Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The world of "Free" Restrictions

The following has been GPLed from a Linux seminar.

This is a Time Limited protection for your technology. Basically it goes something like this. You file a patent, meaning - you file the details to the Govt., the Govt protects your technology from anyone else using it for X number of years, unless with permission/license from you. After the patent time, the technology will be Open to all. A good example is the patent of drugs. An advantage in this is that it brings out competition and results in lower price and better output.

Trade secret
Its a bit straight forward. You basically give nothing to the Govt. Coca cola recipe is one such example.

Public Domain
This is a free for all. There is no need to credit anybody(they say its unethical). The example here is the B-Gate memory allocator (No. dont ask me. Google it. you will get better answers).

This is the concept of "Exclusive rights to use a name". Examples include Kleenex. Coca Cola, et al.

A kind of trademark which is used to identify and give exclusive rights (distinctive value) to a service rather than a product rendered by a particular provider.

The right of the author to control what he/she/they created. You need to get permission from the author to modify the contents. Examples include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, etc.

The right opposite of copyright. My favorite. The idea is NOT to restrict the rights of anybody using it. The main restriction is a way to establish status, where whoever uses what you hvae done, gives the same freedom you gave to those who will be getting it from ur "client".

Got it???

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Personality Test

Another Corporate Personality Test

Here is what they think I am what I think of myself
Your score: 41

Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing,practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha............
(thats choo chuweet of them. no, really. thx a ton ).

So, anyway, here is another one from BBC

Friday, August 19, 2005


Meetings - That point of time in life when all those lost sleep pop up at the same time.

Joe's theorm of Meetings
For any given software engineer, micro-organic level of involvement is the maximum requirement to take part in any ongoing discussion at any given point of time during the meeting.

Proof of Theorm
please note this conversation was observed from a software engineer point of vision/hearing
PM: so, blah blah blah.. therefore, blah blah blah.. when do you blah blah blah...
SE: Yes

PM: ok then, blah blah blah.. why, blah blah blah.. when blah blah blah...

SE: this week

PM: so then, blah blah blah.. less blah blah blah... time blah blah blah ...

SE: shall try

PM: so then, blah blah blah.. blah blah blah... blah blah blah...

Hence the theorm is proved.

If you are a junior, this value tends to zero (equal to zero in some cases). The lower the cadre, the more the fun. My favorite part during a meeting is when tea and biscuits are distributed. I normally dont know the status of projects after the meeting, but sure DO know the status of all the biscuits kept in my vicinity.

so with almost nill activity on your part, how are you to spend those hours of gruelling and horrendous techno garb. Here are some ways I found useful and interesting.

1. Practice blogging : Half of this blog is written during one such meet. It was a sad thing that the meeting closed earlier than usual, so my time estimate for completing this blog wasnt upto the mark. But, it sure does pay to increase your vocabulary and fluency in english

2. Caricature : Rather than spending thousands of rupees on courses for animation, you can utilise these times to develop those unused drawing talent. If possible, you can bring various coloured pens to bring out the richness in those art.

3. Puzzles : This will be a runaway success at meetings. Even the easiest of puzzles will become hard during these times, what with the drowsiness being inflicted on you by the ambience of meeting rooms.

4. SuDoKu : The now-becoming-famous puzzle game from HINDU can be a brain racker for those arithmomaniacs. For those GRE-ians, you can go for the regular HINDU crosswords.

5. Poems : Wordsworth, Shelley, and others. They are from the past. You can be the neo world's Wordsworth or a Shelley. You now have the perfect location and situation to write those endearing words of love and pathos waiting to stand the test of time.

6. Sleep : Creativity sure does play its part here. How you sleep, how long you sleep, can be rated to bring you to a pro in sleeping. Sleep baby, sleep.

Anything else to improve the rating of attending meetings are always appreciated.

Ok, gotta go and prepare for my meeting tomorrow. seeya.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Not another Sunday

It was just another sunday waiting to get run over by the ever crushing monday morning blues. Just another "muhurtha" day for marriage hall owners to be happy with. With more cold than brain cells, my head was not so willing to move out of the "sleep-zone" the whole weekend. I was more than happy to comply with, though my family did'nt share the same level of enthusiasm, my wife leading the pack of anti-"sleep-zone" enthusiasts.

