December 14, 2005

Famous Doordarshan songs

Long back in good olden days of Doordarshan, we used to have a program to help the farmers. This was called "Vayalum vaazhvum"..meaning, Farmfield and life.

The title music was composed and sung by none other than the great Tamil film music composer - Sri MS Viswanathan.
This song goes like this:
"Thaai nilam thantha varam, taavaram
Athu thazhaikka thazhaikka varumaaru yaavarum"

Similarly, another song from Doordarshan, which catches my fancy is about Male-Female Equality
"AaNaa PeNNaa poranthathingay
Athuthaan Ingu muthal kelvi…
AaNaa porantha sirippu enna
PoNNa porantha veruppu enna"

Some more songs on Doordarshan songs that I hold close to my heart:
1)      "Antha veenaikku theriyaathu
        Athai seithavan yaarendru" - Title song of Teleserial SAHANA
2)      The title music of Mahabharath
3)      Mile sur mera tumhara
4)      Junoon title song in Tamil. I particularly remember this line - "Pidivaatham theera pidivaatham vendum"
5)      We used to have this great Mango drink called "Maaza" (We still have it, but this is a re-launched product with a new refreshing taste - which is YUCK)…this particular advertisement was telecast in Doordarshan, where Ranjit Barot - film musician and ad jingles music composer - also stars in it…it was a fabulous piece of beats for the Maaza drink

December 12, 2005

IT Minister Mr. Moron and his Grandfather Mr. Care-No-Nidhi do it again!!!

Hindustan Times reports about the silly loosetalk comments by IT Minister Mr. Dayanidhi Moron and his Do-Good-For-No-One Grandfather Mr. Care-No-Nidhi, in the presence of "Annan" Bill Gates, who has come with load-sacks of dollars to invest in Tamilnadu.
Considering the fact that Highways Ministry was handled by DMK Ministers for so long, and that the particular South Chennai constituency MP is from DMK, does Mr. Moron suggest that his party people had been inefficient? Well, only he know the truth.

Add to it, the nugget of wisdom by the IT Minister - Mr. Moron that Bangalore roads are better (Wonder what Mr. Azim Premji, Mr. Narayanamurthy have got to say for this - consideringrecent qualms they have had with CM of Karanataka and Proxy-CM Mr. Deve Gowda!), and calling bluff of Mrs. Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan - DMK MP & Minister - who said that all the ministers from Tamilnadu are ofcourse working only for betterment of Tamilnadu.

Why can't Mr. Moron stick to his regular agenda of:
--- Inaugurating scanner machines in airports
--- Acting as Tamilnadu travel agent for Congress High Command - Dr. Singh, and High Command's High Command - Sonia
--- Twisting laws to suit SCV and Sun Network
Perhaps Mr. Care-No-Nidhi can stick to his favorite game of bashing Brahmins, and leave stuffs like IT and investment alone?

And Chakra, FYI, English Murasoli did not report the silly behavior of Mr. Moron.

Update: English Murasoli indeed reported Moron's upset over Tidel Park not being laid even after 2 years.

December 05, 2005

Would you feel like working here?

Today I received a mail in Inbox. The subject read:
All positions; very hot…
I was about to dismiss the email as one of those e*ection, v.agra, elongation spams. I stopped on time, when I noticed MNC tagging along at the end of three dots. When I opened the email, it was a job offer email - courtesy some recruiter who got my profile and email-id from some source (which the agency did not quote).

When I read through the email, it was a totally irrelevant job profile and very bizarre. I was shocked at this trend - no seriousness whatsoever about an IT job, supposedly furthering career in IT. I do keep getting such job posting regularly. I was even more shocked to learn from my friends at offshore that calls - unsolicited - being made to mobile, office desk and home phones, by supposedly head-hunting agencies for some recruitment offer or other. These calls to the level of those credit-card sales calls.

Whats happening? If this is what is job-market boom, and such quality of people trying to recruit you, I wonder
How long before this bubble may burst?
Here is another recruitment email gem:
3 to 7years with strong .Net and SQL development background. Experince in Unit Integeration/Blackbox testing/automation tools is an added advantage. Database testing experience would be ideal.

Education :B.E.,B.TECH.,M.C.A.,M.E.
Experience :3 - 5 years
Job type :Full-time (Permanent Positions)

Still, the best one, yet to beat any other recruitment ad has been the one I saw in a national newspaper's Opportunities supplementary…it read thus, in mid-2000 as:

3 years experience in Windows 2000

November 29, 2005

Am I becoming anti-HINDU?

No, not an anti-HINDU as in Mu. Ka. As anti-Brahmin, but as in I-HATE-THE HINDU NEWSPAPER…I don’t really know. But THE HINDU is slipping away in its level of reputation and image it had in me. So it seems like in many other people as well.

<a href=""> Chakra </a> today sent me this link <a href="">about THE HINDU's "inadvertent lifting of NYTimes inspired article on Alexander" </a>

Some obvious questions that pop up are:
1. Is the Editor-In-Charge so much allergic to internet, they don’t read articles from other newspapers' online versions?

2. Did the author think that readers of THE HINDU are so internetologically so impaired and web-access wise so challenged like China, UAE or any other fundamentalistic nation that the readers cannot recognize direct lift-offs from foreign newspapers?

3. Did the author realize he violated the copyrights, and he could be easily implicated by law, and so the relevant Editor-in-Charge? Running to Bangalore this time may not be useful.

It is a pity, we are such a big democratic country, no press control, no censorship, still we do not have a single quality national newspaper (TEHELKA is not a newspaper, it is a refined and more honest JUNIOR VIKATAN); no unbiased one like THE TIMES (as in UK) or like NEWYORK TIMES;

THE HINDU used to be quite different in good few years back. The least we can expect from THE HINDU is either true writing or atleast credit for relevant places from where the content is being lifted. If it cannot be done, least they can do is reduce the premium charged by THE HINDU as cost of the newspaper.

Google News is free, so must be THE HINDU!

(PS: Last time, similar thing happened in my office - lift off pieces of Java program from open source software, the respective Tehnical Architect was fired; Another colleague quipped that such a thing happened in his previous project with an international bank, Police came and arrested the Architect and Manager in the office itself.)

November 28, 2005

New SUN TV show - MK acting in "Just for jest"

MK is playing his favorite gameline which as every Tamilian knows is "Anti-brahmin" line.

{Those who don’t understand the HEAD or TAIL what I am ranting, please read last one month's newspaper and come back here…a context would be obtained}

Recently, his comment about Mrs. Suhasini's support for Khusboo is something like that. He further stated that this feedback was of DPA's voice. The communist parties immediately rebutted saying this is neother DPA's comment, nor does communist parties subscribe to it. They further called for MK not to tag the pre-marital sex issue in casteist lines.

In his usual way, MK responded saying "he was mis-quoted" and "mis-understood"…and apparently, he said this in a jest.

No wonder politicians make good jesters.

