Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My First Original Painting

I did this painting just 5 min ago, I can say this is My First Painting that I did based on my own Imagination of Sunset (Dusk). I wanted to represent how Sky represents different shades of color as the Sun sets, I chose to show Sea Tide rather than plain land ... I am proud of it because its very much my own, took only 20 minutes, 3 colors and only 1 brush. There is gloss since oil hasn't dried.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cleo, Our New Cat

Orangee, remembering our beloved cat ...

Are you now a twinkling star on the Sky?

Or have you reached heaven on the fly?

Or are you still living in our hearts making them heavy?

Orangee, what a wonderful cat you were! Everything you did made us happy, made us amused, made us love you more and more. Be it those playful acts with stuffed toys or artificial vegetables or your watching of television, I always thanked god we have you with us as a part of our life. When Tomco left you and us on June 2nd with the horrifying accident, no one thought even you would reach your brother in the same way, same time ... giving us the same pain of loosing you. You were so loved by us that every moment without you became lifeless. There was not a single discussion between us in the family that did not mention your name, how hard it is now to sip coffee together as a family without you. Who ever hit you ruthlessly by his car would have never known the result would be so disastrous for you and us. You should have had a great long life with us Orangee, 26th October was a black day of our life. 26th date, again unlucky as even Mom passed away on 26th (of August but). I hate this date :-(, we lost you Orange ... the most painful moment of our lives.

To see Srinath weeping and breaking down so many times was a helpless situation. Srinath loved you so much for your naughty nature, for your carefree attitude and many other great qualities you possessed. We could never raise you to adulthood, so sorry dear. To move on in life and to give life to many other cats who are abandoned or caged, we had to adopt Cleo from CUPA and she has helped us to smile again.

It was so hard to bury you in front of our house, and suddenly I remembered your favourite toy, the baingain ... I asked Srinath to keep it with you as you loved it the most ... Orangee, you will live in our hearts forever.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pots and Cats

This is a rare picture in my view, both mother and son, Kitty and Panda are cooling themselves in two adjacent pots. Today Kitty is not with us, but Panda spends time in backyard of our house.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Damsel of Honey

Madhubala meaning Damsel of Honey, was beauty personified. She was made so beautiful that thousands of actresses who came on silver screen after her could never wipe off Madhubala's beauty in our minds. A hole in her heart was a tragedy and yet she was known as the lady with a golden heart, very enduring and very loving. While she lead a loveless life she has portrayed her painful era of failed romance so perfectly in the movie Moghul-e-Azam, a classic cinema ever made in Hindi Cinemas. Wish this Afghani-Desi beauty lived a happy life, a little longer than what was in her destiny. I am posting this picture in my blog because both me and my Mother loved Madhubala so much that we discussed her very often. My Mom vouched at one point that no one can ever match to Madhubala's beauty and I truely agree with this. I miss my Mom so much today that I am digging into all that she loved, thus Madhubala

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Heavy Rain Washes all our Tree Leaves

As we slept last night, we could hear the thunder and heavy rains through out ... morning when we wake up, our surroundings appeared like quite hill station. And it was such a pleasure to see our garden that appeared more greener than yesterday, courtessy rain water wash/bath.

A small poem I am writing narrating my garden's beauty today,

We do our bit of gardening,
But you do all the watering,

All my plants appear cleansed and washed,
They flaunt the beauty that is unmatched!

How do you give them such deep colors?
How do you kiss so tenderly the rose petals?

Oh Rain, keep my garden blessed always!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Painting - Dusk in Winter - Oil on Canvas

This painting is not yet finished by me, I started this last year and somehow left it unfinished (like many other boards of mine!), was scanning through my pictures (scanned by me, taken by me) and found this and felt like uploading it in my blog. I have decided to finish this painting and put it on wall!

Personally I like cold weather, cold countries. Such gloomy, dusky moments in Winter, I always dreamt of such pathways between snow, dried trees and very less sunlight as I take a walk. I find such picturescapes very romantic.

Fundamentals of Arthashasthra

Having succeeded in guiding Chandragupta in the establishment of an empire, Kautilya retired from active life in order to record what he considered to be the fundamentals of a sound policy for building enduring institutions. The result of his meditations is the "Arthashastra".

"In the happiness of the subjects lies the happiness of the King, in their welfare lies his own welfare; the welfare of the state is not what pleases the king, but his happiness is the welfare of the subjects".

