Tambram tantrums


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I’m back to blogging after a sabbatical. And this time I have decided to keep writing. I thought of starting off with the idiosyncrasies of a community called Tambrams.

Before I embark on this topic, let me explain what or who a Tambram is. Tam=Tamilians and brams=Brahmins. They are Tamil Brahmins from urban Tamil Nadu or from the Tamil diaspora anywhere in the world. Hailing from a middle-class Tambram family (the whole community is middle-class from their behavioural point of view), I was lucky to have been brought up outside Tamil Nadu and my native place Palakkad (which is the home-town of most Tambrams).

The Tambrams are regarded as very brainy, nerdy people (and they are). Math and science are their religion; anything other than these doesn’t exist or is banal and below their dignity. If you aren’t an engineer or a scientist, then you are invisible to your relatives. People in this community value only those who have been rankholders throughout their academic life and are now in high positions in any company (mostly IT).

Most Tambrams are well-educated. Both man and woman work. Moreover, man also helps his wife in the kitchen. He knows how to cook unlike many communities, where men are just supposed to devour the food and not cook because “Cooking? Huh! It’s a woman’s job.”

But despite this high level of education and intelligence, the Tambrams are obsessed with their meaningless archaic values. No offenses meant, but it’s time they woke up and started adapting to the century they are living in. I have a great respect for the Vedas and the Hindu religion and various aachaarams, but one must not impose it on anyone, not even their or their relatives’ kids.

Tambrams are also one of the most hypocritical communities. Even if they are doctors, engineers, management professionals, their values go back to the 1100 AD. They will always discourage you from using your left hand while taking or giving money. (So cut the left hand, why keep it?). If you say you are not religious or you refuse to go to the temple, you are in big trouble mister/miss because you are not supposed to say all that. It’s blasphemous.

Similarly there is nothing like a personal view. If your ideas don’t go with the community’s you are a sinner. “How can you not agree with us or have a different set of ideas?”

Women are of course the ‘Lakshmis’ and ‘Saraswathis’ of the family. No matter what their interests are, they are enrolled in music and dance classes when they are toddlers. Parents love to show their kids off. “My daughter sings very well.” “Kuzhandai (little one), sing ‘kurai ondrum illai’ for mama.” Unlike many communities in India the tambram girls are given the opportunity to go for higher studies.

In spite of all this, however much the girl is educated, she has to be culturally rooted.

First and foremost: Pottu or the bindi. Every girl or woman should apply bindi and keep it throughout the day, no matter what the attire is.  If you don’t apply bindi, even an elderly gentleman would come and ask you, “kulikkalaya? (haven’t you had a bath)?” This is indirectly asking about your pottu, ie. if you have taken a shower, you are supposed to have a bindi. Mind you this applies for the women only.

When I was telling my friend about this ‘pottu engey’ (where is the bindi) question from relatives, she suggested, “Just tell them you have applied it on your bum and see how it shuts them up.”

My sister and I don’t really follow the pottu culture because we feel we must apply it depending upon the clothes we wear. For example, a bindi hardly goes with Jeans or western wear (despite Madonna and other pop singers westernising it). When we visit our cousin in Chennai, her husband instructs their 4-year-old daughter to apply pottu on our forehead by saying, “Look akkas don’t have pottu.” Embarrassing, isn’t it?

The community also doesn’t understand fashion. Actually fashion or glamour is something that is considered beneath them. If someone applies make up, you can see people backbiting – “Oh look at her, she has coloured her lips and has done her eyebrows. Her hair looks like coir with all that hair colour. yuck. She has grown and painted her nails. How ‘uncultural’. Chhee chhee modern influences.”

When it comes to marriages, the tambrams are strict about their caste. Iyers seek alliances from Iyers. And Iyengars from Iyengars. Any intercaste marriage is like a big sin, amounting to terming such a person an outcast. “How can you marry someone from another caste? It is just not done.”

