So, in a regular conversation I was asked the meaning of this tamil word in english as it comes  in a tamil song and I didn’t know. That prompted me to look for the meaning and I found that the lyricist Vairamuthu (one of the best) had taken it from Tamil literature and hence the difficulty. It means “This is not fair”. Like, I came looking for you in the skies and you went deep in the ocean and when I came there you went back to the high skies and made me search all around a forest of stars – this is not fair lady – not fair at all ….

Also it made me look at the complete lyrics of the song and wow what beautiful lyrics. No doubt Rahman, Vairamuthu and Maniratnam are at their best when together 🙂

வானில் தேடி நின்றேன் ஆயின் நீயடைந்தாய்     

ஆழி நான் விழுந்தால் வானில் எழுந்தாய்
என்னை நட்சத்திரக்காட்டில் அலையவிட்டாய்
நான் என்ற எண்ணம் கலையவிட்டாள்
நல்லையல்லை நல்லையல்லை நன்னிலவே நீ நல்லையல்லை
நல்லையல்லை நல்லையல்லை நல்லிரவே நீ நல்லையல்லை

ஒளிகளின் தேடல் என்பதெல்லாம் மௌனத்தில் முடிகின்றதே…
மௌனத்தின் தேடல் என்பதெல்லாம் ஞானத்தில் முடிகின்றதே…
நானுன்னைத்தேடும் வேலையிலே நீ மேகம் சூடி ஓடிவிட்டா…ய்      (நல்லை)

மும்பை மூழ்கும் முன் என்ற நிலைகளிலே
முகந்தொட காத்திருந்தே……ன்
மலர்கின்ற நிலைவிட்டுப் பூத்திருந்தால்
மனம் கொள்ள காத்திருந்தே……ன்
மகரந்தம் தேடி நகரும்முன்னே
வெய்யில் கா…ட்டில் வீழ்ந்துவிட்டாய்      (நல்லை)

And finally read this brilliantly written post to wrap up

Real Advice

27-year-old Australian Holly Butcher wrote a moving Facebook note that her family posted after she died of cancer last week

A bit of life advice from Hol:
It’s a strange thing to realise and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts. That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.

I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands. I haven’t started this ‘note before I die’ so that death is feared – I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to it’s inevitability.. Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us.. That’s been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullshit. I have dropped lots of my thoughts below as I have had a lot of time to ponder life these last few months. Of course it’s the middle of the night when these random things pop in my head most!

Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days. Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that – breathe.

You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling. Let all that shit go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more. I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise – Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.
I tried to live a healthy life, in fact, that was probably my major passion. Appreciate your good health and functioning body- even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it. Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling shit about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being.

Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is shit but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.
Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more. Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people. It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives. Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.

Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are shit at being on time. Get ready earlier if you are one of those people and appreciate that your friends want to share their time with you, not sit by themselves, waiting on a mate. You will gain respect too! Amen sister.
This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves.. strange! It might seem lame but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. Mind you, it was also easier to do in our house because we had no little kiddies there. Anyway, moral of the story- presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas. Moving on.

Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material shit. Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water. Get amongst nature. Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else. Random rhetorical question. Are those several hours you spend doing your hair and make up each day or to go out for one night really worth it? I’ve never understood this about females 🤔. Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises. Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best. Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that. Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay? Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not. Work to live, don’t live to work. Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy. Eat the cake. Zero guilt. Say no to things you really don’t want to do. Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life.. you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay. Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have. Also, remember if something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it – in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn’t be more true.

Anyway, that’s just this one young gals life advice. Take it or leave it, I don’t mind! Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple. Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year – a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.
..’Til we meet again.

Don’t die Young

So, the other day I was talking to a group of friends and someone mentioned about the drab Monday and how we all are eagerly waiting for Friday – the next weekend and that got me thinking. So, I spoke about it to few more and well many people seem to drag themselves through the week, only in the hope of a great weekend. So, if we are actually enjoying the weekend alone and paying dearly for it through the week, isn’t it counter productive. Why do people ask what did you do over the weekend as if it is a sin to do the same on weekdays. Think about it – 2 days gain for 5 days pain :: or a staggering 71% for a mere 29%. If we continue with this thinking, the cycle probably starts by the time we are in school (as early as 2 now a days) and continues to the time we retire (say 60) then we would have spent a massive 42 years studying and working for enjoying less than 18 years worth of life. In other workds we are dying in our teens – dying very young.

