Thursday, March 19, 2015

Of accepting realities and living life inspite of it

This is more a self-conflict-acceptance-trying-to-deal-with-it post. So expect more rant than rationale. Of late, I have been having to deal with a slew of (totally undesirable) health issues that keep prompting me to take a sabbatical from work. I am trying very hard (combined with a very understanding workplace) to not give up a role that came to me after a lot of hard work.  But, the mind is a beast which is very difficult to control in times of difficulties. So it wavers from being very strong to very weak - all within the few hours of a day. The most easiest part of my life are my night sleeping times when I dont have to think about anything in particular.

Want to and need to get past this phase ASAP.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

LinkLog : Sukanya Samriddhi - A way to save up money for your child

The Government of India announced a savings scheme in January 2015 called the Sukanya Samridhdhi Yojana - which enables parents to save money for their girl child for use when the child turns 21 years of age, with the highlight being that the returns from this scheme will be tax free and the money invested in this can be filed under the 80C scheme for current income tax benefits.

Here are some links that give more details about this -

Sounds like an interesting scheme.

Here is a downloadable PDF link to the above OneMint article incase you find the blog link to be dead.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Transferred Money to a Wrong Account?

Today, I came across this very useful article about what to do if one ends up transferring money to a wrong bank account by mistake. I am re-posting it here. All credits go to the author of the original blog post.

In the 5 years that this blog has been alive, I have found that some of the links that I share go dead in a couple of years making my blog post meaningless.  Here is a PDF print of the same article, that you can download from here

Friday, January 30, 2015

Looking back to 2011

Today, I happened to go through my photo collection in my hard disk.  After I was done admiring my lean and trim self from then, I got into a complaining phase about myself, but coming to think of it.. A life with no change is a life not lived. So all good here, just physically heavier by some kilos.
Getting back in shape is the agenda this year.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Happy Christian New Year 2015

Life is often all about perspective - a point of view. The way one views the same situation makes all the difference in the way one will react to it!

May your Christian year 2015 be filled with a positive perspective always --

Here is a picture to echo this predicament --

This is captioned - "Its all about the perspective"

Short Story : Alamu's journey into the world of Ramayana - Part 3

Here is the third and the finale part of this series -

Alamu’s Journey into the World of Ramayana – Part 3
By Vatsala Dorairajan

Story so far…

Alamu, a young girl, begins yet another journey in her wonderland. This time, She is transported to a strange place where squirrels speak and young boys run errands and collect firewood for their Guru. She listens to a rather intriguing conversation among the boys, and before she can realise or do something about it, she gets magically transported to another place that is resounding with soulful music. 

Read on ---
Alamu steadied herself to a chorus of voices filling the air with soulful music. Instinctively looking up to see what the squirrels would lead her to, she heard two mellifluous voices joining the choir inside, heard from just above her head. Puzzled and confused about squirrels singing so well, she discovered that it was actually two beautiful young girls that got down to enter the adjoining hall, to an arousing welcome by the singing choir. 

 Picking up distinctly well tuned Tamburas, the duo started to lead the choir to some more singing. Alamu could make out that these were well practised songs from the finesse with which they were being rendered. And as the voices came down, and the girls started speaking, it became apparent that this was a group of music aspirants, and the girls were going to teach something new today. Tuning into the class again, she heard the children repeat after one of the girls.

 "Let us learn the final two lines of this keerthanai today - Repeat after me --

Theli Neerin Nilai Kondu Ketpom Unarvom,
Kali kondu Solluvom Seshanin Daasanom."

The children sing-songed the words, repeating twice, after which the other girl started to teach them the tune of the said lines. 

 A few rounds of repetitions and corrections later, as the children were about to sing, the older girl gestured and asked - "Are you able to understand what these lines imply?”
 "'We should listen and grasp like clear waters?" asked a child innocently. The girl smiled and said - "We are asked to stabilse our minds such that the mind becomes as clear as water" - much to the surprise of the children. And as all of them began to practise the whole song, it all began to come together in Alamu's mind. 

 Not able to contain herself, and about to jump into the scene, Alamu found that the chorus had come to an end, and the girls were explaining something. “Isn't it a wonderful metaphor that Guru mama has taught us? That, by keeping our minds steady and calm, it becomes as clear as water?” - “Yes akka, this is a very unique expression!!” answered one of the kids. As the other kids nodded in agreement, the said akka continued - “ Indeed. Guru mama directs us to learn to control and direct our thoughts, by which the mind becomes calm and composed. And with a calm mind, one can overcome any and every kind of situation in life. A clear mind, like clear water, is of much greater use than a confused mind, like muddled water”.

