Tuesday, May 01, 2012

3 - A review

The very fact that tickets were available on a Saturday night in Coimbatore's premier multiplex-of-sorts set the bar low enough (exacerbated by the fact that OK OK was running to packed houses).

I am a fan and anything I say about his performance will sound jaundiced.

If you thought Genetic memory and reactivation sounded far-fetched, look no further for evidence. Sruthi seems to have done just that. Wow! What an improved performance over 7th Arivu. The fallen apple is slowly rolling back towards the tree. Quite a decent performance as a schoolgirl, she really turns it on in the last half hour (and so does Dhanush!). Like the Dr., she does excel at crying scenes :)

Shiva K
Not enough screen-space. A few jokes tickle you, but a few get drowned by the BGM

The irony is that Kolaveri is the song that I least listen to. Haunting songs and BGM, esp. the last few scenes. Not very often do you come across songs that makes you break the Fourth wall and become a character in the movie itself. Po Nee Po is running non-stop at home now!

In some places, the dialogues get drowned by the BGM. (I saw this happening in Chennai 28).  

Though his songs have the Yuvan feel, his next release is something I will definitely watch out for.

Fame was thy enemy! Such a pathetic attempt at picturising the song-of-the-year. Nauseatingly contrived and unpardonable! Very disappointing.

I was thinking the movie should have been called '1......2.....' instead of 3. Very sluggish screen-play in the first half, a bit like VTV. I cant help wonder how Virender Sehwag would have felt watching this movie!

Despite the lack of acceleration in the first half, the direction and performances in the last half hour were remarkable. I especially liked the camera angles, colors and scene-cuts in the apartment. In particualr, I loved the interwoven scene sequence where Danush attempts suicide and Sruthi uses his gestures to react to the narration. Very creative!

I recently discovered that Aish was Selvaraghavan's assistant director. Well, it shows. To attempt such a story as a debutante is commendable. Ironically, she would have pulled it off, had it not been for Kolaveri's 15-minutes of fame. That set the mood eons before the movie released. That the movie wasn't in the Vikaman mould definitely threw people off.

Overall, you will find the movie a good watch if you give up the Kolaveri and

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Knew I Not!

Prologue : A couple in love has yet-another-fight. This is what happens before they cool it.

Knew I not
that so much grace
would get me to brace

Knew I not
to see the violence
behind her steely silence

Knew I not
she was trying to vet
To Forgive or Forget?

Knew I not
That faint little linger
was indeed a harbinger

Knew I not
that her 'Touch Me Not!'
was pure Maginot

Knew I not
A word so simple
could bring about the dimple!

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

PHOEM - Thought train

I realized it will soon be 2 years since I blogged. Restarting by recycling!

The picture from different mindsets. ...

Theory of relativity
Originally uploaded by

Thought 1

They are all racing,

yes, they are,

my colleagues, my parents, my friends ..

knowing not that it is a rat-race,

... and when I stop by to hear the birds chirp , they call me 'mentally-retarded' !

Thought 2

I knew I was handsome,

I was, until today

I knew I was brilliant,

I was, until today

I thought I was incomparable,

I was, until today

And when she walks away without a word,

the letter in her hand,

the love in my heart,

I only realize that I was never !

Thought 3

I wish time would fly back and take me to that moment I made that fateful mistake ....


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tehelka Expose on the Gujarat Riots

Have now become officially enchanted by Tehelka's weekly.

The latest videos and interviews from them on the Gujarat Riots.

P.S : As all bloggers do, I too plan to become more regular henceforth.

Friday, November 02, 2007


One of the worst cine news columns I have read. Today's writers seem to be deep-sixing grammar. A few buzz-words, a few adjectives and a few technical ones later, you become the most happening writer on the block.

Pick up a copy of ToI or Hindu (can't believe!) for the game of the day : Spot the goof-ups. You'll really have the time of your life.

I can spot at least 5 mistakes in these few lines of junk.

Veteran singer and cabaret queen Asha Bhonsle is seen red these days. Earlier this year she was caught fuming with anger at Himesh Reshammiya’s unwelcoming statement that R.D Burman had a nasal tone. She was so enraged by the statement that she went ahead to state that Himesh should be tightly slapped for giving out such audacious statements.

Their relation seemed to heal when Asha agreed to croon for Himesh’s ‘Aap Ka Suroor’. But Asha is hardly pleased with the upshot.

The angry muse was heard saying, “I sang something and it turned out to be something else completely. These days you can play around so much because it’s all digital. When the album released then I got to know how they changed the whole song.” She also stated that it has become very tricky to keep faith on music composers and filmmakers these days.

Talking about the ongoing musical scene, Asha further states, “I sang one song for RGV. Later on I realized that they used only my aalap. These days you cant trust anyone. I think I should ask everyone to give me in writing how they're going to use my voice.”

Contemplating on the plight of musical world, the singer is planning to go the legal way soon.

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Friday, August 31, 2007

The Orlando Ordeal

Every successful vacation comes with baggage - 'The Planning'. Planning ahead does help in saving a pretty penny. Battling my mental inertia, I sketched out my trip in advance and in retrospect, it was worth it.

It all began with the flight tickets. We had to book them in advance to get a good deal. Never having used travel-centric portals, I was circumspect about buying tickets online for a vacation that consisted of 3 working days. After a lot of research I zeroed-in on the following websites.

Expedia - Many songs of praise about this, but somehow didn't impress me as much.

Hotwire - This would be my second choice. It does have a huge fan-base and many companies have corporate deals with them. If your vacation is a last-minute plan or you are pretty flexible with the dates, this is a good bet. Many airlines fill up their open slots using Hotwire.

Orbitz - The mother of all travel-related deal portals. I found it very user-friendly and easy to use. The prices were a tad lesser than the other ones. Many of my desi friends prefer this website.

