Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Discovering meaning of life



Just rising above the new year resolutions, let us ask ourselves, 'what is the meaning of my life'?



Viktor E Frankl, the author of Man's search for meaning, says we can discover this meaning of life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.





This may too sound philosophical, but the author has undergone a terrific experience where in he lied naked among the flesh and dead bodies in a Nazi camp and finally manage to escape. This experience helped him in devising a psychology study called Logotherapy.



He also speaks of an optimisim in the face of tragedy, where in one (1) turns suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment, (2) derive from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better (3) deriving from life's transitoriness (such as death) an incentive to take responsible action.



Especially, with referene to the 3rd point, its just not death, but all the moments of life that are dying and will never recur. This very thought is a reminder that challenges us to make the best possible use of each moment of our lives.



He says, "Live as if you were living for the second time and had acted as wrongly the first time as you are about to act now".  What a powerful statement! Thats going to be my guiding principle for me this new year. I am going to create a poster out of it and stick it to this page sidebar as a constant reminder.



He has a message for students in America and Europe - "Do not pursue success.. as you are going to miss it..as unintended side effect of one's dedication for greater cause than oneself..". 



He also fondly quotes the German philosopher Nietzsche, "He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how".



Friends, lets make the best of our times, we are living in days that is terrific and unique.

Indian FanFare

Indian fanfare is very unique, probably it happens only in India.



Last week, when the cricket match was abandoned, the crowd went really mad. Today, when actor Vishnuvardhan died, there were protests and police lathicharge. There are several other incidents in the past and likely in future. When Kannada actor Rajkumar died, the entire state came to stall. When YSR was killed in an accident, there were news of suicides.



There are many celebrities, filmstars, politicians already aged and on the frontline. Can this nation withstand frequent protests when these celebrities leave this world?

Your New Year Resolutions May Fail



By now, you may be thinking of starting something new for the new year - like starting an exercise, stop smoking, learn new hobby, some financial goals etc.  Good news is that some may be easy to do - because you would have already signed up, or have enough resources. But certain resolutions like stopping smoking habits, early morning rising, doing the exercise everyday are sure to fail : Especially if these resolutions are being made on 30th or 31st of this month. The reason is just simple: they are being taken out of a spurt. The secret to sticking to those resolutions having enough why's. Have enough compelling reasons on why do you want this. Saying "I am going to stop smoking from Jan 1st".  Come on, why not, baby, today? 



Ask yourself the why's



* Why do I want to stop smoking?  because I want to break the habit

* Why do I want to break?  because I want to live healthy

* Why do I want to live healthy? because I have a family who depends on me; I want to be there for my family. because I have seen several friends dying of cancer due to smoking leaving their family unsupported. because body is my temple and I want to regard it as a spiritual entity; because I have several duties to my family, friends, the community, the society and my country; because I want to be a role model for the younger generation; because I do not want to be a victim of my old habits; because smoking habits affects my nervous system; because I spends hundreds and hundreds in smoking (and associated drinking)...





If these why's give you the answers why do you want to move towards something or move away from something, you are certain to make or break the habit.



To make life more interesting and meaningful, cover all aspects of life and have upto six goals. You can have one goal for Yourself, Family, Career, Fun and Recreation, Society, Spirituality etc.



A popular blogger Leo Babuta has started a site 6changes.com which has very useful guidelines on changing habits.



Also, you may want to visit Tony Robbins blog, or read his book "Awaken The Giant Within". The Awaken the Giant Within book has a dedicated chapter on creating compelling future.





Check yourself on Jan 10th, if you are sticking to your resolutions.





 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Books - Master Cleaning



There is no enough space on the floor for my books and it did not make sense to me to keep the books in shelves when I would not read them. I strongly believe buying books is a real investment for one.



Just recalling my childhood and school days.  My dad (Mr.Subramanian) was the first one to get me those nice Lifco books which I treasure the most. It is a set of 30 small books from Lifco on various subjects. I treated it as an encyclopedia. I also have the dictionary that I got in school days.  He also got me a membership in the Bhavani Govt Library. Then my uncle (Mr.D.Natarajan), an avid reader of books and all of them were in a trunk box. He has shared with me on various topics and a very knowledgeable person. Then my mentor and family friend, doctor (Dr.V.Srinivasan) who introduced to me all the modern age books. We used to discuss in length about various books. Later, several friends talked to me about books. I need to mention my cousin Surya and my niece Gayathri for their deep interests in reading books and sharing knowledge. More to share on this..may be in another blog entry. I think I touched up on this subject sometime.



Today, I decided to segregate the books - to read and refer for 2010; and those I will not pay attention for 2010. It was not an easy exercise. But I related the books to my new year personal goals and then it was easy to separate them.



Now my book shelves have fresh collection and good locking. The 'see u later ones' are dumped in the loft.

Monday, December 28, 2009

முன்னரை

தனி மனிதனுக்கோ, ஒரு நாட்டுக்கோ  வளமை வசதி எல்லாம் அரசியல் அல்லது சமுக சீரமைப்பு மூலம் மட்டுமே வர இயலும் என்ற பொதுவான கருத்து நிலவி வருகிறது. ஒரு நாட்டில் அற நெறியில் வாழ்பவர்கள் இருக்கிறார்கள் என்ற போதும் மேற் சொன்ன கருத்து முற்றிலும் உண்மை அல்ல. சிறந்த சட்டங்களும், சமுதாய சூழ்நிலைகளும் ஒரு சமுகத்தின் மக்களுக்கு அற வாழ்வை அளிக்கும் என்றாலும், வெறும் சட்டங்களால் வளமை வந்து விடாது; அதே சமயம் அந்த சட்டங்கள் அற வழி தவறிய  ஒருவரின் அழிவை, ஒரு நாட்டின் அழிவை தடுக்க இயலாது.

அற சிந்தனைகள், மகத்துவத்தின் ஆன்மா என்பதால்,  வளமையின் அஸ்திவாரமாகவும் ஆதாரமாகவும் இருக்கின்றன. அவை நிலைத்து நிற்கின்றன; அதை சார்ந்த எல்லா மனித படைப்புகளும் நிலைத்து நிற்கின்றன. அவையன்றி சக்தி இல்லை, நிரந்தரம் இல்லை, உண்மையும் இல்லை; எல்லாம் வெறும் குறுகிய கனவுகளே.  அற நெறிகளை தேடும் போது, வளமை, மகத்துவம், சத்தியம் எல்லாம் காண்கிறோம். அப்பொழுது வலிமை,  வீரம், சந்தோசம், விடுதலை எல்லாம் கிடைக்கிறது.

- ஜேம்ஸ் ஆலன்

[The following section is not part of the translation; The following news items will help us relate to James Allen's words ]


இன்றைய நாட்டு நிலவரம்

எதில் இன்பம் ?


"வாழ்வில் இன்பம்  என்பது பணத்திலோ, பொருளிலோ, நாம் குவிக்கும் சொத்திலோ, வேறு எந்த விஷயத்திலும் இல்லை. இவை யாவும் உயிர் அற்றவை. இன்பத்தின் கரு மனிதனுள் தான் காணப்பட வேண்டுமேயன்றி வேறு எங்கும் தேடலாகாது. மனிதன் தன்னுள் சந்தோசத்திற்கு இடம் அளிக்க வேண்டும். அவனுக்கு மேற் சொன்ன பொருட்க்களை பயன் படுத்த ஞானம்  இருக்க வேண்டும்; வெறும் சேர்த்து வைக்க கூடாது. அவை இவனை சார்ந்து இருக்க வேண்டும்; இவன் அவை மேல் அல்ல. அவை இவனை தொடர வேண்டும். இவன் அவற்றின் பின் ஓடாமல் இருந்தால், அதற்குண்டான ஒழுக்க நெறிகளை பின் பற்றினால், அந்த பொருள்கள் இவன் பின்னால் தன்னால் வரும்."

Why translate this book?

First of all, I am not sure if this book is translated by any of the leading Tamil authors or publications. James Allen is a great writer, and even after 100 years, we find his words very apt for our times. I first got introduced his book "As a man thinketh" which I have read and recommended to my friends several times. Every sentence of James Allens' words are quotable. I often think if these books could be translated, many folks of mine would surely benefit.

