Sunday, October 24, 2010

Life is beautiful

Its been so long since I last posted and much has happened since:

Trinity has completed a year and she has been constantly amazing us with her antics
- she loves shopping and is always running about with a shopping bag, sometimes filling me with a little dread
- she loves the songs of Enthiran and I must confess I haven't heard them much and wont be able to make them out (sorry Thalaiva) but my daughter is making up for it, and she is absolutely delighted to hear the songs on TV each time or when the trailer comes on
- she amazed the girl who delivered the ironed clothes when she pointed out the bunch of house keys hanging behind a door that were required to open the locked gate (a security hazard no doubt)
- she amazed D and I and absolutely sent to us into a tizzy when we made her sit on a chair before a keyboard to rest and she promptly started fooling around with the keys and when I reduced the volume, she turned it back on again.

Well these may not amaze you because you may have seen it all before, but for us seeing it for the first time, it is so uplifting and at the same time it is also a little humbling that the little bundle of joy is not a simple being as we make her to be.

The other thing that is keeping me occupied is that entrepreneur bug with which I had been bitten, something is happening there.

The last thing is the children's choir, after our first attempt at Sing the Season, we have been called back again and this time we aim to do better so that means a lot of extra practice.

Since I am still trying to balance work with after work activities and finding it a very big challenge I have not been able to visit this space, but will make some time. Till then life is so beautiful.

PS Trinity is 13 months old

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stolen moments

You wake up at dawn and with half open eyes survey the dim surroundings around, the others on the bed are asleep. You spot a very small space near wife dearest, a space that will never be sufficient but you stumble to that side of the bed and snuggle up to drift into bliss. Suddenly you are awakened by a gentle nudge, you open the eyes a little to see two little teeth peeking out in between a cute pair of lips curled into an impish smile topped off by two sparkling eyes. Your heart is filled with warmth as your now not so little bundle of joy looks at you with adoring puppy dog eyes. She manages to squeeze into that small space between her mum and dad and snuggles off to sleep again. You drift off in the tight embrace to something that is closest to heaven on earth with a contented smile... then you hear the alarm. It is Monday.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Of stoplines, traffic challans and policemen

Was challanned by a traffic cop the other day for crossing the stop line near the new Secretariat. It was my fault as I was riding along with a MTC bus and I did not see the lights.

What impressed me was the politeness and the respectful tone the traffic constable used to talk to me and while I thought it may be an aberration the sergeant was also of the same type. While I ranted about the MTC drivers going scot free showed me a challan similar to mine for the bus driver that was being dispatched to the MTC head office for salary recovery. I learnt a couple of things that day – police men are not so bad despite being painted black so often, MTC drivers do get penalized for all their violations.

I could not resist asking him why the police were not strict with enforcement; he told me a few things:
- Policemen are friends of the public and they would still like to be friends and not stick wielders
- The onus of policing is on the public and self discipline is a duty, passing the buck to the woefully understaffed and overworked police men is not an excuse
- Rules were meant not to make challans but to save lives and if people do not care for their own lives, there will never be enough policemen for us
- Lastly he said that if a person did not have money to pay he would have been let off with a warning and they are not out there to make money.

I came off with a good feeling and though I know that though there are worms, in the basket of apples, there is still a basket of apples. Policemen are human and they endure great hardships for us, imagine standing on Mount road or Panagal park and managing the chaotic traffic with so may rule breakers amid the dust, smoke, grime rain or shine and to think the pittance they get paid for it.

A Salute to the Traffic Police of Chennai.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Of stinking politicians and unbearable stench

Why does politics raise such a stink?

Here we have the pots calling a kettle black (no reference to the shapes of the protagonists), the ruling party being jolted out of their complacency by the mother of all meetings in Coimbatore retaliates with another of their own and then follow it up with the youth wing headed by a grandfather paralyzing traffic in the capital city. I had mentioned in an earlier post that the last vulgar display of power led to the “amma” loosing power, I have a feeling that history will repeat itself and the ruling party is digging their own graves.

The CW games fiasco is ensuring that the ugly side of India is there for the world to see. I think Mr. K is of the opinion that the term Common Wealth meant that he should share the wealth with his common cronies. What is even more irksome is that he is still holding on to his job.

The pressures of coalition politics ensured another black sheep in the form of the telecommunication minister sitting tight in his post after a scam that has put the CWG scam into insignificance.

Now lets try to answer the question posed earlier, it stinks because:

- clean people do not think that it is a good vocation
- clean people do not vote for clean people but sit at home and watch television
- there are NO clean people around

If you think the last statement is outrageous just look around you and see how many dirty people abound and how many of them are politicians.

If you need a pointer look around and see how many of us “clean people” bribe someone every day for personal benefit, break a traffic rule everyday, cheat on taxes everyday, steal power everyday, over charge a customer everyday, cheat in exams everyday, in short take short cuts to go ahead in life disregarding those ahead everyday...

Just take a good look around and if possible do look into a mirror also.

Why does politics raise such a stink?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Of fatherhood, more fatherhood, ideas and sleeves

The sermon this Sunday was on the Lord’s Prayer and it gave a new definition to the term prayer, prayer is a relationship and that is captured in the first two words of the prayer. It is true the first two words offer universal son-ship and brotherhood, children of one God, makes us all brothers and sisters.

