Thursday, December 31, 2015

Begin again- my scrapbook!

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Ebbs and tides of a bygone year
Piggyback with cheer, sometime a tear
Accompanied moments of wistful bear
Hearts and flowers of memories recapture

Alleviated spirits with sublime pure
Elementary matters transporting unknown sphere
Melancholy cycles dealt in fear
Jubilant sense of ecstasy in absolute sheer

Craving of ambitions, greedy with lustful desire
Appetite that is voracious asking for more
Contentment buried, gay abandonment to disappear
Oblivious of compassion, lunging despair

Worthy days of value turned dear
Reliving, summoning past to remember
Wrongs woeful to ponder and free the error
Set them right to be precise, perfect and proper

Dauntless resolves to desist and forbear
Restrain but indulge in passionate fervour
Shedding venerable objects of matter
Bounce and spring to relations eager

Threshold of a brand new age we usher
Hallowed celestial at this juncture
Bid farewell only to rise clear and higher
Bowing to Providence, the prime mover

(The poem is written in monorhyme format that has similar sounds ending throughout.)

At the very outset (amused to use this phrase at the fag end of 2015) let me have the pleasure of expressing my hearty thanks to Gurunath who blogs at for allowing my thoughts to take form through his blog. I feel ebullient and on top of the world – so 2015 is ending with a bang!
A calendar year has its peaks and troughs and each year is special and charming with intermediate doses of sourness and bitter thrown in between to make us grounded. After all gravity makes us rooted to terra firma!
It always feels great to recall the good moments that are so carefully safeguarded in the vault of memories and unleash them to the world! Ringing in the new year in my life so far has never been an affair of pomp and gaiety but ones of serenity, bonhomie and soulful in the wonderful company of dear and near. I have always felt that nothing in life is dearer and priceless than the adorable company of kinsfolk. Celebrations are usually in the form of lovely candle light dinners in cosy and warm places with the family to cherish for the complete year.
When my father came back alive from the claws of death in the year 1976, I think that was to me one year to embrace and I salute the Almighty for a fresh beginning.1991 was a watershed year with a double whammy, baccalaureate with a management degree and finding my partner for life- 12 glorious months of joy and happiness. Matchless are the joys of motherhood and 1997 and 1998 have been boon years on this front. The high points have all been pinnacles of personal glory with the elder son graduating with top honours and getting into a college of his choice. The most blissful moment of 2015 has been that of my hubby getting the opportunity that he was waiting for all his life and me “waiting “ with bated breath to see the light of day of that magical wish come true. I take immense joy in others’ exaltations and these give me a real high!!!
The trenches of despair are part and parcel in the journey of life as the counter moves from one location to another, so do my kith and kin pass away to another realm, missing their presence is sorrow of the deepest kind. The havoc wrought about by nature’s fury was devastating and the sense of helplessness adding to the dimension of grief and sadness. The letting down of friends and relatives, who failed to recognize my endearment, is the nadir of the disappointment and I fervently hope that blood is proved thicker than water.
Resolutions....aha...they pop up at the tail end of December with absolute resilience to look where I stand against where I intended to be, giving a fresh and eager start to accomplish the near impossible such as healthy hogging, soaking in new skills, to be wowed by wanderlust, to let loose the angel in me and to vacuum clean my mind of cynicism, counter blows and cruelty!


Saturday, December 19, 2015

Out of this world!


The doors of the KUV opened, and out stepped my neta, yes the very same bat in the belfry guy who turns things upside down and makes life miserable for the commoners, well his guest appearance was to inaugurate a school that had been conceptualized by the campaign of NDTV and coca cola, the school was amidst the sylvan green of bewitching Bengaluru near my house. I was exulting in the dish washer which my mom was going gaga over and my paternal grandfather appeared before me in my dreams and blessed me! Relishing my dessert with no guilt feeling whatsoever, I looked at the 15 incher glowing in the darkness of the night in my nebula  ...lo and behold...all the real life inspired characters and images of my blog posts were coming alive on the magnificent note book with the red backlit keyboard.
I was besieged and soon there was a flurry of activity and explosions of oohs and aahs around me. I typed Sunita on the flaming red background and abracadabra the specs buffy appeared on the screen alive and kicking in a comical caricature replete with the balding curls, the unscientific look and the prominent bulges showing prosperity! The inquisitive curiosity rover in me was unleashed and the keys were pressed with alarming intensity, and each time I was bowled over by the wizardry of the magical materialization of the real heroes in and! The personalities in the journey of life were portrayed on the sparkling canopy and speaking the dialogues that I had so carefully penned down. There is life after death after all, and the growing evidence of it proved by this sixth generation intel core processor! 

