Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Do I have it in me?

So many ambitions & dreams,
Will they be transformed to reality?
All wishes are not granted!
Do I blame fate or is it my incompetence?
Is it a sin to desire?
Or is it an offense to aspire?
Aim for the sky says a proverb.
Scared to, as the fall will be devastating!
I wonder whether it is the attitude
Or do I really have it in me-------
To overcome my fears & obstacles
And to succeed.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

What’s in a name?

Why are we given names? Of course it is to identify each other.

Do people with the similar names have same characteristics in them? Not necessarily…

And what makes a name special? It is the person who makes it distinctive & unique.

During college, three girls in my class shared my name. Mine was a common one at that time & every third person was named so. I wanted to rename myself with a more modern & trendy name. Since my name signified & meant “Goddess of Learning” I was dissuaded not to change my name.

When I reminisce those days, I always wonder about one thing. Whose face would my friends recollect when they are reminded of my name……………
Would they remember the introvert, the extrovert or the dreamer?

Many people, nowadays, opt to change their names according to numerology. Is it really going to help them is what actually matters. But will it be possible adjusting to the new name after having lived with the old name for a very long time?

Most of us have an affinity to certain names. What could be the main reason for that? The name, could have played an important part in our lives, might have been associated with a favorite famous personality or may perhaps have belonged to our first love.

All these are just possibilities for being in love with a name. Definitely 90% of people would agree that they have an attraction towards some names.

Shakespeare said:
“What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;”

L.M.Montgomery in “Anne of Green Gables” writes thus:
“I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but I've never been able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.” 

I do not want to delve into these thoughts. All I would want to know is if I had been named differently would I have an altered personality?

Monday, 6 August 2012

Mango Rice(மாங்காய் சாதம்)

This is a different kind of rice that will appeal to your senses. The taste & smell of mango add more interest to this recipe.
1.   Basmati rice- 1 cup
2.   Raw Mango (Totapuri variety)-2 small sized or 1 big
3.   Green chillies-2 to 3
4.   Oil-3 tsp
5.   Mustard-1tsp
6.   Urad dhal-1 tsp
7.   Channa dhal-1 tsp
8.   Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
9.   Asafoetida as per taste
10. Curry leaves as per taste
11. Salt as per taste
1.   Cook the rice separately with required amount of salt.
2.   Peel the mango & grate it using a wide eyed grater.
3.   Heat oil in a pan.
4.   Splutter mustard seeds. Add urad dhal & channa dhal.
5.   When the dhals turn golden brown add the green chillies & curry leaves.
6.   Add the turmeric powder & grated mango.
7.   Next add the asafoetida. Fry till the water from mango evaporates.
8.   Add the cooked rice & remove from fire.
9.   Mix well & serve.
This rice can be served with any தயிர் பச்சடி of your choice.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Ode to the Chocolate

Why do I always crave for you?
Your alluring color,
And your delectable taste
Have made me your devotee!
I am restricted to meet you
But I cannot elude you.
Your aroma makes me dazed
And I forget myself in your taste.
Oh dear chocolate…….
When can I openly relish you??!!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Let us lend a hand

What is the reason for increasing suicidal tendencies in youth?
Increased expectations from parents paired with academic pressure have burdened them. Suicide is the dangerous step taken by the students in an attempt to end their distress after failing in their quest for academic excellence.
Other reasons for suicide could be failure or rejection by the society & not for monetary reasons as it was earlier. Generation gap also plays a vital role in compelling them to take the drastic step.   Stress, confusion, insecurity, and pressure to succeed can be overpowering to teenagers.
In this age youth are exposed to a variety of distractions. Social websites are plenty. Wrong friends, unwanted relationships also force them to take painful decisions as they are not able to digest failure from any angle.
Today’s youths are unable to control their emotions. When they do not get the expected results, future appears bleak. Unable to handle the pressure, they resort to the extreme step.
Parents are busy with their own professional lives & they hardly find time for their children’s problems. In today’s nuclear families, parents and kids spend limited time together. Children are not getting proper socialization resulting in the inability to tackle challenges of life. Loneliness and the inability to discuss their problem lead them to take the extreme step.
 Youngsters today do not engage themselves in any physical activity. Most of them spend their time watching TV, movies or playing video games at the air conditioned comfort of their home. They are unable to tolerate any discomfort & get irritated by the simplest of things.
This generation is going through a bout of attitude problems & it is high time they are educated about true values in life. Parents should also spend quality time with the children to understand their problems. Meditation, counseling & sports will definitely aid in boosting the confidence & morale of these children.
As parents it is our moral duty to support our children whenever required. Let us try to find hidden talents in them rather than compelling them to pursue something of our choice. Parents should also not follow a military environment at home. We are dealing with kids & not machines. Let us be more broad-minded in our views when handling our children.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Simple Rasam

