Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From 2008 to 2009

Date: 29th December 2008
Time: 7:10 PM

All of you are aware of the situation around. You'd have received our CEO's mail stating that the requirements should be frozen. However, we will keep up the promise of completing this training that is supposed to run till the end of next month. This programme was started off as a community service for rural students, hence its our duty to keep up to our commitment.

With all this, there is one thing that we should remember. Whatever be the situation we must concentrate, be dedicated to our work. At the same time, lets not give up on enjoyment. Have a great time on New Year's eve. Go and have a blast! In the end, you shouldn't feel bad on missing out on all the fun, in case you are not employed here. Its important to have fun.

Oh! I almost forgot. In case you have any other offers, please go ahead and take them. Be dedicated. Be strong. Thanks for your time.

Date: 29th December 2009
Time: 5:45 PM

This is a very good opportunity. Comparing to what you've done till now, this must be pretty challenging. We'll split the background study we discussed and do some research on the numbers, which means we are going to start this with mathematics and later, go on to decide if some re-designing is needed. In short, we are all gonna get busy and be like that for sometime. We shall meet again tomorrow and pick it up from here.

A satisfied me started to my cubicle, thinking about the big transformation from last year.

I hope they don't scrap this feature in case we couldn't achieve it by April.

And... here we go!!!!

Happy New year all my readers. Let 2010 bring happiness to all the world!

3 Idiots - The genius within

If I had to say anything to Aamir and the team of 3 idiots, it has to be "Hats off!" because Aal eez well about the 2 hour 45 minute, non-stop entertainer.

Strong script

With its inspiration drawn from Chetan Bhagat's Five point someone, 3 Idiots proves that ideal script writers do exist. The story line is way better than the book and keeps you up from the first reel to the last. If the screenplay satisfies the reality lovers, it also satisfies the lot who smile and shed tears for filmy stuff. Right from the time, Virus mentions that his director told him to pass on the pen to whomever he feels is his replacement, one immediately would guess that the pen would go to Aamir, and is not disappointed.

The pace is well maintained and does justice to the Dil Chahtha Hai kind of one liner. Well, one more thumbs-up to the writer to have eliminated the pink t-shirt scene from the book, because most try to retain such scenes to win a few claps and whistles in the theatre. I was half disappointed (and a little excited) when Kareena walked into Aamir's hostel room wearing a pink t-shirt. :P

Credible Casting

Aamir has once again proven that he is a great actor. He has reduced ample weight and never would anyone feel, "Why do these old people never think about passing out of college". The character of Aamir reminded me of a close friend from college, especially, the non-nerdy genius within him. I'm sure everyone would be able to relate likewise. Madhavan and Sharman Joshi have re-created the Rang De Basanti magic by supporting the screenplay with a neat performance. All three of them have stayed within their own characters without crossing each other's way.

Kareena has very little to play but, unlike just dancing to meaningless numbers, she has a role and has contributed to the positives. Bommi Irani needs an applause for his awesome acting, body language and dialogue delivery. He has successfully kindled that bit of anger on "Virus", the Director. Right from Javed Jaffery to Chatur the Nerd, the casting is flawless.

Though everyone has done credibly well, in the end, one would definitely come out with the perfect Aamir experience, because his presence is felt throughout. It was fully Aamir.


3 Idiots is a hilarious entertainer is an understatement. It keeps tickling you every time you try to recover from the laughter that almost got your intestines out through your mouth. Worth mentioning is the class for jokes that are actually age old. The ragging scene, Aamir teaching a class, the speech for teacher's day and many other scenes leave you Rolling on the Floor Laughing. Ultimate Entertainer.


I never listened to the songs of 3 Idiots before going to the movie, except for Aal eez well, which is because someone told me that the songs are kinda childish and not that worth listening. After seeing the movie, the songs/background score did not stick, but they very well blended all the time. Nice job!

Lesson Learnt

The cliched "There is a genius within every Idiot" couldn't have been told in a better way.
Mr. Aamir, you can keep saying "Aal eez well" even though you are not gonna keep shooting for 3 Idiots.

Please don't miss 3 Idiots. Its a must watch.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Margazhi Special

Margazhi - Tamil month that falls between Dec 15th and Jan 15th

December has its own charm. Holidays, End of a year, christmas, Newyear, pending leaves taken at a shot and so many exciting stuff would always be round the corner. For me, December has always been a musical month. I can never forget the many years I've spent singing Carols in my school.

One of the biggest months for the classical music field, December sees the busiest of schedules in all sabhas and music academies. With all the tv channels telecasting concerts of various legends, the maamas and maamis of most homes catch every single programme so that they could go like this at a family function, "Avan ennama padaraan diiiiIIIIII?" (How good is he singing?), "Aruna Sairam odu Abang kettiya???" (Did you listen to Aruna Sairam's Abang) and "Maami, naan jaya tv mattum thaan paarpen" (Mate, I see only jaya tv).

I was never too much into seeing core classical music. But, I love to see different stuff that is quite out of the ordinary. My favorite year was when Star Vijay came up with an innovative show of legends performing in a fresh but fantastic experience of a mix of classical, devotional, tamil literature, classical based film songs and more.

Take a sneak peak at this video, where Hari ji sings Suttum Vizhi Sudar kannama from the movie kandukondain kandukondain. Its a Bharathiyar song that was tuned by Rahman. The natural portrayal of rain and nature in the video, blended with his majestic and silky voice made this one popular. The highlight of the below performance is when he compares the cry of a child to that of a raagam and sings that immediately. Hats off to him.

Long live Music and its maestros. :) Have a musical end to 2009!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Coimbatore Era - Part II

When I wrote part-one, I thought Chiju Speaks would have a series of them going on for sometime. But, it has taken so long for me to come up with this one. Let me take you all through a few more glimpses of my childhood in Coimbatore.


Lisieux Matriculation Higher Secondary School, a well known boys convent school, is where I started my education and it was a long journey till I completed my Higher Secondary education. Wholesale fun, childish fights to prove one's might, funny pranks, naughty jokes, non-competitive sports (well... i was no competition), little academics and full time enjoyment could do little justice to explain my life in Lisieux. Fr. Francis, who gave me admission even though I was not eligible to go to school for one more year, is my all time favorite. He left school when I was in first grade, but came back as a value education teacher in my higher secondary.

The best thing about Lisieux is that I've been able to meet every kind of person and gained lots of experience. I have friends from Lisieux, who are there with me even now (the bunch who were able to put up with me and my ways) and on the contrary, I know guys who would flinch and swear at the mention of my name.

The choir of Lisieux, the only reason why I was not thrown out of school, takes me back to the best of my memories. Being a boys school, there were no nightingales (pretty looking/sweet sounding), so we actually had to perform well to get the guys to clap for us. Well, that has happened, but most of the time, it used to be a crowd tickler fiasco. I've been there in the choir right from the time I entered sixth grade and have performed till two months before my 12th boards (neglecting the look my chemistry sir gave me when he saw me at the practice sessions). Daily prayer, Chirstmas carols, National Anthem (whenever), the many vande matrams for Independence day and Republic day, Krishna Ne Begane from colonial cousins, meditation songs, diwali special songs, Tamil Thai Vaazhthu for pongal and the list goes on and on. National Anthem needs a special mention here because we used to mess it up most of the time trying to keep it at 52 seconds. Once, the keyboard player came up with a Tom and Jerry tune for the start of the National Anthem and we, in our white full sleeved shirts with a bow and pitch black trousers, ended up looking like buffoons lost in the crowd of a circus.

The Lisieux ground takes me back to my old cricketing days. I used to carry my bat and stumps in my cycle and play for even the shortest duration possible, until the watchman calls to close the ground or my mom/sis come in search of me. Then, there is the basketball court where I have spent many evenings. I was not a great (rather good) player but I used to love playing. I used to play basketball and lose my cycle key (it would have fallen off from my pockets while playing). I'd conduct a thorough search and find the key or send word through one of my mates so that people from home could get me the spare key or a hammer (to break the lock).

Extra curricular week during mid October was the highlight of Lisieux. A whole list of events including Elocution, 20 questions, Essay writing, Mock press, Debate, Sketching/Drawing, Music, Dance, Fancy Dress and more would be conducted for all age groups. I have won medals in singing right from my third grade till my twelfth grade. Though singing and essay writing are the only things I could actually do properly, I'd have participated in almost every competition including sketching, just for the sake of bunking classes. Once I participated in a group dance event, in which only one of us in the group could actually dance well. As we completed the performance, the host announced in the mike, "Thanks for the group solo performance". There have been years where I used to walk home with 3-5 medals and a whole bunch of certificates and years where I just carried appreciation for my singing. But, that was not the point at all, it was so much fun to not actually care about any criticism u get especially from a bunch of guys who used to do nothing but sit and laugh at people, ignorant of who are the real losers!