On the note of fatherhood Trinity is now giving so many fulfilling moments that make life so wonderful. Her eyes that light up when I enter home, the pure joy when I lift her up, the impish smile when she has done something that she knows is not permitted at her 10 months, when she cuddles in my arms, the baby steps the list goes on.

Trinity also has reopened my eyes to the small joys of life; every time I watch her amuse herself with just a piece of paper I wonder why I get bugged when I have nothing around me and retire to the idiot box. We have tried to amuse her with Fischer Price and Funskool but lose to a discarded sock, a piece of paper, a spoon.

The entrepreneurship bug has been flying around me for quite some time and now I am getting slowly bitten. Idea generation has never been a problem but the fear of failure has tied me down, now I have decided to take baby steps maybe inspired by Trinity again, however for these steps I must thank my classmate whose idea we are now attempting to bring into life. It is tough to devote some time for this with a full time job but the industry (where I work in) is facing an imminent bloodbath and maybe this can be a potential safety net.

And yes I am open to consulting with any potential entrepreneurs and am willing to give my ideas if they can use it and am currently sitting on a very nice smelling idea of anyone is interested.

Finally why do women wear transparent sleeves? Having the cake and eating it too? I think it is silly how about you? If you wonder why this is ending a totally unrelated post, another post will be on the way soon.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Of weddings, wedding halls and almanacs

It seems to be the wedding season with people around me getting married and this brought about a new post.

Weddings are made in heaven, but all the support roles are played here and unfortunately the support roles tend to take precedence on the big day.

If you don’t believe me, accept the fact that weddings are fixed based on the availability of the wedding halls and this availability throws up the auspicious date issues.

Wiktionary throws up the following for “auspicious”
auspicious (comparative more auspicious, superlative most auspicious)
auspicious Comparative
more auspicious Superlative
most auspicious
1. Of good omen; indicating future success.
2. Conducive to success.
This is an auspicious day.
3. Marked by success; prosperous.
What it simply means is that a wedding on these days that have been decided by some one based on whatever divination techniques can bring success. Please note that the operative word is can as many weddings have been doomed even after all these but that was another post.

These auspicious dates help to sell calendars and they can be a nightmare to a wedding hall owner when bookings happen only on the auspicious dates because our people are still rooted in superstition or optimism whichever way you look at them. The saviours for these wedding hall owners are of course the discount sales selling everything under the sun that use these halls on inauspicious days to make a good buck. I get a feeling that some wise men laugh all the way to the bank on these days.

I can understand the mentality of the herds who say people will not start something on “bad” days so we should not do also, but what upsets me is that why do you need a particular day to visit the almighty? Whatever be your religion though I think this day concept comes from the majority way of life here, I do not think that God designed days to meet him. Do we not wake up on bad days? Do we not live on bad days? Are we doomed if we were born on bad days?

A wedding needs a few constants: a groom, a bride, 2 witnesses and some one who conducts the actual wedding. We choose to bring God into the picture because we believe that a wedding without God is like a building without a foundation (agnostics and atheists please excuse). Everything else the feast, the celebration, the trousseau, the beauty parlour, the entourage, the make over and every other small or big detail are purely optional so why make life miserable for everyone by focusing on something which is really inconsequential if you look it with a clear perspective.

A wedding will work only if the parties involved that is the bride and the groom choose to make it work, the parents, in laws and every one else should ideally be at an arms length away and I do think neither the lines on the hand or the stars or the friendly neighbour astrologer will have any say in it.

Time itself is relative, what is today for us is already tomorrow for some and still yesterday for some.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Conferences, weddings, Mani Ratnam and more

It’s been sometime since the great grandfather of all conferences got over; despite the lofty ideals it was simply a show of power by the ruling family who seem to run the state like the royals of old. It is sad that the fortunes of the future are in the hands of the ancient.

The great grandfather conference reminded me of the mother of all weddings when a one time foster son was married off in an extravagant show of wealth and power and crass misuse of public machinery. You can draw as many parallels as you may choose to but the net result is interesting, the raison d’être of the event the foster son is out of public domain and I hope that this conference does not kill what it celebrated.

The bandh gave an extra holiday to those mad regions run by madder men who fail to understand that fuel is paying so many other bills and if they will agree to a termination of the government’s largesse under the name subsidy then fuel pricing can be reduced. And for all those brilliant men who said that this will hit the common man, let me tell them where it hits me another common man:
- when the government senselessly gives away free TVs to people who end up selling it to others for a quick buck
- when the government gives food at 2 rupees or so and most of it is sold in the black
- when the government builds free housing to many who let it out and still live in shanties

wake up people the list goes on, I pay for all the stupid decisions the government makes and I for one would like cheaper petrol but which politician today has the guts to cut these?

Raavanan is a hit, Raavan is a flop and I have no clue on the status of Villain. This just goes to show that Mani Ratnam cannot have a one size please all, remember Guru? Come on Mani please resume making movies for your core audience, us Tamizh Makkal who still believe that Godfather pales to Nayagan. We have grown with you and have enjoyed the monosyllabic dialogues in the darkest of locales because some where you spoke to us. Why did you stop? And I wonder if I missed your wife’s review of the movie on her TV show.