As I sat mesmerized by the galaxy of stars on the jet black screen animated and tumultuous by the turn of events, the already imbecilic brain of mine had further shrunk and was tightly wrapped around with a protective shield that prevents any atom of intelligence into it! The guardian angel son of mine, (fortunately inherited only my looks along with the add on in the form of myopic vision and not the intelligence quotient!), always attempts to bail me out from such perilous bearings and fails miserably, tried one more time to explain about the feature embedded in the out of the world shining knight in armour, the HP Star wars inspired Note book that had the remarkable ability to bring alive any character in a post and make it into an animated movie clip or present itself as a cartoon sketch for a newspaper or magazine!
Now I was in interactive mode, some of the protagonists were inviting me onto the stage and forcing me to let down my hair, do a tap dance or sing along. Some villains in the play were giving menacing glares, threatening me to withdraw the characters or else pay the price for this. Threats...pooh.....they fall on deaf ears and my keyboard tapped along making them from bad to worse! I paused and rewound on the unforgettable memories of childhood, sat back and let the drama of life unfold before me once again with all its glory!

 It was awakening all my senses and unleashing the force within me! My imagination ran wild and loose with this irresistible awe inspiring special edition from the house of HP! I flipped the interactive touch screen, ran out of the house in sheer ecstasy a la Archimedes style to let the world know! The high definition screen was aflame with stares and ogles of envy from my neighbourhood and I knew that the battle lines were drawn and the aliens would come for my throat any time with their saber, sword, battle axe, gun, missile and all the powers of the nether world only to be annihilated by the all powerful sovereign stellar performer!!!  
From whatever little I grasped from my son’s elucidation, the app worked something like this – it recognized the various persons, their personalities with physical attributes, their roles in the essays or posts or poems and classified them as heroes and bad guys to give the ultimate performance in life’s stage. The actors executed their acting skills to perfection, showcasing the talent of ‘mudras’ of anger, joy, surprise, shock, bewilderment, parody, cynicism, farce, satire, mimicry and a galaxy of emotions stretching far and beyond our milky way! These characters were loaded by the program to deliver their punchy one liners and lengthy dialogues and the story tumbled out as and when the post was completed. An instant transformation from the plain black and white characters to spirited caricatures emboldened and energized to play their stellar roles on the mini screen.

I was in awe slowly taking in the reverie of the unfolding times and imagined to be the master of the universe, brought exclusively by the Hewlett Packard enterprise!

Image courtesy: 


Friday, December 18, 2015

KUV 100- the kool Kat!

This is my first venture into unchartered territories of writing a review for an automobile despite being behind the wheel for nearly three decades. So readers, fasten your seat belts as I take you on a joy ride in the kool KUV 100 from the stables of M&M!!!
At first look of the KUV 100, my thoughts went to the image of a gigantic tusker with a baby elephant tucked between his legs- the KUV is the baby of the XUV!!!
See these images and you will nod your heads in agreement.

The rugged, aggressive and powerful vehicle will be unveiled on January 15th 2016. Powered by the mfalcon engine with a capacity of 1198 CC, a maximum capability of 77bhp@3750rpm and a maximum torque of 190Nm@1750-2250 rpm, this stunner is indeed a head turner! It comes in dual Variable Valve Timing petrol version as well as turbo charged diesel engine.
The mfalcon common rail diesel engine named after the big bird of prey, though light in weight, is high on performance with BS IV emission standards compliant. With this launch, Mahindra marks its dramatic entry into the ground up petrol segment in the compact SUV class. It will give its competitors in this category, a run for their money mainly due to its lifestyle appeal to the generation Y who identify themselves as cool and trendy!
It rolls out from the Chakan plant in Pune, Maharashtra state and is designed to perfection. KUV 100 (pronounced as one double ooh) is pegged below the pioneer XUV 500 and TUV 300 but has the same combative and menacing appearance! The interiors are a well kept secret to arouse the curiosity of its patrons who are waiting with bated breath to lay their hands on the masculine beauty but one little birdie told me that the cabin insides are equally tantalizing as the exteriors with rugged steering wheel with audio controls mounted on it, power windows, touch screen entertainment, central console, foldable seat and dual toned colours of upholstery.
The price is a real torpedo expected to be in the affordable range of INR 4 to 6.5 lakhs and the exteriors are based on an unique monocoque design. The hawkish front face with taunting grills and wrap around LED headlamps, a chiselled hood with high shoulder line and wide stance have all added up to give the real SUV feel!   
It comes with airbags, antilock braking system with electronic brake force distribution and electronic stability program that ensures utmost safety and stability. It comes with 6 seats with a 3-3 configuration and the colours are breathtaking with fiery orange, demure pearly white, soothing aquamarine, designer grey and midnight black!

