Sunday, December 13, 2015

Raindropss – Responsibility . . !

The team propelled by the creative lead of Aravindh Jayabal, catalysed by a crew of young minds, fine tuned by the lady of dexterity – Ms.Raihanah Shekar is named - Raindropss. When all of us, at this juncture, at Chennai, fear of the Rain, this Team Raindropss, have started to be the change that they want to happen in the society for its goodness. And that is how, this “Annual Calendar Launch & Change maker Awards” have reached third edition, and a lot more to go!
This year – 2015 , Life time Achievement award was conferred to the Greatest legends , who have been ruling the rooster for more than eight Decades! Dr. Balamuralikrishna – A Legendary musician and Dr.M.S.Swaminathan – the Father of Green Revolution were conferred with Life Time achievement award, for the quantum of services they did, they do and they will do, for the huge amount of lives the inspired, they inspire and they will be inspiring! It is also a pride moment to realise that both the LTA awardees have been awarded the second Highest Civilian Honor - Padma Vibushan ! 
The change – maker awards were given to ten people for their yeomen services to the society, bringing in the change – being the change that they wanted to see. The award winners were , Dr.N.C.Rajamani  (VP, Astro Malasia), Dr.Gnanasambandham ( Tamil Laureate ), Dr. Valarmathi ( Scientist), Dr.Karunanithi (Chairman, Vivekanandha Institutions), Dr.Anoop( MD, Ava Cholayil), Ms.Jaishree Raveendran (Founder& ED, Ability Foundation), Dr.Santhosham (Chairman, VGP groups), Mr.Murali (Social activist, Selvalaya) and Md.Yunus ( Founder, PRO & Life saver).
Featuring the twelve achievers, Raindropss released its annual calendar for the year 2016. The funds mobilised by the calendar purchase, is used for two main causes, says Aravindh. The part of the funds from its sales will be donated to Ability foundation, towards its work for empowering the lives of differently abled People and the other, will help to bring back Namma Chennai, to its beauty by making happen the Chennai Flood Rehabilitation works.
The audiences witnessed a couple of tribute performances by Ms,Raihanah, Dr.Narayanan and Shamsudeen who dedicated their performances to Dr.Balamuralikrishna – The legendary musician. The Grand event, Anchored by Shashi had also seen many noted luminaries like Dr.Sultan Ahemed Ismail, Ms.Vani Jairam, Dr.Ushaa Eshwaran and few other luminaries as well wishers, were seen in the event.
Raindropss 3 rd Annual Calendar(2016) Launch – Maatram Theadi (Be the Change) and Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna and Dr.M.S.Swaminathan, held at Rani Seethai Hall on 12 December 2015, was a great grand success, bringing in lots of young minds, unite and serve for a noble cause.
Raindropss – Responsibility !

Thursday, October 15, 2015

From the Mouth of a Photographer !

Sometimes, we are shocked and feel bizarre when we listen to people giving strange replies. Being a Photographer, he feels he should not have got his camera ! Besides Photographer, he is also an expert in glass painting and interior design! Here is a young little chap, who brings you, surreal, and uncompromisingly original world through the visuals and his clicks. A mostly self-taught photographer, Bhoopal M knows more about the rawness of photography and has good passion to create something that others use. Bhoopal – an upcoming independent photographer, known for his simple yet creative shots, attractive frames, would share with us the journal calendar of him, how he turned to be a photographer. A cool dude, with a clear vision, says he had traveled in those days when he had to use, a mobile phone ‘Samsung POP’ to click the Oscar Hero, Dr. A. R. Rahman. If some one wonders, can a man – a celebrity, inspire a young boy in his early teens, change the course of his career on a positive note, here is the true story. 

 “I was not so good in academics. Hence a high school dropout. In 2008 November, I Had an idea to start gallery! Why not I start a gallery for Rahman sir? It was then I started learning what a computer was. How it should be used? What are search engines? etc.” Ever since Boo (as he is fondly called by his hero) met Dr. A. R. Rahman, he had the haunting feel, to collect his photographs. In the due course of collecting pictures of ARR, he felt, why not he himself take photographs and build his gallery."The moment I captured Rahman sir, in Aravaan Press meet, way back in 2011,I managed to get next to him and took a picture of him with my mobile. The man just smiled and I fell for it." Bhoopal smiles, as he continues,And Since 2014, Bhoopal is an independent photographer s highly busy photographer to put it right, with so many completed photo shoots, and a lot more in queue.

The key to unleash creativity are two: good music and good People. And Boo says, “a good inspiring music can bring the better out of one self. And true / loyal and good people and music will always get the best out of one’s self.” Things move on and cohesing music with photography gives Boo a lot more creative ideas and works. “I want all my works to be used by people. Hence I am generally user friendly creator!” When asked for his best pictures, so far, it was strange to listen to Bhoopal saying, he never had any favourites amongst the snaps shot by him ! If he had marked any one as his favourites, he would make his mind set to take pictures only in that perspective and this would definitely stop him from exploring other angles/perspectives or creative shots!

Talking of people who start to say that they are photographers, and launch their “selfies” Bhoopal says, his ideas of taking photographs are perfectly moderated with those snaps. He understands which shot took at which angle comes better by seeing the random pictures shared! Photography is very related to Music and poetry. It's suggestive and fragmentary and unsatisfying in a lot of ways. It's the art of limitation: framing the world. “Planning a shoot is another interesting factor in this field. Visiting the place before shoots, checking the lighting effects, etc, would give one person how better the shots would come. The one question I ask myself before clicking the shutter button is, “Will this  shot be the best?”” The best part in this profession is, handling rejections. He takes every rejections of his, in a positive way, works on it and makes better approaches every time. When asked why not to give an entry in the Cine industry, his says, “I wanted to join the industry by attending Photography workshops. But many people, who have studied photography and joined as assistants, as far as I have seen, could not pursue with it. I understand everybody cannot be a Perfect Photographer! So being an Independent Photographer, managing my own business, makes it all! And, I am happy about it!”  The toughest part in his business is, “people do not have patience to do leave the photographer for post procession of the photographs. They keep asking us, instantly. More a business, we also want to establish our names in the field. Post processing is very important to it. Give us some time. Also, allow us to explore our creative shots on u. We would always give you the best look of yours. So please do not compare one artist with the other!” Having shared all these, when asked for his future plans, “I have found a path to travel. I am walking my way. I have seen fountains, farmlands even graveyards in my path. But have not reached my destination. So will keep walking. After all, I am just a Young boy. So Miles to go !”

