Monthly Archives: March 2011

Musical Monday !

Got this idea from Bikram and wanted to do it last week . But missed it . Today unknowingly shared some songs on FB and then suddenly remembered it is Monday .

My life is so much intertwined with all the beautiful songs I have heard ; sometimes I think I can make a graph out of them. I like melodies more than anything. Good lyrics can keep me engaged even for hours! Can’t tolerate the sound and beats like my brother, but I do like fast numbers with good tunes.
I like to listen to Malayalam, Hindi and some Tamil songs. Like to do drawings based on songs or to give captions. Dancing with Live concerts were our favourite as students and I had some rocking friends too! But now as a mother of two kids the chances are slim 😦

Once at college our Hindi Sir asked the class if they would like to be left alone in a room forever . He wanted to explain to every one the importance of socialization . Then I told him I would happily do so if I am left with a collection of my favourite melody cassettes. He was not convinced though 🙂

Today I have been humming songs from ‘Guide ‘ . The hit movie of 1965 with an evergreen hero and many evergreen songs .

One of my all time favourite songs . So romantic that you would dissolve in it . One of those first few songs that gave the young girl in me an idea about the beauty and sweetness in loving some one for a life time .

This song along with all the other songs from ‘Guide’ bring beautiful memories of those clear summer nights , Anthakshari , singing along with my Sis , our room , Wilkinson sword Chaaya geet which I used to listen till 11 pm and all those fights 🙂 🙂 Nostalgic 🙂

For a Slim 2011 and ahead ! ( Smart Escaso Club )

image courtesy Google search

A few years before my sister had gone to a slimming clinic and was able to cut down a considerable few pounds . She was back in shape and looked terrific . And we were all very happy. A couple of months back when I mentioned this possibility to a fellow blogger she posed her doubt about the possible side effects that may occur from the products they use in the slim clinics.

Then only I thought about that part of it and was really worried for my sister . Two of my close friends are in slimming industry and I thought it is time to ask them what they do inside there other than starving people . Just kidding 😀 But until then I had only thought about the glamor of the job and all . May be I should think about the other part too.

Being a person who is interested in the How and Why I called up my friend Dr.Grinto Davy , my classmate and friend . I terribly wanted to know how they bring down the body weight. Of course it could not be magic ! I wanted to know it from the perspective of a layman and I wanted more people to benefit from it if it is really safe and with out any side effects .

The points mentioned here are from Dr.Grinto Davy Chirakkekkaran’s personal experiences as a Physiotherapist for over ten years and as the Proprietor and Chief Therapist of the slimming clinic ” Smart ESCASO Club ”  at Poonkunnam , Thrissur, Kerala .

To lose those extra pounds you don’t have to jog till you are tired to your bones or starve till you go mad with hunger pangs . But it is a must that you should eat food just like any other normal person.

The principle is to bring down the excess  fat in the body and thus reduce the weight .

According to Grinto,  we can bring down the body weight by reducing the water content of the body and also by reducing the muscle weight . But these are not the scientific methods to reduce body weight . The ideal way is to begin with identifying the amount of fat present in your body. ( Body fat percentage )

After determining the amount of excess fat present in the body , modern machines and a quality diet is used to get rid of the excess fat in a natural way . The machines are without side effects and produces effects equal to the normal body metabolism .

Among the modern machines one which needs special reference is the Ultrasonic Lipo Suction Machine . This machine uses Ultrasound and Radio frequency  for fat modulation . It can suck out accumulated excess fat from any part of your body .  When a part of the body is massaged using this machine the excess fat present breaks down and is then excreted through the body vessels just as in Normal metabolism. There is no risk of burns and no damage is done to the nerves, vessels or connective tissue.

The privacy of the client is given prime importance during the massage and other procedures and female therapists are there to attend female clients. No other medicine or injection  is used along with it . And no other invasive procedures are involved .

There are other machines which gives the same effect as when exercise is done . When it is massaged with the patient lying it will give the same movements as when running . This is usually used for aged patients and others who suffer from joint pains.

