A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


An August Month :)

I’ve always liked August. Of course, the most basic reason being it is a birthday month, but more than that, the name itself. There is something, isn’t there, about how August it is. In August.

It’s the time when rains intensify, then slack. It is the time when festivities fade, then rise, in anticipation. The time when Onam slowly unfolds, around the corner. The time when a brief ten day vacation happens (if one is lucky to have the Thiruvonam during the August part of Chingam maasam 🙂 ).

It is the month when two of my Lion Cubs were born. The Second Born, and his brother, and comrade-in-arms, Kiran.

It’s that time when I remember Indygurl and miss her, all the more; for she is a Lioness too, having made her mark on this Universe, on 2 August, years ago.

This year, August is special. It’s a time when fruition comes to be. Of hopes, wishes, desires, aspirations. Kindred hearts, mirrored souls, a season of ripening, of the fruit of sweet love.

John Keats’ “Ode to Autumn” has always reminded me of August, ever since this vibrant lecturer read it out to us in College. The sheer golden sheen, the warmth of sun-flecked nature, the call of something beyond…

It is a time, this time, to spend in remembrance of a warm soul I met last year. Someone who keeps me going, when things seem tough. Someone who did not spend enough time in this world, but sped on Angel Wings, to keep other Angels, like her, company. Someone who lives on, regardless. Tejaswee.

It’s that time when life meets life anew, when love beckons; when slowly, but surely, the threads weave closer, forming patterns designed so long ago; inter-twining memories, making fresh ones, to take in the journey forward.

Yes, it’s August 🙂

So Happy Birthday, my dearest little One, Ashwin, for the third! May your footsteps always travel upon promising paths, and find each journey exciting and successful! May joy and love hound those footsteps ever!

And Happy Birthday, dearest Kiran, for the sixth, for the brilliant ray of Sunshine you will ever be, to me. All smiles, and pure wit 🙂

Happy Birthday, dear Lioness, Meggie aka Indyeah for the second! How I do long to hear from you again!

And Happy Birthday, to a dear dear dear beloved daughter, Neeti… :), for the thirtieth of the month. More August a date I have to know 🙂

Happy Anniversary too, to My EB and ESis in law, for the thirtieth  oops, thirty first.  Also my YB and Y Sis in law’s! You two couples rock!

Praveen, cannot help but remember, and wish you, for the third! Happy Birthday!

The thirty first of July, 2011

(An under 500 word post. A first time surely, except for the 55 ers here 😛 )


തൃശ്ശൂർ പൂരം – Thrissur Pooram, 2010

തൃശ്ശൂർ പൂരം – Thrissur Pooram, 24 April, 2010 to noon, 25th April, 2010.

You may refer to തൃശ്ശൂർ പൂരം – Thrissur Pooram, 2009, HERE. That has all the details. It would be advisable to keep this page open in another window or tab, to keep for ready reference 🙂 This one is more about the trivia 🙂 🙂

This post is about this year’s edition, with some pictures I have been lucky to get and some taken from the web. Mainly Mathrubhumi online paper. Credits where due, have been posted at the end.

Thiruvambady Ezhunellippu (തിരുവമ്പാടി എഴുനെള്ളിപ്പു്)

This year’s Pooram, was a bit different in many ways. First off, we got to the pooram late. Usually SB and I are there by about 8 am to welcome and walk along with the Thiruvambady Ezhunellipu. (Please  keep the earlier mentioned page about last year’s Pooram open, for easy access to the incomprehensible, almost, details you might find me blabbering about ). However, we made our aplogies to teh devi atop the elephant, along with the Thidambu, the plaque which carries a statue of Lord Krishna, complete with peacock feathers on his crown, in the centre.

Trivia: Apparently this thidambu is taken out only for pooram. It was made by a devotee, who got 125 sovereigns of his wife’s jewellery melted down to make this statue to grace the thidambu, for one of the Poorams, a long time ago. After the Pooram, he did not want to keep this in his house, so he gave it to the temple, to be used whenever they wished. It is to the credit of the authorities who manage the temple that they gave it a special status, to be used only with the Devi, for Pooram!

