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Showing posts from January, 2017

Day 321: Timeless Tuesdays: Dasettan's timeless gems

A few things in this world are timeless. What more is apt for today-10th of January than Dr. K.J.Yesudas's songs. They are timeless and will remain so in the years to come. Of course, the music directors/composers play a crucial and the biggest role in why or how a song becomes timeless. However, having said that, Das uncle/Dasettan (as he is known) is truly a blessing to the world of music. 
Growing up listening to Malayalam songs, it is hard for someone to have not heard his name or songs. He has over 7500 songs to his credit and he has won seven National awards, five Filmfare awards, State Awards for more than 43 times, Padma awards and also has won the hearts of audience of all age groups. He has sung in many languages and I don't think the Bollywood composers used his  talents well enough. I also like the Ilayaraja and Das uncle combos. There is some pure magic there. 
He has also rendered devotional songs and performed Carnatic concerts. Oru neramenkilum is one such son…

Day 320: Munchkin Monday : Little Claire and her adorable voice

The coming week starting today until Sunday will be a series of special posts. The days of the week will have a prefix of my choice and that will lay the theme or plot for the post. So, today is Munchkin Monday. Why munchkin? Well, I love little kids and babies and this is an informal term for them.

Today's post is about a little munchkin I saw online. She is an internet star and is around 3-4 years of age. She performs and sings Disney songs with her dad and they are adorable.

Their YouTube channel is called Claire and the Crosbys and the subscription list and likes they recieve with every post is a proof of her adorability. I see a succesful and talented singer in her and I am sure she might also be good for voice overs- especially the animated movies.

Here is one the videos that I saw and loved. It is a song from Tangled. It amazes me to see how a three year old has learnt her lines and has rendered it so beautifully. Pitch is one of the most important trait for a good singer.…

Day 319: Christmas Colt

I know I have discussed my reading saga on this blog many a number of times. However, I am not sure if I have ever mentioned about one of the first children's books that sowed the seeds of becoming a writer (It is still a dream). This book is also the reason for my love for horses. Well, otherwise, I had never been near one while back home in India. The book is called, 'Christmas Colt' by Mallory Stevens. I must have been 13 when I read that book. I am grateful for my parents to have taken both my brother and me to a library during our younger days as none of the schools I studied ever had a good collection and nor did they encourage children to use it well. Even though the book is for young children up to 12 or maybe a 13 year (at max), I think most of us would enjoy it even as an adult (at least for a one time read). 
The book is about a little girl called Chrissie and her dear horse. It had the magical charm of christmas and as a child I was transported to the stable a…

Day 318: Some ramblings on social comparison and gratitude

Can I ever be you? I don't think so. I am a different person and so are you. So is each one of us. We are all running our own race, a few of us are running marathons, a few of us are walking at our own pace, a few hopping all around with no strings attached. Some of us are attached to our family and will run with them on our mind and for a few others, it is a lonely walk and whatever we decide we do as we tread.

However, we try to stop and pause as we meet others who are on this journey. We weigh in ourselves with others to determine our strength and personal worth. It could be on attractiveness, financial status, professional or educational growth, status in society, friends, family, intelligence and so on. This in psychology is understood as social comparison.

From a very young age, we develop as irrational beings and the size of someone else's pie or toy will make us feel that we are left with nothing in this world. These ought to change as we grow and mature but does it? …

Day 317: 50 years of golden music

When I first got a chance to listen to A.R.Rahman, I was probably a 9 or 10 year old back home in Trivandrum. The lack of options at home to stumble upon cinema music was compensated by the set of friends in the neighborhood who owned walkman and stereos that played new music. The very first song that both my brother and I got to listen was the one from 'Kadhalan'- mukkala mukkabla laila, oh oh laila ! At that age, all I understood was 'Jurassic Park' as that was a movie that was popular among everybody during that period. It was one of my first and only exposure to Hollywood movie for a very long time. The song stayed with us even as we did not get to listen to it often. Then on a random day we stumbled on to songs from Roja on television. We usually never watched much of television and on a rare holiday occasion, Roja music was played because of it's National Awards. I surely felt very celestial listening to the songs and I am sure he stayed on my mind from then…

Day 316: Demonetization- who is bearing the pain?

