Monday, May 30, 2005

I'm getting addicted

Originally uploaded by balapix.
I am getting addicted to this new game in "The Hindu". is giving a 28-day trial version of the game. I'm planning to download it and try it out.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

101 – Street Dogs

20 May 2005, 9.00 am:
Carrying my helmet like a NASA astronaut, I entered into my office thinking about the happy weekend that would follow. In addition to that it was only since a week, I got a new project. Although the project wouldn’t kick off until June 20, I felt happy to land in a project after a long slack.

31 Dec 1998, 5.00 pm:
"Dey pasangala, what are we planning for this New Year eve"

"What else, Ajay house, bakery, Anjaneyar Koil, that’s all"

"Poda.usual stuff. We have become college guys da. We will go somewhere else"

"I am not coming to Spencer Plaza, buses will be crowded now"

"Not splencer plaza, we shall go to beach"

"Which one?"

"Besant Nagar...Machi city girls will come there"

"Super da. But, how to go there? You know which bus would go there?"

"Adhellam yaarayavdhu kettukalam"


"My friend Santosh is also coming."

"sari sari. Kelambunga da"

This is what myself and two of my friends Ajay and Babu spoke before we decided to go to Besant Nagar that day.

20 May 2005, 9.15 am:
"Rishi! What happened in yesterday’s phone call? Any updates about the new project?"
"No! Balaji.Seems like we have a bad news. The kick off might be delayed by a month or so"

31 Dec 1998, 5.30 pm:
Till this day we have only heard stories about the mouth watering girls who turn up at Besant Nagar. So the expectations of ogling them were running high amongst us. Moreover, we felt it would be great change to move away from the regular BSA SLRs of the suburbs to the scooties and kinetic Hondas of the city.

In all our excitement, we boarded the wrong bus and had to get down at Malar Hospital. From there it was decided to walk along the road to the beach. Soon we crossed the beautiful Theosophical society and reached our destination.

"Aiyyeee!!Why is it so crowded?"
"Its New year’s eve. Besant Nagar is generally crowded on holidays"
"There is a calm place nearby. It’s a broken bridge. Shall we go there?"

20 May 2005, 6.30pm:
The sane mind kept telling me that disappointments are a part and parcel of life. One has to learn to get along with them. But coping with them is easier said than done.

I was completely pissed off after learning that my new project could get delayed further. The Idle Mind in my head was getting more than a handful for me to handle. What can I do for 2 more months?

31 Dec 1998, 6.00pm:
We walked across a slum and reached the backside of the Theosophical society. Further down we saw a bridge across the backwater, which was broken in the middle. The other half of it was not to be seen anywhere. The place was completely silent except for the hissing sound of the sea breeze and was devoid of any human face other than us.

Thrilled by the atmosphere we stayed there and kept chatting until the distant lights at the Besant Nagar beach came up. We realised that we should leave that place started walking back towards the slum.

"Dey, why should we go through that slum again? Why don’t we walk along the sands?"

"Good idea. It will be fun"

So we diverted towards the sands and started walking along the sands. There were many catamarans scattered and we could see the fishing nets bundled nearby them. It seemed like a 10-minute walk to the main beach. Once again it was a lonely walk, until something terrible happened.

20 May 2005, 7.30 pm:
I played my heart out at Table Tennis in my office, but still couldn’t manage to take the bitter feeling out of my mind. "Why should it always happen with me?"

I felt like I am wasting the most precious moments of my life doing nothing. Usually in such times, I would convince myself thinking one day I would get busy again. Somehow today my mind didn’t seem to listen to me and started getting heavy on me.

I couldn’t speak well with one of my friends and she got very concerned at my state of affairs.

31 Dec 1998, 7.00 pm:
Some 3 minutes into the walk, we heard a distant bark of a dog from somewhere in the dark. Slowly the barking noise became more pronounced and the source was getting nearer. Within seconds there was a dog running towards us, showing its sharp canines in a fearful manner.

We were used to handling such dogs, because we went to coaching classes at 5 in the morning. So as usual we raised our hands at the dog and tried to shoo it away. One of my friends acted as though he is taking a stone from the ground and threw his handful of nothing at the angry dog.

"Oh God! Nothing seems to work"

20 May 2005, 8.00 pm:
"Lokesh! Enakku kaduppa irukku. Shall we go out somewhere?"
"Okay da, Balaji. Shall we go to some movie?"
"Done! Which one?"
"Hitch, at Satyam theatre. 10 o’ clock show"

31 Dec 1998, 7.05 pm:
Suddenly it started raining dogs. They seemed to come running from every direction.

Within no time there were some 15 dogs around us, with more coming in every minute. Now we were half way between the bridge and the beach. It was another 5 minutes walk to the beach and nobody was sure if we could stay alive with the bloodthirsty dogs just 2 feet away from us.

