Monday, December 29, 2008

One night @ Jubilee Road :)

Was uploading my pics from mobile to comp after ages. Got hold of these shots while doing so. These were taken on November '08 , when chennai was reeling under heavy rains. Coupla pics of jubilee road under street light, from inside my house :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

'Gloomy Economy' !

So bad has been the economy off late, that every leading news dailies are carrying such diastrous news day after day.  Some  really intimidating/worrying ones that happened to catch my eye recently were
  • 4 million job cuts, since past 4 months, in the U.S. One of the articles in 'The Hindu' carried this news under the title 'U.S economy hasnt been that bad, but worse'.  Another noteworthy point  - The retail sector, has just been waiting for the holiday season and once thats over, foresees a lota job cuts.
  • As if to prove the above said news on Retail industry, the famous WoolWorth Uk closes , not 1 or 2 but around 200 stores. 
  • U.S people have started using credit cards to pay back their housing loans.  If the current economic situation remains bleak for yet another year, then therez a very good chance that 'credit crunch' is going to be the  next villain , thats gonna boomerang and hit the ppl of U.S hard.  Huge questions loom over payment of credit card bills.
  • Leading automotive industries including Hyundai, Maruti, Ashok leyland, TVS -cutting production and reducing their number of shifts, thereby adding to the unemployment woes.
  • EU as a whole fears that this is one of the worst recessions since 1937-38, with UK facing the brunt of the situation and finally declaring Recession 'officially'. 
  • People in many countries queue up for Ration and free meal, after years. Berlin seems to have gone a step above in showing concerns not only to their ppl but even to their PETS, by reopening pet food centers after a epoch !
  • Zimbabwe releases 1 million dollar note in a measure to tackle inflation.
  • People in haiti have started eating 'Mud Cakes'/  'Dirt Cookies'.  Spare a thought !  The current world economy and rising poverty have really amalgamated well to achieve one of their gory successess - Making people eat MUD.  Not able to  'Digest' this piece of news.
  • The bailout money that is being offered to the market giants, are being misappropriated.  Looks like instead of using this bail out money to help people, some of the companies have started giving pending bonuses!!!! Now this is cruel ..

Well, the above said are a few that i could recollect. Most of the people that i have been talking to  refer to this as a 'slowdown' optimistically, rather than a recession.  Some even say this as a opprtunity to seize and act smart, learn from  mistakes. Whatever be it, but with the way this is progressing, looks like worse times are yet to come. Not sure when the current economy is going to reach its nadir yet, to commence a resurge, but then lets all sincerely and whole heartedly hope that its gonna happen soon.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Parking Sense @ Chennai !

A typical  dull sunday night. Was driving home form one of the popular restaurants in the city. On my way back , the roads were deserted and i was hitting 60 kmph constantly.  While i was approaching malony road, hindhi prachar sabha junction, i slowed down, as it is a relatively sharp turn.  After making the turn comfortably, i noticed a car with both its back door open, almost at the middle of the road. A young girl was getting out from one end and a oldie from the other. The car was parked precariously. More worse, the  girl was talking to someone inside the car, standing in the middle of the road, as if they were in the middle of a family outing.  Thank god this isnt a bus route anymore, with burkit road, made one way already.  The fact that it is a sunday night, makes it more dangerous coz one never knows what to expect, at a blind turning in one of the common areas in the city.

This is just one example, of the parking style that the city drivers have developed off late. I personally have been a victim of a lot of such horrible parkings, esp in and around mambalam tnagar area. These range from pretty trivial ones, where it would just take a coupla honks to get the obstructing vehicle cleared to more complicated ones, where your patience would be tested to the core.  Most often , it's the horribly parked bikes, which turn out to be the culprit, standing right royally in the center of the road. The owners would've parked it in such a fashion as if they had bought the road in a recent bidding with the govt.

