Posted in Political History

What An August For India!

How August 1947 was, we never knew. Down south, hardly any ripple about the partition was felt. From what I learned from stories told and retold in my younger years, from the only transistor (public property) in Luz, Mylapore, the All India Radio broadcast Jawaharlal Nehru’s famous speech ‘when the whole world sleeps….’ – of the oft-quoted ‘Freedom At Midnight.’ Hundreds of men had gathered there waiting for hours to listen to this historic speech that was tuned to maximum volume. ‘National flag hoisting in schools and offices next day which was declared government holiday (August 15th) followed by sweets distribution, then all went home. Next day business as usual with schools reopening!!!’ is the exact way the Independence Day August 15, 1947 was described to me. As uninteresting as that!

72 years later, August 2019 is being a different one. Our Independence Day this year was a buoyant one, no doubt. What a journey this has been for India. A short recap of this whirlwind month of August’19:



Who is Sisir Mitra? The Scientist That ISRO Just Named a Lunar Crater After



Earlier, our Prime Minister was also presented with highest order of awards by the UAE and Bahrain- two of them in a single day. This takes the count to 6 – the number of islamic nations that have honoured Shri Narendra Modi with their highest civilian awards.


The other side:



Two gems lost in a single month from the crown. This is not just BJP’s loss, this is national loss. With them, BJP and the nation have lost three precious sons and daughter of India including Manohar Parikkar who was our ex- Defence Minister. Irreparable loss.

What an August this has been for us. In between, there was the telecast of ‘Man Vs Wild’ featuring PM Modi with Bear Grylls in the Discovery channel. It came as a breather. None of us anticipated August 2019 to unfold this way. It has been one roller coaster ride for us Indians.

Neither is Rupee doing great. Once again after over an year or two, INR breached the 70 rupee mark against dollar, thanks to China-US trade spat. Markets are not good. Manufacturing slowing down. Registering Production losses and lay-offs. Monsoon mayhem everywhere in India except for in Chennai where it’s raining for a month now to no avail. Some gains and some losses.

We in India cannot say that the Amazon fires do not concern us. The enormous impact the fires will leave on our very existence in future is worth making the issue our top priority.  My humble request to everyone who cannot directly do anything in his/her/their lone capacity to put off the raging fires: say a small prayer for Bhooma Devi, Mother Earth. Pray for quick extinguishing of fires. The array of flora and fauna lost to the fires is unimaginable! The loss of habitat for the wildlife and the native tribes is worse. There is every reason to believe this is corporate managed which makes this whole tragic affair a sordid one.  Still, in whichever forum you can, please put in a word about the Amazon – Brazil and Bolivia fires. The fires now encompass nine Latin American nations. Wherever you are, write/add/speak a word about wildlife, environment, water resources, pollution. Thank you! You won’t be making a penny out of this probably, but neither will you be losing one!

Now what does September have in store, I wonder.

Posted in Extras

Political Memes

Compiled from Google Images. Reproduced here without prejudice. None of this is mine. Will keep updating. These memes got me ROFL !!! So sharing here in this space even if most may be already doing rounds in social media. By descending order. From latest to oldest.

Posted in Environment

Best Gift On World Elephant Day: Man vs Wild with PM Modi and Bear Grylls, on Discovery HD

What a man! Interesting to watch one of his many facets that make him what he is today.

Walking the Jim Corbett with Bear Grylls – doing this at his age even if with invisible security cordon, is a feat. Yoga must be his fitness secret.

Luckily no wild elephant or a Bengal tiger crossed their path although PM Modi was quick and sharp enough to spot elephant dung in the thick bush. His observation is very good obviously. Wildlife spotting is not really that easy. In fact I have always spotted wild elephants both in Kerala and in Tamil Nadu only in the shoulder areas adjoining the national parks. Wild animals do not know of or respect man-made boundaries. Animal/bird watchers also must have immense patience for any ‘sighting.’ Rare are lucky spottings.

