Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bharati and me

The closest that I have to my mother's lap, is Bharati.

My first introduction to his works began some 13 years ago, when I witness dad going sombre after watching a late night movie. It was unlike him to be sentimental over movies, unlike me, but this was a strange revelation.

It was an award winning biopic on Bharathi. 
Chinnaswami Subramania Bharati, also known to the world as Bharati, was a poet/activist/artist/journalist/writer (a few more categories he would be considered a renaissance man). 

Years after dad's passing, my subtle love affair with Bharati was rekindled after listening to some his works to music. 

I admired his style of writing. It was like as direct as it can be, yet polished, and not crude. Often, his songs would sooth the tempest that runs through my mind, as how shutting the door on a windy day would. 

I regret the fact that I didn't pay attention to my Tamil classes while in school, but thanks to Dad, with the very little knowledge that I have, I'm able to digest Bharati's words. 

In the end, as simple as it can be, it is the closest that I have, to my mother's lap. 

Manathil Uruthi Vendum - The mind should be firm 

Manathil uruthi vendum - The mind should be firm 
Vaakiniley inimai vendum - There should be sweetness in speech 
Nilaivu nallathu vendum - Let there be good thoughts 
Nerungina porul kaippada vendum - Cherished desires should come to hand 
KaNavu maiyppada vendum - Dreams should come true 
Kaivasamavathu viraivil vendum - Let the goal be attained with ease 
Dhanamum inbamum vendum - wish for wealth and love 
DharaNiyil perumai vendum - wish for respect in this world 

KaN thiranthida vendum - Let the eyes be opened 
Kaariyatthil urudi vendum - Let there be determination in work 
PeN viDutalai vendum - Let women be independent 
Periya kadavul kakka vendum - May a mighty god protect 
MaN payaNura vendum - May the soil be fruitful 
Vaanakamingu tenpada veNdum - Let the heavens be within sight 
Unmai ninRida vendum - May Truth remain.

(translations courtesy of

Here's to a generation of strong women.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

My new friend

I've been watching you.

From a relative distance, I've observed your actions, and how you interact with your surroundings.

You're in pain, most likely alone and misunderstood.

I've been watching you.


Gently wishing for your ideas and thoughts to be heard.

Silently screaming for your words to make sense.

On bended knees, wanting for it all to end.

I'll offer you something.

My undying, unrequited, unwavering affection.

I can. I will.

All you need is to embrace me.

And thus, I welcome you to my world.



Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The wake up call

Life is no bed of roses.

Like, I've heard that repeated many times, broken records in procrastinating it to the point where a T-Rex would have lost it's tooth the the Fairy and grew another one. 

As a matter of fact, when push comes to shove, its best to shove off the procrastinating, and get on with the programme. 

The only way to grow, is to actually change the mind set altogether. Put it in on spin dry, get the circuits realigned, and anchor it to your dreams. If you want that dream so bad to materialise, then its worth going through that spin. 


Constant improvement through education.

Face those challenges, like a Sir.

undoing years of habit may seem like a gargantuan effort, but its all that it seems to be. The change can take effect within minutes.

I just need to believe in myself more, and get on with the programme. 

Time to revisit the drawing board once again. This time, the goals will be crystal clear. 

Does this feel like you're reading some self improvement guru session, different being almost sounding like hyperventilating on crystal meth?

No. But hey, why not?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Wonderment & Believe

Ever wondered why our lives sometimes seems like its on a bus ride, through the countryside, on a bumpy road that never seems to stop?

Ever wondered what would it be like if you could take a different perspective view of that very same episode, and to be able to just watch the proceedings just as if it's a TV show?


I ask myself these questions everyday, and it never gave me a straight, direct answer. Always beating the bush, it seems to be an extension of me, of what I have come to being, of what I believe I am.


A single word uttered by an mystic, upon showing a reflection on the mirror. I still remember that dream like it's some high quality blue ray movie. And when the same mystic came into the picture, this time in real, it was the most unbelievable moment of that time. Time stopped, I had this awkward reflex motion on my face (a combination of both surprise, delight and horror), and my journey on the rocky road bus had just started.

Thank you for setting my off on that bus ride, Swami. I still experience bumps on the road, but I'm learning to enjoy every moment of it. But, being human, sometimes the bitching and complaints do creep in.

