Thursday, May 31

Helmet day

Today was a nice day to go on the roads :). I could see most of the 2 wheeler driving people wearing helmets thanks to the mandate in effect from today. And of course my own share of fun out of it >:).

Many of the adults were wearing helmets that don't quite fit to their head. Finding a helmet that fits a head is like finding a dress that fits a woman :p, only the former is applicable for both sexes :D. It was funny watching ppl whith HUGE heads wearing a helmet the bottom of which only comes down until their cheeks ;)).

And ladies (not chicks) wearing em :p, my goodness! ROTFL! They look like alien being who have landed from some other planet ;)) peeping through as if trying hard not to pass out. To top it all are those flabby people who after a big struggle successfully get their head inside the helmet. Little do they know how much they could affect an on lookers. Their skin would literally be squeezing out of the open areas as if waiting to burst. Quite gross actually.

And btw, its not gonna be long before people again start using the trick they did a few decades back to void the effectiveness of such a mandate. I don't want to mention that here and help make void something good. And as before I expect to see sect oriented PIL's being filed in a while such as sikhs not being able to wear it with their turbans and such.

Actually this move makes me wonder if the government struck a deal with helment manufacturers. Further, if a helmet is not carefully choosen it could be quite harmful to the driver in case of an accident. I am not too sure about this but I'v heard that with your chin unprotected there is a good chance of breaking ur spine depending on how you fall. Besides it saved me once from a bad head injury when in fact I was only driving at about 20-30kmph. Contrary to what most people believe you don't have to be driving fast to have a fatal head injury, coz it depends on the way you fall and what lies in the path.

In case you still havent picked one yet, please pick one which has a chin and not the one that all open to the front. And please don't buy the excuse that the sweat will cause baldness. Its just a belief and its genetics thats more towards baldness than sweat.

The good thing about this move is that I am considering getting a bi-cycle for my frequent travel within 3-5km radius which I do pretty often. Clean and Green! If I do, this time I'd go for a geared one which *doesn't* luk like a BMX bike.

Safe driving! to all the bikers out there.

Just 24 hours and I already see some people making use of the workaround :). Wonder how many people out these would spot it. The face of Chennai roads would be soo different then.

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Friday, May 25

Unnale Unnale

A good story which took shape into a bad movie. Honestly I went to that movie to see Tanisha. And of course I knew the story and liked it since it was quite different considering todays tamil movies but for a few. Considering the subject of the movie, I feel a good director could have done a great job with it.

Vinay's dance was like that of toby maguire in Spidy 3, maybe worse. At first look, I felt like seeing a monkey or a gorilla :P. My cousin sister felt that little boy who ends up in an accident at the start of the movie actually looked better than the hero :D.

I was really disappointed with the picturization of some songs I liked - June Poonal, Mudhal Naal and Unnale Unnale. Of course the little song - Ilamai Ullaasam, short, sweet and nicely picturized. Worth watching once, but please switch off your brains and decided to enjoy the movie before entering the theatre as required for most kollywood movies. Just don't expect too much.

Eitherway, for the last dialogue of the movie by sada - "poodhuma?" you would find that the audience unanimously say "dhaaraalam" / "idhu rOmba too much, please stop". Most definitely on the inside if not aloud ;).


Wednesday, May 23

Interview: A first date

I just bounced into an article (just when I ran out of ideas for posts) and was skimming it until I came across an interesting section. I saw words such as love and romance and thought WTH! As I read it I empathized what the author was trying to say, that an interview is like a first date or a pre-date session :D. Not that I'v had any personal experience with either. I liked it even more as he concluded the paragraph mocking arranged marriage :p. Okie okie, here it is. Read this excerpt and enjoy ;).

