Lemongrass Oil

As I walked past a Thai massage spa en route the grocery store, I saw a lady walking out of the spa, so happy and energized. What a blank gaze, she might have thought. Or maybe not. She knew that I was lost looking at her. But she walked unperturbed. Yes. I was looking at her, but not at her really. Something else drew my attention away. My gaze turned into a gasp, only for good though. One pair of tiny nostrils is an unfair geometry to experience such fragrance, I thought to myself. But come to think of it, the spa door was just closing as the lady exited, and there was not a lot of room for so much fragrance that swept my attention. Wait, what’s this strong aroma? How could it be so intense in such a short time, through a narrow door, that was already closing? It got me curious. And I had to enter the spa just for the free smells. Or at least. Welcome to lemongrass Wednesday, greeted the signboard.

Cymbopogon citratus is the Latin name of this South Asian/ North African herb. Going by its family name citratus, it is a citrus plant. Unlike other herbs, this is a weed. It looks like an ordinary weed grass, but has a strong citrus flavor, which is why it has been used in a realm of fields such as medicine, food, perfume and a disinfectant, to name a few.

Composition – Geranial, Neral

To understand this oil, it helps to learn the chemical composition. The DNA of this oil is decided by two aldehydes – geranial and neral, of which, the former is responsible for the lemony aroma and the latter gives acute sweetness. The combination of the two is a strong, sweet, lemon like flavor accompanied by raw bitterness that comes from the native weed. Aldehydes inherently have the ability to cleanse surfaces. When diffused, they can rejuvenate and lessen feelings of stress. The two major varieties are citratus and flexuosus families. It is an important herb in Ayurveda. The oil is extracted from the leaves of this plant. And thus, it can be identified by its pale or bright yellow color, with a strong, lemony and earthy scent.

References –


Refreshing benefits –

The oil from the flexuosus derivatives is commonly used in the perfume industry. In combination with sweet almond oil, it could be a winning combo for massage oils. It is a promising additive to DIY household cleaning products. Lemongrass oil is a natural air freshener. It induces hygiene by its ability to repel insects and flies. Here again, the citral geranial content helps in keeping the surroundings free from mosquitoes and ants.

The citratus component is getting used in newer dishes in cooking. Lemongrass soups are a thing in several Thai restaurants off late. The bold flavor soothes travel fatigue, and mundaneness in routines. Lemon Orzo, the traditional Thai red curry, steamed lemon grass recipes and many more recipes world over, bask in the aroma and glory of lemongrass. The raw herb makes it to the list of aromatic tea and countless other beverages.

In medicine, lemongrass oil is found to be antibacterial and antifungal (possibly due to geranial). It is also believed to remove excess gas from the intestines thereby aiding in gastrointestinal health and digestion. A flavonoid compound called luteolin has been linked to combating cancer cells, apart from improving symptoms of lung infections and multiple sclerosis. The intuitive citrus scent could potentially elevate our senses, thereby uplifting the mood and the freshness in the atmosphere. The strong aroma takes over the atmospheric odor, thus aiding anxiety relief, irritability and insomnia.

A study conducted in 2009, tested whether essential lemongrass oil vapor helped the atmosphere. It was observed that 89% of atmospheric bacteria were removed within 15 hours, when lemongrass oil was sprayed in an office environment.

Caution –

The citral concentration is so intense that it is believed to potentially burn outer skin (just by external application), if the oil is not blended carefully. With properly researched and combined mixtures, the lemongrass oil could turn out be an amazing culinary ingredient, or aromatherapy medicine. It is a treat to put it to right use, and reap its benefits.

By the time I was done reading the note, my throat and my lips had dried out entirely. I closed my mouth, to protect myself. I had a thousand thoughts rush my mind, in awe of the experiments, our ancestors have done world over. Every culture has tried and tested this herb in food, medicine and cosmetics. Massive respect for all of that hard work. As I approached the exit door, my mind was refreshed and I am guessing it reflected on my face. I am pretty confident about this although I did not get to see myself in any mirror. The lady gazing at me, contemplating a visit to this spa, had her attention divided by the scent of this citrus senorita. I walked unperturbed. Deja vu! I know that feeling miss. But with a tricky smile this time, for I was passing on the ecstasy of this geranial Cymbopogon citratus, to the one approaching with curiosity.  Ah,  what could a small herb do to your evening?!