Evolution will see to that. In the mean time, here's to life, karma, love and the experience it puts you through.

Love. Live. Evolve

Dear me

It has been really a tough (an understatement, actually) couple of weeks for you, and I'm writing to you just to say a few things which might just lift your spirits up. None of them are in order of importance over the other, but there has to be some way of putting them all down in a list.

Firstly, I'm glad that you've picked up the courage to come out of your basement and actually expressed yourself to someone. You've seen a connection, felt it, it made sense to you at that time, and you tried to connect with it. That is good. 

Secondly, your music's been improving. You're seeking teachers, and have acknowledged your strengths and weakness. Its a leap start for you, and you have chosen the right teachers. All you need to do now, is to lock down your schedules, and preservere. Keep a target locked in, and in time, you will have your dream of composing music come true. It ain't rocket science, but it also ain't a walk in the park either. 

You have also started to recognise the joys of meditating. Can be quite addictive, right? Spritually high, pun intended.Now, the above just summarises the high points which have been shaping up your journey so far. I don't want to sound like some online horoscope or Tarot reader, but hey, you need in introspection of sorts. My key point here is : Don't be too hard on yourself. 

And here's why.

Dude, to compare our life journey with a generic statement such as "the people in this country are far worse off, so chin up" just simply CANNOT be applied, in any circumstances. You are what you are, and they, their beautiful selves. Rocky roads and choppy seas are what that makes a roadtrip or an open sea adventure all that more amazing. They have loads to teach in abundance, and we all gotta do is immerse in the experience, and have some fun. Sheryl Crow was just amazing when she sang that song. 

You have really this time taken it a step higher, but its coming dangerously close to shutting yoursel down completely. For years you have building emotional fortresses, and like a knight guarding the sanctity of what's inside, you've been warding off waves after waves of opportunities and expriences. I would not want to judge it as bad, but the point being, you've let slip some opportunities which could have lead to different flavours of this adventure called life. 

Whatever that you are holding on to, release it. You know what helps you do it, use them. Meditate on it, and open yourself to being guided through. Your answers will be bang on target, and from that point onwards, just move forward.

Passion is not something to be curbed or surpressed. Remember that, and hardwire this into your head. Its just you, you're a passionate soul. I'm going to be a little, real on this. #$%^ what people say about being centred and detatched. Well, my friend, the way to be back with the Universe has many different forms and flavours. Some choose the rigidness of discipline, some in the books and scrolls of the elders, and some do it by tapping into a subconcious state of mind. Everything suits the way they are, but none of the above is the de-facto way. We are made up the same building blocks, right down to the tiniest, most miniscule particle, neatly arranged and chaotically formed. Like what Appa used to say, the jouney is akin to learning in a conventional school system. Some kids just don't get out of preschool, some earn their masters in their formative teens.

Tap into that passion, and weild them masterfully, like a swordsman. Don't let go of that sword, it becomes an extension of you. Passion, if there's a single word that can sum up what you are, then that it is.

Here comes the clincher. What are you passionate about?

I leave that for you to meditate upon, and contemplate. You already know it, an have taken steps to move into that realm. Your compass is already showing you the direction, all you need now is a map, and the guiding star. Its coming to you, believe me.

Dude (say it in the only way its justified, the Keanu Reeves way),

I am glad you have fallen in love again. Its just too bad its not being reciprocated the same way you have hoped it for, and I think, after all these years of having false alarms (guilty as charged), you have finally allowed yourself to be connected in a way you have never done before. It is intense, and churning your insides out. Just let it flow, and I'm proud of you. Its ballsy to do what you have done, and yes, she's just an amazing woman. She's turned you inside out in such a short space of time, and honestly, this time the feeling is very real.

Here's another fact : It sometimes just you doing all the connection, and not the same over at the other side.

So don't fret, and enjoy the ride. Like what AJ mentioned the other day, its a journey on a bus, with many different stops. You get on the bus, and the seat next to you is empty. Then, at a stop nearby, a girl hops on the same bus, sits next to you, and you sense a connection developing. Her stop comes, and she walks down, and all you have now is the immense joy of getting connected, and the magic it brings. Your stop will come too, and you will also have to get off the bus, and someone will also be reminiscing the connection they shared with you. 

