Shimmering Island

It glitters, it shines

This place

On the surface

Clean MRT, buses

All streamlined.

Even the waste.

Plastic covers for every little thing.

Nifty Disposables for every task.

Smoking prevails. Is the norm.

But nothing to be seen

On the surface.

All streamlined.

Where does it go?

Unseen, but endangering?

The cancer of everything.

March 16, 2017 at 12.00 Leave a comment

Insecurity

Insecurity appears to be the root of all evil. It is a state of not being able to accept ourselves  as we are. Insecurity can manifest in various ways. And this is what makes people harm themselves and others.

A small child may feel insecure if separated from its mother. A school going child if not acknowledged or appreciated by parents, teachers and peers. A teenager who is not noticed by the opposite sex. A young man or woman in desperate  search for employment or marriage. A spouse who feels neglected. An elder who feels redundant etcetera etcetera etcetera.

Of course these are only very obvious insecurities.  People have deeper emotional needs that need to be addressed before they develop into an insecurity.

Someone who is deeply insecure can be quite self destructive.  Their behaviour can be very negative and they will have a hard time building healthy relationships. Those who are insecure get easily affected by the way others judge them.

Interestingly, some people may appear very confident even arrogant. We think they are very sure of themselves.  In fact such persons are the most insecure. While it is easy and natural to be besieged by insecurity, who is secure? I think it needs a lot of work to feel and BE secure.

Secure people have the following characteristics :

  • Total acceptance of the self
  • Willingness to adapt
  • Non judgemental of others
  • Willing to learn from mistakes and move on
  • Awareness of and freedom from all manners of hang ups and prejudices
  • Letting go of ego about our own ‘achievements, knowledge and beliefs.

Be secure. Become GOD…

May 21, 2016 at 12.00 Leave a comment

Long time, no see

Hello! I know its been a long time. 5 years? I am surprised I am still alive. I mean on this forum. Guess I got swept away in the social media wave, particularly Facebook! I was once the proud early user of FB and even created an app ‘How addicted are you to FB?’. The irony!

I think every FB user goes the phases of use, overuse, disgust, quit, use, overuse….

I did too! But finally I can say I am over it. No more selfie, groupie, check in compulsions. No more obligatory birthday wishing to me and from me. No more getting carried away by unverified information. No more voyeuristic ogling on what my ‘friends’ are upto and where. Yay! Freedom!!!

I do hope to write on this forum more and more often. But no promises there…

May 21, 2016 at 12.00 Leave a comment

Teacher as Guru

Teacher, as the Guru.

Rangashree Srinivas

Along with our parents the Guru occupies a key position in our culture, in guiding us towards the absolute truth (Deivam). Even today, the teacher as a Guru, should be a para-parent interested in the overall development of the child. Parents too, should consider education as a means to self-development, rather than its attribute to help bag well-paying jobs.

Read more in page 34 to 35 of Parent Circle Magazine September 2011

September 17, 2011 at 12.00 1 comment

Tribute to Grandparents

A tribute to Grandparents!

Rangashree Srinivas

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humour, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies.

Rudolph Giuliani

The average Indian grows up surrounded by relatives. Every family has an elderly head who is propitiated when an important family event takes place.

Grandparents not very long ago, were also important decision makers. The dynamics have shifted significantly with the onset of nuclear families and geographical distances separating the grandparents from their children and grandchildren.

What is the role of an elder in the family today? When we look at some urban families, we find that grandparental roles vary from being primary care givers to-seldom-seen- long-distance relatives.  And everything in between!

Read the Full story in Parent Circle magazine  September 2011 issue

September 17, 2011 at 12.00 2 comments

White sands, blue seas and green green forest… aahh Andaman!

Not to mention blazing sun and the incredible Jarawas! Andaman and Nicobar islands is really an archipelago of small isles separated by blue waters in all hues and geographical features. On our five day trip we experienced pristine beaches, glorious white sanded beaches, underwater life, an ancient stalactite & stalagmite cave, aboriginal men and an inspiring peek into the Nationalist movement.

We had made up our minds to heave our butts off the humdrum of Chennai life to see something unique and experiential.  A possible trip to Mauritius got cancelled and our eyes fell on A&N islands as we had already imagined a ‘waterful’ holiday! My brother’s school friend Raghu runs a diving school there in the Havelock island, and helped us make our bookings for stay and touring the islands. We were particularly interested in snorkeling and going close to the mysteries under the seas. My friend Anita, a travel enthusiast ignited our, especially daughter Shaila’s interest towards snorkeling.

While Raghu was putting together an itenerary for us, I scoured the internet for best air fares. Fares hugely vary from day to day and the lowest I could find was about Rs 10000, per person round trip.  Ship travel operated by the Government of India is also available if you have 2.5 days to spare for travel. http://www.and.nic.in The ships ply once a week and bookings must be done well in advance. I hear that ship travel is an experience in itself! But personally as a first time traveller I had my share of ferrying from island to island in those 5 days! And the ship fare is nearly the same as airfare!

So we landed at Veer Savarkar Airport at Port Blair in the wee hours of April 13, 2010. This capital of the A&N, at first sight looked like any other small town elsewhere in India – complete with its tea shops and Francis tuition centres! But driving away from the airport, we came to wide roads flanked by very Government looking buildings including a huge State Library till we came upon the breath taking vistas of the harbour which is like our local bus terminus for the inlanders! But much more beautiful and much less crowded.

