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Prabhatha Sangeetham

Prabhatha Sangeetham

The time is 5-20 in the early morning. Marghazhi chillness pervades all around. The house is open but not lit. We enter the house and go to the hall. Suddenly, we are transported to another era, another world. The hall is aglow with more than fifty oil-lamps (kuthu vilakku, paavai vilakku etc) of various sizes in Kerala style. The fragrance from the flowers permeates through the house. No electrical lamps are lit, just these oil lamps.

There are about 20 persons sitting on mats and we join them. A singer starts her concert exactly at 5-30. “Prabhatha Sangeetham”, it is called. The melodious voice adds to the divinity of the atmosphere. No mikes, no loud speakers, no accompaniments – it is a one-to-one concert. The whole ambience is heavenly and you are in a state of bliss. The concert goes on for one hour. We leave the house by 6-35 after being in heaven for one hour.

This is the house of Mr. N Venkataraman, at Luz Avenue, Mylapore. He and his wife are holding this u…

AC Buses in Chennai

AC Buses in Chennai

In Jan 2008 when i wrote about Chennai buses, I had written that "there are Volvo AC buses too ! The charge from Central Station to Mandaveli is 20.00 in this bus, and you will see hardly one or two passengers travelling in these hi-tech buses." That was Jan 2008 and I had not travelled in AC buses in Chennai that time.

Now, after nearly 12 months, I feel that my opinion was a hasty one. If you have travelled in Chennai autos, particularly from Central Station, you will feel the cool difference of travelling in AC buses (provided you don't have heavy luggage.) It is economical too comparing Chennai autos. Earlier on 6 Feb 2008, Vijaya and I travelled in AC bus from Broadway to Mandaveli, a luxurious travel. And yesterday (17 Dec 2008) we travelled from Nungambakkam to Mandaveli, by 29C. Cool, comfortable cushioned seats, music, no crowd, a friendly-conductor, no pollution of any kind - just for Rs 18 per person. I would have paid not less than 70.00 for …

Girija Varusha Aaptikam

Girija passed away on 25 November 2007 at 5-15PM. Her varusha Aaptikam was on 10th, 12th, 13th, and 14th Dec 2008 at Chennai.

10 Dec 2008, Wednesday was the ஊன மாஸிகம். We didn't attend it.

12 Dec 2008, Friday was the Aaptika ஸோதகும்பம். We two reached Sugavanam's house by 8-45 AM. Savithri had come to Chennai on 6th Dec for these Kariyams. She, Saroja, Sudha had started preparations for cooking. One Sastrigal came by 10 AM and Sothakumbham was completed by 1040. After this Brahmin finished meals, we all ate. Then we left by 1-30 PM.

13 Dec 2008, Saturday was the Aaptika Sraththam.  We reached Sugavanam's place by 9-15. Vijaya took bath there, wore the 9-yd sari and participated in the kariyams. Sraththam started by 10-40. Over by 11-40. Today two brahmins had meals. No விஷ்ணு இலை. Then we ate. We returned by 5 PM.

14 Dec 2008, Sunday was the கிரேக்கியம். We reached Sugavanam's house by 9-30. Nava graha pooja and homam were performed. It was over by 11-45 AM. Today the mea…

Following A River

This (10 Dec 2008) morning, when I was travelling from our house to Arun's, when I saw the river Adyar in full flow after the recent inletting of the rain water, my thoughts started wandering - I thought, "if only this was a sweet-water river ! if only it was a clean river !!", "if only .. ... ..."

And when I reached Arun's house, I read in the TOI that dredging and cleaning work of the waterway has been sanctioned by the Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and the waterway would be made navigable. A good news that should hearten every Chennaiwasi.

But, Buckingham Canal of which Adyar river is but a part, was not always like this "stinking stretch of stagnant water". The canal opened in 1806 as Cochrane canal excavated by Basil Cochrane. It was over 400 km long, from Kakinada in AP.

In 1875, the canal was renamed as the Buckingham Canal after the then Governor of Madras 0 the Duke of Buckingham. A worst famine struck South India and Madras tha…

Paav Bhaaji

Paav Bhaaji is a well-known Maharashtrian dish that most of the Mumbaikars eat daily.
Yesterday (7 Dec 2008) morning when I went for a walk-cum-vegetables to KPN, I purchased green peas and capsicum - the two cheapest vegetables today - with the sole idea of preparing Paav Bhaaji for breakfast and surprising all. I purchased bread also (not the buns).