Set you time, date and clock for the grand launch of the trendy SUV and be there to witness the revolution!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Lord of misrule!

                                         Lord of Misrule


We live in a country of paradoxes, on the one hand we have our Prime Minister going hammer and tongs with the “make in India” campaign, rightly so I must admit, and on the other hand farcical hand, we have the environmentalists shutting down the already “made” Indian industries in the name of pollution!
More than a decade and a half ago, as soon we crossed borders to a lesser populated state in terms of vehicles, my son would be gasping for air and we would reach for the inhalers. Numerous visits to the child specialist revealed that his lungs were weak and when exposed to dust, climatic changes and cracker pollution would be in choking trouble. It had nothing to do, at least in his case and I can only vouch for my personal experiences, with the emissions of automobiles because hardly there were any at the place where we were domiciled, and that too diesel vehicles plying in those days were without Euro norms or other emission standards!
The dust was invariably from untarred country roads that threw up lot of grime and particles which was a major irritant to the small collapsed lungs. The climatic conditions were not related to temperature dips, as I stayed in a tropical region with no known winter but the moisture content in the air with cool breeze caused more hardships to my little son then. The fire cracker dust and smoke was an annoying factor that aggravated his problem further. The fact that he suffered more during the months of July and August and again during October and November logically point fingers to my reasoning, as October/November normally is Diwali time and beyond doubt the season of bombs and rockets!!!

 It is also surprising that the apex court has resorted to the extreme steps to curb pollution by faithfully following the study conducted by our premier institute, the IIT Kanpur. With no vengeance to the portal of learning or trying to settle scores, I have my own lack of faith and scepticism on the conclusion of the study by their incubator that has revealed an alarming statistic of 60% pollution contributor as diesel vehicles, a matter of scrutiny and debate is necessary as I find lot of anomalies and aberrations in the findings
I can quote umpteen surveys across the country over the years which have given startling figures of asthma patients in other parts of India where the number of diesel vehicles are way low in number!
These surveys carried out by recognised bodies have narrowed down on various determinants for asthma, prime among them being industrial pollution, construction materials and debris, dust, pollen grain, domestic mites and other allergens and vehicular emission appear down in the list in many of the research papers.  
Our automobile manufacturers have strictly adhered to the emission norms as laid down by the Government and have constantly upgraded their vehicles to match the requirements which have been very challenging. It is only recently that the automobile sector has turned the corner and looking up. The automobile sector is contributing almost 10% of India’s GDP according to the latest figures which is without doubt a major chunk. This is in addition to their contribution to the exchequer in the form of excise duty and exports. Apart from this, it has also provided jobs and helped in the setting up of ancillary units thereby augmenting the growth of the country.
Be that as it may, I for one in my individual capacity been driving a home manufactured Mahindra Scorpio from 2008 with an engine capacity of 2200 CC, and proudly so for the simple fact the emissions have always been well within the limits and never discharged copious smoke! I feel disheartened to see an automobile manufacturer such as the M&M at the receiving end of the ruling of the Supreme Court!
The situation in the capital Delhi and the region around may be grim and alarming but the causes are many and few wise people may argue that well begun is half done without realizing the consequences of the action. The construction activity in almost all cities across India is one of the major contributors to our cup of woes and topping the list to our health hazards. The dust and storm raised by the materials and the debris left behind uncleared is a cause for concern!
The panic button has been depressed by the Delhi Government, which is synonymous with a state of anarchy and the hapless citizens floundering in chaos and confusion. Soon by this standards, a large country like ours with huge potential in all fields will be woefully reduced to a banana republic, thanks to the reign of misrule by a few!

