Dateline CHENNAI

AKC NatarajanAt the inaugural of the Nadaswaram and Thavil festival of Brahma Gana Sabha, I met AKC Natarajan, the ‘Clarinet Everest.’ He narrated an incident in his musical life. He was just about to commence his concert at the wedding reception of Lalitha (of the famous Travancore sisters Lalitha-Padmini-Ragini). There were only two persons seated in the spacious hall. They were none other than N S Krishnan and T A Madhuram. NSK told AKC to wait for some more time so that a few more listeners could join. AKC told him that the famous movie-couple were enough for him. To the surprise of AKC and NSK, the hall was almost full when he was half way through the first Kirthana!

At the inaugural function, Nadaswaram maestros Sembanarkoil brothers Sambandam and Rajanna were honoured by the IOB General Manager R Vaidyanathan, who incidentally hails from Sembanarkoil!

If in the after- life there is not music, we will have to import it.  (Doménico Cieri Estrada)

Nalli Kuppuswami Chettiyar The other day, Nalli Kuppuswami Chettiyar honoured the Tamil Nadu Government’s awardees. Nakkeeran Gopal, the recipient of the Periyar Award in his speech said that when he received Rs. One lakh from the Government as part of the Award, he chose to fly to Madurai along with eighteen of his close kith and kin. Gopal also compared his mission of exposing the injustice in society with that of Tehelka. When Tehelka faced problems, almost all its staff excepting two left the portal, whereas when Nakkeeran got into problems some seven years back, none of his one hundred and ten employees left the magazine.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)


HinduismHistory teacher Remco Snoey (27), a native of Holland, converted to Hinduism from Christianity at Kanchi Mutt in Rameswaram after having a holy dip in the Agni Theertham last Monday. The Mutt priests performed rituals and special poojas and named him Ramadoss Sharma, after he expressed his willingness to convert to Hinduism.  Snoey said, “I developed a liking for Hinduism after reading spiritual books. I came to India five months back to see for myself the culture here. And now I have embraced Hinduism and fulfilled my desire.”

I remember to have read somewhere that when a British national expressed his desire to convert to Hinduism, the then Sankaracharya of Sringeri told him: ’There is no need. Be truthful and faithful to whatever religion you follow.’


ArdhanareeshwararA monolithic idol of 'Ardhanareeshwara' is being given final touches by sculptors at Avinashi for despatch to London.

The 10-foot tall idol, weighing 2.5 tonnes, sculpted under the Shilpa Shastras (traditional Hindu texts that describe the standards for religious Hindu iconography), is almost ready for shipment to Yoga Kalasala Centre in London, according to Sri Gnanambika Shilpa Kalakoodam, the makers. It took nearly eight months for six sculptors to carve the statue from a monolithic rock. It is claimed to be the tallest Ardhanareeshwara idol ever made.

Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.
(Michelangelo)

Believe me this isn’t a story.

It finally turned out to be a happy ending to a heart-rending tale as a couple whose baby boy was stolen from the Government hospital a year ago was reunited with the infant.

baby boyMadesh and Shanthi went to a hospital at Bhavani near Erode on January 27 last year to get treatment for their second son, 18-month old Santhosh, when a woman told them that she was a nurse and that they would get quality treatment at the Erode Government hospital. Trusting her, they went with the woman to the hospital where she told them that she was taking the child for a blood test. She never returned. The couple lodged a complaint and a child missing case was registered.
After a year, the couple received information that in Tiruchirapalli, a woman accused of abducting babies had been arrested. When questioned, the woman said she had sold the child to a couple at Perambalur.
The couple at Perambalur, however, refused to hand over the baby, claiming it was their own. A DNA test was conducted which proved that the child belonged to Ma
desh and Shanthi.The child was handed over to them on Saturday in the presence of Bhavani police.

Police have also traced a baby boy who was 'lifted' from the surgical ward of the Goverment hospital on January 20. The boy who was located at Dindigul was handed over to his parents on Friday night and a woman arrested.

Truth is stranger than fiction!

Joginder SinghRecently read: A man boards a flight from Delhi to Mumbai. As he settles in, he glances up and sees a gorgeous woman boarding the plane. She heads straight towards him and takes the seat next to his. Eager to strike up a conversation, he asks, “Business trip or vacation?” She smiles and says, “Business. I’m going to the annual Sexologists Convention.” He swallows hard and calmly asks: “What’s your role at this Convention?” “Lecturer,” she says, “I use my experience to debunk some of the popular myths about sexuality.” “Really? What m-m-m-myths are those?”

“Well,” she explains, “One popular myth is that African men are the best endowed when, in fact, it’s the Tamilians most likely to possess that trait. Another popular myth is that Frenchmen are the best lovers, whereas actually it is Bengalis. However, we have found that the best potential lover in all categories is a Sardar.”

Suddenly, the woman becomes a little uncomfortable and blushes, “I’m sorry,” she says, “I shouldn’t be discussing this with you. I don’t even know your name.”

“Venkatraman,” the man blurts out. “Venkatraman Mukherjee. But all my friends call me Sardar Joginder Singh.”

(‘Contributed by Paramjit S. Kochar, New Delhi’ in Khushwant Singh’s Column in Deccan Chronicle)

H Ramakrishnan
Jan 25, 2010


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