This verse was written by Kautilya, the author of "Arthashastra" or the science of statecraft. He was born at a time when India was divided into innumerable small states, each one more or less sufficient to itself. Kautilya realised that this was the root cause of many of the problems facing this vast country. A small state was incapable of facing the onslaught of a larger enemy. Moreover large scale prosperity is not possible unless the unit attains a certain size. Kautilya attempted to create a large empire which would bring under its control all the different small kingdoms of the vast Indian subcontinent. It implied that all these units had to be centralised, brought under a common administration. Sometimes the small units themselves would like to attach themselves to the big empire as that would provide them with a security. Otherwise, according to Chanakya, if required force had to be used in order to bring all the small units under one control. But once brought under a centralised government, unless a clear, wise and just policy is adopted by the rulers, the small groupings would have a tendency to break away and reassert their small independence.

The Arthashastra contains a series of instructions and advices which the ruler should follow, so that the central authority remains preserved for a long time.

The Arthashastra enjoins that life should be lived according to the Dharma, the law of Truth and Righteousness. Kautilya, however, being also a very practical man realised that a Dharmic life is not possible in a condition of general want and poverty. Accordingly he formulated that the purpose of life is Dharma, but the basis of Dharma is Artha or widespread prosperity and the basis of Artha is sound government. Hence the importance of good administration.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Responsible Citizens! Are they around?

What does it take to be Responsible Citizens? Does one become responsible by going everyday to work, doing great at work and paying taxes every month? Or does it end when one follows traffic rules while driving enroute to office? Perhaps there is lot more than all these ... responsibility means 'owning up'! Be it by having compassion to help a injured puppy on the street or giving way to the ambulance on the street, we become real human beings, not just responsible citizens.
When we drove our Mother to hospital in an Ambulance, I was so upset with people on the road not giving a way though they could have, they had enough space to go to extreme right or left to make a way for the ambulance ... because nothing is more precious than life, whether it is our own people's or anyone else's.
Today too while we were coming to office, it was a sad plight ... seeing an Ambulance struggle to make it's way to hospital ... very very few drivers gave it a way, thankfully our Cab driver was sensitive and sensible enough. Wish everyone makes an attempt to help Ambulance reach hospital well on time!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Loosing My Mother ...

It has been 15 days since I lost my Mother, but even today I feel she is somewhere around and not dead. This thought makes me emotionally secure but I also know, this is just a thought and not reality. Reality is she breathed her last on 26th August in Apollo Hospitals, MICU, Isolation ward ... I still think of those last few days, last few minutes before our Mom passed away.
This entire fear of loosing her started when I got a call on 25th of June, the day Michael Jackson died that 'Mom is in Emergency' from my sister. I rushed to Jayadeva hospital, on my way ofcourse I heard later that it is just a test in Emergency due to breathlessness and she did not have any cardiac arrest. While I sat in auto and I was thinking, suddenly I thought, oh is it like I'll loose my Mom today? On the same day of Michael Jacksons passing away? Wonder why this thought came. Later ofcourse we were all much relieved to see our Mother very much alright, we even had lunch together!
Michael Jackson remained so special in our hearts that his death was the most unpleasant news I ever heard. Today, I sometimes think, did Mom meet Michael Jackson in heaven? And did she tell him that her daughter (that is me) loved his Beat it song the most? Also will she compliment him for his dancing and entertaining abilities? Will my Mom also meet YSR and what will they talk like? Strange, but such thoughts do come ...
This day, 25th of June, I somewhere developed a fear within that anyday I might hear such a news about my Mom too ... and due to this I frequented my visits to her place. I also remember Mummy crying emotionally to see her daughters worried for her ... what a great soul she was! She loved us more than her own life, and she loved me too much. Precisely 3 months after this date, on 25th August she had a cardiac arrest, after which she was revived but declared as brain dead ... and 1 day after this, she stopped breathing.
These 3 months have been a roller coaster ride for Mom, she had many situations of sugar level getting high and feeling breathless. She even fell in my house on the carpet, followed by a unwanted blood clot in her thigh. And everytime I told her, Mom pls go and get yourself admitted for your fluctuating health and pain in your leg, she said 'Let Rayara Aradhane get over, I'll go'. And It's again strange, she visited Rayara Mutt and took prasada, and after this she got Viral Fever. Ofcourse later everything slipped out of our hands, fever lead to low saturation, and then her Kidney complicaiton, respiratory complication and finally cardiac arrest and brain dead. This was the only time she never wanted to go to hospital, wonder sometimes if she knew she was going to die ...
Though I was the one who got her admitted in the hospital on 13th of August, I was the one who heard her speaking last before the Ventillator Support, I was the last one to feed her milk when she craved for 'Saaru-Anna', I was the one who rushed first when she was brain dead after a cardiac arrest ... I was not the one around when she breathed her last! This was something I found very difficult to accept. I reached 7 min after she left us for ever. And I was again in an Auto, thinking if she is alive or dead ... I was listening to her all time favourite 'Chalte Chalte' from Pakeezah.
Post her death, I did not get much time to even cry. I had to be strong on the day her body was brought home ... to give stability to all my nephews and nieces and also keeping my Dad in mind. I saw her face for one last time when they were taking her for to the crematorium. It was a very traumatic situation.
Something within me died when I saw her dead though I told myself, I shall live my life to the fullest, celebrating each day like she did. Everynight she comes in my dreams and converses with us ... this makes me wake up thinking she is still alive, wish she was ... miss her too much!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Where do I "long" to be?