Tambrams have the most boring wedding ceremonies. They just can’t enjoy anything in life. Check out any of their wedding albums. Forget posing, Mamas, mamis, bride, groom… none of them would even smile. They all look like they are in mourning. (Mourning that they are getting married?). It’s rare to find a smiling tambram in photos! No mehendi, no sangeet, no naach-gaana. A sombre reception the evening before the wedding. And the wedding… oh smoke-filled and resounding with Nadaswaram tunes.

Talking of Tambram weddings, you will find a lot of mamas and mamis conversing in English as if they know only English… the NRI effect you see. Tambrams also love to show their knowledge off. Adorned with heavy gold jewellery (real gold), and heavier Kancheepuram saris and jasmine gajras, the mamis form a group of their own and gossip about what the other is (or is not) wearing.

The veshti-clad mamas have a lot to talk about: politics, politics and politics.

And the NRI Tambrams would make another topic altogether. They spend 20 odd years in their motherland, become software engineers and move to foreign lands. There they behave like the brand ambassadors, the saviours of their Tambram culture (which they might not have even done back home). They celebrate all festivals, perform every ritual religiously by calling pandits, prepare traditional cuisine. To the extent of putting us to shame when it comes to showcasing their love for their culture. I wonder the dilemma of their kids. The identity-crisis they must be going through. Also, will the next generation really carry these customs forward? I doubt.

If the NRI tambrams are so rooted to their tradition, why living outside? Better be with their people and their culture.

And of course, it’s thanks to Facebook and other social networking sites, such people get to show off their religiousness and adherence to their culture and customs to their relatives back in India.

The eating habits of Tambrams is not a new thing. My north-Indian friends still tease me by saying that the people in my community have atrocious way of eating rice.  They

1. make small chunks/balls of rice
2. have even the liquid food (curd, rasam, payasam) from the plate/banana leaf with their hand
3. make slurping noises while popping their food in
4. lick their hands right till their elbows because of the flowing curd/rasam (eww)

Their obsession with curd rice beats every kind of obsession in the world. Wherever they go, Tambrams crave curd rice. I remember during our visit to Kashmir a couple of years ago, we didn’t get any south Indian food for almost a week. Then when we landed in Jammu, we found a restaurant that served dosas and rice and curd. I was astonished to see their relief in having south Indian food. My sister and I, however, stuck to parathas and pizzas 😉

Every community has its quirks and twists and I’m sure there must be weirder people than Tambrams, yet it goes without saying they are the most hardworking and sincere lot anywhere in the world.


It takes all strange kinds… (continued)

Well, well! I came across two more interesting categories to add to my list below. Maybe you belong to one of these if not the previous ones 😉

10. Attention-seeking Damsels and DudesDamsel
Every company has people who are straight out of college or join as freshers or have lesser work experience. Extra-bubbly, stylish, but hardly beautiful or pretty and handsome as they think they are, this particular category of people pays more attention to the oppositeprince sex than to their work. They think very highly of themselves, that they are gorgeous and irresistible (dungheads, really). They are always trying to find ways to impress and flirt with them whenever they find a chance. Very immature, childish and careless, they tend to forget their priorities in the pursuit of attention. The girls in this category are too coy and sweet towards the guys, and the guys are chivalrous to an extreme level, so much so that their over-smartness can, sometimes, get to you.

How to spot one: This class always likes to be where the opposite sex is. They find reasons and excuses to be with their crush(es). Come lunch break and they just disappear to the TT/carrom board/chess room to display their amazing “talent”. But they will always say they go to play TT because they love the game Tut-tut, actually she knew such a game existed only when her eyes fell on that smart, lanky fellow who was looking at her. And he, who was always averse to sports as a kid, has taken a sudden liking towards it so that he can catch a glimpse of that pretty dame with great figure (but no brains).