I caught my breath as our PM boarded the haphazardly hand-built coracle (by Grylls) (what we call parisal in Tamil). I recently took a (plastic) ‘parisal’ ride in Kodaikanal where the lake depth was not much. Still the risk of tipping over is enormous. In his age and position, I got alarmed and wondered aloud, whether the PM must be doing that. Of course, his security must have been hovering in the background. The coracles originally made of bamboo are very popular with rural Indians when it comes to river/lake crossings in lieu of boats. They come in handy especially when the river depth is not adequate for boating and the river width is easily navigable.

Fully drenched in rain, PM Modi was treated with as much affection like a son by Grylls. That was heartwarming. The PM answered back Grylls in Hindi for the benefit of all Indians including those who may not be knowing English.

To one of the questions on keeping India clean, Modi ji replied that Indians have good personal hygiene but lacked social hygiene. He couldn’t have put it more aptly. That is a 100% true fact. I realized this during our days in Malaysia. We Indians or those of Indian origin showered maximum. The Chinese went to work straight from bed and showered late in the evening. Showering too many times they believed, could get you cold and make you sick! Yet the Indians stank and the Chinese looked better. Probably this body odour is in our subcontinent gene! We Indians sweat more compared to many other races. Many friends and relatives have remarked on this aspect as to how we Indians maintain better personal hygiene. Yet our breath smells!! When it comes to social hygiene, we draw a big blank almost. Just look at the airport restrooms! You just cannot teach the concept of dry toilets to our masses! Water, water everywhere! Never mind, now many in the west are of opinion that wet toilets (meaning those fitted with hand faucets) are more hygienic, less infectious and environment friendly than those with toilet paper roll! In Yoga centers in India, you can see only Indian squatting toilets used by even foreigners comfortably. Its good for your knees and it is regaining its status. May be one day as they say coconut oil and groundnut oil are actually good (after denouncing them for years that is), the west will come around to this point. Even the way we measure hygiene is different in both worlds. That said, India leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to keeping the nation neat and clean. It is a social consciousness, not a government job. Still, ever since Swachch Bharat was introduced by Modi, I notice a welcome change. Even if it is not a lot, it is good and holds promise for a better future.

The conversation was kept minimal and interesting, going with the flow of the nature trail as Grylls and Modi walked through the tall bushes towards the river.

Normally I hope and look forward to wildlife spotting but today I was anxious!  For once, I wished the tigers and the elephants stayed away! Remember it was none less than the Jim Corbett! The weather seemed awesome and amiable. Untiring, more than anything else. I am sure the rendezvous and the trail itself were handpicked and combed and checked out in advance. That may account for no chance encounter with the mighty Indian elephant or the Bengal tiger by the adventurous duo. Or even the venomous snakes.

The dollops of flashback from PM’s life right from his childhood told in his own words lent the show some extra spice. What a humble background and what an austere brought-up PM Modi has had. What a contrast this is from the spoilt Nehru-Gandhi lineage. His ascension to power is not surprising. The spark is still visible!

Critics of course will say, this is all stunt. So be it. Neither I care nor does Modi Ji hahaha!  He is daring as only he can be. And he is curious. Very inquisitive. Open to learning. Not afraid to ask questions. Or try the turf. Not embarrassed an ounce! Comfortable in strange surroundings. It is easy to see why he is what he is and where he is today.  India is truly a very beautiful and diverse and rich country! I am proud of my nation in every way and all ways possible! Grylls seems to share an affectionate bonding with India as well…

However I would request our PM to stay safe in future and let this be his first and last adventure in unchartered territory. As Bear Grylls himself says, PM Shri Narendra Modi is the No.1 and most important man in the country. Precious, priceless gem. We want him to live a 100 years and if possible 200. Please take better care of your health Prime Minister, India loves you. Love and adore your spirit and your sacrificing self. Sometimes I even wonder whether we Indians deserve such a committed man.

My personal request to you Mod ji, is to ban elephants from our temples and palaces and processions and tourism industry and conserve them in our forests. This way, you will be ensuring that Ganpati lives on for 100-200 more bargained years before going extinct (which will happen eventually in under 300 years. Of course, this will earn you the wrath of Kerala Devaswoms, Mysore and Rajasthan palaces and tourism industry. But Lord Ganesha will bless you and the nation. If anyone can do it, it is you Prime Minister. Believe me this has nothing to do with the Church. And even if this is a conspiracy theory by the missionaries, you will still be extending a fresh lease of life for the Indian Elephant. If you don’t, our grand children from 2100 will not be seeing a single Indian elephant in flesh and blood.

