February 26, 2004


The sambaar-idli -- its unique taste, the aavi-parakkum soodu of sambaar, with two cute IDLI floating in the Sambar swimming pool, waiting to be devoured...

In fact, the entire routine of setting up the plate first with just two unassuming soft, malligaipoo IDLI is fantastic. Then the waiter, slowly brings up the sambar mug. You can see steam from the mug. By this time, your nostrils have picked up the smell, and stomach cant wait any longer. You get thoroughly impatient. Even before, the server completely pours the sambaar, you become completely shameless, start gobbling the idlies.

You just cant stop with just one plate...

Now you become unabashed to ask for more sambar. You order for more sambar with such a command! Oh man...I dont have words...

YUMMY STUFF...Thankfully Triplicane's RATHNA CAFE and the IDLY-SAMBAAR still there...
Not vanished like Bajji Kadai.


I want MADRAS back...

Have you eaten in one of those platform Bajji Kadai of MADRAS?
They boil the oil in a big vaanali, take pieces of Vengaayam, soak them in bright orangish yellowish Bajji maavu, crisply fry them to a deep red color. Your mouth already starts watering when you see the Bajjis doing the swimming maneouvre (did I spell it right?) in that deep frying pan. The bajji starts getting into a deep red color. You know the Bajji is ready to be eaten.
You urge the bajjiwaala to drop it into a pan where the oil fizzles out through the filter. The sales man takes the bajjis out in a hot-to-hold fashion, wrap in DinaThanthi paper. The dinathanthi paper is probably 6 month old. You notice some old news item.
Remember that news, pichufy the bajji and start discussing the news item of Dinathanthi. You put the Bajji piece to mouth, it is so hot. You forget the news, you forget that discussion you started with the companion. You forget everything. Just start gobbling the hot bajjis. Wipe the oil off with the news paper.
By this time, the bajji you had is not enough, you check your pocket for moeny you have left. Ask for more bajjis again.

Yesterday went looking for one.

Couldnt find any.

February 20, 2004

Kavundamani - Senthil humor

Kavundamani-Senthil genre of jokes were our own desi...not even desi, our own naattupura Laurel-Hardy types.

Though I am not a great fan of Kavundamani-Senthil type adi-udhai jokes, few sequences have always been very hilarious. Very natural humor coupled with adi-uthai was always hilarious, but at some point of time, guess they started running out of ideas for joke sequences, and the pair turned out mere adi-uthai sequences without much humor. Thats when they started tasting bad and glean taken away.

All said and done, Senthil's "Annayyyy" and Kavundamani's "Dei iruttu thalaiya" in few movies evoke laughter any time. I wouldn't want to miss them for any reason.

Here is a small list as for as my memory goes:

"Oru pazham intha irukku, innoru pazham yengay?"
"Athuthaan annay ithu"

- Karakaattakaaran

"Mysore Maharaja vachiruntha kaar, cinema nadigai Soppana Sundari vachirunthaanga. Intha kaarai ippo naan vaechu irukkaen"

Senthil says something to K.Mani.
K.Mani is agitated and repeats, "athu epdippa enkitta kaeppaan?"
Ramarajan asks "Apdi yenna kaettupittaan?"
K.Mani says "Soppana sundari vachiruntha kaar neenga vachirukkeenga, soppana sundariya yaar vachirukkanga?"
- Karakaattakaaran

K.Mani's car is very old looking. And the sequences related to perichampazhakaaran are funny too.
- Karakaattakaaran

Well, you people know the sequences, am not going to elaborate each. Just going to refer them, visualize in your mind and laugh off! ha ha ha....

Senthil's sceintific doubts and Kavundamani's dilemmas - Chinna gounder
"Naan 7-m class paasu, neenga SSLC fail-nay...paas perusa, fail perusa?" - Gentleman
"Marathadi hundial sequence and Jail encounters" - Uthaya geetham


I saw Karakkaattakaaran yesterday on KTV. So many success elements embedded into it - greak folklore by Ilaiyaraja, fresh village face in Kanaka, the wonderful rhythm of karakaattam, above all - not to forget Kavundamani-Senthil comedy.