The chapel in school was one of my favorite spots. I used to try and pray there everyday before going to classes. During the exam days, the chapel corridors used to become silent study spots for many. I still remember how once we were caught and inquired as to who pelted stones at the chapel doors just because we used to sit there for our lunch.

That's lots said and lots more to say.

To be continued..

Monday, December 21, 2009

Yet again! Not again?

Not a long time ago,
I was sitting at this play,
Simulacrum of enactments still stay.
But, the lead role will go.

Why it makes me wonder?
The cliched acts dedicated,
For a well-being life, unaware.
The more sacred, the more scared!

Holding the torches to good will,
Carefully alighted the whole time-
Only to see blackened grass,
Soon after we put it out.

The non-sync percussion sounds
The reddish yellow images,
The heated drops and consoling words,
All dedicated to Mother Nature.

Every time I see this play,
Fades the need to explain.
For, the more I understand,
Lesser the questions unanswered.

I stood by the commotion over silence,
My mind, no longer ignorant.
Of the difficult of times that unveiled,
Yet, my promises stay put.

Monday, December 07, 2009

If only I had

If only I had undisturbed sleep,
Unraveling the mystery of many dreams.
Many a missed smiles, retained.
Many disappointments, avoided.

If only I had known the magic charm,
Bringing down the angels and stars,
I'd have crafted the wand and,
Reached it with the longest taken arm.

If only I had the chance to display,
The beautiful portrait I had painted.
Faded off its beautiful flair -
For the colors were taken away.

If only I had chosen the right words,
Would have conveyed more than warmth.
Perhaps, concern did over-shadow,
The depth of love beneath.

If only I had seen what I send,
The train would have halted.
Locking the eyes that caught mine,
All it said was Good-Bye!

If only I had all of it,
Need not an asleep thumb-sipping child,
To keep reminding me -
That life is indeed beautiful.

If only I had gotten the nod,
I could claim Thou Blessed,
For my beach walks be decorated,
With a cute, extra pair of foot prints.

Friday, December 04, 2009

A swapped mistake

Warning: Clueless/Helpless Software guys will definitely get this

Date: Some date in 2019

It is a normal, sunny (rainy?) day in Chennai. People have somehow made it to their offices amidst the jam-packed roads and the unpredictable weather. In short, it was just any other day for a Software Engineer Trainee (SET), except that he was assigned a high priority issue to deal with. For the sincere employee in SET, he immediately sets off to work and opens the file called (a c++ codefile that has code for the various Mathematical operations - say addition and subtraction).

It is not that complicated to understand what was in there. He starts reading the code to get a gist of what's been done. The start couldn't have been breezier and the flow smoother. For someone, looking at his face, they could have easily read that he is definitely enjoying what he is doing.

As he was reading, he saw something. His eyes constricted, nostrils widened, mouth curved and his cheeks bubbled up. Something is wrong! This is when the camera focuses on the screen that reads!

Sum = num1 - num2; //Sum is num1 - num2. COMMENT HAS NO TYPO
Difference = num1 + num2;//Diff is num1 + num2. COMMENT HAS NO TYPO

Now, its obvious that the SET gets so angry and frustrated. It is understandable that he abuses the coder who did this so many years back. It is right that SET thinks that the coder was nothing but stupid. But, what the SET doesn't know is......

10 Years earlier... (spiral swiveling)

Feature Lead (FL):
This is a funny problem. Are you sure it is swapped?
Ex-Software Engineer Trainee (XSET): Ya, it is swapped. I've checked my part of the implementation. I don't think anything is wrong there.
FL: What about the middle part that calls your implementation and assigns the sum and difference?
XSET: Well, thats just assigning my sum and difference to the respective variables right? It is fine. I've double checked.
FL: Do one thing. Check up with the Interface part and see if they have displayed the right values for sum and difference.
XSET: Fine. I'll get back to you after checking.

Two hours later...

System Architect (SA): Oh! They have swapped it in the interface part, huh?
FL: Ya.
SA: Send a mail to the team in the headquarters and request a change. We have 2 more weeks time for the delivery.
FL: Ok. I'll do that.

Two weeks later.... The Delivery Day!

FL: Finally, the team from the headquarters replied. It seems that they are not going to change it there. They have asked us to change the implementation by swapping the sum and difference.
SA: Oh! Do it that way. Raise a bug on your side and swap the values in your code.
XSET (thinks): So, all that is left to do is inform the Mathematics forum (who maintain math standards) that we are swapping the meanings of sum and difference of two numbers.
XSET (says): But, wasn't this design reviewed and approved? Wouldn't changing this defeat logic?
SA: I understand that there is a logical mistake here.
XSET (thinks): Oh, is it? I thought I did not concentrate in my first grade math class.
XSET (says): So, aren't they supposed to change it?
SA: The thing is the headquarters have released the customer documentation and in that they have gone by the interface definition. If we request a change now, they might come to a conclusion that the architects of the company are stupid.
XSET (thinks): Well, Can we blame them?
XSET (says): So, I'll change the code and look stupid to some guy who looks at this code in future.
SA: Well, you can add a comment near the implementation that points this out.
XSET (thinks): A comment that says "To really know who is stupid, check the interface part"?
XSET (says): Well, lets see. Even if I add a comment, it is human tendency to think that the comment has a typo rather than understand it the right way.
SA: So, you add the comment and write in CAPS: COMMENT HAS NO TYPO.
XSET (thinks):
XSET (says): Ok. I'll do that.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

You know.. You know.. You know..

Its been a while now. Everyday while driving to office or back home, when am stuck with some issue in office, or whenever I have the enthu but not the resources, I've been making mental notes to write about lots of stuff, but after I get home do nothing other than watch a couple of episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and crash.

List of posts this is a compensation for:

1) Swathi's Engagement - Went great! Working on putting the videos and photos together to make a compilation.

2) Being stranded in the middle of the highway because of bus breakdown - Let me not get started.

3) Hangover Monday (because of No. 2) - People in office (at least with those I interacted that day) would have thought so. I tried to keep a low profile. Trust me! :P

4) Sp@rrow's B'day - I wanted to write about the time we flung him into the swimming pool. TWICE!!! Anyways, Thanks to No. 3, I couldn't. Happy B'day Vivek! (Imagine today is Monday DUDE).

5) Turn-over Tuesday - Lots of things "turned" over and I realized its gonna be difficult to meet my deadline on Friday. I can boldly say I wasn't responsible for 99% of those. But, noone cares about that. I'm sportive enough! A new learning added to my repository.

6) Weak Wednesday - All hazards from No. 5 taken care of (thanks to my Feature Lead and lots of other colleagues) . But, I was weak and down from cold and it took some time to catch up.

7) Timing Thursday - Everything was shaped to what was planned. Of course, I did a lot of cut backs in gtalk chatting. And somehow and kept to my deadline. Not only that, as promised I went with Deepak and TK (Classmates) to dinner for TK's Birthday. I just wish all those people whose B'days I wanna celebrate, lived in Chennai. But those idiots are spread in B'lore, Calcutta, Cbe, Kuwait, and lots of other places. Can't blame them. I lived in Madurai once upon a time.

8) Frightening Friday - All the timing sense in No. 7 did not count, because ME and my feature lead missed out our Manager in the CC list of the merge request which marks the end of the completion. Well, I know "Oops!" Also, I had to face a stupid issue for which I'm dedicating a separate post.

9) All is well - Finally, as in Indian movies, ALL IS WELL! I hope I don't write a revert post for this on Monday (or make a mental note of it)! We decide to catch a movie (long time since we had a colleagues outing) on Saturday and booked tickets to "A Christmas Carol".

10) Rainy Chennai and Sunny Chennai - People who live in Chennai would rather appreciate Sunny Chennai because rains in Chennai are nasty. Its not rains. Today I was driving down Anna Salai and it started raining. I looked up and I felt a writer's dream come true: "It was a rainy day. Drops of rain poured out of the blue sky". As fast my t-shirt was getting wet, faster was the drying process. Finally, I reached Sathyam Cinemas and found out that the front side of my t-shirt was wet and the back side was not dry; IT WAS BURNING! Weird weather!

9) A Christmas Carol - OH MY GOD! People have such a talent of spoiling a classic. Mr. Dickens, please haunt the writer, director of the movie and if possible Jim Carrey too. However, the 3-D effects were good.

10) Ampa Skywalk - The new mall in Chennai is another version of City Center. Its nothing great. Have to check it out once the 8 screens of cinema and the actual Skywalk is open to the public. I guess its just one other place to hang out and spend money!