After 3 literary posts I decided to explore my cooking expertise. I wanted to post a “sweet” recipe but ended up with this “Rasam” as "ரசம் இல்லாமல் வாழ்வில் ரசம் இல்லை."
·         Tuvar dhal-3 tsp
·         Whole dhania-1 ½ tsp
·         Pepper corns-1 tsp
·         Jeera- 1tsp
·         Red chillies-2
Pressure cook the above mentioned ingredients & grind to a smooth paste.
·         Turmeric powder=1/2 tsp
·         Asafoetida- a few pinches/according to taste
·         Tamarind-size of medium sized lemon
·         Tomato-1 ripe
·         Salt to taste
For Garnishing:
·         Ghee-1 tsp
·         Mustard-1 tsp
·         Jeera-1/2 tsp
·         Curry leaves- a few
·         Dhania leaves- a few
·         Soak tamarind in water & extract. Mix with water to make 2 cups.
·         Chop tomatoes finely & add them to the tamarind water. Add asafoetida, salt & turmeric powder & allow it to boil.
·         Once the raw taste & smell of tamarind disappears, add the ground paste. Dilute the rasam according to taste.
·         Once the rasam froths up remove from fire.
·         Garnish with curry & dhania leaves.
·         Heat ghee. Splutter mustard seeds & jeera.
·         Add the same to the rasam.
·         The rasam is now ready.
Rasam can be served with hot rice & any curry of your choice.The given quantity can serve up to 3 persons.

Monday, 30 July 2012

For the Love of Music

In this monotonous & fast world, few things bring happiness into the, otherwise, mundane life. Music is one such thing. Friedrich Nietzsche in Twilight of the Idols wrote “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
   Wikipedia defines music thus:
      “Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch (which governs melody and harmony), rhythm (and its associated concepts tempo, meter, and articulation), dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture. The word derives from Greek μουσική (mousike; "art of the Muses").”

Music is a universal language & everybody relates to it. Though interests & choices vary, all human beings enjoy music.

My rendezvous with music began thirty years back when I started learning Indian Classical music. Though not very keen at that age, I was compulsorily asked to attend the classes. Here I would like to mention that majority of my clan (my grandparents, father, mother, aunt & cousins) could sing which made music classes more demanding as the need to excel was challenging for me. As I grew older, my fascination towards music grew with me. I became an avid listener, thanks to my grandfather, who had an awesome collection of records.

I was introduced to the likes of Lata Mangheskar, Mohd Rafi, Kishore Kumar through his records. The thirst towards music was immense & I started savoring the music of Maestro Illayaraaja at this stage. I grew & my world sprouted, matured, and flourished listening to his music.

His music was my consort & has travelled with me through my good and bad times. All emotions, ranging from elation to despair, pride to humility was related with his music.

I also learnt to appreciate the nuances of classical music during this period. The search for soulful music introduced me to the melodies of Bombay Jayashree & Unnikrishnan(not many people would agree with my choices but I have always found solace in their music).

However, as a music lover I have not been able to relate to Western Music. Some of them have indeed captivated me but the majority I failed to understand. Is it my ignorance or my refusal to embrace anything other than Indian music?

The music that we listen to now has evolved through lot of revolutions & innovations. It is the new voice of music. Though the changes have been impressive & remarkable, I fail to comprehend them & my heart still yearns for “Illayaraaja”.

Certain new musicians do create magic but it fails to stand the test of time. Among the recent musicians A.R. Rehman & Vidyasagar have enthralled their fans with their music. The former of the two has indeed revolutionized music & made the country proud with his achievements.

Since my childhood days I have been accustomed to a particular kind of music which has filled each cell of my body & I cannot distil the same from my blood.

