Friday, January 19, 2007

KSRTC ticket - Mayura - (Bangalore - Chennai)
Note: 1 x 297.00 = Rs. 298.00

Thursday, January 18, 2007

hari oum

Why a married man should turn devotional - The secret behind हरी ॐ ..

Being unmarried, one can freely roam !
Hava puf, drink a beer and make foam !!
After the knot, life is under one dome !
Once it's Six, pack up, start and hurry home (हरी ॐ)!!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Anything for the auto

Most of the blogs I write start off with the first sentence with no idea of what the rest is going to be - and then it flows based on the theme. This time I know what I gona write - word by word - because I just lived through it about an hour ago. So writing this here is a mere formality.

People who travel by train over the weekends know what I am talking about. Yes, it is the adrenalin pump and the sense of competition that surges inside passengers as they near the Bangalore Cantonment station - to beat each other to the queue for pre-paid auto. For those who dont, here's a brief introduction. Bangalore Cantonment station comes before the main Bangalore City Junction and holds the maximum crowd every monday morning. And pre-paid autos are widely used to ply around the city the most economic way. And imagine one whole train descending upon a single booth to get to these autos - yeah, now you know what I am talking about.

Some get up as early as 3 AM so they wont miss the station that is reached at 5 AM. They just cant sleep, tz the train and c'mon, tz the end of the world if you miss getting down at Cantonment. And they do everything possible to disturb co-passengers. Sinners, how could they just sleep when it's going to be Cantonment in 2 hours? But these people are the beacon lights who tell others what station it is at periodic intervals, so the latter can sleep in peace for some more time. Some of the rest less-privileged wake up at KR Puram or Bangalore East (that's at 4.30 approx). But everyone on an average is totally up and awake and alert by the time the train crosses East and reaches Bethesda Baptist Church (duno if you ever noticed this, tz more of a small cottage). Anything for the auto!

The biological clock is set that way. Most are almost crowding the entrance to the coach now so they can hop down before the train stops. Jerkins are zipped up, hand and ear-muffins are pulled up, luggages are strewn around and people smile at each other - "hi, is it gona b Cantonment or East? Oh, ok, I was just wondering if I should go take a leak, but don thnk I have time now. tz ok, i(t) can wait!". The poor soul is gona be holding on for another 1 hr till he reaches home but tz ok. Anything for the auto!

And this is when you see the strangest phenomenon! hold on! what is this? People are moving inside the train from the back coaches to the front. Jeez! You see, being in S11, they hafta walk all through, but they can as well do it before the train halts, inside the train, so they move ahead of the crowd. I tell them not to beat the engine and run in front of it (PJ, but that's the best my brain would work then). They twine and twist through the accumulated passengers and crowded entrances as far front as they could reach. Anything for the auto!

And lo! here it comes, the final destination. Those standing first are invariably in a mental state of trauma and emergency. Having beat people in their own coach, it is time now to compete with others. The inter-coach race starts and people hop out of the running train; but, hey, wait, the train is still moving faster than you. What's the use? So, the second and third in the queue, by default, are now ahead. Anything for the auto!

Today, I did not feel like fighting it out. Something told me I have to stand back and take in all the fun around. Early mornings can be real cold in Bangalore and I pulled up my jacket. With the laptop along one shoulder and a bag on the other, I moved out of the crowd to the sideways and walked slowly - deliberately. Some who rushed past me stared - Obvious, I am supposed to be running. Anything for the auto!

I decided to ignore them, and looked around at things I would have otherwise never noticed. There was a new army mini-camp setup near the station and I could see a small fire there to keep the heat up. I hummed my way along the platform and noticed a man cuddled along a bench like he had no bones. The TV showed ads of jewellery shops and health drinks and I managed to get a glimpse of my favorite model (Pavithra - even in dubbed ads, she looked awesome :P). There was a dog curled around with fur fluffed up to avoid the cold (or is it the other way round? Probably it was the cold that made its hair stand?). I was nearing the exit and thought there must be some way out to beat the crowd. Anything for the auto!

And there it was! The ticket collector! A lady roused from her sleep by the call of duty, standing at a very narrow gate and collecting the tickets from the running passengers. Most of them stop and search through their pockets or bags. And there was a wider exit with no ticket collector next to it, but none bothers to notice anyway. I make my way out through that without having to stop and almost get a place at the top of the queue. I turn back and about ten places behind, imagine who I see, the same guy who stared at me running, almost with bewildered eyes :P. Duno why, but it gave me immense pleasure. It takes me five more minutes to get the auto than it would have otherwise. And I reach home, with less tension and peace to write this blog.

Anything for the auto!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Review Corner: Next - Michael Crichton

Next - The latest book by Crichton is a brisk attempt at Genetics and its approach in the current day world. The scope for the book was huge, and Crichton could have covered more grounds here in his regular dramatized fashion than he has. The book seems to be written in a hurry! State of Fear, by the same author, that came out in 2004 raised serious questions in the reader's mind about Global Warming. And the outset of the novel was spectacular - details ranging across all continents of the world. Next, in contrast, seems to be focussed on the genetic advancements made by the USA alone - though there are a few mentions about the discoveries/inventions made in other parts of the world, say, Shangai/Europe, there isn't much weight added there.

Probably, Crichton was walking a thin line - because genetic advancements always have arguments on both sides - none has been able to put down their foot so long and say if it is right or wrong. And then comes the ethical and moral complexities in this field. The book concentrates on this aspect of genetics, dealing with quite a few issues that the human race is not yet ready to handle. The author has maneuvered these details with subtle care and has depicted quiet a few baffling possiblities in the future if cross-race-breeding and cloning are practiced.

