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Showing posts from 2011

Paa - Revisited.

PAA - the film starring Amitabh, Vidya Balan, Abhishek, and Arundhati Naag - is a superlative film. Released in Dec 2009, it was a stupendous success film because of the greatest-ever acting by Amitabh, very ably supported by Vidya, Abhishek, and Arundhati.

I had written a blog on this film earlier. This (11 Dec 2011) evening we watched this memorable movie on a HD channel. What a film, what an acting by Amitabh. Words fail me to describe this movie and Amitabh's acting.

Last time when we watched this an year and nine months ago, Aditi was still younger - she didn't know many nuances then; now she has grown up (!) a lot, she enjoyed the acting of AB, her favourite actor. Questioned me non-stop on the dialogues, but she was immersed in the movie.

A great and memorable film. Have you watched it?


Tidbits :: The film garnered almost all the Best Acting Awards that year - for AB, Vidya Balan, Abhishek, and Arundhati Naag. Including the National Award, and the Filmf…

Vaithisvaran Koil - 27 Oct 2011

We went to Vaithisvaran Koil on 27th Oct 2011. This is our FIFTH visit since 2007.

I, Vijaya, Arun, Ashok, Neeraja, Arvind, Sowmya, Aditi, and Sriram left house at 7 AM in a call taxi for Egmore. Gayathri and Krithika couldn't come.The train (Cholan Express) left at 0820 AM. Ashok had booked our tickets in 3 AC both ways and the travel was a pleasure. 

Earlier, Vijaya, Krithika, Neeraja had prepared Idli, Lemon rice, and Thayir Saatham for our trip. We ate these on the way, and reached V-Koil by 2 PM. I had booked three rooms at Balambikai Lodge (500.00 per.)

After refreshing ourselves, we went to the temple and performed archanai to all the five Deities - Vinayakar, Swami, Ambal, Muthukumara swami, Angarakan. Returning to the lodge, we slept after a nice dinner.

Next morning, on 28th, after bath etc, we again went to the Koil and worshipped Lord Vaithyanatha Swami. Lunch at 1000, and then we left for station. The train arrived by 11-30 AM and we reached Egmore by 6 PM. Arun, Ashok, N…

Our Bangalore Visit - November 2011

We two left Chennai on Saturday, 29 Oct 2011, 1140 AM, for Bangalore. With Ashok, and Neeraja in their Ford Figo car. It was our first travel to Bangalore in car.

It was a bit sunny and bright till we reached Kanchipuram junction (1-30PM); however, once we travelled 1 km ahead, it started pouring - very heavy rain, torrential. Rains continued, no abatement, till we reached Krishnagiri. We reached house at Bangalore by 7 PM. Car travel was most enjoyable.

30 Oct 2011 - Sunday
We went to Meenakshi Mall, one km away from Ashok's house. A huge mall on 4 floors. Ashok purchased lots of things.

01 Nov 2011 - Tuesday.
At 9 AM we left for City station from where we boarded the Shatabdi Express at 1100 for Mysore. Ramani also came with us. Read about our Mysore trip in detail in a seperate post. A marriage function was there in Mysore.
On our way to Mysore in Shatabdi Express
02 Nov 2011 - Wednesday Attended the marriage at Mysore. Back in Bangalore by Mayiladuthurai Express 6-45 PM.
03 Nov 2011 - …

Marriage at Mysore - 2 Nov 2011

Mr Gokulan of Mysore is a distant cousin of Vijaya and he and his wife Jayanti Gokulan invited us for the marriage of his son Barath Narayanan with Saumya d/o (late) Suryakumar of Pune. The marriage was at Mysore on 2 Nov 2011. Both he and the bride's side are related to Vijaya, so we decided to attend the marriage, though we haven't met Gokul at all.

We went to Bangalore on 29th Oct with Ashok and from there we proceeded to Mysore on 1st Nov by Shatabdi express. Ramani also came with us. We reached the Kalyana mandapam by 1-30 in the afternoon after two hours travel. Indira and Lalitha had already reached from Chennai in the morning.

A large number of relatives were present. Many of them we meet after a decade or two; some of them we met for the first time. The relation of Vijaya with these persons is :::

Vijaya's mother is ANNAPOORANI ==> Annapoorani's father is CHELLAPPA (grandfather of Vijaya).

Chellappa's younger brother was NARAYANA IYER ==> Narayana Iyer h…

Raja Annamalaipuram Post Office

When we shifted to Karpagam Avenue six years ago in August 2005, i opened/transferred a PO account to Raja Annamalaipuram. From then on, for the past six years, myself and Vijaya used to visit this Post Office every month without fail. The post office was very near to our house,just 10-12 minutes walk.