By writing this I do not wish to glorify a particular artiste or demean another. It is just an opinion which I wanted to share. Music is still my companion & has helped me to overcome stress & eased my mind.

I would like to conclude by quoting Shakespeare:

"The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils."

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Children with ADHD, LD & their parents

Life can be tough, taxing & stressful if you have a kid with ADHD & learning difficulty. The children with this problem also face a lot of difficulty as they struggle at school & find it difficult adjusting themselves to the complexities & demands of life.
Let us first understand what ADHD really means. So many things have been written about & discussed about this problem. ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder in children can cause lot of emotional problems in parents. There is no clarity on what causes ADHD. It is definitely not the result of laziness of parents, poor parenting or poor teaching. Hence there is no point in parents blaming each other or rather specifically the mother being blamed for not being patient, attentive & caring towards the child’s need. Lack of motivation and discipline or too much television or too much time spent on fast paced video or computer games are also not reasons for ADHD, though these factors may certainly worsen ADHD symptoms.
ADHD coupled with LD (Learning Disorder not learning disability anymore) can disrupt schooling life for children. Every day becomes a hurdle which they struggle to overcome. School life can be stressful due to inability to perform & non acceptance by peers.
Parents also undergo severe stress due to the same reasons. These children are very difficult to handle as they have high energy levels, are adamant & are capable of manipulating people according to their whims & fancies.
If your child is hyperactive, inattentive, or impulsive, it takes a lot of energy to tackle them. The constant monitoring can be frustrating and exhausting. Therefore parents should first learn to accept the fact about their child, & adjust accordingly, even if it involves sacrificing their personal goals & careers.
When it comes to behavior management, as a parent, one should be stern enough to say a “NO” whenever required. If the child realizes that you are likely to breakdown or give in to his demands, they gain an upper hand & try to use it to their advantage.
Some children with ADHD are hyperactive, while others are quiet—with their attention miles away. Some focus too much on a task and have trouble shifting it to a different task. Others are only mildly inattentive, but overly impulsive. Children with ADHD who are inattentive, but not overly active, may appear to be spacey and unmotivated. These children are often able to concentrate on activities they enjoy. But no matter how hard they try, they have trouble maintaining focus when the task at hand is boring or repetitive.
Parents should try to identify the child’s interest & nurture it accordingly. Extra care should be taken in designing activities for these children so as not to make it too long & boring.
These children try their best to be good, but still be unable to sit still, stay quiet, or pay attention. They may appear disobedient, but that definitely does not imply they are doing it purposely.
These children with impulsive signs and symptoms of ADHD also tend to be moody and to overreact emotionally. As a result, others may start to view the child as disrespectful & weird.
Patience is the key virtue here. However, it is easier said than done.
When a child becomes aggressive & has temper tantrums, parents should not react or try to control the child. The rage lasts for 10-15 minutes & will subside by itself.
Adjustments in life should to be made according to these children’s needs. Food habits need to be modified. Chocolates, fast food & sweets need to be avoided. Life should be patterned & followed with a set of rules as these children cannot accept changes. These patterns should be maintained as closely as possible to bring about positive results. It is necessary that the school also helps these children in overcoming their problems, assisting & encouraging them in their academics.
Remedial therapy for LD is necessary to boost self-confidence in these children; Occupational therapy helps in improving the attention & motor skills. Behavioral therapy aids in controlling the mood swings & temper tantrums.
Lastly ADHD often continues into adulthood, so don’t wait for your child to outgrow the problem. Treatment can help your child learn to manage and minimize the symptoms. Help these children & as parents one should aim in educating the society in understanding these children & helping them.

Friday, 27 July 2012

How do I start

After much contemplation, I decided to try my hands on writing with the limited skills I possess. The next step would be the subject I would inscribe about. Being a food enthusiast, the first choice was to post recipes as I thought I have quite a bit of cooking experience also.
    Though food was the first option, I did not want to confine myself to one aspect alone. I thought I will also explore my literary skills, if any. Being my father’s daughter, shouldn’t I be possessing at least 10% of his writing skills?
   Hence I venture out to become a blogger & I want to become a successful one too. With this thought in mind, I start my 1st journey into the field of blogging, with my limited knowledge & hoping to succeed.
  Anticipating that I will be able to satisfy whoever visits the blog. I will soon start posting whatever I deem is good enough. Expecting a good response & support.