Kumbakonamed-Part 3

Like Son, Like Mother-My mother sleeping despite the loud pomp and noise made by the musician inside the temple. She had bouts of vomitting the previous night and had an improper sleep, so the effects were visible the next day. I liked this shot, as the way my mother bends while sleeping is pretty similar to how I sleep, when I sit. The difference is that I do it day in and day out, ireespective of where I am. If I sleep next to you, while you are speaking, it means you have bored me or spoken something intelligent, that I couldn't comprehend.

Garlands were all over me, during the trip. One garland for welcoming us at Kumbakonam, at Janani's grandparents place, one at some random temple, one during the pooja in their village at Kadalangudi. Hung this for a shot, while belching post a heavy lunch at Janani's ancestral house.

Consumerism at Kadalangudi- Dont know if this existed or this is a move post recession,where the local sabzi wala comes to your street in an auto and announces Walmart like fares on vegetables to get people interested. His only mandate must have been on clearing the stock somehow.

Spotted this in Kumbakonam, near the Bayiravar temple, where a person has inked his name in stone, along with his company. These days, rarely do I see someone in the same company, and wanting to carry that assosiation further. Those days, there was a sense of pride, in belonging to 1 company and a goverment one at that, and was worth 'Flaunt' value, when it could be used in augmenting the normal respect neighbours had for you.
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Kumbakonamed-Part 2

My Mother, Mother-in-Law, Janani and I went temple hopping on Saturday. This was taken at the west end of the temple at Thiruvidaimarudur. It was a warm day and despite the heat, everyone except me seemed to feel ecstatic at visiting the temples. I was more interested in knowing more about the temple and the stories that surround it. I seem to want to know more about cultures, but I dont really take interest in following them fervishly until, I believe in them.

One of the ancestral houses in the village of Kadalangudi. One thing I notice is that most houses have bright-in-your-face paint adorned on the walls, and the door entrances are favoured for people with short height. Every step in the house had to be taken carefully. I am vertically higher than the height, and my tummy-post marriage is showing signs of unprecedented horizontal growth

Most of the houses, have a huge hall, with a single room for living. That kind of explains with the little privacy the couples got then, they made good use of it with a production line of kids every quarter(assuming many couples lived together as a joint family).

When we were in the temple, my bowels suddenly wanted to burst open and since I had to heed nature's call. I had to trek almost half a kilometre, and find a spot in the fields which could camouflage me from the people in the temple. I went and collected leaves and I was lucky most of the leaves had the mositure from the previous night, that helped me wipe my arse a little cleaner than a dry leaf would. The colour of the fields felt like the one shown in 'Jab we Met' where Shahid and Kareena speak meet at the tractor.

There was a tank nearby and I washed my hands there just in time for the pooja(prayer) to end. Lovely prasadam of Sakkara Pongal, Sundal and something else, which I enjoyed filling my stomach with.
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You that the 'Chappel' stand was at the Adelaide oval? Time to change. There's a 'Chapple' stand at Vaitheeswaran Koil. Greg and Ian Chappel should be proud of their fame spreading to the remotest corners of India. My wife's family deity resides at Vaitheeswaran koil, 5 hours from Chennai on Road. We had been there to pay our obeisance to god. The temple has a strange tradition where you buy pepper and jaggery and immerse it in the pond and save some for a basket. I dont know if the temple has any means of cleaning this pollution.

This photo was taken at my wife's grandparents place inKumbakonam(Bharathy Nagar). There was a grand welcome for the two newly married grandchildren of their family (Wife and her cousin brother). Every day out there was a grand feast, with food served on the banana leaf. This place was away from the madness of Kumbakonam town, so there was a lot of peace and calm around the area. We also visited a couple of temples that was a hop skip and jump from the house.

This was taken in the morning of Saturday, at Thirunageswaram, a small town close to Kumbakonam. This town is famous for the 'Rahu-Kethu' temple and is believed to cure your problems. The more money you pay, you get a better view of the idols. The economically less priveleged, have to wait for a while in the lines, and have a gallery view(Door Darshan), while the richer ones, by the virtue of money come closer to the idols. This class divide was sick and I was thinking, why even have relegion and caste in the first place. I was all along thinking that if a VC had a chance, he should invest in a temple fund and become a trustee than put it in media/real estate/start ups. You would get better returns on your capital employed, as its easy to extract money based on the insecurities that plague people, making the devotess seek refuge by bribing god.

