A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


For the Love of Music :)

I had been tagged ages ago, by Nimmy, to share some favourite songs in two languages 🙂  10 each to be precise 🙂 I have  decided to do it two or three parts. Since some of it was already in the drafts, from about an age ago, I decided it was time there was some movement on this space, and here it comes, a few, too darned few I must add, for I desperately wanted to add more. These are songs, some of them at least, that I grew up with, some others which I found wonderful for their lyrics, the music, and the sheer joy of sharing in their music. I do hope it will connect with you 🙂 and you will find that enjoyment too!

First off, the English Songs 🙂

1. One of Us – Joan Osborne

Do look up the link and check the lyrics, they are truly amazing!

2. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, Roberta Flack

This has to be one of the most deliciously romantic songs ever… and I mean ever 🙂

3. Bohemian Raphsody, Queen

Sang this in chorus at School, came first [our class ie :)] A memorable song!

4. Truly Madly Deepy,Savage Garden

(Embedding disabled… another beautiful song to watch, do follow the link:))

5. Everything I do, Bryan Adams

Now this one give me gooseflesh, all the time 🙂

6. Stay the Same, Joey McIntyre

Embedding disabled 😦 Must watch song, must listen to song :). Can’t quite describe it, but it tugs at the heartstrings 🙂

7. Dr Hook’s Sexy Eyes

Bouncy, bouncy, and raunchy… but lovely 🙂 IHM’s blog has “When you’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman”, so I chose this one 🙂

8. Leo Sayer “When I need you”

Yearningly beautiful… 🙂

9. To Sir With Love

This had to be one of the most inspiring films ever, and this scene from the film is particularly touching and heartwarming! Am sure some of you will remember, and enjoy it all over again!

10. Abba’s “Chiquitita”

Another lovely song… 🙂

11. Vicky Leandros’ 1972 Eurovision Winner of a song, Translated here, in English, “Come What May”. The Original is Après Toi, sung in French.

Heard this first, when dad brought home this LP and was captivated by the voice, the strength of it, and the versatility 🙂 I heard the French version first [no I do not know French 🙂 :)] and later discovered the English version. The lyrics are lovely too!

In English:

This is in French:

And Oh 🙂 so very many more 🙂 This is just an atom on the tip of the iceberg, but then what to do, Nimmy said 10 only 😦 Though I did add one more :P!

More from Hindi and Malayalam to follow in another post. For now, this itself has drained me, though very pleasantly, I must add 🙂 🙂

11 May, 2009, very very early in the day… 🙂


Love Never Fails!

For Love, because Love Never Fails. And also inspired by Solilo, and Indyeah 🙂

This day, I just want to share something a friend, whom I have never met, [but know to be a friend for the person I have come to know:)], had shared on this particular thought:

Love Never Fails.

He quoted from the Bible, that in itself, is self explanatory, and finds resonance in the true scriptures of all the different kinds of faith we follow. The simplest, sometimes the most complex and always the ONE thing that is the ONLY thing that keeps us HUMAN: Love.

From The Holy Bible, 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, Verses 1 – 13

1Co 13:1 What if I could speak all languages of humans and of angels? If I did not love others, I would be nothing more than a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

1Co 13:2 What if I could prophesy and understand all secrets and all knowledge? And what if I had faith that moved mountains? I would be nothing, unless I loved others.

1Co 13:3 What if I gave away all that I owned and let myself be burned alive? I would gain nothing, unless I loved others.

1Co 13:4 Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude.

1Co 13:5 Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.

1Co 13:6 Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil.

1Co 13:7 Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting.

1Co 13:8 Love never fails! Everyone who prophesies will stop, and unknown languages will no longer be spoken. All that we know will be forgotten.

1Co 13:9 We don’t know everything, and our prophecies are not complete.

1Co 13:10 But what is perfect will someday appear, and what isn’t perfect will then disappear.

1Co 13:11 When we were children, we thought and reasoned as children do. But when we grew up, we quit our childish ways.