More than cursing them, I felt sorry for them for not having the ability to sleep at will any time of the day. I, like so many other "hard working" bachelors (ok ok... most other married guys also) had the uncanny knack to sleep at 1 PM on any given weekend after having completed a hibernation of about 12 hours to wake up at around noon for lunch. If only they can understand the turmoils going through my head to appease the hunger of sleep inside me....

Coming back to the dull evening of July 17, 2005, we went for a friend's reception at Hotel Savera, Radhakrishnan Salai. That being a muslim wedding, we guys were not allowed inside the main hall designated only for ladies. After completing the formalities in the wedding (yup, that sure did including the food), we were starting to leave the hotel when he came.

A man, who breathed a new and refreshing genre of comedy into tamil cinema, the modern "kalaivaanar", comedy king Vivek entered the hotel. The first thing I did was to run towards him. I somehow had to get an autograph. I had seen many cine artistes during my life in chennai, but this was the first time I wished and wanted to get an autograph from one.
I was happy I started on the best note i possibly cud wish for. I ran into the reception area. I had a paper ( my company visiting card atlast coming into some real sensible use), but no pen. My grey cells got activated, caught a receptionist with a ball-point pen. I rushed to her, almost literally plucked the pen from her hand, and ran to him. I felt goosebumps all over my body just to stand near a person whose name itself was more than enough for people to go watch movies. I was panting when I came near him. The conversation went something like this....

Me: "Hello Mr. Vivek. Nice to meet you."
Vivek: "Hello Mr. Joseph, Its great to meet you. Can I have your autograph please?"
Me: "Sure, for vivek, anything. Hows ur next movie coming up?"
Vivek: "Can you please act in my next comedy track in the saran movie please?"
Me: " Let me check out my call-sheet and call you up. Call me monday evening. Thank you."
Vivek: "Its an honour to meet you sir..."

Yeah, right. Atleast I am the king here and I can write my own story.. isnt it?? The real conversation though was,

Me: "Can I have your autograph please sir?"
Vivek: (smiling ) "You came running for this ?"
Me: (collecing the autograph), Thank you very much sir."

He had written "Viruppamudan Vivek" on the card.

Thats all. Period. No, I dint talk anything more. I dint know what to. It all happened too fast for me. But, that one incident made my day. In fact, it made up the rest of the week for me. I am now the proud owner of a talent bank's autograph.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

One Step at a time

All big strides in life start with a single step.

In compliance with this ISO-OP(Old Proverbs) standard, things started in a similar way at St.Michael's Academy, Adyar, Chennai. June 15, 2005. Sun having fun. People on the run. A small young high voltage speedster in the form of my niece was getting ready to take on the second phase of life. Till date, the best phase of life. At age 3, she was already a veteran at going to schools ( her previous school deceptively code-named Play Coup, a play school ).

Being a connoisseur, she was more than happy to go to school. A fully loaded box full of sweets and biscuits to protect her, she happily pushed us to walk faster to the classroom. I remember writing about Typhoons in "Dhakshin chitra". I saw the beginnings of all those typhoons here. Such noise levels. Screaming at the top of their lungs would be a mocking analogy to what I heard that day. Brought back memories of that "special" day where the only other equivalent noise level can be generated on a Heavy Me(n)tal Concert.

I was brought back from my nostalgia by a kidster whose primary aim in life seemed to be crying. His mother was trying her level best to cajole him with chocolates, but to no vail. Not that he wasnt eating chocolates. All edibles shown near his mouth's vicinity went straight in. No hazzles. Just darn straight down the mouth. I made a point to learn from him on how to cry and eat at the same time. You need to develop these kind of skillsets. Can be useful in your later phase of life like after-marriage for instance, where you need to protect your cry-skills to protect your physical being and eat at the same time to safe-guard your dietary being. This usually occurs after you have did something which shouldnt have occured. To me, it is becoming a normal way of life. So, this assumes all the more importance.

Being the kid I am, I tried remembering what I would have done. Then it dawned on me. Blogging was not available at time. Damn... If only, they had blogs during my school time...... But from the way I remember, my mother would have been more than happy to kick my butt in such a situation.

Our own little gangster-at-home was such a sweet darling at school. She just straight went in and sat in a place given to her. Most parents were either sitting with their kids inside the class room or doing PT by running in and around the school premesis with their wards in the lead.