Coming home, I shelled the peas, cut capsicum, onions, poondu (garlic). I started making the Bhaaji as per my own recipe (but closely following the traditional recipe). When it was almost ready, I toasted the bread and all of us, including Aditi, had a sumptuous and tasty paav bhaaji. Two hours of work did not go waste, after all.
rajappa
7 PM on 8 Dec 2008

Our House at Kovaipudur

We had a 2-BR house at Kovaipudur, a suburb of Coimbatore, off the Palakkad highway. I purchased the one-ground land (40 x 60 feet) in 1989-90 and constructed the house in Dec 1991. It was due to the insistance of Sundaresan that I ventured into this. I knew we wont be living in this house till my retirement (which was 10 years away that time) and even after the retirement we may not live here ! So it happened to be a house-for-rentals only. Those days Sundaresan was in Coimbatore, Indira was there; but later both of them shifted.

One gentleman Mr Louduraj (God Bless him) was looking after the house, but lately he became indifferent, perhaps due to his old age. We decided to sell off the land+house. Sugavanam too has a 40 x 60 feet land, adjacent to ours, and he joined in our sell-off plan. We two couldn't get a suitable customer for the past 1 1/2 years, but our search continued. Finally, Mr MOHAN, a cousin of Vijaya - her chiththappa Krishnaswamy's eldest son - approached me…

NEFT

NEFT

Transfer of money from one account to another. No Cheques, no Demand Drafts

We can send/transfer money from one account to another (Inter Bank Transfer) conveniently, using NEFT. (National Electronic Funds Transfer). From any bank anywhere in India, to any other branch in India.

Requirements

You should have a net banking account of any bank. The bank-branch where you are having account should be a core banking branch. And you should have a mobile phone.

How NEFT works

Log into your account, choose Fund Transfer and type the details like the receiver's name, his bank branch name, and the amount. Hit the Submit button and the amount is transferred from your account to the specifed account.

You Need to know

The receiver's bank branch's IFS Code, a 11-digit alpha numeric code.(Indian Financial Systems Code). IFS code of your bank-branch is printed on your cheques. For the receiver bank-branch's IFS code there is a pull-down menu (bank's name and locality)

Security

Register …

Appa's Sraththam - 2008.

APPA's Sraththam - 2008

As I wrote earlier, amma's sraththam was on 26 June 2008. Appa's thithi is on Friday, 12 Sep 2008.

As usual this was performed at our house at Karpagam Avenue. We started purchasing the grocery items, butter, varatti etc a week earlier; the vegetables 2 days earlier.

A day before the sraththam, on 11 Sep, Padma akka, Athimber came by 7 PM, though we waited for them since 4 PM. Krithika went to Mylapore in the evening to purchase vaazhai ilai, pazham, Pushpam etc.

Vijaya and I started cutting vegetables like Pudalankai, Paagarkai, Senaikkizhangu, Vaazhaikkai, Vaazhai Thandu, maankai etc. As we had already disposed off our dining table and cots, we had to adjust Padma and athimber in Aditi's bed (arvind had gone to Goa for a week) and the Divan.

On the sraththam day, 12 Sep, we got up by 5 and started work. Jayaraman, Kalyani, Poornima were the first to arrive, as usual. Saroja, Sugavanam followed. Arun dropped Gayathri, Sowmya, Sriram at 8-15 and the…

The Dining Table

THE DINING TABLE

To designate this piece of furniture as just a dining table will tantamount to calumny and insulting. Multi-Specialty Furniture? Multi- faceted furniture? For want of a better word, let me call this dining table only.

We purchased this sea-green colored table in early 1975 at Hyderabad. For a paltry Rs. 400.00, I guess. Then Vijaya and I ran around Hyderabad to get the chairs, made to match the color of the table. We had to try hard but we did manage to get the same color. Six chairs were got made at Rs. 100.00 per chair. At last, we too had a dining table and we could sit around it for eating.

But, it wasn’t a simple plain dining table. When Ashok was months old, he would lie on the table and play with us. Then, 2 years later, in 1978 it would be Arvind to replace Ashok on the table! This legacy stopped as Arvind grew up. After nearly 28 years, in 2006, Arun’s daughter SOWMYA and then Arvind’s daughter ADITI resumed this habit. When they were about four – five months’ o…

Batata Vada

Batata Vada


Arun Vaidya is a vada seller in Dadar rly stn. Even though his vadas were selling fast and thick, one fine morning, he thought "why not take a bun (paav), split it, stuff the hot steaming batata vada inside, call it Vada Paav, and sell it?" However, he was apprehensive of the outcome, and he made just a few vada paavs.