1Co 13:12 Now all we can see of God is like a cloudy picture in a mirror. Later we will see him face to face. We don’t know everything, but then we will, just as God completely understands us.

1Co 13:13 For now there are faith, hope, and love. But of these three, the greatest is love.


The King’s Bible, refers to Charity in place of Love, but as told to me, it is the reference to Love, in its entirety that Charity assays.

To paraphrase what is written above:


I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell.

I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing.

I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned —but if I have no love, this does me no good.

Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud;

Love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; Love does not keep a record of wrongs;

Love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth.

Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass.

For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial;

but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.

When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways.

What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.

Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.


Never. Love never fails.

10 February, 2009


A Quirky Tag!

Alright, am dealing with beating Procrastination and so I come to another pending Tag. This time, it is from Aareet Krsna, a young blogger with a worldly wise wisdom and an awesome way with words 🙂 His tag is to share seven things unusual about me 🙂 It goes back to a couple of months ago actually!

  • A girl who grew up a tomboy. The reason why it is so unusual is that it has stayed with me throughout, lol, and even today I am more tomboy that a lot of girls in my class! I had to insist that the girls of Std. VIII play cricket, as there was a lesson with a bit of reference to the game. Rather than giving theory lesson in class, the girls who knew and the boys who played helped them. That is when I realized a whole lot of things about myself. Other teachers, including the PE teachers think I am a weirdo. Perhaps. :D!!!

  • My collectors’ items. Every scrap of paper on which I might have remotely pretended to be writer, an adviser, an essayist has been collected and stored. For whom or what, thou shalt not ask. Suffice to say, I am, of course a quirky soul. 🙂 I still have the cards I got for my birthday, from school, to the latest that my kids gave me… 3 each, from each of the two offspring!!! I am rich!

  • I cannot forgive myself easily. And that said, that is that!

  • I have an irrational sense of logic that works perfectly fine for me, but gives the impression of my being disorganized. Ever heard that a mess is order, re-ordered in a certain way? Lol!

  • How I came to be named. Dad wanted to go the whole way and name me Ushus, for the Goddess of Dawn… help!! Luckily, Mom did help, and put her foot down. Usha it became. But…. my generation has so many Ushas esp. where I live, in my own family.. a daughter, a daughter in law, neice, grand neice, house help, her neice… Lol. The list is endless. And when we attend a marriage function, it gets worse. Ah, I met Usha, if even an Usha were to say that, you’d have to qualify with Leelachechi’s Usha, or Ramu’s Usha, or Cheriya Usha [cheriya means small… :D]… It is an over dose of the name I tell you!!!
  • My name also got me at the bottom of the attendance register list. Most times it was convenient. :D! Being a Back Bencher [hail the tribe!!!] it helped, enormously!!!

  • My favourite tagline with the kids at school, to confuse them which has to be the all time height of quirkiness.. Lol. I ask them “Am I the problem?” And they are instantly lost. The braver ones smile. Most look shocked. The really Brave and Courageous Adventurers sometimes say Yes. I love that part… hehehe!

Now to tag you guys. The best part! This time however, I shall give you all a leeway 🙂

All those who read this are TAGGED 🙂, even if you don’t leave a comment. However, I would love it if you could just leave a link in the comments box when you do 🙂 Thanks!

[Saved myself a lot of energy hyperlinking :D!!! It has to be one of the most enjoyable but painstaking things to do… 🙂 :)] But I might just drop in and ask … :), if tagees are not forthcoming, LOL!

4 February, 2009


Better than the Best…

Isn’t that a fine ambition to have? More so, when you pit yourself against your own self.

What can you do better than what you do now? They say the greatest challenges in life are made in one’s own mind.

  • Can I now be a better organizer? [Was I one in the first place? Lol!]

  • I certainly can be a better parent, for sure 🙂 :D!! [Which is going to be seconded by the Younger one for sure, silently :P]

  • A teacher? Now when did I ever claim to be one? Nah! I’d rather be a learner like those kids I pretend to teach, forever. Amen!