 Political antakshari courtesy:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Bewitching Bengaluru....the southern star!
Green canopy

The year 1991, serene Bangalore beckoned her new coy bride with open arms. The seemingly endless canopies of Gulmohars, salubrious climate, green parks and blue lakes were sights to behold. Along with these nature therapies, the eateries in the form of ‘sagars’ selling bisibele baath, idlis, vada and mouth watering sambar and chutney was indeed a gastronomical delight.
Cubbon park

A walk down the memory lane is a walk down the myriad lanes and avenues lined with huge trees laden with brilliant orange hued flowers that had the power to heal. These magnificent boulevards had an added charm of small hawkers selling strawberries, cashew fruits and other luscious fruits. Cubbon park and Lalbagh gardens were cool, romantic spots to hangout with my new life partner and we explored every nook and corner of namma charming city and one could reach any part in a jiffy with no traffic snarls and hold ups. The concerts at Chowdiah, the umpteen temples dotting the mains and crosses of Malleswaram, the quaint bungalows of Jayanagar, the posh Koramangala with trendy villas , the up and down topography of Rajaji nagar and the fascinating grand Majestic bus station with numerous bays playing host to the blue liners were brilliant and unique in its own way! Shopping on Brigade road or Commercial street was a dream come true for young girls and boys and gave abundant reason for my friends to go gaga over the purchases!
Brigade road

Two decades down the line, the IT story began with a bang and along with green canopies came towering buildings of glass and steel....

vibrant city

Welcome to megalapolis...boom city Bangalore or whichever name you call it, smells as sweet as rose! A city brimming with vigour and vitality...a garden city as well as the Silicon valley rolled into one with perfect harmony, an urban dream come true for many Indians! A city that has something for everyone cutting across age, gender, community, religion, a blend of old and new!

For the nature lovers....

The botanical wonders of Lal bagh and Cubbon park are irrestible and we just feeling like getting up and going there! Spectacular rows of plants and flowers that make every lover of nature and a aficionado!
Aesthetics at its resounding best and I am sure each and every reader of mine will give a standing ovation to this paradise nestled in the centre of the throbbing city! A meeting of minds of the chirping of birds and swaying of the myriad roses in a jugalbandhi orchestrated by the hustle and bustle of the city!
Lal Bagh gardens

For the blooming fledglings...

The most happening place to be with the alluring and enticing pubs, fascinating and stunning malls and engaging and magnetic dance floors! Water holes that promise you the stars with foot tapping effervescent souls letting their hair down in style leaving their agonies and hardships behind...

Dance floor

For the devoted with a prayer on their lips...

The ardent and the devout find solace and serenity in the places of worship, a sanctuary in the labyrinths of perplexities!

For the food bon vivant....

A gourmet is naturally attracted to this urban dwelling owing to the varieties of food served here, from traditional idli dosa akki roti to chaats to tandoori to pizza, from local to multicuisine, eateries across the length and breadth cater to individual palate. Whatever be your inclination, this food loving city serves them all!

Food at its best
UB city restaurant

Rasa at Indira nagar

For the young questioning minds....

The Visveswaraya industrial and technological museum is dedicated to Sir M. Visveswaraya, an astute statesman and astounding civil engineer. Located in Bangalore, a teeming tech savvy metro of India, cheek by jowl with the sylvan Cubbon park, the imposing locomotive engine at the gateway is a sight to behold and as we enter it is indeed appropriate to find the statue of Sir M. Visveswaraya , the architect of Bangalore. We bow our heads in reverence to this icon and move on to the amazing insignia in science, math, space, industry, technology and music, spread on 40000 square feet with each floor designed to cater to a specific field. Defying all ages, it is little wonder that this museum boasts of a million footfalls every year!
Visvesvaraya museum

For the travel freaks....

