Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My Three Weeks of Vacation in South India

How does it feel like when u go to your home land after 3 years? Yes, I felt it when I went back to India after so many years. I flew to Muscat and then I to Chennai, India. This time it was not just a vacation for me, I also had to shoot a documentary film about the Siragu School in Chennai.

A week at Siragu:

The first week I spent the day at Siragu and the evenings in T.Nagar, Chennai. My friend Packiya was helping me with the documentary in the day time and brought me food from different restaurants at night J. Kids at Siragu are amazing and they are so full of love. I never knew I could get along with the kids so well. I learned lots of new things in that school from the kids and teachers there. The kids there talk to trees and treat them as their friends. If we could have done the same thing all the past years we would not have caused the environmental pollution and global warming. One of the kid was saying “Hi Tree, How are u? Sorry for hurting you… We wont hurt you anymore…. “ Isn’t it amazing?

And they teach Vedic Maths and Practical learning to their kids, I wish I were in such a school. I would like to share something I learned there. It is a simple math process for you all. What is 9 times 6 and how did you come up with the answer, I just knew the answer all these days because I had memorized the tables so many times in my mind.

Here is how they teach at Siragu...this is for numbers above 5 to 10...

9 * 6

1. Take your 2 hands

2. First with your left hand you count up to 9. You will be left with 4 fingers open for 9. Isn't it?

3. Then with your right hand, count up to 6. You will be left with 1 finger open for 6, Right?

4. So now you have 4 open fingers on your left and 1 open finger on your right.

5. Count the number of open fingers in both the hands and then multiply them with 10. You add 4 on your left and 1 on your right and multiply them with 10. That gives you 50 right? (4 from left+ 1 on right * 10 = 50)

6. Then count the number of closed fingers on the left and right...which gives you 1 on the left and 4 on the right and multiply them together. ( 1 from left * 4 from right = 4)

7. Now, add results from step 5 and 6. (50 + 4= 54)

So, 9*6= 54!

Isn’t it cool? Now try 8 * 7

Practice well, that is the key to faster learning!

Like this they learn everything practically.

Other than learning, we played football, cricket, took pictures, ran around… and laughed all the time. Uma and Muthuram are the founders of Siragu, they are very helpful and cooperative. Right now our documentary about Siragu is under post-production and we will keep you posted with the updates. I feel that every kid in this world deserves the best quality of education no matter where he/she is (from streets or from a house) and it should be free. Only proper education will make our World a better place and take us away from all the chaos happening around us right now.

To know more about Siragu School, visit

Second Week:

I went to my home town Pondicherry (soon it might be officially called as Pudhucherry ;) ). Yes, the place where we have Aurobhindo Ashram, Auroville, beaches and of course discount/cheap liquors. Nehru street the happening place in Pondicherry got so congested full of 2 wheelers, bicycles and cars. And in the evening I hardly found any place to stand in the beach. For those who need more sand to run around, take sun bath or build sand castle, we have the Auro beach. It is a few kilometers away from heart of the city. People are still the same- kind, friendly, helpful and more. I loved to be there after such a long time. I revisited all the usual hang-outs - my school, the beach, the train station, Nehru Street, temples, Ashram, Auroville, the pani-poori shop etc.

After 2 days I went on a trip with my family to Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, the southern most point in India where the three oceans meet. It is a must see place in South India. I was there on the Dec,26th and it was so crowded there. Only later I realized it was the same time when Tsunami had struck a few years back. And it was also the time when Swami Vivekananda was last seen on that rocks there. Saw the sunset and stayed there that night. Then we went to Nagerkovil and visited few temples there (Of course you know temples are the places where u go when u are on a family trip ;) ). Kumarakoil, where you can take bath in the lakes. After seeing the lake I got reminded of the movie "Motorcycle diaries" where Che swims across the river to celebrate his birthday with the patients on the other side, and I swam across to the other side with a little struggle. Then the nearby Manimutharu, and went to Kalaraikuruchi to see the Pabanasam Dam and the Agathiyar Falls and took bath in the falls. One thing which you cannot experience in Niagara falls and of course run behind the monkeys if they take ur towels, soaps or your snacks. And then finally to Tiruneveli (to buy alwa (sweet)) ;)

No matter what changes in time, people in those villages are very kind and helpful as always. That is the best things u get there in villages. No matter where u are from, if you ask for directions or any help they will go out of their way to help you… and offer something to drink and to eat.

Third Week:

Was back in Pondicherry, got sick with fever and cold for 2 days but did some important last minute shopping …. (sweets and snacks for my friends here, without which they wouldn’t let me in)


Rags said...

wow, how much ever i hear abt other's trips to India I can't seem to get enough. Man, can't wait to go...

earthling said...

So much in 3 weeks!! The experience sounds so eventful..I wish I were there with you throughout..I cannot wait to feel the love of the Siragu kids...the more i hear about them, the more i want to see them..

RR said...

It's good!!!! I really tryed 8 x 7 haaa


ramdin khan said...

Nice post!!!
I like the way you writing the post..
Thanks for sharing such a nice information.
we have a best South India Vacations plans,that will be very helpful for India tour.