Monday, 31 March 2008
Because we had checked our luggage through to Seattle, we were carefree and relaxed -till at the counter of the American airline, someone mentioned that the airline we had travelled by to Singapore was careless about transferring baggage to connecting flights...More...
Its 197,144 slot machines, at the last count, are designed to lure a staggering thirty eight million visitors a year, to bet on numbers. Win or lose, don't count the money, but keep looking at the numbers -- at the gambling machine...But why am I, an Indian diplomat, writing about the numbers, about Las Vegas? Have I lost my sanity or do I have a wish for early retirement?...More...
Sunday, 30 March 2008
They came down to Mysore to visit a few people. I am still not sure whether she had already told about the tree to him or whether it was a surprise to him. He came down to my place, we talked about our old days at Bosch...More...
Who would book for a trip which in all likelihood would be cancelled. In this manner, if everyone goes away thinking the trip won't materialise, how would the KSTDC manage to make up the minimum number of 15 tourists that's required for the trip?...More...
I discussed with few friends and sent a mail to our group suggesting, "We Silverwoodians should chip in to the event by switching off all electrical appliances." . . .Salarpuria Silverwoods of C V Raman Nagar, Bangalore, went dark from 8PM to 9PM on 29th March 2008. Dinners were delayed; even the toddlers cooperated by screaming and screeching with happiness. . .More. . .
Warning: This is YouTube, full 2min.42secs. of it, on stock market tips from the Shenoy Household. This gem would not have been possible, if only Santosh Sivan were available to handle the works, says Narendra Shenoy. . .Video . . .
Saturday, 29 March 2008
If Khaled Hosseini’s ‘Kite runner’ covered the relationship between father and son and his ‘A Thousand splendid suns’ did the same for two women, this book covers the relationship between siblings, an elder and an younger brother...More...
Friday, 28 March 2008
He bends the laws of nature and tames trees. Yet, his respect for the trees is immense. He experiments on trees. He has performed successful surgeries on trees. His trees grow at extraordinary pace and sometimes in totally unforgiving soil. His trees look like well behaved pets growing in the manner he wishes.. . .More. . .
I finished my exams yesterday, chit-chatted effortlessly with some of my closest pals doing full justice to what I call ‘talking’ (for the past few months it has been just a quiver of a nervous smile and a hopeful ‘All the Best’)…..and I suddenly realized I was free to blog again. . .More. . .
Our media friends were not upholding the cause of press freedom; or asserting people’s right to information. Do the Mangalore reporters believe that newspaper readers really cared, if some meetings Rahul had with his party youth, school kids or fisher folk, went unreported in newspapers?. . .More. . .
Thursday, 27 March 2008
Empirical evidence suggests that every other doctor has a handwriting that looks like ‘chicken droppings’, as my wife would say. But then she says journalists share this handwriting thing with medical profession. . .More. . .
This one created by Naushad and sung by Noor Jehan and Surendra in 1946 is like so for me. I enjoy it each time I hear it and always marvel at Noorjehan’s thick and husky Punjaban voice. Of recent, only one singer created such a tonal quality – it is Richa Sharma (try listening to her Zindagi mein koi kabhi aye na rabba – Musafir)...More...
Absolute silence, broken only by a lone car or autorickshaw passing by, or the voices of the people on the street. No maddening honks, no muted roars of stalled vehicles waiting for the lights, and no thundering buses, sounds with which we had been living the past 15 years or so...More...
The movie has influenced me so much simply because many times in life, we face a scenario of reality vs moral, and we walk away with a neat trade off between the two. This movie explains the distinction between the two without a moralistic approach. It is this simplicity that leaves a striking impact in you . . .More. . .
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
No business plan is done overnight. And with a vague, untried idea of ours, preparing a business plan was all the more difficult. Moreover, almost everyone we surveyed wanted to plant a tree. With only positive answers, it becomes a lot more difficult to judge whether we are on the right path. . .More. . .
the last two years have brought bountiful rains and the water table...has risen considerably in the city. Rainwater-harvesting by responsible citizens has contributed in no small way to this, encouraged (if not threatened exactly) by the local corporation. . .More. . .
If you wonder how the horse got past the lobby, without as much as a gate-pass, a local newspaper reported that his minder took care to take in his animal after the staff at the hospital front desk had gone home...The hospital’s policy, they say, was to inspect all animals brought in by visitors...More...
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
I've never understood this Sri Yantra thing, perhaps because I didn't grow up with yantra-worship at home. But geometric figures - symbolic representations of divinity or truth - are common to both Hinduism and Buddhism. They are most commonly seen in the traditional rangolis and kolams of women.. . .More. . .