As self study books go, probably you have heard of the “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life“. But c’mon how many of us truly love our work that we look forward to a Monday morning – that too driving through insane traffic to get there. ‘What to do’, you say, what other option. Well, if you learn to look forward and enjoy every moment in life, then you won’t be too keen on the last few days of a week. Imagine getting up fresh and looking forward to a nice tea or enjoying a hot shower. Think about the awesome audio book that is waiting for you as you step into your car. How about the curiosity of and reading about the next technological marvel. Listening to Arjith’s melodies on a rainy day. The tea time banter with friends – a good lunch. How about geting lost in work – hmmm possible for some. Gossiping with your soulmate. Having a chat with your child after he/she is back from school. Movie mid-week – why not? A captivating book as you start the day – you know where. Penning your thoughts on a blog and digging up posts from several years back the same day/month. Arranging photos in google, or printing them the old way and arranging them on a bound album like the good old days. Sending your friends one of the pics from college/school time. With my dumb brain if I could rake up these, I am pretty sure you can pull many more. If you are the spiritual kind, then they say that even the act of breathing can be exciting – not there – so no idea about it.

All said and done, it all boils down to this – don’t plan and postpone your happiness to weekends – your life is much more than just a weekend blockbuster 🙂

எழுபத்தைந்து வயதில்…..
ஆதரவு இன்றி நிக்குது மனசு…

நாற்பதைந்து வருடம் –
அவளை கொண்டாடி இருக்கலாம்….
என்  கோபத்தை தள்ளுபடி செய்து
அவளை கொண்டாடி இருக்கலாம்….

அவள் சமையலை நிறைய
பாராட்டி இருக்கலாம்..
ஒரு நாள் நான் சமையல் செய்து
அவளுக்கு ஊட்டி இருக்கலாம்..

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும் அவளுக்கு பதில் –
நான் அவள் துணியையும் சேர்த்து
துவைத்து இருக்கலாம்..

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும் TV யையும்,
Mobil லையும் அனைத்து விட்டு,
அவளை கொஞ்சி இருக்கலாம்..

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும் வேலை தளத்தின்
கோபத்தையும் எரிச்சலையும் அங்கேயே
விட்டு விட்டு வந்து இருக்கலாம்…

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும் –
என்  விடுமுறை நாட்களில் –
அவளை சினிமாக்கு அழைத்து சென்று இருக்கலாம்..

ஊர் ஊராய் சுற்றி
உட்சாகம் அடைந்து இருக்கலாம்…
அவள் விரும்பி கேக்காத போதும் –
ஒரு saree வாங்கி கொடுத்து இருக்கலாம்

ஒரு மாசம் ஏனும் –
என் முழு சம்பள பணத்தை
அவளிடமே கொடுத்து இருக்கலாம்….

ஒரு நாள் ஏனும்
காலையில் அலாரத்தை
கொஞ்சம் அனைத்து வைத்து
அவளை தூங்க விட்டு இருக்கலாம்…

நீ சாப்பிட்டியா
என்று கேட்டு இருக்கலாம்…
நீயும் வா
என்னுடன் வந்து சாப்பிடு
என்று சொல்லி இருக்கலாம்…

அவள்  உடல் நலத்தை
விசாரித்து இருக்கலாம்…
அவள் தன்னை கவனிப்பதை விடுத்து
நம் பிள்ளைகளை கவனிப்பதை
நான் கொஞ்சம் –
அவளை கவனித்து இருக்கலாம்..

அவள் நோயில் விழுந்த போது
நான் கடன் பட்டேனும்
காப்பாற்றி இருக்கலாம்…

என்  தாயே
தாரமே –

என்னுடன் இருந்த போது
நான் கம்பிரமாய் வாழ்ந்தேன்…

என்னை விட்டு போனதும்
நான் பலமுறை கால் தடுக்கி

தூக்கி விடவும்
மூத்தவனுக்கு நேரம் இல்லை…
தேனீர் ஏனும்
போட்டுதர இளையவனுக்கும்

சினம் வருது…
மனைவியே உன்னை
நான் கொண்டாடி இருக்க
வேண்டும் …
தவறு இழைத்ததுக்கு
மன்னித்து விடு…

ஒரு முழ பூ வேனும்
வாங்கி தராதவன்

மூச்சு இழந்த – உன்
புகைப்படத்துக்கு தினம் தினம்
மாலை இட்டு மன்னிப்பு

மன்னித்து விடு..
ஒரு பிறப்பு இருக்குமே என்றால்
நீயே மனைவியாய் வந்து விடு

நான் உன்னைக் கொண்டாட வேண்டும்..

எழுபத்தைந்து வயதில்…..
இந்த நிலை வராமலிருக்க….

வாழ்க்கை வசந்தமாகும்….

