Thursday, December 27, 2007


Its 9 in the morning and one hour since I arrived.
I am in a corner noting the whole scene unfolding in front of me.

People are moving around with determined, focussed faces like they have somewhere important to go and something important to do.

I am bored and bewildered. A most confusing mix of emotions to be sure.

Everything is new to me and I am new to everyone.

They all seem to be talking in a weird language that sounds familiar but is not, or is it the vice versa. I am nodding my head knowledgeably right along with every one. Are they all feeling as lost as I do? Or do they really understand what is being said and done? But how can that be? Aren't they are all as new to this as I.

Is everyone discussing something important?
Have I missed something?
Have I completed everything that needs to be done?
What does fate have in store for me next?

I really should get up and move around and check out what is being done.hmm! But I am so comfy right where I am and drowzy .. so here I am sitting in a corner, noting the scenes unfolding in front of me,feeling bored and bewildered....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Sing with me

Singapore is one of the loveliest places that I have visited.
What makes it really a worthwhile place is that every attraction there is totally man made, with hardly any help from nature. Even the forests there are secondary rainforests.
The second largest island, called the sentosa, was a prison in the british time, which was later converted into a tourist attraction, to the extent that no one would even know that it had prisons there unless expressly told so.
And the whole thing came to , due to the vision of one great man, Lee Kuan Yew.
They hardly have any crime and everything works like clockwork. No wonder the citizens there are so proud of themselves and their country.
They have four national languages in Singapore: Mandarin script, tamil, malay and chinglish (english spoken by chinese).

We would need to understand and speak chinglish if we need to converse with the people of chinese origin there, which would be the taxi drivers, shop keepers, hotel receptionist, guides and just about everyone (except those in little india...but thats a story for another time).
The chinglish is spoken in a singsong manner with no words more than two or three syllables max. Please note that if spoken grammatically, it will not be understood, and do remember not to pronounce full words. For example you can ask a taxi driver "Mustafa can?" and he will promptly reply "can can"... which translates to "will you drop us at mustafa?"(Mustafa being a BEEG mall) and he sez yes. But ask him the full question, the chances are great he might give u a blank stare :-)

Coming to Little India. the only place in all of singapore that is, what dya expect, not so clean. I was told that the police and govt tried and tried and then decided to just let the indians be... Mera Bharath Mahan!!!
It feels just like any indian market. But ironically while everyone goes shopping there... no one wants to actually stay in Little India.

With Christmas just around the bend and Singapore was getting all set to celebrate in style. The Orchard street is the place to be at this time. God! but the place was beautiful. This street is full of malls and the whole place was covered in lights and santas and mannequins and what not. It reminded me of Las Vegas during Christmas time.

All in all, Singapore is a great spot for vacation and for those interested, some of the more memorable places to visit are: the night safari, the jurong bird park, the sentosa island with all its attractions (esp the songs of the sea, laser show) and be sure to go on a city tour to get a feel of the place.
U can also check out the Singapore travels site for more about Singapore.

Of course if u plan to stay more than 3-4 days, there is no guarantee your English might be able to weather the trip.
Bon Voyage!!!

PS: Ooops!!! Did I forget to mention that it is a great place for shopping. Be ready to lose a big chunk of loot there are at the various malls...esp on Jewellery and Electronics. :-D

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Chicken Soup

Have you ever read the Chicken Soup Series? I was just reading the Chicken Soup for the Soul... again
Lovely thought provoking stories that makes u want to run outside and right all the wrongs and make everyone happy with just a smile and a hug.

Anyways here I was reading the chicken soup, all misty eyed, about stories on Love, and how love helped the soldiers fighting in distant wars and what not

when suddenly a thought struck me.. What would happen if Bush read the chicken soup books?? Would he stop threatening Iran next and let the world live peacefully?
Sigh!!! But for that he would first have to learn to read huh?!.... :-(

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Absolute Power Corrupts absolutely

“Maatha Pitha Gurur Devo Maheshwarah”
In a country where Teacher is considered even above God, their behavior seems to be nearer the devil. Parents send their wards to school, telling them to consider it as their second home and trust the teachers to treat them as their own children. This absolute power and trust seems to corrupt abslutely.

In US the teachers cower at the thought of going to school, as they are never sure when they might get shot by some student holding a grudge.
In India, the students have nightmares featuring their teachers from school.

Having heard about so many great teachers in the history, it pains me to see the absolute indifference and downright cruelty of the teachers of today.

I remember my primary school days, when I used to pray that I could grow up and go to the higher classes very soon so that teachers would not hit me.

The dedication and the urge to strengthen the foundation of the nation that used to make teaching the noblest profession, is no more. Today if a person does not get any other job they just take up teaching. The saw “Those who don’t, Teach” is taken literally.

The young students are hapless victims of these people who take out their ire and irritation from personal issues on them. What angers me is that they do not find anything wrong in the saw “Spare the rod, spoil the child”. For every child the teacher hits, they must be hit back twice harder.

