Thursday, 25 February 2010

Report on Mysore Santhe

A short report on Mysore Santhe, the ideas, initiatives that have come to light out of it. Chitrasanthe, entrepreneurs group, NGOs and many more initiatives make up much of the discussions that happen at the gathering. This week, the location has been changed to Rangayana open theater. See you there at 11AM, Sunday.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Brihadeeswarar Temple

The unique factor about the chola temples is that the tower over the sanctums is taller than the towers over the gopuram(tower) at the entrance. The temple tower is 70m high ad is credited to be the highest of its kind in the world. We watched the sunset of 26th Dec 2009 there, the darkness setting in and the moon rising over the gopurams, then we revisited the temple the next morning again just to see how it reflected the early rays of sun. Read more...

Drive out of the maddening city is definitely worth it,

...won't you agree? - finding yourself by this lakeside, More...


Somewhere silent, sobbing
dreams a defeated soul...

Read here

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Making it big while staying small

If there were an award for a city that has remained static, despite the massive changes it has undergone, in terms of demography, industry and social culture, then the award should go to Bangalore. The last two decades has bought sweeping changes to Bangalore. IT has become an important part of the landscape both economic and social. Thousands of people have settled here, displacing the older population by 7 to 1. Yet the city has held firm. Not a single new road has been created. Nor a single gully carved out of its stubborn landscape, all thanks to a recalcitrant administration, that seem to have gone berserk collecting the windfall on the city...more.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

When it Snowed in Midsummer

The heat waves shiver off the tar and travel. The afternoon is still, and the sun is most impolite today. I feel his wrath on my prickly skin. The afternoon is scorching and I squint. I am most unresponsive otherwise, and quietly disregard. Although the coolness of red-oxide would feel much better on my bare feet, I choose not to move...More

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Krishna Mandapam, Mahabalipuram

The way the sculptor had sculpted the various emotions is amazing. I stood admiring the image of the cow licking her calf as she was being milked by a villager. The curve of her tongue and her half closed eye depicted the tender motherly feelings so well. Read more...

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

TV ads

...Have you ever heard two schoolboys discussing toothpaste? Of all things, toothpaste? Which one will prevent tooth decay? Which is the best? So on and so on. A young girl with a doll is more interested in seeing her doll having good perfect teeth by using a certain type of toothpaste. Could one believe all this?.....More here

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Chennai days - Part 1

The wheezy old bullock is there because nobody wants it. How it reached this market is a matter not worthy of thought, but suffice to say it did. It had (so far) luckily escaped the people who chop such defenseless animals up to make beef fry’s and serve it at places like the Tajmahal Malayalathan hotel down the road. The bullock is busy chomping on the tasty banana leaves and various other leaves left behind by the vegetable market merchants in Zam Bazar......

As I sit back & think, I marvel at those nostalgic days at Pycroft’s road which is called Bharati Salai these days, of the clean beaches of Marina which were rather nefarious locations on balmy nights, of Royapettah Woodlands hotel which has been razed down and replaced with multiplex theaters, it was also home to many bachelors who lived in the many ‘mansions’ and guest houses, in the middle of these markets, temples, beach and so on…Some days I would go for dinner to the koya place, the mallu tea shop cum hotel Taj mahal where they even had a juke box.  ..........................

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Pros and Cons of Selective Blogging

And I have been selfish. How many of you, who are into professions even remotely related to the communications or media have known this selfish phase?

Conversions of different sorts!

As we sat on the roughly mowed lawns of the Park in front of a small heap of sippe Kadlekayi, I asked for his views on the proposal by City Planners of Mysore to convert the JNNURM funded 14-crore newly constructed Bus Stand into a Tonga-cum- Cycle Stand.

Toyota’s Scheduled “India Launch” Of Prius – A Life Threat For The Indian Consumers?

The problem is, while on one hand Toyota is going to launch the said car model in India, at the same time it is recalling the same model from the markets of other parts of the world. Reason? A faulty brake system. More

The Questionable Arrest Of Gen. Sarath Fonseka Of Sri Lanka

It may be just a wild guess encouraged by something which is a plain coincidence. However, the world is predictably finding it very hard to believe that the ongoing government actions against the former Sri Lankan Army Chief Sarath Fonseka have nothing to do with his failed challenge to the re-election bid of President Mahinda Rajapaksa. More

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Bali: In the Island of the Gods

It is this last one, Bali, that I was privileged to visit recently. I have long wanted to go to Bali, ever since my father traveled there, almost three decades ago, and came back raving about this lovely little island with its soaring volcanoes and silent, dark lakes, the fertile, sun-splashed rice fields and the lush forests alive with the sounds of gibbering monkeys, the famous beaches and beautiful women. But what attracted him the most were the temples that graced every part of the island - on the roadsides, by the sea, in rice fields, next to rivers, in caves - many of them little more than simple shrines, adorned with a humble offering of freshly-plucked flowers and a few grains of rice. The people, he said, were gentle and always smiling, following rituals, practices and a way of life that seemed timeless, evergreen. I was smitten. More....

For the carrot...