By saying all these he doesn’t mean the weight can be brought down in the blink of an eye . From his experience it will take up to 45 days to cut down 3-6 kilos of body weight.

To reduce the skin elasticity problems and to ensure that the normal skin tone is maintained, special skin treatment is given using the sand from the Dead Sea.

According to him , the long intervals between food intake is the actual culprit behind the diet problems . After some time it acts as a vicious cycle resulting in over weight or obesity . Eating large quantities of food in a single bout also adds to it .

A thirty year healthy male requires 15 % lipid fat in his body . The percentage is 21% for females . Up to the age of fifty, this  is 17% and 23 % respectively. Above fifty years this goes up to 19% and 25% .

You can also express your views on slimming clinics here . It would help to throw some light on the doubts and fears of common people .

Pavakkulathammakku Pongala 2011

I dedicate this post at those beautiful lotus-petal- like feet of that great power,  just like I have laid my humble life at her disposition . It is impossible to separate my life from Pavakkulam temple . My every breath and every step belongs to Lord Shiva and Parvathi who resides there .

Pongala is being conducted at Pavakkulam temple since 2002 . The ‘Jyothi’ taken from Attukal was merged with the ever lit lamp (kedaavilakku ) in front of Devi (Pavakkulathamma ).

I was fortunate enough to participate in all of them except one or two . I remember the first few years when my father and hubby would go early in the morning like 3-4 am to get tickets for me and mother to put pongala inside the temple premises .

Taking part in Pongala is an unique experience . The ‘ Noyambu ‘ which is usually observed at least two days before or even more disciplines your mind and body. The preparations for the ceremony is in itself a celebration . And the morning of Pongala is filled with crowds of  women beautifully clad in ‘ settu mundu ‘ . The atmosphere resounds with prayers and chants .

Once the lamp is lighted it is all about concentration and your mind is directed towards only one thing ‘ Praseeda Praseeda Parameswari ! ‘  It is a meditation in its own way . When you see the white foam rising to the tip of the pot your heart gets filled with boundless joy . You then see the prosperity and happiness showered  upon your family .  It feels as though Devi has come to bless you. You feel her just beside you .

Simharoodam trinethraam kara thala vilasath,
Sankha chakrabhi ramyam,
Bhakthabeeshta pradathreem ripu madana kareem,
Sarva lokaika vandhyam,
Nana alankara yuktham sasi yutha makutam,
Syamalangeem krusangeem,
Durgam devim prapadhye saranamaha asesha apath unmoolanya.

Over the years ‘Pongala at Pavakkulam ‘  has grown in leaps and bounds .  And so has the belief. Now it is not allowed inside the temple ground and the roads near will be booked even days before. People come from far off places to take part in this holy ceremony.

This year for the first time it is being conducted in the month of April ( Medam )  along with the festival for 10 days ( From April 8 to April 18 ) . Every day of the festival would be  graced with brainstorming – talks where eminent personalities come to share their views on various Hindu ideologies. I am really looking forward to attend all of them .

Then there are all those splendid programmes where a genuine effort has been taken to bring forth the various temple art forms like Theyyam and Chakkiar Koothu , Bharatha natyam , Kuchipudi, Devotional Ballette and more.

Let Jagadamba bless all and make this grand function a great success !

“Amme Narayana Devi Narayana

Lakshmi Narayana Bhadre Narayana “


My sweet mother with her friend at Pongala – All joyful that they could bunk office and complete pongala 😀


A few words about Pongala :

The offering of Pongala is a special temple practice prevalent in the southern part of Kerala and some parts of Tamilnadu . The ceremony is exclusively confined to women folk and includes instant cooking of rice with jaggery and coconut (Nivedyam) in the temple premises . Around  9.30 am the Priest  lights the hearth  in  front of  the  temple amidst prayers and chanting of sacred Mantras. This is then passed  on from one woman to  the  other who light their hearth  and prepare “Neivedyam”. At about 12 pm on that day,  Priests come out of the temple carrying  holy water and sprinkles it one each and every Ponakala pot the women has prepared .This marks the finale of the  Ponkala  and  the devotees  then go to the temple and partake in the huge feast ( Prasadamoottu ) conducted here . They then return home with happiness  and satisfaction in their  mind , but only  after making  an appeal  to the Goddess for  Her permission and blessing to participate in next year’s Pongala.

