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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Trip of a lifetime

The first images that come to my mind when I think about the trip to Orissa are those of my mom and sister crying as Howrah Express pulled off platform no 4 from Trivandrum Central station. Wish I could just go back to that day now! That’s how the eventful journey to Paradeep started. I had booked a 3rd AC berth because it had been a long time since I had travelled in an AC compartment and I was very hopeful that a company that recruits an engineer with a salary of 20k will surely reimburse the travel expenses. The decision proved to be a bad one because for most part of the day the compartment was empty. People did get in at stations, but they weren’t there for the entire journey. So they saw no point in making acquaintances with me. So by the time the train reached Ernakulam South station I had seen 3 people come and sit opposite me with not a single word uttered between us. So out of my curiosity I went and checked the passengers name list outside the train when it halted @ South station. I found that till the next morning no one was going to be ther with me. I slept peacefully that day and it was good to sleep in AC. There was no noise or a sudden rush of air when the doors opened as in Sleeper.

The next day morning saw me getting to Chennai Central, the train had a long halt ther. More than 40 mins. By that time my fellow passengers had arrived. The batch consisted of a mother, daughter and son and the grandchild. The kid or rather infant was my best companion for the next day. Even though I didn’t know his name for a full day it was quite fun to see him jump onto my lap. Mostly people spent time sleeping in the compartment.

Finally the next day morning the train pulled into Cuttack station at around 8:30AM. Way too late from its scheduled 7:00AM. I missed the passenger train because of the delay and decided to get into a bus and went towards the auto stand. That proved to be a big mistake as the auto drivers in this part of the country rarely get any single customer and make their living out of the poor soul who dares to catch an auto all for himself. I had to pay Rs 40 for a journey hardly 2 kms away from the station. All he did was take me over a flyover and put me in front of a bus stop, which I later learnt was on the other side of the station and I could have made it on foot. This was nothing compared to what was to come in the day.

The buses or rather, mini buses came and almost all of them were full of people, I had the knowledge that my destination was about 100 km away and the journey took around 3 hours. By 9AM a bus came which was less crowded and had a board saying it was a non-stop till Paradeep. I boarded the bus and parted with my luggage which was stowed into the carriers on top. By the time I got into the bus, the only empty seat was the one opposite the driver. I got into that seat and frankly was in no way prepared to bear what the roads of a STATE HIGHWAY could do to me.

The contractor who built the road seems to have a special adoration to place speed breakers at every 200-300 mts. Their objective isn’t fulfilled in any way but they sure cause a big discomfort to the passengers and the vehicles too. The bus went without any stops for the 1st half of the journey, and I was very happy seeing that there were only 42 kms left by 10:15 AM. I thought I’ll be in my office by 11AM. Just as this thought was creating a happy mood in my mind, I saw the bus stop at a junction and the driver got out. The bus was stopped there for 15 mins. I got anxious and with my best hindi I managed to ask the conductor who said that this was a MAJOR stop. I just saw a set of shops and a vegetable market. People got down from the bus and had tea, smoked cigs and some event went to the market and bought what they needed. After a good 25 mins were passed the NON STOP again started and on it went.

By the time it was midday I got worried if I’ll ever reach my plant. I asked the driver “Aur kitna time lagega IFFCO tak pahuchneme?” He replied something in oriya which sounded like, “STFU”. After this I didn’t dare ask a question to the driverJ. Finally by 1230 PM I saw the sign of IFFCO in green background over the horizon. The driver then showed me with a smile and again said something in Oriya. The guy sitting next to me had woken up from his sleep by now and explained in hindi “Lo aa gaya aapka stop”.

I got down at the junction which had a BIG sign of the company( wish I had a camera, one pic to show the sign and another to show the relief on my face) and a 4 laned road leading towards a gate. When I looked around for an auto I didn’t find any. Due to the heat and the blowing winds I thought that the distance was small and I could walk the whole way with two big bags.

So I walked and walked and finally after what seemed like more than 2-2.5 kms I reached a security gate. The security allowed me in after I showed the offer letter. After this when I asked him about the location of the office he just showed his hand towards the road. After walking for about 500-600 mts I reached a building which had a sign saying GET Hostel. I got in and saw another guy with 3 bags and the person at the reception allotted both of us into one room. We walked to the room with the key and got into a pretty ok sorta room. This was to be my home away from home for the next year.

More about hostel life, the food and the new friends I made in posts to come……………

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Hello from Orissa

Me now frm Orissa, Evide jeevitham atra sukham alla. Food katta koora aane! Pinne engeneokkeyo adjust cheyyunu, South indians just 3 ppl including me! Other 2 are from Andhra. No mallus in the township too. Only 5-6 ppl are their who know a place called Trivandrum, Officil net illa, athukondaaan reply onnnum illathe! Sorry for not replying.

Miss u all, My new no. 09938430305


More about the trip and life here will come in a detailed post by next week! Wait till then. Miss u all a lot!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New Meaning of Indian Flag



Entammooooooooooooooooooooooooo.....Apaaaram
Enthaaaaaaa budhiii.............enthaa oru upaamaaaaa...fayankaramm iyal okke farikaan keriyirunne........... oooh aalochikaan kooodi vayya!

I see so many small kids listening to this and clapping along with their parents! Kashtam thanne! Indian children being exposed to this kinda idiotic speeches.

This post is only for my friends who understand Malayalam! Am sorry that i can't produce a version with subtitles or give the entire translation here! I couldn't help but post this AWESOME explanation from a guy about the Indian National Flag. No offence to any of the religious sects that preach and practise this type of CRAP! But its high time someone SHOT these @$$holes! Nothing but a head shot from the back! They don't deserve a clean death!

Should doctors strike work?

Strike is a legitimate form of collective protest in a democracy. At the same time, the guiding principle of medicine is the alleviation of suffering. Thus the issue of whether doctors should ever strike work is contentious. Some have preached from an ivory tower and advocated against this form of protest for doctors. Opinions have been expressed that the suffering caused by a strike of doctors violates the ‘raison d’etre’ of the medical profession.

I was appalled by the sight of people being forced to go to private medical institutions when the government hospitals closed doors for all- the rich, the poor, the needy and the dying! The reality of this hit me quite hard when i heard yesterday that a friends' dad died last week because he was denied care at the Govt. Medical College Hospital and the doctors in the private hospital, where he was taken, couldn't understand what was wrong with him.

I've always believed that Altruism is the basis for practising medicine. The care and welfare of patients are the primary considerations of the medical profession. Seldom do you see a doctor who prioritises his interests before those of his patients. If patient care is the issue, he will disregard any amount of inconvenience caused to his self and go to any lengths to give his best efforts. This altruistic instinct should be innate, it is not thrust upon the medical student during their curriculum. That is one reason why it is among the most respected professions in the world. Even now with the rise in number of medical colleges and seats being sold, we have a majority of students taking up medicine courses because of their love for helping people.

Of course one cannot deny that patient care suffers during a strike by doctors. The scale of harm caused depends upon the role played by doctors in that particular health set- up, the type of cases under treatment, and, of course, the duration of the strike. Now what is it that drives an otherwise selfless, self- effacing doctor to strike work? Are the values and commitments so shallow that they are discarded the moment a question of personal gains looms up? What goes on in the psyche of the person who is driven to stop the very work and values that he cherishes? How is it that a person commended for his service towards others by elders and the authorities is, at a given point of time, suddenly accused of selfishness and criminal negligence?

The issues which precipitate a doctors’ strike are generally forgotten in the vociferous reactions and threats of the authorities. The lay public is aghast at the very idea of a strike. The general feeling is that a member of this noble profession should never indulge in any such activity. This very cross of ‘noble profession’ has been the bane of the healers over the past millennia. The moment a person has been elevated to a demi- god status by the people, he loses all his rights and aspirations towards a life of reasonable contentment and comfort. There are other essential services which, when stopped, bring society to a grinding halt. But striking doctors presents a whole new scenario, one which the govt. should handle with care.