11. Peeping Toms and Marys
They are one of the most annoying people. You can find them peeping into everyone else’s PCs and yours as well, but seldom theirs. They are always interested in knowing what others are upto. The most irritating thing about them is they make it very obvious that they are lopeekoking into your PC. With a low attention span, they get distracted by the smallest movement or noise. Even if you are talking to a colleague, this person will turn around (if s/he sits behind you) or crane their neck and keep their ears to the ground to know to what you are talking about and even try to chip in unnecessarily. You might even want to ask them back, “Hello, who asked your opinion?” But what to do, you have to bear these kinds of people, however irksome they are.

How to spot one: Hey it’s no rocket science. Keep your antennae up and be alert. You can see how many people are interested in what you are doing. Just when you are chatting with your colleague or boss, this person will definitely try to take a peek into your PC. And they will always be interested to help you even if you don’t need their assistance.

It takes all strange kinds… to make an office


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What is an office without diversity? Diversity is the heart and soul of a workplace. Imagine a team with all talkative people or a team with all introverts! The output would either be a continuous pointless chatter or a deadly silence, both of which are really boring and monotonous. Diversity adds spark and at the same time, it’s trying too. No matter where you work, you encounter all kinds of people; some you can get along with and some you just can’t bear their sight of. Here are some kinds of quirky personality types you come across in your workplace and hate them for that. See where you fit in and how to recognise one!

1. Politically Correct
Goodie two-shoes and robHenderson likes to keep a low profileotic, these people are very much inclined towards living and breathing the company values. If you go to them with a problem, they’d always try to come out with diplomatic answers. Their answers are straight out of the book. Actually, they are people who want to be on the safer side and not bear the brunt of anyone’s contempt or opposition.

How to spot one: Some examples of statements you can hear from them:
• You’re not late; you just have a “reschedul
ed arrival time.”
• It’s not called g
ossip anymore. It’s “the speedy transmission of near-factual information.”

2. Sycophants
The Ass Kissers. Boot-lickers. Brown Nosers. Apple Polishers. Whatever you want to call them, the sycophants are just plain annoying because they don’t have any dignity and suck up to their higher-ups. These people exist in abundance. While they are unanimously hated, no one can stand up to them because of their special place in your boss’s heart and ass. People in this group are both extra-sweet and slippery. Beware of what you say around them because you know they are just gathering ammo. Your boss probably knows how fake they are, but they make bosses feel special and powerful.

How to spot one: They sing happy birthday the loudest on the boss’s special day.

3. Charmers
“Charm is the ability to create extraordinary rapport that makes others feel exceptional.” This explains what the charming ones do. They want to be in the good books of everyone. So they’d stoop to any level to be there. They personally might not approve of many of their colleagues, but would not display any anger or disapproval. They always want to please their co-workers and wouldn’t utter a word of criticism. Such people are quite dangerous. They get their work done by doing sweet talk. They’d be overly concerned about you and also remember every small thing you tell them. So you see they have an amazing memory. They have trouble coping with conflict, avoiding it as much as they can. Therefore, they also don’t do well at constructive criticism.

How to spot one: Too much sweet-talk, so much so that you feel you’re getting attracted to them and are on cloud number 9.

4. GrumposGrumpy_At_Work_Hello
Another word to describe them would be weirdos. They are extremely moody people. Everyone has ups and downs in life, but the grumpy ones are hardly happy. Once in a blue moon can you see them smiling and that could be on the day of their promotion or a pay hike. These are people who always look like they have swallowed a snake and are always with a frustrated look on their face. They behave as if they have the responsibility of the whole world. Wherever they go they spread an aura of negativity. Their very presence is a similar to that of the dementors (if you’ve read Harry Potter, you’d know!). You feel your happiness vanishing and depression gripping you.

How to spot one: Wish them on their birthday and their reply would be ‘Bloody Skype’. Escape from them if you feel a dark cloud of unhappiness surrounding you.

5. Lazy Bones6967_4
They are too busy browsing the web, or chatting with their virtual friends at work. They even pass their work to other members. They will never be around when needed most. And they will always have an excuse for their absence. You can get angry at them it won’t make an iota of difference. They take the longest breaks and also the unnecessary mini-breaks. Like I said, do anything to avoid work.

