Thursday, October 5, 2017

Big 40 - As it is called!

For a change, it doesn't feel like just another number.

Probably I've crossed 2/3rd of my productive life spance where I can and I could be of some effect in this eco system. This post is not about me doing or not achieving something.. It is just possibly a reflection of what I feel about the years passed

10 years of innocence...
10 years of ignorance...
10 years of arrogance...
10 years of exuberance...

Not sure what the next decade has in store for me and how I would treat it...

But, for now, am enjoying this adulation that I receive, very aware of the fact this is pretty much a huge responsibility to do justice to this love and affection. I've always said this and will say this with much more gratitude this time! I'm who I'm because of people around me. Am very fortunate to have never felt alone in my life. I accept all of these with the utmost humility!!

Thank you so much!

Keep loving me...

I love to be loved!
I live to be loved!

- Raj

Sunday, January 15, 2017

My Views!

Over a few discussions on the Jalli Kattu issues, I realized, that people have less or no understanding of the challenge and I don't blame for not everyone knows everything!

But to say this a barbarism or cruelty towards animals, I think then it is ignorance! 

Now let's have the argument..

1. If bull fight is not a sport because a group of men don't treat the bull fairly, then Kabadi is more worse than this! Tomorrow PETH will be formed and strip us those only gold medals in Asian and common wealth games that India gets.
2. People in India, we believe in fasting and some fast for 48 days to go to Sabari Malai etc.,. Let's also ban that, because it is cruelty towards humans, for goodness sake. Let PETH be formed!
3. During Pongal days, we have something called uriyadi, where folks are blindfolded and are asked to hit the pot hanging on ropes a bit further and one has to go and accurately hit that. It can and actually does hurt other people!
4. I know the whole argument of mine could be nullified saying who talks (actually cares) about humans, it is all about animals. Many arguments on those as well... mine is.  We have kids and pets at home and mostly in India, we have them chained and confined within homes. And the kids, the way they play with those dogs and cats, if we could relate that to this one, it by no means is less cruel. So let's ban pets at home as well!

There are many such stuff that we do, that could be illogical to the so called western and modern worlds! 

In the name of modern world, we have lost a lot of good stuff. Yes, we need to evolve.. Yes we need to get out of the caste systems, thank goodness, we have banned sati and other rituals that hurt humans and may look uncivilized. But underline the word ritual! Sati was a ritual, not a tradition! So let's not mix things!

These traditions and sports have been there for ages and have reason to that. Let's understand that the we deviating from those cultures will have spin off effects on the very fabric that holds us as a family or even a society... 

And if tradition is wrong, why get married and have a family! Let's go eff around! I know the people who have counter arguments will say that Jallikattu issue has nothing to do with tradition, but in my view, Jallikattu is very much a sport and sports like these are part of my tradition! And yes I want to up hold my traditions!

These are my personal views and not intended to hurt anyone's sentiments! But we are living in the so called modern times where others' sentiments do not matter! So registering my views anyways!

- Raj.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!

I termed the years 2015 and 2016, years of determination! I guess we as citizens of the world have shown a lot of determination in the past couple of years! However, we are still a long away from being called as humans that we once were!

We have made this world a lot more complicated and made ourselves lot more greedy for everything. We have increased the pace of our lives as like there is no tomorrow. In what we call as success, we have ended up killing lot more people, not just taking their lives, but, also killing them by killing ambitions, aspirations and dreams!

I know all of these are because of our lack of compassion towards our fellow human beings and living beings, in the name of a phrase called "Survival of the fittest!"

Let us show the compassion to our fellow humans and mother nature to make sure this world is a better place to live in!
Let us train our children to have the compassion so that they learn to live and let live.

Let 2017 be an year of Compassion!

Let's Live and let others also live!


Friday, August 19, 2016

Rio Olympics and India

Olympians from India.

Take pride for the fact that you got in there after all of the "great" support our government, politicians, media, arm chair activists and the so called rich gave!

Take pride for the fact that with all the infrastructure we have in the country for your respective sports, you go us all a representation at the games!

