Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Golu 2008

Here's a picture of my golu this year and a video with closeups of each and every padi. Enjoy!

Here's the video

Monday, September 29, 2008


Not Kamalagaasan, but Kondappali's. Here's my latest addition to my Golu bommais. Had purchased them them two years ago at Desi, Basavanagudi, Bengalooru but forgot to make them a part of 2007's Golu.

Happy Navarathri to all of you. Enjoy your Sundals! Here's my post on last year's Navarathri Golu .

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bommaigalil oru Blooper

The weekend before Navarathri is usually very hectic. I take great pride in my golu bommais which are neatly packed and labeled in separate cartons.

The Giri trading golupadi is by far the most complicated structure I have ever come across and setting it up takes more than two hours with more than a five dozen nuts and bolts. My better-aaf helps me quite a bit in setting up and I do the decoration part of it.

Lack of space is one big deterrent for us to add a big set of bommai year after year but we manage to add a small set somehow.

My next post will have full-on Golu pics with the newbies of the year... but before that, have a look at this ultra cute blooper-bommai! I hope to auction this bommai someday and make a million bucks out of it!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jaya hey!

If Jaya can, why can't I? Only difference - my 'Big B' won't apologize to anyone for my language bashing.. not when the language is Hindi.

I am not a Hindi basher... am a hindi-hater. I don't know why but the language irritates me. I must add that I love Marathi (Raj thackarey zindabad!) but the affinity for Hindi was /is never there. It bugs me no end when I see Tams in Mumbai talking Hindi. In the midst of a pucca tamizh conversation, you will have one number karadi saying "ja ne bhi do yaaron" "kappu kushi kappi gum". I try and avoid such specimens !

I have deliberately not bothered to learn / improve my Hindi. I was a tamizh writer for ads when a lot of times the script was in Hindi and one had to transcreate that in Tamizh. The present job involves ideating for a primarly Hindi market. I don't know how I end up getting jobs like these. I guess it is my lauvv for Hindi.

For most Hindi-haters like me, here's one bible - "Ek gaon mein..." This fantastic scene from 'Indru poi naalai vaa' where our second hero is taught Hindi by a teacher... semma fun scene and one can relate to this instantly.

I managed to capture that on video this evening and upload it on you tube. Here's to all Hindi-haters. Enjoy!

Saappaturaami 6

A weekend out at Matunga is something I really look forward to. Matunga to me is a mini-mylapore. Gives me the feelings that I am in Mylapore near Kabali kovil. I manage a quick trip to Matunga atleast once a month - to buy Kumudam, Vikatan, to buy Kola-p-podi, tamizh books at Giri trading and ofcourse , to eat pongal vadai.

My colleagues and I do one quick .. er... elaborate lunch at Mani's once a month (Boss, I know you are reading this and now you know where we go when we disappear for 2-3 hours during lunch break).

As for other restaurants, there's this quaint little road side eatery next to Shankara mutt that serves awesome Pongal, vadai, pineapple kesari. Any morning trip to Matunga, I do manage to mosukkufy at this place. The quality and quantity at Rama Nayak's have deteriorated over the years... its no longer on my must-visit list.

Next to Aurora theatre is 'Idli House' - a restaurant dedicated to Idli, Idli and more Idli. To be honest, I am not a great fan of Idli - it is our Monday morning breakfast when our cook is usually late and we end up making idlis from the batter (obviously) purchased from our regular vendor. Idli is one number yeno-thano breakfast. It comes under this 'health food' category and thus by default not preferred.

Whether you have a fetish for Idlis or not, this place is a must visit. Idli House has a super duper variety of idlis, khottu and mudhos. Khottu and mudhos are the steamed varieties served in banana leaves.Idli House is your simple no-nonsense restaurant with three tables and four chairs each.
All idlis are served with two types of chutneys , sambhar, mulaga podi, Limbuda podi , pickle and oil (all unlimited). Apart from your regular idlis, you have Mysore rava idli, Kanchipuram Idli, Pepper idli, Vegetable Idli, Cucumber Idli, Jackfruit idli, Mini Idli, Idli Upma....

pic above: Pepper idli (l) : podis and urugai (r)
The sambhar may not be taste like your 'amma panna sambhar' but the Idlis are divine... and they are not very expensive. A plate of idli will cost you anything between Rs.10 to Rs.20

We planned our visit in such a way that we reached an hour before the mid-morning SA-RO-JA show at Aurora theatre on Saturday. One full hour of Idlis, idlis and more idlis + two hours of a jollly-good tamizh film. Aha! Vera enna venum?

