Saturday, November 20, 2010


My blog posts during the past few months havent been regular. But now I am tempted to blog about a recent lunch- a friendship basket lunch! At the Duchess club we were asked to pick numbers from a basket.Those of us with the same numbers went to the same table. We were asked to make friends with each other. That began the friendship basket.
Prema Venkat, Sudha Suresh, Sheetal Bajaj and I were at the same table! We instantly hit off well and decided to meet post Diwali. An Sms from me and prompt replies from every one and we fixed a date and venue for lunch. But my father fell ill a few days before and I was wondering if I would have to pull out of this. But luckily he recovered.But there was something else challenging us? It was pouring the previous day and on the day but still we all made it. We met at Mahamudra- a restaurant serving simple vegetarian health food! Prema and I have known each other but we were still to know more about Sudha and Sheetal. Sudha joined us and she looked at me and asked, was your dad in Standard Pharmaceuticals? I was surprised! She told me her husband and my dad worked together 25 years ago and she has actually seen me as a 5 year old!! She even remembered my sister Nupur and my mother. My dad was delighted to get in touch with his old colleague! Sheetal I discovered lives close to my place and has joined Duchess just 5 months ago!We had a fun lunch and all of them thanked me for taking the initiative to message them and rope them into this! I happen to be the youngest in this gang also! We each have our own group of friends at the Duchess but this basket helped us make friends with each other. We hope to sit together at the next meeting. I do look forward to bonding more closely with this new group of friends I have just made!

Monday, November 1, 2010


This is my 100th blog post and I dedicate it to Nina...who has made all the difference to my life. A poem I wrote for her a day after her birthday. Posting it only now. Hope my thoughts and feelings reach out through these words!


As I look back at the moments I felt I had grown
I remember there was still so much that was unknown
An immature kid with so many judgements and biases
I never realized that life was full of so many choices!

I made good choices and my thoughts always strong
My heart pure and my intentions never wrong
Still there was something missing and incomplete
That would make my life more meaningful and concrete!

She walked into my life like a whiff of fresh air
Told me there is a lot to learn and nothing to despair
Didn’t give me hand to hold when I cried over silly stuff
That’s because she wanted to make me all bold and tough!

Nice, intelligent, a little naughty and affable
Nina- the perfect fairy from a beautiful fable
Filled that gap and made all the difference
Helped me evolve with just her subtle presence

She is a friend who loves and cares like no other
I see in her the reflection of a beautiful mother
She taught me the beauty and the joy in sharing
I always look up to her as a friend so inspiring

A wonderful guide and friend in times of need
Pushes me at the time when I should do the deed
Encourages me to look for strength from the inner
I know she always wants me to be a winner!

I now see the world around me to be so beautiful
No longer am I biased, bitchy or judgmental
Over the last year I have grown to be serene and wise
Thank you Nina for truly being an angel in disguise!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This Joy of giving Tanker!

Dear Friends, TANKER Foundation is taking part in the India Giving Challenge and with your contribution through this iGive page, we plan to expand our activites and reach out to more people than ever before. TANKER is a registered, non-profit charitable trust, founded on 30th June 1993.We aim to provide healthcare and financial help to the underpriviledged with kidney ailments. So far, 72845 dialysis have been given for 620 patients through our 3 subsidized dialysis units in Chennai and Madurai. We have also opened our HIV Dialysis Unit with 2 Machines. At present we have 140 patients in the TANKER Fold. So far we have given Rs. 60.2 Lakhs to 1034 patients for financial support. We have conducted over 161 Awareness Progs about kidney disease reaching out to over 40,000 people. Most of our patients have a monthly income of less than Rs. 5,000/-. Dialysis is unaffordable for them in Private Hospitals and unavailable in Govt. Hospitals. While we provide our dialysis free or at a subsidized rate of Rs. 375, the actual cost to us is Rs. 800.We aim to give more free dialysis for our patients and set up more subsidized dialysis units. Rs. 800 will sponsor one free dialysis, Rs. 5 lakhs will sponsor one dialysis machine. Every paisa we get goes towards giving patients better treatment. Indian donors will get tax benefits. GiveIndia will process every donation and send you a receipt. If we are one of the top NGO's to raise funds we will receive a prize of matching funds from GIVE! Your gesture of giving will help needy people who are suffering under the financial, physical and emotional strain of having this terrible disease. We would be grateful for any contribution from you. Please visit Warm Regards, TANKER Foundation.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dance, Music and Health

