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 but have not purchased anything yet.

I have purchased books through, 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:

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: 

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 

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.  


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. 


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.


 The Hindustan Times, 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


Aravinda Adiga’s The White Tiger

Inspiring officer Manivannan, IAS

Mr.Manivannan IAS is one of the sincere officers in the Karnataka administration. The Mudhalvan movie reminded me of him.

I guess it was 2003 or so when I have interacted with him. He was then private secy of the CM SM Krishna. The infamous Bannerghatta Road was more worse those days. There used to be a lot of cattle on the road blocking the traffic and there was not any concrete bus stand for the public convenience. I had written to the CM's email id This complaint was directly addressed by Mr.Manivannan. He called me on my mobile and gave his direct number. He also asked me to call him if there were any other issues. He would have conversed 3 or  5 times to keep me posted on the issue. Referring to his Tamil name, I asked him where he was from. He said "Madurai".

After a couple of years, I was interacting with my colleague, also a close friend of our family. She narratted a story where in she met with an accident when she was in the bike. She fell unconscious and bleeding. Mr.Manivannan who passed on that road, stopped his car, took her to a hospital and admitted her. He also had left his business card to the Hospital authorities to give to her when she was awake.

I am very proud that I have interacted with such a great administrator. He is regarded the most sought administrator in Karnataka.

Interested to know more about this personality? Read this Times of India interview.

Movie - Mudhalvan

I am watching Mudhalvan movie in Sun TV, one of the best movies. The one line story is about 'one day CM' - directed by Shankar, dialogues by writer Sujatha, and acted by Arjun. The villain CM was acted by Raghuvaran. Arjun's look was inspired by Tamilanbhu IAS, and Raghuvaran's look was SM Krishna. The movie was so powerful that if the original intended hero Rajanikanth had acted, it would have been a big turning point in the Tamil Nadu politics. The popular interview scene in a way mimicked CM Karunanidhi especially the Thirukkural quote. I also recall that the political circles telecasted this movie in the entire Madurai city to avenge the director.

As I watch this movie, I am reminded of one Mr.Manivannan IAS. I will have two blog entries on him.

Inspiring Manivannan IAS

Manivannan IAS Interview

Nayeem & Hot Tea

A short story outline

During my college days, I met a postman Nayeem who came from a poor family. I wanted to help him with his career. He was aspiring for clerical role, so he expressed that he wanted support for his clerical exams. I agreed but for a monthly fee of Rs.25 so that there would be a commitment from both the sides. The tuition happened in his house which is too small. He, his wife and a 3 year old baby girl. The highlight of every day session was the strong tea which was served in a small ever-silver tumbler. After the hot strong tea, I used to sweat. Nayeem was thin and tall and had a very long face. Nayeem was too weak

in the arithmetics that I used to goto basics sometimes. Nayeem passed his exams and also gave sweets. After several years, I am meeting two guys in my liife - one person is a telephone service guy in a MNC and another is a watchman. My soft attitude towards Nayeem is reflected on these two guys also. Both are poor, can-speak-Tamil. Another thing that reminds me of Nayeem is the strong tea served in short tumblers in Darshinis. When I visit my native next time, I look forward to meet Nayeem.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Music in Car

I always struggled with what music to listen in car. In the initial days, I listened to FM most of the time. Later, I had started collections of Illayaraja hits etc. For several months, the same CD songs was played on, on and on because my daughter had some favorites. The singers repeated the performance any number of times till they had hiccups one day. All the CDs are now crying for 'renewals'.

I decided to go for new songs collections - Illayaraj, Yuvan, Harris Jayaraj, A R Rehman, Kamal hits and so on. I bought some collections from Landmark, Jayanagar. But, believe me - all the collections that were titled Hits are really a waste! For each CD, that I played I skipped to the next song within few seconds. Wondering what is the taste of the person who compiled all these songs. My next angry was towards those musicians. The songs had uninspiring music that I feel the awards offered should be taken back!

