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Vid Dev

Musings of a music student

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women

The Red Ring

“Tan tan tana tan tan tana tan tan tada tan….” screamed my phone as the alarm rang. I just flipped it down and silenced it for another 10 minutes of sleep. “Mesha raasi neyargalukku…” I heard the tone like an echo from my house + neighbor’s TV.

Damn… Getting up to rasi palan yet again. How much ever I tried, I was never able to wake up before or much after the program is over. Somehow it is not a good idea to know how bad your day is going to be, right when you start it. Well, the days when this astrologer uncle tells is bad for me, were the ones that actually turned up pretty good. Hence the fear, you see.

Today, was a little different though. He (the astrologer uncle) went a notch up and started explaining the advantages of wearing lucky gemstones and what is the chosen color for people born under my raashi – red it seems. That afternoon my recently-turned-tech-savvy Mom was sitting online and browsing. Only when she called me to sit with her and choose, did I realize she was shopping online for red stoned jewellery.

That is how I landed up at the online website of NAC jewellers, Stylori and got reminded of the CBC contest I had enrolled in. I navigated to Jewellery -> Rings -> Gemstone. Did a filter by stone color where I chose red (as per the prediction suggestion).

Once I chose a particular ring, there were options to customise it. One in particular was in choosing the ring that fits you, that I have not noticed elsewhere. No inch tapes and all – just use your debit card! So, I clicked on find your ring size. Placed my Naturals card on computer display and resized the card image on screen accordingly. Then used an existing ring, placed it on the display in the next screen and chose the right size.

The price range setting is a little irritating though – it resets to 5k plus each time the page refreshes. I wish the webpage is modified to retain the price settings, supporting people with lesser budgets!12191449_10206698449272736_2540664704821492850_n

12036558_10206698455152883_6700538000493490922_n

Now, that the choice is done. Either I get really lucky by just the thought of buying a ring and thus win a voucher, and then use it to actually buy one……. Or I buy the ring, then get lucky and win a voucher, after which I wonder what I can buy with it! Still contemplating.

Until next,

Vid 🙂

Aboard a Raft

Rafting is the same as boating in an inflatable raft. Since the terrain is a slope, the gravity pulls the water slightly faster. Of course it is safe.

Well if you are still not convinced by the previous line, then here goes – white water rafting is an outdoor activity of using an inflatable raft to navigate different degrees of rough water, in order to thrill and excite the raft passengers. That is more interesting isn’t it? This is how it will be, the first line was just what I told to convince my parents 😛

When my friend Bhavia told me that she was going on this weekend trip to Chickmagalur with an all women group organized by F5Escapes, I decided to sign up for it as well. They had told us that rafting was an optional activity, so we pay for it separately and that the activity might be cancelled if the river is flooded. And thus, I was a little skeptic when we got into the van that took us to the rafting area.

We had a guide named Sunil who had been brought from Manali for his expertise in rafting. We were given life-jackets and a helmet and some initial instructions on how to sit, what command meant what action – forward pedaling, stop, backward pedaling. Right when we started rowing, Sunil splashed water on all of us; was it because he wanted us to get wet and accustomed, or because we were talking about how bored kayaking should be, not noticing he wore kayak as a pendant, I wonder.

As we rowed and rested, Sunil told us about his experiences and about the rivers he had rowed in India. During the conversation, a friend Jal suggested to him to not make her get into the waters. Lo! He made just that happen. Pushed her in first. Poor thing, it took her a few minutes to recover and discover that she was back in the raft and everything was alright. Motivated, we all got in. Though, I refused to believe that the life jacket will make us float and that we can’t drown even if we try to – eventually that is what happened. By the time we came to calmer waters again, I was more than eager to get in and float!