Get transported to a world of exploration by hopping on to the purple and green liners- the namma metro taking you to the magnificent boulevards of MG road with free WiFi facility, an eclectic mix of the old and new Bangalore, the children play areas, the Rangoli art centre and the breathtaking pictures of the transition of Hoysala king’s   Benda Kaal Ooru (Town of Boiled Beans) to Kempegowda’s Bengalooru to the colonial Bangalore and back to Bengaluru!!! The imposing Chinnaswamy stadium looming in the background, take a break with a game of cricket and enjoy the sound of willow whacking the ball.
The striking red Volvo buses of the BMTC allows you to freak out across the length and breadth of the city and paint the town red by travelling in the uber luxurious buses.  
There are umpteen places for a perfect weekend getaway like cool and salubrious Nandi hills, magnificent Mysore in all its resplendence, the serene waters of the sangam with the Cauvery fishing hamlet, the rapids of Mekedattu, the temples of Devanarayanadurga, the monumental Shravanbelagola, breathtaking Coorg and this list is grandiose infinite!
BMTC buses

For the art and craft lovers...

The connoisseur of the theatre, drama and the like ADA Rangamandira is the place to stretch your legs for a wonderful evening of dance and drama!
From Chennapatna, the land of wooden toys and doll making to Chitrakala parishad, the art gallery that boasts of brilliant display of paintings to Cauvery handicrafts preserving the tradition of handicrafts, Bangalore has it all!

For the shopaholics...

Shop till you drop in the avenues of busy commercial street, branded Brigade road, 400 year old Chickpet, bargain hubs Jayanagar and Malleswaram. Buying, purchasing and spending become an infatuation and obsession!
Chickpet market

For the academicians...

The portals of learning are open in the form of well established learning centres and the most distinguished among them are the Indian Institute of Science(IISc) and the Indian Institute of Management(IIM B)that are conspicuous by their presence.
For the ever floating and connecting citizens..


The Megalapolis can be reached by road, rail or air. The state, national and Asian highways provide a network of roads to reach people to this happening city. The Kempegowda bus terminus popularly called as Majestic is indeed majestic with bus services catering to all zones. The newly developed satellite town bus stands to decongest the burgeoning traffic is a shot in the arm for easy hassle free travel. Railways have grown by leaps and bounds and the number of stations has gone up from one city station to half a dozen.
The impressive international airport is a major hub for domestic and international travellers and the entire town of Devanahalli has grown as a result of the airport.
We have the technology parks and special economic zones catering to the computer industry and thus earned the sobriquet of the Silicon valley of India and I am sure there is never a place named as “Electronics city” elsewhere either in India or abroad and Bangalore has that unique disposition.    

The standouts of beautiful and bewitching Bengaluru are, the all embracing multifarious quotients that pampers, embodies and gratifies each and every person living here and those eager to set foot in this city of hope, progress and prosperity.  So folks hook up and come aboard this phenomenal city and be part of a city that is alive 24x7 and savour the moments to last a lifetime!!!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Golden delight!

It is Diwali time folks once again thanks to sugar free natura.. but this time without the guilt of sugar and its calories! 

Presented here is an all time favourite from my stable....the delicious fried gram ladoo. Nothing can beat this simple but awesome delight and we shall make it with sugar free natura.
1) Fried gram - 1 cup
2) Sugar free natura - 1 cup or 3/4 cup
3) Cashew - a handful chopped
4) Raisins - a handful
5) Almonds - a few chopped
6) Ghee - 1 cup

Fry the fried gram on low flame till the raw smell disappears
Melt the ghee and fry the cashews, raisins and almonds in the ghee
Powder the fried gram
Mix all ingredients and add ghee
Make ladoos in a jiffy

So...simple and delicious and have the added advantage of sugar free dessert. The hassle of powdering sugar is also not there as we are substituting with sugar free natura!
Tastes like heaven and try it whenever the urge of eating sweets happen!!!
Pic courtesy
Sunita's kitchen gallery

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Much ado about the dish washer!

                               Much ado about the dish washer!

