Saturday, 31 May 2008
In the coastal belt of Kerala, fences used to be made with plaited and dried coconut fronds. This practice is mostly discontinued now because of reduced availability of the fronds, lack of sufficient workers (mainly women) for plaiting, and the high cost of material and labor..More...
Now his son Siddarth goes to play-school at San Ramon, CA; and he has had parents worried over his apparent reluctance, nay, refusal, to give up diapers. This can be embarrassing, particularly if most others in his play-school were potty-trained...More...
Friday, 30 May 2008
Everybody here has only nice things to say about Elizabeth. Many households in the village had benefited from the healing touch of this kindhearted lady. She was available to provide medical aid to the needy any time of the night or day. And she never took money for the humane service she rendered.
An important cultural and commercial center since 250AD, the capital of the Pandya kings, Madurai hosts the very famous Madura Meenakshi temple. The story I will now tell takes you to the 17th century, when Madurai was ruled by the popular Telugu speaking Nayak Emperors.
Thursday, 29 May 2008
What makes a teenager tick? Career choices!...It is an easier matter to be swayed by the torrents of advices, suggestions which flow perennially from all sides. Being a spirited person, I looked for answers from within myself...More...
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
The thing that takes the cake is Naveen Patnaik's great effort to change his state's name to Odisha from Orissa and the name of the language to Odiya from Oriya..Here you have a state which is the poorest in the nation,...and what do you give them? A spelling change...More...
- I got sent a 100 point checklist for weddings by mail. My first reaction, was Oh God NO, I dont need this. .... It must have been put together by someone who has been through a lot. ... NO TAPPANKUTHU SONGS''. .....''Fix two persons to settle any dispute of any nature. Dont allow any other crowd.. . More. . .
Sunday, 25 May 2008
Autos and taxis are wonderful. They take you right wherever you want to go. On the meter and its cheap.But, they are not going to chat with you. In fact, no one is. The anonymity is both wonderfully freeing and depressing...More...
Saturday, 24 May 2008
First, I don't think any time in the recent past a US presidential primary has generated so much interest. Whoever becomes the President s/he will create a record as the first Black, woman or the oldest President. . .More. . .
Friday, 23 May 2008
Unlike his team-mate, Bill Gates, who was smashed with a cream pie on his face, a decade ago, Ballmer was attacked with eggs when addressing a group of business and technology students at Budapest's Corvinus University. .. .More. . .
Airlines in the US are charging fees for services that passengers used to take for granted - for checking your bag (some airlines used to charge only for second bag, more recently American Airlines has started charging for security-checking your first bag too; charging for requesting an aisle seat/more leg room seats like the bulkhead/exit aisle seats . . .More. . .
The thoughts of this decadent object and the peculiar habit of betel leaf chewing in India entered my mind when I saw these two ‘ambis’ in conversation. They were Kamal Hassan and Delhi Ganesh (from the movie MMKR). . . More. . .
They have several medicinal properties. The famous karkade or hibiscus tea is considered invigorating. Excellent jams and squashes can be made from the flowers. Dried hibiscus flowers are delicacies in some countries. A shampoo made by wet grinding the flowers is considered very good. . .More. . .
Thursday, 22 May 2008
These are approximately 10 feet in height and of various varieties. Indian Tulip, Rain tree, Mahagony, Wild Almond, CannonBall tree, Maulsari, Saptaparni, Kassod, Indian Almond, Neem, Champak, Bhadrakshi, Rudrakshi, Bilvapatra, Soapnut, Kadamba, Weeping fig, Dhalichandra and Bauhinia. . .More. . .
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
The hero finds the perfect mark, and singlehandedly, destroys the villains. You almost let out a gasp of disbelief; this guy is a killer. What style! Of course, over a period of time, we realize that this is more unbelievable than fiction,. . .More. . .
The best thing about the place was that it did not have a single television. There were howls of anguish among the young (Vyaas, Gautham and Neela's son Siddharth) , the followers of soaps (my mom, Sheela's mom and Sheela) and the IPL junkies (Sheela's brother Sundeep and her cousing Sunil). . .More. . .
When I reached the spot around 7:30AM, preparations were in full swing for the Senior Citizens run which saw an impressive crowd of 700 plus participants. . .the energy and the exuberance that they displayed, quashed the roar of helicopters circling the stadium. . . More. . .
And to think, that he has been so witty and unassuming in this speech, when his mind could have been so much in turmoil, considering what he is going through right now, with regard to Tibet and the Chinese government, is remarkable. . .More. . .