November 8, 2016 will be set as a phenomenal date in the history of the world. Too many things changed everywhere and sometimes these turning points will lead humanity to a new horizon. Ah, but don't ask me if it is for the best or the worst. In the United States, a businessman trumped the world by becoming the president elect of United States of America. While this was making waves all around the world and most countries especially India's national media had all their eyes and ears on to happenings here in the US, the Prime Minister decided to play a master stroke and took all by surprise. He decided to bring in a new 'change'- demonetization of two of the largest denominations of Indian currency. Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000  was nullified and that is almost 86% of Indian currency.

So, those who saved these notes in their piggy banks or inside their wallets or inside secret stashes at home had to find ways to get that changed. Most of India tries to keep cash in hand for eme…

Day 315 : What's on your bucket list?

Bucket List. A term that has become popular much after the famous movie with the same title in 2007. The term would have probably taken after the euphemism 'kick the bucket', which was again popularized in the movie, 'It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world'. The 2007 movie was a massive hit and how would it be not? It had Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman in the lead. The term was meant to have a list of things you wish you can do before you leave this world.

It is like a goal list that can evolve as you grow and change perspectives in life. I used to have a wish list that worked as a to-do list mostly like a work list for short-term goals. However, off late, I have decided to make one and keep it as an ever evolving list.

The first one on my list as of now (that was from the past too) is to get my biggest degree in life. Hopefully I will tick that one off my list soon.

Do share your thoughts on your list and how do you plan on getting it all checked out.

Love,
M

Day 314 : Swindlers !

A recent article in the NYT was a shocker. It is about the call center scamming of Americans. Big cities like Mumbai host a plenty of call centers and all these off shore outsourcing benefits countries like the US. A phone, a PC, insurance, baggage claims from airlines, etc., are all outsourced to such call centers. And when you pick the call, an Adam, Sandra, John who talks to us are actually, Prem, Sandhya, or Prakash from India. Just like companies with a good intent (that helps finding a lost baggage or insurance claim), there are many companies whose sole purpose is to scam in the name of Federal government. Taking the cue that US citizens have a great regard for its police and government and are petrified at the thought of being questioned by these officials, these scammers get their way to the bank accounts with just a few confusing information. Apparently, such companies have been able to swindle almost $300 million dollars from Americans. With the help of two whistleblowers, …

Day 313 : Fading Red

You were that little red color on my canvas,  now I see you fading off.  Is it your way of saying that you are bored  to be coloring my space and have found newer artwork to decorate? 
My canvas is now losing its charm and at times I am trying to recreate everything,  just like in the past.  Those moments of mirth and happy reflections,  simple conversations and many more creations. 
You have moved on to forge newer allies,  in bigger canvas mounted on larger frames.  For you I might not matter much,  but do remember, you were my favorite lucky charm. 
I miss you my dear red splash,  but I will have to keep moving on,  finding newer colors to adorn my wall.  I will find peace in the faded spots for they are trinkets of life's bitter traps. 
© Meena Arvind 2017

Day 312: Happy New Year 2017!

Yay!

Happy New Year. So, we have already walked into the next year. One more year around the sun. And it is 2017. Now, 2020 doesn't seem that far away and 2010 seems like very much in the past. So, whenever I say not so long ago, I was back home working, it is now over 7 years. The social media sites and other means of communication makes these moments seem so seamless that I always miss out on the timeline and still believe that things that happened in 2010 was just in the recent past. Well, that takes me to the last year's challenge I set for myself. For the blog's 10th birthday, I wanted to write a #365day post and I should have completed it last August. However, my journey took a sudden halt with a lot on my plate and it didn't get done. It was so erratic that I did not even write a post on the 10th birthday! Now time has just moved ahead and the blog is turning 11 in 2017. The last post was 311th one and I am only 54 posts short of completing this challenge. I pl…