Posted in These Are A Few Of My....

Fave Films

Nobody asked for my fave pictures but I wanted to write the list down anyways:D Looks like it is a trend. My top 10 all time favourites: (List may grow as and when I remember)

  1. Avatar anyday. Seen it a 100 times, may be a 1000 times. Frame by frame, scene by scene by heart. Never tire.
  2. Lion King. Old one. Animated picture. It is like family film for us. We got to watch it only by 1998-99 for the first time in our new VCD in Malaysia. For months, we went to sleep watching the picture. The latest one is good. But as my now 25 year old son asks, how can you better a picture that is already the best. No scope for improvement!
  3. Personally for me the old film ‘King Elephant’ screened for us in our school auditorium in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Mylapore – where I did my primary was a turning point. Nothing I can recall but it infused, fueled a love for wild life especially elephants in me. Now various versions are available in You Tube but I am not convinced I am looking at what I saw way back then with little girls and boys of that tender age.
  4. Mr. Bean, Tom & Jerry (old series), The bug life, The Dinosaur. Family favourites as we saw them as family as my son was growing up.
  5. Old Black & white Tamil pictures of director-producer K Balachander: Aval Oru Thodarkadhai (she is a novel or serial story common in those days in weekly magazines), heavy theme and way ahead of those times (late 1970s) (family drama)
  6. Old black & white tamil picture of K Balachander: Avargal  (them), ahead of his times (late 1970s) (family drama)
  7. Tamil picture of K Balachander: Thanneer Thanneer (water, water) (1980s)
  8. Tamil picture of K Balachander: Sindhu Bhairavi (1980s)
  9. Tamil picture B & W of Jayakanthan Novel remake: Oru Nadigai Nadaagam Parkiraal (an actress watches a drama) (1970s)
  10. Tamil picture of K Balachander B & W : Aboorva Raagangal (1970s) (rare raag or tune) (far ahead of those times)
  11. Tamil picture of Bharathi Raja: Padinaru Vayadhinile (at 16th year) that saw the debut of Sri Devi, Kamal Hasan and Rajni Kanth in late 1970s. May be not debut but their second films that brought them to limelight . The trio went on to rule the celluloid screen for next 20 years. Stars were born overnight. Sridevi as ‘Mayilu’ , Kamal Hasan as ‘Chappani’ and Rajni Kanth as ‘Paratta.’ A must watch. Director Bharathi Raja and Music composer Ilayaraja too became sensations who went on to conquer the south Indian film industry.
  12. Tamil picture Black & white: Aval Appadi Thaan (she is like that) (late 1970s) ahead of those times
  13. Tamil picture of Kamal Hasan : Thevar Magan (Thevar’s son) (remade as Viraasat in Hindi with Anil Kapoor) (1990s)
  14. The Sound of music. We all grow up with it. Needs no intro.
  15. Titanic: I still cry when Jack dies. Exposes the snobbish arrogance of the rich. Magical love story.
  16. Pretty Woman: Love Vivian to the moon and back and of course Richard Gere. There is so much of kindness and decency and dignity in this film. The hotel manager for instance. What a character. Then the way Gere treats Julia Roberts, respecting her as a fellow human being putting everything else aside. Vivian’s head held high under all circumstances. I like that. The picture comes as a ray of hope, a promise, a dream come true.
  17. Shall we dance: Midlife crisis. Another Richard Gere gold. Most middle age couples can identify with this film. Susan Sarandon, a gem. Jennifer Lopez omg ! Love the Latino dances. Dances can be therapeutic. I do clumsy Zumba myself!
  18. A Lot like Love: Ashton Kutcher! Adore him and his sense of humour! Unfolds in phases. This kind of love is more convincing and practical and sustaining!!!
  19. Pride and Prejudice. Classic Jane Austen. Old is gold.
  20. Little Women. Girls who grow up in all-girls home not with much male company can identify with this picture.
  21. Troy: Omg. Brad Pitt!!! I am like that ant and he is like that walking god whose boot i can’t see, but he is a dream!!! Achilles is demi god.
