Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Memoir – P&R’s visit to India...

I have neglected you guys long enough. Well, that always happens when you are stuck in a mind as lazy as mine. So here goes, I will attempt to narrate the roller coaster ride months I've had.

Well where do I start, well i’ll introduce you to P&R and narrate their visit which well in all fair sense is where it all began. So here’s to a P&R and their visit home after three long years. Well like every other relative you have in the US, the quickest way to make those blissfully ignorant siblings visit is to get someone in the family married. And there it was a wedding, so P&R finally decided to visit. After a session of prodding and poking they extended their trip to a month and a half. D’ day arrived and I managed to squeeze a week of leave thanks to ma boss (couple of the perks of working in a travel industry.. u get to travel, well at least rarely).

So after the initial pleasantries and the startling traffic in the smelting heat of Chennai, it began. A general warning to all those poor little younger siblings who play chauffeur to the US returned, no matter how used to Indian roads they were, don’t let them be your pillion rider (or be prepared to get your shoulder clawed off every time an auto overtakes you, seriously!).

Off we went to Tiruchirapalli, for the wedding. Having been there numerous times, we expected the same old hot messed up township. I could not have been more off. As we got off the railway station which was bearably clean, a crisp cool morning breeze wafted through the trees carrying the smell of the jasmine. And as if that wasn't shocking enough, the auto drivers were being civil, and the roads were pristine.
The wedding was a frenzied greeting of relatives and as we finally reached the reception hall, a red carpet had rolled out greeting the guests. We were greeted like royalty, a traditional salute with Indian drums and horns that seemed befitting the kings. And if that wasn't enough to raise our heads to the skies, there was this guy with his charming salutes...

Well, we were to travel to Chidambaram. It was a shame to miss the brilliant climate and travel in the crammed car. We relived ourselves of the luggage and decided to ride the train. We got ourselves tickets for the three hour journey. We ended up standing for most of the journey, but what a journey... i’ll tell you this if you are going to take the train, take the local train and go standing. Endless fields of emerald greens, grey clouds baggy with the promise of rain, a horizon of palm trees, and a bunch of wild brats running to keep up with the train waving at us. As if this weren't blissful enough, it began to drizzle. The clouds parted with just enough rain to raise the dust with that distinctive aroma of wet earth and a welcoming home. It seemed like the whole scene was welcoming P&R home.

This is just the first week. There is a whole solid month coming at you... 
Until then, Happy Pongal guys...
Do keep commenting.. :)

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year !

It has been a while now hasn't it... well the thing is, the past few months has been a roller coaster ride of crazy... I will tell you about it one at a time.. ..
Well we do have a long long way to go so stay with me...
before I leave here is  a little something ... one of my most favourite pictures from my trip to Masinangudi.

Well... here is wishing you a  very happy new year. Here is to the road less taken..

Suchithra Ramakrishnan

Monday, October 29, 2012

Eclectic Charms of Ancient India - Mamallapuram

Hey guys, I do know it has been a really long time since I posted anything. Its been a very busy month and, I've been traveling. I've also been busy working, just as you work, you just happen to write this rare article that you are really happy about, well... I just wrote one, and I'm sharing it with you. It is a small piece on Mahabhalipuram,I will post a more detailed piece soon enough.

It seems a fantastic paradox, but it is nevertheless a most important truth, that no architecture can be truly noble which is not imperfect.
-          John Ruskin 

Along the east coast of Tamil Nadu, is what remains of the legacy of King Narasimhavarman.  A standing testimony of the artistic temperament of the great Pallava kings, the maestros of the Dravidian school of temple architecture. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Mamallapuram boasts of numerous monuments built between the 7th and 9th centuries.  What remains of the ravages of the Bay of Bengal now attracts those in search of lost legacies. The monolithic and cave temples display a rare use of Buddhist technique of rock carving in Dravidian style of temple building.

Myths and Legends Associated
The ancient city of Mamallapuram has been referred to as the land of the seven pagodas. According to legend, alongside the famous shore temple stood six other magnificent works of art in what is now rock strewn beach. So great were the splendorous seven pagodas that it made the gods jealous. So great was Lord Indra’s jealousy that he sank them in a storm leaving only one; the present day shore temple. There have been numerous mentions of fisher folk who claim to have seen these magnificent temples. During the 2004 Tsunami, the sea pulled back 500 m, when the tourists and residents report seeing a row of large rocks emerge from the water. The tsunami also made lasting changes to the coastline, and uncovered some previously covered statues and structures. But the six pagodas and what is left of them is yet to be discerned.