The Abundance Principle

Once a man got lost in a desert. The water in his flask had run out two days ago, and he was on his last legs. He knew that if he didn’t get some water soon, he would surely die. The man saw a small hut ahead of him. He thought it would be a mirage or maybe a hallucination, but having no other option, he moved toward it. As he got closer, he realized it was quite real. So he dragged his tired body to the door with the last of his strength.
The hut was not occupied and seemed like it had been abandoned for quite some time. The man entered into it, hoping against hope that he might find water inside.
His heart skipped a beat when he saw what was in the hut – a water hand pump…… It had a pipe going down through the floor, perhaps tapping a source of water deep under-ground.
He began working the hand pump, but no water came out. He kept at it and still nothing happened. Finally he gave up from exhaustion and frustration. He threw up his hands in despair. It looked as if he was going to die after all.
Then the man noticed a bottle in one corner of the hut. It was filled with water and corked up to prevent evaporation.
He uncorked the bottle and was about to gulp down the sweet life-giving water, when he noticed a piece of paper attached to it. Handwriting on the paper read : “Use this water to start the pump. Don’t forget to fill the bottle when you’re done.”
He had a dilemma. He could follow the instruction and pour the water into the pump, or he could ignore it and just drink the water.
What to do? If he let the water go into the pump, what assurance did he have that it would work? What if the pump malfunctioned? What if the pipe had a leak? What if the underground reservoir had long dried up?
But then… maybe the instruction was correct. Should he risk it? If it turned out to be false, he would be throwing away the last water he would ever see.
Hands trembling, he poured the water into the pump. Then he closed his eyes, said a prayer, and started working the pump.
He heard a gurgling sound, and then water came gushing out, more than he could possibly use. He luxuriated in the cool and refreshing stream. He was going to live!
After drinking his fill and feeling much better, he looked around the hut. He found a pencil and a map of the region. The map showed that he was still far away from civilization, but at least now he knew where he was and which direction to go.
He filled his flask for the journey ahead. He also filled the bottle and put the cork back in. Before leaving the hut, he added his own writing below the instruction: “Believe me, it works!”
This story is all about life. It teaches us that We must GIVE before We can RECEIVE Abundantly.
More importantly, it also teaches that FAITH plays an important role in GIVING.
The man did not know if his action would be rewarded, but he proceeded regardless.
Without knowing what to expect, he made a Leap of Faith.
Water in this story represents the *Good things in Life*
Give life some *”Water”* to *Work with*, and it will *RETURN _far more than you put in_………!!!*

Jayalalitha – The Iron Woman of Politics

[This was originally published in Bangalore Mirror on 6th Dec, written by AR Venkatachalapathy]

In 1981, a Tamil film titled Aaniver was released. A lowercaste girl from a village clears the UPSC examination and becomes a collector. But her childhood sweetheart and husband is illiterate, creating considerable difficulties as the girl tries to perform her social and official roles. Unable the resolve this tension, in melodramatic fashion, she resigns from the civil services to play a dutiful role as the conventional wife. A nondescript film by any standards, I remember it for a review published in the now-defunct weekly Idhayam Pesigirathu. Feminism was an unknown term in those days, certainly in the Tamil popular media, and it was surprising to see a critique of the heroine’s decision.That the reviewer was a former actress, known for not doing exactly intelligent roles, added to the surprise. The reviewer was Jayalalithaa.

Jayalalithaa’s film career had effectively ended in the mid 1970s. After a series of spectacular hits with MG Ramachandran (MGR) starting from the blockbuster Aayirathil Oruvan in 1965, she had been MGR’s love interest in most of his subsequent films. She had replaced B.Saroja Devi, who had dominated in the preceding decade.It was now her turn to be shown the way out by younger and more voluptuous actresses such as Latha and Radha Saluja. Tamil cinema is unforgiving towards actresses.

Like all spectacular success stories, the antecedents of Jayalalithaa are shrouded, if not in mystery, at least in contradictory details. Jayalalithaa was born in a Mandya Iyengar family in Mysore, in 1948 ­ or according to another version, she hailed from the temple town of Srirangam. Her father, Jayaram, died when she was two and it was left to her mother, Veda to raise her. Following her sister’s foray into film acting her mother too donned the make-up.Shedding her given name (her daughter would name her Poes Garden home as Veda Nilayam), she came to be known as Sandhya. Following Sandhya’s entry into films, the family moved to Chennai, then the capital of the south Indian film industry.Her indifferent run in films notwithstanding, Sandhya sent her daughter to the prestigious Church Park Convent, perhaps in a conscious decision to shield her from the murky world of films.

Though Jayalalithaa only matriculated, her excellent spoken English was a convent legacy. Her sophisticated accent once willy-nilly fooled a prestigious English daily to term her as the most educated of Tamil Nadu’s chief ministers. The convent of the Presentation Sisters, apart from giving her good English, also instilled an anti-Christian sentiment in her. She would enact an anti-conversion bill, warming the hearts of many a Hindu zealot. It would be rescinded only after a resounding washout in the 2004 Parliamentary elections.

Jayalalithaa was taught Bharatanatyam, and her arangettram, the formal debut was presided over by the thespian, Sivaji Ganesan. Evidently Sandhya had plans for her daughter. With her fair skin, charming looks and attractive figure the mother might have fancied that her daughter would succeed where she herself had failed. Jayalalithaa had a lonely childhood with no protective father figure around. The life of a single mother struggling to earn a living as a B-grade actress can well be imagined. The intentions and bearing of the many men swarmed around are not likely to have been honorable. The young girl, not surprisingly, detested the tinsel world and the men who peopled it, a feeling that would be reinforced by her romantic relations in her later life. By all accounts, she did not want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. But as it often happens, the most reluctant are the ones who thrive when thrust unwillingly.