We checked into the hotel which look much less glamorous than its website photos. But by that evening, the hotel had grown on us and we looked forward to getting back to our room every evening. Shaila was disappointed by the unkempt pool, but as one of the hotel staff pointed out and we  later enjoyed, when she had the pick of the best beaches to swim in, why would she need a pokey little pool?

After a hearty breakfast of toast, omelettes, aloo parathas and fresh guava juice we set off for the morning’s lesson in history! First stop – the infamous Cellular Jail of Kaala Paani… actually a magnificient heritage centre today.

We entered into a museum which housed photographs and artifacts of some of the well known freedom fighters who had been housed there in the 19 & 20th centuries.  Our guide Mustapha in mellifluous Hindi, explained the history and the pathos of the place and the people who had been there. We saw the brass vessels used for gruel and water as well as those used for collecting urine. We saw life like models of prisoners chained liked animals, and an Indian sepoy beating a chained prisoner. The sack garment used to garb repeat offenders (read- those who raised their voices against their British captors. Their hands would be tied up above their heads and they would be left to bear the heat and itchy garment and beaten for days together. All of the prisoners were nationalists and freedom fighters. There were no criminals housed in the jail. In the beginning, the British would leave the captured on the island, because there was no chance of escape. But when a few did brave the hostile environment and escaped they built this jail. Once imprisoned in Kala Paani, they had no hope of returning to their ‘mulk’ and seeing their families again.

Later we got to see the sound and light show which was really inspiring but in very flowery hindi. The narrator was an ancient peepul tree whose voice over I am sure was by the venerable late AK Hangal.

That evening we travelled to Havelock islands where we were treated to a glorious sunset at the Radha Nagar Beach, Snorkeling adventure spotting corals under sea at Elephant Beach and a dream like beach on our own resort – the Symphony Palms. As pictures speak more than words, I shall say no more and only show more…

Since we were not allowed to take pictures of the Jarawa tribes (an indigenous Andamanese tribe,) I will have to resort to words. We opted for a long day’s tour into the thick jungles of Middle Andaman where the Jarawa tribes reside.

June 5 2010 – Started writing this post more than a month back and still not completed! How awful can that be? So I am going to just post the rest in pictures and captions…

Cellular Jail

View from Veer Sarvarkar's cell

Ancient stalactites and stalagmites cave in Barren Island

Ancient stalactites and stalagmites cave in Barren Island. A short trek from the the shores of a deep mangrove forest, this place should be called Paradise islands.

A boat ride to Paradise

View of the 'Barren Island' Mangroves from the Sea

Srini posing with a relief of the Jarawa tribals

The Jarawas are an ancient hostile Negroid tribe of the Andamans. They are not allowed to be photographed. However we drove as a convoy through the forest to see them. They stand by the roadsides and make a sign asking for tobacco - an unfortunate habit they seemed to have picked up from 'civilisation' that passes them by.

Jarawas

They appear like this in person. This image was picked up from http://www.thierryfalise.com

Ferry to Havelock

Islanders use ferries and helicopters for their daily commute. Cars, Buses and Heavy vehicles are also ferried between islands.

queue to board the ferry

Andaman's public transport!

Flying Fish

Tried capturing an image of flying fish in the seas... in vain. Beauty that is so transient!

Srini with an islander

The demographic composition of the islanders is made up of Bengalis, Tamils and a few people from other states of India. They are largely employed by the Government. We struck up an acquaintance with this man - a forest department employee and his wife (Tamils)

Still on the ferry

Shyla and a pair of German backpacking girls befriend each other on the ferry.

Sighting Havelock!

Sighting Havelock from the ferry. Still about half hour away.

Radha Nagar Beach

The sand here is fine, white and firm - your feet don't sink in

Sunset

Glorious sunset at Radha Nagar Beach

Radha Nagar Beach

Eco Friendly huts on the beach

Crabs

A wonderful pattern by crab movement on the soft sand

Bottle on the beach

The inevitable Eyesore!

RN Beach

Artistic shot by Srini!

Sunrise at Symphony Palms

Symphony Palms is the place we stayed at Havelock Island. A few minutes after we reached this place at night, a path down the property lead to a small private beach - which was truly dreamlike. Quiet, small waves, starry sky. A boat silhouetted against the moonlight...

Symphony Palms Cottage

A cosy wood cottage, built in island style

The dream beach

The dream beach in daylight

tree

A lone tree... an endless horizon

 dunghee ride

on a dunghee to snorkel - Elephant beach

Corals

reclining tree

Elephant beach

Elephant Beach

Snorkellers at Elephant Beach

sunrise

Sunrise in the forest - on the way to the Jarawa settlement

mangrove

Our boat took us through nearly 3 kms of thick mangroves on either side, the shrubs forming a low canopy overhead.

Barren Island Volcano

This is a mud volcano that spews cold ash as opposed to lava volcanoes. The ash renders nearby landscape infertile -hence the name Barren Island

June 5, 2010 at 12.00 4 comments

I did not see

She snapped at my shins.
She snarled.
She growled.

She bared her canines.
She barked.
She chased.

Off you go I kicked.
She whimpered.
Slunk away.
Defeated.

On I went.
Aglow with pride.
Along the sandy beaten path.

I did not see

The crashing mighty wave
That carried me away.

I did not see

Her warning.
She the limpid eyed
Broken legged bitch.

January 8, 2010 at 12.00 2 comments

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