To Me! You are as good as our men and women in uniform representing this great country! That by all means is the medal for all of us! I, for one, very proud of the fact that you had all the courage to get there and represent India, for all the adversaries that you faced! Hats off! You are not just medallions or participants, but rarest of the golds that the country has produced!

Yes am equally proud of the medal ladies and the one that missed by a whisker.. An example of how girls can make a nation proud if only if we let them live by not killing even before they are born!

Not the least... The coaches. If not for your relentless efforts, these boys and girls are not the ones that they are now.

Thanks for inspiring a billion people! That's not an easy task!

Hope the leaders take note of how to represent the country in the parliament and assembly!

- Raj

Friday, May 27, 2016

My Seeds are my Root!

This is blog is dedicated to both Nilaa and Oviyaa and from both Leela and I. The below write up was kind of our first on Nilaa who was the star of the week in her school. And while we were drafting this, I realized that these kids are the inspiration behind the wild run that am making along with Leela. In today's world, when there is a sacrifice made, we expect that to be recognized. But our kids make a lot of sacrifices without even realizing that they do and yet do not complain on the short of recognition. Without dragging too much below was our account on Nilaa as much as possible. This stems my view on what we leave in our child is more important that what we leave for them! 

- Raj.

Nilaa, the Moon!

Thanks for this opportunity to write about Nilaa, which we have not had it before in our lives!

Right from the birth, she has always been very active and can’t stay idle in a place for more than 2 minutes. To get her to be tired used to be our daily goal at one point in time! It used to be really funny to bathe her, tough to feed her and getting her to bed to make her sleep as always been a tiresome exercise for her mom. However, over the years, she has transformed herself into an independent lady and now does these things all by herself, though sometimes slow. But, rewards and recognition works well with her to get a job done!

She loves to get to her school always. The only complaint that she had about schools was that she misses schools during our transition phases. She probably has a uniqueness in having attended many schools at Chennai and Erode in India, Derby in the UK and now here in Plano, the US!

She just loves being outside of the house wherever it was. Be it in India, in the UK or now in the US, she just wants to head out to the park to ride a bicycle or play with her friends that she had made all by herself in a very short duration. We have seen that she gets into a leadership role quickly and the team responds to her positively! In sports, she wants to be a basketball player.

She loves her family pretty much and are fond of her aunts and cousins. She absolutely adores and takes care of her little sister Oviyaa. Both these girls now have a separate room for themselves and Nilaa takes care of the younger one during the nights! Oviyaa is yet to get to a play school, but Nilaa ensures that she does not miss that. We often get to visualize her class teachers in her mono acts as teaches her little sister, teaching good things in life.

Nilaa is a very good listener, but often pays attention only to things that matters or interests her. She likes to be surprised every now and then. Last summer, exactly during the same week, we made a trip to India from the UK and we kept it as a surprise! She did not realize that she is in India, until we got out of the airport and met with her uncles and aunts awaiting to receive us. She simply loved it.

As with every child and every respective parents, Nilaa being our first child is the meaning of our lives. There are a lot of things and emotions that she gave us for the first time and continues to give us every single day.

More than anything, what we adore about her is the way she has inspired us to embrace changes in life. In the name of opportunity to us, we have challenged her by putting her in different schools, across cities, countries and continents! Yet, she neither complained nor was she bogged down. She had adapted to every environment very seamlessly without ever needing us to help her in transitions. In fact, she had shown us, the parents, that all these challenges are opportunities to explore and learn new things in life. An Inspiration!

True to the meaning of her name, she guides us as a light in our lives! Nilaa is a star to your class and a moon to us. Nilaa literally means moon in our mother tongue Thamizh!
Just to end it on a lighter note, we chose her name over a carom board game!

We love her as our life and are sure Gulledge will take good care of her. Thanks for having her part of this institution and all the best to everyone at Gulledge!

- Leela and Raj

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy 2016!

I think our determination as much as I thought we would need, to make ourselves better, was a bit lacking. I would still call this year as a year of Determination like last year.

Therefore, my New Year wishes from this blog is referred to last year's as the request is still relevant!

