hours of training. All 7 surviving 'Little Fortunes' from his operatic troupe achieved fame with him. Today Jackie Chan is UNICEF's goodwill ambassador for children, his passion.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Little Tiger of Canton (1971) [* * *]

This was Jackie's first starring role and you can already see his extreme talent at 17. He plays a waiter who is trained from childhood by a beggar in secret martial arts which he later uses to break up a chinese mafia.

Jackie Chan - the man and his movies

I realise this is very late to become fascinated by the man - when I was 12, my 4 yr old cousins couldn't stop talking about him. I've only now developed the emotional numbness to be able to watch two humans beat each other up for other people's entertainment.:)

The man is extraordinary. He was training from 6 am to midnight (18 hours a day) by the age of 7 (!) and hasn't stopped to take breath since. I have no doubt his Chi is remarkable because he's close to 60 and still does stunts a 16 yr old would be afraid of. His secret marriage and 27 yr old son met with shocked disapproval from fans, since he hardly spends time away from work.

His movies are remarkable for one thing - their poor quality. I'm astonished by how many b-grade movies this superb physical specimen has had to endure! The scripts are poor quality, frequently with a few irrelevant nude scenes (36 Crazy Fists, Little Tiger of Canton, etc], which make them unsuitable for his fan base, the kids, the fight/flight scenes interminable and dialogues interspersed with burlesque sound-effects [City Hunter, Hand of Death].

The humour and action began improving around 1985 [First Strike, Who Am I, Spy Next Door, Police Story, Karate Kid ] and so did his acceptance by a more global, adult audience. I do wish he'd stick to his new resolution of more acting than stunts, for his own good, though the world will never see another human dynamo stuntman like him again.:)

Games people play

There are a variety of games that folks like to dabble in, according to their moods and expressive standards.

In these days of war games,video games and shooting target practices encouraging violence, mind games with physicals can be a welcome change.

Physical activities are taking a back seat, and one seems to even forget to play games with their own kids.

There may come a time when the game of wooing a heart mate called as a “love game” may even get forgotten.

It was at such a time that I found I liked to express my self at ‘Dumb Charades’ a game for many and also for two, u can have a large garden or a simple setting of a living room, all that matters is the beating of hearts for the game.

One does not need to be dumb to play this game, each one needs to be intelligent and sharp. A name or a sentence is selected, and one needs to enact it to make the other understand and bring out the original.

A long time ago in college I saw this event conducted for city college students, the way they expressed themselves with such speed and understanding, that it caught my mind, and their skill and personal rapport in the language of gestures.

It can be a sort of cobweb cleaning of our rusty minds.

Such moments help us to loose ourselves and find our true nature of simplicity and happiness.

Get your partners, or find a team for the next time with friends.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Sense and Sensibility (2008, BBC) [* * * * *]

I have had a fascination for Jane Austen and her stories, one of the finest writers of all time. I've lately been going through all the movies created based on them.

One of the reasons for my interest is the striking resemblance of her time (1700-1800s) to my own. The women are all concerned, and almost only concerned, with getting married despite having an education. Developing secret fascinations for unsuitable men in a period where arranged marriages are going out of fashion but parents don't approve of marrying for love either. And all marriage still depends on the woman's dowry, youth and looks, whether love or arranged, in a very male-dominated ideal.

300 years hasn't changed the situation yet. Indian mothers still find their boys 'suitable' connections. The boys go with the flow even though they dally with the idea of loving unsuitably, before and after they marry, leaving behind heartbroken girls who will grow into cynical, sensible women who find their support in women rather than men.

Sense and Sensibility is about 2 girls, one falls in love recklessly and doesn't hide her feelings only to be jilted by the passionate lover and the other more modest girl suffers in silence only to find she had chosen a better man for her affections. I consider this to be good sisterly advice to the girls of today..:)

Using your head is definitely to be preferred, and sense rules over sensibility for girls over 300 yrs!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The lilies bloomed

It was evening and the time for the lilies to bloom, I had decided to some how sit with the plant to see them bloom their flowers today.

I made my way to the garden, found the bed where the lilies were, they are just an unnoticeable plant with large grass like leaves fleshy and green, with an out of place thick stem for the flowers which bloom singly for a week or more.