When it became clear that the affluence that she experienced was a façade, Jayalalithaa took the plunge, immediately after matriculating. She was lucky to be spotted by the renowned filmmaker BR Panthulu who cast her in a few minor roles in Kannada films, before casting her opposite MGR in the big budget Rudolpho Valentinotype Aayirathil Oruvan. But her Tamil debut itself was in C.V. Sridhar’s Venninara Adai.(Both films were shot spectacularly in Eastman colour, thus adding to her glamour). Coincidentally, Venninara Adai also saw of debut of Nirmala who would also catch MGR’s eye. MGR patronised Nirmala with small roles in all his films, and two decades later also nominated her to the Legislative Council. When it transpired that Nirmala was an insolvent and the nomination illegal, MGR abolished the council of elders in the bicameral legislature. Jayalalithaa probably drew many such lessons from MGR’s handling of controversies.

The Nirmala affair gives us a window into how MGR’s mind worked. Stories abound about how he took control over not only the professional but also the personal lives of his heroines. Apparently, he was obsessed with Jayalalithaa.And she in her turn developed a strong bonding with a man old enough to be her father.On screen the duo was a spectacular success, delivering hit after hit. MGR’s screen presence and Jayalalithaa’s overt sexuality proved to be an unbeatable. Off screen, however, it was a roller coaster ride. MGR was a married man, with many interests and a busy film and political career. Jayalalithaa must have felt the emotional stress acutely.

By the standards of the Tamil film world Jayalalithaa had a long career. As MGR chose younger actresses, Jayalalithaa acted opposite other actors much to MGR’s great resentment. It was at this time, she developed a close bonding with Shobhan Babu.The Telugu actor was a married man and the relationship was bound to fail. A strong personality such as Jayalalithaa could hardly be content with playing second fiddle. These relationships evidently left her deeply scarred, reinforcing her dis trust of men. To add to this injury, political opponents ­ men with suspect morality, would not hesitate to slander her all through her all through her life.Perhaps this at the root of her desire to see men fall at her feet publicly in abject surrender. The souring of the relationship with Shobhan Babu, and the drying up of film opportunities should have ended her public life. But it was not to be. Jayalalithaa was still young and ambitious. It was at this time that she projected her image as a thinking woman, and drew the attention of one of the factions surrounding MGR. The review mentioned at the beginning of this essay dates from this period.

The Political Roller coaster Jayalalithaa’s political ride contra her film career would be even more dramatic ­ she scaled phenomenal heights and plumbed great depths. In less than a decade she was be elected chief minister, a Brahmin leader in India’s most successful non-Brahmin movement, with an unprecedented majority. The beginning was made in the coastal town of Cuddalore in a party conference. MGR would anoint her in a newly created post, the Propaganda Secretary ­ what ideology MGR’s All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) possessed being a moot question.

A few years later, in a public function, suffused with symbolism, Jayalalithaa handed over a six-foot ornamented sceptre to MGR ­ an image she would use to claim her mentor’s mantle as she first charted her political career. Her anointment was noted with alarm on both sides ­ within the party, the faction led by RM Veerappan, MGR’s most successful film producer and party organizer on the one hand, and M. Karunanidhi, the opposition leader, and president of the rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK). Even as party rivals feared her meteoric rise, MGR nominated her to the Rajya Sabha.Unlike his rival Karunanidhi who was a votary of state autonomy, and had rubbed the Congress on the wrong side and suffered during the Emergency, MGR was more pragmatic. Chastened by his unceremonious dismissal in 1980 following a defeat in the parliamentary elections, he now wanted to forge an amicable relationship with the Congress in the centre. Shortly after her nomination to the house of elders, Indira Gandhi was assassinated and the Congress came under a new generation of leaders under Rajiv Gandhi. Jayalalithaa charmed leaders of various political parties with her suave manners and fine communication skills. The networks established during this time helped her to command Tamil Nadu’s polity in the following decades.

As it often happened in her career, right when the going was good, she suffered a setback. MGR fell gravely ill in October 1984, and was flown to New York for treatment and returned only many months later. In the intervening period he had swept the polls while still lying in bed in Brooklyn hospital. For the next nearly two years MGR was barely in control of affairs, political or personal, as his wife VN Janaki came to the forefront with RM Veerappan firmly in control from behind. Matters reached a head when MGR died on Christmas Eve, 1987. Jayalalithaa was not permitted to see his body in his Ramavaram home and she had to rush to Rajaji Hall where he lay in state. Once again, in a symbolic move, she stood at his head ­ in Tamil culture, a wife’s rightful place ­ for over a day until she was abused and pushed down violently from the military hearse.

