Vani’s Musings

Archive for May 2007

Continuing the list of Bangalore Localities, this time the focus is on the differently named areas of Bangalore.

Here is a list of them. 

  • Yelahanka
  • MadiVaaLa
  • PeeNya
  • Malleswaram
  • Nagavaara
  • Nagarabhaavi
  • Audugodi
  • Horamavu
  • HuLimaavu
  • Kadugodi
  • Anekal
  • Attibele
  • DoDDabele
  • Attiguppe
  • Kengeri
  • Kathriguppa
  • Whitefield
  • Agaram
  • DoDDakannelli
  • Kengeri
  • Hoody

Any idea why these places are named so? I know for sure that Malleswaram got its name from the Kadu Malleswara Swamy temple of the locality.

 Readers…please throw some light on this.

The title seems misleading, as usual. Nowadays I seem to have developed a sort of “Title Block” and go around asking people to name posts for me. This is also one such post, where someone else helped me choose the title.

Back to business.

We have all traveled by train in India at some point of time or the other. In most of the trains, we would also have seen beggars seeking alms, some of them polishing shoes, some cleaning the floor of the compartments, and yet others, singing songs. 

They have pretty good voices, and have a fair hold on the language and can sing decently too. Usually the ones who sing well are blind, often accompanied by kids and a harmonium. 

 Some have atrocious nasal voices, and are very much in stiff competition with Himesh Reshammiya. 

Usual ones heard on Trains are: 

  • Aadisi Nodu BeeLisi Nodu  – Kasturi Nivaasa
  • Aadmi Hoon Aadmi se Pyaar Kartha Hoon  – Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai
  • Aawara Hoon – Aawara
  • Duniya Bananewale – Himalay Ki God Mein
  • Haalalladaru Haaku – Devata Manushya
  • Jeena Yahaan Marna Yahaan – Mera Naam Joker
  • Mera Joota Hai Japaani – Shri 420
  • Yaarige Yaaruntu Yeravina Samsaara – Gaali Gopura
  • Ramayya Vastaavayya – Anari (Not sure of the title)
  • Jagame Maaya – Devadaasu (Telugu)
  • Ninnolume Namagirali Tande – School Master
  • Maanava MooLe Maamsada TaDike – Bhakta Kumbaara
  • Jagapathi Rama Raghukula Soma – Lava Kusha

 Most of them sport a very deprived countenance. They are successful most of the time in making you feel guilty of your ability to do well in life.  

Though these people sing well, I am not very keen on encouraging them. Many are able bodied, but see this as a lucrative profession, without much effort.

Readers, what do you think of these beggars? Should there be some strict action against them? Should they be rehabilitated and trained to do some meaningful work?

Look forward to your opinions on this.

They bore into your head. They won’t let go. There’s no known cure. Earworms can attack almost anyone at almost any time.

No, it’s not an invasion of jungle insects. It’s worse. Earworms are those songs, jingles, and tunes that get stuck inside your head.  

The term earworm is the literal English translation of the German word ohrwurm . An earworm is also sometimes called a sticky tune or a cognitive itch. In Portuguese, it is called chiclete de ouvido, or ear chewing gum. 

A study showed that musicians and those with compulsive tendencies are the most afflicted. The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive, though the act of repetition — in popular songs on the radio and on the rehearsal floor for musicians — plays a role. 

When people battle their earworms, nearly two-thirds of the time they try to use another tune to dislodge the one that’s stuck. About half the time people simply try to distract themselves from hearing the stuck song. More than a third of the time people with songs stuck in their heads try talking with someone about it. And 14% of the time, people try to complete the song in their heads in an effort to get it to end.

I am one such victim of earworms..any catchy tune heard more than once, and it goes into the deep end of the mind, to be played and replayed in mental continuum. 

