Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I got 2 words for you...

3 letters,
2 words,
1 life sentence.

3 parties,
2 persons,
1 life.

Marriage simplified. Some of you may scratch your head at the second segment trying to figure out the 3rd party. Marriage is essentially 3 parties – God, man & wife. And like a three legged stool all the legs are required for stability. Even if you do not believe in God the equation remains the same because a marriage is founded, built and sustained in love.

 And “Anbe Sivam.

Love is “I do”…

... in good times & in bad, in sickness & in health, love you and honour you all the days of my life

Images courtesy Google Images

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Why dear Noah, why?

I really wish that Noah had forgotten the pair of mosquitoes when he stepped into the ark.

On a day when we celebrate the elevation of namma Chennai as the best in some ranking of cities I would think that if they were to compare simply on the mosquito menace we would have been knocked off the list. I just wonder if these pesky mosquitoes were privy to this survey and that’s why they are here.

We are fighting a battle without any sign of victory against these mosquitoes which make life in Chennai miserable. Despite the rising sales of repellents and other gadgets there seems to be no way of defeating these devils which seem to multiply in the blink of an eye. Even spelling the name is painful and they will be called mossies from now on.

The side effects of these repellents are worrisome with health being a casualty, not many of these are human friendly also and I suspect they affect us more than the mossies. The only folks laughing are the makers and sellers of these products and I suspect the mossies on the sly.

One of the unintended effects of this battle of the mossies is an improvement in fitness especially in those who are now experts with the most famous invention of recent times - 

the bat. It is becoming an evening workout for folks batting out these mossies and you would be amazed at the range of strokes displayed, back hands, fore hands, square drives, cuts, smashes. As you can see since it is a mixture of several sports it ensures a high level of cardio activity and a rigorous work out.

I wonder if the folks at the IOC will consider “mossie batting” as a replacement for wrestling that way we can ensure that at least one medal will be assured for us in the Olympics.  And while they are doing that we can attempt to export some of the mossies for target practice and for the games.

We have tried the coils, sprays, mats, liquids and found that none of them work. The bat works, till we are tired of batting but when we go to sleep the battle resumes. The best method of course is the humble mosquito net which by the way is the biggest misnomer ever. It is called a mosquito net but we are the ones trapped inside, the mossies have a ball laughing at us.

So is there a solution? I do not know, but for now we switch on the ac at high cooling, apparently the mossies do not like cold weather and make a quick exit. Having watched the Naan E movie I would not be surprised if the mossies get wiser to the ac and devise a way out. Till then the ac it will be.

Everybody loves Chennai, 

even the mosquitoes. Sigh.

Why dear Noah, why?


I have written an earlier post on the art of kissing. This is on just KISS, the keep it simple stupid one.

Life tends to wear you out with its complexities and often in the muddle we miss out the bigger picture. The solution is to simply KISS. Yes keep it simple and focus on the basics.

I do training modules for a hobby and one module that tends to get repeated is on Time Management. Time is perishable and always seems to be in short supply when it is most needed. I will like to share my KISS model of time management which is the gist of the actual module.

The first and the biggest tool(s) for effective time management is a pen with a paper. Some words of wisdom before we begin. Watch this.

“Failing to plan, is planning to fail”

Here we go
-                     LIST out ALL the activities that need to be completed on a sheet of paper
-                     Arrange them in order of PRIORITY
-                     Allocate time for each activity
-                     Provide time for exceptions & unplanned activities including a coffee break or FB status updates
-                     Cross out every completed activity
-                     If any activities remain schedule it for a future time.

Handy tips:
-                     Ensure that the most critical / disliked / difficult activity is completed first, once the mountain is crossed, the road ahead gets easier
-                     Decide to give procrastination a holiday
-           Ensure that the sheet is visible to ensure that you are on track and for course correction if required

Finally some exercise for good health after completing all the planned activities:
-                     Raise your right arm towards the heavens with the palm facing in the reverse direction
-                     Fold the arm till the palm reaches your back
-                     Pat your self on the back and say well done
-                     Repeat till you are having a smile on your face or your arm hurts

Remember work will stretch itself to fill the available time. Keep KISSing.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hooray! Hooray! Its a holi holiday!