The moment we start running we would make headlines of SUN News as unidentified bodies along the coast.

I could even imagine Nirmala Periasaami's excited voice
"Chennai Besant Nagar-il naay vaay pattu , nangu valibargal saavu"

"Noay vaaipattu setha parava illlai. Naay vaay pattu savanuma"

So prudence was to walk but how long and whereto was the question. We kept walking along the same direction not due to inertia but it was our only hope left with sea on one side and slum on the other.

Walking was also very tricky. For every step that we took the dogs in front would move half a step backwards. They constantly kept barking at maddening decibel levels, which not only invited other dogs in the vicinity but also deterred any logical thinking.

We managed to survive the situation unscathed for 2 minutes now. But something has to be done, because more dogs were running in.

20 May 2005, 9.15pm:
We were at Satyam, but another disappointment awaited me with the HOUSE FULL sign. We had made up our minds to see one movie or the other and so we decided to try our luck at Devi complex.

31 Dec 1998, 7.08 pm:
Suddenly one of us noticed that there was a small pathway that led into the slum. This seemed to be a better bet; at least we could get some help. That again was 100 meters from where we stood. It was another 2 minutes of walk.

Meanwhile one of our captors lunged towards Babu, who is extremely afraid of dogs and landed inches away from him. He almost started to run when Santosh and Ajay caught him by his shirt and stopped him. Otherwise God knows what would have happened.

Through the grueling journey to the slum, each one of us faced different directions to keep an eye on the unruly canines. The formation was successful in keeping the dogs bay and we reached the pathway.

Now we could see some houses and some people. Still there were 10 dogs following us. We thought of getting some help and that very moment we saw three men carrying big weapons (called "porul" in Tamil) going to hit someone. None of us could find our voices.

"Ayyo, from frying pan to the fire"

20 May 2005, 9.40pm:
We reached just in time for the movie "Arindhum Ariyamalum" and luckily managed to get two tickets in black. It turned to be an enjoyable movie and brought me back to my spirits.

31 Dec 1998, 7.10 pm:
Luckily those men did not care about us or the dogs. Slowly as we moved into the slum, the dogs stopped pursuit and there were only two left. Again we became courageous and chased them away.

Realizing that we were alive, we started walking as though nothing has happened but it took long for our heartbeats to come down. Reaching the beach we bought a coke and fizzed it out. Onlookers must have thought we were celebrating New Year. They had no chance of guessing that we were celebrating new lives.

21 May 2005, 1.00 am:
I am on my way back home from the movie. When I reached the market road, a couple of street dogs started barking and chasing my bike. I cannot resist myself from saying

"Chiii, naaye. Nanga ellam unna madhiri pala pera paarthavanga. Enga kittaye va", in Vadivelu style.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Su Do Ku

Sudoku is a Japanese number game that’s being published in "The Hindu" for the past couple of days and I am already getting obsessed with it. Its nothing but a 9x9 square with some squares already filled with numbers from 1 and 9.

The game is to fill in the rest of the squares such that every row and every column has all the numbers between 1 and 9 without missing any or repeating any. Plus the 9x9 square is divided into nine 3x3 squares and one has to ensure that each 3x3 square has one and only one occurence of all the numbers between 1 and 9.

It’s just a simple elimination logic but is sure interesting. I am planning to time my solutions for Sudoku from tomorrow. But it has already started another quarrel between me and my brother for the puzzle.

I could not find the Sudoku puzzle in Hindu's website. It’s a good way to kill time when you happen to attend some dull meetings.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Kadalai kadalai kadalai...

Anbaarndha kadalai mannargale!!!!