Some of the key things to note here are:
1. MK did not have any personal comment about Khushboo. Was it because of the gentlemanliness that disagreeing with a viewpoint doesn't necessarily have a personal attack thingy…absolutely not! It is his little calculation about minority community vote to which Khushboo belongs.

2. MK did not condemn the cheap behavior of TAMIL CULTURAL PROTECTION GOONDAs in the wake of Khushboo's appearance in courts. Because MK's mind would have calculated "The people who displayed such boorish behavior " are from his own alliance members. Condemning them would mean giving the alliance parties a chance to pressurise him during seat negotiation or even threats to pull-outs. Already MK is devastated by the popularity of these political parties, which use the same tactics he had used long back.

3. MK chose to crack a passing comment on Suhasini's community - not on Suhasini's comments; Because he knows the brahmin community is the one which will "vaayaiyum, adhaiyum moodindu pova..."! MK's favorite political game is this. But this time, he is careful. Having looked at condemnations like this from Communist parties, he is quick to recover and state it is all mis-quoted and a jest. Because given other jaathi (caste) parties' increasing popularity, he doesn’t want to tag anti-brahmin line and lose those votes as well. Otherwise, MK would have made a statement to the effect "Suhasini yellam avaa..avaa mattum tamil jananganu ninaichundu irukka..ithu yenna sankara madam-a?"

MK - Multi calculation Karunanidhi

Having withdrawn Dayalu ammal (MK's wife) share from SUN TV, apparently MK is thinking of releasing a new weekly English mag from the house of Murasoli as reported by Vikatan. I am not able to resist this piece of sarcasm - why do they(DMK) need a weekly, when they already have a daily in English? ENGLISH MURASOLI aka  THE HINDU

November 25, 2005

White November...

Yes, it has started snowing in UK. This is the first time, I have seen the snow season twice in the same year!

November 23, 2005

Chaos, corporates and the work culture!

Recently, I was forwarded <a href="">this article</a>, written by Harshad Oak. It is all about the IT work environs in India - I subscribe to most of the views.

If what is written there is TRUE, there is a new trend emerging in today's IT Corporate Culture - especially in India. Here is something, one of my mentors shared with me - which is sadly true. More of degeneration.

We all live out of confusion. Corporates exist out of confusion, thats the way we all have jobs. This funda was given to me when I was in xxxxxxxxx.

The more the confusion, the better and more are the job prospects. I also learnt that if there is a problem, don't try to solve it. Send out status to all concerned, escalate, call for meetings, ask for a risk management plan, create issue tracker, do all the things but don't solve it. This way, you have a job, your manager has a job, and other people have a job to do. Amazing, isn't it?

Well, I have reached the threshold, but am managing well and I have also started following the fundas I generally give to all. I am also contributing my share to the confusion and all seem to be happy with me. Life sucks otherwise.

Painfully I am experiencing this too all around. Perhaps, it is time to go the way like Shankar Mahadevan (quit Oracle to become a full-time musician), Gowtham (engineer who quit to make movies), Shashi Chimala (who sold his Indigo Technologies and started Qwikys), those IT guys who started "Chakkara pongal restaurant in TNagar"…or maybe perhaps, take a leaf out of <a href=""> Bala's latest venture </a> (fellow blogger who quit his IT job, and happily doing a course on HISTORY at Madurai Kamaraj University)

November 18, 2005

Do I qualify to rant about THE HINDU?

Considering my previous post about THE HINDU, my language looks poor because I wrote without a spellchecker, and in one shot, without organizing my thoughts. Basically, it was an outburst.

As a true journalist, one of THE HINDU associate has pointed out about my writing (in) capability. (Reference: COMMENTS section of post on THE HINDU)


My rant is not untrue, however. It is an outpour of feelings.

As I mentioned, THE HINDU is like an English MURASOLI or like an English NAMATHU MGR. Proving this rant, in a true DRAVIDIAN PARTY style, THE HINDU associate:

· has chosen to divert the issue of poor standard of reporting - my actual issue
· has turned the rant into a personal blame game (narrow-minded etc.)
· has chosen to generalize the degeneration and arguing nothing wrong in being de-generated; not only that, but also further classification of my concerns as being narrow-minded.

· has simply brushed away the facts by simply attacking the person who wrote it, rather than looking at a counter view

· so sad, has unnecessarily crowning me as spokesman to diss THE HINDU
· further, forgetting the fact that this is my blog, and blogs were supposedly a journal where the owner records his/her own thoughts. So, I do think I have a right to express my feelings in my blog. However, THE HINDU person thinks what qualifications have I, to write such things.

And by the way, I am not the person who thinks low of THE HINDU, as I have mentioned is my aathangam.

True, I have looked around myself in India, and that is why, I have talked about the degeneration I have seen with my own eyes - TV, AANANDA VIKATAN so on and so forth. This does not, in no way, justify yet another valued newspaper to take to that path. Well, if THE HINDU precisely does that, I can do nothing. I am not a MORAL POLICE.

The fact that the comment chose not to address what I have written, does not imply that "spelling errors" or "wrong words" are rampant; THE HINDU is also becoming filled with just Movie junk articles, sensation finds a priority over smart reviews, so on and so forth.

The online publication is not a big journalistic wonder as well. There are expectations when a national newspaper goes online. THE HINDU belies all that, and in fact, prefers to earn money through Google Adsense. Even the so-called sensation Tamil dailies like DINAMALAR and DAILY THANTHI web versions have more to offer. There has been no visible improvement in THE HINDU website as well for past 2-3 years. To start with, there are no district-wise editions. No classifieds.

It is indeed true that the layout of THE HINDU has vastly improved as they embraced new techniques from a leading international newspaper consultant. But can THE HINDU claim the same with quality of their news articles?

Do you want facts? Take this…Oru paanai sorukku, oru soru padham…first time ever, on THE HINDU, there was an article on blogging. To quote this as an article without any depth is an understatement. The reason? This blogging article was about Bloggers from Chennai and none of the famous bloggers/blogs like Selective amnesia, Kiruba, Lazygeek, Ramz, Pavithra were mentioned in that article. Instead, we read about some blogs and bloggers, whose names were not heard of in Chennai Blogging cricles. This article was similar to the kind of "opinion articles" written by magazines like kumudam, kungumam etc. They interview their neighbours and friends, fill up four pages and call it an "article"…bah…!

My spelling error on my website can easily be corrected. When I am out of my outburst mood - edit it a bit, check spelling manually - it can be updated. (I am not going to do that… Instead, let my impulsive outburst remain the way it was created.)

Same cannot be said of the facts I have quoted about HINDU as an avid reader of HINDU. This is my rant, disappointment with THE HINDU.

I do not want to do quality assessment of all other English papers in India. For one, I have not read other newspapers regularly to comment on their perceived quality. And for next, because I am gifted with something called a BROADBAND INTERNET CONNECTION, I am exposed to many other blog sites and leading websites and good news aggregators like GoogleNews, I get my better dose of good articles.

There is no point anyway.
Let me recount a small anecdote that happened in my school - guess Chakra would remember it as well.

