Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nature at its best

Have you ever come across a scene where you felt that God was all around you . I don’t mean in the temples , churches or other places of worship. I took this picture at the Roaring Camp, when we were on the Steam Engine trail. The one hour journey had a lot of scenic pictures, but this one felt special to me. The light trailing down off the leaves, of the gigantic redwoods, made me feel humble and grateful. These majestic trees seem to epitomize the beauty of creation , while the light filtering through them created a sense of peace and harmony .

I always beleive if your feeling down and miserable or even extremely happy with yourself, go out and take a look at nature, it always brings back a sense of equilibrium. Be it tall trees, rolling waves, glittering rocks or even large stretches of sand, there is a comparison to life in every nook or hole. Sometimes barren or sometimes rich, these landscapes, evolve and so do we. So every time I feel stuck or frustrated, I look out and take a deep breath. We are a part of nature, and the one thing constant about nature is that it changes !! :)

Now for a smile

A little girl was trying to raise $100 for her softball team. She prayed for two weeks but nothing happened. Then she decided to write a letter to the Lord requesting the $100.
When the postal authorities received the letter addressed to the Lord, USA, they decided to send it to the President of the United States. The President was so impressed, touched, and amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little girl a $5 bill.
The President thought this would appear to be a lot of money to a little girl. The little girl was delighted with the $5 and sat down to write a thank-you note to the Lord, which read:
Dear Lord, Thank you very much for sending me the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington, DC and as usual, those jerks deducted $95.Love, Sara

Keep Smilin

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Lyrically Speaking

There are two things I love to do. Listen to music and read. The latter seems to have diminished as my work load increased , but music has been my constant companion through my life. But I just realized, that more than the beat or the composition, it’s the words that capture my heart and my soul. Each favorite line linked to a memory that seems to flash as the tune played. So I have decided to start a couple of posts with my favorite lyrics. These songs mainly English pop, country and rock, from the 50’s to the present and some Indian music thrown into it to make it a potpourri of emotions.

My favorite performers through the years have been AR Rahman, Elton John,ABBA, Carpenters , Queen and of course the list of boy bands (on whose members I mostly had a teenage crush on :) ).So starting with my favorites,

“Such a feelins comin over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I wont be surprised if its a dream”
:- Top of the world,
The Carpenters

This is a song that’s stuck in my head since I was five. My mom used to sing it to me when we did the dishes together and as I danced around furniture.The song means to me unadulterated joy , as only a child would feel. Of course most of the times this was because I cut school feigning sickness, but that’s a whole another story.

“I have a dream, a fantasy;To help me through reality

And my destination makes it worth the while

Pushing through the darkness still another mile

I believe in angels

Something good in everything I see

I believe in angels

When I know the time is right for meIll cross the stream - I have a dream”
:- I have a Dream,

Ever had a exam that you thought you couldn’t get through (In my case that was 95% of all the tests I took ) , this song helped me through most of my really bad times. It was a mantra of hope . Also this keeps me from killing colleagues, who take the credit for all the work I’ve done! :D

“The hills are alive with the sound of music
With songs they have sung for a thousand years
The hills fill my heart with the sound of music
My heart wants to sing every song it hears

My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds
that rise from the lake to the trees
My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies
from a church on a breeze
To laugh like a brook when it trips and falls over
stones on its way
To sing through the night like a lark who is learning to pray”

:- Hills are alive –
Sound of Music Soundtrack

This was the first movie I saw in the famous Pilot Movie theatre in Chennai. The first scene with Julie Andrews running on top of a green mountain took my breath away. This song automatically came to lips when K & I were driving through Yosemite. Nature in all her glory decidedly needs a song, and this one captures it beautifully. For any child , this is an excellent first movie (of course in Pilot theatre at that time, all the kissing scenes were deleted !! )

"I got my first real six-string
Bought it at the five-and-dime
Played 'til my fingers bled
It was summer of '69

And now the times are changin'
Look at everything that's come and gone
Somethimes when I play that old six-string
I think about ya wonder what went wrong"

- :
Summer of 69, Bryan Adams

Any kid who has been in a college culturals worth its salt , had air guitar’ed to this song. Be it a bathroom singer or the next “ Idol” contestant, you cant help shaking your head and then start an unusual screaming to the lyrics . Of course the next day you can always blame it on the cough medicine you taken or the beer drunk (optional poison of choice ). College for me is integrated into these lyrics, which speak about a yearning for a time which went by too quickly.

