Photograph need not be explained


Photo by stockreseach52


Camera in my eyes… visual tales from my stamp albums

photo by stockresearch52

photo by stockresearch52

In the context of ever-changing life style environment I am trying to recollect the echoes of my mind about the oldest hobby and status symbol like stamp collecting. I know it is a wild thought  indeed!.

I was taught in my school some 55 years back that how stamp collecting was known as “The king of Hobbies and the Hobby of Kings”.

I still remember the slogan of the American Tropical Association ‘Knowledge through stamp collecting’.

I still recollect the day of my school quiz contest when I answered Rowland Hill as the father of adhesive postage stamp Penny Black.

The hobby of Stamp collecting, I wonder, in the context of public turning into  email and social networking, easy to use web apps and the dwindling habit of written correspondence through posting letters and so on, what direction the hobby or pastime is taking? Is it going to be a visual tale for the forthcoming generation? Will stamps become historical artifacts?

I could see an overall shift in the hobby in its size and spread.I also stopped collecting stamps longtime back. Just like that.Maximum I can only read ‘Nostalgia’ really can give some people a ‘warm glow’.

Now I am going through my Stock book – with the thought that whether Philately has become out of fashion?

It is really inspiring in this context to read the title ‘The World’s Greatest Stamp Collectors’ by Stanley M Bierman. 

While going through the pages of my old stamp album I still remember an anonymous quote –‘Life is a teacher it gives you the test first and the lesson later’. Do you agree with me?


Things happen in life-my BROWN bag days

Things happen in life.

Although I am in my early sixties my family members still call me a fussy-eater kid.
I wonder many times why.

This might be because of my childhood eating habits.
Strict scheduling of my breakfasts ,lunch and dinner timings.

One thing I cannot forget  even today is  how I loved to carry my brown bags to my school,college and to my office except on travelling outsations.

Carrying a tiff-in box or what it is popularly known as bento box has been ubiquitous when I was going to school,college and to office.Now,I don’t think so. I wonder why.

Perhaps every school,college and offices have their own canteens or food courts and so on.
One  prefer to eat over there.Don’t mind the cost,quality and hygiene.

I am constrained to say that every thing has been changed for quick bucks.

I still remember my mom, when I was a school going boy and my wife slaving in the kitchen preparing lunch box for me to office.
This has been a personal part of south Indian culture in India.Now it is slowly taking a back seat.

For reasons unknown to me.It is almost an ignored household activity.

My wife has been a hard task master in implementing in our house what is called “clean your lunch and dinner serving plate” and “carry your brown bag” to school and office.

I still could recollect that most of the time  my brown bag or bento box has been packed with yogurt rice and pickles and sometimes veggie sticks,fruit pieces,veg curries,home made sweets and so on.

I have kept still my primary school lunch box in my showcase as a cute memory.

Fashion forward kids and office going techies today ask you isn’t “THAT” a terrible thing to carry the brown bag?- Eating the same boring thing everyday.

As you know that eating out daily costs much more than cooking and bringing a brown bag to work.

Those who are motivated will actually take the time to cook at home and not minding to prepare their brown bags.

My point of view is that you please try to turn off the hate for a minute and appreciate something that is a different idea.Nobody is forcing you to do it.

But if you need to lose weight or save money you might give it a try.

Don’t say it that on paper everything is easy.

Everything will become easier through time as conscious effort becomes more of a habit.
But it requires commitment nonetheless.

Time to Say cheese – 2013 unfolds with jewel of smiles

I know pictures are beyond postures.

Any picture is connected to a camera, focus, person and an event.

Shoot, edit and share are the mantra of the day.

Who says you cannot focus beyond cheese?The truth is zooming lens really talks with photographers.DSC_9994

My family members ( amateur photographers) are grouped together to catch a pose of a family event.

I present here a wider lens from my family photo frame.

Note in your 2013’s New Year diary what FOCUSES beyond CHEESE!

Explore newer facets of yourself in 2013.

The spotlight is exploring the possible in 2013.

I find lucky in both 20 and in 13.

I find more energizer and vibrant new year omens in Bill Vaughn’s words-

” An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves”.

Beliefs and Life Styles -Kula Deivam blessings to encompass Seven Generations

I know it is very difficult for the Microsoft Outlook to predict a good date and time either for you or to your family members’ to visit a temple of your faith or to visit the nearby shopping mall to window shop the items meant for bumper discounts or in telling you when your techie son or daughter will migrate to greener pastures to grab more green bags! Or when you or your family members will hit a bumper prize in the TV reality show!

I also know that it cannot even predict what emails I will receive in the next five hours and it cannot match horoscopes and find ‘jeevan sathi’ for any one.  It cannot predict how many brands of smart phones will disappear tomorrow or the ups and downs in the global stock market index. We still call this as outlook! That is the punch!

Like that it has been a herculean task for me to request, the new generation members in our family who are far less religious or inclined to follow rituals, to pay a visit to our kula Deivam temple at Perungalur located in the Pudukotai district of Tamil Nadu, far away from the sea of chaos and definitely cannot be ignored by the map makers.