  • A better citizen. Yes. I must, I Will! Thanks to the innumerable inspiring posts I have read from so many of you!

  • A better disciplined person[Like Rakesh ..:)]. I know I can, so why don’t I? Learn to practice all that I preach endlessly. Actually, I think I have made a rather good start by keeping myself glued to the papers in hand. Though I did break up when I found just a class and a half left, lol! So that is just about 70+ papers yet to get through.

Still, this sombre twilight hour makes me feel a little pensive. I really am not all that Happy New Yearish as I sound. The events of a month ago haunt. The events of a couple of days ago at Gaza haunt.

And yet, one goes on.. The show, life, must go on. And we Actors don roles again, play to the hilt, till curtains fall again!

In the words of someone, on OSO…. Picture abhi baki hai!!

Don’t mind me, I’m just doing something I do better than the best…. Ramble. Lol!

Have a prosperous and peaceful 2009, dear Comrades-in-Arms! Let it be Better than the Best, you’ve ever had!

P.S. This entire post is the direct result of a chat I just had now with Soumya! Thanks Soumya, for being so inspiring again!!! As you always have been!

P.P.S. I typed the whole thing into the Create New Post, without Pen and Paper. Hurrah!!! Progress!!! But then again, this is another silly one.. lol!

31 December, 2008


A Woman Extraordinaire!


Now these words might make a virago out of my grandmother [my maternal grandmother], but no, it isn’t quite like that! Let me explain a little, with a brief sketch first of all :

The second born, of four children, in a matriarchal family, early twentieth century, she studied upto the fourth standard, got married at around twelve years, almost thirteen, she said, to a widower with a young son, had eleven babies, one of whom, the youngest to be precise, did not survive beyond a few days, she lived a life that I have found extraordinary! My earliest memories of her are of a graceful, tall, slim woman, filled with energy, always bustling about the house, not necessarily working in the kitchen though.. 🙂 She loved talking, and gossiping and telling us, and anyone who cared to listen stories.. and my, oh my! those were stories!!!

It was Corinne Rodrigues’ post on her grandmother, Recalling a Woman of Substance – Part I, that made me want to write this. A niggling idea then germinated, more than a month ago, and has not let me be, all these weeks, and now finally, a few days after her third death anniversary, I offer this – to my Muthashi [grandmother, in Malayalam]. I can visualize her enjoyment at having something dedicated to her, and her criticism of it as well!!

Let me go back to those three words at the top of this post. Nothing, absolutely nothing, I had found out, could crush her spirit, not the number of children she had, five boys and five girls and the step-son she brought up as her own [all her children are still hale and hearty this day :)], not the misery of the partition of family property (that was terribly acrimonious) she had to go through, isolated from her siblings, who shunned her though they stayed next door, not the squabbles among her children, from time to time, especially her sons, or the rude behaviour of some of her grandchildren – Nothing. It was as if there was something in her that simply refused to acknowledge this, and she survived another day (and taught a few lessons by way of example! Not by accepting injustice, if any, but by not letting it get to her!!) In fact, as my mother always reminds me, at each of those times in her life, she was the inspiration to all around her!

Living in the nattumpuram, the interior, the countryside, so to speak, did little to limit to knowledge of the happenings around the world, and Kerala! She was a voracious reader, from newspapers, to all the serialized stories in the Mangalam and Manorama weeklies. (Malayalees can perhaps connect to these :D!! The stories are sort of pulp fiction, lots of romances, betrayals, and stuff!!) And Radio Plays, so looked forward to, even by us, migratory birds who visited her a month each year! Even after the advent of television in our village in the mid eighties, the radio plays were firm favourites for her! No one was to talk, to shout, nothing… she’d sit, with us, all around, her head tilted towards the radio, in rapt attention! A sharp smack greeted anyone who dared to distract her!