Several weighty issues were bogging my mind, a cauldron of concerns haunting me- will the inflation come down, I mean the prices of the veggies and groceries,  after the deluge, will sanity return in the world after the Paris and Mali carnage and the extremists are hounded out, will the boys do well in the ensuing exams, will my kith and kin appreciate me for what I am ???
Amidst the question and answer session in my brain, the telephone rang and was glad to hear the voice of my dad...”Suni saaptacha?(eaten in Tamil), he began in is usual peerless style and I answered in the affirmative looking at the clock to check on the time since I had my dinner, one and half hours to be precise and ready for the next one and I realized that it was his usual start to breaking the ice.
The conversation veered around cabs and his new found love for the Uber and his incredible enthusiasm to share his enlightenment, knowhow and proficiency among his coffee and vodka drinking comrades who lap it up much to his triumphant gladness! With the exuberance of a teenager who has a new I phone, he exclaimed “ Suni, we have purchased a new dish washer”, the chat had digressed and deviated to a new fangled, in vogue appliance that had indeed taken the kitchens of India by storm.  I was not surprised at this sudden urbanism of my dear parents after all they had the privilege of an NRI son to fund their whims and fancies. But all the same I could not suppress my expression at the dramatic declaration and my tone and pitch matched his animation.
He went on “we opted for Bosch as it was cheaper by a mile plus it has the features suitable for Indian vessels and the shopkeeper said that it is real value for money and the after sales service is good , the power and water consumption is minimal ...” 

 As he swaggered on, I fancied my folks in the appliance store, decorated for the festival with lights and balloons, the quintessential mallu salesman shrugging his shoulders with the symbolic nod of the head, compelled to answer in monosyllables, trying to wield himself at the volley of questions from the prospective buyers.  Meanwhile my mom would be admiring the possible colours and the freebies accompanying the implement and looking around more curiously at its competitors and thinking of ways and means to impress upon her envying neighbours! This brought a smile on my face and went back into the lively telephone prattle and he said”over to amma for more on the mean machine”!
Amma sure was stimulated but did well to masquerade her excitement in a smoke screen and articulated, “it is the same as the one in London you know, but then I did not operate it there for fear of damaging it due to my lack of acquaintance. “ I interrupted her “yes amma, has to be the same, as Bosch is a multinational brand and the elements have to be ditto”. She went on, turning a deaf ear to my interference, and now her talk had the eclectic mix of pride, joy and the accomplished wisdom of knowing the inside story, like a mechanic under the hood of an automobile and emphatically exclaimed that the buy was a worthy one!  At that moment, I could fathom that she had scant regard for the maid, as her tone suggested a feeling of one-upmanship and outsmarting the artful dodgers, the smart class of domestic helps!
“Though it takes long to wash, it does do it cleanly and of course I put it in the normal mode, regardless of the fact that two other modes are also available, and you know Suni, I could wash all the utensils of a marriage party in that time”, that had a touch of cynicism, I thought, as she chattered on and I listened like one curious star stuck child! She further elaborated on the nuances with intermittent indications to microscopic imperfections and I knew my amma would never allow any gadget to surpass or catch up with her skills, talent and cleverness!
Appa grabbed the phone to fill me in further on the unavailability of the vital constituent, the soap combo and the next ten minutes was spent in graphically revealing the adventures of searching for the same from malls to hypermarket to departmental store to the small retailer, eventually ordering it online with Amazon! I hasten to add here, he is up to the minute and new fashioned!

As the tete a tete ended after a good one hour, making the BSNL service provider poorer due to their free talk time in the night, I took pleasure in their attitude and envied them on their adaptability, versatility, being abreast with the modern day era and above all at the domestic device because I am still at the mercy of the wielder of the broom!!!

