For the last few months I have been unable to take time off for an adventure trip and this upset me quite a bit. And then, today I walked on the roads of Pondy during peak hours. Oh, what an adventure it was !!
I walked to combine transportation & fitness purposes ! Ok, I admit, I tried to delay my unavoidable urgent visit to my dentist by an hour by walking to the dental clinic a few kms away 😦


The simple roads transformed themselves into adventure elements – small hillocks (dug & piled up soil), peaks (flyover pillars in progress), gorges (narrow paths between illegally double parked vehicles), rubble course (construction blue metal splattered on the roads), scaling cliffs (racing past buses occupying the roads by almost sticking to it so as to avoid being hit by moving vehicles), watering holes (Pondy special of course!), hunter packs (street dogs zealously guarding their territory), trap pits (holes for cables etc yet to be closed), charging & roaring wild life (brain-shattering speeding drivers with non-stop honking) and deer-caught-in-headlight-scenes (pedestrians like me !!) !!
Pedestrians are an endangered species in Indian cities. And, at this rate of development, they may soon become extinct ! Reserved walkways need to be created at the earliest to save this species !
~ Punitha Lakshmi


I Love chasing Butterflies !!

Yellow Nature !

Melting Yellow, Spreading Cheer !!

My early morning today was well spent – I was chasing butterflies in a garden !

It is ofcourse a regular activity for me ; one that I love and which happens spontaneously on some days !

This post is inspired by this colourful butterfly in the picture, that spread cheer & happiness to me this morning ! In the picture you can see, how the yellow of the sunlight seems to paint the flower yellow, and the butterfly in turn drinking in the yellow of the flower to spread the colour on its wings ! It was a beautiful experience !

There are many benefits from chasing butterflies ! I list some for the sake of the novice/future butterfly chaser :

.  Your eye muscles get stronger and eye sight sharper  .

The butterfly flits all around – up, down, left, right, here, there – so your eye muscles get lots of exercise in trying to keep the flier in sight ! These beings are so tiny , that in the vast open park it is difficult to follow it around. But if you are keen, your eye sight really improves as you strive to visually follow it !

.  Your mind becomes more alert  .

In trying to guess the next turn the butterfly will take, and being proved wrong again, the mind will become alert to keep up with the fast mover !

.  Your body becomes agile and your movements quick  .

Since you are being led by the butterfly, your movements needs to be quick to follow the insect. Your body needs to be agile to be able to go into the places this little one flies ! And you get all the exercise you need for the day without even realizing it !

.  You will become more spontaneous in your outlook & response  .

Many of us cannot do anything unless it is pre-planned. Spontaenity is a lost charm for some. But when you are at the mercy of this little flier, you learn to be more & more spontaneous – both in outlook & response ! It does not have a plan for the day, not even for the next minute. But it is the happiest being alive – because the lovely butterfly is spontaneous ! Your innocence shines !

.  You will become more humble  .

Human beings try to win over everything. But with the butterfly, you are really lucky if you could even click a picture of it. In my experience, when I start enjoying the company of the butterfly with a smile for few minutes, it starts settling in the flowers near me and strikes a pose ! It is a truly humbling experience.

.  You will stop worrying about possessions & start joining in Nature’s processions  .

All our life is spent in preparing, earning, accumulating, safe-guarding & then losing property & products. But, the butterfly does not waste its short life by trying to accumulate products or possess anything. But it has no lack – flowers willingly share their nectar, leaves give them a place for laying eggs and the sky offers space for it to fly and enjoy !

Before you go off to start chasing butterflies, a word of caution on spectators’ reactions !

Ÿ  People will think you are jobless  Ÿ

Ofcourse they are wrong !

But they don’t know that you manage your time better and do things quicker, so you can find time to chase butterflies and other similar activities ;))

Ÿ  People will doubt if you have any useful purpose in this activity   Ÿ

Ofcourse they are right !

There is no doubt that this is a purposeless activity ! But that is how exactly joy & fun should be – purposeless !

Ÿ  People will conclude you are crazy Ÿ

Ofcourse you get the benefit of doubt; though they may assume they are right !

But would you be prim & proper and get bored ; or be spontaneous & crazy and have loads of pure joy & fun ??!!

~ Punitha

நான் கண்ட பாரதி…

நான் கண்ட பாரதி... Pencil sketch on paper - 20x20 cms

விட்டு விட்டால்  அறவே நாம் அச்சம்

அறிவால் எட்டி விடுவோம் உச்சம் ;

ஏன் அனுபவங்கள் விடவேண்டும் மிச்சம் ?

வாழும் நாட்களே இங்கு கொஞ்சம்.


“கிடைக்குமா நாளை எனக்கு அன்னம் ?”

இதி தேவையில்லா கவலை சன்னம் !

நாம் பிறந்ததின் உன்னத லட்சியம்

அறிந்து செயல் படுவதே ஒரு சத்தியம் !