I believe the reason why the doctors struck wordk is a legitimate one and should have been addressed long before the doctors resorted to the worst-Strike. The pay scale for a doctor is Rs 8000-275-13500 which comes to about 17,000 with all the allowances(If the govt doesn't hold them back). This is same as the starting salary for any professional degree holder. That's the disparity of the pay structure that exists in our nation. I feel that for a person who's putting in about 5-6 years in studies and then joining service to humans, should be paid more considering the current consumerist way of living. The govt always makes PROMISES and they should have considered the striking doctors with a bit more sensibility rather than treating them like any other govt. employee. For the govt they may be just another section of employees striking for their demands, but to the scores of people they save each day, they are next to GOD.

I feel doctors should also come to the striking lines only after careful consideration of what all harm they would cause to the world they serve!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Emergency - For whom?

The lexicon defines a sham as a trick that deludes and a scam as a fraudulent or deceptive act or operation. It would be very difficult to find a better example of a phenomenon that is both a sham and a scam than the Emergency declared in Pakistan yesterday. President Musharraf felt the heat of the judiciary rising and smartly he got his way through to rule Pakistan for more time by declaring an emergency stating that the terrorist activities have been on an increased scale right now. Pakistan has had worse attacks than those happened in the past week, when the Lal Masjid was besieged by STUDENTS and they had military operations to get the people holed up inside.


The statement of the emergency declaration points out in particular to the "INTERFERENCE by some members of the judiciary in government policy, adversely affecting economic growth, in particular". I can't understand how the country's economy be negatively affected by the judicial system in the country. For those who don't remember Musharraf's face-off with the judiciary, just rewind back a few months and you'll hear about a Chief Justice Iftikar Chaudhry, who was 1st dismissed off from the Supreme court and they reinstated after huge uproar from the lawyer's and the international community as a whole. After incumbent General Pervez Musharraf won the 2007 presidential election, the Supreme Court stated that it would deliberate as to whether he was eligible to run in the first place. The court then announced that it would delay its decision on the case. Parliamentary elections are due to be held in January 2008. This was what might have really prompted Mr Mush to unleash a period of emergency in the terror-affected nation.

Why is it that whenever a head of state goes into declare an emergency for his/her own political stability they take cover under a term called NATIONAL SECURITY. We ourselves had a black period of emergency in the LARGEST DEMOCRACY in the world. The period was marred with infringement of rights by the POLICE and the whole nation was thrown into the DARK AGES with widespread torture, unwanted sterilizations, illegal land acquisitions, lock-up murders and what not!

The same is happening across the border now and strangely we have a govt in place that is WATCHING AND WAITING for a reaction. They should have condemned this strongly and atleast come up with a statement, if not from the PM itself. I don't know why we have such a spineless Govt. in place to rule us, which doesn't take any STRONG decisions or even when they do take some off-hand strong decisions, they don't have the conviction to see it through entirely(rem the INDO-US Nuke deal?)

I feel sad for the people of Pakistan who are now to suffer a period of darkness, a period where they won't have any of the rights guaranteed by their constitution or have the pleasure of switching channels because private television in Islamabad have been taken off the air as police stormed their offices with orders to remove all equipment.

To top all this off Mr Mush came up with this awesome joke on the national television, wherein he EXPLAINED to the nation WHY he took this BOLD and UNFORTUNATE step. His historic words:
Today I'm making this address because our country is on a dangerous juncture, trapped by internal crisis and internal divisions. In the history of nations, time of difficult decisions come. Pakistan also has to make important and painful decisions. If hard decisions are not made then Pakistan's integrity is under threat. Before saying anything I promise the decision made is on the basis of first of all for the sake of Pakistan. Above all personal interests is Pakistan. The Nation would agree on this. In the last months the situation has changed very quickly.

At the end of this speech, he also alluded to US President Abraham Lincoln, saying that Lincoln's suspension of certain rights during the American Civil War in order to save the nation is analogous to his declaration of a state of emergency for Pakistan. Where lies that great soul and where lies this LIAR. This liar who sieged power from the hands of a democratic ruler by means of a Military Coup. Now am not justifying Nawaz Sharif for his actions of not allowing a plane to land in Pakistan on that eventful day, but still he had the mandate of the people. Here is a man who wields power as if its his birthright and then goes across the world saying how much he is ALL FOR democracy and peace and how he hates the Islamic Fundamentalists and is all support for the WAR AGAINST TERROR.

HOW I HATE THIS LIAR!


PS: The opening lines are borrowed from a question that i got for a mock CAT paper i got today morning. Felt that those lines were apt to describe the situation better than anything else.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Adieu

I used to weep every time a batch of my friends joined for their jobs and i sat @ home waiting for the date to move and finally get a mail from campus.manager@wipro.com. But when it was more than 3 months i was hurt. Especially when friends started getting salaries and started sending money home. Here i was sitting online, reading posts on communities and spending more and more money from my parents when i should be supporting them after these many years of education.

I still have the respect for Wipro since it was the 1st company that gave me a job. I have had days when i just wanted to call up the helpdesk and shout abuses. But then thanks to the eternal queue, i never used to get a person on the line.

Finally i had enough and started applying for jobs wherever i saw. I wasn't that keen to join a software job with a mechanical background. Finally i cleared one of the tests and got to the interview and now i got the job. Wipro was a nice romance that i have now moved on from. It was great to know so many people and be friends with people whom you might never see again in life and share with them the mental trauma of having to wait @ home and say that "I'm placed in Wipro, but they haven't called me yet". People used to look at me with a sense of doubt, as if i had told a lie that i got a job.

But now things have changed. Finally i've a date when i'll be stepping into an environment completely alien to me. I'll be 1000's of kilometers away from my comfort zone. Hope i'll be able to fulfill my expectations and be able to rise upto the standards of my employer.

I feel sad coz i'll be leaving the college where i was for more than 4 years now(studying and teaching)! I feel sad to leave a city where i spent the last 13 years, moreover its heartening to leave your loved one's, friends, teachers and all those people you're so used to seeing.

I leave on 24th November to join IFFCO @ Paradeep, Orissa. That means 30 more days of fun, laughter and enjoyment. I hope i would still be ther in the hearts and minds of all here..........

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My First Job

Some people get an education that prepares them to be a captain of industry, or that sends them out to do important scientific work to cure world hunger or horrible disease. But my education hadn’t done any of these. I graduated from Govt Engg College, Bartonhill(GECB) in 2007 and am proud to say that I spent four years of my life here. I still remember the day I joined my B.Tech. It was 27th of August 2003. I can still remember the words “Enter @ your own risk” scrawled across the door as we stepped into what was going to be our home away from home for four years. Four years of one’s life, a period where one becomes a man, where one earns his 1st job.

First job, it has got a sweet sound, doesn’t it? My 1st job interview was for Wipro. My luck favoured me when I cleared that and technically it is my 1st job. But the 1st time I’ve been working was when I stepped into GECB again on 18th September, 2007. It was something that I’d never planned for, something that I’d never expected myself to put up with. But there I was, waiting outside the HOD’s room to join the elite list of enlightened people whom we call Teachers. It’s a great feeling when you walk into a classroom and have a set of 120 eyes staring at you with anticipation. I had never thought that I’ll be teaching, and even when a friend called me to join up, I had refused saying that I’m unsure of myself, how will I teach a bunch of students who’ve set their expectations on me?

But then something's are beyond one’s control and so I joined up and found myself sharing desk space with some of MY teachers! Till that day I could come to college anytime and sit on the steps leading to the EC labs or the drawing hall. But now I’m a teacher, someone who’s respected. I do miss those days when I could roam around the college, when I used to cut classes and share a laugh with my pals or jostle for space in the chairs at the canteen.

All those are sweet memories and are etched in my mind. Thinking now, being a teacher is an opportunity that I didn’t want to miss, especially when it’s in an institution that made you what you are. Now when I see guys and gals talking or doing things that I did with my friends I feel so jealous! I wish I could do it again, wish I could turn back time and be a student again! For those who’re cursing their days at college, you don’t know what you’re going to miss once you are out of this compound.

