Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Yum T V Toadies

We first have the channel advertising auditions for the show and then we are put through a prolonged serial display of Dyphoric Mania with a Dyphoric Maniac and another wimp selecting participants for the show in front of a camera.The selection process does not allow anyone with balls to stand up to the Dyphoric Maniac and only people who the Dyphoric Maniac can intimidate are selected. But not before he humiliates kids half his age in front of the camera because they are so desperate for a break on television...more

Sunday, 26 April 2009

KB After 40 years

In the 60s and 70s, we used to look forward to every K. Balachandar (KB) movie – and were never let down. All that we expected from him would be there - a good story, excellent characterisation, suspense and liberal doses of humour. With Nagesh in the cast, there was no dearth of that. More ...

Of my co-editor Kini

Our greatest memory is the friendship that Asoke extended to us unconditionally. I remember my first visit to his generously proportioned apartment in Tottenham Court Road which impressed us no end, as we ourselves as unmarried bachelors lived in oppressively small bed sitters often in bed bunks two to a room. .. .More. . .

BBC thinking out of the box

Elections would be over by mid-May, but the BBC election special would be remembered long after, by folks at Rewari and thousands of others who happen by the train through its journey...More...

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Earth Day: What Can I Do?

Can I tell them, “Listen friends all these firewood that you are going to burn is going to produce lots of CO2. At this rate you are going to increase the global warming at a faster rate and in fifty years there will be lots of floods and we will all drown.”?

Going shoeless in Toronto

When he spread the word on his ‘Barefoot challenge’, using Facebook and other networking tools, friends as far afield as Thailand, Australia, Thailand and Afghanistan pledged to shed their shoes in solidarity with Rajan’s ’shoeless week’ (Apl.19-25) to highlight the plight of children who have to go without shoes every day.. .More...

Friday, 24 April 2009

Degrees of separation

I am so engrossed in my laptop that I do not see nor hear a young girl sitting next to me. She is a really good looking Tambram girl. She looks very conservative though from her clothing. She carries a toddler in her arms. She seats the toddler on the chair and goes to get the trolley with her luggage. Before she goes she asks me politely if I will keep an eye on her son. I nod smiling at her. She smiles back reassured. I see her pushing a trolley with numerous bags which she parks near me. Then she glances at the airport entrance and gazes with some desperation at an old couple standing out side...more.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

A Meeting of Worlds

She spoke of the many worlds – worlds that would normally have nothing to do with one another - that came together because of the unifying force of music. These were not fleeting interactions, but powerful, intimate ones, where often the accepted social hierarchies were turned upside down. Rich and poor. Hindu and Muslim. Conservative, respectable middle-class Brahmin and devadasi. Yet, it was the rich who bowed their heads and touched the feet of the poor, humbly seeking blessings and knowledge; Hindu and Muslim ascended together to an enchanted sphere where music was god; and value judgments about lifestyle were left at the door, as the Brahmin sought the secrets of musical wisdom and enlightenment from the courtesan. More....

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Taragarh Fort, Bundi

"Taragarh Fort must have been built by angels not by human beings," commented Rudyard Kipling. It looks beautiful. A steep climb up the hill, then through enormous gates decorated with elephants which are now in ruins, we were inside the Taragarh Fort of Bundi. In its heydays this fort was well known for the tunnels criss-crossing the entire hill side facilitating the King and his men to flee in case of imminent defeat in wars.

Haircare down the ages

Nobody ever heard of a Sita, Draupadi, Damayanthi and Menaka or for that matter saints like Vashista or Vishwamitra ever complain of lice, tics or worms, then. At least the Epics do not record their complaints. ...Till recently most of the family members were given oil bath on Sundays, with different strokes for different people.. . .More. . .

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Summer Beauty

Can you guess what flower this is?
I used to call it the powder puff flower...More....

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Irshad Mia, Aadab

This post, addressed to a long lost friend Irshad Panjatan, is done in the hope that if he were to Google this piece, he would know how to find me. Irshad and I haven’t been in touch for nearly five decades now...More...