Finally AR Rahman has made Semmoli the caller tune of choice for many. The song grew on me slowly as many other ARR numbers and now I can’t stop humming it at least the chorus part. I love that part where that folk singer (do not know her name) sings with a small jig and absolutely dislike Shruthi Hassan’s bit, Blaaze is the surprise part along with that singer (looks like Neha Bhasin). But it makes me wonder why we need so many non Tamizh singers to sing this or is it simple a sign of our inclusiveness?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kattrathu Tamizh, then English apres Francais

Drove down the Mount road and saw the Chennai Corporation staff pulling down English signboards after the over zealous mayor declared that all boards be in Tamizh. To this mayor I ask what is the use of a board if it cannot be read by many?

The governments in successive bouts of madness have killed the language by various stupid ideas.

If the jokers must do something, then instead of breaking boards and renaming streets first change the name of the state, because morons it is not Tamil, but Tamizhnadu.

Tamizhnadu is the state where the mother tongue is an option instead of being the compulsory second language, in the zeal to remove Hindi these jokers have made several generations opt out of the language of the land and no your pathetic idea of giving state ranks to Tamizh students may not impress or motivate many and I for one would be scandalized to get a laptop with a screen saver of a geriatric even if it was free.

Language is meant to communicate and trust me classical Tamizh will leave many natives scratching their heads

It is common language that the classical written language and the colloquial are as different as two different dialects and it is practically impossible to remove the traces of other language especially English from the colloquial.

If the state has always been open and willingly to be inclusive to many cultures, religions, languages, nationalities over the ages why can the language of the land not be so?

There was a time when my above the ordinary English was a barrier for me to communicate to my classmates in Loyola College one of the best colleges in the country. Yes my classmates and some of the contract faculty members were dazed after hearing me speak and this is became my millstone. I lived with the title of a “Peter” and “Appa tie, Amma gown” monikers for the entire three years. My wonderful language skills were good for answer papers but it remained there. I had to unlearn 12 years of wonderful English learning from my school to ensure the rest of my life was a success.

Today what I speak is a mix, I still tend to switch to English as a language of convenience rather than choice, I read and can write Tamizh and manage my way around with Hindi and yes I can read and write French, but I know that I can communicate to everyone because I now know that you do not need a perfect language but what is more important is to communicate and for that what I see around and what is going to happen next week is just a waste of public money and is self appreciation at the worst.

To give Tamizh its due, it is a wonderful language and is a classic but as all classics go they will never be common place.

This post was inspired by another brilliant piece from a fellow blogger whom I follow.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Of balls, semmozhis, swimsuits and more

Vuvuzela or not, the beautiful game is often making me yawn and somehow I miss the good games. I’m a football novice but still I think that to score you need to visit the opponent’s half of the football field to score a goal, passing between team mates in the own stretch is so not happening

The cricket overkill and viewer exhaustion is emerging with the recent matches happening away from the glare and despite the headlines on the sports page; I think some sanity may be returning to the sport fan space

Swimming is fun and I can’t wait to complete the remaining 13 weekend classes so that I can make it a routine, maybe just maybe I will knock off some kilos on the way. But sadly only bodysuits abound the pool I learn.

Trinity is a real bundle of joy with her heart melting smile and naughty antics often driving poor D round the corner

Doing some property hunting and finding that the prices are way beyond my purse and by the time I locate a buyable property I think I will find myself in some other state leave alone the city.

Just heard that the voice of TN is from Kerala, a year after that Super singer junior was launched, finally I am told the award went to the one outstation candidate. We are so inclusive!

The Tamizh conference is on overkill mode and as with so many hypes hope it does not fall flat on its face.

Sycophancy in politics is reaching new heights or plunging to new depths whichever way you look at it and it makes you wonder if you are also living in the same planet as these buffoons who equate their leaders with everything under the sky and even above the sky. Remember the mother Mary incarnation that did the rounds some years earlier.

Realized that weekend trips can be fun and should be attempted at every opportunity, makes the missus happy and gives me a well deserved break.

Just realized that in a few days, yet another year will pass me by, I feel so old.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

From a distance

I was invited to attend a discussion with the Indiblogger team and NDTV Hindu team today. The topics to be discussed were the Maoist situation and the government response and Indian cinema.

I went prepared on the Maoist scenario and i actually did some thinking on my view point. Opinions like are like butts everyone has one and that is the fact of these talk shows you can show the world yours and get away with it. Please note that you can get away with flashing your opinions only on TV.

Sadly the topic was changed to discussing the banning of Facebook by Pakistan, so I thought maybe I will share my thoughts with you...

A few quick pointers -
- Firstly I am not a commentator and frankly how anyone can comment on something that is so far away, it is not an IPL match after all, beats me
- The gun is never a solution and he who wield a sword, perishes by a sword, don't think a gun is any different
- Armed uprisings cannot be popular or self sustaining
- The Maoists are devils but it does not mean that the security forces are angels
- I appreciate the efforts of the media but seriously going and interviewing elusive fugitives may be good for the TRPs but it can demoralize the security forces and also makes the nation look like a fool

My solution for this conflict-
- Offense is the last thing that should be done as it will only lead to a circle of violence
- Positive action to eliminate the problem at the root cause

There may be some truth in the satire after all
- The government has two powerful weapons in its armoury to fight this conflict the first is the NREGA a brilliant scheme that will ensure food on the table for many who currently have picked up guns for their daily bread
- The second is financial inclusion or simply lending to the poorest of the poor small loans either through banks, MFIs or NGOs for employment generation activities

After all naxal movement sprung from the conflict between the haves and the have-nots, where the issue was land and not food.

