Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Sundaram Finance Mylapore Fest.

Welcome again to the second half of the Sundaram Finance Mylapore Fest.
There isn't any jazz, pizzas and glitter.
There aren't any Page 3 celebrities on stage.
This is a Fest of the people...More


And it also got me to wonder what value I am adding to the world by recording my thoughts. It adds a certain value to my days ; some structure, some happiness...More

Different Matters

Shocking news is that five young women who were quietly having lunch at a pub in Mangalore, Karnataka, were badly beaten up by a self appointed group of moral police. Two of the injured girls are in hospital...More

When a dork attends a fashion show

I'm not normally this candid about my flaws but I'm in an unusually honest mood tonight. Must be the republic day spirit. Or a Ramalingam Raju moment...More

Winter's Gold

When the morning's fog clears, the marigolds in the garden look as if you could drink the sunshine out of them...More

UFO at Obama inauguration - hoax or real?

Then the clip cuts to a shot of the skyline behind Washington Monument. Then you see an object moving from the right to left, at a good speed...More

An Award

While I thank Smitha who has bestowed upon me this reward, with a note to give it to 8 others, I would like to take the route that another great blogger RM has taken...More

That's how 26th January was...

For me this day definitely evokes warm memories from my childhood. Those were days, when Republic Day meant going to school early in the morning in the cold winter to participate in the flag hoisting...More

The 'Kolam' Festival

Squares about three or four feet wide had been marked and numbered, and contestants were given each a bag of white powder and 40 minutes to exhibit their skills...More

Arjun Dev Gandhi – Simple Effort, Big Impact

A former officer with CRRI (Central Road Research Institute), Mr. Gandhi regularly lights up candles at a newly renovated subway three times every single evening. He has been spending money from his own pocket to buy candles to light up a “powerless” subway...More

Benzene-A New Villain is Borne?

Now new information emerging from food scientists across the world is showing E-211 as a potential threat to consumers in presence of ascorbic acid when the carcinogenic Benzene is generated under ambient conditions...More

RV Passes Away

Blog Haiku

Public Awareness!
Its hard to stay mad..... at the absent minded man who makes you Wai Wai at 2.46 am, decorates it with two grapes...More

Aim Please

It was in Singapore a few months ago that I saw a poor bee stuck on the urinal of an upscale mall. Of course the next thing to do was to aim at the poor bee, but what else is one supposed to do?...More

Coracle Rides at Hampi

On 23rd Jan, the newspaper headlines read thus: Bridge at Hampi collapses, six feared dead. Just a month back we were there at Hampi...More

After B Tech,what?

This is the question that stares at IT grads fresh out of college. IT companies that have suspended campus recruitment suggest that leading educational institutions introduce a one-year post-graduate programme...More

A Mughal love story (no, it's not Mumtaz of Taj Mahal fame!)

I was born in 1968. At the beginning of that decade, an epic film of sweeping proportions aired in Indian cinemas: Mughal-e-azam. The Urdu word azam means "great"...


I find I cannot contemplate
Missing-out tomorrow's date.
But today I've written quite a few,
So this little effort will have to do!

Special Economic Zone

SEZs were an example set by China. Emulating the same in a democratic country just leaves me puzzled. Each line of the preamble seems to have been disregarded. For example...More
In all interviews and talk shows the slumdog team has been pitching the film as a tale of hope and love. I am sure it is because slums are replete with tales of hope...More

Star Screen Awards

Yesterday i saw Star Screen Awards, and i was wondering what the awards function have become...just a song and dance show? Do they even entertain us? Is it really entertainment...More

Coming Soon...An Ultra Forward Generation

Remember the time we were kids? We were so proud when entrusted with a grown up task and looked at grown ups with admiration when they drove a car or did something we thought was uber cool! The kids of these days on the other hand are not the hero worshiping tots... More

On the Death of a Library

She is overwhelmed by the loss. The mechanic store is a welcome change to many, who see the usefulness of the transformation, but the girl is probably the only one who mourns the death of the library...

Friday, 23 January 2009

One more tour

It is said that whatever you desire there, it will be fulfilled. There was so much crowd for the darshan of Laksmi temple inside that we couldnt dare to even think of standing..just saw from outside...More. . .

Before the baby arrives...

It will be their first baby and we are all very much thrilled, in fact we are all still in that euphoric state. Both sets of grandparents have mentally started looking forward...More...