Besides all these, Bhoopal does a lot of charity works, which he doesn’t want to advertise. He visits orphanage to provide them with food and dress and donates 30% of his income every month to orphanage. While discussing the cultural richness of India, he accepts that the saddest part is the cultural deterioration in India. He feels its responsibilities of the boys to take care! Every boy should take care of his family and sisters. Everyone cannot walk into a family to say / give advices. It is the responsibility of every boy, to advice/protect his family girls. n abroad, the talents of people are nurtured to that extent that the originality is lost. In India, the talent remains in its pristine form, pure and untouched! So Let us stay connected to the country as always. 

Bhoopal’s Favorites :
1. Lens – 50mm
2. Place – journey to Venice with his best friend
3. To carry – Camera and some best music files
4. Food – curd rice
5. Music – A.R.Rahman 
6. Outfits – Shirt with T shirts
7. Friend – My Soul
8. Event – Mariaan Press meet
9. Movie – Nothing as such
10. Moment – Getting autograph on his I phone from A.R.Rahman Sir
11. Color – Black and white
12. Quote – Try to accept yourself. God made you that way for a reason. In time you will realise Why!

After an hour of interaction with Bhoopal @ Boo, I felt, he is more humane, a creative bomb and a clear visioned young boy, who can walk miles and miles to bring smiles in lot of lives. 

Unsung Hero – No longer!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Drink the juice and eat the container – Digest the future !

Food Packages, most of the times, mess up with your routine works! A worn white kurti, while opening your lunch box? To overcome this, the packaging industry has been constantly been working hard to deliver sustainable alternate systems. More substantively than cosmetic details like labels or logos, a food’s container will counsel whimsy, environmental consciousness, or engineering. Packaging provides consumers’ initial and last impressions of a product. And obviously, yes, the gluttons are getting carried away extensively by the packaging, as well.
 Global Food packaging industry is a mammoth sector that has been projected to reach a value of $310 million by 2019. Numbers suggesting positive growth in this arena is a cheerful sign; however, excess usage of plastic packaging materials is a serious environmental threat. For the alarming concern, the packaging industry has been constantly thriving to for the continuing non-biodegradable plastic usage trend.
Currently, should I say, for the last couple of years, US companies were grappling to be spearhead the "untapped market" for wrappers you can munch in along with the chocolates. The Dumbledore of food technology, Harvard wizard Dr David Edwards, has now succored to WikiCells - an edible membrane made from a biodegradable polymer and food particles - that can imitate "bottles" found in nature, such as grape skins. Point to note is that, he came out with a concept of “Breathable chocolates” Le Whif! In edible packaging platform WikiFoods, Inc. introduces to another sustainable concept of wrapping or encapsulating the foods with an edible membrane called WikiPearls.
 Loliware, a US based startup organization has instigated the edible and biodegradable cups. Agar gel (sea weed) is the key base material for these cups. Loliware is also offering cups in different flavors and colors to add some excitement for the consumers. Currently the price of 4 cups is around $11.95. Loliware being an early bird in this technology, affordability and scaling up are the key challenges according to experts.
Keeping aside, the wow concepts described, the “food – experts” are worried of certain facts stipulated as follows
o   Physicochemical and microbial stability and barrier properties of these edible membranes of different foods.
o   Scalability and acceptability for primary packaging
o   Functionality of these starches during digestion
o   Efficiency of the material to perform at range of temperature during storage
o   Are governmental regulations ready to revise the policies
After reading all these, you must also remember that edible packaging materials are not a total unhackneyed ones for us:: the ice cream eaters ! Our ice cream cones - a century old concept?

In a similar context, these could be looked similar to those dish washer tablets, which  you drop in 'wrapped' and they dissolve in the machine? Except this time the machine is you and me ? Guess, its time for our digestive systems to take up the test and show its “digestive” power ! 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Innovations Speak - Chinnikrishnan Innovation Awards - 2015

"Whatever the rich man enjoys, the poor man should also be able to afford"  This Powerful statement of the Revolutionary Visionary, made happen, "Innovations" to be acknowledged and supported for. The Visionary is none other than. Mr.(Late) Chinni Krishnan in whose memory commemorates the Chinnikrishnan Innovation Awards organized by Cavin Kare India.

