Category Archives: General Thoughts

Haunting melodies in Hindi cinema of the bygone era

I had to remind myself today that one point of time I was consistently thinking of films, songs, lyricists, musicians and everything related to Indian film industry, courtesy my job as a radio jockey in FM Rainbow 101.3MHz

It is close to six years that I have forgotten what it is to be in the RJ’s seat. Of course I do miss the days, adulation from listeners and my own working style.

But today being a mother, stay at home person and a writer has taken the front seat right now in my driving phase of life.

Today I happened to hear the song ‘Kahin deep jale kahin dil’ from Bees Saal Baad. It just invoked a gush of memories of me doing my script shows before Meethi Yaadein, my show on Mondays and Wednesday mornings.

Thankfully to help people like me retain beautiful memories of songs in films, there have been many beautiful melodies in hindi cinema that continue to mesmerize the listeners even to this date. Of course I am talking of these melodies from 40’s to late 70’s.

A few songs that immediately come to my mind belonging to this category are:

Kahin deep chale kahin dil from Bees Saal Baad

Naina Barse Rim Jhim from Woh Kaun Thi

Ayega Aanewala from Mahal

Gumnaam hai koi from Gumnaam

Mera Saaya Saath Hoga from Mera Saaya

 

You gotcha be dressed for all seasons in Bangalore

Everyone seems to have the forced opportunity to be dressed for summer, winter and rains in May and June in Bangalore.

2015 has seen dramatic change in weather in this overpopulated growing city. Nothing new, as climate is bound to change over the years, right?

But this time, looks like God is quite keen on making us utilize our wardrobe essentials on all days.

You step out in the morning thinking it is a sunny or rainy day and you are greeted with a makeover weather change in the next half an hour. If you have kids who need to be ferried around the city for school, tuitions or anything extra curricular, then hopefully, the same God should help you. It is not easy either to convince your child to wear layered clothing or carry around a jacket, cap, raincoat or a sleeveless tee.

You don’t know which ones you would need by the time you reach home.

With Bangalore gradually embracing the fashion culture and keeping itself upbeat with other upscale cities, the weather seems to be in full mood to make us utilise our wardrobe well.

No wonder, everyother day, we see a new fashion portal or an app being launched in the city to test the waters. After all bengaluru is making people be on their toes in dressing up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why a leisure holiday is worth your time in Candolim beach, North Goa, India? Read more to find out

A long pending post that was waiting to be posted on to this space..

It was a holiday in 2014 to Candolim, North Goa that literally made sure that we lost track of time. We were two couples travelling with two kids and were hopeful of a holiday to remember especially with small children hovering around us.

Candolim is less than an hour’s journey by car from Vasco-da-gama railway station. We had reached around 7am by an overnight train journey from Bangalore and reached Candolim in about 50 minutes.

However we did notice that there are enough options of not just resorts, but guesthouses at Candolim where you can stay if there is enough planning made for the stay. After checking into the guest house, we had two reasons to directly go to the beach. There was a taxi driver’s strike and the temperature was rising. So it was wise to hit the waters before making any other plan.

Nevertheless post our inaugural breakfast session that was to commence our holiday, we decided to be on the beach for the next two hours. While the men and the kids jumped into the water, the women, that is myself and a fellow woman companion had a good glance at on the fashion quotient on the beach. Obviously we were overdressed for the beach. Thankfully even the local residents give you the comfort level attitude that it is fine with whatever you want to be dressed as to be at the beach.

During our earlier visits, we have had vegetarian cuisines but those were limited ones. This time again, we read the boards that prominently read sea food, but we were optimistic of accessing good vegetarian options. Rightfully we were not disappointed.

For a shopoholic, there are plenty of options to shop –goods that either would be useful during the stay or as a memento. Hats, caps, beachwear for all shapes and sizes, sarongs, skirts, shorts, tees, Indian brass gift items, kashmiri shawls, were some of the items that were seen across displayed at several stores along the main road. There are options of massage centres for those who wanted to de-stress through a massage.

