Saturday, December 12, 2020

Riders Of The Ghost Bike


  On a silent chilly night, all alone in my room reading "Far from the Madding Crowd" I involuntarily switched on the tape. Slowly Kishore Kumar's melody in the melancholic number Zindagi ka safar / Hai yeh kaisa safar / Koi samjhaa nahin / Koi Jaanaa nahin... filled my room.

  This song virtually opened the floodgates of my memory.  A million thoughts rushed and swirled in my mind trying to gush out. One single thought connected to a recent incident made its way out and onto a blank white sheet. Yes, I would not be writing this if I hadn’t persuaded my friend for an extended trip.

  One of my friends bought a motorcycle. It was dream come true for him. For the last couple of years, he was yearning to own a bike. And as brick and brick make a building, every buck and pie he saved served to that end - buying his dream-bike. Caressing his bike, he said to me, "Yaar, let's go to Tirupati and thank the Lord for this long-cherished wonderful gift". I agreed enthusiastically.

  For both of us, it was a first trip to the Hills and we decided to make it a joyous one on his new bike. With a small kit of travelling accessories hanging on our backs through our shoulders and with a little bit of extra fittings to our bike, off we went to the Hills. We rode in turns, sometimes dropping our breakneck speed a little and negotiating tactfully the threat of lorries which we nearly rammed into twice. We gave ourselves small periods of rest in between, allowing the cute bike to cool off.

  We reached Tirumala Hills and had a good darshan of Lord Balaji. Well, it's really a treat to watch the Lord of the Hills bedecked with jewels, well enshrined in HIS Sanctum Sanctorum and presiding as many darshans as we had. In our ecstasy, we did not forget our bike. We had arranged a grand pooja for it and sought the Lord's blessings.

  After enjoying the trip to the Hills, He suggested to me that we pay a visit to his only brother staying in Chennai. I was reluctant and disagreed. "Look," he said, "we have come this far, let's go a bit further. It makes no difference. With him, we threesome could have fun.  

  He also reasoned that the visit to Chennai would also help us have a feel of things with him – like how's he doing all alone over there with his wife sitting pretty at her mother's place to be delivered of a child.

  I was disdainful as if having a foreboding of the things to come. Yet I agreed somewhat reluctantly. So we, with a kick-start zoomed off to Chennai. Just as we entered into the city, our bike broke down and refused to budge.

  Nevertheless, we doggedly pulled the bike along to our destination. We were tired. But his brother's child-like happiness banished all our exhaustion. The welcome was warm and very much affectionate.

  After exchanging embraces and pleasantries for a couple of hours, we got down to business – that of getting the bike repaired first. His brother immediately took our bike to a nearby workshop.

  That was the end of it. For a couple of days we had a jolly good time in Chennai. But our bike didn't turn up for some reason or the other. We cursed the mechanic. His brother assured us to send it back by any means he could get at as soon as possible. We agreed as there was no other alternative.

  But then on the third day of our reaching Hyderabad, my friend received a telegram from Chennai. It said in effect that one person died in a road accident while riding a bike with a registration mark of Hyderabad. The bike was so badly mangled that the victim died on the spot. Rush immediately. It screamed.

  The news shook him badly. He was silently sobbing. He cursed himself. He had purchased the bike and took it all along to Chennai. It did the rest. Killed him instantly – his only brother. Fate! What about his wife and his yet to be born child. All these thoughts sank him in utter sorrow. His voice trailed off. He was still sobbing silently.

  'Easy friend, it all happened with Lord's connivance. For we humans cannot see the death's sting. Neither can we read Lord's thoughts. We really had a death-ride all the way to Chennai. Yet we were not stumped'. I trembled with a guilty conscience not knowing what to say further...  

Friday, November 7, 2014

An Insatiable Actor, Kamal Haasan!!

Kamal Haasan! The name has become synonym with cinema. Kamal is cinema and cinema is Kamal. Such is his life. Kamal lived on films and films thrived on Kamal Haasan. Since he started walking as a kid he straight away walked onto the celluloid at the age of five. Ever since, there was no turning back for him. He has been entertaining the world of audiences for the last 55 years and is still on the scene going as strong as ever giving a tough competition to his youngsters and inspiring them.