Live and let Live! Happy New Year to one and all!

- Raj

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Tolerance in India

What the FFFF is called intolerance growing?

First up, apologies on the foul language that I would use on the title and the below write up..
Second, am not a supporter of any party or organization, a pure common man and I think I'm a bit rationale...

I have been reading the stories of intolerance growing in our country and the intellectuals that most I do not even (frankly, but unfortunately) know were giving up their awards or accolades given by pervious government. Frankly, I do care, because it is their right of expression. But what I do care is the notion of intolerance growing within India. So here is my perspective and frankly a frustrated angry one! Just to sum it up before I write the entire emotions down, I see that India is the most tolerant nation and if not, tell me what the FFFF you mean by intolerance.

Let me tell my rationale why I think India is tolerant.....

In a country with so many children, we have made Education a business sector. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
In a country with 1.3 billion population, healthcare is business sector. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
A land that was once agriculture rich country, we let farmers die. They die not because of starvation, but because of the fact that their dignity is not spared. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
A nationalized bank says it cannot recover loan from a baron who owns an airline, a cricket team, a liquor company and of course few girls each (I mean no disgrace to females here), we run an OTS scheme for farmers and threaten to take away his land if he does not comply. And we who are fed by them do not do anything about. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
Just for one exceptional torrential rain, cities like Mumbai, Chennai just go under water. We know the cause, we still will let it happen. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
We know IPL is scam and yet we follow. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
We allow politicians or the rich to run BCCI. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
When we drive, we see a signal, we see someone ahead of us jumping it what we do is we jump along with that someone. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
In a country where a lot of young bearcats join civil services, they join as corrupt ones. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
We followed an election were voters were only 3000+ with lot more enthusiasm than a state or a central elections. Because Cinema! Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
We let corrupt politicians come back to power and we hug them, get blessings from them and claim them as king makers. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
And these corrupt politicians come out of a case not because they are corrupt free, but this is corruption spree within the Judiciary. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
We are made to think that Indrani Mukerjee is more important than the rape victims within India. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
When chief minister or a minister or even a leader of the opposition or even worse a small time MLA councilor goes through the traffic and everyone else stops because he has the flag of a party. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
When a greedy influential person wants to encroach someone's land, the entire systems supports and we learn to live with that. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?

We even take Nature for a ride, deforestation, CO2, land, Lakes, canals and what not?! Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?

In a country where all 4 pillars of democracy (Legislature, Judiciary, Executive & Media) is corrupt, we keep our mouth shut and still listen to their stories and worst is, we believe in their stories. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?
The rusted pillars have effectively made our enablers (Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure etc.,.) as the blockers and we still get going with them. Now if this is not tolerance, what the FFFF is tolerance?

And there are many more like jumping queues, tatkal for Gods, to conversions, to beef to what not! And we are more tolerant than what we thing we are!

Yes! I lived in a country for a while where healthcare and education are free and equal! I'm not writing this because am an NRI or someone who lived abroad and come back to complain against the country. This for all I know used to be land of morality and honesty. We have lost both for greed of power and money. If this country has to change, it has to be us who does the change and not expect an IPS or a MLA or an advocate or Journalist or a doctor or an engineer to be perfectly honest!

Again, am sorry about my language. But I do not think the F word is worse than the ones that were/are used by the so called intellectuals, the political parties and the media! 

I have learnt and now believe that we are most hypocratic country in the world! And Yes I know I need to be a bit more tolerant now! What the FFFF!!??!!

- Raj

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Alyan Kurdi....

May you rest in peace after making quite a lot of us restless and helpless inhuman!

While the pressures of migrants are real, all this family was doing is trying to find a way to live. And the world leaders are responsible for this, not for stopping immigrants, but to have created the conflicts in the first place. 

It is just GREED!!!! This greed of only an handful of people is moving out ethnics of their own country fleeing their homes. I strongly feel that this is the start of the end of this world and this civilization however modern we think we are. If the greedy do not understand the needy it is their bodies that need to be washed to the shores and not a 3 year old's! I dare not post that picture for after a long time it brought tears to my eyes!