Urban life has many limitations to list. Yes we earn money here, we have opportunity's here, time flies fast and we meet a lot of people but, is this where I long to be? I wonder. As I think where I would feel 'belonged' and 'very happy', what comes in my mind is ...
- It should have been a hill top wooden house of mine, small and warm, where I open my balcony door of my room, walk out to see the great Kanchenjunga! As I watch this magnificent golden hill amidst many snow peak mountains ... I sip a cup of hot coffee!
- Perhaps enjoying a lemonade after soaking myself in essential aroma oils in Bali island, my feet touching pebbles of the water body, my hair flocking a wild flower!
- A roadside tea stall en route to Western Ghats of Karnataka, drizzling rain and I stamp on wet land to pick my cup of tea in a glass tumbler
- A cloudy day, I am at home seeing through the window and observing how my garden flowers respond to wind.
- An Espresso in a street cafe of Amsterdam as sunsets ... an exotic candle lit on my table, I watch people returning home from their work.
Many such imagination's do make me happy. Someday I must experience these

Friday, June 5, 2009

Loosing Tomco ... an experience that has darkened my world

While Tomco and Orangee were our life, every morning we woke up listening to their purring ... every night we slept experiencing their tender bites as they played on our cot, who expected a day will come when this paradise will end? I always want time to stand still when moments are so joyful, like any one would do. Tomco was our baby in every sense, it was special since for months we longed to keep him with us ... Tomco's unique personality attracted us more to it. While Orangee was a normal happy playful kitten, Tomco was lazy, thoughtful, intelligent, arrogant kitten. It had the best look, best eyes, soft voice and a soft body. Never I thought he'll go away from us.

June 2nd started unusually well, I cooked a lot, dressed up quite early to leave to office ... minutes after Srinath left, my driver comes and tells me a shocking truth, he asks me if all kittens are at home ... and that he just spotted a beautiful white kitten dead on the road! My worst fear came true .. it was Tomco. A head injury ... he was no more. I was too hurt to react. After calling out my family, all I thought I must do was arrange a graceful funeral for it. I still chose to go to office, on my way calling Srinath and giving him this very unfortunate news was hell. It's still a mystery how he died. Minutes before he died, I had seen him running to the garden. That day I broke down many times at office, decided to get back home to look after the lonely Orangee.

I wish this never happened. My Tomco was truely a special kitten ... my baby in every sense. I miss him so much that it hurts a lot. Everything is incomplete with Tomco. Orangee misses him more than me I think, he looks for his brother quite often. I pray God that he gives us strength to move on in life. This incident has killed something in me, it has created a void, a darkness that I never wanted. I worry a lot for Srinath ... who was very dear to Tomco, for the first time I saw him so shaken.