I’m someone who wanted to join the corporate world. Where I wanted to set a distinct mark, and I had thought that teaching is one job which doesn’t give you the challenging environment where one can find the excitement and the adventure of a corporate job. I’ve had many friends who’ve joined software majors and most of them, except a lucky few, have got numerous bad experiences to tell. There’s even a guy who quit his job and told that it’s a dog-eat-dog world and all we’ll ever achieve is the hatred and evil stares of our peers due to the rat-races going on to gain a upper hand in evaluations and projects. It’s a blank life for some, with no entertainment and no enthusiasm. All we’ve to do is code a programme that someone might use in some other corner of the world and we don’t know who actually benefits from what we do.

All one is bothered about are the looming deadlines and bad bosses! For another friend it’s an aimless world where they say we’ll end up earning this number at the end of the month, but don’t know what to do with the money that’s cashed into the account each month. For the companies it’s a cheap labour force which they use and abuse to their best of abilities. One guy went on to say how sweet the grass looked on the other side when the HR people came with their presentations and now the world looks worse than the Sahara desert. People are yelled at, made to clear high cut-off’s in training tests and finally they say the effort isn’t just paying enough!

These words aren’t supposed to be demoralising to my juniors who’re looking forward to work under the Premji’s and Narayanamoorthy’s who’ve brought prosperity to our poor nation. But it is just a word of caution for those who really don’t know why they took up a software job. For them it’ll be the most boring job in the entire world. Teaching too has its share of boring moments. It is really plain boring to sit in a class with 20-30 students writing page after page of exam questions. I had suffered that boredom for three straight days and frankly that was the only time I thought this is a boring job. Other times I’ve had chances to learn things afresh, sometimes entire new concepts which I had skipped when I had learnt the same subject a few years back.

Now having said all this, I’ll soon be joining the rat-race myself. Not because am a daring person who would want to taste the dangers out there in spite of the warnings, but because I believe in the line from Forrest Gump "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." But in my heart of hearts if I ever get a chance to come back to these classes again as a teacher, I would give up anything for that offer. As Don Corleone says in Godfather “It is an offer that no man can refuse”. But then it is upon time to tell, because once again in Don’s words “Each man has his own destiny.”

Some things are better left unsaid…………

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Bourne Ultimatum


Long time since i had a movie review! Was waiting for a movie which really made me sit up all night and then write its review with the enthusiasm still in me. I hadn't had the pleasure to watch The Bourne Ultimatum in a theatre thanks to on-time Kerala theatre's that have english movies always months after they are released. The ONLY movie i've seen in Trivandrum on the day the world saw it 1st was Matrix Revolutions and that wasn't worth the money.

Like many of my pals, i too downloaded the movie. Fake cam prints were available online even before the official release and i was waiting to get my hands on a DVD rip, which is how i like watching movies(even while watching them pirated, watch them in style). Now lets come to the FILM:

The first word to come too mind as I sat in my seat & watched this was "AWESOME". The movie took me away from my comfy couch and made me sit on the edge of the seat. Ultimatum is the last of the Bourne trilogy films. Here Jason is back on the search for his past that began in the depths of the ocean five years back. I had seen the 1st two movies and was totally surprised the way the movie was made. It had relatively no gadgets that are usually present in a spy movie. But what set Bourne apart are the story, direction and of course Matt Damon. He's the perfect guy to play the silent, swift assassin that Jason Bourne is.


Ultimatum starts from where Supremacy left off. Bourne is being chased and he's totally out of his mind trying to recollect his past. He's being chased by none other than CIA Deputy Director Noah Vosen, which is skilfully enacted by David Strathairn. Vosen is after Bourne with more resources and people that Pamela Tandy(Joan Allen) ever had. It all begins when a journalist traces the path of Jason Bourne and the scene where Bourne meets the journalist @ the crowded Waterloo Station at London is too good. The precision, the way Bourne takes over and lets nothing be left to chance is too good to watch. From then on each and every moment Bourne is being chased all over Europe by Vosen and his boys.

Ultimatum may be the best serious action movie I've ever seen. From the moment that the opening title appeared, I knew i was in for a ride. Paul Greengrass has done it again. Everything i loved from the previous Bourne films is here once again: the action, the dialogue, and of course the shaky camera. However for me, that last one was never a problem. I think it adds to the suspense. The camera shakes, but remains steady enough for you to see everything and feel like you're there with Bourne as he tries to elude his pursuers, and the performances are so good that these guys seem as though they are the characters they're portraying, instead of just being actors performing well-written roles.

It doesn't ruin the story line and doesn't take the audience on break-neck action sequences, rather it has the naturalistic docu-drama style which is inspired from Director Paul Greengrass. He's used camera's which zoom in and out of the situation as if its been played real-time, like in a news channel or some live show. That's the beauty of the camera work, it takes you right INTO the action. You feel you're being pursued by Vosen and his vast network. The movie makes us feel that Matt Damon has the conviction and swelling desire of the troubled assassin. Kudos to Damon and Greengrass for getting the real essence of the identity that is Jason Bourne.

If you are a fan of the first two Bourne movies, you will not be disappointed by the third instalment. It sticks to what worked in the previous films and adds a little more. I was very pleased to see how well all the information we obtain in 'Identity' and 'Supremacy' all mesh in 'Ultimatum' to finally paint the full picture of Jason Bourne's troubled past.

The action scenes are so brutally fast-paced and well choreographed that they seem instinctive instead of planned to the minutest movement; the stunt-work is nothing short of amazing. The Bourne Ultimatum does not rely on gimmicks, CG effects, or razzle dazzle. Even its chase scenes seem mostly tame compared to the one near the beginning of 'Casino Royale', for example. This is because you are watching a psychological drama--- Jason Bourne is searching for his true identity, by trying to remember his past. Matt Damon plays his part to the hilt and deserves a nomination for best actor for his cumulative performances in these three films. We sense his anguish, his anger, his animosity, his angst, his ambivalence.

Ultimatum is, without doubt, the best of Bourne ever. Highly Recommended.

Monday, September 24, 2007

T20 Blues!

1st of all Congrats to team India for pulling off such an amazing victory! It was a nail biting finish and one of the best finals i've seen in recent years. For the better part of last 10 years its usually an affair which had the Aussies running riot through the opposition and making even the best teams feel that they are freshers being ragged by seniors in a engg college hostel.

I had the wonderful opportunity to watch today's match with my sister, dad and a few of his friends. It has been a long time since my dad and i watched a match together. Today it happened mainly coz he was suffering from a bad tooth ache and he couldn't go to see the dentist because it was raining hard. So he got 3-4 friends of his @ home to watch the match and have what any mallu does on such occasions, have a few drinks! (Thy don't require a particular occasion, anything from birth of a child to divorce would do for a mallu)

After India won the toss and decided to bat, the ungles @ home decided that India needed a total of atleast 200 to win. Some even said 250 isn't enough coz guys like Sreesanth are in the team. So they made their predictions and when India had its openers walking onto the field it was an uproar from the ungles and this time my dad was th 1 who said "aara e puthiya payyene pidichu opener aakiye, athum finalil". It was a concern that i too shared. I didn't understand the logic behind team India's decision to send a debutant batsman to open the innings that too in a WORLD CUP final! With a lot of murmuring from the CROWD @ home, the men started the innings and when Yusuf Pathan hit the 1st six of the Indian innings, the crowd @ the Wanderers @ Jo'berg and that @ my home cheered along as if Yusuf were the next Sachin.

This went on and on until the Indian innings finished with 157 on board. The Ungles who'd said 200 wouldn't be enough were now putting India's chances of victory next to impossible. They were now predicting how soon the Pakis' would wind up the game. Again came the predictions which defied logic. They began to throw in numbers at will and i heard 10 overs, 15 overs and the like. Finally they all settled on 15 overs. When Uthappa grabbed Hafeez' wicket one person suddenly said "Indiaku chelapol jeyikaan saadhyatha und". The others went on say its not gonna happen.

Usually its me and my sis who have the debate about how India will win or who'll take the next wicket. But this day it wasn't supposed to be so! These ungles were all in high SPIRITS and the KICK was showing its full effect now! Dad then said India will have a good chance if 2-3 wickets fall within the 1st 5 overs. Now Sreesanth came to bowl his 3rd over and it was a riot of runs. The bowling figures were 4,6,6,4(or was it 6,6,4,4?) and when the ppl @ home saw this. They brought back their old predictions of pakis walking away with the cup within 10 overs. Imran Nazir was cracking shots like anything and it was all the more fun to watch the AGGRESSIVE Sreesanth get hit like that.