An incident inside the class. Our little kid saw another kid crying its heart out. His mother seemed to have disappeared. Taking the responsiblity on herself, she started talking to kid and asked him not to cry. But he seemed to be more focused on
his work and reduced the treble only when his mother landed on the spot. Our kid later complained to us that he was making so much noise and not at all heeding to her advice. One thing was for sure. I was able to see a clear difference between home-grown kids and those who had attended play-schools.

In the play area outside the class, a photo-session was in progress.
Model - the kid.
Photographer - his mother.
Intended Audience - Exported Father.
The digital camera was ready to cry for help when the mother stopped. It was time to go home.

Being the first day of school, the kids were dispersed after just 15 minutes in class. Some of the parents were more than eager and shot off before the alloted time. My niece's mother started to mentally prepare herself to start her second

Being a kindergarten student carries its own work hazards. With worries like "not to tee tee in your dress", "bringing home a similar coloured dress" from what you got in the morning, "not losing your tiffin box", life is sure to be full of fun and thrill. I returned home wishing my niece a successful student life.


Friday, June 03, 2005

To Critic or not to critic

My ratings of some of the new movies I have seen. Please note, these rambling are entirely my personal opinion only.


every single person i have met is comparing this movie to the original "manichitrathaal". i beg to differ. manichitrathaal was a masterpiece in its own sense. it gave shobana a national award. but, its a malayalam movie. it was made in mallu style. it will NEVER have the characteristics of a tamil movie. the same applies to vice versa. (yes, i have seen the original also).

lets face it guys. you cannot run a movie (although with rare exceptions) without commericalism here. when u r putting a person who has considerable "magnetic" influence on the people watching his every move, u cant allow him to go down the drain for two consecutive movies. so, he has obviously taken to the safe route of a remaking a highly successful story.

i would say the movie's story line has been adapted from manichitrathaal. that wud make it a bit better, i suppose. Now, considering the movie for what its worth, it has been well done. or shall i say exceptionally done for a rajni movie. no punch dialogues. no flying cigarettes. no mother sentiments. no sister sentiments. the introductory fight was a bit too much. i cudnt understand how, after a person who gets kicked in the stomach can rotate on air at a single place and fall at the same place. the first half movies at the pace set by vadivelu and co. Rajni's repertoire for comedy is utilised well. The real movie starts (as in the original also), only near the interval.

After that, the movie gives chills when seen for the first time. The background has been so well done to enhance the effects. I trust the director has a proper reason for introducing the vestigeal SFX snake into the movie. Otherwise, jyothika has done a good job. Her climax scene portrayal received pretty good applauses. Her already round eyes being boosted with special focus lamps for the added effect. Music has been a high plus point for this movie. It sure has done its part to fill the producers' pockets

Even a low-rated storyline for rajni wud fetch him 50 days. I trust this may give better budgetry planning for him and the producers.

To end, Chandramukhi has powered its way to the people's pockets.


A kidnapping plan gone haywire. - That is the crux of the movie.

The rest is the screenplay and kamal's dialogue. He has done a commendable job in trying to bring the crazy's feel to the movie, although not to the level of the master. The first half moves at a hectic pace generously splattered with comic relief. Pasupathy has done a wonderful job as a comedian-villain. Then, the movie starts slowing down a bit with sentiments.

The end happened so fast that it seemed the director somehow wanted to wrap things up and pack up urgently. Full marks to pasupathy, vayiapuri ramesh aravind. Kamal is his usual self, with lovely timings for comedy.

One thing I felt from the movie is that it did not stand in my mind the moment i left the theatre. there was nothing that made us talk about it. Maybe this has led to the not-so-successful run of the movie.

To conclude, mumbai express was a train with a one eyed driver and no guard.


This has been my personal favorite. The movie had a "feel good" feeling about it. Vijay has done an excellent job here. Unlike Ajit in Ji, Vijay looks every bit like a college student. Portrayal of characters are a plus point here. The director has taken care that both the attitude of the hero and the heroine are not faltered anywhere throughout the movie. If you like vadivel's comedy, this movie will give a five-star rated treat. Genelia has done a good job of being a proud and egoist beautiful college girl. Devi Sriprasad's music as just put those remaining points for a well choreographed movie, though the last song was just a filler.

