Alaipayuthey 20

Celebrating 20 years of Alaipayuthey with 20 specialties of the movie.

1. Colours

Be it the happy, vibrant colours of Shakti’s salwar kameez or Karthik’s blue shirts or the scenery in Pacchai Nirame or the rich Indian colours during functions in Yaro Yarodi, Alaipayuthey or Mangalyam songs or be it the dark tone when the movie takes on a serious note in the second half. The colours by themselves match the scene in every single frame.

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The Magic of Alaipayuthey – 20 Years Later

This blog of mine has always been synonymous with celebrating all things Alaipayuthey! So, it would be highly unfair if I leave this special occasion of Alaipayuthey turning 20 without at least a passing mention here. But when have I ever been able to stick to just a ‘passing mention’ of Alaipayuthey? 😉 So, here is yet another heartfelt raving about that special movie!

Sometime in the beginning of April during one of those sleepless nights, it struck me that Alaipayuthey was turning 20 this year. Since then, there have been quite a few reminiscences going on in my mind. From thinking of 20 special things to 20 special scenes to recollecting certain write-ups of mine, Alaipayuthey has yet again been giving me quite a few relaxing moments during this much-needed anxious period!

While it would be cliched to say that this movie remains as special to me today as it was 20 long years earlier, it is indeed the case. When I saw earlier in the day that Mani Ratnam was going to be appearing Live on Facebook with Suhasini, I set a reminder and watched it from the start to finish, absolutely hooked to it. And then when Madhavan made an appearance in the show, I can’t tell you how much the Alaipayuthey fan in me was rejoiced! Is there any better way to celebrate Alaipayuthey?!

As Madhavan said the famed ‘Naan onna virumbala’ dialogue in the show, the magic in these words were as fresh today as it was when we first heard it. Madhavan asked Mani Ratnam about why there was such lengthy, filmy dialogue in this, so unlike his usual style. Before I knew it, I was thinking about several of the proposal scenes in all his other films.

When Suhasini showed a mirror with a colourful backdrop, even before she started talking about it, I shouted out loud, ‘Hey this is the Alaipayuthey mirror!’ 😀 She indeed did confirm that this was a mirror which she had bought in Hauz Khas, Delhi and was used in Alaipayuthey. Knowing yet another new trivia about anything and everything related to Alaipayuthey excited me today as much as it did during my teens. 🙂 That mirror in which the thaali is hung 🙂

If watching a mere Live conversation with Mani Ratnam gets me this excited, guess how much the movie still excites me even today!

The Travel Bug

One thing that often feels surreal in my mind nowadays is how much travel I have been doing in the recent times. A little more than a decade ago, there was this craving in me to visit a lot of places. At the peak of my blogging spree, I read about a lot of places in travelogues and travel blogs and very badly wanted to see every one of them.

As I tick off Hampi, Badami, Pattadakkal, Aihole, Mahakoota, Banashankari, Madurai, Rameswaram, Cambodia and Myanmar from the destinations list, all visited within a span of one year, it indeed feels surreal that I have finally visited so many places that I have only been reading about so far!
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The Quest for Calmness

It is one of those rare mornings here in Singapore where it really cloudy and not hazy. Bringing respite from the haze caused by the burning of forests in Indonesia was yesterday’s rain. The cloudy weather still continues.

I am now sitting in one of my favourite neighbourhood parks in Singapore. On a comfortable seat under the shade of a tree with chirping of birds and buzzing of insects for company. I hear the voices of dozens of small children coming from the preschool nearby. The bouncing of Basketball in the Basketball court in the park and the engine of the digger or whatever construction truck it is, are also constant company. Then there are Tamil and Chinese words coming from different directions. As tweets of the birds and the chatter of people continue, I sit in complete silence cherishing this moment of calm that I have got.

From phonics to transitive verbs, o-n-e to minuend and subtrahend, as I traverse from preschool to primary school subjects, this month of September has been one long learning journey so far, the journey not restricted just to studies but also of my own patience levels.

There were two main days when I was at my worst max as I struggled to maintain a calm while trying to make my daughter study for her Tamizh and English exams. For all my claim of being a parent who doesn’t pressurize the child to study, I ended up on that annoying lecture mode of mine as I tried in vain to make my daughter practice some portions. The rest of the exam preparation days went by so well.

Anyway, now is not the time to ponder on the exams, but on the nag that I become every morning as I struggle to get my kids ready for school or many a times when we go out somewhere. Even as I tell myself that I should remain much more calmer, I am just not able to and end up getting worked up so much about even trivial things. I always feel like ‘Jab We Met’ Kareena who fears missing her train and catches her train in the last minute every single time. 😉

The calm had to be tossed aside quite often this month as the children have been at home for most part of the day what with half a day school and holidays and that obviously meant more frequent sibling fights to manage and more tantrums to handle.

Of course, it also meant a lot more relaxing moments with kids as we had a lot more books time, games time and conversation time together.

As I now sit in complete calmness amidst the presence of nature and her sounds, smell and sights and do a retrospection of sorts, I realise that the relaxing moments with the children does outnumber the moments I was a total nag. But that doesn’t mean that my own yelling or lecturing mode can ever be justified.