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Please Vote for Me

We should have had the General Elections in July.
Then we could have had the opportunity to expose senior school students to the ins and outs of this democratic process.
Days in June would have been perfect.
Should school students get involved?...More

Some Things Do Change

One of the joys of middle age is letting go. Of so much baggage, fixed notions, of an image one oneself. and being open to new experiences, ideas and new ways of doing things. Not that one is completely transformed but it seems delightful when little events show up different ways of thought...More

Wry Take on the Election exercise

For 5 Thursdays we will be watching candidates and voters showing off their index finger. To make out a voter from a candidate - just note whether the finger is pointed upwards (the voter invokes the divine superpower) or sideways (a pot/kettle calling his fellow kettle/pot black)...More

The Elephant Swims to Crow Island

At about 6.30 in the morning on April 9, the shrimp workers saw a strange movement in the lake on the western side of the island. As the bewildered people watched, a tusker emerged from the water...More

My Miss India rant

If you ever find me wandering about on the streets gesticulating absently and talking to myself, you can tell yourself Naren has lost his mind at last. Unless of course I have got a blue-tooth headset, but that's most unlikely because I have no clue how to bind one with my phone...More

Journalist's Shoe Mightier than Pen?

Journalists report news. Today, a journalist became the news. The Dainik Jagran reporter, Jarnail Singh’s, act of lobbing his shoe at home minister P Chidambaram at a media conference, brought the profession and journalists to shame. I, as a journalist, felt bad...More

Be ragged or else be damned?

I have heard students and teachers justify “ragging”. They say it helps a person to face the real world. Is it so? Will the scars of ragging ever fade? And sometimes the scars can be physical too as in this recent case in a reputed college in Coimbatore...More

Tytler Case: A Small Specimen Of Social Justice

With due respect to Mr. Tytler, it would have really been a matter of disgrace for the Indian democracy if he got the opportunity to contest, and then could manage to become a Minister later. I am saying this not only because he was accused of a particular crime. Rather, I am trying to highlight the nature of the crime that he was accused of...More

A Typical Conversation--Part 1

It does not require any serious thinking to note that we (we men) tend to have diametrically opposite behavior as compared to the fairer sex. It is not a post to highlight the superiority of one set of beings over the other or vice versa...More

What Happened to Chechi?

In the eighteenth year of our wedding, Suja who was a 1st year medical student at the time of our marriage (discontinued since) started to complain about an irritation in her right ear. Naturally I took her to an ENT specialist...More

Reminiscences of Vishu

The summer has started, but the greenery is seen all around. It is also the season for ripened mangoes. Vishu, the second most important festival of Kerala Hindus is celebrated during the middle of April, most often on the fourteenth. Harvests are over and Easter is round the corner...More

Yamuna Veruthe

I watched Ore Kadal, again when it came in Kairali TV. I liked that movie a lot. It is the kind of movie I like to watch without any interruptions.Watching every emotion that goes through Meera Jasmine, Narein etc.I don’t like Meera’s other movies like Kasthooriman, Rasathanthram or even Achuvinte Amma.Those looked like to me as over excited acting...More

The Power of Just One Goal

I am glad I went back. I am having a lot of fun. The various topics under discussion really stir up the brain cells that have settled down lately to think only about work and home...More

Himmler and his Aryan theories

It was after 1936. Heinrich Himmler, the one man responsible for the murder of over half a million people, had become the Reichsfuhrer and had just founded the Ahnenerbe (Ancestral heritage) department in the Nazi machinery...More

Of locks without keys

Still scratching your head and your windowpanes wondering how to get your keys out of the car? Or getting locked outside your home with keys inside? Sometimes you even run the risk of (ugghhhh) someone stealing your footprint for biometric locks!!It's time to move on...More

Eurasian Hoopoe

Many months later, at Kokkare Bellur near Bangalore I spotted one more Hoopoe. It was searching for its food among the short grass, in the soil...More

An Encounter at Vedanthangal

The bird was looking intently at the crevices formed between the stones studding the waterside of the bund. Suddenly it made a sharp dive towards the bund, caught a wriggling animal and flew back to its perch...More

Once upon a time, eating Nanjanagud hallupudi...