A few tips to get a good deal on your flight+hotel package
1. Book a couple of months in advance if you can. This almost always gets you the best price bargain.

2. Choose week days as opposed to weekends for your flight journey. This can mean lesser air traffic and cheaper tickets.

3. Choice of carrier might not make a big difference if your journey time is less than 4 hours. But a few pointers : Choose departure and arrival times (both start and destination) keeping the local transportation in mind. You don't want to be wasting money on a cab to the hotel because you land at midnight. From my experience (and advertisements), looks like Continental is the only airline that provides in-flight entertainment and food during the journey. The others are budget-airlines and there are absolutely no freebies. Also make sure that there are no stop-overs. Flight options that have one or more stop-overs may cost a little less though.

Choosing flights from La Guardia airport gave me many more cost-effective options. I got a pretty good flight+hotel (4 nights) deal for $290. The airport is well connected through public transport too. We had to check-in 90 minutes in advance. The self check-in American Airlines kiosks setup at the airport are true time-savers. We checked-in our baggage and got our boarding passes printed out in a jiffy...no long lines. Our's was a non-stop flight. There was an unconvincing 1-hour delay due to 'air-traffic', but we still got there in time. The take-off was scary... I could smell something burning. The bemused looks from my fellow-passengers corroborated that. Thankfully, it did not turn out to be anything serious. We reached Orlando at 8:30 pm.

Palms Hotels and Villas in Kissimmee is not connected by public transport and hence hailing a cab was Hobson's choice. It turned out to be a blessing that we were traveling light. The cab ride cost us around $55. We reached the hotel and check-in was smooth. Hail Orbitz!
We loved the room. It was replete with a mini-fridge, microwave, complimentary Internet et al. These facilities (apart from Internet) are not guarenteed, but special requests made in advance may help. I did get annoyed when there were no signs of the Ethernet cable that the instruction manual spoke of, but the staff got it fixed right away. That did leave a good impression. The hotel did not have an in-house restaurant, but there are a lot of choices with free delivery options in the neighborhood. We ordered pizza and deferred the Chinese for the next day.

The hotel provides free shuttles to the Disney parks. Being from NY, we should be forgiven for our subway addiction. Not having a valid U.S license meant that the shuttle was our best option. The flip-side is that you will be running your lives according to the hotel's time-table. Complimentary breakfast between 7-9am and the shuttle at 7:50 am. Being the late-risers, we had to run though breakfast... too bad I couldn't enjoy the Continental food at leisure.

Our first stop was the Magic Kingdom. I was just blown away! The colors, the atmosphere and the staff. It really felt like a vacation. Not a moment did I think of office! In Disney's world, it does not matter if you are 6 or 60, you will feel like a 6 year old kid. I could appreciate the time and money they put in to keep the tourists captivated. This was by far the best of them all.
The maps clearly show the layout of the park and detail out each attraction. The park was big enough to keep you occupied for a whole day and hence the though of maximizing the benefits provided by the Magic 3-day Disney tickets (with Park Hopper option) never entered my mind.
The Fast Pass option that comes with a Magic Your Way ticket was indeed a God-send. Using the Fast pass kiosks, you can know upfront when your turn on a particular ride/attraction is. You can come back at that designated hour after checking out other attractions. Our favorites were Pirates of the Caribbean (indoor boat ride), Mickey's PhilharMagic (3-D or should I say 4-D!) and Space Mountain ( A thrilling ride through the galaxzy far far away) . These are must-sees. The day culminates with the Disney Parade which we decided to pass.We headed back to the hotel (which has The Radisson in the neighborhood) and hit the sack at midnight after devilishly devouring the Chinese moo-shoo.

A tip : There is a lot of walking to do and you get dehydrated pretty quick. Constant fluid intake is essential to keep your spirits up!

Day 2 was a Disney day too. We were completely enervated by all the walking in Magic Kingdom and as as result, woke up late and missed the shuttle. We had heard that Epcot Center had a setup of many countries and that could get monotonous. So we decided to cram both Animal Kingdom and Epcot into a single day. The Park Hopper option allows this. The cab to Animal Kingdom cost us $20. Since Animal Kingdom closed at 5 pm, we decided that it would be our first stop. We liked AK too, but it definitely cannot hold a candle to MK. Our favorites : Expedition Everest, Bug's life, Primeval Whirl.

After lunch, we took the complimentary Disney shuttle (between any Disney parks) to Epcot Center. Epcot center seems to be high on everyone's list. Not on mine! This is a futuristic park with a lot for the science junkies. Very informative. I was particularly impressed with Living with the Land - a boat ride that exhibits the modern techniques used in agriculture among other things. A major part of Epcot is the World Showcase. We just visited Morocco. Our favorites : Mission Space, Soarin'.

Day 3 : Universal Studios and Island of Adventure
The hotel that we stayed in did not provide a shuttle to Universal parks. This was something that I missed out on checking online before booking my package. Most hotels do, but it is prudent to check beforehand. We had to take a cab ($35) for the 15 min drive to the Universal parks. We were betting on our timing (Sep 20th). The schools had reopened a week before and the long weekend was also through. The crowd was manageable and hence we did not have to shell out extra for the Flash Pass - the functional equivalent of a Disney Fast Pass.

A different experience altogether. I thought it was not as good as Disney's in my opinion, but in retrospect, maybe it was a case of 'apples and oranges'. Universal Studios are centred around Hollywood theme-based shows and indoor rides. Island of Adventure is just next door and this is for the outdoor rides.

IoA :
Spiderman ( a 3-D ride), Incredible Hulk (rollercoaster), Voyage of Sindbad (stage show), Dueling Dragons

Universal Studios: Shrek (4-D show), Twister, Mummy.

