Monday, September 29, 2008

Fastest Way to Weight Loss

If someone told me that I could lose 3 pounds over 4 days, I would have been ecstatic - but if they'd told me that it would come with a bout of fever and weakness, I would not have been as thrilled. Since friday last, I've been half the man I've been, mentally and in terms of fitness - I was awake for 6 hours on Friday, 8 hours on Saturday and 8 hours on Sunday. And in the process, (in my brief working life of 1 and a half years,) took my first day off from work on Friday which put a stop to my punchline - no personal work on office days and no office work on weekends/holidays :(

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This Day This Age

The blog, as many of you might think, was partly inspired from the section that used to come up in The Hindu – But, it is only that - PARTLY. The other aspect which I wanted the title to reflect was the changes my thinking and that I, as a person, have undergone in the last 3 years. In my opinion, I can very confidently say that my life is basically made up to phases - Pre Fall 2005 and Post Fall 2005 - Leaving out Fall 2005 which I consider as the transition period. Though I've been in the reminiscence phase for quite some time, a phone call from one of my UG class mate, made myself feel real good.


Back in Madras I was your average guy in the engineering college – Management Quota, site adichifying and having crushes on arbit women/class, class bunking and sleeping at home and all that good stuff – my life was essentially a quest to be seen as normal / fit in the crowd and hopefully, to be a successful model of the normal crowd. So when that guy asked me about a particular X, (who, without doubt was one of the good looking makkal in SVCE) - what she was doing, she being married or not – I really had no answer – because honestly I do not know – my friend refused to believe me. And he was further tickled when I told him the following:


  1. I want to bring down my body fat percentage to ≈ 10% before June 2009 (currently its hovering close to 18)
  2. The ultimate grail – flat abs and possibly, a six pack by December 2009
  3. Try to run at least one half marathon by early next year
  4. Learn the guitar and restart my singing.


I listed out these three as my personal goals for the immediate future – and immediately the response from the other side was whether I was trying to lose weight to impress somebody? Somehow, I think I'm on a tangential to what my old classmates are currently – we have nothing in common any more. While my social circle has drastically reduced ( I meet face-to-face with maximum of 2 people – one of them being my room-mate - on a daily basis {apart from work, where I have no personal relationships} and perhaps 3-4 people with whom I regularly have phone calls/Gtalk), my UG friends are still very much into expanding theirs and maintaining their old ones.


Perhaps, I think I've got to take thalaivar's line in Sivaji in the literal sense – Singam Single-ah thaan varum!


The other reason for this blog post is to make sure that I make some kind of a public commitment to my goals listed above. I need to somehow motivate myself to wake up at 4.30 everyday hit the gym @ 5.00 and go for a 3 mile run in the evening – any ideas to make me motivated welcome!



P.S: This is the first I'm trying to post using the MS Word 2007 – the editing features are still very basic, compared to ScribeFire or even the ones available on But the best feature that I'm liking is the dictionary. J

Enna Kodumai Saar Idhu - 2

Tamizh natives who cannot pronounce ழ and ழு must be banned from speaking tamizh. And its interesting that people who put in an effort to pronounce La Jolla as La Hoyaa and san Jose as San Hoseyh, it just smacks of people's disregard for tamizh. They say what they do because that shows them as being knowledgeable and all that... bloody lazy bastards, I say!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Adiye Kolludhey

Fantastic tamizh lyrics without much ado. Also, the lyrics capture the mood, from what Surya and Gautam Menon told on TV the other day. The intro guitar (I fear its 'inspired') riff and the song is quite catchy. This years number one song. here goes....

adiyae_kolluthae.mp3 -

And in case you were wondering who the female vocals are by, its Shruthi Haasan - with the stilted accent in tamizh. And also, I don't know why Harris has tried the old Rahman signature - the last bit of the song in a higher sruthi....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Varanam Aayriram

வாரணம் ஆயிரம் சூழ வலம் செய்து
நாரண நம்பி நடக்கின்றான் என்றெதிர்
பூரண பொற்குடம் வைத்துப் புறமெங்கும்
தோரணம் நாட்டக் கணாக் கண்டேன் தோழி நான்

(Excuse me for the last spelling - I'm not sure if its the rendu soozhi or the moonu soozhi in the Kanaa). Thus goes Aandal. I do not the connect that to this movie - lets see what the connect is in October when this movie releases.

 Double Click on the Video Player to view fullscreen.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

He might be a philanderer

He did something which perhaps might be fatally flawed, at least according to me - cheating on you wife could be the worst ever thing you could ever do, but then he was only the second president in the history of US to have a surplus budget.

Theory Of Relativity - Special

Special Theory Of Relativity is playing out in my life every weekend. Friday evening to Sunday night seems like 2 hours. :(

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tv and me

Jon Stewart - Who I'm at 7am everyday.