When I was in our sixth/seventh standard, I did not have fluency in English language. My English teacher used to say "Children, you must all read THE HINDU newspaper daily. You must learn written English from THE HINDU". Such was the effect of THE HINDU for many generations.

So, my language skills vastly improved that I went on to get many prizes in many competitions.

But off late, my friends and THE HINDU associate, who commented in my post, have accused me of my poor English skills.

I do still read THE HINDU daily.

And that exactly was my rant all about!

Update: A representative news report from today's edition of THE HINDU. What next? Muppathamman koil aadi vizha's fashion show winner dresses like Sania Mirza?

November 17, 2005

The Dwindling Hindu...

…news standards really!
Gone are the days, when the national newspaper THE HINDU stood for some strong writing, firm observations, good news reports, assertive reviews. Also, for a news to be mentioned in THE HINDU, it has to have some importance and significance. Gone are those days.

Earlier, I had lamented about an incident as trivial as "Dayanidhi Maran switching on a scanner machine at Meenambakkam airport" qualifying to be an article on THE HINDU

Offlate, the kind of reporting that comes on THE HINDU leaves a lot to be desired. In this age of internet, where people like us have access to news right away, and read several viewpoints - many honest. But on other side, take HINDU newspaper (there is no difference between online and print edition of HINDU. Even DAILY THANTHI and DINA MALAR have district editions, but in HINDU, you get a common edition. But are ready to charge a premium on newspaper cost, and fill up with sub-standard reports.

Ok, why this general outburst?

We used to have decent sports reviews long time back. Very honest view points used to emerge, and some of the articles about game spirit used to be soul-searching. But pick up the newspaper today. It is all about writing "cool" opinions, not honest reviews. For instance, when India lost its first one-dayer to South Africa, it was so apparent that Indian top order had collapsed badly, and the fielding was not up to the standard. But the match report daren't even turn its eye on that aspect of being critical about poor performance. Instead, it waxes eloquently about some good Indian bowling, and the game of Yuvraj singh and after. There is absolutely no mention of a couple of bowlers who were belted mercilessly by Lankan batsmen at Hyderabad. Nothing critical about bad line from such bowlers, the poor fielding form. Come to batting. I know that Indian top order got out so soon, and from middleorder on, people played decently. And all this happened so quick. But I don’t think it would have been so quick that the HINDU reporter would have failed to spot this and report the same. Such reporters do no good to lovers of sports or staunch support readers of HINDU paper or simply, to even HINDU's reputation.

I am not singling out one reporter, but he is one sample for the dwindling standards of HINDU reporting these days.

Ok, is this one-off? Nope.

Some of the political news items pertaining to Tamilnadu, makes me wonder at times -- "Am I reading a MURASOLI or NAMADHU MGR ad feature section?". And then, I frantically search header and footer to see those cute little words called "This is a featured AD". No, oh boy, its an actual news item from so-called "National Unbiased Newspaper"

Spelling mistakes have become so common these days. Adopting modern technology and using Spellchecker software might be supposedly a breeze of task for THE HINDU. But the bane of spellchecker is that wrong words might sit in many places. Legally, they have correct spelling. Cant a national newspaper even take care of such things? 

Page 2 and Metroplus are carrying articles that are of no value and are becoming more and more mere movie-oriented stuffs.

First, TV channels took Tamil people for granted, that public wants only movie related stuffs, and were churning them out in masses. With concepts like SET TOP BOX and SUMANGALI CABLE VISION, the general taste of Tamil public was restricted and exposed only to movie-relates stuffs. It is big money for TV CHANNELS. Why would they want to produce useful stuffs?

Next, was the turn of so-called family magazines like ANANDA VIKATAN (oh, ANANDA VIKATAN is now a SOGAMANA KADAN…and even KUMUDAM seems to be a decent magazine to have in hand these days...but those cringes later…) that are happy to have a feature every week on Nameeta or Asin or Shreya, and generate reams and reams of nonsense about actors and actresses, direct translations of FILMFARE/FEMINA or from some other website. Even humour is borrowed and not original hassyam. Because the other choices of magazines are worse, people accepted what ANANDA VIKATAN had to offer, and ANANDA VIKATAN is happy to concentrate more and more on Nameeta's assets, thus blunting

And in HINDU, editors and reporters want to be so "cool" (Check out "ALMOST FAMOUS" movie which is all about Rock stars, rock journalists and the deteriorating journalism), they do not want to think, they do not want to write with a spine, and we get sub-standard junk (a junk that is sub-standard…can you believe it?) as news reports.

Come on chaps, you are not going to have an arrest warrant issued, just because you thought Indian Cricket Team's top order batted badly and collapsed eventually!

<<Rejoinder: Yes, I know that I need not stick with HINDU, if I feel HINDU is so substandard, and there are more choices availabl and I need not bitch about HINDU. I can either take it or leave it. All that I am aware of!!! Well, I am expressing my aathangam about a degeneratio - like in a TRUE INDIAN SPIRIT >>

September 15, 2005

Political Sudoku

This sudoku content is applicable only in Tamilnadu. But of course, this is a global concept that is applicable nationally in India. One can easily customize this for their respective state.

This sudoku is, of course, slightly different than normal Sudoku.
Normal Sudoku deals with numbers fom one to nine. You don’t need number crunching capabilities, all you need is sheer common sense/logic.

For political sudoku, number crunching capabilities are very important, though numbers do not play directly in front of your eyes, it is the myth of numbers that influence this sudoku. Either the person playing needs to have a myth of numbers or must be able to make believe about existence of numbers. By numbers, we mean it could be either numbers as in context of money, or numbers as in context of quantity of people.

Needless to say, there is absolutely no need for common sense or logic.

Key difference comes in the way, sudoku itself is played. Instead of numbers, one will given nine words, and one must form a sequence in such a way none of the words overlap. It is also necessary that there must be atleast 3 words in a sequence. It is likely helpful to create myth of numbers if the sequence contains atleast one of the keywords in the set of nine words. The keywords are marked with an asterisk. One of the key popular personalities played this political sudoku recently, and has come up with a nice sequence. Before we plunge into to see who is this person, let us view the word list -

Dravida *
Communist -- yes this is still used in some quarters

Some FAQs
1. Why is not AMMA a keyword in the sequence?
Please note amma is not long-term word for political sudoku, nor amma is keyword for everything. Nor, can we have AMMA as the only word repeated nine times, just because NINE is lucky number for AMMA. This word is not officially in the political sudoku, but that does not deny its importance. We are sorry that we are unable to have this word right now in our contest.

2. What is your address?
I do not live in Tamilnadu. I cannot reveal my address. Hiring an auto full of gundas from Tamilnadu to UK will be very very costly. All said and done, I cannot add Sudoku, nor can rename this as "Amma kaalla vuzhu".

3. Why no other FAQs?
As I said before, AMMA is a great influencing factor, this FAQ is slightly turning slowly into Frigtened by Amma Questions. So, no more FAQs now.