Interview specialists have found it extraordinarily difficult to persuade most employers to adopt the structured interview. It just doesn't feel right. For most of us, hiring someone is essentially a romantic process, in which the job interview functions as a desexualized version of a date. We are looking for someone with whom we have a certain chemistry, even if the coupling that results ends in tears and the pursuer and the pursued turn out to have nothing in common. We want the unlimited promise of a love affair. The structured interview, by contrast, seems to offer only the dry logic and practicality of an arranged marriage.

ROTFL =)) he he ha ha. That is soooo true. You can talk your way into a job if the person likes you and no amount intelligence will help if he doesn't. Thats kinda how love/marriage works too doesn't it? (Am talking of the idealistic here, not where things go wrong badly.) What say people?

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Friday, May 18

Honkers worse than hookers

Indian roads and me just don't get along well. I invariably loose my temper pronto everytime I set out. The most irritating thing that ticks me off is those incessant bleady honkers. I believe in much of the rest of the world most people honk to let know one is doing something wrong or is causing inconvenience to others. Fundamentally I thought people rarely do that (honk) to catch immediate attention in case of emergency and such.

But down here a whole lot of idiots think they are some maharaja and keep honking all through so that people make way for them. Seriously challenged I say. Since we have tropical weather down here its easy to irritate people. Honking is not used to warn but to incite another guy into doing something he/she wouldn't do when in the realms of sanity. So the thumb rule here is that you irritate fellow drivers and get through.

I remember once when some young guy with his car audio blaring was driving behind me and started honking to get me off the road, obviously by irritating me. It wasn't a wide road and not a place to do stunts, but this guy was on adrenaline. So I choose to give it back in kind >:). I made sure that he couldn't get past me and was driving pretty slowly right in front @ about 40kmph nicely enjoying the wind and getting the pleasure of that guy going nuts honking to get rid of me ;)). The guy finally overtook me at a turning (yeah people do that while turning here) after some skidding and got past and accelerated in roads where it was pointless. Anyways he went past my home and I effortlessly got past him on my bike despite his crazy driving.

Indian traffic is such that despite the spead at which you drive the time you take to reach a destination doesn't vary more than 5 / max 10 mins. So why get you BP up honking and why irritate fellow drive. Some crack pots would sure be there. I own a bike which can blare too but I seldom honk (once or twice in a week's drive). Like wise these busses, autos and even some smart (as they think they are) two-wheeler drivers honking at your back as you wait at the stop line for the seconds to tick from 5 sec to 0 before the signal hits green. They literally barge into the road before its their time not giving consideration for a person probably comming perpendicular believing signal green = road path. I feel a little bit of patience and consideration for fellow drivers can make even driving through traffic a not so bad an experience. Unfortunately I ain't hitler to change peoples mind.

I notice a similar disregard for others when people park their vehicles. Sure you'd be annoyed if someone parked their vehicle in a manner that you can't take yours out. Nevertheless that is how people park. My own dad did it y'day and fortunately he saw me annoyed as I complained and parked it in a more acceptable fashion.

I don't think this is too much to ask or too difficult to do. I believe if the police and traffic officials create awareness amongst people as much as bullying them things could get much better on citizens and them. Maybe they don't probably thinking that their job depends on trouble makers. I have come to agree the fact that you can't drive without breaking any rule in chennai, and so do traffic police. But at the least we can make it more tolerable to one another. Being nice to other ain't too much to ask or is it?

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Friday, May 11

Celebrations at whose cost??

All chennaites must be knowing by know as to what was behind the chaotic traffic situation in the city this evening. For the benefit of the others, its the 50th year of our honourable Chief Minister Mr. M.Karunanidhi as legislator and the party is celebrating it in grandiose.

Considering the estimated number of people who would come to attend it, lots of arrangements have been made in the city. Traffic diversions and alerts to offices so that people would leave early to aviod getting stuck in heavy traffic. Glad they did that much.

But there is something most of us don't know about. Neither did I until I evesdropped on a conversation. I happened to be travelling in the evening and got stuck at a places for 5-10 mins and just overhead this narration by a nearby cab driver. I was shocked beyond words when I realized what was being forced onto the people.

