Thursday, January 30, 2014

Angry Birds and a Happy Me!!




I never thought something angry could ever make me happy.  But these cute things called angry birds bring a smile on my face every time I see them.


It was almost a year ago that the angry voices of these angry creatures, first started being heard in my house. It was love at first sight for my then four year old and many versions of the game started appearing on my mobile like magic.


Angry Akshaj  with his angry Bird...


Though I resisted their charm initially, I eventually fell hard. I began to fight with my son shamelessly for turns to play the game. “Grow up” shouts from my husband tore through my conscience and I gave up fighting.


Now my house resembles an angry birds’ showroom, with many angry bird plush toys and angry-birds-in-real- life game sets. And when an angry- birds-in-real -life game is being played, more like a battle field.


Angry birds in real life

My son has become an expert on angry birds and if required he can write a thesis on angry birds; complete with the sound that each bird makes and their special powers.

He tells me that the birds are angry because the pigs steal their eggs and prepare scrambled eggs for breakfast. So Bad piggies indeed!


Now I am scared that hens might come screaming revenge at me because of the scrambled eggs and egg biriyanis that I make!! Phew…


Then there was this quote I found at one of the angry- birds-play-online sites.


“Angry birds are like real life. Every time you fail, there will be pigs laughing at you”


So true!! :) :)

Now we have conquered the pigs in Space, Star wars, Rio, Friends and even Seasons....

Happy me!!



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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dubai Metro Memories- Part 3: Lessons From the Japanese

Me with my Japanese Managers


Japanese people are known for their hard work. No wonder they have developed into an economic force to reckon, despite being tested by nature very frequently.
 There were many lessons that I learnt from my Japanese managers while working in the Dubai Metro.

Let me try to list a few:

 1.    Work is Worship and Company is God:
For them work is worship and the company they are working for is God. Their sincerity, their hard work and their attitude towards work as being a duty, is one thing you can’t fail to notice. They are workaholics by nature.
There was no fixed working hours for them. They came before their staff and left after they all left.
Company things belonged to the company and should not be misused. They never did and didn’t allow others to do it as well.
There was an instance, when one of the managers took his wife to the hospital for delivery via the long route. The reason was that, he wanted to see a road diversion work that had been completed, which came on the way!!


2.    Respect Elders, Women and Family:

The Japanese greet each other by bowing. Elder the person, higher is his rank and higher the respect he needed to be given. One should always bow deepest to the most senior man.

We used to stop all work and watch this greeting; when some higher official came for a visit. They bow to the like of some seventy degrees!!

There is another ritual called Meishi Kokan when the visitor presents his visiting card. The card is received with both hands, read over carefully and the information is repeated aloud and the card is placed in a cardholder with respect. They never stuff it into their pocket or purse instantly like we do. That is considered disrespectful.
Here is a video about Meishi Kokan...




Wife and Family were respected equally. My husband who worked in the same company albeit in a different section always used this to request leave. I was perpetually sick according to his office mates.
          If you are sure they won’t give you leave, follow this rule!!


3.    The Power Nap:

My managers used to take a power nap at 1 0’ clock everyday without fail. They will stop all work at one and start napping. At precisely 1.30 they will wake up without an alarm or anyone calling. We used to say that we can adjust our watches watching them. Fukayama sir once told us, it was made mandatory right from school.

4.    Eat for living and don’t live for eating:

The amount of food they eat the full day would add up to what we ate at one single meal.  Bento-ya Kitchen, a Japanese restaurant which delivered a lunch box for my manager every day. Once my manager called in to say that he was stuck somewhere and won’t be on time for lunch. He requested me to give his food to someone or if I wanted to test their food, eat it myself.

I took the parcel from his desk and sat down with my other Indian friends to eat Japanese food, in style. When I opened the lunch box, it was a pathetic sight. What lay inside would hardly fill 1/4th of my tummy. There was just a scoop of sticky rice, smoked fish and some sea weed cooked in fish sauce (which made me almost gag).
And my colleagues insisted I use the Chopsticks!! Jithu took a picture of me using chopsticks and then later emailed it to everyone.

