Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ramodayam-our exalting overture!


Come April, a heady mix of Bevu bella gives way to the headier elixir of 'Paanaka' and 'Sangeeta'…'Sri Rama Navami spells bliss. 'Namma Bengaluru' has managed to retain the glory of this season despite palying host to the 'Mall' extravaganza of recent times. Music , to many these days is a welcome stress buster that transcends to the divine!

Our troupe had a chance to present 'Ramodayam', a 'Geeta Roopaka' ( operratta of sorts ) composed by one of the contemporary Kannada poets of the 'Navodaya' genre Dr. Pu. Ti. Narasimhachar ( Pu Ti Na ). He is known to have composed many acclaimed operattas in Kannada in the traditional style. His compositions are unique in the sense that, the tunes , many prescribed by him and set in rare melodic ragas by none other than Vidwan Late Dr. Doreswamy Iyengar , the iconic musician of yesteryears. The elements of the 'Geeta Roopaka' are all set in dramatic sequences and set to music in a classical interlock of Swara and Saahitya. This feature has indeed placed Dr. Pu.Ti. Na at the literary pinnacle as one of the best Kannada poets with an immense insight for music.

Mom , an ardent fan of Dr.Pu. Ti.Na, had interacted with him and had also been part of the Geeta Roopaka troupes almost a decade and a half back. She had this desire to reinitiate the repertiore ….and therefore put a few of us together ( some well trained in the art of Gamaka and carnatic music alongwith a few amateurs like me!). She selected 'Ramodayam' to suit the season fine and also felt that this composition was less presented than the other popular ones like' Gokula Nirgamana' ,' Shabari', 'Seeta Kalyana' et. All. Some of the songs had prescribed tunes and some odes had to be tuned. She took stock of all that and started our training sessions. Singing ragas like' Sanjeevini', 'Suruti', 'Vaasanti, 'Naayaki'…seemed tough for us in the beginning. But as our practice sessions took shape we were able to relish the harmony of the soulful tunes and lyrics.

'Ramodayam' signifies the 'Birth of Rama'….rather the ascension of Lord Vishnu's Rama Avatara. Legend has that the 'Heathen Devas' approach Him thorough His consort Mahalakshmi to redeem 'Bhoodevi- Mother Earth' from the sinners. He reincarnates as Rama the crown prince of Ayodhya and all this happens in the' Chaitra' Masam…a season of celebration!

The above mythical 'plot' is wonderfully captured by the poet as a drama with dialogues as odes set to tune rightfully by Mom to suit the emotion.

The program slated for the evening of last Saturday , 19th of March was well-delivered and well-received too! The pressiding guests and the audience opined that such programs must pave way for more similar ones. Mom's untiring efforts and our coalesce paid off!!

Mythical dieties when personified as mortals invoke a sense of reassurance ; He is above all of us while still being amongst us!.....can we ask for more?!!



Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Progeny on temple trails!!

Dreams can be obscure on one hand and enigmatic on the other. I had been plagued by a vague dream for some time now. It had but been profound enough to nudge me often. The dream had that, I visit a well known Ranganathar shrine and the diety, just falls face down!! Myriad prophecies and omens haunted me no end. I knew that a visit to 'Srirangam' , Trichy...a sacred abode with an erudite history will keep those delusions at bay.

A short travel plan with sis ( just the two of us ) started to take shape and then voila! we had six more cousins ( sans hubbies and children ) more than willing to join us. The thought of just breaking away from the grindstorm and to call it a piligrimage even, made us wait for the day to set off with bated breaths! The quaint temple town of Madurai also fitted in our itinerary. Trust me, it is hard to optimally cover all temples in any given district of TN. What with innumerable of them nestled at elusive places and all with some interesting facts.

So train tickets were booked and off we set, eight of us 28-40 somethings to Madurai..I could think of coining a term for this group- 'The Hemmige Progeny'..Incidentally, Hemmige is our ancestral village in Mandya and more of a community now.