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Festival time in Mylapore

would love to see you at the 2009 edition of Sundaram Finance Mylapore Festival 2009, January 22 to 25.
If you and your family, your relatives and your friends are there, then this will truly be a community-driven fest

Best wishes to Team Obama

He is a First Person in a faraway land, and he's a (very important) 'third person' for my country, but the heavy burdens on not-so-broad shoulders are very visible to the whole world.

Manapad: Conversion od Paravas

I am not sure if the Paravas wore costumes like the one depicted here. In the background the soldier and the girl look like a scene from the Rome of the old. Perhaps the artist did not have first hand knowledge

Quick post about the Mumbai Marathon

I was mistaken several times for Usain Bolt (I completed 10 meters in 9.68 seconds, equalling Usain Bolt's record). The young man on the right (#2045) is gazing in awe. Check the rippling muscles

Indolence is Bliss

Gender Equality and Marriage

I have always favored gender equality when there are many closely associated with me who believes that men are superior to women. It must be my upbringing or maybe the Indian/Hindu culture. I have realized over the years that men and women are equally vulnerable

Ring that Bell!

Fellow blogger Anjali’s post ‘The transition' put me on this track. This is something that has to be dealt with - by all of us.
Domestic violence.

Where is the OST?

I generally do not keep track of the music world, except, of course, when it involves ARR. It goes by default that his songs would have made their presence felt on my laptop, and gradually found their way on to my first generation ZUNE

Naturally Occuring Aspirin-Really?

It is well known that the Bayer Pharmaceuticals made enormous fortune selling Aspirin for decades, being the prime mover in the market. The role of Aspirin, also known as acetyl salicylic acid

Obama’s diverse family

Whether Obama will change the US of A or not, I think this mixture is definitely a change to the hypocritical ‘ruling class’ of the US of A ; which has predominantly been white protestants

What does YOUR India look like?

I wonder why all the uproar? Because the movie won awards, and we are jealous? Because what it says is true and are ashamed that the truth is out there for everyone to see?

Rajsamand Lake

After traveling for eight days in Rajasthan by road, through the deserts, hills, mountain ranges and forests, we finally got to see something pleasant and cooling to eyes. It was the Rajsmand Lake,

Coconut fiber car parts

A research team at Baylor University, Texas, has made car parts - trunk liners, floorboards and car-door interior covers - using fibers from the outer husks of coconuts

278A. Affray

It fell in nineteen fifty one upon an April day
That out into the channel went the submarine 'Affray'.
Her back was shining like a seal's and strong and thick besides.
Three score and fifteen mariners were locked within its sides.

Bribes and Fear Psychology

How does a government employee manage to extract bribe from you? Experiences in the past one week have clearly showed me that it is by installing fear. Example this conversation:

Slumdog Musings

Everyone is talking about Slumdog Millionaire. I have not seen the movie as it is yet to be released in India. I had read Q & A almost two years ago when the book had been recommended...

To my mother, with love

When I look at myself in the mirror, it surprises me how remarkably I look like my mother. Everything from the hair texture to facial features show an uncanny resemblance, and our childhood photos look exactly alike...

Saturday, 17 January 2009

P.S. Dear Sir!

Dear Mr Minister; You in Charge,
Who writes your name so proud and large,
I'm looking for an explanation
For a crazy situation.

Why don't humans hibernate? - Musings on foggy morns

I can't see beyond 50 metres in Delhi,
you can't drive afore you clear your Boston drive
Look at the bear - he's wise, no balaclavas,

Photos: Flowers and Berries

Men, women and personal taboos

This is a clear indication of the breakdown of traditional barriers and taboos at least among the city folk. I am sure these must be rare couples who are in near-perfect harmony. The average guy, I guess, is still shy when it comes to condoms.

For Heaven's Sake

The one regret Bush has is that he couldn’t find the WMD’s in Iraq! I wish him all luck in finding them since he has now all the time in his hands. He can start digging Texas first.

Smell of an Indian Bazaar

My Granddaughter, My Mother

Everything Arundati did seemed so delightful, right from teasing her 'Thatha' (grandfather) by taking away his woollen night cap and running to hide it, to rubbing away the kolam...

The Mad Maruthi Driver of Noida

It was precisely at that time that I heard the sound of a car, or better to say the sound that one hears when a car moving in high speed suddenly applies the brake (kiiiiichhh)....

A Sigh!

Same life, same project for the last two years, and getting lonely by the day, and, losing friends to marriages. So, no tours, no meet ups.The last sentence hit me big time...

Food Technology and the Fourth Estate

Indian Food Industry (IFI), run by AFST(I), a thoroughbred food scientists organization is a star on its own category with articles of high technical content as all the contributing articles undergo strict peer review...