Image credit:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

#Grandsire greatness

                     #Grandsire greatness

The large black and white portrait of a man in a Nehru jacket with stern eyes and a slight smile welcomed me into the grand Chettinad like home in Madurai, a temple town in the state of Tamil Nadu in India. A floodgate of memories opened up like a torrent as I kept my eyes riveted to the photograph and the bespectacled man mesmerized me to an extent that I found my paternal grandfather in flesh and blood, right before me as serious and stern as ever!
 Carbon dating my memories I heard the baritone of my Thatha “common tell, if ten bananas cost 50 rupees, what is the price of one”? The 7 year old curly haired girl trembled in fear and looked at the iron man in a ironed veshti with a spotlessly clean cream coloured shirt to get some clue for the question. The mind was a blank, more so due to the fear of the hard task master than the math itself and bananas seemed never an inviting fruit at that nightmarish moment! “Kittu,” shouted my Thatha, “this girl of yours is not at all alert , I don’t know how she is going to study!”The Q&A session ended even before it started and I heaved a sigh of relief and rushed out to play hopscotch with my buddies.
Every morning I stealthily watched my Thatha meticulously polishing his burgundy shoes and getting ready for the morning walk, the crisp shirt and pants looking new as ever and the walking stick firmly hung by the elbow. In the one hour of his absence, I would rummage his spic and span room delighted by the artefacts. The “Eiffeel tower” paper weight was always an attraction and I would caress it to my heart’s content eager to own it but never risked that temptation for fear of the aftermath. The radio would be next, tampering, twisting and turning all the knobs till a cacophony of signals and waves buzzzeddd...across. The “Hindu” daily paper neatly folded on the “easy chair” was an easy target but for the shrill cry of my mom “Suni....out of Thatha’s room now” and like a scaredy cat I saved the rest of sabotage and vandalism for the next day. Thatha reclined in his easy chair and the cryptic crossword was done in a jiffy looking at his watch to find out whether he had bettered his timings. The flute and violin recital from the radio enthralled him and words of “shabhaash” in appreciation added, to evoke my curiosity. I tried my best to recognize the worth of the music, the musician and the avid listener, but failed miserably on all the three counts!
I peeped bravely at the fully filled black and white squares of the crossword and squeaked in absolute delight and awe at his alacrity much to his exasperation and promptly ticked me off! He had his breakfast at eight in the morning, a meagre meal of two idlis with chutney and washed it down with a hot cup of coffee. He was a slave to the clock and all his activities were ruled by the hour hand! His waking up, bath, meals, radio time, read hours all were timed to perfection.
A strange kind of rapport grew between us, two divergent poles, one, a tyrant and a dictator, and the other a wide eyed snooping meddler! Years rolled by and I graduated from a headstrong fiend to a mellowed desirable teenager imbibing his qualities of straightforwardness, honesty, discipline , determination, punctuality and of course the love for the cryptic and the math but never to come anywhere close to his prowess! In my growing up, I learnt a lot about the grandsire from my dad and the fondness for this paternal forebear grew in leaps and bounds and he became an icon, an unmatched noble character. He lost his wife, my grandmother at a very young age and single handed brought up five children in an impartial manner that started from the same type clothes they wore to the same harsh upbringing with the same quantum of punishment, eventually making them successful individuals. A civil engineer by profession, he worked in the public works department of the government, an upright equitable officer dreaded by those working under him. Nothing could allure him and any attempt to grease his palms was dealt with mercilessly. Many roads and bridges have his trademark style of perfection and the most notable one is the bridge across periyar river in Aluva which stands as a testimony to his greatness.

The iconic bridge built by Thatha in Aluva, near Kochi
His name 'T S Narayanaswamy' etched in the plaque

He nurtured, cared and lived life in his true inimitable fashion that is nonpareil. He rarely laughed, mingled, watched TV or partook in festivals and rituals and kept to himself and his routine. When I got married, he had a natural affinity for my husband primarily due to the fact that he was an engineer, a non smoker and a teetotaller, the basic requirements to get the passing grades from him. My hubby was drawn to him like a magnet for his discipline and meticulousness and both were in awe of each other. When my Thatha fell sick, Sriram nursed him to good health and maintained the same sense of perfection in keeping the medicines and other essentials. And then the Patriarch changed, it was like the Sun rising from the west, he cared to crack a joke or two, woke up Sriram early in the morning and both watched cricket much to my amusement. But his tryst with time continued unabated and his stature as a grand dad grew taller in my eyes.

I was filled with pride at his fair non discriminate virtue and even though I have never sat on his lap, ruffled his hair or hugged him or listened to a fairy tale and enjoyed the warmth and affection of a grandfather, he was made of greatness that left a lasting impression. And when the big banyan tree fell, I wept alone for a Thatha who was unique, rare, exclusive, solitary and one and only one!

So dear readers, what do you think about this 


glorious association? Tell me the answer and you could be the winner!
The #madeofgreat campaign is the first time Tata Motors is undertaking an overall brand association campaign with a brand ambassador. It rides on a strong consumer motivation of ‘Seeking Excellence’ and ‘Self Belief’ which is showcased by the confluence of two global brands-Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. The campaign builds upon Tata Motors’ DNA of trust, authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation.

Lionel Messi is talent galore with conviction and is an icon for today’s youth. He is a winner who is trustworthy, reliable, pioneering, simple and driven by self-belief, which is what is at the core of Tata Motors as well. Thus, proving to be an ideal fit for the role of Global Brand Ambassador.​