Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dentists and the like...

Ever notice how dentists drag on a process over three or four sittings ? My mother recently had a searing pain in her wisdom tooth and after checking with JUST DIAL(or ASk me services) we came across a local dentist near my place(off St. Marys road) We walked in and the dentist suggested extraction or Root canal treatment. We decided on Root CANAL(RC) .

The treatment started. My mother from what i know her is very brave and has a high threshold of pain, but at that moment i could hear her whimpering..i ran in to see what was the problem and see that the dentist was consoling her saying it will hurt a little..like WHAT! i knew something was not right. When we left the dentist it was still hurting all the way home..

My mom came home only to whimper and decide to sleep..i couldnt take it. have seen her go thro RC even earlier and it never hurt her like this..

First of all i don't know if it should hurt as much, and second of all, the dentists response(altho she seemed empathetic)  seemed like a response i couldn't deal with.  Any dental treatment these days shouldn't/doesn't hurt. They have their share of numbing injections and the like, so whats the excuse.. 

I called the number on the card again and this time the head dentist answered. He asked us to come back to the dispensary to look at the tooth again. We went back and thankfully he re-did the RC and this time with NO pain. 

yes yes, it does take 3 sittings or so(including the cap) but it surely didn't hurt thereafter.

All I can say is, don't just bear the pain if the dentist says its normal. Cause it isn't! And it only proves that the earlier dentist didn't know their job that well..

Sunday, December 14, 2008

List of Books that will never be written

  1. Aamir Khan “ Names for your pet dogs and other attention seeking exercises” Foreword by all the BIGG BOSS losers.
  2. Pakistan on “How to Get along  with neighbours and other fun stuff”. A Foreword by China
  3. Raj Thakarey on “ How to apply vanishing cream and just vanish during a crisis” a Foreword by Balasaheb.
  4. M. Karunanidhi “Nepotism and Polygamy be banned” A foreword by the Maran Brothers
  5. Rajnikanth “ How to avoid procrastination and join Politics ” a Foreword by Vijaykanth and Chiranjeevi
  6. Sonia Gandhi “Turning a blind eye to Christian conversions” A foreword by RSS
  7. Mallika Sherwat “Lessons in dressing up and acting “ Foreword by Mallaika Arora, Namitha, and Rakhi Sawant
  8. Shahrukh Khan “Make up tricks to look like Michael Jackson” A foreword by Michael Jackson
  9. Salman Khan on “Drive safe and be friendly at parties” a Foreword by Puru Rajkumar, Navjoth Sidhu
  10. Rekha on “How to age gracefully” with a foreword from the over made up Vyjanthimala Bali
  11. Achutanandan on “How to say the right thing at the right place and time” Foreword by R R Patil and Sarah Palin
  12. Sarah Palin on “Spend wisely, save Wisely” a foreword by American Auto Makers
  13. Maharashtra Police "How to be prepared for any situation" a foreword by Netas who keep them busy for personal errands
  14. Media on " How to report news that affects only the RICH" a foreword by all the newspapers that did not report attacks on Assam, or Chennai floods during the MUMBAI Terror reporting.
  15. Music Director Pritam " Make your own Music, Copying is a Shame" a foreword by Bappi Lahiri and Anu Mallick
  16. Pakistan on "Caught Red handed? How to blame it on the DOG, and other strategies" Foreword by Afghanistan and China

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Political Bloopers, Gaffes, Quotes and more Stupidity

Thot of collating a small collection of some of the stupidest things said/done by our politicians

  • Robbery is common.
    o Original: Daketi to hota rahta hai.
    o Laloo Yadav Answering to the issue of railway security" ("Laloo girds up for his big day", The Hindu, July 06, 2004. URL accessed on 2006-05-08.)

  • "We must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose." Indira Gandhi.
  • Indian Railways is the responsibility of Lord Vishwakarma. So is the safety of passengers... It is His duty, not mine. I have been forced to don His mantle.
    o Laloo Prasad Yadav Reacting to increasing number of train mishaps, Patna ("Boarding a train? Pray to God", The Times of India, July 02, 2004)
  • In response to the Sethusamudam controversy, Karunanidhi questioned the existence of Hindu god Rama. He asked
    “ Some say there was a person over 17 lakh years ago. His name was Rama. Do not touch the bridge (Ramar Sethu) constructed by him. Who is this Rama? From which engineering college did he graduate? Is there any proof for this?[17] ”
  • I work so much. If I don't get all the comforts, I will turn mad.
    Laloo Prasad Yadav Responding to the criticism of his adversaries that he always travelled in a salon. (July 3, 2004 The Times of India)
  • A few years back, as the Louisiana legislature was arguing a bill to prevent flooding, state Rep. Sherman Copelin Jr. said, "This is the most important bill of the session. . . . I have not read the bill."
  • Alaska Gov. Walter Hickel once justified a plan to kill hundreds of wolves by saying, "You just can't let nature run wild."
  • "I would never approach a small-breasted woman." -- President Clinton, denying that he had sexually harassed Kathleen Willey

  • "I think that gay marriage should be between a man and a woman." – Schwarzenegger

  • "I think incest can be handled as a family matter within the family." -- Jay Dickey Jr., U.S. representative from Arkansas

  • "I have said that I'm not running and I'm having a great time being pres — being a first-term senator." —Hilary Clinton on her presidential ambitions

  • "I'm the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can't.'" --Sarah Palin, as quoted by former City Council Member Nick Carney, after he raised objections about the $50,000 she spent renovating the mayor's office without approval of the city council

Friday, December 12, 2008

Retirement age in politics?