Secondly, I have a great interest in book translations. I attempted several in the past, but did not have a systematic mechanism to capture them in some form. I hope this website gives that platform.

Third, this book "Eight Pillars of Prosperity" is a bible for anybody's life. Reading it for myself sets a good start for this new year.  The eight pillars are Energy, Economy, Integrity, System, Sympathy, Sincerity, Impartiality, and Self Reliance. To practice these, I need to read;  What I read, I translate and publish. Its an opportunity to cleanse and build my-self.

I hope this will be a very useful effort for the benefit of everyone.

I request you to read the online version of the book and also buy an original copy of the book if possible. It certainly adds value to your library. That will be a great tribute to the great writer.

ஜேம்ஸ் ஆலன் - ஒரு அறிமுகம்

ஜேம்ஸ் ஆலன்  லீசெஸ்டர் (இங்கிலாந்து) என்ற இடத்தில 28 நவம்பர் 1864 அன்று பிறந்தார். அவருக்கு 15 வயது இருக்கும் போது அவரது தந்தை கொடூரமான முறையில் கொல்லப் பட்டார். மேலும் அவரது குடும்ப தொழிலும் பாதிக்கப் பட்டது. இதனால் ஜேம்ஸ் ஆலன்  படிப்பை நிறுத்தி விட்டு, வேலை தேட ஆரம்பித்தார். தனது 38 வயது வரை பலரிடம் சிறு சிறு வேலைகள் செய்து ஜீவனம் நடத்தினார். தனது வாழ் நாளின் பிற் பகுதியில் அவர் எழுத்தாளனாக மாறி, சுமார் 9  வருடங்கள், தனது மரணம் வரை (1912) எழுதினார். அவர் குறுகிய காலத்தில் எழுதிய புத்தகங்கள் யாவும் உலக பிரசித்தி பெற்றவை. அவரது முதல் புத்தகமான Above Life's Turmoil ஐ தொடர்ந்து அவர் தனது சிறந்த படைப்பான As a man thinketh ஐ எழதினார். அவரது மறைவுக்கு பின்பு அவரது துணைவி அவரது எழுத்துக்களை உலகிற்கு அறிமுகம் செய்கிறார். 

Saturday, December 26, 2009

James Allen



James Allen is one of my favourite authors. I have read his book "As a man thinketh" several times. It may appear like a dry essay, but every sentence of his work is worth a quote. Thanks to Dr.VS, I got to know about James Allen's writings. Those days a publication by name "Sri saiva siddhantha pathipagam" from Tirunelveli had published all his books. Another title that I was fond of - "Eight pillars of prosperity"; and another one being "Above Life's Turmoil". 



(I remember that Mr.SKM, the founder of SKM foundry (Erode) was a great fan of his writings. He used to ask his people to translate the work (eight pillars...) and listen in tamil. Mr.SKM is one of the very disciplined industrialist known.)



Last night, thoughts of James Allen started haunting me and I was desperately started looking for his titles on the internet. Would you call it magic?  Today I took my parents to Forum mall - in the Landmark book stall among thousands of books were lying these two cute books - As a Man thinketh and 8 pillars of prosperity. I did not buy any other new titles, how attractive they may be. After coming home, I realized that I did not search for "Above life's turmoil".  When I glanced the "As a man thinketh" book, it came as a pleasant it had alll the other 'missing' books.



I already have 'Book of Meditation' which I decided that I will read everyday morning from New year.



Related Links: http://www.jamesallenlibrary.com/

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Its Termination of Worldspace



We have been great listeners of WorldSpace for the past few years. My father listens to it every day - first thing in the morning at 5 am and then to melodies in the afternoon and in the late night. He is a great fan of KL Radio and the Shruthi music channels. He demonstrates this radio to all our guests. Recently I was trying to get him a latest model of the radio which is worth Rs.4500. The sales department lady said best offer - Rs.3500 only etc but never hinted about the service termination and their bankruptcy. I even argued that there should be pay-per-channel option as in Satellite television. Some intuition saved me from going for it. Worldspace services are also available on Airtel Digital TV.  Here is the mail from WorldSpace. 



______________________________________________

Dear customer,



On December 31, 2009, the WorldSpace satellite radio broadcast service will be terminated for all customers serviced from India.



This action is an outgrowth of the financial difficulties facing WorldSpace India’s parent company, WorldSpace, Inc., which has been under bankruptcy protection since October 2008.  The potential buyer of much of WorldSpace’s global assets has decided not to buy the WorldSpace assets relating to and supporting WorldSpace’s subscription business in India.  As a consequence, WorldSpace, Inc. must discontinue its subscriber business in India.  Your subscription contract is with WorldSpace, Inc., a US company that is in a bankruptcy proceeding in the United States.  The company recognizes that you may have paid for services to be rendered beyond the termination date, but is not in a position to offer a refund for any unused portion of your subscription.



You may have a potential remedy under the U.S. bankruptcy law. You may file a claim under the claims procedure that is intended to protect creditors of the bankrupt company.  Sometime early next year, a claim servicing company will send notice to all creditors listed by the company. In order to ensure that you receive timely notice, we would request that you send the following information by mail or email to Rakesh Raghavan at WorldSpace, Inc. headquarters in the United States.



1.        Name



2.        Address



3.        Email



4.        Subscription Account Number



5.        Date of Subscription



6.        Length of Subscription



7.        Amount paid for your current subscription



Send this information to: By email -- CustomerServiceUS@worldspace.com or by regular mail – Rakesh Raghavan, WorldSpace, Inc. 8515 Georgia AV, Silver Spring, MD 20910 USA.



Our sincere apologies for this circumstance.



s/ Robert Schmitz

Chief Restructuring Officer

WorldSpace, Inc.




Sunday, December 20, 2009

Three Exhibitions in a day

We along with family, attended thre exhibitions on the same day - all at Palace Grounds! 



Kids Festival by Times Group:  I thought it would be a good idea to buy more innovative gifts for my kid and also see what new learning aids are available. With an entry fee of Rs.30, we could not enjoy the event. There was mad rush, one row of stalls had regular stalls for kids - none of the items were worth buying. The real theme was a display of schools advertisements. All the schools of Bangalore had put their stalls. There was a talent exhibit - but there was not any interest. It was a pure business tatctics. One stall did not even give the bill. He said its not needed and he is already paying the sales tax!





Aadishilp 2009:  This was happening in the next ground. Very interesting. Its an arts and crafts exhibition. Ambience was good. There was a hut which served as an entry for the stalls. Almost all the north indian and north east state folks had displayed their products. Tamilnadu, Kerala and North Karnataka items had one stall each. Bought a shawl for my dad, some earrings, chains for my women folks.  I was interested in buying a book shelf made of wood - but that was too big to carry in the car. Finally, I bought something for myself - a pen stand made of rock elements. The North East guys told me its made of rock and no-chemicals - but I thought I would buy one to encourage them. We certainly respect such events to encourage the village folks. More than worth for the entry fee of just Rs.10/-. The organizers kept announcing that the buyers insist on bill.



Silk Expo 2009 -  This was next to the Aadishilp event; As my family members were excited to enter this, something was warning me that there could be a hole in my wallet. I was lucky that all mad-crowd were not leaving single unit of space to stand and enquire something. I directed my family to the stalls where there was not any crowd. Yes, the stalls were not worth visiting.  Finally, except for the entry fee of Rs.30/- per head we did not spend anything.



I expected the traffic from Palace Ground to JP Nagar will be hell. But it was breeze; all the signals were turning green for me and I reached my home in breeze!

JP Nagar Slum will go away



For the past ten days, our area roads were all glittering - they are tarred dark black and painted bright white for directions and road discipline - especially in most unwanted areas. Now the puzzle is solved. Mr.CM Yediyurappa was planning to visit our area for the slum upgradation related initiatives. Yes, he did. The event was just opposite to my house but I could not participate.



Here is the ad and the news report.





