Saturday, March 23, 2013

Abstract is Fun

I love solving crosswords and creating mini versions of it too. This crossword is nothing high funda , but just a little something to mull and crack.Whoever said abstract is Greek & Latin ??? Broad Hint(The Week's theme & the group)


2. to take away (6)
4. mind and body workout (8)
7. a year in weeks (5,3)
9. hard to understand (8)
10. not personal (10)
12. condensed version (7)


1. topic for the week (5)
3. bringing original ideas (8)
5. not concrete (8)
6. slang to convey 'Is my crossword fun enough' (2,6)
8. themes announced on (8)
11. entertaining (3)

This is off to Sra's 52 weeks of 2013. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

My Cup of Firsts filleth over !

Life is a bouquet of many a firsts ; the first love and the first job, the first kiss or the first fall. All of these firsts have a lot of treasured memories. It does not matter whether they are bitter or sweet but it does stay etched in the heart like the rain drops that gets soaked in to the parched field.

My firsts is a mixed bag of all myriad human emotions ----
  • The first and truly the most wonderful blessing in the form of lovely parents.
  • The first ever friend and a partner in crime many times over- my sweet lil sister.
  • The first time I stepped in to school and howled my heart out.
  • The first pangs of jealousy I experienced when a friend was selected over me for participation in Annual Day celebrations .
  • The first time I learnt to ride a bicycle and experienced exhilaration.
  • The first time I was part of a small all girl gang and the unabashed fun we used to have.
  • The first time I made friends for life in college.
  • The first time I met a man who would become my soul mate.
  • The first time I was wooed & serenaded by him.
  • The first major tiff I had with my hubby
  • The first time I rode a scooty and crashed it through the wall.
  • The first time I met with a major accident.
  • The first time I became a mother and felt unconditional love.
  • The first time I wished the world never woke up
  • The first time I felt at peace with myself
Ohhhhh , I can go on & on but I conclude with a quote by James A.Baldwin---

"No one can possibly know what is about to happen: it is happening, each time, for the first time, for the only time"

It is off to Aparna's The Fifty-Two Weeks of 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Vellore Temple Trails - Sripuram Golden Temple

I was in Chennai for a very short visit  some time back . Despite the time constraint  we managed to sneak in a temple visit to the city of Vellore. While we looked forward to a day long visit to a few temples in and around Vellore City, the only temples we covered were The Golden Temple and the Fort Jalakandeshwarar Temple. We scurried back home owing to my daughter's stomach upset. However, the 2 temples we visited were worth the travel woes.

Sripuram Golden Temple :-

The Golden Temple is situated in Sripuram and is the major attraction of Vellore.

(Source: Priya Sreeram)

The entrance gates were ornate and imposing and we looked forward to stepping inside as quickly as possible. After getting inside we entered the ticket counter and opted for a special entrance paying a good INR 250/- per person. On second thoughts, we could have gone for a free entrance since it was not that crowded. Anyways, we  were immediately whisked in to the spiritual park.

(Source: From the booklet in the Prasadam bag )

The only words that I breathed on seeing the opulent structure was - architectural marvel . The golden temple is surrounded by lush and scenic landscapes with a variety of flora catching our attention.  It is  amidst a natural ecosystem and is the Pride of Tamilnadu. The 100 acres of land on which this Lakshmi Narayani or the Mahalakshmi Temple stands is a sight to behold.  The park is shaped in to a star shaped path in which the visitors have to walk to reach the temple. The pathway is dotted with resting spaces & recreational facilities. The temple itself is situated in the middle of the star surrounded by a holy pond (Sarvatheertham) which contains the Holy waters of all major rivers. The star shaped path is said to represent Sri Chakra. The temple has a gold covering all over and uses more than 1.5 tonnes of the precious metal.

(Source : Picture from the Prasadam bag )

Another important feature of the temple is that the visitors who walk the 1.8 Km length of the star shaped path can read messages of truth and righteousness posted on both sides of the pathway. They are meant to inspire the human beings so they they can imbibe and inculcate the fundamentals of right living.

About the Goddess :-

(Source : Picture from the Prasadam bag )

Goddess Narayani, the presiding deity is said to be an embodiment of Goddess Lakshmi, Goddess Saraswathi & Goddess Durga. Looking at her idol all restless thoughts vanishes as she oozes divine poise and radiance.

