sa·lut·ed, sa·lut·ing, sa·lutes

  1. To greet or address with an expression of welcome, goodwill, or respect; to express warm approval of
  2. To recognize a superior with a gesture prescribed by military regulations, as by raising the hand to the cap.

Andal Kauthuvam - Anita Ratnam

Describes the story of Andal - the female saint who, out of devotion for Vishnu, refused her father’s arranged marriage at the age of 15, saying she would marry the Lord alone. Every day she would go to the temple to offer a flower garland, but she would wear it herself first, something considered sacriligeous at the time. She did it anyway as a testament to the divine love that existed between her (the soul) and Vishnu (the absolute, the divine), until she finally merged with Vishnu in the temple.


dkon mchog sprin - 1) the Ratnamegha Sutra. 2) Cloud of Jewels Sutra. 3) translated by Thumi Sambhota; Ratnamegha [RY]

dkon mchog sprin - The Ratnamegha sutra Cloud of Jewels Sutra [tr thumi sambhota] [IW]

dkon mchog sprin - Ratnamegha, Clouds of Precious Jewels [RY]

dkon mchog sprin gyi mdo - Ratnamegha Sutra. Cloud of Jewels Sutra [RY]

dkon mchog sprin gyi mdo - Sutra of the Cloud of the Three Jewels; Ratnamegha-sutra [RY]

dkon mchog sprin gyi mdo - Ratnameghas tra, Cloud of Jewels Sutra [IW]

dkon mchog sprin gyi mdo - Ratnamegha Sutra [JV]

dkon mchog sprin gyi mdo - Ratnamegha Sutra - Cloud of Jewels Sutra [RY]

bka’ babs bzhi - the four special lineages/transmissions; 1) {sgyu lus ‘pho ba'i bka’ babs: the yoga of illusory body and consciousness transference} 2) {rmi lam gyi bka’ babs} the yoga of dreams} 3) {'od gsal gyi bka’ babs} the yoga of clear light mind} 4} {gtum mo'i bka’ babs}: the yoga of psychic heat. Tilopa’s four ordinary special transmissions 1} 1 (mahamudra, from Saraha, lohipa, dharikapa, and dingkipa. Tilo taught that he received these teachings from dingkipa. 2) father tantra, from Bodhisattva ratnamati, nagarjuna, and matangi tilo taught that he received these teachings from matangi 3) mother tantra, from sumati, shinglopa, thanglopa, and karnaripa. tilopa taught that he heard these teachings from karnaripa. 4) luminosity and non-duality, is from Viravapa, dombhipa, bhinasa, lavapa, and indrabodhi. Tilopa taught that he received these teachings from indrabodhi. the four extraordinary special transmissions: 1 candali and dream from Krsnacarya two illusory body! and father tantra from nagarjuna. three luminosity and non-duality from Lavapa four mother tantra, ejection, and bardo from sumati Samantabhadri.] [IW]

nor bu rin po che - mani -ratnam, jewel of jewels [RY]

nor bu rin po che - mani -ratnam, jewel of jewels, precius gem [rgyal srid sna bdun gyi ya gyal, yul gyi phongs pa sel zhing dgos 'dod 'byung ba'i nor bu zhig [IW]

nor bu rin po che - mani -ratnam, jewel of jewels, precious gem [IW]

'phags pa dkon mchog sprin gyi mdo - Arya Ratnamegha Sutra. Clouds of Precious Jewels [RY]

bud med rin po che - (stri-ratnam jewel of queens [IW]

bud med rin po che - [stri-ratnam] jewel of queens [RY]

rin po che'i phreng ba - Syn {rin chen phreng ba} Ratnamala, Ratnavali by Nagarjuna [RY]

Bachchan Bollywood Rebecca rumours untrue.

Despite rumours that Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would be returning to the silver screen as the second Mrs de Winter in an Indian adaptation of Rebecca, producer Ratnam’s wife has denied all claims that the two will team up once more.

She claims that it will take him eight months to write a script after completing the film he is currently working on, so any rumours at this point are untrue.

It has not been said however that there will be no Bollywood Rebecca.

Full article here: http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/bollywood/news/a410229/mani-ratnam-has-no-plans-for-rebecca-remake-with-aishwarya-rai.html

Aishwarya has agreed to work in the next project of Mani Ratnam!

“There's Jazbaa. We’re more than halfway through it. Then I’m doing another movie with another renowned director/producer, Mr Karan Johar, and just before coming here I agreed to work with another very respected director, Sujoy [Ghosh], and also Mani Ratnam.”

