Friday, August 02, 2013

What wrong in being a "dancer" ?

The wedding was over and it was time for the reception. There was a small dance program which was quiet refreshing in our uneventful marriages. Just then, an elderly lady quips from behind me, " Ayyo, why are these grown up girls dancing ? What is the point in teaching them these things. Do they want to join these shameless dancers you see in movies ?". Being a trained Bharatanatyam dancer, my heart sunk. It sunk more, because I was no one to correct her. I was invited to a small wedding and correcting an elderly woman wouldn't make me a lady. I was just an amateur and learned it as an art form. Sighing, I remembered the years of practice that goes into making a performance for 12 to 15 minutes. It embraces the need of athleticism combined with grace. I recollected how my Guru taught me the path of an assertive disciple who finds completeness in thyself and not to fancy as a mere entertainer. Dance requires the culmination of a great Guru, fervent discipline and most importantly perseverance. When you start learning dance as a child, you can see the number of students dwindle every year. Just like anything other art, it is not for everyone.

Some people denigrate art particularly the Indian classical dance forms, saying it is blatant and completely against their cultural practises. Being a humble devotee to my religion and an avid Indian art lover, I will try my best in spreading the word to the ignorant. Many aspects of our culture (Indian), good and bad was shunned with the advent of the British who saw it completely unEuropean and different. I admire the courage of the missionaries and their efforts in opening schools and removing a lot of stigmas in our society. However what we also received in this package, is a disconnect from our Indian roots. I was blessed in an environment who took various art forms as an art form and nothing more than that. It was essential to instill confidence in a child and attain completion as an individual. It is sad to hear remarks from our older generations about how dance has made our generation blatant and uneducating your children in this approach. Teaching an art to a child is good to preoccupy him/her but as a parent you need to tell when you should start and stop it and when you should prioritize activities.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Old habits die hard

Coming soon...
Malaika J
Send from my J-Phone

Sunday, July 27, 2008

To Be a Fraud or Not

Well I had written an excerpt earlier about Fraud Mallus.Yup even I m a pure blooded Fraud Mallu slowly being evangelised into a complete Malayali.Atleast my stomach is completely Malayali :)..haute cuisine being kappa and meen curry..and chakka(jackfruit) perattiyathu and not to forget kanji :)

My first experiences of being the Fraud was in college when my monologues in my mother tongue were seen with contempt...(or may be sympathy).That was because of a huge mistake I made thinking, I had studied in Malluland for quite some time so I had 'picked' up the language in the required style.

When I moved to Trivandrum for my schooling,my first impression was this..Very orthodox town with no night life.All I could see were boards with sickles,hoardings of MohanLal and Mammotty,advertisments from jewellery shops and many more of the hum-ble and sim-ple malayali creations.My school in Trivandrum was fun and very eventful.I learned a
lot about the "smart Malyali".Of course words like paara, thalipolli, kidullam , edaa, jaada, pongacham became a part of my vocabulary.Anyway jokes apart,my idea was to finish the schooling and get out of this boring sleepy town ASAP.

But sometimes, when you run away from something,it clutches you and never wants to leave.It wants to teach you a lesson.I cried,screamed,yelled,went on a silent satyagraha(wicked..) but returned back barely after 3 months to the sleepy town :(.Again my goal was finish the damn college and get out of this place.But something happened, I mean, lots of things happened.After 4 years of living in the same place I had lived earlier, I fell in love...In love with the dreadful monsoons,in love with the tonnes of hartals we were blessed with,in love with the Sharjah Shake(Milk SHake..Read that) in Ramya-Dhanya outside our college,in love with the Shanghumugham beach and Vettucad church,in love with kanji and thenga(coconut) chutney,in love with the crowded green line buses with people bringing vegetables and fish in the morning and surprisingly even in love with the crowd and their colloquial style.

My folks were pretty strict about my third language in school.They did all their best to introduce and invent the Mallu in me.It was funny in the beginning because for a long time I remember speaking in the Queen's language and spoken to in the native language.They introduced and reintroduced.But I was introduced to the Real Malayali in gollege.The Malayali who knew the meaning of every damn word in her/his GRE textbook(by..he-art) but would speak 'pacha' Malayalam.The Malayali who knew the local politics like the back of her hand and every scandal in every town.The Malayali who thought having a 'meesha', is a sign a matured man in gollege.I was being imbibed into this day by day.I do not know how my classmates perceived me in the beginning,but at the end of 4 years my parents were surprised with my friends.Instead of being a part of CBSE/ISC educated english speaking mallu classmates,my friends were humble small town real Malayalees.Yup after 4 years,I wanted to leave the town,but with a difference. With a
difference in my perspective.

