Monday, November 28, 2011

End of a chapter. A beginning of what?

A roller coaster of three weeks ended exactly today for me.  It was my father's 60th birthday celebrations on november 16th. And the event was conducted smoothly and successfully. This has been something I have been working up to  for the past five years. And now its over. poof. gone.

I have believed in this quote for a long time now, which says - "I cant change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination."

And this important milestone in my father's life, his 60th has been my destination, my goal so far in life. And I have adjusted quite a few sails on my boat to get to this point. But now, as the fatigue of the event wears off and the emotional excitement of the celebration dies down, reality shines its brilliant light on me.. I am no longer that "gung-ho"-happy go lucky-frail and skinny-not knowing the colour of life after the coming weekend-Vatsi, who set herself this target.  The skies above my head have changed, the waters under my boat have changed. And guess what, God decided to change the people on my boat as well. Hell, yeah. Can you imagine that? You set sail with one set of people, and at the port of call, you find somebody else sitting on your boat.. Trust me, it can be freakingly scary.   

Anyway.. I am happy and very grateful to Almighty for bringing me successfully and safely this far.  Wondering where to go next...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ganapati Utsav

The festive season started with a bang with Janmashtami this year, and so it has been in my case as well. And the recently concluded Ganesh Festival was well celebrated in my colony here in Pune. In the 10 day festival starting September 1, Lord Ganesha's idol was installed in the society's premises and arti and prasadam were offered on the 10 days. On the 11th day, Ganapati Bappa, as he is known in these parts of the country, was given resounding farewell after praying to him to come back next year to bless his ardent devotees.

The fun part is interacting with the people during the arti, when a lot of people who one cannot meet otherwise turn up and mark their presence. And on the last day of the festival, a bunch of ladies in my society, yours truly included, decided to give the festival a true maharashtrian color by wearing the traditional maharashtrian costume known as the "navvari sadi".

Here are the pictures of the event :)

Ganesh Utsav 2011

And special thanks goes to Vishakha for teaching me how to drape the "Navvari Sadi" :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The pencil - Do you know how it is made?

"A fascinating video that shows how Pencils are made...."

from Aarti Krishankumar's blog -

Friday, May 20, 2011

Report Card : Two months over

What started in my life (much to my chagrin initially) for me on December 1 2010, is now officially two months old tomorrow. I am talking about this journey called "marriage".

So thought of quickly preparing a report card for the past two months.

Alert :- Some sections below may contain free advice, that is potentially useful for other people girls who are "in the queue" to be married off by their parents and who are as confused and un-initiated as I was (dont worry, i haven't attained enlightenment yet, I continue to be in a state of confusion about many,or rather most things :D )

Ok, first quick status check -

Am I alive?  Yes. *phew*
Am I sane? Sane enough to write this blog post, so you can make out how sane I am :D

Changes -
Now I live alone, i.e. I live in a house where there are no parents (can you imagine that? you have to). Its been a BIG leap to not have someone around always to whom you can put forth all the little and big ideas,questions,triumphs,mistakes,fears and joys.

I cook my own food. Its not the ability to cook that has changed. I have sat on a mental "comfort" pillow, that I have someone who will bring me my food in case I dont take/make it myself. But no longer. That shadow like feeling of "I am there" that a mother gives, is gone. You have to pick up your dinner yourselves. If you dont, two days later, you still have to pick up your dinner yourself. Only you will be that much more hungrier.

I now cater to guests!

These have been the three major changes, minor ones are more of mental realizations like
a) packing your suitcase is no longer a fun group activity with your sister that you do for a vacation;
b) listening to music without headphones is no longer accepted by people around you because you are not among like minded people anymore;
c) you dont wake up to warm smiles and a cup of bournvita, you only wake up to a hungry stomach and a house that needs to be cleaned.

The wall clock in my house has taken the role of my mom, it wakes me up and gently comforts me to sleep. and reminds me from time to time what i need to do. I wish the clock dint have to double up as my mom.

What I do well -
I manage to make food thats quite tasty.
I manage to ensure cleanliness in the house.

What I dont do well - 
I struggle hard to manage time between house work and office work. I am eternally like this -"O I need to finish exploring that Java library"*runs to the computer* "O, I need to do the dishes" *runs to the kitchen* "O I need to complete that function I was writing" *runs to the computer again* "O I need to get milk for tomorrow" *runs to the store*.
Solution - strict rules on self not to slip up on timelines. Work while you work, play while you play - strictly tuning my mind to follow this.