To sing off I leave you with a song, a beautiful one that says from a distance God is watching us and all that we do...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Blogging to micro blogging

Been on Blogger over two years now and have been posting irregularly since. Got slowly drawn into Twitter and at last count realized that my followers marginally outnumber the number I follow.

Fascinated by the handles that I saw I thought maybe I should try it too and for those who wonder where it originated, watch

Yup my handle is vadapoche and you can keep up with me on Twitter if you have'nt already.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Of Mumbai, travel, review and others

Been awhile since I last posted so just thought I’ll put some random thoughts together

- Went to Mumbai for a review & strategy plan meet and found that somewhere strategies got lost in between tactics
- Found that the over priced service apartment did not live up to its price.
- Heard during the meeting that we are constrained only by ourselves and not the environment
- Was reminded that nothing is impossible if we choose to make it happen
- Spent a couple of days doing nothing because planning and no action made all those grand sight seeing plans, just that plans
- Found that there will be a fashion street everywhere and that bargaining on the streets must start at 50% of quoted price
- Saw decay, dirt, despair everywhere and generally felt depressed
- Heard again that people there sleep less, travel more, work harder etc and remembered that they lived lesser too (read in the paper some where that the avg life of a Mumbaikar is 3-4 years lesser than those from other cities)
- Wondered at the sight of every posh building bounded by a shanty
- Lost my cell phone and with it all my contacts (boo hoo!)
- Discovered that Indigo may have good on time record but I get the flight that is over an hour late
- Learnt that the airline crew do not understand the phrase “last and final boarding call” means that it comes only once
- Realized that VETA (Vivekananda English speaking course) may have an untapped opportunity with the airline crews who make the announcements
- Realized that it is possible to negotiate with taxis at the Chennai airport and they are actually more reasonable than the autos
- Rejoiced that there is or never will be any place better than home

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Excess baggage

I remember a scene vaguely in a Sathiyaraj movie where a kid asks him why he was using his caste as a surname and Sathiyaraj gets a paradigm shift moment. I look round and see that this is not an isolated case, the naming I mean.

A whole lot of people proudly put their community or more specifically their castes behind them as if it is some honorary degree. The question is why?

This is a land which has given birth to many religions and the predominant way of life, it is not a religion mind you threw up some rules on who does what and so came the class system where one prayed, one sowed, one traded, one ruled or something like that and the rest they say is history.

Today I know a “Vanniya Kula Kshatriya” if you understand something of the language you understand that it would amount to a “trader class warrior” and he is sitting in a software company. Isn't this a fair sign of how obsolete some of these "rules" have become.We have left so much behind and yet we hold on to so much of the past, even today this excess baggage serves very little to a normal man except the few who make a living out of it. The political parties will head this list and their very raison d’être is something that is worth nothing more than a piece of paper which is needed to get some benefits of the governments misplaced largesse be it education or a job. For everything else the paper can remain in the cupboard till the big day when a match is made. Marriages may be made in heaven but the right “communitications” are made down here.

Let us move ahead people from the divisions of the past and let not an inter caste marriage become a jaw dropping event. Ironical that you can change your faith and you have the freedom to do so but you cannot do anything about your caste or community. To sign off a small joke I picked up:

An honorary degree is like the curl in the tail of a pig:
- it follows the main part of the animal
- it is highly ornamental
- in no way does it improve the quality of the ham

(Read the same replacing degree with caste)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Of April heat, CSK, HYderabad and appraisals

Its 20 days since my last post and let me look back and see what happened in between:

-Appraisals were not “aapraisals” this time, thank to some work, some luck and lots of grace from above. It was a reasonably good one, however a small slip between the cup and the lip made it a little lower than exceptional. So there is more to look forward next time

-Trinity got her head shaved and it took some time for me to get used to her bald pate. Undeniably a girl’s crowning glory is her hair.
On the topic of hair shaving, I do not think it is a great idea to go to church and shave the head there, no it may be acceptable to some, but it simply is not what I do. Bowing to family pressure we went to Our Lady of Health church in Besant Nagar, but one look at the unhygienic surroundings & we made a quick dash to Naturals and got the deed done

-Went to Hyderabad with family for the wedding of a classmate. It was a mixed bag, we did some sight seeing despite the heat, but some how felt very unwelcome and like strangers in the wedding house. Previous weddings we were always part of the family. May not make many such trips again. Poor Trinity had a real tough time and made me resolve never to make her suffer such trips again

-Took part in my first tweetup and for an impromptu meet it was good fun with around 12 of us there. Met two old bloggers and lots of new microbloggers who I am now following and getting followed in Twitter.

-CSK made things difficult for themselves to make the semis and finally made it to the semis after some good work by the Indian Batting contingent especially MSD who roared to life in Dharamshala and guess what yesterday they stormed in to the finals out-bowling, out-batting and out-fielding the Deccan Chargers. So the IPL is finally ending and maybe I can get back to farming and treasure hunting.

-Learnt that Modi-fying is kicking you own ass when trying to kick someone else’s ass after the Tharoor-Modi Twitter saga that is grabbing news space.

-It is getting HOT!!! and no signs of respite with dog days ahead.

-Just noticed that my blog rank has gone up 12 places

Friday, April 09, 2010

As I drove...

Near my office, I saw this. Wonder if it is a fact.

Note the woman in black on the scooty, a closer observation may reveal to you that she is wearing a sweater in the hot Chennai sun in the morning. Not sure if it is vanity or insanity.