The minutes clicked towards 7 pm, the petals were beginning to inhale in a sense , like a small balloon, and through the gaps the anthers loosened out with a spring action.

The petals were being held at the top and all the sides were spacing, u could say it was a birth of a flower, more seconds ticked and suddenly the tip of the flower was released and all the thin long petals were dancing with the freedom.

A flower was born and a smile was made to happen.

Better quality of life

There was this inflating deflating balloon on my inguinals we call as hernia,

It was so easy to advice the patients to have a surgery, but found myself inadvisable.

Things moved and I found myself under the glare of the theatre lights.

Neatly scrubbed and shaved and drugged and even called a friendly “hi”

To the surgeon and told him “I spy Jayavel(the name of surgeon)behind the mask”.

They handled me with professional deftness of the best of the trade,

I received the care of a kid and was given the garden room

The cooing kuyil and the monsoon drizzle and the concern of my lady

Made them doctors to find me fit, to make way for more of my type to treat, in two days.

I am at home still with the stitches, but allowed to walk and work and get myself back to shape with the happiness of my patients without their worries.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

X-men Trilogy: Origins, X2: United, X3: The Last Stand

This is another fascinating trilogy out of the comic books. First of all, this comic alone was a runaway hit with 8 million copies sold at the first printing. The movies followed as the highest grosser for Marvel after Spiderman.

Several elements seem to have combined to make this the comic of this age. First of all the genetic references, so apt to our times, about the human gene getting modified to create mutants with special skills.

These mutants are different enough to frighten the ordinary population as freaks. The conflict leads to two possible solutions - merging into the majority by controlling the skill or open war with the ordinary humans since mutants might be the advanced race.

The photography is fantastic and each individual fascinating. The tendency to elitism in youth was bound to make this trilogy popular.:)

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Crossing borders

People in the forces are taught to fight and fight well ,to win and cause disaster to the enemy, and maintain our lanes.

People in the civil are taught to love and make friends of the people across the border, and do this well with organizations and meetings either of the arts or of the games.

These days the rules are the same, but the regions of relationships are criss-crossing.

The civilian populations are being killed and the war games are extended to peace zones.

Civilian populations are fanned with terror tactics and tortures, and passions of love are turned to hatred and war.

The winners in this are the political minded ones who don’t work for the betterment of mankind,but for the control of its mind and slavery of the masses, and stealing others resources.

May we save ourselves from more war, with fellow humans, and let love flow, to share what we have.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Dharma Hospital

It was a day of lesson for the doctor of a small time clinic in the village.

There he was sitting and reading his text book one fine morning, soon after finishing his studies and setting up practice.

The doctor had a small garden at his home and a two room set up for his services, and a helping maid for his tasks.

It was mid morning and an old lady walked in and spelt out her complaints, the doctor did his usual tests of checking her breath sounds and blood pressure and dutifully gave her injectable medicines and a two day set of tablets to go with, which was the village style of treatments followed by his colleagues.

The old lady got up and quietly moved towards the exit and the doctor followed her to the gate, may be the lady thought how kind of the doctor to see her away.

The doctor asked her what was she going to do for his services offered; the old lady was all surprises, “is this not a dharma hospital?”( government hospitals are called this)the doctor checked his entrance to see if any one had made a placard saying his place was a charity hospital or that he was a government servant!!

He had no words to express, his being duped by an old lady, he smiled and wondered why he was not taught this lesson in college?

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Superbug - a trick on the medical tourist

The jealous west is out to hamper the riding tourist patient entering India, with this scare, they will cut off a lot of patients entering India as the medical west is scared of bugs.

We in India are not, as we have ourselves immune to such scare tactics and in reality too, except for the many who are tuned to the tv screen and allow our selves to wash with dettol and dip ourselves in anti biotic soap solutions, after a visit to the vegetable market.

If we search with the thoughts of Sherlock Holmes acumen, am sure we will get to the root of this scare, may be there is a long forgotten stock of an antibiotic that has been left in warehouses, whose expiry date is soon due? and which has suddenly been found to be susceptible to this bug.

Or a new antibiotic suddenly on the market?

Now that the swine flu pandemic has been declared over, it is time for another tactic.