Stephen Colbert - Who I'm at 7pm everyday

Seinfeld - Who I'm at work! :)

EKSI Series - 1

EKSI = Enna Kodumai Saravanan (Saaar) Idhu?

When you see this (see below) at a website like this (click), you cannot help but say, EKSI!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Brief History of me - 1

I have always wanted to write a biography – ever since I had an opportunity to read My Days by R.K. Narayan. I know that my life is not THAT eventful to be chronicled, but I think that events and people have influenced me and my thinking. I really wanted to chronicle that aspect so that people, many them who do read my blog will be able to know the impact they caused (on me). This would be multi part reminiscences of the past 3 years.
July 2005
I had passed the BE in June. While it was good to be a college graduate and all that, deep down inside I knew I was a quack. If somebody came then and there and gave me a motor’s parts and asked me to assemble it, I would have floundered. I still thought of holes as physical entities – as I was not able to visualize the concept of electrons travelling in terms of spatial lattice movement. That was one reason I did not have the usual BE based status in Yahoo! or MSN messengers.  July 5th was the day I had my Visa interview. When I look back at that day, I cannot stop feeling funny for the fact that I wore my formal suit for the Visa interview – clean shaved, side parted hair and all that. My dad accompanied me to the consulate and as usual was trying to convince me that going to the US was not a good idea – now you know where I get my stubbornness from :D
The interview itself was a farce – the guy asked me about my university, whether I planned to work etc and then glanced through my financial documents which was quite a bit as I had, unknowingly, taken all my parent’s saving certificates and bank passbooks and any document which showed that my folks were owning a decent bit of money.  The moment the officer said that I’d get my passport in 3 days and to have a safe trip to US, I think I got into some kind of high which you get when you are ecstatic. I remember vaguely that I jumped the curb railing and retrieved my motorbike from the parking mess and somehow made my dad climb on and drove quite haphazardly back home, of course with my dad warning me about the lorry ahead or the auto-kaaran, as is his wont. The day passed off in a hurry – visit to my paternal grandmother’s and generally trying to google stuff on Florida and Tampa – I came to know about Ybor City then ;-) My dad for his part somehow came up with a family friend who lives in Tampa L. I really surprised that all tambrahm families are connected somehow or the other. So much for my plans for going to US as it had no living family member.
The only other person to get a kick out of the whole visa approval process was my sister, A. A and me are the exact opposites in more ways than one – she is short, extremely fair, curly hair (I know – oh!-so-tambrahm! only), sema hardworking and prone to trying to impress her coterie with either her marks or something else. Though I believe that every tambrahm family in Chennai has at least one living relative in US, my sister put some vetti scene and all her friends trooped in to our home in the evening for some vetti talk. I was a one room wonder in our home. With my book-shelf and computer being in my room, I found no reason to come out of my room except for my bath, sandhi and of course, food. It was surprising for me to be asked to talk to makkal who were 6 - 7 years younger to me – thankfully they asked me pointed questions like where I was going and all that and soon enough, my sister convinced that any more conversation will take off the novelty factor from me, took them to A. Bakery to ‘treat’ them – PSBB KKN makkal will definitely know what A. Bakery is! For the others it’s a popular hangout spot near the school.
The next struggle was getting a flight ticket to US – every travel agent quoted some 36000 figure and soon enough, through some contact (yeah, everything in my family happens through contacts!), I got a ticket on the day my mom deemed to be auspicious – August 9th.
The period from July 5th till August 5th was spent in visiting every known person and God in Chennai and also in our native place – Mayiladuthurai. Visits to the older people (relatives or otherwise) usually involved conversation about how whether they would see me another time (a figure of speech used to imply that they will kick the bucket soon – this comment from the oldie meant that you’ve got to assure them that you’ll return to India soon), about how I might go astray (viz. beedi, kudi and kutty – for the tamil challenged, cigarette, wine and women), how US lacked the culture which India was rich in and all that blah. Visits to the middle aged makkal will result in they having a family member in some state – mostly amongst Calif., Chicago, Texas, Seattle or New England/Potomac area. The irritating aspect of this would be that they would force information about you – like email address, phone number etc – which I pretended to be taking down on a piece of paper. The last category of people were the best – BE class mates. My parents knowing the fact that my spoken language with friends around contained 3 swear words in every spoken word, avoided coming out to those ‘reunions’. I’d not been interested in going to the beach-house bash which my class makkal had organized before the end of exams and so caught up with small groups of people. And amidst all this, shopping happened. And also, the major thing – my educational loan was sanctioned.
The worst phase was the last one week. With my mom prone to crying at the drop of the hat – she was not able to bear the fact that I’ve lived all my life with her except for a brief 6 months when my sister was about to be born. My dad had his own ways of getting to my nerves – he advised me on every arbit stuff and most importantly I was kept under house arrest under pretext of it being too hot (in Madras is there anytime, when it is NOT hot?) – when the real reason was they did not want me to driving my motorbike the way I used to do back then.
Finally, the day arrived – August 8th. My sister, the ever sincere padips, refused to bunk school and so the whole day, my only source of entertainment was absent. Some hajaar phone calls from supposedly ‘near’ ones in the family literally repeated the same stuff about being a ‘samathu’ payyan – whatever that meant.
For my mom, the day marked a marathon crying session – exacerbated by the fact that due to imminent terrorist attacks, the airport security procedures were stricter – and so my family was asked to send me off outside the main entrance of the airport. It is still an puzzling thing that while my dad, mom and sis were standing with tear-soaked eyes, I did not feel emotional. I only felt bad at leaving my sister, who for all the uninteresting geek that she was, was a silent accomplice to all my shady dealings in the past 3-4 years – including a roaring CD writing business, my actual CAT marks in SVCE and other such stuff. The 3 hour wait at MAA passed in a flutter and man, it was good to be finally be on my own – in a land where I really had no strings attached – it seemed blissful – at least then.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday mein Wednesday