Kamal Haasan is not just an actor. He is a producer, director, screenwriter, singer, lyricist all rolled into one. Above all, he is perfectionist to the core. Whatever he does he does it in style and with elegance taking care of even the minutest details. Especially his obsession for makeup to transform himself into roles is well known. His infinite patience to sit on the makeup table for hours together is just amazing. But for others Kamal looks maverick and out of place in Indian cinema. His obsession with films has made him don different kind of roles that warrants complete change in physical form via makeup that nobody dared experiment like Kamal Haasan did. 

He played the role of a lame guy in 16 Vayathinile in 1977, a blind man in Raja Paarvai in 1981, a dwarf in Apoorva agodharargal in 1989, a potbellied buck-teethed middle-aged guy in Indrudu Chandrudu in 1989, four unique different roles in Michael Madana Kama Rajan in 1990, an utterly looking ugly man in Guna in 1991, a woman in  Avvai Shanmugi in 1996, a 70-year old man with wrinkles writ large all over in the movie Indian in 1996, and above all his portrayal of ten different roles in Dashavatharam has become a crowning feather in his cap. Looking at the way Kamal metamorphoses into roles via makeup is extra-ordinary and unmatched in the film industry. Taking cue from him several actors today have been going in for metamorphic roles via makeup.

Well, to describe his histrionic talents one has to invent superlatives and adjectives. There are no superlatives left in English or for that matter in any language to eulogize Kamal's acting talents. One has to watch his movies with mouths agape in awe and amazement. Look at his amazing performances; a dreaded psychopath killer in Bharathiraja's Sigappu Rojakkal in 1978, a notorious smuggler in Nayakan in 1987, a dumb guy in Pushpaka Vimana in 1987, his role as a pot-bellied mayor in Indran Chandran in 1990, his role of a blind guy in Raja Paarvai in 1981, a dwarf in Apoorva agodharargal in 1989, entirely four different roles in Michael Madana Kama Rajan in 1990, an ugly innocent man in Guna in 1991, a woman in Avvai Shanmugi in 1996, a 70 year-old wrinkled man in Indian in 1996, and 10 different characters when coming face to face in Dasavathaaram in 2008 really makes you feel they are different and not a one-man donned roles. His sterling performance in Nayakan in 1987 has been acclaimed and applauded worldwide. And the movie has been included by the TIME magazine in its list of "All-Time 100 Best Films".

Kamal Haasan is not only an actor but a promoter of arts in movies. He has also promoted arts showcasing them beautifully in his movies. In 'Anbe Sivam' he showcased street theatre, in 'Dasavatharam' he promoted shadow-puppetry, and now his 'Uthama Villain' showcases Villu Pattu, Kalari, Koothu, and Theyyam, Bharata Natyam and other classical dances in Sagara Sangamam, bamboo-stick fighting in Thevar Magan and leather puppetry in 'Indian'.

Kamal Haasan has received the President's Gold Medal for Best Child Actor for his debut film, Kalathur Kannamma in 1961; Kalaimamani Award from the government of Tamil Nadu in 1979. Padma Shri in 1990; a National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil for producing the 1992 Tamil film, Thevar Magan; Best Asian film award in 2004 for Virumaandi; Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema in 2006; a honorary doctorate in 2005; Living Legend Award in 2007 from FICCI; four awards for his performance in Dasavathaaram in 2010; Padma Bhushan in 2014 for his contribution to Indian Cinema; 19 Filmfare Awards in five language movies; Kerala Government honouring him for his 50 years in Indian cinema; Other honours include Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, Nandi Awards, Screen and Vijay Awards and several more.

Besides awards and honours, Kamal Haasan's histrionic talents have won worldwide appreciation. Yet his insatiableness for perfection in his work is still burning within him. He is not satisfied and sitting complacent. He says in one of his interviews, "I want to give everything I have to this medium."

Yes Kamal Haasan is capable of giving everything to Indian Cinema; 'cause Kamal Haasan has many more years of life ahead of him and he has to carve several milestones in his cinematic career.

