Flights of Fantasy

Awesome violin by Ganesh and Kumaresh.

Raag Mand

Noted Veena player Jayanthi Kumaresh playing Raag Mand of Hindustaani music. One of my favourite composition. :)

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Mysore Dasara

Dasara Goluvu is celebrated with the at home with the traditional wooden Pattada Bombe couple dolls which is widely available in Tirupati. The usual collection is Dashavathara, Krishna and Gopikas and a huge variety of dolls made of clay and oil painted.

I did not want to miss the tradition and bought these miniature dolls sold at Victoria Market. :)
Bottom Row: L->R 2 Boomerangs in background, Kittens in the basket. 5 crystal elephants, tiny gal with 2 plaits, kitten in basket.
First Row: L->R Japanese Kimmi doll, Guitar, Violin, Guitar, Japanese Kimmi doll
Second Row: L->R Australian Wildlife (Kangaroo and Koala), Didgeridoo, Places in Australia.

Mysore Dasara or rather call Melbourne Dasara or Souvenir Dasara? :)

 © Manasa. All rights reserved.

See you soon!

A few days before of my Melbourne trip got confirmed, a colleague of mine, S~, who is also a good friend got engaged. Initially, we were cubicle mates and in turn became close friends, having breakfast, lunch and snacks together. In fact, we did the shopping together for my trip. Don't ask how many shops and malls we roamed around! Even before she found Mr Nice, she would ask, "Would you turn up for my wedding?" I would pull her leg, "If I don't, who would bless you." ;) S~ got married while I missed the chance of wishing her for new phase of her life and capturing the beautiful moments. While we chat, we speak of meeting each other once we are in Bangalore. But both are sure its just a hope to meet in person. :)

Looking back at my old posts written a couple of years ago, I have hardly met or not met people who were so close to me at office, school or college or even a cousin of mine. We always speak.. if we meet.. we should meet.. when we meet... But when do we meet?

N~, a very good friend during school and who are admired by all of us at school and college passed away. While her little son still thinks she is asleep beneath the ground. It was an 2.8 years ago, I last saw her as a bride, the beautiful innocent face ever since we were in the primary school. Too young to die.

You will be remembered, RIP.

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Celebrating Ganesh Chathurthi in my own way

Celebrating any festival is now easy.

Don't you worry if you haven't got an idol to worship; for all you have is a wallpaper to be downloaded to your phone or laptop.

1. Downloaded best of Lord Ganesha's wallpaper from Google images.
2. Prepared Hayagreeva adding jaggery, cashew nuts, raisins.
3. Kept only two varieties of fruit and two fruits as an offering.
4. Chanted few sloks and mantras.

The Pooja is over. The fruits and sweet is all yours in the lords name. ;)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Life without a friend is like death without a witness

Drafted on 22nd Feb 2011

There were times when I was extremely low. Near and dear ones would try their best to make me smile. Oh, smile! You have even faded away!

Like S~ would crack a joke on how his date was. Others would divert my attention saying...

feeling low..

at what depth?
below sea level?

at ocean level

thats plain.. not low

below ocean level

how are the fish, corals,

are you making fun on me?

below sea there are more creatures than on land.. did you know?
the blue sea... jet blue..
large whales...
beautifully shaped hued fish...
heavenly patterns of corals...

"Lean on me, when you're not strong, and I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on, for it won't be long, 'til I'm going to need somebody to lean on."
- "Lean On Me"

Looking back at times when all near and dear ones stood by me.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Bangalore to Melbourne

Susceptible to boredom during my travel in the flight. I had my camera in my hand and clicked few pics. Though, not great, but still are memoirs of the journey from Bengaluru-Malaysia-Melbourne. :)

Finally reached on June 5th. Can't believe its been three months here and I am loving it. ;)

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The busy street

Its been exactly six weeks I arrived here in Melbourne. As I walk alone on Swanston St, not alone, along with iPhone ;)

There are signals for pedestrians too. Cross the road only when signal is Green or else you will be fined. :)

Trams everywhere

Beethovan Festival ;)

 Tonga types, tram behind

China town. Aah, you find them everywhere. ;)

 Musicians singing and playing guitar roadside.

State Library. You find interesting books here.

Flower shop.


© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Waiting for the tram

I had boarded only the buses and auto rickshaws as a means of transport while at Bangalore. This is the first time I boarded a tram which I used to admire watching the English movies. :) The experience was good. One would find a tram at the Melbourne CBD area every now and then. Unlike, in Bangalore, there are no conductors who would issue a ticket. There are ticket vending machines. You insert a coin or a note. The ticket is generated and you insert them into another machine to validate the ticket and then the timestamp is printed.

Based on the frequency of commuting, one can choose monthly pass, or recharge coupon. Here goes few pics of the tram.

First post from Melbourne

Here goes my first blog post from Melbourne. Its exactly a month, June 4th, that I left my hometown Bangalore.

Melbourne, a place that I had heard of only during the cricket match. Australia, a country of adventures. A place which I just dreamed of, never thought I would be here someday and type a blog post from here. ;)
As I walk on the lane the chill breeze hitting my face, I see some of the oldest buuldings of the city which reminds me of St. Marks Road in Bangalore. Have I been in Bangalore, I had never worn a sweater so far. People would wrap themselves in woollen clothes and relax at home sipping hot tea along with chilli bondas/bhajjis during evenings. But here in Melbourne, you see people wearing variety of woolleen designer clothes right from woolleen clothes, scarf, jacket, long leather boots (I bought one, too ;) )

2 years with Vaio :D

Two years I own a Vaio lappy. Feels great when people appreciate, "wow!! It looks NeW :D" . Looking at the yesteryear pictures and the one I clicked today, it looks very much NEW indeed.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Miniature Veena

Miniature Veena. New addendum to the Dasara Dolls. :)

Veena is one of the most divine Carnatic music instruments.

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Taye Yoshada

I have been listening to this sing Taye Yoshada as a Comtemporary music. Beautifully sung by Carnatic Vocalist Sudha Raghunathan as a playback singer from the movie Morning Raga.

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The Japanese Wife

The Japanese Wife, a movie in English, Bengali and Hindi directed by Aparna Sen.

Snehamoy Chatterjee (Rahul Bose) lives in a remote village at the banks of river Matla along with his aunt whom he calls Mashi [Ma-shi means mother's sister in Bengali]. He had never expressed himself before Miyage, his unseen Japanese pen friend. Miyage could never spell his name and would practice to pronounce his name everyday. In his letter, he explains the meaning of his name "Sneha" means "affectionate" and "moy" means "full of", Snehamoy being affectionate.

Sneh is an Arithmetic teacher at a school. He would refer to the Bengali-English dictionary while framing sentences, he would also confess that he doesn't have a good command on English since its not his native language. Sneh and Miyage would pen down the minute happenings in their lives though they were distant apart. Sneh writes that he was caught with Malaria and survived three times; he was taking tuition classes to pay the postal charges. Miyage runs a store at her home and looks after her ill mother. She sends a polaroid camera requesting him to send a picture of his Mashi and himself.

Mashi asks for beautiful Sandhya's (Raima Sen) hand for Sneh when she is visited by her friend. Mashi is called Shoi-Ma by Sandhya. All his efforts to see shy Sandhya's face go vain. When Sneh admits this to Miyage, she offers herself as a bride. She sends him a silver wedding band with her name embossed in Japanese while Sneh sends her a packet of vermillion to be applied at the parting of her hair and a pair of conch shell bangles commonly called as Shaankha; both of them are worn by Bengali women signifying the marriage. Sneh expresses that he wouldn't be able to visit Japan since he can't afford for a ticket while Miyage wouldn't visit until her mother is fine.

Years pass by exchanging the letters. The young Sandhya, a widow, comes to stay along with them with her eight year old son, Poltu. She is always clad in a white border-less saree and pallu covering her head.

On their fifteen wedding anniversary, she sends him the beautiful colorful kites. Sneh and Poltu participate in the kite flying competition and lose.

Miyage falls sick and moves to stay with her brother. While on telephonic call, both are not able to understand each other's English. Sneh applies a long leave and visits Ayurveda, Unani, Homeopathy and Allopathy doctors at Calcutta to find best medicine to cure her. He learns that doctors can't help much without her being here.

Sneh remains a faithful husband to his unseen Japanese wife.

Rahul Bose is always at his best. ;)

© Manasa. All rights reserved.