Me being Anti-Hindi is nothing new to makkal who've known me. So, its not often that I watch hindi movies. A office colleague, a Mumbaikar who has my immense respect because of two reasons: 1. He has till now never tried to talk to me in Hindi or has not asked me why I never talk to the other desi makkal in Hindi though they talk to me in Hindi 2. His taste in movies is really good - though I play the devil's advocate with him often and try to defend the Shah Rukh's and Aamir's and Hrithik's with him, his taste in films is delectable. It was he who gave me the film, A Wednesday, on my thumb drive, almost compelling me to see the movie.

I did see the movie. And boy, I think that for someone who says Kamal Haasan is a good actor and all that blah,  I have to agree that content-wise, acting wise (yeah, there is no 10 tonnes of plaster of paris and some B-Grade movie make up here) and in terms of sensibility, this movie is fantastic. That it comes with a good message is just an icing on the cake. Naseruddin Shah has firmly stated his claim to being the finest actor in the country. Its a Shankar line of film, taken in a realistic manner. Go watch it ASAP.

Coincidentally, terrorists decided to have another deepavali in New Delhi this time. While my callousness in remarking this might irk you, the Congress Government callousness and licking of the muslim vote bank must irritate you more. Mulayam Singh Yadav and Laloo Prasadh Yadav will still maintain that SIMI is an organization which is devoted to young students playing Scrabble, Gilli-danda and foosball. What more can you expect from a Government which has a lady who has no qualms in having a political alliance with a person who was supposedly behind her husband's killers, a senile sardar who, with his best years behind him, heads a PMO which sends letters granting petrol bunk licenses to T.R. Baalu's kin without him knowing, his coalition MPs try to horse trade and are caught napping and last but not least is also the official secretary to the Prime Minister De Facto, Hon'ble (the one who did not want to be an Indian Citizen), Ms. Sonia Gandhi. Come what may, Congress is committed to supporting the Aam Aadmi - the ones who are not Hindu and may sometimes involve themselves in some pyrotechnic fun which might result in a few dead people.

P.S: I heard that Mumbai Meri Jaan is fantastic as well. After A Wednesday, I think I  might want to watch it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Out of My Comfort Zone

I need to get my hands on this book by S.R. Waugh. Amazon has an used book for 50 bucks which is not what I pay for an used book. Makkal in India, can you find out how much this costs back there?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tech Reviews - September 2008