PS: Indi Blogger finally approved my blog and gave it a ranking of 63. Thanks to them!

Thursday, November 05, 2009


The project tracking meeting is in progress. The engineers are seated round the conference table and on one end manager is seated. Your teammate, seated next to the manager is giving updates on your project. The manager is paying at most attention to him. You sit straight opposite to him and have no clue about what your teammate is telling - lack of co-ordination you see. As he goes about it point-by-point, your face gradually shrinks from a straight (along y-axes) to almost straight (along x-axes). This is when the manager decides to look at you and catches your expression. Oops!


There is a very steep ramp that you drive down/up as you enter/leave the basement bike park of your office. Until you got used to it, whenever you drive up, your heart skipped a beat imagining the bike halting in the middle, thus slipping down. In fact it has happened a couple of times, but you manage to maintain balance and keep going (then). After six months of driving up and down, one evening, you leave late from office and offer a colleague to drop her at the bus stop. Today, as you drive up the ramp, your driving skills come in handy enough that not only does your bike halts, you slip down so fast that an on-looker had to come running and stop you from falling. Well... Oops!


A hot girl you've been seeing (no no.. take the literal meaning, as in, staring with mouth wide open) since you joined the company moves into your floor and is seated close to your cubicle. You know she is from north India and cannot understand Tamil, well, at least the fast version of it that you speak. One fine evening, as your friend and you pass through her cubicle, discussing loudly in Tamil about whether she'd be there or not, you choose to say "she is so wow" (again in Tamil). As a reflex, she appears in front of you (she walks out of her cubicle to go somewhere). For a moment, both of you stand opposite to each other guessing who is going to give way first. Conveniently, you forget that she doesn't understand Tamil and keep looking at her as if you were sorry for what you said. Oh my God! Oops!


Thursday, October 29, 2009

You live in the city if....

1) You spend more petrol waiting for the traffic signal than you spend for driving.

*2) The chief minister has taken for granted that he, his family members and party members bring good luck and prosperity, hence posted their smiling faces on the dividers of every main road; you can look at it on your way to school/college/office - for a good day's start . I know Tata Docomo does that for advertisement. Well, ....

*3) On your way home you see both sides of the road lighted brighter than the sun with tube lights (ruling party's some number anniversary celebrations) and reach home to see there is a power cut for maintenance work.

4) You pay 25 bucks more for a dosa just because the hotel's got smooth flooring, ambient lights, a jug of water on every table and a menu card; forgotten is the fact that it has an equally dirty kitchen as any other hotel.

5) Auto-rickshaws replace the vehicles you saw in Tokyo Drift.

6) A lorry/GOVERNMENT bus honks right into your ass even before the traffic signal displays 10 seconds more to green.

7) You are held by traffic Sergeants who skipped the course on Charge-Sheets and why they are issued.

*8) The cement built dividers in the main roads are dug to hold the flags of the ruling party.

9) Your work never gets done if you go by the rules, but people reach you at home and provide services, if you are good at fraud.

10) As a common man (in Neeraj Pandey's script), you notice all this, yet adjust with it, busy on your adventure to make money. :P

*Conditions applied - Local Politician's creativity must.

Friday, October 16, 2009

New House, Rahman and now in Cbe!

After all the wait, it happened again. It always happens so easily. If I had saved all the days (and MONEY) I spent for shifting, I'd have been richer now. However, I've rambled about it to too many people now that some might start getting bored now. :)

One thing I liked about my new place is that I get this feel about living in the city. At the corner of my street is a main road that is almost always crowded, thanks to Sutherland, even after midnight it is a happening place. We'll see what Velachery has is store.

Finally, a long time dream came true, last Sunday! A magical evening I would call it. Rahman was performing live somewhere like 500 meters in front of me. In one word I can call it WOW! We had to drive for about 95 kms from Chennai (another dream come true - long drive). ECR was a boon because my speedometer touched a triple digit mark (yet another dream). We (Me, Neeraj, Srinath and Ananth) were so tired from the drive and from the little bore that the organizers subjected us to (in the name of promotion). Neeraj and me were further worn out from overnight shifting. I should accept that my eyes were slowly turning in.

And there we saw in front of us a big puff of smoke. It was happening. We (70,000 people) jumped up and stood on our chairs, listening to "Jaagae Hain". He stormed into the stage and I knew I was screeching at the top of my voice, both hands raised in the air. Everyone shrilled their voice to the highest note possible, increasing their note every time believing the next note would bring them to his attention. All that was running in my mind was NOTHING. I couldn't remember the last time my mind went so blank. IT WAS HAPPENING! I WAS WATCHING HIM LIVE.

"Mustafa" was obviously the pick of the show, 70,000 pairs of hands were waving, like in the movie. Lots of people had their cell phone displays on to depict the candles in the movie. With Khwaja mere Khwaja he attained new levels of Rahmanism. He was sitting there on stage with all the Thejas and the stage synchronizing well with the tunes as well as his attire. We were in cloud 99. The stage settings need a special mention here. There was a wide screen covering the stage end-to-end. The display inlcuded graphics, pictures and video clips. When he was singing Dil se re, it seemed as though he was standing amidst a sea of fire. The settings for Athiradee (Shivaji), Kannalane (Bombay), Jiya jale (Dil se) and Dilli 6 theme were stupendous. When he ended the show with Jai Ho and Vande Matram, the time was an hour before midnight. I had to drive back home, attend to an aching back, get up early in the morning and prepare for a presentation in office. But, all I could think off was "Why din he sing Ella Pugazhum and Masakali?"

It was a breezy drive all the way back home (One more dream - a night drive on the ECR). I did not speak to Ananth throughout the drive, nor did he, except for the occassional "Are you awake" checks. I was sure he was running through the entire concert in his head as I was. I'm waiting for the DVD of the show, which is expected according the organizers. I want to find out what He was talking about when he announced in the end, "We'll try to give a better show next time". It was the perfect DREAM COME TRUE DAY FOR ME. :)

I wanted to write about this since Monday, but I was kinda held up in office and Airtel is still giving me a hard time for my internet to be setup. Three days went by, just thinking about last Sunday. All I know is I reached Cbe yesterday morning and so fast two days have run by. Its so chilly in here. I was driving back home last night after a yummy dinner at Kerala Club with Jp and Vibushan (I know who is jealous now :P) and I felt like I should have thought twice before locking the Diwali complementary Jacket in my office desk.

Thats that about last week. Happy Diwali to the very few readers (FANS & NON-FANS). :P

Friday, October 09, 2009

Five weeks and a celebrity!

A post full of content, but not much sense!

September was a long month. It started with celebrations and stuff, added a twinge of sickness in the first week for which I had been to Cbe and came back in full form, two weeks of slogging hard work, 3 days of fun with my buddies at Kodai, a week of little work, 3 days of home food and homeliness in Cbe and then a short week of house-hunting. Thus, October started with finalizing on a match box for a house. The worst part is I'm going to be paying 1000 bucks extra for a place that is way smaller than where I live now. All this turned me into that slow, non-energetic, sly person since last Monday.

I've been trying to pull myself together but still it keeps coming and going. I kept putting off the date to pay the advance for the new house and finally did it yesterday. Considering the nomadic life I've been leading for the past few years (since 2001), this is not a big deal. I've got very less things to shift this time and I've gotten pretty good at it. However, I felt very bad last evening. Thanks to the great TNEB, my SMPS is out of order again and it has gone for replacement for the third time since June. That ruled out FRIENDS/anything fun at home. I just did not want to go back and continue reading Nora Roberts' Angels Fall.

I told my cousin to book tickets for Wake Up Sid and we hit City Center, had dinner there and headed to the entrance of INOX. Night shows at INOX have become casual these days. I usually see groups of IT friends (from the formals they wear, at times from their ID card) catching up, families (I mean young couples) and at times someone alone. My cousin and I were waiting for the security to open the barricades so that we could go in.

"Yuvan da", gasped my cousin. For a moment, I heard it as "Ivan da", the Tamil slang for "Guess who it is". I turned to look at this short guy, wearing a flat cap, with the flap of which he had managed to hide his face obviously-well. He was dressed casually and had his girl by his side, who was dressed in a pink t-shirt and a jean three fourths. It was Yuvan Shankar Raja.

At first, I was like, "Cool!". Then I thought, "What's the big deal!" (I was in a bad mood in first place).