I struggle hard to decide what to make for the next meal. and end up spending double the time alloted for cooking that meal.
Solution - Timetable of dishes for each session - breakfast,lunch,dinner. My father used to say - "The only way to avoid communication gap is to elimate communicating at all", meaning your actions should speak so loud that you dont need to speak a word that will get misrepresented. Same rule applies here. I dont have to decide at the kitchen table anymore. Seems to work so far.

What I have learnt - 
a) It pays to be sincere
If you want something to happen, and you put your effort in the most sincere manner, the result will SURELY be what you want it to be. Luck and fate will submit in front of you.

b) umm, will update when I remember

Hey by the way its 1 O'Clock, and I am still hungry even after writing this blog post. My momClock is nudging me to go make something.

Bye then.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Receding Clouds of Happiness - ए बिखरते बादल, लौटके ज़रूर आना

Here is my next poem - or rather my attempt at poetry -
The poem is a sneak peek into a mind that is in love, and how it reacts to the fear of separation of the smallest order.

ए बिखरते बादल, लौटके ज़रूर आना
जब सूख रहा था धूप मे तब जिन्दगी के रंग से था अनजाना
फिर आया एक रुत परवाना कर गया अधूरेपन को बेगाना

डरावने काले घटा छाने लगे,फिर शुरु किया प्यार के बादलों ने रंग बरसानाआंगन मे फूल खिलने लगे, ऐसा सुकून कभी न था जाना

रूखे रूखे उन लम्हों को सिखाया इस सावन ने भुलाना
फिर अचानक आए सूर्य महाराज शुरु कर दिया इन बादलों को भगाना

डरता है मन कहीं ये वापस न आए, इस बदरा के नीचे है इस पन्छी को पंख फैलानाइन्तजार रहेगा इन काले मेघों का ,अगले बार लायें वो इससे भी सुन्दर नज़राना 
अम्बर को धरती से जोड दें, ले आके तोहफ़ा ऐसासतरंगी इन्द्रधनुष हो इतना सुहाना, जितनी बार भी देखूँ बन जाऊँ दीवाना 
ये सात रंग जुडके कभी न हों सफ़ेद, ऐसा वादा है इनको निभानाइस बगीचे मे अपना रंग ऐसा जमाना, कि चाहकर भी अम्बर और धरती को ना हो बिछडना 
अभी जा रहे हो तुम, ए प्यार के बादलों, याद रखना, इस बगीचे से है तुम्हे फिर गुज़रनाअगर भूल गये अपना वादा तो,
अम्बर और धरती के गुस्से मे, तुम्हे ज़रूर है मर मिटना

The line-by-line translation of the poem into English - 

ए बिखरते बादल, लौटके ज़रूर आना 
O Receding Clouds, Do come back again
जब सूख रहा था धूप मे, तब जिन्दगी के रंग से था अनजानाफिर आया एक रुत परवाना, कर गया अधूरेपन को बेगाना

When I was drying in the scorching sun, I was unaware of the colors of life
Then came a magical breeze,   and made my loneliness unknown to me.

डरावने काले घटा छाने लगे,फिर शुरु किया प्यार के बादलों ने रंग बरसानाआंगन मे फूल खिलने लगे, ऐसा सुकून कभी न था जाना

Fearful dark clouds began to cloud the sky, and began to shower the colors of love
Flowers started to blossom in my garden, a sense of calmness began to prevail ( in my listless mind)

रूखे रूखे उन लम्हों को, सिखाया इस सावन ने भुलानाफिर अचानक आए सूर्य महाराज शुरु कर दिया इन बादलों को भगाना

These showers have taught me to forget the drought that existed in my life
But suddenly came out the Sun, and started driving away these clouds

डरता है मन कहीं ये वापस न आए, इस बदरा के नीचे है इस पन्छी को पंख फैलानाइन्तजार रहेगा इन काले मेघों का ,अगले बार लायें वो इससे भी सुन्दर नज़राना

Mind fears that these clouds of happiness may not return,
For it wishes to open out its wings and fly among these clouds
The wait has begun for these clouds to return,
With a gift more beautiful

अम्बर को धरती से जोड दें, ले आके तोहफ़ा ऐसासतरंगी इन्द्रधनुष हो इतना सुहाना, जितनी बार भी देखूँ बन जाऊँ दीवाना

the Heaven and the Earth unite, such a gift it shall be
A rainbow so colorful,  the more I see it, the more I lose myself to it.