Tomco, you'll live in our hearts for ever. Like a star you will shine in the sky ... I want to watch you everyday, remember you everyday. Your naughtiness, your fascinations will be in my memories fresh for ever. I really wish I had you till the end of time ... but then, it did not happen. I am sorry Tomco, I could not save you ... I loved you a lot.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Furr Friends

Finally my dream has come true, I got an opportunity to raise two kittens, who are brothers. One kitten has a history with us, I had picked him up when he was a bit away from mother in another building 2 months back, kept him with me for a day to only leave him back to mother (called Lankini) as he was very emotional. I was waiting for him to grow up, learn more skills from his mother and come back home. This wait was worth. Because I not only got him back, also his brother who was orange color coated. Now, to name them ... we thought of many names but finally ended naming them 'Tomco' and 'Orangy'. In short I call them 'Tom' and 'Orange'. It sounds like 'Tom' and 'Jerry' ha ha!
Both posses distinct looks and qualities ... there are no similarities between them except the fact that they are tom (male) kittens and they are born to parents Lankini (she is very ferocious by nature, thus my neighbours have named her against a Demon) and a Tamarind Tree Tom cat (A gorgeous looking stray cat residing in a resort near by). If Orange looks like his father, Tom looks more like his mother.
Tom has honey colored eyes, looks absolutely beautiful in every angle. He has soft body, soft teeth and also soft paws. I feel he is fragile and needs that extra attention while raising him. He relishes Curd Rice and does not crave too much for meat food products. Per say, he is lazy ... he does not like to burn himself off totally, his energy is well reserved for required activities only. He sits and thinks al ot if what I feel, he is white in color with lot of colorful spots on him and a grey bushy tail.
Orange is a typical kitten who loves to play, has orange coat on white body. He is aggresssive, sharp teeth and nails ofcourse and loves meaty produts to eat. He is very fond of his brother and always wants to play with him. I feel Orange is very creative in his games too. But only thing is sometimes he bites Tom very hard.
My Furr friends are so beautiful that I feel very happy to watch them play and grow. When they are tired they come and just sleep on me purring ... I love that moment. I often thank God for giving me ability to love these cats. Like I have said many times in past, I learn a lot from Cats ... more I see them, more I learn.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Super Sensitive, Super Performances, the movie 'The Reader'

Many movies get released, We watch a few and very few we will like, and perhaps very very few will leave an impact ...
Last night when we watched the movie 'The Reader' this is what I felt. I am not regular at watching English movies. Not sure if it's due to some complex developed during childhood or lack of exposure to the kind of movies made in Hollywood during my growing up days .. but the fact is I watch very few movies made in English. But the one's I have watched have been the BEST. For me to watch a movie, the curiosity has to be built within. Most of the times it's the story line that attracts me, and very few times it's the actor or actress. And I track English movies only when I travel, the only time I have a lot of time to surf channels, the only time I don't have local language channels. Infact all great English movies I have watched while I am alone, while I am on travel.
Promotion or the trailor of this movie 'The Reader' I started watching when I was in Shanghai couple of months back. Instantly I appreciated Kate Winslet in a court trial scene. She appeared so promising. It was my sixth sense that told me she would be the Oscar Winner for best actress and it did turn out to be a fact.
Kate Winslet is so beautiful that people can't see beyond her beauty in the movie Titanic. However, she ended up giving a lot of great performances till date, missed many Oscars. I started liking her 'way', her 'looks' much after the Titanic ... she always appears as a beautiful actress to me who can show vivid emotions on screen.
Thus last night we stretched ourselves to watch this movie.
The Reader dates back to second world war, location is Germany where a young law student gets infactuated with a much elderly woman, a ticket issuing woman in a Tram. Their affair starts off with only physical intimacy, evolves into interesting conversations between the two where Hanna Chmitz (Kate) asks Michael to read all his books before making love. Michael who starts to get emotional with her does everything possible to keep her happy. Hanna lives mysteriously, a loner, a tough woman does not want to reflect her emotions. Once she disappears mysteriously it leaves an impact on young Michael who later moves on studying law. In one of the trials he attends, he finds Hanna guilty of mudering 300 jewish women. She is still the same - tough, straight forward and shows traces of her past when victims say she used to make woman read loudly before being taken to their death. Michael goes through a tough phase watching this. She is convicted for life after she admits her crime. During her days in jail she starts receiving tapes sent by Michael reading all those books he once read for her! This is very well shot. I literally cried in the theatre. She learns to read and write while listening to those tapes. Finally after 20 years he comes to meet her, promising to return to take her out of jail upon her release. But a day before she is released, she commits suicide and leaves a note to Michael ... requesting him to handover an old tea tin and some cash to the only surviving victim among jewish women. Michael completes this task for Hanna and takes his daughter at the end to the grave of Hanna, daughter he has from a divorced wife ... to tell her the story of his affair and relationship with Hanna.
The Reader is a movie to be watched!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Jazbaatein - 2

Yeh Raahein aur Yeh Nigahein

Kis-ka intezaar Karti Aayen Hein?