It was all about innovations, Investments, Risks, social utility and Finally, success. Three such innovations, a mannequin for cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, A sanitary napkin destroying Machine and a wrapping machine for the development of weavers,  were unanimously chosen to bag "Chinnikrishnan Innovation Awards - 2015" jointly organized by CavinKare India and Madras Management Association on 9th September at Kamarajar Arangam.
Standing (L to R): Gp Capt R Vijayakumar, VSM, (Retd), Executive Director, MMA, Mr T Shivaraman, President, MMA & Managing Director & CEO, Shriram EPC Ltd, Distinguished Guest of Honour Mr Ravi Gururaj, Chairman & Co–Founder, Frictionless Ventures Pvt. Ltd, Mr P A Sekar, P A Sekar Scientific Research Center, Prof M Manivannan Merkel Haptic Systems Pvt. Ltd., Distinguished Chief Guest, Mr M M Murugappan, Vice Chairman, Murugappa Group, Mr V Ramachandran, CEO-President, Glo Life Care Equipments Pvt Ltd, Mr C K Ranganathan Chairman & Managing Director, CavinKare Pvt Ltd and Mr Terry Thomas Innovation Center Leader and Partner, Operations, Advisory Services, Ernst & Young LLP 

The event witnessed a whole bunch of technocrats and Industrialists, who were equally passionate in lifting up the others to their breed of Entrepreneurs. MM Murugappan, vice-chairman, Murugappa Group was the chief guest, Ravi Gururaj, chairman and founder, Frictionless Ventures Pvt Ltd , Terry Thomas E&Y Ltd, Cptn. Vijaykumar, C.K.Rajkumar, CK Ashok Kumar, Dr.Mariazeena and few other Entrepreneurs and Industrialists were also present at the event!

CK Ranganathan addressing the crowd, commented that Indian quality of innovation and research is on par or even excellent than the international standards . When these brains tapped for extra - ordinary innovations, can stimulate the Indian economy to reach greater heights. He was also happy that MMA has consented to jointly present the Chinnikrishnan awards from this year onwards and this entity will be surely be a unique platform in encouraging entrepreneurialism at its best.

CK Rajkumar - the brain behind the Velvette shampoos, nostalgically recalled a few memories of his father Mr.Chinni Krishnan, who was the father of Sachet revolution. Being a teacher by profession, Chinni Krishnan had envisioned that innovations would lead to betterment of life.

The crowd witnessed a fiercy - thought provoking presentation on Innovations - VUCA - how reality over took fiction and how fictions inspire the real time innovations - A spell bound presentation by Ravi guru raj, who extolled on 1X improvement strategy and 10X opportunities for employment and a good quality of life.

Mr Shivraman , president, MMA expressed his delight in having this joint organization in bringing out the fifth edition of ChinniKrishnan Innovation Awards and promised that MMA would assist hence forth. Talking about the shortlisting, Raman mentioned, there were four rounds to shortlist. Of the 200+ recieved applications, 106 were short listed on the basis of the social utility and relevance, 39 passed the first round of screening of which 17 were shortlisted after a proper technical evaluation. only 9 upon 17 were able to clear the video crew round where the entire process and the day to day activities with the innovations were captured and concepted on. Finally after all that had taken place, the three best applicants were unanimously selected as award winners. Mr.Raman also mentioned that the selection criteria was very stringent and transparent that every one should know what had happened.

Listening to the success stories. Prof.M.Manivannan, the mannequin  maker of  CPR, expressed his gratitude to his students Kanagapriya and Varathurai, who were behind his success in bringing out the mannequin that could be of social utility.

Mr.V.Ramachandran, the innovator of Napkin vending and destroying machine, gave a peice of mind to help the innovators and young budding people, to sustain the flame of innovation and not to be carried away by other influences. He also stated that, any technocrats, can work under some employer upto the age of 35 and not a day late to that and then should start on their own. they must be willing to take risk, choose the right product and bring about revolution for the cause of the society.

It was indeed a pure bliss for the audience and dignitaries to listen to Mr.P.A.Shekar - P A Shekar Scientific , who hailed from a small village and innovated a mechanical weaving machine that saved the tough times of the weavers. He said his mission was to do until he could and as far as he could.

Finally, Mr.Murugappan - the guest of the day - expressed his pleasure in witnessing the icons of innovations on a single stage. Every innovator should check if his innovation is a value for money or valued by many or both and preferably both. When Shekar innovated for livelyhood, Ramachandran for a clean and a hygenic society and Manivannan took up entrepreneurship for a service with capability of bridging Science, academics and research and utility, Murugappan explained, innovation is clearly a social process. Innovation is a complex design which comes up with a new idea and works for everyone. Innovators should connect collaborate and continue.

The grand evening of September 9, 2015, held at Kamarajar Arangam, ended with a Delicious vegetarian dinner . . .

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Raindropss – Revelations !

