Archive | January 2016

280.Pasanga 2 – Tamil movie

Few days back I saw the tamil movie Pasanga 2. It didn’t impress me much. The main theme is about the disease – ADHD ie Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The theme is very good but the presentation is not at all OK. The story wanders here and there for a long time and finally gets the point. The way of story telling in the movie “Taare Zameen Par” makes us get involved in the story from the beginning to end. But, in Pasanga 2, the way of approach is very much boring.  Sometimes the film looks like a documentary film.

The emotional scenes touch the line of melodrama. The behavior of the children in the school is shown as if there is no mistake on their part. What will the teacher and principal do when the children spoil the atmosphere each and every moment?. In the hostel also, they frighten all the other children and create fear & anxiety among warden and other parents.  Finally, they humiliate the apartment secretary and  many others in the apartment. These scenes will create a negative impact among children and parents.

Of course, the performance of Surya and Amala Paul is very good but they are coming into the story in the last hour only.  Then only the actual story starts. The film would have been interesting if Surya and Amala Paul are shown from the beginning and also, their story could have been told in an elaborate way.

The points which I liked in this movie are the story of Surya & Amala Paul, their attitude towards the children affected by ADHD, the education system followed in the school in which Amala Paul works and finally, the climax. The children and parents should not bother about the prize in reality shows is a great message we get. The wonderful theme gets just pass mark because of the method of story telling.

279.Thayir pachadi

thayir pachadi.JPG

Instead of curd rice,  we take thayir pachadi with rice weekly twice so that we get the benefits of vegetables also. I want to share the recipe with you.

Ingredients required :

cucumber – 1

carrot – 1

tomato – 1

green chilly – 2

curd – 1 cup

salt – 1/2 tsp

curry leaves – a small bunch

dhania leaves – a small bunch

grated coconut – tbs

cooking oil – 1/4 tsp

mustard – 1/2 tsp

jeera – 1/2 tsp

asafoetida – a small pinch

Method of preparation :

Take curd in a bowl. Add grated carrot, grated cucumber, nicely chopped tomato, salt, coconut, finely chopped chilly, finely chopped curry & dhania leaves. Put a ladle in the stove and add cooking oil. When it becomes hot, put mustard, jeera and asafoetida. Apply this seasoning on the curd and mix well. The taste will be excellent and it goes well with white rice and other mixed rice varieties.

278. Vazhaipoo milagu kootu

vazhaipoo milagu kootu.JPG

I tried a side dish for chapathi using vazhaipoo. It worked well. I named it vazhaipoo milagu kootu.

Ingredients required :

small vazhaipoo  –  1

kali mirch  – 1 tbs

black sesame seeds – 1 tsp

salt – 1/2 tsp

thick tamarind water – 1 tbs

turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

cooking oil – 1 tsp

mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

asafoetida – a small pinch

curry leaves – a small bunch

Method of preparation :

Dry roast sesame seeds and mirch with little oil in a kadai. When it becomes cool,  grind it to a nice powder. Shred vazhaipoo and remove kalan from it. Cut it into small pieces. In a kadai, put cooking oil and when it becomes hot, put mustard. When it splutters, put asafoetida and vazhaipoo. Add  turmeric powder and tamarind water so that vazhaipoo gets cooked well. Then, put salt and ground powder. Bring it to a boil and switch off the gas. Add curry leaves. The tasty and  spicy  vazhaipoo milagu kootu is ready.

276. The person who inspired me – Part I

Swami Vivekananda was the person who astonished me with his courage & achievements and inspired me the most.

He was born in an aristocratic family in Calcutta, along with 8 siblings.  He was known as Narendra or Naren.  At the young age, he excelled in studies about religion, history & social science, art, literature, music and gymnastics. He was the first person who introduced  Indian philosophy, yoga  and vedantha  to the western world.  He started practising meditation from  his boyhood.

Sri Ramakrishna was his English professor at college.  Vivekananda put the same question he asked many people earlier,”Sir, have you seen God?”. Ramakrishna replied instantly,”Yes. I have seen Him clearly as I see you in a much intenser sense”.  Vivekananda  started showing  pure and unselfish love towards him.  He accepted Sri Ramakrishna as his spiritual guru and started to visit Dakshineshwar often to see him.

The sudden death of Vivekananda’s father, left the family bankrupt. He, once a son of a well-to-do family became one of the poorest boy in the college. His spiritual education continued through Sri Ramakrishna and the poverty did not make him tired. Sri Ramakrishna passed away due to throat cancer and Vivekananda  was nominated as his successor  by Sri Ramakrishna, before his death.

Then, Vivekananda took the  Hindu  religious life of a wandering monk and traveled extensively throughout India. He visited Japan, China, Canada and USA. His famous speech about Hinduism on 11th September 1893, at Art Institute of Chicago began with the words,”Sisters and brothers of America”. At these words, he received two minutes standing ovation  from the crowd of seven thousand people.  He insisted about universality and religious tolerance.  He was named cyclonic monk from India.

Vivekananda spent two years lecturing in Chicago, Detroit, Boston and New York.  He founded the “Vedantha society of Newyork”.   He was offered academic position in Harward University and the Columbia University but he declined both. Then, he traveled to UK and the other Europeon countries. The Irish woman Margaret Elizabeth became his disciple  later, in the name of sister Niveditha.

I will continue the information about Swami Vivekananda in my next blog.