"ONNae oNNu sollaNum
uN mughaththai paaththu sollaNum
thanimai konjam kidaikka koodaadhaa?
naanum maaRi poanadhaen
eN naLinam koodi poanadhaean
adhu therindhaal neeyum solla koodaadhaa
yaarai naan kaetppean...nee sollvAyA
yaarai naan kaetppean...neeyae sollvAyA

yeNNai konjam maatri...yeN nenjil uNNai ootri
nee mella mella yeNNai kolladhae "

- : Ennai konjam matri –
Kaakha Kaakha

This one is dear to me, because it was my favorite song during my engagement ( for obvious reasons!!) . But the lyrics seems to be simple to encompass what I was feeling. As for K – he was singing “Azhagana Rakshashiyae” from Mudhalvan which is not very flattering, thinking about it :D

Anyway that was a quick glimpse into my musical memories.. lots more to follow

Now for the jokes

1) Did you hear about the classical pianist who was not a good speller? When she went out to buy something she left a sign on her door that said: "Out Chopin. Be Bach in a minuet"

2) A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead show up for the same job interview. The brunette is the first one to go in, and after filling out the forms and going through the questions, the interviewer decides to ask her last question:

"How many D's are there in "INDIANA JONES""? The brunette thinks for a second and responds "One".

The interviewer sends her back with a promise that he'll get back to her after he had interviewed the remaining candidates.

The redhead is next. The process goes about the same, and at the end: "How many D's are there in INDIANA JONES"? She immediately says "One". The interviewer says, "OK, we'll let you know".

Then the blonde comes into the room, goes through the questions, and finally gets asked: "How many D's are there in INDIANA JONES". She gets a very serious look on her face and starts counting her fingers, muttering: "2, 4, 6 ...., hmmm - wait,... 2, 4, 6 .... can I borrow your calculator please?"

After going through 15 minutes of intense calculating, she finally comes up with the answer: "Thirty two"

The interviewer is stunned and asks her: "Ok, now tell me, how the hell did you arrive at this answer?"

She starts singing "Da Da Dah Dahhh Dah Dah Da Da Dah Dahh Dah Dah ..."
(The theme song for Indiana Jones)

Keep Smilin ppl


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Candle in the Wind

He was a quiet kid with an amazing smile and a weird sense of humor. He was musically talented and wowed everyone with his guitar pieces. He always made me comfortable when me, the youngest, had to hang around the older kids.
He was my older cousin brother. He died this week. He was just 31.

When my mother told me last evening, shaken was the only word I could use. As I tried to assimilate his death, the other blow was that it was through Cardiac arrest. He was young I argued, Prashu , was just back in Bangalore to start a whole new life.. there was so many things he had not done ,it simply did not make sense.But he had worked since he was 20 , both in India and in the Gulf. Though he wanted to follow his music, it simply was not the logical thing to do.So he did what any other good son would do, followed his parents advice and started working after college

Through the last day memories have been hitting me big time. Lil things we cousins did on the summer breaks.Prashu climbed up a tree or anything that could be climbed. I still remember, when the older boys were trying to prove their superiority, my older cousin quickly jumped between his house and neighbors terrace. He had done this a 1000 times , as he had grown up in that house. Prashu quickly followed, with one lil hiccup, he crossed the space one time, but to get back , he just couldn’t seem to make the length. It was with extremely shame faced that he knocked on the terrace doors till the neighbors allowed him to walk down. There were a lot of times, that pictures of him included his arm in a cast or with a guitar. That was Prashu to me, an older brother with a heart which was courageous and a brain that rivaled any musical genius. But as we all grew up, our interests and careers took us in different routes. There was the usual query to my aunt as to his whereabouts, but it seems quite a while since we all connected. It was always assumed we would meet at someone’s wedding or maybe on a trip to Bangalore

If there are friends or family out there who you haven’t called in a while, I would say send them a note or a call. Life is always moving too fast,work is always waiting in a small box which we all call laptops and everyday emergencies are a part of it. But its far worse to sit in a room at early morning hours typing a blog, hoping that you got one last word with a loved one .

Bye Prashu, we will miss you.

From “American Pie” by Don Mclean

A long, long time ago...I can still remember

How that music used to make me smile.

And I knew if I had my chance

That I could make those people dance

And, maybe, they'd be happy for a while.

But february made me shiver

With every paper I’d deliver.

Bad news on the doorstep;I couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried When I read about his widowed bride,

But something touched me deep inside

The day the music died”