Saturday, January 09, 2016

Day 220: Cast Aside

Cast Aside 
Image Courtesy: Google Images
















Always second and cast aside, 
I walk out before I begin to cry. 
It is hard to know the real truth, 
for sometimes I wonder why I don't belong to you. 
Is it the worth or is it just me
I know it is the big bad truth. 
Every time I shed a tear, 
there is a gap that grows an inch apart. 
It is growing up to create a wall, 
to distance not you from me, 
but to distance myself from the heart. 
Mind is troubled and lost in thoughts, 
with too many knots to tear apart. 
Will it ever be good enough?
or will the wall just keep growing tall?
I distance myself more and more
just to disappear from all this chaos. 
Always second and cast aside, 
I now walk out and never look behind. 

© Meena Arvind 

Friday, January 08, 2016

Day 219: ACK : My most favorite comic series ever


Image Courtesy: Google Images
Any kid growing up in India would have come across ACK series. Amar Chitra Katha. Simple translation of everlasting comic stories or picture stories. As a kid, I grew up reading the ACK series in English and Malayalam. Even now, the pages are so clear and vivid in my mind as if I read them yesterday. I am not sure if it is because I read them a million times or is it because I loved them really a lot that I cannot forget them.

It was founded in 1967 and published by India Book House. I remember, I always wanted to work there as a child. It was created by Anant Pai who was from Mumbai. He was shocked to watch a quiz show in Doordarshan and see that children did not have any grasp of Indian mythology but knew the Greek mythology better. That probably initiated this wonderful comic book series which focused on mythology, history, and other stories that reflect Indian culture. I am not sure if our childhood would have been as good as it was because of this beautiful series. Even though I have read almost all of the whole series (in either of the language), the most favorite was always 'Abhimanyu'. I still remember that beautiful cover and the story of that hero who died a heroic death.

This publishing house also brought out the anthology collection called 'Tinkle' which is yet another favorite of children and adult alike.

Note: Will add more research on this soon. 

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Day 218: TBT: Winter Boots

Throw Back Thursday - Winter! Yes, we have had a bad winter here this year. In fact so erratic that even the plants and grass are confused. As I miss the beautiful winter snow, here is one from the past. Circa 2015 (From somewhere else;)

Image Courtesy: Meena Arvind

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Day 217: Mozart of Madras : Happy Birthday

If I have to choose one song from the wonderful ones composed by this genius, I think I will be lost. I am sure that will be the same for every single person who loves his music. What ticks with his music is his innovation, his simplicity, and most important his very personality. Somehow, he keeps quiet, keeps it simple, and makes less noise. He creates more joy with his music itself.

From 1992, when Roja was released to this date, with Tamasha in 2015, A.R.Rahman is the man to watch out in the music world. Even though, I am glad he won an Oscar, I am not sure if that movie was supposed to have won it. Yes, he does deserve more awards for sure!

Today, on his birthday as I look back the two decades of brilliant music, I still feel the freshness as I listen to 'Kadhal Rojave' or 'Chinna Chinna Aasai/Dil Hai Chota sa' just like it was years ago. That is his magic touch. Now you can understand why I cannot pick one easily. So, here is a list of just 3 songs.

If I have to choose one that just was on my playlist. This is it :


Main Albeli by Kavitha Krishnamurthy in Zubeida movie. This is not usually played frequently but this lovely dance number has a flamenco style to it. So, here it is. Enjoy and Happy Birthday ARR! 

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Day 216: Rani Padmini : Nothing special

A simple, not-so elaborate review of Rani Padmini movie!

Rani Padmini is one of the movies in the recent times that created a lot of noise even before its release. Directed by Aashiq Abu, it had two women in central characters. This was also the first time Rima Kallingal acted with Manju Warrier. It was supposed to be a road journey movie and it was shot in the beautiful part of Himachal and northern India. For all that noise it created and all the wonderful marketing tactics, the movie was not all that great. Yes, I loved the journey, I loved watching the beautifully captured Indian terrains, the songs were good, and even the narration was kind of okay. But what I did not like was the not so natural acting by both the leads. Even though the approach was to show two women who learn from each other as they travel together, the spectrum kind of stereotyped that those who look very typical, simple, and door-next door (not that Manju looked so much like that) are not as strong as the ones who look very tomboyish. Even as we fight for the equality of gender and fight for women to stand out and not be judged for what we wear and do, we as women tend to stereotype 'who' fits the role of being a strong woman.