How to spot one: Their absence and ‘I don’t care’ attitude explains it all, doesn’t it? Also you can find them on the phone every now and then.

6. Bullies
Remember those kids who used to dominate you in school and your society? Well, the office bullies are just their grown-up version. Their weapons are ridicule, overt attitude and verbal abuses. Their main objective is to establish themselves at the top of the corporate pecking order. It’s said that office bullies are highly insecure people with personal problems. They use their victims to act out feelings of basic worthlessness.

How to spot one: It shouldn’t be difficult to recognise one. They are usually very loud and always throwing orders around like no one’s business.

7. Credit Stealers
Did you notice your idea and credit have been taken by someone else? Yes, these are credit hungry people, but they’d want it only by stealing it from someone else. They are opportunists. Insecure of themselves, they lack confidence. They may be watching a cricket match while you are doing the trouble shooting but they will be quick to declare that the idea used in trouble shooting was theirs when it’s all done and over. They try to prove that they are good even if it takes stealing credit from others.

How to spot one: Not a very subtle bunch. They are permanently in a self-congratulatory mood and patting their own backs.6967_6

8. Chronic Complainers:
They use drama and complaints to make their boring lives interesting. They dramatise all aspects of their life to grab attention. They are fault-finding, blaming, and certain about what should be done but they never seem able to correct the situation by themselves. Often they have a point — there are real problems — but their complaining is not effective (except it is designed to prove someone else is responsible).

How to spot one: They wear the constipated look and whine away all the time. They are busy finding the clouds from every silver lining.

9. Fashionistas
The office fashionistas are the typical dimwitted staff who, more often than not, spends time on frivolous activities that do not involve work, such as looking at the mirror, combing their hair, correcting their clothes and discussing fashion trends. They wear fashionable, but inappropriate clothes which make them the laughing stock of the office. And yet, they don’t care.

How to spot one: Ah, did you see the most ludicrously fashionable person in your office in fluorescent flashy outfits? There you go; she/he is the style guru!!

In the end, work can be a distant memory when it’s time to return home. Outside the confines of the work place, you laugh at the entertainment and also miss them. Life is fun and so can be work, co-workers, and workplace if we can manage the diversity well!

(To be continued…)

Fida on ARR’s Ada

A R Rahman

A R Rahman

I just can’t stop listening to Ada’s songs and I’m forcing my friends to listen to them as well, even by sending the songs to them. I’m surprised though why only few people have heard about the songs (although I must confess I too don’t know much about the movie or its cast.! Well, no one listens to good songs now a days…

This album sees ARR bringing together his older singers (Sukhwinder, Chitra, Sonu Niigaam, Alka Yagnik, Jayachandran) with his brand new collection. Each song is different from the other.

The songs of this movie are much better than those of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na. I am a loyal and die-hard fan of ARR, so I can’t say the songs in JTYJN are not good (though I must say I was a little disappointed) and unlike his previous ventures, where you allow the songs to grow on you, this is one of the very few of them where the songs appeal to you right from the first time you listen to them.

My favourite song is Tu Mera Hai. Sung superbly by Chitra and Sukhwinder, this song is a welcome change from the albums that going the rounds. It has a rebellious/revolting flavour to it. It was refreshing to listen to Chitra singing in Hindi after a long time. The style in which shesings and the ease with which she goes to the higher notes is simply awesome. I love the ‘Ya Rab shukriya, tera shukriya’ part. The interludes sung by Naresh Iyer crave you to hear more of him.

Ishq Ada is a typical ARR song.. also sung in two versions, the male and the female and both are different from each other in terms of the instruments used. The orchestration of Ishq Ada (male), sung Rashid Ali, ARR’s newest find, reminds you of Maiyya Maiyya from Guru. Ishq Ada (female version) is sung by Parul is a comparably slower version and is piano-based. In one of the blogs I read that it’s composed in Panthuvarali raagam (Raag Todi in Hindustani classical).