Success stories
I had mentioned about a key popular personality who played this recently.
It is Captain Vijayakanth, and he successfully has used Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK)
More information is likely to be provided by Vijayakanth's UK Ko.Pa.Say - Party Whip (no, no he is not that kind of guy with "that" kind of "whip"…this whip is different) -- <a href="> Chakra </a>. He is soon to go to India to visit his kuttypaiyan and meet the new political chief of Tamilnadu - Captain Vijayakanth

September 08, 2005

Compassionate supermarket

A supermarket chain in UK has been awarded as the compassionate supermarket of the year, because they spread soft hay for pigs to lie in and feed themselves, before pork is made from them.

No wonder AIADMK cadres call Jeyalalitha as "karunai thaai" - compassionate amma!

September 02, 2005

A. P. Nagarajan

The other day at blogger's meet, <a href=""> Mdeii Anand </a>and myself were chatting about a visual edition of Ponniyin Selvan. We have so many things in Tamilnadu which have not been brought on to silverscreen. But whatever people know a little about Tamil kings, and the spiritual marg of Tamils, the credit goes to .Shri AP Nagarajan. He gave some fabulous movies of our history and culture.

What he has given to movie world goes on to define the fact that even a very big complex mythology or story of a great king can be broken down to a single aspect, developed further and presented visually in a very rich way. And can be totally entertaining!

We probably need another A.P.Nagarajan who takes advantage of modern technology, research and a wdie DVD market .

Another thought is that it may not be a bad idea to have an animated 'Ponniyin selvan'. Do you know 'Lord of the Rings' was first made as animated movie?

August 31, 2005

Indian hogger's meet in UK

That’s how my wife Subhashree remarked about first ever Indie-blogger's meet in UK. And that's how it was…you could gauge it from this photo on Jag's blog.

Me, wife and Sriram<my kutty paiyan> attended this meet. Sriram wanted to blog about his first ever blogger meet by himself. Its here...

For a change, this blogger meet had a higher attendance from Hindu Senior Secondary School rather than the usual Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan grind. And to my surprise, the only PSBB guy was so polite and very nice…(ok, ok, that was just a friendly leg pulling about PSBB..PSBB fellows, don’t get angry wth me…). The attendance ratio 3:1 -- from HSSS -- Guru, Chakra and Anand; from PSBB -- Anand.

The first ever Indie-blogger maanadu in UK was successfully held under the auspices of Chakra. To think, he has all qualities for being a politician.

  • He came late for maanadu
  • called himself 'Chief guest' and VIP
  • collected money from all (undi vasool) to pay the bill
  • declared in his blog that he footed the bill himself

Raasa, he is the perfect man, Captain can get for his new party in UK. (Annan Chakra thalamiayil, maanadu inithey nadantheriytahu…). Chakra, you could consider Sriram as UK Ilaignar ani thalaivar! (I know you have Anirudh in line first like DMK...still, atleast Seyalaalar???;))

It was great fun right from the beginning. Anand had a fabulous 'Anniyan' hairstyle…His face hadnt changed from Anjali to May maadham to last Sunday. It was fun talking with him, and good learning things from him. He explained about a certain music style, by giving a very beautiful visual clue. Similarly, he projected a few dimensions about movies and all. It was good. The best part was talking about one of my dream projects to him - Ponniyin Selvan and visual medium. Apparently, it was his dream project as well. He seemed interested too. Let me see how far this will be taken further!

Jag was great to talk with. And the chevda he gave was even more delicious. Unabashedly, I took two dabbas from him. I had imagined a different kind of external image about Jag, while reading his ROUTE-79 blog. He was totally different, and a very mature guy.

Initially, I was sitting next to Jag and Anand, and they were having their own discussions about movies and music. On other side, all other bloggers were talking and joking loudly in Tamil. I couldn’t hear what the were saying. But watching Neha talking to others, was like watching a kathakali dancer without kathakali make-up. Head and eyes were moving in all directions.

And, then was seated Dubukku - aka Rangarajan - wedged between three ladies in the group. I have taken a photo as proof, which I will soon be posting…if not on this blog, definitely to his wife. Am sure Ranga will have a great time in his home. Ha ha ha….

The other Anand - twin Gemini - from Chicago was very silent. Or he wasn’t talking whenever I was listening to the conversation. He was constantly reminding me of someone I knew in Chennai, don’t remember whom. He had a fantastic camera. The contraption I had with me, which I dared to call it a camera, was nowhere near that.

Chakra (at the moment,THAnGAMANI in the group) had been hosting the two Anands at his palce over that bank holiday. Three Geminis in the same house. Chesham-la oru Visesham

And then, we had Praveen, Praveen and Praveen….and his counterpart Radhika. My God…wonder how Radhika puts up with him at home…he was pulling everyone's legs and was absolutely hilarious. Absolute fun guy to spend time with. On the contrast, Radhika was so quiet, but made good conversations and complimenting Praveen's slapstick comedy. Praveen has all prospects to start an Indian stand-up comedy show in UK.

Of course, my lover, sweetheart - my wife - was having her time, chatting up.

And that was how the hogger's meet went on, and on and on for close to 4 hours. At the end of it, we were given excellent directions to nearby Train station, and Ranga was a wonderful navigator.

Chakra, nee solrathu thappey illaida Rangavai pathi…saapta saapadu jeeranam aagara levelku nadakka vachan!

The, Ranga took us to his home in East Ham. A very nice house, and two cute kids. Varsha - dubukku's eldest daughter hit it off straight with Sriram. He was behind her calling 'Akka'. His little one 'Adhvika' was very gorgeous. But she did not come to me at all. His wife was absolutely sweet giving us Gokulashtami Murukku - amazing stuff it was. (Ranga, innum iruntha Royal Mail-il anuppi vaikkavum). She played the perfect host.

My trip to East Ham was successful in aother way also to me - in the sense I got two Vikatan, two Kumudam, 'Kaakha Kaakha' dvd and another Tamil movie.

This blog meet did good to me..hopefully I start blogging again regularly...!

July 27, 2005

Mysterious two days..

There is a legendary anecdote that goes on about this guy, whose life is apparently described in 7 simple sentences as rhyming verses. When I first heard and understood this piece of literature, I was amazed at how could someone do all this in such a short time. Later on, in my life, when I became little older, a great intellectual friend of mine explained it is not actually short time, but the person's lifetime had important milestones on these days signifying the steps.

Yesterday, myself and my wife were discussing about our 16 month old son understands some of the words we utter, and tries repeating them. So, I was singing (not exactly singing, somewhere hovering between monotonous tune narration and pure plain talking) 'Twinkle, twinkle little star', 'Rain, rain go away', 'Johny johny yes papa' and 'Baa Baa Black Sheep'. In that context, I was reminded of these verses….yeah, Well, some call these verses as actually nursery rhyme.

Am talking about the popular "Solomon Grundy". So do you remember his life story from your primary school days?