If it is meant to be, it will. I guarantee that. I can also guarantee this, money back guarantee and all, that you have earned the time to dwelve in what seems to be a failure. But at some point, just remember that the seat next to you might not be empty. I never leave it empty for you. 

I sit there, keeping you company. Listening to your stories. 

Make the rest of the day count. Again, don't be too hard on yourself. I break dawn and twilight daily to show you that transitions eke the best out of the road trip. Tap into that, release what needs to be.

And come back. 

I need that smile coming back on your face. 

Live, love, and play.

Your best friend,


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Conversation with silence

Hello, silence. 

You've been away for some time. Where did you go? Ah, I see, so you've been following up all this while, and never said a word? 

Of course, what would you say? 

But hey, thanks for stopping over. I'll get us some coffee, oh wait, alright......


You seem to be filling up the room these days. Not to mention, my thoughts as well. 

What are you trying to say? What are you trying to tell me? 

An emotional wreck? Me? But you're my best friend! How can you say this to me?


*reaches out for a knife*

You know what, let's just end this. I don't need you anymore.

cuts an apple. chews it, and turns on the telly.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Wishes to the man above

I need some sense of balance in my life.

Music's there for the taking, and it has never been closer to me since the time I started getting immersed in it, but now, a conundrum.

To create, means to learn.
To learn, means to devote.
To devote, means to exhale.
To exhale, means to burn.

Means. That's what is lacking here.

The crazies don't just stop there. Elaborate schemes conducted by some unseen force seems to be having a field day with their sickles, prodding and probing every nook and corner.

Nothing is spared, like a swarm of locusts, circling, devouring.

And I welcome that, with arms wide open.

for it's an energy I want to willingly tap in.

In chaos, I shall find my way.

will You be my anchor, when I get lost? I hope so.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Suit up, kid.

I slumped to the chair after a hard day's work. Turned on the telly, and sat there watching another re-run of some random TV show. All this, done in sync with the meals, cat naps, reading, the occasional man scratches.

Multi tasking. 

Welcome to my world, after work.

Day passed.



Things did not change. Not even for worse, the normal life was begging for some action. 

Some respite. 

And then it happened in a flash. The familiar silence was shattered with the abrupt tone which set apart the text message from the phone calls. The kind of noise which will warrant an instant stare from the 5th grade music teacher.

It's time.

Destiny beckons. 

Time to wear that suit again. 

Time to be the Rootbeer bear again. 

Children. You just have to love them to hate them. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

The untitled song

12.42 pm
I kept looking at the skies today. Cold, breezy afternoon, sun blazing, ably supported by the kind pockets of clouds above, shielding the eyes from the sun's warpath. A perfect afternoon for a day in the park. 

Yet, I kept searching. For a song. 

2.35 pm 
The afternoon siesta came to an abrupt halt. The grass rustled behind me, and in came a grasshopper. It was clearly foraging for dinner, as it was busy digging the grounds, perhaps, for some helpless grub. Unperturbed by my presence, it went away after a couple of minutes, but he startled me alright. Great, now back to sleep.

3.00 pm
The bell rang. It is time.

5.00 pm
Climbed back up again to where I started. It is becoming a chore, and I wish that one day, I will be able to break free of it. I have so many things to do, but at the moment, the smell of freshly brewed tea, and fragrant Jacobs cream crackers to go with it is all that separates the thin line between gloom, and bloom. 

6.00 pm
The cold shower drops are just the perfect tonic for a hot evening. 

7.00 pm
Listened to a reading of the evening news. It’s the same thing every single day. Bombings here, shootings there. In the midst of it all, a surprisingly humane story about a couple running their animal shelter home, out of their own savings, ekes out a smile from the neighbour, Joseph. Golf was in the news again. When are they going to show some highlights from the World Cup hockey game?

8.00 pm
A power nap that is what they call it these days. I used to call it catching 40 winks. I guess everything with the word power, just sells. So yeah, a power nap.

10.00 pm
Finally, woke up to a melody. It’s the sound of silence.
My own breathing. 

For that is all I am capable of. 

Being in coma, it has its perks. 

The world we live in

Something I wrote on Thursday, 3 January 2013 at 11:59, just to interpret thoughts and desires, without thinking. Just letting the pen write, or in this case, the keyboard.
Nothing cerebral, but I leave the analysis to you.