This was taken at Thiruvadaimarudur, a small town 15 kms from Kumbakonam. This was my mother's ancestral town, and her birthplace. She seemed all excited to visit the place, and even met a temple priest who was my aunt's classmate way back in the 1960's, when they studied at Thiruvidaimarudur. The temple was a nice place to doze off and also admire the artwork on the temple. This image in the temple shows how people blindly use charcoal to put their exam hall ticket numbers in the hope that God scans these numbers and sends a 'supari' to the examiners that these hall ticket numbers need to have higher scores than the pass mark. More higher scores are believed to be obtained, if you write in a bigger font, or perform some puja whose economic value is supposed to be proportionate to the marks you would want to bribe god from.

This was followed by an evening visit to Thanjavur to meet one of Janani's aunts, and spend some time there in their house, which had a lovely garden. I tried out Idli with Ghee and Chilli powder. Seemed a welcome departure from the normal oil and chilli powder.

There ends part 1 of this travellogue. Wait until Part 2
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Festive Times

The last 1 week has been a crazy week with post marriage festivities and my wife's cousin's marriage and a trip to her ancestral village, with the whole family. So much of attention and feasting over the week, that my paunch is threatening to blow up. Had a nice time visiting a few villages, and enjoyed rural Tamil Nadu, near Kumbakonam. We had also been to many temples and bribed god to give us a good view of his idol, and pray for good health/wealth. Its a little sad that I had to miss Saarang 2010, for this trip.

For the next few weekend's I am out again, either visitig relatives, or attending parties with friends. I am yet to get that 'Me bonding with my soul' time, thats neccesary to check if 'All Izz Well' in this mad life that I run everyday.

An interesting travellogue on my Kumbakonam trip should be on its way soon enough. This has been the first trip(oops, second) with the trip tracked by GPS and geo-tagging. So its easier to describe, where exactly I took the photos. Will add all of that in a while.

Its been a manic monday which has been painfully slow. 6 o clock is taking a while to come, like Windows Vista loads on a 500 mb Ram cache! Waiting, Waiting, Waiting!


Introspection Time!

This weekend, since my mother-in-law is in town, my wife is to go visit her mother, and as a result of that, I don't have any plans to go out as such. Probably the first weekend, that I haven't made any plan(oops, I forget...meeting my wife's uncle on Sunday). But apart from that, I don't haven't made any plan for going out or visiting relatives. I seriously feel the need for introspection in life and setting a few things in order. I feel like a can of water(with a hole) that is full upto the brim, and is always overflowing, and is also losing water through the hole. Water is largely analogous to my mental space,as I am involved in too many things on the periphery and I need to sit down and look at how much I am actually processing. I need to sit back and organize email/files and do a bunch of things that I have postponed indefinitely. I am in the process of jotting down the specifics, so that I am able to measure the extent of content I will have post completion.

I have put my attention in too many baskets and need to prioritise the attention levels and involvement levels. I seriously believe I can don many hats and do them well, its just that beyond the level that I am in, enthusiasm alone doesnt work, it needs some organised planning and honest answers to move ahead.

So till Saturday, I'd be busy trying to see what are those things that I avoid, what are the things that I forget, what are the things that would make me breathe easy and feel better.


Nice New Year Message

My friend Ashustosh, sent me a message last night, and I loved the message, because it wasn't one of those boring sugar coated new year messages that were sent in bulk

I wish you Peace,Love,Health,Blah Blah

I wish you Sex,Alcohol,Orgasms and
I hope you win the fuckin' lottery

Happy New Year!

Consumer Engagement

I happened to watch ZOOM on Dec 30th, and Fastrack watches seemed to have got a bulk inventory of the adspace at Zoom. They ran a series of 45 seconds commercials in serial order, and I thought it was a fantastic idea. Here is why

Fast track stands for trendy watches for people who want to try out something wacky and cool!So they ran a series of commercials bordering on relationships and sex(what else do youths keep thinking about? ) to bring the connect to the consumer. Once the connect is estabilished, they manage to show that the advertisement talks about a urban youth who learns to move on, which is the underlying message (Moving On) that they want to show.

One of the advantages of the web is that it gives a great consumer connect and engagement opportunity as opposed to other forms of media via sms/television/radio. Users can also upload their videos of 'moving on' and connect with the theme.

The moments in the ad film that caught my mind were

a) The guy who describes his marriage proposals and how his mother rejected them. Liked his expressions in 'Idhu laan venda rajaa' and the Tamil Slang. View it here

b) The woman, who uses her middle finger as a third count, to say she slept with Bunty. View it here

c) The ad where where the young chick says " Sex on the Beach is actually a Cocktail and G-String is not the string on a guitar :-)". View it Here

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