I tried playing spiritual songs - it didnt inspire. Then played Goa music - after 5 times of listening, nothing was new.

Once my friend suggested that the best thing to do is collect the favorites songs into the computer and write it into a new CD. That seems to be the right suggestion!

However, today I listened to songs from Bharathi - what a music and Bharathiyar's lyrics

நிற்பதுவே நடப்பதுவே by Harish Raghavendra

கேளடா மானிடவா by Rajkumar Bharathi  (he is great grandson of Bharathiyar). I could not get the online video version of it.

Very inspiring music by Illayaraja.  I would like to translate these songs in English and publish my version sometime.

And the best thing to do is to sing on your own - your version, your tune, your modulations, your lyrics - who cares; who can listen amidst the honks :-) ?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lost Relationships

Relationships - good or bad - take its own path. Even when we try to handle it bad or better, things may happen the otherway. Its like a roadway discipline. Even if you follow traffic rules, if the other person does not follow, the disaster happens. A friend, was in a good relationship with his girlfriend that was broken later. He was going through the pain of last relationship probably which made him focus on spend more hours at work, or focus towards social services, to keep himself diverted. He said the relationship terminated on mutual agreement. But the wet eyes said

it was a lie! He had been to several adventurous trekking ventures in the past and recent. I recalled the same and explained in him: the way he was able to allow himself to go through the pain and fun part of trekking - getting wet, dirty, sucked by leeches, surrounded by moist greeneries, beautiful weather - it was a wholesome experience. Life is like that. If one does not allow himself to go through such experiences, he does not really grow. Only one area of brain develops or does not develop. We are scratching only one surface of the life ignoring the other. Another friend worried about project change. I told him that even during our LKG till College, we always wept over change and losing the close contacts. We have moved past. In a train journey, we stop at every station and we move past towards the next. Its the destination, but the train journey is the experience that we allow ourselves go through. Actor Kamal Hassan recently commented "Most of the marriages fail, so marriages are not necessary". A friend commented "Most of the movies fail, will they stop making movies?". Let us rise above. Some wants rain and the other does not want. Certainly God does not play dice. Everything happens for a reason. And lets take responsibility(read control), no matter what!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


It came as a pleasant surprise to come across this website burrp!   Information and reviews on Restaurants, Movies, Shopping etc. for all the major cities. I searched for Bangalore restaurants. Koramangala alone has 139 restaurants! The categorization is so amazing the website is sticky!  The website is very much updated and a lot of users have given similar reviews. I have once been to Hotel Malgudi with my team on the HSR Layout. I was planning to take my family there. But all branches of Malgudi have received negative feedback. This website will certainly be a good guide for time pass. I have not checked on the other categories like city events, shopping etc.

Slum Free Bangalore

Our area - JP Nagar 2nd Phase - woke up to witness some action in the vacant land opposite to slum area.

BDA started demolishment of illegal constructions among the weeds. Bull dozers along with police protection were seen in action. I thought even the Swacha Bangalore also was demolished. But not!  A young policeman confirmed its demolishment of illegal constructions. I am reminded of the 2005 action when police and BDA came to demolish the slum area.

Today's demolishment and clearing the vacant land could be a lead for new establishments. This land was also used for Diwali cracker sales apart from being a open toilet and ground for burning waste. Sometime back, some officials said a library and a park was planned for this area. I wish an artificial lake comes here.

My friend says the slum people have won the case in Supreme Court having lived for 30 years. Along with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's organization, the government is planning to construct apartment, a school and multi storey complex for the benefit of slum people. More updates on this sooner.

A couple of days back newspapers also carried the news that by 2013 Bangalore will be slum free. Will the present Govt be there that time to complete it? What was initiated in 2005 (apartments for 2005) is still not executed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Worst Floods

The Karnataka floods that claim to kill 139 and cause 10K crore damage has disrupted North Karnataka. Several trains also have been redirected or cancelled. Some of my colleagues who are returning from dusserha vacations have their trains delayed. Another friend said that his colleague cannot return to Bangalore from North India unless he gets train tickets.