Ever thought about how come only OLDER/retired politicos are running a country that has 500 million youth under the age of 25? Who can forget photos and video clips of our aged politicians being caught, yawning, sleeping/dozing in meetings, or stumbling/falling and being helped to even walk…

It is common knowledge that our tax money is used not only for Z category security for them, but also for sending them and their family overseas for medical treatment ?? WT**.

Do politicians have no retirement age? Why?

1. Uttaranchal’s Narain Dutt Tiwari no longer appears to be able to cope with the rigours of the job. There were tales galore in government circles about how the septuagenarian finds it hard to keep awake during official meetings, and how his attention span has shrunk so much that he forgets the names of his aides, a la former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Ram Prakash Gupta.

Some time ago senior central government officers attending a meeting presided over by Tiwari were aghast to find the CM dozing off in mid-sentence.

2. Underlining the need for changing the image of the "ugly Indian politician", senior BJP leader L K Advani on Tuesday said one way of making this possible was by encouraging more young people to join politics.

"I tell my fellow politicians, particularly those belonging to my own party, that it is our duty to erase this image of the 'ugly Indian politician'....it is necessary for the best and the brightest among the youth to join politics and serve the nation," Advani said.

He was speaking at a seminar on "National Values Crisis and its Redressal" organised by the Foundation for Restoration of National Values.

The 81-year-old leader cited Transparency International's annual reports where India ranks high in the corruption index and the United Nations report in which India ranks low in the Human Development Index. He held responsible the lack of professionalism among politicians as the reason for this state of affairs.

3. In Tamil Nadu M.K. Stalin is the youthful face of the DMK, the leader of the youth wing, who recently became a grandfather! But then, there’s no contradiction here because by the standards of Indian politics, Stalin at 53 is a young man … look at the any political party and it the same story, the men and women leading India’s march in the 21st century are all getting on in the years.

These old warriors are the ones who are taking decisions that will decide the fate of young India. If sometimes, we bemoan the slow pace of reforms …the archaic nature of politics in this country please remember that the people who still define policy here grew up in another age and by the looks of things there is no room for the younger lot yet. (Excerpt from http://www.myindiareport.in/2007/11/19/old-politicians-move-over/)

4. Assam: Gogoi turns 74, contemplates retirement : On the occasion of his 74th birthday, Assam CM Tarun Gogoi, in a statement said that he is under intense pressure from his family to retire from politics. He believes the younger generation has great potential and should join politics.. KUDOS!

5. Remember A-Chutanandan? The CM of kerala who can barely walk on his own ? Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan, who turned 85 last month, was caught napping on three occasions while he was briefing the media after the weekly cabinet meeting here Wednesday. Achuthanandan dozed off thrice while reading out the cabinet decisions during the press briefing.
On two occasions his personal assistant came on to the dias and Achuthanandan woke up and once again started reading his notes.

Achuthanandan was woken up from his slumber for the third time when a journalist asked him a question.
Sensing that he had been caught napping, Achuthanandan said: “I am stopping in between (my speech) so that all of you can write properly.”

Really ?? How funny.

6) Interesting link with pictures(well not just Indian)

7) And another one on a similar note


Saturday, December 6, 2008

RIch politicos, fast cars, lavish weddings and TV Tamasha

So, who is financing our politicians ?

A) Mayawati all poised to be the new PM ??: After the recent disclosure that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has assets worth Rs. 52 crore (Rs. 520 million), a leftist politician was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, on conditions of anonymity, that this sum represented only a small fraction of her total wealth. What is noteworthy about the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader's transformation from humble beginnings into an extremely rich person is the short period in which she achieved this feat. It has been calculated that her wealth increased by 400 per cent in the last three years.


b) As for Raj Takeray, how does he afford an AUDI ?

Raj as a MNS chief , is also a moonlighting businessman, dabbling in real estate. He now has considerable stakes in construction companies in Maharashtra and Dubai.

Anyone remember the Ramesh Kini Case??
Kini's landlord, Laxmikant Shah, was trying to get Kini out of the flat. He (Shah) happened to be a close friend of Raj Thackeray. One evening, Ramesh Kini was found dead in a cinema theatre in Pune. His wife told the police that her husband was regularly threatened by Shah, Raj Thackeray and another Sena man called Ashutosh Rane. She said Ramesh had left home saying he was going to the Shiv Sena office. The next thing she knew was that he was found dead in Pune. Raj was questioned by the CID while Shah and Rane were arrested. Soon, Saamna growled a warning from Shiv Sena to the government and the CM addressed the assembly saying that Raj was innocent. The status of the case - Verdict by an additional sessions court in 2002 - Shah and his son were acquitted for want of evidence.

Many believe the turning point in Raj's career as a Shiv Sainik was the Ramesh Kini murder of 1996, in which Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena leader and key Raj aide Ashutosh Rane was a co-accused. Raj was exonerated by the CBI and never charged and Rane was discharged in 2002 for want of evidence. But the whispers of a scandal had done damage. The man found dead in a Pune cinema hall, after all, was a middle-class Maharashtrian.

Kohinoor and other land sale scams : The 4.9 acre Kohinoor Mill No. 3 was on auctioned at Rs. 421 crores to a joint venture floated by the son of former Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi, Unmesh, and other Shiv Sena leaders.