Disclaimer – 

All of the content above is from various sources on the web. The medicines and the recipes discussed, are proven to be effective based on the experiences and other blogs on the internet. Not all of these have been personally tried and tested by me. I am no expert in this oil usage. Good luck trying!

This post has been written in collaboration with the IndianSuperHeroes. They have these oils purely extracted from the herbs. You can find them in their store right here.


I am sharing my write up, which was a submission to #SunoMaaKiKahaani (Listen to a mother’s story) by the government of India. It is a small write-up that is constrained with word limit.

I hope to expand this as a complete blog. For now, the original entry . . .

Amidst mothers who defended their girl, I went to school alone, explored, and came back with strength. She prepared me for a tomorrow surrounded by strangers. You can be a hero amongst those who love you. Would you go beyond yourself and still show courage? She came into an orthodox family and introduced me to Bharatanatyam (primarily devadasis’ art then – prohibited, in a traditional Brahmin household), created a dancer in me; pushed middle-class frontiers; afforded foreign education. Burning her midnight oil for my dance exams, she also passed on her indomitable spirit to me – it took two years to gather myself up, to go on stage and be a performer, yet again, after her demise – especially after the warrior battle she put up against her brain damage. Yes. Not just education that matters – it is the material you make yourself, your character that writes your tale no matter how learned you become! Should I dance ever again? The day before my performance, I felt shattered, before the last set of hairpins from her, revealed her answer to my two-year long question. She lives on, in my new “Environment-Day” plant, this write-up, and in every good soul around.



VMM and UVM are two major verification methodologies that are built on SystemVerilog based test benches. VMM stands for Verification Methodology Manual and UVM stands for Universal Verification Methodology. The industry is shifting gears towards UVM due to the flexibility and powerful register model. The differences and the similarities are highlighted in this article to briefly understand the details.

Phasing  –  

UVM has phasing similar to VMM. Although the names of the phases are different, and the behavior obviously has minor differences, there is not a whole leap of difference here. The idea is to separate out elaboration from stimulus generation in a test in both the cases. The subtle difference again, starts to appear in the part division of the phases. Another difference is the control in the hands of the developer, where user-defined phasing and user-defined relationships between the phases is a magic wand in hand, to control the stimulus better.

Register model –

The register model is the real takeaway in UVM. A methodology becomes powerful when it enables the abstraction of chunks of memory such as registers. The backbone of the register model comes from Memory Allocation Manager (MAM) in VMM. Now the area where UVM differs is the granularity it provides to the developer. That is, the developer I sable to iterate through hundreds of registers/memory blocks and memory maps, with a single register model per module. The surprise does not end there. The RM provides bit level access, and control for each of the memory sub-blocks. Chunks of memory blocks can be read and written from within a test stimulus in no time. The VMM MVM model only enables the offset and byte level access.

Sequences Vs Scenarios –

Both UVM sequences and VMM scenarios have the same capabilities. They need to be able to allow multi-layered stimulus and modularity of tests. The beauty of these components lies in separating the stimulus from the testbench which is a head-on challenge for every verification engineer. The differences that sequences provide are the pronounced object oriented approach in terms of virtual sequences.

These are some of the major differences existing today. The purpose of the article is to take up same/similar components and concepts to see how differently the two methodologies empower the verification engineer.