Twister was the pick of the lot. Amazing, but woefully short. It ends even before you realize it leaving you shocked!

By this time, the last-day-of-the-vacation gloom had already surfaced. We decided to make the most of the day and got into the 5th gear. We had seen some ads for Disney's newest water parks - Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon. There was specifically a new thrilling water-flume ride that we wanted to try! Since the water parks have free parking facilities, Disney had a way of circumventing (well, not really) a scheme where people park at the Water park and take the Disney shuttle to the other theme parks. There are no direct Disney shuttles to the water theme parks from any other Disney theme parks. You will have to take a Disney shuttle to any of the Disney resorts when you can transfer to the water-park shuttle. I must have been carrying my lucky penny - it rained quite a bit, but we had left behind our camera at the hotel. Typhoon Lagoon was just okay. No wonder it came as part of the 3-day Magic ticket. We did enjoy the occasional water-ride, but rain marred the fun. We were all set to go to Blizzard beach (theme: artificial snow) when we realized how tiring and relaxing the effect of water(-rides) can get. We did not want to change out of the nice dry clothes for a second time in the day. We decided to skip BB and up came MGM studios. We had to economize on time and so checked out only the much acclaimed shows/rides.

We still had the evening to ourselves. What better way to end the vacation than a stint at Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island? This is a Disney layout for casual strolls, cinema and shopping. Being a forcefully-converted (a.k.a married) teetotaler, I let go the plan to enter Pleasure Island. We played a few indoor video games, but nothing worth writing home about.

The checkout was at 11 am. This is a standard in all the hotels. Check-in was at 4 pm. You will have to explicitly inform the hotel in advance if you are planning to check-in late (e.g. if you have an evening flight). Each hotel takes a per diem 'resort charge' ranging from $3 to $8. This is for the complimentary breakfast, shuttle to the attractions.

A few pictures of the Palms hotel we stayed at.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Cassandra Compact - A review

The story begins with a mafia-style scene. A man visits his beloved’s grave on a rainy day. While he stands there feeling her absence, there is a short flashback that would have made a great movie scene.

The plot : A Small-pox sample stored in a Russian Research Laboratory is smuggled out of the country by a terrorist with a literature-filled rap sheet. He enters (... where else…) the US with the intention of a bio-war. His partner in crime – NASA, NSA and some big guns identified by endless 3-lettered or 4-lettered acronyms. How the Vijaykanth/Arjun-of-the-US – Jon Smith, a secret agent working for a secret agency reporting directly to the President, finds this missing bio-weapon and prevents a global crisis is depicted in the 396 pages.

To hell with the helio-centric theory. It’s time people realized the (micro) gravity of the DC-NY-Centric theory. Be it King Kong or a Comet, they all want to visit New York and DC. This story is no different, only … the passenger’s name this time around is : Variola Major.

This story revolves around the power-centers of DC.

Despite being a run-of-the-mill conspiracy theory (geez! Conspiracy theories are now so cliche!), this book kept me riveted till the end. The storytelling was easy on the ears. The web of secrecy has been well thought of. Characters come in to do their jobs and promptly die soon after (a soap-opera script-writer’s dream come true). Now thatz what I call a DO-AND-DIE attitude :)

What I liked most about this book was the subtleness of narration at many places.

That the stereotypical romance for the hero has been saved for another day is a reason to smile. There are just references to his relationships in the past.

The effects of micro-gravity on the virus seems to be well-researched. Nice info.

No long flashbacks, even in the most compelling situations. Just references to the previous book ‘The Hades Factor’ here and there. Looks like the intelligence team was the same for both Hades Project and Cassandra Compact. So, you wont miss much if you haven’t read The Hades Factor.

Once the mystery is solved, they bring out the name of the evil project – Cassandra Compact. Again, there is no unnecessary raving about this project once introduced to

the reader. It is implicitly conveyed that the reader should put 2 and 2 together.

All in all, it is a thumbs-up from me. Definite movie material. I’d love to see how they make this into a flick.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MP3 player software that supports custom tags?

Is there any freely available mp3 player (software) that can pick up all songs from the disk/library with a specific selected tag (e.g. 'kuthu padalgal', 'kamal hassan' , 'raj hates these' , 'nice interludes' could be some of the custom tags)?

There are a few that only work on ID3 tags (pre-defined list of tags like artist, year, genre).

Let me know if you have any recommendations.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Million Dollar Comma

I chanced upon this piece of news today. Looks like it is time to fine-tune your grammar and punctuation!


On a related note... this is a book that I have been wanting to read for some time now.

Eats Shoots and Leaves


Friday, October 06, 2006

Chikun Guniya - Homoeopathic Farce

While the country is reeling under the onslaught of Chikun Guniya (for a long time, I thought it was a Kannada dialect of the actual scientific name), there are some charlatans who claim that there is a homoeopathic cure for it. These are probably the guys who vouch by homoeopathic panaceas.

There was one such advertisement in a Chennai daily by a doctor. I bought the medicine from him for 150/-. My trust in the pristine medical forms was so high that I knew this would work even before I left his clinic/house.

His instructions were simple - Take 2 pills, get relieved of the aftermath/symptoms for life. I was so amazed that I practically thought I has the all-healing Holy Grail in my hands. I gave it to my grandparents who had been affected with CG and were agonizing over the post-infection symptons of CG. They took just 2 pills as advocated and viola ... it vanished.... NOT THE PAIN, the PILLS!!!

They still suffer the same pains. I do not think there is any real homoepathic medicine to cure it.

Do not shell out money on this false claims !


Monday, August 21, 2006

Flickr Users Beware!