This truck was apparently coming on the other side and it appears that the driver was exploring new ways of crossing the road.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

More IPL, criminals, body art and penance

IPL commentary is a sure fire cure for insomnia and the only saving grace is one gentleman who went in for hair transplant before Sehwag. If it were not for him you would simply drown into parrot talk that will kill you with its monotony or clichés.

How many times can you stare at a blimp and be reminded of the contributions of the Pace Foundation to Indian cricket, maybe its time that some of the superstars get back to the Foundation to remind themselves of the basics.

I fear that IPL 4 will have a sponsor for every delivery that will be bowled at the rate things are going and overkill can kill you painfully. And another word for omnipresent is Lalit Modi.

Crime pays big time and in India it can be a great pension scheme, can’t remember the number of criminals who have swindled the public, shot to infamy and then with fickle public memories retire out of the lime light to enjoy their ill gotten wealth.

Justice delayed is justice denied, one of the foundations of justice but the Indian judicial system has been reduced to a farce by a plywood company, a sad commentary on the nation.

What came first? The politician or the criminal. Do politicians become criminals or vice versa? A rap sheet of some of the leading politicians makes you shudder and wonder how can a law breaker make a law?

Women and pain (the self inflicted) go together. Saw Trinity get her ear pierced and was informed that the pain will last for three days. Then I remember the many women who get their ears pierced multiple times, not to mention those with belly, eyebrow, tongue and whatever piercings done. And not to mention the tattoos, that have become bigger, more colourful and very exotic. And this craze is not restricted to the young and reckless but even thirty somethings are flaunting their body art. This is not sexist, I know men do all the above and more but still, I think I’m missing something here. Is the pain worth it? Or is this a small price for vanity? Come to think of it some beauty procedures are not painless either. Next time some one calls women the weaker sex, he better take a second thought.

I see a few around me sporting beards and sorrowful faces because it is Lent. Going contrary to the basic tenets of fasting in the Bible these people make it seem like more self inflicted pain. Such observances belittle the idea and personally are best avoided. They forget that this period has actually cleaned out their systems and their profiles look leaner than a month or so ago. And little good comes without effort, except salvation which is free. Look forward to the Easter as it will be another option to sing the Easter proclamation in church which I feel is a blessing from above.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Of Mongooses and bats

The most talked about bat in town will be the Mongoose though it has broken many hearts after the Delhi sojourn. The CSK self combustion is worth a separate post but I’m not interested in debating something that has been done to death. But I cant resist offering some scraps of opinion to the CSK management:
- Murali Vijay is an opener and if you want an anchor or someone to face hostile bowling it is he, if he is not doing that don’t let him do anything else or he will drop catches and then the match a la Gibbs
- Parthiv and Raina should expand their strokes to more straight bat hits, horizontal swipes when they click look nice otherwise look terrible

Anyway I digress this post is not entirely about the IPL. You can’t ignore a gorilla that commands prices of 3200 crores for just the rights to two teams. I predict that the phenomenon may implode soon in its excesses as already I am stifling a few yawns during the matches. Also Lalith Modi is getting too big and I am surprised that there are no knives being sharpened as yet around him.

So what is the mongoose, some physics and some craftsmanship that whittled a cricket bat blade into one small sweet spot. The longer blade gives greater leverage and is supposed to increase power by something. But you know all that, what people fail to appreciate is that the bat is just a tool and only in the hand of the wielder will it produce results. Even Haydos keeps switching bats so it may not be the wonder kit of the future.

But if you are Chennai the Mongoose will page in comparison to the most famous bat of the times. It can be safe to say that most of the households have this and what is more it has brought out the sporting skills and instincts in so many closet sportspersons out in the open. It is a versatile bat and the range of strokes it offers is amazing and what is more it comes in different colours so you can match it with your outfits if you so choose. The beauty of this bat is that it permits single player games and multiplayer games and the results can be death devastating. If the mongoose can cause carnage this can do it many times over and you just have to look at the bodies scattered around when you do the post match analysis.

Wait a minute did I mention bodies and not balls? Of course I did because you don’t play with balls here but with mosquitos. Ladies and gentlemen presenting the Hunter which has a greater appeal than the IPL and the mongoose if you happen to live in Chennai.

The mosquito population has exploded and I wonder if it is some conspiracy theory. Today it is impossible to spend a peaceful evening at home. And wherever you turn you hear the crackle of a square drive, a hook, a forehand smash or even a sweep depending on the sports leaning of the wielder. Again like the mongoose it takes a skilled handler to execute maximum damage but being a great leveler this sport is open to all ages and genders.

So if you are a closet sportsperson or even a couch sportsperson, here is a sport you can take up, no kits or playing fields required. All you need is a hunter and for the mosquitoes, just look around.

PS if you don’t find mosquitoes but would still like to play do drop by at my place, will share loads with you for free.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Indiblogger Meet 2010

I participated in the Indiblogger meet in Chennai on Saturday and it was an interesting experience, thought I will share it with you.

The good: The venue GRT Grand Convention center is a better venue than the earlier one (Deecee Manor)
The bad: The venues are still limiting capacity maybe next time we can give up the aircon claustrophobic confines and take maybe OAT at IIT?