The tenders for the mill were opened in the afternoon, according to National Textile Corporation (NTC) sources. Mr. Joshi's Kohinoor Projects Company along with Matoshree Realtors Private Limited, of which Sena leader Raj Thackeray is a director, bid for the Mill land financed by Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS), according to Rajan Shirodkar of Matoshree Realtors. Their venture, Kohinoor Consolidated Transport Network (CTN) Limited, with a bid of Rs. 421 crores, was the highest bidder.


C) Karunanidhi and the Marans : Sources said Karunanidhi is peeved with the Marans and the Sun Group for being critical about the state Government and Dayanidhi’s successor in the Telecom Ministry, A Raja, who is embroiled in a multi-crore spectrum allocation controversy. The visual and print media owned by Sun Group had alleged that Raja went against a TRAI order on auctioning all spectrum.

Anyone questioning how come relatives and friends/associates of Ministers are the ones having access to start news channels, sattelite TV network, and so on ? for more details on the "family tree" and some light into the nepotism http://www.arasiyaltalk.com/CategoryView,category,DMK.aspx

d) J Jayalalitha : AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa was preparing a 'dossier' on the 'wrongdoings' of Chief Minister M Karunanidhi's family which she plans to place it before the people during the next Lok Sabha polls. In a statement, she appealed to those who had information and documentation on the 'wrongdoings' of Karunanidhi's family to give it to her to help her in preparing the dossier.She accused the family of 'consolidating its fortunes for the next ten generations at a time when people are burdened by 'unprecedented' inflation and farming activities have touched the 'nadir.' She also accused the Centre of aiding the family and said 'it (Centre) is so preoccupied with its own survival that it could not care less about what its allies are doing''.

What is she on about ? no one has forgotten the lavish wedding she held for her "foster son's" marriage nor the televised raid on her Shoe and saree collection

So where did the money come from and who is counting ??? Is the Income Tax department even watching over our politicians ?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mad dogs and Martyrs

Bad enough we lose one of our brave NSG commandos to the terrorists, worse is having politicos making their “condolences” a very public affair. Its like some Page 3 Party. Every politico giving sound bytes to popular news channels. Ensuring they have an entourage of new reporters, security personnel, sniffer dogs, other sychophants. WHY ? All this just to SEE and be SEEN as the first ones to offer LIP service. Nothing More, Nothing Less.

"He served the country well," said the father of slain NSG Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan in a choked voice while his mother caressed the face of her only son who died fighting the militants in Mumbai. The poignant moment when every Indian’s heart went out to his grieving mother sat next to the body touching the cold forehead of her son and seemed reluctant to leave him while his grief-stricken father K Unnikrishnan looked on.

Who is Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan?

Shaheed Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan was serving the Indian army in the cream of the crop National Security Guard and was assigned to the Special Action Group (SAG) of NSG on January 2007. This 31 year old brave man was born in Cheruvannur - Kozhikode district, Kerala on March 17, 1977 from where his family migrated to Bangalore and was settled there. Major Sandeep was the only son of retired ISRO officer Mr. K. Unnikrishnan and Mrs. Dhanalakshmi,

“Major Unnikrishnan rescued an injured commando before he was hit,” Director-General of NSG J.K. Dutt said after he announced ‘mission accomplished’ at the Taj and quoted the slain major as telling his crack team, “Do not come up, I will handle them.” Excerpts from http://www.orkutheroes.com/majorsandeep/

Now the politicos and their Tamasha : Faced with criticism for delay in showing respect to slain NSG commando Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan on Sunday called on the soldier's family members, but a depressed father of Sandeep declined to accept his condolences.

The chief minister asked “Is there a rule that the chief ministers of Kerala and Karnataka should be there at the same time? After a pause, the chief minister went on to say “If it had not been Sandeep’s house, not even a dog would have glanced that way.”
Then Mr. CM, please respond why were police sniffer dogs sent into the house when security personnel came there ahead of your visit to perform their duties.

PLEASE resign if you cannot apologise. You can’t even walk on your own, how are you even a leader? At first we had scant respect, now we have our contempt.

Yes it is true we wouldn’t have even known about Major Sandeep if it wasn’t for Operation Black Tornado or his martyrdom. He would have been just another nameless/faceless soldier many of whom we don’t even hear of as they lose their lives protecting our borders.

We can’t bring back their son. The least we can do is to show some mercy and allow the family to grieve in private.

Another case of that of Hemant Karkare the ATS chief: His widow was offered 1 crore in compensation by Narendara Modi(WTF??). She refused to accept it. A Slap on his face and all politicos who think they can get away with such public announcements. India is no mood for lip service from Politicians.

Fool us once, Shame on you! Fool us twice, Shame on us. We just dont seem to learn and continue to vote for the "lesser of two evils" in any political campaign.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai Terror Attacks

My initial reactions to smses from friends and family to check the new channels was one of bewilderment. What was it ? another bombing ? More middle class lives lost ? which means some mundane speeches from useless politicos, some sops thrown in say INR 10000, or less as compensation for “victims” it just doesn’t make sense…

After 9/11 can we remember ANY such incident in the USA ? NO! Because there was a complete crack down on terror. Yes its more annoying to strip to the minimum at airports when we are being checked in the USA, but hey at least we know we are safe.

It dawned upon me. that once again we are a city victimised and helpless. Yes now that this news also affects westerners is the only reason it warrants such attention. Imagine a bomb blast in Agartala, or even rain storms in Chennai,(70 lives lost) nope, no coverage

When our own countrymen and politicians don’t care about the people its that much easier to strike terror. We are vulnerable. I don’t feel safe in my country. My own city.

