If we were having coffee…   #WTFOW #writebravely

If we were having coffee… #WTFOW #writebravely

Hello friends!  Atlast I hear a sigh of relief, elation and a bit of sadness. Let us talk about this fabulous week we had.

If we were having coffee,  I would tell you that I had such a fabulous week writing for the ‘Write Tribe Festival of Words’.   It was 7 continuous days of writing based on prompts.  There was this whole group of people who became friends during this period.  We egged each other on,  gave suggestions and did everything to support each other.  A bit similar to the April A to Z with fewer number of days.   Continue reading

Interview with Mr. Darcy  #WTFOW #writebravely

Interview with Mr. Darcy #WTFOW #writebravely

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourite comfort books.  It never fails to give me a good laugh. I like all the characters in the book.  My favourite is, of course, Mr.  Darcy.  It was my ardent desire to know what goes inside that arrogant head of his,  which led me to this interview.

I reached for the interview at Pemberly a bit late.  It was not my mistake.  I got lost in its lovely gardens and water fountains.  Mr.  Butler showed me into Mr. Darcy’s study.  It was grand. The walls lined with leather bound books. Some were first editions.  Mr.  Darcy sat behind a large table.   It was dark and masculine.  But, there were some pretty curios and photo frames on his desk. This was most certainly, a touch from Elizabeth. Continue reading

A letter to Opposite flat Aunty #writebravely #WTFOW

A letter to Opposite flat Aunty #writebravely #WTFOW

Dear Opposite flat Aunty,

STOP IT!  I want to scream but I want to be polite and just write bravely to you.  I know you are deeply religious.  I agree that it is your choice to express your love to God.  But these daily two hour bhajans are getting on my nerves.  Initially,  I thought this is a one day phenomenon but after a few days,  I realised this could be a week.  I can grit through it.  That’s when a friend told me that this is the festival of Hindola.  It is not only alien to my Kerala sensibilities but also my Maharashtrian state base.  I was informed that this will last for a month.  It is generally held at a temple or an open ground.  Bhajans (devotional songs) are sung for Lord Krishna by rocking his baby swing. Continue reading

A day in the life of a TV Serial MIL and DIL  #WTFOW #writebravely

A day in the life of a TV Serial MIL and DIL #WTFOW #writebravely

Movies and TV Serials are exaggerations on life.  The movies have toned down a bit now,  but the TV Serials in the popular TV channels are still in a different world and era.  I have seen TV serials across Hindi and in Malayalam too.  And some friends tell me in Tamil too.  They are simply outrageous.

Typically, the serials revolve around a woman.  She is usually a daughter-in-law(DIL).  She has no other identity.  Her duty is to take care of the rest of the family.  She is an educated person (mostly).  She may be working too (God forbid).

She wears impeccable designer clothes with sober make-up.  A delicate chain or a string of pearls around her neck.  Then there is the mangal sutra (symbol of marriage).  The red sindoor on her parted hair is always in place with the bindi on her forehead.  She also wears kangans which is another married woman symbol in some societies.  She is adept at looking after the family.  She understands them, helps them and does everything for them suppressing her own wishes.  On top of that,  she is also a great cook and can dole out food in a jiffy.  She is deeply religious and fasts on every occasion. Life is good for her.   But, then who will watch the serial if everything is hunky-dory.

Enter the mother-in-law.  She is the supreme commander in the house.  The poor father-in-law is relegated to his office briefcase or newspapers.  Occasionally,  he goes out for walks too.  But, the mother-in-law(MIL) is the soul of the house.  Everything revolves around her.  Unlike MILs in real life,  she is always well turned out.  Mostly, in rich kanjeevaram silks with a spiffy hairdo. The hair is held together with a diamond studded head piece and some flowers.  She wears a diamond nose-ring.  She spends the initial hours of her day with getting her face ready.  Why bother about the rest of the family when DIL is there!  The MIL applies heavy makeup.  The bindi is an art in itself.  Red lips, kohl eyes with wings,  designer bindi,  silk sari,  heavy bangles and rings,  designer neck pieces and earrings and she is ready to face the world. Continue reading

The Madurai Meenakshi Temple #WTFOW #writebravely

The Madurai Meenakshi Temple #WTFOW #writebravely

I visited the Meenakshi Amman temple of Madurai in April this year with my parents and sons.  I have still not recovered from the beauty of this magnificent temple town and its surroundings.  I feel,  I have not yet seen it all completely and plan to revisit the temple again.

This was a plan I made for close to a year ever since I saw a post from a fellow blogger.   My maternal grandfather had visited the temple in his youth and had asked my mother to visit it atleast once in her lifetime.  It is incredibly beautiful.  The pictures I took do absolutely no justice to the beauty of the place.

Tamil temple architecture is different from Kerala temple architecture.  The layouts are similar with an outer periphery,  an inner periphery and the sanctum sanctorum with the idol inside the inner periphery.  Everything is laid out as per the shastras with the idols placed as per directions.  Kerala temples are sombre, serious affairs with the stone walls left in its natural states,  minimal decorations,  quiet atmosphere inside the temple with the smell of sandalwood paste, flowers and coconuts. Continue reading