I wonder if I will ever have an improved level of patience. I wonder if this feeling of inadequacy while dealing with certain moments will ever completely go. That’s when I tell myself that I am just another human being and I really cannot do it ALL all the time. But my quest for inner calmness and improved patience levels will continue and, who knows, maybe someday I might really achieve it.

Madras Day Musings!

Dearest Madras,

Wishing you a very happy birthday!

The Madras Day and Madras Week Celebrations are only getting better and better with each passing year. It is with a heavy heart that I read about all that from afar. I wish I could go on all those heritage walks and listen to all those engaging and informative talks about you.

Yes, you are not really at your best what with water scarcity and the poor state of roads. But you are the city that gave me many hobbies and interests in life. You are the city which has such a vibrant culture and heritage that one has to definitely celebrate and enjoy it! You are the city which is my home! And, yes, it is you that I continue to miss more and more with each passing day!

At this juncture, I must also tell you that there comes a time in one’s life when one moves towards acceptance, thus numbing the longing that one feels. The deep-rooted feelings might get only stronger by the day, but I have kind of come to terms with the fact that I will continue to be away from you! So it is with an even more level of enthusiasm that I look forward to June and December, the school holiday months when I get to be in the city I love.

Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday once again!

Adieu from a Madras Maniac!

Mingalarbar from Myanmar!

When we started planning for our vacation to Myanmar, every book or travelogue mentioned that you will be greeted with ‘Mingalarbar / Mingalaba’, Myanmar’s very own version of ‘Hello’ except that it means a lot more than just a ‘Hello’, since it is apparently derived from the Buddhist Pali word ‘Mangalar’ meaning ‘source of prosperity, blessing or anything joyous or auspicious’.

We were first greeted with a ‘Mingalarbar’ at the security check at Changi Airport, Singapore. After that, right from the drivers to Hotel staff to shopkeepers, everyone everywhere continued to greet us the same way. There were even those that went to greet us with a ‘Namaste’. Greetings apart, the entire set of people we came across all through our trip turned out to be very courteous.

Alaipayuthey Nostalgia!

I saw this snapshot from Alaipayuthey posted in a group with the caption ‘Karthik and Shakthi had their mudhal sanDai (first fight)’.

To me, Alaipayuthey will always remain synonymous with that happy, carefree phase of life. As I was telling my children the other day, being the grownup adult is no fun!

The Cranky Mama that I am!

You know how time and again, it is to my blog that I have turned to for solace, comfort, relaxation and sharing a blissful moment or two. But, this time, I didn’t want to bore you. But, as I browsed through the archives, I saw that this has now become my rant journal in the recent years and, hence, I don’t feel one bit guilty about adding some more entries to it now. 😉

The first half of April saw my children carrying with them all the excitement back from their short trip to India during the end of March and letting it all out in the form of crying spells, naughty acts, tantrums and unfinished lunch boxes which once again translated to more naughtiness and tantrums. The new academic year had started for S and all her close friends had moved to a different section or to a different country. So, she was in a bit irritable mood till she found some new friends. Add to it was the fact that my husband was away on a trip. And then there was the sweltering Singapore heat. By the time the third week of April ended, I was this crazy, cranky version of myself!

These apart, ever since intense heat and sweating took over Singapore earlier this year, I keep having throat issues on and off and because of that, my singing has once again taken a beating! That’s another demotivational thing going on in life.
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And the sink fills up yet again!

While I do know that the dishwashing chore is something that has been done to death in my blog, still, if I don’t launch off on a rant about it here, where else will I do it??!

Sometime during the fag end of October, during yet another frustrating dishwashing spree, I decided that I will try my best to wash the vessels after every meal time. It was at that time that I was having one of those inspiring moments reading Elle Luna’s ‘The Crossroads of Should and Must’. While she applies it to larger visions of life, I thought I will include this mundane task too in my list of things I MUST do as often as possible. After all, without any extra helping hand, I was already doing it every single day leaving a clear sink every night. So why not do it without procrastinating and letting the dishes pile up??

Now, guess what happened after that? I felt as though I was standing in front of the sink more often and yet, at 8/ 8:30 pm as I did the last round for the day, there still seemed to be yet another huge array of vessels!

Now the mind has this cruel way of playing around with your thoughts. Dishwashing is usually that solitary time when it is just me and my thoughts. And, as you obviously know, it is one chore that I just hate. As I let my thoughts go on an overdrive, the first thing it screams out loud, especially on an exhausting day, is ask me why the hell I gave up my career and chose to take on this task instead?!
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Lullabies and More

I have fallen in love with MLV’s Jo Jo Rama. A simple composition, yet how calming it is. Bombay Jayashree’s rendition of the same just doesn’t work for me. It is way too slow.

Talking about slow lullabies, my most favourite is Sikkil Gurucharan and Anil Srinivasan’s Omana Thingal. It is one of those perfect pieces where the voice is as soothing as the piano and I love the lyrics too.

Come to think of it, slow lullabies never worked for my children. I had to carry them, walk fast and sing song after song. Nowadays, there are no lullabys or bedtime stories. All I do is fall asleep along with them! Am catching up with all those sleep of those sleepless years I guess!

Even as I typing this, fast music is suddenly turned on at the place I am in. That kind of super-fast foot-tapping beats that will definitely induce some energy in you.

I mull over music and its various shades. Joy, melancholy, tears, smile, motivation, relaxation or pure, plain entertainment, it is only music that turns out to be THE best companion!