Time flies, when you watch the sunset at the Candolim beach or at the Fort Aguada that is adjoining Sinquerim–Candolim beach. Walking along the pathway leading to the fort and the wall of the Taj at Fort Aguada during sunrise or sunset is a worth a visit. Make sure you take your digital tool to capture the picturesque scenes.

Something that struck us blatantly on our faces in Candolim was that there were several boards that were trying to lure customers to Ayurvedic massage centres, restaurants, but were written in English and Cyrillic, thanks to high Russian tourist population at Candolim.

Lastly like the earlier visits at Candolim, we were greeted by fellow International tourists who want to say a hello to you and smile at you even though you are a stranger. This gives the feel-good factor of being in a place that is a friendly destination. At the end of stay all of us had just one thing on our minds- Wish we could stay longer at Candolim to feel the leisurely Goan holiday much more.

List of suggested activities when in Candolim:

Soak yourself in the sun at Candolim like most of International tourists like to do it at Candolim. If you are not in favor of sun tan, you have the ready option of getting into relatively clean waters. The stretch is less populated and people are on their own so you can be assured of your own ‘me time’.

  • If you do not mind on the budget go for at least one water sport like para-sailing, water bike ride or the banana ride on Candolim beach.
  • Visit a restaurant that has a prominent beach view. It is sheer pleasure to look at the sea during late evening hours. Ideal for a romantic date or a family evening where the kids can have fun on the artificial sand dunes.
  • Make sure you visit a restaurant that offers live band music. There are enough of such dining spots across Candolim beach and also at the by lanes joining the beach coast. You will get to listen to live music right from 7pm onwards with songs in English, Hindi and a few Goan numbers.

Lastly when in Candolim, discover a good holiday in India.

BY RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

 

 

Tiger in the city

It was going to be dawn on a Friday morning in a crowded city in India. Suddenly it appeared that there was a huge commotion in the busy market area. A rumour had spread that a tiger was spotted in the city. People were cautious to step out of their homes and go to offices. Parents did not want to send their kids to school. News channels were constantly beaming images of where the tiger was last spotted by a passerby.

Most in the city didn’t know if there was really a wild tiger roaming in the city or it was a prank by some mischief mongers. In a deserted building which was still under construction, Chulbul the witty mouse was creating some sounds in the underground basement. There was one small flickering bulb and no else was present in the basement. He was enjoying his catch, a leftover pizza loaded with cheese. He suddenly shivered as he saw a huge shadow near him. He rubbed his eyes to see if he was seeing a tiger. A huge tiger emerged slowly from the shadows.

The tiger said, “Hey mouse, can you tell me where I can get some food.” Chulbul had to gulp down the pizza piece quickly. He offered the pizza to the tiger. The tiger Sherkhan, said “ I don’t know what is this food?. I want to eat something like a deer or a rabbit or even a mouse will do.” Chulbul had to react quickly. He said, “Listen tiger”. “My name is Sherkhan,” said the tiger.

“Well..Sherkhan, I have another interesting food for you. He dragged a watermelon fruit behind a tin sheet and gave it to the tiger. Sherkhan threw a fit. “Do you think I can eat vegetarian food like these fruits. I want my kind of food. First of all I got lost today from the jungle and entered this noisy city. I want to go back to the jungle but I think I will either be killed by these humans or I will be dragged to a zoo.”

“Calm down” said Chulbul. For now you have to either eat this dish. It’s called pizza or you have to eat the watermelon. And yes I have a way out for you to reach the jungle. The tiger ate a piece of watermelon hesitantly and said this was not his food. He was almost to tears. The rat said “I think it is better if you reach the jungle quickly before the city residents spot you.”

Chulbul then took the tiger to another corner of the deserted building and that led to an underground canal. He said “You can try your luck and swim for a while before you can reach the jungle. I had heard from some other animals that there is a forest close to the city. Maybe this underground water canal will reach to the closest destination like a far-off highway road and from there you can find your way out. Also hopefully you might find something in these waters like fishes.”

Sherkhan seemed hopeful and thanked Chulbul. He also mentioned to the mouse that he is most welcome to visit him in the jungle if at all he ever thinks of a jungle trip.

Sherkhan started to swim and soon disappeared from chulbul’s sight. Chulbul prayed for a moment and thanked his stars that he was able to help someone, but more importantly he saved himself from being someone else’s breakfast.