The evening, of Teacher’s day, celebrations and reverences were at its peak, at Hotel Savera, Chennai! When most of us were trying to remember our teachers on this auspicious day, there was a team that recognized a few educational institutions, which has made sure that the students know what their responsibilities are, as a student, as a child, as a national citizen and above all, as a wonderful human being. To honor a few of such institutions, the institutional heads, were honored with” Edupreneur Awards – 2015” !
Raindropss – a NGO founded by Mr.Aravind Jeyabal, took this initiative, to honor the teaching community, on this great day.The event hosted at Hotel Savera, by the team of Raindropss, with their Brand Ambassador Mrs.Rahainah Shekar – Musician and a more of well wishers. The evening was headed by His Excellency Dr.Rosaiah – Governor of Tamil Nadu, Justice Dr.Jyothimani.P – Judician Member, National Green Tribunal, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali – Prince of Arcot, Dr.Sultan Ahammed Ismail – Father of Vermiculture & Director, Eco Science Research foundation and Thiru APJMJ Sheik Saleem – Grand Son of Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. The evening also marked , to have a tribute, to the Missile man of India – Dr.Kalam – whose soul rested in peace a few weeks ago!
When the clock ticked 06.30pm IST, the gracious entry of His excellency was witnessed by every one in the hall, indicating the start of the event. Mr.Aravind welcomed the august gathering, showing his high respects and reverence to the teachers, on this grand day, and inaugurated the first edition of ‘Edupreneurs Award” the first edition by Raindropss, this day. His Excellency gave away the awards to, Ms.YGP Rajyalaksmi – Founder and Chair of PSBB group of schools was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award! Dr. V.Raju - Vice Chancellor VIT University, Shri Sridharan – Chancellor , Kalasilangam University, Shri Ashok Vargeese – Director, Hindusthan University, Dr.Lakshmana Prabhu -  Co Chair man, PSNA College of Technology,  Dr.Mariazeena Jhonson – Managing Director, Sathyabama University, Shri Velmurugan – CEO, Vellamal Institutions, Ms.Anusha Ravi – CEO, Park Institutions, Dr.Krishna Kumar – CEO & Secretary, Nehru Group of institutions, Dr.Karunanithi – Chairman, Vivekanandha Group of Institutions, Thiru Muralidaran – Chairman, Ethiraj College for women, And Dr.Periyasamy – Chairman Kongunadu Group of Instituions were honored with Edupreneur Awards 2015!
Ms.Rahainah Shekar gave away the presidential address in which she was mentioning about the rich legacy that India has got interms of knowledge and wisdom. India with 110 universities and about 37000 odd colleges, elusively striving to maintain the quality and standard of education on a global level despite us facing tough time in the field of education where education is considered as a matter of getting a degree alone. Sad state of affairs is that the public holds the teachers for student learning and student’s responsibility, as well. She appreciated the efforts of Raindropss in identifying, the best of the institutions and recognizes them for the service they do!  She also mentioned that she was proud to be a part of the projects, raindrops have launched so far.
Dr.Ismail, heartily appreciated the brain child of Raindropss – Edupreneur Award – 2015 and appreciated Raindropss team as a whole for such a wonderful initiative. When most of us were aware of the corporate social Responsibility – CSR , Raindropss had also innovatively brought in the concept of Student Social Responsibility and had the infotainment idea to create social awareness. Dr.Ismail also, fondly remembered that , on 25th November 1974,  started his career as a teacher, and mentioned that it is indeed a special privilege for him to be on the dias, sharing the stage with His Excellency!
Justice Jyothimani, in his speech mentioned his heartening appreciation to Raindropss for their perfect use of information technology in the path of infotainment, creating social awareness through theme songs, short films and related projects. He envisioned that the country would be facing two major problems at the IT front and at the environment front. He emphasized that it is upto the moral responsibility of the teachers to educate the youth to refrain themselves from the negative usage of IT as, misuse of Science is a Crime ! Secondly, he emphasized on the apparent proofs that we see , for the global warming. Those proofs are nothing but the evidences to show that Nature is pouncing on the human kind for ill treating her. He strongly believed that it must be from the youngsters, the responsibility should arise and protect the environment and nature and waterbodies.
Prince of arcot, His Highness Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali Sahebh, congratulated Raindropss as they, as a team , serve to GOD , by serving Humanity. He mentioned that In Islamic tradition, during their regular prayers, every man would pray to the Most Merciful – God, to forgive the sins of his parents and teachers! And, that said how reverent the teachers and parents are. He emphasized on framing a curriculum of peace based education that strives to restore the nation suffering from terrorism, religious disharmony, communal clashes etc. India being a cradle of civilization and rich cultural heritage should make attempts to show us educated in terms of dignity and decency in private and public life. He appealed to the teachers to teach the respect for nationalism, communalism for national harmony, and enlighten the kids about the quality based, value based and peace based Education and its importance.
His Excellency – The Governor of TamilNadu – eulogized Raindropss’ service to the society and the brain child of Raindropss – Edupreneur Awards 2015! He accentuated upon the research and development field in India, and described education as a key to nurture human values, build entrepreneurship trait, dynamism, self confidence and courage, asses and address problems, innovatively, on a global levels,  plan and achieve goals by risk taking and in time bound manners! He heightened the importance of glueing academics and research and the real time applications. The interdisciplinary research is the need of the hour. He envisioned having more centres of excellence, more international linkages to showcase the Research and development of the Nation.  The nation needs more researchers and scientists and teachers need to commit themselves in achieving this goal for the nation, said the Governor, as his concluding remark.
The Award winners shared their success story during the latter half of the event and it was indeed blissful to know the paths that they have travelled so far, to reach greater heights. A special mention, to the anchor, who had made sure that the timing was extremely perfect, to start and finish with!
Overall, it was an awesome show, by team Raindropss, and let us all join to wish that their newly born child Hit atleast a century of editions !
Raindropss – Revelations

Friday, June 05, 2015

#Maggi Ban

Of recent, too much of news about banning a food product that had captured the market over decades, is been aired up in the media channels. The unfounded concerns, which were supposed to be the quality of the product, is now considered hazardous, harmful, not safe for human consumption. Etc... The protests arise from different points; the blame is shouldered upon various bodies. Chaos, fear of ill health, anything and everything is around the Society, now.
Keeping aside, the taste or other issues that is been already trashed well by the media persons in the name of prime time discussion or arguments, let me pen down MY views on this issue.
To start with the “Moral” responsibilities of the actors and actress who has acted in the advertisements, frankly spill the bean out, have you ever taken a decision just because Mr.Amitab or Ms.Radhika have vouched for or have you not opted for the same just because these “celebrities” did not vouch for ? it looks sheer nonsense to comment on the “Humans” who have acted for the ads, for, it is their “Profession” to earn their bread! They need not be aware of the ingredients, make and statement of consumption and all those, which sounds crap for them! I am sure, acting mite sound odd for teachers, teaching – bizarre for lawyers, arguing – strange for drivers, etc. every profession has its own trademark cultures and habits!
I would agree to the fact that those people who are seen extolling the “Quality” of the product should be aware of what it is, because, it is their moral responsibility. But why are the commons, being carried away? There is very less accountability that is visible in India as far as food and safety is concerned. It is only after fatal incidents that one opens their eyes...and Nestle is one such incident.
So who are to be blamed? Well, first, if at all, someone is to be blamed, in my point of view, here is the hierarchy. Primarily, the scientists/inventors who have “Formulated” a ‘Edible”, “Food” substance, without keeping in considerations, the rules and safety standards. The only responsible community would be the scientific community, who need to be questioned for the formulation! ( I very well remember, I belong to the same community, as well.) Second, the testing authorities, who have granted permissions for manufacturing marketing and sales of such “pre – cooked, Heated and dried” Products, which might be of low harm to the health, are to be blamed/questioned or even arrested for that matter. Vicariously, everyone in the team are liable – the Inventor, sponsored, marketer, the analyser, regulatory authorities, everybody. The second level, lower priority comes to the non technical people like the actors, models, script writers etc,
However, in this controversial chaos, the poor and pathetic situation of the consumers, the common man, is worrying. It would be good if f at all we have a clear white paper on the part of state governments to place a clear policy on tightening their laws and enforcement on all food products....Needless to say, Much before the noodles controversy came into light, coca - cola, Oreao, and few other bread winning products for any brand, were concepted on their safety if consumed. And, I, hailing from the scientific community, do worry much about the robustness of the scientific researches, the validation of the data published and concepted upon. For, these kind of incidents, pave a platform to question “SCIENCE”, “Education” and ‘”Research” !