Don’t we look forward to a holiday? I do and I would like to believe many others do too.

But have we ever notice the folks around who never get holidays. There are many and they go unnoticed. The milk is delivered on time every day and it comes along with the newspaper. Public transport, the police, the fire service, utilities and so many more work on holidays. Have we spared a thought, just a thought for the bartender who serves the drinks for the New Year party, he works when others take off and there are many more who slog to make that New Year memorable.

One Sunday when I was out for dinner I happened to see some officers of a PSU bank working at 9 PM, I know of some bank officials facing marital stresses because they hardly get time to spend with their families.There was a time when a bank manager was an aspiration but today it can be a curse.

For a daily wage labourer or a small time entrepreneur a holiday is a loss of income and because there is no food on the table they cannot afford to take a holiday. Closer home, do our domestic helpers have a weekly off? Do they not require one day to rest, recover or even handle their personal work before the next working week starts? Our maid has a weekly off and paid medical leave when required.

We cannot change the lives of all the people around but we can start with some one close by who works for us. We can also just acknowledge their efforts and say a Thank You. Yesterday and today many systems were paralyzed because people are on strike for many things including some job security for the unorganized sector that generally never gets a holiday. I have my own views on strike and its effects but the strike shows how much it will inconvenience us when folks who do not usually get a holiday, actually get one or two.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Its a colour full life!!!

                                 (image courtesy Google Images
During a pre-employment medical I learned that of the 256K colours in my mobile I can see but very few. It is official; I’m a little colour blind. No I don’t see the world in black, white and shades of grey but if you were to bring me a RmKV multi-colour sari and ask me what are the colours I will call out red, blue, green, yellow, orange, purple, white, black, grey, pink and brown. Maybe I may get a few more but that’s all, with all due respect to the master weavers of RmKV. The fact of the matter is I cannot discern between shades of the same colour and that makes life simple! I see a red as red irrespective of whether it is called blood orange, safety cone or tomato. To me it’s red. PERIOD.

Do you know what a banker’s lamp is? I didn’t till I happened to see it in the shade card. Horror of horrors, it is a green. Even worse blue fern is also green. Have you seen a blue cow? It’s yet another shade, thankfully its blue, but a cow???? Now don’t wonder what happened to me that I’m ranting and raving about colours, its just that D and others of her ilk have this habit of coming up with some weird colours that I’m clueless about. Have you heard of bishop's pink? I was wondering when did I last see a pink bishop, till D patiently explained that its the colour of the small cap that bishops wore.

I am yet to figure out which navy wears navy blue, our navy wears white. Maybe that is airforce blue?

Likewise peaches and lemons are fruits. I always thought violet was a colour by itself but Valentine’s Day poem tells you that violets are blue. But the orange, well the orange is orange so no confusion.

Earlier D had a kind of superiority complex about my lack of knowledge in the world of colours. But ever since the medical report I’m the beneficiary of her sympathy. “Oh, you poor thing, cannot make out colours…. ”. It feels so nice. And she does not make a face when I say her new sari is brown when it would be called something in the maroon family.

When I look around and see, the world is so beautiful and full of colours. So what if it is not in 256 K colours, who really has the time to learn the names of all? Lets just KISS!

(Keep It Simple Stupid!)

Enjoy life in colour!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Stolen childhood

                                                               (Image courtesy Frontline)

Of late it appears that every other satellite channel has a talent show featuring children. I am not sure how popular these are but I am certain that few people are depriving many children their childhood. Children have been equated with God because they tend to forgive and forget, but by stealing away their childhood they are being made into unfinished imperfect adults too early.

What do you say when a small girl sings a song of seduction to an adoring and spell bound audience and judges? I cringe at the choice of song and the parents who have taught it to their children. The parents who may shy away from sex education are watching spell bound their angel singing rubbish at her tender age. It is not very different for little boys either.