 Earworms that bother me the most are: 

Ø       Who Let the Dogs Out – By Baha Men

 Ø       We Will Rock You – By Queen

Ø       Pardesi Pardesi Jana Nahin – Raja Hindustani

Ø       Sochna Kya Jo bhi Hoga Dekha Jaayega – Ghaayal

 Ø       BeLLi Rathadali Soorya Tanda Kirana  – Indra Dhanush (Am not sure of the title of the movie)

 Ø       Nimbuda – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Ø       Anisuthide Yaako Indu  – Mungaaru MaLe (Though I love this song, I cant get rid of it  )

 Ø       Mandakiniye – Hudugaata (I heard it twice, and it’s already stuck… )

Ø       Kyunkii Saas Bhi Kabhee Bahuu thiii – The Title Jingle

Ø       A Hundred Miles – By Hedy West

Ø       Oh Susannah – By James Taylor

Ø       Smile – By Michael Jackson

Ø       Worry about you – by IVY

 I dread listening to these songs now…they seem to replay on and on and on in my mind.

Have you also been affected similarly? Please share your experiences with earworms and their ilk.

White Phosphorous has a new look! 

In the beginning, I was very happy with the initial look and had almost decided to retain that template forever. 

I was browsing through the templates to help another blogger make changes in her blog settings, and was attracted by this template. 

It has clean features, a white background and the picture depicts mystery. 

I loved this look, and may maintain it till something much better comes along. 

Just goes on to prove that change is the only permanent feature of life.

A Bit of background: The Girl’s picture, bio data and horoscope have been forwarded to the groom’s family for tallying. After some half a dozen follow-up calls, the groom’s family suddenly decides one day to “see” the girl. They usually give half a day’s notice, and insist that the girl be present, her office, her deadlines and her project commitments notwithstanding.

 Scene I 

The setting is a typical Scene in any Indian Household with grown-up daughters.  House all spring-cleaned with no trace of cobwebs. Interiors scrubbed very neatly. Glass and Crockery sparkling. Furniture draped with the best linen of the house. Fresh Flowers in the Vases. No one allowed to park themselves on the Sofas for fear of creasing the covers. Who, pray, is the visitor today for whom the house is being so beautifully decorated?

 The President of India ?

No…..

The President of USA ?

No…..

A Minister?

No….

A God Man?

No… 

It is …… a prospective groom for the daughter of the house.

The men are all busy with the last minute cleaning and polishing. Half the women are in the kitchen, preparing goodies for the groom and his party, the smell of sweets and savories wafts through the air, while the other half is helping the girl get ready.  

It is seldom an occasion of joy. There are protests from the girl about her choice of dress; she preferring something simple, elders suggesting something more grand. After some ultimatums and crying by either sides, a ceasefire is reached, and some go-between is suggested.

 With some amount of reluctance, girl is ready to face yet another groom. 

Scene II 

Sudden scurry of activity outside. The whole family, excluding the girl rushes out to meet the party. Some forced smiles and un-necessary pleasantries done, the party is welcomed inside. Here starts the fun. Boy’s mother starts a minute inspection of the house. From inspecting the little cracks and crevices in the walls, to the broken chips in the tile flooring. There is an immediate damage control done, either by spreading a mat on the floor, or by hurriedly placing a picture on the wall to hide crack. 

This done, men start off on some random topics like cricket , or if both the families are in the same domain of work, they start talking shop.

 The ladies on the girl’s side, usually an elder aunt or grandma starts and dominates the conversation on the women’s front. It is usually a getting to know of the backgrounds of both families, and trying to find a common link between the two families, which will become an easy reference for both.

 If there is no reference point for both the families, the talk is usually current affairs or politics.Sometimes this is dangerous too, because each person’s political view is different, and arguments may soon follow if things are not controlled. 

At some stage, suddenly, one of the women on the groom’s side realizes that the girl has not been shown to them yet.  She orders “Bring the girl, we are getting late”. 

The ladies on this side fall apart to bring the girl soon. It is at this juncture that the boy’s face must be seen. It will be a myriad mix of emotions, ranging from….”Haa, here is another one” to “God, why have I been forced into this” to “how boring! I wished my parents listened to me at least once’ to “Hey, this seems interesting”, to “Here comes the girl of my dreams” to “How I wish I could murder these people” depending on his age, experience, aspirations about his wife, his mood on that particular day and the whole process in general.