Websense® Security Labs™ has observed another change in the technique used in Yahoo! phishing attacks. These phishing attacks attempt to capture a user's Yahoo! ID and password by displaying a fake Yahoo! Sign In page. This variant of attack has been on-going for over a year. After the Yahoo! acquisition of Flickr, these attacks have started to shift from targeting Yahoo! Photos to targeting Yahoo! Flickr.
Users receive an email or instant message that claims to be from a friend wanting to show off photos that have been posted to Flickr. The message contains a link to a phishing site, which captures the user's Yahoo! ID and password.

From CIOL:

Phishing for Yahoo ID, password

Monday, July 24, 2006

Tips for a dream house

Building that dream house of yours ?? Here are a few ideas that might come handy.

Fly ash — cheap, eco-friendly

If you propose to build a house, you may consider using fly eco-friendly ash bricks and save upto seven to eight per cent of the building cost. An average house of 10 squares will need approximately 22,000 clay bricks (conventional) of 230mm x75mm x100mm size. If fly ash bricks are used, you will need only 2750 of them. They come in sizes 400mm x 200mm x 150mm.
One such fly ash brick can replace eight clay bricks. A clay brick costs Rs. 4 and one fly ash block cost Rs. 15 (whereas eight bricks cost you Rs. 32). Thus, you can save more than half of your budget for bricks.

Flashy glass designs

Bored with your old plain glass windows and doors? Try out these exciting new glass doors and windows with the designs of your choice.
Plain window glasses are now being wearing a new look with a colourful spray on them. The glasses are scientifically designed by a process called plain etching and silicon blast. "Customers can choose from any variety of paintings, graphics and designs to make their windows and doors colourful," says L. Manjunath, who has been designing glasses for 20 years now.
Any ordinary clear glass is converted into a stained glass with customised designs or fixed patterns. The part where there is no design is masked with other designs and this will make the designed glass look wonderful, he says.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Making business outta thin air ... literally

Amazing to know how people create business out of nothing atleast what appears to be nothing for us less mortals !

Concerns about clean environment seem to have ingrained so deeply that it is now the time for carbon neutral films — after carbon neutral sports events and carbon neutral conferences.
Producers of a documentary that features Mr Al Gore, former US Vice-President have said that they would take steps to offset entire carbon dioxide emissions caused due to air travel, ground transportation, hotel use for production and promotional activities associated with the documentary.

The documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, produced by Paramount Productions and Participant Productions, had hit the theatres about a month ago.

NativeEnergy, a marketer of renewable energy-based carbon credits, calculated the carbon emissions due to production and plans to offset emissions by funding renewable energy projects.

Article here

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Digital Talkies!

THIS SCENE is quite familiar when a new movie is released in the suburbs.

After the end of a few reels, the screening stops, waiting for whom you don't know. Soon, a man bearing a decrepit dabba on his bicycle comes rushing in. A few hush-hush moments later, the screening resumes.
You wonder what is wrong, but get to know about it only during the intermission. This is the time-trusted tradition of reels changing hands, rather theatres. When lesser prints are released, it means more trouble. If the film becomes a hit, there is a real scramble for the reel.
Can you picture a situation where the ubiquitous reel is done away with?

If this group of filmmakers has their way, you might get to see reel-less theatres shortly. The digital theatre chain project conceptualised by Pyramid Saimira Theatre seeks to change the way people watch movies. "People avoid theatres because the ambience is not good. There is also a notion that going to theatres is wrong. We want to change all this," says `Pyramid' V. Natarajan, Chairman.

Full story

Monday, June 12, 2006

Innovative project

Beep, beep. Ur car being atckd, stolen? Just SMS ur car: "Seize da engine." The command is received and your vehicle won't budge. Gr8, isn't it?

To tackle the increasing number of car thefts in the city, eight students of the R V College of Engineering have developed an anti-theft car project using SMS remote controller.

Details here

Friday, May 19, 2006


Eyes filled with rage, I shouted
'How can you be so incompetent'
Eyes, equally fiery stared
incompetently, saying nothing !

Eyes flowing with compassion, I asked
'How can you be so indifferent to your loved ones'
Eyes, equally compassionate stared
indifferently, saying nothing !

Eyes full of contempt, I asked
'How can you be so lazy'
Eyes, equally contemptuous stared
lazily, saying nothing !

With commanding eyes , I thundered
'Do something about your flaws'
The mirror, with greater command, said
'You First !!'

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Wholly Cow


Completely avoidable!

Lacklustre in narration, it is boring from Page 1. Bits and pieces of information that was useful. Nothing more !


Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The other Man in her Life

I secretly looked at them,
engrossed in each other's love.
Jealously evident, I wondered
how she could love another !

She had eyes only for him,
The world was a blur to her!
I had eyes only for her,
The world was a blur to me !

God.. he was charming,
looked like innocence personified,
Was I fighting for a kingdom already conquered?

Well, I still seem to exist, for
She came over running,
coochie-cooing to him
"Look at dad" !

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Suggestions required on a new mobile


Can you suggest a good mobile which has the following features (ordered by priority)

1. Talk/Stand-by time
2. Music player
3. Sleekness
4. MP3/recorded sounds as ringtones
5. Saving address book on to a PC
6. Good camera

Please vote using the EVM :P in the left pane.

Population Explosion - An analysis

Plants and animals living in warm, tropical climates evolve faster than those living in more temperate zones, a new study suggests.

The finding, detailed in the May 2 issue of the journal for the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences, could help explain why rainforests have such rich biodiversity compared to other parts of the planet

Full story here

The atricle says that the rate of reproduction and speed of mutation is higher for species near the equator. This is in accordance with the world population list

Top 6 individual countries (descending order of population) listed below are either situated verry close to the equator or are intersected by it.