During these difficult times, Jayalalithaa found solace in a friendship with Sasikala, the wife of a public relations officer in the government ­ a political appointment ­ who ran a video shop in the Poes Garden neighborhood. It was a relationship that would last till the end, but not without its ups and downs. Speculation has been rife about the nature of their relationship. Jayalalithaa herself described once her as `a not blood sister’. But the real answer came perhaps when they appeared together with garlands on her sixtieth birthday at the Thirukadaiyur temple. Once expects Sasikala, and her extended family ­ referred to popularly as the Mannarkudi mafia ­ to wield considerable power, if not actually take-over the party, in a post-Jayalalithaa’s scenario.

In a smart move that eventually backfired, RM Veerappan got Janaki elected as the chief minister. The assembly session following it, in January 1988, witnessed chaotic scenes as MLAs backing Jayalalithaa were outnumbered and manhandled. Fishing in troubled waters, the Congress, out of power in Tamil Nadu for two decades, dissolved the assembly. The year leading up to the next elections decided who would inherit MGR’s legendary vote bank. The two factions ­ Janaki group with a pair of doves as its election symbol, and the Jayalalithaa, appropriately it was said, with a fighter cock symbol, contested the elections in January 1989. The DMK romped home, and Karunanidhi became chief minister after thirteen long years in the wilderness. But the biggest takeaway was the rout of the rival faction ­ Janaki herself was defeated and lost her deposit in MGR’s pocket borough of Andipatti. Though Jayalaithaa won only 27 seats (she became the official leader of the opposition), there was little doubt who was MGR’s political heir. The two rivals for MGR’s affections came to a pragmatic understanding, considering his will about the inheritance of his property in the case of a dispute. Janaki gave up the party and the invaluable asset of the twin leaves election symbol for an undisputed share of more material assets.

Jayalalithaa had worsted one rival. But managing the rival DMK and its leader Karunanidhi was no easy task. It is a see-saw battle that continues even as she battles for her life in Apollo and he is hospitalized in another facility a few kilometres away. The bitterness between the two is visceral, defies rational explanation. Matters came to a head within weeks of DMK’s return to power. The budget session ended in utter pandemonium ­ the decorum of the house would be a regular casualty in the following decades. The elements of what transpired at that time are clear ­ Jayalalalithaa was taunted with offensive words, the budget papers were pulled out of the chief minister’s hands, a honorable member of the house tugged at the sari of the opposition leader ­ but not the sequence. The video footage of the events has never seen the light of day. But not pictures of a Jayalalithaa with disheveled hair and torn sari. Her words that she would step into the legislature again only as chief minister would ring like Draupadi’s vow. The vow came to fruition barely two years later. Karunanidhi’s strategic mistakes would be capped by the tragic assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. The DMK was routed with only Karunanithi winning his seat by a wafer-thin margin of a thousand votes. Dressed in a trademark green cape, said to conceal a bulletproof vest, Jayalalithaa headed the popular ministry. The LTTE threat would be translated into Z+ security cover. With it her isolation from the people was ensured.

In less than a year the process of squandering popular goodwill began its inexorable roll. At the once-in-twelve-year Mahamakam festival Jayalalilathaa’s ritual dip ended in the death of forty eight pilgrims in a stampede. All dissent was curbed. The chief election commissioner’s hotel was attacked. Political opponents were humiliated by obscenely gesturing AIADMK women cadre. Corruption took the form of pillage. And the media was hounded. The apogee was reached when the mother of all weddings, the wedding of her foster son, was celebrated at an estimated cost of a hundred crore rupees. The last straw came when the Congress was arm twisted into forging an alliance. Even the supine Congress cadre could take it no more, resulting in a split under the leadership of GK Moopanar. Within five weeks of the formation of Tamil Manila Congress, the party in alliance with DMK routed the AIADMK with Jayalalithaa herself losing her Bargur seat.