Jithu taunted me that he won’t give even one scoop of rice from his lunch box and I think I forcefully took some and ate just to make the taste of the fish sauce go. Fish was tasty though.


5.    Work hard then Party hard:
No Japanese worked on weekends. They de-stressed for the whole week in a single day. Barhopping being the usual practice, and also music and Dance.
On Fridays the workaholics became alcoholics completely.
New Year was a national holiday as well!!

  
6.    Patriotism and Education:
They loved everything Japanese. They purchased only Japanese goods and the language they used for learning was Japanese. All their reference books were in Japanese.
Their education was thorough. They could start any design from scratch and didn’t need much reference other than the exact location readings. They studied everything thoroughly.
When it came to English, they didn’t give much importance to it.
They knew that Hindi was the national language of India and so thought all Indians knew to speak Hindi. They were taken aback when we said it was not compulsory to learn it in India and that we have more than 100 dialects spoken in India.


7.    Build Bridges Everywhere you Go:

They trusted their employees. Once you came into their good graces, you have a friend for life. They will trust your judgment, your connections and the people in your acquaintance list.
 Appointments happened mostly on recommendation and if you had a friend who was seeking a job, he was immediately welcomed.
But scorn them or betray their trust, they will never trust you again. Being Buddhists, they forgave easily but trust once gone was gone forever.


8.    Work classification:
For them, there is no work classification. They would do the work of the office boy if the condition arises.
Once, Fukayama sir spilled his tea and also the glass fell down and broke. Shards of glass were everywhere. He didn't shout for the office boy to come and clean up. Instead, he went to the store room, found a mop and broom and cleaned it all himself.
In the initial days, there was no accountant for our section and the accounting works were given to me. They told me, by doing this you learn another work, which will add to your knowledge.

They were all self sufficient. If required they could manage without any other skilled staff.
Their education was life oriented and not job oriented.
They were efficient employers. No matter how the employees were, they knew how to use them to advantage. They recognize your skills and put them to good use.



This is a Thank You post to all the Japanese people whom I have met and worked with.

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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Catharsis

The deserted roads are a boon to my current state of mind. The tears that refuse to stop pouring out of my eyes have partially blinded my vision and I have no idea where I am headed.

The night sky mirrored my life.... cloudy and dark, without even a single star.


Two hours ago, returning to my flat after an unexpected pack–up of the shoot of my serial, I had faced the worst nightmare ever possible. I had found Varun, my fiancĂ© and live-in boyfriend, in bed with my professed best friend, Kriya.


In the mega serial in which I am the lead-actress, such situations were dime-a-dozen and helped to increase our TRP. The brave ‘Sukanya’, whom I bring to life onscreen would have courageously faced the situation and thrown the two out of the flat after giving them a piece of her mind.


But I, Meera in real life, had quickly ran away like a meek lamb. My trust in love, my whole faith in humanity had suffered a huge blow.


My trusted Audi had seemed a shelter far better than any place in the world. I wished to distance myself as far as possible from the farce that my world had suddenly become.


The tyre couldn’t have chosen a better time to get punctured. Luckily, I am able to stop the car before it veered out of out of control. All around, I can see fields of sugar cane that stretched far and wide, almost to the horizon.

Gathering all my courage I decide to wait for daylight , praying all the while for a miracle.

Many horror stories about gang rapes, robbery and murder begin to pop into my mind without much ado. don't have the courage to even open the windows to let the cool air in.

“Who is that blocking our path? Arrey, Give way for our bullock cart… We don’t have all the time in the world,” a rough voice hollering wakes me up from the sleep that I had drifted into.

The first streaks of dawn are breaking but it was still dark around. I can see a boy silhouetted against the sky, seated on a heap of hay atop the bullock cart.

“Bittu…Go, ask whoever is inside to give us way. This narrow road won’t allow such lavish parking,” I hear the old man shouting to the boy.