Anyways, we wandered on with the three grand and majestic pachyderms, all splendrous in their nettipattom-നെറ്റിപട്ടം-  (they wear this on their forehead) and took these pictures as we kept pace:

The Thidambu, and you can see the image of Lord Krishna at the centre. The Devi herself is carried at the base 🙂

Trivia: The bearded priest on the elephant, holding the Thidambu, is the melshanthi (the senior priest) of Thiruvambady Krishna Temple. He had been chosen to be the Melshanthi of Sabarimala temple a couple of years ago. A gentle soul, quiet and unassuming, and very accessible to every devotee 🙂

The three elphants of the procession are seen in the next picture. Photos courtsey, SB 🙂

The Madhathil Varavu (മഠത്തിൽ വരവു്)

And so after breakfast we proceeded to the next major event, ie, The Madhathil Varavu, again, the Thiruvambady procession, with the most famous Panchavadyam of the state on display.

Trivia: This panchavadyam is aired live over AIR, now telecast live over all the Malayalam Channels. It has been aired live over AIR, for decades now. Many an ardent fan of the music, and the event had only the faithful radio to tune into and be part of the celebration!

Here it is, the Madhathil Varavu… a narrow road, hundreds of onlookers, and participants 🙂

Above: In the distance under the pandal, the Madathil Varavu readies. The Panchavadyam is played there for a whole hour before the elephants start moving. The crowd gathered around gets into a frenzy with all those aficionados thronging and urging the musicians! The excitement is palpable and tangible. It moves you! And you ignore the heat, the thirst, and the crowd!

Trivia: Right behind the elephants is another procession. Of policemen 😛 They’re probably assuring the elephants, with “Dont worry, we got your backs!” It was hilarious! Like this 🙂

Now isn’t that a sight for sore eyes ??? At least they are doing their duty by the elephants if not for the poor people :P!

The Paramekkavu Ezhunellippu (പാറമേക്കാവ് എഴുനെള്ളിപ്പു്)

From the Madhathil Varavu, we moved to the Paramekkav Devi’s ezhunellippu, which had already started, about an hour into the Madhathil Varavu. Resplendent in their grandeur, and attire, were 15 elephants posing for the iconic picture that is Thrissur, during the Pooram time. The devi’s thidambu here, is ornately decorated and she has the choicest of jewels adorning it!

Above are three pictures of the Paramekkavu ezhunellippu, taken around 1 pm. We were quite exhausted by the end of this that we got home, and relaxed in front of the TV where local channels were covering the different events live.

Perhaps that is why the crowds were not to be seen in large numbers. Most people would have preferred to stay at home!

Trivia: There was this guy, perched upon that pillar in the background, still, squatting and unmoving for such a long time. He had a huge movie camera installed too, and he wore a miniature beach umbrella of sorts, you know the one that fits in like a hat, and leaves your hands free? Lol!

The Kudamattom

Did not have the energy to go for this, so no pictures have been taken. However, got this one from one of the websites that I googled for images, this morning. An unusual kuda, or umbrella, that was used by the Paramekkavu Temple Devi group, as part of the ceremony 🙂

To see the picture in its original site, click here: http://z.about.com/d/goindia/1/0/4/K/-/-/701px-ThrissurPooram-Kuda.jpg

The Vedikkettu, or Fireworks!

This was followed by the next major event in the wee hours of the next morning. The much awaited fireworks session. This year however it was delayed by almost two hours, due to a light drizzle, apparently. But it was still a feast for the eyes. Of late, however, I have found myself not liking the use of firecrackers, feeling sorry for the waste of money, and also for the sake of the poor birds, and other animals who go into a sort of a shock with all this noise and frenzy. Still, that did not stop me from marvelling at the display put up by both temples. Found a video of the same, and have included it down below. It might give you a feel of it all!