ये सात रंग जुडके कभी न हों सफ़ेद, ऐसा वादा है इनको निभानाइस बगीचे मे अपना रंग ऐसा जमाना, कि चाहकर भी अम्बर और धरती को ना हो बिछडना

These seven colours shall never fade into white-ness, such a promise they must make
Bind your colors with this garden, that Heaven and Earth should go apart even if they want to

अभी जा रहे हो तुम, ए प्यार के बादलों, याद रखना, इस बगीचे से है तुम्हे फिर गुज़रनाअगर भूल गये अपना वादा तो, अम्बर और धरती के गुस्से मे, तुम्हे ज़रूर है मर मिटना

Now you are passing away, O clouds of Love, Remember, Cross you must this garden one day or the other,
Lest you forget to keep you promise, prepare to get destroyed in the combined wrath of the Heaven and the Earth

And for people who cannot read hindi , transliteration of this poem in English -

Ae bikharthe baadhal, lautke zaroor aanaa
Jab sookh rahaa thaa dhoop me, tab zindagI ke rang se thaa anjaanaa
Fir aayaa ek ruth parvaanaa, kar gayaa adhoorepan ko begaanaa
Daraavane kaale ghataa chaane lage, fir shuru kiyaa pyaar ke baadalon ne rang barsaanaa
Aangan me phool khilne lage, aisaa sukoon kabhI na thaa jaanaa
Rookhe rookhe un lamhon ko, sikhaayaa is saavan ne bhulaanaa
Fir achaanak aaye soorya maharaaj, shuru kar diyaa in baadalon ko bhagaanaa
Darta hai man kahin ye vaapas na aaye, is badraa ke neeche hai is panchi ko pankh failaanaa
Intazaar rahegaa in kaale meghon kaa, agale baar laayen vo isse bhi sundar nazraanaa
Ambar ko dharthi se jod dhen, le aake tohfaa aisaa
Satrangi indradhanush ho itana suhaanaa, jitanii baar bhi dekhoon ban jaaoon deewaanaa
Ye saath rang judke kabhi na ho safed, aisaa vaadaa hai inko nibhaanaa
Is bageeche me apnaa rang aisaa jamaanaa, ki chahkar bhi ambar aur dharthi ko naa ho bicchadnaa
Abhi jaa rahe ho tum, ae pyaa ke baadalon, yaad rakhna, is bageeche se hai tumhe fir guzarnaa
Agar bhool gaye apnaa vaadaa to, ambar aur dharti ke gusse mein tumhe zaroor hai mar mitnaa

Image courtesy -

Friday, March 11, 2011

मेरी प्यारी सी कली - My delicate little one

Just wrote this poem a few days back - it describes the mind of an elder sister, who just got married, who wants to pacify her younger sibling. The younger sibling is agitated due to the suddenness of the changing relationships in the family.

Here it is -

मेरी छोटी सी नन्ही कली
हमेशा हसती, खेलती मुसकुराती
मुशकिल की घडी मे भी मुझे सम्भालती
आज अचानक एक गैर आया
मेरि प्यारी कली को रुलाया
और मुझे अपने साथ ले गया
इस नन्हे से पौधे को प्यार से सीचंने के लिए
मै वापस आ रही हूँ
एक नया रूप धारण किये
जो आज तक बनी थी बहिन
आज से हो जायेगी माँ तेरी
फिकर न करना मेरी प्यारी जान
ये तेरी माँ कभी न होगी तुझसे अनजान

English Transliteration of the same poem - 

merI ChotI sI nanhI kalI
HameshA hastI, kheltI,muskurAtI
Mushkil kI ghadI me bhI mujhe sambhAltI
Aaj achAnak ek gair aayA
merI pyArI kalI ko rulAyA
Aur mujhe apne sAth le gayA
Is nanhe se poudhe ko pyAr se sInchane ke liye
Mai vApas aa rahI hoon
Ek nayA roop dhAraN kiye
Jo aaj tak banI thI bahin
Aaj se ho jAyegI maa terI
Fikar na karnA merI pyArI jaan
Ye terI maa kabhi na hogI tujhse anjAn

English Translation of the above poem is here - 

My delicate little one
Always smiles, laughs and plays
In hard times, also shows me direction
Suddenly, a stranger came
And decided to take me away
But to nurture the growth of my little one,
I return
To be with you always, my love,
Who was until now your sister,
Shall now transform into your mother,
Never shed a tear out of despair, O little one,
For your mother shant ever give you up for anyone.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 in retrospect