The temple is headed by Sri Sakthi Amma also known as Narayani Amma. This Golden temple is said to be born out of a divine vision of Sri Sakthi Amma. Besides conducting pujas for the benefit of the mankind, numerous social services and charitable projects spanning  various areas like woman empowerment, health & hygiene, promotion of arts and helping the needy & the poor are undertaken by the charitable trust of Sri Sakthi Amma.

How to reach here :-

Sripuram is located at Thirumalaikodi in Vellore. It is at a distance of 130 kms from Chennai & about 180 kms from Bengalore.

Man seeks God only when he realises the limits of human endeavours 
                                       - Sri Narayani Amma

Thursday, March 14, 2013

F?@K Knows - A Book Review

I am not a huge fan of self-help/motivational/inspiring sorta books. And it was with a lot of hesitation that I applied for review of this book. And the only reason I did was the weight behind the author's name ! Shailendra Singh is the joint managing director of Percept Limited - the largest and only entertainment, media and communications conglomerate (which he reiterates more than once in his book) , and is a popular name in the ad world. He is the creative force behind so many memorable path breaking ad-campaigns including "Desh Ki Dhadkan" & Bharat Nirman. Besides advertisements  he has also been responsible for some meaningful movies like Phir Milenge ( I love that film) . And who can forget his visionary contribution to Sports especially Cricket ? He has been largely responsible for marketing & managing of the sport to eye-popping levels. With so many things under his belt, I was curious to know how he wields his pen? And that alone let me to nod a yes for reviewing this genre.

I must say that,  I am glad I grabbed this book; it is a fun ride, a cool read alright !
And what had me in splits right from the beginning was the 'HOW TO READ THE BOOK' - pure fun :)

Shailendra has poured his heart out in to his debut. He oozes charm and connects with the readers in his own inimitable style. Right from the word go, the book is bindaas and a no-holds barred type of narration. Weaving fact with figures and loading the book with a lot of his personal experiences, Shailendra urges the readers to live life on their own terms .The book is the result of the author's search for answers to the 2 most important questions- 'Who are you ?' , 'What do you want from life' ?  It led him in to reevaluating his priorities and essentially shaking down all the cobwebs

Shailendra urges the readers to make a F?@K list of things to be done - it is a bucket list of sorts that the readers must make to realise who they are and what they want in life ? To make the job of compiling the list easier, he insists on making a 'Don't ever want to be' list. I especially loved his invite to the readers to email him their F?@K List which he promises to email them back after 6 months as a reminder of sorts.

If you are someone who swears by the works of Hemingway,Sheldon & Keats, then this book may give you a cultural alarm as the language is a shocker and the use of profanities  may give rise to an acidic reaction. But the appeal of the book lies in its rustic charm ; the narration is down-to earth and easily comprehensible. 

Few of the  chapters and its morals  that stuck with me are :-
  • Math of Life - 'You don't have as long as you think'
  • CTRL+ALT+DELETE - 'Reboot yourself & start afresh'
  • Your body is your temple - Respect & Take care of it
  • Being Human - 'Realise the power to make a difference'
  • Don't 'Just Do it' instead say ' Just Done it' !

Now to the Yays & Nays

Yay to:-
  • The 230 odd pages are woven with a lot of humour & wit
  • Light-hearted narrative and no high funda mumbo -jumbo 
  • Most of what Shailendra says is 'heard already' stuff, but the presentation is  smart & fun
  • It motivates the readers to listen to their heart a lot & listen often
  • Honest penning by the author
  • The book is not preachy but subtly conveys its message across !
  • Liberal use of the word F?@K may affect the sensibilities of people. { I really liked the book and hence refrained from any nay picking }
Final Word :-

“In life, it’s not about the destination; it’s all about the journey…” - Shailendra Singh

Author    :   Shailendra Singh
ISBN        :  978-81-291-2399-6
Price       :  INR 195/-
Publisher :  Rupa Publications
Category :  Non Fiction
Recommendation :  Thumbs Up !

Thank you Blogadda for the book. Participate in the Book Review Program for free books.

P.S : My review is late by 2-3 days and it is only because the author had specifically insisted that the readers take long breaks between chapters to grasp the intense logic in the book winking tongue

Monday, March 11, 2013

Life & Death in a Cinquain

Cinquain is a five-line poem that was invented by Adelaide Crapsey. She was an American poet who took her inspiration from Japanese haiku and tanka. While I have heard of the phrase before, I never attempted in creating one. Week 10 of The Fifty- Two weeks of 2013 saw me racking my brains over a decent cinquain. And after mulling over many topics , I decided to go a little philosophical. Here's my take on life and death in a Cinquain form---




A roller coaster ride




the end

of life,  but

let it not alarm