The good: This was the second meet
The bad: this was the second meet in 3 years and if this is the blog capital then it deserves better

The good: The large number of people who came for IB10
The bad: the very few repeat visitors from IB08

The good: The huge age band of members
The bad: very few school students unlike last time

The good: The programme was well planned and structured
The bad: The planning took away the unconference, it still resembled an office meeting

The good: The riotous Hitler video really was awesome
The bad: too little of awesomeness

The good: the team of Indiblogger, who put things together
The bad: didn’t see all of them mingle in the crowd

The good: The 30 seconds of fame
The bad: because it was random, you could not list the URLs or the sites, maybe the roll call could have been done

The good: The chart on back method of social net working
The bad: some unpleasant comments noticed on that, open is not always good

The good: The huge turnout and the disparate membership
The bad: many were probloggers so the fun element of blogging got subdued

The good: the huge number of techie blogs and bloggers
The bad: the tech dummies like me felt lost

The good: the sponsor did not bore us to death like last time
The bad: since it was a mobile phone sponsor we only got to rate mobile phones,

The good: the well intentioned panel discussion
The bad: the snide comments and lack of tolerance of the so called non tamil crowd, come on you are living in Chennai if you cant get along with Tamil then move on

The good: the discussion
The bad: The moderator

The good: the FCUK punch line from the back bencher
The bad: the very few such punchlines and the search for sponsors etc by bloggers

The good: The food
The bad: being lent, could not try the chicken sandwiches! Lack of discipline by those who have to cut lines for even the food line

The good: Tshirt finally!
The bad: haven’t tried for size, if it it don’t fit, that’s bad

The good: the commitment of Indiblogger to have more events
The bad: the wait!!!

Finally I must salute the Indiblogger team for the effort and for a great meet. May I suggest that maybe we can look at smaller sectoral meets for better interactions.

P.S. did not take any photos so this time no pictures to share.

Friday, March 19, 2010

What's in a name?

What’s in a name?

It depends
– if you are someone who convults parent given names to weird unpronounceable spellings that should change the life of the so named for a charge it is your bread and butter
-if you are a superstar who’s claim to fame is not just good acting and histrionics but a cult name like Rajinikanth it can be your calling card
-if you are a believer of misspelling or respelling the name will bring an riches and what not, it can be the passport to something else
-if you are sufferer when people who cannot for the world of it pronounce it with the same good meaning given by your parents and end up murdering it to new levels, it can be a cross for a life time
-if you want an extra term of endearment to your loved ones and end up with an official name and a pet name so even at your wedding you may have a card that read XXX a.k.a YYY it can be an often unwanted excess baggage
-if you want to be relatively anonymous or a change of image for professional reasons like a nom de plume then it can be a mask
-if for want of remembering a major part of the family tree you end up with the names of the dearest grand parents and grand folks ending up with a first name, middle name, surname and some next to middle names in between it can be a head ache
-if you are a celebrity then it means endorsements
-if you are a felon then it is something to be hidden
-if you end up with a name that can confuse your religious antecedents like mine, it can be the start of many curious conversations

The list goes on but none of this came to mind when D and me were name hunting for our to-be born baby. We had two lists and after much deliberation I let D have the final say. We found to our chagrin that what is sounding good to us will sound good to others too and found that we were beaten to the race to name by kids born before September 16th. September 16th narrowed the list to the girl baby list only and we had decided that we will have two names only a Baptism name and the other a Tamil name. Trinity was a no brainer as it was a favourite of D and she blogs under the same name as well. And it was a rather uncommon name except for the fact that D’s friend by the same name has a girl called exactly that a year ago so we were actually beaten but we refused to throw in the towel. WE said that the second name will be equally unique and I wished to include the letter “ZH” in it and we wanted our daughter to be musically inclined so Yazhini it was. To those not in the know Tamizh has the “L”, “LL”, “ZH” three distinct sounds that usually get massacred and misused by people of poor instruction. To a non Tamizhian it can be a tongue twister and I heard that M.K. Azhagiri made the supreme sacrifice recently and converted to MK Alagiri after his name sounded out like a Soviet name in the mouths of fellow Parliamentarians. But I digress here, the point is our daughter is Trinity Yazhini and mum will take it upon herself to help anyone finding her second name difficult to pronounce with language classes.
As early as 4 months Trinity Yazhini responded to both names so it was worth the effort.

What’s in a name the bard said, a rose by any other name… I disagree.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Of IPL, nityananda, garlands and other things

I did not follow the second innings of the match yesterday as I felt that it may be a damp squib and so it was reflective of the margin of nearly 100 runs that separated the Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Daredevils. Twitter is full of tweets on how the Thackeray’s will change the name of the imports into Marathi names like Keiron Pollard to Karan Poddar…

Though it may be the least imaginative of all franchisee names given the current scenario MI tells the world that Mumbai is for all Indians and many high priced imports and if the MNS thinks otherwise they can bid for the 9th team when it starts.

Malawathi oops Mayawathi is hogging the news space and the vulgar display of sycophancy and money power is sinking to new depths and positively makes you throw up. This is the state that recently declared it bankrupt after the many memorials and statues to pay compensations to the victims of the ashram stampede. Saw the news today where a MLA from the Samajwadi Party is missing after setting a woman on fire and yet another story where a wheat consignment from Australia which is supposedly unfit for human consumption has been imported from Australia and is awaiting distribution for food use, this import being done by someone with political connections. Until community and caste based politics recede such goons will continue to rule us.