Kya Woh Tum hi ho jisko Aana Hein?

Kya Woh Me hi hoon jisko Tumhe Paana Hein?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Jazbaatein - 1

Zindagi me hum bohot kuch seekhte he ...

Lekin Muhobbat woh Panna he joh hume koyi nahin sikhata!

Jab kisi se Muhobbat hoti he ...

Tab dil karta nahin koyi Samjhota!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, In the Forest of Daylight!

I grew up listening to this famous poem written by William Blake. My daddy (B. Raghotham Rao Desai) a daring and eminent forest officer was in wildlife division in early eighties and we were very lucky to visit then the Nagarhole National Park (now referred as Rajiv Gandhi National Park) frequently. Daddy would often take us in his Jeep to show us the wilderness of nature. Forest I saw then perhaps I can never see again. Not because it has perished, but because today as a comman man I won't have access to those interior routes ... I always tell my husband (Srinath) who is a nature lover like me, how I wish we met in the times when we had access to such routes.
We would enter forests and spot variety of wild animals from boars to bisons to spotted deers to elephants. I have seen many huge tuskers, I even recollect an incident where a tusker chased our jeep and how petrified we all were! There were days we spotted only rabbits/hares, Dad would tell if you spot rabbit you'll not spot any other wild animal, it's supposed to be sign of calmness of the forest if a rabbit it freely moving around.
As a cat lover from my cradle days, I was fascinated with Tigers. I always grew up believing that the Tiger is the most powerful, more beautiful, most intelligent and most dignified animal in the world. Spotting a tiger never happened and it's a dream even till date. Daddy would show some rock spots and tell us 'This is huli-bande' meaning 'Tiger-Rock', and we would imagine a Tiger sitting on the rock watching around.
I am not sure if we have spotted Tiger or not, because one incident remained doubtful even till date, during our return from a holiday in Kabini, four of us were in our car - Myself, Srinath, Sreekar and Pratibha. Suddenly both me and Srinath spotted a 'tiger/lion like animal body' moving from the left to right ... much after the forest tree line was over ... close to a village. Out of excitement I did not even voice it, my facial expressions made Sreekar spot it's tail. We are not too sure what it was, perhaps a Tiger?
I don't know why Tiger has remained so special to me. It is such a beautiful cat that I sometimes dream of looking after a tiger myself, like how I do with domestic cats. Sometimes when I give a deep thought what I want to really do in my life, the instant answer from within is 'Do something for Tigers!'. I want to do something to save this endangered feline, even if it means putting a stop to rest of my activities. To get a good hold on the subject I often watch documentaries featuring Tigers ... learning about their hunting strategies, their food preferences, their presence worldwide, etc. Joining a Project Tiger as a volunteer would be really great. Hopefully I spend sometime this year to explore this possibility of me volunteering to save Tigers. To educate villagers and comman man about the importance and significance of Tigers in our life would be a good thing to do. Not many know that the protector of Forests, the Tiger is invariably responsible for rains, and thus the farms, thus the grains.
Tiger is not only powerful, efficient and good looking, they are very gentle. Tigers do not steal meat, they do not get into cheap gimmicks in the forest.
Today I remembered those good old Nagarhole Days as I watched a documentary on Tigers in the Discovery Channel covering a Tigress and her four cubs of Madhy Pradesh. It was lush green forest-grassland and these five huge yellow and black striped cats playing in their paradise reminded me of this poem 'Tiger Tiger Burning Bright', but I took the liberty to twist the next line to 'In the Forest of Daylight'.
Long Live Tigers!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Summer Treats