Even though it was anyone's game even now, the ungles @ home had the urge in them to support the Pakis. Then came RP Singh's next over and walks home Kamran Akmal! It was really a treat to the eyes watching Akmal's stumps fyling away and him walking away.

Like this it went on till the pakis were @ over number 16 and needing 54 runs from 24 balls. In came bhaji and he was hit for 3 sixes in that over and again the ungles who were silent for a while after the regular wickets from Irfan Pathan, started to murmur that Pakis will win in the next over. To help their cause Dhoni sent in Sreesanth to bowl and the very 1st ball is hit for a 6 by Tanvir. All of Sreesanth's aggression is flowing down his face as sweat. Ther's no beating the pitch(Mallu's read THARA standards) antics by him this time even when he got the wicket of Tanvir in the last ball of the over.

Now comes the crunch, 20 runs required from 12 balls. Dhoni sends in his trusted RP Singh and Singh does his best by taking Gul's wicket and giving away just 7 runs. Now came the last over where the pakis needed 13 from 6 balls and had just 1 wicket in hand. I thought Dhoni will entrust the last over to Bhaji as he was the experienced bowler, but instead he chose Joginder Sharma, the new kid. Again the ungles @ home murmured, "Dhoni innu mudi vettendi varum". That comment was proven right whn Sharma got hit for a 6 by Misbah. He had the strike now and Pakis now needed jus 6 runs off 4 balls. The ungles @ home started to pack up saying Pakis will win definitely and then came the wicket of Misbah and guess who took the catch "Sreesanth".

And @ the end of it all, one person said "Enthokke aayalum India nallonam kalichu"

End Result : Awesome game Dhoni & lads. Good commentry ungles @ home. Bad day for me and my dad!

A billion Salutes to the Men in Blue!

Friday, September 14, 2007

It's all about money, honey!

Tonight i got a shocking news when i was waiting for the India-Scotland T20 match to begin. The sms was from a friend and it went like this
"McLaren fined, stripped of constructors’ points"

Then came the long msg about how McLaren had cheated Ferrari and it was just because of Ferrari's technology which was brought into McLaren; that Alonso and Hamilton had been winning race after race. By now you all would have got the idea that the friend was a Tifosi.

I switched over to the news channels and was shocked to see that a record amount of $100 Million has been fined by the WMSC along with stripping McLaren off all the points in the 2007 constructors championship. The 1st thing that came to my mind was "God, now anyone can win his way through and do anything if he has the money". Yeah, that's really what came to my mind. For me the sport of Formula 1 was something that had all the excitement and adventure i enjoyed, especially since i loved driving and also was in a branch of study that involved development of these machines. I loved the flashbulb moments of pit-lane overtaking and champagne being sprayed on the fans by the winners. But all that changed with this single judgement.

For me the sport of Formula one was laid to rest today, thanks to the JUDGEMENT by the WMSC. I am not a big McLaren fan, but i like the team because they came up from struggling to finish all the races last season to leading the championship table this year. Maybe their cause was helped by the fact that they had the world champion in their side; but nowhere else will one see a rookie achieve so much even while competing against the world champion in his team.

I was shocked at the judgement because it clearly proved that when it comes to the matters of power, the team with money(read Ferrari) reigns supreme. They have an awesome record and its good when they defend their worth on the track. The dirty policy of hitting the opponent in the back doesn't suit a WORLD CHAMPION team like Ferrari. I am so frustrated because, immediately after the announcement(within minutes) that McLaren was fined, Ferrari came out with a statement saying:

“Ferrari is satisfied that the truth has now emerged”

As if they have never twisted the rules and have been the upholders of truth all their life. All still remember the 2002 Austrain GP and the 2005 US GP.

After this i was about to switch back to ESPN to check on the status of the India match, when another news in the ticker caught my eye. The BCCI has come out with their answer to the fledgling Indian Cricket League (ICL) and they call if as Indian Premier League (IPL). They are launching their own T20 league with a whopping prize money of $ 5 Million(yeah its 5 not 1 or 2). With this the BCCI plans to launch its own version of a premier league on the lines of the EPL with all features like player transfers and sponsor stadiums.The IPL will aim at mobilising corporate participation, wherein an entrepreneur will own a local cricket team. He could, in turn, buy and sell players in true EPL fashion.

With this they plan to shut down the ICL which was supposed to rope in players coz of the big bucks involved. Many domestic players switched sides because the BCCI paid them peanuts when compared to the money involved in the ODI's and Tests. This is indeed a good move, but then now the question is: League launched, but can BCCI deliver? Agreed that BCCI has taken some rapid steps after ICL's lanch and launched their own IPL. Also they have blessings of ICC and support from all the other boards. But now lies the next challenge; they have to deliver a high quality product that they have promised.


The news had another surprise when it named Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri to be part of IPL's governing council. This will bring some nice moments in news channels in coming days as Kapil Dev is heading the ICL and brings the greats in the sport on a one-on-one battle. To add another flavour Gavaskar's son, Rohan, only a few days ago signed up to play for ICL.

All these things just make me feel "It's all about money, honey!"

Monday, September 03, 2007

Tag-o-rama

Being tagged is a feeling that i don't get usually, infact i think this is my 1st tag in the blogosphere. I got this tag from Krish who got tagged by Venki who got it from Mathew, who got it from Silverine. All of them have given awesome answers to the questions and you can see that its almost impossible to reach that level of hilarity no matter how much i........ what to say "thalakutti ninnu aalochichaalum patoola". That's a long phrase that means impossible in mallu for the laymen-who-don't-know-malayalam.


The tag is to answer a set of 18 questions that aren't the one's you'll get in any aptitude/IQ/EQ or all those types. So here it goes!


1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it:

1st of all lemme clarify that i've got too many scars all over my body(now don't get ideas *evil girn*) that i can't pick just one particular one that easily. My latest was last week when a piece of glass got embedded in my wrist and it ended up being a place where i have 3 stitchtes now. Still my fav would be the one i hav on my upper lip, the one i got from my bike accident last april. It was a early morning accident and like all my accidents, it wasn't my fault. The guy who crashed into me(or did i crash into him) came in from the wrong side. You can read more and see more in the links.


2. What does your phone look like?

The most obvious answer for it would be "It looks like a phone; what else!" But since we have phones now in all shapes and sizes, and also since i've been certified as an engineer; i'd be more precise wth the specs. Its a Motorola C 168. I know you'd not even have heard of it. But then Moto used to have such things in the market and not just the ROKR's and SLVR's et al.

3. What is on the walls of your bedroom?

Sadly after the last time the house was painted mom scrapped away all my fav posters and BURNT them :(. Otherwise my walls were adorned with a mega poster of the Arsenal Football Team, a Ferrari Enzo, a Harley Davidson V-Rod and a F22 Raptor. Poye poye ellam poye :((

4. What is your current desktop picture?

Currently i've a pic of Angelina Jolie, a Close up shot of her with a sniper rifle in Mr & Mrs Smith.
Love this pic, don't know why!

5. Do you believe in gay marriage?

If they are happy and are GAY, why stop them from marriage. Even if i believe or not these things are happening. After all Elton John got a gal(is it right to say so?)

6. What do you want more than anything right now?

I'd love to have a Audi R8. Have a look and you'd want one too! Wouldn't mind a Enzo or a Huyabusa as well. All in my million dollar garage!

7 . What time were you born?

I don't remember that day very well, but mom says its a Sunday, just after 4:30 in the evening. As she always says i was born just as the Rahu Kaalam began! Things aren't too well since then @ home. Mom still says how dad didn't turn up saying that it'll happen the next day only! But then i wasn't gonna wait that long. I tried a lot to talk like the kid in Look who's talking, but just like the film no one understood the kid.

8. Are your parents still together?

Thanks to my mom and dad being totally in love with each other they haven't thought about separation.

9. Last person who made you cry?

It was watching "We Were Soldiers". I couldn't control the tear glands when the letters informing the wives of the death of their husbands were handed to them. Its a must watch film. If you think am someone who goes boohoo over senti films, then watch it and say again. Now wipe that smirk off ur face smartass!