Actually the IPL and now Mayawathi have pushed Nityananda to the background, he was actually a hot topic on Twitter. I watched with amusement and some amazement at the frenetic reactions to the breaking news story till they eventually died down. I know everyone has an opinion but if he had not advocated celibacy for self what he did in his room was his personal business. I am not sure what right anyone had to invade his privacy and these sting operations do little more that increase the TRPs of the news channels.

Now the church is facing flak for all the abuse cases and it is time that such instances are not swept under the carpet and those who are guilty face the music. It will tarnish the image of the church but in hindsight the church was built on sinners and for sinners so let the one without sin cast the first stone. I will not be surprised to see more people use this as an excuse to move away from the faith, it is their choice but if their faith is indeed personal and built on a personal experience then it will weather all things.

Staying on the discussion of religion and the church, I am against all independent churches who proclaim a skewed version of the gospel. This malaise is not restricted to the church alone but is a growing phenomenon across all faiths where mushrooming of fringe groups with narrow and militant views are spewing fast food religion. Religion that is convenient, attractive and easy for weak believers. Such independent groups often distort the faith and cause dissent and division and often end up as money spinners for the creator leaders.

On a happy note Trinity seems to like driving, her past time is to move around purring like a car and tossing her cushion like a steering wheel. Another racer in the making I think, but D would not have any of it already.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some random thoughts

My prolonged absence from blogosphere has made my ranking drop 12 notches and I’m now languishing at 36, any more absence and…

Getting a little frustrated with the unfriendly systems in place at work, hygiene factors are taking a back seat and despite my boss’ best efforts it is a real dampener and everything boils down to money.

Chennai Super Kings opened their account and it was an interesting match. The CSK top order was extremely scratchy and they some how scratched their way around till the unbeaten partnership that took away the game. But what was more pleasing was the bowling of Morkel who kept it simple and bowled straight on a good length. Aggressive fielding helped and it was a team effort that made KKR look very ordinary.

Staying with the IPL, this year it looks like the CSK missed a trick by not picking up ICL players who are shining in many other teams, especially some local bowlers who can add muscle to the team.

I think that the time out this year can be used as a good tool by the captains and can be game or atleast momentum changing is used well and looks like an innovation that can be regularized.

Some of the ads that we are bombarded with during the IPL makes you grimace, especially an aged Akshay Kumar who is flogging his parkour skills to the death jumping off every thing for the silliest of reasons. And I am yet to figure out the Havells executioner ad and the Spice London bua ad. IF anyone understands these please write in. Zoozoo still makes you smile and you must credit the makers for making some absolutely enjoyable ads and the latest Havells MCB ad is actually good fun and is a better watch thatn the other mentioned.

Staying with ads another ad that kept me scratching my head and when I noticed that I was not alone is the JK cement ad. A scene straight out of Baywatch and nothing else, in case you have missed this incredible ad it shows a woman walking out of the water in the beach in a swimsuit and the voice over saying that there is something special about this, I wish they had given some more pointers.

I think that I have lost weight by being conscious of my food and that has helped. Must check on the actual loss but it feels good and I have eliminated junk food out of my system for some time now, no more mid meal snacks and dinner is now generally a fruit / sprout / veggie salad with a mild dressing. Abstinence from meat during lent has also helped if nothing, it feels good.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Just another post

Its been awhile since I blogged and I have already explained my prolonged absence in earlier mails. I have signed up for the blogger meet that is happening shortly and so I got back into the blogosphere.

Q4 has been busy and it has been good, with success tasting sweet but the rewards are still looking elusive. So waiting with a silent prayer. I have finally got a team actually one member has joined and the other will join shortly, these two will lessen my workloads and let me do my normal job which had got changed recently.

Trinity is growing fast and spreading loads of happiness around. My office travel weary body has got some rest and is recuperating before the next set of trips which are thankfully day trips only.

Farmville is the greatest time pass apart from the occasional TV sessions. Have decided that Mafia is no longer my cup of tea and have retired to the farmlands exclusively!

Had an opportunity to sing with a choir for a gospel concert and had a good time doing it. Looking forward to more such chances.

Will get back to the normal average again as I have missed blogging. Till then ciao.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Back from a break again

Off late I am constantly finding new excuses for not updating my blog; well here are the latest additions…

- My mum gave away Melisaa when I was not around, not her fault entirely but some people came over willing to adopt, they fell in love with her instantly and took her away. After 8 years it took some time to come to terms with the fact that I will not have Melissa welcoming me home ever again. For a week we were all going around with a lump in our throats, but last heard that Melissa has settled down and is apparently happy in her new home.
- Visited Andhra Pradesh (no Telengana) and was occupied completely with the increasing list of clients to be serviced
- Trinity has completed 4 months and is monopolizing a lot of time at home
- Nathan (my god son and nephew) got baptized and the festivities and social obligations took up a lot of time
- Have purchased 500 each of all available properties in the New Your tier and am getting insane amounts of money so much that I’m contemplating retirement since have upgraded all businesses in Cuba and Russia also. Maybe Bangkok will amuse me, but that passport I got did not work. And yes I am at level 151+
- Am at level 41 and growing forget me not last time I saw. After successfully snaring D into it (she was at 18 when I last checked) my farm is tended even in my absence. Needed another 100000 coins to upgrade to 24 X 24, will do it on my return
- The usual suspects of tardiness and writer’s clock seem to be working in collusion with each other
- Have been a little tired too
- Now in Telengana and the disputed capital and disappointed that it is relatively calm and in the midst of some exhausting interviews
- Just realized that this Sunday is crammed with social visits that though unimportant are necessary.

