Tuesday, August 30, 2005

World Blog Day

It was dark night in August 2112 and little Nano had post his maths homework in his blog. For only the previous week, his teacher had written an undeletable comment in his blog about his poor performance and all his girl friends were making fun of him.

But this time around the question was difficult. Nano read and re-read the question many times. And everytime it only read

"If there are 11 comments in Haloscan and 20 comments in Blogger of your blog, how many comments are there in the visitor's blog."

Ofcourse there was Google Brain Search 2.3 which could search the brains of all people and flood the results within seconds, but the answer to this question was not to be found in anybody's brain and it was already 3.30 in the morning. Within half an hour the 7th shift of his school would start and his history teacher was very strict about punctuality.

Nano had had bitter experiences with her in the past when he had been late a couple of times and was asked to recite all of Kiruba's June 2002 blogs in the reverse order.

"Today should not be another day", he said to himself.

He rushed across the house gathering his stuff for the school while his mother undone by his frenzied running was watching the 2.0753 E +25th (i.e, 20753 followed by 22 zeroes)episode of
"Kolangal" on the Sun TV.

Their house was on the 250th floor, while the common helipad where he had parked his new BSA SLR mini-helicopter was on the 325th floor. So another 10 seconds to reach the top. Only on reaching his slot he realised that there were no fan blades in the helicopter.

"Adedey, Nethu thaane Ruby veetu ceiling fan repair-nu namma vandi fan-a koduthom. Che! enna panradhu"

He had no other way but to go by public helicopter.
"Innikku Foot-board thaan adikkanum. Endha mottai maadi-oda antenna-layum idichikkaama ozhunga school poganum saami"

Avoiding the antennas and the clothes that were put to dry completely occupied Nano that he did not realise the time it has taken. It was 4.10 and the history teacher was already there. "Pochuda, inikku enna aaga pogudho theriyala"

"Excuse me..."
"Do you know what time it is??"
"Yes I am 23 hours and 50 minutes early for tomorrow's class"
"Late-aa vandhadhum illama thimiraa badhil solriya. Imposition kudukkava..Lazygeek blog-la 2005 December comments ellam 10 times type pannanum ennoda 1975 typewriter-la"
"Ayyoyo ennala idhellam mudiyaadhu, Ma'am. I am sorry. Please....."
"Sari, appadinna ennoda kelvikku badhil sollu. Innikku enna naalu"
"August 31"
"Adhu illa , innikku oru mukkiyamaana naal. adhu enna?"

(Ayyayyo ennanu theriyalaye. Indha Loose-a eppadiyaavadhu ottanume. Ok, innikku namma kollu thatha voda b'day. adha solluvom)
"Madam innikku en kollu thatha voda b'day"
"Ada madayya, inikku World Blog day"
"Bala-graphy-nu oru world famous blog ezhudhina blogger-oda pirandha naala naama ovvoru varushamum blog day-a kondadarom. adha sollama kollu thatha b'day sollure. Avaru yaaru, periya kombaaa??avaroda blog ennanu sollu "
"http://www.balajiblogs.blogspot.com/ ....madam"
"Ennappa solra. Enakku thalai ellam suthudhu paa. Balaji-oda kollu peranaa nee???"
"Aamam madam. Neengalum avaroda blog-a padichirukkeengala. Adha padicha kandippa thalai suthum"
"Ulla vaappa. Unakku teacher-a irukka naan romba perumai padaren"

Yes folks. 31st August is my birthday and it also happens to be World Blog day. Adhanaala dhaan oru vetti build up. So from tomorrow onwards I will be M24 in railway reservation charts

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Weekend Darshan - 4

This week we(myself and Srivatsan) were joined by one of Srivatsa's colleagues in our trip to Bhaktavatsala Perumal temple in Tirunindravur, near Avadi.

For a change this time, we decided to go by train. It meant that we had to travel till Park station by the metropolitan trains and then change over to the suburban train from Chennai Central.
It was a different experience in the sub-urban routes and it reminded me of my college days when I used to travel by sub-urban trains on the Tambaram - Chengalpet route.

There's a marked difference in the lifestyle of the people living in these places when compared to those in the city. Nobody runs to climb the stairs or chases the trains to board atleast the last compartment. There are no tense faces that look at the track and the watch alternatively once every two seconds. There are no oldies talking office politics while holding the morning edition of "The Hindu". People here were calm, showing no sense of urgency, which we don't get to see in the city.

