A Treat Unexpected At Swamimalai (K3)

To me the word ‘Resort’ conjures up images of a row of cabins laid out around a pool, some trees and lawns thrown in, some play gear and a sand pit for children, etc. etc.

So when last week we set to Swamimalai near Kumbakonam to attend my niece’s wedding, a two-day event, I was too jaded to have any real expectations as we checked into this resort. In fact it caused me a little concern to learn it is an acclaimed, award winning hotel providing authentic living experience of bygone years – too authentic? As was in those days, did it also include hurrying all the way to nearest ‘nature’ with a bucket of water in hand to attend to its ‘call’, keeping eyes and ears open for curious small animals from the bushes sniffing around?

My concerns were grossly unjust – the accommodation was both comfortable, with all of the ‘atmosphere’ it is credited and a lot more! An experience I would love living through once again!

This was our ‘room’!

Looks exactly like our house in the village did some fifty plus years ago. In fact it’s an old dwelling in the village of Thimmakudy, acquired and renovated, preserving its original aspects as far as possible, thanks to the initiative of a ‘possessed’ individual! The door opens into a fairly large sized room with beds, chairs, tables of the kind one had seen if ever only in ancestral homes, complemented by a noiseless AC, a colour TV, a rotary-dial phone and a geyser in the bathroom.

It’s the same with every structure – residences, pathways, courtyards, halls – in the resort as seen here:

(main reception)


As you walk along, every now and then, you’re accosted…..by an icon, often full sized, in metal, terracotta…that you cant get tired of!

(a man of village)

(a woman of village)

(a village god)

(villager with bananas)

(Bhairava, a form of Shiva?)

(Lord Muruga, the presiding deity of Swamimalai, in bronze)

(Soorya, the sun god, in his chariot pulled by seven horses)


Walls adorned with large and beautiful pictures and frescoes painted by local talent using natural colors:

(Thiruvikrama, an avatar of Vishnu, his feet on the head of Maha Bali)


(a marriage scene from Mahabharata?)


This is not all. What puts this resort in a class of its own, to follow!

End of Part 1

Wives And GF’s, Just Kidding:-)


Vide Elango Velur Thiruturaipoondi Tiruvarur‎ to “சிரிக்க, சிந்திக்க”

The couple returned home late one evening, the husband lugging heavy shopping bags.   

At the gate, the sympathetic wife offered: ‘Give me the key…I’ll open the gate…you shine the light on the lock.’

The husband put the bags down and obliged.

Trying hard as she might, still the lock did not budge.

After a brief struggle the wife budged: ‘You open the gate…I’ll hold the light for you.’

The husband took the key, inserted in the lock and tried.

‘Click’ and the gate opened easily!

 Wife: ‘This is how to hold the light, get it?’


Wife taking her driving lessons:


Source: bollywoodshaadis.com and Dhrruv KumarBest English Quotes & Sayings

What Are Wives Like…

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A No Story

Grandad: 87 years old


Grandma: 82 years old


Grandad – the keeper of the family history


Grandad has a drawer full of albums. His albums contain all of his photos in black and white, since he was a child in 1930, until he became a man, joined to the army then got married. Open the albums, enjoy the smell of old papers, see and read notes inside, you will feel clearly a whole life of a man with beautiful and special memories.

Grandma poetry is a diary into her soul


Grandma poetry is a diary into her soul


Grandma deep in her Inner World


Grandad learns to use the computer and internet by himself in order to keep in touch with his old friends and family members


Grandad knows how to use Facebook, basic Photoshop, Movie Maker

DSC02244-5abc40436e3ab__880He said “everyone needs to know as much as possible about the technology to improve their mind and keep in touch with others”. He often makes short clips or photos to mail us, family members, as a gift in some occasions or just because sometimes he wanna share his feeling. He also is grandma’s teacher about technology.

Praying for the happiness of the whole family


Beautiful old skin. How many miles have these old feet walked?


Beautiful old skin. How many miles have these old feet walked?


Bún is her favorite food


“Once upon a time… when we were young”



Where’s the story, you ask.

You just saw one, beautiful if ever!

Our story?