Pic above: Masala Idli (l) and modhu (r)
The next time you are in Mumbai ,craving for some good idlis, go to Matunga, ask for Aurora theatre and look for this tiny place on the main road called Idli House. Oh ya, don't forget to come back and tell me how you liked it :)
Idli House
Next to Vasant Breezy Chamber
Mumbai -- 400 019

Saappaturaami rating : 4.5 out of 5 {minus point five for Kannadiga Sambhar :( }

Nandri hai

Thank you di, for the award. The Purpose of the Award
This award is for blogs whose content and/or design are brilliant as well as creative.The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere.
... And the award goes to....

Lordlabak : Crazy, mad Deepz writes about movies, politics, Hindi-bashing, sports... has a huge fan-following on the blogosphere.. which is probably why she is on the invisible mode forever on gtalk!

Storyteller : An extemely interesting blog! Just look at those puppets... adorable, aren't they?

Ravi Deshpande : My mentor, well-wisher. extremely passionate about his work and that reflects on his blog where he writes about his projects.

Gopal M S : Pictures that he clicks everyday on his way to work find a place on this blog. Interesting stuff!

Tamizh Penn : Does she even need an intro? Her blog keeps you in splits!

Sanjay Subrahmanyam : An extemely passionate singer plus a qualified Chartered account, board game enthusiast and now a blogger.

Mumbai Magic : A blog with three super duper contributors. Their columns on Hindustan Times are equally interesting. 

Congratulations winners! over to you...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

என்னைத் தெரிகிறதா?

நேற்று, தொலைக்காட்சியில் எனக்கு மிகவும் பிடித்த ஒரு கலைஞர்... யாரென்று தெரிகிறதா?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Pudhchyavarshi lavkar ya

Pillayar Chaturthi is one festival I really look forward to, more than Deepavali or Pongal. Back home in Madras, we used to buy our cute Mann pillayar + kudai + red and black beads at Triplicane the evening before Chaturti. Songs like 'Vinayagane vinay teerpavane' , ' Kaakkum kadavul Ganesanai...' ' Vaelanukku moothavane..' and other Seerkazhi's numbers were on high rotation in neighborhood kovils' playlists on D-day and poojai at home was very elaborate with full meals and different varieties of kozhukattais. One had to 'see' as many Pillayars as one could. So we'd Pillayar-hop from one temple to another and do a Pillayar-report at the end of the day with our respective numbers to Paatti . It was usually above 50... including the ones we saw on Doordarshan - the idol behind a singing T L Maharajan and Pillayar photos at home. A palanquin with a Ganesh idol was carried from home to home by neighboorhood kids and it was quite entertaining to see them sing and ask for our contribution in their Undiyal. Pillayar Chaturthi is big in Mumbai with ten days of high (decibel) level celebrations. At home, I try and recreate the same atmosphere by playing Seerkazhi's songs on Pillayar Chaturthi day. Most Ganpati idols sold in Mumbai are the ones with the naamam. Not wanting to 'Karamadu -Saathumadufy' my Pillayar, I buy Him at an authentic South Indian store where you get 'namma ooru - pucca pillayars, in techni-color though. We don't get Mann pillayars here which, I believe are the most authentic versions. During my initial years in Mumbai, I tried to make kozhukuttais but was never successful. Having been inspired by the Shahrukhs and Suryas of filmdom, for the last couple of years our Pillayar is on a perennial diet with Paal and pazham for Neivedhyam .
Ganpati Visarjan is a low-key affair for us. At home in Madras, we used to take Him by scooter to the nearby well on the 3rd day after the festival. Here in Mumbai, he is usually chauffeured to the nearby lake and Visarjan-ed.

This year, when a friend suggested that I be part of an activity where a corporate 'sponsors' my Visarjan, I was all excited... and decided to extend Ganpati's stay at home for two more days. Today being the fifth day after Ganpati, His visarjan was 'sponsored' by a corporate. At around 11.30 sharp He was greeted with 'dhols' and 'drums' at the entrance of our building. He was carried to the truck which was beautifully decorated with flowers. Our neighbors wondered whatever happened to this quiet-unassuming (ya ya... its us!) couple in their neighboorhood. In a huge truck was perched, our little Pillayar-patti hero. After non-stop dhamaal for ten full minutes, he bid adieu to us... It was truly a memorable Visarjan for us! Thanks SG and GS!

... Ganpati Bappa Morya! Pudhchyavarshi lavkar ya! See you next year dude!