Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mothers of sons

Headlines proclaimed -- Mumbai terror ends. I had thought once this gets over I will be more composed and will be able to put my thoughts in proper order. I had thought words will come out more naturally, easily.

So I decided to wait till the terrorists were rounded up. The day came and the wait got over.

But the terror just does not end. Television and the internet have been blaring the gory details. Children crying having lost parents, parents crying having lost children.

That moved me to other thoughts. What about the mothers of the boys [they were between 21 and 25] who held seige in Mumbai landmarks. Do these women cry on losing their sons? Do these women know where their sons are going to [and what for in the first place?]?

Is it money or religion or something else that prompts these women to not object. Why do these women not pull back their sons and save them from a fate that is not taking them to either life or glory.

Are these mothers of 21 year olds not mature enough to know that their sons are leaving home never to return again. It can't be poverty. That can be taken care of in other ways. Is it religion. Can a religion make a mother so insensitive as to look the other way when her son leaves never to return. Does not seem like that. Mothers don't have religions.

It is just plain a terror that will not end. But more so for the mother who knowingly sent her son never to return.

P.S.: Apologies if my thoughts are not coherent.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A very common cold

After a lovely trip to Coorg, I was hoping to write about its beauty and the time I had enjoyed [that will be the next post]. Instead I'm forced to write about the cold I've caught!!

I know, I don't really have to write about the not-so-uncommon common cold. But what can I do - kismat! Even my boss gives me the you-poor-thing,-you-are-so-done-for looks. [I've managed to contribute the germs to a poor colleague sitting in the US of A. All that the poor soul did was attend the same conference call with me and look what has happened to her].

Everyone is very kind, sympathetic. Cold makes everyone bring out their favourite remedies. "Take some ginger and add honey to it" [my fav actually, tastes good]. "Take about four cloves, put them in boiling water and catch the steam [catch steam ?!!]". "Put 3 or 4 leaves of tulsi in your tea" [tastes good too]. "Gargle with hot water and put some salt into it."

Then there are any number of medicines available in the market. The television advices me to take at least half-a-dozen different ones in a span of 3 mins.

The point here is that people who wouldn't give me a nod on an ordinary day give me recipes, advice and looks that make me feel like I've caught the common cold for the first time in my life. And this happens every time :-)

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Fragrances of the day

We can capture sounds and sights of nature... my biggest grouse is that I can't capture smells. Just walking down a road in this heat and cursing the sun, humidity [or lack thereof!], pollution, politics... and then, then you stop because between all of this a very divine smell just caught your attention! The flower that was the cause for this sweet smell [which in turn caused you to stop cursing] is normally a simple off-white or pink 4-5 petalled creation of the almighty.

Hanging from a tree, it just looks at you innocently. The fruits around it could be any size, shape or colour. Time evaporates, sun melts, humidity is of no consequence and, by the way, what is politics!! Pollution will have to wait because a flower just bloomed and spread its fragrance. That moment the meaning of the word "divine" becomes clear.

You can photograph the flower. You can [if you had very good devices for doing so] perhaps capture the very subtle sound the flower must make when blooming. But what shall we do about the fragrance. The helplessness of it hurts. I can experience it but not capture it. No perfume factories/designers can work this magic. It solely rests with the flower.

The occassional maramalligai [Literally translated, tree jasmine. The stem is long and the petals are off-white and smells just like jasmine just subtler.], champa [Also called champangi. Don't know the English word for it] and many more. Tons of other flower trees line the roads of B'lore.

Throughout the year, and especially this time of the year, some or the other tree is in bloom providing people like me some respite.

Only, if some scientist could come up with a contraption that would allow me to capture smells like that. I would love to show off a few, maybe even upload to this blog :-)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Heaven in small pieces

I've always thought of Lal Bagh in that way. Tall stately trees; birds and squirrels chirping all day; people taking an easy stroll. There's no hurry in this bubble of time; no agitation. Life moves on at it's own sweet pace. The roads inside Lal Bagh are wider than many places in the Bangalore city adding to its many attractions [:-)].

With 240 acres of parks and a lake Lal Bagh is just the right place to visit if you want to take a very long stroll on an evening.

Lal Bagh is also a favourite with people who have gardens. It is nestles a huge nursery. Many a times I visit LB just for walking through the nursery. The variety of plants is amazing. Add to it the down-to-earth prices!! Someday I hope to have a garden to plant any and every tree I want. And I know where I can get them :-).

The lake in LB is also beautiful. Ducks, monkeys and lilies [and I'm sure there are fish, for you can't have ducks without them] abound in and around the lake. The fringe of the lake is adorned with coconut palms. When clouds reflect in the lake waters it makes a lovely scene to admire with your loved ones [I had my parents with me :-)].