Source: A fwd from

Deepak Punjabi indigoblue2005@yahoo.com [funonthenet]

What Are Wives Like…

A ‘must’ read before you walk down the isle:


अभीअभी बीवी के हाथ से घर की मेज पर रखा फूलदान गिर कर टूट गया,
फिर मुझे पता चला कि फूलदान फिछले तीन सालों से मैंने ही गलत जगह पर रखा था।


Just now, the flower vase, tipped (inadvertently) by the lady of the house, fell off the table and broke into pieces. That’s when I learnt I was keeping the vase not at its right place for the last three years.




Source: santabanta.com and image from masterfile.com


Marriage – Harder…May Be Better Too

With the fervent hope my spouse doesn’t read this:




Source: Belinda Luscombe in Time, Sept 25, 17



Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Long Before…

Coming Events Cast Their Shadows Before ffu.jpg






Source: www

True Fiction

Part 1

‘As they say right, money goes with money,’ I said without a tinge of envy.

‘How do you mean?’

‘I hear Harish’ sambandhi (bride’s father) is a politician here. And you know what that means.’

‘No, No, you don’t know Varadan Sir. He’s not like others. People here like him, respect him…I’ve not yet had the occasion to see him.’

‘Tell me.’

We’re a bunch of class-mates from school, gone different ways later in life. But we do try to meet up on happy occasions such as this wedding of Harish’s son. Coming in a little early at the wedding hall, here I was ‘gupping’ with Raju, a cousin of Harish and a pucca local.

‘It was entirely due to his herculean efforts, the newly laid trunk road segment now passes through our town. Coming from Chennai, it is now Pudur to our Vaeppakkam to Medu and through to Trichy. Why, you must have reached here taking that road. How did you find it?‘

Varad 1 rk_narayan_1_20071029

‘Yes, it was very convenient. Saved me a lot of time and bother as I didn’t have to change buses at Pudur and all that. You know what, Raju? I had always thought it was most logical and shortest for the road to go this way to Trichy. I’m glad wisdom finally prevailed. So what is the big deal about Varadan Sir making it happen?’

‘Ohthere was a hare-brained plan almost finalized to run this road some twenty miles to the east punching through Kollanpatti completely bypassing Vaeppakkam again.’

‘So he succeeded in bringing to you more noise, fumes, drunken driving and possibly accidents not to speak of a host of law and order problems?’

‘Consider the enhanced connectivity and convenience brought by buses plying this way. Faster movement of goods, easier access to Trichy. You saw those eateries lining the trunk road and a few lodges…vehicle repair-shops? All generating good number of jobs. You would have also seen a good number of peddlers on foot busy selling flowers, cool-drinks, biscuits and toffees, balloons and toys and what-not at the bus terminus. The road and the private/public vehicles on the road have added a totally new dimension to commerce in this small town. We would have lost out all these had they bypassed us. Whatever you said is a small price to pay.’

Varad 2  Highway gsagri04

‘I was kidding, my friend. I told you I found it very convenient. It is well-established better connectivity means better services and more commerce. But tell me why were they planning to bypass you incurring a lengthy and meaningless detour via Kollanpatti?’

‘You know, initially this was the route the highway guys had planned when the project and funds were sanctioned as part of the state’s initiative to improve connectivity through incremental efforts.’

‘Then what happened?’

‘Some crazy guys from here went up to the District HQ at Trichy making a hue and cry about the planned route overrunning their agricultural land argued for shelving it or finding an alternative. The authorities buckled and redrew the lines completely missing Vaeppakkam. When Varadan Sir got wind of it, he took it up with the babu’s. He fought it out for nearly a year to get the original plans restored. And it took another year to construct the road. ’

‘How did he win?’

‘Well, I don’t know how he managed it – he must have compiled a strong case for it.’

Just then quite unexpectedly a voice said: ’I can tell you what happened if you let me…’

Part 2

The voice belonged to a stranger, probably in his mid fifties clad in a spotlessly white dhoti and kurta, seated couple of rows right behind us within earshot. He had the manner of being important belonging to the bride’s or the groom’s party.

