Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Culture and Tradition - A Learning Experience

Keeping kids engaged during summer holidays is a herculean task even though the school bombards them with projects, revision worksheets ( prequel to Summative Assessment scheduled to take place within 3 weeks after reopening) to be done during vacation. The situation is worse for those who confine within home instead of leaving for home country or other leisure tours.

Children growing abroad in a multi-cultural environment with less or no exposure to our culture and tradition has always disturbed me. There may be weekly Satsang for children.However the ambience is quite different and cannot replace or substitute the one-on-one discourse received from parents or a Guru.

Post Upanayanam, Krishna began waking up at 5. 00 am (half an hour earlier than his usual time)  to perform both Sandhyavandan and Samita-danam (fire ritual) and left for school. In the evenings he is always back from outdoor games by 6.30 to have quick wash and perform Sandhhyavandan and Samita-danam. Initially, he was finding it difficult ; but eventually he settled down.

As Summer holidays began, I thought of spending an hour or two to impart him the basics of scriptures,it's significance, music, stotras, culture and tradition. Every mid-morning, we began the session. Thankfully, I had bought few books during my recent Kalady visit. The books published by RK Mutt and Sringeri Sharada Peetham came in handy to teach the basics. Apart from Hindu Gods and Goddesses, an overview of few purAnas and it's importance, epics, importance of rituals were part of the grooming session. Everyday I read out few chapters from Ramayana retold by Rajaji and he'd listen with rapt attention. My love for music and training in Carnatic has been an impetus to learn stotras in various rAgas. Krishna's inclination towards music and songs simplified our stotra session. He became enthused to learn  stotras .. Sometimes we both hummed devotionals as well. I'd record his chants to make him understand the errors in pronunciation and he rectified the same. Before I embarked to teach him something, I had to learn and internalize.And thus the summer holidays emerged as a learning experience for me too. "While we teach, we learn".

As days passed, he turned enthusiastic about the whole stuff. On those days, when I couldn't teach him due to domestic work or health issues, the lad would grumble for not making it. One day I asked "Why don't we continue the same even after the school reopens?" After listening to his exclamatory response, I said " We just need to spend 15-30 mts daily" and he agreed. The school reopened on the last week of August and the exams which is scheduled to begin on second week of September is likely to conclude by first week of October. On many days, we couldn't proceed as per our plan and missed so many days. Nonetheless, the tiny steps we initiated towards understanding our tradition gives me great satisfaction.

Hope Krishna and I will resume the Sanatana session soon after the exams.
Postscript: Birthday bash is awesome than Vidyarambham.Invoking laukika (material) aspects in Upanayanam ceremony is cool. Throwing party in connection with thread ceremony is super-cool. However, doing SavitrOpAsana and Samita-dAnam (fire ritual) daily is neither cool nor fashionable for a vast majority. Rather it is considered as archaic and uncool by a larger section. And we lament that younger generation is responsible for the destruction of our culture and tradition.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Home Coming :)

I am supposed to resume blogging. But what am I doing at this wee hour? Listening to Dattatreya songs rendered by Rajkumar Bharati. Someone narrated Dattatreya's experience on FB, I went on a flash back mode, switched on to listen to Dattatreya songs which I used to hear my teenage days.. This is how I am. I'd embark to do something..But end up doing something else. There are few things which I began relatively early.. Music, driving, Spiritual practice and blogging. Out of the four, ONLY Spirituality continued to be in  my realm of thoughts.

 I began learning music at the age of 10. Amma made sure that I woke up early for practice. Initially, underwent training under Vanaja Mami, Chitra Akka, Dhanam mami. Took break on and off. Nevertheless,  I was fortunate to continue music  under the tutelage of a renowned guru. It was her long cherished dream  to put me under the guidance of  Palakkad Narayanaswamy bhagavathar and it was a  structured learning experience. Devotion, discipline, dedication!!! Learning under Narayanaswamy sir went on for 5 years. However, inertia  overpowered me after amma's  demise . The classes, notes, songs remain buried. But  I must confess that  over the years, love FOR music has culminated in addiction.