Ya only thing,my parents sometimes are awestruck when I translate Comedy thamashaas to Fraud Mallus and my folks think I have edited my Queens language.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

She is Back!

She is finally back.From the flavours of love to Monday blues I have moved to debug mode.A mode to rediscover science and people.

Debug mode kills the Tina in me. In short this is the mode where my project deadlines have to be met.I am forced to kick my frivolous attitudes and even Friday nights seem to be still the middle of the week.I bet many of you are victims of this bug.Your boss hitting your head ;The weekly updates metamorphize to daily updates; People all over the world are interested in every 'bit' you write ; Last minute reorganizations are made;

Last time I entered this mode it took me two months to get back into the real world.This time it is the contrary. Day One ; I wanted to run outta this ASAP. I always define an environment with reference to time and space.Unusual timings are okai. I can live with it.This parameter is unbonded for me. Only 'time' superceded me in the previos debug experience.The space was warm.Right now, my space is so limited and bonded.I wanna break out and move on.

Week 1: It was a real blow. I wanted to run out.
Week 2; New people , new rules, new designations...( I hate change of plans when I am not favoured.. Well who likes them ? )
Week 3:Rock bottom... I cant go on like this. I notify my boss about my space.
Week 4: My roomie advises me to fight back. I applied Newton's third law . I reacted in the same manner my space reacted to me.
Week 5: My boss is surprised that the space is not beating me.
Week 6: I am still enduring this new space. No, I have acquainted to it.

I wont make any more plans for rainy days. Rather i ll enjoy the sun today.......

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Just like icecreams love has many flavours.I need not elucidate on this more coz I am still a greenhorn to understand this funny term.Below are 3 responses which I got on Valentine's Day...

On the morning when many people celebrated love, I was walking to my office along with a friend of mine. We looked at all the beautiful flower baskets on the roadsides.Bglr looked chic today!To start a conversation I popped a question "So how did Valentine's day begin for you?"...She gave me an answer," I dont think its great to celeberate Valentine's day when you are young and rash.Instead when I m around 50yrs old, if my husband remembers this day and presents me a bunch of flowers, it would be really delightful."Chweeet idea.I guess many oldies would reply there need not be a day to celeberate their love, infact you dont have to say the golden words everytime or buy roses for her every morning.Love is always in the air for them.

The other face is the normal one I see today.Make,break,make,break.But for one of my friends who got married on Feb14, it was total cake. Her parents objected to her choice of the guy.The usual story...They found her a suitable boy ASAP and she married him on Valentine's Day.When I met her after the engagement, I told her good luck...Well what else could I say?.I could only derive the equation.Why is Cupid always stupid?

The third is mine.I have a friend with whom I have long dialogues about life.With his didactic tone he gives me his usual sermons.I wonder if he had used a little bit of these thoughts in his work, what a great man he would have turned out to be. And according to him I never improve."You are an immature intelluctual", he would say.We were arguing about Euripides phrase 'He is not a lover, who does not love forever'.I brought out all the mid English literature and bitten by St.Valentine, all the preposterous justifications.This was his final reply who which I ended my rebuttals.

My dear friend,
Euripides was never wrong.That is one thing I should agree, however I agree to this on a higher note.He told us to love forever but he never told us whom or how many to love :)
And I am a large hearted man, I can love a lot of people but I cannot marry all. Euripides was definitely sensible but you are not. mean this is not right...not fair..I won all the battles but I lost the war.I had to succumb to his reply.We are all idealists, well atleast we claim to be when we are 20.We need the perfect car, the perfect job,the perfect degree and the perfect love.We only realise what we have (as my friend above said) when we have loved a lot of people , married someone among that and became a realist at 40. Till then enjoy your journey with all these flavours of love!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

CAT Poop Redemption

Well finally the verdict was out. I had miscalculated my moves. There was a small error in my resistive calibration. The CAT was out of the bag and I received my share of CAT poop along with many other’s who received a null call. My plan for the evening was to get drunk in some obscure pub in Bangalore. So drunk that the pub staffer would finally call my fellow colleague to pick me up at 2 a.m. Ain’t that dramatic. But since I was a teetotaler I drank water in my house. I picked up a movie from the local store to spend my condoled evening. 10 minutes into the movie, I had picked up a depressing movie, ‘Shawshank Redemption’ .The life of an innocent guy in prison.

