Wednesday, 31 December 2008

2008 - a retrospective tag cloud

Seiyur, rockets firing on the ground, sun rise over the backwaters, Star Vijay, racism at Sydney?, India win at Perth, resignation, out of first job, hunt for second job, whiling away time in Jah's room, kicking Jah and Perusu's ass in go-karting, Djokovic and Sharapova lift Oz Open, bro turns 20, Valentine's day with Shankar Mahadevan at Techofes 2008 and a few good souls from college, Castro resigns, Castro comes to power, Musharaf loses election, Democracy in Pakistan?, India wins tri-series, Gold Medal, Sup's wedding, Second Job, Bangalore, Bengaluru, Channa gideeni, Als' wedding, hyderabad, Concord, Analytics,,, IPL, Chennai Superkings, Rajasthan Royals, Mak's bro's wedding, Munnar, Wimbledon finals, Nadal, Bangalore blasts, Ahmedabad blasts, turn 24, Beijing, Phelps, Dark Knight, Bolt, ABHINAV BINDRA, India's first Individual gold, Vijender Singh, Sushil Kumar, auto rides, diagrams, Harry's wedding, big bang, project management, Yuva and Nit's wedding, Barack Obama, recession, examinations, Kiki and Sandhu and Castrol thread, Lewis Hamilton, VISHY ANAND, Chandrayaan, mom and dad turn 25, Sachin 12000, Jumbo retires, Dada retires, India beats Oz, Mumbai attacked, Basle, Yercaud, Erode, Bakrid, India win at Chepauk, SA beat Oz, Train to Chennai which starts at 11

Monday, 11 August 2008

Another year of existence...

Washing underwear and toasting bread... that's how I rang in my new year of existence. Not quite the thinking man's favourite pastimes but the 2 activities did give me time to look back at the year that was. Nothing like toasting to get you reminiscing.

Year 24 was the year I took up my first job, it was also the year I had my first job shift. A year that saw me, surprisingly, being rather strong through losses and a year that got me a few treasured gains. New friendships formed and old friendships grew stronger. Some relationships forayed new paths, pleasantly surprising me.

The year began with a lot of promise, in a new job... and the year ended with me living alone in a new city, in another job, with misplaced pride in facial hair and ending where it began... with a lot of promise.

Living by yourself and surviving does give you a sense of satisfaction, of course its a lot easier when you are surrounded by good people. Its also nice in a way to have something to miss and when you are away from family and friends you tend to have something to miss.

Regrets... there were many. To learn from regrets and to not repeat them will be a challenge for the coming year because year 25 has begun, and it promises to be filled with the only constant in life - change!

To the coming year, with all its challenges, with all the defeats that will make all the victories mean that much more, with all its joys and all its separations, I stand awaiting.

Getting fodder for this blog is the first challenge!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Bengaluru channagideeni!

Naanu Channagideeni, the Kannada equivalent for I am fine! One of 3 Kannada phrases I have picked up in 4 months of stay in Bengaluru... Channagideera? - the equivalent of Are you fine?/How are you?

At this point of time Bengaluru is not so fine... it is tense. The city has had 9 low intensity blasts across different parts and the atmosphere is understandably tense. People in the streets are constantly on their mobiles, informing their loved ones that they would be home for dinner so keep it warm.

Bengaluru seems to have some reason or the other to be in the news. Its not in the league of Mumbai or Delhi in this regard but it does seem to have more news happening than Chennai. My phone got flooded with calls and SMS and that does not happen too often. The city makes news ( although bomb blasts is certainly not good news) and I like that about Bengaluru.

There are a few other things I like about the city as well, and this seems like a good time to blog about it. There are so many book fairs happening and you get some amazing titles for dirt cheap prices. The second hand book stores on Church Street are worth the trip for any bibliophile.