The government recently declared drought in several places. Due to 'less rains', the government did not have enough food, electricity and everything was dependent on rains. When it poured, they are totally unprepared. The floods are regarded worst in 100 yrs.

Was chatting my friends on these lines: If only India employs the best brains and those from IIT's, cannot we reform our country in five years? Looks like Chandigarh is a well planned city and they never have such issues. I checked Wikipedia to learn that its India's first planned city.

Looks like linking rivers is also not a good option as a toxic river could pollute the non-toxic river.First of all, why do we have toxic rivers? If Gujarat's par river contaminated with Mercury and Yamuna is a dirty and poisonous river, are we not supposed to do something about it, first? Why do we need to link all the rivers?

There is more of political context to not linking the rivers. The states are pointing at each other when there is no water.  Now, they do the same when the floods kill each other!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday Evening

This week was a long vacation from office routines for me. My blog also got more colourful.

My neighbours got a blog as a gift to express their creative writings. After trying 2 or 3 templates, we have settled for a 'baby shop' theme now.

Watched Kamal's interview in Vijay TV. He is a legend with a lot of fresh thoughts - his own thoughts. To sample a few: "There is nothing like World Class. In India, its Indian Standard. In America, its American standard. We need to set our standards and exceed them. Raja Raja Cholan did not know what a world class was; yet he constructed a world class temple".  உலக தரம் என்று எதுவும் இல்லை. இந்தியாவில் மதிப்பீடு செய்தால் அது இந்திய தரம். அமெரிக்காவில் மதிப்பீடு செய்தால் அது அமெரிக்க தரம். ராஜா ராஜா சோழன் போன்ற முன்னோர்கள் உலக தரம் என்று எதுவும் அறிந்ததில்லை; அவர்களால் சிறந்த கலை கட்டடங்களை கட்ட முடிந்தது.  There are some more to share on Kamal's interviews. More on that some other blog.

My sister was chatting with me in Gmail chat in an invisible mode. She explained her need to stay online but in a invisible mode. But long before, I sensed she was offline before as well. Today's I learnt of a hack on how to find someone if they are offline or invisible.

Yesterday got Kumudham and Vikatan. Vikatan is really a good standard magazine compared to any other weekly. I recall, in 1990's I have wandered in front of Vikatan's office on the Mount Road while I was searching for a job. Some Vikatan is carrying articles on Nayanthara and PrabhuDeva marriage gossip every alternative week. Kumdham also carried a gossip on actress Meena's wedding. One time gossip may be okay?! But wont it hurt the respective families. Its really sickening beyond a point.

Morning visited the Sahara Arts Exhibition in the JP Nagar corporation ground. Usual stuff. But few shops have few cute things for display: a bicycle, a flute, battery/AC operated fan - all made of brass. Was not in a great mood to spend. 

Evening went out with Diya to 9th Block for a snacks shopping. I also got 3 newspapers: the sunday editions of DNA, Indian Express, and Deccan Chronicle. I liked them a lot compared to TOI. Planning to shift to DNA or Indian Express soon.

Spent a quite bit of time learning science online I wished that I could complete some carpentry and electric stuff to satisfy my creative pleasures. But lost my mood over petty issues. 

Fine, Fabindia dress purchase for dad was one great experience. My sister said Fabindia collections are costlier and I need to wait for 'sale' time. 

My sister also has a lymph node swelling and is very anxious over it. I have requested some authentic advice on how one should take care during such symptoms. Stay tuned for a blog entry. 

Also got my twitter account created. Getting used to it.

So much to do, so much to share...but tomorrow I have office. I think I would mimic Kamal's mannerism and attitude as I am very much influenced by him this week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Gandhi and Obama

Its heartening to note that a distant leader Obama talks about Gandhi. While our leaders have less knowledge about what Gandhi and Gandhi-ism. Obama's office has a photo of Gandhi (right bottom). When Obama was asked by a student who he would like to have dinner with, - he could have answered anybody - but his answer was Mahatma Gandhi. For Gandhi Jayanthi, he has even said that 'America has its roots in India of Gandhi'. However, there are some who mocks the President for every statement he makes. Meanwhile, try visiting offices of our netas, you would see the photos of party leaders from local to central.