  22. Hindi pictures: I watch but nothing is heart’s favourite because I am used to watching south Indian pictures with strong storyline, characterization, good editing and screenplay-dialogue-direction, substance sans even make-up at times. That makes it difficult for me to accept Bollywood films even though I enjoy watching a few of them time to time. Tamil pictures too sometimes don’t have logic, but they are still better. Less stupid. More realistic. And also we get to watch the originals while most Hindi films are remakes of south Indian pictures. Love Sanjeev Kumar. For no reason. May be for his smokey eyes and voice.  Somehow he was and is my dream man always! Along with Vinod Mehra. Unfortunately he passed away very early. Chitchor could be my most favourite film from 1970s . Love it for its innocence and sweetness. Amol Palekar, another favourite hero. And of course a younger Rajesh Khanna. May be Shashi Kapoor also 😀 Never action heroes like Amitabh Bachchan. Tamil pictures in 1970s and 80s were way ahead of those times. Even today they may not be palatable to some. What a treat and what a feast to one’s mind’s eye. I can watch them over a 100 times even today in tv. Bollywood went into the hands of Dawood gang with the start of the 1990s that saw the Khans promoted in a big way. This has led to unprecedented levels of decay and quality destruction in the Hindi film industry.
  23. Shawshank Redemption: Years back recommended by my son. Got addicted to this picture ever since! Like it mainly because my son asked me to watch it 😀 also now I like it on my own!
  24. OMG how could I have forgotten Bahubali! India’s answer to Troy! Both part I and part II, with the picture dubbed in Hindi and other state languages. To be watched in Inox/Imax cinemas only – to do it justice. Of the same grandeur was Padmaavat. Prabhas and Rana Dagupathy from Hyderabadas hero and anti-hero in Bahubali became overnight national sensations. What a different breed from the hairless Khans of Bollywood!!! Padmaavat – aesthetically made with the beautiful dusky Deepika Padukone. Period picture. The climax!
  25. ‘Tare zameen par’ – i found the one Bollywood pic made by Aamir Khan who i normally loathe. You will understand this picture when you have grown up along with special children or children with learning disabilities. My  mother taught hearing and speech impaired middle school girls so I could connect with the film. Teaching or training even these grown up teens with functional faculties was not easy. I bear witness. Plus I see a number of ADHD children under autism spectrum these days. It is not easy on the kids or on the parents. Can freak us out, and what must be a happy dreamy life can turn out to be a nightmare for no one’s fault. I would say, these are God’s special children and if we beget them, it means in this janam we have accepted this Karma for a reason. This is our unfinished agenda/life mission. Of course easy to give a discourse until we are in the spot. My heart goes out to the parents of special children first, because the kids themselves remain unaware of their unique condition. ‘Tare zameen par’ deals with very light ‘dyslexia’ which is just the tip of the iceberg. Like step 1 in a 10 or 20 step ladder when it comes to impaired learning/learning disabilities. Extremes are Down syndrome/cerebral palsy for instance. I see them in my life. I am connected to them in my life. I have seen the parents’ denial and then finally their lame submission to destiny. I talk to these mothers. Fathers. Dyslexia and ADHD are nothing really. Not grave conditions considering what I have seen. My heart goes out to the parents first always for their selfless sacrifices.
  26. There are some more like ‘Mundhaanai Mudichu’ (the marital tie – actually the tie of the sari pallu with dhoti in the wedding ceremony as the newly wed walk around the Agni or holy fire) of Bhagyaraj for instance from early 1980s. I can go on and on, but stop here. This family drama set in rural surroundings was the first adult picture I saw. Released when my mother was still around, we girls were not taken to the cinemas by our parents. I got to catch up with it in my standard 10 (rather sneaked to see it) when a neighbour bought a new VCR in 1984. How to tell an adult story without vulgarity, how to crack adult joke that won’t still make you squirm – the picture did it. Excellent screenplay and intelligent humour that became the trademark of actor-director Bhagyaraj. Every teen wanted to secretly watch this so-called hit adult picture in those days! The only tv channel Doordarshan never played it. Finally I got to watch it with peace in tv as India changed, sometime after the turn of the millennium!!! It is still stamped in my mind that this film is adult film hahaha! Watching it these days I recognize the master story telling by the director and low production costs yielding maximum revenue in those times. The way it must be.
  27. Now I shouldn’t be going on… ! The rest that I love, I have here reviewed. From Pariyerum Perumal to 96, the latest from Tamil film  industry. Now real full stop!

