July 31, 2005


Do we have time for ourselves, these fast-flying buzzing days? It’s either exams or work or some other troublesome thing that occupies our time, energy and attention. On my trip to Ooty, all of a sudden, came this refreshing loneliness. Long awaited time to spend with myself.

All the time I looked out of the window, at those stretches and stretches of green land, my mind kept thinking, my heart sang for joy and soul flitted across higher planes. There was bliss in the offing, and I grabbed it with both hands. I had the pleasure of train journeys- where I spin many a yarn... where I ponder, think a million things, wonder about how lovely my life has been… relive all those dear dear moments I so cherish… ha, I cleanse myself, feel an unknown calm and marry my disconnected thoughts…

I feel MYSELF. I generally am this VERY VERY talkative girl. Ask all those who’ve met me, seen me or now me- they’d more than agree. : ) If I happen to meet you, I’m someone who would talk to you first, keep talking and keep talking more! But well, when I’m the most happiest, I’m at my sober best! People who find me irritating, might actually just like me! I guess that’s when I draw in all the energy from the pool outside.

When I’m walking in my terrace, with no one in sight, no cell phones, no books, no music. Just starlight, moonshine and I- I talk… within me, to the sky, stars et al! Dream, imagine, think some dear thoughts, look at the stars, feel elated, blush, smile, laugh, sing, dance- everything a girl could possibly do. And just be happy- being myself, being there, doing that, living MY life!

Silence, as I’ve already mentioned, IS a mirage. Aren’t we talking a million things at once? Well we are. But I guess, we renew ourselves in that, make ourselves reconstruct the past, readdress the present and roam about the future. Looking far into that distant winking star, smiling at it with my head tilted, asking it in soft whispers- what do I see in tomorrow.

Loneliness is bliss- cos it’s rare and pure and tranquil. All other times, I’m with a million people and it’s comforting to just spend time with yourself. It’s nice to pamper yourself, thinking about well-YOU! We, to ourselves are the most precious people and we deserve some time for ourselves to refresh and to stitch the torn shreds of our hearts and souls!

Well, for loneliness and all the ‘trysts with the stars/hours of tranquility’, I live. If not for them, I’d be a zombie! And because of them, I shall keep…


July 28, 2005


Ever heard of symbiotic relationships? Peaceful co-existence? Mutual understanding? Yeah yeah… the very same things you learnt in those EVS classes in your primary! And if you don’t remember, well not to worry! I’ll tell you what it means! Welcome to my college loo, that is a zoo…

My college loo- the one in our block is the most ill-maintained loo in the planet. I’ve complained innumerable times, sent written letters to the HOD, which has been forwarded to the Joint Director Etc. Still no use!

Maybe my college is taking its ‘eco-drive, green campus’ policy a little too seriously, for there was a green snake in our art room, camouflaged between some works of ours! Well but aren’t we talking about the loo, you might ask. Wait wait… first let’s roam around it and then go in there…

The college campus has everything- from cows to monkeys to bats. YES- all live specimens that could interest a zoo-lover. The monkeys especially haunt our fast food and grab every single ‘slip between the plate and the lip’. And I remember my friends and a reluctant I fed four ‘college pups’. There once used to be ducks, a senior informs.

Now if all these, I must say are quite bearable. It does feel nicer to see real monkeys after the stupid monkeying guys in the college; I declare that it’s only the loo that bugs me!
Yes “bugs” me-in every sense of the word!

Grass hoppers, snake skins, live frogs( which have this great affinity to me and end up jumping at me every single time!), lizards, rats in the gutter, bats, ants, insects and bugs of every genus is available in the loo. Sometimes they are dead and will do better to adorn a bottle of formaldehyde rather than appear crushed behind the door hinge! Sometime they play hide and seek with us girls and hide on top of the door only to fall on us and croak, “Caught ya!”

And to top it all, the locks are ancient. Should have belonged to the slave dynasty [isn’t that most appropriate? ;) ] My friend got locked in once. We had to carry out a rescue mission. She almost fainted. Come on, getting locked with a pair of beady eyed frogs is not your idea of a romantic peril; to be saved by a dashing prince, is it? (Not that there ARE any princes I my college! Sorry ye men folk!) One another student who came for the culturals got locked up inside and came out totally shaken. It’s an ordeal! I KNOW… because, er… I almost got locked in with a winking frog and a lizard!