Praying hard, I roll down my window, switching on the cabin light to enable him to see that the driver is a woman.
“Oh hanumanji…this is our Sukanyaji!. Sukanyaji, What happened? Why are you here?’’ cried the boy on seeing me.
I realize I am still dressed as Sukanya, as the shoot had suddenly been called off due to a fire on the set.
“Baba, it is Sukanyaji.. I think she is in trouble,” shouted the boy to the old man and very soon both began fussing around asking me a million questions.

Minutes later, I find myself in their cozy little home a little further down the road. Very soon, the whole village gather to see  their Sukanyaji, the bold woman  they all adore.
“But for you, I would have died months ago, after my husband left me for another. You showed me that women could live alone without a man to support her,” says Leela, the eldest sister of Bittu.
“Yes… but for you, we would not have started the garment business that has made us financially independent,” adds Sheila, their neighbor.
They tell me that they watch my serial without fail every day, from the house of the Village head, Mr. Raichand.
I am pampered with a sumptuous breakfast and the innocent talks of the villagers slowly re-kindle my faith in humanity.
By the time Bittu informs me that the tyre has been changed, I have decided the way ahead. Meera, is dead from today. Sukanya will live on.
The meek lamb was dead, the tigress was returning to avenge and take charge of her life.

  


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.


Friday, January 24, 2014

Portrait of Ryka



This is Ryka Jia Jayan, daughter of my friend from school Bindu. 

Portrait is done entirely in pencil.

 I had done this in 2012, as an advanced birthday gift to the little one.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A short Love story using photos...

Me
There I was - a cool me, enjoying the cool breeze and the warm sun....
You
I know not from where you came, but you conquered my heart!!....
We Two....

We decided never to be apart again....


We three...


Oh, God has been so kind...He blessed us with a little one just like you...



Photos using my Nokia N82 :)

(Models are plums from our garden in Kerala...)


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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Sunset in Ezhimala

Sun getting ready to bid bye

Another View

The small canoes setting out for fishing
Ezhimala beach is the nearest beach from my Village in Kerala. We go whenever we siblings get together. It is mostly fun and ends with a dinner at our favorite restaurant which is on the way.

These photos were taken way back in 2010. The last family outing with my father.
My son was seeing sea for the first time and was quite excited. My niece who is crazy about anything water related was also quite naughty.

It was a quite memorable trip.

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Random Doodle



Sometimes Random doodles turn out quite nice.

This one I had done on the back of a question booklet. I liked it so much that I decided to make it a post on my Facebook Art Page.

Now I am posting it here. :)

Kanhaiyya... A Pencil Sketch



There is no other god whose childhood has been so celebrated as that of Lord Krishna.

This is my effort to sketch the mischievous Kanhaiyya...

"Oh Maiyya More Mein nahi Makhan Khayo..."

Reference is a popular calendar photo of Little Krishna I had at home.





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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester

Mr. Edward Rochester and Jane Eyre ( Source)


I am Pilot and you might know my master, Mr. Edward Rochester from Jane's Tale.
That's me with him in the photo.
Pilot and Rochester (Source)

 When I first met Jane Eyre, in that lonely alley near our Thornfield mansion, I instantly knew that she was a benevolent being. Trust me; we dogs have a way of reading people. 

My master was talking in riddles that day about the ‘enchanted creature’ that had entered his life. I didn't have to wait long to understand that he had fallen in love with Jane, the lowly governess of his ward Adele.
I was almost sure Jane returned the feelings. I really don’t understand you, humans. If you really love someone, just go ahead and tell. Why do you people hesitate?!!

I knew that horrible lady, Blanche Ingram didn't love master nor did he.

Then Jane went to see her dying Aunt Mrs. Reeds.

Fortunately, that separation brought them nearer. My happiness knew no bounds when I found them in each other’s arms, the day Jane returned.
If only Mr. Rochester was open with her about his dreadful secret, poor Jane would have not suffered so much.

I pity the girl. Who would like it when at the wedding altar you come to know that your fiance is already married, albeit to a mad woman?!!

I didn't see her running away the next day. But I witnessed the tragedy at Thornfield later on, in which my master’s mad wife died. Sadly, master became blind trying to rescue her. 
Daily, I saw him pining after Jane.

But love has a way of its own!!