Mysore Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and the city corporation should factor in tree-planting around residential and office buildings; and no building plan should be sanctioned without compliance. . .More. . .
Experienced readers might realize that, in the course of researching for my grand exposé, I might not have actually interviewed the worthies featured in this story or, for that matter, ensured any connection with the truth...More...
Given the huge popularity he has, the King could have easily avoided any such democratization process if he had any such wishes. But as an intelligent and sagacious person, he found it wise to behave like a “modern king” by showing spontaneous regards for the principles of democracy.. .More. . .
Monday, 24 March 2008
Like most others the world over, I was touched by the concern and commitment of the people and authorities in Holland to preserving all that is associated with Anne Frank. In a sense, they are responding to the Anne’s urge “to go on living after my death”. . .More. . .
There are several nice features that include airport situational maps that can be used to navigate around an airport easily. A little airplane pictogram on the airport map moves along taxiways and indicates actual airplane position on the airport...More...
Sunday, 23 March 2008
Several early morning walkers who were observing the growth of these plants removed a few stealthily. The more I planted the more they removed. I could only console myself by thinking that the plant has after all gone to someone else's house. . .More. . .
Huh, Ilavazhagi, who? That would have been the reaction of many in a country obsessed with cricket and adulation of cricketers. Ilavazhagi is the winner of the women’s title in the fifth World Carrom Championship held at Palais Des Festivals, Cannes in February. . .More. . .
Then I realised that I was getting invites faster than I could keep pace with the existing ones. Now I just ignore these invites unless there's something very striking about them. For now, I am sticking to LinkedIn, Orkut and Facebook. . .More. . .
You know how it is with Hindi movies. Like the human liver. A little bit can regenerate into the whole. I know you're dying to know everything. Well, the movie is designed to appeal to young males with a love of fast cars, skimpily clad molls, loud and unsubtle humor, the complete absence of reality from the story, and an IQ of about 50...More. . .
What is the significance of Easter eggs? It seems that in many ancient communities egg was a symbol of new life and immortality. So it became an icon of the eternal life offered through resurrection...I don’t think the Easter bunny has any religious significance...More...
Our annual journalism course is also meant for those who want to explore the world around them, pose questions, collect information and share it with others.
It is not an exhaustive course - it runs for 20 days - but it does push participants to undertake field assignments. . .More...
It is not an exhaustive course - it runs for 20 days - but it does push participants to undertake field assignments. . .More...
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Try to get up as late as possible to face the Good Friday of stringent fasting. Everyone who has received First Holy Communion has to observe it, till the age of 60. Just one meal, lunch, on the day. No meat or fish for the whole of Lent...More...
In my occasional travels to the hinterland, I have noticed that the many of these places differ radically from each other but most seem to offer something new to learn and taste some new colors. Through my lens, I tried to capture few of these effective representatives of raw beauty of that society. . .More. . .
Thursday, 20 March 2008
He had exactly 40 bullets left. He cursed Nehru, Krishna Menon and Gen Kaul, the people he held responsible for sending him and his troops to these miserable heights, to fight an enemy (he had himself shouted Hindi Chini bhai bhai a few months back) unprepared & under equipped, mentally & physically...More...
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
I can feast my eyes on a group of people tucking into 2 different types of cake and gulab jamuns just after a large breakfast. To the cook, it is wonderful after getting used to a crowd of middle aged low carb- low fat- low cholestrol-low cal- No, no no types.. .More...
Monday, 17 March 2008
After many months and after numerous business plans, we were still not sure whether we were on the correct path. One day, during a gtalk session, Anil asked me whether I was interested in the NGO model. I said that I wanted to plant trees but not in an NGO model. . .More. . .
For a change, the target was not me. Presumably because I wasn't there. The brunt of the charge was borne by young Gautham who, as is his usual practice when engaged in the completion of his homework, was playing a computer game called Death of the Zorks or something equally homicidal. . .More. . .
I do believe it is a personal thing after all. If your wife doesn’t have a problem then who should care? But I still don’t understand why they want their wives to whom they have been lying all those years to be at their side just for the sake of the public. . .More. . .
Sunday, 16 March 2008
What is it about the subconscious aspect of life? Many times, I don't even realize that I am driving my car from home to office or vice-versa. I have spoken to a lot of people about this, and I get a response, that it is the case of taking certain things for granted. It is just about how you prioritize certain things in life.. . .More. . .