I heard Bipasha Basu was paid a 7 digit figure to act in this movie. I believe it was not worth that much money. The only low part of the movie are the so-called 'hot' scenes between vijay and bipasha basu. It all seems a bit toooo much when bb says that all that was to make a point to the heroine. One surprising thing in the movie is that the ooty "mist" seems to follow wherever vijay moves and the whole place always seems to be flooded with 'misty' effect.

I trust that this movie will be big let down to all those who expect "i will live ONLY for you" and "without you, i will die" kind of love power.

In all, sachien has played a good innings. whether this will help the "sachien" team win is upto the audiences.


Another good story and a better screenplay. A Youthful movie, with the ever impressing prakash raj. He has done more than enough justice as an actor.

Yuvan Shankar Raja has made such an effect that on the day of the movie when I went, 95% of the people who had come were below 30. I was let down a bit when the video for the songs were not as enthralling as the audio. Maybe I set myself a pretty high expectation level for them.

A pretty fast paced and well choreographed screenplay and impressive performance from all artistesm, especially the son "kutty" of prakash raj is commendable.

The movie starts in a village and moves to the southern metropolitan when the young boy gets admission to a college in chennai. He encounters the "power" of prakash raj and his son "kutty". Fate brings a twist in that the young boy is a family member and then what happens is the rest of the story. You can see all that is not expected from such a storyline. A villain who can terrorise AND make the audience laugh, with a thoroughly enjoyable screenplay makes this a movie worth going to.

Again, a disclaimer. This movie will be a big letdown for those who expect a sentimental showdown to the movie. The director has taken a different view to express the separated father - son relationship.

Kudos to all the members. Arinthum Ariyamalum - An all round entertainer.

Now, where are those critics hiding... ??? where are ur comments?.....

Friday, April 22, 2005

Home Sweet Home - Part II

My mom took a whole half a day to clean just the TV stand. She went to the extent of using the mud and dust collected as new mud for the potted plant. I jumped at the last minute to rescue the plant from an unintentional murder. Thats one of the biggest disadvantages of having your house near the city's main traffic road. By the time you finish cleaning your second room, the first room is already getting new visitors. The upside is that it keeps you busy and FIT :-)))

The advantage being
a) to get a 'balcony' view of all the accidents taking place in your area,
b) the metro-water carrying mobile murderer waking you up early in the morning and
c) all other licensed killers trying their best during the night.

If, on the other hand, your house is in a bit 'interior' in the area, then driving a car is seen as a scandulous act, given that the road size will be suitable to drive only a single auto. That this size is more than enough for two autos to drive side by side do speak volumes about the other biggest killer roaming free. This ones keeps you inside it and then transmogrifies itself into a 007's support vehicle.

Its a trade-off with regards to the location of the house. A flat system I saw recently is being built in the middle of a once(read recently)-flourishing lake. Hence, the path to the construction site is worse than a WRC course. Of course, the builder will be giving you access with tarred roads. But be sure, he isn't going to spend it from his pocket. Rest assured that the extra amenities in that house will be costing heavens.

Lands purchased near industrial areas do have their set of pros and cons. Pro being that the land value will be a bit cheaper when it comes to building a residential flat. The obvious con being the noise and the culture of the area. Industrial areas
do deliver their part in contaminating the ground water, though not to the extent the corporation does. After all, its their cup of tea (or s***). You cant beat them at their own game.

Houses near the beach in Chennai do cost more with the advantage of getting a good view of the sea and receiving the lion's share of the cool sea breeze. In hindsight, the salt acts as the cigarette of the house. It slowly and surely damages the strucutural strength of the house. Though you won't be short of ground water, you dont always get 'touchable' or edible' ground water there.

Contd . . .

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Home Sweet Home - Part I

A lot many people have asked me to write a blog (well, not actually write one.. but rather enquired about) relating to purchasing a house. Being the 'nice' guy I am, I decided to put down in ones and zeros the "training" I underwent in buying a house.