1. China 1,313,973,713
2. India 1,095,351,995
3. Indonesia 245,452,739
4. Brazil 188,078,227
5. Pakistan 165,803,560
6. Bangladesh 147,365,352

The life-span also is supposedly shorter for such species. This does not seem to be true for humans given the advancement in the medical world. Now, the life-expectancy seems to be prety much related to the health standards in the country

An interested related article here

Monday, May 01, 2006

Flickr : An influence

Tom Sawyer got it right. Why paint a fence when you can get your friends to do it for you for free? He would have been the perfect new-media mogul. Spending time and money creating content on the Internet is so hopelessly dated, so dotcom, so very, very 1.0. The secret of today's successful Web 2.0 companies: build a place that attracts people by encouraging them to create the content—thereby drawing even more people in to create even more stuff. The poster child of this Sawyeresque business model is the photo-sharing site called Flickr.

Full story here

Original Post here

Pre-launches - The caveats

This is an informative article on the caveats of Property pre-launches.

Rajesh Chopra (name changed), a corporate executive, bought 5000 sq ft of retail space in a mall in Indirapuram developed by a relatively new developer in pre-launch scheme in June-July 2005. He invested close to Rs 50 lakhs on the builder’s promise that the project would be launched in two months’ time and he would then be able to book good profit on his investment. But the developer ran into financial problem and the project was shelved. Having failed to get his money back, Chopra has taken recourse to litigation.

Complete article here

Monday, April 24, 2006

One Night @ the Call Center

by Chetan Bhagat

Having read ‘Five Point Someone’, I expected this to be a good read. The first few pages begin with an ‘Alaipayuthey/Saathiya’ style screenplay that seems to have become Chetan’s signature tune.

The Call center dudes and dudettes, the lifeline of the novel, arrive with a truckload (well….. I am exaggerating here !) of call-center jargon. The story is narrated through a character called Shyam, one similar to Hari in 5.some1. I have a sneaky feeling that CB is exactly this kinda guy !

The part where these folks get a call from God could have used a little more build-up. This part should have formed the crux of the book, but is sadly reduced to nothing more than a few pages.

It is almost the book-verion of K.Balachander’s Vaname Ellai , albeit sans the depth. I felt that the characterization could have been more intense than it was.

CB has thrown in all the ingredients like sex, romance, casting-couch et al…. all to make a Masala mix that leave a sour taste in the mouth!! Could have been a much better novel had he not introduced the frequent flash-backs of his dates with Priyanka that Shyam has.


1. The way he checks the reservation chart to see if there any F18-27 in the compartent. I have done this a zillion times :P without any luck !

2. The potrayal of Bakshi’s character. Believe me…. this man will definitely remind you of your (ex)Boss…. and like CB says, the Ultimate Indian Male Fantasy is to get even with your boss.

3. Debunking the Yankee superiority complex.


1. Everyone seems to relish using the F word and the likes.

2. Ending – a double whammy, I felt it was a very weak ending, pretty cinematic too!

3. The way the characters get even with Bakshi – Plain stupid and stereotyped.

4. Ridiculing all Americans as dumbos – Might not augur well !


Monday, April 17, 2006

A review of "Five Point Someone"

by Chetan Bhagat

A simple short-story written well enough to keep you nostalgic till the last moment.

As mentioned by a leading daily, it feels like the paper-version of ‘Dil Chahtha Hai’. The plot revolves around 3 IIT-Delhi under-achiever dudes who break every law in the book to succeed in IIT.

The language is very readable and you are spared that walk to get your dictionary out of the attic. Chetan Bhagath seems to promise a lot more. Hope he gets better by the book.

Personally, I could relate to a lot of incidents in the story though it appeared cinematic in patches.

A few things I loved about this book
1. The Neha character provided the much-needed variety in a plot involving 3 guys who turn IIT into ‘Masti Ka Paatshala’

2. Vodka on the Insti roof. We have had fun times like this too ;(

3. Title – The title was a smart one. The change from “five point something” to “five point someone” was very creative and apt.

4. Real life characters – atleast they were potrayed so !!

Certainly worth a read !


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Y V R what V R

Why we are what we are ? Most of us are in a job that wouldn't even squeeze in edgewise in our Utopian Dream Life. If it were not for money, many of us would have preferred the road less taken.

If it weren't for the quick-buck that the IT industry shells out, I would have become an archeologist or a film director or a novelist.... the list continues. I bet many of us do just the same.

I often am awe-struck at folks who have broken the rules of orthodoxy and blazed a trial. How are they so ready to risk an easy life in search of greener pastures ? But I guess I know the answer before I put up the question .. No pain , No gain

4 Types of Readers

Readers may be divided into four classes:
1. Sponges, who absorb all that they read and return it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtied.
2. Sand-glasses, who retain nothing and are content to get through a book for the sake of getting through the time.
3. Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs of what they read.
4. Mogul diamonds, equally rare and valuable, who profit by what they read, and enable others to profit by it also.

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet, critic (1772-1834)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mera Number Aayega

A correction very much in the offing in the stock market ! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Al-Quds Designer Jeans

Came across this interesting piece of news today.

An Italian clothes firm is producing jeans that are tailor-made for Muslims who find the regular jeans uncomfortable as they need to bend down to pray several times a day.
The trousers, licensed by an Udine-based firm named Al Quds, are the brainchild of Luca Corradi, an Italian stylist.
'I couldn't help noticing that Muslims bend down to pray several times a day. This movement is not very common in our culture,' Corradi said.
Corradi realised that Muslims would find western jeans uncomfortable. So he came up with trousers that are less tight and have a higher waist. Because Muslims usually take off their watches, glasses and other personal objects during prayer, he also designed larger pockets.

A detailed product description here

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Page 9

Some folks buy the news dailies just for Page 3, but I buy it for Page 9.