10. What is your favourite perfume / cologne?

I never actually buy looking for a particular brand. I’d much prefer the milder smelling ones and I just can’t stand deodorants that over-power you or make you smell as if you have fell into a soap factory. For ppl in TVM, come to Kumarapuram/Medical College area and you can see guys n gals walking with weird costumes and the smell i mentioned above.

11. What kind of hair/eye color do you like in the opposite sex?

Hair-It should be Loooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnggggggg. Colour shouldn't be anything that's light shaded or my mom won't lemme marry her!

Eye Colour- Since the days of the Eye Donation Ad showing Ash's eyes with the dialog "You're looking into the green eyes of one of the most beautiful women in the world" i've had this thing for someone with green eyes.

12. What are you listening to?

Linkin Park's new album Minutes to Midnight. Half the tracks suck big time, sound more like Hoobastank or Blink 182 rather than LP. Tsk tsk

13. Do you get scared of the dark?

It would be honest to say I WAS. Nowadays i love looking at the sky on a dark night. Such nights are frequent now thanks to KSEB's infallible reputation.

14. Do you like painkillers?

I prefer rock music. They help in killing anything around when am in the mood for it and when Metallica or Iron Maiden is playing in the background!

15. Are you too shy to ask someone out?

I haven't had many foray's into that world yet. There have been times when fear has been the main reason rather than shyness. As of now i haven't got anyone worthy to be asked out around me.(Trust me my home is quite a bad area in that aspect)

16. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?

I would love to have a Chicken Tikka Masala with Parotta's along with a Lassi and Gulab Jamun for dessert. Now that's yummy isn't it?


17. Who was the last person you made you mad?

A traffic cop @ statue junction. I always have probs with these breed of people. Always have me on the wrong day and demand money for rules that i never violate. This guy happened to snap at me when i jumped a signal while a transport bus which blocked my view of the signal went right past him. Fortunately i didn't have to pay up this time.

18. Who was the last person who made you smile?

Homer Simpson. While watching The Simpsons Movie with the Spider Pig song! That's damn funny! I watch that portion everyday! This guy would even make a dead corpse laugh.(I think he's done that already in some episode)

I am tagging Abhijith, Celtic Warrior, Hari and Rahul.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ona Sammanam

I've got a great news for all out there! Ths time Kerala university aan ettom valiya ona sammanam thannekunnath!

Nothin that's gonna shake the world or bring world peace or fulfill my 10000's of other desires(good and bad 1's)

Its jus that:



Njan Engineer aaye!

For th people who don't know malayalam, it means I BECAME an ENGINEER

Yahoooooooooooooooooo(ths aint a Yahoo! Ad, bt ths is the least to show how happy i am)

I just can't belive that for a guy who's never got a GPA in the 7. sumthn range Kerala University was giving me the lottery of a lifetime, a GPA of 7.47 in S8 and in between i managed to clear my backpapers in s7 with a modest 6.45(that's around my usual RANGE).

I also congratulate all my classmates and batch mates who've got a PASS and achieved this landmark in their life!


Chelav chodikuka, tharam ennu njan parayaam, allathe ippo vazhi illa! Ente purseil oru otta kaalana polum illa!

Wish u all a happy onam just like mine :D

PS:There is a GOD

Thursday, August 23, 2007

1st Drive

Driving is one of my passions and i just can't have enough of it. To make sure that my driving doesn't cause any discomfort to the government and also to my finances i took my driving test yesterday. It wasn't much trouble and i passed without a single mistake.

I was beaming with pride and my mind was filled with happy thoughts of me zipping through the city roads with ease at pretty high speeds and heavy metal coming through the speakers. But all these thoughts were put to rest when i took the car out for a small drive to the city yesterday itself. It seems people all across the town are on the roads and no one's home. I had gone to a few temples and to my surprise all seem to have even ignored the god's. There were hardly 20 people in the heavenly houses.

Then when i reached east fort i found where all the people have been. I wish i had a mobile with a cam and could capture people jostling for space on a 10 foot wide road and hitting each other with their elbows for space and bargaining for goods ranging from handkerchiefs to shirts and sari's on the roadsides.

When i tried to park the car near the pazhavangadi ganapathi temple i had a real tough time. A retail GIANT had opened its store( i wont' call it a store, its a mega structure) and coz of that parking was something that you couldn't do, to top it off the designated bike parking spot was taken over by a party leader and his honchos and they used the spot to have a PUBLIC meeting to which no one was giving two hoots. The guy was going on about the injustice meted out to the people by the ruling govt and the ignorance to the critical affairs of the people like flood relief and the like. Who has time to listen to all this, the only thing people will have in mind is the 30% off @ ramachandran's or the buy 2 get one free offer @ parthas or the buy a mixer, get a pan @ Ibrahims.

Now one can't blame the people for taking up consumerism to the heart. But what else to do when the shops and establishments are wooing in customers with hitherto unheard of offers and prices. We have offers for things ranging from inner wear to plasma televisions. Is this a good way to go for our economy? I say its a great way to go for our economy. But is this the way to go for our country? I disagree. We've deviated from the principles of socialism that were instilled in us by the founding fathers. We've given up the idea of Aam Aadmi as the UPA says. They've forgotten the Aadmi in their slogan and gone ahead to help develop(or exploit) our country to get more Microsoft's and IBM's to open shop here.

Now am not saying its a bad thing. Its a great thing to happen. Because of the rapidly growing IT sector thousands of engineers and graduates like me are getting jobs and much better salaries than our seniors got as freshers 2-3 years ago! I feel great that an engineer is paid a salary 1/2 that of a guy with same qualification gets in th US. But its better than getting nothing and sitting @ home sending in applications to the PSC tests and waiting for the red tape to cut through you until you've nothing else to do but go for a job for which your hefty degree wasn't of any use.

Now we hear about IIMites giving up 7 figure salaries and going to start NGO's and their own ventures. For this reason i feel the move from the govt to start more IIT's n IIM's is in the right direction. Just hope that their's something left of humanity in the scores of graduates coming outta the elite institutes and colleges.

With this hope i leave the rest to thee, dear god!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

India Shining

Since its India's 60th Bday tmrw i thought i'd come up with a compilation of pics to show various aspects of our nation in the past year

A great man's tenure ended, and what a way to end it!



Mumbai was underwater, AGAIN!



Bush-Manmohan talks! God knows what they actually did



A new pulsar was on the roads(Wow, sexy isn't it!)




Sanju baba got a seat in Yerwada Jail



Demolitions in overdrive



Poor farmers can't even have the right to cultivate their fields now!




Another Quota war, but this time FOR the quota



Big B came up with more surprising roles





This dude starts acting too!



Holy cow, what am i seeing!

This is enough! Makes me happy and sad at the same time!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

God's own news!

Before reading on 1st go through this piece of news that i got from a friend
Sreesanth's food habits

You'll need mallu fonts and ofcourse be a mallu to read it. But for those who think this is too much, please do that small bit and am sure you'll be happy about what you did. Get the font from here. If you're still not able to check here.

This is the level to which India's largest circulated "regional newspaper" has stooped to. I can't understand such a stupid piece of NEWS will come from a publisher which also runs the Manorama Yearbook, one of the trusted books in my list till now! They publish more than 20 major and minor journals and this is what they came up with?

Even their ad nowadays in national channels about their much touted readership of over 15 million was funny to watch, where they have shown INDIAN's fighting over stupid reasons like the the readership of their language's newspapers. My 1st thoughts when i saw that ad was, why the hell isn't any nationalist group or individual coming in strength to force a ban on this piece of crap. Where is the so called SPIRIT of National Integration now? But then who would like to make the paper with the largest readership unhappy?

Coming to think its not just this paper that has been in news in Kerala. Recently Kairali channel, run by a party so well known for having great spirit of unity among themselves, stabbed one of their own leaders in the back. In fact they did this to the CM who's ruling the state. Wonder what they'd do to the lesser mortals.