And it was during one of those book browsing sessions in Church Street that I realised that Bengaluru women dress up far better than their Chennai counterparts. Chennai women are certainly getting there though and I always have a soft corner for Chennai girls in my heart, but my eyes seem to prefer Bengaluru gals.

Maybe its the weather that lets the Bengaluru girls dress up, cos its absolutely gorgeous. For the past 4 months the only time I have rekindled my acquaintance with sweat has been during my monthly trips to Chennai. The weather in Bengaluru can get you lazy at times but it still rocks!

The best way I enjoy the weather - Walking. Strolls through crowded Sivaji Nagar market, through the swarm of spoilt western wannabes on MG Road, through Cubbon Park glancing at the Vidhan Soudha and through the tree lined roads. Walking in Bengaluru is bliss when compared to the sweltering heat and concrete of Chennai. But I must say walking in Chennai has its own charm thanks to the sheer number of tea stalls and short eats you find on the road. Also in Chennai my walks would mostly be with the company of friends and friends tend to make most things in life more interesting.

But what makes up for the lack of company is the Radio and boy does it do a good job. There is a lot more variety on Bengaluru airwaves. You get English, Hindi and Kannada but unfortunately no Tamil and from the small number of Kannada songs I have heard so far Tamil songs seem to be of a higher quality than Kannada.

Listening to radio and walking in the rain. Just dont get to do that too often in Chennai. The thought of a worried mother waiting at home wondering how much dirt and slush her son will bring home always, always, tends to make me avoid walks in the Chennai rain. In Bengaluru, no mom and all ayes to rainy walks.

This post seems to be too Vanilla for my liking. Lets make this more grey. The Public transport system in Bengaluru is not a patch on Chennai, and there are one too many powercuts in Bengalooru for a leading metropolitan city and not to mention the lack of decent tea kadais and the traffic jams and the high price of movie tickets... but all in all, I have grown to like Bengaluru... its been great, these last 4 months...

Ironically, the more I like Bengaluru, the more I seem to miss Chennai... I am not sure how you say that in Kannada... all I have is 3 phrases for now... Channagideera? - Channagideeni and last but not the least - Tikka Muchkondiru!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

In the news...

A teenager was left in shock after realizing a bat had been curled up inside her bra for five hours while she was wearing it. She thought her cell phone was going off when she felt vibrations. The bat was unharmed and released outside.

Found that news item really funny... how can anyone possibly not see a bat in his/her underwear...and how could they not feel it being there? - sure case of breast implants....

and how could they mistake it for a cell phone vibrator... who carries a mobile phone in her bra? these teenagers are crazy I say...

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Will history repeat itself?

If Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer face off in sunday's Wimbledon finals and if Rafa goes on to beat Roger and win his first Wimbledon title, history will be written.

History will be re-written in some ways.

The previous man to win 5 in a trot at SW19 was one Bjorn Borg. The year he won his 5th title, 1980, he faced up the man called John McEnroe and the rest they say is history. In a classic final that featured unarguably the most famous tie-break of all time, Borg bt Mac in 5 tense sets... with the tiebreak 18-16 in the 4th and the 5th being won 8-6.

The next year the same two people met in the finals and this time Mac came through in 4 closely fought sets.

Last year, Federer won his 5th straight Wimbledon after outlasting and outplaying Rafa in 5 close sets. So....

If Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer face off in sunday's Wimbledon finals and if Rafa goes on to beat Roger and win his first Wimbledon title, history will be re-written.

The other coincidence will also be how Rafa and Mac were lefties and how Fed and Borg are renowned for the calm demeanour on the courts...

My personal take on all this... SCREW HISTORY... rooting for Marat Safin ;-)

Friday, 13 June 2008

Where is Mahatma Gandhi?

Vidhan Soudha... the towering edifice of the Karnatka State Government. With the motto - 'Government work is God's work' emblazoned boldly across the main entrance.