Dr Yamini Saripalli, a kuchipudi dancer, dermatologist enlightened us on the effect of music and dance on health. A beautiful dancer, she showed us a presentation on the effct of music and dance on the various parts of the body. Music is indeed therapeutic. From helping relieve stress, to relieving pain, helping in neurological problems, psychological problems and a lot more, music has a lot more to offer than just ragas and talas. Dr Yamini said the heart beats lub dub and she links to takki ta tha the dance beat! and Yes she says dance is like yoga and helps with problems like Ashtma, gynaecological disorders and since it is a kind of weight bearing exercise also helps to build bone density and prevent osteoporosis. An alumni Judy shared with us an incident where the flutist Ramani was recently operated upon for a tumour in the throat and his students took turns at for 48 non stop hours the ragam ananda bhairavi. A similar experience has happened with Lalgudi Jayraman who had a stroke and his students played the violin for him. He can now sing again and occassionally plays the violin too! There probably is some connection between music, dance and health. So the next time you are plugging on your head phones to listen to music remember the rock music can make your heart palpitate! and may be a good dance can help make your bones stronger.

Gulzar Sahab @ the Duchess

छोटे थे, माँ उपले थापा करती थी
हम उपलों पर शक्लें गूँधा करते थे
आँख लगाकर -
कान बनाकर -
नाक सजाकर -
पगड़ी वाला -
टोपी वाला -
मेरा उपला -
तेरा उपला -
अपने-अपने जाने-पहचाने नामों से
उपले थापा करते थे

हँसता-खेलता सूरज रोज़ सवेरे आकर
गोबर के उपलों पे खेला करता था
रात को आँगन में जब चूल्हा जलता था
हम सारे चूल्हा घेर के बैठे रहते थे
किस उपले की बारी आयी
किसका उपला राख हुआ
वो पंडित था -
इक मुन्ना था -
इक दशरथ था -
बरसों बाद -
मैं श्मशान में बैठा सोच रहा हूँ
आज की रात इस वक्त के जलते चूल्हे में
इक दोस्त का उपला और गया.

These lines are still echoing in my ears! It was indeed a memorable evening for all of us at the Duchess club! Gulzar Sahab being in our midst to launch the tamil version of raavi paar by Sivasankari amma. He left us mesmerised with his impeccable style, his poetry and his warmth. As we went through the formal book launch ceremony I think we were all just waiting to hear Gulzaar ji speak. His speech was just as good as his poetry.He spoke about his meeting with amma and was humble enough to credit her as the writer of the book and not the translator. AVM Sarvanan was other chief guest who with all his humility spoke in tamil. ( I interviewed him in tamil for my column and impressed him! after all a punju interviewing him in tamil)!. The big moment for us came when Gulzar Ji stepped forward to read his poetry. Upla was the first poem he read. Followed by a longish one on books which was so true n relevant to the present day. A couple of short poems followed on. Then he answered questions. Ranging from films to his passion as a writer Gulzar sahab shared some amazing moments with us. He even explained how Jai ho was penned! Just as we finished singing the National Anthem the hall resounded with Jai ho which was spontaneous. We mobbed Gulzar sahab for autographs and pictures with him. I still cant get over the meeting. The poetry which I enjoyed listening to in urdu for the sweetness of the language and Gulzar sahab's expression left me speechless. I just managed to go introduce myself as a writer and yeah he immediately shook hands...shld I say with a fellow writer! Dont know how far I am going to get as a writer but the moment was big for me! Thanks to the Fab 5 for organizing such a lovely meeting. Its definitely a Jai ho! for the Duchess.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


This is my latest interview...a dream interview! It is in a local paper called On sale express.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I just realized that we are being ushered into the last week of the year! Yes 2009 is coming to an end. The year 2009 has been rather eventful. I've had several beautiful moments, several learning experiences and made many good friends. The year gave me the opportunity to write a lot! I got a health column to write, a column on colleges and a column on inspiring leaders. I also got an opportunity to do a health supplement single handedly on Mylapore. With all this writing I learnt so much. The most beautiful part of the year was the time I managed to befriend Nina. Its been amazing knowing her. I wouldve been reluctant to interact with her considering the age diff n of course her status but she eased things out for me. And I certainly believe Baba is connecting us and will keep us connected for ever. I've spent some of my happiest and most memorable moments of the year with her. From being at her stunningly beautiful beach house to attending duchess meetings and all her 02 programmes every moment spent with her made me happy! The month of August wasnt great. I went through a bad bout of depression and messed things for myself. I didnt know if things would be like before for me. A trip to Shirdi happened on 1st September. With Baba's blessings I recovered and am back to being my normal bubbly self. I have joined the Duchess club which was a long standing promise to Nina. I have had tough moments during the year in terms of business as well. But have sailed through it all. I look forward to a more beautiful, a more fulfilling and a more prosperous 2010.