What I loved so much about her was her absolute uninhibited joy when she went to the cinema! She was perhaps the oldest “hooter” or “Catcaller”, lol, theatres would ever have seen. A legend of sorts in our small place! We had a couple of rustic theatres, which later became brick and cement “real” cinema halls. Her children were most times embarrassed, but she cared two hoots (two long ones, at that :)), when the action scenes came around! For us, her grandchildren, it was HUGE entertainment, going to the movies with her. The number who went, piled into a couple of cars, literally piled would be anything upwards of ten…:) – my grandparents, parents, three of us, my brothers and me, other uncles, aunts, cousins, servants and the neighbours!! Even now, when I go for a movie I miss her presence and the enjoyment!

She had magic in her hands! We call it kaipunyam in Malayalam, the gift within of being able to cook divinely, and make anything one’s hands touch taste delicious! She could turn a bit of salt, tamarind, a couple red chillies, fried, and a couple of shallots, [cheriya ulli –small onions, the size of maybe marbles], into her pièce de résistance called, Ulli Puli (literally translated as Onion tamarind, or sour onion !). My mouth waters, even now, this very moment, as I write about it. My mother, and her youngest sister, of her children, I have found, have inherited this from her, but they come nowhere close to her 🙂

My greatest gift from her, is her tutoring me in the letters of my mother tongue. Having been born and brought up outside of Kerala, there was little chance of my learning it formally, in school. But when I was in the fifth standard, I remember, the urge to learn what appeared heiroglyphics took root, and she guided me through those, during my summer vacation. Not having much practice in later years, or having felt the inclination, I neglected this area, and recently, after having settled in Kerala, a close friend here, and another blogger, Praveen, has made me want to again get back to those basics and perhaps, with renewed vigour, maybe even express myself here, in Malayalam 🙂 If and when that happens, it’s a dedication to my Muthashi!!!

She had wanted to chronicle her experiences in life, as a sort of diary, her memoirs, sort of… But that remained an unfulfilled wish. She truly knew enough gossip, happenings, family relationships [uncle’s mother-in-law’s sister’s nephew’s grandson’s wife… sort of thing] really well, that it never ceased to amaze me, how she’d map out with such clarity and define who was who, and how important he/she was!!! We’d always say that she had enough material to fuel a mega serial, the saga of her life and times!!!

The one special thing about her, was that ability she had to tell stories. Indeed all Grandmothers, I think, come with that ability, lol.. but her’s was a different sort! When we came to her for the vacations, we’d always insist on sleeping with her at night… so we’d spread the mattresses, and mats [the unlucky ones got those… :D] all over the front room, called ummaram, in that ancestral house, and she would tell us the goosebumps variety of stories of people called odiyans, who would take revenge, or be hired by others to do the same, by turning themselves into a dog with a limp or a huge black buffalo. She’d tell us hair-raising tales about how her father and grandfather had actually seen them and how an uncle had been lured out of the home at night [the time when they operate], but throwing gravel on the tiled roof, and when he went out to see who it was, something happened, and he never returned alive! Oh my! those were stories!!! And we’d huddle together, shiver, and simply love it! In actual fact, she would have closed her eyes and most often gone off to sleep, but it was as if she was on auto pilot, and narrative would go on… that was her special ability!!! Even now, when I think of it, a thrill fills me; these are stories my mother has told her grandchildren, and I sit along a listen with them, and at 20+ both my children still enjoy it just as much and go brrrr… especially in the nights!!!

I somehow think there must have been my grandmother in my heart when I wrote this poem, a long time ago, for it kind of sums her up quite well! It’s called Indomitable.

This has been one looonnnggggg post; something which even I did not think would take so much space! But then, it’s like that when I talk about my grandmother. In a few words, perhaps I’d summarize her this way too:

Through thick and thin
Ups and downs
Always smiles and never frowns
Muthashi, precious kin!

A spirit unputdownable
Ever and always affable
In life and always

A charmer
A go-getter
A sunny-side-up-er [:D]
That, dear friends, is HER!!!!

Miss you Muthashi, I really do!!!

[11 November, 2008 to 22 November, 2008]