1. Nintendo Wii

    I know that I have living under the rock as far as the gaming thing goes. While all my makkal in SVCE used to be glued on to God of War, Diablo and all that, I thought that video games were for kids. And finally when I got to play some game on Sony PS in 2005, I was bored of the story-board pattern of the popular games. You did this, and then this and then that... It didn't really have me hooked. Wii, from the time it was leaked to the press that Nintendo was working on Project Revolution which utilized MEMS technology, I was curious. I used to do research on Bio-MEMS and so was definitely interested in one of the MEMS commercial products - Though I know that Nintendo will have a few 1000 patents on them, the Remote and Nunchuck seem to have a network of Gyros and Accelerometers which are used to detect and simulate user's actions and position into gameplay movements. While the previous commercial application, Segway, a sucker application - the 'thing' which Kamal Haasan used in the equally sucker movie, Dasavatharam. In fact the movie provided a glimpse of why it was a flop. The Segway costed around $5000 and it replaced you walking. While the Government did not allow it to be used as on sidewalks and other pedestrian areas (as it was not classified as a medical device). The accelerometer is a big hit - the Airbag system in automobiles uses the accelerometer predominantly to deploy the airbag, which itself uses a MEMS Chemical Igniter to generate a high density vapor which fills the airbag. More recently, the Apple iPhone, seems to use Gyroscopes. While Apple has never let its technology out, the games that can be played on the iPhone makes me suspect that there are definitely Gyros involved in it too. And the fact that Steve Jobs was involved during the hyping phase of Segway leads me to suspect it more. Well, coming back to the Wii, the game play is certainly innovative. Rain or Shine, you can have fun.
The Wii comes for $250 (plus taxes). The trick is to get it for this base price. The recent trend amongst gaming companies (others like Apple follow it too) is to release small stocks frequently so that it results in an ever present scarcity of the products. This will have 2 scenarios: 1. The people in search of the product will go to Circuit City / Best Buy two or three times and feel that since they have invested so much of time, they need to get it at any rate. 2. Some people get pissed and give up. Scenario 1 happens if the product is an universally acclaimed product, much like Wii. Scenario 2 happened some years back when Fiat tried that in the Indian Market for its Palio T-Max model. The more educated makkal, like Hawkeye, who have a MBA can elaborate on this further. But, thus far, the gamble seems to have paid off for Nintendo. If you check out Walmart or Game Stop, they have bundled the console with some add-ons which do not make financial sense in buying. But pyschologically, anybody who has gone to Circuit City or Best Buy, will I think give in to frustration and get one of these. I'm trying to be in the economy mode for the past 1-2 months and was not really looking to buy anything, but a chance article on Cnet about Wii got me interested. And incidentally a good friend of mine got it on the same day that I made a spot decision to get one. I drove over the Circuit City closest to my house only to find out that Wii stocks come in on Sunday mornings at 10.30am and are over by 12noon. I call up my friend and ask him to get another Wii console for me and send it through a friend who was travelling from OC, California to TPA. The installation, to me, was quite simple. The graphics is more of the Sega Times - atleast in the game CD which comes with the console - Wii Sports. But the important aspect to me was that the games require me to be doing some stuff - not sit on the couch and grow my love handles to glory.

Wii Sports:
1. Bowling: Is very close to the actual game. I'm not much of a night person. I generally hit the sack by 9.30 - 10.00 pm unless I'm travelling or I go to the movies. So, I never used to go to bowling night with makkal here who hit the alley at 10.30 pm-ish. So, to me, this actually lets me practice those spins I never get to do on the alley. The sensitivity of the remote is really good to your wrist position and release angle. This game does not utilize the nunchuck.

2. Golf: I'm an avid Wodehouse-ian. And anybody who's read the Clicking of Cuthbert by the Master, cannot help wanting to play the game. This game again is very good, especially if you have not had much of actual Golf experience. I think the total number of times I have swung an iron is equal to two. The only aspect where this game is lacking is that the sensitivity of the remote is inadequate when you are trying to putt a hole. This also, does not need a nunchuck.

3. Boxing: The game where I seem to be doing too well. It employs the remote and nunchuck and gives you a decent workout, if you really get into the game. The sensitivity side is very average, wherein the computer player tilts at an angle and even if you mimic that angle, your on screen representation doesn't do it. So in every boxing bout, you are the underdog!

4. Tennis: Is too kidding, but still you get to play almost real back hand and fore hand shots. The serve part is mokkai.

5. Baseball: The game which is least appealing - as it is, on its own, a slow and unexciting game. Also, to get used to get the timing right takes too much time. I have not yet gotten it.

Apart from the out of the box games, I got SpiderMan-3 (a story board game :( ) which is okay and MarioKart Wii which is really cool - but obviates the need to be active as all you have to do is use a Wii Wheel to turn and do other stuff to drive.

Planning to save up some cash and get Wii Fit soon. :)

Google Chrome:

On an another direction, Google introduced its open source browser Chrome. They released a comic book detailing what is different in their browser and did have some palin-esque comments to other browser developers - Mozilla and IE. To be brutally honest, Chrome sucks - Majorly!! I'm a big google fan and am not happy to say this, but since there is a minute delay in loading pages, even if they are on different tabs, PDF pages are warped onto you - Stay away from it until they come up with a better version. But I think, Google has to fail every now and then so that they keep giving us better ones. Their last few apps - Google Reader, Gtalk (for mobile and mail and client), blogger have become a part of my daily (hourly?) life.

Road Rage

One of the few things I love doing is to drive. During my driving days in Madras and in this part of the world, though I enjoy every ooportunity to dirve, there are certain categories of people who spark my already volatile temper.