Indian Express News Link

BANGALORE: "There will be no slums in Bangalore in the next three to four years as more than Rs 522 crore is being spent on rehabilitating slumdwellers under the JNNURM scheme, said Yeddyurappa at the foundation stone laying ceremony to build 1,500 houses for the dwellers of Ragigudda slum in JP Nagar on Saturday."There are over 2,676 slums in the state and nearly 570 in the city and most of them will come under the same plan of rehabilitation," he said. "The Ragigudda slum that has been in existence for the past 30 years needs to be removed and the people here will get newly-built concrete houses in the same vicinity to avoid re-location," said BN Vijayakumar, Jayanagar MLA. The project that costs Rs 32.55 crore will provide basic facilities to the residents by December 2010, he said. Vijayakumar also said that the park located next to the slum would be used for building temporary sheds for the people of the slums.Bio-metric cards were issued to five women who live in the slum and the cards will ensure that they are given a house once the construction is complete.The CM said that projects worth Rs. 7,500 crore would be taken up by the government.Ministers Ashok, Katta Subramanya Naidu and Aravind Limbavali were present.

Monday, December 14, 2009

What drives us (mad)?

Stop doing what you are doing at this moment.  Are you doing something because you have a goal, a passionate about, highly desired about?  Are you doing something out of fear to avoid embarrassment, failure, or you have a boss, teacher, parent who will question you if you dont it?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

2 New Books in my shelf

Bought two new books - one is the new release and another one is international bestseller, not too new.



Discover The "Diamond" You by Arindam Chaudhuri



Richard Brandson's Losing my Virginity (The Autobiography)



I had been to Jayanagar Landmark bookshop today. Arindam's book was much hyped by Times of India. A self help book, but very plain style - I just started reading the book.  Will post a review when done.



Another one is Richard Branson's autobiography. I dont know anything of him - I am asking myself : How do I pick books?  I think I go for the autobiographies. Autobiographies have interesting stories to say.

தூக்கம் வராத போது அலை கழிக்கும் சிந்தனைகள்

தூக்கம் வரவில்லை. இரவு 2 மணியிலிருந்து கரண்ட் இல்லை. புரண்டு புரண்டு படுத்து, வேறு வழி இல்லாமல், 080-22287118 க்கு போன் செய்து விசாரித்தேன். அதே பல்லவி தான். 'சாரக்கி பவர் ஸ்டேஷன் மிக குறைவாக மின்சாரம் பெறுகிறது; பழுது பார்கிறார்கள்'. எவ்வளவு நாள் இதே கதையை சொல்லுவார்கள்?



உண்மையில் எதிர் காலத்தை நினைத்தால் தூக்கம் வரவில்லை. 



சமீபத்தில் ஏலேக்ட்ரோநிக்ஸ் சிட்டி வரை சென்று வந்தேன். எங்கும் பார்த்தாலும் புது புது அபார்ட்மென்ட் கட்டிடங்கள். கட்டியவன் கோடீஸ்வரன்; வாங்கியவன் கடனாளி. என்ன ஒரு eco system!  எத்தனை பேருக்கு லஞ்சம் காட்டி இருப்பார்கள்! எவ்வளவு விஷயங்களை compromise செய்திருப்பார்கள். அத்தனை பேரும் படித்தவர்கள். ஊழழில் படித்தவன் என்ன, படிக்காதவன் என்ன? பள்ளிகள் எல்லாம் செல்வத்தில் கொழிப்பதன் காரணம், interview ல், பெற்றோர்கள் தேர்வு ஆனது தான். pre-kg க்கு ஒரு லக்ஷம் donation. Moral science போதிக்கும் பள்ளிகளே இப்படி சுரண்டினால், உருப்படுமா இந்த சமுதாயம்?

     

இந்த நகரத்தில் உள்ள அத்தனை வசதிகளும், அத்தனை கட்டிடங்களும் லஞ்சத்தின் ஆளுமையாகவே தோன்றுகின்றன. ஒன்று nichayam - கொடுத்தவர்களும் வாங்கியவர்களும்  நிமதியாக  தூங்க  மாட்டார்கள். நான் இரண்டிலும்  இல்லை , ஆயினும் எனக்கும் தூக்கம் இல்லை. 







இந்த படம் தான் எனது சமீபத்து wallpaper. இந்த சிங்கத்தை போல என் குழந்தைக்காகவாவது விழித்திருக்க தோன்றுகிறது.

Not really a holiday

Last week of the last month of the year is going to be a long holiday after several years. But I am not going anywhere. I dont know what I will be doing. But mind keeps thinking about that week. Most of my friends have planned their holidays - but I have not.



Today, was talking to two government folks -  street lights, and road safety.  Few street lights are out of order that the chain snatchers make advantage of. The street light guy attends to it only when somone complaints. Another one is the road divider in our area - so high and unsafe for us to cross the road. The govt official says that we need to use the designated crossing areas which we dont have one. May be someone will come tomorrow to do this or understand the problem.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

இன்றைய கிரிக்கெட்

இன்றைய  கிரிக்கெட் match-fixing ஆக இருக்குமோ என்று கொஞ்சம் சந்தேகம். கிரிக்கெட் ஒரு பக்கம் மிகவும் பிடித்தமான விஷயமாகவும், இன்னொரு பக்கம் சூதாட்டமாகவும் இருக்கிறது. 20 20 மேட்ச் மொத்தம் இரண்டு. ஒன்றில் ஸ்ரீலங்கா ஜெயிக்க மற்றொன்றில் நாம் ஜெயிக்கிறோம். ஏன் மூன்று மேட்ச் இல்லை?



யுவராஜ் சிங்க் இன்று சிறப்பாக விளையாட, அது அவரது பிறந்த நாள் என்ற குறிப்பும் கொண்டாட படுகிறது. யுவராஜை பார்த்தால் நடிகர் ஜெயம் ரவி ஜாடை இருக்கிறது. கிரிக்கெட் கரு கொண்ட சினிமாவில் ஜெயம் ரவி பொருத்தமாக இருப்பார்.



பார்த்து பார்த்து கிரிக்கெட் அலுத்து விட்டது. புது வீரர்கள், புது பொலிவு வந்தால் நன்றாக இருக்கும். 

என்னை கவர்ந்த வரிகள்

தமிழ் திரைப்பட பாடல்கள் சில மிகவும் நல்ல வரிகளை கொண்டுள்ளன.  என்னை எப்பொழுதும் கவனத்தில் ஈர்க்கும் அந்த சில வரிகள்



1) படம்: அபூர்வ ராகங்கள் ; பாடல்: ஏழு ஸ்வரங்களுக்குள் எத்தனை பாடல் 

    "நமக்கென்று பூமியிலே கடமைகள் உண்டு 

     அதை நம் கையால் நமகென்று செய்வது நன்று"



2) படம்: ஸ்டார்  ; பாடல்: ரசிகா பெண் ரசிகா 

    "தேடல் விடியல் தரும்"



3) படம்: ரட்சகன்  ; பாடல்: நெஞ்சே நெஞ்சே 

    "மேற்க்கில் மறைந்தால் கிழக்கினில் உதிக்கும்"



4) படம்: புன்னகை மன்னன்  ; பாடல்: ஏதேதோ எண்ணம் வளர்த்தேன்      

    "எது வந்த போதும்; இந்த அன்பு  போதும்" 



5) படம்: புன்னகை மன்னன்  ; பாடல்: மனிதா மனிதா      



    "விழியில் வழியும் உதிரம் முழுதும் இறைவன் சரிதம் எழுதும்

      அசையும் கொடிகள் உயரும் உயரும் நிலவின் முதுகை உரசும்" 



எவ்வளவு அர்த்தம் பொதிந்த வரிகள் இவை.!  இவை அனைத்தும் வித வித உணர்வுகளை வெளிப்படுத்தும் சிறந்த வரிகள்.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Inspiring Winter Days

I donot recall when was the last time I was through such cold winter days. It does not like a holiday month. The days are too hectic, lots of happenings around.



Last weekend, I met a sincere traffic policeman who shared his mind. He does not take penalizing action when he sees someone violating the rules. Instead, he calls them to the station and advises how violations create problems.  Very young, common sense guy, aspiring to get into civil&order section from the routine traffic police job. The reason he said was he would be able to help the poor and illiterate in several disputes. He comes from a very humble family and his father was a primary school teacher. He is one inspiration for this winter.



Tiger Woods, who is still my inspiration - for his calmness and legendary at his skill.  Times Now flashed 'More Birdies in Tiger's Woods'. May be that he is a celebrity, his news are getting more publicity including that of his mother in law falling sick.