The Rathas
The rathas, are more commonly referred to as the Pancha Pandava Rathas, and mark the point of transition between the ancient rock carved cave temples and the later traditions of free standing stone structures. The five rathas are named after the pandavas but house deities of Shiva and Parvathi in them.

The Mandapas
The main hill at Mahabalipuram is dotted with pillared halls carved into the rock face. These halls are adorned with columns rising gracefully and intricate figurines. There are ten pavilions, of which two are unfinished, designed as shrines and an outer hall. The pillars in these pavilions are perhaps the earliest display of a motif that would become a signature of southern architecture- the lion pilaster (a heraldic lion support to an ornamental pillar. This may well be the primal design to the mythical yazhi).
Krishna Mandapam
It is among the earliest rock cut temples whose walls describe a scene depicting the lord lifting up Govardhana Mountain, against the wrath of Varuna.

Shore Temple
Facing the Bay of Bengal and glinting in the first rays of the sun, the shore temple is the primal attraction in Mahabalipuram. Perched atop a rocky outcrop, this temple is an architectural mmarvel and is a reprecentation of the most evolved forms of temple architecture during the period. The most interesting thing about this temple is its interconnected cisterns that let in water around the temple making it a water shrine. In recent times however, this has been closed away so as to prevent eroding.

Arjuna’s Penance
It is the largest bas relief sculpture in the world. It depicts Aruna (as an ascetic) doing penance to obtain a boon from Lord Shiva, though this is disputed, as there are sectors believing it to be Bhagiratha. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Final Rhapsody!

Walking along that transcendent isle,
Alone she tread with a mask of smile,
Betraying her Delphic repose;
A solitary tear threatened to land on her cheek,
Her eyes glistened riddled with emotion
As a smile and a sigh fought to reach her face;
Torn she was between joy and sorrow
Step by step she tread on
Drawing with her the memories of a bygone past
A reassuring firm grasp held her end
Emboldened, she smiled,
Head held high smiling with her eyes
She walked past..
The last lonesome stretch
And there he stood awaiting her..

- To all those of you getting married and to all of you who are... :) We'd all never know life without you

Monday, September 17, 2012

To Clear Skies...

She shed a single precious tear,
For a girl who never cried;
Her world stopped still,
Her mom went down with the bridge 
Into her watery grave;

The father followed 
To watery abyss,
With every bottle he drained;

She was left alone in world of leeches,
They sucked her dry
And left her there to die;

Amidst those mongrels
With her head still high
She waddled across
To reach clear skies;

Day and night she ploughed by
Till she could take no more
Buried she was alive
In the coffin of her life
Searching for the light she clawed past 
Until her fingers bled dry

Through life and death she had lived a horror
And she never brought forth a tear
Then suddenly he stopped at her and smiled 

Pulled her up and said "this way"
Day and night she walked by his side
They finally reached the clear skies...

She looked at him and suddenly smiled
She shed a single precious tear,
For a girl who never cried.

This poem was inspired by a documentary, I saw long back (but sadly I no longer remember the name). So if anyone of you guys remembers the story line do let me know :) 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Artsy :)

Well  well well it has been a long while hasn't it??
I'm feelin artistic today and so i'm going to share with you some of my art works...
hopefully your comments will inspire me to do more :)
here goes .... These are some of my earlier works..

what do u think??? 

Have a good one :)

For more details drop me a mail at

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Just another naughty lill brat :)

I know... its been long since I've posted anything... I'm too drawn in by the lovely Chennai monsoons... too drawn in to write.. but i promise ill write soon enough... until then here is a pic i clicked somewhere along the way!
And stay right there I've something big lined up for ya...
untill then .. enjoy!
this little fella was following me and ma camera around, but would bolt out while i see him.. 
Finally caught the shy lill rascal with his priceless expressions...

Have a great weekend folks... the monsoon is up ... feels like I've sprouted wings..