After a long time we get to listen to Sonu Niigaam singing for ARR; and he has sung 3 songs. Gulfisha is a melodious and romantic song sung with Alka Yagnik. The main attraction of this song is the flute interludes.

Gum Sum is another song by the same singers and Alka sounds really good, not to mention Sonu’s awesome rendering.
ARR has rarely worked with Sunithi Chauhan. A song where she has worked with him is Saiyaan from Nayak. Well, he welcomes her back to this album where she sings a peppy number, Gulfisha, along with Sonu. It’s an average song, an un-ARR song, where I feel he could have done much better.

Meherbaan is a lovely ballad, jazz kind of a composition sung by the maestro himself, and I just wait for the line ‘Meherbaan’ in the song; not that the rest of the song is not good, it’s just that I love to sing along from this line onwards. The ending of the song where he sings the soprano is nothing like the soft start; and this is something to look forward to.

As usual, ARR doesn’t disappoint us with his new album and leaves us craving for more. ARR Zindabad!!

Adimalarina thanne Krishna

Few years ago, I had learnt a malayalam composition set in Mukhari raagam and in adi taalam. I was humming it yesterday and thought of adding it in my blog. In this composition the poet Erayammanthampi asks Lord Krishna to be with him always. Here is the composition and its translation (Forgive me if the translation is not upto the mark):

adimalarina thanne krishna,

adiyanoravalambam Sri Krishna

ariyarudadiyanu gunavum doshavum
aruluga shubhamaargam Sri Krishna

parama dayambu nidhe krishna
paalikkenam ellam
thiruvudaladilooda vadiveppozhum ennude chithe thonenam Krishna

O Krishna with a lotus feet,
Thou art the only shelter for thy servant

Good or bad, I can not differentiate one from the other,
Kindly show me the right path O Krishna.

The embodiment of Kindness,
Please take care of everything
Thy body which is a treasure trove of all kinds of wealth, physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual,
This form should always be etched in my heart
Thou should be the only one I think of hey Sri Krishna.

Close to my heart – Kurai ondrum illai

This is a composition by Sri Rajagopalachari (Rajaji) who was also a social reformer. Every time I listen to it, I’m overwhelmed with emotions. This song is sung best by the late Smt. M.S.Subbulakshmi in a way that can move even Lord Krishna. I thought of posting the lyrics in this blog along with the raagas and have tried to translate it for for the benefit of those who can’t comprehendKrishna its meaning. I have ended up with a loose translation. Please excuse me if it’s not translated well.

Pallavi (Sivaranjini)

kurai ondrum illai marai moorthi kanna
kurai ondrum illai kanna……………
kurai ondrum illai govindaa..

Anupallavi (Sivaranjini)
kannukkuth theriyamal nirkindrai kanna
kannukkuth theriyamal nindralum yenakku
kurai ondrum illai marai moorthi kanna

Charanam 1 (Sivaranjini)

vendiyadhai thandhida venkatesan nindrukka
vediyadhu verillai marai moorthi kanna
mani vanna malai yappa govindaa govindaa
govindaa govindaa………..,

Charanam 2 (Kaapi)

thirai yindri nirkindrai kanna…kanna
thirai yindri nirkindrai kanna unnai
marai vodhum nyaniyar mattumey kaanbar yendralum
kurai ondrum yenakkillai kanna yendralum
kurai ondrum yenakillai kanna
kundrinmel kallagi nirkindra varadha
kurai ondrum illai marai moorthy kanna (mani vanna)

Charanam 3 (Sindhubhairavi)

kalinalukkirangi kalliley irangi silaiyaga
koyilil nirkindrai kesava
kurai ondrum illai marai moorthi kanna
yarum marukkadha malai yappa
yarum marukkadha malai yappa yen vazhvil
yedhum thara nirkkum karunai kadalannai
yendrum irundhida yedhu kurai yenakku
ondrum kurai illai marai moorthy kanna
ondrum kurai illai marai moorthy kanna
mani vanna , malai yappa govindaa govindaa


No woes do I have,
No regrets.