The movie was about Andy Dufesen, an investment banker convicted with the murder of his wife and her lover, which he did not commit and punished with a life sentence. I felt empathetic because I too was send to a prison for something I did not commit. My prison was my solitude, the aftereffect of my great performance. What I did not commit was lazing around throughout the year. I believe I had put in all my effort but I guess it wasn’t good enough.I have this great ability to step into anybody’s shoes (atleast my writing does) and for the first 30 minutes I really thought I was Andy Dufesen. Alone in contemplation. However he asks a fellow friend in prison to bring him a ‘rock hammer’.

Then one hour into the movie and there were surprises.This guy was in prison but he made use of the person within.He was dejected,he was beaten up but he was an educated man , he had something different from the crowd and within the four walls of his prison made of stone he had hope. Hope can be very dangerous but hoping to hope is what Pandora taught us. He did the guard’s taxes, made them bonds and finally upgraded the library .He conducted the high school diploma courses , he had hope and gave it to many others also. Now I released my situation was not that bad.
Number 1 I wasn’t in prison.

Number 2 I wasn’t drunk J .
Number 3 I realized that hope can set me free.
I had a job. I had dinner to eat. I had a God to thank without fear. And I had a blog to write ( Hope that wasn’t a spoiler )

But then again he is deprived of hope. His doors are shut. The prison warden plays his games and gives Dufesen two months of solitary confinement. Remember that before the storm there is always a calm. We have to wait and pass through time. And finally Andy Dufesen escapes Shawshank. How? With the rock hammer he asked for days after he entered prison. That was the perserverance of the human spirit and that was dramatic.

I felt slightly better. I am not Andy Dufesen so my contemplation will stay on for some time. However hope has set me free.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Tell Me I am all Yours……Aargggghhhhh!!!

Well truly Aarggh!! This becomes a small chapter in my book of life. I am stuck in corporate services like many others in this nation. It’s the end of the year and as my HR says . “It’s time for your appraisals”. Other than just appraisals it’s time to get your feedbacks, time to get kicked by your bosses, time to kick them, time to tell your peers ‘Oh I have loved working with you (Ya I surely did)’ and finally as we say strategize our next move in the company. You could also get away with all this and instead catch hold of the HR and strategize the other way.

If my team wanted to reset our action plans, we had to go through our Program Manager. My Project lead is sweet bumble bee who-knows-it –all but anything we do has to go through the Big Guy..The Program Manager. Well being a big talker and another know-it-all, they suggested me talking to him. This specimen, our Program Manager is the queerest creature of all. I would certainly title him ‘A true intellectual’ who works without seeing the sun or the moon. He uses his smile and his charm as his talisman.I haven’t made any requests to this aberration yet but this time I had to take proper channels. Moreover it wasn’t just my request but many who trusted me. To find a needle in a haystack is easier than finding him in our 5 floor office. I made an initial study of how to convince, combat and capture him. I understood that unless we were really thick skinned and persevered for around a year, things could be only as good as today. Never had I so much phobia about putting my suggestions than this time. Moreover this guy was a quintessential manager , really difficult to impress. And if you had a 5 point agenda, you would end up telling only 2 and agreeing with his view on the other 3.I decided not to give up either.

Counting by 1’s and 0’s, I did an extensive analysis on taking on this situation. I even made a flowchart of my requirements. I could only pray for luck and courage. I went up to him and requested for a meeting. He was a lanky guy but definitely charming in any the eye of any Venus. So if you are a Venus and you want to talk to him, it can be not so easy. Anyway I stuck to my guts and my captivating abilities and went ahead for the meeting. Mr.Program Manager smiled at me and says “ Tell Me, Malaika I am all yours..”…What ???Ooops …For a moment all the equations in my head stirred. He had played the kings gambit. I gathered up the courage and brought out my agendas. However like many others I could put forward only 3 in my five pointer agenda. This guy was not just a high profile bookworm but emotionally highly intelligent. I managed not to victimized by notions of virtuous behavior. I tried hard so that I wouldn’t hurt my Achilles tendon. I finished the meeting in 20 minutes. Phew… No wonder he was the senior Program Manager. He knew how to talk with his head. Well I bet he would have faced a same kind of guy 10 years ago ,else how would he know how to satiate so many people.

As for me, this turned out to be another learning chapter. I guess I ll have to go through another year of this mortal combat if I needed vindication. Now soon I ll have part 2,3 ,4 of this meeting. Sticking to my agenda might reform me into an activist. Dont be surprised to find me in front of some dam with Medha Patkar fighting for my agendas coz I think I am certainly getting a drive from great men like these.