Munnadi ellam Kadal karai-la(beach) kadalai potteenga
-- sari kandukkaama vittuttom
Appuram park-la kadalai potteenga
-- sari paravaa illai-nu vittutom
Perundhu-la(bus) kadalai potteenga
-- adhaiyum perisu paduthaama vittuttom
Phone-la kadalai potteenga
-- sari pozhachu pogattum-nu vittuttom
Theatre-la kadalai potteenga
-- therinjikkaadha madhiri vittuttom
Theru mukkula kadalai potteenga
-- theraadha case-nu vittuttom
Veettu vasal-la kadalai potteenga
-- veena ponadhunga-nu vittuttom
Discotheque-la kadalai potteenga
-- thittaama vittuttom
Coffee shop-la kadalai potteenga
-- kavalai padaama vittuttom
Kovil-nu kooda paakaama angayum kadalai potteenga
-- kova padaama vittuttom

Aaana innaikku jogging panra edathayum vittu vaikkama anga vandhu kadalai podareengale ungalukku mana satchiye kidayaadha.

pleasure-kaaga varra edam-aada idhu
pressure erinadhaala vara edam-da idhu

figure-a correct panra edam-aada idhu
sugar-a correct panra edam-da idhu

avan avan thoppai-ya(tummy) kuraikka thalai therikka odikittu irukkan
neenga ennada-nna oru ponna ottikkittu irukkeenga

Dei!!! unga improvisation-ukkum , innovation-ukkum oru ellai-ye
kedayaadhaa da.
(Read the above lines in Vivek style for better effect)

I occasionally jog at the Officer's Training Academy, St. Thomas Mount. The above rantings are a result of what I saw today.

Silar indha pulambal ellam poramai, kayyala aagadha thanam-nu sollalam. Adhu oru pakkam irundhaalum, jogging panra edathula kadalai konjam too much.

Monday, May 23, 2005


Once upon a time, there were four bulls which used to graze together and a wily tiger which wanted to eat them. Its attempt to attack them were foiled by the four bulls which attacked the tiger as a unit. Now the tiger approached the bulls one by one and enticed them to a better pasture nearby and feasted on them.

Moral - United we stand, divided we fall.

This was the story said by my Tamil teacher seeing the pictures, which were sequentially printed in my 1st standard Tamil book. Today the pictures of Chennai Bloggers meet in Chandrachoodan's blog along with his thoughtful captions have evoked similar stories among my colleagues in office. Especially one among them, Shanky came up with a very imaginative and creative story, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hats off Shanky!!! for your time and imagination.

I had done similar kind of things in the past to my colleagues here and she has matched me by giving a bit of my own medicine.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Awesome Clue

As I had expected, I couldn't take my clue to the top of the points table to win CWC 16. There were some brilliant entries both in the official and in the bonus sections and one particular clue by the winner Parasu thrilled me a lot. Certainly one among the "best" clues that I had seen so far.

Here it goes...

Cane me Rapii!! right way, cos I saw this coming of age movie (8,3)
Cane me Rapii - anagram fodder
Right way- anagram indicator
Coming to age movie = American Pie

Too good. Isn't it. It just can't get any better. Hats off Parasu.

Chennai Bloggers' meet

Yes, I managed to attended one. It was at Java Green in North Usman road. A dozen and odd people turned out, and as usual I was late for it by 15 minutes. There were variety of people, say engineering students, embedded engineers, technical writers, architecture students and few more

It was a great experience being there among the top bloggers. This was the first time I met every one of them, and 10 minutes into it I felt as though I was at my college alumni meet. We were talking like we had known each other for ages. My god! blogging has shrunk the world to nothing. It was real, real fun. What struck me was, how unassuming and down to earth those people were.

There was a formal round of intros followed by a long chat session until we realised how pathetic the person behind the counter was. We started off with some cold coffee, and then proceeded to the basement for some ice creams, pani puri and cutlet. When it was time to part, I came to know that Kiruba's car had a flat tyre. We reached there in my two-wheeler only to find that there were no mechanics close by. Then we moved it across the road opposite to the planetarium before I took leave from Kiruba and headed excitedly towards my home.

On a personal note, I had identified a couple more Hindu crossword enthusiasts and prompted them to join the "TheHinduxword" yahoo groups. Moreover I proved myself that I am no more an introvert that I used to be.

Pictures of the meet are available at

Arindhum Ariyamalum

My recent resolve to act on instincts is certainly taking me places. I go to places where I wouldn't have otherwise gone. Similarly I meet people whom I wouldn't have otherwise met.

Rather unexpectedly I landed in Devi Kala, on friday night to watch the night show of Arindhum Ariyamalum.

Watching night shows on weekends might be the way of life for many. But a considerable percentage of those seemed to have different intentions. Why should they be inebriated when watching a movie? How many intended to watch this movie and how many realised that they had come to movie could be included as 15th questions for the coming editions of KBC-2.

While "Chandramukhi" is reaping lakhs by the day, the director and producer deserve a pat on their backs for releasing "Arindhum Ariyaamalum" without much of a hype. The music scored by the celeb kid Yuvan Shankar Raja, was the only reason I found to watch the movie until I actually did it. Now I am speculating about watching the movie for the second time.