Turns out that all these cab / transport operators have to volunteer 4 vehicles and 40,000Rs to the party towards the event. Oops, did I say volunteer! Of course since it is "voluntary" its pretty legal. As for those who don't volunteer, we'll they'd just have a tough time with their license to operate their unit :). For obvious reasons this will never be covered in the media or made an issue of since the event is embraced by dignitaries holding office in the state and central government. This is where it gets better. All the money spent will be shown as party expenditure while all of it goes into somebody's pocket.

What next? The government would probably sponsor free food program for all families under a monthly income of 5000. How? All families with an income of over 10,000 will have to give a percentage of their ration and 2,000 in cash as contribution towards the same. Reminds me of Atlas Shrugged, where people in authority make such laws that people have to break them for their very survival. I wouldn't be surprised if it got to that level although I hope not.

I am not against celebrations and such. Kalaignyar M.Karunanidhi is a great man in his own rights. All things apart he makes a great administrator and no one can deny that and I deeply respect him for that. But this is something I least expected from his party and the organizers of the even. Sad but true. Fortunately or unfortunately, I cant verify the verity of what I overheard.

This revealation reminds me of the plight of auto-rickshaw drivers as narrated by one. Turns out that the limited permit the goverment issues at nominal prices are bought by influencial men in bulk. And those wanting to drive an auto have to pay upto 10 times those stipulated by the government to get the permit from these guys, usually mortgaging their vehicle. Why wouldn't the auto drivers demand unfair charge when they are being taxed like this?

The only different I see between much of the west to India is that in the west you got to bribe to go against the norm, while in India you have to bribe if you want things to be done right. What can we do when the very people who are meant to uphold the law get into such acts. How different is this from the ones imposed on us during the british raj? Honestly I am not asking them to be 0% corrupt, coz that just doesnt fit well with democracy. Afterall, everyone needs to make money. But such impositions on business and people can definitely be minimal if not completely avoided. (Now I am talking in absolutes #-o *gosh*).
God bless this country.

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Sunday, May 6

CARVA @ Thiruvaiyaaru 2007

One again this year as part of CARVA tradition we set out to Thiruvaiyaaru to the jeeva samadhi of Saint Thyagaraaja to pay musical homage. It was yet another soul filling experience. All this amidst the scotching heat. On the first day we were out visiting nearby temples until lunch. This time the smaller temples in and around thiruvauyaaru, unlike last year when we went for big ones.

Since we were not blessed by rain god, the afternoon went without any plans. Of course no restrictions on road cricket ;), while others beat the heat staying indoors.

Like we did last year, there was Nadaharam on saturday evening followed by vocal recital for all those who wished to.

Nandu & Deepu (darlings of CARVA) were back again with 3 songs this time. One of them (set to kamaas) was my favourite and turned out to be a treat. Amazingly crisp as they reached high pitch. Nandu's mazhalai voice was an added attraction.

As to how good they were, listen and decide for youself ;). But trust me, you wouldn't be even a wee bit disappointed :).

  1. seetApatE nA manasuna (kamaas) powered by ODEO
  2. nAradamuni veDalina (pantuvaraaLi) powered by ODEO
  3. vandanamu raghunandanA (sahaana) powered by ODEO

Unlike last time we had three groups this year. The junior group played -

  1. girirAja suthA (R:bangaaLa) powered by ODEO
  2. thelisi rAma (R: poornachandrika) powered by ODEO
  3. sarasa sAma dAna (R: kaapi naaraayaNi) powered by ODEO
  4. ananda saagara (R: garuDadhvani) powered by ODEO
  5. sara sara samarai (R: kuntala varaaLi) powered by ODEO

And then it was turn for the group to which I belonged. Although our guru had apprehensions that most of the songs were quite well paced and we as to whethere we could keep up, the accompanists came to our rescue and it turned out much better than anticipated ;). Here are the songs we played.

