Monday, September 20, 2010

battle of dreams

Two dreams dwelled in a mind, to each other‘s presence they were unkind.
They swam in unison through an ocean, of thoughts drenched in commotion.
Trying to slay the other in a feud, bitter and vehement cut-throat and rude.
The battlefield (the mind) was bloody; the very soil on fire was withering already.

As one dream shot arrows into the sky, the other unleashed it’s beasts with a war cry.
The arrows dug into the enemy’s hide, the beasts trampled their souls in a single tide.
They fought day and night with an ardor unabated, and bloodshed prevailed perpetually intended.
No peace, no forgiveness and mercy sore, anarchy and murder existed encore.

The battle field bore the deadly war; throbbing with pain it developed a scar.
It failed to yield any fertile thought, and stole the very happiness it sought.
What a battle of dreams it was, that left the battlefield barren and cross,
The battle of dreams that’s everywhere, is a direction given to the end nowhere.

Oh Battlefields please come to life, and end this ubiquitous vicious strife.
The battle of dreams will surely end, against willpower and hope in a blend.
The battle of dreams will surely die, in the very thoughts where they lie.
Because the battle of dreams is but, a result of choices which we keep shut.

Kill the battle of dreams my friend, with a tough choice you make in the end.
So peace prevails in the battlefield, transformed into an oasis of creative yield.

Friday, December 19, 2008

forever yours

Forever yours
I knew not, what it was, to fall in love and be loved in return
I knew no more than a mother’s love, and love of kith and kin.
Forever praying, that god, would bless me with a love so true
Happy I was the day we met; I thought I was blessed with you.
Those twinkle in your eye, which shed, tears of royal pearls,
That innocent smile, which melts my heart, into divine twirls.
Happy I was you confided in me, like none other that lived
It gave an urge, to live up to you, for the way you accepted me.
So many times I let you down, and hurt you till you cried
God would never forgive me so, penance, even if I tried
So many times I let you down, and hurt you till you cried.
It din mean a thing real, I’d so, be guilty even if I died
Forever yours am I, my love, till death do us part,
Forgive me for my misgivings, and beckon me into your heart.
Forever yours am I, because I love you, deeply undeterred,
By what people say or do, bout our lives which they littered
Forever yours am I my love for the person who you are
And for all ,that you have faced, and made women proud for who they are.
Forever yours am I, for the love you selflessly showered on me,
Undeserving of that I am, for my seeming blasphemy.
Forever yours am I with the hope that you will accept me
As a part of your divine life,I dream forever that’s where I want to be.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

proud to be a tam brahm

Tam brahm[ read tamil brahmins], a tag which many fancy, many mock and some like me take pride in being called so.. well whenever i see a tam brahm i just cannot control myself, but be all over the person and find out everything about him, his family members[prospects for the future], and about his fore fathers.. and the zeal and thrill that goes down my spine when i learn that his mothers aunts elder son and my fathers uncles someone are related is inexplicable.
I certainly do not follow all the rites and rituals necessary to be branded a brahmin and also commit sacriledges of the highest order but somewhere deep within me is a true brahmin who feels guilty of indulging in such blasphemical acts.However, that does not stop me from admiring a beautiful iyyer girl in a saree or a pavadai davani lighting a deepam in the worship place. i certainly respect and cherish all the monotonous religious proceedings carried out by the iyyer ladies[ at times feeling guilty that i am not even 1 percent as religious, as them], i feel ashamed to go in front of my father when he is praying as i realize that is something i too must do. the iyyer within me consoles me saying my sins are compensated for by my mothers prayers.
The ubiquitous and melodious monologue instigated by an "oru paatu padein " is just a sight i hate to miss. Though i myself know just maybe say a couple of carnatic classical songs, i long to hear an entharomahanubhavulu, or a brahma mukuteshwara, or a maha ganapatim, from the person who entertains such a request.
Mannn!!! that whole process of a "pundi sapadu" or a family meal, at a marriage function is an enthralling experience on it's own!! long rows of people seated in front of big banana leaves; served course wise by experienced waiters in dhotis and shirts with a towel on their shoulders!pachadi,kosimbiri,vazhakai podimas, uralaikazhangu roast, chenakazhangu masiyal,kootu and chips on the top half; and payasam paruppu chadam laddu wadai and urgai on the lower half!! followed by sambaar rasam and moru with small amounts of rice on request!!! by the end of the meal, one can help himself to a large "beeda" a sweet mix stuffed beetle leaf studded witha clove and a cherry!! the perfect conclusion to the feast!!
The first important ritual in a tam brahms life, the poonal[also called the janeu,sacred thread] is an amazing congregation of all kith and kin old and young who view the entrance of a free tambrahm kid into the life of a brahmachari[read spiritual bonding/ binding] with tonsures and religious practices endowed upon an innocent kid so he grows into a man in the right ways of society. Here again one does not miss the pandi sapadu, and the tiffins which ofcourse is a mainstay of such functions.
The "ponnu pakkara" ritual {translate as legal letching, and checking out] is certainly an amazing prelude to the marriage ceremonies in the tam brahm clan.. which almost looks like a barter of two individuals, analysing gothrams and kundalis" and a formal interview[read serving coffees, singing songs, talking about present work scenario, "friends", pay packages] to dig out all information about the boy or girl, and to decide if they would be a good pair, and live happily ever after[also enclosed with the package the private time for the would be bride and groom to settle differences]. This followed by the "nichyadartam" [formal signing of the deal that the boy and gurl can get married] where plates laden with fruits and coconuts on beetle leaves and vermilion in small boxes are exchanged; Tiffin with sojji and bajji with hot dark coffee served at the function is also the trademark nichiyadartham meal. the most important tam brahm ceremony follows, you may call it tying the knot day, the 'D' day, or "kalyana nal", a day which both the boy and the girl will remember till the last day of their lives!!through the "kashi yatra" and "gettimelam"...
Being a true tam brahm is certainly not an easy job. Especially with so many rituals and "functions" in everyday life interspersed with worklife which often ends up in a mess or leaves you grappling for time to chill out and socialise. The number of "poojai nals" that an average tambrahm family has, will outnumber the public holidays that the indian government gives. However the sense of belonging that i have to tam brahminism spotted with guilt, also gives me a sense of satisfaction.. a sense of satisfaction that there are scores out there who are true to tam brahminism and the likes of me are proud of them.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Cooking for the family!!