Despite these rigours, their teeth used to be like The Wall—strong, reliable and always ready to tackle what the opposition threw at them all day. Most of our ancestors even capped their sumptuous meal by chewing the juice of a betel nut...More

Fascination for the Radio

The sound from the radio has always fascinated me. My earliest memory is of a Made-in-England 8-band Bush radio, a gift from a family friend...More

Ten things that define Delhi (2)

I was sitting at the bar at the Maurya Sheraton with two English colleagues a couple of years ago, when we saw a high profile society wedding in the hotel. For nearly an hour, as the who's who of Delhi came for the wedding, the three of us just sat there fascinated...More

Koh Samui: Thai Island

Weather in Koh Samui or just Samui for short, is tropical year round, just as one would expect Thailand to be. Last month it was a bit cooler in the evenings, pleasant breeze blowing in from the sea always...More

The Grizzled Sprid

The Grizzled Sprid
Did what he did,
And did it very well.
He chumfed his splang...More

Where are the tourists?

Probably its the recession or maybe the season is getting over..but we hardly found any tourist in Kumbalgarh, but for a few Indian families on a summer vacation...More


When I worked at my previous company, my manager used to tell me “Be very careful when you put something in black and white”. The reasoning was that, things you write weigh heavily as compared to what you say. Write an autobiography and you will be judged about your every move thereafter...More

The Last Turnaround

I am no economist or specialist of any kind, but in my humble and limited opinion what we are facing is a moral crisis more than an economic way...More

A special candidate who needs our support

Sarath Babu's mother sold idlis to support her children. Having seen the
harsh realities of life, Sarath Babu believes that youth have the honesty
and the ability to make the country a better place to live in. "I want to be
a beacon of hope for the youth," he said...More

View from the other side

As I look at two photographs of surrender that lie before me, I can't help recalling his words. The first is the celebrated event at Dhaka on Dec 16, 1971, which now adorns most Army messes in Delhi and Calcutta. The second, sir, is the video of a teenage girl being flogged by the Taliban in Swat -- not far, I am sure, from one of your Army check posts...More

Vintage and Classic Cars Rally at Nariman Point

Gopilal Sharma had ridden Ajaypat Singhania’s 1956 Mercedes 300 to the rally and reveled in the attention it was drawing from curious onlookers...More

At Pismo Beach

The sands do shift fast and the waves come crashing towards you at a terrific pace, don’t they? It’s better to surf the calm seas before they turn turbulent in thunderstorms...More

Always keep your A game

Just remember that although life is full of tests, these tests have a time limit, and we should not still be taking the test long after our allotted time...More

Friday, 17 April 2009

No Ghostly Experience!

I call those nights as blissful today, because I now know, that Palace is haunted. Yes, haunted by the ghost of Major Charles Burton, killed by Indians in the 1857 armed revolt against the British. I was ignorant of this fact on the nights of 8th and 9th of Oct. 2008. Probably that is why the nights were blissful.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Educating Junior

Whoever drew this brilliant cartoon (do click on it) has my full sympathy ... and absolute understanding. Actually I'm not too sure it is a cartoon. It looks more like a page from my son's notebook. Or that of any of the thousands of 16-year olds in India.
I've been stewing all of this past year, not because of anything I have to do, but because my son was preparing for his Board exams this year. Now, if you're not from India, chances are that you won't know the sheer hell of this phase!

Lisa's Bangalore connection

A New Hampshire school teacher who did four months of volunteer work at an orphanage in Bangalore. The experience so impacted Lisa that, on her return to the US, she organised fund-raising events, made slide-show presentations, and set up a blog ...More...

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Ezhumalai Was Govindan Then

There were about 20 palms in the compound of Lakshmi Nivas. Govindan would come once a month about 8 am, and wait outside till my mother was free to talk to him. If any of us children saw him, we would shout out to my mother that the ‘thengai parakkaravan’ (coconut plucker) had come. Hearing us once, he said, “Kochammai,(Little Miss) I have a name....More...

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Think positive

"Reminding someone of their misery makes them frown even more. Putting a smile on someone’s face costs nothing. Think about it.

Think positive!" More . . .

Monday, 13 April 2009


.......I am really happy that we women don’t need to slave over hot firewood stoves, or grind the spices for the curries manually, or grind the dough for our staple idlis and dosas using the old grinding stones. More ........

A Tibetan place near Mysore

Today Bylakuppe is a well- settled race of Tibetans among Mysoreans and Kodavas. After 50 years, their children work in hospitals, shops and offices. What is heartening is, Tibetans have maintained their culture intact.. . .More. . .