When Vaidya started selling these ---- well, it is now history. Vada paav is today the largest selling snack in Mumbai, Pune, and other Maharashtrian places.

When I was in Pune during 1962 - 1974, my most favorite dish was batata vada and even today when I hear the name of "batata vada", I drool over it! i like it so much.

So, recently on Aug 9th when I was in Bangalore, Ashok - Neeraja offered "may we go to Jayanagar 9th Block where there is a true Maharashtrian outlet selling vada Paav, batata vada etc", I jumped at the offer and we drove there.

There I had batata vadas and I enjoyed eating it! Others had Vada Paav. Then we had Sa…

Our Visit to Hosur (2008)

Visit to Hosur. 03 August 2008
Vijaya and I went to Bangalore from 24 July to 14 August 2008. In between, we decided to go to Hosur also to see Savithri.


So, Sunday the 3rd of August, we four (ashok - neeraja) had an early lunch (at 11-45 !!) and we started in Ashok's Maruti Alto car for Hosur. We drove via Jigani Industrial Estate, Bommanasamudra Ind Estate, near Bannarghatta National Park. This road meets Hosur Road after Electronic City. It was a 42 km drive to Hosur.


Savithri was waiting for us. She is okay and fine (after her recent hospitalisation in July). She prepared tasty dosais for us. We were all hungry (at least I was) and each one of us ate 3 or 4 dosais. Savithri presented Vijaya a sari.


We left Savithri's house by 5-30 PM and dropped Savithri at a nearby temple and proceeded to Bangalore. 75 minutes' drive later we were home by 7-15 PM. Neeraja drove in the return trip.


Quite an enjoyable day.


Earlier, we went to Hosur on 27 July 2007 and 27 March 2007.


Rajappa
5 A…

Savithri and Saveetha Hospital (SRMC also) - Part 5

1 July 2008 to 9 July 2008 --- at SRMC

Prev : Part 4

For what happened on 1 July 2008, read Part 4 first.

Wednesday 2 July 2008 SRMC (2nd day) ICU

Savithri was in the ICU, 5th Floor, SRMC, Porur. We two were in hotel; took bath and came to SRMC by 7-15 AM. We both saw Savithri in her bed and she started crying on seeing Vijaya. Her condition has been diagonosed as ISCHEMIA ( loss in supply of oxygen in the blood stream) Doctors opine that she would have had this for the past two years but unaware of its existence. It has no symptoms but very dangerous and maybe fatal. Savithri's ECG was erratic. She is being treated for all these, she is responding to medicines, and she could be shifted to the Ward by tomorrow. All these were explained to me and Ramesh by a doctor whose name is also Ramesh. The Chief Cardiologist is Dr JSN MURTHY.

Today Savithri was given Keerai saatham, Rasam saatham etc for lunch and dinner. She is normal. Sugavanam came by 12 noon and left by 4-45 PM. We two left SR…

Savithri and Saveetha Hospital - Part 4

27 June 2008 to 1 July 2008

Prev: Part 3 ---- Next : Part 5

Friday, June 27, 2008 (Visit No 10)

Savithri came on June 25 (Wednesday) by 9-30PM by bus from Hosur. Ramesh received her at Guindy and brought her here. Ramesh left after meals. June 26 was our Amma's Sraththam day.

On Friday, June 27, Savithri, Vijaya, and I packed our clothes and other things and left house in a call taxi by 8-30AM. At Saveetha Hospital we met Dr Ashwin;hegot Savithri a new Medical OP card and he took us to the Gen Physician Dr Syed Ameen Ahmed. BP reading was taken 130 / 80. Dr Ahmed wanted a ECHOCARDIOGRAM taken.

(An echocardiogram (also called an echo) is a type of ultrasound test that uses high-pitched sound waves that are sent through a device called a transducer. The device picks up echoes of the sound waves as they bounce off the different parts of your heart. These echoes are turned into moving pictures of your heart that can be seen on a video screen.)

The echo was to be taken at the nearby Sri Rama…

Amma's Sraththam - Year 2008

Amma's Sraththam - 2008

Earlier, on 30 June 2005 I had written about the Sraththam. We three brothers (Sugavanam, Jayaraman, and self) perform the sraththams of our parents every year at Chennai; our elder brother Sundaresan performs at Dapodi, Pune.