Any wedding is incomplete without the bride adorned with Mehendi. Apart from the gold jewellery and costumes; Mehendi, flowers form an integral part of the bride's makeup.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

Celestial Beauty

Celestial Beauty

Supermoon: The full moon came closest to the earth in 18 years, becoming the biggest and brightest full moon of the year.

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26 11

Ani, now, started a blog. Please visit his blog of poems: and do leave a comment.

Author: SmileWithAni

The calendar showed 26 11,
there entered the dirty seven,
once they hit the shore,
they thought they could rise to the fore.

The ruthlessly entered the Taj,
in their minds they were on Haj.
Viciously they struck at eight,
Indian Police needed to set them straight.

Initially some did shy,
in all 175 did die.
Throwing to the terrorists a word of caution,
Indian fought with valour and passion.

The encounter lasted 3 days,
for all the RED, who pays?
They murdered all in a plunder,
Pakistan! you did a blunder!

Two years it has been now,
Mumbai is safe as a holy cow.
The calendar shows again 26 11,
and Mumbai is already a heaven

Hope this will be remembered, the incident,
and never will repeat, even by accident,
for till the years yet to come,
as a tribute I write this poem.

© SmileWithAni. All rights reserved.

Inception - The poem!

Inception - The poem!
Author: SmileWithAni

Thought I should've been dead,
Thoughts just came into my head,
Please don't say so she said,
That's when I woke up from my bed.

Bed next to me was empty,
I'd been dreaming again of humpty-dumpty,
These are the kinds of dreams oh pity!
Telling them is only my duty.

Wish such dreams got fewer,
My brain was going down the sewer,
I touched my head and I had fever,
These thoughts were all newer.

I realized I dreamt in a dream,
My head was battered like whipped cream,
I was flowing down-stream,
Finally I woke up with a loud scream.

Then I realized it was inception,
I was already late for the reception,
I told myself its only a deception,
Inception, is a nice conception.

© SmileWithAni. All rights reserved.

Yahoo! Big Thinkers Event

Drafted on: 28th Jan 2011

Yahoo! Big Thinkers Event is organised every quarter and this time on Jan 28th.

The Abstract:
More and more social interactions are migrating online. In this talk we study patterns of such interactions in social applications including email, newsgroups, instant messaging, and microblogging. We address the data mining, modeling, and algorithmic challenges that arise as part of the study.

The speaker explained Interaction and Structural networks.

  1. Interaction Networks are more interesting to study.
  2. Edge exists if two users interact in some manner.

  • Twitter, facebook describes Structural network which is based on the followers.
  • Structural network is based on the objects of interest.

The algorithms were necessary for user conversations such as mailing list, forums, comments, twitter, facebook. Each conversation snippet has an Author, timestamp, content which would attract more users to re-tweet.
The event focussed more on the algorithms used in the social networking sites such as Reply Time Based Model etc..

Like Sneo said here, people were more interested in grabbing the snacks than algorithms which is worth a study.
© Manasa. All rights reserved.

The Kite Runner

Drafted on: June 21st '09

Title: The Kite Runner

Author: Khaled Hosseini

ISBN: 1-57322-245-3

Pages: 324

I read this book by Khaled Hosseini after watching the movie, The Kite Runner and also impressed reading his other book, A Thousand Splendid Suns. The story is of two friends, Amir and Hassan, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amir is the son of rich, whose father has built schools, hospitals in the city while his mother died during his childbirth. She was a professor at a college and a poet too. Hassan, a Hazara boy, is the son of his servant, Ali, who is very close to Amir and would sacrifice himself to protect his master, Amir. Inspired, by his mother's poetry which Amir would read from his own library, would write down short stories and poems. He would read them to his father's close friend, Rahim Khan, who would appreciate but was never appreciated by his father. Yet, "Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors", Rahim Khan would would comment.
It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned tat if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. 
The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in a hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife's slain body in his arms.
The beautiful story written by Amir to which Hassan replies: "Couldn't he have just smelled an onion?"

Amir's father being an atheist, would always advise him that the biggest sin is to steal, one doesn't become great by following religion. Amir had never done Namaz(prayer).