Even when we shifted to Besantnagar and then to Kalakshetra Avenue, we continued visiting the PO every month. I paid my telephone bills every month at this PO.

Though the PO was a not a modern structure, its staff were efficient ( i have written a couple of blog-posts on this) and i got my jobs done very quickly.

Yesterday i pre-closed the account (their interest rate is too low) and today i collected the cheque. Our association with Raja Annamalaipuram PO has thus come to an end after 6 years.We came out of the PO today with a heavy heart. Thank you all the staff at the PO.

12:50 noon

KOLU - 2011

We celebrate Kolu every year and this year(2011) was no exception. We started the preparations on 28th Sep when the slotted-angles and sheets were taken down from the attic and steps (படி) were erected. The dolls were also taken from the attic, dusted, and generally cleaned. This is the first KOLU in our new, own house at Kalakshetra Avenue.
With this step over, Krithika decorated the place and arranged the dolls. Arvind took care of serial lights. Thus the Kolu started this year. Guests started coming from the next day. Aditi was ecstatic and excited.

3 Oct 2011
Today we hired a driver and we two, Krithika, Aditi went to Ambattur first. We took the Chennai bypass road to reach their house. Then to Lalita-Kumar's house at Avadi. Lunch there. Then to Vadapalani (Jayaraman-Kalyani). On our way back, we went to Mrs Saveetha's house at Adyar. She is a close friend of Krithika. Back home after 8 hours' travel.

5 Oct 2011.
Today is Saraswathi Poojai. We perfrormed it nicely and then …

Vachathi Massacre


Patients, feeble and weak hearted, those having high/low BP, and other sensitive persons are cautioned before reading further. Be forewarned.

VACHATHI. A sleepy hamlet at the foothills of the Sitheri Hills about 12 kms from Harur, in Dharmapuri Dist of Tamilnadu. Inhabited by extremely poor, illliterate Adivasis.

On June 20, 1992 (nineteen years ago) about 155 forest personnel and 108 policemen, and 6 revenue dept officials (a total of 269 personnel) swooped on this sleepy village and raided, searching for sandalwood, allegedly hidden by villagers. In the name of inquiry, villagers, mainly women, were dragged out of their homes and fields and assembled under a banyan tree where they were allegedly beaten up; then, they were bundled out to the Forest Ranger's Office in Harur where they were allegedly subjected to savage brutality.

18 women were picked randomly and were gang-raped. 103 women,including a pregnant one, were remanded to Salem Central priso…

Appa's Sraththam - 2011

Appa's Sraththam - 2011

Appa's Thithi is Aavani, Sukla, Dwadasi. This year (2011) appa's thithi came on Thursday.  08 September.

This is the second sraththam we perform at Kalakshetra avenue. Vijaya and I purchased all the items like grocery, vegetables, fruits, Vetrilai, pushpam, Vennai, and particularly Vazhai Ilai from around Thiruvanmiyur. This time too got the long variety of pudalangkaai. I purchased Vazhai Ilai from the road-side kadai near Reliance Fresh on 8th morning. Ilais were very expensive this time.

Savithri came from Hosur on the previous evening and she, I and Vijaya cut all the vegetables. On 8th, all the three of us  got up by 5-30 in the morning and Vijaya and Savithri started work. Jayaraman, Kalyani, Purnima came by 7-15. Then Saroja, and later Sugavanam.

Padma, Prakash, Rajeswari arrived by 10-30. Our regular sastrigal mama had told he wont be coming for the sraththam, so he deputed another sastrigal, Ramani by name from Mylapore. He came by 10-40  and s…

Sri Vinayakar Chaturthi

This year's Vinayakar Chathurthi was on 01 September, Thursday. We celebrated the festival at our own house, 3 Kalakshetra Avenue.

On the previous evening, Arvind and Krithika purchased the Poojai items including Pillaiyar idol. On 01st, we started decorating the poojai room. The idol was also decorated and kept ready for the poojai. Arvind and Krithika did all this, while Vijaya took care of Neivethyams and the meals. She prepared two types of Kozhukkattai (Thengai and Ellu), methu vadai, payasam.

I started the poojai at 11-30. Arvind and aditi performed. It was over by 1PM. We had lunch, phoned many relatives re poojai.

Sruti had come the previous evening and left after poojai.