  1. rama bakthi (R: sudda bangaaLa) powered by ODEO
  2. brOva bhAramA (R: bahudaari) powered by ODEO
  3. bhavanuta nA hrdayamuna (R: mOhanam) powered by ODEO
  4. niravadhi sukhada (R: ravi chandrika) powered by ODEO
  5. anaathuDanu gaanu (R: jingala) powered by ODEO

And finally the senior students who played the main section of the event. nagumOmu was the main piece a must listen for carnatic fans. Its a very rare opportunity to listen to our guru play and turned out to be a treat to the ears for one and all. The following were the songs played by the senior students -

  1. raghunAyakA (R: hamsadwani) powered by ODEO
  2. saadinchanE (R: aarabi) powered by ODEO
  3. bAgAyanayya (R: chandrajyOthi) powered by ODEO
  4. marugElarA O rAghavA (R: jayanthashree) powered by ODEO
  5. manasA shrI (R: eesamanOhari) powered by ODEO
  6. nagumOmu ganalEni (R: aabhEri) powered by ODEO
  7. nenaruncinAnu (R: maaLavi) powered by ODEO
  8. gandhamu puyyarugA (R: puNAgavarALi) powered by ODEO
  9. seetha kalyaaNa (R: shankaraabharaNam) powered by ODEO
  10. jO jO rAma (R: reeti gowLa) powered by ODEO

It is yet another memorable experience for us all. Had the sun been more relenting we could have visited more temples. Nevertheless it was loads of fun with so many kids around. The best part of this program is how much it motivates us to play much better than we do ;).

Right now I am just totally lost in this phrase from jO jO rAma - N2 S N2 D2 M1 G2 R1 P M1 G2 R2 S (not sure if I deciphered it correctly, of course with help from lil swarna). Its been running in my mind all evening :) and listened to that song countless times today. Simple, yet so mesmerizing. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to earn for a living :D to enjoy such blissful things in life, but thats far from life. Guess i'll cut it down to this for now. Loads of work to catch up. Do listen and enjoy the music (Click on the title link or here for the entire set) . Adios for now.

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Tuesday, May 1

300 - Worth every penny

A worthy movie after such a long time. I believe after "V for Vendetta" this is the next movie I'v come to like so much. I felt the movie was brilliantly made. More than anything, two things about the movie stood out.
  1. The background score - it was PERFECT, and should I say rocking :). This is were movies like Troy and Eragon were seriously lacking and a total let down. IMO LOTR and Gladiator were amongst the best in this genre. 300's not any less than the other two.
  2. The sepia mode like setting - the look of the picture had a lovely rustic aura to it. The skies, the landscape everything made it distinct that it is of an era long gone. HDR Rendering perhaps. I'll proly have to watch it over again to quantify it exactly as I was completely engrossed through the movie.

Don't watch this movie sitting far behind in the theatre. This movie is meant to be watched with nothing else but 'it' in view. The movie was perfectly paced start to finish. Not at a single point did we feel it went too quick or dragging. Just enough of every element. Increasing the frame-rate to vividly depict action sequences and normal for the grandeur, it was a work very well done.

I don't want to get judgemental about these characters who stood for valour and became immortals. Some may find it a bit too gory / graphic. But heyyy! Its history. I like such mythical stories and enjoyed every wee bit of it. Strangely I don't seem to get good reviews on this movie from anyone here. I'm sure to get my own DVD of this movie once it hits the shelves here.

So instead of watching junk stuff like "Parattai engira azhagu sundaram" (which I was tricked into watching) go for this one. You'll thank me for it. This "Parattai" movie was outrageously horrendous. After a point I kind of got numb to the nonsense and sat in the theatre with my fingers plugging my ears. It was so intolerable that the whole theatre gave a ROTFL ovation during the climax which was supposed to be quite sentimental. This nonsense if not for the strong hearted either :D. Its okie to spend two-three hours in the coffee shop instead :).

:-t ... cheerios