March 17, 2017

It was the year 93-94. I was in my Tenth Standard. Our school used to take kids on an excursion once a year. Most of them were one-day trips which were more like a picnic than a tour in itself. The day trips cost around Rs.30-Rs.35. It might look like a meager amount now but back then that was expensive for my family. Every year I begged my mom and she would say we will send you next year. Year after year, I kept waiting for the next one to arrive. Finally, I was in my 10th grade and that was the last year of school. That year the school was taking us to Hyderabad for a couple of days and the cost was Rs.100. I was quite keen on going but very apprehensive in asking mom as the cost was triple the usual price. However, I let my intentions and she agreed to send me that year.

The trip was nothing fancy. No first class train or hi-tech buses. Our school had around five school buses and all the students were loaded into a bus with 2-3 teachers to accompany. The bus would start around 10.00 pm at one central point and drop us back at the same place a couple of days later. So, why am I telling all this? Ah!! Parents were dropping their kids off on two wheelers mostly and the affluent in cars which were a few in number in those days. 

Coming to me, mom was single then. Mom couldn't come to drop me because she had to close her tailoring shop and had to go home late. I think she didn't come as it would be hard to find a rickshaw back home at that hour. She arranged a guy who worked with her to drop me at the location. So, how was he to drop me there? On his bicycle.  And I so didn't want this to happen but I didn't have any option either.

I didn't want my friends to see him nor wanted him to come anywhere near the bus.
I asked him to stop at quite a distance and kept saying, " Anna, I can go. you please leave.. you please leave". We know how responsible this brotherly clan is! Though I insisted I could take care of myself, he deemed that it was his responsibility to not leave me alone and made sure I was with my school people. For some reason, I could never forget that incident. I believe mom gave me an earful later. She must have.

I spent a lot of my childhood not fitting in, in a lot of different ways. 
                                                                                                   ~Wil Wheaton

As a teen, we are not comfortable with things in general at many levels. I believe it is because we want to fit in. Fit in comfortably in the friends' circles, in the society. It feels awkward to be the odd man out. I was already an odd man out for various reasons. For being loud, for not being pretty, for wearing glasses, for being a Tomboy, for being bold, for standing up for myself. For my father coming and meeting us at school which was odd; for fathers came and saw kids at school only for PTI meetings. I didn't fit in for many reasons I cannot fathom.

What reminds me of this trivial incident after 23 years? My son. Another teen in the making. He is embarrassed if I am standing in the queue to drop him off at the movie theater. The other day he said, "Amma no offense but can you stop babying me?"
Perplexed, I asked: "Babying you? Seriously?" He is embarrassed if I play devotional songs while dropping him off at school. He is embarrassed for everything under the sun. Why? Because he is trying to fit in. No matter which year of the century it is, teens are the same. The circumstances could be different, but the Trying To Fit In is the same. Not just teens, don't we all try to fit in in every phase of life?

Fitting in is boring. But it takes you nearly your whole life to work that out.  
                                                                                                                                   ~ Clare Balding
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Quotes: BrainQuotes

February 13, 2017

He's not the one to buy Chocolates and Roses
But would fill up the gas on a cold winter evening
He's not the one to surprise 
with moonlight dinners or candle lit whispers
He lets me have my evenings 
my gossips with girlfriends
If I am a sucker for surprises, he tags along
Wonders he does on the least expected days
 Cleans the dishes and ponder I do, 
"Could there be a better day than this?"
He never gets a Birthday Card or cake
I learned over the years to care less
And he when I self spurge
Not that he's perfect, Not that I am
We have our own quirks
I love books, perfumes, shoes and everything colorful
and the new found passion for Mallu movies
He's a simple soul who's happy 
with his sports and Clicking pics
He drives me up the wall, I drive him nuts
Yet we manage to get it out, on our evening walks
He's not on my Facebook, neither me on his
We love our own space
The kids do despise, for we are on the same pace
when it comes to them of course
So, would I say, I love you my Valentine?
No, I would thank you though
for being reticent when I look at you for an yes or no
for listening to my sleep deprived stories
each and every morning
Rather pretend that you do
for letting my crazy self be as crazy as I am.
Here's a Happy Valentine's to you and me
Friends ask me at times, "Are you happy?"
and I reply: "Could be better, could be Worse"