Well, the movie had some good thoughts but somehow the stereotypical attitude and stiff expressions and acting just made it very bland. The good part as I mentioned was the lovely locations, and of course, Srinda. She didn't have much role to play but she was brilliant even in those couple of scenes as a friend of Padmini.

Overall, it was a movie that was watchable just once and I think Manju has still a long way to go before she becomes the same old Manju Warrier, we all miss and adore. 

Monday, January 04, 2016

Day 215: Non-Stop Writing for 5 mins: Free Writing


Image Courtesy: Google Images
Today's post is going to be Free Writing: Writing non stop for 5 mins. No editing and No correction. I have given a small clip taken from this slideshare. Timer: 10:05- 10:10. I watched the timer and I tried my best to not 'press the delete/backspace'. Succeeded almost by 80% ! There a couple of typos and I left it as it is!

Image Courtesy: Google Images
So, here it goes as I had a chocolate yesternight after dinner.

Chocolates have always been my favorite. I love dark and white chocolate in particular. I try and read about the benefit of having chocolates every time I indulge in one. Yes, guilty pleasure I agree. However, after learning about mindfulness and practicing it in my everyday life, I wonder a lot about the everyday goods I use. Be it a simple bag of chocolates or the cotton clothes I wear (the winter wear too), or even the car I drive. I am mindful of its origin and its journey to where it is today. This mindfulness helps me understand the beauty of every product and how we take a lot for granted. I remember the video I watched sometime ago (I remember posting about it sometime during this 365 day writing journey). It was about how these poor farmers from Africa and other parts of the world where cocoa is cultivated remain poor and have never had a chance to test even a bar of chocolate. How sad. Nowadays as I shop for chocolate I am conscious to pick chocolates which say its fair trade or helps the endagered animals etc., so that at least I am giving back to the society with that bar of chocolate. Or so I hope at least. This is one of the best means to understand the lucky world we live in as we relish that bar of expensive and delicious chocolate. A thought for that man who toiled hard to help us get the cocoa on time for the manufacturer to make this bar. The same goes for the expensive and sometimes not-so expensive tops and pants we wear. As I shop, I pay attention to the place where it is manufactured. Every time I read a label Made in India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Peru etc., I think of those simple and poor girls and boys who toil hard in that hot and dampened buildings even without any safety. They work hard so that they can earn a single dollar for their every day living and we end up buying these and still be unsatisfied at times at the lack of clothes we have in our wardrobe. Well, may be that is why these are called vagaries of human life. We are constantly fighting a battle and war. I end this with a simple thought and prayer for these millions of skilled workers who make a lot of things easy for us in our life, even as they struggle to make ends meet. Thank you. 

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Day 214: A celebrity dinner date : Obama Sathyabama :)


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A hypothetical situation calls for a dinner date with someone who is a celebrity. Yay! That sounds good. Actually speaking, I would love to be that celebrity with whom someone else can have dinner :) But as of today, the insignificant me gets to choose someone who has made a significant contribution to the society and is treated as a special and important person in this world (or at least the world around them). So, whom do I choose? Well, that is a tricky question. Even though I have a list of celebrities whom I follow once a while, there is no one that I appreciate or love fanatically. Yes, a lot of them inspire me- a few long gone, a few still making waves, and a few who are the newbies. But I have never felt this urge to go and meet them or say hello even if I bump into them (I have mostly seen, at a distance,  Indian celebrities from entertainment industry during travel).  However, one couple have always made me want to meet with them. Now, if I happen to get a chance in the near future, I would love to meet the President and the First lady. There is something about the Obamas that make me want to say hello and have a meaningful and intelligent discussion some day over dinner. Now, if you ask me what would we discuss, I don't really know but I am sure the conversation will be about the vagaries of human life (meh!), the play and game of politics (aaavoo!), and probably something about life in general ;).

But anyways, if that scenario comes true I will be ecstatic for sure.