Message for the Day… ” The world can win back peace and harmony only when people are persuaded to practice the ideals laid down in the scriptures (Vedas) which serve as beacon-lights to guide mankind aright.”

In the present times, anxiety and fear are spreading amongst people and righteousness (dharma) is receiving a setback. The world can win back peace and harmony only when people are persuaded to practice the ideals laid down in the scriptures (Vedas) which serve as beacon-lights to guide mankind aright. All activities in your daily living (karma) are really speaking the practice of dharma. The Upanishads give us guidance on what must be done and what must be avoided in the journey of life. For involving oneself in good activities, spiritual wisdom is an essential prerequisite. They direct us to revere the mother as God, father as God, preceptor as God, and also the guest as God. They also warn us that truth and righteousness should not be neglected. So there are both positive and negative instructions — follow these counsels, not others. Accept whatever conduces to your progress in goodness; avoid the others.




Sweden to India: How a Cup of Masala Chai Fuelled IKEA’s Journey to Hyderabad!….

Known as the world’s largest furniture dealer, IKEA has finally set up its first-ever India store in Hyderabad. All thanks to a humble cup of chai!

Founded in 1943 by Swede Ingvar Kamprad and headquartered in the Netherlands, furniture giant IKEA makes revenue worth €38.3 billion with 411 outlets in 49 countries.

Deemed as the world’s largest furniture dealer, IKEA has finally set up it

s first-ever store on a 13-acre campus in HITEC city  Hydearbad.

And while the numerous conversations CEO of IKEA India Juvencio Maeztu had with Indian biggies may be credited for the 2012 plan to finally take shape, there is a backstory many aren’t aware of. It’s how the 48-year-old bossman who relocated from London to Delhi’s NCR Region found a home away from home. All over a cup of masala chai.

It was 2012. Juvencio Maeztu had only arrived in India as the CEO of IKEA India. The switch from London to the bustling city of the National Capital Region was anything but easy.

Speaking to the Economic Times, the 48-year-old recalls, “I had many concerns. I am too small, and India is too big. Could I understand India, its size, its complexity and diversity? Will my European roots constrain me?”

His mind was clouded with doubts, but he had far more important matters to attend. For instance, his morning appointment at the FRRO (Foreigners Regional Registration Office) in Delhi. And he needed a passport-size photograph.

And so, his driver drove through the lanes of NCR, before making a halt at one of the many hole-in-the-wall photography studios. The one they stopped at was run by an old gentleman.

He just had to take a photograph and be on his way. How much time could it possibly take? He couldn’t be late for his appointment.

And so, the CEO entered the shop and asked the man, “Can you take my photo?”
“Yes,” came the reply.
“How long will it take?” Maeztu asked hesitantly
“Five minutes,” the man said.

The photo was clicked. But the wait for the 5 min – ‘N’ copies of the photograph dragged on for over 15 minutes. The printer was old and dusty, takes time to warm up, the man told him.

But he was quick to offer him – “Masala chai?” he asked.

“No” came the curt reply. Even as the man struggled with the printer, he kept persuading Maeztu to drink a cup of chai. An exasperated Maeztu gave him a brusque, “No”.

It was at this time that the photographer asked, “Sir, what’s the point of life if you cannot enjoy a masala chai for five minutes?”

“Something clicked,” Maetzu told the publication. He moved to take a seat, drank the cup of masala chai. The appointment was forgotten, and the two men chatted for over an hour that day.

He may have missed his FRRO appointment, but Maetzu says, “That was the moment I connected with India. It was a turning point.”

He had finally found a home away from home.

After a long wait of six years, IKEA has now made its debut in India.

While land has been acquired in Gurugram, Bengaluru and Mumbai, the retail stores will only come up in the next few years. With a staff strength of 535 and an investment of Rs 10,500 crore, the furniture giant is here to make it big reported the publication. The current number of employees though is estimated to be around 950 people directly, about 1500 at its store in Hyderabad and aims to hire another 15,000 employees as it expands its operations.

“We are here for the long term. We think of 100 years when we think of our strategy. I have taken no shortcuts. More importantly, I have had no pressure (from the headquarters) to take shortcuts. In the next 100 years, the sheer size of India makes it important. There are other super big reasons. India is challenging us to find better ways to do business. This is a market you need to learn and not come into with an attitude that you know everything,” he said.

The vision is to also have over 25 stores and 20,000 employees in India by 2030.

The report adds how India is the first market where IKEA is rolling out a multi-channel retail online and offline strategy from day one. It is also planning to explore the use of eco-friendly raw materials like bamboo, coconut waste, water hyacinth and recycled PET.