Solomon Grundy born on Monday
Christened on Tuesday
Married on Wednesday
……….on Thursday
………on Friday
Died on Saturday
Buried on Sunday.

I don’t remember what happened in his life on Thursday and Friday! But whatever happened, it was not for good, because just after his wedding on Wednesday, something happened, and he eventually dies on Saturday!

Those two days are still a mystery to me!

June 29, 2005

Shocking news

I heard that Metti Oli serial has been completed. I thought it would end only when Daily Thanthi ends it's Kanni Theevu Sindbad cartoon strip.

June 28, 2005

Murasoli - English edition

How much out of touch I am with what's happening in Tamilnadu! Looks like DMK's primetime Tamil newspaper – Murasoli has started an English edition. Can someone confirm?

Otherwise, HINDU has leased out part of it's news division to Murasoli.

You think I am bluffing??? Then, explain to me how come we have this as a news item???

June 17, 2005

Knocking up a blog post!

I hear that Chennai is blazing hot still. It is summer time in UK as well. Even though cold at times, it is dry as well. Given my earlier career-change thinking, the current job seems all dry suddenly. It has further crept into my blog posting as well. The thought process is so dry, that have not been able to post anything for close to a week. Perhaps one of those Valaichikkal times…

But, thanks to AF…AF has given me a banana to ease myself out of the blostipation . Oh, by the way, Banana is supposed to help in easing constipation – so my analogy is not a tasteless PJ, but more health-oriented. See, I give useful information as and when possible.

AF has given me something to knock up a post.

While in my college days, I used to take keen interest in Multi-Level marketing (MLM) – the amway type of thing. Those meetings used to promise stuffs like I need to sell only so many of those things, and join only so many members. After that, I need not sell anything or even work. I will get loads and loads of money, and can conduct such meetings.

Lured by the "no-work-later-on" concept, I will buy something, and start canvassing to get a bunch of gullible people to join my team. But only after I start talking to people, it will become apparent am almost at the end of this MLM chain, and moist likely I have coerce my dad to buy atleast one item from me.

In a similar way, the book-tagging has come a long way, and almost many people are already book-tagged. But Thanks to AF for the generosity in book-tagging me and getting me to do a post. And like my Amway technique, it is my wife, whom I am going to book-tag .

Coming to the book-tag part itself:
Total Number of Books I Own: 2 or 3[I consider Ponniyin Selvan as one book]; rest are borrowed, robbed, sneaked .Last Book I bought: Ananda vikatan-Sujatha's "Katrathum Petrathum"Last Book I was gifted: Something got to do with Jack Welch and his gut(ter)
Last Book I read: Triple by Ken FollettFive Books That Mean a Lot to Me: 1. Jonathan Livingston Sea Gull – Richard Bach
2. Bridge across forever – Richard bach
3. Katrathum Petrathum – part 2
4. Dilbert
5. Thirupoonthuruthi by Balakumaran
Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs:
As I said earlier, I am the far-end of this Book-tagging MLM, so its my wife, am book-tagging

June 10, 2005

Career change

I am bored of Tech-coolie job, and considering a career shift. I am wondering if I should be a "De-motivation Consultant" or open "Organic Isthiri Shop". This doesn't imply, am giving up my pet project of writing those books - Desi Dilbert, Who moved my underwear, Of boobs and asses....

As a de-motivation consultant, I would tell people they are possibly deemed to be doomed. I will ask them to cut all the motivation crap, and simply do their work properly. My principle would be very simple –

Be practical, do your work properly
If you are not getting things done properly, it probably means you are dumb and doomed, and ask them to give up. And best, will ask them to get proper professional help
There is no such thing called 'Motivation'. Saying that you get inspired or motivated by something or someone else is stupid. Either you do it, or leave it.

This is what my de-motivational therapy will be all about.

Next running an "Organic Isthiri Shop"

This is a trendy service offering from me for the upmarket clientele, who prefer to have their clothes ironed in an organic way. This means, the iron box will not use electricity. But, it will use the certain mineral that has been refined by nature subjected to pressure for several years, and is formed the most natural way and is the most organic item next to diamond on earth. This will be subjected to intense heating and in the most hygienic way, without touching the mineral, the hot mineral would be used in the iron box with help of tongs.

To iron those splendid organic cotton clothes, I will use this "organic Isthiri" mode. Yes, by the way, the organic isthiri mineral is called as "COAL"

June 07, 2005

Tamilnadu abolishes Common Entrance Exam

Just read from Hindu the title of this post.
Imagine all those training institutes going bust. I wonder what will be the implication!
Personally, I feel it's a good idea. The entrance test merely is another kind of examination testing pupil skills with their school final year course knowledge. But that’s what they already undergo in their final exams. Why repeat the same stuff again?

CET is anyway made a mockery by lateral admissions, payment seats, so on and so forth. Why waste money and time?

If a student is indeed bright enough to get into a professional course, the student might have secured good marks anyway. And if the student can afford payment seat, but not got enough marks, the CET is but a mere step.

Announce the results and get on with it. Again, going by personal experience, people from other system of education like CBSE/GCSE might be affected. Because of the way, the tests – final exams – are evaluated. Perhaps, setting aside a percentage of seats for other board students might be helpful.

June 02, 2005

S. V. Sekar

10-15 years ago, S. V. Sekar was a rage down in Tamilnadu and elsewhere in Tamil-speaking world with his witty and on-the-spot humorous jokes. He was something close to a stand-up comedian successful in stage drama, and to some extent in films too. His jokes were very timely, and cheeky at times.

Along with songs, full-length movie dialog cassettes (like Tiruvilayadal, Capt Prabhakaran, Saraswathi Sabatham), all S. V. Sekar drama cassettes were selling in full swing.

If I remember right, Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam was his first drama cassette to be released. It was such a big hit. And then, many of his dramas were hit. It was the time when private serials were being made for TV Channel (Note there is no plural, we had only DD), and his 'Vana kolangal' was a completely hilarious TV serial that was a major hit. I remember recorded video cassettes were being sold then, and many people bought them.

In our house, every night before going to sleep, we will play a S. V. Sekar drama audio cassette and go to sleep laughing all the way.

His dramas up to recent times till Periappa were quite good and attracted audiences to the drama halls despite the invasion of private channels. That was S. V. Sekar.

While S.V. Sekar was very timely, he also had good script writers with him – initially Gopu-Babu and then Venkat. After doing Periappa, I think he parted ways with Venkat also. He wrote his own script and story which were bordering on being frivolous and lacked the witty storyline, he used to have. He was a phenomenon for nearly 15 years in stage drama.

Now-a-days we don't get to see much of S.V.Sekar, we hear a lot about Ess. Vee. Shekhar not in drama field or movie, but on political front. But his drama and some of his characters are still admired by many.

Some of his good dramas, which I like, are:
-- Vaal Paiyan
-- 1000 uthai vaangiya aboorva sigamani
-- One more exorcist
-- Crazy thieves in Palavakkam
-- Mahabarathathil mangatha (Kunthikinay remmy vilayadalaam…enna, kunthi deviyaarudana?)