Meeting with JP Nagar corporators

Today I and Leela maami got an appointment to meet Jayanagar MLA Mr.BN Vijayakumar to escalate various civic issues that are being attended to only on repeated followups and in several cases there are no actions.

I guess the problem is empowerment or lack of it.  MLA did not turn up but we managed to meet his subordinates. One of them is Mr.GV Chinnagiriyappa ( BJP General Secretary, Jayanagar Assembly Constituency). His responses were typically political: (i) "What can we do if public litter the places" (ii) "Only corporation commissioner is all powerful, talk to him" (iii) "We cannot be too strict with our corporation engineers. Already 3 engineers have quit". (iv) For encroachment related issues, go to police

I am stunned. Is it MLA reporting to corporation commissioner or the Chief Minister?

We carried all the photo evidences with us and talked about all the problems. Mr. GV Chinnagiriyappa called in sequence all the responsible corporators of our area and asked them to immediately take action.

Further Mr.Krishnakumar, the JP Nagar corporation authority was waiting near Diwakars Hospital. We took him and his colleagues in our car and took a tour of JP Nagar and showed all the places where corporation's attention is needed. Like his bosses, he also carried some excuses. At the end of the trip, he promised action before Monday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Gandhi Jayanthi

I fondly recall my Gandhian days :)  I acted as Gandhi during my 10th standard on a Gandhi Jayanthi. A building constructor coolie came and said that I acted well.  I walked back him with a lot of pride. I also inherited name as 'Gandhi' in the later days.

Gandhi is still a hero of our times.

A couple of days back I have echoed my thoughts on holidays. Why do we need so many holidays? Today, Mr.Shashi Tharoor, the minister of state for external affairs, has rightly echoed a similar thought: "Why Gandhi Jayanathi is a holiday and not a working day". Makes a lot of sense to me.

Shashi Tharoor has been making a lot of sense in the Indian politics. Many (2.75 lakhs as of this moment) follow his twitter

Will next Gandhi Jayanthi be a working day for us?

Friday Temples Visit

We planned to visit two temples this morning: Meenakshi amman temple and the Cave temple opposite to it.

The Cave temple is called Ramalingeshwar temple. The BGS Public School is located near this cave temple. The approach to the temple is not that good : either the school (which is using the temple rock for construction activities and almost shunning the location of a temple)  or the government could lay a tar road. Easy direction tip: Take the road on your left before you would take U turn for the Meenakshi Amman temple. The temple is just below a huge rock and a person of height 5' 3" can easily walk I guess. Inside the cave, there are statues of Lord Shiva, Ram-Lakshman-Seetha. The pujari spoke in Tamil on our request and he explained about the temple in broken Tamil. The temple is open from 5.30 am till 1 pm. Again in the evening from 4 pm till 7 pm. The pujari shared some amazing facts: (a) There is a secret path from this temple leading to Nandi Hills (b) There is also a secret path from this temple leading to Kasi! (c) This temple is several hundreds years old  (d) Above the cave, on the rocks, there is a foot print of Bheema.

After worship, we also found a small meditation hall. Pujari said there is a sathyanarayana puja on Sunday.

Now, I have a secret wish to come to this place for long hour meditation.

This place isolated from Bangalore's busy-ness needs enough awareness.  Its a wonder cave and should be preserved.

After that we visited Meenakshi Amman temple. A peaceful temple. I only wish outside the temple also the environment is kept clean.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Damaging public property

Damaging public properties has become very trivial. Any angry mob first target a public property - a bus, a train, or any building that they can immediately target. There is also one recent incident that a Delhi train was burnt as the train schedule was changed. No matter how severe is the reason, the miscreants target the public property. Whose money is it, finally - our tax money!

The Govt also treats these miscreants treat them equivalent to rowdies if no death is involved.