It gets worse on the big screen; minors are made to romance middle aged men twice their age. I am told that the heroines of Kadal and Kumki are below 16. I guess not much can be expected from a nation where child prostitution is rampant. At a time when parents must spend time with their wards teaching them and keeping them safe from abuse from known and unknown people we have those who are either living their failed dreams through their children or simply living off their talented children.

Let children be children, let them reach adulthood in the time charted by nature or better at their own pace. They have a greater right to their future than we do.

What about reality shows? They thrive on TRP so if fewer people watch fewer will be made…

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

To dust you shall return

                                                                                   (image courtesy Google Images)

On Ash Wednesday evening the morning sermon remains with me as I begin this post, actually one line of the sermon struck me hard and kept me thinking.

The highlight of the sermon was “slow down; in life we go so fast that we miss the most important things”.

I wonder when I have last paused to admire or appreciate all the graces that I have been blessed with. Every day is a miracle and waking up from sleep is probably the biggest of them all is it not? We go to sleep with the belief that we will wake up to a new day and once we sleep we completely cede control, few people never wake up. But since we wake up every day we take it for granted.

We rush each day to meet deadlines, finish targets, complete reports, rush with our food, rush on the road in short life is a race and we never stop running. We find that when we reach the finish line, somebody has moved it further ahead and so we start running again and running faster for we fear that some one will overtake us.

Is there a real need for speed? What do we gain by passing through life in a blur? Have we not been taught that slow and steady wins the race?

In the end if it is to dust that we return should we not slow down and appreciate the world around us in the journey of life?

What is true love?

Image courtesy Google images

What is true love? A day before Valentine’s Day this is a valid question. Love is an ocean of emotions. Unfortunately the idiosyncrasies of English as a language has ensured several emotions labeled as love. This post is dedicated to the Feb14 classification of love, between a boy / girl & boy/ girl or man/woman & man/woman (today multiple scenarios are available).   However this question was posed yesterday to some college kids on radio and their relative inexperience showed in the shallow answers that followed.I smiled with a “been there done that” feeling. 

Today I know true love begins after the honeymoon ends.

It is not the big things that show true love but the little things that are lost in the whirlwind of life to all the others except the two in love. To others it may be even silly when they see these expressions of love as they are not the usual public displays of affection. True love needs no spectators and is not a spectacle.

To catch a dawn flight, to comply with the 90 minute check in, I mute the alarm so as to avoid waking her before I go to sleep. I wake to find that her alarm was set 15 minutes ahead, the coffee on the table and the breakfast on the stove.

True love is a blessing.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Why, why, why?

Today there was an automobile collision near office. I will avoid the word accident in deference to Oogway. In this instance it was sheer hara kiri. A two wheeler rider jumped the stop light and ran into a hapless Honda City driver. To my untrained eye the damage appeared like three thousand odd for the Hero Impulse motorbike and at least thirty thousand for the Honda City. The rider is in hospital with minor injuries. This incident brought back a very unpleasant memory which I had forgotten. The picture above is a sad reminder of that memory.

This incident, my incident and several others like these always raise the following questions:

-         Why is the public sympathy for the one at fault? He may have hurt himself but it was his own doing
-         Why are those in cars perceived to be the villains? I do not set out every day with an intention to destroy my car
-         Why are the police procedures so unfair to the victim? Here I am clear that the victim is the Honda City driver
-         Why does this government favour two wheeler riders over others? They do not pay for parking, toll fees etc making a two wheeler more attractive than a car
-         Why are the traffic cops allowing law breakers like these to still roam scot free?
-         If I have no pity for the two wheeler rider, am I evil?

I have been the victim on more than one occasion when for no fault of mine my car has been vandalized by two wheeler drivers and I ended up paying for it thanks to the helpful souls who let the offender go scot free. I am sure that the rider got away today also as he is in the hospital.

I am angry at the injustice in this world.

Why? Why? Why?

To dye or not to dye, that is not even the question.


It is ironical that I started my last post with the ass and the next one with the crown, but as they say what goes up must come down so I will continue.