02 Sept 2011

TRVG's daughter's Marriage

TR Venugopal is known to us since 1971 from our Poona days. He is now Senior Accounts officer at DMRL, Hyderabad. He performed the marriage of his daughter JANANI with Natarajan at Nanganallur Chennai on Sunday, 10th July 2011. Vijaya and I attended it.

Venugopal on the right, his wife Saraswathi on the left
We left house at 6-10 AM in Wagon-R and reached the Rama Mandiram Kalyana Mandapam at Nanganallur by 6-50. The Mandapam is just next to the Anjaneyar Koil. There we met my former colleagues at ERDL Cell, DRDL Hyd. Ganesan, Nair, Jagadeesan, Saibaba, Subba Reddy, Srinivasa Reddy, S Venugopala Murthy, Venkataramaiah, Ramakrishnaiah, Kaleeswaran, Mohan Rao, Rangarajan etc; they had come with their wives.
Ganesan and his wife Gomathi with us

NAIR (behind Vijaya) his daughter PREETHI (next to Vijaya) Preethi's husband (Airforce, Agra) is also seen.

Venkataramaiah, Srinivas Reddy, Ramakrishnaiah, ME, SVG Murthy, his wife Vijaya, Saibaba's wife, Saibaba
Ramalakshmi, now an Accts officer …


We shifted to Thiruvanmiyur on 29th May 2011. Since then Vijaya and i are "exploring" the area. First, we went to Sri Marundeeswarar Koil which is about 10 minutes walk from our house. Then, i went to the local vegetable market. Nowadays i go to this market every other day morning to purchase vegetables and fruits. This market experience is totally different from what we had at Kilpauk, Raja Annamalaipuram, or Besantnagar. I won't call Thiruvanmiyur experience is the best but it is not bad either.

On 19th June, we walked to see the Pambhan Kumaraguru Swamigal Koil, nearby. Then, yesterday, 5th July, we left house by 4-45PM and walked to Thiruvalluvar Nagar beach (Thiruvanmiyur beach.) It is 50 minutes walk, a long distance even for us ! The beach is quite nice; i had visited it four years ago and now it is totally revamped and good. We walked back to house. Earlier, on 1st July we went to Marina beach. What a difference between the two beaches!

Today we went to Marundeeswa…

We went to Madurai

MOHAN, cousin of Vijaya, fixed the marriage of his son VINODH with ANUSHA at Madurai; he and his family came to our house to invite us. Earlier he had informed about the event and asked me to book tickets for GNY family. Accordingly, I booked nine tickets by Pandiyan Express of 27th June and return tickets by Pandiyan of 29th.

Mohan - Thilaka
We two left Chennai on 27th night for the marriage. Indira, Lalita-Kumar, Mohan, Akila-Raja-Jyotsna travelled with us. Ramani and Padma manni joined us at Madurai Jn on 28th morning. Janani came on 29th morning.

The Group [Janani missing]

At Madurai the marriage was at Brahmana Kalyana Mahal, SS Colony; we were put up in Hotel Aarathy, near Koodal Azhagar koil. It was about 5 km away but bride's father provided with a van. Mohan's brothers and sisters attended the function. The marriage was celebrated in a nice manner. Vinodh and Anusha became husband and wife.

Jaana Vaasam
We went to Koodal Azhagar koil on 28th and M…

Amma's Sraththam - 2011

Amma's Sraththam - 2011

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 is Aani, Krishna Paksham, Ashtami.

This year (2011) amma's thithi came on Thursday, 23rd June. This is the first ever sraththam that we are performing at our OWN house(Flat F2, No 3, Kalakshetra Avenue, 2nd Street, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai 41). All these years we were doing it in rented houses.

Vijaya and I purchased the grocery items and Vaathiyar saamangal from Marthandam Stores, Lakshmipuram, Thiruvanmiyur. Varatti from a kadai near Marundeeswarar koil. A day before the thithi, we purchased all the vegetables, fruits incl vaazhaipazham from Thiruvanmiyur market. On 23rd morning I purchased Vaazhai Ilai and Pushpam from  North Mada Street Thiruvanmiyur. This year too I missed the Mylapore ambience. Except for blouse bits from Amudam Stores, we didn't do any other purchase…

Shifting to Own House - Arun

Arun - Gayathri booked their flat with XA realtors nearly 18 months ago, in late 2009. The plot is at Padur village, in Old Mamallapuram Road (OMR, now Rajiv Gandhi Salai) 22 kms away from Thiruvanmiyur. The registration papers were signed by Arun at Tirupporur on 19 Nov 2009(read here).