 Jane came back to my master and they married. My Master, due to her loving care, regained his eyesight partially enough to behold his first son.

I am blissfully happy as well.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.




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This has been selected as No.1 WOW post of the week...Feeling blessed!



Friday, January 17, 2014

The Rainbow in you



The Seven Chakras (Source)


Have you ever felt that certain colours effect you?
Do you have a lucky colour?
Is there a shirt which if you wear, the day turns from bad to worse?
Have you ever felt energized when you wear a particular colour dress?
The reason for this you may find right here.

When our Reiki master told us there was a Rainbow in each one of us, I couldn't wait to hear more.

He then told us about the energy centers in our body, the Seven Chakras. It is these energy centres that govern the functioning of the endocrine glands which in turn is responsible for the proper functioning of our body.


Each of the seven chakras has a particular colour associated with it. We get diseases when the energy of these chakras become imbalanced.

Together with the colour, there are also sounds associated with these Chakras. When you do the Chakra meditation you chant these sounds to awaken and energize these Chakras.

The following table will explain it in detail.
Chakra chart (Source)


Using the affirmations listed against each of the chakras also helps in healing.













Why do you think the universal dress code of Saints are either Safron (a shade of orange) or white?

Safron or orange balances the Swadistana Chakra or the Sacral Chakra which controls the emotions and intimacy whereas white, which is a mixture of all colours helps the wearer to take in the colour which he needs.
Black is a neutral colour. It doesn't harm nor does it help.

If a person starts to dislike red, it is an indication that his/her interest towards life is becoming decreased. 
Red is the colour of the root chakra which is the basis of our existence. Imbalance in the root chakra mostly leads a person into depression and even suicide.

For a person who hears this fact for the first time, it is easy to dismiss as myth. But you have to experience the energy and the changes it can manifest into your life to become a believer.

That is what I have become. A believer.
When we were being given attunement or Deeksha to Reiki, we were asked to close our eyes and just be thankful for the healing energy that would start flowing in our body after the attunement and  the healing power we were about to acquire.
My master was a seventy years old retired school master. But he could easily pass off as a fifty year old. Such was his energy that when I closed my eyes for the attunement, instead of the pitch black darkness which I expected, I could see a bright violet light moving in front of me. It was as if a powerful light beam was being aimed at my eyes. 

After the attunement session, we were asked to talk about our experience during the attunement. All of them talked about the violet light.

When we asked about it, Master said that every one has an Aura, an energy envelope around us and reading the Aura can tell what kind of person you are and what kind of job you are doing. During attunement because of the energy being channelized, the aura appears brighter and that is the cause of the light that we sees.


He talked how after meeting certain persons we instantly feel sad or distressed and how with certain others you feel a kind of calmness. How we instantly start to like certain people and hate some others. All that is caused by this energy field which surrounds us.


It was a Japanese Budhist monk Mikao Usui who had started the practice of Reiki. Our ancient scriptures mention the Kundalini Chakras and the power of meditation.
Another method which balances the energies of these chakras is Yoga.

 It is a relief that these ancient practices are now being revived world wide. 





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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rangoli time...









Festival time and time for some colourful Rangolis...


Have a great Makara sankranthi and Pongal Folks...




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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Mother!!!

Mother and Child



The first time I held you, I was scared;  how would I handle the precious bundle of joy which had suddenly become mine?!!!


Happy tears flowed down my cheek when your tiny fingers wrapped around mine and I made a thousand vows to love and protect you.


Sleepless nights, fears unknown, new lessons and new joys became mine every day; slowly transforming me into a happy and content mother.


Your toothless smiles and innocent chatters began to color my entire world, your unconditional love made my days shine bright.




Every day, you give me something new to thank the creator for and I beam with pride when you shout to the world “I love my mother!!”


This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Portrait of a Special Lady


Sunanda Nair: An Acrylic Portrait
When I started my blog this year I had decided that I will do one on a special lady whom I came to know.


This acrylic portrait that I did in 2012 of  famous dancer Sunanda Nair  holds a special place in my heart.

The portrait though is not so accurate, was what built my confidence as an artist. I had send it to Sunanda Nair, through her Facebook Fan Page just for fun.