Getting Death off our Roads Part 1

Getting Death off our Roads Part 1

This article appeared in Ceylon Today on Friday May 22 2015

Two Boys

Several years ago, we became integrated into our local community because of tragedy. We were invited to a funeral house and were introduced to many of our fellow villagers and many bhikkhus. The dead young man had just won a place at an Australian university and was looking forward to a successful career in IT. He was to be…

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Mann Mein Laddu Phoota!!

The week long seminar on Companies Act, 2013 and Audit at ICAI, Bandra Kurla Complex was already 3 days old. By now most of the 200 strong audience member had taken the long plus expensive commute to the ICAI premises and the perverse commentary of the Keynote speaker in their stride. A break for tea had been announced and a sizeable crowd had left for the canteen. I did not much enjoy the tea or the coffee being served in the canteen and also the fare being charged for the same. I rather walked across to a few friends seated in the first row of the auditorium and began narrating the various predicaments life had strewn at me. Well my predicaments managed to bring cheer to the motley audience comprising of Harsh, Radha, Amantran, Narendra and Puneet. Just then I noticed a pretty face seated a few seats away trying all her might to contain her laughter. She tried stifling it with her hands to cover the laughter. She had almost won the battle but still a smile managed to sneak through and well caught my attention. Motivated by the returns of my predicament and the general cheer around, I threw another to draw a much enhanced smile.

You hardly find young ladies in Mumbai dressed in Salwar Kameez. In Chennai- universities, offices and other institutions reckon this piece of Indian attire as a measure to ensure male colleagues and classmates are attentive and dedicated towards their work. Having stayed, {purportedly} studied and worked in Chennai for a decade plus, it took some time to come to terms with the Salwar Kameez having a dwindling patronage in Mumbai. The Mystery Smile was however attired in the Salwar Kameez- I do not remember much of the hues and the design to discuss about the same at a greater detail. Pretty, fair, hint of freckles on her cheeks, oval face, hair bound into a single long plait were the only features I could gather in my first sight. And then it struck me- the lady looked like or was rather a version of Manisha Koirala.

I have never been quite a fan of Manisha Koirala as a child. The only movie of hers I gather of watching would be Mani Ratnam’s Bombay. However what interests me about Manisha Koirala who hails from the neighbouring country of Nepal, that she has played Pan Indian characters. We saw her as a Tamil village belle in Bombay, a separatist in North East in Dil Se, a Goan in Khamoshi, a freedom fighter in 1942- A Love story and the likes. She was the original North Indian “Banno” whose akhiyan was akin to Surmma Daani. That is quite a feat actually that you can be identified with women across India given the fact that you are not actually from India.

Mann mein Laddu Phoota??

Buoyed by the prospects of interacting with the Manisha Koirala of the seminar at ICAI-BKC, I conveniently reached the venue early the next day and placed my bag on a seat besides the lady. No one would suspect a thing or did suspect a thing. She was seated on my right and on my left was the Man of the House- Amantran Gupta. He is a Bong- can read Mandarin, has travelled far and wide across the globe and his gray hair reminds me of a younger Rajdeep Sardesai. This guy has swag and knows stuff to discuss unabated for hours. However our Manisha Koirala seemed to be in slight discomfit to be seated next to two/too loud Bongs. She looked slightly perturbed as she would stare at her voluble neighbours. To do away with the discomfit, I enquired of something and she replied something with a thick Gujarati accent in her slightly husky voice.

“Tamey Gujarati Chhe??”. I enquired again. I took a quick look at her and concluded that she hardly looked like the regular Gujarati lass. She nodded her head with the pride and confidence I know of most Gujaratis exude suggesting yes they (Gujjus) rok, roll and rule. 

This was a bit of pleasant news given that I have always found it difficult to make Gujju girls laugh. They seem too highbrowed for my variety of humour. I wondered for a while whether Manisha Koirala had ever played a character from Gujarat.

Meanwhile the lecture had commenced and as the perverse commentary of CA Abhishek Bansal introduced us to the roles and responsibility of Independent Directors passed a remark which drew an exasperated remark from my neighbour- “Ya Allah”.

Despite my puportedly liberal and secular views (#winkwink Dr Subhramanian Swamy) it did take me by surprise.

“What’s your name?” I enquired.

“Shaila Banu*” replied the lady in her slightly husky voice with the thickish Gujarati accent.

