Good vs. Bad

yin-yang-symbol-variant_318-50138

Today, at my regular weekend Samskritam class with Sudha Mami, there was a particular verse she was explaining and it hit me so hard that a lot of my life questions got some sort of an answer.

गुणायन्ते दोषाः सुजन वदने दुर्जन मुखे
गुणाः दोष्यन्ते तदिदमपि नो विस्मयपदम् |
महामेघः क्षारं पिवति कुरुते वारि मधुरं
फ़ेणी क्षीरं पीत्वा वमति गरलं दु:सहतरम् ||

Gunayante doshah sujan vadane durjan mukhe.
Gunah doshaayante tadidmapi no vismaya padam.
Maha meghahksharam pivati, kurute wari madhuram.
Phani ksheeram peetwaa wamati garalam dussah taram

What this means is:

Good or noble people amplify even the little good they see in people. While, people who always like to pick up only fault in others would overlook all the good in others. So much to an extent, that they will portray even the good as negative trait in others.

And to draw an analogy, it is similar to how clouds absorb salt and dirt from the ocean to give sweet drops of water. While a snake drinks milk only to spit out poison.

Now, if you ask me what is good and bad, well, well. That’s for another blog, another day. 🙂

Favorite spot in Chennai

In Chennai, there isn’t just one spot which is my favorite, but many such places. But, I am going to pick one that I frequently visit – Marina Beach.

10660142_10152763342832223_7991351707972215641_n

Marina has a charm that makes it very personal for me to connect and visit it every now and then.
Marina has seen a part of my soul – my best of laughter and sorrowful tears.
Marina is about 6.5kms long (From Island grounds to Light house) and has been my regular running path.
Marina has allowed me to sing to its waves, shiver to its thunder & lightning, dance to its uncovered rain.
Marina has made me see Chennai in its truest sense – from the rag pickers to the owner of an Audi, it treats everyone the same and takes them into its arms with no bias.
Marina is home when I need to pause and reflect on life.
Marina reminds me of a future ahead of me – for its been a witness to my life and growing up, in some sense.
Marina makes me feel I am home, everytime I land in Chennai after traveling out.
Marina, we will continue to have this bond, for we also made a deal to see you when I turn 60 years old. Probably with my special someone, Sriram.

🙂

Ootacamund – Go Heritage Run

May 29, 5:30am – 10am,

Ootacamund, Tamil Nadu

fresh cold of breeze, leaving me with goosebumps.

as we drove along the tiny lanes of ootacamund to reach the beautiful destination – lovedale school.

at 7am, we started a run, that will be etched in my thoughts, for the beautiful memories i made.

15kms covering sheer beauty,
for nature is par above us.

the flowers, the trail, the trees, the wet grass, the street dogs that looked well kept, the hills, the tiny roads.

the continuous breeze, the eucalyptus smell, the wet mud, the clouds.

the view of tiny colourful houses presented like a step cultivation.

the fellow runners – kids, loners, lovers, friends, couples, families.

there was beauty in every little thing.

and, most importantly, myself, my thoughts about a lot of new things. learning and discovering myself, for this was really “my time”.

grateful for the magical experience, for i only felt ecstatic and blissful throughout this journey.

thank you Go Heritage Run – Ooty team, it’s volunteers and my friends – Karthik Natarajan, Ashwanth Kumar and everyone else (you all know who you are), who made this possible for me.

Humbling experiences in dark

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 7.55.18 pm

We, normal human beings, have taken life so much for granted. Why do I say so? Because, little do we realize the power of our senses. Having said that, please think about this – when was the last time, we were aware of all our senses?

Here’s my attempt to express what I experienced today.

We entered a pitch dark room. [What followed thereafter was simply beautiful. And, I haven’t felt this good in a very long time.] A voice resonated and gave us a set of instructions from time to time. It wasn’t easy in the beginning until we began to trust this voice and perform all the tasks that were given to us.

This experience lasted about 40 minutes. And, towards the end of this, we realised that the voice belonged to Robin, who is visually challenged, but in no way less than us normal mortals.

Personally, I realised how much I had taken my sensory organs for granted. And, the tiny conversation I had with him made me feel that ‘there is always a way if we are willing to make things work’. They don’t need our sympathies. They just need to be treated equal.

This experience / simulation is a concept by Dialogue In the Dark. I request everyone to look up for this place and visit it whenever possible.

For fellow Indians, more details of the concept and locations are available with this link – http://www.dialogueinthedarkindia.com/exhibiti…/concept.html

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest..

Last week, a random search on the Internet took me to this blog – ‘Cuckoo Forest School‘ (The school is situated at Puliyanur Village, Singarapettai).

After having spoken to one of Cuckoo’s members, Sivaraj, I figured that the last phase of the workshop was coming to an end. And now, after spending about 4 days with this birdie, I believe I had one of the best lifetime’s experience, reinventing myself.

I will let the pictures do some talking.

On our way to the construction siteIMG_3235

Bird farm under constructionIMG_3290

 Fancy shelters at the siteIMG_3215

 The breath-taking view at the site – the school will be surrounded by these beautiful mountainsIMG_3286

 Mommy and her pretty looking chicksIMG_3287

 blues, greens, browns and more hues. IMG_3298

 …our humble abodeIMG_3283

One of Cuckoo’s volunteers playing Raag ‘Durga’IMG_3284

Orientation on alternative medicine and the wise man answered to all of our endless questions.  Special mention goes to the boy  (let’s call him DJ) wearing blue=black t-shirt in the picture. For literally being the center of attraction. IMG_3293 

Aatha, Apaththa, Paati. We adorned her with various names. But, all she lovingly did was, to feed us amazing food.IMG_3289

To end this journey, with one of my favorite black and white moment. IMG_3296

From the morning chores to working at the site; from the Frisbee games to rhythm sessions with the kids; from the night walk to early morning runs through the village, from the mafia games to the antaksharis, we have had the best of times in the past few days.

Thank you Cuckoo Family (you all know who you are!) for being super awesome.

I went with naught expectations and came back to civilization, having discovered a treasured melody, named ‘Cuckoo Forest School.’

For more details, get in touch with: Sivaraj +91 99656 89020 / Senthil +91 99024 10113

Between birth and death, life happens.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Little we realize the worth of our living. Every day counts. Every moment counts. Why? It’s our life. What happens between birth and death is what we make of our life.

I have known him for over 25 years now. He’d literally seen me grow up. He’s one man who would sit amidst the gathering and smile at me. In an encouraging way. Our only mode of interaction was music. I would sing and he listened to all of it patiently.

A year ago, I met him at his place. The building’s name being — Swathi Towers. Maybe, he was fond of me because of my name. Now, I can only assume. So, a year ago, it was a period, where I was experimenting with baking and had made some egg-less sugar-less brownies. I wanted him to taste some of them. He did. And, in that one meeting, several times he exclaimed — “I am perfectly alright.”

Its been over a year since we met. I haven’t seen him in my / any concerts. I also heard in between that he had limited his social activities drastically. Only because, he had found his interaction with ventilators and chemotheraphy machines more useful.

He was fighting a virus. A deadly virus. What did he do to contract this? No one knows. Probably destiny.

Today, all we know of him is that — He was a man of ideals, good habits, great virtues, known for his sincerity and dedication, one who remained positive throughout and followed every ritual fondly.

And for me, I would miss that genuine comforting smile while I sing.

Rest in peace L S Muthukumar.