Just managed to pen a few lines even if they are just excuses. Excuse me.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Colour, colour, what colour do you choose?

It is always good to have a week end break to recharge the batteries. Among the interesting happenings over the weekend was the one campaign on Facebook that was quite amusing.
So to those guys in the know, (I hazarded a guess after the third status message and got it right after Googling), they now know what the colours actually were. Ranging from the usual blacks, whites and a red that drew a few oohs and aahs from other women, quite a few young ladies dared to show or actually tell their true inner colours. Among the colours was the striped variety contributed by my dear friend Jack sparrow who thinking it was a fad jumped into the fray with his version only to realize that it would look rather queer on him. And another well meaning friend who supported the cause felt that he should contribute white because his vest is usually of that shade. The TOI as usual came up with some more exotic varieties in its issue.

If it must be colour then go for pink, I mean the ribbon, gloves or even caps and while the Pak team looked a little queer I must appreciate their commitment to the cause. And to those men still snickering around it said that the cancer is not a female domain but affects men too, so be warned.
If you are still wondering what I’m rambling about,

read this.

This week the Chennai Sangamam is back and though Tower park is not being used this year, I have the choice of Bougainvilla or Thiruvika parks to choose from and Kerala, Madurai and Dindugal cusines to savour, so it is going to be a fun filled week. To those who have never experienced the Sangamam, it is a must see, do not miss it.

Friday, January 08, 2010

In the rain

Driving by the Marina in the rain around half past noon, I noticed a few couples lost in love (I hope) enjoying the wonderful weather.

One couple caught my interest, the guy was dressed in formals and had a salesman bag slung around his shoulder, the girl was in a salwar with the dupatta draped around her head, they were walking towards the sea from their bike parked on the shoulder of the road. They were getting drenched and kept going all the while the guy had a folded umbrella in his hands.

Saw another couple standing under a small umbrella in the classic pose of lost in each others eyes oblivious to the downpour around.

Real life so often throws up such gems that no movie can

Thursday, January 07, 2010

On a day like today


- The newspaper reports that a Deputy Commissioner of Customs was caught by the CBI accepting a bribe hold your breath of Rs. 2500. I remember reading about the arrest of quite a few officials with much higher sums of money at the airport and last heard they are out on bail. So what will happen to this person who got caught for 2500 rupees?
- Is the start of the road safety week and many well meaning school kids were standing at road corners holding small placards with very well meaning statements. Just realized that not only are they risking their life and limbs to our notorious traffic but they are potential traffic hazards the same as the now banned hoardings
- A pathetic duo on a TVS 50 casually drove the entire stretch of the long flyover in T. Nagar on the wrong side aiming to save 200 meters and made my blood boil over
- A desktop calendar with pics of baby Trinity adorns my workstation and is drawing admirers in droves
- I was supposed to be in Hyderabad of Telengana but since Andhra was boiling over I have decided to stay back
- I wrote a letter and found that my writing has become near illegible, my lovely new fountain pen not withstanding
- Boss has sounded out the first warning about the impending performance review which is next week!!!
- Is Thursday, the day before Friday, the wait for the weekend has begun.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Best Wishes


I will start this post with a few lines sent by Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan to the Chennai Photowalk mailing group on Facebook :

“…January 1 is not going to be drastically different from Dec 31, or heck, even Dec 1. It's not the birth of new life - spring is. It's not a new season. It's not a new beginning. It rarely is the beginning of anything new. Months change every 28-30 days. SO, January 1 is no special month's start.

My life will not change tomorrow. Neither will those of many I know. My outlook, my thoughts, my viewpoints don't change. I am not going to magically become thinner, stronger, funnier, or more talented. I will most definitely not win any lottery/beauty pageant next month, much less the next day…”

I will break off here because in a few lines it sums up the day that went by.

A few learnings from the New Year eve and New Year day that I thought I will share with you

- SMS will be charged on big days and so prudence will spare the bank
- Eating out is not a good idea on these days as it is expensive and the noise and crowd can make it a forgettable experience
- Eating out a la carte is still better than the exotic spreads
- Driving is best avoided as it is a very popular activity for most of the city
- Community spots like parks, beaches etc will suffocate you and leave you gasping for space and breath
- High spirits are good for you, provided you get them from Church or other places of worship and they will come free and you are not likely to get bounced after your highs
- Home is still the best place to be whether it is the first or the last day provided it is not just brick and concrete but a structure founded on love
- Time spent with the loved ones if still the best gift that can be given and it is as pleasing to receive
- “The time is always right to do what is right” – Martin Luther King Jr, so one does not have to wait for one day to make resolutions after all nobody waits for a day to break them

So am I against the New Year revelry, no? I just felt that commercialization has robbed the day and so many other days of their beauty. It was funny to note that while one was enjoying a holiday and burning up money to celebrate it, another was working hard to get that money into his pocket. Those businessmen are having the last laugh and the joke is on those who fell into the money trap.

I was extremely saddened to hear that people died celebrating the New Year. The cause of death was automobile accident. I had already written earlier that these accidents were suicides in disguise. People who care less for their lives pay for it on the road. I noticed a woman wear that ear muffs as she rode her two-wheeler while a helmet dangled behind. A new year has dawned but some things will never change.

Wish you all a very happy, prosperous and grace filled new year.