Coming to the movie, it was an unconventional, offbeat, casual entertainer. A critical viewer that I am, I could not find a single dull moment in the movie. The director has not indulged himself seriously into any stereotyped themes. Nothing has been done for the sake of doing, be it humour, sentiment or action. The screenplay remained very focused throughout the movie never deviating from the mainline. Prakash Raj once again impresses with his brilliant screen presence. Choreography, camerawork and background score deserve a special mention.

What really caught me was the twist at the break. When gory action was expected in the second half, movie took a complete U-turn and headed humourously towards the climax. The guy who comes as Prakashraj's adopted son impresses both in the action as well as comedy sequences. The film on the whole was frivolous, which I liked.

A few drawbacks can be spotted like, unconvincing portrayal of Prakashraj as lawbreaker, expressionless heroine(that didn't affect the movie much), needless song(silsil mazhiye). All in all, knowingly or unknowingly (arindhum ariyamlaum), I watched a good movie.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Calmly Waiting Contestants (CWC)

It’s been a while since the CWC 16 got over, and as a member of the "TheHinduXword" pointed out, it has been a calm wait for the contestants, who are eager to know Raapi's verdict.

For some reason, I couldn't come up with a completely satisfying clue even after spending a couple of hours.

Here go the rules for CWC 16 followed by my entry...

The word for CWC #16 is

Any English (Hollywood) Movie title. (Minimum 2 words in the title)


You will have to frame your clues on similar lines based on the following rules:

1) You can use any type of wordplay (anagram, double defn, etc...)
2) Use minimum number of words as possible without compromising surface reading.
(Ex. A clue with 8 words and good surface reading will be given more weightage than the one
with 7 words and poor surface reading)
3) Clues with reference to any brand/literature/trivia/actors/actress shall gain
higher mileage than mundane clues.
4) Clues with no proper surface reading shall occupy the bottom of the
points table.


Fugitive takes a second class ride when she needs to forsake her fiance (7, 5)

fugitive - runaway
second class - B
ride - ride

takes - wordplay indicator
Rest of the clue is a reference to Julia Roberts, who deserts her grooms at the altar

I know there will be better entries than this one. But I am curious to know where this clue fits in the points table.

Basic Instincts!!!

I love to live on instincts, doing things based on what my mind says at that instant. Life had been more enjoyable and lively when I get instinctive.

But because I hate being alone, most of the times I would curb my instincts due to lack of a proper company. Those times would be very frustrating and it will take lot of effort to convince myself and do something else in lieu of what I wanted to do.

Sometime last weekend, I made up my mind to pursue my instincts even if it meant that I would be doing things alone.

I never once felt bored during the entire weekend, be it searching the Chennai map and going to Triplicane Parthasarathy temple, or watching the movie "Kana Kanden" at a nearby theatre, or dining at Bella Ciao near my office although the food was expensive.

Dumb me!!! It has taken me so long to discover the great joy of being myself and I don't have any intentions of letting it go.

P.S. For anyone who read this post lusting about Sharon Stone,
"Nalla Emandhiyaa!!!"

Monday, May 16, 2005

I have been blogrolled

I started blogging only because I couldn't find another "ME", i.e. someone with whom I can share all my experiences, someone who shares all my likes and dislikes.

I never cared much to popularise my blogspace. But its a nice feeling to find that somebody whom I have not even met is reading what I scribble.

Just found out that Raapi, one of my favourite bloggers has blogrolled me and yours truly feels truly elated.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


Recently I discovered that I had been preserving all the birthday cards that I have received so far.

Is it worth having them anymore? Some are more than 10 years old. And I do not have any contact with most of those who have signed them. What is the point in keeping those pieces of paper when they do not stir any special feelings in me?

Its time I come over the silly sentiment of mine. There were days when I used to feel that losing the card was equivalent to losing the friend. Now I understand that I have more cards than the friends themselves.

There are a few dozens of cards, a few wall-hangers, couple of flower vases and some key chains which I had collected over the years. In addition, I have the so-called slam-book with all sentimental words one can find. And I had taken undue pains to pack and unpack all of them, everytime we shifted our house in the past decade.

I have decided to get away with all these. Not because that I do not respect/like those who have given them, but because I feel that I have matured enough to understand the real value of such relics.

Anyhow I am giving myself one more week, before I dispose. Just in case, I get stupid again and resort to old sentiments.

Gowri Kalyana Vaibogame...