We followed the crowd and were now waiting in front of the screening hall, waiting for the now showing display to start. I could see people (those who identified him) staring at him. Few groups here and there (just realizing people) were debating as to whether it was actually him. He did not stay in one place. While his wife and another female (a cute one from some reality show, according to my cousin) were checking out the ice-creams they were gonna sigh at, Yuvan kept loitering here and there, carrying a cold look on his face. He simply couldn't stand in one place. I could say he was humming some tune in his mind. I kept my sight rolling from end-to-end and at times caught his. This went on for a while and once I blinked at him and he smiled in return.

Slowly, the crowd started moving into the hall and I was waiting for space that I could catch a word with him or something. He was surrounded by his friends I believe and I was losing patience. Finally, I thought I'll pass on it and went inside the hall and settled on the seats. After few minutes of silence, my cousin asked me, "You wanna go talk to him?". I was like, "Chal! Lets go!" and we started walking towards the door. However, he was entering the hall and we walked back to our seats.

About the movie: Too good! Nothing special, but the flow was good and did not bore us. Ranbir is one hero to look out for.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

All about a Date!

I crapped about crap bags and crawled away from the blogging world for a while now. Actually I've got 8 posts (including 2 poems) in my dashboard, in started, in the middle of and should I post this or not states. Will post them soon. This kinda became a HIGH PRIORITY post.

There is nothing more wonderful than two people getting together and making a commitment. Well, this does not apply if one them is an ex-someone or whatever.

The news is that soon, wedding bells would be heard in my house. I was all along thinking that finding that perfect person is the difficult part. I used to brag to my dad and others that once my sister finds that person I'd see that the ceremony or whatever process it is would be grand.

It so happened that two weeks back she did find that perfect person. The entire family (including paati, periyammas, chittappas, chittis, kuttis etc) were all excited and happy. It so happened that I was in Cbe during the whole "Swathi and Mahesh said yes" bonanza.

So? What next?

Dad: We've got to get the dates fixed soon.
Srinath: First, let's ask Swathi and Mahesh about their convenience, leave or whatever.
Me: I'll check with everyone from our side to know their availability.

After a long length of discussion, arguments, negotiations and excel sheets (I follow process!!!), we
decided on April/May 2010. The plan was to get a list of probable dates and choose the best. I had the following items on the checklist for the date scrutiny.

1) Relatives from abroad should make it (First marriage in our generation of the family)
2) Friends (Swathi's and Mine) working in B'lore or Chennai (at least) should make it.
3) No tension or panic or exams or anything on the way.
4) From 1,2,3 it is obvious I would choose a sunday.

I called up my athai in Palakkad and told her to check up with the Vadhiyar (or priest) for Muhurat dates. However, the google bulb struck me and I googled for "Muhurtham dates in 2010" and got a long list of dates. The series of events that followed made me and Swathi go berserk.

1) The dates I collected from google was nothing but a list of crap according to the vadhiyar. Did you know the Muhurtham Date should be a resultant of the fusion of the stars of the boy and girl?
2) March was out of picture because there are few board exam students in both the sides. You got to consider that when they are important and must attend people's children.
3) Apparently, there are two ammavaasais (no moon) falling between April 15th and May 15th and marriages cannot be conducted with that condition. (Well, would you let us conduct it if I take a flight and draw a white circle on the sky?)
4) Dates between May 15th - July 15th are not good because of the karmas to be performed to two souls in our family. (I understand. But, I believe the souls will not want to be the reason to delay the marriage)
5) Dates between July 15th - August 15th is not good because they don't conduct marriages in the month of Aadi. (Of course, if it is that far, I don't think we'll have to conduct the marriage in first place)

So, we came back to January/February.

6) It must be after Jan 15th because Dec 15th - Jan 15th is Margazhi month and it is not appropriate to conduct then. Also, Feb 15th + is not appropriate. You should not conduct marriages after Thai month (Jan 15th - Feb 15th).

Getting irritated??? I've been there. Its ok. Go on.

Jan 15th - Feb 15th was the ideal choice. It doesn't end here.

7) Mahesh won't get leave in January.

Feb 3rd (Wednesday) and Feb 5th (Friday) are the probable dates. The main dream of Sunday crashed.

8) Cousin in kuwait has boards between 7th Feb and 16th Feb. He had skipped the previous semester and it turns out that he not only has to attend the semester this time, he has to score high marks, else he'd be detained. Hence, Chitti and Chittappa coming together was out of question. This is the chitti and chittappa who has to give away Swathi in the ceremony, being the eldest couple in the family.

Somehow, the 8th condition was overlooked because we had no choice. We were almost in a stage we finalized on Feb 3rd and thought maybe the next chitti and chittappa could do the ceremony. It was disappointment all over. All the dreams of conducting the special wedding was gone.

9) Amidst the talks, Vadiyar lets slip that his grand-daughter's marriage is fixed on April 8th. That struck a chord with my athai. She checked it out once more and he came up with two more dates - April 1st and April 11th.

Now, I din want to make a fool of myself or anybody. Hence I ruled out April 1st (Thursday).

10) We did have a winner. Sunday, April 11th 2010 would be the big day. Everybody has confirmed with that date and the entire set of Ram Patrs (my great grand dad's name) would be marking attendance. Block your dates too. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mission Muscleaando!

Me: So, What's this in-body crap all about?
Janith (pointing to the wall on which I was resting my back) : Din you go through that chart?
Ananth: No! What's that?

A short pause.

Me: That looks like fun.
Ananth: Sure! Fun for the guy who is doing it. And how come they get to charge us for this?
Me: True. As soon as I go in, I'll be like - Hey! Here I'm. All set to entertain you.

Nithin looked at me and I sensed that he felt left out.

Me: Don't worry Nithin. They'd have fun with you too.
Janith (looking at us): I'd definitely want to have a look at your results.
Me: Well, Why wait for them? Its not my first time. Fat, Fat. Fat-Fat-Fat and Fat and only Fat.
Nithin: In my case, it'd be Nothing, nothing. nothing-nothing-nothing and nothing.

All of us had a good, loud laugh and became silent immediately when we thought someone from inside was looking at us.

Janith: I bet the guys inside are betting right now?
Ananth: What bet?
Janith: The jokers outside. Two days or Three days?

The conversation had to come to a halt (at least for me). It was time for some eye exercising.

Me (in my mind): Wow! That's a good reason to come here daily!

Finally, the four of us finally joined the gym.

PS: That wasn't the exact conversation we had. I've done some amount of editing to bring it in the form of a post. But this is pretty much the gist.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Love you forever

Ain't it only been a story,
Forever I needn't be sorry.
Earlier, had I known you?
Easier, could I have swayed you?

Thou sent misery once -
Questions I had in tons.
No choice had I but accept,
For - with You, He explained it all perfect.

Terrible was the journey,
So light it seemed as I saw You and me.
Eclipsed was all the fright -
The more I held you close and tight.

Tears was the adieu I had,
For, traveling far was a craving mind.
Not realizing until again what was true -
All You, You and only You!

Letting you know how I felt,
Fair enough to you, I thought.
A stubborn million words,
All hidden under locked doors.

And one day did I find the key.
Fair would've been to me,
Had only the key worked -
With all the doors you closed.

Love was all I asked you,
Though shared was it long ago.
Had it only been so easy -
As falling for you little daisy.

Looking back I see and yearn,
All the lovely moments we'd drawn.
Though tough its gonna be,
My first love you'd always be.

Well, the crappy poet is back! :)

PS: I came across this story of a guy who has explained how much he loved this girl. It was so touching and I wanted to write about it. The small poet in me thought, why with sentences? Why not with a poem?

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Incredibly Hunk

September has become a month of anniversaries for me. The Business Unit (BU) I work for completed one year today (I've been here only for 4 months now)! I'm just back from the celebrations. It was fun decorating the office floor with balloons and stuff. A few of us sneaked in early this morning (despite the heavy rains in Chennai) and set the floor up for some fun. I also hear that it is going to be a great month with fun events coming up every week. Its so good to be here and thinking about what brought me here makes me so happy. However, it is another story and I'll save it for the month end while explaining about another anniversary.

Completing a brisk one year!

Looking up and around from my cubicle

Now, September 1st, co-incidentally happens to be a very important day to me. I actually wanted to write this post as a suspense filled one quoting, "I met him last year the same day ... blah blah blah". But, that style is becoming cliched and I'm not that good at writing stuff like that. So, coming to the point, I started driving my Hunk from September 1st 2008.

It doesn't seem like a year though. The reason is that, I'm not foolish, not to notice my name printed as 'Siraj' and not as 'Sriraj' on the RC book. Last week, the lady at the insurance renewal counter pointed out that to me. :( The irony is I've been stopped for papers checking at least 6-7 times since then and it has been unnoticed yet.

