Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Life... As I know it.

      It has been a while since I held a pen to write about someone who really inspired me and moved me to tears at the same time. The reason I am back to writing after such a long hiatus is because I thought that the story of this particular person must reach everyone of his times and after his times. I was desperately in need for a push to come back here and start all over. An artist/writer goes around looking for inspiration that makes him bring out the best in him, but what he accidentally stumbles upon is what brings out the best work. That is what I hope has happened to me now. To me, more than just writing an impeccable piece, it’s about reaching out to everyone with Mr. V.Chandrasekhar’s story. How many of us know about Mr. V.Chandrasekhar other than people of his times who also have sadly forgotten him?

I didn't know of his existence until I came across a special episode of ‘Kannadada Kotiyadipathi’ (kannada version of KBC) where Indian cricketer Anil Kumble mentioned about raising funds for Mr Chandrasekhar’s Table Tennis Academy in Chennai. But until they showed him in person thanking Mr. Kumble and wishing him good luck for the game show, I thought him to be a normal sportsperson (of which I had no clue of either) who was trying to get recognition and aid for his game, in this cricket obsessed country. 

Mr. Venugopal Chandrasekhar is a former national Table Tennis player & Arjuna award winner from Chennai. He was a flamboyant player back in 1980’s and it is said that tickets for his matches used to be sold in black in TT patronized cities. He was also the first player from the non cricket world to be approached for commercials. He achieved great heights until 1984 when a negligent knee operation in the renowned Apollo hospitals threw every dream and life of his out of the window. A wrong dosage of anaesthesia left him paralysed and his brain damaged. He also lost most of his vision. He was known for his powerful personality, immense talent and also exuded the passion for making TT a forerunner back then. The legal battle went on for 10 years before Apollo hospitals decided to settle for their negligence. His dreams of making it big in TT definitely reached a dead end but his passion for it didn't He went through treatments and today has regained almost 70% vision and most movement of his limbs. He still suffers from a condition called nystagmus because of which his eyeballs cannot focus making it sometime really difficult to walk for him in the dark. As taken from his autobiography "My fight back from Death's door",

"There are times when I stumble on the footpath, and people have thought that I was drunk.
That is when it hurts for it is not my fault. Then I look at the computer in my office and cannot
read the small letters. To be lesser than a normal human being is what pains me the most
But I know I have to carry on. There is no point in looking back."

It is indeed very agonizing to see a legend reduced to almost nothing physically but he hasn't let this get to him instead has started his own TT academy and trains aspiring young ones like him there. He has shown many of us, all that is needed to reach out and make ourselves an identity is determination and the ability to face what may come. He fell down, but raised stronger & even more determined like a phoenix. This is what is for the majority of hale & healthy people with their brain and limbs intact to be learned from people like him who despite all inabilities continue to fight on for their passion and live life on. There are many in this world like Mr. Chandrasekhar whose stories have to come out to teach the many million normal people to live life cheerfully. It is up to us to keep these people alive in our memories and pass on their stories to the future. 

For all the people, you and I alike, not to lose our faith in ourselves when we fail but start fresh with even greater vigour and zeal and leave back the past baggage behind. For all the old and young alike who think of taking drastic steps when they just fall short of their goal; everything is not lost; you still have that moment to live, live it to the fullest coz you cannot relive it again. For everyone alike, be thankful that you are privileged than many on this earth who fight numerous hardships just to see a ray of hope and light everyday. I am thankful that I am one among those fortunate who gets to live each day contentedly without having to put up a struggle. I have always noticed that when I slowly lose the enthusiasm in life, I come across such people or incidents which make me realise I have nothing to complain about. It makes me want to do more for others. 