Times of India has launched Times Crest. I am yet to get a copy of it - will be talking to the newspaper guy to reserve one. Its long time wish that the newspapers like TOI do not have anything to read and digest. Times Crest is a welcome entry and TOI is good at innovating.  I wish they do something for the kids and get away with the stale, crap Bangalore Times supplements.



There are close friends whose married lives are under turbulence. These friends are very honest, have their middle class family values, and harmless. They are very technical, hard working and at the sametime live in a closed-friendship-unit.  Though its sad the marriage is failing, they are doing a balancing act.



There is another friend whom I met online after a very very long time. She is a scribe and I recall she was very active in amateur dramas those days.She runs an ezine: http://justfemme.in



There is another friend, who lives a very simple life, principle-centric, systematic, even at home.



And many more common man I come across, I only understand that people are living their dreams, they have a purpose to pursue.



And I too have few wisdom moments that flash and go back. I resolved for the new year:



a) I will 'live a book'

b) I will never create fear in anybody

c) I will never procrastinate



and much more personal goals evolving. Tony's Awaken the Giant Within deals a chapter on creating goals. I will use that as a reference guide.



Yes, Winter hurts but....read this quote:



Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Monday, November 30, 2009

Weekend That Was (29-Nov-200)

Last week, it was a heavy week workwise, that had some load on the weekend too.



I visited one of my friend's new house warming ceremony, got an opportunity to meet new friends. The apartment was very good. Bangalore is expanding in all directions. BDA owns some area, BBMP owns something else. The huge land opposite to the Ragigudda slum could have been converted to a greenery area. But the government is putting it heart and soul to convert into a money making machine.  A report says the figure Rs. 73 lakhs crores refers to the amount paid as bribe in India in the last 18 years. All that we are living and breathing in this earth have come to us because someone paid bribe. Every flat registration is going through a bribe cycle - not necessarily by the flat owner - but the building owner to the government staff and he includes it as part of the package. Should we focus on the corruption and lose our peace or focus on our family and enjoy our lives?  My neighbour is losing peace over the trouble given by another neighbour. She was depressed with the way people treat. We took her to Shirdi Sai Baba temple near to my house and she felt good about that.  We spoke about bad karma and to get rid of the people who create negative energy.  Sometimes the weather also creates mood.  Bangalore is getting unconformtably too cold that people catch depression mood. An evening home made hot crispy bajji lights up the evening mood but eating 10 pieces create chaos inside. Sapna Book House officials said they were soon opening their 6th branch in Koramangala. They are planning to invite Dr.Kalam as a guest to one of the events.  I suggested them to open a book house in JP Nagar too. There is no book shop in this area. TV reality shows are getting bad day by day.



A family friend's married life is in trouble - I am wondering how I could save it. We invite hundreds of people to the wedding ceremony but when getting separated we donot involve any. These days the trend is that its not the boy's family that creates problems; its the girl's. Seriously.



The Crest Edition of Times of India did not reach me on Saturday. I am planning to write to them for a copy. 



Next 3 weeks are going to be very hectic. Looking forward for interesting and inspiring days ahead.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In Gossip Mood



I wonder why do people gossip. Last week, somehow I caught in theme of 'gossips'. Some of my friends always carried gossips - and latest updates of celebrities that I would hear without blinking. I would liked a film actor or actress, but my friend would immediately share something that make me think the actor was no more worth 'celebrity'. Some of the friends had that 6 degrees of separation (see link). They lived in the area where the celebrities lived; or friend's friends would have contacts in the celebrities circle.  Also, weekly magazines like Vikatan (இதை படிக்காதீங்க முதல்ல) and குமுதம் (16 பக்கம் பர பர)  always carried a column "Do not read this" .  Above all investigative journals also have plenty of news about corrupted politicians. The website http://www.thatstamil.com is one website that carry gossips which are mostly true.My gossip gene is activated that makes me believe no one is great.



Additional Reading

Why do people gossip?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Birthday

Today is Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Birthday. I did not remember this. But while I was reading an article (The Speaking Tree) in TOI, I just recalled that today is Bhagwan's birthday. Today I went to my office in a different campus and in the meeting team someone had 'snacks' on the meeting room table. Later someone offered me saying 'Today is Saibaba's birthday; take sweets'. It was a pleasant surprise to me and felt blessed.



I have many friends who are great devotees of Sai Baba; they also do social service as part of Sai Baba's mission.



During my childhood, I had a dream wherein I saw Baba in his white dress (which he wears only on Shivarathiri, I guess). I was coming down in a building's footsteps and was seeing Baba about to get into a black car.



After several years, I saw Baba in person in 2007 in his ashram in Puttaparthi. He was a bright personality and when his wheel chair went around, the entire crowd obeyed like anything. There were chants, Bhajans, etc. The whole environment was very divine.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Complex Questions



I asked 'complex' questions to mom:



Q:What is inferiority complex?

Mom:  Thinking low of oneself





Q:What is superiority complex?

Mom:  Thinking high of oneself



Q:What is shopping complex?

Mom:  Thinking .....

Sunday (22 Nov 2009)



This morning, I had been waiting next JSS College, Jayanagar to meet somebody.  There was a big crowd waiting for a training event. It was a training session for marketing aspirants. All the aspirants tried to look professional - some wearing dull, old trousers, some in suits, some in french beard, some too professional, some very native, some always on phone, a team-lead like person surrounded by set of 'dull' people and finally there was a car where the executive driver was on his cellphone as he drove. It was interesting to watch so many people at the same time.



Afternoon was as usual - not so inspiring.



Meanwhile my kid her smashed her little finger while slamming the door and she was very cranky about it.  Then after a long time, I had a 1 hour chat with my family doctor Dr. VS in my native. We spoke a lot of topics: EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Books, our past time activity LBP (Little Birds Park) and every day practices.



Evening Raj Tv was broadcasting Idhayathai Thirudaadhae, a masterpiece by Manirathnam. I watched some part of it. Then we went to 9th block to buy some medicine, while returning a 2 wheeler came in the wrong direction and bruised against my car. We went to Saibaba temple with family and back home

Forces that rule us



I am struck by the thought we are ruled by certain forces: Religious, Spiritual and Inner Forces.



Religious forces - These are man made and what made sense in some context is senseless for the rest of the ages. But the followers take religion as their identity and live and die for it.  We have certainly control over these forces.



Spiritual forces - Spiritual is not same as God. May be its opposite. I believe in spiritual forces that do the weave the entire world. Nobody would have thought of the electricity till we saw the electric forces in action. Electric force is invisible, cannot be felt, but it activates. Same with spiritual force. That's exactly is God. God does not wear colourful dress and a crown, with garlands, and bunch of sweets and fruits in front of him. I find it absurd why I am still stuck there. We have certainly control over these forces.



Inner Forces -  All our inner forces - good and bad - results of our thoughts, experiences, hormone activities - low and high, lifestyle,  something which we can streamline with lots of discipline.  My dream of dead fishes have no relevance until I really understand the reason. We have certainly control over these forces.



See, we have control over all these forces. Life is to live.

Busy Saturday (21 Nov 2009)



I could only yawn with Airtel announcing 60p roaming charges and other telecom news where mobile number portability can happen for just Rs.13.  I went to Airtel to convert one of the postpaid connections to prepaid. But decided to retain for some more time after understanding what the other telecom players will bring in. I also enquired about Airtel's plans for wireless broadband. Looks like Airtel will unveil new packages sometime by December end giving competition to Reliance and Tata Indicomm. (But I will never encourage going to Tata Indicomm's internet services no matter what. I have enough bad experiences with them)



Call police (100) to complain about the roadside pirated CD sales and books sales on the Jayanagar 3rd Block. The lady attender spoke kannadish English and asked repeated questions on details. She said she would immediately send the police to take action. I waited in shade for about 15 minutes to check if police was coming. I called her again and got a docket number. Yet to check the status.  The piracy is happening in the city even when the police is doing rounds on the road!  There is one in front of the Airtel office, Jayanagar.  Is any public bothered to inform?  I saw more learned, educated folks buying the 'best seller' books and the CDs.



