Kamala & Srinivasan (my parents) and Jayalakshmi & Ranganathan (my in-laws)
Issue No. 62                                   March 2018

Hello Everyone
After a lot of effort in bringing out Issue No. 61 in July 2017 devoted to my father-in-law's Centenary, I decided to skip the next issue scheduled in November 2017 (once in four months). Here is the 62nd Issue (March 2018) of the Family Newsletter. Readers are requested to send articles/anecdotes/photos and any other material by 5th July 2018 for the next issue.
25th March 2018


Photo of Shubha, Srinidhi and Vaishnavi (taken in 2010)
Hema turned 60 in August 2017. This photo taken in Hema's 50th birthday get-together in 2007 shows a happy Rukku receiving a prize from Chooda .
Santhanam turned 70 in December 2017. Here is a video from his 60th birthday celebration ten years ago..


RanganathanThe Birth Centenary of Shri T.Ranganathan (my father-in-law) was celebrated on 7th July 2017. There was a nice family get-together in Santhanam's house. After Veda Parayanam, there were sharing of anecdotes and singing by Ramesh, Chitra, Chandra and all others who could sing- and lunch and a round of Housie. Here are some photos.

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Here is a video of one of the songs sung by almost the entire family.

*** Parthasarathy (yours truly) & Amritha had tense days from 3rd January 2018 as Aarthi had problems and eventually had to undergo brain surgery. A detailed account of Aarthi's Brain Surgery can be read in my article You have nothing in your brain in Family Members' Pages . Earlier (on 31st October 2017), we shifted residence from Indiranagar to HRBR Layout, Kalyannagar. It is a nice 3-bedroom groundfloor flat at walkable distance from Aarthi's studio.

As in every year, we spent a major part of Margazhi (Dec./Jan) in Chennai. From 13th to 31st December we had a hectic but enjoyable time. We attended about 31 concerts mostly in Music Academy and Narada Gana Sabha. We had attended 12 concets in November, making it 43 for the season. We listened to a number of youngsters but just a few seniors. It is a pleasant surprise that every year we listen to a couple of new singers who are very good. Among the memorable ones were Vignesh Ishwar, Venkat Nagarajan, Aswatha Narayanan, Trichur Brothers, Bharat Sundar, Aditya Narayanan, Vishnudev Namboodri, Brinda Manickavachagam, K.Gayatri and many others. The two concerts that most impressed us this season were by Raji Gopalakrishnan and another by Anahita & Apoorva.
Kolam During this period, we were also attending Dhanur Masa pooja in Satya Varadaraja Temple near our house. So our day would start at 4.30. After bath, Amritha would draw a kolam every day in front of the house. At 5.45, Devaraja suprabhatam followed by Tiruppalliyezhuchi and Tiruppavai (திருப்பள்ளியெழுச்சி & திருப்பாவை) would be recited and finally there would be prasadam. We would be home by 7.00. Amritha would then prepare lunch and we'd leave home by 10 AM to attend two concerts every day - mostly 11 AM and 1.30 PM. Sometimes we would attend the evening concert and come back home for dinner. As nowadays we do not much relish outside food, we ate out just twice. In our enthusiasm, we attended three concerts on the first day and realised that age has caught up with us restricting to only two concerts thereafter. On many days there was a mini family meeting in the concert hall - Chooda, Jagan, Santhanam and Rahul were also regular visitors to concets. We spent the first five days of 2018 in Kanchipuram with Hema and visited a lot of temples in and around Kanchipuram. We along with Pushpa had also visited Kanchipuram in September 2017 before Raghu and Chandra left for Sydney.

GuindyWhen we of the 1967 batch of our college (Guindy) celebrated our Golden Jubilee Reunion last year, we decided we would meet once every year. We had the 51st Reunion on 7th January at the Alumni Club (of Anna University). There was a variety of interesting programme followed by lunch. Amritha narrowly lost in Passing the parcel Game.

*** SHUBHA celebrated her birthday in November 2017. Some photographs from the celebration are here.

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

*** Urmila received the Best Teacher Award for 2016-17 from Central Cluster Schools on Teachers' Day on 5th September 2017. Newsletter congratulates her on her accomplishment. Here are a few photos from the Award function.

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*** Ravi has again been taking part in long distance running races. Here he is with an award at half-marathon event in Chennai.

*** Radha, Urmila (& Hema and Geetha (Madhu)) found time to clear the examination on The Philosophy of Ramanuja after a 4-month course conducted by St. Peter's University, Avadi. Newsletter congratulates them for their continuing quest for knowledge.