P.S, Sorry, my dear Scientific Community, for being so blunt !

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Random Happenings :-)

Place : CMBT. 
BUS 114. (MTC / Volvo) 
Route : Redhills to Tambram
Passenger : Perungalathoor poguma?? 
Driver: No, Tambram thaan.
P: Why you in white dress, not in KHAKI?
D: Our uniform. And, this wont go to Perungalathoor. Behind is the bus, 570S. Get into that, please.
P: No, no, no! I will come in this bus only. Drop (!!!) me at Tambram..
The Startled driver gives bewildering expression. The passenger and his wife gets in, makes their way to the empty seats.
Conductor( after a brief work at the counter comes to the bus and whistles) tickets?
P: Tambram 2
(driver explains to the conductor)
C to P: when you have a straight bus, why...
P: No, I 'like' this driver he won't make any accidents thinking of the world cup. Also good, old songs only this driver plays.. So he 'good '!
Radio in the bus : Ange Yehn intha paarvai, aiyyayayya grin emoticon

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Death - the HARSH Reality of Life

There are few incidents which I faced in life, taught me, what life can be / what life is/ What is life full of, probably! To cite a very few, the loss of my Guru, Mr.(Late). Kalluvidan Sir,  the loss of my beloved soul savior - my uncle - Dr.(Late) N.S.Hariharan and above all, the loss of a my world, should I say; my soul - My Friendly foe - My loving Brother . . 

I sat aloof lost in oblivion, looked at the sky, called the "god" for JUSTIFICATION! I fell ill all of a sudden, went to the hospital, found my physiology or anatomy functioning perfectly! But, I understood, not every disease is due to the malfunctioning of anatomies and physiologies, organs and organ systems! 

These losses have taught me a lot of things. These losses keep me developing into a completely new human being. 

Death has taught me, there is nothing so far, called, Permanent ! Nothing including the land, water (If u have read the stories about Nepal Earth Quake), You and Me ! Yes, the element of "Surety" turns out to be the element of uncertainty. Yes, I spoke to all my beloved ones, mentioned afore, the previous night or just an hour before they kicked their buckets! And, the "last" stuff these people gave me, was MEMORIES - memories that never can fade.

Cherish every moment in life and they turn to be the greatest treasure which never shall change.

Value the time spent with loved ones, for time is the costliest thing that no matter how rich you are, you can 
not have, it back. Time once spent/gone is forever!

Try to see the good in others and stop brooding over - stop COMPLAINING ! What do you carry and why, when inconsistency is the ONLY proven fact - why to prove some one wrong and hold on to grudges?

Learn to move on! Life does not stand still for you, neither does time! The death of your beloved ones is definitely a pain to you but for a third person it is just a news! Do not feed others with your sorrows. Better, you first get rid of the sorrows. Only the physique of your beloved is snatched or plucked "Mercilessly" whilst the legacy in the form of memories, good deeds and responsibilities are still here, existing, on earth, for you and me to feel our beloved one! 

I am still in my harder times, understanding very well, that, hard times are always toughest! In that case, More hard times are more toughest ! ! ! Still, I have/am bestowed with responsibilities of my lost dears, for which I have to collect myself and stand strong ! 

I kept questioning constantly "why me?", thanks to the spiritual searches and a couple of my beloved folks, my "Why me" phase got over and I realized Death is NOT A PUNISHMENT (Always) . Life is about learning. I learnt many small things which shaped my perception and my life changed.

Share a loud laugh, shed a tear, Get a hug, Cuddle with passion, forget enmity, give ur shoulders for some one to rest, embrace without hatred !

Life is short, you know well! Life is uncertain and full of challenges for you to face! 

Lots of Love, 

Riya :-) 

PS:: Let me confess, despite all these "learning / why me / memory treasure" etc., I do sob or transform into a bundle of emotions, thinking of the LOST souls, hunting for a shoulder to embrace me and console me and Every time I do not find one, as well! This confession is to state " I am ALSO A HUMAN BEING!"