‘I don’t mean to butt in. I just happened to hear your talk…you see there’s nothing else to do here with no one around yet. Besides, I happen to know

In smaller towns, a chat on a public figure cannot remain private.

Unsolicited, he jumped right in and told us all resistance was finally won over by the simple expediency of quadrupling the compensation payable to the affected land-owners. Even this solution was at Varadan Sir’s suggestion.

My opinion of Varadan Sir, the politician, moved up by a few notches.

Our stranger-friend suddenly lowered his voice to a conspiratorial whisper: ‘Would you know not a blade of grass grew on that land?’

We chorused: ‘So it was a mere drama played out by the land-owners for a higher compensation for their land that didn’t?

He looked around and hushed us down: ‘There were no land-owners save one collecting the wind-fall compensation. ’

Seeing no light on our face, he continued: ‘You must have gone to see puppet shows? In there do you know why Rama fights the ten-headed Ravana?’

varad 3 Yakshagana IMG_5303

We didn’t see the connection: ‘Why? That’s the way the story goes.’

‘No, it’s only because the puppeteer so pulls the strings and arranges the fight. It is entirely another matter why he does that – yes, because the story goes that way.’

Now it dawned: ‘OMG, you don’t mean the whole thing was stage-managed from the beginning?’

He nodded with a smile seeming to say ‘Dumbos, now you got it.’

Is life like those TV mega serials or the other way around?

Raju was properly hurt at the insinuation: ‘No, my friend. If you’re implying Varadan Sir was behind it, let me tell you all this compensation from the government – must be small change for him. In fact he has enough, I hear, to compensate the government.’

Precisely at that moment the marriage party of the bride entered the hall for the finale.

Varadhan 4 south Indian reception hair style (2)

Some men from the party rushed to the side of our stranger-friend:

‘Sir, we were looking for you all over the place. Something to be done here? Tell us, we’ll take care of it. Today your place is by the side of your daughter, Varadan, Sir.’

Varadan, Sir? Bride’s father? The man we were talking about?

We froze.

Before joining them our stranger-friend turned around and winked at us: ‘Sorry guys, I pulled this on you. You gave me an entry that was too hard to resist. My apologies again. Do stay back for the wedding till the end and bless the couple. Wont’you?’

Varadan 5  1_3356186060240_259437494_n

We nodded weakly, looking redder than a ripe tomato. Luckily I didn’t think I said anything scandalous about him beyond his own account.

He left us standing with ‘And Raju, thanks for standing up for me. I appreciate it.’

I received a ‘I told you so’ look from Raju.

Part 3

I was on my bus ride returning to Chennai, my eyes on the rural landscape rushing past and thoughts swirling in my head. Quite naturally I went back to the chat with Raju and Varadan Sir. A rogue thought entered my mind: If a story is so plausible with no loose ends, might it be the truth? Told perhaps by the man’s vanity? You know vanity sometimes is more potent than any truth serum.

The line of thought did not persist for long, dissolving into the cute distraction the child was in the seat in front.


PS: babu’s = bureaucrats, pucca = completely, purely, gup = talk with no serious purpose, Rama and Ravana are from the epic Ramayana, Dhoti and Kurta = men ‘s wear.
Credits: Images from thealternative.in (international-folk-festival-yakshagana-ancient-art-puppetry-lives), openclipart.com (Highway gsagri04), R. K. Laxman‘s cartoons and the net.

The Elusive Bride

One evening, sitting in the bar George asked his 40-year-old buddy Johnny something that he had always wanted to ask:

“How come you aren’t married?”

Johnny: “I haven’t found the right woman yet.”

George: “So what are you looking for?”


Johnny: “Oh she’s got to be real pretty, – a good cook and house- keeper, and she’s got to know how to handle money, a really nice and pleasant personality is a must -and money, she’s got to have money…and a home, a nice big house, is what she has to have.”

George: “A woman like that would be crazy to marry YOU.”

Johnny: “Oh, it’s okay if she is crazy.”


Credits: raykiwsp.wordpress.com. Image of the actress Sheena Shahabadi is from the net.


Marriage yh
Credits: wackywits.com