Though I can’t see Thou,
Thou art my sight,
Thou art my light
O Lord of the Seven Hills,
Protector of the mortal beings,
I know Thou art here for me,
What else do I need?

Thou standeth veiled by a curtain
To be seen only by the Vedic scholars
But why should I be worried
I’m not a scholar,
Yet I don’t have any regrets.
No shortcomings do I have.

On this hill
Thou art a crowning glory
O boon-giver,
O Unsurmountable Lord
No regrets do I have.

In this Kaliyuga,
Thou hast entered the stone in the sanctum
And though I see Thee naught,
No worries for me.

O symbol of strength,
With the Ocean of love and compassion,
Who breathes in Thy heart,
Who is like My Mother,
And gives me anything I ask for;
With the two of You beside me
Can I have any regrets?

Mesmerising Hari

When it comes to Ghazals, my favourite apart from Ghulam Ali is Hariharan. His velvety voice mesmerises me and I flow with his songs. Actually, I am back to listening to it after a short gap and thought of writing on it.

One of his best albums is Kaash which has an amazing music hand-in-hand with beautiful lyrics. The album makes use of western instruments/ Overall it’s a soothing album. The song Maikade was the first to come out on tv, and I liked it instantly so much so that even before I bought the album, I had learned the song by rote. The flute piece in the beginning just creates an atmosphere for the rest of the songs.

Soon after, I listened to Kaash and I was completely bowled over by the way Hariharan has sung it, and even today I can’t sing the cryptic variations done by him. Just amazing! The lyrics are also very meaningful.

But the best and the longest song in the whole album is Ab ke Baras Bhi… There is a pain in the song and much of the atmosphere is set by the instruments. This is one album one will not regret for having bought. Every time I listen to it, I have tears in my eyes.

Jhoom le is a very soothing and philosophical ghazal, sung in a lighter style. Jhoom le hans bol le, pyaari agar hai zindagi, saans ke bas ek jhonke ka safar hai zindagi.

Hariharan sings Ye Aaine se akele mein guftugu kya hai with a tinge of mischief in his voice.

Aadhi Raat is a faster composition, ‘chanchal’ is the right word for it. It also has a haunting, thriller kind of a feel to it.

Humne ek shaam is a ghazal in the real sense of the term. It has a sad tone to it, that really moves you.

Overall, the album is a part of my treasured collection and when I’m thirsty for beautiful melodies, I listen to Hari’s scintillating voice.

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na…

When I listened to the album for the first time, I was in for a disappointment. I was not really impressed with ARR’s music, but as usual, his music grows on you and now I’m hooked to it. Yet, it is not ARR’s best either; one would expect more out of him. The best part about the music is that almost all songs have a guitar base which actually sets the mood for all the songs and also caters to the new generation’s choice.

Melody-lovers like me will like Kahin to. In Rashid Ali, is the emergence of a fresh voice and it perfecly suits a new face like Imran Khan.

One cannot afford to miss Nazrein milana which is a good foot-tapping number and without your knowledge, you will start swinging to the music.

Jaane Tu… is a haunting melody by another new voice Runa Rizvi and with her different and unique voice, she has done full justice to the song. How far her voice will suit the Bollywood heroines is yet to be seen.

This song is later sung by Sukhwinder and is a slower version, but it doesn’t fail to impress you.

Kabhi Kabhi Aditi… is a fast and funky song again sung by Rashid Ali, which really sounds good.

With the fabulous combination of piano and saxophone, Tu Bole Main Boloon reminds me of yesteryear’s music compositions of Beethoven and Mozart. The song is sung by the Music God himself.