*** Vijaya could spend time with both her grandchildren. Deepti (Usha;s daughter) came on vacation from USA while Akhil (Mohan's son) came from Sydney. Akhil completed his Global BBA Program and joined JSW Group in Mumbai as Business Analyst in November 2017. Newsletter wishes him all the very best in his career.

*** Usha proves the adage that only busy people find time. Amidst her busy schedule, she found time to learn Divya Prabhandham from Urmila on Skype. Now she has joined part-time MBA program in IIM, Bangalore. We sent her our best wishes in these words.
எட்டிய உயரம் போதாதென்று இன்னும்
எம்பியே படிக்கப் போகும்
புத்திசாலி உஷாவிற்கு
சித்தி, சித்தப்பா என பெருமிதம் கொவ்கிறோம்
வெற்றிக்கு வாழ்த்துக்கள்

*** Mohan and Geetha continue to be busy visting Vaishnava temples or at their job. They had organised a nice trip on 5th November 2017 to attend தீர்த்தவாரி (Theerthavari) at Kote Varadarajaswamy Temple, Satyagalam, where Shri Vedantadesikan stayed for twelve years. Hema and Radha joined the trip and stayed at our place the previous night. On 8th March 2018, the Rajagopuram of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Madhyarangam (which is at Shivanasamudram and is just 6 kms from Satyagalam) was consecrated. For those who may not know, three temples of Sri Ranganatha are on the nank of Kaveri - Adirangam at Srirangapatnam, Madhyarangam at Shivanasamudram and Antyarangam at Srirangam in Tamil Nadu. The Rajagopuram is a 78-feet high structure with seven stages. The fourth stage is called Velamur Vashal (Velamur is my grandfather's (and Mohan's great grandfather) ancestral village. There is a Varadaraja temple which was managed by a handful of Iyengar families. When the Muslim invasion took place in South India, only a couple of families remained there and some of the rest went to South Arcot (my grandfather's ancestors were one of them), some to Tirunelveli and some to Chetlur. Most of them were Samavedis and belonged to Bharadwaja Gothra. All of them established Varadaraja temples in their new places, but added Velamur to their prefix (which we still use). All this happened in the 16th century. Velamur also happens to be the place where the recently deceased jeer of Srimad Andavan Ashram ,revered by all vadakalai Iyengars, worked as a teacher. He has established Andavan Ashram there.) The entire expenditure of this 4th stage was borne by Mohan and Geetha. The first three photos were taken in November 2017 and the next seven in March 2018. On this occasion Raghu. Chandra and Hema came from Kanchipuram and stayed at our place the previous night.

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Click on each photo to enlarge

Raghu Ambattur*** *** Raghu (my brother) and Kalyani are now in Brussels with Sudan, Ramya and Dhanya. They celebrated Dhanya's third birthday.

*** Sriram has taken up a new assignment as Professor, Vellore Institute of Technology, Bhopal. Currently he has joined their Chennai campus and will move to Bhopal in July
*** Sowmya Sriram won an Award from her school as the best teacher. Here are the photos.

***Vaishnavi, Sriram/Sowmya's daughter is into sports in a big way. She has taken part at School/District/State and National level in different sports, viz., Table Tennis, Karate and Silambam. She is equally good in studies and made an award-winning presentation on the Solar system in August 2017 which can be heard by clicking here.
She also took active part in the Save Tiger Campaign conducted by her school.

Kannan*** Kannan (T.Nagar) has been having health problems and was admitted to the hospital thrice in the last two months. He is better now and undergoes physiotherapy at home. Newsletter wishes him a speedy recovery. Rajeevi Rajeevihad cataract surgery in December 2017. I repeated to her what I told my colleague who underwent cataract surgery when I was posted in Chennai,'No boss can now accuse you of lacking vision.' She is normal now.

*** Prasad and Rupal were in India on work. Prasad could get some free time to visit Chennai to meet his parents and Bangalore to be with Rupal. He found time to visit us in our new house. After coffee in our house, Prasad visited Aarthi's studio and said he was impressed by her work.

Mukund*** Mukund won an Award for the Malai Koftas he made at a party. There is an annual get-together in Pittsbutgh where the husbands cook all the dishes. Later the best dishes are judged by the ladies and three men are given awards. Mukund got the prize for the best dish and his prize was received by Shriya as Mukund had to go out. Shriya

*** Chooda and Kannan kannanchoodaspent a day with us in Arumbakkam in December 2017. What moved them (& Ramesh & family) out of their house were bedbugs. bedbugThe whole house had to be fumigated and sealed for a night to eradicate them. But Chooda did not miss her concert and we left Kannan at home and attended a concert in Mylapore.