Our own media is like a bunch of vultures waiting to feast on such news. Sometimes one wonders if these are the eyes thro which the terrorists can see and watch our every counter move ?

A few points

1> IN fact I had no faith that our portly Policemen could actually take on terrorists. They look like who have all their lives(bar a few) lived on hafta/ and other money. Paunchy and totally out of shape. They should be suspended till they get into shape.

2> Bravehearts like Karkare, Kamte and Salaskar are all victims of POOR infrastructure. We are responsible for their death. Did you see what gear Karakare had while going to to combat the terrorists ? He had no chance. IT hardly seemed like a bullet proof vest. Our police seemed to be fumbling at the CST scene. They had no chance. Set up against AK 47s and what have yous?

3> Untill the army was called in, I had no faith that we could get through this. Not affiliated to any region.location./politico. They are agile, and very task oriented. NO time to give sound bites to TV. . Kudos you guys. May your tribe increase. And as one of the news channels

4> As for Maharashtra Napun**k Sena, where are you now ? oh son of soil ?? why cant your activists come up to assist the police ? At the most you will call a bandh after all this is over. Shame!

5> Why couldn’t we just take the help of the ISRAEL govt ? they are any way adept at handling such situation.

6) Atleast NDTV and TIMES did some of the “better” reporting. Not the best, just some of the better ones, in comparison to tabloid television like India TV, AAJ TAk with their ridiculous voice modulations etc…Just give us the news. Not YOUR personal views. Be sensitive to the victims, Don’t harass them for interviews. Have a heart!

How can we counter terrorism?

1) Arrange for Baggage scanners at Hotels/Sniffer dogs at all times.

2) Same arrangement at large junction railway stations across the country .National and local. AT ALL TIMES. Not just a week before some holiday

3) Introduce Military training compulsory for the youth. Perhaps with Israel/or USA. Men and women alike. In situations like this, we need every head count we can have

4) Better infrastructure to our police men. Better equipped with guns and ammunition. None of those pathetic WWII pistols please. Its like we are setting them up as targets for terrorists, who are better equipped. Can we blame citizens deciding to take up arms ? its because we are NOT convinced we can be saved by our own POLICE FORCE!

5) Fitter policemen. Fire the out of shape, panchy ones. Get them to be watchmen at buildings instead. Even the Private Security firms have better security officers,

6) Mock drills and test simulations for Police and citizens in schools, colleges, cinema halls etc so that we know how to deal with such a situation.

7) Guard our waters. One boat hijacked in Gujarat and we are unaware of it ? Now thats the boat they use to come to gateway of India. What kind of coast guards are there ?

8) We are such an IT savvy country. Use hackers to hack into satelline phone networks of these terrorists.

Be alert at all times. Give us faith in our Police and Army that indeed we are Safe.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Interesting thot i read somewhere

Yes, God is motionless, because there isn't any place where He is not. When a child is sitting in his mother's lap, he can cry for a million things, but he cannot cry for his mother to come. We are all in the lap of the infinite Truth. It is nearer than your own eyelashes. There is no distance between you and It.
--Swami Tejomayananda

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Vacation in Lovely Kerala, Karnataka..

A picture is worth a thousand words. While We have this spiritual vacation every year mostly during monsoons and visit various temples, it surely is a de-stresser, with family time,and ofcourse some divinity thrown in :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Movie updates

Have been doing a spate of movies recently. Chennai is certainly happening in terms of having the right friends group to hang out with. As for the audience, the usual Chennai Movie crowd is very much fun to watch movies with(I mean just the audience) most times the audience laughs at those one lines liners and “really good jokes/lines” that one catches only while watching the second time, or on the net while reading about the movie.

  1. One missed call : Apparently this is a Japanese movie remake. I watched a morning show with my dad., I wont go into the details and give the story away, but if you are anything like me and believe “A Pounding heart is good for the circulation”, then watch it. Premise of the movie- one strange ring tone(actually it sounds sweet, when taken out of context-the Ring tone i.e.) which goes into a missed call alert. On picking the voice mail, the victim hears what he/she is saying, perhaps two or three days in the future, and eventually dies horrifically, just as the voice mail hinted. A star cast of almost unknowns, similar to Scream and I know what you did series… would have been nice if they did some more research on the relationship between the ghost and its sibling and why it actually does what it does….

  2. King fu panda : While it’s a fun animated movie about a FAT panda who goes on to become THE CHOSEN ONE. The voice overs of jack black as the Panda and Dustin Hoffman as Master Shifu are simply super. What was actually visually very pleasing was the escape of TAILUNG the villain from the much guareded prison. I was actually rooting for him(shame on me). Voices of Angelina Jolie as Tigress and Jackie Chan as Monkey are simply wasted. While its and all and all positive movie about whats inside that matters, Must admit I watched it twice and enjoyed it both times. Would have been nice if they some more research on say the panda’s relationship with his “Bird” father. They are just too different..The movie has some memorable lines “ Today is a gift, and that’s why its called the present.” “ There are no accidents” These are uttered by the turtle who has the best lines..all in all a truly enjoyable fare.