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter!

Summer is here and the trees and shrubs in my house are a spray with blooms in myriad colors. This year we've had a semblance of a "Bangalore Summer" of yore...comparatively mild compared to the summers we have been having for the past seven years or so. I took some pictures of the flowers and trees in my house on a pleasant summer evening some time last week...More

Our visa interview

Interview area resembled railway reservations counters, with several visa-seekers being attended to simultaneously. Many other couples like us were in queue, waiting in unspoken silence, and anxious to get it over with...More...

Friday, 10 April 2009

Some Things Don't Change ...

Promptly, at 8.p.m. she received a call from her mother asking, when are you coming home. My friend told her Mom, that we might be late as we were having dinner outside. A little disapproval there......


Thursday, 9 April 2009

Waiter, There's An Elephant In My Tea

Elephants can cause a lot of damage, and these boys were doing their best to drive them away. It isn't good to be in the path of an elephant when it runs towards you. It can race along at 60km an hour. More. . .

Singing For Rama Navami

For the first time, we had a proper stage (albeit small) to sit on and sing. We were introduced individually . More .......

Happy Goes Lucky In Punjab

The first words of greeting I heard in Amritsar set the tone for the whole of my absolutely awe-inspiring visit in the Punjab. Hello Madam ji, myself Harinder Singh Happy – please call me Happy ! More ......

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

What's the good name?

I come from a family where calling elders by name is forbidden even if the elder is elder by a couple of months only! If you were to ask me what my grandfather’s youngest brother’s name is I wouldn't know and he is my favorite grand uncle too! He is called Kunjitappan (Kunju + chittappan). His eldest brother is called Perappan and the guy after him Chittappan. The wives also follow the same naming logic and that is 8 pairs of names that we kids memorized by habit by the time we were 6 or 7 years old...More

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Kexy isn't Sexy !

If you like words... just twisting them around, tasting them and licking your lips with them, then this one's for you.
A whole bunch of words are going to go off the board . You won't find them in any dictionary anymore and only you can save them . Dont laugh, but some of them are absolutely delicious. Throw them at Mr. Know-it-all at the desk down the corridor and watch his face stumble!

Even Tributes have a place in Community Web Sites

And when we posted the news of his death on the neighbourhood web site - - we never expected a stream of reaction to follow, some severe, some poetic, some numbing. Many of them posted by Padma Seshadri students and alumni - for Arjun was a PSBB alumni...More


Isn't she magnificent? No wonder Phalaenopsis are prized all over the world. I haven't seen many of them in Mumbai and the rare few in the nurseries seem to cost almost as much as the land...More

Remembering Appan

We gathered at Olavipe this March 28 to commemorate Appan.’s 50th death anniversary – his descendants, relatives and friends, and the local people. Not many who were present for the function that day knew Appan personally. But they had heard of him...More

Troubles of my life

My computer seems to be suffering from Alzheimer's. I use this very nifty OS called Puppy Linux, which works like a dream on every computer that I own, but of late refuses to recall any of my usernames or passwords on the one that I use at home. I strongly suspect one of my sons to have fiddled with the settings...More

Barack Obama's Prague Speech

This looked like one rock concert! A huge flag-waving cheering crowd, some 25,000 or so, of Czech nationals in Prague yesterday. It hardly seemed the President of the United States was speaking, and that too on a grave threat facing the world...More

Vote for BJP!

Why am I saying that? Did it suddenly dawn on me that BJP is better than Congress? (2 main National parties).Frankly speaking it hasn’t. Sitting far away from the election heat and die hard voters who may influence my opinion, it was easy to watch both parties impartially...More

The Recent Disturbances in Pakistan – Is The ISI-Army Combination Behind It?

It is very much possible that by engineering all these disturbances the ISI-Army is trying to send this message to the Pakistani mass that the elected civilian government is an extremely weak and incompetent one, which is completely unable to offer minimum security to the citizens...More

A "regular" checkup

A routine check up with your primary physician actually leaves you more in doubt about your health than before. First of all, you have to summon all your reserves to move yourself from the confines of your daily comforts to set up a regular health check up...More

General Elections in India 2009

Thanks to T.N.Seshan, the redoubtable former election commissioner of India, the candidates strive hard to declare their assets. Many candidates are multi millionaires apparently spending all their lives in politics...More

Some one actually foresaw this economic apocalypse !