I was not so regular on Facebook then and when I logged in next ,I had a surprise waiting .

 I had tears in my eyes when I saw that Sunanda Nair had not only posted the photo of the painting on her personal profile page but had also added me as friend. She had tagged me in it as well.

More than that, her fans were appreciating my painting and praising me !!. There were more than some 200 plus likes and many comments. I was on cloud nine literally.

Before this, the only people who had appreciated my art was my immediate family members and my nearest friends.

This was a huge ego boost to the artist in me and I will remain forever thankful to her. 

The past year and a half, I have come to see the love she showers on her students and friends through her online presence. She is an amazing and beautiful lady. She has won many awards including the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Academy award and has performed all over the world. She has devoted shishyas all over the world  who consider her their godmother.

Read more about her HERE.

You can also visit her Wiki page HERE

Watch her dance to Chaliye Kunjan mo in this video.

  




Thank you Sunanda Ji for being the wonderful person that you are. Continue to inspire millions.





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Sunday, January 5, 2014

An Awesome Weekend...

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Today, when I got up in the morning, to face yet another bleak weekend, I hadn't thought that it would be a day unlike any other.

After a furious search when  I had found the tissue in which Nancy had scribbled down the number of the salon which was giving a new year makeover at reduced rates, I still had no inkling that my life was about to change.

Nor did I think about it, when after the makeover I got into my car to drive back to my accommodation.


The makeover had included a haircut, a pedicure and manicure with an added bonus of nail art with it. I now looked like a well groomed teenager rather than the twenty five plus boring-hopeless-spinster that I actually was. The nail polish on my toes matched exactly the shade of my scarlet red peep-toe shoes.




I was busy admiring my beautiful nails after stopping at the traffic signal, when the signal changed to green.


The moment the signal turned green, horns started blaring and I began cursing all the ‘@#$#%$’ that were hollering using their horn. They can wait a few more seconds anyway; I think and deliberately delay to start my car and move away from the mad traffic.


To my dismay I hear an ominously loud thud and my car shakes from the impact. My poor little Hyundai Sandro must have suffered a blow never to be recovered from.


Looking in the rear view mirror I find the SUV which has given my Hyundai Sandro, the worst sort of caress. My temper is quite out of control and I rush out of my car like ‘Rani Laxmi Bhai’ in full battle mode, to avenge my poor car.


The owner of the BMW SUV, dressed in a cool gray suit wearing sun glasses, comes out and I drown him in a colourful and violent out pour of my foul vocabulary skills.


He keeps staring at me without a word while I fight the urge to give a punch right on his expensive sun glasses. I have exhausted my stock of expletives but he still stood like a rock unaffected by the torrent.


“Diksha..You never change!!!.. Do you?” The warm male voice that is addressing me literally bowls me over and many mushy memories begin to compile at an amazing speed in my usually idle brain.


“Karan!!! You idiot…,” I blurt out recognizing the handsome and arrogant man smiling down at me.


Amidst the blaring horns and the policeman threatening us with arrest, we somehow manage to settle our fight which had suddenly become non-existent.
Karan agrees to restore my faithful Hyundai Sandro to her former glory without much ado and I wave over his offer with much flair.


When he insists that I have dinner with him I readily agree. What else job I had?!! (Thinking back; I should have refused!!..Just to sound sophisticated!!).


But over and all the dinner turned out to be better than I ever expected.


 “Diksha..My feelings for you have remained unchanged. If you can forgive me for being the career-minded-fool that I have become, all my long cherished dreams will come true,” pleads Karan and I am speechless at his sudden confession.


Though I have dreamt often that Karan will come back to me after his goals were achieved, I had never thought it possible.

I had heard about his achievements from my friends though I had deliberately not tried to contact him.


“Please Diksha…your silence is killing me. Please say something,” says Karan with a tortured look.


“Do I need to say something?” I ask beaming at him and he takes my hands in his and lovingly kisses my knuckles.


My life was indeed changing…that too for the best.



What an awesome weekend it was turning out to be!!!




This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

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