Airtel cable laying guys had dug a huge pit on the footpath in front of an apartment. A car which usually parked on the footpath fell into it. I was happy that he would never park on the footpath again. But what about the pedestrians. I followed up with Airtel, Corporation...the pit was open for two days. I logged a complaint on BBMP's new website Spandana(see link), and also followed with JP Nagar executive engineer. The pit is temporarily filled.  After several followups, I could also reach the Airtel engineer Velu. He was not apologestic but was full of excuses and justified that he had filled the pit temporarily due to rain. I asked him why he first of all dug it when there was rain. He claimed he was the boss. Wondering how to take this issue further. These people lack sense.



My traffic police friends have made the footpath very clean that BBMP vehicles are not parked there any more.



The 9th Cross road has been now dumped with stones for road laying, a sign that some contractor has grown rich by several lakhs. There is also a lot of silt dump on the side road, an "intelligent" by the corporation done only during the rainy days. (They dump all the filth into the drainage regularly. And then get separate budget to desilt or reconstruct a drainage)





The day coincided with "Anniyan" movie on the TV where in the hero confesses "I get angry on every small wrong practices in the society".



The previous night I had a dream where I saw "a bowl full of Sambhar floating with dead fishes; How much ever I fished them out, I always saw more fishes. Someone had neglected those fishes while tapping the water".  I told my mom about the dream, she said that I was going to make a lot of money.  But dream interpretation guide warns me of "loss of wealth through dire calamity"  (see link).  I will post the results no matter what :-)



My 7-year old nephew Avaneesh at Delhi is not well that he is down with Typhoid for the past few days. I am hoping that he would recover soon and back to his mischievousness.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Visit to Nandi Hills, Forum Mall

While I snoozed the 5.30 am alarm, I could only get up at 6.30 am. Dad reminded me that I had to be in office at 7 am. I got fresh and waited for other friends to join at office.

80 Kmph at 4th Gear drive to Nandi Hills: We had planned for Nandi Hills this morning. It was my first visit and first drive to Nandi Hills. I never tried at highest gear on the highways road. My friends guided me as I drove;  one vehicle driver advised me what should I do if I planned to drive slowly. Another one applied a sudden brake while I was wondering where to deviate. Good that he did not abuse at me as I he had to take a u-turn and I had to go straight. But while returning, I decided to go full speed, while I peaked 120 kmph, traffic police caught me for speeding with a fine of Rs.300. I asked the police to prove me that I have sped beyond 80 kmph. I got a demonstration of the video is being analyzed: my car video showed 89 kmph. Then there was a joke on me that I have mastered the driving that even police issued speeding ticket!





Nandi Hills: Though we started at 7.30, even at 9.30 we were still driving. Its far, far, and finally we reached. Everyone was hungry, we munched some cucumber and some snacks. Monkeys galore, one monkey managed to get a snacks pack from us. It was foggy all over. We walked; we saw mention of Tipu Sultan's place every where but we didnt have clue of what Tipu's relevance was. The place reminded of Kodaikaanal, a very popular hill station near Madurai (Tamil Nadu). We reached a restaurant where we had egg omlet and noodles. Then we visited the temple and we drove back. I did not expect there will be so much crowd. It was a good experience in all.  The maintenance of the area can be still improved. Toilets, Restaurants, Temple surroundings, protection from monkeys etc are some of them. We also did not have mobile signals working, it was too bad that I could not tweet!



Forum Mall:  We managed to reach Forum mall for lunch around 2.30 pm. We all were hungry. We had a good lunch and a lot of chat. After that, we went to Landmark; it was crowd every where. Every visitor in the shop was buying something; Even the book section was flooded with visitors. Eric and I shared a gift book for each other.



Then I dropped my friends at their locations and returned back home. I would like to drop dead at bed but before that had a shower (that I failed to have this morning), had dinner and some time with my kid before I wrote this blog.  Its time for bed; hope I will not have any Monday blues!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Some Common Expressions

Some common expressions among our public - have you noticed them?



Talking to foreigners:  Our guys look into the face of the foreigners with a wide smile (as though very happy). Whatever the foreigners say we laugh wide because its the easy thing to do. Our guys always smile like Lord Vishnu throughout the conversation.



Girls on mobile:  The girls walking on the road use their mobiles as a companion. They walk like robotic without minding who looks at them, and what they are supposed to look at: the roadcross, traffic signal.

Two famous models



I am recently noticing two models and artists being the attraction on the television and ads. One is Rukmini Vijayakumar and another is Divya Parameshwar.   Rukmini has acted in tamil film பொம்மலாட்டம் (Bommalattam) and Divya has been appearing on various ads the recent being Hamaam. Rukmini is a classical dancer and also has a website.  Divya's ads are very famous including the 3 Roses Ad, Kalamandir, Hamaam etc.

Its My Saturday (14-Nov-20009)

Today is my in-laws 29th wedding anniversary. We had planned to visit Raja Rajeshwari Temple. This temple is close to my inlaws hearts always - reason provided later in the blog. The traffic on the road was better but the roadsense of our people are not better. Pedestrians, 2-wheelers, autos, tempos - almost everybody used some logic or no logic to interfere on somebody's path.

The Banshankari's roads have steeps and lows that learners will sure to find it difficult to drive.

The Raja rajeshwari's temple, like a developing city, is undergoing gopuram work. A board boasted of 5 crores investment for the gopuram development. I was thinking 'wow' but isnt there a commercial behind it? Does India, especially South India  need so many temples and adoration for temples?  When I visit certain temples, I donot get instant bhakthi. I certainly moved from religious to spiritual. Good theme for another blog entry.



There were two or three displays requesting to switch off the mobiles. But, I could hear the familiar Airtel tune from one of the pujari's cell.



My in-laws belong to Pattamangalam, an under developed remote village, 70 kms away from Madurai. The village remains under developed, because several people from village are working in the other countries like Singapore, Dubai, Malaysia. The Raja Rajeshwari temple's architecture, sculptures are the hand works of the sculptors from Pattamanagalam. This is #1 reason why in-laws regard this close to heart. Another reason is some of the pujari's are known to my inlaws and my father.



We got a special entry. Why do temples give special entries? My father started a social networking by giving references to various other uncles and aunties that made the pujari very happy.



Inside the temple's campus, there is a water tank where people throw coins and currencies. There are also peacocks, love birds, rabbits, parrots that attract the kids. But plenty of water is being wasted inside through leaking water tubes and tanks are being cleaned. A lots of polythene bags are being used for prasadam's. Can Goddess Raja Rajeshwari help in saving Mother Nature?  We also visited Nimishamba temple.



Afternoon, solar water heater marketing person visited me. He did not have better plan for provisioning solar water heaters for the entire apartment. We did not want the water heater to occupy the terrace space. We have asked for a proposal so that the space and aesthetics are taken care.



I also spoke to my new traffic police friends regarding the footpath encroachments. They were too busy with weekend traffics.  (Its 200% coincidence: Mr.Anilkumar messaged me just now that one goods-auto parked on the footpath has been removed and taken to police station). Read my previous blog entry.

My colleague called me to say that tomorrow we would visit and one of the resorts on the BIA (Bangalore International Airport) road to spend time with our customer.



Just received Ananta Vikatan. (Planning to review Vikatan and Kumudham starting this week) 





Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bangalore Traffic Police

I call the Police Central Complaints from my mobile by dialing - 100.  A lady always responds with 'Namaste Sir...Bangalore Police Central Complaints...".  The call attender speaks very gently, listens to us, and promise action.





I recently read in Traffic Police Commissioner Mr.Praveen Sood saying that the 2 wheelers would not be stopped for mere document checking.  But we still a lot of police stop 2 wheelers for document checking. Last saturday, I thought of talking to one of the traffic inspector directly.  Near JP Nagar 2nd Phase, I went and asked what were they checking for. There was kannada-speaking-uncle police who could not understand my English. There was another fresher-police carrying Blackberry (tech savvy!) in his hand. They clarified all the tempos and autos without uniforms would be penalized; and two wheeler riders without helmets.  Many vehicles took diversion the moment they saw the police.





Recently, I had logged a complaint on the traffice police website on foot path encroachment (near Diwakars Hospital) by the corporation vehicles. [The BBMP executive engineer Mr.Krishna Kumar had already clarified that those vehicles belong to BBMP contractor and he would not take any responsibility.]  There was not any response to my online complaint. Today, one Mr.Mari Gowda from JP Nagar Traffic police called me and said he would like to take action on those vehicles. I asked him to contact me in the evening. One Mr.Anil Kumar, a young police called me and had visited the site. I clarified the details to him over phone. He was very gentle over phone and promised removal of these vehicles by tomorrow after confirming with BBMP.



