April 27, 2004

EVMs and Indian democracy

New york Times in an article about usage of EVMs in India for Elections-2004. It builds up an image that India is a completely corrupt nation, and a nation of frauds and violence.

There is an undertone of mockery writ into this article reporting the EVM exercise that World's largest democracy is achieving in such a short span, with indigenously built technology.

The article sums up saying EVM is ensuring the election fraudsters are modernizing and decries the by-and-large success of such a national exercise.

Perhaps New york times has forgotten the Diebold controversy. Probably the election fraud is acceptable in the supposedly World's most sophisticated nation, and nothing to raise a hue and cry, but a developing nation's proud attempt is a laughable affair!!!

Perhaps New york times
Read the complete article here(subscription required) from NYTimes

April 26, 2004

Real cost of offshoring!

{I posted this as response to another blog. Thought relevant to post in my blog too}
The main issue while offshoring tech support is calling for stricter SLAs and faster turnaround times. Above all, key checkpoints at important levls in the process and a tighter integration with all entities is very much needed. Maturity of the process also needed.
Let me give you an example. I am a Business analyst for an MNC automotive company. They have resorted to typical offshoring model by having their different entities at different places for cost-cutting benefits.
A typical scenario - MNC's customer facing website in Australia suddenly gets a 'Page not found' error. The Aus business people report it to India Help desk who are doing Help desk support. Their SLA time is 1 working day for this. Find out its not problem with application, but with infrastructure/hosting environment. The hosting environemtn is once again outsourced to another entitty in Singapore for the MNC. But the follow-up can be done only by this Indian application helpdesk. But the help desk wold have already taken close to 3/4th of day trying to figure out the issue. Now they escalate to this Singapore facility. This S'pore facility has again one day turnaround time according to SLA. They work on it, and found out this happened due to a particular patch from a vendor whose turnaround time is min 3 working days. Business owner has to take a decision on this. This they informed the caller, ie, India help desk, and closed the call. India help desk promptly informed this to Aus business owner and closed their calls too. Technically, each one responded within their own SLA time. Since India help desk escalated at their EOD, technically fulfilled their SLA of one day response time, to S'pore, business has lost a day. Then S'pore worked on it for a day, sent response back. Business lost another day. Now the ball is in business owner's court, who has to call respective vendor - another day lost. Vendor will take 3 days. Essentially business lost close to 6 days of issue resolution and the impact of cost loss is huge.
The cost gained due to offshoring, is offset by such issue resolution cost impact.
Perhaps a case of penny wise, pound foolish.
And probably, with maturity and stability, they will learn to have tighter integration checkpoints or give up so soon like 'Jesus Christ' solution...

April 21, 2004

Sri Nithyakalyana perumal

Any one knows when this temple's kumbhabhishekam is scheduled?

Sri Nithyakalyana Perumal resides at Tiruvidanthai on East Coast Road.



Out there in my cafeteria, Radio Mirchi was as usual busy with songs.

There were lot of foot tapping numbers, melodious ones, pathos, folk, pure plain tamil cine music, pop in that single session of music-hearing...suddenly realized they all were music-ed by Ilaiyaraja.

Jazz & Rock n roll types
Rum bum bum
Puthu maappillaikki

Light music
Sangeetha meham
Ilaya nila

Maanguilay poonguilay

Ilangaathu veesuthey
Poongaathu thirumbumaa?

Pure plain tamil cine music
Nenjukkullay innaarunnu

Wow the versatility of Ilaiyaraja!!!
What an experience he creates...

April 20, 2004

Tambaram, Mambalam, Chromepet, Saidapet, Valasaravakkam...???

We have so many areas in Chennai like Tambaram, Mambalam, Triplicane, Mylapore, Chromepet, Valasaravakkam, Virugambakkam, Vadapalani, Pallavaram, Saidapet, Velacherry.

Ever wondered how they got their names? Any one knows the significane behind these names?

I know the naming reasons for Triplicane, Mylapore, Washermanpet. (I will start blogging eventually). But don't know the meaning or reasons for most of other areas. Guess it should be an interesting task to find the meaning and share the same.

HHmmm...maybe let me embark on the assignment, trying to figure why Mambalam was named Mambalam, or why Tambaram is called as Tambaram.

Inputs invited from Blog readers.

Either mail me, or write in the comments section.