Can't recollect more, but there are many more, am sure.

And the movies,
-- Simla Special
-- Poovay poochuda vaa
-- Thangamani Rangamani
-- Another movie with Mohan – totally hilarious – forgot the name
-- And with Pandiarajan – ''Gaja ka dosth'' – name again forgotten

He was also highly timely and gave Kamalhassan an equal performance.

June 01, 2005

3 movies and a weekend

Thanks to KPS! I got to watch two movies in his home, and thanks to Screenselect for another Hindi movie.
KPS lives in Birmingham with his family, we (Myself, my wife – Subhashree and my son – Sriram) had been to his place this weekend and had a nice time at his place. With catching up generally about friends and specifically bitching about our employers. We have been with same employer for past 6-7 years and we still do that. It is also traditional among us to talk about quitting the job, which we still haven't done!

Ok, first things first!
The movies at KPS place – 7G Rainbow Colony and Chandramukhi

Chandramukhi was a pleasant surprise. Quite a good story line, nice Rajini antiques and some fantastic acting from Jyothika. It was also good to see Prabhu again in action, but unfortunate he had a diminutive role like in Vasoolraja MBBS. Chandramukhi is definitely no Guru-Sishyan. Rajini reminded me of his 'Ninaithaalay inikkum' days in his final and now famous – lakalakalaka character, while in other normal get-up, reminding us of his Rajathi Raja days. While Baasha, Annamalai was a different dimension, this cool get-ups are another one. Rajini is indeed a versatile actor. Jyothika – I was a bit scared after her dance with eyes and her ruthra thandavam. Good acting Jo! Music was a big letdown. It takes a Ilaiyaraja, Deva, Chandrabose or a Hamsalekha to give the beats one expects out of Rajini movies.

7G Rainbow Colony sounded a bit uncomfy at the beginning to watch with family, but the pace of the movie takes you in. College-going tapori! I have seen many such rogue guys who seem to talk excellent dialogues. Forget the seriusness part of the movie, it was a good entertainer. Many of the funny sequences are something I have actually seen in real-time. It seemed like Selvaraghavan didn’t know how to complete the movie at last, and was just meandering. Sharp editing would have given a sharp ending, but was not boring anyway. YuvanShankarRaja deserves a special mention. In young generation of Tamil movie musicians, where A.R.Rehman is not all that specialised or very effective, Yuvan scores effortlessly – the background score.

After seeing Black, I was discussing about this movie to my colleague – Pawan. He felt Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Khamoshi was a more honest movie than Black. He emphasised Black was more dramatic, something exciting keeps happening every other scene and everyone is authoritative in a movie about deaf, blind and dumb girl. In contrast, Khamoshi was more honest in depicting the deaf and dumb parents. While I agreed his comment about Black, I hadn’t seen Khamoshi yet to have an opinion. After seeing Ab Tak 56 by Nana Patekar, I was more curious to see him in Khamoshi. So for these two reasons, I had booked Khamoshi through screenselect. True to my colleague's words, this movie was all about living against odds. Honest acceptance was part of the movie with some great music. Not a dramatic movie, but a slow soft emotional movie. It also showed how versatile Nana Patekar is. With so many facial movements and strong actions, it is quite a task for Nana Patekar to give a very suppressed body lanuage for the cop in Ab Tak 56. With Salman Khan in the movie, it was clearly a Nana Patekar movie. Of course, there are SalmanKhanisque scenes, but he has acted with his vaal-suruttified (curl the tail between legs). The wild affection, anger and the deaf and dumb fear for acceptance in the society without Annie was a very honest depiction indeed.

I didn’t regret seeing any of the mentioned-movies in this post so far. And I look forward to watching Fahrenhiet 9/11 which is now with me.

Of course, I saw three other English movies as well in month of May – Nottinghill, School for seduction and Lost in translation. They were supposedly the romantic comedies, and lacked both romance and comedy!

May 26, 2005

Sensation, indulgence and cherishing!

I am the kind of person who wants sensation first, followed by indulgence and ending with cherishment! So much so that it feeds the passion. First thing is my sense must be aroused. Am going to talk something personal here…
Ah, Malteasers!
The best thing about European countries is the chocolates. And my favorites is 'Malteasers'. What an amazing concept is this Malteasers!
It has a very wonderful chocolate coating with a malt kernel inside it. The moment I pop it in my mouth, it arouses my senses, and after the chocolate coating is sensed in competely, it's time for indulgence with the Malt itself. Lolitting the malt between different parts of cheek, teeth and tongue, it's sheer indulgence. Even before I realise it, it's all done. But the cherishing lingers on. Slowly when it starts wearing out, I know it's time for another one.
Eating malteasers is not addictive, but more of a passionate experience.
Best part about malteasers is that they are small, round balls. You don't have to worry about taking care of holding the bar of chocolate and all that. Pick one up, pop it up….
There is also a malteaser icecream - wonder how will that be!!!

May 10, 2005

Researching food market

Any staple Indian food loving person need not feel left out or starving on foods in UK, because in UK most of the supermarkets have ready-to-eat chapathi, naan, paratha and lot of Indian curries. Just pick them up, and heat in a microwave and presto - have a full-fledged Indian dish.
But, BUT…
You would notice the chapathi or naan does not hold same taste as a home-made one, and may not get them at proper heat level to have a fluffy chapathi always. The curries might smack of oily, but not really close enough to our own curry.
Suddenly, serendipitously made a discovery that the following Mexican or western food items are actually similar to our own foods.
Tortillas - they are also made of wheat, but much softer. Gets really fluffy.
Mexican wraps - rumali roti types
Crumpets - Aappam
Pitta bread - Naan
Tomato onion dip - Thakkali vengayam thokku (ofcourse not as spicy as our food is)
And then we have Long grain rice that is like our normal rice in India. If specifically needed, the Thai jasmine rice is close to our Ponni raw rice. Good tomato thokku is available under the guise of Tomato Salsa Sauce! Beware, you have to add bit of pepper and salt.
There is Greek style yoghurt which is our curd, and if you need a curd closer to our sour taste, you could try Onken Yoghurt, or simply add sour cream to normal yoghurt. Sooji (Rava) is hidden under the name Semolina and sweet pepper is our capsicum
Best part about these stuffs is that they are made of same ingredients as our traditional Indian food items, and are closer to our taste, than the food items branded under ''Indian food items'' in UK.
What more do the veggies need???

May 09, 2005

Metti Oli, Engiruntho vandhaal...

It's been a long time - almost 6 months, since I am out of India and out of touch with Tamil TV channels. I miss the various junk that is telecast all day long in the channels - ranging from 'Ungal choice' to 'Neengal kaetta paadal' to 'Comedy time' and so on.

Can someone update me what's happening in Metti Oli? Has the story moved any further? Are all the daughters and sons-in-law of Chithambaram alive?