Then came 1999, when legislators met to repeal this act. Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers called it a history act which will better enable american companies to compete in the new economy...More

Catwalk in Settum Mundum

I saw the Miss South India contest/Kerala in TV today. I have nothing against seeing beautiful girls in pretty costumes. But this one was a comedy show.None of the contestants could talk proper Malayalam or proper English...More

Project Why needs help!

I ask you to donate Just One Rupee A Day to Project WHY. What is this?
It is an initiative of pWHY where they make it possible for even the poorest in India to contribute and make a difference. It is only Rs. 365 a year. Less than what you would spend on a decent dinner. Less than a movie for your family at that multiplex. Less than a pair of shoes!..More

Joly 20th 1969>39 years ago

The street was full of activity when we got there, as a retail market place where carts and lorries from various other smaller towns had congregated to collect their quotas of commodities. Tamil and Malayalam were freely used, with a smatter of the special ‘rowther’..More

My Flights of Fantasy

Not me, I was not horrified. These were Painted Storks and Pelicans. Their wide spread wings, the sounds of the flapping of their wings would set my heart in a rush..More

Russel Viper or Krait?

Now, please read the article below, and tell me which snake do you think that is...More

The Carrierwalla

Let me remember the carrierwallas who have helped us bring fresh food, sometimes still steaming, to our workplaces. “Carrier-wallas” would pick up the lunchboxes from homes and deliver them to the desk...More

My World: The Ocean Baths

I've seen lots of photographs
Of the filthy rich submerging
In swimming-pools set in the sea,
And glamorously emerging!...More

Celebrating the Kumbalgarh-A celebration of passions

When you are in a room with ten achievers speaking about their lives and ideas that build their lives, you are stuck with one thought - that they think with their hearts and not their brains...More

Musing On

The little boys are lost in their game. At this very moment it is all that matters. The only aim is to try and win...More

Election and Election

I agree that varun has given a bad speech, but did he really deserve to be booked on NSA? Is he a terrorist? On one side we allow all the bahubali's and known dons to stand for election and on the other side we book someone under NSA for verbal crime only...More

My First Award!!

A special thing happened to me a week ago-A recieved my first blogging award, which had me delighted! Thanks, Nimmi, for the wonderful award, :-), I'm still smiling!!! As per the way things go, I think I'm supposed to nominate my own list of bloggers...More

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Summer Sights And Delights


Saturday, 4 April 2009

Abode of the Virgin Goddess

It is impossible to write a simple and straightforward account of any place in India. ...You have mythology rubbing shoulders with history. You have to consider politics, religion, culture, science and economics, each with its attendant brood of issues and points of contention. The past and the present are inseparably intertwined. You step back and view this lively patchwork, this teeming tapestry. And you say, wow. More

Friday, 3 April 2009

A Rescue Mission

Jithroo has a way with animals. Our pets love him, and the cats think he's playing with them when he goes about his work with a broom. Jithroo freed the bird - More.....

Thursday, 2 April 2009

Jantar Mantar, Jaipur

Fascination for the unknown elements of Universe enticed the astronomers of India since long. Aryabhata of fifth century is the first of the astronomer of the classical age of Indian mathematics. And in the list of other eminent astronomers of India is Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. More...

Pathi, pathni, and sruthi

For this same reason, I cannot sit and listen to Jesudas singing his own old songs on stage shows or other programs. He makes so many changes:) I dont mean any disrespect for this great singer. I can listen only to his recorded songs and Kacheri:) I keep saying he is singing it wrongly and my husband would just roll his eyes. . .More. . .

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Dog Bytes

The main danger from dogs is their natural inclination to bite – and bites from dogs can be fatal. A friend’s son died because of a bite from their own pet. More.....

Beehives at my next-door balcony

The last time a monkey-harassed resident took the initiative to hire a monkey-catcher, an animal-rights activist in our block called in the Bhajrang Dal to protest. If I were to move the bees-matter at our association meeting, I might have SPCB squad knocking at my door - that is, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Bees...More...