Twice a year LB hosts flower shows [I've not been lucky enough to go to one of these]. But I was lucky enough to be at the Mango Festival last summer [and looking forward to this year's festival]. Mangoes from all over the country pay a visit and enthrall people. I believe I have seen quite a few varieties of mangoes but what I saw at the festival was beyond words.

I saw people buying mangoes in dozens of kilos. I'm sure those mangoes would have travelled across the country!! Considering the prices at which you could get some of the rarer mango varieties no one can resist buying like that.

There is so much more to LB which I cannot cover in one post and hence, will defer till later. Perhaps, in the meanwhile more knowledgeable people will share their views by commenting in this post.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Cubbon Park

Last weekend my buddy Vish and I went to Cubbon park to photograph the park. And this time I will not talk but let the photos do the job :-) [Sandy, this one is specially for you]

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Precious Evenings

It's so precious to have an evening for oneself. I know what most of us would think - evening 'for' oneself...and what is so precious about it?! But for people like me who don't return from work till after nightfall, evenings are precious.

Every weekend, I try to spend the evening with my friends or family. That is special :-). But occassionally [very occassionally], I get an evening on a weekday. The colours, the smell, the sights, the sounds of evening...precious.

Women dressing up [looking fresh] and going about busy; people tired and returning from work; students returning after bunking class[:-)]; laughter of girls; children playing; teenage boys trying to grow up faster than their ages... what's the good word here - precious.

We used to go to my grandmother's place during the summer vacations. The days used to be hot and humid but the evenings... the evenings were beautiful. The huge temple we used to visit had rows of flower sellers [they are still there]. The smell of jasmine and roses twined with the colours of flowers I do not know the names of, was soothing.

Evenings meant the women in the family freshening up, dressing up, wearing your best clothes and jewellery, getting together with neighbouring girls and women and going to the temple or going for a movie. Either was welcome. The laughter, the clang of bangles and anklets, the swishing of sarees and skirts. Flowers falling in your lap when you sat would enhance the colours of your clothes.

Remnants of those evenings can still be found in these occassional precious evenings. The air still smells crisp. Women still dress up and go to temples in the evenings. The beauty of colours and smells and sights are still there. However, these evenings for people like me are rare... hence, precious!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Ever wonder what to do on a Saturday afternoon when you just have a couple of hours [and no money :-)] and have to be home before dark... there's tons you can do.

Well, what my buddy Vish and I did, a couple of Saturdays ago, was ride to ITPL via Marathahalli. It had rained very light the previous night and the air still had moisture in it. The sun was up but not hurting. We capitalised on it. It was fun. Though all the factory outlets in Marathahalli were very inviting with the sale season still not over [pssst... some shops are offering buy 3 get 4!!!], we did not stop over [reason's in the previous para].

We went straight to ITPL. India Technology Park Ltd. is a tech park [obviously, what else :-) ]. Any number of national and multinational organisations feel proud to have a presence in ITPL. Construction is still in progress. Be prepared for trucks.

Some of the buildings are worth taking a look. To us, the Sri Satya Sai Baba Medical Institute was interesting not only for the good work that is being done there but also because of the beauty of the structure. Personally, I felt that it is inspired by the Vidhan Soudha. But I could be wrong. Whether inspired by Vidhan Soudha or not it is a beautiful structure. If I were a medical student or a doctor working in that building, that building would be reason enough to get up everyday and go to work.

There are quite a few glass buildings screaming "IT". Then there are others that are quiet pretend no one exists around them. What struck me was that each building has character.

There was one more place that interested us [a lot!]. San Engineering & Locomotive's building may not be considered a work of art but what they have outside the building is very interesting. They have... actually have... a steam engine!!!

We're not sure of her age. Not even as to how long she worked, or the trains she pulled, or the people she helped reach their destinations. But she stands there. Her beauty augumented by the flowering bougainvilla behind her.

We took pictures of her and us on her :-) [My ambition as a kid was to be a driver on a steam engine !! Well... I got only this far] One more interesting thing about her is a snake. Probably a water snake but a snake nevertheless. I took a picture of the snake but at Vish's suggestion I took a small video. Some day my kids are going to be soooooo proud of me.

In less than two hours we had a smashing time. I've been told you carry your own party, so true :-)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


One of my favourite sites on Oracle - Dizwell Informatics - has been shut out for visitors. This post is not to crib about the "whys" and "oh my Gods!". This post is an attempt to reach the site owner and tell him --


Your reason to shut out visitors is valid [though I'm not aware of what happened to result in this and despite reading about it on your site I'm not able to understand it fully]. It's your personal website and the rest of us should have the maturity to respect that.

I want you to know that your site gave me some very good articles to read. Thank you for posting such interesting/informative articles.

Though I tried to reach you to let you know this, there was no way I could. There's not even a page to say thanks.

I hope that some day you will once again share with us your researches on Oracle related matters. I'm not sure if this post will ever reach you, but if it does, I shall be very glad of at least having had the opportunity to thank you.