If you check out in Wikipedia or sites on rafting, you will get to know that there are grades given to white water, based on the difficulty; ours was a grade 3 stretch of river, which means there will be smaller waves and drops but it requires considerable maneuvering. Maybe that is why Sunil resorted to other ways to make things interesting. He turned the boat to face the current, and asked us to row forward. I thought I had heard the instruction wrong. Come on, won’t it be against current? But this was right next to a small drop and we were supposed to row to the swiveling water and then the boat will automatically bounce back once we stop rowing (hope you get the picture). It took me a while to figure this pattern out, but we managed to do this successfully in 2 out of 3 attempts!

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Thanks to F5Escapes for planning and making this trip happen; thanks to Bhavia for pulling me into this; and thanks to the like-minded women who came along and made it memorable.

– Until next,
Vid 🙂

Gossip, Jealousy and more

So the topic that has been frequenting me recently is, how music conveys emotions. I heard novices of classical music identify emotions to phrases being sung in a packed-hall in IIM Ranchi, I conversed about how a raga as nice Mayamalava Gowla convey pathos in a song like Manam Irangadha, I read about Atana being personified as a stealthy-caressing-gentle lover.

Initially, it is amazing. It is even a tad confusing. We cannot just map a feeling to a raga just like that. I mean, words mean nothing here, you need to listen to understand. It would be empty enough if I wrote a table down saying Neelambari is for sleeping, Mohanam is for joy, or whatsoever. Generally that might be what the raga emotes, however, it is the way a phrase is sung that actually speaks out.

In similar lines, there is this song called Adhuvum Solluval by Subbarama Iyer. It is a padam set in the raga Sowrashtram. If you ask me, I would say Sowrashtram is one of the most drab, colorless raga I ever knew. But, it has been wisely used to paint a vivid and enthralling pictures of jealousy in the said song.

The song is set like this: two women gossip about a third who is not in the scene. This lady is said to have been poor and below in status than one of the gossiper, but now she has got sudden riches and flaunts it big time, causing the jealousy.

I especially love the charanam. That is where all the drama is. She talks about how this poor girl who used to come to borrow things from her, now has a mansion with superior furniture and silk sarees filled-wardrobe; about how the house is full of help maids and she is full of pride.

It goes:

enneramum inge vandhu nagai endrum thuni endrum iraval kaetta naal poche
enakkedhiraga avalukku sanna karai itta meddhai veedundaache
unnadam unnadamaga kattilaachu medhaiyachu
uyarndha raga magamal pattu pudavayum achu
thannaivida bhagyasaali kidayadhendru ennamachu
thaniyaay irundhavalku thaadhi maargal undachu
(adhuvum solluval aval anegam solluval aval mel kutram ennadi, adiye podi)

Listen to Ms.Geetha Raja (from whom I learnt this song) sing the song, here.

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Travel with Her

Sketch by Deva
Sketch by Deva

I have come across quite a few posts on train travels, incidents and the likes, but nothing could give you the experience of travelling in a suburban train’s Ladies compartment.

I am such a lazy person that I seldom get to catch the Ladies special train in the morning. So it is one of these 4 compartments in a general train that I have to be. And everyday gives you interesting people and new experiences. You just have to be seated and observe.

Now, did I just say seated? Sorry. The time when I start is when thousand other Chennaiites start to work, hence standing with some breathing space is itself considered luxury. I sometimes wonder if we should have the elevator signs for the number of persons capacity, here too.

To add to the annoyance are those ladies who sit…. i repeat, sit in the entrances. Yes, they are travelling all the way from some remote part of Chennai, they are old, they have children, they are eating… yes the reasons are acceptable at times. But lady, when the rest of the crowd is busy finding place to even keep one foot, you can’t just sit there not budge even a bit.

When someone in public plays random songs on their mobile speaker, don’t you sometimes feel like telling them, “Excuse me, they have invented something called earphones just for this purpose, we are really not interested in listening to songs now, thank you” !? Well, when a group of women fish out their books and start singing hyms together, invariably louder than the song that you are listening on your earphones, you cant suggest that alternative either.