The flat was ready and the Key was handed over to A-G on 5th April 2011. Even though A-G wished to have the Gruha pravesam in Feb/March itself, the builder wasn't ready; finally the GP at the new house was performed on 17 April 2011(details here).

Once GP was performed A-G started with the woodwork (modular kitchen etc). New electrical fittings like split AC, fans, lamps were bought and fixed in the new house. Date for shifting was fixed as 4th June. As we two had shifted to Thiruvanmiyur a week earlier, we went to A-G's house (10 minutes by walk) by 10AM with lunch. We were ready but the packer didn't turn up. He promised he would come the next morning at 6 itself!

Next morning (that is, Sun…

Shifting to Own House - Arvind

We shifted from A1/14/1, "SAIRAM", 22nd Cross Street, Besantnagar, Chennai 600090 on the evening of Sunday, 29 May 2011 to our own house at Kalakshetra Avenue, Thiruvanmiyur.

This is the fifth house we have lived in Chennai since our coming to Chennai in Dec 2001. First was the Mandapam road house in New Avadi road (Dec,Jan), Kilpauk, then was the Aspiran Garden house (Feb 2002 to 30 Aug 2005) at Kilpauk, third was the Karpagam Avenue house (30-August-2005 to 28 Nov 2009), the 4th was the Besantnagar house (28-Nov-2009 to 29 May 2011)

This is a newly constructed house owned by Krithika and Arvind. The structure that was there earlier was brought down and this construction started. The bhoomi-poojai was performed on 21 Jan 2010. The ground level will be the parking place and above this will be 2 floors; the southern side will be for the erstwhile owner of the site; on the northern side, Arvind will have the 1st floor and Mr. Ganapathysubramanian (Krithika's father) will hav…

500 Posts

I started writing blog-posts on 14th July 2004. I have four blogs now - My Musings, En Ennangal (Tamil), My Grand-daughters, Sampoornam Vilas (recipes and cookery).

Yesterday - 07 May 2011 - i wrote and posted my 500th post !

Year-wise, in 2004 i wrote 14 posts.2005= 7 posts
2006= 27
2007= 71
2008= 86
2009= 129
2010= 124
2011 (07 May) = 18

I wrote the maximum about
Mylapore in 25 posts
Vishakha Hari in 24 posts
Velukkudi Krishnan in 22 posts.
08 May 2011
1000 AM

Anna Centenary Library, Kotturpuram

ANNA CENTENARY LIBARARY (அண்ணா நூற்றாண்டு நூலகம்) is a newly established State Library of Tamilnadu. It was declared open on 15th Sept 2010. Located in Kotturpuram, Chennai.
This last Sunday, 1st May 2011, we hit upon the idea - we will go and see this library. No serious reason, but a sudden whiff of fancy. Vijaya, her old classmate and friend Mrs Prema, and I left house at 3-30PM. A bus upto Madhya Kailash, and an auto thereon, left us at the gates of this huge, beautiful building at 4 PM.
From the outside, it was immensely impressive and imposing - maybe of 9 or 10 floors, exquisitely constructed. As we walked the lawns to reach the Main Entrance, the interest in us was bubbling. (Caution: Handbags, Cameras are strictly prohibited. Even waterbottles are not allowed inside the halls.) There is a 5-feet bronze statue of Mr CN Annadurai, in whose name and honour this library is built.

This is the Tamilnadu Chief minister Mr M Karunanidhi's pet project and he, as usual, has overseen t…

PS Higher Secondary School, Mylapore

Subramania Iyer was born in Pennathur, Chitoor in 1860. His father P Veeraghava Iyer was the Dy Collector in Tirunelveli when he suddenly passed away. Unable to continue his B.A studies, Subramania Iyer joined Govt service to look after the family. But he met another Subramanya Iyer who was a legal luminary those days in Mylapore. This lawyer took care of the young Subramaniam and asked him to study law.

He became a Solicitor and in due course of time became very rich. He owned a palatial bungalow in Eldams Road which was occupied by Sir Norton, Saheb Usman, Sir CP Ramaswami Iyer among others. He owned some landed properties also.

 On his death, he bequeathed his entire properties to found PS Charities, Mylapore. PS Higher Secondary School was also founded at RK Math road, Mylapore, just opposite Ramakrishna Math. PS Charities has four other schools also in Mylapore.

11:10 AM

Grand old lady of Mylapore

Last time I wrote about Sister Subbalakshmi Ammal and her great achievements in girls' education. Today i will write about another noble soul who contributed a lot to girls' education.