 As the girl walks into the room, she is scrutinized from top to toe. Every aspect of the girl is examined; only thing lacking is a magnifying lens. She is seated in front of this crowd of strangers whose main intention is a close scrutiny and decision of whether she will make a suitable wife to their boy or not. 

Then begin the questions to the girl: The sentences in brackets are what she would actually want to reply, but keeps mum for courtesy’s sake. 

  1. What is your name?

         Girl: XYZ (Did you come all this way without bothering to know my name?) 

    2.   What is your educational Qualification?

         Girl: B … (Why? Are you planning to give me a job?) 

    3.  What is your salary?

       Girl:…. (You want to better or match that? Or your son wants to quit his job?) 

   4.     Can you sing? C’mon, sing a song for us.

         Girl: Smiles and mumbles something like “I have a sore throat….” Or so (Why? Just in case we go  bankrupt, you want me to sing in railway stations or traffic junctions?) 

   5.    Can you thread a needle? Go ahead and thread one for us.

Girl: Doing it , looking daggers at her mother, who is giving her a pitiful look (Thinking, how she wished she could poke the needle in the groom’s eye) 

Then there is the usual question to the boy “Do you want to ask the girl anything?” The groom stammers and stutters and mumbles something incoherent to the tune of “ That’s not necessary…”or so. Both the boy and girl are stared at alternately, and both smile uncomfortably. 

By this time, the eats are brought out. The groom’s party is served a rich spread, and the ladies on the girl’s side take this opportunity to impress upon the groom and his family, the girl’s cooking prowess.  Usual dialog is “XYZ cooked all this today…” Girl is thinking that if they knew she couldn’t even hold a ladle straight, what would be their reaction.

 

After this rich meal, the groom’s family rise to leave, as though this phase of the program was most important on the agenda. The groom’s mother often leaves last, pausing to tell the girl’s side “We will let you know in a couple of days”.

After this, the groom’s party leaves, and a calm descends on the household. There is anticipation about the result. In case things turn positive, it is fine; otherwise, it is back to scene I every time.

————————————————————————————————————–

This is a program that happens across society. It does not consider social and economic status, but is common throughout India.

I feel it is time both boys and girls realized the futility of this exercise. After all, how much about the girl’s character can the groom gauge or vice versa in the 45 minutes or 1 hour that they spend in front of a dozen people?

Isn’t it high time both boys and girls opened up to their parents about any particular choice or if they are actually ready for marriage?

Can’t this whole exercise be made more informal?

The winds of change have touched everything in India, but this is one system that seems to go on and on….even 50 years from now, maybe my children will be doing this for their children.

sar1hbg.jpe

Saraswathi Namastubhyam

 Varade KaamaruupiNi

Vidyaarambham Karishyaami

Siddhirbhavatume Sadaa 

Our Saints and Poets have sung eons in her praise and we continue to follow that tradition. No academic activity begins without a prayer to Goddess Saraswathi. 

It was a practice during my school and college days to have a Saraswathi Pooja every year in school just before the examinations. It was during some time off while at work today, that my colleagues and I went back to those lovely days and remembered the Saraswathi Pujas.

 Since I was just aware of very basic details about this Goddess, decided to do some research, and the result of that research is what I am sharing with my readers today.

Goddess Saraswati is the presiding deity of the spoken word. She is considered to be Lord Brahma’s ‘maanasa putrika’ though later events led to their marriage and they began to be worshipped as the primordial couple.