The program was an interview with a RISING STAR in the business scenario in Kerala, Mr Faris Aboobaker. The interview was conducted by none other than Kairali TV MD John Brittas. I had regarded him as among the best news persons' ever to be born from the Malayalam News channel world. He used to handle heated discussions with ease and had been an impartial face in a channel that has come up with some good name till now. I still remember a debate where he had snubbed a sitting MP from Kerala for their silence in the Parliament about the Salem Railway zone.

In this particular interview, which i missed to see, he appeared very meek and was allowing Faris to show his full arrogance and was particularly silent when Faris kept on making remarks about the CM as if the CM was someone who worked under him. Now the whole of Kerala knows that the program was just another brick in the wall that's coming up between the two stalwarts in the CPI(M) Mr Pinarayi and CM Achudananthan. The interview was ended abruptly and Brittas says that Kairali did only what any normal channel would do and also that the whole interview was NOT scripted. But seeing the way in which one after another accusations were made against the CM and nothing was done to stop it, one can hardly agree with that line.

Media coming up with stupid news is the rule nowadays, but when it becomes a weapon in the hands of LEADERS trying to achieve their personal gains, the whole scenario changes. We've seen how media has 1st written off and then gone to praise Rakhi Sawant's, Shilpa Shetty's and even Sanjay Dutt now. We see national debates on the rising hemlines of Bollywood actresses and stars dating other stars. God only can help when matters come to this stage. But then where is GOD? Why is he silent? When will we see ACTUAL NEWS in the so called news channels?

Friday, July 27, 2007

Letter Written in the year 2070

The following is from a mail forward that i received a few days back. I liked the idea that the creator wanted to publicise. Its an issue that we all should have thought about from a long time ago and it is something that will be a problem for us by 2070, if not earlier.

Here's the Letter:

This is the year 2070,I have just turned 50,
but I look and feel 85.
I suffer from serious kidney problems,
because I do not drink enough water.
I'm afraid I do not have much time left to live.
I am one of the oldest people in this society.

I remember when I was a child of 5.
There were lots of trees in the parks,
houses with beautiful gardens,
and I could enjoy having a shower for half an hour.
Everything was very different.
Nowadays we use towels with
mineral oil to clean our skin.

Before, women had beautiful hair.
Then, my father washed his car with
water coming out of a hosepipe.
Now, my son does not believe that
water could be wasted that way.
Now, we have to shave our heads to
keep them clean without the use of water.

I remember there were
SAVE WATER
warnings on outdoor posters,
radio and TV, but nobody paid attention.
We thought that water was to last forever.
Now, all the rivers, lakes, dams and
underground water beds are
either dry or contaminated.

Industry came to a standstill,
unemployment is sky high.
Desalination plants are the
main source of employment
and workers receive part of
their salary in drinkable water.

Assaults on the streets for a
can of water are very common.
Food is 80% synthetic.

Before, it was recommended an
adult drinks 8 glasses a day.
Nowadays, I am only allowed half a glass.
We now have to wear disposable clothing,
and this increases the amount of litter.
We are using septic tanks, because the
sewerage system does not work for lack of water.

All the people look horrible,
wrinkled due to dehydration,
full of sores caused by ultra violet radiation,
as the ozone layer is almost gone.
Skin cancer, gastrointestinal infections
and of the urinary tracts are the main causes of death.

Due to the excessive drying of the skin
young people of 20 look like 40.
Scientists have no solution to the problem.
Water cannot be produced, oxygen is not
sufficient due to the lack of trees and vegetation,
and the intellectual capacity of the younger
generations is severely impaired.

The morphology of spermatozoa in
many men has changed.
As a consequence, babies are born
with deficiencies, mutations and physical deformities.

The average life expectancy is 35 years.

Water became a very coveted treasure.
Any green zones crossed by rivers are
guarded by armed soldiers.

Where I live, there are no trees,
because it seldom rains.
If it does, it is acid rain.
We were warned to look after
the environment, but nobody cared.

I tell my son about the green fields,
the beautiful flowers, the rain, how
we swam and fish in the rivers and
dams, drinking all the water we
could, and how healthy people were.

He asks: Daddy! Why there is no water?
Was I guilty ?
My generation destroyed the environment.
We did not heed the warning signs.
Now our children pay a very high price!

Soon, I think, life on earth will not be possible,
as the destruction of nature has reached an irreversible stage.

How I would like to go back and make mankind understand…
...that we still had time to save our Planet Earth.



Save water for out kids, if not for anyone else.



The above message was an Article published in the magazine "Crónicas de los Tiempos", in April 2002. Five years since not one law has been passed for the misuse of water. The only awareness that the governments spread are a few Save Water signs and a few plans to harvest rain water. Maybe it is because the world is too busy fighting for OIL and exploiting nature. The fight for OIL is so widespread and POPULAR that we even have a on-line Role Playing GAME named OILFIGHT. What has the world come to? Where is it heading to? Will the letter come true? Will our children be fortunate enough to have a bath that we take for granted, or the healthy drink of a glass of water?

All these questions are not posed at the readers, but at the so-called "All powerful" leaders of the world. Hope they'll come to their senses before its too late!

Have a look at the following links as well:

Hidden agenda behind the invasion of Iraq
The War for Oil

Sunday, July 22, 2007

My new Rides!



Which one's better??

These are the two new rides that i've got my hands onto in recent days! I had to bid adieu to my bike some weeks back. I had to wait a full 15 days before i could get the Dio and in that time i went around with the Zen a couple of times. I liked both of them and am asking you which one looks better

About the Dio:

Its a kool ride. Very quick on the throttle and i can say that it'll beat a pulsar from a traffic stop atleast till the pulsar kicks into 3rd gear. Now that's not a small achievement for this small wonder. I had good fun with it in the last 3 days and enjoy driving it. It's a small light weight and hence is a a good machine to ride. Since its gearless traffic is just fun zipping in and out of it with ease. Also i feel its among the best gearless scooters available in the market. Still its the best of the two i feel coz it gives me the rush of a bike and that's something i had missed for a while.

About the Zen:

Its not something that i was looking forward to since i was so addicted to biking. It'll take some time for me to get into the grove. The best thing for me right now about driving a car is that you can hear the music u love along with the beauty of roads rushing by you. I haven't got many chances to take my car out for a long drive and i hope my perception of driving a car will slowly change and i'll get the hang of it.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Finally

After weeks of waiting i finally took my car for a drive today. Feels so happy and relieved.

Happy because its been 1 full week since i lost my bike and was really in pain as i was not having a vehicle to drive.

Relieved coz the feeling within me to take the car out even when my parents had told a strict no-no till i get the license.

It was actually without my mom's knowledge that i sneaked out with the car today. I went around for more than an hour and i felt sorry when i returned coz the worried look on my mom's face made me regret what i did.

STILL i can't stop myself from telling the highlights of the trip.

Distance : Went for 30 kms around my home and even ventured into the NH 47, the holy ground for any motorist in Trivandrum City. That ofcourse was for a short stretch from Sreekariyam to Kariavattom and then back.

Top speed : The needle touched 90kmph on the NH and it felt good, but still the feeling of the wind rushing onto one's face was missing. In tht respect you still rock my steed.

Fun : It was fun to drive the car and i had some trouble at first coz the car in that i learnt driving was a normal Maruti 800 and mine is a Power Steering equipped Zen Estilo.

Bottomline : I had a fun filled drive and fortunately the car didn't have any scratches or dents and no man was injured in the pursuit of this activity.

BTW this is my car

Friday, July 06, 2007

You`ll Be In My Heart

It started on one rainy day in August. I still remember the day that i 1st saw her. I just thought she wasn't the one for me. I had gone after other of her kind with more mean and killer looks. But then as they say "Relations are made in heaven". Relationships are funny things. Friendship, brotherhood, parental, children and marriages are quite sacred with all of us. But then there are some relations that go beyond all these, those that defy common sense. those that just start with nothing in common, but become the most endearing of relations. We all come to a stage where we can never tell why we are in love with someone/something. We just love them for what they are, for being there when we need.