And the book is full of technical details - am not sure if readers from varied parts of the world can relate to it. Personally, I am quite interested in genetics and have been reading any book on the subject that I can lay my hands on, but I found a few of the details and information provided, mundane and boring. These pages could rather have been filled with the story line, that lacks proper base and clarity.

To sum up, Next has lots of juggle pieces but the string that connects these pieces is not visible. At the end of the book, I felt like there are 3D blocks arranged all over the space and they have some connection between them, but the maze creator has not very succeedingly laid the pathline that illustrates how these blocks are connected. The story could have been something better and more dramatic, given the possiblities and imaginations that could span across what I would call the genetic era.

And surprisingly, there is no connection between the prologue and the rest of the book - or atleast unless I have made a mistake, something like an attention lapse. I would not dare miss any subtle information hidden under the layers that an average reader is expected to understand, given the admiration I have for Crichton and his novels. This book should have taken more time and clarity from the great thinker.

4th January 2007,

Disclaimer: The thoughts expressed above are purely my own and are not influenced by any external factor. No legal actions can be taken based on any opinion expressed above. Take it if you like it, else leave it.

Mega Mega Serials

"Arasi is a woman with a prominent role in the society and also deeply cares for her family. Infact the nation and the family are her two eyes. The alias for self-confidence is Arasi. Every woman will start feeling strong and confident after seeing her. The serial is all about the innumerable number of problems that this woman faces and how she tackles them all" - Here here, but wait, isnt the last line the common theme of all mega serials these days? How many more hours and hours and hours of glycerine and 'men-are-all-morons' scenes gona be shot and played on the small screen? Quite understandably, the target audience is the common house maker who is constantly kept under the impression that women still suffer in the society.

How can all possible problems in this world come to one woman? And mostly, the problem creator will be another woman. Who else can cause problems anyway? If the trouble-makers for the noble heroine are men-morons, then, they will be villians! simple, they dont need a reason to be so. The fact they are born men is enough. But ladies who cause problems are still common women and they do it because they have a deep dark flash-back that justifies their deeds (well, acceptable, this is gona give us 15 more episodes). After all, they have also been good in their past and you know, the situation made them do it. You, men, are always bad.

It is high time these producers realize how much they are influencing the common (wo)man's mind and poisoning it with a wrong perception of things happening around them. "adiye kanaka, pona velli kezhamai kokila thookula thongita di. nekku heart-e nindhu pochu theriyumo? rendu naal sani nyayiru kaiyum odala kaalum odala. thinga kezhama anniku dhan therinjudhu idhu ellam agalya-voda kanavu nu. abba, appodhan enaku mooche vandhudhu" - tiz is a very common discussion these days. The simpler mortals around, who are not-so-(un)fortunate to get into the net of mega serials, are yet learning to differentiate between those dialogues that reflect reality and those that reflect the agalyas-selvis-kalkis.

Either way, these set of serials have ended up ruining my evenings with cricket matches and Nayanthara dances. "Nayanthara-va ennada pathutruka? Avale rendu kerchief-a kattitu aadra. Vaaya mooditu paaru, ee poida pordhu ulla. sari sari, sun TV mathu, inniku anandhi ava purushanuku vesham vekka pora, pakanum". Which is evil? But you see, Anandhi happens to be Abhi's sister and Abhi happens to be the lead role, so she has the rights - even to spoil my one-sided-assumed-date with Nayanthara! (this reminds me, hafta write a blog about Nayanthara - sema hot machi!)

All said and done, serials when I was a kid were interesting and good. Vizhudhugal, Ethanai Manidhargal, Yugam, Sea hawks (Niki Aneja .. am drooling!), Anniyan, Kanoon, Naya Nukkad and so on. And my favorite was Junoon. This is the java.lang.Object of all MegaSerial classes. (means the ancestor/parent of all the mega serials). It was, yeah, interesting and served to create one separate stream of Tamil - Junoon Tamil - "Vara mudiyuma inga konjam?", "Thara mudiyadhu unkitta indha book-a nan", "Kolladha enna nee pesi pesi", "Poitaru ticket vangitu un thatha, vaa seekiram nee kelambi" - Where else could we have heard these? WoW, hats off!

But the ones these days are mundane, but capturing just enough for the target audience. And the mass influence these create is beyond tell-tales, and it is definitely not on the positive side. I hope these serials are replaced with something beter, or atleast something that is not so drastically and so profusely boring.!

Anyone ok for a protest against these megaserials? Count me in.

1. Uma, I am happy you have stayed so long in TV and managed to stick with Pepsi ungal choice without diverging to serials. Please stay away from them, talk with people on the phone and make them happy.

2. Pavithra, you are gorgeous! Please do keep modelling for Alukkas and the other saree showrooms. Everytime I go below Anna flyover towards Nungambakkam, I cant help stare at the big hoarding of yours for some saree showroom (Never bothered to look which one, guez it is Manmandir). You are too good for serials, please dont venture into them. After Isha Gopikkar, you will be the best face they can find for jewellery ads, cant afford to see your eyes full of glycerine and tears pouring down that beautiful face. Megaserials are for lesser mortals ;)

3. Anyway, I do like some of the ladies who are regular-faces in these serials - Aishwarya, Pooja, Priyadarshini .. Always wanted to ask one question to u guyz - is the glycerine separate sponsor or a part of the pay package? nevertheless, if any of you happen to read this blog, feel free to comment. And do drop in a mail here: :P