A common commuter in the mambalam tnagar areas would be well aware of the  pretty narrow roads that they possess.  According to my knowledge and observation, its the kuppiah street junction and station road residents , who have been witnessing some of the nasty parking issues off late. Esp in kuppiah street, which is pretty narrow, that if a big vehicle comes at one end, the road would be almost fully occupied.  Despite knowing the width of these roads, i  often find vehicles parked there. Once it turned out to be so bad that, because of one poorly parked santro, the road was jam packed with continuous honkings and commuters had to step on the outer walls of houses, which were generous enough to hold a pair of foot, cling on to the  street lights, do a nice hip twirl and jump on to the road, just to move a few metres, ahead of the obstruction. Imagine the state of old ppl. After some 10 , 15 mins the santro owner raced outta his house,  moved his vehicle, paved way for the traffic. Once i passed that point (i was walking from office to home) , thinking myself that he would have learnt a lesson only to find that the owner parking the vehicle a few hundrd meters ahead after the jam got cleared ! I just told myself "thirundhadha janmam" and marched ahead.

One other thing that ppl can witness , esp in station road - bargaining from a car. So often i have seen women, haggling over prices with the fruit vendors on the side of the road. If a vehicle comes behind and honks, the car would move a little and so does the fruit vendor's cart. Same thing happens so many times that, by the time the sale is over, the vendor would have moved almost a hundred metres with the car. Makes one think how lazy have ppl become. Not only are they adding to the traffic woes, but losing on a chance to get a nice little walk.

Such permanent and temporary parkings are a becoming a big public nusiance off late.  I can understand that there are'nt abundant parking spaces in the city, but then a little bit of common sense while parking would help save a lota commotion and disturbances to the public. High time the drivers in the city realised this. It isnt fair to blame the city traffic police for all the utter nonsense parking style that the drivers adapt. For them its just their comfort and their vehicle's safety, none other. Surprisingly Parking fines, chaining of vehicles and more such measures , though have been implemented, doesnt seem to have taught a lesson to many. More strict measures are the need of the hour and with the increasing number of vehicles hitting the city roads, its our duty to make sure that we spare a thought on the public, when we park our vehicles. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Height Of Insanity !!

Getting a Visa for US has never been so easy.  No consultants, No hefty fees , Absolutely no documents(whoa !) , poor bank balance and an absolute impromptu speech. Thats it !!. Now, ppl who happen to bump into this blog sometime and happen to read this (now, this is height of optimism!) , should be wondering what on earth am talking about. Well let me come to the point. Managed to watch the film 'varanam ayiram'  this weekend and there is this scene in the film , where the hero 'Soorya' decides to go in search for his girl, to the U.S. He being a typical careless youth and a real funky chap, does not have the slightest interest of pursuing his M.S (leave alone PG,well he has some uncleared arrears as well). He wants to go to the U.S just for being with his girl. One fine morning , we get to see Soorya, standing in a queue , en facie the US counsellate in chennai (well that is my guess, seeing the white coloured and tall compound walls). When its his turn, he gets in and is confronted by questions from the supposedly tough visa officers. One of the officers asks him "well you do not have a good bank balance and the other required paper work, why do you think i should give you the visa. why do you wanna go to the U.S". Our super hero replies saying that  "well,  am going to the U.S , to find my girl , be with her, propose to her, get her consent and take her back home after that, to get the consent of our parents. I don wanna study in U.S". Now the most funniest part is where the visa officer replies "Frankly, I have never encountered such a case. Am going to give you a 5 year multiple entry visa(gosh, din i tell you it was so simple)!!!. All the best for your pursuit" and stamps his passport. Thats it. Done.Well next time you enter the U.S counsellate , get a photocopy of the love letter that you wrote to your girl or your girl's pic. Should be more than enough to get you a entry clearance. God save U.S !

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Timor-Leste !

Was reading  this article in vikatan diwali malar last week and thought this is worth a post. Its about a twenty first century country named 'Timor-Leste'. Thanks to the gruelling routine people undergo these days and their drastically reducing reading habbits, most of them hardly notice or even aware of such minor novelties that have happened in our globe. 