My three year old daughter recently pointed out the conditioner bottle among the many others when I was bathing her, so this will tell you how clueless I am to anything that is cosmetic. My bath soap was suggested by my doctor and the shampoo by my wife. I some how manage with some other basic essentials. My allergy to dust ruled out aerosol sprays so perfumes are ruled out and making life very simple for me. Where I have faced the biggest challenge is hair colour.

I started greying prematurely even while in college while still a teenager, mercifully the greys were few and were concealed and life went on peacefully. I crossed the tweens and entered the phase which increases the BP of many parents, the match making time when my greys brought a frown on my folks. They felt that my stocks in the matrimonial market would be low as I looked old. I got married with grudging support from my folks as I took the decision into my hands but they were not willing to go down without a final fight.

I had to give in to a few of their demands each of which can make a post but the one here was colouring my hair. I agreed and the salon ensured that I looked my age (or so I am told by folks who still have the patience to see my wedding snaps). The salon was a disaster and I may write about it as it again merits a post.

Today I have completed lost the battle to the greys and frankly I do not think it is such a big issue. I do come across some who refuse to acknowledge my real age and who again recheck my head in surprise. My wife understands my aversion to colour and she accepts me for who I am and I am always grateful to that. I know that folks twice my age attempt to look younger than me with regular dyeing sessions that make them look as fake as well never mind. Some folks believe that the crown is the only place that can turn grey. : )

To a person who understands only the basic colours and who will understand every colour is a red or blue or green or yellow or pink or purple or black or brown, grey is a perfectly acceptable colour. I cannot get any younger and I am grateful that I am blessed with a crown of two colours when my genes suggest that I should be having a receding hairline. And to folks who think I am too old, age is just a number, either of us cannot do a thing about it so let us chill.

So will I colour my hair? Maybe, because I know that one day my daughter will bully me into it but will it be black is the question.

P.S. I was born when Morarji Desai resigned as PM, go figure.

(Image courtesy Google Images)

Friday, February 08, 2013

Ass kissing

“A little flattery never hurt anyone”

I do not know if many people are immune to a little flattery. A normal person likes to be appreciated and should like getting positive statements from others. So what is this flattery?

“Flattery (also called adulation or blandishment) is the act of giving excessive compliments, generally for the purpose of ingratiating oneself with the subject” – according to wiki.

Every flattering statement has an end for its origin, someone wants to achieve something off the other and flattery is the inducement. Flattery is all pervasive at home, work, social life and we would have all used it consciously or subconsciously. A little flattery never hurt right?

These days flattery has grown to obscene levels and has become a fine art that is practiced by the politicians to please their bosses. From falling at the feet to deifying them higher than Gods, flattery has no limits. It will not be unusual to see large flex boards on various street corners extolling the many virtues of the esteemed leader scheduled to pass by the road. I wonder if many of our Gods could be as virtuous as these exalted mortals.

Some of these boards are too gross to even reproduce so I will refrain from the same, but I guess this is too common place for folks to be in the dark. A recent festival of a temple had a huge board detailing the list of events and the inevitable sponsors. The presiding deity of the temple was relegated to a corner and the chief guest who is a local politician dominated the board with the organizers displayed below.

The titles that are being handed out can make you squirm or chuckle. A sample - The dawn (not don) of Tamilnadu is a great grand father. Sigh.

The courts have banned hoardings of commercial establishments as they are traffic hazards, I suppose it is high time that these boards go the same way. One of these days I may crash my car rolling over the steering wheel in laughter.

A little flattery never hurt anyone, really?

P.S. the title is another term for sycophancy which is LOT of flattery, 

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A blog award!

I have been nominated for a Liebster Award!!

I have not got these nominations before and so I was surprised that folks like my blog. Thank You Himani Agarwal for stopping by and giving me a vote of confidence. [Do not like the PINK colour though : ( ]

Some Googling threw up this “The Liebster Blog Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. “Liebster” is German for “favorite”. This award is the favorite blog award then.

These awards mandate that you cannot keep it and are meant to be shared. The award is but a chain mail, but it never hurts to share some appreciation and affirmation which is wanted dearly by everyone. So this is my affirmation and appreciation and in the spirit of this mail here are the rules: -

a. Post 11 Things about yourself
b. Answer 11 questions from nominator
c. Choose 11 deserving bloggers and link them in your post
d. Set 11 questions for them.
e. Inform the nominee by commenting on one of their posts.