We will wait and see.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Stanleyans at Kodai

I am another of the daughters of Mother Nature, my sister Yercaud did send me word through the clouds about the coming of the Stanlyeans.

They had selected the Hill County, which is naturally landscaped with green lawns well maintained,with easy footpaths and misty mountain views, not difficult climbs and suited for privacy, they had made a good choice to stay.

I gave them the best weather for the stay, not too cold, nor warm.

The friends and family arrived on Friday, in groups and individuals, and all got accommodated to the careful listings and adjustments, each carrying a flower to the rooms.

The friends started to trickle in even late, but all were in time for the dinner after a wash, it was a pleasure to see the hugs and warm shakes and the shy kids to see their parents in this style was surprising, as no one would have called their papa as “enna da”.

The kids had a gala time for themselves, and even divided to play’capture the flag”, how I wished to take part too with their enthusiasm, and foreign tongue slang,they sat on the steps, sharing things and future planning.

The local kids got to pair with their parents to play dumb charades, reviving film names.

While the pictures were being taken, I felt I wanted to pose too showing myself my happiness for their togetherness.

They brought in long forgotten memories with pictures and games and recalling the good and close times that brought laughter and tears, one could hear the sniffs and quiet brushing away the dust in the eyes of families.

They all seem to be in very high posts,but none showed their professional highness in this warm get together of friendship.

They danced to the tunes of hit music and I did too with them, around the bon-fire making steps in the fire and breeze.

For the group picture, if they did see clearly, they would notice my arms embracing them all.

They shared much through the human emotions which I could not fathom, but it was much that I cannot put in words, and when they bid farewell, I sent them a slight drizzle and then poured my self in tears of rain.

Miss kodai

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Lord of the Rings Trilogy [* * * * * *]

Just like Star Wars, this is another saga that I'm addicted to. The story written by J R R Tolkein to be a never-ending story (like our own superlong Ramayana and Mahabharatha) of a time before ours when there were many species living together on earth.

We arrive at the story at a time when great evil threatens Middle Earth and all who dwell on it.

The power of that evil rests in a Ring, and a fellowship forms between hobbits, men, elves, dwarfs and wizards to destroy the Ring in Mount Doom where it was created. The adventure and relationships that follow are fascinating in a very mythic setting. It's a must-watch despite a lot of battle and gore!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Mystery of the dangling “lolaku”

There is no man who cares for his beard, who has not been affected by the dangling chandelier ear jewels on a women’s ear lobe.

I have heard of it, read about it and know a lot of smart women use this to melt a man’s heart, but how it turns on a man is a mystery.

I remember my grand ma who used to wear a heavy ear jewel which made her ear lobes hang, she did not wear spectacles till her death at 85, that may have been an added benefit, for the aged, but this biological effect is a turner.

The designs for the ear jewels have innumerable shades and styles,hoop, drop, studs, suspenders, but the hanging ones are a sure throb for the stunning kind, the young ones pick up this trend at an early age, and go on to conquer the mans heart till kingdom comes.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Road diggers follow the road layers

The road leading to the village market was laid with lots of hope and engineering skill, so that the rain water flows to the sides and care taken to prevent pot holes before the next monsoon rains.

Like with all precautions, some simple things get lost and all good roads get dug.

I remember a few months back the road laying had begun with lots of funfair, many workers cleaning up the mudroad with brushes and getting the measurements right for the road, the engineer and the contractor were around so that there was no wastage of the tar and stones.

We watched as the original road was all pillaged and jelly stones were laid and they let the road roller with massive wheels go over them and red clay soil covered and watered and more rolling with those mechanical elephants.

The smaller stoned jellies were next and then came the tar, there was such a lot of market crowd to see the goings on , that it finally finished after a week.

It was such fun to ride through that road, no bumps and vvroom it was for all the vehicles.

This morning we saw a few diggers with crow bars making dents at the sides of the new road, their orders were for laying a water pipe along the road, a resident made use of this opportunity to lay a drainage pipe across the new road, from his house.

There are no words to describe this, may be the diggers file should have been the one first to be solved than the road laying file at the municipalities office.

What a misplacement of office files!! And a nasty joke on the residents.