P.S: We are not the couple who would murmur sweet nothings and I love yous. We are either too shy or too old to say it any more.
Image Courtesy:

January 21, 2017

గమనిక: నేను ఏ హీరో అభిమానిని కాదు. ఇది ఎందుకు చెబుతున్నాను అంటే, ఈ పోస్టు వ్రాయటంలో బాలకృష్ణ అభిమానిగా ఏమన్నా పక్షపాత వైఖిరి చూపించాను అని మీరు అనుకుంటారేమో అని...ఇది రివ్యూ కూడా కాదు. నేను చూసాను. మీరు కూడా తప్పక చూడండి. ఎందుకు చూడమంటున్నానో చెప్పే ఒక చిన్ని ప్రయత్నం.
గౌతమి పుత్ర శాతకర్ణి. క్రిష్ సినిమా అనగానే ఒక లాంటి ఆదుర్దా. క్రిష్ కి ఎందుకు అభిమానినో రెండు ముక్కల్లో చెబుతాను. ఒకటి, తాను సెన్సిబుల్ డైరెక్టర్. రెండోది, తన సినిమాలు ఒక మూస పద్ధతిలో ఉండవు. దానివల్ల ఎలా ఐనా ఈ సినిమా చూసి తీరాలిసిందే అనుకున్నాను. అందులోను ఒక చారిత్రాత్మక చిత్రం. నేను ఏదన్నా సినిమా చూడాలి అనుకుంటే మాత్రం దాని రివ్యూలు చదవటం, హిట్టా, ప్లాపా, కలెక్షన్స్ ఎలా ఉన్నాయి ఇలాంటివన్నీ పక్కన పెట్టి చూసేస్తాను. ఎందుకంటే, జడ్జిమెంట్ అనేది మన మైండ్ లోకి వస్తే, మనం ఆ సినిమాని ఆ కోణం నుండే చూస్తాము కానీ, సరిగ్గా ఆనందించలేము, అభినందించలేము.
ఈ సినిమా చూసిన తరువాత ఒక హైలో ఉంటాను, ఆ హైలో నుండి బయటకి రావటానికి చాలా సమయం పడుతుంది అనుకున్నాను. కానీ అనుకున్నంత రాలేదు. కారణం నేను చాలా ఎక్కువ ఎక్స్పెక్టేషన్స్ తో వెళ్ళటమే. అది వేరే విషయం అనుకోండి. దాన్ని పక్కన పెడితే, ఈ సినిమాని ప్రతి ఒక్కరు చూడండి. ఎప్పటి చరిత్ర అండి ఇది? రెండు వేల సంవత్సరాల క్రితంది. మన చరిత్ర పుస్తకాల్లో కానీ, పాఠ్యాంశాల్లో గాని దీని గురించి ఎక్కువ చెప్పబడలేదు. అలాంటిదాన్ని ఒక చలనచిత్రంగా తీయాలంటే ఎంత కష్ట తరమైన పనో ఒక్కసారి ఆలోచించారా? అదీ 79 రోజుల్లో? కానీ, అతను చేసి చూపించాడు. హ్యాట్స్ ఆఫ్ టు క్రిష్!
సినిమాలో అన్నిటికన్నా నాకు నచ్చింది, సంభాషణలు. ఎంతో అద్భుతంగా రాసారు సాయి మాధవ్ బుర్రా. వొళ్ళు పులకించి పోయింది అంటే అతిశయోక్తి కాదు. బాలకృష్ణ ఒక్కో డైలాగ్ చెబుతుంటే ఆలా రోమాలు నిక్కబొడుచుకున్నాయి. ఏ మాట కా మాటే. అలా డైలాగులు చెప్పడం అందరికి రాదు. ఆ భావ వ్యక్తీకరణ ఆయన ఒక్కరికే సొంతం. ఇప్పుడు ఉన్న హీరోల్లో బాలకృష్ణ తప్ప ఇంక ఎవరు ఆ పాత్రకి  సరిరారు. ఆయన లోని ఠీవి, దర్పం, ఆ రాజసం.. అక్షరాలా ఆ శాతకర్ణి మహారాజు మన ముందు ప్రత్యక్షం అయ్యారా అనిపించేలా అబ్బుర పరిచారు. మచ్చుక్కి: "బడుగు జాతి కాదు, తెలుగు జాతి. అధములం కాదు, ప్రధములం. ఈ విశాల దేశాన్ని భుజాలపై మోస్తున్న పునాదులం. వీరులం. వేద భూమి వేరులం." ఈ డైలాగు ఎంత బాగా చెప్పారు అంటే మిగతా డైలాగులకి అన్యాయం చేసినట్లే. ఒకటా రెండా...