1. Desi with expensive car (US of A)

    You can never miss the signs - BMW 3 or 5 Series (not the sedan model, the SUV X Series), Lexus or Acura cars, My Kid is a genius fender sticker, vermillion on top of the number plate. The biggest clue of all would be that the driver will be taking every damn precaution not to have a single scratch on his/her vehicle. I agree that he/she is paying a big chunk towards the car every month but then travelling at below the speed limit speeds on interstate, thinking a zillion and one time before changing a lane, braking 2 miles before it is required make my BP zoom. And once when going to the temple I was so pissed because of the car infront of me - a BMW 5 series sedan that I passed him on the right lane - which is wrong but that jerk did not give me an option. Unfortunately that car came to the temple as well and the 40 something desoid with the tummy, polo shirt and shorts intact comes to me and says that I need more maturity. He went home after a 5 minute talk from me, after which, I doubt whether he would talk to any 20 something guy about maturity and road driving.
2. Aunty on Kinetic Honda in Madras
    I agree that Madras is polluted and all that and there are rowdy pasanga waiting to site adichify and all that but dressing up like this (below) is too much wonly!
= =
These makkal have a travel trajectory which resembles something like this:
In the picture, the red line shows the trajectory. They travel at exactly 30 kmph and have the sudden habit of thrusting their hand out to signal that they are making a turn. There are 2 issues with this: 1. They are right in the middle of the road when they want to make the turn, and 2. They do not care to see if there is someone coming back right behind them. Once the hand got me square on the midsection. It might be inkeeping witth their costume to attack people when they lease expect it. The situation gets complex-er if there is another specimen with the same costume or a kid on the pillion. The kinetic honda (or scooty, sunny or whatever non-geared, cannot go more than 50kmph vehicle there is on the madras landscape). The vehicle suddenly does somersaults, skid brakes and tries to cut you, all at 25 kmph. The biggest of my crib is that their attire makes me feel that I'm bad mouthing myself whenever I try to give them a piece of my mind and that, my dear makkal, is not a nice thing to do yourself.
3. The thirutu-kaadhal case in Chennai
This is the kilu-kiluppu case. The guy brakes suddenly and sharply for what purposes you might have already guessed. While it may be mid-road masala for him, for us its anything but good. As more often than not these are kalla-kaadhals of India, they satiate all their want-to-do's on the road. Enna kodumai saravanan idu?
After a while, tired of swerving and getting used to braking for nothing,  you get pissed and try to use the usual chennai lingo on him for bad driving and he says "saar, ladies irukkum poludhu ipdi pesreengale, saar?". And you feel like punching the guy in the nose - he does R rated stuff on the road and when you try to square off, he says that you use R Rated language. Jackass!
4. The (White) Chick in USA {Sometimes comes in the black variant too}
These are very easy to spot - Volkswagen Beetle (Bug), Jetta, Rabbit or Mini Cooper or Mazda Miata - and a (female) driver  whose head seems to be stuck to the cell phone. They roll over at stop signs and are given to sudden lane change syndrome. And in parking lots, they turn lethal. Give them a parking spot with no other car in the next two spots on either side and still they will manage to scratch another car. And when you try to talk to them, they put on that I'm-so-cute-and-adorable-please-flirt-with-me look that you'll feel like thirigifying their head and throw it to the kaaka (crow).
5. The Yo-Mama in USA
The cars bear strong similarities. The suspension tweaked so that the cars are always bouncing like bobble-heads. And kanda kanda car will have alloy wheels. The most popular here in tampa is Honda Accord or Toyota camry (the staple desi car) with alloy wheels. You know that you can honk or show him the finger as you know such cars rarely ever have a driver who DOES NOT have a gun. Some hip hop beats come through and if you are really unlucky you will have music blasting. If you thought these guys had insurance you must be from the planet Mars. But on the whole, apart from giving you a headache if you are in their proximity in the traffic lights, they pose no driving danger to you, though seeing somebody driving a car in the posture that may be better suited to the couch is a bit unnerving.
6. The uninsured pick up truck
When you a specimen of this or a close variant keep 2 lane distance away from it. Mostly has a trailer trash white guy or a கீழ் நாட்டுக்காரன் (keezh-naatukaaran, a.k.a ola comistos) . One fact that you need to drill down your brain is that insurance companies do not insure pick up trucks which are 20 years old. Or at least not at premium rates that the drivers of these pick up trucks can afford. I had the experience of one such battered pick up truck simply lose control and move into my lane, thereby totally damaging my friend who was driving ahead of me here (see below)
I was, for once, like 50 feet behind my friend and had time to park on the shoulder and when I went over to the spot where the pick up truck and my friends car were in close communion, I found out the truck driver was trailer kinda person and all that he was able to say was the f- word and he, seemingly, did not know that insurance was mandatory to drive on the road! 911 was called and the cops duly arrested the old fart and all that. But, the point was, there was nobody to pay for the damages. My friend, as does every dutiful desi had a high deductible (copay?) amount to reduce his 6-month premium which meant he had to shell out 2000 bucks then and there. The lesson? Avoid old pick up trucks like the plague. Run, hide or take the next exit. And oh, also make sure you don't have more than 500 dollar deductible.
7. The GPS-Enabled makkal in US
Easiest to spot - you cannot miss the 'light of knowledge' from behind throught the windshield. Major makkal in this category are MS in US Junta (or software onsite makkal) who are 'enjoying' long weekends by renting out a car (its another matter that they applied 2 coupons, 1 mail-in rebate and 1 preferred member discount to get the GPS for free) and driving everywhere and anywhere. But they are easy to avoid. Do not go near Indian Restuarants, Theaters playing namba ooru padam, touristy places like Caladesi (Honeymoon) island, Clearwater Beach and Miami, Strip Clubs/Night clubs where ragudu is possible on saturday nights and on very rare occasions, near temples (especially on Sunday evenings when its time to search for retribution for all the sins performed during the previous 2 days). God Save you if the rental car guy gave them a non-text-to-speech enabled as they were getting it for free. Arbit-ly swerving into exit lanes and in the last minute rejoining the main lane, suddenly stopping in the middle of the lane (especially near the destination points) are common symptoms. Pass them asap and don't give them a damn as, mostly if they see a desi passing them (and if you have a female or someone resembling a female in your car), they show off by hitting the pedal on the pitiable Chevy Cobalt and revving up the engine and trying to show that you can never pass them. On such occasions, if you are driving a better car (do not ask me if there is any car worser than Cobalt!), just speed up and go your merry way as there is a nice chance that alocohol or cigerretes might be a part of the mix in the other vehicle (I do not know why, but whenever desi pasanga meet up for a get-together, sarakku, cigarrette and porn {called Foreign Film} are always there in the agenda)
8. The Family of 4 (or more) in Madras
My family has been guilty of doing this when I was a small kid (you know it was a LOOOONG time ago, seeing my size now). But you are struck to marvel how the guy is balancing the motorbike and at the same time, talking to the pondaati and all that. Throw a cell phone into the mix and you will have a potential, India has got Talent show on your hands.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Ignorance is NOT Bliss!