As a policy, i switch off a picture if there is too much death, violence etc. Big no to horror pictures, serial murder films, scary movies etc because these leave negative vibes in our home and mind. If I am watching, even my hubby switches off tv whenever such scenes roll. Very disturbing and unsettling these could be even if only fictional. Always for positive vibes. Let’s fill our homes with happiness and contentment. Then there is no need to light aromatic candles! ( I never did that)! Good home food, good classical music and dance and cricket in tv/laptop, good books, good friends – heaven!

Funny part is watching films on tv as family. I remember that if steamy scenes were played, I would change channel. Once my son when he was 8 or 10 took the remote from me and changed channel whenever there was a steamy scene on tv!!! Kids learn from parents.


Posted in Political

The Roar Of The Lioness: Sushma Swaraj

SUSHMA SWARAJ: The Prime Minister India Would Not Have  …

Never expected to write sort of an obit for our beloved External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj who right now is being cremated in Delhi. Almost as popular as PM Modi in diplomatic circles, Sushma made it on her own to the top, no blue blood in politics. She was 67. Not the age to die. She touched many a heart cutting across nationalities, forging closest ties with SAARC countries, serving her best to NRI community and standing tall at global summits with her short but fierce stature. It is not even an year since she became the first Indian minister to be invited to OIC where she quoted from sacred Sanskrit texts to an Arab audience. She minced no words in calling a spade a spade and did not desist from her scathing attacks on terror. No wonder, when most foreign dignitaries mourn her loss, our neighbour Pakistan BLACKED OUT media news coverage on her because, they were the hardest hit by her in world stage. Sushma Swaraj brushed shoulders with world leaders as an equal. She did India proud with her roaring addresses, all the while draped in beautiful saris with kumkum (vermilion) lighting up her bright, cheerful face. Sushma was striking as the bold and confident, yet traditional Indian Nari, the face of Modern Indian Woman.

Listen to Sushma Swaraj at OIC in Abu Dhabi, that made Pakistan, the founding member of OIC skip the meet! Sushma quotes from Rig Veda:


Yet, Sushma wasted no time when it came to issuing medical visas to Pakistanis who tweeted her for help. The ex External Affairs minister was easily accessible and approachable to the commoners not only from India but from world over via Social Media platform. She negotiated and rescued hostages and made NRI lives easier forever, streamlining procedures. Her humanitarian side despite the power she wielded won her many hearts from all sections of the society. She will be hard to replace.

Om Shanthi Sushmaji! You will be sorely missed! Many of us fancied you for No.2 after Modi ji, as his likely successor. It is not to be. Why cannot BJP leaders take better care of their health. Second precious gem lost after Manohar Parikar, CM of Goa and Ex Defence Minister. Mother India’s most cherished children.

Posted in Political History

Red Letter Day In Indian History : Jammu & Kashmir Wholly Integrates With India

RECLAIMING BHARAT FROM TERROR IDEOLOGY : Indian Jawans / Martyrs who laid down their lives for the nation done justice. 

  • All images from Google

In a historic move, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah revoked Article 370 and Article 35 ‘A’ giving special status to Jammu & Kashmir, with a majority voting in Rajya Sabha. With this, the integration of the Jammu & Kashmir with the Indian Union is complete. The state stands bifurcated (or trifurcated?) as distinct Union Territories: Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Bravo Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, Home Minister Shri Amit Shah ji, and National Security Advisor Shri Ajit Kumar Doval ji, we recognize your exceptional courage and determination and sheer grit and willpower and we are immensely proud of you as we have never been of any Indian since 1947 – including Mahatma Gandhi. What a winning combination you are. Mastermind!

Peace is this, not Satyagraha which is blackmail. Constructive actions go a long way in ensuring-restoring stability and equilibrium. Not confusing decisions like Gandhi and Nehru duo’s. Harmony is in integration not in fanning bloody terrorism. Courage not cowardice builds nations.

India will have to be on red alert, because Pakistan, our neighbour swarms with terrorists waiting to get back at us. Kashmir terrorism has largely been their making.