Mounting on her divine vehicle Swan, she plays on Kachchapi, her Veena and is worshipped as the presiding deity of all knowledge. She resides in Satyaloka along with her consort Lord Brahma. Narada, the celestial saint is their ‘maanasa putra’.The legend has it, that once Lord Brahma utters a lie of having sighted the nether portion of Shiva Linga and Lord Shiva, who, angered by the false claim curses Brahma that his speech (Saraswati) be converted to a river. It is believed that the dry parched region of the present day Thar Desert is at one time a stretch of River Saraswati. To this day, scientists believe that the river still flows underneath the Thar and attempts are onto trace the river. At any confluence of two rivers, Saraswati is deemed to be hidden underneath and thus the place assumes the nomenclature TRIVENI. A very famous example is of the confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi as “Guptagaamini” in Prayaag, India.

Uniqueness of Saraswati:The term Saraswati envelops a vast expanse of meaning ranging from Vaagdevi, river, Veda Mata and to the giver of knowledge. The celestial mother Aadishakti manifested herself as Lakshmi, Parvati and Saraswati. Hence Goddess Saraswati is considered to be the very epitome of Sakthi or Cosmic Power.Not only mortals, but also even the celestial beings in Heaven are said to be the beneficiaries of Saraswati’s benevolence. Her shower of mercy empowers speech and all other fine arts.

 ETYMOLOGY:The word Saraswati means a string of rivers. The goddess is also known by synonyms like Braahmi, Bharati, Bhaasha, Geeh, Vaak, Vaani, Saarada, Saraswati, Maha Sookta, Kaadambari to name a few. All the letters in the alphabet are considered to be the different forms of the goddess.

APPEARANCE: Saraswati beams a very benevolent smile. She is often seated on a pristine white swan. Dressed in white she wears a garland of white pearls. She plays on the divine veena with a lace of beads in one hand a book in the other. She also adorns parrot in one hand and a lotus in the other.

Ok, this is again one of those “this happened to me” posts. “This Happened to me” was a regular feature in the Tinkle Comics I loved to read. 

Fine. Now, on with the story. 

This is not a childhood story; it happened some 8-9 years ago, in my current residence. 

There was an old man in our locality, who was an amateur tailor. He undertook stitching night-suits for kids, and general repair work of clothes, like replacing a worn zipper or buttons and so forth. He was called “Tailor Thatha” by all of us. His dress was always the same; White Pajamas and a White Shirt. He sported glasses enclosed in a plastic white colored frame.

He picked up clothes from our houses and delivered them when ready. All for a paltry fee.

He had a bad habit of sneaking in, un-noticed. Our gate is quite noisy and we like to leave it so just so that we know if someone opens it and walks in. This gentleman had an un-canny knack of opening the gate very slowly, so that there used to be literally zero noise when he walked in. Added to that, he walked without a noise. 

It was probably during summer. My aunt V, in a hurry to go out, forgot to switch on the light outside the house upstairs, and had not locked the house too.  It was around 7.00 in the evening. My Athe’s daughter A, told me to switch the light on at the bottom of the stairs and then go up to switch the light in the house and lock up the place.

I was feeling very brave and told her nothing would happen, as it was only 6.50 or so.  I went upstairs, switched the light on and locked the house and was singing and descending the steps………when I see a pair of white pajamas and white shirt climbing up slowly….advancing towards me.

 Since there was no light on the stairs, it was dark and now I was able to make out a spectacles frame too. All my bravado vanished; I stood rooted to the spot—started sweating, and my throat went dry. I tried to speak, but no words came out. With great difficulty, I said aloud “yyyy yyyy yaaru?” 

In response, I heard a familiar voice go “Nim Chikkamma ilwa”? It was then that I comprehended that it was Tailor Thatha, up to his usual tricks of sneaking in without noise. The relief I experienced is not something I can describe in words. I burst out laughing, told him she wasn’t at home and ran down the stairs, went inside the house and rolled on the floor, laughing. 

Till today, I am teased at home about this. In retrospect, it is a very hilarious incident. But the fear and the relief later is something I have never experienced later on in life. 

Why is that we have pre-conceived notions about the color white? White is the symbol of purity; it is the uniform of nurses, politicians and policemen in many parts of the world. 

 Why are we scared of white when dark? Is it because of its association with ghosts? Or are the people who wear white, ambassadors of ghosts? 

Intriguing.