ప్రతీ మాట ఒక మంచు కడిగిన ముత్యం లాగా వుంది. అలాంటి ముత్యాల సమాహారాన్ని మనకి అందించారు శాతకర్ణి బృందం. ఆయన మీద మీకు ఉన్న దురాభిప్రాయాలు అన్ని పక్కన పెట్టి చూసి రండి. తెలుగు భాష అంటే మక్కువ ఉన్న ప్రతి ఒక్కరూ తప్పక చూడవలసిన చిత్రం. లేకపోయినా వినండి. భాష మీద ప్రేమ పుడుతుంది.
ఇంక మిగతా పాత్రల గురించి క్లుప్తంగా చెబుతాను. వాశిష్టిగా శ్రీయ చాలా అందంగా వుంది. నాజూకుగా, సుకుమారిలా, ఒక రాణిలా మనం ఒక కొత్త శ్రీయని చూస్తాము. చిన్న చిన్న భావాలూ ఎంతో అద్భుతంగా పలికించింది. తన పాత్రకి పూర్తి న్యాయం చేసింది. రాజ మాతగా హేమ మాలిని హుందాగా అనిపించారు. ఎవరికి వారే ధీటుగా నటించారు. పాటలు చక్కగా మాటలు వినబడేలా వినసొంపుగా ఉన్నాయి. కంచె సినిమాలో, "అటు ఇటు....." పాట విన్నాక, చిరంతన్ భట్ కి అభిమాని అయ్యిపోయాను. చాలా రోజుల తరువాత బాలు స్వరం వినిపించింది. సిరివెన్నెల గారి గురించి చెప్పే అంత దాన్ని కాదు. విన్న మీకే తెలుస్తుంది. ఆయన అంటే నాకు అభిమానం కాదు, ఆరాధన. సో.....
అన్ని సినిమాల్లాగే ఈ సినిమాకి కూడా ఇన్ని ప్లస్ పాయింటులతో, చిన్న చిన్న మైనెస్లు ఉన్నాయి. అవి చెప్పి నేను అభిమానులని హర్ట్ చేయదల్చు కోలేదు.:) యుద్ధ నేపథ్యంలో జరిగిన కథ కాబట్టి యుద్ధం ఎక్కువగా చూపబడింది.
సినిమా చూసాక, దీని కన్నా బాహుబలి బావుందే అని అనుకోవద్దు. బాహుబలి ఒక కల్పితమైన కథ. అది ఒక దృశ్య కావ్యం. రాజమౌళి ఒక అద్భుతాన్ని సృష్టించి తెలుగు సినిమాని ఎక్కడికో తీసుకెళ్ళారు. అందరూ అలా తీసుకెళ్ళలేక పోయినా, క్రిష్ తీసుకెళ్ళే ప్రయత్నం చేశారు. ఇది చరిత్ర. మన తెలుగు వారి చరిత్ర. అందరూ తెలుసుకోవలసిన మన కథ.
ఏదన్నా మసాలా,  వెకిలి హాస్యం, చిందులు  కావాలంటే మాత్రం ఈ సినిమాలో దొరకవు. :)
చివరిగా ఒక చిన్న మాట. ఒక సినిమా తీయాలంటే, కోట్లాది రూపాయిల ఖర్చు, సంవత్సరాల తరబడి ఆలోచనలు, నెలలు తరబడి నిద్ర లేని రాత్రుళ్ళు, పగళ్ళు , వందలమంది జనాల సహాయ సహకారాలు కావలి. అలాంటిది మనం అర ఘంట వెతికి ఆన్లైన్లో చూసేస్తే ఏమి బావుంటుంది చెప్పండి? ఎంతో కాదు. ఒక బిర్యానీ కానీ పిజ్జా కానీ తిన్నంత కూడా అవ్వదు :) లాస్ట్ బట్ నాట్ లీస్ట్, "అమ్మో... బాలకృష్ణ సినిమానా అనుకునే వారందరు, ఆహా! బాలకృష్ణ సినిమా బావుంది" అని అంటారు.