Amma's Thithi comes sometime in June or July, and appa's in August or September every year. Till 29 June 2005, we were performing these two Thithis at Sugavanam's place in Thiruvanmiyur. Starting from 15 Sep 2005, we are doing it at our house at Karpagam Avenue, Raja Annamalaipuram.This year (2008) amma's thithi came on Thursday 26 June 2008. The earlier day (25 June) morning 1015, Padma akka and Athimber arrived at our house for the ceremony. Arun came at 4-45 PM and we two went to South Mada veedhi and purchased Vaazhai Ilai, pushpam, vazhaippazham and a few vegetables.We had purchased all the grocery items, butter, all vegetables, Vaathiyar Saamaankal like Varatti a week before. From Ambika Appalam Depot, Mylapore and…

Savithri and Saveetha Hospital - Part 3

9 June 2008 to 16 June 2008

Prev : part 2

Monday, June 9, 2008 (visit No 6)

Savithri came from Hosur by 6-30am yesterday (8-6-2008); she came alone, as Ramesh had left for Haridwar.

Today we three (Savithri, Vijaya, and I) left house at 0835 am for Saveetha hospital in Arun's car. I had to fill petrol (Rs 500.00) at Adyar.

At Saveetha, Dr Muthu Sekar checked Savithri and told that there is no improvement even after applying Candid for the past 10-15 days, "Surgery is the only way out," he said, and advised a series of tests - ECG, chest XRay, blood test (Liver Function Test). The last-mentioned test fees are Rs 750.00 and unfortunately we were short of this money. We took ECG (50.00), paid for XRay (100.00) but not taken since the eqpt was not working. We waited for Ramesh' friend to come and deliver us the money but he didn't come at all. Finally, at 12-30PM I took a "loan" of Rs 500.00 from the driver, paid 750.00 for the LFT, and Savithri gave the blood s…

Super-30

Super 30.

Perish the thought if you think that it is a Cricket team; it is not.

It is a coaching centre in a poor locality in Patna, Bihar. It coaches very poor but academically bright students of rural Bihar to qualify for IIT. For free.

Shri Anand Kumar was himself a bright but extremely poor student from Bihar, who couldn't pursue higher studies though offered by Cambridge University, UK. His mother used to prepare papads and Anand used to pedal his cycle to sell these in the lanes of Patna. This motivated him to help the poor students pursue higher studies.

He initiated this coaching centre in 2002 and soon another noble soul, the Additional Director General of Police, Bihar, Shri Abhyananda joined Anand. They called it Super 30 since they took only 30 students in a year for coaching. The poor students are accomodated free in the house itself, and Anand's mother, Jayanti Devi, prepares and gives
food to the students for free!

The students are given intensive coaching and guidanc…

Savithri and Saveetha Hospital - Part 2

6 May 2008 to 23 May 2008
Prev : Part 1
Tuesday, 6 May 2008. CHENNAI.

The person from Hosur came at 6-30PM and handed us the sample, and photocopies of all Reports. Sridevi's email says that we have to meet Dr MUTHU SEKAR

Wednesday, 7 May 2008. SAVEETHA HOSPITAL. (1st visit)

Vijaya and I left house by 8-30 am in Arun's car (we engaged a driver - 125.00 for 4 hours) and reached Saveetha University and Hospital after an hour's drive. 23 - 24 km from our house.

Saveetha is a Charitable Trust (Erode) that runs this University and Hospital. Started in 1986, this was affliated to Dr MGR University earlier; it became an autonomous University in 2005. Located at 162, Poonamalee High Road, Velappanchavadi, Chennai 77. Near the Bangalore by-pass road.

We travelled via Adyar - Guindy - Kathipara jn - Porur - Kumanan Chavadi - Saveetha. At the hospital, the OP registration was just 5 rupees. Dr Muthu Sekar is a Professor in the Dept of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; he was not available tod…

Savithri and Saveetha Hospital - Part 1

21 April 2008 to 6 May 2008

This is the start of a three-months long hospital saga that saw many twists and sudden turns and ended on 12 July 2008. Part 1 (total five Parts) follows:

Monday, 21st April 2008. CHENNAI

This morning we got a call from Savithri from Hosur; she said she has a growth (white patch) inside her mouth; she had consulted local dentists at Hosur. Ganesh and Sridevi asked her to go to a Dentist at Bangalore for consultation. Sridevi's akka's husband is the Dean of a Dental College and Hospital in the USA and he has suggested the name of Dr SV Kumaraswamy at Jayanagar, Bangalore.

Savithri is plainly scared. Naturally. Savithri wants someone to accompany her when she visits the doctor and she wanted to know if we have any plans of going to blr this week. We said "no plans" but Ashok and Neeraja would help her. Ashok phoned Savithri and confirmed he and Neeraja would help her.

Wednesday, 23 April, 2008. CHENNAI

Savithri confirmed that the appointment with…