Update:Watch out for updates on the naming conventions on my other blog on Chennai

Open Markets

The cost of seeing the following movies in Chennai theaters
Gilli - Rs 60
Lord of the Rings (all 3 parts) - Rs 300
Harry Potter - Rs 100

All anti-piracy laws and cells cant do much. The movie VCDs are available at a mere
Rs 50 per VCD in every corner of the city. It sounds nice to hear things like "one should not buy such pirated things, and must not encourage the piracy industry", but practically speaking, many people just buy this for economic reasons.

I am not talking about those shops where they rent pirated VCD, or those shops in Burma bazaar/Flower bazaar that sell pirated VCDs. They are supposedly covert actions, and once in a while we see an article in Hindu/Daily thanthi that anti-pirqcy cell seized so many VCDs and arrested someone.

The VCDs, I am referring to, are those that one can purchase in the open market. By OPEN MARKET, I mean all the roadsides throughout the city,
1. right in Mount road, in front of LIC, TVS, Devi theatre complex
2. bang at TNagar, across Pondy Bazaar
3. near many temples in the city

Just like street hwakers selling vegetables, you can spot these guys. They sell latest movie/audio CDs, MP3 CDs - with luck even DVD.

Can piracy be really fought over?

April 19, 2004

Sun Fun

Ok, the sun is gruelling all of us out here at Tamilnadu! So, what's new?

Ofcourse, the usual whines, pains that accompany the summer heat. Much has already been said 'beating the heat'. My two cents here:

Well, why can't we put to good use(??!!) this hot sun?

Solar panel powered lights in highway - The Old Mahabalipuram road has so many IT companies that can assume some amount of corporate social responsibility, sponsor for the solar lamps and have them installed through the road up to Madhya Kailash from Kelambakkam. Similarly in those big roads that connect into the Old Mahabs road like the Medavakkam connect road, Chromepet-Pallavaram connect road.

Those roads are, after all, being commuted a lot only by those employees who work mostly late nights and return home in their bikes/cars, when a little street light will be very helpful.

Ok, all those who hang around in the sun, here are few tips:
1. Never go without a cap or hat. Atleast tie a handkerchief on your head

2. In evening, when you feel too exhausted and drained, and you have symptoms like nausea, severe headache, First, sit in a relatively cool place, drink lot of fluid - preferably lemon ginger soda or buttermilk/lassi with salt/sugar

3. Do drink watermelon juice while going out in sun

4. Have kalkandu(sugar candy) in hand. Its better anyday than a chewing gum on a hot day. When feeling too thirsty while commuting somewhere and cannot stop anywhere, just pop a kalkandu in mouth

5. A hot coffee or tea or even a glass of hot water is better than Fridge water/cool drinks

6. No ice creams please

7. Buy wet tissues if affordable. Buy a small bottle of Eau De Cologne, and add two drops of it to the bathing water. Controls sweat a lot. Even shaving lotion should do

8. Try including a 'Thayir pacchadi' in your daily lunch - mango, cucumber, tomato, onion, vaazhaithandu (don't know English term)

9. Curd rice (Thayir saadham) is a good eat for lunch. Definitely, atleast for dinner.

10. If you have water (even recycled water or waste water) for this, then do this daily in the evening. Half bucket of water on outer walls of your home or bedroom. If you live on top floor, in the terrace. This is a PURE LUXURY in Chennai today, I know, but still doesn't hurt to give adivce.

11. Washed clothes, hang them for drying inside the room as window curtains. You escape the hot air from windows, costless AC, the clothes also get dried. To avoid the damp smell, keep a camphor in the room, or some other type of room freshner.

Have fun in the sun!!!

April 18, 2004

Making Money with your blogs!

Well, this is not one of those African Scam that says you can claim stake in the million dollar inheritance, nor the pranks of my prankster friend , but a real, new business concept catching on.

According to adrants,

Among the potential channels for revenue are selling advertising, becoming a media property, selling products from the blog, selling blog skills as a "product," selling services and selling premium memberships.

More details here

April 14, 2004

Sambhavaami Yugay Yugay

Recently I had been to Sri Parthasarathy Swami Temple. Moolavar(the main deity) Sri Parthasarathi is not for public view, and the area cordoned off following the works on renovation to the Gopuram (temple tower).
The oorchavar (smaller deity) is installed inside temple premises for public.

What puzzled me was the renovation activities being performed. The renovation was not restoration, but re-painting and even remodelling at some places!!!

* The dolls in the temple gopuram were being painted using normal paints we paint on our walls

* Brick walls were being built on temple wall abutting the actual stone walls

* Bad, outside the temple a big shed erected for some stupid purpose hiding the entire beauty of temple front and gopuram

* Worse, a Gitacharyan rendering in form of sculpture with bright blue, yellow and red colours, modelled on basis of usual Gitopadesam calendar photos you see everywhere. Though its a good work, it in now way contributes to history of the temple and deity.