Bhaktavatsala Perumal temple is 1.5km from the station. Its not big but certainly is very calm and peaceful. The information board here dates this temple 1500 years back, and seeing some of the walls and pillars here, it is not hard to believe. The temple is undergoing renovation and a new rajagopuram in being constructed.

IMG_0673 IMG_0677 IMG_0676

On our way back we accidentally landed at Irudayaleeswarar Temple nearby. This also seemed to be an old one. There were some beautiful paintings on the roof, which seemed to be depicting some story.

IMG_0681 IMG_0682 IMG_0685

A memorable trip in the end.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Earth or Moon???

In times of distress, I used to convince myself thinking darkness cannot prevail forever and the sun would eventually rise. But that rule is applicable only on Earth.

Seeing the state of affairs in my life, I wonder if I am living on the other side of the Moon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Q: What is the effective resistance of the two 10K ohm resistors in the circuit?


There is no resistance
Just temptation to
Fall for this cute
Little ornament

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Home Alone

Day 1:
There's plenty of food, snacks and other goodies in the fridge. I watch DVDs in leisure. Feel great for being my own master and doing things at my own pace. Envy guys staying alone and cherish loneliness.

Day 2:
The food in the fridge is getting exhausted. One of my relatives invited me for dinner. So again I feel nice being alone. Its so much fun to keep things neat and tidy in the house and its a great feeling to see the house organised. Amma will be proud to see the house this way.

Day 3:
There's no food left and it won't be nice to go to the relatives house for food. Suddenly I turn adventurous and try my hand at cooking. The vegetables haven't yet arrived in the nearby shop. So I buy some potato for sambhar. Rice and dhall came out well. Next is the sambhar. I never knew how to make a sambhar. But then I proceeded following my intuitions and in another 45 minutes, I ended up with an orange coloured concoction. It was not bad and all my colleagues who tasted it identified it as sambhar, without me telling what it was. Some even gave me 80 marks for that.
Overwhelmed by the response, I go home and make some noodles for dinner.

Day 4:
I get shocked on seeing the untensils in the sink. What a stink it was? Discouraged at the sight of the oily vessels, I decide to eat out. Without drinking water and with lots of clothes to wash, dirty floors to clean, late night conference calls to attend it turned out to be a very bad day.

I call home at 10.00 in the night and find out that amma has just come back. Eat the most delicious curd rice that night.

Day 5:
Get up at 7.30 in the morning and brush. Find piping hot coffee, and newspaper on the table. Coffee never tasted so great. I realise how I had taken certain things for granted and being with the parents is perhaps the most wonderful gift in any age.

P.S. Now I sympathise all those guys and gals who stay away from the comfort of their homes.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Mangal Pandey - a self-interview

Me: Why did you watch the movie?
Myself: Come on! what question is this? Its a galaxy out there man. Aamir, Rani, Ameesha, A.R.Rehman, what else can you ask for? Plus Aamir is coming back to silver screen after four years. The songs are extra ordinary. Its natural for me to wanting to see the movie.

Me: Did you feel that there's something controversial in this movie?
Myself: No, I didn't find anything very controversial in the movie. Of course there might have been a few scenes about which some might have a second opinion (Like a British bidding for Rani Mukherjee).

There was a clear disclaimer in the very beginning stating that a part of the story has been fictionalised for creating a dramatic effect. If you watch the movie having that in mind, I don't think anything will bother you.

Me: What did you like about Aamir in the movie?
Myself: Professionalism, to the core. Being able to bring an image of a person, about whom there is no written record is quite difficult and he has done a good job in portraying the semi-fictional character.

Me: what about the technical aspects?
Myself: The art direction stands out as exemplary. So is the camera, though it cannot be compared with Ravi.K.Chandran's work in Paheli. The background score serves the purpose in most of the scenes.

Me: What are the characters in the movie?
Myself: Aamir plays Mangal Pandey, Toby plays his British friend, Rani comes as a sex worker and Ameesha is a widow .

Me:What's good about it?
Myself: The characterisation of Aamir, Toby and Rani are very neatly done. Their roles are very well-defined in the screenplay. These characters do just what's required of them for the story which is very nice.

Me: What's the bad part in it?
Myself:I am not able figure out the real reason for having Ameesha in the movie. She apprears only in four or five frames and "Jwala" played by her doesn't have any significance as far as the story is concerned.

But my friend Srivatsan, feels that Jwala was introduced to bring out the difference of opinion between Mangal and Gordon, in religious and superstitious beliefs and his arguement sounds convincing.

Me: What did you like about the movie?
Myself: First of all, it was not cinematic. A historic movie can even be like our good old "Veerapandiya Kattabomman" with lots of drama. But this movie stands apart in being very narrative. In fact there's nothing cinematic about the movie at all.