I Wish this Greatest Indian Actor a Glorious Super Duper Birthday !!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Benchmarking Leadership

  What is Leadership? What goes into making of a good leader? Learn here how you can explore your inner strengths; and discover the secrets of becoming an effective leader. Everything is laid bare here... Read on and find out what is Benchmarking Leadership.
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 Every individual is the creator of his own destiny. All the resources, strengths and succor he needs are within him. Organizing and restructuring them to scale new heights is the most difficult task. Very few have the acumen and skills to do so. 

  Not many are cutout for this task, which is why most people, lay desolate with their talents, strengths and resources. They are lost in the wilderness of obscurity. Leadership is an attitude to life and manifests itself in every task that one undertakes in his day to day life. 

 Hence, one need to effectively organize his resources to achieve optimum results in what he does. And this gigantic task of restructuring resources falls under the domain of Human Resource Development. As a result every company and individual has to focus on this aspect of Human Resources Development and capitalize on it to maximize their productivity.

 The most critical component of a person is his ability to dream and envision the future for him and his people. He should be courageous to surmount challenges, build confidence and trust among his people. 

  He should create paradigms for growth in a competitive environment. He should be able to build teams and motivate them to accomplish the impossible with spectacular results.

 On their way to becoming effective, people should learn through uncomfortable situations by adapting analytical techniques with a commitment to introspection and self-development. This is only possible through Action Learning. 

  Yes, learning is an ongoing process. We should strive to learn the learning abilities to learn. Action Learning is nothing but adapting ourselves to the changing scenarios in the backdrop of advancing technologies, without compromising our principles, ethics and values.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Is Bald Beautiful!

 Have you ever visualized yourself with a bald pate that glows to the sun? You would shudder at the mention of it, no! So do I. How do you stop yourself from going bald? How do you see that your hair grows longer and lustrous? Finally How do you take care of your hair? Here are some hair-raising tips that help make your hair grow silky, shiny, lustrous, hale and healthy.

                                                  -:o0o:-        -:o0o:-

 One fine morning, I woke up and standing before the mirror I ran my fingers through my hair. I was so taken aback that I felt the world swirling before me. For, I haven’t noticed for long how my hair is thinning at a rapid rate. I trembled at the thought of going bald at so early an age.

Hair has been my constant worry. Because, I believe the lush crop enhances ones personality and gives a dash of charismatic appeal to ones figure. Now it’s time to preserve my present crop intact and I take numerous precautions.

 Come join me for an intriguing ride into the world of hair-care hitherto the domain of womenfolk. Which of the two women you train your sights on admirably... a woman with a near-balding pate? Or a woman with long lustrous flowing tresses that swings graciously on her…? Obviously the latter of course. Well, have you ever visualized yourself with a bald pate that glows to the sun?

 You would shudder at the mention of it, no! So do I. That goes to prove how hair influences or enhances ones physical features; and how it gives you a dash of youthfulness. Isn’t it time we take care of it now?

Here are some hair-raising tips. The factors that contribute to hair loss are chiefly dandruff the dangerous, deficiency of vitamins, iron, iodine and above all depression apart from malfunctioning of thyroid and pituitary glands. These can be rectified if you take a little bit of extra care while the glands malfunction can be taken care of by your qualified physician.

  Let’s take dandruff the dangerous first, the common malady afflicting us all.

Solution #1
v  Take a lemon and squeeze it.

v  Add a few drops of warmly heated coconut oil or warm water to the juice and gently massage your hair with it down to the roots.

v  After a while you feel like scratching your head with vengeance. This itching sensation is nothing but the work of lime over dandruff.

v  But do not scratch go on massaging gently with your finger-tips avoiding nails.

v  Let it dry for fifteen to thirty minutes and then take a head bath.

v  For head baths prefer shikakai or rita or a shampoo prescribed by your beautician or physician.

v  Do it once or twice a week.

v  Dandruff disappears with each such wash leaving your hair shiny and silky.

The lime or lemon apart from being effective dandruff deterrent is also an excellent preventive of hair-loss.

