Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Calvin's CLoud

Health is the greatest gift, Contentment the greatest wealth, Faithfulness the best relationship.

- The Buddha

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Alicia Keys and The Voice

The gorgeous Alicia Keys is one of the most charming judges, and a powerhouse on this year's, The Voice panel. Best buddies, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton surely have a thing or two to learn from her. 

If I was swept away by Pharrell's enchanting play of words, then Alicia stunned me like a sting ray with her raw guts, fierceness with which she loves music and how she makes her presence felt. It is this black and white, bare your soul attitude that attracts contestants. She is so sure of herself and her talent, yet uses it beautifully like she did today, wooing a contestant who sang Alicia's song, If I Ain't Got You, by singing it with such sincere passion, it is mesmerizing. 

Her voice rang out pure and beautiful, her body dancing to the lyrics, and eyes glinting in excitement. 

Both Miley Cyrus, in her weird flowery outfit, but husky voice and Alicia Keys, a beautiful tomboy sans makeup are giving the boys a run for their money. I love this competitive attitude, a healthy fight to get the best. 

Poor Adam really needs to work on his words-they are certainly not his best assets. Maybe he should sing out to the contestants- Sugar....! Make no mistake, I love Maroon 5. He surprised me as an actor in Begin Now. How I love Lost Stars! I hope a contestant does that number.

Blake's combination of country music and wit makes it phenomenally entertaining to watch on a weekend night.

Our sad Indian version, the Stage is a far cry from the standards the Voice adheres to. We need to move away from ourselves and immerse ourselves into what it really is all about. It is not about the dress, hair, and makeup, even the sets need an upheaval. If we are adapting the same concept, why not the same standards?

Calvin's CLoud

God is really only another artist, he made the elephant, giraffe and cat. He has no real style but keeps trying new ideas.

- Pablo Picasso

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Unleash Your Inner Strength (UNIS)- Reach Out, Join Hands

Oct 9th 2016, Sunday is a red letter day for UNIS. Spearheaded by Viji Swaminathan and more recently, joined by Ranish Haran, the group has been promoting healthy living through regular running along with core work outs and strengthening regimen.

A culmination of the group efforts and common vision gave birth to the much awaited UNIS marathon, which is just around the corner. The group has  joined hands with the Sathyamurthy Foundation to empower economically disadvantaged children who do not have parents.

We invite you to run with us. Run for a cause; your sweat will not go in vain!

Spread the word.
To register for the INNER STRENGTH 2016 event, follow the link!

Thank you for your show of strength. See you at the run.

Calvin's CLoud

All generalisations are false including this one.
Mark Twain

Monday, September 12, 2016

A Gear Unknown

The trek opened up some hilarious moments and some fine friends. I am his mountain friend as much as he is mine too, a mountain friend. (I did not coin this term, he did. By his definition, it means a friend he made in the mountains.)

After an exhilarating mountain climb through the rain drenched rocky climb to reach the Badrinath base, we had to negotiate for the limited availability of jeeps that were our sole transportation at that time. All of us packed ourselves into the chicken pen, save my mountain friend who was wandering about looking for a seat. His eyes fell on the extra space next to me. That happened to be placed next to the driver. What it really was a plank of wood right in front of the gear box. By now, you must have guessed where all this is going. If not, dear reader, allow me to enlighten you.

I love my seat next to the window, but for a few minutes it was not to be. He asked me to move over to the extra space and my protests went in vain. Finally, when the driver came around, he was aghast and asked us mountain friends to swap seats. 

What ensued was awkward and hilarious - entertaining for me and the rest of the women in the jeep, and a headache for my friend. My very tall friend had to put his legs around the gear box, leaving no choice for the driver, but to change gears in that limited space between his legs. Apparently, this style of driving is quite common in northern India! 