Everyday this continues and everyday we spend about half-an-hour of our ten minute break in examining which of the four loos’ has no or less frogs! It’s actually like this- we go in two’s or four’s. NEVER alone (Are you mad? How CAN we go alone?) And we each examine two/ one loo and determine which is the most safest and best. And then we well… use it! : ) what else dummy?

We don’t disturb the frogs as long as they don’t. If they do, we go on a shrieking fit, till they drop down dead! Or run away so fast that they fall right into the toilet rather than on us!

It’s a war everyday. We live in mortal peril. The fear of death haunts us. After all Cleopatra died of a wasp bite and we pretty women ought to be on ‘constant vigilance’. Tomorrow there might be a clash between us and the ‘toad’ians. Tomorrow I might live to tell the tale…maybe not (if I’m still locked in, where can I access the net, stupid?) Till then we shall live in…A symbiotic relationship… Peaceful co-existence… Mutual understanding…



July 24, 2005


I know all of you must be wondering if The Dreamy Dryad’s dream factory’s in a state of disuse. The answer is no- I’ve been fine, healthy and dreaming, thank you! But as always, as it happens, my modem’s been waging a war against me!

Having been the lone warrior to save my precious files from the menacing computer, I’ve somehow, with great difficulty, managed to keep it going, even in my father’s absence. Enter father and somehow it stops working, erasing proof of my genius!

Well, as they say genius isn’t discovered soon, we shall let that pass.

I just came back after a nice trip to Ooty to re-establish that unknown understanding that nature and I have. Two days in Ooty and I decided I’ve never seen more of a beautiful place in my life with Kodaikkanal being the most charming!

We went on two guided tours and in that toy train. People, if you are the kind who finds beauty in every nook and cranny-guided tours are not for you. My heart ached to stop at a few pretty places where fog, as thick as a jeep, hung as a benediction over the valleys. All we could see was an unending stretch of white… ah if ever there was a heaven-this was it.

After taking 109 snaps, I still am left insatiated! If only every blink of the eye could capture a photograph for fond memories in later years… oh, but I’m wishing for too much! I’ll put them up soon...

Remember to go to Ooty with people who think, feel, dream and talk like you. That’s when your heart, soul and mind shall find fulfillment. Thank God for my sister Swetha. If not for the kindred spirit in her, I would have felt a trifle stifled!

Beauty- almost unpolluted was up for viewing there. Open your eyes and about you is framed the greenest of green trees stretching over little mountains and valleys with tiny ‘fairy-tale’ houses dotting its paths. Never has any mountainscape appealed to my senses so much after Kodaikkanal.

Ooty’s beauty lies in its un-industrialized virginity. I never can forget that single moment on our climb back from Pykara Falls. A rain- little more than drizzle- falling… a green backdrop being provided by the lush mountains… tall pine trees dotting the banks… the river below facing the trumpeting army of the rain drops.. the winding path upwards-slippery yet beautiful… a chill wind daring to freeze the very marrow. Ah! I felt a spiritual and intellectual high! I’ve one really good photograph of this. I’ll try scanning it and then, thy shall be assured of my amazing photographic skills!

Ooty is one place where you should take your best friend, rent a cottage, cook up steaming hot indigestible things, stuff your mouths with chocolates and go on long cycle rides across the meandering lanes. A place to cuddle together with steaming cups of cocoa/coffee/masala tea and talk girly gossip or exchange confidences. A place to sit beside a warm fireplace and speak in the tones of silence. A place to dance in the rain, let little paper boats across the puddles, save a pup, hug your jerkin and walk in rapid strides with wisps of smoke coming out of your mouth. A place where you sit by the window, looking out at that distant smoking chimney and weave up tales. A place where you languidly lie in the grass and get up to find a pair of handsome eyes admiring you and despite the chill, your cheeks go deep red. A place where you sit, do nothing and still find divine contentment! A fairy tale of a place that has smitten me!

Back then we went to Coimbatore and had two great days with the first night being spent in the extremely jolly company of my li’l cousins.
Next evening, went on a bike ride with my uncle, him driving at 80 kms/hr on his Splenour.Me-laughing hysterically at the back, looking up, looking down, feeling the wind whipping my face, spotting a peacock, going close to Marudhamalai, returning in great speed- all I could say after a few moments of speechless wonder was-WOW!!!
I so loved the brutal speed. I so loved the energy and vigor with which he drove…. Ah… I LOVE BIKES!!!!!!! AND BIKE-RIDES!