I have in mind green-minded tourists who wish to mark their visit to this heritage city by planting a sapling. And the authorities could designate suitable tree-plantable space in the vicinity of the railway station. . .More. . .
Saturday, 15 March 2008
Later on I read his other article – a collection of all kinds of quotes to prove his point. I was wondering if he had a point. What one has to remember is that politics is also about self preservation, the individual and his own country’s interest, something that Nehru alluded to later. . .More. . .
Why doesn’t KPS Gill resign as President of the Indian Hockey Federation? Is he taking a clue from Musharraf from across the border? The latter once said ‘Pakistan needs me’. Gill seems convinced that India hockey requires his services to rebuild and regain the lost glory. . .More. . .
Official agencies rarely interact with the community and people too keep away from engaging with the state.The group in Alwarpet and R. A. Puram succeeded in getting a call across to the Jt. Commissioner in charge of Traffic. A sharing of views took place. .. .More. . .
Friday, 14 March 2008
Rational celebration of an irrational number! 3/14, this American date format corresponds to the roughly rounded up value of Pi i.e. 3.14. Even those who have abandoned Maths as a subject after school days must be having this figure etched in their minds. My association with pi began when I was in grade 7 (or was it in grade 6?) . . .More. . .
Thursday, 13 March 2008
Wouldn’t it be helpful, if the civic authorities declare their tree policy? Publicise their guidelines for roadside tree-planting? People could do with guidance on preferred species for palnting; specifications regarding the gap to be left between plants;and between a plant and the road edge. . . .More. . .
Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Researchers have developed a nanoparticle coating for your protein based fabrics that has self cleaning properties. Your most prized woolens and silks will not require dry cleaning as they will clean themselves of odors and stains. . .More. . .
Mapple’s group of hotels, who are partners in running the luxurious Golden Chariot, would need to devise more imaginative programming, than taking their high-paying guests to the bird sanctuary or the Chamundi Hills and putting them through a cultural show at Rangayana, which can’t be billed the best or the most exciting show in town. . .More. . .
Tuesday, 11 March 2008
Have you heard of red petunias, let alone seen one?In my college days in Delhi, the winter garden at our home was run over with petunias of every hue - pink, violet, mauve, magenta , white, and even striped ones.But red?. . .More. . .
Most of my time was lost in traffic snarls and half my plans went awry. Occasionally the landmarks that I was looking for were missed. They were either obliterated, or masked by new structures around. . .More. . .
Monday, 10 March 2008
Several human rights activists and other members of the global intelligentsia have been strongly opposing the idea of Euthanasia, and I appreciate their views. However, a couple of incidents that I have read/heard about have convinced me about the necessity of selective Euthanasia...More
I've been getting so much flak from the rest of the family about the awfully long time its taken to get the house painted - that I have had to show them why. Or at least what. And grin and take it.And see a slideshow of her work...More
Sunday, 9 March 2008
Hinduism considers that the Vedas (which means knowledge) are not human compositions but Wisdom that was ‘struti’ (heard). In other words they are Revealed Wisdom. The other religions mentioned above do not seem to concede the divine origin of the Vedas...More...
thousands of girls who like Shreya, are forced to dropout of schools because their families cannot afford to keep them there. It is official knowledge that out of every 10 girls who enrol in Std I, only 3 complete Std X. Education for a girl child born to a poor family is still a pipe dream...More
The main thoroughfare, Sayaji Rao Road, had flowering trees growing straight and tall, obstructing none. The long white flowers (you find one such tree behind the Chamundi Guest House on Dewan’s Road) spread a beautiful aroma all around ...More...
When writing a serious travelogue, one is always on the horns of a dilemma - does one dwell on specifics, providing local flavor at the risk of losing over-all perspective or is it better to give the reader a reliable general idea of the place and avoid the dynamics of change?...More...
Today society has shown a major attitudinal shift with regards to women's equality and freedom. In my opinion, no woman is ordinary and each is blessed with an indomitable spirit which makes them special in their dear ones’ lives...More...
It's really heartening that there aren't any massive protests against the Women's Day celebrations, like we had (have) for Valentine's Day. After all, celebration of womanhood is no less or no more Western than the celebration of love...More...
Saturday, 8 March 2008
Most important reason cited by the local people for the lack of trees is soil condition. The soil seems to be hostile for any sort of vegetation and the survival rate is a bare minimum. The person who manages the Jain temple on the road to Sri Ranganathaswamy temple says: "I tried to plant some flowering plants and trees in front of the temple. The soil sucked up all the water and the plants did not survive.". . .More. . .