Are you beautiful ?

image courtesy Google search

Once we went to a Jyothishi to read our future . Not that I believe in it blindly or anything . But I like the art . And many times the predictions have coincided with my life .

My parents and hubby were also with me. We wanted to read the kids’ horoscopes and know general stuff .

The Jyothishi started with the basic back ground questions . He then read about our previous lives and also this one from a big Sanskrit book and translated the meaning for us .

As he finished Hubby’s he started to read  mine . I secretly wanted the Jyothishi to do only one thing after looking into our future . Tell my husband I am the one who is correct and that he should always listen to me. Period. I am so sure about it , you know !

After reading for a while , suddenly he asked hubby a question . ” Is your wife beautiful ? ” Now , that is a million dollar question. Ah ! I was happy to know that the Jyothishi is on my side . He wants to tell hubby that now he has a beautiful wife by his side, listen to whatever she says , buy her what ever she wants and live a happy life .

I wondered what took me so long to come here . Being the evasive self hubby is , I was glad that this once he cannot dance around his answer . If he says ‘NO’ then he will suffer for it for the rest of his life . I will make sure of it 😀 . And if he says ‘ Yes ‘  he will suffer even more . I know that much 😀

My parents looked at me ready to console me if he says NO. Just in case .

Anyway , hubby answered , ” Yes ! “

“Why ? ” , asked the Jyothishi

Now , This man is some thing . He knows exactly where to hit the nail . May be it is all written in the book he is reading . But my parents were also there .  What if hubby comes up with some thing mushy .

I wanted to signal the Jyothishi that I will take it from here now that he has posed the question . And also that I am thankful for being on my side. I wanted him to go to the next part … the listening and taking good care of wife …

But he looked quite relaxed .

Hubby thought for a moment , then said with poise ” Because she is beautiful inside . In her heart ! ”

uh ???

I wanted to tell him that is not what the Jyothishi  meant , you know !

I thought the jyothishi would prod for more . And eventually  tell my hubby how lucky he is and things .

But he nodded approvingly , smiled and turned to me . ” See how lucky you are ! He knows you very well . And he knows every thing . Just relax . Listen to him and live happily . ”

Duh !!

Writing CA Exams – A professional approach

Ruby’s exams will start tomorrow. It is Social Studies and I hate the subject as much as he loves it . We are yet to start today’s studies . My blog has been left unattended for a while . As it is exam time for professional students as well I thought I will take the liberty of posting one of hubby’s articles . He is a Chartered Accountant by profession and a teacher by passion.

Writing CA Exams – A professional approach

Irrespective of all the preparations and revisions, cracking a professional course like CA depends greatly on how the student utilizes the three hour exam time. The ‘key point’ is to serve the answer the way examiner wants it.
According to the new scheme the prospect of CA exam is to measure the student’s capability to use the knowledge he / she has gained from studies and its applicability in various situations. For this the questions are twisted and tangled and each needs to be attended in its own way. You can improve your percentage considerably if you are alert and tactful while handling those three hours in the exam hall.
Here I am expressing some of the common faults I have come to notice over the years and some ways to tackle them.
While answering theory papers and theoretical questions:
Theory questions usually come under thirteen different tags : Explain, Define, Short notes , Describe, Discuss, Illustrate , State, Comment , What are , Distinguish, Distinct , Elucidate , Decide .The problem arises when you try to answer all these different types of questions in the same manner. If you have to answer each type of question specifically then you should be thorough with the basics and concepts and should know what is being asked and what is not. 