Its that time of the year again. One year comes to an end and the other begins. 
2010 has been a roller coaster of a ride.
Here is a bullet point summary -
  • Got the chance of a lifetime to get involved in organizing a TED conference - read TEDxChennai
  • Solved huge loads of technical obstacles and brought my product at Unniyath to a state we can try for funding now.
  • Got over a lot of inhibitions and mental blocks that I dint know had existed in my mind
  • Got to contribute to organizing Techmeets, a ChennaiGeeks initiative to bring the fragmented tech communities in Chennai under a common umbrella
  • Realized that there is no point waiting for a better time to come to do your "favourite things". Its now or never.
  • Decided to give myself a chance and agreed to get married. Yes. You read that right, stand by for the official announcement :)
So with a renewed perspective to life, I have decided to make every moment of life worth living it, for you never know when tables will turn and you will be at the end of this road called life. At the same time, I have also decided to use the magic lens called focus and go vertically deep into specific areas of exploration.  And as Sundar quotes Brian Tracy in this post - “You can only grow if you’re willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new..”, its time to push the limits.

Agenda for 2011
So I have identitfied three areas of focus -
1. Work - Take my company Unniyath to higher levels, specifically financially.
2. Music - Contribute to the following upcoming albums of STD Pathasala - a) Thiruvaimozhi Nutrandhadhi b)Upadesha Ratnamaalai c)Thirukkural Keerthanais
3. Others - Learn Calligraphy, Learn to ride a geared motorcycle

Wish you all a happy eventful and purposeful 2011!
Follow your dreams, follow your passions and be awesome in whatever you do!

Watch out world, Here comes Vatsala :)

Khoj - Search

Khoj - The Unending Search - A small poem like piece in Hindi - My attempt at poetry.

Here the subject speaks about her quest for her "pillar of support", and how the quest leaves her warped in a time frame.

Here it is -
बहुत अरसों से हमने महसूस किया अपने आप को अधूरा
फिर निकल पड़े ढूंढ ने को अपना वो सहारा
एक बार हमारे नज़र में वो आ जाए, तो सोचा दिल संभलजाए
या फिर उसके एक झलक में हम आ जाएँ, मान लो उम्र हमारी ऐसे हि कट जाए
फूली  हुई अपनी साँसों में ढूँढा, खोये हुए खयालों में ढूँढा
रात की मजदूरी के लम्हों में ढूँढा, खाली सड़क के सराब में ढूँढा
वो न मिले जब तक, हम उनके लायक हो जाएँ, अपने आप में ऐसी काबिलियत ढूंढी
पर अब हम ये क्या कहें दोस्तों, वक्त हे उसे हमसे नही मिलाया
हम ढूंढते ढूंढते यहाँ रह गए, "उसके" साथ इंतज़ार का वक्त भी हाथ से निकलगया

Here is the English Transcript :-

Bahut arson se hamne mehsoos kiyaa apne aap ko adhooraa
Phir nikal pade dhoondh ne ko apnaa vo sahaaraaEk baar hamaare nazar mein vo aa jaaye, to socha dil sambhaljaaye
Yaa fir uske ek jhalak mein hum aa jaayen, maan lo umr hamari aise hi kat jaaye
Phooli hui apni saanson mein dhoondha, khoye hue khayaalon mein dhoondha
Raat ki Mazdoori ke lamhon mein dhoondha, khaali sadak ke saraab mein dhoondha
Vo na mile jab tak, hum unke laayak ho jaayen, apne aap mein aisi kaabiliyat dhoondhi
Par ab hum yeh kya kahein doston, vakt ne use humse nahi milayaa
Hum dhoondhthe dhoondhthe yahaan reh gaye, uske saath Intezaar ka vakt bhi haath se nikalgayaa

English Translation -

For a long time, I carried with me a sense of incompleteness
Then One day, I decided I will find Him, my pillar of support
If only I could set my eyes on Him once, I thought, my heart would find solace
Or If I could become visible to Him in some way, then I could spend the rest of my life being in His view.
I searched (for Him) in my anxious breath, I searched (for Him) in my lost thoughts
I searched (for Him) in the moments of hardship during late ending work nights, I searched (for Him) in the mirage of the empty road I travelled by daily
Until I find Him, wanting to make myself worthy of Him, I searched for that capability in me.
But what do I say now, Time did not bring us together,
In my quest, I stayed back here; With Him, Time also slipped out of my hands altogether.

Image source: -