  3. ROCK On A cult movie of sorts if u imagine the Dil Chahta hai genre. Story line goes like this--4 Young individuals who had dreams of forming a rock band. How that doesn’t happen and 10 years hence how their lives have turned.. One of the band members’s wife looks up some old stuff in the attic only to discover her investment banker husband(with their really beautiful house) and very busy urban lifestyle was actually a leading ROCK band singer. How they get together and eventually perform one last time is the crux of the story. The story swings between past and present(which is a bit confusing at times) but the hair styles(long in the past) and short in the present is how you can follow the story..except for Arjun Rampal who looks like some god with his long flowing hair. (I need a moment to gasp) Farhan Akhtar and Prachi Desai(of Kasam Se fame) make a good debut. Farhan has a shower scene which is a must see. Purab Kohli and Luke Kenny were good surprises as I didn’t know they could act. (for example) We do know that in the climax Joe(played by Arjun) will appear and he does and how! If only he could seem more convincing with the guitar. His acting is very mature as the failed musician with a nagging wife, and a son who thinks he is a hero. His unworded expressions of disappointment in the scene where they have to sign the contract without having his song or his GF losing out on the designing was very good.

    While Farhan has a well developed body, he might seem to have been dealt a raw deal of cards with his actual voice(he sounds like his father, at his current age I mean), it is surprisingly very good to hear in the rock numbers. Prachi Desai also has done justice to her role without any hamming.(Hope she doesn’t go back to melodramatic Saas bahu type serials) Quite a fast paced narrative, right from the the Dandia Spoof, to the competitor Band who sings some Zahreela Song, till the Sindbad the sailor song in the end(you can catch Farhan’s wife Audhna along with Prachi desai in that song in the audience) it was quite entertaining.. and yes, I watched the movie twice.

  4. Other mentionables

  • Journey to the centre of the earth(watch it in 3 D if u can) its action packed and a sci fi theme.

  • Mamma Mia : if you are an ABBA fan like my family is watch it for sheer nostalgia and to sing along (yes the lyrics display like karaoke) and please don’t watch in Mangalore(the crowd there is Thakela)

  • Raaman Thediya Seethai : This one was like my arranged marriage blog..and very well told family entertainer. My favorite was the character Nedumaran(the blind radio jockey) with panache and attitude..well played Pashupathy..

  • Subramanipuram : very 80's look. 4 young men and how the life they choose innocently exploits them in return. the fun part was the love story entwined, which had all the nuances of say an 80's wooing game. The graphic violence might get your goat, but good effort and not surprisingly a HIT

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Dark Knight...JOKER lines

The Dark Knight has resulted in a whole lot of Jokerisms, and memorable one liners..Why so Serious is a really dark one...

The Joker: [to Batman] We really should stop fighting, we'll miss the fireworks!

The Joker: See, I'm not a monster...I'm just ahead of the curve.
The Joker: See, I'm a man of simple tastes. I like dynamite...and gunpowder...and gasoline! Do you know what all of these things have in common? They're cheap!
[repeated line] The Joker: Wanna know how I got these scars?

Gotham National Bank Manager: The criminals in this town used to believe in things. Honor. Respect. Look at you! What do you believe in? What do you believe in!
The Joker: I believe whatever doesn't kill you simply makes you... stranger.

The Joker: It's a funny world we live in. Speaking of which, do you know how I got these scars? Batman: No! But I know how you got these!

The Joker: [holding a knife inside Gambol's mouth] Wanna know how I got these scars? My father was....a drinker. And a fiend. And one night he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. So, me watching, he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. Turns to me and he says "Why so serious?" Comes at me with the knife,"Why so serious?" He sticks the blade in my mouth. "Let’s put a smile on that face!" And..... Why so serious?

The Joker: The only sensible way to live in this world is without rules!

[bumps along while driving hijacked truck] The Joker: I like this job - I like it!

The Joker: [to Det. Stephens] Do you wanna know why I use a knife? Guns are too quick. You can't savor all the... little... emotions. In... you see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are. So in a way, I know your friends better than you ever did. Would you like to know which of them were cowards?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Long Weekend

Was a lovely extended weekend with family and friends..my folks were in Chennai as we shopped for my brothers new apartment that he is moving into in Bangalore. Right from utensils and kitchen ware in Parrys corner, to T nagar for some more shopping..was fun. Have often indulged in retail therapy..buying someting new for an apartment be it rugs or even bed linen and stuff always just makes me happy..

We went to Besant Nagar beach on 15th August, sat on the beach and just chatted..the four of us after such a long time.. Mom and dad reminisced about us playing on the beach as kids. The raw mango slices, the ice candy and the timeless Sundal..were all sights and sounds of a typical south Indian beach..whether Marina or Besant nagar beach..Then dinner at Murugan idli kadai(where the idlis are a close second to my moms-call me biased if u like)

Meeting old friends and reminiscing about life in Bangalore was Saturday evening ..again at Elliots Beach…

Sunday was sad as my folks drove down to Bangalore. I went off to watch the S Ve Sekar comedy “vaal paiyyan” really cool show. Inspite of the bloopers and goofups in a live show, the fact that the audience was so supportive and actually laughed along sportingly was really endearing…

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Agitated Customer of Banks, Financial instituitions, and other Nuisances PART II

I am fed up of these tele-callers..the DO NOT CALL is a SCAM. it does NOT exist. Its just a cover up operation while these tele-marketers are happily just calling...

I have been called consistently by SBI, HDFC and Deutche bank about 4 days in a row at different times, each time my response was DO NOT CALL ME AGAIN.

AM guessing their phone recievers hear selectively. They call again. The next day. By another colleague of theirs. Really pathetic.

Wish we had a forum where compaints could be lodged for companies in India(a bit like the quaint Letters to the Editor) a favorite passtime of my family and close friends, who use the forum to point out shabby roads, bad train/bus services, good Auto drivers etc.. Me ? i just blog...