By evening Chulbul got to know from his friends that a tiger had been caught across a water canal by some people but it was soon taken to the jungle and set free.

Chulbul went to bed with a memorable experience of his lifetime.

Eight things to know to be safe and enjoy, when in Bangalore

This city welcomes all. However, if you know some of these tips beforehand, your stay in Bangalore will become enjoyable!

Here are a few things listed from a Bangalorean for a first-time visitor to namma Bengaluru.

Bangalore is the capital city of Karnataka state in South India. Kannada is the local language spoken in the city though in the current times, most are well-versed with English and Hindi. There are a huge number who speak Tamil, Telugu and other Indian languages even though it is not their native language. Similarly there are migrants to this city who are from various parts of India.

The city has established itself undoubtedly as a cosmopolitan city that offers the glimpse of the country, with its ability to welcome and live with members from any part of the globe.

The following are the ten things that I can put down as a first-hand guide for a visitor who is new to the city.

1. Masala Dosa: Bangalore is also known as Bengaluru. Make sure you eat a masala dosa at a darshini in the city. Darshinis are the hotspots of breakfast eat outs that almost run through the day. The ones that have people swarming at the eatery will surely have a good masala dosa. Popular ones are Vidyarthi Bhavan, Adigas, MTR and Maiyyas.

When it comes to eateries and cuisines, Bangalore has welcomed various cuisines. If you are fine trying a rice dish, then try out a Puliogere or a Bisibelebath. Also if possible take time to have an authentic and grand Karnataka lunch. Good options are at MTR, Pai comforts at JP nagar to name a few. And last but not the least while you may otherwise enjoy cappuccinos and black teas; try a filter coffee –light at any darshini.

2. Heavenly climate: Bangalore has a unique climate. The season though is divided between summer, winter, spring and rains; it is not uncommon to find cool and pleasant weather in the mornings and scorching heat in the afternoons. It is again not a rare sight to find a heavy rainy shower in some streets during the rainy season of July-September to have some streets which may be just few yards away a bare dry weather.

3. Silk sarees: When in Bangalore, make sure you visit a good saree store to buy a saree for a loved one. A reasonable good saree ranges between Rs, 1000/- to 10,000/-. The range can go higher too if you want to buy. A few popular stores are Vijaylakshmi, Prasiddhi, Deepam, Nalli, Soch. Alternatively you can buy a khadi kurta at Desi, Fab India stores and Grameen Angadi at JP Nagar.

3. Feast for a thiest: Bangalore has quite a few scenic temples. If you can make time then do visit Bull Temple at Basavanagudi, Rajrajeshwari temple (for its intricate work), Iskon temple (a temple that has a modern touch to it) and Venkateshwara temple at Banashankari.

It is recommended that you dress conservatively when visiting a temple. You can wear trousers and tops but shorts and short skirts are not welcomed at the holy shrines in Bangalore. And yes dressing full covered clothes would save you unwanted stares.

4. Parks: Bangalore is home to a few gardens. For a stroll you can visit Lalbagh. Cubbon Park is more of a tree park, on the face of it, it does not appear safe for a visitor, however the places near to police station or Chinnaswamy stadium are widely used by people.

5. Malls: Bangalore has quite a few malls in various parts of the city. Phoenix Market city at Whitefield, Mantri Mall at Malleshwaram, Orion Mall in Rajajinagar and Forum mall at Koramangala are th epopular ones, while there are other malls too.

6. Heartwarming performaces: The city has a great patronage for Indian art forms. Almost every single week there are Bharatnatyam performances to classical Indian music shows. Some are conducted at temples, others at specific venues for performing arts. Look in an English daily supplement to find out on the performances in the city. You can attend a few for free too.

Bangalore has a vibrant theatre scene. Right from English plays to French and German and Kannada performances, the city has numerous shows every single day. You will have to plan a bit in advance, if you want to attend a theatre perofmance. Good plays are regularly staged at Jagriti at Whitefield, Ravindra Kalakshetra at the heart ofthe city, K H Kalasoudha at Hanumantha Nagar, Alliance Francaise in Vasanth Nagar, Rangashankara at JP Nagar and Chowdiah Memorial hall in Malleshwaram.