Winning on the promise to bring the corrupt to book, Karunanidhi launched a series of legal moves to punish her. Jayalalithaa went to prison briefly, but soon gathered the best legal minds to defeat the Indian legal system. She succeeded in dragging the disproportionate assets case for eighteen years, and when it suited her, managed to get her appeal heard in three months. As the legal process began the political tide began to turn. Caught on the wrong foot in the Jain Commission’s findings pointing to DMK’s complicity in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination, the Congress withdrew support to the United Front government. To add to DMK’s misery, serial blasts rocked Coimbatore just ahead of LK Advani’s election campaign, in February 1998, in alliance with AIADMK. Not surprisingly, the DMK came a cropper. But BJP’s happiness was short-lived. Dependant on a whimsical Jayalalithaa for support, the A.B. Vajpayee government bent and crawled but fell short of dismissing the DMK government. Jayalalithaa’s bluff was called when Vajpayee decided he could take no more. In an unexpected moved, the DMK, allied with BJP and joined the NDA government in 1999. A checkmated Jayalalithaa bounced back by winning the 2001 state elections capitalizing on bickering within the DMK and the sibling rivalry between Karunanidhi’s sons, Stalin and Azhagiri. Within weeks of her victory, Karunanidhi was arrested at midnight. But it was botched arrest ­ the dramatic images of a septuagenarian leader roughed up by policemen foiled whatever designs Jayalalithaa might have had. Her ire now turned to other targets. More than two hundred thousand striking government employees were sacked overnight. A controversial anti-conversion bill was passed. The age-old of practice of slaughtering goats and fowl in popular shrines were banned. This was halted only when she lost all 39 seats in the 2004 parliamentary elections, leading to the DMK grabbing plum posts in the UPA 1 government. Paradoxically, this also proved to be the DMK’s undoing. Cabinet positions in the central government are often cash cows, and various members of Karunanidhi’s family vied for it. This scuffle for the fishes and loaves of office accelerated in the UPA-2 government. The family rivalry was expanded with the addition of Karunanidhi’s grandnephews, Kalanidhi and Dayanithi Maran and daughter, Kanimozhi.

In short, the 2006-2011 DMK minority-government brought back memories of Jayalalithaa’s first ministry of 1991-1996. In a two horse race, the Tamil people had to perforce look to the other force. And to Jayalalithaa’s credit she single-handedly led the charge. In a brave move, she launched campaigns in Madurai, considered to be Azhagiri’s impregnable fort, and other cities. In the 2011 election campaign, she could easily connect with the electorate. DMK ate humble pie. Jayalalithaa, despite rumours of ill-health, was cruising along. And then came two setbacks. Despite winning 37 of the 39 parliamentary seats on her own, Jayalalithaa’s plans for a larger role ­ not excepting the role of even the prime minister ­ were dashed as the BJP under Narendra Modi won an absolute majority. Then came the legal setback. In September 2014 Justice da Cunha found her guilty in the disproportionate assets case ­ the last of the many cases filed in 1996, and considered to be an open and shut case. While an academic reading suggested that justice had prevailed, it had an unintended popular response.

Over the years inflation, and competitive corruption, had made the figures paltry and Jayalalithaa became even more popular. But twenty eight days in the Parapana Agrahara jail evidently broke her health and her spirits. The acquittal by the Karnataka High Court in May 2015 did little to uplift her. If anything, the governance of the state went down in a tailspin and it was capped by the criminal failure of mishandling the Chennai floods some months later. But ironically, the AIADMK still won ­ or rather, the DMK ­ lost the 2016 elections. Jayalalithaa ran a lackluster campaign. She sported a jaded look ­ heavy makeup concealing her sickly demeanor ­ and her campaign speeches lacked vigor. But there was little doubt that she had made history by coming back to power.

Jayalalithaa’s health has been shrouded in mystery. For years rumors have been doing the rounds.Paradoxically, the cryptic statements from Apollo Hospitals over the last two months constitute the most details.

படித்ததில் பிடித்தது

1. உங்கள் வாழ்க்கையில் நீங்கள் சந்திக்கும் ஒவ்வொரு நபரும் உங்களுக்கு ஏதோ ஒன்றை சொல்லி தருகின்றார். எனவே நீங்கள் சந்திக்கும் எல்லோரிடமும் கருணையுடன் இருங்கள்.

2. உங்களுக்கு எந்த விஷயத்தில் திறமை உள்ளதோ அதிலேயே கவனத்தையும், நேரத்தையும் அதிகம் செலுத்துங்கள். மற்ற விஷயங்களுக்காக அதிக நேரம் செலவழிக்காதீர்கள்.

3. அடிக்கடி கவலை படாதீர்கள். தேவை எனில் கவலை படுவதற்கென ஒவ்வொரு நாளும் மாலை நேரம் முப்பது நிமிடம் ஒதுக்குங்கள். அந்த நேரம் அனைத்து கவலையும் குறித்து சிந்தியுங்கள்.

4. அதிகாலையில் எழ பழகுங்கள். வாழ்வில் வென்ற பலரும் அதிகாலையில் எழுபவர்களே.

5. தினமும் நிறைய சிரிக்க பழகுங்கள். அது நல்ல ஆரோக்கியத்தையும் நண்பர்களையும் பெற்று தரும்.

6. நிறைய நல்ல புத்தகம் படியுங்கள். எங்கு சென்றாலும், பிரயாணத்தின் போதும் ஒரு புத்தகத்துடன் செல்லுங்கள். காத்திருக்கும் நேரத்தில் வாசியுங்கள்.

7. உங்கள் பிரச்சனைகளை ஒரு தாளில் பட்டியலிடுங்கள். இவ்வாறு பட்டியலிடும்போதே உங்கள் மன பாரம் கணிசமாக குறையும். அதற்கான தீர்வு இதன் மூலம் கிடைக்கவும் வாய்ப்பு உண்டு.