The journey (takes the literal sense here) has been wonderful. 7500 kms of road fun is how I'd describe this one year of biking. Except for one bloody middle of the road dancing in(ac)cident in Madurai, we have smoothed through, haven't we? The couple of scratches and broken rear view mirror hurt more than than my broken nose. Chaps at Madurai would back me up. :)

The sad part is I never got to drive much in Coimbatore. But, I made the most of the 25 days I had. The prank I played on all my friends when I got the bike was amusing (at least for me). Vivek and Tk gave me the funniest reactions.

Topping the list of my proud possessions, this is just a year. Lot more driving to do. Lets speed through BUDDY! Happy Birthday!

When he was 10 days old

PS: When Vibu told me he had changed the appearance of his blog, I thought its time to change mine also because I changed it the last time he did.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Spot the difference

Scene 1
The leader shouted, "Let Our Language win!"
The crowd repeated the phrase jointly.

Scene 2
One dog barked, "Bow Wow Bow Wow".
A lot of other dogs joined together and there was more baking.

Scene 1
The leader went on a procession in his luxurious car. He seemed to be happy.
The crowd ran with the car, shouted praises. They were happy too.

Scene 2
The dog chased behind a car that passed by. It was ferocious.
A lot of other dogs joined the chase. They were equally ferocious.

Scene 1
The leader distributed clothes or whatever crap might win him vote/trust of the people.
The crowd waited in long queues, got the donation and gave him the vote/trust.

Scene 2
The dog found a piece of meat, it was not sure about sharing it.
A lot of other dogs fought with the dog for a piece of meat.

Scene 1
The leader attracted the crowd with his inspirational speech.
The crowds looked at theirH(Z)ero in AWE.

Scene 2
The dog could only only bark.
So could the other dogs. They barked along.

Scene 1
The leader finally won the trust of the crowd.
The Crowd was fooled anyway.

Scene 2
The dog only knows why it is barking and whether it succeeded or not.
Applied to the fellow dogs also.

What is the similarity between Scene 1 and Scene 2??????
1) Both the scenes are a nuisance to traffic and the public.
2) While driving if one witnesses any of the above scenes, they tend to take a different route.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Looking up and around

I look up and around,
A fresh breeze blows within.
An occasional smile.
The aroma of fresh filter coffee -
I get going.

I look up and around,
A swarm of bees flying around.
I search for the INVISIBLE hot-air vent
But in vain.
I keep going.

I look up and around,
Its definitely time for a break.
I signal for some time,
But I know.
I will have to go.

I look up and around,
They don't want to frighten you.
But, their look does.
Don't have a choice,
I better keep going.

I look up and around,
The steam engine at its peak.
Calm faces of the cuter sex,
Work better than the chillers.
I know I have to keep going.

I look up and around,
Known faces beaming at me.
Meaningless blink of the eyes,
They seem to keep going.
I try to keep going.

I look up and around,
The back of my head exercising.
Hunt for freshness starts,
I know it doesn't exist.
But, I have to keep going.

I look up and around,
Few called it a day.
Few laze around.
Few stay put.
I force myself to keep going.

I look up and around,
There are definite echos.
Yet I'm still here.
I'm not lonely.
No other go, have to keep going.

I look up and around,
Feel the souls resting.
Spot-lights on the rest,
I work a smile on my lips.
I keep going.

PS: Dedicated to all those I ditched this weekend. Sorry guys! I have to keep going.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Not as calm as the cover

Almost two months back, I was @ Odyssey to purchase complements for a birthday bash at office. As I was inquiring, something caught my eye, rather it was a pleasant and lovely surprise. I wanted to buy it immediately, but it was month end and since it is in print, I thought it will be there for sometime and it can wait till next week. Next week became next month and finally last week, my cousin got it for me on my birthday.

This is all about Kamini Mathai's book on A.R.Rahman - A.R.Rahman, The Musical Storm. Though she claims it to be, Rahman has denied that it is his official biography. However, Rahman, who is very particular about going through articles about him before they are published, would have definitely given an approval before the book release. Hence, I choose to believe what I read. Being a Rahmaniac, I just see this as getting to know more about the spiritual genius.

A.R.Rahman - The Musical Storm

NB: This is a review about the book and not about Rahman. As usual I'm starting with the positives.

1) Hats-off to have made this happen. When meeting him rather getting a glimpse of him is impossible, she has made the incredible, unbelievable and impossible happen.
2) To portray truth (interesting but unexpected) about such a personality in a country like India (where anything in print can get the masses against you) one needs guts and way to go.
3) She has maintained a low profile in her organization of he content. I found it very easy to read. It was simple and straight forward.
4) How many people has she met? Whether she used the web/phone/in-person-interviews or whatever, lots of effort has been put into it.
5) Starting with the Oscar night and leading us to Dileep as a boy attracted my attention as a reader.

1) There are many repetitions, a few of them being so prominent. For instance, the fact that Rahman and his family have closed the door to their past has been stressed at least thrice in each chapter. Another example is singer SPB's quotation of the divine feeling when he is in Rahman's studio; the same quotation appears twice. After a while, we tend to go, "Ya ok! So what's the big deal?"
2) Why does she say the music of Tenali (Kamal's movie) is awful? She could have restrained from those commenting on his music.
3) Generally, comparisons are good. In fact I liked the way she has compared how Ilayaraja and Rahman compose music (the process). But, she has given a picture of Rahman wanting to overthrow Ilayaraja and contradicted the same, later. I believe each and every genius have their way of working and they are great in their own way.
4) I bet anyone who reads the book would be able to make out the fact that A.R.Rahman, The musical storm is an attempt to cash in on his success. It is so evident from the controversial touches it carries. No wonder Rahman claimed that this is not completely official. She has miserably failed though (not sure about the cash, but definitely with the controversy).

Hillarious ones
1) It is funny when she quotes Rahman's punctuality stating he'd not have lasted even for while in the industry had he started working with his father, who fired people for not being punctual.
2) Mr. TR (Mr. T.Rajendar) has a paragraph about him. She says how Dileep (Rahman, back then) used to get irritated working for him. It tickled me to laughter only when I read how TR used to compose.

About the Content
My respect for this genius only grew. The child prodigy in him impressed me. The responsibility he took up on his shoulders at the age of 11 is wonderful. The way he moved on when he was ill treated by his teachers shows the amount of patience he had, even as a kid. From his days as a sessions player, his ad jingles days, his band days, from Roja to Delhi-6 and specifically from Dileep to A.R.Rahman, he did not fail to awe me. He just bowls you out and you sit there with your mouth wide open.

Like the book finishes, the Oscars, Golden Globes and BAFTA awards are locked in his cupboard; the spot-lights are down and he is back to work. He is Rahman.

Another review I read

Friday, August 07, 2009

Always listen to Chiju

"Polaam da (Lets leave man)", Arvind said. "Its getting late. We'll play tomorrow."

"Only one game", I insisted. "We were not able to play this evening and we'd not be able to play till monday."

"Its already dark. We won't be able to spot the ball", he argued.

"That's ok. Only one game na?", I wouldn't let go.

We were at Rajeesh's place, stopped by to drink water, on the way back from tuition. We did not have Hindi tuition on weekends. It was just another tuition my mom tried out with no other rationale other than getting me to like the subject a little. I was in fourth standard and Hindi, especially grammar was a pain in all the wrong places.

My idea of Hindi tuition meant fun with Rajeesh, Nithin and Arvind (he got 95% the last exam and suggested the idea, little did he know that the problem was me and not any teacher). Every evening Arvind used to walk to my place, I joined him there and the next stop was Rajeesh's house. I made sure that we reached his house at least half an hour early to celebrate Cricket Time! I never knew that they were actually going to learn Hindi.

After a long and unsuccessful attempt of convincing, I gave up. We came out of the house, and as we started to walk, I said, "Let's take the forest route da,".

"Are you mad? Its too dark", he was stern.

Yet another round of argument and finally I said, "Ok. You go this way. I'll come through the forest. We'll meet in the next lane", and started walking towards the other direction. He called behind me and warned me, but why would I listen?

By forest, I am talking about a big deserted piece of land connecting two lanes. It was left unattended, so was covered with big, dense bushes with only a narrow pathway through which we used to walk. At that age, doing such a thing meant heroism to me. I'd go home and say, "I walked via the forest today! How brave am I!"

I know what all of you are thinking (at least people who know about my one actual fear). But, nothing happened in the forest that day. I walked through it as usual and reached the next lane. I was sure Arvind was walking in the perpendicular lane and would reach the meeting point in no time for mine was the longer route.