Man is a greedy animal; time and again it gets proved. Today we have grown intolerably self-centered and crave for more and yet remain unsatisfied. If only we open up a little, we will notice that there are lot of people who don’t even get to live what we do. It most definitely will make you feel very much gifted. It will make you forget for a moment that 'I am most important'. Man may have become everything dark but I still have faith he hasn't lost compassion for mankind at least. We need to keep reminding ourselves that there is more to life and live cheerfully.

image courtesy:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Awakening!

The whole house being pulled down, newly painted, with my mother running berserk hurling abuses at me, lucky for me being an injured soldier she dint keep breathing down my neck. As for my dad, he had to put up with my mother's scowls. All this commotion was for the welcoming of Radhe Jaggi, who is a kalakshetra dancer other than being Sadhguru's daughter, she was coming the down to Neyveli to perform as a part of her offering to the Nataraj temple. After the whole house was revamped we were expecting her from chennai but she dropped in late due to the alarming hike in the petrol rates. The next morning after the late breakfast we headed to the venue & back in the infamous Neyveli heat. Later in the evening, the performance started with the Ganesh stuthi, then she started with the thisra alarippu which was a perfect combination of adavus & grace. This was followed by the extremely brilliant composition called 'tunga tarange gange'  which she did justice to, with amazing poise & perfect amalgamation of abhinaya & adavus. For some strange reason, maybe because of the presence of a higher power, her performance drew a large crowd & was intense with a streak of divinity to it. Her emotions were very soulful which made it difficult for me to take eyes off her. She ended it with a immaculate Thillana. The whole performance left me yearning, asking for more, start over my passion for bharathnatyam & desire to go dance alongside. I just had lost appetite for dance, I needed the push to slip into my dancing shoes or rather into the 'salangai' & Radhe just did it with her scintillating performance. The day was really phenomenal with the new awakening & new urge to do it all over again. 

The Long wait..... Wholesome experience!

I don't remember when was the last time I had felt so excited, felt the blood pumping into each vein along with the dreaminess of floating in the air with exhilaration. Well, the selection to the hot seat in Neengallum vellalam oru kodi (NVOK) did all this wonders. For people who are unaware of nvok, it is the Tamil version of kaun banega crorepathi hosted by the dashing surya of ghajini fame. I never knew I could make it this far pretty effortlessly. All this would have been impossible without gods grace and my parents. I would like to take you down this memory lane of mine & document it so that I can cherish it 20 years from now. Well as they say a mother knows her child the best, my mother was the one who coaxed me to enter this competition, she realised I had the potential & the knowledge to get through this & because I was desperately trying for KBC when it was first aired though I wasn't eligible. So I went through this rigmarole. First the SMS, then the call from them confirming my details along with 2 computer generated questions & then being called for the ground auditions in Laity auditorium, Kilpauk. I reached the venue as early as 7:00 am on the 19th of March & to my disappointment I found a painfully long queue for the registrations & I realised I had to bunk the whole day of office. It was a whole new experience for me, I have always watched long meandering queues on TV for reality shows & always thought people were crazy to be standing all through the day, but now, that I was in their shoes it din't sound crazy enough. After the registrations, there was a problem with my DL, it all came crashing down. Maybe it was meant to be short & not sweet. Luckily though, the issue was sorted, I got to face the tedious process of filling up the booklets & a round of quiz where I had to answer 10 questions (I did get them all right), later followed by a video shoot. We wound up at 7:00 pm, 12 hours of portal into a different world. Now was the worst part, waiting eagerly for the final call from them. It was indeed a very long wait, during which i had completely lost hope that I would ever get through. But again there is some super higher power whom I would like to call 'GOD' & Voila I get a call saying I have gotten through & that I am supposed to be present on the 7th of May in AVM studios (Kick ass, I must say). I din't know how to react & I have never been this weird. No sign of over enthusiasm, just silence apart from the buzzing of the butterflies in my stomach. As a forerunner to the show,a small video shoot of my crazy activities, hobbies & work were recorded, I guess this was the irresistible hilarious part of the show. Then on the D day, myself & my parents made it to the grandeur of the AVM studios. The NVOK set was both imposing & intimidating.We had a run through with their instructions, rules & then the changing of clothes, make up & hair & a mock fastest finger first. All this added on to the anxiety, nervousness but the Vijay TV crew did their best to make us all feel at home. Finally I make way to the ever dashing, darling Surya, I hold his hand & I just look at him & drool, well its not surprise here, is it?! For a moment there, thought I would forget my line for Surya but thankfully I make it along with drooling. After the introduction, is the FFF, which is the most toughest part of the game as it requires undue composure. I made it through that also & that's when I could feel the adrenaline rush, I went weak in my legs, I couldn't believe when my name appeared on the screen for the Hot seat, that is when I was on cloud nine. My mom couldn't hold back her tears, she was never happier. After all the racket & basking in the glory & attention from the crew, I was summoned to the hot seat after lunch. With Surya in front of me, God was he handsome, just couldn't take my eyes off him, drooling once agin. Then the game begin, started off pretty well, went on smooth with little tidbits of my life. Surya is a good talker, really sweet & assuring.So I sail from Rs.0 to Rs.12,50,000 question, this is when my overconfidence & the game play took the better of me & I lost, sliding down to Rs.3,20,000 but surprisingly I was not dejected, I was happy because the whole experience was entirely new, enthralling,it was never really about the money, it was just a good side of this whole meeting the star & having my 45 minutes to fame experience. I don't know how to conclude this as it all still seems dreamy & far off to me. Pinch me!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