Pooram vedikkettu

Sadly, the next day, of the pooram I was working, being part of the valuation camp of CBSE, so I missed out on the Koodikaazhcha, the meeting and parting of the two sisters at Vadakkumnathan. Perhaps for next year, I shall devote more space and energy for that 🙂

In last year’s post I mentioned how Thrissur got it’s name. Got a bit more on that. Apparently, Thrissur, is named for the fact that it has three major Shiva Temples : The Vadakkumnathan, at the centre, the Midhunappilly Temple and the Erattichara temple, also close by. Factfile from my sis in law 🙂

Solilo had wondered about the name Thrissur, and now I am more than ready with this bit of news too 🙂

P.S. On 26 April, one of the pandals that had been put up and decorated by the two temples, fell in some strong gusty winds, in the afternoon, in the crowded Swaraj Round. Then followed traffic jams of mammoth proportions!! Here are the pandals, what we could get of them :), from the car we were in, on the night before the pooram!

This one above is the one by Thiruvambady

This is the one by Paramekkavu, which collapsed a day later!

Well, for this year, that is about it! 🙂 I wonder if you have understood much, but the bottom line is, I had FUN 😛 :P!

28 April… the wee hours, wen the day begins 🙂

P P  S. All the pictures, except for the first one, the Kudamattom and the last video have been taken by the SB 🙂 The first little one is from the online Mathrubhumi picture.



*This one is for the SB… 🙂 who makes me realize each day, how much more I have to learn, appreciate, and love 🙂 Thanks a zillion, sweetheart 🙂

Now that I am officially twenty-five years old, the X-files option to disclose is finally here!

By the way, why does to reveal have a word like “disclose”, to express it? Strange are the ways of the English Language! This will further get me into rambling about the vagaries of a favourite language of mine, so I had better stop before I start! 😛

Ah! You’re still here, and reading? Maybe you’re wondering what on earth I am going to disclose… 😉 Just a status message on Facebook, by the SB wishing his brother a Happy Birthday, that goes like this 🙂

Happy b’day Arjun Muralidharan on ur 25th 🙂 It was nice growing up with someone like you, – someone to lean on, someone to count on… someone to tell on! 🙂 😛 😀 Hav a great yeah ahead!!

And his response?

Thanks bro.. wat do i say.. cudn hav done it without you. All those years, those games, those rides.. seems like it was yesterday and i sure do wish like hell it will remain like that forever. Though i shud say, i hate it wen u keep growing up.. i always wish ud remain “chotu” Love u loads.. BRO

I am reminded of the song, from Ram Lakhan, “Mere Do Anmol Ratan”, that I love so much.

That’s them… 🙂

And what I feel most blessed is that the SB has found words, to express so beautifully his feelings! Prouder yet again, am I, of him :), for he has borne the brunt of many a dark day I have gone through, being there for me, always, but always… 🙂 And though we fight the hardest, 😛 :P, I know he will be the one who will pull me through the fires I burn in 🙂 🙂

Ash 🙂 You’re the coolest, most happening person, ever 🙂 Thank you, for you 🙂

And though I don’t need to say it… Love you… 🙂

13 April, 2010


I am twenty-five… :D!

What a liar! How can she go public with such a blatant untruth?!

Pssst… well, when you think of it, do you think…? Naah! How the heck?

Lol! The moment those familiar with this space read this blog post title, these must have been the thoughts that flitted through their minds? I’m just double-guessing, but I guess I probably would too… :D!

Well truth be told, this is true, you know. Maa kasam! (Pun intended :P- you’ll figure out the pun soon enough! 😆 ) I wrote about the first of the twenty-five birthdays on this very space, about a year ago. In fact that post still holds the record of the highest number of hits for a post, ever, on Overdrive :). I loved writing it, and also, this one, on A Quest, the other blog I am at 🙂

By now, hopefully, the truth of the title will have been accepted without doubt! I wanted to share this here, and today, because the FB has gone public on Facebook about this very event! (FB as in First Born, please note 🙂 )

The Sun Child write is very special one, for it worked magic 🙂 It was written years before the FB was born, and at that time, even the thought of marriage was far from my mind :P! The magic is that he turned out exactly the way I describe My Sun Child… not at all fussy, gregarious, pet lover, still dreamy… 🙂 Each time I read it, I am amazed at the way things turned out! He is an Arien, a Sun Child too!

He celebrated the occasion with his friends on Marine Drive, cake cutting and smashin and sploshing on his face… why they do this is beyond me, still! :o!