Then there are these hawkers selling fruits to flowers to passport covers and what not. Believe me they have a special attachment to the ladies compartment. Especially the gypsy girls who come with a wire-moulded-into-a-stand full of accessories are worth a mention. They might look dirty, but if you notice closely, you will know they have taken pains to try new hairdos, flashy skirts (though patched) and so many colors on them that would make the Hilary Swank in the National Park scene of P.S. I Love You look dull.

Forget what we mean by “rail sneham” in general, some of the friendships developed between these daily commuters are a bond for eternity. It is nice to know you can help each other out holding seats or SMSing when the train is in the previous station. There are aunties who diligently reserve a bunch of their daughter’s wedding invitation for these train friends. Such important are certain friendships. Worst case, there is at least a company to talk to through the journey.

– Until next,
Vid 🙂

Red says Stop!

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club’s CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some of us will write a post on the colors of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to the 7th of September.

I was taken to writing to this post after reading this Facebook note titled “Of Evolved Apes and its Rapes”. It was very well written and there is no need for a woman to be a feminist if guys can have such an attitude (please note that I am not talking about a female chauvinist).

Why are women always the victims of rape and molestation? How much ever you argue and rationalize on news articles, debates, facebook, blogs and what not, in the end it boils down to just one thing. There is a possibility of permanent damage for the woman involved and not the man. That, unfortunately is something irreversible. And hence people took up to protecting the treasure called woman and ended up caging them with restrictions. Don’t go out late, don’t work in night shifts, don’t wear revealing clothes, don’t socialize, don’t sneeze, don’t blink, and yeh and woh.

This inturn has led to a trend where in people believe that a guy can have a relationship before marriage and a girl cannot. But I just need clarity on whom the guy is going to have an affair with if all the girls are supposed to love only one guy, the husband. Okay, dear man, what is the state of the girl(/s) with whom you broke up? Who is going to answer for her? After all this I wonder why a girl thinks so much before agreeing to a proporsal. Duh!

As a result, the guy has to-find and woo the right girl the first time-and she accept it (stress on each phrase). During this conversation over coffee with colleagues, C1 said,”You know, this girl I know asked her friend out but he rejected it.” C2: “What is so wrong with him? Avale ketta othukka vendidhu dhaane! And this girl actually came out and asked? Eww how low could girls get these days!” I think that he has the right to say no, but the society brands her with the B-word 😦

It is easier to settle on arranged marriage to avoid all these problems it seems – something of an official dating service where parents joke about things that they otherwise scorn at. First she is made a doll in display, then she is set rules as to how to behave after marriage; but finally people say that the groom’s freedom is gone after marriage! Are you trying to say that she never had the freedom? :O

The color theme for today’s post is RED. And I am just saying STOP having cliches on women!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Blue Male-ody

This post is part of the Chennai Bloggers Club’s CBC VIBGYOR BLOG TAG where some of us will write a post on the colours of VIBGYOR each day starting 1st of September to the 7th of September.

The colour theme for today’s (technically yesterday’s) post is BLUE. Blue signifies boys right! Thus reblogging one of my old posts on ragas and men 😉

Vid Dev

“Why should boys have all the fun?”

Yeah… Even the music society is very male – chauvinistic in its approach. Why else have the composers / musicians / researchers  mostly hailed and praised the fairer sex? “…thodayla aadhi thaalatha potta… kidaikira ragam karaharapriya va shanmugapriya va sree priya va…” – see, all girl names 😉

So I thought let me try to personify the less-in-number, not-much-metaphorised male counterparts. Here goes…

  • Kalyana Vasantham – amma paiyyan (mother’s boy)
  • Mohanam – Mr. Fair and Handsome
  • Hamsanadham – casual
  • Sankarabharanam – the slow (but not dim-witted) WISE guy
  • Begada – gym body, but not the getting into fight types
  • Atana – the brawly kind
  • Behag – U. S. returned high-fi (attention getting) guy
  • Brindavana Saranga – the complete charmer
  • Kannada & Kaanada – twins.. say, Thomson and Thompson
  • Sama – lazy bones (mostly with a hangover)
  • Simmendra Madhyamam – opposite of a tomboy…

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‘Fall’acy?