Now, back to dear ol’ home with its familiar spots and same cozy nooks where I cuddle up with a book or get lost in some music… Well, great to be back were my loving home opens its arms wide, the train sounds notwithstanding!
As one of my favouite Ilayaraja number goes,

“Sorgame endralum… Adhu nam oorai polaguma?
Adhu en naadu endralum, Adhu nam naatukku eed aguma?”

July 10, 2005

Music, thy name is mellifluous!

This is one topic, I’ve shied away from describing till date. Maybe, I can’t do full justice; maybe I’ll end up feeling it was a lousy piece; maybe the readers would wish I never wrote about it- these thoughts have hindered me so far.

Now, listening to music full blast in the earphone, I somehow seem to have dismissed those nagging doubts. And hopefully, this must be, what I want it to be!

Music has been something I always turn to when people and other thing in this world fail me, turn against me or make me feel left out. It has not only been my companion during those terrible moments of loneliness but also during all those times when I strongly suspect I have wings and if only I find that magic key, I could just fly fly fly…

Music has been to me what nothing or no one in this world, save books! When working on the computer-Music. When drafting those endless sheets- music. Before sleeping- Music plugged into my ear, playing full blast, taking me on a high!

“Zindagi le ke aayi hain,
beete din ke kitaab
ghere hain ab hame
yaadein behisaab
bina pooche
mile mujhe
kitne saare javab
chaaha tha kya
paaya tha kya
humne, dekhiye
dil main magar jalte rahe
chahath ke diye
Tere liye tere liye”

Well, an unexplained wave of calmness, bliss and love washes me over every single time a song that I like plays…

Emotional satisfaction, mental calm- oh music gives me all! Rahman has been my panacea for long.His music has layers of music .Smooth flowing notes… one after another, blending seamlessly into one… the slow soft rhythms providing the balm to all the pains and pangs! Every single note. Every single curve and kink in the music, those beautiful keyboard flourishes, those strumming of the guitar, the brilliant saxophone compositions in Duet, the myriad tunes spring from the many instruments merging in Taal- oh I could go on and on… His ‘fanaa’ is the only song that could make me feel drunk… ah, I go mad…. His hummingin ‘Sanda Kozhi’. His simple composition in ‘Ay Ajnabi’ (Dil Se) and the brilliance of Kismat Se tum(my two most favourite songs in Hindi)- he’s a living genius!
Ilayaraja too, with his masterful melodies and soothing music. Pani vizhum mudalvanam(Ninaivellam Nithya), Illaya Nilaa(one of my most favourite songs!), Thendralvanthu ennai thodum, Oliyile therivadhu Devathaiya(one most favourite song… Karthik’s one of the best!), Unnavida(Virumandi-I listened to it once at one in the night and experienced ultimate bliss, a contentment for just being where I was, listening; at peace with myself and with the world…) and lots lots more. Kal ho naa ho has been my savior every time I’ve had a headache or need to rest my aching bones after hard work! Not one jarring note. Simple and super- I love Shankar-Ehsan-Loy!
Voices of Sonu Nigam(I worship him), Karthik(him too! Damn, he rocks), S.P.Balasubramaniam(King of all, my all-time hot favourite! The most youthful voice and most down-to-earth person. Any song he sings, I’ll love it!), Hariharan(clear and powerful, One voice that could make us feel all kinds of emotions, Shankar Mahadevan(clear and commanding. The other voice that could make us feel all kinds of emotions), Rahman himself(wow! Just wow… do not want to spoil it by tryig to attach tags!) ,KK(Tadap Tadap…ah! He’s damn good!) ,Yesudas(all time favourite. I respect him lot), Tipu( Wonderful command!)Alka(emotions create ripples in her voice that I so can feel!), Kavitha(kaahe chhed chhed mohe-Devdas, my god she’s brilliant!), Swarnalatha(Hay Rama! ), Chithra(Queen of singing!), Shreya Ghosal(melting and silver smooth!), Sunidhi(powerful), Chinmayi(Oru Deivam Thabda Poove-Brilliant! And the title song of Paadhaigal- a serial on Podhigai) and lot lot more.

I wasn’t born in the age of TMS, PBS, Janaki, Vani Jayaram and Susheela. The songs I’ve heard of them, I like. Janaki is personally notmy great favourite. I personally find her voice a little Nasal. Ditto for Kumar Sanu! But few of the songs that they’ve sung are dear to me!
Harini too is not my personal favourite. She sometimes irritates me with her sweetness! But a few of her songs, I totally love and admire her talent!