Two choices. Its either a flat or an individual home. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Buying an individual house in madras automatically shoots ur rating to the caliber of the president of a 'billion dollar asset' company. Apart from being the "King of your country" status,you can expect no more than a penny of help from our government regarding practically everything, starting from water to theft in your kingdom. But, its YOUR kingdom. You get to do what you want. You can have your bedroom "vasthoooed" and shift it two inches towards nearest man-hole in the road, because its the place to BE. ( Ask the vasthu consultant - he will clearly tell you that the man-hole was fully vaasthu-level 5 compliant ). In Chennai, a normal individual house (along with the cost of the land) comes to a nominal rate of 30-40 lakhs.

If you prefer the second option, but are a president of a 'billion dollar asset' company, then you have those builders who are always ready to provide you with the 'nominal' rate luxury apartments. An average 2 bedroom house from a decent builder costs anwhere between 10 lakhs to 18 lakhs, depending on the location, the builder, the facilities he builder gives and availability of "tidel park", mahindra city, school, bus stand, etc.. etc...

Some of the basic requirements I would cover when looking for a house are,
a) Who's the builder.
If you have a 2 ground land, you are a builder. Too many builders are mushrooming all over madras that the ant population is feeling the heat of this growth rate. One concerned ant leader expressed concern over his colony having had to move to many different places to "colonise" new areas in a very short time duration.

As a potential house owner, you deserve the right to see the original document of the purchase of the land where the flat is being built. Always make sure that the document does not contain any 'villangam', or the illegality state.

For the rookie, here goes; Any land coming under the corporation/municipality will be covered by a survery number. take the example below.


The concerned land where we are going to build our flat is 130. The first survey information will go somewhat like this... "the specified land with survey no. 130 is surrounded by 129 to the north, 128 to the north-east, 127 to the east... etc covering all other survey numbers which surround yours.

From the date of first survey of the land (which will sometimes date back to the early 1900s) to this date, the survey number will be the same. It may have changed hands umpteen number of times before it reached your builder. Make sure that nowhere in between the first and the last transaction, the land (survey number) has not been modified or cut into two and sold, and or no missing link of purchase is there. The current purchaser should have purchased the proper survey numbered land (the land which he would have showed you) without any hassles or 'villangam'. If there is even a small hitch to it, you can trust yourself to expect trouble.

to be contd...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Kathaiyalla Nijam

The normal customer care centre in India gives its best service to the nearby tea stalls and mobile phones and if time permits between these, they attend to a few of the innocent victims who got stuck with their company's products and run for cover both from the product and the customer service. This being the case with private companies, its only understandable not to even think about customer care in government offices.

The fact that I didnt pay the money for the past 3 months was behind me and I was eagerly looking to the future when my mobile's screen-saver smiley smiled wickedly at me. Realisation set in. I have to pay the bill. I prepared for a half day leave from my office when I went to BSNL's customer care in Mandaveli to pay the phone bill for my disconnected mobile.

BSNL's Adyar exchange doesn't have the facility to accept cash as payment (the fact that it had an auto-cheque accepter was more than surprising). I was very understanding with them and so accepted to go to Mandaveli. New realisation seemed to have set in for the Corporation people and they started to build a flyover at the Prayer Tower Junction. They made everybody realise it by blocking most of the road with trenches and tunnels.

With the scorching sun to protect me, I reached the exchange. The cheque deposit counter was at the entrance itself. Though the automatic machine had a touch screen to guide people through, a person was permanently seated near the machine to do your work of depositing the cheque for you. Yes. Customer Service. The one thing to note here is that you need to write down all the details of the phone stuff behind the phone bill and only then will he proceed. So much for automation. I had come for cash payment. And I needed immediate activation. It was 12:45 PM. I had 15 minutes to complete my work. After 1300 hours, come what may, things go to a stand still here. I was racing against time.

I ran to first floor. There was a queue at the cash counter. Cursing my fate, I stood there. To add to my new found happiness, two "influential" persons came, ignored the queue and directly went to the counter and started talking to the cashier. One self-respecting person before me requested them to stand in the queue. They said they were not customers,blah blah blah and turned to talk to the cashier.

Now comes the Anti-climax. The cashier did'nt respond to them at all. He told the self-respecting person to keep calm and that he will take care. And he did take care. Cos, they both were waiting till the queue where I was standing got over. I was dumbfounded. This cannot happen. I must be dreaming. Still with the effect of that incident, I was redirected to the third floor where mobile activations take place.