Shoba*** Rukku underwent Kneecap Replacement Surgery of both knees on 15th February 2018. When I met her in Columbia Asia Hospital after the surgery, I told her, 'Your niece had surgery in January and your kness had surgery in February.' It is a painful surgery but Rukku has been tolerating the pain in a brave manner and is now walking inside the house with walker. Yesterday (24th March) she climbed five steps in the staircase and has also started practising walking with weight attached to each foot. The day is not far off when she will walk without any support. Newsletter wishes her that the start of விளம்பி (Tamil New Year) will see her achieve this.

Adiitya is known for his Karate prowess. Here is the link to a film The Thief - A Short Thriller which shows his acting prowess.

*** Pushpa had accompanied us to Kanchipuram. Apart from visiting temples, we also played cards.

ShobaKeshav and Sriram continue to attend a lot of classes. Here Shoba and Keshav are with with Sid Sriram, the famous singer. Keshav is learning Carnatic music from Sid Sriram's mother.

*** Santhanam and Kausalya and her siblings celebrated Mr. Srinivasan's (Kausalya's father) birth centenary. It was a very well-organised function. Radhika has written about it which you can read in her article My Grandfather's 100th birth anniversary. Rahul spoke very well and Radhika's compering was excellent. Here are a few photos taken by me.

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*** Raghu and Chandra were in Australia for about four months from October 2017 to February 2018. Mail They were busy dividing their time between Vidya in Canberra and Nitya in Sydney. During their busy time, they managed to play the family game (Mail). They continue to be busy after returning to Kanchipuram - visiting Chennai to see Kannan and visiting Bangalore once to see Chandra's mother, brother, Rukku and Aarthi and the second time to visit Madhyarangam. Vidya and Nitya visited India in July 2017.
Vidya and her friends have opened Dosa Hut at Canberra on 27th January 2018. According to Vidya, there are over 200 dishes on the menu including 65 varieties of just Dosas.

Opening night of Dosahut, Canberra can be viewed here

Nitya for her part became a celebrity by singing at Rafi Night Sydney on 23rd December 2017. Here is the link to the program (which only shows a few minutes). Chandra had already shared Mitya's performance in the Family Group in WhatsApp.

*** Hema was alone in Kanchipuram for about 4 months when Raghu & Chandra went to Australia. She had a lot of guests in this period. We were in Kanchipuram from 1st to 5th January 2018 and visited a number of temples in and around Kanchipuram. She also went to Chennai for 20 days to help out Rajeevi during her cataract operation. She had a dip in Kaveri during the Maha Pushkaram.

You can read the rest of the Newsletter which is in 3 sections.
Family Members' Pages has articles by family members. Shubha has written two poems - The City & The Moon. My article You have nothing in your brain is about Aarthi's surgery. Kausalya's article is on her trip to Greece published in The Hindu of 25th January 2018. Radhika's write-up which I have taken from her Facebook page is on her grandfather's 100th Birth Anniversary.
Editor's Pageshas Fun Quiz, Cryptic Crossword clues and Cryptoquip.
Tamil Section has four interesting articles. I have reproduced the full version of the controversial article தமிழை ஆண்டாள் by Vairamuthu without any editing or comments. I have also reproduced Kannadasan's non-controversial article ஆண்டாள், தமிழை ஆண்டாள்! on the same subject written over 50 years ago. சிரிக்க சிந்திக்க is a collection of jokes as well as trivia on various topics. The last piece யானைக்கு எந்த நாமம் பொடுவது? is an interesting blog on the vadakalai-thenkalai controversy.

The next issue (63rd) will be published in July 2018. Please send your write-ups and comments to Bye.

25th March 2018

1. The City & 2. The Moon - Poems by Shubha

You have nothing in your brain by Parthasarathy

Acropolis: The greatest stage of them all by Kausalya

My Grandfather's 100th Birth Anniversary by Radhika

Fun Quiz

Cryptic Crossword Clues & Answers


தமிழை ஆண்டாள் (முழு கட்டுரை) - கவிஞர் வைரமுத்து

ஆண்டாள், தமிழை ஆண்டாள்!-கவியரசு கண்ணதாசன்

சிரிக்க சிந்திக்க

யானைக்கு எந்த நாமம் பொடுவது?

Click here for the previous issue (July 2017)

*Disclaimer *Some of the articles and images reproduced here have been taken from various sources and I am not aware of any copyright violations. If there are any such violations, please write to me and the concerned article will be promptly removed.

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