I know of a person who became mentally challenged when his math master hit him on his head for not doing his homework right.
A student in north India was made to clean the toilets in his school, because the teacher had a grudge against him.

A student in Chennai had her hair cut by the teacher because she did not have it in two braids.
A student in a school next door got locked inside the classroom by a careless attender, and after almost two hours when the girl’s mother came searching frantically for the girl, she was found in the classroom, frightened out of her wits. Instead of comforting the child, the school’s headmistress whipped the girl for not having been more careful, right in front of the mother and the mother did not even stop her. (I would have whaled the lady and sued the school, but that’s just me:-p)

While we know all this to be true, the schools still insist that it never happens and the management just does not care. But what is really sad is that many times even the parents do not find anything wrong with it. One parent told me that his father and teachers used to hit him when he was young and look how high he had come. I could only look at him with disgust and shake my head.

While the number of dedicated teachers has gone down, it would be amiss to say they are no more. There are thankfully still a few teachers left who really want what is good for the students rather than a convenient whipping post to vent their frustrations.

Illiteracy – The darkness

Close your eyes and think for a minute. You are illiterate. When you open a book you can admire the beautiful pictures in them but not the squiggly stuff printed on it. You are eager to know what the picture is all about but cannot find a way to do it.
You cannot read books, check out the internet, understand many things being said on TV and have no clue what the newspapers say.

*shudder* Even thinking of such a world is worse than a nightmare. All those beautiful stories never read, opportunities lost, and always dependent on someone else for something even as basic as signing your name.

I was reading this book about a rancher who, to give his brothers and sisters the opportunity to go to school, forgoes school himself and ends up illiterate.. He subscribes to National Geographic, so that he could at least see the pictures of beautiful things if not read about it and he keeps his illiteracy a secret from everybody.
The story goes on about how he faces a lot of difficulties until a teacher he meets helps him learn to read and write.

But the point here is that I was trying to put myself in the rancher’s place and think what my life would be like if I could not read and write. No books to read, no blogs to write, friends lost as I would not be able to keep in touch. No place to go.

God!!!!! That would be the ultimate definition of darkness, wouldn’t it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cuckoo - My Bane

What can I say, there are actually people in the world who like the caterwauling of cuckoo and think is a happy sound...
Me! I would take a crow's cawing anytime over the cuckoo

I hate cuckoos… especially the demon cuckoo that sits right outside my bedroom window.
Every morning 3.45 AM sharp "COOOOOOO"... persistent little thing that it is, it coos until I wake up... and as soon as I start dozing again ..."Cooooooooo".

Aaaargh!!! I hate rainy season and I am going to stone the damn bird as soon as I get my hands on it.

Now I know why they say the crazy “have gone cuckoo”… They too probably had one right outside their room.

Oh! For a night of uninterrupted sleep... sigh!!!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Going to the dogs

I swear the world is going to the dogs and me along with it.

Guess the whole world is bored and just running around like a headless chicken.

Thankfully its only during those rare times when I stop, look back and wonder what I am doing that it strikes me as crazy.

Everyone is bragging about what they did to see the Sivaji movie, it seems to be a matter of social status. I guess I am somewhere in the range of a worm socially for not only not having seen it and having absolutely no curiousity or interest to see it either.

A colleague paid 1000 bucks, booked in advance and then had to stand and see the movie for the three hours, coz it was the first day, first show and he was completely satisfied. the police were not able to control the crowds at the theaters that day, mostly becuase they were fighting to get into the theaters themselved :-p.

If I had paid 1000 bucks to see a movie I would expect a red carpet welcome and a royal there!!!

There are a community full of people waiting to kill a girl, including her father and uncle, in a not so far of country. All because she "dishonoured" the whole community by wanting to marry a boy from another community. The girl's father and uncle were arrested but the girl is still under death threat. Here I was thinking this happens only in "Poonjollai gramam" when the ooru Panchayat president decides to save "Gramathoda Maanam".

India and Pakisthan are all set to mend fences once again... this is expected to be a complete success until the next time Pakistan decides to bomb / kill indians. After which India will initiate a new agenda to mend fences

India has allowed USS Nimitz to park right by its doorstep, so that the US govt might find it easier to make India the next Afganisthan or Iraq.

10 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Yemen and I still cannot think of one social cause that would make me want to kill myself and 10 other people and I thank God for such favours everyday.

Amidst all this here are a 100 people worrying and working themselves to death so that some anonymous person half the world away might get a miniscule percent more interest on their investment.

Honestly, is it just me ???

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ze Romantic Man :-)

I have always held the opinion that the current generation of men are so much more romantic than the women.
While most of them will emphatically disagree with you, if you have the temerity the say it aloud. It is also undeniably true.

The movies “Sillunu oru kadhal” and “Vetaiyadi Villayadu” got released at around the same time. Having seen both, I wanted to hear the opinions of my colleagues on the movies.
Not much to my surprise all the men emphatically told me that SOK was an extremely good movie and VV was just so-so.
Most of the women, including me, had the exact opposite opinion

Another startling example of this had me grinning yesterday.