We, ie the SB and I celebrated too. We baked chocolate cakes and made it into a Black Forest (or so I like to call it… 😛 )… complete with whipped cream and cherries.. though we forgot the chocolate shavings… 🙂 Here’s how it happened:

Two chocolate cakes baked in a pressure cooker 🙂

Layered over each other, and slathered with whipped cream, on an overturned steel plate 🙂

Piping around the edges with Mehendi cone like apparatus made out of plastic covers, for lack of the real things :P!

More decorations… and finally…..


Now you will perhaps agree the blog post is not lying 🙂 🙂

12 April, 2010


For My Little One :)

Disclaimer : All the research for this post is certainly non emperical, and based purely on personal observation and bias. Lol. Given that, please go on and read at your own risk. There is a sort of guarantee that you might fall asleep half way (being a rather looong ramble) so please have a cushion ready at the keyboard, where you are likely to topple as you gently fall forward, eyes glazed over. Now that is out of the way, do please continue 🙂

Tag time again, and this one is a special one, for a special person, on a special occasion. The second born of course, after the first one got his place in the virtual sun, here and here 🙂 IHM [again :)] had tagged me on how different the second born has been, and has he wiped the smugness off his parents’ faces 😛! Going back to her post, to revise and review, I came across my comment, part of which I’d like to quote, as a sort of introduction, to me too, a second born, the middle one of three, the ham of the sandwich, as I am so fond of saying!

Aeons ago I had this to write on IHM’s post:

Now that I know, and have been tagged :D , this is going to be interesting! I am a second born, and I am going to write about how my second born is so very much like me :D :D ! A stirrer and shake-up-er! Certainly wiped the smug proud parent look off the parents’ faces :P !

I know that IHM, Shail, recently, and others, Indygurl and Solilo have all done one or other version of the tag, both before and after IHM’s post, and each of them have been beautifully done. Being a second born myself, I have felt the heat, felt different, and weird, and all that jazz, and have often wondered, of late, if the little one too perhaps did. Now I don’t. I know  😀 !

They say first born are…

  • way more angelic… ??? 😀
  • way more responsible 🙂
  • seem to mature faster (they ought to, don’t you think, seeing that they need to make space for the second one in line :P)
  • more accomodating, adaptive..??
  • can be easier to engage, in activities…
  • perhaps better readers, too

These I have garnered from snippets shared on different posts with the same thread.

Going by my own history and what I see being made of my offspring (Gosh! what a thought!) I think these are the observations that I deem noteworthy 🙂

  • First borns are indeed angelic ( go on and gloat, all you FBs..Lol!), though naughtier 😛
  • They’re very friendly and engaging
  • Very easy to care for
  • Not in the least fussy, which however, these days (at home, with my FB) is getting me rather impatient! I do wish my big ‘un would at least change clothes, freshen up when he needs to go out, even if it is with me or his friends :D!
  • They’re voracious readers. He can wade his way through a tome quicker than you can snap his fingers 🙂 I think that has to do with the fact that he had so many story tellers as a child. He was the first grandchild for all his grandparents, and the first baby in the house, for his aunts and uncles too 🙂
  • He’s mature and responsible, yes, but forgetful too 🙂

That is the big ‘un. But then this is about the second born, who has been biding his time; and all that while after the April 12 write for the elder one, I have been waiting to do this for the little one. Though there is this verse, of sorts, intended purely for him, you know one needs to balance well, esp with the kids :)!

So, from Kunju, the elder, and me, this is for you Kunjunni, my little one 🙂

Being a second born myself, I find ever so many commonalities in temperament and thought, that it is sometimes amazing. (At the same time I now sympathize and empathize with my own mother :P)And perhaps because of that we mirror so much of each others’ thoughts, and therefore end up having these absolutely grand arguments and fights, dramatically reacting and over reacting, silent sulks and verbal wars. Not to forget, of course, the fantastic wavelength we are on most times, speaking out each others’ thoughts Too!!

Where do I begin to tell you of him?

An angelic baby (who should have been a daughter, I have said ever so often!) he soon proved to be  truly angelic, determined and single minded when it came to routine, people and activities.