All you need is Love!!

I have always wondered why long distance relationship takes the mickey out of people. Why does everyone feel, be it any kind of relation, strains the moment the person concerned moves away. Is it lack of love or is it lack of trust or is it lack of sense?!? I would say it is the lack of sensibility & also the current so called hot trend of moving on, dusting off everything as though nothing has happened. I strongly believe that this whole so called can’t manage long distance scenario is outrageous & a myth & people are thick enough to break up terming it practical but I think otherwise, maybe it’s the case of lack of true love that people opt for a breakup. When a person’s near dear one moves far away I bet he is missed immensely & vice versa. As the Beatles say ‘All you need is love’ is so true to its last word. All that a man needs is compassion from another man. I have always felt that distance is no real constrain when it comes to love. I want today to spend all the lost time with my friends who as of today are scattered all over the country & in different countries. There are lots of memories that each character holds in a person’s life. Teeny weenie reminds me of my friends almost every day & I miss them. Trust me, love for them has not gone down the scale, it’s rather ridden up the scale. I did realize all this late when my friend from far away land mentioned he misses being with his friends, with me & in a flash it made sense damn yes I too do miss him very much that is why I end up chatting with him everyday which I dint do so often when we were in the same city. I don’t think anyone’s love for their closed ones ever diminishes with distance. I can never grow apart from people I care about though there might be a tiff sometimes. Isn’t this love? Isn’t it belief I have placed on them that yes they do love me back? How cannot this happen to everyone, though it might have escaped a few unfortunate. When the love for your parents or siblings doesn’t just vanish & then how would it vanish for your partner?!? Isn’t it absurd?!? A few unfortunate who have gone through rough patch & ended in break up doesn’t serve as an example of being ‘practical’ in moving on mate! It just makes me think the concept of ‘move on’ is a golden gateway for young couples who are bored in their lives. I sure do agree distance relationships comes with its own share of complications, but aren’t there complications in everything. It’s up to us as to how we look upon it, accept it as it comes, face it & tackle it. With true love tugging at your heart there’s no way it’s going to snap with whatever the distance be it. ‘All you need is love’ & All you need is love’, so true & in-depth are these words that no one has replaced the Beatles till date. Thanks Guru for making me realise so many things, for being my best bud always. Loads of love & hugs from India.
P.S. Guru this post might sound silly, stop laughing at it, but it’s so true ain’t it?!?