Arguably, I think The Hindu is one of the better dailies in India. I have become a loyalist of The Hindu after having stuck to Times of India for ahem .. obvious gratifying reasons. Honestly, I feel that the Times of India is not for people who like serious journalism. ToI is more for the misguided souls who like aping the western (de-capitalized on purpose) world.

Well, coming to Page 9 ...

The Hindu publishes it's daily dosage of the Crossword Puzzle on page 9. The Hindu crosword is held as the toughest and the most stimulating of the crosword puzzles published by news dailies. I had to try it to believe it. I started taking a crack at it and began to like it a lot. It serves to keep my mental inertia (After a long day at the office, my body doesn't seem to obey Newton's First Law of motion) at bay. I find it so intriguing that I managed to cajole my roomates into making it a daily affair to crack the crosword puzzle.

Motivated by the destressing that seemed to mushroom out of this daily stint, I did some googling (yes, it is synonymous to reSEARCH) and found this article that lays out the benefits of indulging in such mentally stimulating activities. The atricle claims that such regular mind-games keeps the degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's at bay.

I was even surprised to see that there is a yahoogroup dedicated to the very purpose of circulating the solutions for the day's crosword puzzle in The Hindu.

Well, another thing that pushes me to do this is the desire to embellish my wordrobe....

Swami Vivekananda's view on Love

I once had a friend who grew to be very close to me. Once when we were sitting at the edge of a swimming pool, she filled the palm of her and with some water and held it before me, and said

"You see this water carefully contained on my hand? It symbolizes Love."
This was how I saw it : As long as you keep your hand caringly open and allow it to remain there, it will always be there. However, if you attempt to close your fingers around it and try to possess it, it will spill through the first cracks it finds. This is the greatest mistake that people do when they meet love - they try to possess it, they demand, they expect and just like the water spilling out of your hand, love will retrieve from you. For, love is meant to be free, you cannot change its nature. If there are people you love, allow them to be free beings.

Give and don't expect.
Advise, but don't order.
Ask, but never demand.

It might sound simple, but it is a lesson that may take a lifetime to truly practice. It is the secret to true love. To truly practice it, you must sincerely feel no expectations from those who you love, and yet an unconditional caring.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Laloo-Rabri bond

Came across this new Dating/Matrimonial service portal Laloorabri.com on IBN.
Hilarious :)

A few excerpts from the Media giants

"We were inspired by Lalu Prasad and the marital bonding he shares with his wife," said Bullet Mehta of Wiantech, the Mumbai-based software company promoting the website laloorabri.com.

"We surely do not want to make fun of Lalu. We think quite high of him," Mehta said adding he did not expect any adverse reaction from Lalu Prasad's supporters.


"We've had 30,000 hits 15 days after we launched. Over 7000 people have signed into the site," said Bullet Mehta. Though there are other websites, which provide dating service such as fropper.com or match.com, Mehta insisted that laloorabri.com was different, as it charged no fee for any of its services

What next ???

Surrogate mothers lined up in Gujarat

A growing number of women in Anand seek to offer their wombs for the childless

This district in Gujarat, the home of Amul and the milk producers' cooperative behind it, is emerging as a magnet for childless couples: 18 women here are offering themselves as surrogate mothers.

Full story here

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Googlism for 'Jayan'


jayan is once again pursued by kerala youth
jayan is the best person you can go with
jayan is biased
jayan is also a nature lover and is concerned about environmental damages around the globe particularly in india
jayan is a certain sri lankan living in umtata who once tied up my telephone for the best part of an hour with a similar argument to the one
jayan is linking the content of typography with the form of the types and the way
jayan is a shortjayan is very talented
jayan is this famous
jayan is caring for the baby gus
jayan is "kadapurram
jayan is also 2
jayan is crap
jayan is as follows
jayan is a day student who is participating in the dance
jayan is a remarkable young man
jayan is strong
jayan is
jayan is a very talented indian software engineer
jayan is explicitly recognized to have fought for secession
jayan is married to sreevidya

Monday, February 27, 2006

Inner Circle Of Trust

"Idle minds are devil's workshop' goes the adage. Not always...
Those precious moments of ideleness are sometimes the most productive for introspection/retrospection. During one such idyllic (pun intended) patch of the day, I started thinking about how my Circle of Trust has been changing over the years.

Folks with whom I used to spend a lion's share of my time in school don't even get a rare mention in my diary now-a-days. I still do make some feeble attempts to contact some of them. The facts that they are incommunicado or that they are not net-savvy gives me reasons to glorify my laziness to go that extra mile. There are a few friends who have survived the winds of change and have always been on my CoT, but only a few. I knocked myself down with a feather when this thought flit across my mind. I know that the same would be the case with many others.

Hear (and) Say

Heard this during an 'The Art of Living' show on TV..

'Log bolte hai ... pyar jisse karthe ho, woh chaand ka tukda hai'
'Lekin mai pyar jisse kartha hoon, chaand unhi ka tukda hai'

Thursday, February 23, 2006

A walk in the park

Why I gave up on "Baudolino"

by Umberto Eco

I just could not relate to any character in this novel. I managed to pull myself through the first 150 pages though :(

Umberto’s writing style seems different, but not captivating enough. I will be trying out ‘Focault’s Pendulum’ nevertheless.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

News You can Use

Nokia, Motorola show cellular-VoIP phones

"Call me back on the landline" may soon sound like a quaint, turn-of-the-century instruction to the ears of many mobile phone users.

Nokia and Motorola, the world's biggest branded handset makers, both unveiled phones at a tradeshow here this week that switch between cellular coverage outdoors and cheap wireless Internet calling inside — all on a single phone number.