Google and greenhouse gases

Thus, rose a storm in the tea cup. Set off by a report in The Sunday Times, London; stirred up by blogger Crabtree , it gathered velocity as Google’s rapid rebuttal team got into the act.

Raymond and Debra ... revisited yet again

As usual, there was an Indian on a table of maybe 10, giving investment advice to anyone who cared to listen. It made me wonder why do typical Indian men talk only about money and stocks?

At the gym

So thus equipped, I trudged gingerly to the gym with an airbag, wearing a not so short but short shorts, a tighter company T shirt (one that I got free after a company outing), my new ‘N’ trainers, a water bottle (I planned to fill it with water at the gym drinking fountains...

The Inspiring Pig

The pig named Zhu Jianqiang or Strong-Willed Pig became celebrity after surviving for 36 days buried beneath rubble after this year's Sichuan earthquake has been named China's most inspirational animal of 2008.

Charity begins at home...

Parents teach their children to be nice to their siblings, to help each other out when need be, so on and so forth. But unfortunately, very often that is where the lesson ends....

Good Morning in Vietnam

Towards the end of the year 2008, I made a trip with golfing enthusiast friends to check out what was available for golfing, in the Vietnam....

Ayurveda at Ashtamudi

I missed the buzz at Chennai Sangamam and the only way to feel good is to remember the wonderful massage I had at Svaastha -the branded ayurvedic spa at Club Mahindra...

Can BRIC save the world?

Let all of us, including the distinguished ambassadors of BRIC send a joint resolution to Senator Obama [Images],' thundered the tall old man in an immaculately tailored suit in the front row...

Chief Idea officer?

Ideas are just a small part when you embark on a big project. As long as you have the ability to think wide, ideas never fail you. However, ideas by themselves do not take you anywhere. Execution is what is required to realize the idea.

Please Admit My Child

Take this said the desperate mother as she held out a 5oo Rs note but please admit my child. This incident occurred last week at the women centre...


Some memories remain vivid. I remember the evening I went with him and Vijaya Manni (my sister-in-law) to the famous 'Ayyappa' drama by TKS Brothers. Our car gave us trouble and would not start on our return trip. There were no taxis in those days, and he brought us back home in a bullock cart...

Monday, 12 January 2009

Kutti plantains and Kitchen Gardens!

I laughed and laughed before I told my amused host that the nook with the bananas looked like Nair's tea shop in Irinjalakuda.
The plantains were delicious.
They had to be. They had grown on the trees that Manoj has in his kitchen garden.

A happy farmer near MHOW, Indore

"The agrarian crisis is about a much wider rural distress. It's a crisis driven not by drought or natural calamity as Mr Sharad Pawar has said in the Parliament. And he didn't use the word crisis. It's a crisis driven by policy; global, national, local.

November Rains in Chennai

Mr. Systematic

Excuse me!", I wanted to ask him, "If you didn't want it in the first place, why did you ask me to look for it?" But I didn't, of course. Because I was weak kneed with relief. A lesser man would have peed in his underpants...

Sweet Pongal, Another New Year

Another Pongal, the exclusively Thamilzh harvest festival, is here. This time, with the additional distinction of being the Thamizh New Year. So that is two New Years in a month...

The Satyam Fallout – Is The India Inc’s Image At Stake?

This question struck into my mind after coming across the plethora of reports/views/comments, etc that the Satyam incident will rob the India Inc as a whole (and not precisely the Indian IT industry) of the faith and confidence of the foreign investors.

Glucose Biscuit-The Flag mast of Indian Food Industry

Cookies and biscuits are adorable snacks as they contain, besides sugar and fat, important growth nutrient protein also. In India the three major biscuit makers are Parle, Britannia and ITC, each having a dozen successful products in the market.

Where’s ‘Satyam’ Raju ?

is a question to which no one appears to have an answer. CNBC-TV 18 reporter in Hyderabad who raised the question with the police was told that in the absence of anyone filing an FIR they weren’t really looking for Sri Ramalinga Raju of Satyam.

Road-trip report … continued

We left early for Coonoor the next day morning. The road to Coonoor from Ooty passes through Charing Cross. So we thought we would have a quick breakfast at Preethi Palace (a hotel recommended by the Concierge at Sterling)...

What's on your desk?

Went back to work yesterday after 3 weeks! And felt good to be back there. I looked around at all the familiar things in there, and realized something.of the things in there are gifts from friends and family...

WOW, Heavenly...

Every minute in our lives are interesting, important and intriguing. It keeps us going on "what next?". There are some moments that are memorable, some that are touching, some - testing but there are truly very few that are breathtaking...