Inspite of the liberty to add fiction, the director didn't do anything silly like a duet between the hero and heroine, or show something like Aamir saving Rani from the dance house and marry her. The screenplay stayed very loyal to the base theme.

The movie proceeds as Toby's version and righfully there is no overdose of patriotism which might have made the narration absurd.

Me: What is that you don't like about the movie?
Myself: The film is not only about Mangal, but also about Sepoy mutiny. I feel that director could have given more importance to the mutiny also. My 8th standard history book says that the mutiny failed because it was not organised well. That's true in the movie also. There is a subtle fact that a small misjudgement (or a coincidental mishap) had put us under the clutches of the British for 90 more years. This is not at all emphasized in the movie.

The second half was too quick in my opinion and it would have been better if the happenings were a bit elaborately portrayed. Who asked for the item number "Rasiya" in a narrative script? The song "Holi Re" also did not gel with the screenplay.

I don't appreciate the documentary in the end showing clips Gandhi, Nehru and others. The movie is about Mangal and it must have ended with him.

Me: What struck you the most in the movie?
Myself: There is no gory bloodshed on the screen. This is simply excellent. This is a movie about a mutiny, about the war of independence and the director has done away with violence on the screen and yet conveyed his story. Its great for Indian cinema as a whole. Some might feel a bit laid down because the director ends the movie with a small documentary, but why glorify violence on screen when you can convey it otherwise.

Me: How good/bad is the movie when compared to Lagaan?
Myself: Please do not compare the movie with Lagaan. This is in a different league altogether.If you watch the movie trying to match every scene with Lagaan, you are going to be utterly disappointed. Just sit back and watch, "Mangal Pandey" is very good.

P.S. I thought I would put my views this way rather than vomitting paragraphs of text. How do you feel?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Cute Chat

The siblings who cannot resist the temptation to chat with each other on their way to school.


This pic was taken with Nokia 6600. Shalini, thanks for this brilliant picture.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Love tips - the Shankar ishtyle

Oru ponna pudichi pochunnna, first ava kitta namma oru "GENTLEMAN" image create pannanum. Love develop aaguradhukku good will romba avasiyam. Avalukku namma mela oru nalla opinion vandhappuram, medhuva ava kitta nammala "KADHALAN"-aa ethukka mudiyumaanu kekkanum.

Oru veLai avaLukku nammala pudichi pochunna ava veetula pesi, "INDIAN" tradition padi kalyanam pannikalam. Aana veetula sammadhikkalai-na kattina "JEANS"-oda odi poayi register office-la dhaan kalyanam pannikkanum.

Appuram enna andha ponnukku namma dhaan "MUDHALVAN", sandhoshama irukkalaam.

Aana oru vishayam mattum eppavume nyabagam vechukkanum. Thappi thavari "BOYS" madhiri silrai thanamaa nadandhukitta, ponnungala porutha varai naama ennaikume "ANNIYAN" dhaan

Monday, August 08, 2005

Weekend Darshan-3

This week's destination was Virinchipuram, which is 15km from Vellore. There is an old and famous temple dedicated to Lord Shiva called Markabandheeshwarar Temple.

We(myself, Lokesh ) took a bus at 7.15 in the morning from Guindy. Within 15 minutes of journey, the entire bus was sleeping except for the three of us and ofcourse the driver and conductor. I wonder how people can sleep in the midst of all the noise and the frequent jerks. I had to stand all the way till Walajah. But even if I managed to get a seat, I can never sleep during bus travel. After a tiresome travel, worsened by hunger we reached Vellore by 10.15 and filled ourselves with leftovers of a nearby hotel.

What a dusty town, Vellore is??? Anywhere you see, there is only dust and the place is very, very hot. I couldn't find anything interesting in the menu of the hotel either.

Next was the 15 minutes bus journey from Vellore to a place called Seduvalai. We took an omni bus which played music inorder to attract people. In reality they only make more noise than sound. Typical of what we can expect from a rural bus, they had a run down casette with all lovelorn songs you can imagine. It was very interesting to note that the people in the bus cared a damn for the cacophony and happily indulged in their own conversations.

In case any of you want to see what reckless driving is, stand in this highway for 5 minutes, you are bound to see atleast 2 close calls.

Virinchipuram is another 5 minutes travel from Seduvalai by autorickshaw. By the time, we reached the temple it was 11.30 and all the pujas were over by then. So we had to wait till 4.00 in the evening.