In a curious mix of the cliche and not so cliche, there are 3 prominent statues that are placed in front of the Vidhan Soudha... Jawaharlal Nehru - India's first PM, B.R. Ambedkar - Father of the constitution and last and very suprisingly - Subhash Chandra Bose. The surprising bit is not the presence of Bose's statue... the surprising bit for me is the absence of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi's. After all he is the so called father of the nation etc. etc. I believe it was fortunate we were ruled by the British and not Hitler, else Gandhiji and co. would have been gassed to death.

In spite of my belief it is a bit of a surprise that Gandhiji's statue is missing. In this day and age, Ambedkar's and Gandhi's statue are the bare essentials considering India's politics. Why is Mahatma Gandhi not present at the Vidhan Soudha?

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Wanted - Nair tea kadais in Bangalore

Its been awhile since my last post. Over the period of time, I have relocated to Bangalore from Chennai. After 2 months of the daily grind in Bangalore, I make my first post from Blore and my first sweeping judgement of the city - The tea shops in Bangalore suck! Chennai tea kadais rock!!!

You are starved for choices when it comes to tea here... and what makes matters worse is that there is not much of a choice in the biscuits and the cakes and the extra-curriculars that one can sip along while enjoying your cuppa. The biggest drawback is that the tea is more often than not pre-made and not made to order. So you dont really have a choice of strong, light, less sugar, more milk, no cream etc. etc. Only 2 choices - either u take it or u leave it!
Miss the tea stalls in Chennai. Those Nair Kadais, even if the tea maker was a Bihari it's always a Nair kada. A tea maker in Chennai worth his salt will be called master! In Chennai, the tea master was like an extended family member.
Kannan, the tea master in my college canteen could make a decent tea and he had decent memory. Always knew what I wanted and considering he would serve on an average nearly 1000 teacups a day, it's amazing he would give me strong tea with less sugar, as soon as I gave him the tea token.
Shekar, the tea master outside HDFC, Nungambakkam branch worked for 3 days a week most of the times. Always thought he must be a Pakistani spy or something but he had a super variety of snacks and short eats and he always had change on him.
Anderson is a chain of tea stalls in Chennai that was started in Anderson road, Egmore. So wherever the branch has been placed its called Anderson. The branch which I haunted lies at the end of Jegannathan street, Nungambakkam. Favourite haunt of the TV pros from Vijay TV. Its close proximity to the Bhai kada that served delightfully hot, crispy and sinfully oily Samosas, bajjis and vadas was a major plus.
The nice mallu tea kada in Besant Nagar, opposite the Vinayaka temple with a lovely sit out reminiscent of the ones in the Elysees road in Paris. Ok major exaggeration in the last statement, but the tea I am sure would have been just as good as the one they serve in gay Paris.
Maybe I should just quit my job and start a tea stall in Bangalore. I am sure to do well, considering the lack of competition.

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

History's loss

Went to watch 'Jodhaa-Akbar' the other day with a few of my friends. I felt, personally, that the movie was a disappointment.

While I was watching the movie, one of my friends made a bemusing observation. He wondered if Akbar had 6 fingers on one of his hands (I forget whether it was left or right). Hrithik's congenital defect was mistaken to be Akbar's.

Could the extra finger have changed the course of history? What if congenital defects like an extra finger were considered to be unbecoming of a king. What if Akbar would never have been made King due to this out of the ordinary growth. What if the real Jodha Bai (if she ever existed) had detested extra fingers.

Wont this then be a blatant distortion of history. No wonder everyone is protesting.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

For Hinduism's sake...

How could Shriya have the audacity to wear that dress to a awards function? That too in a function where the CM of Tamil Nadu (a staunch atheist) was the guest of honour. How unholy! Complete blasphemy. I completely understand why Hindu Makkal Katchi protested against the dress. Its completely against our scriptures and against Hinduism.

I empathise with the HMK. The dress spites the Vedas, it insults the Gita, its against all Hindu traditions and spits on every value that Hinduism extols.

To get an idea of how a true, pious Hindu should dress please refer to the picture given below.