Praying Mantis

We saw this Praying Mantis perched on the wall so gracefully. All of us crowded around her, but she didn’t budge from that place or pose...

Hamburger History

I always thought that, in Germany, the people went about
Eating Hamburgers by the tonne. There wasn't any doubt!
After all, Hamburg's in Germany as everybody knows.
That would be the source of it, wouldn't you suppose?

The pace of development!!!

Unanswered Questions

The article raised many issues that I have touched upon in my years of blogging: corruption, the lure of money, political nexuses and above all the need of apportioning responsibility....

Lessons in Learning

What happens when you are forced to justifying your claims? And when your GPA counts on it? What happens when it becomes a requirement for you to look into matters, establish opinions on them, and dwell on matters that interest you?...

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Paataal Paani, near MHOW, Indore

Alongside is a metre-guage railway track, and the spot offers obvious opportunities to turn into a modern picnic spot with cable cars and walkways.

Photos: Grandchildren

Being president is hazardous to health

Anyway, let me get back to our main topic of this post, the hazardousness of being president. I am one of those speedreaders who looks at the headlines and any pictures shown in the article and automatically divines what the author wanted to say in 2000 words...

Hamas has key to peace

West Asia (Middle East) has never seen peace. As things stand today there is little hope. Unless, there is a huge change in the mindset of both Israel and Hamas, blood will continue to be spilt...

Gaza Still Burns

But the same Indian in me refuses to ignore the cries of the innocent civilians in Ghaza who are being given and were given a very unfair deal by the world. This madness needs to end. Only God can help them...

Concert Vignettes

Flautist N. Ramani kept his cool when his mike went berserk in the middle of his concert at the Narada Gana Sabha, like a banshee wailing. It is a fire alarm drill, whispered someone.The person in charge came rushing in from outside to stop the awful sound. Ramani had already stopped playing...

Safe and Healthy Food-The Royal Proclaimation

Does this augur well for the industry? Already, clearance of import consignments at our ports takes inordinate time because of the archaic procedures in place currently and setting up another bureaucratic body "to gauge risk factor associated with imported items" is going to pose further problems...

Gaza under ground attack.

After a week of pounding from air Israelis moved their troops into Gaza strip. TV channels, notably CNN, kept up a running coverage, but their reporting was from the Israel end,...

IIT Thesis cheating and Satyam …

Ok, this is something that took me back by surprise. Really shocked me. All around, there is always talk about the IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) being the most premiere institute in the country. And Today...

So thoughtful!!!

When I went into the kitchen to make my lunch, I was amazed!
He had set the pot, filled in the required amount of water (so that I don't have to go to the sink to get it!), broke the noodles into even pieces and set aside in a plate...

Nambiar, Bose & Germany

ACN Nambiar was well known to the freedom fighter clan, but I doubt if anybody will even recollect anything about such a person, today. In many ways his work resulted in the ‘proverbial straw’ breaking the camels back...

Ranakpur Jain Temple

Spread over an area of approx. 48,000sq.feet, this temple is made of amber stone ...

Power from rice husk - a 3-in-1 idea

Generating electricity from rice husk, besides being eco-friendly, can be a viable business model with three streams of income - 1) sale of electricity generated from a rice-mill by-product; 2) sale of husk ash to cement units;...

Banyan tree at Beirchaa Lake

The mutiple trunks and aerial roots are quite closely spaced and provide myriad ideas, glimpses and dialogues...

P.S. Rain Dance

The best advice I ever heard
With reference to life's pain
Is 'Realise storms are coming
Learn to dance in the rain.'

Mysored-My First Trip in 2009

A Real Life Tale of Horror

The said ritual entailed feeding the entire village and thus Meena had to borrow twelve thousand rupees at the rate of 6% a month or 72% a year. The split moment decision had made her indebted...

The transition

Achamma is not alone. There are many menial workers like her who have severed their ties with Kerala and parasitic relations after the initial enthusiasm to help out family and relations. And the reason is watching their hard earned money making people take things easy and leading to increasing irresponsibility...

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Resolution for 2009: Be the Change in your Community

They sympathised with the victims in Bombay. And they pledged to be more active in the public. 'Make use of us! We are ready to contribute!' That voice, that of a young woman rings in my mind though it bounced off my TV set that Sunday morning.

Sr. Abhaya Case: Sex and the CBI, a detective story gone awry?

Granting the accused bail, the Kerala High Court came out with scathing criticism of the way the latest team of sleuths (there had been a few earlier) of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is handling the case...