A bit of history, before going on to some niceties about timor-leste.
  • Separated or rather obtained freedom from the portugese in 1975. But in the same year, its neighbour indonesia invaded it added the minnows as their 27th state.
  • Thanks to the persevering guerilla warfare by the local force, right from 1975 ,spanning a mammoth 25 years, the whole of timor portrayed a battle ground in this period.
  • On August 30, 1999, a poll was conducted (known as the Referendum, then), supervised by the UN as to who the ruler of timor should be. As a result of a overwhelming response (79%) from the people, raising their voices for a independent nation, the country timor-liste came into existence.
  • It was only after a steely resolve for independence, timor was able to free itself from the gory clutches of indonesia and peace was restored

                                              Flag of East Timor                                                                                 

Now lets get some interesting tit-bits about Timor and the Timorians as well:
  • "Timor" - comes from timur, which means "east" in Indonesian and Mala. Its capital is 'Deli'
  • It was the plethora of sandalwood trees and oil reserves that attracted the portugese and a lota other countries towards timur in the 16th century. This isnt the case any more now. Its a poverty struck nation with unemployment levels soaring. 
  • One of the primary occupation is collection of coconut oils from surrounding villages and selling them in the cities like dili. East timor has a lot of coffee estates. Besides selling them in open market, they also export them. Another significant occupation is fishing.
  • Vernacluar : Bondia  - "Good morning"  and Bodarthe - "Good Evening" (Just in case u happen to visit Timor :))
  • Initially Timorians did not indulge in idol worship. After the migration of indians to timur, idol worship has obtained its importance, with the key ones being Krishna and shiva. One another cool info. The proprietor of a hindu temple in timor is - JOHN :)..(sorry, couldn't resist writing this one ..hehe.:))
  • The state of ligyaga has a big beach and its the place where the historical  underground prison, built by the portugese, resides.
  • No age limitations for marriage, it seems.Pregnancy in school days is a pretty common sight. Now another interesting fact. Men pay dowry here, before marriage :).(Hmm...why shud boys have all the fun ?) 
  • Predominant Races:  Catholic Christians, Muslims and Hindus
For more info , check out ->

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Don Print 'em all - Instead Clip 'em

Recently bought a HP DeskJet 4185 -  Prints @ reasonably good speeds + Photo printing is its speciality along with  Scanning and photocopy.

Looks absoultely compact for the functions that it performs. When the dealer elaborated its functions, a reasonably heavy gizmo was what i had picturized and i was preparing myself for a muscle-aching walk back to the car. But then after the box came and i laid my hand on it, voila it wasnt all that bad. Pretty light to be earnest.

Coming back to the device, one wonderful aspect worth mentioning is the 'clipping' feauture that it provides.   During the device driver installation , coupla new options gets appended in the Internet explorer's (version 7 is what i employ), edit menu.  They are 'standard selection' and 'hp smart selection'.  There in lies a real paper & ink saving effort. 


Once you are on a page and you want to print stuff from it, clipping helps you in zeroing on the exact content you need. By default its enabled in IE. So you just drag it like how you do for a text selection and say print for printing at once or clip to clip stuff and store it in a separate window(all those clips can later be merged together, more or less kinda stitch photograph, if am not wrong). Simple, ai'nt it ?

Right now the feauture is only supported in IE. Expect it to be a integral part of chrome too, pretty soon.  Not sure if such feautures are already provided by other players in the market , but then this is defintely a move towards better and sensible printing.. I love it..Way to go HP !

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Jumbo - A True Legend

Guess it was around four' o clock in the evening.  After a post meal slumber , i woke up with half the right eye open and its counterpart still trying to come with terms to the bright light. It was a nice sunday afternoon and also the fifth and final day of the cricket match between india and australia.  Since a draw was looming large i decided to check the scores late in the evening.

When i switched on the TV and tuned into neo cricket, a scroller at the bottom of the screen caught my eye immed'ly. It read "Anil Kumble has announced that he would retire after this match..".  That very second it stuck me as a real obscurity. I started to think if the senior players have really started succumbing to the pressure from the board and the stupid media, one by one. Were they indeed, what ravi shastri says, "falling like a pack of cards" ?

But after listening to jumbo, later in the post match conference  where he  said "It was a difficult decision indeed and its definitely not due to any external pressure but it was all within" i realised that i was wrong. How true. Jumbo is indeed a man of his words.  He wanted to give his hundred percent always and when he realised the fact that he was not at is best he decided to hang up his boots.    