Eg : The term “Business” .
1. Define the term Business 2. Explain the term Business 3. Write a short note on Business.
Here all the three questions need to be answered in three different ways.
Lack of this insight result in answers where you note down every thing you know related to the topic irrespective of the question and score only a bare minimum or average marks. If you want to score 60% or above mark for a question you have to answer it the way you would like to see it in a text book.
Your answer should be:
1. Easy to find,
2. easy to read,
3. to the point , and point by point
4. simple and transparent with out confusing
5. with headings and subheadings as needed
6. precise.
The different types of questions included in the theory session are based on the different situations that you will have to face as a professional in your career.
While you answer first think of the logic behind the question.
• Then tailor your answer according to the requirement of the question.
• Before you start to write down your answer, shape it first in your mind.

This will avoid unnecessary strikes and messiness. And will make your nervousness, confusions and difficulties less transparent to the examiner. To- the- point- answers will prevent the examiner from wandering for the answer in your answer. The better presentation will make a better impression and score you more marks.
Eg : For essay questions ( Explain, Describe ,..) your answer should have an impressive introduction, a body with headings and sub headings , and a conclusion . The conclusion should preferably be a sum up and a direct answer to the question in minimum words.
Time Management:

The current trend is to answer all the questions. Divide the time effectively . One thing student has to keep in mind while attending theory papers is that the question paper has been designed only for 2 ½ hours. One can effectively complete the paper within this period if properly prepared. Once finished instead of scooting in a hurry utilize the last half an hour to do the final polishing.

Read and check your answers▪ Correct the mistakes that catch your eye 

▪ Add a few more lines if you can think of relevant additional points

▪ Do some highlighting and underlining.

By doing all these you can add at least 10 marks more to your already completed paper.

Answering Problem papers:
It is the area which requires more time management skills. Along with assessing the problem- analysing, decision – making and quantitative – aptitude skills this session aims to bring out the student’s ability to approach and present the subject in different ways.
The main types of problem questions include: Determine, Calculate, Compute, Find, Evaluate and Solve. Based on the different terms used different ways of answering is expected from you. But usually this does not happen. Students try to answer the questions without correctly understanding the meaning of terms used.
For eg : If the question is ‘find ‘ you have to ‘ find ‘ the answer and not try to ‘determine’ or ‘compute ‘.
When you read the problem question:
Write down:
1.what information is available .
2. what is to be found .
3.what all you need to reach the solution.
4. what is missing .
Check for :
1.indirect clues.
2. sub questions .
One easy method you can use is to write the key word in the question as the heading of your answer. This will help the examiner to identify your problem analyzing skill. The fact that you have read the question carefully and you are properly oriented will impress the examiner.
The questions are purposely made in different ways to identify your decision making skills. So it is important that you conclude the answer with whatever knowledge you have. Your point of view and expertise in commerce language is also important.
Your score is in your hands. Formulate your knowledge into crisp answers and score at least half mark every minute of your exam. Pass out with a glamorous score not just a 50 or around.Aim High and reach your sky!


Exams are here :0

Finally , we have reached the end of this academic  year . And Ruby’s exams are due in a few days . Like always we are back to square one . So many portions to cover . Not that the portions are vast . But text book , Class work, Work book , Grammar , Printed notes , Maps , Rough notes , Revision work …… I am on the verge of a panic attack .

Day before yesterday I dreamed that I messed up his time table and prepared him for some other exam . Dreams like this used to haunt me way back when I was a student myself. But this is the first time I am seeing it as a mother 🙄 Then I realised ” the exam Booth has finally arrived ” !!!

So friends, its time for studies , notes , Revision time tables , prodding , nagging , dragging , eating good food , lots and lots of fresh juices , getting enough sleep , keeping Pearl engaged while we go through the lessons ( when she was younger I used to put her in my lap while I taught Ruby … Time is just flying off ) ,  Not that I put a lot of pressure on him . But I see that he follows a proper routine .

And the Maths lessons are getting tougher with every term . I don’t know when I will scream and just run away 😮

I try to remember the tips for parents , the fact that he could just black out , though this year I really wonder if its going to be me .

My only hope is the fact the we have done this before . And may be we can do it again 🙂

Here it is getting very very hot . And we are trying to beat the heat with lots of melons and juices and best of all ice creams !!!

Foto Friday – A day along the banks of Periyar