7. Restaurants and pubs: Bangalore has a midnight deadline in restaurants, while pubs will close at 9.30 pm. Be a little careful about auto rickshaw drivers, or even cab drivers. It is advisable that you have a friend who knows the local language/any Indian language when travelling in the city, if you do not know the city. Most auto rickshaw drivers will understand English. You can check your location and destination beforehand with GPS, and have a safety-app enabled mobile with you. You can also take a pre-booked auto if you inevitably have to travel alone in an auto. Bangalore is known for being home to good pubs. A few good ones are Hard Rock café, a few at UB city and around MG road.

8. A foodie’s delight: Bangalore, due to its mixed population, is home to various inter-state and international cuisines. So if you are missing your home food then you can be assured of finding one restaurant at least that will offer Bengali, Gujrathi, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Andhra, Kerala, Mexican, Thai, Chinese and the Pizza chains. Oh yes, there are scores of KFC chains, Subways and McDonalds in the city.

Do remember that is there much more to explore in Bangalore but I hope this would be of use to people who want to get a taste of the city when they are here for a brief visit.

By Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma

Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma lives in Bangalore and loves reading and writing on society and changing lifestyles

As published on Citizen Matters online edition on September 13th 2014
http://bangalore.citizenmatters.in/articles/eight-things-to-know-to-be-safe-when-in-bangalore

Is it so difficult for men to control their urges and needs

It was a year ago when I was working for a project for a company when one of my colleagues told me that he was disturbed by the rape of a young girl, as reported in the newspaper that morning. I said I do agree on it and it’s time people reacted. Then he told me something for which I became speechless for a while. He mentioned that India has a major gender disparity and we have more boys being born than girls.

Yes I nodded my head and then I get to hear from him, ” what do you think will happen when men have to remove their sexual urges when there are not enough women”? I just stared and stared until he left for some other task to be done.

I have never heard of any woman saying she cannot hold her sexual urge and she feels like raping any man. So how is it a problem for men?

Even otherwise, I do feel  sex has become such an overrated subject. I hope younger and all the pervert men understand, women are not beauty entities who are born to please you. Ask any elderly person in the city they are saddened by the developments the city has attained and many feel technology, digital devices and unwanted videos has unnecessarily fueled the devil’s mind.

On a another note, roam in any city in India, including Bangalore, I feel ashamed to say this that there are countless men who stand to urinate openly to any wall they feel comfortable.  Women on the other hand are taught from young to control her needs, urges and she cannot sit and urinate wherever she feels. Happy to say she does not indulge in defecating the city.

But who will explain this to men, that it is not acceptable to watch any man’s back and turn your head because he is urinating openly to some wall of a building or a home. or even an empty land.  Even young school-going kids are encouraged to do this by their moms mind you -I am talking of boys here. Girls are not allowed this liberty -you see.

Controlling our urges is not difficult and particularly viewing another woman, child, man for your sexual release is not done, will not be tolerated. I hope Bangalore soon sheds this tag of rape city to happy and free space city that has happy and sensible caring  individuals. 

 

The stay-at-home women

Once upon a time, society questioned why a woman needed a career, when her man has one. Today, it’s a society that questions why educated women would want to stay at home, when they can make a career for themselves, muses Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma.

Most of us would have met at least one career-oriented woman, a go-getter, who wears multiple responsibilities at home and at work, who wants to prove she is no less than her male peers.

There are also a few spirited women who try to get back to work, either through a part-time job, or by freelancing, or just lingering on to the hope that one day they will get back to what they love – working in an office set-up.

Then there are these other set of women who do not have great career ambitions; they might have worked once upon a time or never had a career.

They do not crib about not having a career, and never feel that they are missing out on something important in life.

 

Meet the new breed of educated, married and confident women who are happy to be “stay-at-home-ladies”.

There was once a time when the society questioned why a woman needed to work, when her man could do it.

Now, it’s a society that questions why educated women would want to stay at home! Throwing aside the somewhat feminist concept that women find contentment only when they get to have a sound career, stay-at-home-ladies are proving that women can create happy environments for themselves wherever they want to be.