I was also told that he raised many to life in his home town Kottayam! Are the Kottayam residents sleeping? .... And at the rate these miracle healing and healing minsters are multiplying, we should soon have the profession of doctors scrapped away. . .More. . .
If Babuji was not seen by the Mother at his usual place in the mornings for three or four days the Mother used to ask Mr. Pinto, with so much concern, “What happened to Mr. Ramakrishnan? I haven’t seen him for two days!”. . .More. . .
Sunday, 18 May 2008
Are you really satisfied with the performance of Neel Metal Fanalca?Yes or No?If you are, tell us what you think is good about its work.If you aren't, vent your feelings.For, it is time people took a close and hard look at Neel Metal, the private garbage clearing agency engaged by the Chennai Corporation to work in four of the ten zones of this city.
Getting new clothes was a thrill indeed. No ready made clothes then. In Pondicherry, where we spent part of our childhood, my mother found a good tailor, Velayudham. He would come home, the inch tape round his neck...
Whenever I stay in Bangalore, Sheela's brother most graciously ferries me around in his car to wherever I want, which is nice of him, but has deprived me of some very important insights into human nature, a very specific sub-species of humanity known as the Bangalore Auto Driver (BAD).
Friday, 16 May 2008
Who was that 'innovator' that treaded this path first? Given that paths are rarely straight lines even when there is a plain land between two places, what are the complex creative human urges behind the formation of a particular path?
There are a hundred different varieties of food that use the same paste or the same kind of powder, but our taste buds are so well designed, that it is easy to differentiate the food just based on the whiff of the odor emanating from the kitchen....
Whenever there is an explosion, there is a nation-wide alert. Policemen and other security personnel descend on the streets, set up barricades, carry out widespread, actually very intrusive, inspection of everything that we carry, peering into cars and what not...
All of us have been in these situations, where we have fought for a challenging project to be assigned to us. Now, we have it for ourselves. Hmm. Now what? How do we start? It slowly sinks into you that it is indeed a very challenging project...
“It has made me think of a number of ideas that I have shot down without trying,” wrote Ananya in reference to our web initiative - Giving It A Shot. Prof. Ananya Mukherjee Reed teaches political economy at York University, Toronto...
On a hot summer day, nothing is as tempting as an iced lemonade flavoured with mint.
The wet cloth on the rim sends out cool waves, dragging your eyes like a magnet.
The sun is merciless on the back of your neck...
The wet cloth on the rim sends out cool waves, dragging your eyes like a magnet.
The sun is merciless on the back of your neck...
Today if you were to visit a Kalyana Mantapa or Wedding Hall in Bangalore, the amount of food thrown in the dust bin will leave you sick in the stomach! Except for the lower middle classes no one thinks of taking leftovers home because it is passé besides leftovers are in such large quantities and also spoil easily!
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
The day I first went shopping I was advised by my peers that I just could not walk into any shop. But I had to sit in the car and ask for things I needed, and they would be brought to me in the car for approval and selection. . . . I made a change in the way officers’ wives shopped. . .More. . .
A little bit of involvement will do wonders to our country. The parasitic existence that we live now has to stop, if this country has to change what we want changed.How do we go about that? I don’t know! But this giant populace has to get off their butts and start getting involved in matters other than their own! . .More. . .
The shifted backside was not incurred by me, because of the bad road - but happened to be a sign put up by a shopkeeper to indicate that he has vacated his older shop facing the road, and moved to a shop at the back. . .More. . .
Hundreds of NRI sons/daughters who sent flowers to India on Mother’s Day, May 11, could have been persuaded to say it with saplings as well, if green-minded greetings card makers and florists market the idea. . .More. . .
Monday, 12 May 2008
That night after dinner, when she came and sat beside Sa, all he could do was look into her eyes and say, 'Maa, I love you.' She took him in her arms, patted his back and said, 'Stupid, you need not say that. I know you love me.. . .More. . .
Last December we went en famille to Agra as part of the celebrations of my mother’s 80th birthday. For lunch, my brother had organised a superb Italian spread that was served to us al fresco under shady trees. A waiter spotted us for the southies we are and decided to take care of us. . .More. . .
There was a virtual carpet bombing of messages -- by the resident welfare associations, voluntary organisations, business houses, IT companies and media -- enlightening citizens about the need to -- not just vote but to -- vote for the right candidate. . .More. . .