8. உங்கள் குழந்தைகளை உங்களுக்கு கிடைத்த மிக சிறந்த பரிசாக ( Gift ) நினையுங்கள். அவர்களுக்கு நீங்கள் தர கூடிய சிறந்த பரிசு அவர்களுடன் நீங்கள் செலவிடும் நேரமே.

9. தனக்கு வேண்டியதை கேட்பவன் சில நிமிடங்கள் முட்டாளாய் தெரிவான். தனக்கு வேண்டியதை கேட்காதவன் வாழ் நாள் முழுவதும் முட்டாளாய் இருக்க நேரிடும்.

10. எந்த ஒரு புது பழக்கமும் உங்களுக்குள் முழுதும் உள் வாங்கி, அது உங்கள் வாடிக்கையாக மாற 21 நாட்களாவது ஆகும். ஆகவே தேவையான விஷயங்களை திரும்ப திரும்ப செய்யுங்கள்.

11. தினமும் நல்ல இசையை கேளுங்கள். துள்ளலான நம்பிக்கை தரும் இசை, புன்னகையையும் உற்சாகத்தையும் தரும்.

12. புது மனிதர்களிடமும் தயங்காது பேசுங்கள். அவர்களிடமிருந்து கூட உங்களை ஒத்த சிந்தனையும், நல்ல நட்பும் கிடைக்கலாம்.

13. பணம் உள்ளவர்கள் பணக்காரர்கள் அல்ல. மூன்று சிறந்த நண்பர்களாவது கொண்டவனே பணக்காரன்.

14. எதிலும் தனித்துவமாக இருங்கள். பிறர் செய்வதையே வித்தியாசமாக, நேர்த்தியாக செய்யுங்கள்.

15. நீங்கள் படிக்க துவங்கும் எல்லா புத்தகமும் முழுவதுமாய் படித்து முடிக்க வேண்டியவை அல்ல. முதல் அரை மணியில் உங்களை கவரா விட்டால் அதனை மேலும் படித்து நேரத்தை வீணாக்காதீர்கள்.

16. உங்கள் தொலை/கை பேசி உங்கள் வசதிக்காக தான். அது அடிக்கும் ஒவ்வொரு முறையும் நீங்கள் எடுத்து பேச வேண்டும் என்பதில்லை. முக்கியமான வேளைகளில் நடுவே இருக்கும் போது தொலை பேசி மணி அடித்தாலும் எடுத்து பேசாதீர்கள்.

17. உங்கள் குடும்பத்தின் முக்கிய நிகழ்வுகளை அவசியம் புகைப்படம் எடுங்கள். பிற்காலத்தில் அந்த இனிய நாட்களுக்கு நீங்கள் சென்று வர அவை உதவும்.

18. அலுவலகம் முடிந்து கிளம்பும் போது சில நிமிடங்கள் வீட்டிற்கு சென்றதும் மனைவி/ குழந்தைக்கு என்ன செய்ய வேண்டுமென யோசியுங்கள்.

19. நீங்கள் எவ்வளவு வெற்றி அடைந்தாலும் எளிமையான (humble) மனிதராயிருங்கள். வெற்றிகரமான பல மனிதர்கள் எளிமையானவர்களே!

A Lost Friend

A ‘poem’ by ‘Charles Hanson Towne’ that is close to my heart

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.

And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
He knows I like him just as well,
As in the days when I rang his bell.

And he rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired men.
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

“Tomorrow” I say! “I will call on Jim
Just to show that I’m thinking of him”,
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.

Around the corner, yet miles away,
“Here’s a telegram sir,” “Jim died today.”
And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

Jumbo Circus

Going to a circus has become a rare event. The last time a Circus team came to bangalore was in 2008 and prior to that in 1999. Even I haven’t been to one since I was a child. So when the chance came for us to visit it close to our home, I wanted to make sure that we didn’t miss it. My daughter was also very interested and so were her cousins on vacation visit. The tickets were priced at 100, 200 and 300. I wanted to encourage the team by buing the 300 Rs tickets but didn’t know what the difference would be. In the end went to the 100 Rs section and it was actually better considering most acts were aerial.

It was a stellar performance. They had among others, people from patna, assam, calcutta, nepal and a team from south africa too. The started right on time (7 PM) and went on for more than 2 hrs. Worth every rupee paid for it. The acts were themselves too good. Even the jokers (clowns) did an awesome job and actually made the crowd laugh aloud. But a major difference from the circus that we were used to in our childhood days (pre 1990) was the complete lack of animals (may be due to animal rights and all). Few dogs (1 act), 2 camels and 1 horse (not in any act) were the only animals. No lion or elephant acts. They are there till May 9th. Must visit in my opinion.

Spoiler alert !! – Some photos and info on few acts.