Full story here

Iranian bakeries rename Danish pastries

Iranians love Danish pastries, but when they look for the flaky dessert at the bakery they now have to ask for "Roses of the Prophet Mohammed."

Bakeries across the capital were covering up their ads for Danish pastries Thursday after the confectioners' union ordered the name change in retaliation for caricatures of the Muslim prophet published in a Danish newspaper.

Details here

Thursday, February 16, 2006

TCS in a soup

Suit alleges India firm collected employees' tax refunds

A citizen of India working in California filed a class action lawsuit Tuesday against his India-based employer, alleging that the company collected tax refunds owed to its non-U.S. citizen workers.
Gopi Vedachalam, who transferred to the Bay Area in 2000 from Bangalore, contends he was instructed to sign over his federal and state tax refund checks to international consultancy firm Tata Consultancy Services. U.S. citizens of the company, however, were not asked to sign over their returns, his lawsuit alleges.
Vedachalam was assigned by Tata Consultancy to work as a project manager at Target in Hayward, where he made $50,000 a year. From 2000 to 2005, the refunds he signed over to Tata Consultancy totaled $25,000, according to the lawsuit filed in San Francisco's federal district court.
``As we understand it, that is his money,'' said his lawyer, San Francisco-based Steven Tindall.

Full story here

Does TCS stand for 'Tax Collection Scheme' :) ?

Monday, February 13, 2006

GRE Student vs Normal Person

GRE STUDENT : Individuals who make their abodes in vitreous edifices would be advised to refrain from catapulting perilous projectiles.
NORMAL PERSON : People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

GRE STUDENT : Scintillate, scintillate, asteroid minim.
NORMAL PERSON : Twinkle, twinkle, little star

GRE STUDENT: All articles that coruscate with resplendence are not truly auriferous.
NORMAL PERSON : All that glitters is not gold.

GRE STUDENT : Sorting on the part of mendicants must be interdicted.
NORMAL PERSON : Beggars are not choosers

GRE STUDENT : Male cadavers are incapable of rendering any testimony.
NORMAL PERSON : Dead men tell no tales

GRE STUDENT : Neophyte's serendipity.
NORMAL PERSON : Beginner's luck

GRE STUDENT : A revolving lithic conglomerate accumulates no congeries of small, green, biophytic plant.
NORMAL PERSON : A rolling stone gathers no moss

GRE STUDENT: Members of an avian species of identical plumage tend to congregate.
NORMAL PERSON : Birds of a feather flock together

GRE STUDENT : Pulchritude possesses solely cutaneous profundity.
NORMAL PERSON : Beauty is only skin deep

GRE STUDENT : Freedom from incrustations of grime is contiguous to rectitude.
NORMAL PERSON : Cleanliness is godliness

GRE STUDENT : It is fruitless to become lachrymose of precipitately departed lactile fluid.
NORMAL PERSON : There's no use crying over spilt milk

GRE STUDENT : It is fruitless to attempt to indoctrinate a superannuated canine with innovative maneuvers.
NORMAL PERSON : You can't try to teach an old dog new tricks

GRE STUDENT : Surveillance should precede saltation.
NORMAL PERSON : Look before you leap

GRE STUDENT : The person presenting the ultimate cachinnation possesses thereby the optimal cachinnation.
NORMAL PERSON : He who laughs last, laughs best

GRE STUDENT : Exclusive dedication to necessitous chores without interludes of hedonistic diversion renders Jack a hebetudinous fellow.
NORMAL PERSON : All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

GRE STUDENT : Where there are visible vapours having their provenance in ignited carbonaceous materials, there is conflagration.
NORMAL PERSON : Where there's smoke, there's fire!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Regular naps prevent old age... especially if you take them while driving.

Having one child makes you a parent; having two you are a referee.

Marriage is a relationship in which one person is always right and the other is husband !

I believe we should all pay our tax with a smile. I tried - but they wanted cash

Don't feel bad. A lot of people have no talent.

Don't marry the person you want to live with, marry the one you cannot live without,but whatever you do, you'll regret it later.

You can't buy love . . . but you pay heavily for it

True friends stab you in the front

Forgiveness is giving up my right to hate you for hurting me.

Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote.

Laziness is nothing more than the habit of resting before you get tired

Marriage is give and take. You'd better give it to her or she'll take it anyway.

My wife and I always compromise. I admit I'm wrong and she agrees with me.

Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others.

Ladies first. Pretty ladies sooner.

It doesn't matter how often a married man changes his job, he still ends up with the same boss.

Real friends are the ones who survive transitions between address books.

Saving is the best thing. Especially when your parents have done it for you.

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools talk because they have to say something

They call our language the mother tongue because the father seldom gets to use it.

Etc. : A sign to make others believe that you know more than you actually do


Early to bed,
Early to rise,
Your girl goes out
with other guys !

Friday, February 10, 2006

A good ad for Honda Civic

Production of the commercial began with the team recording the new Civic to ensure the sounds the choir made were faithful to the real sounds of the car. The next stage was to gather 10 singers to experiment with the various sounds. This involved a complex process of taking one sound at a time and breaking that down into different component sounds. These individual sounds were then orchestrated for the choir so each member was voicing a different part.

Full story with the ad video - here

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Read about this recently....

Have you guys (esp. guys in US) observed the US $1 currency ? There are some amazing symbolisms on the wings (of the Eagle...).

The Yankees seem to be fixated on the number 13 for various reasons.

United States and Triskaidekaphilia

13 original colonies,
13 signers of the Declaration of Independence,
13 stripes on our flag,
13 steps on the Pyramid,
13 letters in the Latin above,
13 letters in "E Pluribus Unum",
13 stars above the Eagle,
13 bars on that shield,
13 leaves on the olive branch,
13 fruits, and if you look closely, 13 arrows.
And, for minorities: the 13th Amendment.