Banters and guffaws ( much to the vexation of our co-travellers ) that started at the Bangalore platform went on unabatedly and ended also at the same place after our return from Trichi two days later with a loud five!

The magnanimity of Meenaxi temple , Madurai left us spellbound. For once we sang Devi kritis and verses without being goaded on to do so and all oblivious to onlookers. Madurai, to our surprise had more interesting temples .. another blog post of mine will dwell on and dedicate on them.

We had decided to visit the Srirangam temple in traditional attire and must have been a sight, eight of us treading the mammoth sacred temple 'prakaras' to the sanctum at daybreak! At 236 feet stood the tallest Gopuram of the world beckoning ardent pilgrims. Legend runs back to none other than Lord Brahma himself worshipping the idol and traverses along the time line to the Treta yuga whilst Lord Srirama reigned and handed over the diety to Vibheeshan.

My dream!..I started to palpitate as I stood in the queue. Suprabhata seva here is all the more special and we got to get a glimpse of that as well...He wakes up to the wonderful sight of a simply bedecked cow and her calf, a horse and an elephant trumpeting thrice! How wonderful it is to be aroused by pristine forms of life! My emotions ran amok as I took the first Darshan of Him and to reassure myself of that fallacy attached to my dream, all of us had not one but two Darshans! The lightness that I felt is beyond description.

65 acres of this imposing temple premises , Lord reclining on the Adisesha , His tantalising smile, alluring anklets that adorned the Divya padas ......we could'nt have asked for more!

Our fervour, fun and frivolty got the better of us. The trip ended allright, but in unision all of us swore that this had better be a beginning !

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Bollywood Idiosyncs!

Another 'All-male-reunion/resurrection' saga wonderfully filmed. '3 Idiots' is a wholesome entertainer, brilliantly filmed and exceptionally well-casted. 'Dil Chahta Hai' heralded the concept of 'all-male-frivolous pals' reuniting after a journey of passe' flicks in life. 'Rang De basanti' and 'Rock On ' followed suit and were movies par excellence. Aamir has this uncanny diligence to select scripts...perhaps selecting for one's own self than focusing on target audience is his mantra.
Apparently the film can definitely be likened to the novel by CB..there can't be too many coinicidences! the plot, anta/protagonists are all key similarities well-adapted. For a change romance is just a part of the movie and Bebo surely is one qualitative cosmetic appendage! changes can sometimes be for good!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A tryst with Bhootaiah and remembering Vishnu

Last fortnight for me had been more than interesting. I could catch up with my Vayusena pals and the dear cousin brood in a Birthday party at  'Mithila'.  ' Mithila'  houses  our parents, Mama-Mamis and our maternal cousins, . I'd rather call the abode,   a family HQ of sorts as it was here that our Paati had lived her life..a full circle ; Taata who had then( 1960s) retired as a high school head master had built a house...a house that sheltered not just the family siblings but many needy students . Today 'Mithila' proudly stands as a  stoic structure housing seven flats occupied by Pati-Taata's children and their grand ones.  I would'nt  be overstating to define  it as a mini family conglomerate that showcases co-existence and congeniality. Mithila plays host to festivals, family gatherings, Birthday parties, Cultural shows and  ceremonies to commemorate our beloved Taata -Paati. 

Last Sunday Mama's grand kids had hosted their Birthday party....the party as such  and the lunch that ensued as is customary with 'Mithila' was laced with gaiety. What followed that was even better...all of us had a treat of watching 'Bhootaiahyana Maga Aiyyu'...a wonderful fable by Late Shri. Gorur Ramaswamy Aiyengar retold on the screen to perfection. This movie must be at least two decade old and amazingly it had enraptured all of us...for a good 90 minutes. The plot is all but set in a picturesque village nestled in  Malnad ( Kalasapura ) and revolves around two good-to-be-true characters  supported by a wonderful cast of some of the best known comedians of yore. Vishnuvardan and Lokesh have both essayed gutsy characters and have given their best shots. Their void in the Kannada film industry today is unfilled. The movie has it all...drama, humour thrill, tragedy, reformation, subtle romance and an ending that is per se positive. The setting bears a stark resemblance to R.K.N's Malgudi...the magical town that has fascinated generations. Our tribute to the posthumous thespians could'nt have been better.....