Scrapping of article 370 was the need of the hour. When Kashmiri baniyas can walk freely in Chennai streets selling their carpets and silks and hold expos in our urban neighbourhood making a living, we need to see this is reciprocated. When Kashmiri youth can attend our universities across India and work in our tech parks and can get recruited in India’s civil services, it is only just and fair that we too have access to the valley, not only as tourists but as potential residents ! When Rohingya terrorist infiltrators can settle down in Kashmir, why should not Biharis and Bengalis.

Vaccinations hurt. But vaccines are life savers. Modi’s panacea for the nation is for India’s immunity and eternity. Red Letter day in Indian political history. May be today feels better than it ever did on August 15, 1947.

Who is Donald Trump and what is his orbit of power. What is China to us. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has to be naive to imagine that anyone can dissuade or deter India. India’s woman Prime Minister Indira Gandhi broke Pakistan to two pieces right under the nose of US President Nixon and Henry Kissinger, liberating Bangladesh. We don’t need America or China’s approval. Our all weather friend Israel is our strongest ally. We Indians are in a far better shape now than we were in 1970s. India is pumped up with energy and self-confidence and marching ahead at full throttle under the dynamic leadership of PM Shri Narendra Modi ji. The trio Modi-Shah-Doval is the best India has ever had since the times of Chankya when it comes to political wisdom and acumen. Balakot is not long or far behind us. India is not Syria or Afghanistan or Libya, even President Trump must know. India’s solid track record and credibility and respectability have guaranteed us that much berth for a smooth passage. India is prepared for the jolts of aftershock. We are shockproof enough. We will sail through this storm together! Let our Kashmir Hindu Pundits finally return home to safety and security!

Besides, India did nothing that Pakistan has not done before. Bhutto in 1974 similarly abolished special status for Gilgit Baltistan in POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) and populated that part of Kashmir with Pakistanis which is least Kashmiri today with a completely altered demography. Foot in the mouth of Pakistan media. Indian media as well.

Omar Abdullah family and Mehbooba Mufti family and also Lone family have had their coffers filled to brim. Let Kashmiris finally prosper with rest of India.

The Indian state has always come across as soft power. We flex muscles rarely. When we do, you will see ACTION. Nehru-Sheikh Abdullah’s shortsightedness and grave blunder stand rectified today, 72 years after India won her independence from the British. For a Hindu, the islamic invaders will remain the worst sadistic and barbaric in memory and history. The British were  in comparison, a lot more benevolent. The only logic for Indian muslims to idolize terror is that, their ancestors were converted either by force or by bribe and so today they embrace what they had to by default (of birth). An invader is an invader and India’s islamic invaders were the most perverse and that won’t change, because they raised a Taj Mahal (over Tejo Shivalaya). No institution building in islamic terror reign in Indian history, only massacres and rampages, razing of Hindu holy places and temples. This went on for a 1000 years unchecked. Will those like Shashi Tharoor lecture on the invasions. How many so-called intellectuals like Ramachandra Guha will dare to shed light on Hindu genocide that continued for centuries.

Gandhi is past and behind us. Modi is future and right before us. Historically terrorized and denied justice, subdued by brute force, emotionally blackmailed by the minorities, it is not surprising that the Hindu awakening is a reality today. For our very survival. It was only in 1990s that the Kashmir Hindu Pundits fled the valley, driven out by islamic terrorist Kashmiris. Those who stayed back were butchered in cold blood, their daughters raped and slaughtered. Village by village, the pillage and violence and bloodshed continued, instigated and fanned by the woman prime minister of Pakistan, Benazzir Bhutto.. How easy it is to ethnic cleanse an islamic province of its minorities with virtually no hue and cry anywhere in the national/international media! This pattern is seen in Pakistan next door and even in Middle East. Have you ever come across a single media report in Pakistan/world on the massacre of Kashmir Hindu Pundits and their exodus from the state. It was Kashmir then. It might be Kerala tomorrow if Article 370 or 35 A must continue.

India has to fight her own lone battles. She will.

Jai Bharat Mata ki!

Har har Narendra Modi ji!

Har har Amit Shah i!

Har har Ajit Doval ji!