Hassan had always protected Amir and has been loved equally by his father. His father would buy him same clothes or toys as he would buy for Amir without any discrimination. Hassan could read Amir's mind and know his needs and limitations than himself. Though, he never went to school, could hardly read, his suggestions and advises were remarkable. They would play together. Words were carved on the tree trunk of pomegranate tree with a kitchen knife, " Amit and Hassan: The Sultans of Kabul".

Kite running festival celebrated in Kabul for which Hassan is a kite runner and Amir would always win. Amir is the winner and the kite is cut. Hassan who is also a sling shot expert, brings the kite facing odds from another notorious boy who always hated them. Amir realizes that he is a coward who has always been guarded by Hassan and begins to keep him at a distant!

The war begins with Soviets in Afghanistan, Amir and his father fly to America handing over their ancestral house to Hassan's father to take care. As years pass by, Amir excels in his poetry, marries Soraya. They learn that they can never have children, yet lead a happy marriage.

Soraya's encouragement makes Amir a successful novelist.

One fine day, Amir receives a letter from Rahim Khan who is almost his father's age dying from illness. He wants to meet Amir before he dies. Rahim Khan reveals enduring truth that Hassan was killed along with his wife and he was his father's son; his half-brother. Rahim Khan requests reluctant Amir to rescue Hassan's only son, Sohrab, who was in an orphanage in Kabul where he is made to dance dressed in a women's clothes.

"Thank you very match (much)" says Sohrab when he was rescued by Amir from the orphanage.

The guilt that, Amir couldn't stand for Hassan while he was always protected by him. How he had blamed Hassan for stealing money and wrist watch which he had never stole. Only time his father had cried, pleading Hassan's father not to leave the house for the suspecting Hassan of stealing. He realizes that he had given terrible pain to Hassan. But he was sure that all this would get over soon and he wouldn't have to suffer like this throughout.

Depressed by the fact that he will have to stay in an orphanage run by missionary and betrayal of trust by Amir that he wouldn't fulfill his promise of growing up with them in America, Sohrab cuts his wrist. For the first time after fifteen years, Amir does Namaz hoping to see Sohrab alive. But the little boy remains numb in spite of learning that he would no longer be in an orphanage. Amir tries to convince Sohrab that he would take him to US and he could stay along with them.

Each time, Amir looked at the Hassan's photo and at Sohrab, it reminded him the way he had ill treated him, the truth being Hassan inherited good qualities of their father.

This book made me cry as I finished reading. Khaled Hosseini has written the emotions, grievances, bondage of friendship. True friends always protect at worse times.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.

The Decent Proposal!

A poet-friend of mine who goes by the screen name "SmileWithAni" (Smile with Ani) has written lovely poems and wished I would publish them on my blog on his behalf.

She sat at the table eating an oat,
Speaking words warm as coat,
About her, I can't stop thinking,
Eternity I can see, no blinking.

Thinking of her made me write,
Being with her is ought to be right,
I need to express to her my Love,
But I ask myself, How oh How?

I mayn't show what I write here,
I'm sure one day her heart will hear,
The day will come when I have no fear,
Hope she's not gone but near.

I know it doesn't end with poem,
I need her to build my sweet home,
Truly she is an inspiration,
She made me write in her adoration.

Every time she asks me wazzup?
My eyes go wide like a li'l pup,
I dint write this after a pile,
But hope this makes her for once smile.

Telling this runs the chill thru the spine,
But if she accepts all will be fine,
If she does, we'll wine and dine,
And then forever she'll be mine 'n' me thine.

© SmileWithAni. All rights reserved.

Sapta Sitar

Sapta Sitar

Ustad Bale Khan Memorial Trust and Antara Arts organised mesmerizing Sapta Sitar On Sunday, Feb 13th at JSS Auditorium. Musicians playing Sitar are from the Khan family. Sitar was introduced to South India by the Khan family.

The photo clicked above got published in Deccan Herald. Though, no photo credit was mentioned.

© Manasa. All rights reserved.


Singer M.D. Pallavi along with Layatharanga mesmerizing concert during Kannada Rajyotsava celebrated on November 22nd, at office.

Below: Singer M.D. Pallavi
Singer M.D. Pallavi

Singer M.D. Pallavi

Singer M.D. Pallavi

Singer M.D. Pallavi

Singer M.D. Pallavi
Below: Arun Kumar on Drums
Below: Pramath Kiran

Below: Udupa on Ghatam and Jayachandra Rao on Mridangam



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