5 more minutes. I ran to the third floor. The lady sitting there told me that they will activate it by today evening. Then the creativity in my mind sparked off and I told her that this mobile was used for business and I need an immediate activation (now hows that for a story?!!!). So, she showed me the direction to go to a senior officer for immediate activation. I looked in the direction she showed.

There was a door. I went there and started pushing and pulling at it. It did not even budge. I tried my strength for sometime before asking the lady why the door is not opening. She was shocked to see me doing that and asked me to go to another door nearby. Then, I realised why she was shocked. It is not a door. It WAS a door once. It had been locked from the other side and people were sitting nearby and working. My imagination took the better of me for sometime where i was opening that door, things breaking, people running....mmmm. Creativity.

I ran to the senior officer. He was busy talking with someone. That was normal. You are in a government office. You need to talk. If you only work, you will be alienated. You will be a reject. A snob. Then, he became free. I ran in. I told him my "business" urgency. He looked at me and the bill. What followed was totally mind blowing for me. He got my bill, went to a computer nearby and opened the "BSNL Customer Care" application. After clicking through a set of menus, he landed up enterning my mobile's account number. It opened up screen where my mobile number's properties were listed. The first two parameters were "Outgoing barred" and "Incoming barred". He right clicked on the two and deleted it. Then, did a save and a refresh. He then asked me to check if both the outgoing and incoming are working for the mobile phone. I dialled the mobile. It WORKED!!!! It took a total of 2 minutes to activate. I thanked him and came home in a trance.

Customer Service at its best.
Ithu Kathaiyalla, Nijam...

Saturday, February 19, 2005

A Culture Visit

I wanted to break away (atleast for a few hours) from the influences of our current "culture" of "hard working" (synonym of money-making) and then showing it off to others in the most worthless of ways, to a period where life was simple, yet happy. when man's requirements were a small but requirement-fulfilled house and happiness to go along. I went to witness life as a culture in south india at the Dhakshin Chitra for a few hours. Being only the end of february, the sun was a little less hot (about 33 C ;-) ). so, I took a 25 minute ride on my 'poor-man's harley davidson', a suzuki, from my house to the culture house, about 4Km from the toll-gate on the ECR. I cheated the toll-gate people by taking a two-wheeler (he he) and dint pay the toll to use the road and reached the culture house when the sun was busy making people run for coconuts and shades.

The entry fee was Rs.50/-. Rs.50/- to see my own culture; In the end, I felt it was worth more than that. The pamphlet was pretty much a miniature route map for the whole place and I must say, it was threateningly accurate in terms of the route.

Tamil Nadu was first. It opened with a Chettinad house of the 19th century. The inlaid description stone (I mean the framed printout-i dont remember the correct term now) told me that the house was literally shifted from its original place to here sans the ground. ( It must have been quite heavy to lift the ground also. Besides, we wont know how deep we need to dig to conclude its enough??? ;-) ). The age old inkpots, the flour-grinder, the wooden beds et al were pretty much the originals taken from the house owners.


The backyard of the house led to an alley of tamil nadu houses. There were two fortune tellers, one was skillfully utilising the repertoire of a parrot (???) to foretell ur fortunes and the other was using ur palm to foretell. My meal-fortune will wreck havoc if I spend money on this. With a heavy heart of not knowing my future from a parrot, I moved along.

The "conservation lab"(whatever that means) lay ahead near the alley. The inside presented the f-tv of our past. Dhotis, lungis, turbans, thundus, madras kerchiefs (what a history this one has. Check it out there directly). Another room inside dawned to a person creating real art. He was weaving a kancheepuram silk saree. It was the first time in my history I saw a silk saree being made (as if I wud have gone any other day). More than the whole saree being made, It was the forming of the border of the saree that amazed, or rather shocked me the most. I was watching him work like a sculptor bring his creation to life slowly, strand by strand. Soon, curiostiy overtook my shyness and I stopped him.
What followed was a National Geographic program on weaving. He took a paper full of light and dark dots, which viewed from a distance (or a blurred eye) will show a design. The design on the border of the saree. It took a total of 2 days for 5 people and 36 separate lines of gold strands in a complicated pattern to acutally set it in the right position. To move it properly as and when the saree was being woven was way beyond me. A single saree had more than 3 lakh strands of intricately woven silk strands and 2 weeks labour of a dedicated and skilled person.