The Palace Of Illusions

I am sure the title would have conveyed the historical/mythological/epic background of this blog post. Yes, you guessed it right. This one’s a small thread out of the intricately woven epic Mahabharatha. For relevance, please read the review by Swami Nathan and then proceed to the discussion –


Gogal – It’s a good book! 🙂

Swami – (That’s alright) Ellam OK.. But are you convinced with the way the relationship between Kunti & Draupathi is portrayed?
Gogal –  I read it long time back Anna. So don’t remember that. What is etched in my mind is karna draupadi encounters, in their mind and in real. With kunti, ts more like friction right?
Swami – It was more of a cold relationship between the daughter in law and the mother in law – author’s way of portrayal.. Karna and Draupathi’s is nice, but she carrying the softness even after the disrobing event does not convey that She is a strong woman.. A few lines after the Nala Damayatnthi story is just ultimate – on why the virtuous always suffers and how life needs to be faced by them
Gogal – Basically the perception will be like she had friction with just women in her life, but she would more freely connect to all kinds of men – good, bad and the wicked … In the sense, she will quickly be able to reason out men’s actions. Like her dad, brother, husband. Also indirectly points her lovely motherless childhood that turned her into a gritty and solid woman, more like expectations cannot bury me kinds. The disrobe scene is a metaphor again, that shows her sage like mindset. Don’t you think so? Let me know what you think of it.
Lonely and motherless childhood*
And you just nailed it. Krishna tries to display the fact that the virtuous suffer the most. So she starts to smile instead, on the inside. It’s not exactly softness, rather metaphorical. Reminds me of “the difficulty of being good” by gurcharan das which is on the same lines about how noble people suffer.
Swami – Gogal, she had very few women in her life.. She was close with Dhri ma, and not a good rapport with Kunti.. Did she really have a good connect with men. She herself openly admits she did not love any of her husbands as they longed to be..I agree with you on the disrobing event.. Very well written with no melodrama and brings out the actual essence of the event..and finally she herself admits that she had not been a good mother and the fire of revenge engulfed many sweet moments of her life.. only to finally see loosing everyone..But is that not life..NOTHING LASTS..
Gogal – In terms of connecting with Krishna, her brother. I think that line was better than her relation with anyone else. Dhri ma an exception though .. And she could not get herself to be friendly or very giving to anyone. If there was one person that she was being herself to, then it is Krishna. I think she is called krshna right?
 In an essence, the palace of illusions as the title aptly captures it, is a gloomy tale of a princess, who finds it very difficult to come to terms with life … But survives, and remains the show stopper of the epic …. The thread is very interestingly spawn in the sense, is it her temperament that brings more gloom to her life or is it the other way? But whatever had been different, who can change destiny, who can question the dynamic unfolding of life’s events?!!!
Swami – Gogal, Wow.. you choice of words promises an author in future…and great outlook too..way to go..and waiting to see..
Gogal – 🙂 keep sharing your reads anna, good books can bring the best out of anyone 🙂


Impressive. Sorry, Iraivi is the title of the movie. It was more a feeling rather impact that kept dwelling in me, for at least a week after I saw the movie. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to watch it one more time. I was done with this one – but the impact it left in me, is inexplicable. Or, is it? As I scrolled down the pages of my Facebook news feed glumly, I read this review that just resonated with the shades of crimson red and fire yellow, that Iraivi had left in me. I could not resist, and gave in to the discussion, that turned out to be a wonderful collaborative analysis about the celluloid drama.

~ Original review  by Swami Nathan. The dialogue/discussion that follows was originally Facebook comments that has been moved to this blog for convenient reading. Swami Nathan is my good friend of mine, has an impeccable insight, voracious reader, and an intellectual conversation initiator. Dons as a thought provoking and responsible member of social media sites such as Facebook, Goodreads, etc..,

Swami – 


As touted by media, Iraivi is definitely not a film which celebrates womanhood. It has more than that and as a matter of fact it implicitly brings out why woman find their own cages. What is surprising about the film is that it is made by a three film old director, who is in his early thirties, who has never been an assistant director, yet had observed life and people is such close quarters. The films pace is something very unique and is a thing which Tamil audience are not used to – After all we made Chinna Thambi, a box office hit a few decades ago. Finally I’m not giving a verdict on how good or entertaining the movie is. But just wanted to share some observations.