Well what.. I was actually sitting with Manisha Koirala from Bombay in Bombay. If only I could have the thick moustache of Arvind Swami- Hariharan would have sung Tu Hi re in the background. But the thought I enjoyed the most was that this was also the firt instance of me coming across a Gujarati Lady who would not cringe at the mention of the words Chicken and Mutton.

 For the next hour or so.. the song Kehna hi Kya and Kannalene (the original Tamil version) played in loop in my mind**.

I was more buoyant than usual and would have continued so forth if not my body clock at around 12:15pm emitted a hunger pang. There was more than an hour or so to go for lunch. I was not carrying any provision of snack with me and I started looking around. I always prefer sitting besides a Gujju during long hours of lectures. I do not know whether it is habit or social practice that makes them carry tonnes and quintal of Khakras, Theplas and variety of Farsans along with them. I asked Shaila Banu whether she was carrying anything with her. She wondered for a while and then reminded of something rummaged through her bag and came out with a packet of Britannia’s new Jumbo Choco chipped Chunkies. This was not the regular snack I would have expected from a Gujarati but then something is always better than nothing.

As I took my first bite… Shaila Baanu discreetly announced that her husband is a big fan of the cookie and her and would everyday make sure to pack 1 chunkie in her bag everyday. 

Hmm.. cough cough… wtf just happened??

“Do you want some water?” enquired Shaila Banu. 

If your husband packed that also, you would very well choke me to death.. I wondered. I gestured to her that I had my own bottle of water.

All the ladoos in the mind went bust. The Britannia Chunkie now tasted like McVites’ Digestive biscuit. And the buoyancy vanished in thin air.

I was sulking after this piece of news about the relationship status of my neighbour. Just then Amantran took the opportunity of acquainting himself with Shaila Banu, before he could progress much- I indiscreetly mentioned- She is Married. Both of them looked at me. Shaila Banu’s look seemed to suggest- “Dude, that is awkward.” Amantran’s chirpy look seemed to suggest- “Dude, I am aware.” More sulking.

So for a better part of the day, I was thinking of ending up like Arvind Swami in Mani Ratnam’s Bombay and now I was terrified by the prospects of ending up like Abhishek Bacchan as Bira in Raavanan (Another Mani Ratnam creation). #aiyyogod.

The very thought of it scared me no ends up.

Seeing me in discomfit and still pestering people continuously for snacks, Shaila Banu resumed some conversation about her hometown Surat. The tone of it was similar to that of our PM Modi-ji boisterous of everything nice with sugar and spice from Gujarat and then she made the best declaration that cheered me no ends up. “There is hardly any variety of food in Mumbai. You must visit Surat. You know what they tell about the food in Surat…”

“What..??” I asked a little disinterested than earlier in the morning. 

“Kashi-ne Maran, Surataane Jaman.. (There are essentially 2 paths to salvation- death in Kashi and eating in Surat)”

Wow. That really perked me up. I returned home. Added her on Facebook. Went through her album where I came across her handsome Husband (who incidentally has a bushy mustache like Arvind Swami) and culmination of the 3 Khans of Bollywood into a single individual that being her brother. Also ended up listening to Rahman’s Khwaja Mere Khwaja, Piya Haji Ali and Kun Faya Kun on loop for rest of the night.

Next day I announced to my friends in the seminar of having sat with a pretty Gujarati Muslim lady who was well married also. This really concerned most of them. Especially the cute and cautious Harsh Shah who warned me- “Bhai, Be careful, bhai!! If people from her community come to know, they will chop off your private parts.”

That was an awkward statement. Why would they do that? And even worse than that was me still ending up like Abhishek Bacchan in Raavan.

Despite the warning, I continued sitting with her for the remainder of the seminar as she brought her supplies of snack from Surat. I started addressing her as Shaila Ben (#gujju sista). I did mention to her about my fondness of Gujarati ladies and she assured me of finding one for me.

Then again– Mann mein Laddu Phoota!!

*Name changed to respect privacy of the individual and the protection of my private parts. #justincase
**I had my own handwritten notes of the Bare Act and so a little less attention in the class did not hurt much.
***Harsh Shah  was not the only 1 to make the remark.
****If you enjoyed reading it, would appreciate if you could share the same. #Cheers
*****Never Tasted another Britannia Chunkies since then.. 50 bucks for a pack!! #Aiyyo

OK Kanmani

(Spoilers alert and er.. long post ahead)

I finally got around to watching OK Kanmani. With no great expectations, but with no apprehensions either. It’s a very comfortable feeling, when you *know* that the movie you’re about to watch is going to be … pleasant.