Ever since coming to the US, I have had these North Indians (anybody north of Madras) asking me to talk in Hindi because its our national language. Do not mistake me here - I do not hate Hindi - I know the language to an extent to understand somebody talking to me and all that. But I'm pissed when people tell me that for me to be patriotic (which I'm not) I need to know Hindi. Thanks to the recent controversy, I came to know that

India does not have the concept of a single "national language". The Indian Constitution does not recognize Hindi as the national language of India. Instead, "official languages" are recognized for individual states. Article 343 of the Indian Constitution recognises Hindi in Devanāgarī script as the official language of the Union Government. The states have their own official languages, depending on their linguistic demographics.
Bloody! From here on any seth kabodhi forcing me to talk in Hindi is gonna get his ass kicked. Like R. Peters says, "Someone gonna get hurt reaaal baaaad!"

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Out for a duck first ball...

Apart from jogging my memory on stuff I used to be a TA for, this weekend was supposed THE weekend of Fall 2008 - the first football weekend. Having waited for a long while to see NE Patriots back in action, it was a pity that, Brady, that ever so clinical mean machine of a Quarterback is out with a potentially season ending injury!! This feels like those occasions when I used to bunk fridays to see India Pakistan matches in Sharjah. Pakistan would bat first. I remember India used to open the bowling with Manoj Prabhakar - that wily, poor man's Kapil Dev - who used everything in his hands - crown caps included. But then trying to get to Pakistani players with ball tampering is futile - THEY WERE THE GUYS WHO INVENTED IT, for pillayar-sake! But after two and half hours of the Indian bowlers trying to throw everything except the kitchen sink, the score board would read something like 250-odd in 50 overs with players like Basit Ali, Ijaz Ahmed and Salim Malik who have the unique talent of scoring centuries only on Fridays in Sharjah! After the usual "Allah-O-Akbar" call and lunch, the Indian batting would begin. Its interesting here to note that nobody cared about India. India, people knew, would lose - a final, friday and sharjah - even George W. Bush is not foolish to put his 2 dollars on India for the match. The commentators would hype up Tendulkar that he would be like Rajni Kanth walking with "baasha-baasha" BGM. Nobody cared for the other guy who was the non striker - on some days it would be Jadeja, Prabhakar or some kid who was able to pay the 2 lakhs to get into the Indian cricket team.The bowler, invariably was Wasim Akram, who can be credited with the exploiting ball tampering to the maximum possible extent. In fact, he said as much in this. The first ball would be pitched on leg stump and would have that little hint of swing and would beat Tendulkar's feeble prod and even the most optimistic of people would switch off the TV as did I and then would be a nice long afternoon siesta till my mom and sister came back from office and school respectively. Thats precisely the same feeling today - Brady, Out for the season!!