Good movie altogether - everyone becomes a good person at the end, including the villain. No gory scenes. No sexist humor. No ear-scorching music. Nowhere the storyline sags. The movie just runs at the right pace.

I would watch Karakkattakaaran any number of times just for Kavundamani-Senthil comedy. Vaazhapazham-oru rooba, Kavundamani's car and perichampazha kaaran, Soppana sundari - jokes would evoke laughter any time. The humor was quite natural, and the encounters between Kavundamani-Senthil very hilarious...

February 19, 2004

Big Rip

No, no...I am not referring to the JJ issue...(well, JJ means not J.Jeyalalitha and the big rip she caused in the election alliance, but Janet Jackson - Justin Timberlake issue)...I mean the BIG RIP doesnt pertain to JJ's famous N*****GATE when I mention about the big rip!!

This is a scientific theory proposing the death of earth! Read the complete story in
Newyork times
About 900 million years later, about 60 million years before the end, our own Milky Way galaxy will be torn apart. Three months before the rip, the solar system will fly apart. The Earth will explode when there is half an hour left on the cosmic clock.

The last item on Dr. Caldwell's doomsday agenda is the dissolution of atoms, 10-19, a tenth of a billionth of a billionth of a second before the Big Rip ends everything.

"After the rip is like before the Big Bang," Dr. Caldwell said. "General relativity says: "The end. Time can't evolve."

Oops, before it happens, - Go, pick up that real fight you wanted to pick up with the nose-picking neighbour, ask all the questions you always wanted to ask your HR Manager - esp about policies, propose to that beautiful girl round your street's corner or give the hapless beggar whom you see meet daily near the traffic signal but happen to turn your face away!!!

Life is short...oops thats scary

Banks or cranks?

Few of my recent experiences with some supposedly leading banks:
1. Called up callcenter of ICICI Bank for an issue.
After a maze of number pressing, automated response informing my average wait time to be serviced by a Customer Service Rep is 5 minutes.
After finishing the time limit, a rep validated my identity, heard my problem completely, and then said 'Sir, I will put you to a specialty officer, who will answer your query. Pls be on hold', and there I go.
Another 5 minutes. To the specialty officer, I have to once again prove my identity, explain all my problem.
By this time, I am exasperated about this entire 15 minute routine, I lose all steam to shout and complain. I only have the energy to narrate. The SPECIALTY OFFICER finally gives me a transaction number and asks me to check back after 2 working days...aaarrgghhh....

2. I correspond to the customer care email-id of ICICI. Got an automated response that my query will be attended to shortly. After a month's time, I get a response saying my concern item will be addressed in 7 working days.
Now I send a response like one below -
I am disappointed at the speed in which ICICI responds to eMail queries. ICICI has wasted close to one month just to state that they will send across requisite documents in a week.

I am wondering if this type of service amounts to breach of customer trust and consumer rights.

To which the customer officer responds:
We thank you for writing back to us.

Should you need any further assistance / clarifications, please do write to us and we would be delighted to assist you.

3. Experience with AMEX.
I had a personal loan with AMEX, I opted for a top-up loan. They said the closure of old loan with top-up loan, and amount disbursal to me would take 3 days. I apply for the loan. After close to a week, am informed that it would take another 3 days. No response on 3rd day, so I call up bank. They tell me that application form is wrongly printed by AMEX, so I need to fill form again. This time they cautiously state it'd be a week.
After close to 10 days, when I dont hear from AMEX, I call up to understand what happened. Once again, an error on AMEX in getting my signatures, and I would have to fill the form again. I do this. A month has passed, and no action still.
I call up again to understand what happened. They say they will get back to me soon. And in the afternoon, a couple of reps from AMEX land up at my place, saying that error in form once again, and I need to fill up the form again. This is the third time, mind you.
They assure me that cheue would be disbursed this time definitely in 3 days. A week passes again... no no dont worry, not another time. But a system error - technology problem - so cheque processing will take more time. But my application form is fine.
Then I send so many mails and fax and lot of phone-shouting to AMEX, and informed I might be tempted to go to Banking ombudsman and consumer court. Finally, the loan amount was disbursed without much an official apology.
Wait, the story is not over yet.
AMEX had not returned my EMI cheques pertaining to my old loan. And a couple of days back, AMEX presented the EMI cheques related to both accounts - old and new. I called up the people who serviced my top-up loan. And they told me "Sir, this is sales department, we are not related with this issue any more. You will have to tal to operations department through our call center"