Have never come across a Tamil film in recent times, where metaphors are used so beautifully and extensively [at times suffocating too]. Be it first scene where Illayaraja’s Thendral vanthu Theendum bodhu song soothes in background, while Arul [ SJ Surya] is intoxicated with his Takila [ as a mark that both are intoxicants] or the heist being planned on lady deities, as they have more market value or the background song “Unnai Thaane” during the bedroom scene or two cups shown in rain, one closed and one open collecting the rain drops in the scene between Yazhini [ Kamalinee Mukherjee] and her friend.We have Doss,[ Radharavi] , who is a sculptor, whose work is planned for a heist by his sons after years, and in parallel, we are shown his wife, whose value he realizes only after she moves to comatose in her last years, just like his sculptures.

The director beautifully brings out the nuances of four kinds of ladies. The old generation Arul’s mother [Vadivukkarasi], who prefers to wipe her tears in silk saree, all bejeweled, complaining about her husband, still remembers to pick his spectacles in first scene – Here she is more concerned on what her relations would think about her ill treatment rather than what it means to her or how it hurts herThe modern Yazhini is no different. She chooses her life partner, silently bears the pain and oscillates between what she has and what she wants till the end. She is all bejeweled in last scene, still not wanting to drench herself in rain. Are they not the choices of these ladies? Yazhini still needs the support of her father, when it comes to her personal failure. She is shown as a corporate woman stuck in routine and giving to the demands of societal pressures. She is shown as a working woman, who decides to remarry, goes to pub. But is she strong?

On the other hand, take a look at Malar [ Pooja], a widow – shown as an artist [ kudos to the way director chooses the background of the characters], who needs Michale [ Vijay Sethupathi] only for sexual needs. She comes across as a blunt and practical woman, whom we would want to call as whore. But, she is THE lady who understands another woman – the scene where she silently looks at Micheal leaving her house on a rainy day from her window and the lie which she utters, to make him leave. In the temple song, amongst all three, she is the one who is clad in white, while all others hallucinates Michale in black attire – it is Ponni who stabs him with her trident.We have a girl who can reject a diamond necklace and confidently say she has the power to earn what she wants. She too had personal debacles, but confidently speaks that she has recovered from that phase of life – A practical, but rebellious character.

Ponni [ Anjali, one actor of recent times, who has immense screen presence] is the actual Iraivi. She is the usual lower middle class girl dreaming for Thala and Thalapathi as her partner, but quickly accepts Michale. Unlike Yazhini, she is not educated, liberated, no strong parental support and does not choose her partner, yet she had the guts to leave her husband and take care of her kid, not once, but twice. The question of Michael to her on Jegan, which she refuses to answer till end shows her tenacity. She is a lady who has nothing to loose. No societal pressure. She is not confused as Yazhini. She accepts boldly that she did fall in love with Jegan [ Bobby Simha] and within few minutes could shower love and hug Michale, constantly wanting to rebuild her life from the shackles, to the best possible.There are only fine lines which makes difference between Ponni and Malar.Both are fighters, independent strong, but still the lines makes a difference.

The film just not touches on feminism. It talks about childhood trauma – Jegan, who has seen woman helpless all through his life, goes to any extent to ensure the welfare of Ponni. Like all protected second child in a family, which is controlled by the father [ Radha Ravi], where woman are treated badly, there is no reason for the behavioral mysteries of Jegan. He is in the beginning stages of a “Guna”.The film touches on slavery, which is intricately woven in our society. Michale and his uncle John [ Seenu, in a much needed lime light for him] are shown as unquestionable loyalists for generations to the family of Arul, who are eventually exploited [ There is also a reason behind the religion of John & Michale, which is subtly told]. The last scene where Arul tells Michale – Nee Enaku Thambi maathiri da, Jegan en Thambi. Wow!!!

Look at the way Men are shown – The scene how Michale kisses Ponni in the first night and how different it is when he kisses her when she tells him that she is pregnant with his child, the scene where he hastily leaves the train to get toffee for his kid who calls him as Appa [all along being called as Uncle]. The possessiveness and the inquisitiveness in the veins of male are shown when he eagerly questions the chastity of Ponni [We all do want Ponni to respond that she had not slept with Jegan – After all we are all Men]. The importance what he shows to Ponni, only after they get a child and after Malar rejects him. That is Indian Men for all of you, who stayed in the womb of a woman for 10 months.