Am sorry Alyan Kurdi.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

India Salutes Indu Mukund

In the memory of Major Mukund Varadharajan. Jai Hind!

I was watching the Indian Republic day parade of 2015 and the first on the agenda was Ashok Chakra which is India’s highest peacetime gallantry award. First to come up was Mrs. Indu Mukund wife of Major Mukund who lost is life while fighting terrorists in Kashmir. She stood there before the most powerful men of the land President Pranab, PM Modi, the most powerful person on the earth, President Obama and watched by millions around the world. What struck me was how composed and calm she was, head held high with no tears, no expressing of pain or sorrow but a sheer exhibition of Pride of being Mukund's wife. I was thinking, if Mukund was around he would have been so proud of this young lady who was not perturbed by any of those nuances as she was just doing it for Mukund and her daughter. He would have been more proud to have Mrs. Indu Mukund as his wife than probably the award in itself.

While like everything in life around us, from a plane crash to an hurricane to a conflict to even an homicide, for everyone who is not related to Major Mukund his martyrdom and the emotions it created should have been long lost in memory. No complaints because that is just the way life is. None of us can carry everything with us all the time. But those memories and emotions were back at the moment I saw her walk up those steps and stood up in the most dignified manner one can! Courageous! Not about standing in front of those many people but to fight those emotions that she alone can understand; to fight the pain that she alone can feel! Courageous! This shows the love she has for her man.

And it just so happened that I had to watch her interview to Barka on NDTV, I was so inspired for the strong will she exhibited on TV which strikingly similar to what I thought she would have gone through those moments while walking up those steps. There were quite a few quotes during that interview which will linger in my mind forever. 

It's because of the love I have for him; not had.
He would love to see me happy. My strength to lead an happy life and give my daughter an happy life comes from that.
Every love is different. 
The Tag line in NDTV sums up all "India Should See The Man Mukund Was, Not My Sorrow." 

She could have become emotional or been on tears at every single moment in that interview, but she chose not to; not even during read out of the poem she wrote the day after Major Mukund's death. 

For me, she is an inspiration to continue to live on, no matter what happens. I've lost quite a few so close to my heart and of course I have learnt to live without them. But, that's not what am talking about that now. Its also about those small issues, petty politics at work, small differences within relationships, a rainy day, a sunny day, a snowy day, a small feeling of victory in all of these and what not! This young but strong lady showed me how life can't be shallow; how to celebrate life; how to celebrate one's life; how to life an happy life for other's sake!

Mrs. Indu Mukund, I do not know if ever you would get to read my post, but do know that you have an admirer. I hope the nation and the government supports you to lead an happy life and help you in fulfilling your dream of giving your daughter an happy life! I wish that nature gives you all the strength and courage in life and reach the end you wish for (albeit slowly), that is to reach Major Mukund who will be waiting to hug you with all the smiles!

To me you are not a soldier's wife, but a soldier.

I cannot be emotional. Am just inspired!!! .

On Behalf of every Indian, Raj
PS.: I do realize there are a lot of soldiers like Mrs. Indu Mukund and this is dedicated to all of them. Hail them all!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy 2015!

While I called 2014 as the year of Hope, I want to call this year as the year of Determination.

We have come too far, too away from life with a lot of greed and hatred in the very name of life, God and Religion. 

Be it wars, be it bombs, be it storming a school and killing children, be it raping a friend, be it shooting down a flight, and quite a lot more of actions like these makes me say that we are not humans any more. Our souls are corrupt and our hearts there by empty!

Let us in this New Year, bring in the courage and determination into our souls to start changing ourselves to be Humans again; For no more children should die or girls be raped in the name of anything! 

Let the New Year take away all the greed and hatred....
Let the New Year bring in lot more giving and love...

Let this year of determination bring back the peace and harmony into the world, because we all deserve it!

Let us all enjoy the joy of giving and be loved!

Charlie Chaplin had said it long back.............

A very Happy and Joyous New Year to everyone!

Let my path be determined by my soul...
என் ஜீவன் போடும் பாதையில் போவேன்...