hmmpphh....So much so for MNC bank and customer service!!!

February 17, 2004

News-sense --> Nuisance

On Sunday, the CAT exams were covered on 24x7 and Headlines today - like interviewing students who come to take the exam, asking them about tough levels, their feelings about writing the exam again, where from people have come, so on and so forth.

Whats wrong with it anyway? In history of IIMs, this was the time CAT paper was leaked, and exams being conducted again. So, shouldnt this news item be covered?

Yes, but not for the whole day. Give me a break! We were offered almost a minute-by-minute account of CAT exams. Just shows how desperate the channels are!

Similarly from dawn to dusk, valentines day was covered. I can understand if MTV/FTV/Splash channels cover this for entire day, but news channels???

Hhhmm...Had I known earlier that the channels just would cover anything so desperately like this, I could have talked to them to get them cover my sister's wedding that happened last week. I could saved a 13000 rupees atleast.

Afterthoughts of a genius!

February 15, 2004

Wacky warning labels

Bottle of drain cleaner which says: "If you do not understand, or cannot read, all directions, cautions and warnings, do not use this product."

A five-inch fishing lure which sports three steel hooks and cautions users that it is, "Harmful if swallowed,"
label on a snow sled which says: "Beware: sled may develop high speed under certain snow conditions."

A 12-inch-high storage rack for compact disks which warns: "Do not use as a ladder."

A smoke detector which warns: "Do not use the Silence Feature in emergency situations. It will not extinguish a fire,"

A warning on an electric router made for carpenters cautions: “This product not intended for use as a dental drill.”

A warning label found on a baby stroller cautions the user to “Remove child before folding”

A prescription of sleeping pills says, “Warning: May cause drowsiness

A sticker on a toilet at a public facility in Ann Arbor, Michigan actually warns: “Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking.”

A massage chair warns: "DO NOT use massage chair without clothing... and, Never force any body part into the backrest area while the rollers are moving."

A snowblower warns: "Do not use snowthrower on roof.²"

A dishwasher carries this warning: "Do not allow children to play in the dishwasher."

A CD player carries this unusual warning: “Do not use the Ultradisc2000 as a projectile in a catapult.”

An “Aim-n-Flame” fireplace lighter cautions, “Do not use near fire, flame or sparks”

A label on a hand-held massager advises consumers not to use “while sleeping or unconscious”

A container of underarm deodorant says, “Caution: Do not spray in eyes”

A cartridge for a laser printer warns, “Do not eat toner”

A household iron warns users: “Never iron clothes while they are being worn”

A label with a hair dryer reads, “Never use hair dryer while sleeping”

A 13-inch wheel on a wheelbarrow warns: “Not intended for highway use”

A cardboard car sunshield that keeps sun off the dashboard warns, “Do not drive with sunshield in place”

A Bathroom Heater says: “This product is not to be used in bathrooms”

A can of self-defense pepper spray warns users: “May irritate eyes”

A warning on a pair of shin guards manufactured for bicyclists says: “Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover.”

A popular manufactured fireplace log warns: “Caution - Risk of Fire”

A box of birthday cake candles says: “DO NOT use soft wax as ear plugs or for any other function that involves insertion into a body cavity.”

Once upon a time blog...

A new blog again!

My wife asks me how many times will I create such blogs!!! Good question...

I am hoping to ensure atleast this time I will try and be regular...;))