New Years, on making sense of

We like to usher in the new year every year. We are deeply paranoid that the new year might just lose its way and wander off into another century and then, where would you be?

Wish you a Happy 2009

On this first day of 2009, I wish you, and all near and dear to you, lots of happiness and prosperity in the new year. May you be successful in all your endeavours.

New Year Wishes

It’s time to start dreaming, to be comforted, and to laugh off your burdens. It’s time to welcome hope, which is more important that welcoming the New Year. This is the secret of the New Year...

A Very Happy And Prosperous 2009 For The Entire World

Through this blog I express my love and hearty wishes for all the cultured and peace loving people of this world, who value a civilized human society and are always ready to do their level best to achieve and preserve the same.

Kerala-Spriit's Own Country

One estimate claims that while Kerala spends Rs 75 billion on liquor, the expenditure on the staple food rice was less than Rs 30 billion! The annual revenue to Government from liquor sales through various taxes was Rs 18 billion in 2007...

The Sands of Time

Hello Arun, how are you? When did you come back from US? I thought you still had six more months left, gushed forth a chirpy voice on the phone. Oh, I came back last night...

SweetPotato-Potato Cutlets

Recipe is same as that for Potato for cutlets, except mix some cooked/mashed SweetPotato with it. (SweetPotato = Chakaravallikazhangu in tamil)....

The key to a happy marriage

Once marriage happens, all that simply disappears. We are simply supposed to "know" that we are loved, there is no need to show it to the other person. So he asks his mom, how did her and dad stay together so happily for so long...

Head facing north

Checking further, I found out that American Navajo Indians also believed that you should never sleep facing North, as it was evil and only for dead people (Wow ! just like in India!!). Their taboos are pretty interesting...

Watch Collection

It is the remarkable collection of clocks and watches that fascinated me the most. There are clocks and watches of all shapes and sizes...

Sleep vs Sound

Like every aspect of our lives, this is all flouted by all and sundry with impunity. We need very little incentive to start off blaring music with earsplitting loudspeakers to celebrate any event...

For Richer: For Poorer?

Let's not forget that we, the ones who're cossetted and warm,
Are not in the majority; we're, sadly, not the norm.
We can't cure all the ills of life, and do we really try?
But it doesn't hurt to pause a while and simply question 'Why?'

2008 just whizzed past me...

Sell Schools to make Malls

Sell schools to build shopping malls! You heard me right. This is no joke but that is the latest ploy of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in a view to fill their coffers. And 15 schools are apparently ready to be auctioned, 60 others are in the pipeline.

Thursday, 1 January 2009


A New Year dawns and I recall
Other New Years when I was small,
When 'Christmas trees were still so tall'
And way above me.

Down the River of No Return

I suppose that people do not like to spend New Year eve on a train. Or was it a fear of terror attack? There was a warning about an assault on our aircraft carrier Virat, but the Alleppey Express, I felt, was too insignificant a target. I reached back safely.

Bangalore motorcyclist shot dead: the lessons to be learnt

A B Com student, who was involved in drag racing, fell to bullets fired by sentries guarding an army compound into which he entered while trying to flee the cops who had flagged him down.

New Year Wishes

A beaming smile, a warm embrace and lots of good wishes to you all. You know why? Because you are simply the best in whoever and whatever you are....

Happy New Year

Monthly Bleg

We ask you to contribute original material related to food technology that will be posted with attribution to the writer. If the material is of high quality and prolific enough, you can even become a coblogger!

Road-trip report: Masinagudi, Ooty, Coonoor.

Directions to the temple are very nicely marked. Temple was a bit crowded - an ITDC package tour bus had just landed. But had a great dharshan of Palli Konda Ranganathar...

CFTRI: call for ‘accountability check’

The Central Food Technology Research Institute (CFTRI) takes up a sizeable chunk of Mysore’s real estate. Does the R & D done here and its benefits to society add up to justify the size and scale of CFTRI’s Mysore establishment?

Me wanna talk talk and talk

But the most memorable ones are those in India...with my family rooted in front of the television, watching Doordarshan's New Year's Eve program...

Trails in Andra Pradesh

We covered a lot of places enroute to Warangal and then travelled onwards to Palampet. I missed Bhongir as it had become dark, but I hope to get there again. sometime.....

A Petition to the Lord With Prayer

I am asking everyone who believed in what we do to commit a fix amount, no matter how small, for us every month so that no door needs to be closed, no smile needs to be lost and no child risks to drop out of school and lose his morrows. Is it asking too much.