Wednesday, 19 August 2015

How Much is Enough?

Whether it's a sales pitch
boy trying to impress girl
priest exhorting donations for the poor
some people just don't know
how much is enough!

So when the priest speaks
initially a person attending church
decides to give Rs10/
as he increases the pitch, the listener is impressed
and he decides to give Rs 50, 100, 500
but the priest goes on and on... on and on...
finally when the charity plate is passed on
our man takes away Rs 10 from it
instead of donating.

Similar things happen everyday
when you don't know when to stop
don't know how much is enough?
so when the orders don't materialize
or the girl turns you down
you wonder "what went wrong?"
after all you had given it your all....

Yes sometimes, why often times
less is more!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Another International Year

During the process of going through old papers, I came across the monthly bulletin of the Rotaract club of Pondicherry which had an article written by me when I was a student of the law college there. Rotaract club is the student wing of the Rotary club which seeks to contribute to service to the society Some of the goals of the rotaract clubs are  developing constructive leadership and personal integrity,encouraging thought and action in helping others,recognizing the worth of each individual etc.

It was around that  time that the United Nations started declaring years for focusing on various global issues that affect mankind.When I read the article, I felt that it is as relevant today as it was then, since after celebrating the year and talking about the issue people tend to move on and do not engage in sufficient follow up to ensure that the same are resolved. Now the article in the exact form that it was published in January 1981.

"  The UNO has been announcing quite regularly International years focusing on the various sections of society and our country has been celebrating them in a routine fashion.The sad aspect of the whole thing is that we tend to forget all about the very purpose of such celebrations when the year concerned comes to an end.

Thus,while it was not very long ago in 1975 that we celebrated the International Womens' Year,in 1980 we come across frequent bride burning and vicious rapes by the so called protectors of law.Today, the problems faced by women remain as grave as ever.Similarly, the celebration of the International Year of the Child cannot be said to have laid any foundation for the happy and secure future of our children.

Now, we are to celebrate 1981 as the International Year of the Disabled.It is essential that we ensure that this year also does not fizzle out weakly like the earlier years.The most important aspect concerning the disabled is that of training and rehabilitation.The handicapped need to be given an opportunity to make a respectable living of their own without having to lean or depend on others.

On the request of the Social welfare department of the Government, the rotaract club had made a survey two months ago in the city of Pondicherry in order to assess the total number of disabled persons and to understand the kind of help that may be made available to them.

However, an interesting finding of the survey was that a high percentage of the disabled did not wish to exert themselves but preferred to live on doles.Here, it would be essential to provide them with some employment counselling. The disabled may also come across problems of adjustment within the home or in the social environment for which general counselling would be helpful.

It is hoped that the Social Welfare department will continue to seek the help of rotaractors in carrying out any scheme that may be drawn up in this regard.For, if only the rotaractors involve themselves adequately in the definite area of rehabilitation can there be any sense of fulfillment.

Finally, let us remind ourselves that the welfare schemes for the disabled are not to be wound up the moment the year 1981, comes to an end..." 

Monday, 10 August 2015

From Grandpa with Love...

Shuffling through old papers, I came across a letter written by my father in law to my elder son,Manas who was then three months short of his 10th birthday.I found it interesting as unlike the usual letters it contained anecdotes on the celebration of the Onam festival.As Onam is just around the corner, I thought of  sharing this with the readers.Hope you like it...


My dear Chindu
You have written a nice letter.Did you write it yourself or did mother help you? I liked it very much.You write well in English.So I thought I will write to you again. But I have nothing new to write..
Today is 'Atham', the first day of Onam celebration.You know we put flowers in circles in front of the house.Do you do it there? Do you get flowers in the fields outside?

When I was a boy,we used to go out in to the fields to collect flowers At that time there were wastelands and bare hills outside.Wild plants and flowers were in plenty.We had small bamboo baskets to gather the flowers- Kadali, Kongini(Kingini),Thumba, Thottavadi(Touch me not), Mukkui,Pannipoo were some of the wild flowers we got.

Then we have balsam,chembararathi,wadamalli,mathapoo and merrigold from the garden.We draw a circle or star design and arrange different coloured flowersin it.Then we go to the neighbouring houses to see how they have done it.The next day we gather more flowers and make better designs.This we used to do for ten days.On the 10th day we have Onam.

There is gaiety and rejoicing in the homes.Relatives and children from other houses come and we have a great time running about and playing.One popular game we play for Onam "Thalapandu."We make a ball with paper or leaves.We did not buy it from the shop.We made our own ball and played. It is just like cricket.In place of 3 stumps, we put one stump.We have two teams- One team stands as fielders to catch the ball.A boy from the opposite side strikes the ball  in different ways , with the  hand, leg, over the head etc.The fielders have to catch the ball.If the ball is caught in the air, the boy is 'out' as in cricket.If not the fielder has to run,get the ball and throw it at the stump from where he stopped it.If the ball strikes the stump it is 'out'. This game we used to play for Onam.

In the house also there is gaiety.We get new clothes to wear, banana chips to eat, pappadam, payasam and a variety of dishes for the Onam meal.After the long rains, the climate is also good.There is sunshine and good weather.

Onam is actually a harvest festival.People get Paddy, banana,beans, chena (Yam), mathanga(melon) etc from the farm.So everybody has plenty of food and all are happy. Onam is celebrated by all Malayalees as their national festival. Do you like reading all this?If you don't understand, ask Amma and she will explain. You write to achachan again and you will soon learn to write letters by yourself without help from mother or anybody else.
Wishing  you and Chikku a happy Onam!
With Love

PS : The Grandfather  (Achachan),T,N,Sankaran is today no more.It is  sweet little lines like these that keep the memory alive..

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Chalk and Cheese ( Drishyam)

Thought I won't write this
as my review in verses always  came
when  I was so impressed
with  a  movie
yet  couldn't help writing this one
though frustration and  disappointment
was the motivation this time..

Both the original and the Hindi versions are called "Drishyam"
the title apart though, they are
like chalk and cheese!

 Yet a respected critic
like Rajiv Masand  who must
have seen only this version
has given a rating
of 3.5 out of 5,
credit for this goes to the powerful script
which  sadly is also tampered by director Kamat

If the Tamil version
emerged as powerful
as the Malayalam original
much of the credit
goes to the common director

Jeethu knew his characters well
for Mohan Lal, there was Kamal
for Meena, Gauthami
couple of actors
retained for the remake

Nishant on the other hand
seems casual and careless
A complex role demanding a Naseer, Nana  or Om
is placed on 'frail' shoulders of hapless Ajay

If one feels that a house wife role
can be played by any doll
the lie is exposed
when the real drama begins

When the real drama unfolds
main characters fall short
sleep walking and uninvolved
in a tense gripping plot

The elder daughter role
is better essayed though
 with Kamat in his version
 giving  her "adopted" tag
perhaps he wants to save
the image of the hero
save him the embarrassment
of a  teen aged girl's dad!

The only exciting casting
that motivated watching movie
was casting competent Tabu
as the inspector General of Police

Sadly the bungling director
fiddled with this role too
caricatured the character basically
as a sadist lady officer

In the original the character
was a normal human being
torn between the role of a mother
and a law enforcer

So poor Tabu is ordered to howl
and bark most of the time
 the name of police man
 to inflict violence
sensitivity and & pain of a mother
lost in the melee ...
yet the original earned Asha Sharath
lot of bouquets, even more applause
as she repeated role in Tamil!

As you leave theatre, it's the thought
of  "What might have been"....
yet  those seeing it first time
may still think it good
energy to salvage lying in  the script!