So, here come eleven things about me in no particular order-

1.          I am unique (mother Earth will not be able to have another me)
2.          I love to sing and my favourite is Gospel
3.          I love comics and believe that I will read them always
4.          I think that biriyani is the most complete dish ever invited
5.          I know that the happiest I will be is at home
6.          I know that home is Chennai
7.          I am sentimental
8.          I am an idealist and worse I expect the same of others
9.          I believe in God and I am grateful to Him for what I am
10.      I love my family and my extended family and know that they make Heaven (& Hell) here on earth
11.      I am still learning the meaning of the word Satisfaction

Now I need to answer 11 questions set by Himani.
  1. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
I am Clement

2. One thing when something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
Joining Loyola College for B. Sc Computer Science

3. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
Jughead Jones

4. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
27 (I heard that we start degenerating after that)

5. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
Clearing up

6. Your favorite Pick up line?
(I really don’t know)

7. The best compliment you have got till date?
I am reliable and always there

8. Honest feedback for my blog?
Direct Dil Se!

9. Blogging to you is_______
My view of what I see around me

10.What was your last Facebook status update?
It was a chain post about Facebook privacy changes blah blah

11. What is the most difficult question for you to answer?
Where do you see yourself 5 years hence (present status)

And the eleven bloggers I nominate for this award are-
(I have lost touch with most of my blog mates due to my inactivity so I will stick to most from The CBC. I apologize if any of these bloggers have more than 200 followers)

1. Susan Deborah -
2. Aravind Kumar -
3. Bragadeesh Prasanna -
4. Sowmya Swaminathan -
5. Ashika Antony
6. Karen Xavier-Fernandez -
10. Prason Christopher Robin
11. Jennifer Divia Clement

Here are my questions for the eleven nominated, just to make it fun I am giving them 22 questions and the option of answering any number from 11.

1.   If your Lover betrayed you, what would your reaction be?

2.   If you have one dream which could come true, it would be?

3.   What would you do with a billion dollars?

4.   Can you fall in love with your best friend?

5.   Who is more blessed-loving someone or being loved by someone?

6.   How long would you wait for someone you love?

7.   If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?

8.   What takes you down fastest?

9.   What according to you is blogger in denial?

10. What’s your fear?

11. Would you be single & rich or married & poor?

12. What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

13. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously, whom would you pick?

14. Would you give all in a relationship?

15. What’s eating you now?

16. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?

17. How do you vent anger?

18. What was your favorite toy as a child?

19. When was the last time you cried?

  1. What is on the floor of your closet?

  1. If there is one thing you could change about you, what will it be?

  1. If there were no blogs what would you have done?

Now the last but not least, I have informed the nominees by commenting on their blog post.

Completing all the pre requisite I can now say I am one amongst the proud winner of Leibster Award.   
 : )

Keep reading!!!

Monday, February 04, 2013

“Saavu giraki, veetla solittu vantheya?”

“Saavu giraki, veetla solittu vantheya?”

(Customer of death, have you informed home?) This is a famous statement usually from auto drivers of namma Chennai and is now part of the local language to show our feelings to an exasperating jay walker or an errant motorist.

It is also a joke that brings a few smiles to the lay observer be it on the TV or on t he road. But just analyze the statement for a moment, it can be pretty unnerving.

When we leave home if we say “Poren!” (Going), we will get admonished by the elders who will correct it to “Poitu Varen” (I will go & return). The former is inauspicious and our folks dearly want us to return home. Sadly the fact is everyday there are folks who step out & never return due to their carelessness outside, either on the railway tracks or on the road. Incidentally "Poitu Varen" is considered most inappropriate only in one situation...

A careless jaywalker or an errant motorist takes his life and plays around with it with the belief that accidents will happen to some one less fortunate. He also forgets for a brief moment the promise he made to his loved ones when he stepped out.