Solution #2
If your hair-fall is at an alarming rate the first chief remedy is...

v  The less you bother about it the better. Maintain your cool.

v  Now soak a handful of methi or menthulu for a night and pestle it to a fine paste.

v  Add two eggs to it {only the white content and not the yolk for it give out a foul smell}.

v  Then gently massage the paste on your head reaching out to the roots.

v  Let it dry for an hour.

v  If you wish you can also apply lemon juice for sheen on this paste after it is dried. Then wash with shikakai or rita.

v  You can use your favorite shampoo for a second wash to give off a heady smell.

v  Do it once or twice a week.

Solution #3 
Another method is that...
v  Take some gruel, the water or extracted from cooking rice.

v  Add a few hibiscus {mandaram in Telugu} leaves or flowers.

v  Used tea leaves can be added.

v  If you heat it to a boiling point it is better.

v  Finally add shikakai or rita.

v  Stir the mixture thoroughly and wash your hair.

v  You could use your favorite shampoo for a second wash to give off a heady smell.

By this method you can at least preserve your present crop.

Solution #4 
Further if you wish to turn your hair into a lustrous and silky, try this.

v  Take eight to ten gooseberries, avlas or usirikai. You can also take avla powder.

v  Take half a glass of milk.

v  Boil avlas {or avla powder} in the milk like you boil potatoes.

v  Next remove the seeds and make a paste of the pulp thoroughly.

v  Apply it to your hair massaging well into the roots.

v  Let it dry for an hour or so.

v  Then have a head bath.

This is also an effective way of protecting your hair silky, shiny, lustrous, hale and healthy. Use of avla prevents hair-fall and also blackens your hair.

Solution #5 
How to turn your grey hair into jet black

v  Collect some Mehendi Leaves.

v  Grind them into a fine paste.

v  Take rose water, sour curd, used or boiled tea-leaves, some hot water, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Take all in the right proportion.

v  Stir the mixture and make it like a paste. The mixture should be thick like gum.

v  And leave it for eight to ten hours. Better prepare the mixture during nights to have the required time-gap before use. Then sieve it as you cannot filter the paste.

v  Apply the paste gently to your hair reaching out to the roots. Wait for 4 hours.

v  Then take a head bath as suggested above.

v  Repeat this procedure whenever you have sufficient time. Since this is a natural solution it does work out well.

Though this writer cannot guarantee that it is a "Lasting" solution for turning grey into black; but still it is the best alternative to chemical dyes and sprays that's flooding the market these days.

Some Precautions for Your Hair Care
Apart from deficiency of vitamins depression is the main culprit that turns your hair grey. If you are hair-conscious it depresses further your already-depressed mind. The best remedy is to fight depression with a weapon called cheerfulness.

1.       For total hair-care irrespective of your hair style and class of which it belongs, whether dry, oily or brittle. I suggest...

2.        Do not worry much about your hair.

3.      Find out with your doctor if possible for any malfunctioning of your pituitary or thyroid glands.

4.        Let your food consists of rich in all vitamins A B C D E, iron and iodine.

5.        Do not expose your head too much to the sun.

6.        Keep your scalp dirt-free.

7.        Apply pure coconut oil at least two hours before head bath.

8.        Regular head bath is preferable to rather once in a week.

9.   Use pure shikakai or rita or a shampoo suggested by your physician or beautician.

10.   Dry your hair perfectly by rinsing and gently massaging it with a cotton towel.

11.     Do not use hair blowers and hair dryers for this will damage your hair roots.

12.   If you still prefer to use one, then keep the blowers at a distance in a way that emanating hot-air may not affect your hair roots.

13.  Comb your hair as many times as you can, for this will help in good blood circulation underneath your scalp strengthening your hair roots.

14.  Remember combing is not scratching. So select your combs with a not too sharp teeth but brushes gently.

15.  Do not use combs used by others as you may get infected with their hair problem.

16.     See that your hair is not split at the ends. Split-ends stop the growth of your hair.

17.     Go for regular haircuts. Regular haircuts cutoff the split-ended hair. 

18.     Lastly and finally I suggest use pure coconut oil.

Hope this article solves your hair problems.