My aim was to reach there sooner. The reasons being, one, I wanted to reach before him and two, the street lamps were all out in that lane. It was pitch dark. Now, I was a hero, but can't take on darkness because I'm tired from the forest adventure. I wanted to run, but wasn't sure. I was bad at running too (I was not fat back then; just a bad runner).

I started to panic and decided to run. Immediately I thought I saw a couple of small, glowing balls in the air, but I did not want to stop or check, I kept running. Suddenly, I heard a breathing noise (hmph hmph hmph.. in CAPITALS) behind me. As I was running, I turned to see a fully grown Doberman chasing me. Its wrath gave me the assurance that its going to taste my leg that evening. I would definitely say that of all the running in my life, that day was my personal best.

I did meet Arvind, but the scene was a little different. He was running behind me yelling, "Chiju Chiju Chiju. Don't run", and me running even harder as if he was the dog. I did not stop until I reached my house. I was panting so badly that it took more than an hour for me to explain it to my sister and mom. Arvind had to stay there until I completed it, just to check if I was bit by the dog or not.

That idiot went home late anyway that day; he might as well played a game of cricket. I'd have not thought about walking through the forest. Of course, I never stepped in there from then. Hence the proof.

PS: Its Arvind's birthday today (06/08) and I wrote him a testi in orkut, before which I read the one he had written about me, for my last birthday. He has mentioned it there and this funny scene came to my mind.
Happy Birthday again da!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cost Cutting Techniques

The famous corporate term "Cost-Cutting" can be implemented in everyone's lives. A few techniques I recently employed are below:

Fun cutting
"Hey! We just went for a team-outing last week. Why don't we postpone our Pondicherry trip to September?"
(Never thought everyone around me are so broke. They accepted it wholeheartedly)

"You wanted to buy a pair of shoes right? Why don't we hit the Adidas showroom in Spencers?", a friend asked.
"Hey! I checked it out last week. Nothing attractive. Why don't we go to Big Bazaar next week? Came across a sale on converse shoes!"
(Adidas Fans don't kill me!)

Fuel Conservation
"The doc advised me not to wear helmets. As it turns out to be, it is the root-cause for my hair fall. Planning to take the electric train to office soon."
(Yet to implement)

Health Conscientious
"A long time since we had Dominoes Pizza", my friend said.
"Hey buddy! On a strict diet. Sorry!"
(You guessed my reply as soon as you read the title, din you?)

Planned travel
"How come you got tickets to Cbe by train?"
"It seems ABT travels don't have an option for season tickets."
(For the frequency I use ABT, he ought to have given me concession)

Power Saving
The fact that I'm cutting short this post and switching off my monitor right away.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Coimbatore Era - Part I

Coimbatore (Cbe), the place I was born, brought up, where I built a small empire of my own and ruled it and will keep ruling it forever. When I talk about Cbe, first thing that comes to my mind is Saibaba Colony (famously known as "Colony" there). Except for a cursed 12 months, I've lived there completely.

Vinayagar Temple (a good start always)
This one is situated round the corner of my house (the first house for me in Cbe). This place used to be a daily visit place, because I (rather my family) cross His hide-out wherever we used to go. For my first B'day (they call it "andinaar") I was taken to this temple for the pooja formalities. Since then, He is my Best Friend. A couple of years back, I had a small fight with Him and let's say I've not visited there since. Way too many memories left behind.

Anybody associated with Cbe would know the speciality of this place. Available in every area, Annapoorna Coffee is the best of all the coffees i've had outside home. At least 75% of my diet, I owe it to this place. Colony Annapoorna has fed me like any mom would feed her children. I don't think the waiters there (excpept for 2) know me by name, but for sure they know me.

N.S.R Road

This is the Diagon Alley/Mount Road/Brigade Road or whatever of Saibaba Colony. It connects at least 3-4 major areas in the city. We owned a Sunny (bicycle with a motor attached to it). I'm a proud owner of that vehicle just because it has been able withstand me until 4 years back. Lets just say that our Sunny has its tyre marks imprinted on each and every pixel of N.S.R road. For grocery shopping, music CDs/Cassettes, video stores, tailor, typewriting classes, cycle repair/puncuture shops, stationery, bakers/confectioners, gift shop, college bus stop and the list goes on, the only solution was N.S.R road.

A.R.C Pani Poori stall
If Annapoorna was 75%, a major portion of the rest was contributed by A.R.C Pani Poori stall. The bhel puri (south indian style), Cauliflower (similar to Gobi Manchurian) and Paneer soda used to be my routine here. Long time since I've gone there also. Have to give a visit sometime. Sasi anna and Raj anna would definitely miss one of their favourite and well paying customer.

Padma Miss Tuition Class

I took Hindi tuitions with her. In simple words, she ROCKS! I never called her maam. Somehow, the first time I met her I called her Aunty (the other students always wondered why) and I stick to it till date. Unable to bear my trouble at home (for studies) I've been tested with a good lot of tuition teachers from time-to-time. The only successful person (or sane person after trying to control me) was Padma Miss. If she had not fallen sick during my public exams (10th), I'd have bagged the school first (in Hindi). I had to settle for the second highest score. I missed it by 4 marks. One full year, I took lessons with her and she is one of the most respectable teachers in my life.

Kerala Club

This is another awesome place. My dad is a member there. He used to take us (cousins, my sister and me) at times during vacation. We used to spend entire evenings watching people play Tennis, Badminton (coaching classes). The coaches used to lend us a couple of used tennis-balls in the end and we played in the lawn. My cousin Srinath and me used to wait for the bar to open. The bar looked like the ones that come in movies and all, with elevated, rotating chairs in front of the bar-tender counter, where one can sit and enjoy his drink. We used to order Thums-Up and imitate movie dialogues and scenes, say two detectives meeting at a bar and plotting to catch Veerappan and stuff. As kids, it used to be so much fun. I've been there with my college friends (Vivek, Vibu and JP) and as far as I know, they love the food there. Chilli Gobi, Paneer Tikka and Special Parotta are their favourites I guess.

To be continued..

PS: This is the 50th post Chiju has spoken (A blog that was supposed to be shut down has 50 posts now, which is something). Got to thank a few people whether or not I write sense.

1) Vibushan, first of all, to have introduced the word Blog to me.
2) Vivek, who used to encourage me whenever my blog slept and made me write come back posts. Though he is not a fan (which I recently learnt from him), he has even given me a blog award.
3) Aneesh, who never hesitated to tell me the truth when he felt what I've written is crap.
4) VJ, who comments everytime whether or not she understands it.
5) All my silent readers who read and give me offline comments (includes Bhuvana, Karthikeyan from school, Robin, my cousin Srinath, Sheetal, Ananth, Swetha, and Hari from Amrita).
6) Divya, who spent a lot of dedicated hours and gave my blog the appearance it carries now.
7) All the bloggers, whose writing inspired me a lot. Check out the Good Reads section in my blog.
8) Any well-wisher I missed out.

Goodie Foodie

Food has never been a problem. My mom used to make everything from Kozha Puttu to Dhokalas, a mix-and-match of everything. My dad is another great cook! His Pav Bhaaji, Palak Panner and Lagada-Paatis taste awesome.

Once my mom told me, "When I was carrying you, I used to pray that at least, unlike your sister you shouldn't give problems to eat food". And later she also told that, "She repented praying for that".

There is a saying that "Food is the best medicine". It is really true. Choosing the proper place and proper food at the proper time is important. Touch-wood (touching my head now), I'm immune to all kinds of what you call EATABLE. Be it royal food, annapoorna (a famous chain in Cbe like saravana bhavan in Chennai), small mess food, road-side Thattu Kadais (my sister is gonna get all squeaky by now) and the list goes on, I can just eat and my stomach never makes a big fuss about it except that it gets a bit bigger everytime :(.

Especially during the good (not yet) old college days, Vibushan, Vivek, Vijay and me have hit quite a lot of places. Just say, there isn't a single foodlet in Cbe where we have not paid. The waiters at Peking, Rich Food, Akka Kadai (the one in colony), Food Joint(or Point I forgot), Village etc must be wondering the sudden disappaerance (since last September) of their favourite customers (when it comes to the bill :D).

Two days back (Friday), I hit the bessy (Besant Nagar Beach) with my dad, sister and my cousin/roommate. After that, we decided to eat at the all famous "Muguran Idli Shop". Though the origin of this one is from Madurai (I've been there and it is great), the one is Chennai is too well known. We just wanted to see what's the big deal.

As soon as we got a table to sit (we had to wait for sometime), they had already laid Plaintain leaves to eat. Before we even thought about what to eat, they had served four chutneys (Coconut, Onion & Tomato, Coriander Leaves and No-idea-which-one). For cliche sake, we ordered a couple of idlis each. I enquired if they served "Kushboo Idli" and they did not know what it was. This annoyed me a bit, but the idlis they served were so soft and with the Idli Chilly Powder they served (later) it was WOW!