To be frank am not a true fan of jumbo but then have been amazed quite a lot with his bowling abilities,commitment, persevearance and gentelemanly conduct.  He  might not be a wizard like shane warne but still was a proven match winner. How one can one forget his winning partnership with srinath against australia , the ten wicket haul at kotlah, "skull covered" bowling performance against the windies , where he got lara (also had hopper caught of a no ball i guess) , century against England , leading india to a test victory in perth after the controversial Sidney test... the list goes on and on.. Even in his last match , the catch that he took (despite the injured left hand), running back, of his own bowling, speaks volumes about his commitment. After the catch, he threw the ball back to the stumps probably wanting to make a statement that "Am still not done with..beware guys". 

Sure that his performance had begun to wane, especially in the recently concluded series against srilanka as well as the ongoing test series against oz. Batsmen started reading him better besides  age, injury woes and the lost charm.  He was no more the jumbo we all knew, who came thrusting in, hit the rough and bamboozled many a greats in the world of cricket. He himself realised that. "I did not want to let the team down and also stand in the way of a young player. I certainly was not able to give my 100% to the team."  True words from the champ. 

At the end of the match, it was glad to see jumbo being given a great send off. One of those moments that stood apart from the rest was mahi carrying dhoni on his shoulders.  Quite fitting was'nt it ?  Dhoni indeed is ready to carry the burden on his shoulders and take over the mantle from jumbo. But then the whole of india will sorely miss jumbo.  Pretty sure he has secured a place in the hearts of millions of cricket crazy souls.  A true legend indeed ! Hats off, for one last time, jumbo. 

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Viva Cuba !

Been pretty long since i posted something. So decided to pen down my thoughts about a movie that i saw today evening. Thanks to UTV world movies. Have become a fan of the channel off late.  

As the title states its a cuban movie, shot fully around the awe inspiring cuba and havana islands. In a nutshell , the movie is about the friendship(at that stage i wouldn call it love or probably even infactuation) between two cute li'l friends malu(girl) and jorgito.

Malu and jorgito are school mates and pretty good friends, though their families are'nt, despite being neighbours. Malu's dad and mom fight with each other a lot and one fine day her dad leaves them and moves away. Malu's grandma whoz pretty sick is her best friend , since mom keeps yelling at her often.  Malu confides everything with her grandmom and is very attached to her.  Soon after their dad leaves them her grandma also dies due to old age. Malu is shattered. 

On the other hand jorgito is a fun loving kid whoz parents are pretty strict. They don like him talking to malu and keep stressing that to him often. Jorgito never cares though.   

After malu's grandma passes away her mom decides to move away from cuba to a different place in search of work and better living conditions. But for this to happen , her husband has to sign a autorization letter which allows them to move out of cuba.  Malu's mom calls her husband and tells him about that.  But little malu never wants to leave her friends esp jorgito and go else where. When she tells her mom about that , her mom reassures malu that she would get good friends again. Malu isnt convinced yet. She tells this news to  jorgito who is absolutely crestfallen on hearing this. He wants her not to leave him and the islands but is really clueless on what to do.

Therez a small rift between them after that followed by days of silence and loneliness. One fine day they realise that they have stop fighting and decide on a plan that stops malu from moving away. It is to leave their homes in search of malu's dad so that they can ask him not to sign the authorization letter which would enable malu's family to move out of cuba. 

Hence starts the kids adventuruous journey en route which a beautilfu story is woven. All their small fights, hilarious but realistic conversations, dreams and last but not the least the childishness, which adds to the beauty of the story. So damn realistic that you would start thinking that how did the li'l ones manage all these before a camera. 

The climax is also so beautifully crafted (I dont mention it here , though it is'nt something that's un-guessable). A tale of two friends that is so beautifully narrated and picturized. Takes a while to come out of their world, back to reality. All in all a must watch for those sore eyes which have been witnessing too much of  melodramatic and pathetic movies off late. Hats off to the creators and the kids.