Engiruntho vandhal was a production from KB's stable after Sahana and Ethir neechal, what has the story been about? And how has it moved?

May 05, 2005

kaala CHAKRAm suzhalumbothu…(when the wheel of time spins…)

Last weekend I had been to Chakra's place – Bournemouth.

In fact, we got in touch with each other through blogs.

We studied from Class 6th to Class 12th in the same school – Hindu Senior Secondary School in Triplicane. After school, we lost touch with each other. Then when we completed our graduation, and waiting for next move to make – either PG or job. I was introduced by my friend to an agency that was contracting people to Ramco. But I couldn’t take up the job as I had just then got admission into MCA. This job was still available, and I met Chakra on the bus. It was after a 3 year time. We were generally talking, and I told him if he would be interested in looking if job is fine, and gave him the contact number. It was a mere 10 minute conversation.

And then, we lost touch again. He had written a letter to me telling me he had got job at Ramco. Unfortunately, I couldn’t respond to that.

Cut to recent past's recent past!

I was browsing dubukku's blog. I used to click at every person's link who leave a comment there. I had seen Chakra's comments, and went to Chakra's site. I did not know it was the same Chakra.

It was a very shocking site, because I could not minimise the site and read it. He had a big banner in top frame, and whatever I do, the frame would still be visible. It was not possible to thiruttuthanam-ly see the site in the workplace. I got so annoyed, and vowed never to visit this site again.

Cut to recent past!

Talk about fate. Dubukku was guest-editing some onsite Tamil blog, and he had inadvertently posted his family photo introducing the family members. I understand lot of casteist comments came for that photo from many fellow surfers, and he had removed the photograph. I was quite curious, how would a dubukku look like? So googled for the photo, and landed up at Chakra site. And followed by Dubukku family photos, there was a photo with Chakra carrying Dubukku's daughter. It just struck me I had seen this guy somewhere, I then mailed him to ask if he was the same Chakra whom I knew from school. That’s how our relationship got acquainted again.

Cut to recent!

When I came to UK, he gave lot of information – especially about various experiments with O2, calling cards and other premium line numbers to call India. He was very, very helpful. In fact, he was the first one to call me on my landline number at office. I didn't even know my number, he somehow found it out and let me know. I was very anxious with my first trip to a foreign country. His presence meant comfort. At least there is someone whom I know.

Cut to last week!
I was a bit apprehensive as to how it is going to be meeting him after long time. Maybe our aspirations had changed, maybe our attitudes changed, may be may be may be…so many may be's. Every thing was set to rest, the moment we met. We hit it off like those two Hindu Senior students we were 9 years back!

Chakra had not changed much – his attitude and drive still the same. His wittiness is good, and we could relate to each other quite well.

I was so happy to be with a school mate again. We were able to relive our school moments, few school gossips and it was just amazing. Chakra's multi-faceted personality was a revelation to me, and oh boy, I like him so much for that too.

He is also very patient and generous. He is a very good host, putting up with us. His house was so neat and tidy, we just littered the place with our kid's playtoys and all that. He took it with a smile.

My wife and son also felt very comfortable to acquaint with him.

The height of this meeting was enjoying Maya bazaar movie with him, passing comments and all that!

[I discovered a new recipe - French Fries sprinkled with chocolate powder tastes amazing]

May 03, 2005

Election campaign

Come elections, we all know what happens !

It's not so unusual to have a vehicle fitted with a megaphone, and the party supporter reeling out long speech to campaign for the party and leader.

It is not so uncommon to hold election procession, affect traffic and hold big meeting to campaign for your party.

This is the usual election hungama in India.

But the thing which is so unnatural is that, all this happened in UK.

For national elections due this weekend, I saw a car with a megaphone, and two campaigners asking people to vote for Labour party in the heavily Asian populated East Ham in London.
Only 'Thaanai Thalaivar Annan Tony Blair' was missing.

Well, maybe it is just a matter of time, UK adopts itself totally to global Indian Election Code of (Mis)Conduct and (sub)standards. They are well on the path already - vote rigging, blasphemous personal remarks are quite common.

Chakra, you do have a good political future here in UK!

April 26, 2005


Amazing poem!

Learning never stops - even basic thing you learnt as a kid. You might have to learn it again. Like Amitabh with Alzheimer.

Learning can start quite late - even basic thing you think you have learnt as a kid. You might not know or learn things properly. Like Ayesha Kapur born blind, deaf and dumb.

Never ridicule teacher or education. Never take it light. It matters so much to many. They have to fight for it, struggle for it, put in hardwork and come through successfully. Like Rani Mukherjee who attains a degree at 40, when people like you and me can normally achieve one at 20.

Lucky you and I are having all instruments in life to make education a piece of cake-walk. You might think you are smart enough you can read and understand anything devoid of a teacher and a classroom. But what if you are born blind, deaf and dumb? And what if you lose everything in a stroke of Alzheimer?

And then, not everything is gone if such a thing happens, because if you are sincere enough, you will always get a teacher. And you will always look at life with hope and inspiration.

That's Sanjay Leela Bhansali with his Black.

Vibrant and Colourful Black.

Don’t miss it!

April 20, 2005

Serious movie???

Recently saw a movie called 'Rakht'. Supposedly a englipease-type, saucy, slick, thriller movie.
Starring skimpy dressed hot throbs like Bipasha Basu, Amrita arora and Neha dupiya. Co-stars Sanjay Dutt, Dino Morea, Sunil Shetty, so on and so forth.
Am not going to review the movie. It's not worth one.
What was so baffling for me was:
1. Why does Sanjay Dutt in any movie wears such an expression on the face as though his diaper is full?
2. If the main character always speak in a base tone, why does it have to qualify as a no non-sense movie (Samay - Sushmita Sen; Rakht - Bipasha Basu for example)?
More bafflements later, as and when I get them.

April 12, 2005

Aroma of philter kaapi....

Am back at my favorite topic again -- raving about filter coffee.
I don’t know how many of you remember the Narasus coffee advertisement with 'Thengaai' Srinivasan explaining the preparation mode for filter coffee to his wife 'Chachu'…that particular variety of filter coffee, I crave for it! As such, there was no dearth of such a wonderful coffee for me when I was in Chennai.
A fantastic coffee would always be brewed at our home - thanks to my amma and wife. Most importantly to Saravana Coffee in Triplicane - he knew what ratio of chicory-peaberry went into mixture for our home. They knew I needed that caffeine drip down by blood thrice a day and knew the timing as well.
Morning -- Nothing like sipping a fresh coffee, breathing in the aroma of decoction and drinking that coffee from a super hot level to a mildly warm level - it takes min 30 minutes, mind you, to complete that session of coffee…accompanied by that day's HINDU or Ananda Vikatan or some Sujatha novel - Madras A/Vividhbharathi channel in background on radio. After that, like the Cheshire cat effect, a tinge of bitter coffee taste will be waddling in the inner tongue - enough to keep one motivated to go to work!
Afternoon -- Best had around 3:30 or 4 pm, when I am on the brink of falling asleep after a good lunch.(Having a ceremonious lunch is the item for a new post altogether!!) This coffee wakes me up. Tough to get the same home-level-quality while at work, but nevertheless, something better than a Nescafe!
Evening -- back home around 7pm or so, I would delight myself with a mildly hot, little diluted version of morning's filter coffee. Here the essence of coffee powder would have blended nicely into decoction. This settled down (mature???) coffee is apt for a relaxing evening ahead. When my work schedule started getting heavier, it is this evening home coffee that started getting affected. I needed a nice, frothy filter coffee someplace nearby, so that I could have it and get back to work again for another hour or so.
Hotel Saravana bhavan was the only place that catered to this varying taste levels of mine. Then it became kind of habit that whenever I used to pass by Saravana Bhavan, I will simply have a cup of coffee.