I kept grinning at him throughout the ride and in that moment of wickedness could not resist asking him how he felt - "I am in 11th heaven", says my mountain friend giving me a dirty look. I was howling with laughter and shared the good moment with Reb, our lawyer.
After a while, the rocky terrain forced the driver to change gears a lot more rapidly. I had the most incredulous look on my face and looked over at him with the widest grin plastered on my pretty face. It only heightened the moment of awkwardness and my friend shouted out, "Bhaiyya, ye kaunsa gear hain?" (Brother, what kind of gear is this?)- we were rewarded with an embarrassed smile from the corner of his eye.

Karma catches up I think. My friend had been tripping another common friend of ours throughout the trek. As much as I enjoyed it, I remarked to her, "Looks like the Heavens are smiling on us."

I think he took the ride quite well and we never brought it up until a good couple of weeks later when I let him know, I'm blogging this fun memory.

This one is bound to stay with me forever.

Cheers to a gear unknown!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Calvin's CLoud

The world keeps on changing, but there is always something, somewhere, that remains the same.

Ruskin Bond

The Mountains Come Calling

I just returned from a 10 day trek to Uttarakand, the glorious land of the Himalayas, of pristine beauty, Nature's effortless charm hypnotizing every weary traveller who passes through her; 

To quote my favourite, Ruskin Bond:

"It is always the same with mountains. Once you have lived with them for any length of time, you belong to them. There is no escape."

Words could not have been truer. I loved Ruskin's Bond read, Rain in the Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas; he transported me to his world and I yearned to see the land he described with such passion, delight and warmth. 

Months later, when I made this trip, I felt his words coursing through my every being. It all adds up. My blog is aptly named ofmountainsandstreams. 

I am convinced that I am a child of the mountains. Maybe it will be my final resting place.

It rained in Chennai this morning and the weather was wonderfully cool, a needed respite from the scorching heat. I was immediately drawn to the memories of trudging through the lush greenery in the falling rain, huffing and puffing, while enjoying the landscape strewn with landslides and beautiful Himalayan blooms. 

Life and Death coexist. Love and Heartaches. Friends and Foes, all rolled into one epic journey of our lives.

We will never be the same again.

Make good art.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Calvin's CLoud

Listen, clam up your mouth and be silent like an oyster shell, for that tongue of yours is the enemy of the soul, my friend. When the lips are silent, the heart has a hundred tongues.

- Rumi

The Jungle Book (2016)

Rudyard Kipling's, The Jungle Book has captured the imagination of children and adults all over the world. The fascination is understandable. The story is one of humaneness, friendship, courage and sacrifice. 

Directed by Jon Favreau and co-produced by Brigham Taylor, The Jungle Book brings you to the enchanting world of Mowgli, a boy who is brought up among wolves, lead by Akela the leader of the pack. Where humans are dreaded and killed by the jungle inhabitants, Mowgli's special place attracts Sher Khan who finds every chance to kill him. His deep mistrust of humans and the fiery red flower fans his thirst for revenge and death.

Bagheera the black panther keeps an eye on him, ever vigilant and protective. Mowgli is asked by Akela to leave the jungle and go where the Red Flower glows. I love how Kipling weaves his imagination from the jungle's perspective. The fire is nothing more, but a glowing red flower! Akela is killed by Sher Khan when the wolf stands up for his own, Mowgli. In his travels, the human child finds a new friend in Baloo the Bear. With Baloo and Bagheera by his side, Mowgli fights back to earn his rightful place at home, among the wolves who rule the jungle.

All is well again. 

The movie was an absolute delight to watch. My mind kept wandering to Kipling, wondering about his inspiration and influences as he brought the Jungle Book, a collection of short stories to life. A quick research tells me that Kipling's father John Lockwood Kipling completed a few of the illustrations. Kipling moved to the United States after a ten year stint in India. During this time, Kipling's magic came alive.

Undoubtedly enjoyable, the movie is a great treat to watch and let your imagination fly.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Calvin's CLoud

If you want to be happy, be.

Leo Tolstoy