Summer is back and I already hear many saying 'Oh I dont like it so Sunny', 'I am proned to get head ache', 'I cant bear this heat', etc. But there are positive sides of Summer.
Summer is not just about Sun, Heat and Sweat ... Summer also comes with juicy watermelons, sweet and sour grapes and soothing mangoes.
Those who suffer from lack of apetite can try a lot of fruits as a substitute to snacks, those who want to burn stored fat can drink loads of tender coconut and butter milk.
Every season offers something unique and suitable for the climatic conditions. The supreme power above us has balanced nature so very well, for a thirsty throat there are watermelons.
Mud pot sellers are back in city, I remember when I was very young how we used to enjoy cold water from mud pots. Water has enhanced taste over other Water like refridgerated or boiled or filtered. I am sure all those people who love the fragrance of mud when it rains will enjoy a mud pot kept in their kitchen ... there are many earth eaters (like me!!) who even enjoy eating mud out of temptation when it smells so good
Beat this Summer by enjoying all good things Nature has offered us. Stay indoors when Sun is direct, stay outdoor during evenings ... take that long walk in fresh air.
We must always remember, every night is followed by a morning meaning there is light after darkness and similarly every Summer is followed by Monsoon ... a season of romance!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Garden Fragrance

Often parks, house gardens and trees dropping flowers on the streets attract us in this urban life. While we always enjoy a drive in a bike or a car seeing greenary, it is worth while stopping and taking a walk in a park to feel the chill breeze. We have options to unwind ourselves in serene parks.
My observations revolve around garden designs and garden plants in independent houses. I love watching them. There was a time when I dreamt of having my own garden. I perhaps insisted on our own independent house only to have a garden, strange but a fact. Parking our car inside a gated compound was first priority, second priority was a garden and lastly the living space inside the house ...
Today when I have my own garden, I love every bit of it. I love the fact that I am growing 8 to 10 trees around the house, a lot of fruit trees inside and on the terrace, couple of spice trees and 100 odd roses on my terrace. I have never put my hands in gardening before. I am very new to this whole exercise but since it is my dream to see a lot of yielding plants/trees in my house I can stretch myself to learn and do gardening.
Fragrance in my garden are of wide variety. I smell my hands after touching a tomato plant ... it is irresistable. I also love the fragrance of marigold ... it's the best flower fragrance I feel. Gardeners often enjoy such small pleasures of seeing beautiful eggplants, feeling the touch of a soft rose petal, smelling the fragrance of coriander or sensing the presence of many other flowers in the garden with a blow of a breeze. Gardening gives immense satisfaction. Anyone who loves nature in it's real form should own a few plants and nurture them. It makes us fresh.
Visiting a garden nursery is a beautiful experience, talking to gardeners makes us know so many things about plants and techniques and finally seeing a big colorful dahlia bloomed in the garden leaves a lasting impression in our heart.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Camera, Lights On, Action!! But no Cut or Retake ...

Our Life is like a drama set on a stage. We often come on stage, prepared or unprepared ... face the camera of society, enact our character that 'we are' and then there's a cut. Sometimes there are many retakes. On one fine day on the Stage I meet this person Sreekar.
Sreekar is bundle of joy, loads of fun. He has great sense of humour and a keen observant. I often wonder how he gets so much energy to be this was 24/7. Because we are after all human beings, we have our moods fluctuating and sometimes physical tiresome overtakes the enthusiasm of mind. But Sreekar is an exception. He makes a perfect salesman I think because I see him doing so well at career. He is so very fond of his friends and their families that he is a part of everyone's special day or event. A crowd puller, hillarious, intellectual conversationalist and a good listener. Any occasion, we often wait for Sreekar to share our thoughts, experiences and fun of day to day life. Though I met him as my husbands close friend, I had no reason to continue to think he is only my husbands close friend. He is very much my own friend. Like I always said, it's easy to define Sreekar because he is so easy going, etc. etc, but not easy to be like him.
Be it an article he wants to show us or a video he has captured that has something really funny or his conference call with all friends on the other side discussing a controversial subject, Sreekar does everything posssible to pull people together and laugh. Sometimes when we all laugh together over something, we tend to feel we all are living the same life ... it's such a nice feeling right?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Moments between 'Make up' and 'Pack up'

Our Kittu Sir (Prof. MR Krishnamurthy) of Kalakshiti celebrates every year his teacher Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale's birthday. He has been telling us this right form our first class, we joined by Mid November 2008. Barely 4 months old, he made sure we join one of the group dances, it's a classical folk dance of Gujarath.