I always recall what my parents used to say when I was young that deeper the root that makes the trees stronger and one has to visit the kula deivam temple whenever possible and at least before or after milestone family social events like marriage or grahaprevesam (house warming) and so on.

symbolic protectionAccording to my parents that Kula Deivam blessings encompass ‘seven generations’.  Really I don’t know why it is said like that. I never questioned my parents’ wisdom to answer all my ‘whys’ associated with this belief of praying and visiting the kula Deivam deity and temple. I just accepted that as a family tradition to be followed and not beyond that. (You may ferry into my earlier post, Kula Deivam-Unique Tamil Tradition)

I am a firm believer in thinking that wherever you are in the globe that no greater heritage exists than family culture and festivals.

If you ask me innocently that how come worship is quite be restricted to the walls of the structures built at a particular place that has been created long time ago I don’t have any bold answers.

A person like me who lived and spent  more than 35 long years outside of my home state Tamil Nadu , India, got perplexed when I came to know that there is a temple for every wish in Tamil Nadu, and calendar dates to tell you when and what to do and not to-do.

It seems Astrology, Numerology and temple deity predictions by priests turned to be as a full-time career option. For hefty consulting fees spiritual and astrological advice is ubiquitous. Tamil Nadu boasts the highest number (70) of spiritual magazines published in India.   Equally voices are also there in exposing all hollow antics claimed by self styled gurus and babas.  Several Tamil TV channels too joined the band wagon in exclusively conducting program and organize events devoted to astrological forecasts and kula deivam deities. I also understand that such time slots are hitting the top viewership ratings.

It is also very sad to note that how the world today is characterized by an extreme avarice even to religion and faiths are concerned.  Who thought even spiritual enlightenment and worship would often command a business trading premium in real life in the hands of temple pundits.

Here I am not going to get into a debate over the ‘whys’ of Kula Deivam prayers or the wonder faith on powers beyond measure and so on. Definitely I am not an expert on this touchy subject.

Ignoring the noise in the social landscape after many months of debate and deliberations based on the dates suggested by Georgian, Victorian, Tamilian, Tamil panchangam calendar my family members mostly belong to the “cool” and  press button culture decided to pay a visit to the kula deivam temple at Perungalur on 6th October 2012.

The experience is great in knowing how Cities talk to you, towns talk to you and a tiny village’s talk to you. I wonder with my bright eyes that how many countless memories must have been created and recreated here over the centuries.   It is delightful to recollect now how our kula Deivam deity at the tiny village of Perungalur spinning out a long history of its own.  It is wonderful to see once gain how every inch of Perungalur reverberates with echoes from the past.

Shopaholics- the shopping mall culture in India

My friend  who is living in Bangalore in India often says that whenever he makes a visit to the nearby “MALL” for shopping he ends up paying for the ‘unplanned expenditure’, draining his so called monthly budget!

  I asked him hi what this is. I don’t understand why it is so and asked him whether he was joking.

He replied that normally he goes to malls for shopping at least two times in a month with his family to enjoy air-conditioned comfort and as well as to get the feeling of one stop family entertainment arena.

In that process his kids and other family members over the days have emerged as family shopping “robots” in finding things that they want without difficulty because they are most familiar with every nook and corner of the malls landscape.

 Often my friend expresses that he engages in forceful purchase of things which aren’t required and he faithfully acknowledges that this might be the reason for his unplanned expenditure.

 Tallying the purchase details in the computer bar code generated long bills issued at the time of making the payment is really painful to my friend. Normally he assigns this small task to his beloved wife. His wife is teaching mathematics in a reputed school in Bangalore. She goes crazy when it comes to verifying the MALL bills. The task she acknowledged was tougher than teaching calculus to the students!

My friend’s experience is the tip of the iceberg. Many families who visit big malls end up overspending like my friend.

The malls are equally popular among all ages. But, the true lovers of multiplexes, eating joints and so on are the youngsters for whom malls are the ultimate place to be. In short, malls have become concrete entertainment and meeting park for the youngsters.

 In India the introduction of” MALLS” has definitely added an adventure to one’s shopping experience although the malls have not been able to replace traditional markets, which are still popular among the pocket conscious people like me because it saves me from the peculiar type of headaches narrated by my  Bangalore friend.

The moot question I want to touch here is how to deal with the emergence of a different shopping culture and the changing attitude of the masses towards retail shopping.

 I read somewhere that the “Q” of popularity of a person, product, place, event or thing has a profound effect upon the human brain to those who are easily susceptible to such advertisement and hype in the mall environment.

 These so called commercial havens or malls not only serve as battlegrounds for the international brands but conquer the temptations of the consumer( both young and the old) and force them to wrestle with their own psyche and value system.

 In other words disorders like compulsive buying are emerging and are very serious matter to deal with although shopping is considered to be a normal behavior.

India is a country where emotional tendencies occupy the top portion of one’s psyche. Therefore the approach in dealing with shopaholics in India should be unique and suited to Indian social and economic environment.

 Here I recall what German psychologist Emil Kraepelin classified this habitual syndrome of excess shopping as a disorder, terming it “Oniomania”.  Research findings and surveys on the impact of shopaholics in the given socio economic environment in India are very less or non existent.

 However there cannot be any second opinion on issues relating to Images for shopaholic.

This has assumed serious dimensions in India in the context of changing landscape of the retail shopping.