ఇట్లు మీ ,
లక్ష్మీ పుత్రిక పృథ్వీ లత 

December 28, 2016

Plan B!! What plan is she talking about? I know what you all naughty people might be thinking of. I am not talking of the Plan B for...err..Okay! Let's talk business. On a cloudy morning we warn our kids to wear their rain jackets, we remind our spouses not to forget their umbrellas. We have an alternate plan for surprise showers. We keep candles at home in case of a power shortage; we have hand fans, we buy additional groceries to avoid running to stores at odd hours; we keep a rescue kit for floods and earthquakes, you name it and we have an alternate solution for every single trouble that comes our way. Do we also plan similarly for larger things in life? If a family member falls terminally ill; are we financially equipped to meet the medical expenses? If that family member is the sole bread winner; who is going to take reins of the family? What if both parents travel together and never come back? What happens to the kids? What if the husband dies of a heart attack or meets a road accident? What's the plight of the wife and children? Life isn't going to be the same, is it? These thoughts run through my mind all the time.
Death and unforeseen circumstances could occur in anyone's life. We hear this random news of deaths and illness from a distant relative, a friend, a co-worker or a neighbor. But the intensity hits only when it happens to us.
When I was a kid I would think people die only when they get old. That myth has changed over the years. Of late, with the incidents that have happened around me, my perception of life has evolved a lot larger than it was. Death could happen to anyone in any age. A few incidents in the past few years related to people I once knew or cousins of friends have left me devastated. 
I know nothing can prepare us for the worst. But like they say foresee the unforeseen; by taking some small and some big & bold decisions, I believe we all can be prepared for what may come. If not completely, at least partially. Don't ask me if I have taken all the below measures before coming up with this post. The answer is No and I am on my way. Few of them are:
  1. Insurance. Get Insured. Enroll in a Life Insurance Policy that will take care of the family in case of a sudden demise. Make the spouse and kids as nominees for the ease of everything.
  2. Write your Will. It may sound overly precautious and a bit dramatic but yes, your Will is important. It is important to let your kids know what and with who their future lies. If you have already done so, revise it every 5 years. Will is not just a testament of your properties and declaration of who is going to possess what physical belongings but to let them know who has the custody of the family. In some cases, if the Will is not written, the insurance amount does not reach the beneficiary but would go to some charity/organization. 
  3. Finances. Make your spouse a partner in everything. There are many families where the man runs the show and the woman of the house has no clue on the inflow/outflow of finances. Both the partners need to be involved in paying the bills and running the household. Don't limit their capabilities only for savings in coupons and grocery shopping.
  4. Be Independent. Women need to come out of their protective shells and be independent. I have heard this answer zillion times when I ask some basic questions. "Oh..I don't know all that Latha. He takes care of all that stuff." I have friends who do not know the salary they earn or what their bank accounts hold. Every woman needs to know a means to earn.
  5. Learn to cook and clean. These days most of the men know basic cooking and cleaning. Yet there are scores of men who do not know a thing in the kitchen. My dear ladies, teach your man how to cook and make the kids get ready to school. Your parents will be too old to support you or your neighbors cannot keep sending dishes forever.
  6. Slow down. Life is a race. We all are running to meet ends. And the little time we have on hand is spent on trivial matters that don't really need our time.
  7. Good Relations.  There is a saying in Telugu, "Noru manchidaite, vooru manchidi avutundi". Which is "If your tongue is sweet, your village is sweet with you". I know the true translation sounds funny but it really means to maintain the good relations with our near and dear without slipping our tongue. A quote that resonates:  "You can change your world by changing your words... Remember, death and life are in the power of the tongue." Joel Osteen. 
  8. Save. Save for a rainy day. I don't think we need to be stingy to save nor splurge on extravaganzas. Try to strike a balance between saving and spending.
  9. Be Practical. Teach your kids the harsh realities of life. Since we faced hardships growing up doesn't mean we have to protect them from those. Let them know that life could turn upside down any moment.
The list could go on and on..We can never be 100% equipped all the time waiting to face an emergency situation. However, it will be a tad bit easier to pull ourselves together when everything falls apart. With this, I want to bid good bye to an eventful year. Hoping the next year brings more peace and love for all of us; I wish you all a Happy New Year! 
We don't develop courage by being happy every day. We develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.  -Barbara De Angelis