Find details of the symbolism used here

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Work on your Indian accent .... Keep it !!!


People with anIndian/Asian accent are regarded more industrious ??????

Hmm !!!

I yam going to continew spelling them - yell, yemm, yenn, o, p, q !!!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Balle Balle from L.A.

Re-posting with another related link

The world is truly becoming a global village as Indian and all things Indian continue to rule. Awed by India’s growing prowess, the US administration has identified Hindi as one of the "critical need" foreign languages that Americans should learn to further strengthen national security and prosperity in the 21st century

Complete story here

Saturday, January 07, 2006


An anecdote from the past ...

When the Team Lead presented the Effort Estimate to our Project Manager, he debunked it saying that the figures were blown out. A heated argument (to which the team was audience)ensued.

PM said that instead of a 2-month/5 member combination, we should choose 1-month/7 member combination.

Frustrated thorougly, our Lead blurted out 'Even if 10 people try, it will take 10 months to create a baby'

Promoted to Blue belt in Karate

Just tried to spell 'WAS' and 'AM' using the belts :)

Inter-personnel Zones

Inter-personnel Zones
Originally uploaded by Idol.
This is an allusion to the inter-personnel zones.

In Proxemics, Social distance between people is reliably correlated with physical distance, and described four distances:

Intimate : distance for embracing, touching or whispering (15-45 cm, 6-18 inches)

Personal distance for interactions among good friends (45-120 cm, 1.5-4 feet)

Social distance for interactions among acquaintances (1.2-3.5 m, 4-12 ft)

Public distance used for public speaking (over 3.5 m, 12 ft)

Think about this distribution to understand how people-friendly you are !

Friday, January 06, 2006

Tinted glass to be disallowed

The city police's move to strip four-wheelers of dark tinted glass has evoked mixed response from vehicle owners: some said it would help policing while a majority of them complained the move would expose them to criminals

Complete story here

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A story about "A Brief History of Time : From the Big Bang to Black Holes"

by Stephen W. Hawking

First book on Physics ever since I finished college. A good book to get your cogs in conditions again :)

Well written and easy on the beginners (to Physics). Particularly enjoyed the part about the Negative Time Axis. Also got to know about ‘The Chandrashekar Limit’

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Chennai bus terminus gets ISO certification

The Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminal (CMBT) at Koyambedu, the biggest bus terminus in Asia, has added another feather to its cap by qualifying for the ISO 9001:2000 certification for quality management and maintenance

Complete story here

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Agni Sakshi

Hindu version of 'I do' !

Tamil Nadu leads the way

"Last year, Laveesh Bhandari and I started an exercise of ranking Indian States on economic freedom. Such studies exist at the cross-country level. They are rarer at sub-regional levels and have not been attempted in India earlier.
This is about economic freedom. It is not about political freedom or social freedom. Had we attempted to capture these other categories, as opposed to economic freedom, we would have used different variables.
In the work that Laveesh and I do on Indian states, we have never used responses to questionnaires. Our rankings, including this one, are based on officially published government data. And because such data aren't always available for every state, we couldn't rank all 35 states and union territories last year."

Complete story here

Monday, December 26, 2005

Tax refunds to be credited through ECS

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) will send tax refunds directly to the taxpayers' bank account from June 2006, provided the bank account number is furnished by an assessee for this purpose, M. S. Darda, CBDT Chairman, said here on Friday.

Read the full story here.

Lost in Translation

Have you ever tried to translate (or trans-literate) a sentence from one language to another ? If yes, chances are that you might have come across some funny translations ....

Check out this site for some phunny translation :)

This translated to

' it hated, lowed, ' ingualmenté, repartee followed! _ he verfluchtunder its breathing he, ' because, considers if he is ineffecient',any surprise! Thatz was the passed straw, he thought, is one more agreener grass here, he laughed! Well, it finished it, thought!Nothing, that one was pressed..., shook and considered small, anxiousgirl, a clogging in the relative shoulder, he creyó'. the person orthe careful thing of favoritó, ortografato he, ' forms of work theways getlteman', that she admits to girls according to the contentedthing, angel of the mine of thankses, like example the easy God! ' thelove of I usted', erwich he, ' también', repartee followed!

Some might say that it is far more meaningful that the original though :)

On the same note ... do you know what Engrish means ?

Check out some funny Engrish pictures here.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Travel Info : Amusing

Was searching for details on Angkor Wat temples. Landed up here. Check out the Travel Info section. I have not seen such a honest fact-sheet :) ever !


I guess this just popped up from one of those top drawers in my memory archives.
Our English teacher in school was fanatic about oxymorons. The example that he gave us was 'Sweet Death'. Not a pretty one to start with.

Oxymorons.info defines Oxymorons thus

An Oxymoron is a combination of contradictory or incongruous words, such as 'Cruel Kindness' or 'Jumbo Shrimp' (Jumbo means 'large' while Shrimp means 'small').
It is a literary figure of speech in which opposite or contradictory words, terms, phrases or ideas are combined to create a rhetorical effect by paradoxical means.


The word 'Oxymoron' is originally derived from the Greek elements: oxy = sharp and moros (moron) = dull (foolish). 'Oxymoron' is the singular form, and 'Oxymora' (or 'Oxymorons') is the plural form.

'Oxymoron' by itself, is an Oxymoron :)

Some of my favorites

Fuzzy Logic
Sure Bet
Beyond Infinity
Home Work
American English
Common Phenomenon

New satellite launched


Friday, December 16, 2005

The Amateur

He was going on and on ....

"With a short focal length, the distant objects are missed out",
"With a large focal length, the field depth is more",

They thought he was speaking nonsense .....
coz they thought it was about photography !!