HOwever, there seems to be link http://www.hellopeter.com/.The website is a forum for customers to lodge complaints and for suppliers or service providers to respond.

The website is run by Peter Cheales, author of the book I Was Your Customer. According to Cheales, if you don't give the customer what he wants, when he wants it and how he wants it, he'll find someone else who will. The link seems more active in South Africa.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Queue benefits all

Have u ever stood in line to say(consider the mall during a weekend) and someone just stands in your personal space over your shoulder ? like hello..its my turn...or the burlesque person who insists on just walking in and showing his garment bag, never mind if you were just in the middle of a transaction...

Now imagine the ATM, the bloke behind is peeping to see "probably" my balance ?? i just dont get it..why would anyone stand so close ?(must be me)

What i like/prefere are those "Dont cross the yellow line" kind of discipline seen usually at immigration counters and probably the only place where it is ever respected..*why annoy the bloke behind the counter and delay your arrival/departure" as the case maybe

Remember those quaint documentaries on Door darshan on "Q Benefits all" ..how true..but guess we really needed that as a "punblic service announcement"

Friday, August 1, 2008

Policies and the Monkey story

Am having one of those classic moments..of the story of the 8 monkeys in a room...

It’s a old one but worth a second read...The story of 8 Monkeys

Put eight monkeys in a room. In the middle of the room is a ladder, leading to a bunch of bananas hanging from a hook on the ceiling.

Each time a monkey tries to climb the ladder; all the monkeys are sprayed with ice water, which makes them miserable.

Soon enough, whenever a monkey attempts to climb the ladder, all of the other monkeys, not wanting to be sprayed, set upon him and beat him up. Soon, none of the eight monkeys ever attempts to climb the ladder.

One of the original monkeys is then removed, and a new monkey is put in the room. Seeing the bananas and the ladder, he wonders why none of the other monkeys are doing the obvious. But undaunted, he immediately begins to climb the ladder. All the other monkeys fall upon him and beat him silly.

He has no idea why. However, he no longer attempts to climb the ladder. A second original monkey is removed and replaced. The newcomer again attempts to climb the ladder, but all the other monkeys hammer the crap out of him.

This includes the previous new monkey, who, grateful that he's not on the receiving end this time, participates in the beating because all the other monkeys are doing it. However, he has no idea why he's attacking the new monkey. One by one, all the original monkeys are replaced.

Eight new monkeys are now in the room. None of them have ever been sprayed by ice water.

None of them attempt to climb the ladder. All of them will enthusiastically beat up any new monkey who tries, without having any idea why.

This is how the work culture in many Companies get established

Enough said....

and This Dilbert book is the flavour of the week for now..

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na

Must say that I didn’t go with too many expectations, other than the fact that my mom loved the movie. You see, the two of us are partners in crime and do our movie marathons(watch 3 shows of different movies in the same multiplex, such that even the ushers start recognizing us by the end of the third show). Now we do it in different cities. Mom was gushing about Jaaane Tu... And I was trying to ask her, whether it is like Jab we met ? She said it’s a bit like Dil Chahta Hai, hmm cult movie status.

My verdict ? Super movie. Fresh story line. Nice looking people. Good music. its a 5/5

Its told in a story form by a bunch of friends waiting to receive someone at the airport.The basic premise of the movie. Boy loves girl, Girl loves boy. Only they don’t know it. And everyone around them does. Boy spends a lot of time with girl. Runs when she calls. They are always there for each other. After graduation the girls’ cool parents decide to ask the boy if he would join the “family” he assumed it’s the business. A few funny dialogues and finally the “misunderstanding” is cleared. The boy and girl don’t see each other as anything other than friends (a bit like Kuch kuch..but not as warped). They even decide to find each other a partner. How they do. The gentle nuances of jealousy, and coping with the fact that they are with other people, brings in a whole lo of introspection. Throw in a few friends, lovely parents, a dead father who speaks thro the portrait(Naseeruddin Shah is simply super and endearing) So is Ratna Pathak Shah.

Boy has been informed by his mother that his late father was against any kind of violence, so the boy(who is called Rats, short for Rathore) is brought up very peace loving. He avoids all kinds of conflicts by wit and his charm. The girl Aditi, or Meaaow as she is called due to her love for cats, wants a guy who will fight the bad guys, and defend her..her cool parents Jayant Kriplani and Anuradha Patel all have very cute cameo roles. Her brother, played by Prateik(don’t remember if he calls himself Prateik Patil or Babbar) who hates Jai. Or atleast pretends to. His sibling rivalry, his love for his sister, and her best bud, and how he actually is keen for her wellbeing, and misses her friendship ..it’s very delicately dealt with.

Throw in another cameo by the Khan Brothers Arbaaz and Sohail, was the surpise. Altho I do believe Paresh Rawal was a bit wasted,( cause I thot he might actually be a love interest for Ratna and that didn’t happen..). How the two eventually know that they are meant to be. And How Jai learns his family secret and his mother acknowledges he indeed is a chip off the old block was all really endearing.