They served big fat South Indian Doughnuts (Vada) along with the Idlis. The vadas were excatly like the one they are seen on the posters put up at hotels. It deserved some clicking and I did click it. As we were tasting the Idlis, came Morrappam or Kuzhi Paniyaram, which was again great! We ordered for one more of those in the end. We also ordered a couple of roast items and my sister chose Onion Uthapam (if Vivek is reading, there are other kinds of uthappams also; hope you realized that at least now).

One of the best Idlis i've ever had

The bottom-line is : "Everything was great". I'd call it "Tastier than the Tastiest".

Friday, July 17, 2009

Abhiyum Naanum - A must watch

NB: This is not a review. It is just an experience shared.

Eight months after this movie released, finally I got a chance to see this movie. I had once seen it back in Madurai. In a Rs. 20/= DVD with a lot of "Clip-Clop" sounds in between. Also, I was dealing with a stupid problem that day, I had to walk away from the computer at least 6 times in between.

"Abhiyum Naanum", from Duet Movies. Right from the time I heard about this movie, I was longing for it. I kept on checking the websites for news about its release. Especially after Mozhi, who would not want to see another one from the same team.

Talking about the acting, needless to say Prakashraj has taken the burden of the entire movie with the support of Radhamohan's screenplay. Basically, "Abhi.." is a movie about a father who finds it hard to let go off his daughter, the situations he is put through and how he handles the same. I believe there is an English movie starring Steve Marting in the same lines, not sure about the name though.

This movie is a must-watch for everyone who is in some relationship or other. The primary reason being, everyone will find something or the other to relate to. A dad, a mom, a daughter, a wife, a lover, a servant, a friend and the list goes on. The mind blowing aspect that attracted me so much is that the movie is so real in what it is conveying.

Everybody mess up big time in their relationships (no matter what the relationship is). A dad says the most unexpected things to his children. A daughter cuts you out with harsh words. A wife behaves as if it is not a big deal when you feel the world is falling down. One day, we'll realize that it was perhaps the words they used and not the meaning they wanted to convey.

Though I couldn't direclty relate to the character on screen, I could grab instances of my past, present and future (expected) then and there.

Those who have seen this movie, I'm sure you'd appreciate the movie in one way or the other. Those who have not seen the movie, don't miss it. The best time to see it is now. Who knows? You may find the answers to a lot of questions running in your mind.

I certainly did. When Prakashraj says, "Life is Beautiful", in the end, one does feel that, the exact same words were what they kept looking for all the way through the movie. Some find them. Some keep looking until he says it himself.

Hats off Radhamohan. Hats off Prakashraj! Can't wait to see the next marvel.

PS: Guys and gals who can't understand why your parents behave a bit different from what you expect them to, please watch this movie and you'll get to know what you wanted to. The tagline says it all.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I got closure

Getting over something is never a piece of cake. It gets worse to realize that something that you should have (or have had) is now with someone who does not deserve it at all. This has happened to me in the recent past.

Closure is the state where you finally accept the fact that you don't have it and you move on. Getting closure is not that easy either. First of all, you are going to miss it (badly). Next, you've got to put up with the fact that a worthless bastard has it, is enjoying with it or boasting to his friends about what he has got.

What generally people do?

1) Easily accept the fact that it is not there and move on soon. (I'm not even close to the easily part of this one)
2) You cry over it, then cry over it and then again cry over it. (Sounds like something I'd do, but I hate being like that, so not an option)
3) You try (your best) to be Mr. Happy & in the course you get over it smoothly. (Getting closer)
4) You talk to somebody else about it, they either scold you (has happened to me) and you say, "Ya, you're right" (I don't do that) or they talk and install some sense into the stupid head of yours (am just next door now).

Though the above pointers seem to give the big picture, the most probable action is:

5) Do something crazy like getting along with something else just to show that you're over it. (you've just reached my place).

However in the last case, when you realize that the one that replaced what you lost is not what you want, you feel so stupid that you want to do Ctrl+z. Is that possible?

As I was telling, in my case, it was possible. Ctrl+z worked. And the best part was, it gave me closure. :)

I still realize that I don't have it. I still do care that an unworthy, bloody ****** (any censored curse) is having fun with what should have been with me. But, I'm happy.

I proudly own a brand new Sony Ericsson c510 cybershot. And I sold away the stupid dobile (dappa mobile) that I bought to get over my K810i. :)

PS: Refer to Mobile-Tech-No-Logic. Getting over the mobile phones you love can be tough. Many would agree with me.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Seven years later

Seven years later.
Millions of seconds ticked away,
Should have been any other day.
But, my world had a great sway.

Seven years later.
Never did a thought ring,
You never told a thing.
This sad song - I'll forever sing.

Seven years later.
Many of the zillion things you told,
"Too early", I wondered.
Time is what you never had -
Much later, I understood

Seven years later.
Always, made you feel bad,
Yet, beside me you stood.
Once I made you proud -
Were you too satisfied?

Seven years later.
However lost I was,
Never had to look for the way.
You had me find your hand - end of the day.

Seven years later.
Made me look at the Gods everyday.
I carry the habit even today,
Pains though, to look at you and pray!

Seven years later.
Never did you let anyone serve.
Would have only been fair,
Had we a chance to fight.

Seven years later.
The many times I've walked the streets,
Unhappy and in despair.
Someone known to you, I meet,
Believe, you sent them to repair.

Seven years later.
I thought you were selfish.
Never realized I was foolish,
Until I saw what you had left behind.

Dedicated to my Mom who left to some other world, seven years back, the same day! (July 2nd 2002). Today is my Mother's day! Miss you Ma!

1) I'm attempting poetry for the first time. Poets and poetry lovers, forgive me for bull-shitting the style. More than anything, the content mattered to me.
2) Its good to be emotional once in a while, shows you are still alive inside.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Coffeeless Coffee or No Coffee

I'm a big fat coffee lover. Since when I was like dropping the glass given to me (one because of the hot coffee, two I'd be in half-sleep and three my hands were too small to hold the glass), mornings without coffee would lead to a day without enthusiasm. Now, psychologists don't think too much, I'm talking about drinking coffee. :)

However, in the recent past, I've learnt to live without it. When I moved to Chennai, I did not have gas connection at my place for sometime because of regulator-leak problem. Though it was difficult, I started to have coffee first thing in the morning, at office. After a week, I couldn't bear the vending machine coffee and I promised myself not to touch that coffee ever again in my life.

Two weeks back, I set the gas connection right. And my dad was here for the past 15 days, which meant Coffee daily morning. The routine started to fall in place.

I should have mentioned this earlier, but this is not too late (Oh God, I've been using this statement a lot recently). When I tell you coffee, it is agmark, home-made, without chicory, 100% fresh, iyer aathu filter coffee: the "Besh Besh.. Romba Nanna Irukku" type and you can picturise me as the guy who says it in the ad. :)

There is a baker/confectioner shop nearby the place I make and drink coffee (my house). The guy would grind the beans as and when we ask for coffee powder. And I made the decision to buy little quantity daily, instead of getting in bulk amount. The reason was that I could drink fresh coffee everyday.

Last night I had to drop-off my dad at ABT travels as he was leaving to Coimbatore. He had not bought milk on purpose. He always believes I'd forget to turn off the gas cylinder after using it, which I do at times (can't blame him). He told me, "Why don't you drink at office, instead of buying half litre milk just for the sake of one person?". I argued telling, "I'd not waste it. I'll make curd out of it". On my way back home, I bought milk; put it in the refridgerator as soon as I came home.

Morning came. My cousin (and room-mate, who doesn't drink coffee) had let the servant in. When I woke up, she was working. So, I dozed off again. "Close the door" (ya.. in tamil) were the words that woke me up. She was leaving. I closed the door and crashed back on the bed. Suddenly, it struck me. "COFFEEEEEEEEE".

I jumped out of bed, went straight to the kitchen and emptied the contents of milk into the milk-cooker. It was boiling as I brushed my teeth, came back and filled water in all the empty bottles. When the cooker screeched to the limit where my tympanum actually came out and knocked me on the head, I turned off the stove and then the gas, immediately.

I took out two glasses, placed them near the stove. Now, I was thinking, there is something else more than milk and glasses for coffee. "COFFEE DECOCTION".