Thus blogs the great enlightener of the masses..
Sometime in the past year, secret talks between India and Pakistan over Kashmir--which made great progress in 2008 before Pakistan's strongman, Pervez Musharraf, was ousted--were restarted, say U.S. and Indian sources. If successful, the negotiations would represent a huge breakthrough for the subcontinent.


The Dr K N Raj I knew

Not many may know of the interest Dr Raj took in extra-curricular activities of his students. He guided us in the choice of the play, did the audition, and sat through the rehearsals after the School hours. As head of the students Fraternity , I tagged along with Dr Raj during several evenings of rehearsals.. . .More. ..

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Mehmood Qureshi – The Cheap Gallery Player

I always knew that Mehmood Qureshi is an over-smart, over-talkative foreign minister who is more interested in destructive diplomacy rather than constructive one (at least while handling issues related to Indo-Pakistan relationship).

But I never knew that he was so good at cheap gallery playing, a quality that he exhibited other day while addressing a mass gathering in Multan in the Punjab province of Pakistan. More

Former ISI Chief In The Kashmiri Separatists’ Meet

However, what is more shocking is the presence of former ISI chief Hamid Gul in that meeting. A known India-baiter, Hamid Gul is known for having played very “constructive” role in “strengthening” the so-called “Kashmiri Freedom Movement”, during his stint as the ISI chief. More

Dye and die

The two words are pronounced similarly. We had this fun pun as a laughter item once too often much to the displeasure of the 'dyer' because he had 'dyed' once too often! Read more...

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Salted and Dried Fish, at Poompuhar

We continued our journey through coastal Tamil Nadu. I was sure I would sight fish being dried somewhere along the beaches. Not faraway from Karaikal, at Poompuhar, I saw the women folk of fishermen community at the job. The villagers were using centuries old method of salting the fish and leaving them out to dry in direct sunlight. Read more...

Monday, 8 February 2010

Was health providing pomegranate the fruit in Paradise lost?

Many believe that the Garden of Eden was lost because Adam and Eve ate an apple against the wishes of God. But it could very well have been a pomegranate that was the fruit of temptation. These fruits are red/reddish and about the size of an apple (at least many of the hundreds of verities). Along with olives, dates, figs and grapes, pomegranate was among the first agricultural produces of man. Undoubtedly, it is an ancient fruit.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Mango’s Qualcomm Deal – An Indicative Achievement For The Indian Software Community

Till the other day the Indian software community was known only for its expertise in software solutions, without any footprint on the software product development category. The entire world would recognize and appreciate the expertise of the Indian software solutions providers in addressing the various problems of organizations across domains and sectors. However, in a sharp contrast to it, the Indian software industry had virtually no success in the product development scenario. This led to this widely accepted theory that the Indian software professionals only good at providing software solutions, and have no command of software product development. This in fact encouraged some critics (including Indians) to term the Indian software professionals as “software coolies”. More

Friday, 5 February 2010

Democracy education at school

This week at Vidyavardhaka school, I was trying to understand how 12 year old students perceived government. The majority of them think that government won’t do anything good! I needed to change this in at least a small way and gave the kids an exercise. The result is about 30 letters from the students to create change. Read on...

Thursday, 4 February 2010

O. Henry – The Master “Story Digger”

There are several factors that make O. Henry stories (originally named William Sydney Porter) so charming for readers. These factors are, in the language of Wikipedia, “their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings.” Absolutely correct. O. Henry’s mastery of the language and natural ability to give twisted endings to his stories are legendary. Equally captivating is the way he created the main characters of his stories, characters which are so interesting in the way they talk, think and behave. And yes, the subtle sense of humour found in those stories also add a lot to their appeal. More

Mr. Azad Gupta – The “Betrayer” Of Common Perception

We came to know Mr. Azad Gupta, or Guptaji (as we call him) just a couple of years back. He is a nice gentleman in his early 50s.

Since then he has been our companion every time we (me and my parents, and now my wife) need to go to Railway Station to catch a train. And sometimes it is again he who has kept us company on our way to home from Railway Station after we have come back to Delhi from outside. And he sometimes also keeps us company even when we go somewhere inside the Delhi itself, generally when we visit somewhere for a long time. More

Are the tables turning?

This is an old map showing the state of Sanctions a decade ago.

And some of these countries still face sanctions mostly imposed by US and UN.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Iron Pillar and Qutub Minar

My takeaway from our visit? The impression that this country has always granted all that every visitor demanded of her, even if the intentions were malafide - just like this tree one noticed at the entrance to the complex. More...

Monday, 1 February 2010

Fishermen at Karaikal, Tamil Nadu

Fishing is a major industry in the coastal areas of India. From livelihood perspective, trading in fish, both fresh and dry seems to be the most profitable one. The richer among them have good big boats, while the poorer ones usually set sail in smaller ones. This is one activity which requires a low or nil investment but assures rich returns. It offers good livelihood for the poor people of coastal areas. More here...

Vignettes from Sivaganga Colony

Early every morning, just when Sivaganga Colony is stirring awake, the peace and quiet are shattered by a raucous cry that reverberates through its streets. It sounds like the anguished wail of some unidentifiable animal, but it galvanizes the housewives into action. More...