The stage
There was a live music band too
The aerial catch act
The balancing the ladder act
The south african team did 2-3 amazing acts
There was a girl who played something like basketball with her feet
The juggler who did an amazing juggling with his mouth too

P, NP, NP Complete, NP Hard – OMG

OK, so you want to learn about this no matter the price you have to pay 🙂
Then have some patience and read through the text. It could take some time to understand but it will happen. Let’s say this field is a marriage between classic mathematics and theoritical computer science.

What is it and Why is it requried?
While trying to find solutions for problems using algorithms (steps) we often encounter problems that are seemingly very difficult to solve.
We often end up racking our brain for some time to try and find out a simple solution. Now what if a solution might not exist and we spend our valuable time in attempting it. Why not spend that time instead to come up with an approximate solution, for example. So classifying problems might help us to know in which class our problem falls and how to go about it

Optimization Problem Vs Decision Problem
Before starting with various complexity classes let us first figure out what is an optimzation problem. Optimization problems are those where we try to maximize or minimize some value, say finding the shortest path in a graph for example. Contrast to this, Decision problems are those which have only one of the two possible answers – “yes” or “no”.
Simple decision problem: Given 10 numbers is there any number greater than 25
Another example: Given a graph, is there a cycle?

Now, let’s see few more definitions

Polynomial time:
Given an input n, polynomial time would be any polynomial based on n, like n2 or n3 or even n1000 etc. However n! , 2n are all non polynomial time. We can say any algorithm that runs in polynomial time is a tractable, simple or solvable problem.

All decision problems which have a solution working in polynomial time fall in this class Simple example: Sum of n numbers O(n) or sorting O(nlogn) or O(n2)

These are actually superset of P. However unlike P they don’t have (as yet) solution in polynomial time. However if we give an instance of the input and say that for this input the decision problem returns “yes”, we can verify the same in polynomial time. Non Polynomial time solution and polynomial time verification. P is a subset because its solutions can also be verified in polynomial time and solution runs in polynomial time also.
Let’s explain with an example: If there are 100 houses and each house has to be painted in a different color compared to all their friend’s house, it is not an easy problem to solve. However, the verification is trivial. If I already paint them in different colors and ask you to check if the painting has been done as per the above constraints, it is rather easy to verify the same. Go one by one for each house, see its color, check that it does not match with the color of friend’s house. Done ! Polynomial time verification !!

Till now, we can quickly make out that P are ‘easy’ problems and NP or ‘not so easy’ problems since we do not have a solution that can work in reasonable time

One more definition before proceeding further

Polynomial time reduction:
We say that decision problem P reduces to decision problem Q in polynomial time if we can make a function f(x) to convert all inputs of P to Q such that if f(x) is given to Q and we get “yes” we will get “yes” if we give x to P. Basically what we are doing is converting one problem to another. It might seem funny to computer science graduates. Imagine if I were to tell that to sort n numbers we can actually convert it into a problem of graph theory and solve it. But that is what Polynomial reduction is and it is significant here.

How about the problems which are in NP and are the hardest to solve among them. Such problems are called NP-Complete.
So, if we arrange in order the problems based on how easy it is solve, from easiest to hardest, it would be P — NP — NP Complete.
We can also call the NP-Complete problems as “Hard” problems that are in NP. Mathematically if all problems ‘x’ in NP can reduce in polynomial time to another problem ‘y’ in NP, we call the problem ‘y’ as NP complete
Please note: All NP-Complete problems have to reduce to each other because of the above definition. Example: “TSP: Is there a solution not exceeding cost k”

Now what is this. We already saw that ‘hard’ problems in NP are called NP-Complete. What about the problems that are not in NP or for that matter not even decision problems. So there is a class for them. If a problem is as hard as every other problem in NP (like NP-Complete problems) but need not be in NP (unlike NP Complete problems which have to be in NP), such problems are called NP-hard. Example: Every NP-Complete problem is also NP-hard. Optimization problem – “TSP: Find least cost” : This is optimization problem and hence not in NP
Decision Problem but not in NP: “Halting problem” – Given a program and its input, will the program halt? Even though it is a decision problem, it is not in NP because even the verification of its solution cannot be done in polynomial time

Please look at the figure below for a brief on what we have learned


  • You can see the ‘P’ problems as green dots as subset of NP. They are the easy ones with polynomial time solution available
  • The ‘NP’ can be seen as blue dots. They don’t have a known polynomial time solution but their solution is verifiable in polynomial time
  • The ‘NP-Complete’ happens to be red dots. They can reduce all NP problems to themselves and additionally they sit inside NP itself
  • The ‘NP-Hard’ are similar that they can reduce all NP-Complete (thereby NP) to themselves but they don’t have to be part of NP
  • Additional Information
    • Though everyone is sure that P is a subset of NP, they don’t know if P=NP or P != NP. That is a million dollar prize question in clay university of mathematics. Since you are now armed with this learning why not attempt to crack the question and become a millionaire 🙂