Sonu Niigaam & Benny Dayal at Saarang ’09


It was a great miracle that we got the tickets for the show at the last minute, but need to admit that the show did not turn itself into a miraculous one. We were 30 minutes late, but sonu niigaam had not taken the stage till then. Not sure who was singing as the time filler, but she was doing a decent job. First impression on listening to her was that, her voice was not heard properly! The music was so loud and was dominating her. poor thing…

Then was the time for Sonu’s entry. He came in, the good thing was he found the imbalance in the music instantly and to increase his mike voice. Good! we came to hear his voice after all. He asked them to set it right… And removed the monitors from the stage giving a hand himself. He apologized and started the show again. But the speaker arrangement was bad till the end, he couldn’t be asking them to adjust it every time. It failed to create the magic that usually engulfs the listener, especially when we are hearing to a live show, in a open air theater – that too performed by a very talented singer.

Sonu did a very entertaining and a charming performance, but his selection of songs did not suit our crowd. Most of the songs he sung, the audience were hearing it for the first time. Except for Rang De Basanti, and Soniyae, Nach le, every thing else were unknown ones. I was thinking that, probably i have not heard to these songs, but later came to know from the general feedback, that I was not only one to have felt so. The end result could have been much better if there was a powerful female singer who could have paired with him for duets, some nice melodies and his all time hits. Sonu was active on stage moving here and there, did some good dancing, and the finishing touch for every song with increased tempo which was great. There were two powercuts and other interruptions disturbing his performance. He left the stage around 10 with a simple namasthe and stepped down. You could have done that better sonu!

Next was Benny dayal on stage. He started with the Dil Se Re congratulating AR for his Golden Globe and went on to sing tamil numbers. The speakers and balance of the instruments were much better this time. But the sad part was many people started to leave once time ticked 10.30. People were shouting for Pappu can’t dance, and he sang it, but guess what… with the karoke bg. That was bad, we did not come this far to hear him sing with karoke and same was with “taxi taxi”. Even Benny was doing a good job dancing, moving to the ends and dancing, and he was sweating so much towards the end. Unlike Sonu, he had few nice duets from ATM and Vaaranam Aayiram. People wanted him to sing more songs and he was eager too, but there was no time 😦

Popular Nite at Saarang – People who missed it, do not feel so much it was not a lifetime chance and experience. And if you had been there, Ok it was not that bad that you regret the decision. But surely the IIT people need to set their speakers right, so that they do not disappoint the crowd every time.


Trip to kerala


Fag end of last year, we went on our annual office trip to kerala. I decided to take akhil with me this year, because i thought he has grown up a bit and I can take care of him in a new place too. I was very surprised that akhil was so co-operative and well behaved all through out the trip. It was a group of 20 people, and most of them akhil already knows since he visits my office often.

And his punch dialogues were also entertainment for our gang. One of them asked akhil, “periyavanaana enna panna porre?” and akhil replied – “periyavanaaga porrene.” Do I need to explain the expression of my collegue on hearing this?? (Meaning, what will you do when you grow up older, and the answer was, i will grow up)

His constant question during our train journey was:  “thoonginaa thaan kerala vaarumaa? Naama thoongaamaye kerala pogalaame” (Why should we sleep to reach kerala?) And once he got up, he was asking me, kerala vandhuchaa, and all through the trip he was confirming whether that place was kerala.

Food was not a big problem, he had what ever we we could get. And was so glad to see milk on the second day in our trip. All the things that he would have listened only in his story time – water falls, river ( i had a tough time in explaining what is a river for him in one of our stories), forest, mountains came in reality for him in this trip. He enjoyed the waterfalls, boating, he was so glad that he wore life jacket and was able to ride on a boat – like his idol Dora. Two learnings after the trip are that he is trying to whistle putting his fingers in his mouth and starting to shake his body in tune with the kuthu songs played.

Towards the end of the trip, one of my friend said to akhil – “Tomorrow you will go back to your house and it would be boring without you, how do we meet you here after?” And akhil after a thought said “amaa office ukku vaanga.” It was four days trip and time just flew like anything. We were back to chennai central and went home and the climax was that akhil had starting trouble to mingle with people at home. My mother who was so emotional seeing him after four long days got a big bulb. She was expected a paasa scene that he will run to her and hug her, but what happened in actual was he was quiet and composed and entered the house and started to relate to her only half an hour later.

Here are few of his pictures taken during the trip.

Akhil washing his baniyan in thommanguthu water falls:


Standing for a pose in veega land:


Casual pose in the bus:


Excited look at the sight of water in thommanguthu


Life jacket just like Dora:


Ayyio paavam look:



One day or the other…

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One day or the other I think every parent would face this situation of differentiating know and no to their children 🙂

While we were driving to akhil’s school, i was speaking in english and also instructing him to say “I know English” meaning “enakku english theriyum” The instant answer from akhil was that, “Amma, no sollare, hmmm… saapaadu saapidum podhu venaam endru solla thaan no sollanum”

I was caught and cursing the language, I first asked him to clarify the doubt with his aunty in school, then explained him that there are two “no” in english and blah blah…

And even more fun when there are similar sounding words in tamil and english like – when I say Money, akhil says “Mani endraal bell” and when I say “Some more” he repeats – “thayir more”

And his class aunty was telling that, Akhil says “I want susu” and always miss the “want to go to” part of it. 🙂


Delicate Delays

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Akhil, me and venkat were playing in our house and venkat took a break to go to the rest room. And he was missing for quite some time, so i told Akhil, “akhil go and call appa, knock the bathroom door and ask him to come out fast”.