In a nut-shell that was a 'Picture'- perfect finale for a wonderful escapade together at 'Mithila'

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The fifth place..

This post is a tribute to our dear cousin Goda ..the blog has been long overdue..she has been pervading my mind too often;

 It seems like yesterday..but a dozen years have passed by. Goda looked so good and true to life in my wedding album. My muse often hovers around her and those days of togetherness.

 We were a bunch of five like-aged and minded cousins who stuck to one another at all family gatherings and talked our hearts out at the sleep-overs. All of us shared a deep bond and to others chagrin,  we were reserving five seats next to one another at all the family gatherings. Goda was our sooth sayer of sorts  smitten with myths, prophecies and omens. She had us enraptured with her tales of yore and her eyes themselves spoke volumes.

 She had done all of us cousins  proud as the first one to have donned a white coat and sported a steth around her neck. A compassionate soul that she was, she had  immense faith in her profession . Her service as a doctor began at home when she had treated and nursed her grand mother through her last few days.

 She was again the first one amongst us to enter motherhood. We had visited her at the hospital when the cherubic baby boy, she had delivered,  had been roomed in. We were chiding her for not being party to another cousin's wedding slated a couple of days ahead. She had remarked 'Make sure you have the fifth seat reserved and miss me !'. We missed her for the wedding and......... we missed her forever.  Her demise, when the family was at the behest of another wedding left all of us shell shocked.

 She was all in one - a loving mother,daughter,wife, sister, neice, granddaughter and cousin. A promising doctor intending to go miles saving lives, had lost her own to a brief fatal attack of Asthma. Her last glimpse of a proud mom , managing to smile through the nebuliser is eternally locked in our hearts. 

 She has lived beyond her own prophecies and within us till abyssmal depths. 

 Dear cousin, we still have that fifth place reserved for you.......Fathom, we cannot!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Halwara Camaraderie after 14 years!!

My 'eve' of new years eve of 2010 ( 2009?) could'nt have been better! On the 30 Dec last year the pals of Halwara met. Halwara was my first place of posting whilst my tenure in VayuSena. Five of us, techies shared a wonderful friendship...a bond beyond compare. It had been fourteen years since we'd said our goodbyes to each other as all of us were posted out to units that were hardly well connected...For a services pro, the first place of posting etches itself deep in memories. Ditto to us ...Punjab, for us Southies was a place to reckon and actually understand the nuances to strike vibes with the locals. Our shopping expeditions to Ludhiana, haggling on the prices for the juthis, negotiating the huge glasses of Lassi, bearing the glares of the locals, driving my first scooter, bouncing for food, former call-ons....I can go on relentlessly.

Amazingly, t

he camaraderie that we shared almost a decade and a half back had not waned at all despite the different courses our lives have chartered. Farida's absence was very prominent..she should've been there for that picture perfect retrospective. As was the general practice Moses was the soft target with Uday and Sudhir chiding him.

I am reminded of one of Farida's mail when she had remarked that our Halwara days were the 'golden' ones. How true!

I am so glad that our family members also connected so well and shared our goodwill !!

Hope we meet again ...this time with Farida.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Life in and after the sena....for allof us who,ve been there or still there

Blog..I did finally! Vayusena was my first job  while I was still a wide-eyed-teenager of sorts.  6 years of regimental life metamorphised that teenager to a  level-headed officer. Not that I support the ' follow-the -west' concept ardently...but I do reiterate  introduction of the fauj concepts through  our good old NCC,  as part of a compulsary curriculum for the Pre-university pass-outs.....brain -drain towards the west is seeing a reverse trend. It is time we realise the potential and prepare our gen next to opt for the best back home. The armed forces are facing severe shortage of manpower.... and what's more life is'nt all that bad. Faujis are a respected lot still!