வாழ்ந்தேன் எத்தனை நாட்கள் ?

கண்டேன் எத்தனை விழாக்கள் ?

சேர்த்தேன் எவ்வளவு சொத்துக்கள் ?

இவையா என்னை காட்டும் அடையாளங்கள் ??


இல்லவே ! என்னால் பூமிக்கு என்ன பயன் ?!

எனக்குள் வளர்த்தேன் எத்தனை திறன் ?!

வழக்கத்தை விடுத்து வாழ்ந்தேனா முரண் ?!

இவைகளாலே அர்த்தம் பெரும் என் ஜீவன் !


உயர்த்திக் கொண்டால் விஸ்தார எண்ணம்

வாய்ப்புகள் வாய்க்குமே வானவில் வண்ணம் !

புலரும் ஒவ்வொரு சின்னஞ்சிறு க்ஷணம்

ஆகிடுமே படைப்பின் அன்புச் சின்னம் !


இம்மண்ணில் வாழ்ந்த சுப்ரமணிய பாரதி

புதுமைக்கு அவரே புதுவை சாரதி !

இக்கவிதை மகாகவிக்கு சமர்ப்பணம்

நிஜமாகட்டும் அவர் கண்ட சுவப்பனம் !



Dance of Dawn !

Sun's spotlight on Ocean...

Ocean glows in Sun's spotlight
Oh, what a wonderful sight !

Into the arena a Bird flies
Gently rocking a Boat sails

Waves play a rhythm steady
Sky adorns a decor Cloudy
All around dances the Breeze
Time in awe is in a freeze !
I soak in the Songs of Silence
Serene in Nature's Abundance
Intense and Eternal shines the Sun
Exuberant and Infinite spans the Ocean
Existence with me at Dawn Commune
Every Sunrise is Creation's Celebration !! 

Being in this Divine Dance of Dawn
Soul sings "There is nothing to Mourn".


P.S : Poem inspired by Being in this Sunrise at Dawn in Pondicherry Beach today...  

The Mangroves @ Pichavaram – 1

The day dawned bright and sunny – albeit with a bang ! It was the day of Diwali and people had burst crackers throughout the night. It had only become louder with daybreak !

My kids were up and about and ready to add to the noise and air pollution ! After a few minutes with the sparklers and flower pots and some other formalities associated with the festival, we embarked on our day trip to Pichavaram at about 9.30 in the morning.

It had been ages since I took the road south of Pondicherry. With all the heavy rains I doubted if it would be an easy drive. But alas ! The roads were very smooth and free of potholes. My Maruti Alto just slipped along the black tar effortlessly. The landscape quickly changed to rural theme and it alternated between paddy fields, small streams, back waters and small villages.

The river Vellar had a good flow owing to the recent rains. The delicate Naanal plants in the water were gently swaying to the breeze. Naanal or Hardy Sugar Cane grass ( botanical name Saccharum arundinaceum thanks Google !!) is a perennial grass that grows on the river banks.These shy and fragile plants are known to withstand even the severest of the storms. The melodious tamil song ‘Nadhiyoram naanal ondru naanam kondu naatiyam aadudhu mella’ echoed in my mind while admiring this scene. We stopped by the riverside to click some pictures.

Nadhi oram naanal ondru naanam kondu naatiyam aadudu !!

I was enjoying the drive on the newly laid ECR stretch between Cuddalore and Chidambaram. The breeze from the open car window, the sound of kids and the melodious music wafting out the car stereo made me forget the purpose of this drive and I missed the exit to Pichavaram ! After overshooting a good 4 to 5 kms nearer to Chidambaram town and asking for directions, we made a U-turn and drove in search of Pichavaram.

A big sign board pointed in the direction of Pichavaram. The smooth highway had given way to a worn-out mud road. There were villages and a small railway station, Killai, along the way. It was a 10km drive down these roads till a gated entrance to the boat house.The boat house itself was a simple concrete structure with a ticket counter and a dock. We had made it to our destination in an hour-and-a-half. The time was 11.00 am and the sun was shining bright.

A board listed the various boating options and their rates. We chose to take the row boat to the beach for 3 adults and 2 children. Four hours of boating at a nominal rate of `800 was not bad, or so I thought till I got into the boat ! We were given life-jackets and after some resistance the kids too wore the oversized jackets. The boatman was ready with our boat and the kids literally dived into the boat with joy. After we were seated comfortably he started rowing.

Within a couple of minutes into the backwaters the boatman was giving us information about the area. He also said that paying another `800 would take us through the forest area in the mangroves where quite a number of movie shoots happen; the latest one being ‘Dasavatharam’. After some initial hesitation on our part and some enticement by the boatman by extolling the beauty of the forested area, we gave in. He on his part magnanimously agreed to reduce the rate to `400 !

The boatman now swerved the boat towards the thick mangroves…


Stay tuned for Part 2 !!