Hell to my idea of "daily fresh coffee", I had completely forgotten about the daily-buy-coffee-powder. I checked the fridge. No coffee powder. And I hate to drink milk (hate the smell). :(

So, here I'm sitting and telling this to all of you. The milk cooker is still cooling down, where it was heated in first place, the glasses are left intact where I had placed them, only thing: No coffee for me today! And I bet you, I'll not remember to buy coffee powder this evening either.

Even tomorrow, I should either have no coffee or coffeeless coffee (MILK).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good Old Cricketing days

I'd be unnecessary to mention that I played cricket in school because I'm damn sure that every Indian school-boy would have done that. Even if not to a great extent, they would have at least held a bat in their hand or thrown the ball towards a totally lost person standing in front of three sticks or at the least would have run behind the ball as a fielder.

After a long time I'm having regular (weekendly) access to playing cricket. Ok, now those who know me and have seen me playing cricket, ya, it is most of the time running behind the ball "trying" to catch it (they would call me fielder then). Holding the bat and "only swinging" the bat in every direction (as if trying to drive away mosquitoes; they would call me batsman then) .

Little improvement from those days: I atleast save the ball, though not catch it; at times the ball hits the bat and goes for a 4 (at least). I'm still bowling, as miserable as always.

I still remember the first "official" match I played in school (sixth standard). I was the captain of the team (actually I just grabbed the oppurtunity when someone asked who wants to be captain). First ball, C.D.Ashwanth, a guy from Red House was the bowler and as I was the captain, I'm the opener. With heavy force I hit the ball so high that everyone my team (Green House) shouted. However, the ball landed straight into Ashwanth's hands without even crossing the pitch :( . My classmates Kowshik (who works for Yahoo now), Karthikeyan, Ashwanth etc used to laugh over that one-ball incident till they finally forgot it one day (well, who cares).

That one-ball fiasco, as I call it, put an end to my cricketing career (at least within school). I always used to play cricket at home. Four enthusiastic cricketers, who were the dare devils of the neighbourhood (I mean our homes). Srinath (my cousin), Chiju (ya.. me), Varun and Sushil. Varun, almost 2 years younger to me, used to come to his Granpa's house which was opposite to our house and Sushil, 2 years younger to Varun, from the house next to his grandpa's house.

We used to play cricket in many forms depending on various factors:
1. Rain/Sun.
2. Presence of Srinath's dad's car and my dad's car in my place (Our families stayed upstairs and downstairs then).
3. Presence of Varun's grandpa's cars (plural, which means we have a big pitch like stretch there).
4. Digging of road (which rarely happened).
5. Abilty to go to our school ground.
6. Availability of all the four of us.
7. Availability of the backyard of my house (we call it "Kollai", in Tamil - not the theft Kollai).

And according to the above factors, we played various forms of cricket. I'll take you through all of them one-by-one.

1. Singles - The all famous, no need to explain form. Lesser the number, better the fun.
2. Team-Team - This is a good one. We pick two international teams (ofcourse, one is India) and we take turns batting for each and every player in both the teams. This means, all of us are on the same side. Only thing that mattered was who'd play for Sachin!
3. Under-arms - Either if rain turned against us or if only Kollai cricket is possible, only underarms bowling was allowed. During rain, we used to play in the compound of my where we had ample protection from the rain. Car factors apply.
4. Road Cricket - Alagesan Road (though not as broad as it is now) has been a great pitch for us. Overarm throwing only allowed. Depending upon number of players, off-side/leg-side/both sides scoring was decided.
5. Bowling - If school ground was an option or if Varun's grandpa's cars were all out, we used to play this. I was a big loser when it came to playing Srinath's Fast Bowling. How I used to cheat, only I know (not even them most of the times). Sorry guys! :)
6. Stanes vs Lisieux - This is my favourite pick. There were lots of guys from Stanes school around my neighbourhood. And we were from Lisieux. If time and number of players coincided, we used to play this. And this was the best cricket we've played.

We've had so many fights, reasons being teaming up against one guy or cheating or other silly things and not talked for a long time and all. But, that was the best phase of my life. Lakshmi aunty (our neighbout), her dogs (Pinky and Snoopy), who used to shout at us all the time. How many balls have we lost! How many bats we've broken!

Most of all how much fun have we had. Thankyou daredevils (we never called us that, then) for all the fun! Thats the only cricket team where I've also been a hero.

PS: Srinath, I know you read all my posts. Well, I'd expect you to comment on this one. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

All about a T-shirt

The evening was slowly settling in, when we were wishing bye to an ex-colleague who had flown to Chennai last weekend. He was on the way to his hometown for a week before which he spent the weekend here. Once he left, 6 of us were left. Three of them had their own plans and were moving out, which left 3 of us (i know you're good at math; but that was just to prove i'm good too).

When we were debating on why we should go inside Spencer again, Srinath expressed his plans about buying a t-shirt for a friend, whose birthday was approaching. He said that we could send it through VJ, who was leaving to Bangalore the same day. It sounded like a good idea and VJ said ok.

In no time, we were walking along the ground floor of Spencer window shopping all the candidate shops. I was thinking what to buy in terms of picturizing a decent t-shirt in my mind. We got into an argument of what size should we buy.

I started with an S or M, when Srinath said it has to be an M and laughed over the fact that Ananth had suggested an L. Slowly, T-shirt jokes started (why wouldn't it with a XXL guy walking along with them), followed by other conversations.

After sometime, we were ordering cafe latte, cappuccino and chocolate fantasy in Coffee Day at the Food Court in Spencer. I reminded myself about the T-shirt we were supposed to buy. As soon as the chocolate fantasy came, we compared it with the one Srinath had once ordered in Madurai and laughed about the difference. This one tasted like drops of heaven.

The next time I thought about the T-shirt was when I was biking back home. I immediately asked VJ if she saw Srinath in the vicinity. He had also vanished from sight. After an hour or so, Srinath and me had a good laugh on the phone about the forgotten T-Shirt, which was almost the reason why we went back into Spencer.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Revenge of a school teacher

The spaceship seemed to be chill enough for us to survive. I was afraid though. I had warned all the others that it was a bad idea. No one would listen to me. But, we still had time to opt out of it. I made my final attempt telling, "Are you guys sure that you want to do this?". I was hushed immediately. How come no one figured out the trap we were caught in?

I realized that if I were to escape, the only way was to leave the others behind, which I never wanted to do.

I looked around once more. The sphere shaped glass ceiling of the spaceship (like we see in cartoons, Taara-Zameen-Par) seemed cool but that was no consolation. My mind was yelling softly, "Guys! Can't believe you got me into so much trouble."

Suddenly there was silence. For a moment, it looked as if we were ready to take off and the next moment, ya we did take off and were launched into space. "Doom day started", cried my mind.

I closed my eyes for what seemed like a fraction of second and when I opened it, I could see the sky. It was pitch dark, and all the stars were seen, just as one could see the sky lying on the ground from the earth. However, we were at a long distance from there.

A voice spoke. "Welcome!"

My mind reverted immediately, "Its easy for you to say, whoever the dumb-ass you may be". However, I wanted to listen to whatever he was saying.

"This is the sky you all daily see", he started. For sometime he was talking about the different constellations and how they were named. I am able to recollect Hercules, Plough, Leo, some goddess of virginity or something and how they were named. He thanked Modern astronomic techniques to have contributed to discovering more of the constellations. "Bloody Hell you will!", cried my mind.

It was pitch dark inside and on top of it, there was dense silence except for the voice that was educating us. I could not check what the other guys were up to.

The next thing I could see was traces of Pluto (how come we got here so soon, I did not understand). From there we started traversing the entire solar system.

Wherever we went the voice kept telling us what we were seeing. The unacceptable part was the explanation he was giving for every thing we saw.

It struck me finally. I kinda figured whom the voice belonged to. It was my science teacher from school. I never used to pay attention to science classes, back then. It was just learning for the sake of exams. For the science knowledge I have, a second standard (or even younger) kid could beat me without any preparation. I never imagined that my school teacher would pick 15 years later to come and avenge me for having day-dreamed during his sessions.

The explanation given by the voice seemed simple. I was able to understand everything. Moreover, pictorial learning helped. The bad/uncomfortable feeling started to go away. I started listening intently.

The voice spoke about climate/weather changes, tropic of Cancer & Capricorn, how days & nights concepts work and so on. After some more education, the voice finally came to a halt with eclipse.

The darkness came to an end. There was some light, good enough to check out what the guys were up to. I turned to my left (where two of them were seated). Both of them were sleeping happily. Bewildered, I turned right (where three of them were seated). One was just getting up from sleep, the other two were sleeping again (one with a big fat smile on his face).

So, I confirmed that it was in fact my science teacher from school who spoke to me.

I woke all of them up, we got up from the seats and left the Planetorium.