There is one scene which sums up the story– When all Men plan for the heist in the hospital, Arul’s mother is shown lying in the center in comatose. That is how Men treat and want woman in their life. But it is left to woman to choose whom they want to be – Ponni / Malar / Yazhini. And why for woman. It is applicable for men too.

Gogal – Don’t you think there’s some courage and a lot of thought process involved in choosing girl kids for both the characters Swami Nathan? The unfolding of the subtle psychopath in Michael, all of the wrongly channelized brought up in jegan, that half baked good for nothing hot bloodedness in arul, that ego not letting himself admit his defeat in front of his emotionally losing sons, despite a comatosed wife, the extremely humble and honest destroyer – the chithappa … weakness despite strength, strength despite the weaknesses. That insight to portray that gender is so much more than just sports and gossip! This director seems to let the characters write themselves, so much closer to life explained in the Vedas. The director seems to observe life passionately. Hats off.

Swami – Gogal, And the director is only 3 films old. That is what fascinates me. But why do you call the chitappa as honest destroyer? Amazed at the way that character asked Ponni to leave the place in climax

Gogal – I guess if you are a keen observer in life, experience can be matched. Also makes me wonder if assistant directorship is a lot about observance really, maybe?! Chithappa – I think ignorant is a better word … I was so hoping he would do the earnest elder of the house … taking blame and letting the young one thrive but that was a brilliant touch .. another place where the character wrote itself .. He is a man … of simplicity … he will never compromise on that. Asking ponni to leave .. is a brilliantly conceived scene .. not to blame men really … but every man in the movie (when they were good and bad) always had at least one bad point against the othen men in their lives .. .Jegan about his dad and Arul and Michael … Michael about Jegan and the producer (and Arul at the fag end … nee en thambi maadhri) … Arul about Michael … Not sure if the director tries to underline that trait where men come up with – you could have done that .. he could have done that … well ask yourself too? Only Arul does that! But why just Arul? Because there is a creator in him, who observes a lot! A bit of Karthik himself .. genius touch!

Swami – You wont belive, I had the same thought that Chitappa would take the blame and Michael would go scott free.. You are amazing on the observation about Men

Gogal – Not intending to beat on it .. but both of us missed something .. that stunning insight you gave on hospital heist plot plan scene – why was the interruption a female nurse? 🙂 Is there any difference between her and the comatose patient apart from the vegetable state? Neither of them are able to do anything about those men .. Well these men could not deal with their own angry self (their anger and their angry self is a vicious circle) … but still .. I hope you get my point. I did not think about this scene until I remembered that the director gives few secs of extra screen space to the nurse as she walks out from the dark room towards the lighted corridor after being shouted at by all the men .. ranting about this unruly behavior in a place that screams for silence .. and remember that was the time Radharavi broke his silence … Aaan .. nedil … Penn .. kuril … 🙂 Let me know what you think anna …

Swami – Abi… Wow..

என்றென்றும் கே.பி!

எண்ணங்களுக்கு வடிவம் கொடுத்தாய்
உணர்ச்சிகளுக்கு வழி வகுத்தாய்
உணவுக்குப் பாத்திரமெனில்
உணர்வுக்குக் கதாபாத்திரமென்றாய்
பார் அதை – என்று (உனக்கு)
பார்த்தெல்லாம் பாரதியாக
மதி உள்வைத்தது உலகை மதி
அதுவே மனித குலத்தின் கதி
உன் மதி மிகைக்குமோ மீண்டும் ஒர் நதி
நீயும் உருவம் எறிந்தாய்,
மனதே அதைப் பதி
மனதே அதைப் பதி!
மனதே அதைப் பதி!
நீயல்லாது யார் வீ.ஐ.பி?!
மறுமுறை உணர்கிறேன் உன்னை, கே.பி!