* Sri Parthasarathy came to rest after Mahabharat war in this place and has a temple here. So, Gitopadesam is not relevant here.

* More over, God came here to rest after war to get some peace, but the sculpture takes away the very meaning of this.

* AND LASTLY, Sri Parthasarathy Swami Temple is the only place where the Lord is seen with a moustache...contrast it with Gitopadesam sculpture in front of temple!

Why aren't these temples seen as heritage sites and restoration done, instead of re-modelling???

These beauties modelled using old stones existed for so many years, why now such colorful 'Asian Paints' type of coloring and change the whole vibration of the temple and the spiritual importance of the temple?

This is not the case with Sri Parthasarathy Temple. The same fate has happened to Sri Trivikaramaswamy temple at Tirukoilur also. I do not know of other temples where such blunders, without even realizing, are happening.

But, unperturbed by all this, Lord smiles at all including me, them, the so-called atheists and everyone else, silently implying,

                  Sambhavaami Yugay Yugay

April 08, 2004

I have grown old...

Usha fan ad where a fat man gets slapped continuously by ladies. How is it even faintly related to Usha fan? Or is the fat man is a fan of Usha, and all those who slapped him are Usha's...I just dont get it!

Some courier company ad..one guy is in first night room with his wife...a courier packet whizzes, he pushes it off. Once again, another courier packet...and finally, you know what they didn't do. Final shot says something for the courier company. How in the remotest chance that a man's first night is connected to courier company?

Have I grown that old that I am not able to comprehend all of these ads?

Creatively Crippled

All the private TV channels and FM stations offer lots of programmes with slick production quality - no doubt, but what they lack is versatility and variety! For instance, there is no USP between Jaya, Raj, Sun and Star in the types of programmes they give.

If for one day, they block out their logos, scramble signals and start feeding the signals from different frequency, am sure it will be tough to say which channel, as they all would be same.

On the other hand, much blasted DD and AIR's FM stations offer such a variety that these channels fail to deliver. Ofcourse, the production quality lacks, but then, we get to watch or listen fresh items.

Between Radio Mirchi and SUryan FM, it is always 'Unnai vida', 'Kannil unnai yetri', 'Manmatha raasa' ...so many times! But then take Rainbow FM, you have carnatic music, hindustani music, melodious instrumental in the peace of night, English Music - pop & rock, interviews with people from different walks of life, house-hold tips, ladies welfare, medical/legal/governmental dial-in programmes to name a few...

If you take DD, it has an hour of Quiz dial-in daily by Sumanth Raman. It's a hit among kids. And then, we used to have 'Ulavarum Olikathir' - a 15-30 minute recap of religious happenings across the state in past week. During festival times, we are not bombarded with some program or other where some cinema artist is involved, and shots from latest releases screened. Instead there are programs that capture the essence of festive spirit.

Day before yesterday, I saw a 30 minute play where a brat is creating problems in a colony by hismischiefs. The kid was so sweet, and he has a harassed grand father - Poornam Viswanathan. Fantastic simple hilarious play. Nothing as simple as this we get now-a-days!

Just look athe variety DD offers/offered- Multilingual films every sunday, deaf and dumb news, Chitramala - multilingual songs for 30 minutes every week, Rangoli, Mahabharat, Vayalum Vaazhvum (how many channels bother anything about farmers now-a-days??), Didi's comedy show, foreign movies on DD Metro every Friday night, Men and Matters, Wonder Balloon (we have a 24x7 wonder balloon channel these days - Splash Channel), Sports time, Quiz time, World This Week...am sure fellow bloggers can quote more!

We have so many channels these days but why do they lack such versatility and variety? Maybe we should consider branding them as Creatively Crippled

April 02, 2004

Korukku Theeni

* It is Panguni maasam and already sun is scorching out here at Chennai. All those bloggers and blog-readers at relatively cooler places - BOO to you!

* Mylapore is buzzing with Arubathu moovar celebrations. Small booths set up for distribution of buttermilk, potted water. Lots of booths this year sponsored by AIADMK and BJP.

* No Rajini or Kamal movies for this Tamil New Year

Its a boy

My wife, Subhashree gave birth to a boy on 31-03-2004. Proud Arian, fire sign, weighing 3.38 kgs at birth.
Aleady started his typical Arian anger and having fun and being very sweet and lovable.
Should be back to active blogging in a day or two!