That what was between me and my Libero. Now i know what you all might be thinking; "Why is this guy being so senti about something like a bike?". I just can't tell why i fell in love with something as inanimate as my bike. Maybe its coz that was given to me at a time when i was in a new phase of my life. The years that i spent in college were just amazing. All the days of fun, laughter and enjoyment were spent with the bike with me. I really pushed it to the limits and it had resulted in 1 major accident and a few minor one's throughout the 3 years that i had been riding it. It was the 1st ride that got me to break the 3 digit speed barrier.


Unfortunately these are the only pictures that i have of my bike.
(That's my house compound in the BG, leave the foliage unnoticed)

So coming back to the day i saw it for the 1st time. I was pretty excited and was really very very happy with my dad for giving me a bike of my own. It was late evening by the time the bike was given off from the showroom and i drove it home. The very next day i drove for 60 kms around the city, in the by pass, near the beach almost anywhere i could go. The service engineers were always surprised at the small intervals in which i used to show up for getting the bike serviced. It was a workhorse which i had used in all possible conditions and it had never let me down. I can still remember the numerous instances when i had a smile on my face beating another bike in a street duel. It was always a heart-warming feeling when i got to beat bikes with higher power and engine capacity with this steed of mine. I drove it for more than 50,000 kms in the last three years and never have i been troubled by a major problem.

In India, Yamaha scripted a success story with a sporty two-stroke single—the RX100. Memories of this torque monster still strike distinctive chords for many an enthusiast that learnt the joys of riding, milking its indestructible engine for all of a then staggering 11bhp! To many the questions of what went wrong and where, remain unanswered. Now am not saying that Yamaha came up with the Libero to satisfy all those ambitions. As far as i know Libero was one bike that had the punch of a Yamaha and the efficiency which could give a chase to the Hero Honda's age old philosophy of "Fill it, shut it, forget it". The bike gave me excellent thrills and a pretty decent mileage for the speed that i drive at.

It was a companion that gave me company during the lonely evenings at the Shanghumugham beach or the fast drives from college till the numerous theatre's in city to watch films with friends. It is one inanimate object that i gave up with a lot of emotions.

Thank you my faithful steed .. i'll never forget our rides together. You`ll Be In My Heart

Monday, June 25, 2007

Effects of a Stupid Rule!


The pictures explain it all


Siva Sena ppl on roads with TRADITIONAL headgear in the protest march!



Effects of a stupid rule on a handsome young man

Don't know why am against(yeah am against this crime which makes me look like an idiot) this rule which is supposed to save lives. But then the guys who ruled from the courts in Kochi will have no idea how uncomfortable and clumsy these CHATTI helmets are, would they? These things were designed for one purpose and that was to save the head of the wearer from injuries and i feel they do justice to that role. In addition to protecting one's life they also help guys(and their girlfriends) who want to hide their identity from the glaring eyes of the public.

But then the major headache comes when we go to buy one of these. One friend was telling that the queue in front of the helmet shops reminded him of the queue he saw in front of New theatre for the tickets of Sivaji, if not more. The major problem facing the riders is that the helmet prices have increased overnight and the govt is taking no action against traders exploiting the situation by levying excess price from consumers. Helmets that used to be priced around 450-500 before the ruling suddenly jumped to the 700-800 price range. This time the shop owners aren't that lucky because the last time this rule was implemented(in 2003) the condition was that ANYONE who's in a two wheeler has to have a helmet, even the pillion rider. Thankfully the court somehow spared the pillion riders this time.

Lets look why the Honourable High Court of Kerala came up with such a ruling in short notice. Well first of all wearing helmets is COMPULSORY under the rule 347 of the Kerala Motor Vehicle Act. So till now the govt. hadn't implemented it because it caused a lot of trouble for the motorists to wear it and take it around. Even now while implementing the ruling from the court, the Hon Home Minsiter Kodiyeri Balakrishnan has given strict orders to police not to harass two-wheelers in the name of helmet. The main issue here being that the policemen are liable to fine a motorist without a helmet Rs 100. But trust me the minister's ruling has been obeyed strictly, i'll say even stricter than the court's directive. Nowhere in the city will one be seeing a policeman checking if the riders are wearing helmets or not. Seems even the police dept doesn't want that 100 bucks from the riders. But this same court had in 2003 said that effect of the Rules and the Act was that the driver and pillion rider were "under the obligation to wear a protective headgear''. So i don't know how long this is going to stand.

Rules stipulate that the helmet should be of ISI standard. But the people who buy never care and we can see numerous non existent brands coming up with all kinds of shapes and sizes. Its like the "Make hay while sun shines" syndrome. Traders are fleeing the customers till the rule is there and i can't see an end to that exploitation.

Would like to hear what you all will say. I just wish this is repealed as soon as possible.

PS: People will start a community for anything these days. Proof for it is the I Hate Helmet community in orkut.

A later addition i got today:

Thought ppl should see this!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sivaji-The Boss, whose boss i ask!

Today i had the privilege to watch a Rajni film on its first day. To be honest am NOT a big Rajni fan. No not even a small one. I just find his antics funny and YES there are some of his films that i adore for their story and for the style. We can't go for a Rajni film expecting it to have a logical story or a stunt that is close to what can happen actually, NO. My 1st Rajni film was Muthu if i remember and that was a film that i didn't like that much. Mainly coz of a basketball stunt. For guys who have seen the film, you'll know what am talking about. Till date the best Rajni film i have seen is Baasha. That had the amazing dialog "Naan oru dhadavai sonna nooru dhadavai sonna madhiri" (நான் ஒரு தடவை சொன்னால் நூறு தடவை சொன்ன மாதிரி) - for non tamilians it translates to "If i say it once, Its equal to saying it a hundred times"(don't curse me if i got it wrong). That was a dialogue that created waves and still is the 1st thing that comes to mind when Rajni comes to mind.

Coming to Sivaji:The Boss. I didn't plan to go for the film till today noon. Mainly coz i had a series of examinations and didn't have the time to stand in the serpentine queues for the tickets and all the fuss associated with it. Also as i said before am not a BIG fan who'd go for the 1st day's show. But luck struck me when Rakesh called up today around noon and asked if i will be willing to come for the film's 6 PM show. I said no probs boss as long as you can get the tickets. So i got ready to go and was supposed to be there at 530. I had to face a slight drizzle on my way and by the time i reached there i was fully wet. Then we waited for Rakesh's contact to show up with the tickets. Then i got the news that there were 3 tickets for the 3 of us(Me, Varun and Rakesh) but 2 were in the balcony and 1 was in the reserved category in the ground floor. I hadn't planned to sit in the ground floor, but then Varun's puppy face look and the dialog "you selfish guys planned to dump me" made me grab the ticket and get in the ground floor seat. The theatre was New, supposed to be the BEST in the town(I'll come to that later) tried to get a seat as back as possible and succeeded in getting a 3rd row seat(from the back) in the middle row. The seat was bw two chain smokers and i had a pretty bad time. Even before the film began the guy on right had done wth 2 and the one on left 1.

Warning Plot spoiler follows:(don't cry later on, or come to beat me up)

The film began by 645. The intro was simply too good, the audience jumping around throwing bits of papers. I was like "Thalle Thiruvanthorathu itreum paandikalo" :O. After the intro they showed Rajni who's a US returned "Senior Software Architect" supposed to be in his early40's(yeah you read it right, 40's for a guy who's 67). 1st thing i couldn't digest was that fact. He looks around 40yish(at the minimum) with all the makeup and the paunch make him look very old than 40's(even for a software GEEK that he is). He's back in India coz he's TIRED making software for the computer giants of the world and wants to invest the money for the improvement of our Indian society by building colleges and hospitals for the poor where education and treatment is free of cost. BTW he's earned about 250-300 CRORE from his great software skills. He shows this off by giving a 500 rupee note to a begger in the opening minutes of the film. Wish we had more NRI's with so much money and such noble thoughts. He finds it a tough deal to start colleges and hospitals and the story is good in this part coz it shows that corruption is rampant in the nation and even if someone wants to start something new for the welfare of the society he has to pay bribes to get his way through.