My relative had written a tamizh poem and we were discussing it. The poem had a reference to how 14 parts of your body touches the ground when you prostrate in front of God. I had to ask, “male-chauvenism even in falling at feet?” FYI, atleast in Tambrahm ways, men fall entire stretch while women fall knees folded.

Dont worry, I am not going to talk about the usual male-female discrimination here. But I certainly believe that falling at someone’s feet should be the choice of each individual. Be it the wifey doing it to the husband (or vice-versa like in Piriyamanavale movie!) is a mark of respect and love that person has to their partner. Which means that it is again their choice to do so. What rights do these people around you have to ask a bride to fall at the groom’s feet during a wedding! :O

I used to attend a lot of music competitions in school. One such time, when I was declared winner in a particular category, we were asked to attend the annual function of that Sabha and the prizes will be given there. On the day, just before going to the dias, everyother elder on back stage told us… correction, compelled us to get blessings from the person who is giving away prizes. I was shocked for a minute. Then I realized that this fellow was some spiritual guru in saffron robes! 😦 Fine, but why compel? I wonder…

There used to be this temple near home that I used to visit often. An uncle there (he is no more) used to bless all the devotees coming to the temple. I have never felt a hesitation on getting his blessings ever, reason being I know him fairly well, and for sure can vouch that he will wish only well for me. And again, as it is customary in my music class, we used to sevichu-fy the teacher every class – again something acceptable because these people know better than us and are giving us their knowledge.

Whereas on this other occasion, there was a family function. There were all this relatives, cousins of previous generations and their family, all present. And right before the end, all the kids were asked to prostrate in front of all the elders! I did not even know half of them by name. So I silently tried to escape. But I was kind of forced to, and I did not want to make a fuss. But what went through my mind when I fell was – are they actually blessing me!?

Fall at the Feet :P
Fall at the Feet 😛

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Varsha’s day out

Mama woke me up telling we are all going to Mysore boo. Yeah!!!! I was going to see crocodiles and birds and tigers and lions… And Papa and Chithi were also coming. I ate porridge watching Chota Bheem. Then Papa gave me bath and Mama put on a new pink dress and pink hair band and matching chain. I thanked God for everything and fell down and prayed.

Then we started in car. Papa was driving the car and Chithi and Mama sang songs. The road was very beautiful and I saw cows, big building and color color flowers.

We stopped at a roadside tea shop where Papa went to buy water bottle. Mama and Chithi took me to the opposite grove and I saw many coconut trees. And I saw one… two… three cows. And the cows said maaa. Then Chithi showed so many lambs eating grass. They were white and black lamb also. The baby ran away but then went back to the mama lamb. One kind aunty got us a baby lamb. My mama held the baby lamb in her hands and we took photos. Then Mama gave baby lamb to Chithi. She held it and I patted and said Hi, how are you? Mama also took photos.

Then I slept all the way to Mysore. Mama woke me up to go for boating. There we waited in one long line and got into boat. The boatman said don’t touch the water, big big crocodiles come; there are eighty crocodiles in water! Then Chithi and Papa showed me three crocodiles. The crocodile was sitting on rock and it was opening its mouth and it was sleeping. Then we saw many many birds and cranes and pelican. But I wanted to see more crocodile and tiger and touch the water.thumb_COLOURBOX1274087

We wentimages one big round and got down the boat. After the the crocodile will close its mouth and wake up. Then it will jump into the water …. shhhhh …. and then it will get fully wet, and it will drink water. Then it will come out and bite you Papa, if you dont get me icecream. So Papa got me pink icecream and yellow icecream. So crocodile went back and saw the tiger and they became best friends. Then it will become caterpillar crocodile!