275. Makara sankaranthi

DSC00822

When the sun enters into the makara zodiac sign on its celestial path, we welcome spring with the celebration of Makara Sankaranthi. It is a harvest festival celebrated throughout India. It is the festival of Sun God and is regarded as the symbol of dignity and wisdom. The Sun god ends it southward travel(Dakshinayana) and starts moving northwards(Utharayana).

There is a legend that Goddess Mahishasuramardhini came to the earth to destroy the demon Mahishasur, after sunset on the date of makara sankaranthi. So, every woman is regarded as the protector of the family. So, much importance is given to women on this day. As per Mahabharatha, Bhishma had got the power to control his own death, chose to die on the Makara Sankaranthi day. The Hindus take ritual baths at auspicious river locations on this day, throughout the country.

The day preceding makara sankaranthi is known as Bhoghi. People discard old things in their house and buy new ones on this day. It is believed that new good changes in life will take place on this day.

On the makara sankaranthi day, Sun God is worshipped and Sweet pongal & Venpongal are prepared as neivedhya . When there are small children(below age 5) in the house, we prepare a special dish called “ellu bella”. Ellu bella is prepared by mixing roasted white ellu, roasted groundnuts(without skin), pottukadalai, kobburi pieces, colourful rice mittai, sakkarai achu and jaggery pieces. A small function called “borae hannu eriyana” is also performed. The child has to take oilbath and wear new dress. The child is seated on the manai decorated with rangoli. If the child hesitates to sit alone, he/she may sit on the lap of his/her mother on the manai. Garland using sarkarai achu, mittai, biscuits and borae hannu may be prepared and put on the neck of the child. In a plate take borae hannu(elandaipazam), biscuits, chocolates, small sugarcane pieces and coins. Take aarathi 3 times clockwise and 3 times anticlockwise and gently pour the things on the plate on the head of the child. Ellu bella is kept in small beautiful cups and given to other children, which is called as “Ellu bella birana”.

People fly kites on Makara sankaranthi day and in many places kite flying competition is organised in many parts of the country.

kite

Next day is known as “Mattu Pongal” and it is a thanks giving day for the animals which work for us, throughout the year. Next day people visit riverbeds or beach with variety of fooditems and enjoy by playing games.

Happy Makara Sankaranthi.

 

274. Dress code in hindu temples

The Madras high court bench has prescribed a dress code for men, women and chidren for those who visit temples maintained by HR & CE across the Tamil Nadu state. As per the order, from January 1st 2016, men should wear a dhothi or pyjama with upper cloth or formal pant & shirt. The women should wear a sari or a half sari or a churidhar with upper cloth. The children should wear any fully covered dress. Until a policy  decision is taken by the State  Government, this order should be followed as an interim measure.

It is really a welcoming change.  The main objective of this order is to restrict some of them wearing improper clothings. People are visiting the temples to do prayer in a peaceful way. The dedication and concentration will not be disturbed if the dress code is followed by all the visitors.

The care taken by the Government should be  appreciated as the decency in public place has to be observed by all the people. In the name of freedom, the dress we wear should not irritate others or make them  loathing.

So, happily follow dress code and  visit Hindu temples & have the darshan of God.

 

273. Hanuman Jayanthi

hanuman

We celebrate Hanuman Jayanthi on Margashirsha amavaasya divas.  Sometimes Moola Nakshathra coincides  correctly  on this day.  We all know that the devotees flock from morning to evening on this day, to have the darshan of Hanumanji.

Lord Hanuman is considered as the incarnation of Lord Shiva.  He is a perfect example of sincere devotion and dedication to Lord Rama. We get knowledge, strength, wisdom and success by worshipping Lord Hanuman. Many people worship Him to get rid of fear about ghosts and devils.  Moreover, He can save us from any kind of hurdles and obstructions in life.

In Ramayana, Hanuman saved 9 planets from the clutches of King Ravana. That is why people worship Hanuman  to safeguard from the  badluck or misfortune of any planet. In Mahabharatha, Arjuna requested Hanuman to stay on his flag  so that none can beat him.

All the Gods have given their power to Anjaneya and blessed Him that no weapon in this world can harm Him. He is worshipped by shivites and vaishnavites.

We can worship this supreme brahmachari by chanting “Hanuman Chalisa“.  Butter, Vadamalai and  vetrilai malai are the special offerings to Hanuman by his devotees.

Please worship Hanuman  so that you and your family will get peace, harmony, good health and prosperity.

271. Welcome New Year 2016

Welcome New Year 2016. I wish you all, who read this blog, a year of non-stop happiness, good health, great success in all the works you do, good luck and a new life filled with joy, fun & peace.

 

DSC00814

Let us start the year by setting goals. In the New year, let us try new things, learn something and try to think about others. Let us start every day as the best day. Let us dream about good things in life and wish our dreams come true.

We should keep ourselves happy and try to spread happiness to others. Let us pray that each step we take, is guided by the blessings of God. We have to spend some time daily to remember and worship the God.

Everyone has to cross the sorrows and miseries with courage. We should be confident to make each obstacle as opportunity. Genuine success will come to us only when we are ready to accept challenges.

Please recollect all the sweet memories of the past years and pray to God to help us to get much more in future. Let us thank God for forgiving our mistakes.

I wish you all once again a great, prosperous, bright, delightful, healthy, energetic, positive and happy new year 2016.