Death unless it happens to us or our close ones is just a statistic, one of many that is found every day in the news papers.Remember – there are no accidents.

Incidentally Good Bye is a corruption of a blessing "God by Ye" to keep travellers safe on dangerous journeys used in medeival England. Today it is just Bye. Pity. That is why I prefer See you soon. I really hope to.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Kadal - a review

I was forewarned before I stepped into the theatre by my favourite movie critic that kadal is not what I wanted to see.

But the tickets were booked and I was going with friends and my little princess wanted to see Elay Keechan and so we went for the movie though we ended up a few minutes late and so missed the opening scenes. Having read about it I managed to settle down but was rudely shaken up by the scenes that unfolded.

The movie is about the usual good Vs bad and the eventual triumph of good over the bad. The good is Aravind Swamy who is a priest, the bad is Arjun a seminarian who gets thrown out and chooses crime and holds a grudge against Aravind Swamy who caused him to be thrown away. Arvind Swamy dons the habit after Minsaara Kanavu and he looks good in it even now. Fr. Thomas was it then?

In the tussle between the good and the bad is a young boy a love child of a fisherman who denies him after the death of the mother. The boy is unable to overcome the loss of his mother and yearns for acceptance of his father. The priest comes to this fishing village and overcomes resistance to gain acceptance in the village. He takes the rebellious young boy under his wings and puts him on to his destiny that is a catamaran in this movie. The boy rides out to sea and his maturing into a fine young man is shown as he rides into the waves on a catamaran. These scenes are a joy to watch on the big screen.

A lot of credit must be given to Gautham Karthik for the scenes on the catamaran as it is no mean feat to ride the waves on a catamaran and actually dancing on it in tune to Elay Keechan. If you have not heard the song and the magic ARR creates, the visuals elevate it some what. You can’t help noticing that the dancers in the song are way too fair skinned among the much tanned fisherfolk.

There are some traces of the Mani Rathnam brilliance along the way but they are not enough to collectively hold our breath. The villain who is a don is introduced and though the priest saves his life he is repaid with evil and is thrown into prison. The villain then exits the scene for some time.

The girl is one of the weakest characters and in some other movies would remind you of the “dumb blonde” stereotype, but that is explained as a mental deficiency due to a traumatic event in childhood which is explained later but it just does not stick.

So the boy meets girl and some thing happens but since she is mentally deficient it is difficult to believe that it is love and the fact that the back ground music is the opening of Nenjikulle you wait with eager expectation that it could be love. A song comes but it is Adiye and was received with a thunderous applause. The song was unusually choreographed and was interesting to see.

The protégé moves from good to evil to become powerful, it is another loose end in the movie and so joins the gang of the don. The boy becomes evil and that is emphasized by some killings. More incidents unfold where the boy helps in delivering a child with the girl who is a nurse incidentally and he feels remorse. In another scene he confesses that he is evil to the girl and the girl wipes his hand clean and says do not do evil any more.

More knots are opened when the parentage of the girl is revealed and heads to the climax where the priest (not sure if he was still a priest) returns and gets accepted by the people who threw him out. The climax scenes in a boat caught in a storm are simply awesome. The climax ensures the triumph of good over evil, reformation of the bad and the eventual boy gets girl.

Oh and some where in between Nenjikulle comes as a back ground score to the boy and girl talking. It was truly disappointing.

Let me first list out the positives:
-         A Mani Rathnam creation, the effect is visible here and there
-         AR Rahman
-         Rajeev Menon
-         The return of Aravind Swamy
-         The debutant hero, Gautham Karthik
-         The beautiful locales of Manappad, some Kerala and some Andamans are a feast to the eyes

The negatives:
-         The screenplay or absence of it
-         The girl, the debutante is painful partly due to her characterization
-         The placement of songs
-         Bloopers
-         Too many loose ends and unexplained events in the movie
-         A caricature of a villain
-         Too many expletives and crude language in the initial scenes that is not child friendly

So what is the bottom line about kadal?

If you want to see kadal, drive down to the Marina it will be infinitely better. And yes, do listen to the songs of kadal as you drive…