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Showing posts from December, 2008

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.
7 PM on 8 Dec 2008