 The whole group was silent for a few minutes grasping the gravity of such a metaphor in the backdrop of the Tambura's drone, when 'Akka' spoke again - “While this is such a inspiring and interesting thought, can you imagine this metaphor being used in reverse?” --- While all the children were intrigued by this question, Alamu had divined where this explanation was heading. This was her “eureka” moment, and all the puzzling questions in her mind about this strange odyssey so far began to fit into place in her mind

--- “While today, we are being directed to emulate clean waters, can you imagine a time when clear waters were compared to the minds of people. There was a time when there were such noble and good natured people, that their minds were so calm and clear, that Rishi Valmiki compared the clear water of the River Thones to such people's minds? And how clean the environment and the rivers would have been then, and how great the people would have been that a river’s clean waters reminded him of good noble men and their minds? So much so, that it inspired him to settle down on the banks of that river so that he could pen the story of Ramayana!!” ” concluded ‘Akka’.
Somehow Alamu was growing fond of this ‘Akka’ :)

 The children beamed with the element of wonder and the surprise of such a thought. Alamu was as speechless as them. Not only had she learnt a new song from those two “Akka”s today, but also, she had time travelled with them to the era of Rishi Valmiki!! That too on a tree! And accompanied by speaking squirrels, that transformed into two beautiful girls who sang as beautifully. Weighed down by so many thoughts, she rested her head on the wall from which she was peeping in, closing her eyes to let all of it to sink in. She was also trying to recollect where exactly she was right now, when the whole world seemed to shake violently and her head hit something very hard! There was loud noise and commotion. Opening her eyes to see if it was the children leaving from class, she was startled to see her mother calling out to her. Looking around, utterly confused, the damp cold grass under her feet reminded her that yet another journey into her wonderland had just ended. She followed her mother back to the house, with a chuckle on her face and mouthing to herself, “Wow, Just Wow!”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Short Story : Alamu's journey into the world of Ramayana - Part 2

Here is the second part of this series

Alamu's Journey into the World of Ramayana - Part 2

by Vatsala Dorairajan

Story so far...

Alamu, a young girl, begins yet another journey in her dreamland. This time She is transported to a strange place where squirrels speak and young boys run errands and collect firewood for their Guru. She is hiding from the view of the squirrels and the boys, and listening into a rather intriguing conversation --

"What a tiring day! Let us quickly take rest under this tree. Would you like to have some fruits?" said the elder of the two boys. The other one replied in affirmative, and both started munching the fruits from their cloth bag. There was that wonderful glow on their face that one couldn't take their eyes off them even if they wanted to. Alamu was no exception to this. She watched them without batting an eyelid.

 "Bhraata, hurry up, we need to collect firewood and firesticks and return to prepare for tomorrow's lessons as well" said the younger one to the other. "Sure, I have almost finished my fruit, just give me a few more minutes" said the elder. The two boys had distinctly different complexions, the elder a little darker and the younger one a little fairer, inspite of them clearly being brothers. "Ok-kay bhraata!" beamed the younger
one, "what was it that Acharya mentioned today? It was a very interesting comparison, isn't it?" he continued. "Indeed" came the reply again. The younger one was clearly the more talkative of the two thought Alamu.

 "But although we just learnt it, I am not able to recollect it clearly. What was it about Tamasa river, that Acharya mentioned?". With an affectionate smile on his face, the older of the two boys said, "After Devarishi Narada told him about the story of Rama, Acharya came to the banks of our Tamasa. And he was so struck by its clear waters, it reminded him of the minds of good ad noble people and he said --
 "Akardamam idam teertham Bharadwaaja Nishaamaya |
 Ramaneeyam prasannambu sanmanushyamanoyatha || "

"Wow, Tamasa was so clear at that time Bhraata? Like the clear minds of good people? Such a nice comparison!! I will definitely tell Amma about it." said the yonger one. "Tamasa is as clear and beautiful even today, my dear. And recounting to Amma is possible when we reach back home, so hop along my brother!", so saying, both of them quickly got up and left.

 Alamu's concentration on the subject of the conversation was broken by the commotion from above her and before she could realise, the squirrels almost ran over her to the spot next to the tree to grab the left overs from the boys' snack. She watched them pick up the nuts and left over fruits, and just then something happened. One of the squirrels snapped its paws and that tree started to turn. Instinctively clinging onto the nearest branch, Alamu saw the two squirrels make a lunge to the nearest reachable branch of the tree as it started spinning fast. Speaking squirrels, spinning trees, some river called Tamasa, Alamu was thoroughly perplexed where this was all leading to. Was this a dream? or reality? And not to mention the headache that she was developing due to spinning along with the tree. Just when she was about to cry out in pain, it all stopped. The tree had stopped spinning, and was now stationary near a stable of cows.

To be continued...

You can read Part 1 of this short story here.