Whenever i am home i make it a point to cook for my family. and this as i have experienced is one of the greatest ordeals that i have faced, ever since i learnt how to cook. With butterflies in my stomach, i plan a menu pleasing, fat free, non spicy, low gluten menus which are good to eat. The most challenging part about cooking for the family is that you are so attached to everybody you want to please everybody. However, a task that is hardly achievable, yet not impossible.
I had been to my aunt's house recently, where i had the pleasure of cooking for my cousins who have practically toured half the globe.And hence have seen several palates in the bygone days. Very dear to me i was eager to please and mesmerize them with something new and innovative. I decided i have to make Caldeen for them. A dish that a Goan {culinary}confidante of mine, had whispered into my ears over a Pitcher of beer. I was thrilled, as once before i had made the same and won my chefs confidence about my culinary abilities. However the thrill had turned into a more serious emotion now as i was making the same for my cousins. As i looked through the groceries kept on the racks in the shop i was wondering if my ability to choose good vegetables would be judged. the vegetables looked beautiful, and i dropped them into my bag. Then i carefully selected the spices wishing it would tingle their senses. they smelt good and i chose them too. I towed away towards the house with a bag full of ingredients which i was wishing would make a good meal.
The moment i set the ingredients on the table the lights went out plunging the house into darkness, and i let out a long sigh of frustration. I surely did not want to begin like that. But the lights came back again and i let out another sigh, of relief. My eager and supportive kin offered to help, which i gracefully made use of.Cutting vegetables, chopping onions, peeling potatoes, grinding stuff. It was a great feeling cooking with kins, something i always longed to do. As we all got into the momentum, i got busy thinking how to begin, where to begin and if my actions, would trigger, efforts to judge how good a cook i am.I looked at my cousins, something told me things would go just fine..
As i got into action sauteing onions and spices seasoning stuff and stirring the liquids on the stove, my brother came in with a small drink of coconut arrack. I took it and gulped the whole thing down, in a single shot. Shocking my aunt, who i am sure must have felt i was a pro at binge drinking!! however i assured her that i was just tasting arrack for the first time in my life, and i would be done with that. I thought it certainly wasn't the perfect time to coolly sip on arrack and cook at the same time. It would certainly take my concentration off the caldeen i was trying to make. And today, i did not want anything to go wrong with it. I tried smelling it but my nose was blocked, another thrust of tension overcame me, and i hoped the spices have blended properly, and the seasoning was alright. however i was rest assured when my sister came in promulgating that the aromas had reached her nostrils in the hall. The dish was almost done and i added the tamarind pulp and vinegar and blended it with cream for a finishing. and tasted it for the 15Th time in the past 2 hours. I decided, it was ready.
Should i have boiled the tamarind pulp before adding the coconuts or should i have added the vinegar a notch less, should i have put more jaggery... is the salt alright.. i was engrossed in retrospect, as my folks helped themselves.. i awaited the first look of disgust, or an expression of dislike.. or a smile and sign of acceptance that it was made well.
UMMMMMM, COOL, NICE, not bad.. It was like listening to frank Sinatra's new york new york on a Sunday morning.. i felt good. Thrilled that i made something that someone cherished and liked and ATE. I helped myself to a few helpings. Not bad, i thought. My folks liked it. as the last drop of scepticism got thrown out of my idle brain, i finally decided, that whenever i come home i shall cook for my folks. for my loved ones. After all it is more challenging than cooking at a restaurant or a kitchen in a hotel,because you are cooking for your loved ones and you just dont want it to go wrong..