Got a mail from Gowri, that she is getting married 0n 20th of this month. Wonder whether it is an invitation or information or sort of mockery.

Anyhow I sincerely hope for things to brighten up in her life.


Chinna Chinna Aasai...

Often in my life, the chinna chinna aasai-s have given me lots of satisfaction and happiness, which I cherish for a long time. Most of the times it can be very simple, something like driving a car or reaching 100kmph in my Fiero/Maruti 800 or driving to Pondicherry along ECR or watching a movie from the ramps at Prarthana Drive in.

Something about these chinna chinna aasai-s is that I had been mad for them until I did them. I do not say that these things can give a sense of achievement but the thrill and enjoyment derived has no match.

Somethings have taken me by great surprise. Since my college days, I had been day dreaming of driving a car. And it happened all of a sudden when my father took a U-turn at Madhya Kailash and went to ABT(Maruti Dealer) instead of Ramkay motors(TVS dealer). In fact we were going to Ramkay with Rs.50,000/- in cash to book a Fiero. And Madhya Kailash signal is just 500 metres before Ramkay motors.

It was the day my dad gifted me the beautiful elegant Maruti 800. But then its altogether a different story that I gave it back to my dad and bought myself a Fiero six months later.

I am reminded of these aasai-s when I cherished another one yesterday by fitting a cd player in the car. It was great to hear AR Rehman, Harris Jeyaraj, Bon Jovi, Mirchi Suchi, all from the compact Pioneer player.

There is a lengthy list of unfulfilled chinna chinna aasai-s. Here I go
- Play Basketball
- Learn to whistle
- Write a love story
- Direct a comedy play
- Try different varieties of continential food
- Cook a delicious meal
- Drive to Goa along with friends
- Watch the nightshow of a horror movie with a girl
- Visit Mauritius
- Play with snowflakes in Himalayas
the list goes on.

Again mostly simple yet thrilling things.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

STAR sports or SUN music

Kimi wins over Narain in Spanish GP by 3 laps.

Well, that's not only the difference between the first and the last driver but also between the insightful commentary of Chris Goodwin/Steve Slater and the non-sense speech by some Tamil commentator.

Who is that buffoon giving Tamil commentary for the Formula One races? Already plagued by the CAS in Chennai, I rarely get to see the F1 races. And when something as stupid as the Tamil commentary happens, even an ardent fan like me loses the interest in F1. Infact, I would prefer to just watch the qualifiers alone and see the race results at F1 website.

If ESPNStar thinks that these shitloads of so-called Tamil commentary would increase the viewership of F1, then they will have to eat their hats. Narain might have become a house-hold name in Chennai and India but this is not the way to popularise the game.

I am not against local language commentary for the sport. But when somebody talks the entire one and half hours race duration in a language which has alternate words from Tamil and English, it sure irritates the listener. The commentary was rife with utterances like

- Kimi nichayamga oru comfortable position-il irukkirar endru sollalam
- Ingey battle for 3rd and 4th places nadandhu kondirukkiradhu
- Indha race-il Schumacher konjam unlucky-aaga karudhuvaar

and many more I cannot remember (Frankly, I don't want to remember).

The broadcasters must have realised that they are not recruiting for a some cheap dial-in show, where one can come with a hairdo resembling peacock plume and talk crap.

I should mention that watched half the race without audio.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

New look "Bala-graphy"

This new look "Bala-graphy" was launched yesterday with suggestions from a couple of my colleagues, Shanky & Lokesh. This layout seems appealing with a stylish font and is easy on the eye compared to the old black background.

I should thank "Blogger" for providing ready to use templates for lazybones like me.

P.S. I am not that lazy to marry a pregnant woman.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Old habits die hard

There are certain things about me which have not changed a bit over these years. These habits, whether good or bad have decided to stick with me through the thick and thin.

- Switching off the TV once Sachin Tendulkar gets out
- Gifting myself a Dairymilk everytime my lazybones manage to visit the supermarket
- Blowing and bursting the empty bread covers after finishing their contents
- Clicking any link about Aishwarya Rai
- Making missiles out of the advertisement pamphlets firing them at some imaginary target
- Turning my head to any degree inorder to catch a glimpse of the gals on the road
- Liking for the Chappati's made by Amma
- Denying whatever my brother asks me, even if it is trivial
- Day dreaming about a romantic life in Utopia
- Wanting to do so many things and cursing myself at not doing any
- Composing my blogs as bulletpoints like a Part B answer for a Madras University question paper (Atleast I have that feeling)

There has been so many changes in me over these years that I am surprised to have held on to a few.

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