I will certainly write an appreciation letter to his senior officials, if that happens.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cake Mixing Ceremony



Yesterday I was invited for a Cake Mixing Ceremony in the Hotel S.  Very few outsiders and more participation from the hotel chef's, headed by the President of the hotel, we had fun. We were offered 'chef cap' and glouses. Then cherry, dry fruits were spreaded on the table. Then we were asked to drop few silver coins on the heap. Then we poured wine and started kneading the mix. This mix will remain soaked in a can till the Christmas and goes for a cake preparation. It was a fun experience.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bangalore Book Festival 2009

I had been to the much awaited Bangalore Book Festival 2009 yesterday. For the first time, I had taken my entire family and they certainly enjoyed. I determined not to buy any English books as I can buy them as well from FlipKart.com for a good discount.  My plan was to buy Tamil books as I would get them for a discount of 10%.  My family picked the most of the books. I got an opportunity to interact with Flipkart folks and shared my feedback. Apart from that we also bought several small books for my kid. I will be adding the purchased books details in my online library catalogue.



I am not sure if I would visit them again today or next week.



I am also eagerly waiting for the Strand Book Festival that is expected around Nov 26th or so near Chaluyka Hotel.



Related News

News in Indian Express

DNA India

Times of India

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Education is getting costlier

It is disheartening to note that our education system is getting costlier day by day. Right from an application form for Rs.500 to donation of Rs.1 lakh for a pre-kg admission, the cost of education right from the childhood is ever increasing.

The schools always have justification like 'building fund', 'charity donation' or 'education society' but I do not think it should be enforced on a public. All the interviews are mere eyewash; its based on the parents educational and earning background, seats are allowed.

On the other hand, the standard of the government schools, their education system, the logistics and every thing in bad shape.

If we do not control this now, one thing would lead to another and put a question mark in our value system.

I have written to the President of India, hoping for response and some action

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A brief road incident

Yesterday, I was to about slow down my car when a scotter overtook and paused before me. There was just few inches between us. I honked and alerted the scotter guys. The one sitting back mimicked a road rage. I took the car close to him and told the rider ' If I have not controlled my slowing movement, I would have probably hit him'. His friend still wanted to show some aggressiveness and screamed 'yeah we know'. I still maintained my cool and said 'Now you are able talk. You could not have done, if you were dead'. He then said 'sorry'.



That was end of the story.



Next time, I would tell such guys 'I also were like you in your age. But I wanted to tell you I have lost some friends who had craze for thrill and speed'. Lets see if they would change.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forthcoming Blog Posts



Ten years back, one of my colleagues asked me a question on some topic which I would never knew the answer. I asked her how she knew I would have the answer. She said that I was able to talk on any subject.



May be I pretend to know everything. May be that we live in an information world, we have on us dust of everything. I will you some truth: there is no universal truth; the world is only a complex web of views.



With that note, I want to commit to myself on few blog topics in the coming days:



  • Six Degrees of Separation


  • Why Life is Cricket?


  • The inconsistent BESCOM


  • How weight loss program works


  • Migrating from TOI to DNA


  • Lief: Divorces, Old Age Homes



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Online Book Shops



By the way, a mini disclaimer. Its just a coincidence that I write on few websites these days. Recently, I have been frequenting Flipkart.com but have not purchased anything yet.



I have purchased books through firstandsecond.com, rediff, indiatimes and fabmall extensively in the past. I also have received books through Citibank's loyalty points. (Want to share a bad experience here: For a book of worth Rs.96, Citibank took 250 points from my account. They even said 1 point equals 1 Re. but they could not justify how 250 equals 96). 



Many online websites review that Flipkart is similar to Amazon. But I find Flipkart's costs are dead cheap. I get my books from Sapna Books, Books Paradise, Landmark, Crossword, through office library and other book exhibitions. Landmark which never had a discounted sale (probably not realizing the competition from the locals?), recently is running a discount sale.



Next month, we can also expect a discount sale in Palace Grounds followed by one in Strand. 



Flipkart is the online website that provides very discount. No shipping charges!  I am planning to try their services.



Also read:

Interview with Flipkart Founder Binny Bansal

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cancer and Great Lives

For the past few years I have been seeing or hearing of cancer cases in friends families. All that I learnt about cancer was a painful experience, chemotherapy, losing hair, thinning body and finally death. During childhood days, the cancer was primarily a cinema plot element.



Some friends' parents losing their lives.I am sure for the future generation, they would certainly will have a scientific solution for cancer. Recent days Cyberknife as a new technology (Robotic Radio Surgery system) is known to be available in Bangalore. I hope there are free services for the poor.



Today morning, I was reading Jiddu Krishnamurthy's biography (The book I have is this).

He was one of the greatest philosophers of the century who died of cancer. My spiritual guru Bhagawan Ramana Maharishi too died of cancer. I was wondering if there is something that can be attributed to great personalities and cancer?



I asked myself. I asked the internet God - Google.  I came across this website: http://www.katinkahesselink.net/other/shearman14.html



A question which is sometimes asked about the occurrence of cancer is why cancer seems so often to attack people of outstanding and saintly character and exceptional wisdom. The cases of Sri Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi or J. Krishnamurti, and many others, are cited. The thought that comes to mind is that these were people who were nearing the end of a phase of human life and were soon to enter upon a higher quality of existence. A new adjustment of forces had to be made and a final "balancing of the books" had to take place before they were liberated into a higher and more completely fulfilling quality of living. A "dweller on the threshold" had finally to be met at that particular entrance into a new life.

It seems reasonable to imagine that as advanced individuals move on into the next stage of evolution, and the interplay between individual personal self and the greater Self achieves effective harmony, and duality yields to unity, then the sort of adjustment that finds its expression in cancer will no longer be necessary.

Not really answering my query...but I have something to ponder about.



Home Design Websites

I came across two websites today which are really good to browse through for our ideas.One is Apartment Therapy and  Loving, Living, Small



Unbeleivable collection of information on both these websites that inspires to put these ideas into action. I need a weekend to read the pages.



3 months from now, I would put all the good ideas in these sites to good use.  Decorating the walls with colourful posters, framed photos, decorating the walls with books, will make our small living space a lovable one too.



I will sure post a photo of the changes I have done in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Google Books

Google Books is a great gift to the book lovers. I guess it recently introduced the Full View option where in one would be able to read the entire book. Many features of Google makes us hooked onto the Internet. I am linking to a book just a test.



Monday, October 19, 2009

Unfair Criticisms

This article is dedicated to someone close to me.



Every day is not the same day. Most of the days are just average. Some days are great. Some days are 'bad days' because someone is screwing up our lives. One common thing that puts most of us is 'Unfair Criticisms'.



First thing is do not react but respond. Let it reach your brain and be there and not reach further to your heart. That gives you control to respond than react.  When you react to someone, you are actually vulnerable! When you respond, you are certainly in control.



I recall Buddha's story where someone abuses him verbally with offending words. Buddha said something like 'If I dont accept a gift, it does not belong to me. Same way, I dont accept you words, so you take it back'.  Getting the message?  Buddha responded.



Second thing is analyze the situation.  It is possible that the other person has misunderstood. If there is an opportunity to clarify, please do so.



Third thing is IgnoreTraffic on the road puts people on rage and they accuse whoever they see the next person. We all are part of the traffic, we together created the traffic, but one passerby will raise his fingers against us expressing his rage.  If we also shout, we lose our peace of mind and spoil our day. Helpless people, powerless people do so - just ignore.





Last thing - probably - an important one. Does the situation make you strong or weak?  Do you beat yourself because someone hurted you? Or Did you keep yourself in control exercising all your wisdom, your learnings, being an exemplary, role model for others. Its a wonderful situation to pass through. If there are waves, learn to sail through them - do not drown.  The plants that stand the strong winds grow to be trees; the rest fall.



So, my friend, unfair criticisms make us strong!

Now think of the troubling situation - are you still going red on the situation?  Re-read it my friend.



And I forgot to tell you, I love the phrase "This too shall pass".  Its a wonderful phase I am pondering over for the past two days. Will write blog on this very soon.