Small things like these stir up an immediate reaction. This includes the grandparents getting over-joyed with my decision to bear a few pounds of flowers on my head, my grandma taking me on a picnic to all the houses in the neighbourhood, and my brother tut-tutting over me. . .More. . .
Many felt that it was below their dignity to perform such menial duties as “Polling Officers”. One professor was heard grumbling that since he was drawing a higher pay than the DC, he was not bound to take any instructions from the DC. . .More. . .
At every turn, the presence of a 'foundation stone' is at odds with the ambience. There are nearly as many such plaques as - hold your breath - the number of heads of organization(s) over the years, visiting VIP's and their spouses. Imagine the accumulated concrete and granite over the seven decades of the campus's existence. . .More. . .
Sunday, 11 May 2008
This was my first trip out to Nars, having been in Kulusuk and Nuuk in Greenland on previous ferries. The chaps at the airport were friendly, one of them a retired Airline captain who also owns a flight school in Copenhagen, made us feel quite welcome. I asked him why he was there and the answer was . . .More. . .
Jerry Amaldev suddenly fell from grace. The reason? I believe that an innocent comment by him about a great singer was misunderstood. It is all so sad. Now Jerry is the music master at Choice School, Cochin. . . .More. . .
“Traditionally a girl child is preferred over a boy”. She was answering the True or False questions at the end of her Social Studies Lesson and she did not know the answer. She also may have been shocked to know that such issues existed in her world. . .More, , ,
There is, perhaps, case for an ad. campaign, showing M S Dhoni going on a bike to have a haircut in his native Ranchi. Those organizing fund-raising runs for varied causes could encourage participants to do it on bicycles...More...
Saturday, 10 May 2008
Twenty20 has turned home and family life upside down. The husband, who never had time for cricket or for television, now sits and watches every match and screams instructions to the players in different languages...More...
But I always make fun of them, by calling them code factories, where thousands of engineers write code-after-code, for offshore clients. I have heard inhumane conditions of work — not physically, but conditions of work, where creativity is stymied, and routine work is admired, and gains you a promotion etc. In these factories,...More...
Global Greenways . . . doesn't have a website. Dr Madhavan pleads lack of time "for that sort of thing", though, I sense, it is not uncommon for folk of his generation to be unaware of the potentials of the Internet and of what the web can do to promote a cause or an idea. . .More. . .
Friday, 9 May 2008
Is it true that marriages are totally arranged between strangers in India?" I am often asked by foreigners at parties. Along with curiosity about the caste system and the significance of the bindi on the forehead, . .More. . .
She, helpfully, suggested I contact our ‘country host’ for information on how we could participate in GEW activities in India. A web check revealed no one in India has till date offered to host GEW. This prompted a few of us to do our own thing. . .More. . .
Thursday, 8 May 2008
A majestic and imposing structure, its vicinities yet to be devoured by the land sharks. This 500 year old fort gained some importance recently and all because of the international airport coming up there, the historical relevance unfortunately lies covered in dust. . .More. ..
International aid agencies have been stopped at the borders while the country desperately needs help. The present military junta is wary of any foreign intervention. I pray that this event changes the hardened heart of the authorities and there is a change for the better. . .More. . .
Elephant yam is considered to have several medicinal properties and effective in the treatment of amenorrhea, anorexia, arthritis, cough, dysmenorrhea...
Wednesday, 7 May 2008
6:35 AM? Getting up so early? Had I been living in India, a neighbor aunt would have come running to the house to compliment my mother on having such a wonderful son. Not that it is false, but I'm just making a point!!!. . .More. . .
So many sabhas, all situated in this area. Almost all the dramatists, actors, artistes, musicians and dancers, almost everyone has a base in the Mylapore area. Devan lived in Mylapore, and so do Gopulu, Kathadi Ramamurthi, Charukesi, Sikkil Gurucharan, and Cho and the late Sujata, the first two recipients of Devan Endowments….More. . .
Pets in America receive more nutrition than a sixth of humankind.Each cow in Europe receives more government subsidy than what at least a billion people each live on. The difference between the US and India is that while in India one out of four people don't get enough to eat, in America, two out of three are overweight. . .More. . .
Tomorrow we leave for India (Ahmedabad and Kolkata) and on to Bangkok Thailand overflying Myanmar. . .Which has suffered extensive loss of life and cyclone damage. It has been difficult getting hold of the DCA in Myanmar for the overflying permit because their lines are down. . .More. . .