Mama said that we were going to goto waterfalls and Varsha will do chappi chappi in the water. Finally they took me to dam and showed me water falling (read as fountains). Then I slept on the way back home. And me, Mama, Papa and Chithi all got home happy-faced!!!! 🙂

– Until next,
Varsha (I mean, Vid 🙂 )

It just happened

I can never write like this… All I can do is reblog 🙂

tisflashpoint

Mobile phone text message or e-mail

 

The phone beeped and she quickly grabbed the phone. Little did she know that this beep was going to be valued a lot more than most of the beeps. They clicked and the conversation went on. Tons of random bits were exchanged to know each other better. They finally realized they were a great match. Finally she made the first phone call, the voice on the other end sounded so full of life. It did not feel like the first time. She fell in love with the person the same day. She values the relationship and hopes it remains forever. 

PS: picture from google images

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On ‘trans’it…

Few days ago, I had the necessity to travel by the MRTS train. Boarded it at Thiruvanmyur station and inspite of a good frequency of trains at that time, the compartment was crowded. There was this empty space near the entrance opposite to the one where the platforms usually come. I was surprised why the place was not filled, when elsewhere was totally jam-packed.

I meandered throught he crowd and went and stood there. Only then did I know why it was spacious. Apparently two trans-genders were sitting on either side and hence nobody dared to go nearby. It pained to know that people are that narrow minded. When you do not treat a fellow human being like one, what is the point in talking about values and virtues?!

That momentary thought vanished as a sound distracted me. One of them started demanding me for money. I agree I’ll respect them, but whomsoever be it has no rights to demand… mind you, not request… demand you for money. Why would I give, just to avoid the ruckus they create is it? Nevermind. I just stood still without heeding to that cursing. Well, almost not heeding. What started as blessings for a good life, slowly and gradually turned out to be pure abuses and curses on the same life that few statements before should have been prosperous (provided, all blessings turn to reality, I mean).

Finally, mouth parched, they gave up begging and turned to each other to chat. Despite the physical difference, this particular person in discussion had made it a point to look presentable. Hair neatly trimmed into a boy cut; slim fit blouse; a matching black beaded-chain on the neck; design bindi and even a tinge of makeup was visible.

Reminded me of another train journey. Mid morning and not many in the ladies compartment; I took a window seat, stretched my legs to the opposite seat, while the entire line of 12 seats near me were empty. Then in the next station, someone boarded the train, directly sat down near the entrance, when the entire train was empty. I took my legs off the opposite seat and signalled that they can occupy any of those empty seats. That was a transgender again, and the person had a facial expression that said that they rarely recieved an act of compassion from us. And inspite of offering the seat, the person went and sat down near the entrance.

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I do not know whether they fear humiliation, or accept it; or why is that we treat them like untouchables. Knowing all this, it is not really logical when you get to hear that these people are considered a blessing during weddings. Come on, is there no rationale?!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

How would you react

I chanced upon this conversation between two friends:

“How would you react if I told you I was a lesbian. Of course it is hypothetical, but still wanted to know what people would say.”

“I would say – so what, you are still a human being…”

“Really? I liked the reply…”

“Oh, come on… its not like you asked me out or something… if so, I would have told you I am straight, sorry!”

“Haha!! Of course…”

“See, if a boy and a girl who are both straight can have a platonic relationship, then why not this… Simple logic… Its like wishing someone Happy Valentine’s day or asking them to be your Valentine. They are essentially not the same.”

“I love you!”

“I love you too!!”

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Girl in the Green Scarf’s festive ensemble

“When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again. ” – from the Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Well, it is not everyday you get to shop and choose your entire attire at the same time not emptying your wallets – every girls dream. When I saw such a contest open on Indiblogger, I wanted to grab the opportunity at once 🙂

Presenting to you below, my choice of the perfect festive attire and the combination of accessories.

starting something new with Shopper's Stop
starting something new with Shopper’s Stop

