Chennai Nyaabagam

This isn’t going to be an organised post where thoughts follow in a chronological fashion…how can it be…when I’m talking about Chennai its always going to be disjointed rambling coz the thoughts flash at a speed that is way above my speed of typing (which is quite good I must say)…

I’m just gonna list a few aspects, places, people of chennai that come to recall from the top of my head and bear no importance in terms of being listed on the basis of priority…

1. Sun-Veyyail

The hot hot hot scorching Chennai heat which permeates every space…the beams of sunlight flooding the last bench of the 3rd Year sociology class @ Stella Maris College, the hundreds of lil shining stars dancing over the waters of a lil backwater body in some nook of besant nagar, the heat emanating from the hot sand on Marina beach at 3 in the afternoon, the beads of sweat that trickle down your nape and forehead as you walk on Nungambakkam High Road…You can’t escape the Sun ….

2. A R Rehman-Isai Gyanam

Whether is the beat of “Boyz” , the lilting notes of “Alaipayuthe”, the haunting tunes from ‘Bombay” this musical being and his muse rubs off on you…

3. Raasi, Sundari Silks-Pattu Podavai/Paavadai

Tucked in a lil corner of Mylapore close to the Kapaleeshwar koil lies Raasi & facing the busy Panagal Park Road stands strong and proud-Sundari Silks. Enter Sundari Silks and you are greeted with a traditional ‘vanakkam’ and escorted to shelves of colourful silks, cottons, chiffons, crepes. You cannot but resist the kancheepuram attractions-black and shocking pink, peacock blue and flaming orange, pristine white & dazzling gold woven yarns….

4. Idly/Dosai-Suvai

Whether its steaming idlys served in a stainless steel plate lined with banana leaf at roadside Karthick tiffen centre or Mysore Butter Masala Dosai royally laid on a silver thaali lined with the proverbial banana leaf at The Taj Southern spice with the tinkling of soft carnatic music in the background this is an all rounder-eaten @ B’fast, Lunch, Tiffen, Dinner -lip smacking meal which you cannot resist…

5. Mylapore-Nagaram

I still manage to catch a glimpse of an”Iyer” or “Iyengar” lady wrapped in the traditional nine yards , barefoot, loosely tied knot adorned with jasmine flowers that falls till her waist , the gold thaali around the neck, the glittering diamonds on the ear and nose, turmeric coloured feet and hands, silver toe rings, quickly walking towards a temple seeking the blessings of vishnu/shiva/amabal/vinayaka/murugan and/or the countless other deities or heading for the nearest nadar kadai wanting to buy arasi, manjal, molaga, vadaam and other s.indian condiments…

6. Ricks-Vasool Rajas

rigged meters, tamil slang, F1 wannabes, vasool Rajas in short-the autos and the auto drivers menace-you can’t beat these rogues when it comes to charging you extra for a ride, arguing in loud unchaste tamil peppered with abuses, racing around town like the tsunami is at their heels, breaking rules like as if Rules Were indeed made only to be broken….

7. Sathyam Cinema-Madras talkies

Satyam has almost become a household name in Chennai households where half of Chennai flocks its portico at 11:00 am, 3:00 pm, 6:00 pm & 10:00 pm every single day….sitting on the sofa or tautly upholstered seats munching popcorn n sipping coke ogling at maddy’s toothy smile or surya’s soulful eyes (forgive me I cannot discuss the finer details of jyotika or simran or another tamil belle for obvious reasons) well…who can forget “The Q is Dead”….

8. The Hindu-Samaacharam

I sit in Singapore but still insist on reading the Hindu…why if I were in Timbuktu I would still read the Hindu….Its the newspaper that most Chennaites have grown up with and is still the newspaper that Chennai wakes up to with a steaming tumbler of a coffee….The Hindu can never be passe …it can never die…its like a part of a Chennaite’s life now and more of a habit than anything else…

Chennai…a part of me now…more
of a habit than anything else….


Musing on Music

Its a sunny sunday afternoon and I sit here after a cool bath refreshed, lamenting on the subject of my blog…and as I do so I listen to a song (I usually write while my music plays in the background) and what ensues further is but a consequence of that…

“sounds and pitches organized in time to create a chosen artistic or aestetic statement.”That was a web definition of music. I cannot even fathom defining music in my own terms. At best, i can perhaps attempt to describe the effect which this medium might have-a narcotic effect…a hedonistic effect-an inexplicable effect…hence forgive me if what i write appears disjointed and obscure.

 I have always marveled at the ability of this medium to give life to emotions. Something that is FELT.

 Pain, anger, passion-these can only be felt and you and I can feel these whilst listening to music…the range of emotions that a single song can take you through is something to marvel upon…if you get to the basics of it its just a combination of

a. sounds that emanate from various instruments
b. a voice
c. a tune

and it is the combination of sound, voice and tune that makes me feel pain or anger or loneliness or love….Like a parabola it takes the curve of whatever emotion you feel to a crescendo and gently brings it down…If I as a mere recipient of this feels this way I wonder how the creators would feel-musicians, singers and the like….Music for me has an affectual effect and it seeps into the core of my being and elevates me on another plane….and I end this blog right here right now coz I realize that what i attempt to do is to describe the indescribable and in the process i may end up undermining this art…

I haven’t understood a bar of music in my life, but I have felt it. ~ Ior Stravinsky










apna sapna – money money money

No it isn’t about the latest movie in town …its about you and me..about your dreams and aspirations which are in all probaility a reflection of mine…dreams about the lil piggy bank juggling with shiny lil coins burgeoning into a bank account with the monies….and not just monies but a heck of a lot of it….as we go around muttering our mantra ‘apna paisa money money” and weave on those huge million rupee/dollar dreams are we missing out on something?…

are we?….

ask yourself….

well sometimes (which is often most of the time) I think we do…we in our strong desire to build on our reserves such that we may “enjoy” life in the future, forget to live the moment….how often have you been able to break away from your routine…your nine to five (or maybe i should change the age old time frame to “nine to nine”, as thats the norm of the day after all!) job which stresses you out so much that you have attend satsangs where gurus have to teachyou the ”Art of Living”….I mean c’mon get real…what makes him any different from you that he tells you how to lead a “happy, peaceful” life…how come he has it figured all out…i mean yeah who am I after all to pass judgements coz I anyways am also part of this very same populace seeking for the elusive but what I often find myself wondering is, is it worth it?…in this rat race to earn the highest biggest the superlative, am i compromising somewhere down the line….whatever happened to those simple pleasures of life….whatever happened to simple living….whatever happened to me, to expend all my time and energy in trying to lead a good comfortable happy life, so much so that I mess myself up in the present…a ha!….now we arrive at the base of the argument …ironically today’s global village is fuelled by the monies you and I are trying to gather and it is for this reason that all my questions posed above are silenced…lets face it i tell myself you want to enjoy things in life , you want to be happy and content, you want to enjoy yourself and have a nice time, you need the money honey….time to wake up and smell the coffee and throw all philosophical questions which look nice and fancy on blogs and get cracking….else you’re gonna be left far behind…


and I resign myself to yet another life’s lesson and go back to my material world…..and perhaps so should you….

ask the questions and if you arrive at a convincing answer drop me a line…


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