 At  16, I got the license (without gear) and drove the same for college, co-curricular classes, tuitions.  After completing my intermediate, I got license ( with gear). Thereafter never had any inclination to drive vehicle with gear though I continued to drive my two wheeler till I completed my PG.

 Began  serious Sadhana at 25, continued for sometime.Overcame temporary interruptions, recovered, revived and now resurgence!Glad and feeling nice!!!

 The intense and prolonged persuasion of my batchmate from Victoria College took me to the blogging world! Kicked-off blogging journey in 2006 September.Way back in 2005-06, the concept of blogging was alien to many and folks used to ask " What? Will you get money for publishing your thoughts?" Not an internet savy person way back then..Finally mustered the courage and started scribbling. During that time, I was in my native place, Palakkad, waiting for the relocation to Middle East. When I took  pen to scribble, the topic that crossed my mind was about MY MOM even though she left us early when I was in the final year of college. Like a small kid, I penned down something about Amma. Post scribbling, I was in CLOUD NINE. A decade has passed since I commenced blogging, but the memories remain as fresh as the morning dew.

 As the friend continued to pester me to compose more often, this blogger with no prior experience in writing found excuse one after the other. Nonetheless,I had to heed to the request and subsequently got into the flow.. After relocation to Dubai, I began scribbling in  2 other spaces; (Daughter & Diary for poems, Scrawler for general topics) and  abandoned  this  blog. As months passed, I turned busy in my new blogging space and got acquainted with new blogger friends. Trust me.. the journey was so fantastic. However the journey did not last long. What I did with driving and music, emulated in blogging too.Thanks to FB, socio-political issues and of course my laziness added to it.

 Had it not been for blogging, my Personal History would not have been published in  a magazine  or some of my poems would have not occupied space in mainstream media. As I complete a decade in blogging, gratitude to my friend and well wisher, Prashaanth for his support and encouragement. Indeed, blogging has been a turning point in my life .Thankful to Karmanna and his wife for their motivating words. Both of them have been kind enough to read my posts and message me his sincere comments.

 Unlike music and driving, I hope to stay in e-space for sometime.. alive and kicking. This is my first blog space and I shall resume posting HERE. Signing off. Need to complete the pending work for tomorrow's Uthradam. I signed the blog with Amma's topic. Ten years later, I am back  on Appa's DOB ( 12/9) Coincidence!

 Happy Onam.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Savitri-A woman Of substance!

"A Book has one voice,but it does not instruct everyone alike"

Any mythology or epic can influence us in so many ways.Even great men are inspired by charcters in the epic to face the trials with faith and intensity..Savitri is one such character drawn by Vyasa..The anecdote of Savitri and Satyavan is about their love and relieving satyavan from the clutches of yama by Savitri.The story gives an insight to Savitri’s multi faceted role as an affectionate daughter,a dedicated and loving daughter in law,a determined and devoted wife..Above all she was a woman with a blend of wisdom,faith,fortitude,&confidence.Definitely these attributes makes her unique.

Even though she was the daughter of a Great King,she decided to choose satyavan at her will(knowing that he was pennyless)..Not only that she followed satyavan to the forest,but also she took care of satyavan’s parents.These actions of savitri substaniates her love accompanied by humbleness.When yama took satyavan ,she ran after him and won the battle.It depicts her faith,confidence and courage!

In this era of gender war,mythological character like savitri assumes a lot of significance.Her mind was flushed with wisdom,courage,faith and confidence.Yet she never intervert from her path of her love for Satyavan,duty bound mind….Women can imbibe a lot from the role of Savitri..Even in this 21st century ,we all make a hue and cry over the legends of Sita and Draupadi..It is true that Sita was pushed to Agnipareeksha..and Draupadi became the victim in the fight between Pandavas and Kauravas,but the same mythology has rendered on Savitri.But her parables remain unsaid,hence we continue to sob along the tales of Sita and Draupadi.Stories of Ubhayabharathi,Savitri,Kannaki…personifies the unlimited Wisdom,endurance,Courage of women…women are yet to explore the our weakness continues to be more visible than our strength.