Yes ofcourse the boy and girl know they are meant to be much to the delight of the audience. At the end of the scene is a tramp holding a banner which reads” Mr. Godot” I knew I had to google and find out what it was..and here it is(thanks to Yahoo answers)

Who's Mr.GODOT in the movie Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na?
As far as I know, Mr. Godot is a character that everyone waits for but doesn't arrive. So who's GODOT in Jaane Tu?
Answer : Mr Godot is used to say "we all wait for someone in our lives; and we are not even aware of who (s)he really is"The use of this term has been done as the movie is an adaptation of "Waiting for Godot" is a play by Samuel Beckett (coz aditi and jai dont know that its each other they really want in life.. i hear a lot of aaahhhs.. :) )


More info on : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waiting_for_Godot

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Landlord/House owner travails

Having traveled around as much as I have been and staying in rental accommodations, i have so many tales to tell. Some my own and some from friends in similar positions..

There are landlords who let out their apartments wanting to earn extra money(obviously) or even so that the apartment/house atleast gets looked after. So there are a number of categories to put them into:

  1. The strict vegetarian one : One who does not allow non vegetarians to even see the house. Some are as strict that they don’t even want tenants who eat non veg outside. AM guessing the problem must be that they might use the Toilets or something.
  2. The elderly gentleman/lady : Children in USA. Having a house in a nice place. Ready to let out to young couples and or families so that they get the income, the house is taken care of and they usually are helpful. Some of these landlords are very picky and intrusive. “why did u move the bed, we heard the sound” “why did u leave the light on “ “Why didn’t draw the pump for water” etc etc. So yes they can get very nosy about everything.
  3. The greedy one : This one is constantly on the look out for “better prospects” and makes up excuses that his daughter or niece or someone or the other is returning back. Actually he is fibbing. He has been informed he can rent the place for a higher value and that’s why the build up of lies. They usually target the singletons.
  4. The “no bachelors/singleton” ones : One of the landlords actually mentioned that bachelors leave the house dirty and at times single girls bring in “boyfriends” and other neighbours complain. (*wonder if the neighbours just have so much time that they only need to know who is coming/going out of the tenants house*)
  5. The AS_IS basis apartments : There are those who want to let out their dingy and dirty apartments, without even so much as a white wash. Why bother ? and these are those who are even refusing to compromise on the rent .Like hello. Its not that much of a shortage of supply u know. I saw this place on the main road in Bangalore. The Apartment was stinky, dirty, and the walls had not seen even whitewash in a long while, add to that poor wood work. Landlord even had his cupboards there with his own stuff(wonder why) He wanted 20,000 for it and didn’t want to compromise. Then there was another in Chennai. He sent his agent. The apartment was fine and well furnished. It just had too much woodwork making it dark with dark granite floors. What looked bad were the toilets. And yes, they were reluctant to even change toilet seats, or remove any of the messy clutter they had put in.
  6. Then there are the first timers ; Will buy a house/apartment. Obviously spend a lot of money on the purchase and the furniture and expect highway robbery prices for it. The house is done up to “attract” a certain kind of clientele - read Corporate leases. Most corporates pay anything and can pay huge deposits. But these guys will refuse to do something as basic as adding a soap dish for the bathroom, or a towel rack. So, how many “highly placed” officials who actually “entertain” will be able to use such bathrooms one wonders. Gets overtly familiar. And still at times tries to use the old fashioned method of landlords ” whatever changes you want you can do it yourself” yeah right. The tenant can change the mirrors in the bathroom, add Hooks, add shelves and god knows what(“as per individual needs they say”.)They know we don’t take it back when we leave, but the excuse is, do whatever changes you want yourself. Will call up incessantly regarding payments when its actually paid by the company and I am only living there. Will turn up un-announced and talk about leakages that some down stair neighbours complained about etc etc. One wonders if they can take a crash course on handling their corporate tenants, since after all just letting out an apartment that too for a VERY high market value, one does tend to feel a little gypped. So yes, they have the money, but no class. The apartment belies it.
  7. The Garish interiors and still house proud one : Have seen number of apartments where there are *groan* POP(Plaster of Paris) ceilings-same as in restaurants. Garish pink colours for the living room, flourescent green for the bedrooms, and lemon for the bathrooms. Very “what were you thinking* kind of interiors but the dude thinks with this he will surely snare so many tenants. Different strokes for different folks, I do decide to give this a miss.
  8. Builder Apartments : These are one of the best. Sicne I have had experiences of the builder doing up the place very well and does indeed fulfill whatever the tenant wants. Very very comfortable dealing with such people. The only challenge one has is that they return the deposit in cash! Like hello…..and that needs quite a bit of careful handling.
  9. The perfect LandLord : In my case was the land lady for my apartment I Kolkata. She was non-interfering as she stayed in Bangalore. I have never even seen her. But she had her team of house repair guys etc, who would handle the few nitty-gritty of a “just moved in” apartment. Her Chinese contractor, to her friend who understood why toilets needs Soap Dish rack, or Towel rack, mirrors, or even why the door needed a double lock, it was very well handled. I think she kindof ruined it for me, in a way that I am now expecting similar perfection from other landlords as well.

One thing I know for sure is, if I were to rent out my own place, I know what category I would rather fall into..

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

So who is the actual Target Audience ?

Have seen some advertisements recently on the telly and wonder to myself..who are they actually targeting ?