At 4am in the morning being told that your 5 am flight for which you woke up at 2 am to leave the house at 3 am is cancelled is not the best deal but I kept the panic and disbelief and some anger at bay and I could hear myself ask him in a most uncomprehending tone –Cancelled? . . .More. . .
Tuesday, 6 May 2008
2 years, 9 months, 6 days and many 'Wow!' moments later, my life is taking another turn. I resigned from my first job today. This marked my first step out of a professional life and back into a student one. I'll be joining a B-School soon. . .More. . .
Monday, 5 May 2008
Now when you tried to photograph any moving subject, you were disappointed with your results. Either the picture was blurred or something was faulty that you didn't like. Can motion pictures be clicked with ease?...More...
Sunday, 4 May 2008
There are many ways of earning money. Some people choose to toil away in a farm and earn money from the rice or wheat that they grow. Others work in factories, for which they might be paid a daily wage. Or you can buy T-shirts with pirate skulls painted on them by people in China and sell them for $154 a piece, which is what one Ed Hardy does...More...
Vinod Ganesh was kind enough to introduce me to the elite crowd as “Mr.Karthik Narayan” who has started a new quizzing group (don’t remember the actual words he used). But it felt nice for my hard work to be noticed in a forum. A bit of a fairytale moment, actually...More...
Saturday, 3 May 2008
Augusto’s plays, which he writes and directs, are known for their thrills and chills, and unlike plays which are mere structures for the one-liners of the playwright, there is always a strong story...More...
It was a fairly new concept in the mid-nineties to offer giveaways along with the main product. In the nineties? Yeah, I think so, because that was the time when life started making some sense. It's a different matter altogether that I have lost it completely now. . .More. ..
When they started the garbage collection drive, Mr. Murthy and friends also thought of planting trees in their locality. After a couple of meeting with Forest Office officials in Aranya Bhavan, it was decided they should plant Honge saplings. . .More . ..
She said she was paying a rent of two thousand five hundred for a small place off the crowded streets of Mylapore.Now, the house owner had found people who were willing to pay four thousand. Hers was not a rare case, she said. Lots of middle class families faced the prospect of moving out of the core city areas. . .More. . .
Today’s child who is an expert with game controllers, much akin to the controllers of the Da Vinci, will find it easier to perform a surgery. So heed to it when kids ask for more Xbox & PS2 gaming time; they are hopefully training to be the next robotic surgeons or operators of other types of day to day robots!!. . .More. . .
I have known Dr. Javeed Nayeem as a social activist, student of Mysore’s folk-history, book-lover, coffee-planter, Star of Mysore columnist, a Haji and, of course, as a reputed cardiologist. His latest column however shows him up as a gun-lobbist. . .More. . .
Friday, 2 May 2008
The best part of our life in Pondicherry was the children Raji, Bala and Viji’s chance to attend the best school – the convent, St. Joseph de Cluny High School. The school had different sections, English medium and French medium. . .More. . .
All that remains today are the remnants in the form of rails, bridges, wagons, etc. A couple of years back as a befitting tribute to the centenary of the Cochin State Forest Tramway, an eco-friendly trekking plan was launched along the tumbled down tramway route. . . More. . .
I am talking of people like Kumaraswamy, who gets the greatness gene from Devegowda himself, that patriot who has done so much for his poor self, his poor wife and his extremely poor children, M. K. Stalin who likewise, inherits it from Karunanidhi, Milind Deora, Jitin Prasada, the Thakerays son and nephew, and even old Narayan Rane's whatsisname son, I can think of dozens. . .More. . .
We (Jim Harrod and me) made it to Goose Bay (CYYR) in Labrador region of Canada. It is a "balmy 4 degrees Celius as I write this and that's not too bad for tis time of the year, it is warming up. ..A short night rest and we are off in the next few minutes across to Narsarssuaq (BGBW) on the southern part of Greenland. . .More. . .
The grocer continues to give away plastic carry bags to his 'valued' customers. He's actually forced to spend Rs 3000 on gifting garbage every month, all because the Kings and Queens (remember Customer is King) can't be bothered to bring their own shopping bag. . .More. . .
Thursday, 1 May 2008
Not so the Kuwaitees. The police do reach the spot fast but if there are residents they do whatever they can. Maybe because they don’t have to fear the law but then once on the road they are the fastest and would love to go uninterrupted but yet stops to help victims. . .More. . .