Women should remain as a Pillar of Strength…and that makes a woman ideal. Savitri is one such rare character of mythology.The greatness of Savitri deserves to be preached and practised among women.Truly she is a woman of substance!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


When i took pen to write this heart was filled to the brim with feelings which were expressive beyond words.

"Unfolding the casket of memories..
Your picture comes to my mind..
Through the words from the
Bottom of my heart...
I Prostrate before you..."
Here i begin....

It was in the year 1997 i got admission for my Mcom in GCC.I got down from the bus and like a toddler ,crossed the road and entered the college campus.Though i was fascinated by the greenary all over..i looked around the campus with some apprehensions...with respect to students as well as teachers.Regular classes began...and sooner i threw all my apprehensions.

The year 1997 was so significant in the history of was in that year the college celebrated its Golden Jubilee.The celebrations lasted a month and the whole campus was in a festive mood.There were a lot of cultural activities,competitons,exhibitions...Under the guidance of Prof P.Venugopal i got an opportunity to lead the commerce department in the exhibition,and our department stall was adjudged the best and we won a trophy for the same. Participating in that exhibition was a nice experience for me.

1998 the most memorable year of my college life ..the year in which i was elected to the college union as the Vice chairperson.Immediately after filing the nominations..we started the campaigning.The election campaigning-the most relishing part of college elections which i can never forget.Our mass campaign that started from the college gate with 2 songs.....where manu,shijina,rinju..took a lead role for singing ..the songs Padunne puthupattinnithu paadunne nammal"..a nostalgic one!and another song EE neelavanangalil"..These two songs still echoes in my heart!!!The ganamela that was conducted prior to the elections..magical voice of sainoj and the crowd puller singer shyju added spice to our campaigns.

Awesome and mind blowing speeches of the trio(Aneesh,Arun Kumar and Shine Sankar Das)nothing can beat those spectacular speeches that captured the minds of hundreds of students of the college.During the campaigns..the classrooms resound with the speeches of the Trio.

On the day of meet the candidates..i was i had no prior experience of addressing a mass.My voice was trembling and somehow with the help of my zealous comrades,i was able to finish my task of addressing the students.

The union members worked towards a common goal-with a creative approach.

Arts festival was organised and celebrated in an elaborate manner.The celebrations lasted for 4 days,and it was the first time that arts festival was given so much importance.

An association called Mathrukam(vanitha samskarika sanghadana)was formed,with the objective of motivating the female students ,to take part in the college activities.Still i remember ..we campaigned each and every corner of the campus to ensure the presence of female students for the inaugral session of mathrukam.We all were excited and surprised when we saw the college auditorium was jampacked with the active presence of girls-girls only!!!all the guys were standing outside the auditorium.

Apart from these a 3 day film festival,quiz,debates and many other seminars were organised by our union.

Another remarkable achievement was that our college secured third place in the inter zone competitions held at Kalppetta.I got an opportunity to take part in that inter zone festival and that too was a memorable one for me.

The college Union stood above the expectation of the students in all sphere of activities and it was one of the Best Union the college ever had.,and the staff and many other senior members vouched the same.Even today i feel proud to say that i was a part of the most creative union.

Today when i look back into those days..i don't have any regrets.The only regret in the corner of my mind is that i could have contributed in a much better way for my dear GCC.Even though i have missed many academic teachers and friends helped me a lot in compensating the lost sessions.

Life in GCC gave me many widened my friends circle,my contacts and above all it taught many things and shaped my thoughts and attitudes.As i put a dot to this memoir, the Pictures and thoughts of my loving friends,teachers ,campus comes to my mind..the thoughts that can never be erased from my memory.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

As the insipid life crawls
The bond of joy swirls and droops
In the throes of life
The heart throbs
But the stillness of mind
Keeps the heart alive!!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Once again.......
The winter breeze has arrived
Which sprouts up the mixed memories.....

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

God's Own Country?