We live in a world that is consistently hedging on to madness

Where driving within the stipulated speeds gets on another's nerves
Smiling to a stranger beckons an ulterior motive
Offering your seat to the elderly in a bus is looked at an attempt to show off
Speaking in your own language is viewed at being too native
Organising the desk signals a retirement or a move

Supporting a football team is akin to choosing sides at war
Holding up a burger and getting your picture taken is deemed heretic
Voting is a waste of time, as it changes nothing
Sex is nothing but temporal ecstasy
Reading equates to being snobbish
Music refines class and place in society

Dressing up in a certain colour ammounts to being identified with a cult
Attending classes after school denotes a lazy teacher in school
Blowing ciggarette smoke directly to a stranger's way is akin to saying Hello
talking on the mobile while driving with one hand on the wheel is an entry to the academy of coolness

Throwing rubbish outside your car window to the street keeps your car clean
Forcing intercourse is aking to a show of power
Getting a gun makes you safer
Dressing up to a party makes you a slut
Not having a mobile phone sends the shivers down your spine

Showing compassion to another living being is akin to being a pussy
Stopping to think about the next step is a dumb move
Preparing for exams is a waste of time

Cutting down forrests marks the mastery over nature

Shoot first, talk later



and more death.

I'm nature

I'm the world

I'm you

I'm me

Between a mirror and the self - Reflections of the year that's about to end

I wrote this having endured the madness that was conjured in the name of the apocalypse. 


The world WAS  supposed to have ended. According to some bloke's pasty recollection and interpretations of a legacy left by a long gone civilization, perfectly hyped up by the media, hustling the populace to frenzy along its way. On the surface, it’s been just like another year, only that it seemed to have aged a little faster as our own bio clocks started rushing through. You know what they say, the older you get, everything else slows down except for time. 

As I started the engine this morning, I realised that the year is about to pass on to something even better, well at least, for me, which of course is an absolutely vain/self centred factor-laced thought. I recollected the times in the past; the dawn of a new year would have been greeted with a mixed sense of gloom and doom, always looking back at the year weighing up on chances and experiences that were screwed up, knowingly or unintentionally.

This time, it’s going to be different. Why not look back in reflection of all the good things that has happened, and build on for the future?

This reminds me of a song, written by a chap from Manchester. Noel Gallagher's "Don’t look back in anger" perfectly summed up my thoughts in the morning. I'm sharing just parts of the song here:

Slip inside the eye of your mind 
Don't you know you might find 
A better place to play 
You said that you've never been
But all the things that you've seen 
They slowly fade away 
So I'll start a revolution from my bed 
''cause you said the brains I had went to my head 
Step outside, summertime's in bloom 
Stand up beside the fireplace 
Take that look from off your face 
You ain't ever gonna burn my heart out 
And so, Sally can wait 
She knows it's too late as we're walking on by 
Her soul slides away 
But don't look back in anger 
I heard you say 

Why not celebrate, cherish and laugh over at the positives? 

Here's to you, 2012. You've been a great teacher, a source of inspiration, and truly a remarkable friend. 

(raise glass; oh come on, even if it’s imaginary!)

And say hello to my little friend.... No wait...Say hello to 2013. 

What would you do if God appeared in front of you? First published on Wednesday, 12 December 2012 at 12:30

I ask myself this question, with the fantasy of a child receiving his birthday gift, almost every other time. Especially when my morning prayers are concerned, no matter the speed of which it is completed in. I get the same answer, always. That’s because the answer is created in my head. I authored the answer, out of my own supposedly robust sense of understanding of how He works. 

Boy was I wrong. 

A couple of weeks back, right after a show, to which I performed to a loving crew and crowd, unexplainably called the organisers and asked if there anything going on. I just took the plunge to be a full time musician. I'm heading there, and a succession of projects would supply me with the mana that I need for the journey.

"Raas Leela practice today, come if you are free, Bullet"

Raas Leela. Something to do with Krishna, best of all, back to groove with my favourite group of people. 

Packed my keys and drove off, and upon reaching the doors to the studio, I'm greeted by a mixed palate of wide smiles, and tired, dreamy eyes.

"Bullet, you're singing!"

I rebuked at the suggestion, initially, but taking into consideration that this would be a chance to explore, I accepted the invite. After all, its Krishna, and how could one refuse such a request. Hence the journey started, I'll be rendering a song for Raas Leela, and the chosen song would then haunt me for the next couple of weeks. All the way till showtime. 