P.S: If you haven't thought about it so far, start thinking about your plan B!

September 22, 2016

Warning: This post is not intended to target any one person. All the opinions are purely the writer's ramble.

I hate Desis! Oh well, hate is a strong word, they say. Rather, I don't like desis. These days, it's one of the in things. Like wearing pants that show your bottoms, heaps of hair on the top of the head, like growing beards, over sized many of these things we see and hear everyday, dislike a desi being a desi. I hear this statement so often. Also, I have noticed not all immigrants have this special dislike for desis. There are certain categories. I don't want to single them lest they all file a law suit on me. Anything is possible in this country, you know!

This special section of desi disliking desi disorder can be found anywhere. At your work place, at your common parties, in your community club etc.They do not like to gather with a lot of Indians, send kids to a Montessori with Indian teachers, they don't like to visit Indian doctors (poor fellas work their asses off than anyone else to settle in their profession), don't visit Indian restaurants. Though many Americans love Indian food, this tribe carries their pride in savoring over Sushi and dining at a Lebanese or an Ethiopian restaurant.  For that matter, they have nothing to do with India at all except feel unlucky for being an Indian. (The unlucky part, I made it up :P).

Mom lives with us here and has come across this increasing breed in recent days. That's when a few questions sprang up in our discourse.
  1. Aren't we all desis? Aren't we here like any other one of them? To make a livelihood? Then why hate the same breed so much?
  2. When you don't like Desis so much, why do you live among them? Why don't you buy a home in a place where there is no Indian population at all? May be go to Alaska..just a thought. I know folks who have done that too, BTW, Not Alaska really...
  3. Why do you celebrate Indian festivals? Eat Indian food?
  4. If your kid is sick, why do you call your desi grandma and ask for home remedies?
  5. Why this touch me not attitude? 
Living among Indians, helped me in many ways. There are times when either of us can't drop or pick our kids from schools. I just have to call one of our neighbors and they do it for us. One of our neighbors had their family visit and all of them wouldn't fit in their car. We were more than happy to lend our van. Last weekend, there was a talk show of my favorite writer and we were wondering what to do with the kids. I just had to knock on a door and drop her there. The same neighbor called mom to ask if she can cook and send something as she was sick for past 3 days. It is mutual. Folks, there is an unexplained camaraderie in the desi community. Many of our organisations are going above and beyond in extending a helping hand to our community. One needn't face unforeseen circumstances to experience it. Next time when you utter: "Oh..Desis!"; Remember! If you aren't tolerant to your own kind, no one else will be!

It's implied that you be a Roman in Rome. One may change the way he dresses, talks, walks, eats but not the way he's born. That doesn't make you any less Indian. 

P.S: Let me admit, this post rose from my own intolerance and how I grew out of it.
P.s.s: I hope you all like this new template...more peaceful and simple compared to my old one.