You’ve got a charming couple, who meet, then meet up and then move in together and into the house of another charming older couple. You have PC Sreeram’s Bombay for scenic background, ARR’s frothy and light soundtrack, and all the goodness of past Mani Ratnam’s romantic scenes put through the blender and refreshingly served. All this, the trailers tell you. What they don’t spell out is the wistfulness in Tara’s smile and the catch in Adi’s voice. 

There’s really very little drama in this young couple’s lives imposed on by others. Sure, you’ve got the dramatic and very rich mother of the bride who knows the police commissioner, you’ve got the scene with the show-down between Adi’s sister in law and Tara. Hell, Adi and Tara in fact meet across platforms when Tara is threatening to jump in front of an incoming train. But then you realize these moments are of absolutely no significance.

Instead the couple build up the drama all by themselves. Adi, literally, for he is a video game developer. Anyway, for a pair of romantics stifled under masks of cynicism waiting to see who rips the mask off first, this is certainly not a tall order. 

There are several beautiful moments as their relationship blossoms. When early on, Tara goes outside her office to meet a waiting Adi to go to a coffee house, he hops on to his bike and waits for her to get on. She hesitates a bit, taken aback. He smiles and asks “Should I walk alongside with you with the bike then ?”. She laughs and climbs on. And the camera zips to the next scene, where they are having coffee. The big deal is not the bike ride, the big deal is making that decision to take a bike ride. With a stranger. 

The scene in Ahmedabad when she opens up to Adi about her childhood. Apart from Nithya Menen being simply spectacular (and she is), the scene is a marvel because it shows us why Tara does not want to feel vulnerable, ever, whilst showing us how she is slowly becoming vulnerable !

The train ride when Adi wants to leave Tara in her hostel before he has a change of heart. When he says so, she teasingly repeatedly asks “And then what” and draws  out a .. well, gets him to say a few words before he uses humour to disguise his feelings.

When they watch Ganapathy Uncle tell Bhavani Aunty that she has Alzheimer’s through the almost closed door. Bhavani asks her silent husband “One day, will I forget you also Ganapathy ?”. Adi, distraught, walks away from the scene while Tara looks on wonderingly, hearing perhaps herself in Bhavani’s question.

The conversation Tara and Adi have with their eyes in the party celebrating Adi’s US job offer. Well, not really a conversation, but just a “We both know that this is coming to an end” realization, before they go their separate ways, Adi to the US to become the next big thing in the video gaming world, Tara to Paris to her architecture school.

They make a pact, saying they will not let these last days they have together be drowned in tears or farewells, but simply race through them, sleepless amidst rollicking laughter. The crescendo builds as they build meaningless castles in the air to the tune of Threera .. trying hard not to see the elephant in the room. But this plaster of temporary happiness develops cracks through which the angst about parting creeps in. 

We see them querulous, angry, and angsty (the dialogues are so reminiscent of the Madhavan-Simran car scene in Kannathil Muthamittal when they are searching for their daughter who has run away) And it all comes to a boil when Bhavani Aunty wanders away in the rain one evening. The couple, while anxiously searching for her, finally confront their own feelings and the movie ends with one beautiful proposal by Adi (Dulquer just stole all the hearts there)

Really, the only fault I find is with the usage of songs.  Brilliantly shot in themselves,  they don’t however really fit into the movie as well as they should have. And Chitra’s “Malargal Kaeten” which just resounds with wistfulness, the beginning of which is … thrown away in a scene early on. Not at all what I had imagined in my mind. However it gets beautifully used later on between Ganapathy and Bhavani,  And also you have the delicious Bhavamulona floating around Adi and Tara in the streets of Bombay. Big win.

Sure, it is a light weight movie. But it is one enjoyable light weight movie. With amazing actors. 

The joy of watching 'OK Kanmani'

The joy of watching ‘OK Kanmani’

O, Kadhal Kanmani!!!

I was never going to miss this. As always, a Mani Ratnam film release had massive hype ever since the teasers and first look posters were out. Firstly, we knew that the Mozart of Madras was scoring the music. Secondly, we were aware that the film and songs were shot in India, the images of those would ignite the traveller in us. Like the Bekal Fort in Kasargod (“Uyire”), Ooty…

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