Apart from working with over 80,000 farmers to boost cotton production, it is also helping skill 1,200 women artisans with the UNDP under its programme ‘Disha’ and boost employment from underprivileged communities.

Seems like a journey that began with one cup of masala chai came a long way after all!







The staff at IKEA Hyderabad. Source: Facebook

Message for the Day…. ” Whatever good value you desire to follow, first grasp its real meaning. Then, you must cultivate it daily and benefit from it. “

Righteousness (Dharma) has no prejudice or partiality; it is imbued with truth and justice. People must adhere to right-conduct (dharma); they must see that they never go against it. It is wrong to deviate from it. The path of dharma requires people to give up hatred against others and cultivate mutual concord and amity. Through concord and amity, the world will grow day by day into a place of happiness. If these are well established, the world will be free from disquiet, indiscipline, disorder, and injustice. By this means, wisdom grows and lasting joy is earned. The wise, who are impartial and unprejudiced, who are committed to living in dharma,walk on the path of truth (Sathya), as instructed in the Vedas. That is the path for all people today.



What a 60 ft Bridge in Salem meant for Script writer Karunanidhi ….!

The dialogues Karunanidhi penned from the bridge made cinema halls reverberate with claps and whistles of movie buffs and catapulted him to greater heights in filmdom and in politics.









Even after he became a Chief Minister and a national leader, M Karunanidhi never forgot his humble beginnings. Despite his hectic schedule, Karunanidhi would make sure to travel to a 60-foot bridge on the Yercaud Ghat road from time to time.

He often reminisced of the days when he used to sit there and pen unforgettable dialogues for iconic films like Mandri Kumari.

The dialogues he penned from there made cinema halls reverberate with claps and whistles of movie buffs, and catapulted Karunanidhi to greater heights in filmdom and in politics.

After he moved to Madras, it seemed he missed the panoramic view of Salem city from the mountain heights and the fresh air that he used to enjoy at the 60-foot bridge and longed to return to his favourite joint.










The 60-ft bridge on Yercaud Ghat road where Karunanidhi used to sit and write.

His colourful film career took flight right at Salem. In 1949-50, M Karunanidhi stepped into Modern Theaters as a dialogue writer on the recommendation of poet-cum-lyricist KM Sherif, writes R Venkatasamy, who wrote Mudhalalli, a biography of TR Sundaram, the legendary producer and the owner of Modern Theaters.

Karunanidhi had worked in Coimbatore Central Studios and at many other studios in Kodambakkam, but it was Salem’s Modern Theaters that gave him his big break into the world of Tamil cinema.

The writer of the film Ponmudi, which was under production, had left his work unfinished and TR Sundaram decided to assign Karunanidhi the task of completing it. Sundaram liked his work and Karunanidhi was employed at a monthly salary.

Karunanidhi had with him the script for a stage play based on Tamil epic Kundalakesi. TR Sundaram was impressed by it and figured that it would make a good movie if it was adapted. And this was then converted into the legendary Mandri Kumari.

American movie master Eliss R Duncan, who was the stable director of Modern Theaters, directed the movie. It was a box office hit and made Karunanidhi into an instant celebrity. The film also gave future Chief Minister MG Ramachandran a big turn in his career.

At first, Eliss R Duncan was hesitant to cast MGR as the hero in Mandri Kumari because of a minor curve on his chin. However, Karunanidhi strongly recommended MGR, suggesting that a short moustache can hide the flaw. The idea was accepted and the film took MGR to great heights in his film career and thus forged a lasting bond between him and Karunanidhi, and both, despite becoming political rivals, had a deep mutual respect for each other.

Mandri Kumari was also the first time that the dialogue-writer of the movie was given credit on the movie posters, writes Venkatasamy. Karunanidhi was one of the few celebrities recognised for his signature dialogues.

Karunanidhi’s contemporaries in Modern Theaters were lyricist Kanadasan, MGR and Janaki. The latter two became chief ministers as well. NT Ramarao, who also worked for Modern Theaters, became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.










A rare photo of Karunanidhi with his colleagues at Modern Theaters, including late lyricist Kanadasan

Such was the platform that Modern Theaters gave to talented people. It was a one-of-its-kind studio outside Kollywood that made 118 films in all South Indian languages as well as in English. It produced the first colour film in Tamil – Albabavum Narpathu Thirudarkalum. TR Sundaram was seen as a towering figure and Karunanidhi, MGR and Kanadasan who were celebrities, used to call him, “Mudhalalli” (master), writes the biographer.

What remains of Modern Theaters today is only the iconic arch on the Yercaud Road in Salem.

Karunanidhi’s association with Salem’s Modern Theaters remembered by garlanding a poster on the iconic arch.