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Mobile --- Bathiram --- Mobile

“Idiot are you hearing me ?” Oh this Yell turns to vain coz this guy is busy in instant text messaging.. “Beti ye sare saman lekhe aana” “Are aapki beti ithni silent hai?” “Oh the fullform of feminity, bent heads” Oh no Please don’t misunderstand, it is just that, the girls have a 3G connection and a whats app or the hike facility in their mobile. It is too hard to find out a person on road, without a mobile phone ! Such is the impact of cellular technology in the contemporary period. We had always thought what would happen if mobiles were not invented, how a day would be without a mobile, what if mobiles do not need electrical charges and all that. Here is a funny crazy creepy idiotic imagination of what would happen if the mobile phones had life.
It is about 7.00 am in the morning.  Somewhere, “Riya Wake up, Riya Wake up!” call comes. I twist, twitch and turn, realizing that I am under my quilts. Slowly, fetching my mobile, I try to activate the snooze options. And, the alarm is put to rest, for the first time. In another three minutes time, my cellular phone beeps again and the snooze drama continues.
For the fifth time, when I am about to snooze, *Crunch* my fore finger is hurt. Shocked, I wake up and realize the evil grin on my mobile phone. Blinking the shrinking eyes, I look again. Yeah that is my mobile, having life, with an evil grin!
“You will know how I am going to treat you, today, for today is my day” says my mobile. “And, you can not say to any one, that I can talk or bite you!”, it continues in a husky voice! Shocked, I plan to leave the mobile in its place, switching off. But shucks, It does not get switched off!
I get ready to rush, push and hush! By the time I refresh and get ready for the day, the crazy mobile, crunches into the cable wires. When questioned, SHE (the mobile, and from on the mobile is in feministic gender! ) replies that she is hungry and hence she nibbles the wires so as to “charge” herself up! I recall, how many times, I have drained her battery and kept her connected to the plug points always. Sad, Father Time, you know !
From now on, the trouble starts! Every time, when I get a call, I tend to answer and she lets me to do that! And, my incoming call frequency is so high that, I have to answer, officially, personally and all ly calls, kind of, continuously! But the catch that she keeps for me is, I cannot speak over her, for more than two minutes! If I do so, She gets, HOT and BITES my ear lobes! Such a lovely damsel she turns out to be! :-P ;-) Yeah, any call, NOT MORE than two minutes!
In the mid of the day, when I am at the tea club, I receive a call from my beloved, and I try to answer it! Oh my, she changes the ringtones that I had personalized and yells out a very nasty ring tone that I am now the laughing stock for my colleagues! Whilst I am answering the call, she lets out hasty squishy noises after her two minutes that all of a sudden, everybody gazes at me and I am embarrassed!
Every time when my what’s app buzzes “hey buddy, what is up?”, She gets too weird that she starts draining all the available 3G signals, either on the mobile or off the mobile ! Clearly confusing, right ? Yeah, She receives all the 3G signals in the surroundings and supplies to me, leaving both me and my Network operator systems confusing or she works strictly as if she is in a Jammer Zone! Ensuring, that my connectivity is Balanced on an average!
She gulps in now all the contact number stored in her and leaves me clueless now! Any number that is flashed in her screen is identified as unknown number ! Now, as I do not know my wife’s and girl friend’s number by heart, I have to wait, think and analyze before I send any text to any of these two people! Else, I would definitely be in soup! ! !
Every time, when I touch her, I am treated well! A bite, a punch or sometimes a lick ! Come on, please do not understand it to be so sensual! Every verbal deed mentioned above, is a form of allegations and not sensual supports!!! Every time when I try to punch in the number to be contacted, I get a punch on my face, as how, In the same shear, I punched the numbers in the dial pad!
During some emergency calls, she goes phut and dead! When I am vexed of her behavior and throw her aside, she works in full swing and is accessible to every body else ! A day, one full day, of 24 hours, My mobile has treated me as how I have been treating her, so far. The urge that I did to her, the intensity of work load that I gave to her, the way how I ill treated her, every thing, was done back to me, by my mobile.
. . .
That was a small imagination, of how mobile abuse would revert to us, if mobiles had a chance to! And, yeah I can hear you, let me give in! I am a constant and a very fast user of mobile, that I exploit the mobile to its fullest extent! Face book whats app, we chat, tang, viber, games, google, music player, video player, cameras, albums, calls, many thing and everything that could be done on mobiles, I do every day ! And I hope, that’s why I might dream like this ! ! !

PS:: Why mobile Is personalized to SHE is that, sometimes back I read some lyrics comparing River and Females, “ Nadhi Karai Thaandi vittaal, Kaadum kadalum Kollathu – Pennum padi thaandivittal Naadum veedum thaangathu “ Yeah Now mobile and female are the same. When their tempers are aggravated, the others are left mortified! ! ! 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Turning to be a Tansen Gene . . . !

A land mark institution in South India which cradled the carnatic Music culture, Tansen Academy of Music, seeks to provide Hindustani Music education that builds character and personality along with imparting a sound musical knowledge. When I met, Shri. Krishna Ballesh, the founder of Tansen academy of music, Chennai, the first question that came to my mind was, "Why the name Tansen?".

When 24 August 2006 was marked as one of the saddest days of Hindustani Music, owing to the demise of Ustad Bismillah Khan, many Hindustani lovers and musicians felt the void created by the greatest Shehnai Artist. Shri Krishna Ballesh, inspired by the musicianship of Ustad Bismillah Khan, the Shehnai Mastero, started taking music classes in memory of him. Though his father, Shri.S.Ballesh, was handling practise sessions and formal classes to almost all the contemporary artists in the music industry, Ballesh was not able to concentrate both on his recording sessions and classes. Slowly, the classes handled by Krishna, started seeing more students - the networking developed. Krishna has also taken the opportunity to visit many areas across Chennai, and even skype classes for abroad students striving to make music accessible and inspirational to the lives of very many people every where.

The surprise twist happened when Mrs.Anupama Chowdry, Wife of Mr.Chowdry.H.K(Hon' Director - IT Exemptions) walked in for one of the classes of Krishna Ballesh. She was a lady of alacrity and floored the musical sessions with pure bhakthi. It was during 2009, when she gave an idea and huge support to start a music school/ a foundation academy. The small classroom turned into an academy! And when the naming ceremony was on, huge confab prevailed. Tansen was one of the nine gems at the court of Jalaludhin Mohammed Akbar, the Mughal Emperor. He was a prominent Hindustani classical music composer, musician and vocalist, known for a large number of compositions, and also an instrumentalist who popularised and improved the plucked rabab. And hence, the final decision was, "Tansen Academy of Music" !