Music is so so relaxing and makes me live gain and again my single life. No end to your magic…no bounadaries to your powers… Ah music, thy name is mellifluous! The slow modulations, the quivering of the voice, the tembling feeling, the mad joy- oh oh… Play on and on…

July 06, 2005


It does take all kinds of people to make the world, I agree, but there are some so so mindless and dumb, that they seem to infuriate me more, much much more than goody-goody people (Please refer to my older post)

If you have seen the latest TIGER BALM ad, you’d know…there’s this woman who’s hanging her wash on the clothes line. One of her dupattas falls off and she jumps after it (sick!!!). Madam wonderful catches hold of a television cable and jumps from one corner to another. But before our dear-Ms-Dupatta-lover-Bahujaan can catch the oh-so-precious dupatta, her dear, darling Sasurji catches it for her, coming to the rescue all thanks to the TV cables, again (makers, pl let me know which cable you used… Will come to help sometime…).
Our bahujaan immediately wraps the dupatta around her head and says-“mama ji” in the most respectful tone… Ah… kyaa maryaadha…kyaa commitment, yaar!!! Aise logon ko tho aqward milna chahiye! All thanks to TIGER BALM!!!

Crap! Mega fools! What the hell were the makers thinking, when the conceived this idea? This is ridiculous!

In an age where creativity is what is appreciated, originality lauded and intelligence admired, such stupidity can JUST NOT BE TOLERATED, by me. Personally I’ve loved advertisement from when I was young and have greatly admired many an ad!

Creativity need not be shown by being different, but idiotically so! And standing out of the crowd need not mean you need to go ‘out of the way’ (pun intended) in working it out! In all the world’s greatly scripted masterpieces, in any field that you may choose, it’s not the dramatic, but the simple, yet beautiful things that are featured. With Elegance, style and simplistic-contemporary style, you can make an impact, trigger a thought process, make a difference and affect the thinking\outlook\ opinion. A lot can be conveyed in two deft strokes, that can’t be through repeated brushwork!

Dunno, if these people will ever realize it. At the same time the new Parachute (I think) ad where the Ad-maker has beautifully captured the joy of the kid when she finds that she saves three rupees due to the new offer. Brilliant, smart, simple… Touches your heart…
So many more ads have been fantastic… Will do a post on them soon…

July 03, 2005

Kannathil Muthamittal... Idhayam thirudivittal...

I just finished seeing Kannathil Muthamittal. The second time I’m wathing it. There was something aboutthis movie that appealed tome the first time I saw it, I vaguely recalled. I remembered snatches of the movie. Saw it on the day of the last exam during my tenth boards at my friends place.

Now I saw it again…

And the magic is not lost. The movie still hurt me, moved me, tore me apart and made my heart go out to everybody- the li’l Amudha-torn between her real and adopted parents, wanting to know abouther mother, father; a million questions waiting to burst forth… why? Why did her mother leave her? Why did she never come back? Where did she go? Where is her father? Who is he? Can she see him?

Indhra- the real Indhra- the mother whose heart clingsto this child- fear, anxiety, love-all making her want Amudha more and more. Does my daughter need me no more? Does she still loveme? Will she go away?

Thiru‘Indhra’- the writer who sees everything in a different light. Wants his daughter, yet, he wants her to see her mother. He is a very straightforward person, but his mind works in myriad fashions; understanding the child and her longings and at the same time, loving deeply the 9-year old daughter who brought him all the world’s joy.

Shyama, the mother- her life, as dark as her name- freedom being the only goal in her life, working towards that goal her husband envisaged; leaving behind the daughter she wanted; her mind torn between her wee baby and her husband…

The war, the passion, the longing, the un-worded love oh- its beautiful… beautiful… smooth like a river, silk, a lovely mist, a poetry, a gurgling brook… my mind fails to capture its essence…

The movie left me speechless and longing… for what, I fail to find? Was it for that peace that Shyama seems to be searching for and Amudha seems to be waiting? I was grieved by the sight of the child soldiers, the innumerable bombings, the ever existing peril in their lives… does tomorrow hold life-or death?
They live just for this moment… tomorrow is a stranger… will it come?

Oh… these vry thoughts seem to strangle me. Why should we exist with little troubles and barely any sorrow while millions of others in so many regions live in fear and desolation… It kills me. Why are we being so mindless? Barbarians we are to be killing one another…
Oh can’t there be peace everywhere like it is here, now? Is life to be wasted in fighting and tears… my god, I’m so depressed…

I want every child on ths earth to be happy… oh god… please do something… I feel so lonely… so sad… are you hearing god? Make everyone as happy as I am!
© Dryad's Peak
Maira Gall