There is hardly anyone still alive who remembers Karunanidhi’s life in Salem at Sanathi Street in Fort Salem except Vekatasamy (79). The tiny tiled house where he lived survived till recently.

Whenever Karunanidhi came to Salem, he would drive past the arch to the sixty-foot bridge and spend time there alone, remembering his humble beginnings. For the old-timers, a stopover at the bridge will surely conjure up the unforgettable song “Varai, nee Varai,” as it was here that the song was shot.










The spot on Yercaud Ghat road where Karunanidhi used to sit and write.

The last time he was reported going to the place was in 2009 when he came to inaugurate the hi-tech government hospital in Salem.

Source…..G.Rajasekaran in http://www.the


10th August 2018


Message for the Day…. ” Be prepared at all times to respect the appropriate dictates of conscience; watch your steps to see whether you are in someone else’s way; and be ever vigilant to discover the truth behind all this scintillating variety. “

In all worldly activities, be careful not to offend propriety or the canons of good nature; do not play false to the promptings of the inner voice; be prepared at all times to respect the appropriate dictates of conscience; watch your steps to see whether you are in someone else’s way; and be ever vigilant to discover the truth behind all this scintillating variety. This is your duty, your dharma.The blazing fire of wisdom (jnana), which convinces you that everything is Divine (Sarvam Khalvidam Brahma), will consume into ashes all traces of your egotism and worldly attachment. Whoever subdues egotism, conquers selfish desires, destroys bestial feelings and impulses, and gives up the natural tendency to regard the body as the self that person is surely on the path of dharma; they know that the goal of dharma is the merging of the wave in the sea, the merging of the Self in the Supreme Divine!


Message for the Day…. ” Worship is just a means of educating the emotions. Human impulses and emotions have to be guided and controlled. “

Since you can’t swim across a flooded stream, you board a raft. So also, since you can’t master the Formless, you resort to the Form with attributes and struggle to swim across to the Formless through worship and contemplation. But can you remain forever on the raft, amidst the currents and whirlpools? You must discard this conventional worship some day and reach the shore. Worship is just a means of educating the emotions. Human impulses and emotions have to be guided and controlled. Just as the raging waters of the Godavari river have to be curbed by dikes, halted by dams, tamed by canals, and led quietly to the ocean which can swallow all floods without a trace, so too the age-long instincts in you have to be trained and transmuted by contact with higher ideals and powers. When the fruit is ripe, it will fall off the branch of its own accord. Similarly, when renunciation saturates your heart, you lose contact with the world and slip into the lap of the Lord.


வாரம் ஒரு கவிதை…. ” வாழ்வின் நிஜங்கள் “

வாழ்வின் நிஜங்கள்
முக நூலில் நட்பு வட்டம் பெரிது… ஆனால்
அகமும் முகமும் மலர்ந்து  சிரிக்கும் அவன் சுற்றமும் நட்பும்
பார்த்து அவன் முகம்  மலர்ந்து சிரிப்பதே அரிது !
இது வாழ்வின் நிஜம் !
நிஜம் நிஜமாக இருக்கையில் நிஜத்தின் அருமை
பெருமை தெரியாமல் இருந்து விட்டு நிஜம்
நிழலாக மாறிய பின்னர் நிழலுக்கு மாலையும்
மரியாதையும் தவறாமல் நடக்கும் தினமும்
இது வாழ்வின் நிஜம் !
நிழலை நிஜம் என்று நம்பி நிஜ வாழ்வை
தொலைத்தவர்  பலர் … இதுவும் வாழ்வின் நிஜம் !
நெறுநெல் உளனொருவன் இன்றில்லை என்னும்
பெருமை படைத்த இவ்வுலகு என்னும் வள்ளுவன்
வாக்கை மறந்து தான் வாழும் வாழ்வு என்றும்
நிரந்தரம் …சுக போக வாழ்வு அது என் சுதந்திரம் ,!
என்று வாதிப்பர் பலர் …இதுவும் வாழ்வின் நிஜம் !
என் வாழ்க்கை நான் வாழ்வதற்கே என்று நம்பி
நிலையில்லா வாழ்வு என்னும் அலைகடலில்
ஓட்டைப் படகில் துடுப்பும் இன்றி பயணிப்பர்
மெத்தப் படித்த புத்திசாலிகள் சிலர் !
இதுவும் வாழ்வின் நிஜத்தில் ஒன்று !
நிழல் எது  நிஜம் எது என்று தெரியாமலே
நிழலை நிஜமாகவும் நிஜத்தை நிழலாகவும்
நினைத்து வாழ்ந்து முடித்தவரும் பலர் !
வாழ்வின் நிஜம் இதில் நிதர்சனம் !
in dated 8th August 2018