Classes were taken through out the seven days of the week. Online classes, Home tutions, classes at various places across chennai, and the network of Tansen genes started to get distributed across various walks of the world.

It was interesting to note people who are in different cadre club together as a clan in the name of STUDENTS. Few interesting personalities spoke about the academy, Kalai " I am lucky to be here when there are very many people waiting outside to taste the real feel of Hindustani Music" . Channi, " There are no institutions to teach, now a days, in the Guru Shishya Parampara! Our Krishna Sir and Bade Guruji (Pt. Shri.S.Ballesh) and every one in their family, do!".

When Feroz spoke his heart out, " There are no specific batch restrictions or age group restrictions to learn music from this academy. Any one can walk in to any of the classes and learn!" Ragu another proud student turned singer explained his experience in the concert - like classes which helped him to overcome his muffled voice and come out at a singer in the cine industry.

And as a final touch, there was one little student friend, who stole my heart :-) ( Cm'on! In a lighter vein, I say, but I must say, He shud be my another Lil Brother, for many reasons! How about adopting him as another brother, Lemme givva tot, if his parents have no trouble) Too much of activeness personified in one human, a cute combo of naughtiness, responsibility and shrewd nature - al together in the name of Sharath R! Hailing from a carnatic familial back ground, he proudly said,  he could feel the unalloyed form of Hindustani music and at the same time, enjoy the carnatic music too!

After talking to the students of the Tansen Academy of Music, I was left with a feel of satisfaction of having interacted with a pure breed of musicians and wished the team to grow more and render service to music!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Break your Mind set Before it breaks you ! !

Preethi Srinivasan, disliked the look of pity and sympathy in everyone’s eyes and did not want to be looked upon as a handicapped person. Of recent, Preethi Srinivasan, the founder CEO of Soulfree organization has posed me a challenge, a 20 – 20 – 20 Challenge.. .It is simple. Stay erect in a chair for twenty minutes and twenty seconds without disturbing or moving your lower part of the body. Try to take up the challenge and see, who is struggling in life more. And it took me 20 times 20 of 20 days to take up the challenge…  I learnt not to sympathize with the differently abled people but to empathize them . Kavingar Kannadhaasan, in his golden lines of poem, had mentioned, “Unakkum keeze ullavar Kodi vaazhnthu paarada Manithaa…” there are lot more of people who are suffering more than you are and hence stay blessed and cherish the blessings. (Please don’t misinterpret, when what I actually meant is, people say they “suffer” and theirs is the worst ever “suffering”, but in reality, there are people who can oversee and overcome what others stamp as “Suffering”)
Disability – Challenged – or whatever… I Happened to attend a function, Cavinkare Ability Awards 2015, where the ABLE persons were awarded for their normalcy and being normal and competing with all others. It was so good to see very many people being nominated. And the jury members were in a perplexed condition to assess who were the best in their struggles of being normal.
The function was organized jointly by C.K.Ranganathan - CMD, CavinKare Pvt Ltd, Jayshree Raveendran - Founder , Ability Foundations and a few other s partnering the noble cause. The event had eminent and famous personalities, like Dr.A.R.Rehman, Mr.Chiyaan Vikram, Ms. Bombay Jeyashri, Dr.Maria Zeena Jhonsan, Ms. Revathi, Mr. Terry Thomas.. and many more. The founder chair of ability foundations was also there to grace the event. Media partners, award presenting partners, witnessed the event which was as usual staged in a grand manner.
The special achievement award went to Mr. Ramakrishnan of Amar seva Sangh, a 80 year young man, who never dared to dream and made it into reality. When he had a dream of serving the nation by joining the navy, he was forcefully been put into a wheel chair where he couldnot sense anything below his shoulders. But, he never gave up. He started fighting against all odds, and have started Amar Seva Sangh – an institute/ Organization to support lots and lots of people and there by serving the nation! Service to Humankind is a service to the nation!
Janarthanam .K who has got creativity at its highest levels, suffered an electrocution during his early childhood! He is a mouth painter and a graphic designer by professional passion, made extraordinary attempt to break stereotypes that come along with the physical disability through accidents! He made a fruitful struggle and now, is a director of short films. He gleamed with joy and said, “I have a big dream. I want to become a big noted movie director”. All I could do is, respect his dreams which are going to become definitely true in near future.
When I find it tough to control my voluntary actions of moving about like a rag doll, in a chair or jumping here and there, and getting named as a girl of contagious energy, I was astounded to see Siddharth Taneja – who was down with cerebral palsy,
Sorry did I mean” Down”, ?! Definitely no he is UP and Moving HIGH ! In his words, “Who does not have difficulties in life? Just because I cannot use my hands I am not abnormal. I just learnt to write and work with my legs”  When few studies showed that adolescents with cerebral palsy had a lower QoL with their able bodied peers, Siddharth, proved to have on par or even a far better QoL (quality of Life) than his able bodied peers. Working for “make my”, Siddharth refused to take up special privileges that the company had offered him on the fact that he is fighting with a disorder!
Praveen Vyas, curbed to bed after a road accident, never allowed this set back to hinder his success in life. He has started a newspaper Phalodi Jayate, in his native Jodhpur which had no printing press. Today, his creation sells 1,500 copies daily. He works just by lying in his bed. He acts as a constant source of motivation to all his colleagues/sub – ordinates/employees.
She has proved that a strong determination and will is far more important than a strong body. She – the lady of alacrity and clear vision – Savitha Singh – bagged the Eminence Award that night, for supporting girl child, female empowerments, etc. She suffered an early polio attack and was kind of abandoned by the society but strived hard to set up, organize and help girls / ladies, transcending her disability!
The evening/night, was indeed an eye opener to me and almost to many others, who witnessed fashion shows by the differently abled people! Inspiring talks by Jaishree Ravindran, Revathi, added more emotions and knowledge to the evening!
Everyone has hardships they encounter in their lives, but when someone with a disability is able to overcome all of the additional faucets, a disability brings to not only survive, but to find mega success, that is an amazing thing to behold. It takes a lot of strength and a complete no-fear attitude to go as far as these highly successful people with disabilities have.
 After the full course eye – opening curtain raiser kind of sessions, questions surrounded me, literally, about the need of the hour! What on earth makes us to think that ‘we face too much of struggles, we are not comfortable,’ or what makes us wait for leading a “sophisticated” life with iOS and iP-6, and all that ? What makes us to fight with our loved ones over the viber / tang / whatsapp interfaces, about their “Privacy” settings, “Last seen” and “out of range” and all that, when there are people outside, who needs our respect and empathy; when there are people who strive hard despite the split second tragedy; when there are people who needs your support to achieve a basic QoL; when there are people who move towards success rather than succumbing to all the mishaps they faced in life – medically ! !