The temple is very large, with very high walls and large prakarams reminding us of the big temples of the South. Its architecture can be rated among the best. We spent the entire afternoon in a mandapam, which I think is used during festive occasions to keep the Urchavar. Inspite of the very high walls, the place was quite windy which saved us from the hot sun.

The temple seems to be date back to the early centuries, but I couldn't get the proper sthalapuranam of the temple. It is believed that there is a secret passage from the temple to the fort of Vellore, which was used by the royal family in case of emergency.

It was 8.00pm when we started for Chennai, from Virinchipuram after completing all the pujas. It was a great day on the whole and a different experience from the mundane things I do otherwise.

rajagopuram nandhi
The main entrance and Huge Nandhi (Sacred Bull)

madapalli madapalli2 madapalli3
There was an abandoned madapalli which was very artistic

madhilsuvar madhilsuvar2
High walls of the inner prakaram. See the coconut trees dancing in the strong winds

kodimaram natarajar passage

Kodimaram, Deity of Natarajar and the Secret Passage to Vellore

mandapam sleepy
Beautiful mandapam , Feeling sleepy in the breeze

arumugam prasadham
Arumuga Swamy , Getting prasadham


Leisure...relaxing. Sharad Haksar kinda photo. Very cryptic and at the same time descriptive. I took this when we were resting at the mandapam in the temple. My favorite one.

Sunday, August 07, 2005


On Friday, my parents gifted me a beautiful gold chain and a ring.

"Enakku nalla ponnu venum"-nu sonnadha ippadi thappa purinjikkittangale!!! ;-)

Friday, August 05, 2005

Fiero F2 again

Since Narayanan liked my bike, I am putting up one more picture.

The one to the right is mine.

This picture was taken in ECR just before the Toll Booth

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Weekend Darshan - 2

I like to visit temples during the weekends and that too early in the morning. That is the time, when I am absolutely relaxed and the temples are calm. Especially, I love the ambience that prevails there, which gives me peace of mind.

I have coupled my passion for driving long distances, with my liking to visit temples during weekends and the result is the weekend darshan posts that you might have seen here.

Last week, myself and Srivatsan (my friend since college days) visited the Sthala Sayana Perumal temple in Mahabalipuram. The sthalapuranam states that once Pundareeka maharishi had collected lots of flowers from a pond and tried to reach Vaikundam to decorate Lord Vishnu. But he found the ocean in between and started draining the water inorder to cross it.

Lord Vishnu, disguised as an old man approached him for food and promised to drain the ocean in return. So the rishi rushed back to get food for the old man. When he returned Lord gave him darshan in "Kidantha kolam" with flowers decorated all over him.

The Pallavas built the temple in 9th century along the coast and later during the 14th century, Parangusan shifted the temple to the centre of the town fearing the temple might be eroded by the sea. How thoughtful of him?

Sthala Sayana Perumal temple - Mahabalipuram
The Main Entrance

Sthala sayana Perumal Temple2
This structure of stone is found opposite to the main entrance

Here are some of the pictures of Nitya Kalyana Perumal Temple of Thiruvidanthai.

Nithya Kalyan Perumal Temple - Thiruvidanthai

Nithay Kalyana Perumal Temple 1

Tiger Caves
We stopped at the Tiger Caves near Mahabalipuram on our way back

Beach View with Bamboo trees
Gorgeous view of the sea along ECR

Bala's Fiero
And this is my faithful Fiero which took us to all these places and in that process reached the milestone of 20,000kms. Assuming I had averaged 50kmph all along, I had spent 400 hours with my bike. Awesome.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Painful rituals

One of my close relatives recently lost their two year old son, owing to some mysterious infection. Their family was completely shaken by the loss of the kid. They fought a losing battle with the child's health for over a month and the family has run into debts to meet the medical expenses.

Staying very close to them and knowing the kid and the parents very well, the loss was a huge shock for our family.

I was quite annoyed by the way people acted when they came to the funeral. One after the other, everyone of the relatives enquired the mourning father about the death. It pained me to see the grief-stricken father describe their agony over the past month to every one of them.
There were some silly, senseless words muttered in the name of condolences like "Viduppa, namakku praptham avvaludhaan", "velai vandha naama enna panna mudiyum" (as if nobody knows all these philosphies). Some even came up with suggestions like "neenga vellore CMC poyirukkanum".

These words would only aggrevate the sorrow and suffering of the already bereaved family. I don't know whether these people are heartless morons or arrogant assholes. What they need is a shoulder to cry on and a few words of support implying we would take care of them and not philosphical preachings. When are the people going to realise this and stop oiling the fire?

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