Alia, The Girl Next Door

Alia Mo’Allim is a charming nine year old girl. She is the only child of two loving parents.  Her father, Musa, repairs bicycles for a living. Her mother, Fatima, bakes Khubz, thick Arabic bread, in a brick oven. Alia takes the bread to the market to sell. When she is not helping her mother, Alia…

Remembering a gentleman musician…

It is Sri Rama Navami today, birthday of the gentle God Sri Rama. On this day, I am reminded of another Raghava, Shri. P N Raghava Rao, the gentleman musician. My wife, Mala, was blessed to learn music from Mr.Raghava Rao for a couple of years in Chennai. At that time we lived in Alwarpet,…

A dream, a story and a thought!

Last night I dreamt of an old lady and a tiger.  There was nothing personal about my dream – it was not about me, my family or my friends. I do not get dreams often and these days, when I do dream, most of my dreams are non-personal. Also, like so many of my dreams…

Karadaiyan Nombu? Really?

I give below an extract from the local Washington D.C. Hindu temple newsletter describing the South Indian Hindu function “Karadaiyan Nombu“. I understand that in North India a similar function is called “Karva Chauth“. “Karadaiyan Nombu, or Savitri Vratham, is a Tamil observance in which married women pray for the well-being and long life of…

Of hope, faith and a great New Year!

Man, they say, lives on Hope. Not just men, but women, children, animals and plants, they all live on Hope and Faith!  Hope needs Faith. In spite of Mankind’s efforts to destroy nature, plants continue to have faith in nature, they believe and wait for the change of seasons, the rains, the sun and the…

The Great Leveler?!

“The Chennai floods have been a great leveler. Practically nobody was spared.” Every now and then I come cross this statement. A quick Google search with these terms comes up with dozens of articles. I am curious to know what has been ‘leveled’. Does the fact that people at all social levels have been in some…

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to my friends, family and readers! There is a growing debate on whether we should really celebrate Thanksgiving? For many the day is associated with the genocide of America’s indigenous people and celebrating this function from the Pilgrim’s cause does not make sense. I tend to agree with this point of view. But…

Who wants to be a refugee?

People do not want to leave their homes, land, clothing, family, friends and other assets to become refugees. They do not want to walk a thousand miles or hang on to life precariously in crowded boats to go live in an unknown land, whose language and culture are totally alien to them. Teachers, mechanics, shop…

Face with Tears of Joy!

“For the first time ever, an emoji is crowned Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year!” Yanan Wang (I can state with confidence that she is a Millennial), writing in the Washington Post, calls it – “Something not much bigger in size than a letter of the alphabet, but imbued with far more meaning.”  and “Something…

Thamizh Films & me..

I grew up watching Thamizh films. Once a month, on a Saturday afternoon, my parents would pack up snacks and sometimes curd rice, and take me and my brother in an auto rickshaw to a Thamizh film. We never sat in the ‘balcony’ – ‘too expensive’; we always went to the reserved class in the…

Why do I blog?

Merriam-Webster defines a blog as “a Website on which someone writes about personal opinions, activities, and experiences”. This is an applicable definition for my blog, even though I think it is somewhat a narrow definition! I like the Google definition – “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or…

Happy Diwali

Happy Deepavali to my friends, family and readers! What A lofty goal this festival has! “to dispel the darkness and ignorance, and spread the radiance of love and wisdom.” Light up the house, burst crackers, wear new clothes, eat great food, get together with friends and family for feast and fun! May be we can…