My company held a creative writing competition to rewrite the Cinderella story. Two people won the prize for best written story, a lady and a gentleman.

The lady’s perky story ended with “...the Prince and Cinderella lived happily ever after, though not together” where in Cinderella becomes a corporate giant and the prince marries the Fairy Godmother.
The gentleman had written a beautiful story about how true love triumphs over evil and ended with just “… and they lived happily ever after”.

Well who woulda thunk? :-)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Happy or Sad

I am happy. its like I have this small bubble of joy inside me thats jumping up and down and shimmering with all the colours of the rainbow. I just wanna smile and keep smiling and maybe dance with the winds.

Why?! I am not sure. Its not an exceptionally beautiful day and nothing special happened.

I guess I am just happy coz I am me, coz i am alive and just because.
What better reason can one think of.

I am listening to some of my all time favourite lovely songs in my ipod and typing this when I should be doing a 1001 things that are so much more urgent.

But before the finger of reality touches this bright bubble and it bursts I just wanted to share it....

Two hours later......

sigh!!! Funny how the song that sounded so slow and romantic couple of hours back... sounds just a bit meloncholy now :-p

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Back...again... I think!!!

Hey All, I am back in India and back to blogging, hopefully permanently on both cases.
Visited so many places and learnt so many things that are probably useless to life and enjoyed myself thoroughly for almost a year.

Everyone there told me that the first time I come back, everything here would be just that bit louder, polluted, brighter and alienish. But the minute I landed, I Just felt like I was... home.

The absolute disregard for traffic rules was of course mildly horrifying that is until I traveled during the peak traffic hours, then it became a free for all, life or death, roller coaster ride.

The second sneakiest means of transport on God's earth, after the two wheelers is the auto and a distance of about 3 miles took me a little over one hour to travel and by God! what a ride it was!

I was silently screaming (silent for fear that any sound might disturb the driver, which is of course stupid coz even my loudest scream would not have reached him amidst all the blaring cacophony of horns) with my eyes closed most of the time. There was an almost accident right outside my house when an auto and cycle were trying to gauge who could cover the distance between a turning school bus and the concrete divider and I had not even started on my journey.

I was gaping at the whole thing with wide frightened eyes... I mean I was the only one gaping at it with wide frightened eyes. Even the parties involved cursed each other a bit and went their merry way!!!

Oooooh yeah!!! I am home!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Buy Buy Buy!!

This is the motto of the united states. Until I went India shopping *, I never realized there were so many useless things that I absolutely needed.While I understand the concept of luxury and leisure, they take to heights unthought of here.

Post it Notes itself an item we can dispense with and they sell post it notes dispenser here which allows you to tear one note at a time. well duh uh! In tamil there is a term "Vazhapazha somberi". The term was coined after the story of this really lazy guy who was lying under the plantain tree with his mouth open hoping that a banana would fall in, rather than expend the energy to pluck one. That guy would be right at home here :-p

Then there is the scotch tape dispenser,which allows a person to gift wrap easily, and it is even refillable. Of course you have to buy the refill scotch tape at this specific shop coz its weirdly shaped and cannot be got anywhere else. it even has a wrist band so that u can wrap it around your hands while wrapping the gifts...
Sooo much more easier than having a scissors and an ordinary scotch tape and at just 10 times the cost.

Another great invention for some 20$ was the magic flash card. If a child pressed two numbers and one of the mathematical symbol (+, - ) , it would do the function and give out the result. Of course this was for kids from 4 and above and so would do only upto 12 addition and subtraction tables…. WOW!!!!
what a thingamajick

Hmph!! I think I will get my child a scientific calculator for less than that and do with it.

There is no concept of getting anything free of cost. For a person from India, this is especially a big shock. Even water , tea and coffee, which we used to take for granted back in the offices in India, are charged here.

But, for a person with money, sky is the limit, Every whim can be gotwithout so much as moving a finger, and I do mean literally.

That said, I have already talked about the marketing skills here… and to prove just that, I have loaded myself with many of these essential(ly) useless stuff and not sure how to bring it back home ..sigh!!!

*For the uninitiated: "India shopping" is the fancy term given to shopping for gifts before returning to India.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Hey All, Been ages since I even opened my Blog. It was always at the back of my mind that I was ignoring a good friend and that was not good :-p ... But time and work conspired against me.
The only thing I could think of to write were codes and more codes :-p

Oh Before I go on.. A very Happy New Year and Pongal to y'all

Just got routed to a blog by a friend... rather interesting. Not the blog by itself, but the various comments it seems to have gleaned.

Interested may check out the "Dull" hyperlink in the Links section.

Hey I tried chicken, shrimp and Steak. So whats the big deal huh?! The big deal is that I am a pure Veggie.
Well so were the Chicken, shrimp and Steak that I tried...Made of tofu.. pretty tasty stuff too.

Hmm!!! those who have missed out on seeing Guru... don't. A pretty good movie

The top spot of this year was not even my first helicopter ride but getting kissed by Mickey Mouse in Disney .. hehehe.. It sure is a child's ultimate paradise. What a place!!!
Until Next time then