P.S: The only other player worth supporting - Payten Manning - is seemingly, going to end up on the losing side with a pathetic defense. Go on, knock me down with a feather or tell me that Tampa Bay Buccaneers with that lucky as hell QB (you would say this when you see this) Geff Garcia is going to win the Superbowl!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


A friend of mine who recently graduated is now in the Marriage Sandhai. He has the usual tam-brahm ad in tamil matorimony - Well placed US groom looking for modern yet traditional, good looking, fair, intelligent, god fearing, homely blah blah tam-brahm girl. He is the usual desi guy in US - he has been to the strip clubs, has had a relationship which didn't work out as his girlfriend and he got jobs in different places. His logic in trying to find a girl from India was because he wanted a ponnu with 'nalla' character - meaning no previous relationships and all that blah - his live in relationship notwithstanding.

While I was kinda irked by his hypocritical attitude, I had a convo with a SVCE junior - quite a junior - by 3 years over Gtalk. Perhaps, there is something called Karma, which might not let assholes like the one mentioned above to have their cake and eat it too.

His take on relationships and how it happens:
Junior: depends..sarakku adikara madhiri dhan..first time,thappunu thonum,panam waste nu thonum..apram nalla irrukum.
  adhey m,adhiri dhaan
 me: nalla example ellam solre
  nee committed thaanae?
  ozhunga othukko
 Junior: cha cha..i was..not now,broke up some 3 years back
11:17 PM me: en da?/
 Junior: ponnu romba romba rich da..
  brahmin ponnu vera-------------------------------------------------------Junior: well,90% of them get physical,i am not too sure if they have sex..
11:36 PM i have got physical,but somehow managed to dow ithout sex
  so,technically or on paper everyone wanst to remain a virgin
 me: ippo population anda alavukku munneriducha?
11:37 PM Junior: yeah...BF irundha smooch paniyae aaganum nu oru pudhu rule irruku..
 me: ha ha
 Junior: apram..wats the point in having a BF or a GF?
 me: ha ha - kalakreenga da.... neenga ellam engalukku junior ah irukardhu kaala kodumai! ;-)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Google Chrome

To Download, Click


The screenshots show the 3 webpages that I use the most and so far from what I've seen, its not faster or better than Mozilla.

Weekend Waralaaru

Weekends nowadays, more or less mean that I get to wake up at 9-ish, gym, swim and perhaps a movie or two on the dvd/cable. It was not always like this. I make an effort here to see what an average weekend looked like before I came over to this part of the world.

Stage 1 - Kanchipuram - Till Age 4 {Before this we were in Delhi of which I remember zilch}

Weekends were idyllic. I did not get to study LKG and my UKG was sporadic due to my frail health. So weekends were not much different from weekdays. The fact that we lived right behind this place meant saturdays were majorly spent in playing near in the mandapams and waiting to get the viniyogam of prasadam. And more often than not, we used to have a practice of attending the maadyanika poojai conducted by Click. Some weekends also included a trip to the banks of the Varaga Nadhi. Also my favorite temple in this town of temples is the Veeraanchaneyar temple right opposite the Sankara Mutt on Salai St.

Stage 2 - Ranipet - Till age 7

This place was cool - it was like 30 kilometres from Vellore and about 100 odd from Chennai. The town itself had a perennial leather factory smell. Weekends usually involved the Hari - Sivan fights. My dad and his family are confused smarthas - they are wannabe Iyengars and feel bad that they have to do with horizontal stripes rather than the much coveted vertical ones. And I suspect that one of the reasons why my paternal grandmother okayed my mother was because her name was Sudha and it went along with theme of my dad's name - Lakshminarasimhan - both of them being Iyengar names of the highest order. So my dad and mom used to argue about Hari - Sivan and their families (primarily because they were hunting for a name for my sister - She ultimately got named Aparna - okay to both sides because of its proximity to both Vishnu and Shiva}. This was primarily in our last year of stay at R.. Prior to that, when my mom was fit enough to make motorbike trips, our weekends included trips to Vellore - where there used to be an awesome restaurant - run by a Sardar who'd originally come to Vellore to get himself treated. The name slips my mind, but the food was kick-ass. And most of those weekends were also accompanied by movies at Vellore - I remember that Thalapathy was the last movie I saw in Vellore before my makkal made the final shift to Madras.

