Saturday, December 17, 2011

Pourquoi française? (Why French?)

Sometimes, there are moments that are blended with dissimilar emotions; thoughts and words, faces and glimpses, facts and assumptions, gratitude and confessions; everything from violet to red; all these feelings appear to merge into the sky that seems to wrap us all like a blanket. This moment, only stays for a while before it evaporates into thin air as though it never existed.

I have had an eventful time so far but something kept me from blogging; perhaps it is because of too much writing, elsewhere. As the weekends arrive my French classes absorb me into a new world. This post is dedicated to my love for French and France that in some mystique way is growing day by day.

While browsing through the net for the languages most spoken around the world, I noticed that Mandarin dominated the list and of course it clearly made sense that I should refine my search to – “Language spoken in most countries” and not “The most spoken language” which erased the population criteria. Now, French followed English to the second place. For my desire to travel the world someday this was a tiny step that I took so that I could travel a country more than just seeing it.
Until I completed my A1 Part 1 level at AFB, it still remained a mission and I was not sure if I would continue further. But I decided to start afresh. I joined a new class for A1P2 to meet some more new people and what a nice decision this has been. While my previous teacher brilliantly shaped the fundamentals with his vast knowledge of the language; the new teacher made learning enjoyable with her creative ideas and passion for teaching.

And soon, I began to love the language more than before and the mission slowly turned into passion. I started to read French comics, began watching French movies, wrote French poems and listened to French music. It is interesting to notice that what may start as a mission could simply die due to lack of passion or magnify into something enormously beautiful with its presence.

Pictures from the net!

The glimpses of an attractive city in the movie “Midnight in Paris” or the beautiful vineyards in “A good year”; a brilliant song by Edith Piaf “Non, rien de rien, Je ne regrette rien” used as a theme song in the movie “Inception”, simple and creative books like “Petit Nicholas”, easily structured French poems; French movies that are so close to being natural; the simplicity and innocence in “Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain”, the comedy in “l'auberge espagnol”, the romantic “Je Vous Trouve Très Beau” and the intensely brilliant “Incendies” or the famous tour de france.
All of these seem to merge into one big feeling of nostalgia!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


On the 7th of November, after lunch we thought of going on a drive. While browsing nearest places I came across this temple – Rangasthala near chikkabalapura. We left home at around 3:30 and reached there by 5:00. (60Kms) The route is pretty easy – Banglore- chikkabalpura. Once in the city take the Gauribidanur road. In about 5 kms, you find the temple arch on your right.

Brief History of Ranganatha Swamy temple:

The idols at Srirangam, Srirangapatana and Sri Rangasthala all were installed on the same day and same time. Outside praharam and Gopuram etc were constructed by Vijayanagara Kings. There is a praharam around garbhagriha. If you closely observe you can observe as if the garbhagriham is in the shape of a Bamboo Basket we assume that Sri Ranganatha is in the middle of the basket.

One more interesting story which we got is During Lord Rama's Patabhishekam Vibhishana also comes to attend it and in the end Rama presents a Lord Rangnatha's moorthy in Bamboo basket and Vibhishana is compelled to do the Prathistai in Srirangam and to commemorate the occasion the Saptharishi s do the Prathistai of Lord Ranganatha with Bhoo and Neela Devi here in Rangasthala.
SO the Lord appears as if he is in Bamboo basket. The idol of Ranganatha is four and half feet in length with Bhoo and Neela Devi sitting near the leg.

Can cement match the beauty of carved stone? Do we want to modify the painting of monalisa? then why a new Gopura that can never match the beauty of the original, in spite of the original being in ruins. Why not protect it than redo it?

We thought of driving up the Nandi hills for sunset but it was dark already when we left the temple. But otherwise this would a good half a day trip around Bangalore.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Being in Mangalore takes me back in time, to the days of my childhood. Quietness of the place surrounded by green fields, lots of trees and peacocks wandering in the backyard thankfully look so very untouched by modernization.

While at home during Dasara, I met the youngest daughter of my Muslim neighbors - S. She and I were almost of the same age and studied in the same batch. S was the only child in the house to complete tenth standard. She discontinued studies after that; neither was there much encouragement from the family to continue studies nor was there any self enthusiasm in her (as she told me then). We always discussed our schools and then my college stories. Sometime, while I moved to Bangalore for work, she got married. Since then to now we had not really met. So it was almost after ten years that I saw my friend carrying her second child in her arms by the compound wall that separates our homes. We spoke about the old days and she enquired about my friends since then. I informed her about their current status and how things changed for them and I enquired about some of her friends from school. Our friendship, seemed to me, like it had paused at a time in life and only lingered around that time. It was interesting to notice that some relationships would never grow with time and would remain paused at some point of your life; around the errands of then. However it is always great to meet a long lost friend and catch up with updates and recollect the good old days of the past. I was very happy to have met my friend after a long time and it also made me realize how things had changed for me and my friends from what S had known about us and about her life beyond those days.

Pili Vesha (Dance of the tigers) Common sight in Mangalore, during Dasara.

It is always nice to live in a small town like Surathkal, with its own advantages and disadvantages. People still value relationships here. When I noticed fungus affecting my painting, I had to go to the carpenter nearby for help. He disassembled the frame and after I had cleaned the painting and given a little touch up he redid the frame. When asked for payment, he just smiled and refused to take any. My mother offers him and his family free dry wood for heating water. When we went to the bank half an hour past the locker timings, the employees did not hesitate to open the locker for us. I wonder if that would happen in Bangalore.

Fungus and After cleaning.

On the other hand small towns that I have left behind dwell still with too much interfering into others lives, interrogations about others personal matters and hunger for status and recognition. There are people who refuse to bring home the ancestrally owned and worshiped idol of God until their elder brothers have died and they receive the respect and status of being the eldest and superior in the family.

However the sight of green trees and a beautiful Rufous Treepie flying from one tree to another erase all those thoughts about people and bring me back to the innocent state of mind, of my childhood.