A Glimpse into My Journey

Though am a confident writer by choice and profession, who is driven by passion, I'm not comfortable facing an audience! Recently, I have joined Toastmasters International (corporate member). Now, I have the motivation to challenge myself and outgrow my limitation. As a baby step, I had to prepare for my first speech called CC1 - Icebreaker(Competent and Communication). Since I prepared a script, I thought why not document it down as a blog too! Herez the script:

Born in a traditionally conventional Sourashtra family on 5th March...during raghu kaalam, whatever the implication might be. Well, I was brought up in an energetic environment and encouraged to do stuff my way. Dad is a business man and mom is an unusual home maker. Unusual, in the sense by the time she was just 18, she had me & my brother who is younger than me by 2 years! But, that didn't stop her from chasing her dream of higher studies. By the time I graduated with a BA in English Lit, my mom had completed a degree in Commerce (BCom), a degree in Sanskrit and Hindi Grammar too! All through my life I have seen that passion was the only driving force her. Speaking about my husband, he is a Metals doctor and because of him I have had the opportunity to travel and live outside India too, which has given me wonderful opportunities. We have a teenage daughter who is in AS levels in an international school, because it his her first time getting education in India.

I grew up with my cousins, and most of them were boys...I enjoyed typical boys activities like climbing walls & trees flying kites and basically I was a ‘tom boy’. 
Applied soft-focus - but you get an idea!
Besides that, I was named as ‘chatterbox’, because I always had a lot to talk, if I was asked to do something, I had to know why and if I was told NOT to do, then I had even more things to ask, why can’t I do and what if I do that! At home, I was banned from using razor blades to sharpen the pencils, so once at school, I think I was in year 3, one of my friends was using blade and he kept teasing me that I don't know how to use it, so I was trying to snatch from him and ended up with hurting myself...well, that gave me an identification mark for life!

Throughout my schooling I was a mediocre student, who loves chatting and being a back bencher, but the trouble was, I was never allowed to sit in the back bench because my teachers knew how naughty I could be. Any noise or distraction, first I would be singled out. This continued throughout my college life as well, so I will just say that I had a gala time for 3 years. 

Well, I have inherited my passion and interest from my mom. Whatever I do, I try to do it wholeheartedly and not just for the sake of doing it. My reading habit too has evolved from comics to philosophy and fiction to factual books. When I was a kid, I was attracted to pictures, so started off with comics like Muthu comics, Mayavi series and from school library I used to get Tin Tin, later moved on to Secret Seven, Famous Five, Treasure Island kind of books and during adolescent, I was more towards Mills & Boon & Silhouette series. During college days, I graduated to reading Ayn Rand, Sidney Sheldon, Harold Robbins, Jeffery archer and Robert Ludlum and I was introduced to Chandilyan and kalki too and till date I have a strong attachment to Cholas & Pallavas. Because of this passion, just at the drop of the hat, I drive to Mahabalipuruam just to see the caves & take photos. 

Shore Temple - Mahabalipuram - Our World
 When you do anything, do it with passion, that will be the driving force. From my experience be it my naughty tricks from childhood or preparing for this CC1, I do it with passion. Passion helps you to look forward to things in life and give you the confidence to pursue relentlessly. 


Flights of fancy

To do list:

1. Archive and organize tons of pictures
2. Do a travel without a set date/destination
3. After every drive or a photo-shoot, write 
4. Learn to swim properly 
5. At least 30 mins of outdoor everyday
6. Learn to stop the thought process @ will
7. Try not to juggle few tasks

See the list goes on...and am oredi multi-tasking, instead of focusing on the list, out of no-where I remembered this shot and started why not make this itself as a blog post!

பறவையை பார்த்தான் விமானம் படைத்தான் - Our World Tuesday


Vow - Does God Ask For It?

At times when I see people doing things in the name of 'vow' to a 'God', I start wondering, 'does any God ask for a vow?' Some of the simple vows like fasting, or tonsuring is quite common, well, those things might not hurt much. This is like a small gesture of 'thanks giving' to whatever you believe in. But, when it comes to Kaavadi, where they pierce themselves with spears and hooks, I feel it is kind of violent, and looks like 'self-punishment' rather than a 'thanking gesture'

This time, when I visited my home-town, Madurai, India, I happened to see a procession, that was on its way to celebrate 'Veerakaliamman Kaavadi'. It was quite a disturbing experience and my heart was almost in my mouth, when I saw a motorized chariot, where two men were hooked up high on the poles which is usually meant for bullocks. The most scary part was, the hooked up men were dangling and the pole was moving constantly like a shadoof, meant for taking water from the well. Take a look at these collages:

Skywatch Friday
Never thought that hanging men on hooks could be real, even as a vow! It was a queasy experience...seen only in movies like Dasavadharam. 

The above picture shows people with several piercings on their cheek and tongue. 

Wondering, what would be the motivating factor for performing this kind of harsh vows! 


Cheenavala - Chinese Fishing Nets, Kochi, India

Very little information is available about the origin of Cheenavala, except that it was brought in to Kochi, Kerala by Kublai Khan. The Cheenavala, meaning Chinese Fishing Nets in Malayalam, is the most spectacular attractions of this coastal region. I have not seen this type of nets anywhere in the Chinese fishing villages of Malaysia. As we entered the Fort Kochi beach area, this is the first sight that caught my attention, an idle cheenavala.

Chinese Fishing Net - Our World
There seemed to be commotion around a net and with great curiosity we moved towards that. As we neared the nets, the fisher men saw us with the camera, and asked us to get closer so that we could see how they operate the nets. While a group of men worked on the levers to lower the net, two of them came from behind us and deftly climbed the poles, see the picture below!

Quite an unusual method of fishing by the shore

After adjusting the nets, they came down and waited for a while. They spoke only the local language (Malayalam) and hardly spoke English. So, we decided to just hang around until they lift the nets. Here are the action sequence..

Nets laid down

Lifting the nets

Scooping the fresh catch

When we were about to leave, one of the fishermen tried to stop us and ask $10 for taking pictures. Now, we knew why they were so eager in asking us to come over and watch...somehow we got out of that spot without paying them! This is the first time I had faced the 'tourist harassment' and felt awful about how locals try to exploit the tourists, especially if they carry DSLRs. Whatever, I was able to overcome this misgiving when I watched the spectacular sunset behind these lofty contraptions. It will never fail to bring out an awed sensation.

Sky watch
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