3 Day Diwali Weekend

It was the last slot of long weekend holidays of the year. Diwali!   During my childhood days, Diwali days were very active. My dad used to set the crackers around 4 am in the morning. After getting ready, I, my sister Girija, and my dad used to go for a long walk watching how people burst crackers. That was in Bhavani, Erode Dt. We used to buy all the 'Diwali malars'  especially Vikatan Diwali malars.



As I grew, the 'Green' conscious bit me and I never encourage crackers in any form. But being a dad for an adamant kid is not easy - my kid has a peer-pressure to burn crackers; she gets some sparkling ones and my parents help her with it.



The Diwali special programmes on Tv

have become very common and nothing special. I went to my Raakhi sister's house and spent good time with her family.



Sunday morning was very boring without newspapers.  I could get my car battery replaced. My wife won the 2nd prize for Rangoli competition. Late evening, we had an apartment dinner party which was very fun-filled and good networking.



Today morning, went to Landmark, bought some good books like 2 States by Chetan Bhagat, Tribes by Seth Godin, Code Name God, and A New Earth.



I also want to mention that I have an online books catalog: http://www.gurulib.com/diyasg 



I activated my Mobile-Bluetooth headset usage. I want to make myself and my home more geeky with useful gadgets - so doing some research on it. My search for a bookshelf idea still haunts me.



I also updated my Twitter account so as to post my Tweets (what's a Tweet?) from my mobile.  In India, only Airtel supports it. (How Airtel supports Twitter?)





Another surprise is Discovery Channel has now Tamil feed. I wish all the useful channels do so.



Long time back, I had bought two dumbbells for exercise purpose. Its time to put them to good use (no, not to the second shop:-) ) . There are a lot of good YouTube videos on how to do workouts with dumbbells. Please checkout. I will post my results in a future blog.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Life on Batteries

Yesterday was a unique day for me with the batteries going dead.



Car Battery: I gave a car pooling to two of my colleagues. After dropping them, looks like one of the doors were not closed properly. After 6-7 hours, I came down to start my car only to learn that the car battery was dead. I got a local support and got the car started with a message "Donot stop it at signals".  It did stop in two points and I was able to start. But I sure reached home safely. After switching off the engine and I just tested if it would start. It didnt. After several hours of research, I realize its time to replace the battery.



Intercom Battery:  As I reached the car parking, I noticed some repair work was going inside the electrical room. The security said the intercom

UPS had gone bad due to the recent power trip in our apartment transformer.



Laptop Battery:  The Laptop battery would not last for more especially in wireless mode. I was working in the evening at home with a "Do not disturb" status in the IM. The power turned villain. There was a load shedding in our area, especially on the eve of Diwali. At the brink of completing the work, the battery went down and the laptop shutdown.



Mobile Battery: Right from the beginning of the day, my mobile battery was inching down. I was worried that it may go zero anytime. Fortunately, the power came for me to recharge.





Mind-Body Battery:  It was a hectic day for me and I was tired physically and mentally. The crackers smoke also was causing tiredness. Beyond a point, I could not stay and went to sleep along with my kid. But still Diya wanted a Dora story. I had a very deep sleep that I woke up at 8 am for Diwali.



For sure, life is on batteries.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Aravind Eye Hospital

We Indians should be very proud of having our own 'self-sustained', non-profit hospital - Aravind Eye Hospital for their commitment for our society. We had Dr.Namperumalsamy, the Director of Aravind Eye Hospital today in our campus. The hospital was started by Dr.V (Dr.Venkatasamy) with the help of his family members who are still committed. They have a great value system wherein they get the fund through the affordable. They also mobilize the hospital to villages and serve the poor. They are doing 3000 surgeries per year and 40% of surgeries done in TamilNadu are done by them. Their focus on quality, commitment, service mindset for humankind, operating model - is something nobody can match. I will update this post soon with more details.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dignity Foundation

My neighbour Ms.Leela Venkatadri introduced me to Mr.Jayaprakash who is the Director of Dignity Foundation. Very soft spoken, Mr.Jayaprakash visited my home. He briefly introduced about his organization. Dignity Foundation is a NGO and has been supporting many lives. Ms.Leela used to talk about this NGO very frequently. Prior to this, Mr.Jayaprakash has been with Raj TV. His commitment to serve the society is highly commendable.



The Bangalore Chapter website link has some problem that I could not open: So, I accessed the cache page from Google. I will post my understanding of Dignity Foundation in the future blogs. For more information, please visit their website.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Safer Neighborhood

Its everybody's responsibility to make our neighbourhood a safer one.



Opposite to my apartment, on a street corner, borewell has been dug but not covered.  This was dug almost 4 months back with the dust and smoke spreading all over. Even after so many days of digging, the borewell remained at the road surface level. Our road is slopy, and whoever walks on this flooding road will fall into this pit. I gave the Asst Engg Mr.Krishnakumar yesterday as a deadline. As it was not completed,

today I left him a reminder message. My family updated me in the late evening, they saw someone working to cover it.



Second instance was when I saw a lorry carrying two huge rocky stones on the Bannerghatta Road. The stones were not flat, not supported and were slightly moving on either side to the lorry's movement. My car and another colleague's car were close to it. It was scary to follow. After reaching office, the first thing I did was to call up 100 from my mobile (I just learnt today that I can call 3 digit emergency numbers from mobile) and the police attended to my call. I gave all the details except the registration number as the number plate was covered with mud and dust.



We see 2 wheelers carrying rods in a unsafe manner, lorries carrying long iron rods, open lorries carrying debris, garbage collection vans spreading the dumps (and disease) all over.



This blog entry is ready to create an awareness that its everybody's responsibility to bring every such issues to the authorities notice.

அமுதே தமிழே

I am listening to one song in the car repeatedly, repeatedly அமுதே தமிழே, அழகிய மொழியே, எனதுயிரே. This is a beautiful song from a movie called கோயில் புறா.





After listening to the song, I am so touched and my heart melted at the music, voice, lyrics and there is a divinity in that song. I tried singing the line "சுகம் பல தரும் தமிழ்  பா";

It took so much time for me to memorize this simple line. And another line "என் கனவும் நினைவும் இசையே இசையிருந்தால் மரணமேது". What  a confident singing!  This song is a great praise of the Tamil language. I mentioned about the divinity. There is a great devotion in the singing. The lyrics and music complement so well. You need not be a 'music scientist' to appreciate this song, but this song will simply mesmirize you. 



From the various websites, I understand the ragaa of this song is ரசிக ரஞ்சனி (What a name!)







I searched for more information about this song; so, I provide more references here.

Singer Chinmayee's blog talks about this song



http://www.ilaiyaraja.com/Raja/Tamil_Movie_Classical_Raja_1.asp 



There are two other songs in which he has deleted both Ni and Ma in chakravaagam. I don't think that such a raga exists in carnatic music with any known name. Those two songs are "amudhae thamizhae" (kovil pura), and "nila kuyilae" (magudi). They are simply excellent. One should be an artist and play those songs to know their quality. Amudhae thamizhae starts like Sa Ri Ga,Sa Ri Ga, Sa Ri Ga Pa Ga Ri Sa, Sa Ri Sa Da Sa...Pulamai Pithan's lyrics glorified that song. In the charanam he says, if you listen to and speak Thamizh, " Oon mezhugai urugum, athil ulagam karainthu pogum", such is the beauty of this language! One cannot write any better,about the greatness of Thamizh language.  





LYRICS OF THE SONG 

Film - Koyil pura

Song - Amuthey tamizhey

Singers - P. Suseela &  Uma Ramanan

Music - Ilayaraja 



அமுதே  தமிழே  அழகிய  மொழியே  எனதுயிரே 

சுகம்  பல  தரும்  தமிழ்ப்  பா 

சுவையோடு  கவிதைகள்  தா 

தமிழே  நாளும்  நீ  பாடு 



தேனூறும்  தேவாரம்  இசைப்  பாட்டின்  ஆதாரம் 

தமிழிசையே  தனியிசையே  தரணியிலே  முதலிசையே 

ஊன்  மெழுகாய்  உருகும்  கரையும்  அதில்  உலகம்  மறந்து  போகும் 

பூங்குயிலே என்னோடு  தமிழே  நாளும்  நீ  பாடு 



பொன்னல்ல பூவல்ல பொருளல்ல செல்வங்கள் 

கலைபலவும்  பயிலவரும்  அறிவுவளம்  பெருமை  தரும் 

என்  கனவும்  நினைவும்  இசையே  இசையிருந்தால்  மரணமேது 

என்  மனதில்  தேன்  பாய  தமிழே  நாளும்  நீ  பாடு 





Tamil friends, please listen to this song, share this with your family and friends, teach this song to your kids and those who want to improve their tamil pronounciation.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Gandhi's views on Diwali

Today I came across a website named Gandhi Serve which has documented everything Mahatma Gandhi has written or spoken. It hosts a wealth of information; Its an amazing collection of articles in the PDF format. Its a great source for anyone who wants to read and understand Mahatama Gandhi. Students and parents should visit this site to get all the useful message. 