It had been so easy to handle the elder one. He’d go along with anyone and everyone… grandparents, aunts, cousins, neighbours 🙂 and could be kept so easily entertained. Well behaved too, if you dont take into account his fondness for throwing onions and potatoes, and on occasion, the heavy iron out of my parents’ 4th floor apt. in Mumbai :D! Stories fascinated him, and still do 🙂

But, the little one? Oh no Siree! Only his Amma for him, thank you. Everyone else was to keep safe distance, and not even THINK of looking at him, let alone TALK. The very thought! Dear God! His lower lip would jut out, curl downwards, and he’d being with a small wail that grew in volume and intensity! To gloss over… travelling with both of them, on my own, which I had to do often, was no cakewalk :D! Exhausting? Way beyond all that!

It took all of four years for him to permit others to befriend him; till then no other than his immediate family, parents and brother, and maternal grandma were allowed into his hallowed space.

The same little one has a circle of friends too many to count, and all of them from a variety of classes and colleges, and places 🙂

Perhaps, because, with the passing of time, he grew with a charm that seemed to knock people off their perch, while he maintained his space 🙂 I have never figured out how he managed to do that 🙂

He has been a quiet Lion. (Ok he is a Leo too :)) not the loud, and roaring variety; in his pre teens. All of which changed when he finished his Std X. The cub transformed then. Quietly there assumed a young lion whose leadership skills were as astonishing, as they were competent. Other colleagues at my school (where both of them studied, poor things :D) began to wonder at the “smiling baby” who seemed, all of a sudden to have grown up!

Do second borns transform suddenly? I’ve wondered. Growing up in the shadow of a more accomplished sibling (the elder one was a prefect and all that… :)), when they find the sun peeking out at them , after the shadow shifts, do they then bloom?

It seems to have been somewhat similar in my case.  With an extra intelligent, talented, athletic elder brother, who always topped his class, played in the U-19 state cricket team, who was Captain of the NDA cricket team later, it was hard to live up to expectations, though none were voiced 🙂 Once he moved out of home, I guess I changed a lot 🙂 First off, I changed courses at college without my parents knowing. From BSc to BA, later informed my folks, who accepted quite gracefully :D! And then got into every possible activity in school, and freaked out. Literally.

But back to my little one 🙂

Once he began his engineering studies, the change became more pronounced. He came across as more confident, the diffidence of his early years having quite been obliterated 🙂 Right up until yesterday, at the close of day, a succesful day of competitions at their inter branch internal competitions at college, he received so many messages of congratulations on his leadership and for his co ordination.

I wonder again. Do the second borns suddenly change with time, and …. I think so. 🙂 🙂 I did. Mine did.

Second borns… yes

  • They have a mind of their own, and are rather unlikely to change it for anything 🙂
  • They experiment more… avidly; and daringly – hair colours, peircing ears, testing the limits of a parent’s patience 🙂
  • I think they are more creative??
  • Are more emotionally insecure, most times?
  • Seem to always feel the need to prove themselves… 🙂

And this young Lion of mine, I always tell him he is a class apart. He swells with pride. Either way, positive or negative that “class apart” may be, he’s happy not belonging to the herd 😛

He jumps in with both feet, into anything and everything

He also puts both feet in where they should not be, his mouth, a lot 😀 😀 :D!

And then the “sorry” game begins… more to soothe, than to repent 😀

And finally his classic line… all his, though he did appropriate it from “Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum”

Parampara, Mom, Parampara

takes the cake!

Lol. It would seem that the kid has suddenly discovered his heritage, which he discovered similarities with the other second born at home. His mother 🙂

And why, you wonder, am I telling you all this today? This lion, hot on the heels of another young Lioness is celebrating his birthday on 3 August.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Kunjunni 🙂

Mr President you rock! (ref. to earlier post, to know why President..Lol!)

With fond wishes, and all our Love

The First Amma

The First Brother

The First Dogs – Chinnu, Kuttan, Appu and Paru


The First Cat – Malu


May you be blessed abundantly. Always.

You certainly are your favourite thought personified.

Leadership is about Action, not Position