Voicing it out in a recent interaction with the media, Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie said, “Acting’s a very lucky profession to be a part of, and I enjoy it, but if it went away tomorrow, I would be very happy just to be at home with my children.”

Says Smitha Rao, a young woman in early thirties, “When I got married over a decade ago, my primary focus was to understand the relationship and invest time in it. Life had changed and I wanted to take it in my own pace.
Stay-at-home women have to deal with a lot of unwanted questions and in my case, I was ever-ready to pounce at people and defend myself as to why I was not working. Today I have mellowed down and choose, many a times, to ignore unnecessary questions.”

It’s not easy to deal with questions that society demands them to answer, say some of these stay-at-home women.

It seems like everyone wants a justified answer trying to explain if you are educated, qualified, smart, then you cannot deny that you do not want to be a working professional outside home.

But it is the hardest when they start questioning themselves, they admit.

Women like Sindhu Sharath, a chartered accountant by qualification, and a mother of two, opines, “At times I do ponder over the question as to what I’m doing, not using my academic credentials. I also wonder what will happen when my little girls grow up and I will have nothing to do. But these are momentary botherations. What I do know is that at this very phase in my life, I want to be a complete mother and not bother about the judgemental eyes (mostly women’s) of the society. So I will figure it all out on the way; I’m in no hurry.”

Whether or not they have kids, these women believe the stay-at-home option is a luxury, for the simple reason that single income, in a time of ever-rising costs, is bordering on economical risks. But if a couple can afford it, then, why not?

After all, being pulled in all directions is not everybody’s cup of tea. It is a matter of personal choice.

Leaving their children in a day care, for pursuing a career, is not all that easy and nor is coming home to household chores after a hectic day at work. When such is the case, why not keep it simple and fulfilling, by choosing to bestay-at-home women if they can afford to, they ask.

 

 

Bull temple in Bangalore

Bull temple-basavanagudiThe entire neighbourhoud in this part of old Bangalore has a certain charm to it. One of the prominent locations for visitors including International visitors who can afford to have a little time and interest on a historical temple is the Bull temple. I remember, literally over a decade ago when I was a trainee PR executive in a firm, my role on a particular assignment was to take a few international media personnel from Thailand to this temple as part of their sight-seeing tour of Bangalore. The guide who was taking the personnel had a lot of unwanted information to share and if anything was exaggerate, I would be smiling to myself as to why do generally guides presented a kind of distorted image of Bangalore. But then that was years ago and I too had fun taking those journalists around the city. Cut to 2014, thanks to internet, reviews, traveller feedback, one can no longer present a different picture of tourist spots than what it is in reality. This particular temple Dodda Basavanna devasthana or Bull temple has a lot of visitors, right through the year. There is an open air path that leads to the Nandi statue and is allowed to be photographed. This temple is adjoining to the other temples in the complex that has the famous Ganesha temple and Lord Shiva temple too. But it is the Nandi statue that attracts a lot of tourists. The idol of Nandi is supposed to be carved out of a single rock. A mythological tale says that the bull temple was built to appease a bull that would consume and destroy all the groundnuts and peanuts cultivated in this area. It is also said that after the temple was built, the bull stopped damaging the crop. As a celebration of this incident, the farmers of Basavanagudi organized a Groundnut fair (Kadalekai Parase), near the temple. This festival is continued even to this date and is organized in Bangalore every year. Most Bangaloreans who live near South Bangalore find this an opportunity to just visit once this festival as part of celebrations of Bangalore’s festivals. Will be soon sharing a few pictures taken at the Bull temple a fortnight ago.

Motherhood: The career changer

 

Mommy moments, March 15, 2014, DHNS

 

Making it through the initial years of motherhood is no simple feat. It’s, perhaps, all the more difficult for women who have always been career-driven. They suffer from a constant itch to get back to work, even as they tackle the new-found demands of motherhood. There are several “mommy moments” that steal the entire schedule of the new mother.

Restarting their career and reclaiming their professional identity may seem like a Herculean task. For several urban educated women, even a year’s break can mean a dip in self-confidence and inability to understand how to balance work and home.