TRUE HOLIDAY-MAKING

Young India, 25-10-1928

A correspondent invites me to warn those who care against turning during the forthcoming Divali holidays good money into fireworks, bad sweets and unhygienic illuminations. I heartily respond.

If I had my way I should have people to do housecleaning and heart cleaning and provide innocent and instructive amusements for children during these days. Fireworks I know are the delight of children, but they are so because we the elders have habituated them to fireworks. I have not known the untutored African children wanting or appreciating fireworks. They have dances instead. What can be better or healthier for children than sports and picnics to which they will take not bazaar-made sweets of doubtful value but fresh and dried fruit? Children both rich and poor may also be trained to do house-cleaning and whitewashing themselves. It will be something if they are coaxed to recognize the dignity of labour if only during holidays to begin with. But the point I wish to emphasize is that at least a part, if not the whole, of the money saved by doing away with

fireworks, etc., should be given to the cause of khadi, or if that is anathema, then to any other cause in which the poorest are served. There cannot be greater joy to men and women young and old than that they think of and associate the poorest of the land with them in their holidays.

Reference





 The Hindustan Times, 

23-10-1946



Gandhiji said that a correspondent had drawn his attention to the fact that he had said nothing against illuminations at Diwali in his message on Monday. It was an accidental omission. He had been opposed to illuminations even in the olden days when there was no food shortage. To burn oil or ghee today when there was not enough to eat was unthinkable. Real India did not reside in cities like Delhi. It resided in the seven lakhs of villages. For the hungry and naked villagers there could be no Diwali illuminations or any other kind of festivity. It was their duty to abstain and save all the ghee, oil and money they could.

Reference

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bangalore Central Mall

The Mantri Mall next to Woodys and opposite to Big Bazaar will be open for Bangalore Central Mall sooner. Already, the building is setup with colourful displays and logos. Will this new mall be a competition to Big Bazaar? May not. Both the balls are from the same group: Pantaloon Retails which has malls all over. But more traffic is for sure. The mall is located in space of 3 lakhs sq ft.  Not sure when this will be opened - Easy guess - Diwali, else it could be Rajyotsava.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Manivannan, IAS Interview

This entry is a reproduction of Mr.Manivannan's interview from Times of India.





He has a reputation for being a taskmaster. But that, and a touch of humility, have allowed Mysore deputy commissioner P Manivannan to earn the respect he commands

H M Aravind | TNN





    Last May in Mysore, during the assembly elections, there was someone the politicians feared more than even the voter: P Manivannan, the deputy commissioner of the district. Marshalling a phalanx of men and machinery — 12 control rooms, 130 mobile stations and 20,000 people — the heat he turned on erring netas was much hotter than that of the peak summer sun.





    In the two months leading up to elections, he slapped case after case against violators of the code of conduct, seized Rs 1.25 crore in cash and generally ensured that malpractices were checked.



    His writ cut across party lines. Manivannan acted against both H D Deve Gowda and B S Yeddyurappa, seizing vehicles plying without permission. Another time, when on night beat, he heard that a BJP supporter had been caught with wads of currency notes. He rushed to the spot and affixed his signature to be a witness in the case, something unheard of till then. The 1998 batch IAS officer modestly refuses to take credit for the poll success. “It is team work,” he asserts.



    Manivannan has a fabulous back story. His father Ponnaiah — a strict disciplinarian — was the first to be educated in his family. Says the son, “Some among Dalit communities in southern Tamil Madu still own land and my father was one such. He went to school but was not allowed to attend college.” An enraged Ponnaiah left the village, settled in Madurai and joined the Indian Railways and resolved his kids would do what he couldn’t. Of his five sons, three became engineers and two doctors.



    Ponnaiah spent 50 per cent of his salary on books, ‘our window to the world’. The day he got his salary, he used to take kids shopping for books and in the process built a library of 60,000 books. Manivannan grew up reading these books at home in Srirangam. There was a timetable at home too. A topper, he opted for chemical engineering as he wanted to be a missile scientist. Some time into the course at Regional Engineering College, Trichy, he figured that it had nothing to do with propellant technology! His avid interest in defence technologies made him look at NDA and DRDO. Fortuitously, he fell ill, which, he believes, ‘is the turning point in my life’.



    He started work with a Chennai-based group and in 1994 accepted a SAIL offer to go to Bokaro because ‘I had never gone outside Tamil Nadu’. His days at Bokaro made him think about the civil services ‘because to change something you got to be at the top’. Though he was offered his parent state, he opted for the common roster and came to Karnataka. Reason? “I felt in my parent state, I can never be neutral.”



    Bokaro, however, will always have a sweet spot in his heart. That’s where he met his wife Vandhana Chouhan, an IIT Delhi grad from UP, who was also working there. Manivannan attributes all the finesse he’s acquired to her. “She remodeled me. The Manivannan you see now is because of my wife,” he says, a broad smile splitting his face. They met in 1998. “I was impractical then. She taught me mannerisms and worldly things. Imagine, I never pressed my clothes those days. I washed and wore them!” he grins.



    Such niceties apart, Manivannan has a reputation for being a hard taskmaster. Some of his public strictures haven’t gone down too well with some officials. He is neither unaware nor apologetic about it. “I am a little strict with officers. That is because we are occupying somebody else’s place. We have a responsibility,” he says.



    There’s also a softer side to his personality. At Hubli-Dharwad, when he was leading the demolition drive, a senior engineering official went on a long leave. Manivannan punished him but also helped solve the engineer’s family problem. The latter’s daughter had married a boy from another community and was ex-communicated. Later, when expecting a child, she had wanted to meet her mother. When Manivannan learnt of it, he took the girl with him to her house knowing that the engineer would not deny him entry.



    Today at Jalasannidhi, the over 100-yearold colonial bunglow where he lives alone as his wife and their five-year old son Amogh live in Bangalore, he’s up at 6 am. After a couple of hours devoted to workout, meditation, newspapers and a glass of ragi amblee (gruel) and fruits for breakfast, he’s work ready. He returns home late in the night and browses through files. Net-savvy, he browses for an hour to stay updated with armed forces news and reads about astronomy and functioning of the brain, his two favourite pastimes. “My midnight walks make my staff think I am a ghost,” he laughs. Sky-gazing is also included in his list of favourites.



    He readily admits a negative: “I take decisions fast”. It’s something that’s landed him in trouble sometimes in a politically and culturally active place like Mysore. Like the launch of Karnataka’s first sound-and-light show at Mysore Palace, which was put on hold owing to a controversy surrounding its script.



    With a 25-year career ahead of him, Manivannan believes the learning curve never stops. That every educated person should teach others. That’s why every Thursday, he’s at office quite early, teaching a batch of 15 UPSC aspirants how to ace the exam.



WHAT DOES HE DO?

As deputy commissioner, he is in-charge of Mysore district’s law and order and development projects. He is also in charge of JNNURM projects. He is chief of MUDA and heads Karnataka Exhibition Authority. Mysore Palace is under his control.







POSTING ENJOYED

I’ve liked all postings till now. But maybe my one-year stint at Karnataka State Pollution Control Board was more fun because I worked with engineers.



QUOTE UNQUOTE

“I came into the limelight for demolition work at Hubli-Dharwad. I would rather people remember me for constructive work. ’’



STRESS BUSTER

Going to villages and meeting people. It is our interaction with the public that will help us understand their problems and concerns. I want to stay in villages and plan to take a sabbatical for that.



RECENT READING

Aravinda Adiga’s The White Tiger