Pappu can’t dance sala is another peppy number rendered by lots of singers like Blaze, Mohd. Aslam, Tanvi, Anupama Deshpande, Benny Dayal, Darshana and Satish Subramanium. It’s an okay track, not very much liked by me. the remix version is not good either.

Overall, a good album, though I doubt if it will survive the test of time like ARR’s other hits like Bombay, Roja, Rangeela…

100 Shades of White – Good Read


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I recently finished reading 100 Shades of White, a work of fiction by Preethi Nair. When I read the back cover of the novel, I perceived it to be yet another tale of ‘East Meets West’.

However, as I read it page after page, I realised it’s a good and a captivating story about a woman who, with her determination and hard-work, upholds her and her children’s pride in a foreign land. Due to some adverse circumstances, she tells a lie to her children to protect them, but that very lie comes back to uproot their lives. The story revolves around this white lie.

Satchin and Maya enjoy a carefree life in India with their mother Nalini and father Raul who is frequently travelling on business trips. Unexpectedly, he sends for his wife and children to join him in London. However, he ruthlessly abandons them and leaves them penniless. Nalini lies to the children that their father died in an accident. Her fight to upkeep the self-respect and survival in an alien culture is the central theme of the novel. I could actually inhale the pungent aroma of the exotic pickles cooked by Nalini.

The novel takes you from the beautiful, conservative Kerala to the bustling Mumbai and then to the faraway, alien land London. In the later part of the book, Maya visits Kerala and Mumbai again and finds out the Truth, thereby completing a full circle.

The narration of the story is quite interesting. It starts with Maya’s perspective and alternates with Nalini’s. But there is a natural flow to the story.

The final chapters of the novel bring out the best in the author as with these she succeeds in leaving a lasting impression on the readers and brings out her insight into human nature.

Though I know Malayalam, I feel there should have been a glossary for the Malayalam terms so that it could leave more scope for appreciation.

Nevertheless, it is an easy book to read, and should be recommended to others. I look forward to reading some of Ms Nair’s other novels.

Ustaad Ghulam Ali – Simply a Maestro!

I was listening to a ghazal by Ghulam Ali Tamam-e-umr tera intezaar kiya; is intezaar mein kis kis se pyaar humne kiya for the umpteenth time, and everytime I listen to it, it sounds fresh to my ears and my eyes well up. Though I don’t know how many people have listened to this, but it has become one of my favourite ghazals, apart from the popular ones like Chupke chupke and Hungama hai kyun. I first heard this when Najeem Arshad sang it in Idea Star Singer 2007. It was an amazing performance and excellent rendering of such a difficult composition.

I think this is set in Hamsanandi raagam; Raag Pooriya Dhanashri in Hindustani Classical Music. I’m not well-versed with Urdu, but the lyrics of this ghazal are so simple that anyone can understand. Whenever I listen to Ghulam Ali, I feel goosebumps; so deep is his involvement in what he is singing; forgetting the whole world yet immersing everyone in to his rendition.

Tamam-e-Umr Intezar humne Kiya
Tamam-e-Umr Intezar humne Kiya
Is intezaar mein kis kis se pyaar humne kiya
Tamamee-Umr Intezar humne Kiya

Talash-e-dosth ko ik umru chaahiye dosth
Talash-e-dosth ko ik umru chaahiye dosth
Ki ek umr tera inthazaar humne kiya
Ki ek umr tera inthazaar humne kiya

Tere khayal mein dil shaadma raha… barson
Tere khayal mein dil shaadma raha barson
Tere huzoor ise so gavaar humne kiya
Tere huzoor ise so gavaar hum…..ne kiya

Ye thishnagi hai ke unse kareeb rahekar bhi
Ye thishnagi hai ke unse kareeb rahekar bhi
Hafees yaad unhe bar bar humne kiya
Hafees yaad unhe bar bar hum…ne kiya

Is intezaar mein kis kis se pyaar humne kiya
Tamam-e-Umr Intezar hum…….ne Kiya