Some try to brush up on their skill sets, in the hope that it will fetch them lucrative jobs, while others get back to work, soon after their stipulated maternity leave, for fear of losing out on the job.

It maybe a long way before motherhood ceases to be a threat to working women, before they may no longer have to choose between a career and the joys of motherhood. Fortunately, the new careers of a few mothers are proving to be inspirational for many women to initiate the thought process to try something new.

Something that seems to be born out of being a mother. Something that chalks out a whole new profession for the mommy.
Few in number, they might be, but there are a handful of mothers who have found entrepreneurship to be a godsend option. These women have the luxury of enjoying all the perks of motherhood, even as they ride high on entrepreneurial success.

One such smart mother is Mahita Fernandez, founder of Gambolla, a kid’s activity centre in Bangalore. “I quit my job as a corporate communications professional during my pregnancy. I was very sure that I wanted to commit all my time to the first few years of my child’s life. I was an enthusiastic, first-time mum to a wonderful son, who enjoyed a great bonding with me in his infancy.

However, I found that there were hardly any places I could go to, to entertain an active infant. There was complete dearth of safe, hygienic play options for infants and toddlers until a few years ago. Taking him to public parks in all weather conditions was not feasible,” says Mahita.

So, this mommy simply conjured up an idea for a kids’ play centre. “It was during this phase that I decided to start ‘Gambolla’, with the intention to provide a safe, hygienic, all-weather play option for infants and toddlers. Since then, the overwhelming appreciation and encouragement from parents has propelled its growth as a one-of-its-kind activity centre for children of all ages,” she adds.

Being a mother made Chaitali Raizada, a one-time corporate professional, dig into her forgotten interests and rethink the needs of her child, as she embarked on a new venture.

“When I could not find anything of my liking on the shelves of local stores, I decided to try my hand at being an entrepreneur. ‘Taantraa’ originated from my need to give myself and my baby healthy food,” recalls Chaitali.

“I had decent knowledge about healthy ingredients and nutrition. So I came up with my own line of organic baked foods. Running a home-based company has several perks. I have a professional identity now. I also have all the time in the world to do things I love. But the best thing is that I can watch my daughter grow. Aanyaa happens to find me at home for every little thing – just as I did when I was a child,” she says.

For a few mommies, like Sowmya Srinivas, the career break post motherhood has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She used to work as a tele-sales executive before pregnancy, and it was only during her extended stay-at-home phase after having the baby, that she considered pursuing her interest in fashion designing.

“I was interested in fashion since college, but I joined a fashion designing course only when my son was five. I didn’t expect anything from it, other than giving in to my long-cherished dream of doing the course. But it turned out to be an eye-opener. I realised I was very good at designing.

Two years ago, I opened my own boutique ‘Fashion Versatile’. Today, I have over 15 people employed with me and I make good money. I must thank my son. If I hadn’t had him, I, probably, wouldn’t have pursued my passion for fashion designing,” says Sowmya.

Professionally inclined mommies, often, face the flak (mostly from their own kind) for not being around for the mundane, but important, times in their children’s lives. Working mothers may not find the time for a peaceful play session in parks on weekdays, or watch an animated movie with their kid on a Monday afternoon. No need to go hard on yourself if you are one among them. It really isn’t your fault.

It is only natural that moms want to watch their children grow, even as they pursue their careers. It is in the hands of employers to create more jobs for such mothers. New mommies, with strong qualifications and professional experience by their side, make for a pool of talent that has been grossly neglected by companies.

However, until that happens, you could reconsider your career stream. How about a profession that is more lax on timings? How about a work-from-home option? Or, you never know, you might just find that spark of an entrepreneur in you.

Perhaps, motherhood is simply a catalyst that brings out dormant strengths of a woman. After all, entrepreneurship and motherhood are very similar.

You start out with jitters, and then realise that you’ve just let yourself in for the biggest roller-coaster ride of your life. In both instances, you have to find reserves of energy, time, passion, finance, and grit that you just didn’t know you were capable of. You have to be a specialist at everything.

BY RESHMA KRISHNAMURTHY SHARMA

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/392020/motherhood-career-changer.html