Kerala-God's own country is celebrating the 50th year of its formation.Unfortunately kerala is no longer a God's own country.The values,(social,political,moral)and their ideologies are deteriorating day by day and the principles are being replaced by violence and other immoral and anti social activities.Appraising the incidents that are happening in the state will make the people understand about the realities ,and will prevent them from making deluded statements regarding the state's achievements.The government(UDF and LDF) other persons sitting in the helm of the affairs,have miserably failed in addressing as well as initiating necessary steps for many of the social issues.Let us have a glimpse over the major issues that need an immediate attention and remedy.

On one side we are making a roar over the achievements made through Kudumbasree,through which the women are being made independent for their livelihood.-on the other side the girls in our society are being sexually exploited.Over the last 10 years we are witnessing a SPURT in the growth of the sex rackets and only few cases such as suryanelli,kilirur,vidhura,adimali,ice cream parlour are brought into the eyes of the public.A large number of cases are being concealed and are ignored.In major cities and towns, big shots are involved in organising and running the sex rackets andtill today none of the government has been able to take action against the persons involved in the scandals and in a desperate situation,the victims put an end to their lives by committing suicide.Unfortunately the girls from the poor families are subjected to these exploitation and very often the family members of the victim are beset by the rackets and the leaders.

It is true that Kerala stands first in literacy in our country,and this has lead in making hypocritical statements regarding the achievements in the field of education.Proliferation of colleges alone cannot solve the problems in this sector.Still we lag behind our neighbouring states and due to this we continue to hinge on these states for higher education.Vocational education still remain as a dream for us.Absence of professionalised approach and lack of focus further enchances the problems and leads to the complexities in the education sector.The issues related to self financing colleges remains unsolved.Vaccancy exists for the posts of school and collegiete staff ,these positions remain as unfilled because recruitment are not done in a satisfactory manner.A large number of youth adhere to work part time in schools and colleges because of the uncertainity prevailing to their recruitment. Existence of redtapism,malpractice and irregularities in this sector has to be annihilated and the concerned authorities must delve in to these matters so that it the entire education sector can be revamped so as to achieve a desired results.

Breakneck pace of terrorism is posing a threat to the state and kerala has emerged as the hub of terrorist activities.The terrorists linked to mafia,hawala agents and their animus attitude towards the society is creating bigger challenges for the government and the department.Although the officials are taking this as a serious issue,they are unable to take severe action against these groups.The shocking information revealed by a senior police official is that nearly 50000 crore of rupees is being floated by the mafia operating in the state.So far strict action has not been taken against these operators and very few cases (Hawala)are registered ,and due to the intervention of leaders, the officials are being put in a dilemma and they are forced to withdraw from those registered cases.Major chunk of the hawala money are diverted for realestate and for private financing at a higher rates interests thereby creating a headache for the common man.

Kerala holds the record for strikes and bandhs .The attitude of the union,workers,political parties is responsible for these strikes and bandhs.Investors view this as a major hindrance for their business operations in the state and this inhibits the investors from investing in the states.In the initial stages,they wilfully come for joint ventures but in the end they withdrew from those major projects.Natural resouces are not tapped and utilised in a viable manner .Only relief is the interests taken by the government(both)in inviting new proposals for the state like smart city,vallarpada,vizhinjam,cial......The straggly attitude towards industrial development should be given up so that we can hold a prime position in the industrial map of our country.Moreover these proposals should be viewed as an opportunity for employment for many of the unemployed youth in the state.Several other bottlenecks such as improper connectivity,uneven development of cities ,lack of infrastructure facilities are deterring the growth of the industries.

Apart from the above mentioned there are a number of other issues that are unnoticed ..... like that prevails in the agricultural sector,problems faced by the farmers,improper drainage and sewage,absence of a well organised road transport system...

Though the state has made noteworthy achievements in the field of tourism, and other tiny sectors,still it has a long way to go to reach the height of development.Government,opposition,
bureaucrats should consider the topics seriously and collective efforts has to be put in towards the rectification of the problems so that the state may be able to regain its lost glory,and can acclaim ourselves to be the children of God's Own Country!