An adivce to people who want to enjoy this trip. If you happen to see a group of school uniforms in the vicinity, never even try to go near. It will be one mayhem you will want to miss. I got two sets like that today. Obviously, they were schools with students of influential parents. Most of those yet-to-be-grown-ups were clicking away merrily at virtually anything they dint encounter in their lifetime. That included anything the guy near you clicks at. Fortunately, it was lunch time and they headed to a nearby gathering area where they showcased their voice prowess.

After the enlightment at the "lab", and escaping from the two typhoons, I then went on to the glass blowing section. There was a demo going on. I sneaked in to see the glass blower morph a normal glass rod into a peocock and a horse right in front of our eyes. He did that like he was gnawing carelessly at a unroasted set of peanuts. After the pretty transparent demo, he went to become a marketing person and was trying to woo some foreign visitors to buy his wares. Escaping, I moved on to "God's Own Country"'s mini mock-up area.


It started with a traditional wooden house of a Cyrian catholic family. The inlaid stone description here (remember the term;-) ), told that the house was wholly made of pineapple wood and was two floor high. The outside was pretty deceptive that way. It didnt seem to enclose two floors until you went to the first floor. In a small passage way, there was another wooden staircase. It opened up to an attic the size of the house itself. Compact and cosy - they knew how to live. The first floor even had ravi varma's beauties to adorn the wooden walls. Enjoying God's own country in my hometown, I moved along to another house nearby, pretty similar to the first,but bigger. Palm toys were being made on-location.
My eyes were starting to get a bit dark now. I looked at the sky. It was clear. Then, it dawned. I hadnt taken anything for the last 2 hours. Getting a small 'noisy' toy for my niece, I moved on to the Andhra and Karnataka section in a hurry. Fortunately for my hunger, they both were under construction. It was nearly 2.5 hours since I reached this place and hunger was doing a salsa inside me. Pleasing it with a tetrapack juice, I started my journey back, enlightened and Happy.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Is it a tragedy or . . .

Is it a tragedy or another platform for political showcasing.?

On the day of the tragedy which shook the whole of Asia and World, a premier cable channel in tamil was showing people standing on the beach. the first thing that stuck my mind was "Why are they standing there?". Is it to see if the water level is raising ( talk about caution ) again. Were they planning to die? Or were they expecting to be a "part" of the tsunami if it occurs again so that they can reminisce (???) to the "best" weekly magazine and get a paragraph in that "heart rendering" cover story? I do really appreciate the way that channel was able to cover ONLY but all the areas where dead bodies were lying, be it in chennai, or nagai or cuddalore. You name it, they have the scene of the halls turned mortuaries with wailing to fill the remaining. Once or twice, it evokes sadness and pain in the heart, but a whole day of this causes more irritation than sympathy. This was their only major coverage for the first day and most of second day. Popular english news channels were trying to cover/telecast the cause of this disaster, the science behind it, the probability of recurrence and similar things. I came to know of the TN's CM visit to Nagapattinam only after i saw an article in rediff.com Whose Tragedy is it anyway?

Using the media for political benefit is understandable, but at a time of calamity , its only humane for different people and parties to shove off their differences to get together to bring the distressed back to normal life. Trying to use a calamity for political growth only shows the standard of the people who run the state/country. One another incident which is noteworthy is this. This media person was interviewing people affected by Tsunami . Now the fisherman selected by this channel aptly blames "Government has done nothing for us so far....." and ."Who wants food and water here. Give us boat and nets so that we can fish and survive" Somebody should have told the fisherman (or the press person??? ) that all Sea Food has been banned totally due to the poisining of the sea by bloated corpses all through the Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean. Another news was that all used clothes are being rejected by the survived people because "CM has told that she will give us new dress. so dont give us used clothes. we want new clothes". I do not know the legitimacy of this (CM's statement). If the reason for the rejection of old clothes is this, this just mocks at all those forthcoming hearts which gave all those costly clothes. I helped in collecting clothes and segregating them in trichy and chennai. Of all the clothes which had come for the victims, only about 15% were not usable. Most others were in fully usable condition. I sincerely hope the media does a better job in bringing about proper news to the people and helping the victims in a proper way rather than trying to create a political advantage alone under such a circumstance.