Stage 3 - Madras - The Early Years - 1992-1998

Weekends were usually spent in doing some odd job or the other. However much I loved being in PSBB and all that, the school teachers had us doing weird stuff during weekends. One weekend was spent in growing poonjakaalan on bread, the other was spent in growing mustard chedi in a coconut shell and then buying chumki's to decorate a camel and all that stuff. If not doing this kinda work, I was more or less on my cycle - road racing with neigbors, seeing Turning Point, followed by SpiderMan on DD-2 (DD Metro), Young World, Hardy Boys/Three Investigators books from the school library. Saturdays used to be the days when I used to have that absolutely amazing oil bath. My mom in her hurry to go to office used to wake me up and then the next half hour was bliss. The oil rubbing process is very sleep inducing, more so, if you were just woken up from sleep. After this heavenly ritual, what followed was a bath in the kinathadi (the well-place) where I had to draw water from the well and take bath. I liked the drawing water process and the ice-cold water simply was fantastic. By the time I had this protracted bath process, my parents would have left for work. Catching up on STAR Sports/Cartoon Network with urulai-kizhangukari and vengaya sambar and then a kumbakarnan sevai till 3pm would mean the major fun part of saturday - being alone (discounting my sister who was too young to hamper my fun) was over as my parents had this half a day thing on saturdays and so saturday evenings were the usual shopping days - Pondy Bazar, Luz, Mylapore, T. Nagar and all those good old tambrahm places were visited in an order where more time was spent in walking to the parking lot to get the cars (most of those shopping places did not have car parks way back then) and some hajaar shopping - velli kudam, pattu pavadai and all that nonsense.

Stage 4 - Madras - 1999-2001

A major change in life. My dad was transferred out of Madras and he didn't want to take us along. Weekends were of two kinds - weekends when appa was home and weekends when appa was not at home. Either ways, saturdays were fun - my mom got to work in a monday holiday branch, which meant she was away the whole of saturday - so major thirutu-th-thanams were planned - with and without the connivance of my sister. Playing cricket with my thangachi on the comp on saturdays was a ritual and it was followed by major vambu sessions with 2 of my close friends then, over the phone. IIT classes were a big time stealer - they used to occupy saturady evenings and most of sunday morning. When dad was around, Sundays were drab - clean room, help him water that huge garden, vacuum the ottadai, wash car and all that good stuff. When dad was not around, SUN TV's sunday morning specials were on - thirai vimarsanam with James Vasanthan (yeah, the same dude who composed this) and then the 11am film. Amma used to be back from work at 1pm after which an elaborate cooking procedure would start where I'd be helping her with food - it sounds funny - but I really loved the cooking-vambu sessions with her. This was followed by the evening padam on Sun TV, a trip to the local koil and all that.

Stage 5 - 2001-2005

Appa's absence over weekends increased. Saturdays were spent in underhand dealings on various kinds - some of which had my sister's blessings while most did not. Starting with prank emails (which asked your friends to list their 'crush' and emailed the list back to you) to helping makkal at college to compose letters telling their unrequited love and all that mush stuff, the Nattamai kinda movies on KTV and Sun TV on saturdays afternoons, Dexter's Lab (till the time when the blasted Govt. introduced Set-top box), saturdays passed off in a blur. My only veetuku-useful kinda activity on saturdays were the dropping amma at office ritual. The morning were done with a cheerful frame of mind as it meant the start to all my illegal activities while the evening trip back usually involved vambu sessions with my mom's colleagues at work where I used to do the perfect maama-maami talk. I was also the over kadavul nambikkai person back then which meant I made a early morning trip to the Yoga-Nrisimhar temple at Velachery on saturdays with madi vastrams and all that. Gym-ing was a brief addiction where in I went and got into some kinda of decent shape with the V torso, flat abs and an 18 inch arms. Sundays with appa around meant the usual routine of cleaning house, washing my bike, helping my thangachi with her math work and all that. Sunday evenings were great fun - CAT classes at Adyar. Somehow the institute where I went did some survey and decided that my batch required more verbal classes than math/logical, which meant that I was the King - my RC skills are kinda good and so when people used to struggle to complete 2 passages and questions, I would have finished all 3 and would have turned in my scripts. This made makkal in class think of me as a BLACKI (Bangalore, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Kozhikode and Indore) probable and it felt good when you were considered to be the favorite horse in a race :D

Stage 6 - 2005 (Aug - Dec)

Early part of US life - Saturday mornings were spent at school - in the MEMS lab or research lab - doing arbit orkuting or some journal readings. Saturday evening was mostly spent with TBS. This was the most weirdest part of life. I did not have a phone during this phase, no car or any other mode of transportation and not many friends too. Sundays were mostly assignment days and obviously NFL.

Stage 7 - 2006 - 2007

Met up with my saviours here in US - the 3 S as I call them - my entire life changed. Saturday mornings were still school - lab - phone call mode. But saturday evenings meant eat-outs, movies (theatre or DVD) and super duper fun at their house. (in fact during this phase, I spent more time at their house than mine - including sleep). Sundays were kovil days. My bhakthi phase was over since some time and my predominant reason for going to the temple was the food.

Stage 8 - 2000 Dec - Now

Weekends are spent mostly at home - TV and laptop are saviors. I'm the living example of a couch potato except for the 4 hours on saturday and sunday morning when I go to the gym, go for my swim/run and do my sandhiyavandhanam. If my mom was around she would have seriously started doubting whether I still have my spinal cord intact or not.