Akhil (in a matter of fact tone): Appa niraiya moocha poikittu irukkaar ma 🙂


Chennai (Food) Sangamam

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I had been fan of Chennai Sangamam from the time it started, and had a chance to find a place in the grand finale yesterday at the besant nagar beach this year. There was such a huge crowd for the show and the beach since it was kaanum pongal. I could only see a glimpse of sivamani performing on the stage, but it was a real feast to the ears. One hour of great beats in a very nice atmosphere and crowd rocking to his music. It was followed by a firework session for more than 30 minutes. There were programs even after that, but we couldn’t stay for long.

Since yesterday was their closing day, all the food caterers were in one place. Different variety of foods – from dindugal, tiruppur, madurai, kongu naadu etc. We tasted dingugal venu’s karandi omlette with mutton biriyani and kola combo, and one with vegetable omlette, arisi uppuma and corn dosa from kongu naadu and from tirupur were paasiparuppu paniyaaram and wheat dosai and ulundu payasam from herbal food stall. Dindugal and Madurai stalls were also equally crowded for their kothu parotta, chicken and mutton biriyaani’s. Every thing was nice and it is not the one that you get to taste in the normal days.

Very nice initiative by the tamil mayyam people and the organizers of the event. I am sure in the years to come, it could get as famous as the carnatic music season.


Bathroom Tricks


Me: Akhil, Have you finished, can you come out of the bathroom?

Akhil (sitting in the bath tub after his bath) :  No Amma, five more minutes… Hmmm.. There are no mosquitoes here, when mosquitoes come to bite me, I will call you…

Me: Yes akhil sure. I will come and help you that time.

Me (after 5 minutes):  Have you finished akhil?

Akhil: No Amma, mosquitoes have not come yet, I will call you to come in once they come..

Me: ?????

Such a cute trick to stay in water and keep me away 🙂


Memory Plus

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Every Tuesday there is a show and tell activity in akhil’s class.  Each student needs to bring a toy or a book and explain it to the class – meant to improve the communication skill and to open up even in front of a group. Normally I forget the Tuesday and have sent him without the toy for a couple of weeks.

This tuesday happened to be one such day, until akhil all set to go to the school, asked me whether it is show and tell day? I couldn’t follow what he said, and asked “what?”. He explained to me” innaikku toy eduthukkittu poganumaa amma?” Only then i remembered that it was Tuesday and rushed to give him a Wall E toy and sent him to school.

I was surprised how he remembered to take the toy… I am sure he cannot distinguish days. One possible reason could be his teacher reminded him to bring a toy the next day, and i was so happy that he could remember that!!


Pongal o Pongal

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My mother in law celebrates pongal still in the traditional style – by keeping viragu aduppu and using pithalai pongal paanai.  We lit the mud stoves by keeping karpooram and wooden sticks and added milk in the vessel.  Once the milk boiled, she added water and waited for it to boil. And when it boils and makes it way out of the vessel, who ever notices it first, shouts pongal o pongal, and there is always this competition – who shouts first.

This time it was my father in law who won and shouted pongal o pongal, and we all joined in the chorus. Akhil had a nice time watching these scenes, and giving poses for his father’s camera. Though we did not do any work, we took nice photographs with pongal paanai, giving an impression that we managed the whole show 🙂

Then put padaiyal to gods, and akhil was good boy, helping to serve every thing in the leaf. What follows next? a tasty delicious meal.  My mother in law brought sugar canes next saying that, once you eat the pongal feast, you must have sugarcane to digest it. Wow, such a convincing reason to eat sugar canes. Akhil is tasting sugarcane for the first time, and was little inhibitive. To relax him, i said, “It is like a chewing gum akhil, you have to just chew and then spit it out.” Though he didn’t enjoy it much, he just tasted few pieces.

The best part was in the evening, we picked up my sister and on our way to book fair, she started to eat the sugarcane in the car. Akhil turned back, and gave a timely advice :

“It is just like chewing gum periamma, chew and then spit it out. ”


Events Calender

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Akhil and I have lots of plans for December and January.

  • Listening to a katcheri
  • Exhibition
  • Circus
  • Chennai Sangamam
  • Book Fair

We went to Nithyasri Mahadevan’s katcheri in music academy during the music season.  That was akhil’s first ever visit to a katcheri. He couldn’t sit more than 20 minutes which was very much understandable and the tiffen at the canteen was good too. The canteen had a speaker which did a wonderful job – vayirrukkum sevikkum ore idathil unavu 🙂

Akhil got hurt a little in his leg and was not able to walk for a week. And I was telling him this list every time and said that you get all right and walk fast, we can go to exhibition, circus, sangamam and book fair. Every time, i miss a event, and he would be sharp to tell the missed event.  Next tick is for chennai sangamam, and akhil went to palavakkam grounds yesterday, and today is the turn for events at besant nagar beach.

Book fair should come on its way by this weekend, followed by exhibition and circus 🙂 Come on, what else can be more exciting for a 3 year old child than hang out at these not to miss seasonal events?


Tortoise.. Tortoise

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Akhil is my 3.5 years old son, who is very cute, witty, intelligent, and pesters you with questions. I love spending my time with him and answering his endless questions. One such incident.

Yesterday morning, me and akhil were to clean his mats and tables. We thought we could take it to the backyard and clean it there. And my mother made a caution note, that there could be lot of mosquitoes ready to bite us. I replied, it is ok, we will manage with a tortoise.

And we both we came out with a stick of tortoise mosquito coil, and lit it and kept it near us. As we were cleaning, akhil asked me, “Amma, tortoise ethi vaichaa, tortoise varumaa??” Very Happy


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