Till the very day Raas Leela was happening, a perpetual roller-coaster, dancing on a turbulent tsunami inside, kept giving me the jitters. Raas Leela was riding on the feel of the subject, and somehow, the song didn't connect enough, especially during rehearsals. I'm more expressive banging drums for a living, but this song was just like a Jedi mind trick gone wrong. With just 2 hours to go, I finally popped the question, and with the help of a friend, I chose to change the song altogether. Krishna's presence was already felt, and how else fitting could it be than to garland him with the very song that I wanted to sing, the song to which I would sing in my fantasy of meeting God?

Showtime. Krishna majestically walked amongst the crowd, standing out like a beacon. As the Raas Leela began to unfold, my heart started pounding with the intensity of a mridangam in full swing mode. Loud, and intimidating. And from there on, when my turn was up, I took a peek, and there he was, standing right in front, beaming a coy smile. 

Krishna Madhava.

And I broke down. All that thoughts of wowing Him with that song, fell, shattered into miniscule fragments, so tiny, they would have been smaller than dust particles. 

And so did I. 

The Raas Leela, began as it was intended to, by His grace, and ended the way it was directed by Him as well. A magical journey in which I got connected to wonderful souls in the same road of self discovery, and being put through the test in His own creative ways. 

If there was something to be learnt, it was to stop thinking. Feel it, and let go. 

Live it. Feel it. and Let go. 

If God appeared again, I don't know, lets just see how it will go from there. 


The Stage First published on Saturday, 23 June 2012 at 16:53 ·

As a boy, I used to be in wonderment, everytime my cousin puts on her dancing bells, what was she thinking at that moment of time. Calm and relaxed, but with a tinge of expressionless sense of nervousness. She walks out gracefully, poker faced, ready to face the stage once more. 

The curtains open, lights glazing the floor, every step taken is a masterful stroke. The show begins.

Thunderous applause!

I observe my surroundings, people around me displaying a variety of emotions. Its a supermarket out there, some fully immersed, connected. Some I think are there for the sake of being there, which annoyed the daylights out of me. Some, are are trying to be the impressarios they could only dream of by posing as affectionados. Some are just, well, lost. 

Every step taken, every swirl, twist and pose, the stage seemed to come alive.

I was eight back then.

My ankles are way past their prime now. Parkinsons, my best friend, hands tremble at the mere mention of life.Ii call out for my assistant, for once, she responds on time. 

The soap on the telly must have ended. Now it's my turn to provide the drama. 

I'm all prepared now for my trip to the old hall. Tweed jacket, baseball cap, and my bag. My faithful hand carry, with it's zippers rusty and the handles stiched to it's side over and over again. I signal for Jade to push my wheels. 

Jade seems to be more relaxed today. Must have been a good ending on the soap opera. 

"Get me to the hall. I want to see it before I go."

18 years old. 

The hall is packed with people! Finally, the band's debut performance, the opening act for the town's annual Jazz fair. I feel a tinge of sweat running down my cheeks, hands sweaty as if it's been put through on a treadmill. My heart pumps a full gallon now, I feel like I'm running all over the room.

"Relax man, it's only out towns folks. What could be worst? At least we get to sample the town's tomatoes without buying them!"

Mike seemed like a tough cookie. He was always the macho one, beaming with confidence. The ladies man. The pianist. 

"Alright boys! Showtime!"

Curtains opened, lights beaming, crowd chanting our names!

All I could hear was the keys, and my drums filling the air. 


Sixty years on, the music had long stopped playing. The town is now an antique, a blast from the past. Jade pushes my wheelchair gently accross the main doorway, and I could see the very same stage that was once graced my the arts.

The putrid smell of water logged carpets and old wood seemed to permeate the air around me, but it was all too lovely to be missed. I signalled to Jade, pointing to the front row, that is where I am going to be.

The stage, ever so beautiful. for a moment, the whiff of old furniture was replaced with the sweet smells of lavender, and the hall was once again filled with people. The chants was once again, loud and clear.

"Introducing.....the Fabulous Lifeboys!"

I looked at Jade, smiled, and closed my eyes for the last time. 

Mike, I'm coming home. Lets play some music together again.