Then comes the search for a girl to marry for this ELIGIBLE BACHELOR. He needs a girl who's having TAMIL in her looks, thoughts and ways. He finds that in Shriya, our heroine, who's unfortunately not impressed by the hero's wealth and style(rather too much of it). So the story takes a break and Rajni is busy pursuing Shriya in the movie till the interval. I didn't like many of the songs in the 1st half mainly cause they were just there for the sake of having a song. I really felt bad at the Music too. The film just goes on and on without much progress in the hero's plans to build the university in his name, except the moves to get the building sanctioned and paying bribes to people starting from the panchayath officer to the chief secretary. He starts off well and by the interval the villain makes sure that he gives up all his hopes and our Rajni is on the road without any money, except a 1 rupee coin given by the villain as a sign of being the bad guy. Maybe i felt like this because i was waiting to pee for a long time and just wanted the interval to come ASAP. But then that's what I FELT.

Now the facilities @ New theatre's ground floor have been really bad from time immemorial or maybe i felt so coz this was the 1st time i was sitting in the ground floor there. But the queue for the toilet was very long and i was having a BIG problem. I wish the management took note of this and did something to improve the facilities. I felt pretty bad more coz the ticket rates were 10 more than the usual 30 for a reserved seat(40 for reserved and 50 for balcony). Still there was no change in the pathetic conditions.

Now during the interval there was a FIGHT(real one) near the doorway and fortunately i was just watching it from the confines of my seat and from what i saw, i'll never trade seats with the guy who was made a poster on the wall by a huge, burly, dark guy. He looked like one of the gunda's from the film. But as soon as the film restarted, the fans had a truce and all settled to watch the movie.

In the 2nd half we see how Rajni uses the same coin that he got from the villain to screw up the villain's life and then how he earns more and more money and builds up his dream infrastructure. We see his empire expanding to many places and how he uses his muscle power and mind power(i don't know if i can call it so) to get things done his way. Here Rajni uses his laptop and formulates plans to eek out the black money from all the big industrialists and politicians and convert it to good money and invest in his Sivaji Foundation. The laptop has a kool voice recognition software(designed ofcourse by the gr8 NRI himself) which is of importance in the later stages of the film. The songs in the 2nd half are much better than those in the 1st half. I liked "Sahana Saaral" and "Athiradee" quite a lot. Really felt some good effort was given by Rahman in composing these songs. The picturisation was also awesome, especially "Sahana Saaral". The props and set used in this movie are mind blowing and its very evident in this song where we see a set of glass pyramids and cubes, the size of the one in front of the Louvre museum in Paris and the Apple Retail store @ New York.

Glass pyramid @ the Louvre, Paris


Apple store on 5th Avenue, New York


In the end the movie has a surprise and that is something that i could guess about 30 mins before it happened. There was a slight hint about the surprise in the middle and a character was introduced in the movie just for this. The end is usual all out fight ending with Rajni killing the villain and returning the coin in true Rajni style.

The movie has its share of Rajni one-liners, stunts and Rajni tricks(what els to call them?). We see the usual sun glass trick, the coin trick and a new addition is the shifting the gun from right hand to left(which am sure all have seen in the trailer). We also have the amazing set of stunts that defy gravity and often logic; like Rajni getting away with a scorpio with Shriya beside him by doing a wheelie(that too front wheels, ON A 4 WHEELER), Bullet slowing down as it approaches Rajni(think its coz of the repelling magnetic effect that he has on the bullet). Also they had a kool full form for BOSS-Bachelor Of Social Service.

But this maybe the 1st film where in addition to Rajni we see the heroine, SHRIYA doing one that outshines all the tricks and stunts that Rajni does. Its like this, during the 1st half when Rajni's after her; he says that he'll jump in front of a train and die if she doesn't agree for marriage. He stands on the tracks and the train is approaching. Our heroine is watching all this from above the bridge and then she walks off. Now Rajni was putting up a bluff, but now he was really stuck there as his foot got bw the tracks. Rajni is katta desp and the audience prays something happens like a lightning strike or a earthquake that derails the train. But what do we get, we see Shriya jumping onto the track and waving her shawl that was RED (what a coincidence) and the train driver gives in and stops. The guy next to me had a better theory saying "Who wouldn't stop if those were on display". Hats off to Shirya as she's done her part to be a co-star with Rajni.

Vivek rocks in the film as Rajni's UNCLE(yeah you read it right). He has the precise timing and the dialogues that he says are truly for the fans rather than adding meaning to the story. 10/10 for him.

Also forgot to mention, the 1st song is an ITEM NUMBER by Nayanthara. She's changed a hell lot. Now she's much slimmer than she was in Vallavan or the other films.

The Art Direction is truly amazing and hats off to Thota Tharrani for the amazing sets and props, will give 10/10 for that. But that's like standard fitting in a Sankar film. His films always have a message for the public, may it be Gentleman, Indian,Boys or even Anniyan. All have some message that's to be absorbed and i really enjoy watching his films. I will give 6.5/10 for the music by Rahman. The songs don't have the refreshing feel that Rahman's music used to have. Even now when one hears the sweet melodies in Roja or the fast paced numbers in Boys its a great feeling, that is something that lacks in Sivaji's music. The cinematography is pretty good and we get to see some amazing camera work in the stunts and the songs. 10/10 to K.V. Anand for that amazing work. Editing was spot on and i didn't see any glitches even with the elaborate action and song sequences. 10/10 to Anthony for that. I didn't find anything worth mention in the choreography, but was shocked to see that it was done by Prabhudeva and a few others. Maybe coz Rajni really shows his age, they skipped the fast steps.

The film will earn millions by the time the next one comes and that was pretty evident when more than 300-350 people turned up in the queue for the SECOND SHOW. The film ended at 10pm and we were terribly hungry by then. We went and had a ghee roast each and a coffee to do away with the sleep. But i couldn't think about sleeping replaying the stunts again and again in my mind till i reached home.

This is what all that remained of the ghee roast and the ticket.


Overall 7/10 if you look at it from a film's point of view, but 15/10 if you are a Rajni fan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young

This piece was presented as Kurt Vonnegut's commencement address at MIT in 1997. It's great stuff, but apparently it wasn't written or delivered by Vonnegut. It's still a beautiful piece...

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of '97:

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts. Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium. Be kind to your knees. You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't. Maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the time you're 40 it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

But actually this is not the commencement speech @ MIT in 1997, In fact, the commencement speaker at MIT in 1997 was Kofi Annan and the supposed Vonnegut speech was an article published in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997 by columnist Mary Schmich. It is also known as Wear Sunscreen or Sunscreen Speech. It's an essay actually called "Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young"

The most popular and well-known form of the essay is the successful music single released in 1999, accredited to Baz Luhrmann.

To know more about Kurt Vonnegut click HERE.

To get the song Click
HERE.

To get the actual press report click HERE.

Now to answer questions as to why i am posting all this in my blog; it's quite simple and a sad fact. Its coz my college life ends in
19 days and 12 hours and some precious seconds. I put this as a post in my blog coz the speech makes a lot of sense, i got hold of this speech at 1st when i was browsing through videos on YouTube after uploading the video that Nikhil, a classmate of mine had made from the collection of pictures from the past four years of our college life. Its been a saga that i just can't tell in one post. I have mentioned a lot of things that have happened over the past years through a post some months back. Now it hits me how hard it is to leave college.



This is that video, trust me it will take you back to your college days(or school days for juniors). Great work macha! Hats off to you!


So as i said while uploading this video i was browsing through various other videos that were in the genre of "last days @ college", "Life @ college" and so on, and like many other things the IITians came on top for this too! They have the most outrageous collection of videoz about their life in those "temples of engineering", than any other college will have. Maybe it's due to the mega wide bandwidth they get their for free, but even then kudos to the guys who take time out of their ultra-tight schedule and make these videos.



This is the video that made me look for this speech. Hats off to you guys too!


Talking about speeches. Till date the best speech that i have ever heard was the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at the Stanford University.

It goes something like this:

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.....


You can get the rest of it HERE. I got to hear this speech for the 1st time at a quiz which Abhilash sir conducted some years back. It had been a tremendous source of inspiration from that day onwards. It makes me feel that anyone can be anything if they follow their dreams.

So the point of this whole blog, well;
I don't know. Though i will share something useful that i found at 3 am in the morning! Still interested?? Check out my fav videoz HERE.

It really hurts to bid adieu to my alma mater for the past 4 years.