 Don’t you think, it is high time to change our mind sets, accept people as they are, take up the situations as they come ? Let us try to be interdependent, sharing and caring, helping each other out, ensuring the glee and bliss transcending every where, to make our Mother India or even the Planet earth, a happier place to live ? ?

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Climbing the chords #4

 We live for moments, the ones that have magic – the ones we never forget. The magical moment having its own silver lining, Moment of sheer joy, where words turn meaningless, you turn speechless, but experience bliss! For Krishna, that moment happened in life. It is in these moments that contentment resides – The moments of astonishment! Krishna fondly recalls, “Ustad ji recognized my father and called him to sit next to him. My father introduced me to Ustad ji. My eyes were full of tears, and I was dumbfounded. I did not know what to talk or how to react! I was indeed, a bundle of emotions!

My father asked Ustad ji to bless me for which Ustad Ji replied “ Mera Aasheervadh Har vakth hai inke paas, Lekin mei inko sunna chahtha hun” ( My blessing is always with him But, I want to hear him playing). This was the first sentence spoken to me by Ustad ji ! These words are always etched in my mind”, says the ecstatic Krishna Ballesh. You could feel the tears of pride and joy evoked through the craft works and words of Ustad ji, even now when he recalls about Ustad Bismillah Khan!
Krishna continues, “ My father accompanied me. After a few minutes of me playing, Ustad ji ordered his son to play Tabla as to accompany us. I played Raag Madhu Vanthi – with some alaps and chota kyaals. I was on cloud nine, when my humble little efforts were acknowledged by Ustad ji, with “Waah”, “Kya Bath hai bĂȘte”. My joys knew no bounds that day. You would have heard people saying about blissful moments or whatever. I experienced it on that day. A day to be cherished in my life forever in Golden Carpet is that day!  Guruji was kind enough to say to my father to send me with him so that he can train me. And, my father readily accepted!!”

From then on, seven and half years of training sessions on the Banarusi Gharana Shehnai style playing in Khayal Gayaki ang, Thumari ang ,Dhun and Kajri style. He has enabled him to refine technique and mastery. He performed in Ganga Ustav in Benaras & son of Ustad ji, Ustad Nazim Hussain Khan accompanied in Tabla.

Krishna proudly recalls the association with Ustad Nazzim Hussain, son of Ustad Bismillah Khan! “We were more like siblings. Sharing the same taste in music, practicing jugalbandhis on and off! When I was about to leave Benaras, I was down with pox. Husain took care of me like his kid. I felt, after Ustad ji’s death, Hussain has taken place of his father in terms of his love! “

Krishna Ballesh has been accompanying his father for the past 10 + years and has given several Solo performances in several Sabhas in India & Abroad & also performed for culturals events with his father. In Chennai,Ganayogi Panchakshara Sangeet Sammellan,He has performed with Surmani Samrat and Karnataka Rajostav Puraskar Awarde Violinist Sri. VEERASHWAR MADRI of Dilruba & Shehnai Jugalbandhi with the Gayaki Ang ,taans and tone. He has given some jugalbandhi concerts with vocalist, veena, violin, dilruba, flute, harmonium with various artists of Hindustani and Carnatic musicians.

He has performed before Dr. Gangubai hangal, Dr. Rajkumar, Swami Jayendre Saraswathi Swamigal, Dr L.Subramanium, Pt Hari Prasad Chaurasiya Maestro Illayaraaja, S.P.Balasubramaniu, Hamsalekha,Violin Maestro M.S.Gopalkrishna, P.B.Srinivas, M.S.Viswanath, G.K.Venkatesh, S.Janaki, Vanijairam, Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, M.Balamurali Krishna, Violinist Chandrasekaran, Pt M.Venkatesh kumar, Pt Shivanand Patil, Pt Vinayak Torvi , Pt Somnath Mardur,etc..
Despite all these stalwarts, performing with Ustad Bismillah Khan sir was considered to be a blessing to Pt.Krishna Ballesh. For the Shehnai King, along with his student bodies, Pt.Krishna Ballesh is organizing a tribute “Ras Barse Utsav” on April 11, 2015, In memory of Sri Sanna Bhrammana and Ustad Bismillah Khan . When your clock strikes 05.30 pm IST sharp, make your presence, to Chinamaya Heritage centre to witness the magical moments.

And that is how, Pandit Krishna Ballesh is now serving to music through his academy, Tansen Academy of Music. Yeah, I understand, how did this Engineering Graduate, founded Tansen Academy of Music, to propagate Hindustani ? Hold on for the next post,

Until then,

Lots of love,

Riya J