Khader was known in Calicut as the Malabar Saigal and Calicut was a place where people understood Hindustani classical, Ghazals and followed Hindi music always. Almost all the Hindi greats of yesteryears have sung in Calicut. . .More. . .
We all like to give away things. But feel it must reach the right people. -I’ve been sending clothes to our local municipal school. It gives me a real kick when I visit the school and see my duppatas being used to cover computers and tables. . .More.. .
I missed the live coverage of the strange event on TV on Monday, but saw a report in the print media. It was, according to the news item, a rather unique performance – one man was trying to kill another who willingly offered himself as the potential victim.. . .More. . .
She needed help for everything – including getting into the wheelchair...Manohar considered it his privilege to take care of her every need,day and night, though his failing eyesight, owing to an incurable complaint (retinitis pigmentosa) made his vision very weak over the years. And she, drawing on her inner strength, faced life positively...More...
Friday, 7 March 2008
We had an interesting discussion on the government incentive for “Girl child”. This scheme looks like a good step but then there always the other side of it..and though it sounds brash, don’t we all feel like doing what Raj is suggesting?. . .More...
Posted to San Francisco from Delhi, I had wondered as to why the Indian government, soon after our Independence had set up an office in this city to cover the western part of the United States. After all, in the fifties there was no Silicon Valley, no technology tie ups, . .More. . .
Idea is new to India. I can’t see Premji, Mallya or Kiran Mazumdar Shaw stepping out of the arrival lounge and taking to the wheel to drive home from the airport. My middle-class mind wonders why well-heeled guys would want to self-drive through a maddening traffic in Bangalore city. . .More. . .
Thursday, 6 March 2008
the devotee would have two options. He can either carry the sapling with him if he knows of a place where he can plant it. Otherwise, he can leave it there so that we will collect it back and plant it at a pre-designated place.. . .More. . .
It was way back in 1973 that a young, 32 years old Kashmir was arrested in Pakistan on charges of espionage, and was put on a death row in a jail in the Pakistani city of Lahore. Since then his wife Paramjit Kaur had been patiently waiting. . .More. . .
Of course this will not solve all the problems since as reported, in states like Punjab, it is the rich who selectively abort female fetus and the poor are just copying them. So for this, the government is considering giving life sentences to doctors convicted of the offence. . .More. . .
Practise meditation for a year before.So you become single minded and decisive. You could then call up something like Asian paints ( or the local equivalent) and tell them, I want this colour here,and that shade there. . .More. . .
The wristwatch had already been invented by Patek Philippe, decades earlier, but Santos-Dumont played an important role in popularizing its use by men in the early 20th century. Before him they were generally worn only by women, as men favored pocket watches.. . .More. . .
Enter Paramu, one of our regular carpenters. .. . He loved a challenge, new ideas that he could transform into near perfect creations in wood. He took the measurements of the table at the church (I don’t remember from where that one was acquired) and went to work. . .More. . .
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
The thought of offering saplings at temple occurred to us during a recent visit to Ambegal Krishna temple...If every such couple offered a sapling to Ambegal Krishna to mark the birth of their child, we would see the area around the temple turning green in a few years...More...
Monday, 3 March 2008
Sunday, 2 March 2008
Most people would plant trees, if could do so in a no-hassles manner. Almost everyone knows that the cities are getting warmer because of the lack of trees. Problem is: Everyone thinks someone else will do something to correct this situation.. . .More. . .
This Tamil film of the fifities brought back student-day memories in us, senior citizens. Our mother, belonging to an earlier generation, had her own take, and a cascade of memories it triggered in her...More...
One question that I get asked often is "Do you like wearing it?"...perhaps the person asking wishes to really understand what's going on inside my head...why do I drape six yards of fabric around my body, when I could be more comfortable in other clothes?...More...
what if your reader wants to clarify with you on a specific issue or what if the reader doesn’t want his or her query to be made public and what if you have disabled anonymous comments. Also those shy and lazy readers, all taken care of once you embed this live chat window...More...
Back in India, every evening, I was wafted into a sea of devotion, thanks to MSS, whose enchanting voice rendered the complicated slokas of Sanskrit in perfect clarity. The pristine voice filled the surroundings with a sense of calmness and everlasting composure...More...
Total eye-candy, Hritik and Aishwarya, the latter being so wooden in some scenes that they could have used a portrait of hers....and Hritik has put me personally in a tight spot. He has these rippling muscles which he displays at various times in the movies causing the missus to swoon and ask ME when I'm going to get pecs like that...More...