Details…

  • Green Mandarin-collared poly-silk Stop Mix and Match Kurta (7254707_9463) for the tops, flaunting a trending traditional style
  • Wine-color skinny fit Cros Ladies Corduroy Pants (6991922_9667) that speaks volumes on comfort and style by itself
  • Red leather Hidesign Handbag (6548899_9607), with vintage handles; sexy and safe 😉 (I own one, and I vouch for it!!)
  • Infinity Necklace collection (6092425_9999) – Rhodium plated pewter with clear and Garnet CZ
  • Fossil Women’s Watch CH2825 (6813589_9999), having a round gunmetal dial
  • Lemon Pepper Ladies Footwear (5920801_9612) – Trendy and bold,call yourself a true fashionista

Was able to make a selection of all the above and make a collage out of it, thanks to www.shoppersstop.com. Enjoyed choosing, creating and writing for the contest, especially because all these processes were very me!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

What women get

I was triggered to write this post after viewing the video by TMK ( do check out the link given below).

TM Krishna talks on violence against women

There is already enough talk about the physical violence against women; of course, that is to be condemned. But, he speaks about how the perception of the power and control by itself should change. About how men should address their thoughts of being more powerful than women. I was reminded of the first scene of Unnale Unnale – Men and Women, they are just different.

Here, I am just letting out my frustration on “just because you are a woman/girl, you should do this way”. Surprisingly enough, the above statement does not originate from men, mostly; true, I have known a decent number of decent men. It is the ladies who are also to be blamed. They are to be blamed for having this ingrained thought and for accepting the fact that they are subdued.

And some (seemingly silly) examples of women being discriminated…

She was not allowed to play street cricket at the age of 7, with the other children, because the neighbors might say ‘something’.

She was not allowed to travel alone to watch a movie; but can be escorted by a younger cousin-brother, since there was no issues allowing him to travel alone.

She was asked to fall at the feet of her husband during Nalangu (a tradition during TamBrahm weddings). In this function, the girl and the guy have to give rice/dal, do makeup and other such stuff to each other. One of them overseeing the occasion commented, “when the guy’s turn comes, he should repeat all the girl did, but he escapes from falling-at-the feet part.. haha!”. Is it not a personal choice?

She was asked to let go of her Doctor degree certificates, if she wants to marry the guy she loves; reason being the parents spent so much on the education.

She was asked to get married soon, because with increasing age and experience, the ability to obey reduces.

She was not-chosen over her team member for a project because the supervisors wanted single, bachelor males.

What pains you is when the above instances are from lives of women you know 😦

I do not say that we have not evolved. But there is still a huge chunk of people out there who have to be brought to their senses. We can start by avoiding insignificant discrimination like the above, first. Right?

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

Male-ody

“Why should boys have all the fun?”

Yeah… Even the music society is very male – chauvinistic in its approach. Why else have the composers / musicians / researchers  mostly hailed and praised the fairer sex? “…thodayla aadhi thaalatha potta… kidaikira ragam karaharapriya va shanmugapriya va sree priya va…” – see, all girl names 😉

So I thought let me try to personify the less-in-number, not-much-metaphorised male counterparts. Here goes…

  • Kalyana Vasantham – amma paiyyan (mother’s boy)
  • Mohanam – Mr. Fair and Handsome
  • Hamsanadham – casual
  • Sankarabharanam – the slow (but not dim-witted) WISE guy
  • Begada – gym body, but not the getting into fight types
  • Atana – the brawly kind
  • Behag – U. S. returned high-fi (attention getting) guy
  • Brindavana Saranga – the complete charmer
  • Kannada & Kaanada – twins.. say, Thomson and Thompson
  • Sama – lazy bones (mostly with a hangover)
  • Simmendra Madhyamam – opposite of a tomboy, whatever that is called…
  • Bhairavam – no one can understand him!
  • Kedaram – very traditional
  • Mayamalava Gowla – Kids’ favourite, like Shakthimaan, Superman,…
  • Bhoopalam – the rooster
  • Natta – loud and stubborn
  • Sowrashtra – confident
  • Paraj – boring…
  • Darbar -the Leader

P.S: When I tried to list down the neutrally named ragas, I had to discard nearly 99% of the names that I was able to remember.

More names or suggestions are welcome!

– Until next,

Vid 🙂

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