There was an elementary school for girls in a rented building in Mylapore, Chennai, started in 1869. Called Vizianagaram Maharaja Hindu Girls School. Later it was taken over by a committee in 1904, moved to a new premises in 1910, and still later taken over by Annie Besant in 1918. Annie Besant re-named the school as National Girls School. In 1924 it became a high school.

After Besant left the school, it started decaying. That time there lived one Mr PS Sivasami Iyer - Pazhamaneri Sundaram Sivasami Iyer (07 Feb 1864 - 05 Nov 1946). Born in 1864 to Mr Sundaram Iyer in the village Pazhamaneri, Sri Sivasami Iyer had education in Presidency College and then Law College, Chennai. Later he became the Advocate General of Madras Presidency. He was also the vice-chancellor of Madras Univ (1916-18) and Ben…

Subbulakshmi Sister

Remembering the first Hindu woman, a widow, who 100 years ago this year received the BA degree at the Univ of Madras.

A long blog for sure but worth the time -  Read on patiently.

In order to appreciate the extraordinary achievements of this extraordinary woman, first you have to visualise the background of conservative and orthodox customs of the Brahmins in Madras in those days. Widows, often child-widows, led the most pitiable lives in houses where they were treated as unpaid servants and outcasts. Their heads were shorn of hair and they wore always the white saris (9 yards)even though they were children. Forbidden to attend all festivals and forced to subsist on one plain meal a day.

It was in this milieu that a girl was born in 1886 to RV Subramania Iyer, a professor in Teachers' College, Saidapettai, Chennai. The girl's mother, Visalakshi and her child-widowed Chitty Valambal were learned and instilled in the child all that was the best in Indian culture.

The child named Su…

Egmore Railway Station

(adapted from an article in today's Deccan Chronicle)

Egmore Station came into being in 1908 as just an unimportant, wayside station. The station subsequently witnessed addition of more services. Southern Railways was formed in 1951 and then on the station grew in importance.

During late fifties and through the 60s, one could witness cars and taxis going on to the platforms of Egmore Station, stop 3 or 4 feet away from the compartment - for the passengers to get into or alight from the train and get into the car !!

Major renovation works were done in 1930s and then 1980s. First electrified line was in 1931. It was upto Tambaram only but later extended to Villupuram.

One important train from Egmore was the Boat Mail to Dhanushkodi. The service was a link from Madras to Colombo those days. Passengers alighted at Dhanushkodi, took a ferry service to Talaimannar in Sri Lanka. This popular train was discontinued when Dhanushkodi was destroyed in a cyclone in 1964.

The gauge convers…

Veda Patashala at Tiruppapuliyur

It was on 16th Feb 2011 that I received a mail from Vasu, in response to mine the previous day - re a retired teacher contributing all her retirement funds and her house for bringing up a VEDA PATASHALA at her place.

Mrs SARASWATHY AMMAL, the teacher, donated her house with its surrounding land for this noble endeavour. She was the head-mistress at Tirupappuliyur (Cuddalore) school, living in 13 / 6, Babu Rao Street in which street our appa-amma and us lived for nearly 40 years. This was a wonderful news and i wrote back the same evening, "why dont we contribute for this cause?"

Accepting my proposal, many members sent in their contributions, and we collected Rs. 7501.00 in all. On 09 March 2011, i sent this cheque to Sri SWAMINATHAR CHARITABLE TRUST, 13/6 Babu Rao Street, Tirupappuliyur, Cuddalore - 607002. Tel No 04142 - 223 0662.

It was the most satisfying moment of our lives.

13 March 2011

Note : You may send in your contribution to the above address, favouring your c…

Should the wedding guest list be pruned?

This post is prompted by a recent news that Indian Govt in considering limiting wedding guest list - to save food.

My memories flew back to 1960s when the then PM (Morarji Desai ?) brought a Govt order called Guest Control Act to limit the number of guests to a marriage. Admiitedly those days were "famine-like" and we had to save food in whichever way we could think of. In fact, during 1965-70 the entire nation lived on PORT-to-MOUTH existence - when our total requirement of wheat was shipped from USA under PL480.

Those were the days when all the eateries, big and small, used to close down their shutters from 2 PM on Mondays to next morning, under GOI's orders. No food will be available after 2. And, on Wednesdays, no rice will be served for the day - just wheat.

2011 is not 1960, we have come a long way. Food is not scarce but then over 100 million Indians go to sleep everyday hungry and malnourishment is rife. Cutting back on profligate banquets would save the nation 15% …