I don't recollect myself performing any dance on the stage in my past. Ah! imagine my plight ... but I was sincere in my attempts and went for all the rehearsals regularly. Kittu Sir would make sure we are there on every Sunday at 9:30 AM in our Dance uniform and practice till perfection. During this phase I could make friends with our dance mates, they are all bubbly girls aged between 19 and 25.

Finally came the D Day, we were told to shop all required accessories, make up items for the dance. It was big fun shopping in Bhavani Kangan. Bhavani Kangan is one stop solution for everything a woman wants. Srinath always accompanied me, very religious in taking me to the dance school and getting me back home. Thanks a ton Srinath! On Sunday, 15th March after final rehearsal with musicians I finished some more last minute shopping and resumed back at Kalakshiti at 2 PM. It was such a colorful atmosphere there ... senior dancers were applying make up on their faces and they asked us to start off. My hair was platted so long, perhaps for the first time and I loved it. A senior helped me dress up, I could not believe I am applying make up for the first time in my life! A lot of Kajal, a lot of rose powder I looked so different you know? Kakalshiti being a very organized school of art ... then asked us to wear dance costume and after all the decking up they offered us nice upma, jamoon, bonda and tea. Kittu Sir is always caring, he'll always make sure we eat well, dance well. He also made an important announcement that we must not spend time gossipping in green room instead we must remember Rukmini Devi and her contributions to the field of Art and only then step on the Stage. What a lovely advice!

In the green room of Kalakshiti I was thinking was this once Srinath's classroom? Because once upon a time when Srinath joined Pratibha Bala Mandira, Kalakshiti premises was his school. It's such a strange thing that today his wife, that is me ... a student in same premises, perhaps in the same class room, I wondered. A lot of chit chatting we did, waiting for our turn to step on Stage. As our seniors applied Atla (Red Color) on our feet and hands I was so excited ... it's every dancers dream to color her feet and hands and then perform. I was also sending a lot of SMS's to Srinath who was seated among audience asking if Mom has arrived, if Vaiju has arrived, etc.

Finally when we were called on Stage, it was a smooth flow. Many appreciated our dance and we managed to win many hearts. I was simply happy that it's over and I've done well. Back to green room I changed, somehow removed a lot of Make up and packed my belongings to join my family seated as Audience. In the night I cherished remembering all the moments I experienced between Make Up and Pack Up!

Friday, March 13, 2009

In search of Art, In search of Guru

I often wonder if people can 'stay away' from Art. But surprisingly I do meet many who do not think, practice or know Art. What I wonder is how such people attain the ultimate satisfaction of life. However each person has different perception towards this. Art is not directly associated to Culture. But nuances of Art does touch upon Culture. Art can't be defined an Artist can't be measured. Art can be even in cutting of vegetables, it can be in Music or in the form of Dance or even a beautiful painting.
I walk on the roads observing nature, observing heritage buildings and one fine day I spotted a board 'Kalakshiti'. I walked into the building to find it beautifully painted with rangoli art, lot of Idol Statues and I told to myself 'What a beautiful Ambience!'. It's a dance school where they teach Bharatanatyam in Classical, Old form. But then there was no batch during weekends to accomodate a working person like me.
However this thought came in my mind several times to make it someday ... to somehow join Kalakshiti. I happened to walk in again a few months back and I see this Divine Prof. Krishnamurthy (fondly called Kittu Sir) sitting and guiding students. After several requests he enrolled me in a Saturday batch. I was so happy that I also conveyed this to my friend Rama who was keen on joining with me.
Our first class itself we realized this is no ordinary school of dance. Here we not only learn Art, we also get the right guidance from a Guru like Kittu Sir. He told us how to dress for the class, how to groom ourselves for the dance. Everytime her referred to his Guru Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale, I could notice his immense dedication towards her. Over the period of time I realized he is the Guru I have always been searching in my life. I have faced several Guru's and all have been good. But this time, I also started transforming myself from what I was to what I want to be. I have always believed in striking a balance between our cultural values and my today's way of life. With Kalakshiti I could attain it. I feel very holistic when I drape the dance saree and walk in with a perfect posture. I don't know if I am meant to be a dancer, if I have the capability to ever perform in dance ... all I know is this is the institution I ever wanted to be in. Learning Dance might have never been in my mind, but to get associated to a form of Art was always my desire. With me finding Kalakshiti, Kittu Sir I have started to believe that what ever you really look for in life, you do get it someday. My search might have ended, but my thirst to learn is still on ...