Back to present. I came to UK bravely armed with 1Kg of Saravana Coffee Works filter coffee powder with chicory mixed. I even got an eversilver filter to brew the decoction. It lasted for 3 months. In the initial fervour, I would invite colleagues to home and proudly serve a cup of authentic filter coffee. But when the dwindling started, and I couldn't generally find someone who was willing to get me another KG of filter coffee powder from Madras, it was a complete debacle. I started getting desperate. Nescafe Gold Blend came a bit close, but not close enough.
Highly unsettling!

Cut to the future...
HOTEL SARAVANA BHAVAN is opening two branches in LONDON, UK -- next week. One at East Ham and another one at Wembley Central.

March 03, 2005

As white as...

Last time I saw snow in my life, was in a movie song, where Amala will be dancing barefooted on the snow, while Rajinikanth will be completely clad in nice, warm clothes walking with nice boots, watching Amala dance & sing - "Vaa vaa vaaaaaa vaa, kanna vaa";
before that, it was Mandhira wooing Prabhu with low-neck, mini-skirt dress, singing "Alps malai kaatru vanthu, ennai killutho"; Prabhu not so much really amused by song or snow, perhaps because of cold weather despite the fact that he is totally wrapped up in nice thermal wear, and Mandhira barely covering herself;
First time, I saw snow was when our Puratchi Thalaivar MGR would sing "Puthiya vaanam, puthiya bhoomi, engum pani mazhai pozhigirathu" with a suitcase and stick in his hand!
But all these were on "Velli thirai" - silver screen.
A fortnight ago it started snowing here in UK. It was so fascinating and amusing to watch little white flurries of ice, floating in air and falling on pavement; after some hours of snowing, everything outside the window totally covered with snow. It was so exciting to watch it for real. I rang up from office to home to tell my wife to watch it, and show it to my son!!!
We were very excitedly talking about snow! A fortnight later, it is still snowing…and, we are pretty bored! Cant go out, always at home; road is very slippery, and it is painful to wait at a bus stop or a railway station…and to go out anywhere, even to a nearby potti kadai, I have to wear thermals, normal dress, gloves, insuation kulla, scarf, coat, thermal socks, shoes, apply vaseline….
Nowhere near the comfort of simple shorts and a t-shirt and a hawai seruppu to just walk to a nearby shop…
Boy, I long for the scorching Chennai sun…
Any fellow blogger from chennai, can you upload some?

February 11, 2005

Settling in UK-2

Ok, no great suspense! I did not have time to complete what I was writing on that day. So, put the "thodarum".
Karthik met me and took me to an Indian restaurant along with his friend's family. It was not a great gesture to say 'NO' when we met after a long time. I warned him though, wouldn’t be able to eat large portions, as I was already full. He ordered a masala dosa. Not bad!
Fine, coming to live in UK, few of the things I observed:
1. People here are extremely courteous (in actions), and expect you to be so to them. If you don’t, they clearly wince at you. Reminds me of convent schools
2. British people are quite fond of Indian food, and there is atleast one Indian take-away in every small town
3. And the take-aways are run by Bangladeshis mostly
4. Interest in cricket is clearly out. Ashes series supposed to start in summer is evoking enough interests in lots of Indians and Pakistanis than English people.
5. They care a lot about very very small thing too and are very sensitive
6. Many British IT guys take life cool and lead a laid back life, unlike Indian IT pros who want to be given the mantle and role of Proj Mgr within their first 7 years of experience, and do not want to code anymore!!!
7. Technology in terms of low-cost is not popular here in UK. It is possible to get a really freaky gadget and of good quality in India for a relatively 40% lesser cost than what is available in UK
8. This does not include mobile phones or their pricing plans
9. Public libraries are fantastic here. They house a great collection. One can take 14 books in one's card and can retain for 21 days.
10. It is freaky to observe that people do not cross lanes whole driving, and almost stop always at signals -- even if no one to cross the road. Driving here would be a nightmare for people who drive to Tidel park and beyond in Chennai

January 19, 2005

Settling in UK!

After a brief vacation at India during christmas, and trysts with Tsunami & Tirupati, am back to UK and kind of settled down! Got a house and moving in on Wednesday -- paal kaaichi kudikkaren!

Came back last Sunday by Srilankan airlines with 2 stops from Chennai -- Colombo and Madlives. In-flight entertainment wasn't all that good. Gilli was the movie screened. It was really hilarious to see the English sub-titles for songs like "Kokkarakokkarako" and "Apdi podu, apdi podu". Best one was ttitle song "Gilli, gilli". Sun TV must start airing such songs with similar english sub-titles during "Comedy Time"

Its cold out here; cold wind blows but temperature doesn't drop; it's at lowest 5; That’s ok in winter - I understand. Foodwise - not an issue at all; There are Indian restaurants run by Bangladeshis and Pakistanis all round UK. Some Tamil restaurants that I saw in East Ham part of London. We even got a warm "vaanga annay" in one of the south indian restaurants in East Ham. Indian spices are available in all supermarkets. If you want pure authentic "made in India" spices, you can always get in East Ham. There are also many Londis shops that have "Made in India" spices.

Last weekend, I went to Kensington Palace garden with my close friend from Pondy Univ days -- Karthik, and another Pondy Univ friend of Karthik -- Vignesh. First on that Sunday, I thought of going to office to complete some work, so cooked some chapathis and got some ready-to-cook onion bajjis alongwith side-dish -- Tamizh guys ever-handy food item -- Pulikaaichal. There is no bus service from Brentwood on sundays -- athu oru kugiramam --, normally, there is a change of train from an intermediary station called Romford to another by name Upminster. From Upminster to Basildon, it is 20 minutes. On reaching Romford station, I was told there are no trains between Romford-Upminster on sundays. Fantastic! No work. In railway station, finished the chapathi-pulikaaichal and the bajji. Had an apple. Gobbled that too. And waited for Karthik's call.

Karthik called up and said "Guru, let us meet at Liverpool street station by 2pm?". It was 1:30. I asked him the agenda. Karthik said "you come over to Liverpool street. Am with Vignesh and his family at Gloucester. Let us catch up from there". Off to Liverpool street.

(To be continued In next part)