  • Wheel advt : The one with the Paseena Roko Andolan or some such. Which incidentally has a disclaimer which says its only for creative expression and such an organization doesn’t exist. Ofcourse it doesn’t. The advt is just too annoying. There are bunch of stereotype women with searchlight bindis and pale sarees putting husbands in jail because their wives are sweating while washing clothes. They finally get dumbfounded by a wife (with an excessive fan in the background) who looks cool because her husband has bought Wheel something washing powder. .WOT?
  • The Clinic Family Sachet : A Family of three. Husband wife and daughter in a bus. A bunch of school boys are getting down at the stop. While the mother grabs one of the boys and tries to keep him with them, to add to the number 4 in their family of 3. Why ? The clinic sachet is now in a family pack of 4. This advt also has a disclaimer that it was not meant to hurt any sentiment. Now really!
  • The Pears advt : When the little girl runs as soon as she wakes up to see her mothers face(who uses Pears) The kid says, “its my exam today, and your face is lucky for me” Whatever happened to good old fashioned STUDYING during exams? And why involve kids into superstitions?
  • The Big Bazaar Clothes advt : C’mon Dhoni, what’s with the “Kapdon se hee Pehchaan hotee hai” or similar tag line…Wot ?

Monday, July 14, 2008


It was a good weekend. Drove down to Pondicherry with my dad. The east coast road is indeed a pleasure to drive in. The wind blowing, the clean roads and the greenery with the blue grey Bay of Bengal on one side..it was such a pleasure. Listening to some Dasavatharam cd. By now the driver knows I love the Mukunda Mukunda song and puts it on repeat mode. We packed a lunch of idli, and other snacks. Meditation at the Aurobindo ashram, followed by lunch in the park. The hot sun wouldn’t allow us to actually step out the promenade. So many tourists. The thing about Pondicherry is that there are about 4 parallel lanes after the “canal” which is the only remnant of what looks remotely French. The architecture, the buildings with the pale shades of yellow/White, or Grey/Blue are very European in nature.(French I am told). Tiled lanes, and lanes with names that begin as Rue de La Marine, Rue Manapulla Vinayaga Coil..very quaint. Some cafes claiming to have authentic French Cuisine..well will try that another time..

Last weekend was walking in the green lanes in Besant Nagar while returning from an errand..The greenery on both sides especially along the Theosophical Society of India is very serene with different shades of green trees dotted on both sides..surely worth a walk on a lazy Sunday afternoon…

Ofcourse watched some telly. My favorite Shows are back, Army Wives and Gossip Girl on Zee Cafe..tra la la :D Was a bit of a challenge to keep my dad interested in it tho..

Did some intense reading. U guessed it Dilberts How to work on vague Objectives..seriously funny..

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Same brand, different levels of services

Have experienced some very poor and obvious inconsistency in services between one franchisee to another, while same may be true even of various Branches of banks, hotels, services, there are very few who actually get the formula of consistency right..

So who has it wrong :

  1. Kaya Skin clinic. Their Bandra branch is one of the best. The Bangalore one comes a close second. The worse one is the Kolkata Alipur branch. Reason? Well the Kolkata branch does even have the latest phone numbers of their Bangalore counterparts. Let’s admit Kaya is not a cheap service. If they cannot get their around to having a customer data base such that their customers can indeed avail of services in any city(as they claim), then they indeed have got it wrong. Alternatively there needs to be a system such that transfers of customers etc are well noted/and actioned. If you want to be frustrated with the innate lack of response/action/or understanding of a problem even on emails, just send an email on info@kayaclinic.com. The service in Bandra one was quite good. I did have a few issues which I had expressed and it got immediately addressed in Bandra. The Bangalore one was all rite. But the Kolkata one had some inexperienced people, who handled some of the delicate services, the noise; loud chatter etc was just not like any Kaya Clinic. One wonders if Marico even have a check to ensure uniform service levels across the country.
  2. Lakme Salon : What started as a niche service with the Lakme Salon in Churchgate, Mumbai has now become a mushrooming easily accessible Salon in every city . So what’s going wrong ? Inconsistency in services. Yes they get the green shaded interiors right. They have the use of products down correct. But the staffs from one location to the other are very differently trained. Example the one in Borivli, Mumbai used to be one of the very best, but now with people changing the service is very So-SO. One of the worst ones is LAKME in 12th Main Indira Nagar, Bangalore. The Franchisee is a retired teacher who walks around with an air of knowledge that she doesn’t have. What does one need at a Salon ? Perhaps a head stylist/or supervisor who knows her job-and at least looks like she uses her own products. Someone with crow black hair dye, and dishing out advise like “I think you need to go darker(on hair color)” when the trend was to go lighter at that time, was really disappointing. Bad enough it’s crowded, worse is having people with no frame of reference on good service. Having complained about this earlier recd ZERO feedback from LAKME. Disappointing.
  3. AYUSH : These are the Coimbatore Arya Vaidya Sala venture with Unilever, Yes the Kerala massages(Abhyangams) and good. The one in Indira Nagar Bangalore was very professional. Very good service.(yes, the same one next to Dravids house J. Have found the service even better at Egmore, Chennai. The one which got it bad ? Besant Nagar branch. They don’t even know how to address a complaint. The Egmore one gives a discount of 10% if you are a regular. But if u visit the Besant Nagar one, they won’t offer the same discount. Why ? Because they are separate franchisees. Secondly The Besant Nagar one had some serious comment written by me in the feedback only to NEVER hear from them. How sad. Seems like they are suffering from too much business.
  4. Kiah Diamond Jewelry : Am not much of an expert. But these are a bit cheaper than the over priced Nakshatra(I guess we are paying for the advt. to be done by the Ex Ms. World, but then the Ex Ms. Universe is selling branch Kiah..Hmmm) Kiah in Bangalore was one of the best. They allowed one to buy on installments(now this is quite interesting for buying a small bauble, which one might be able to pay over period of time). Not THAT stressful on the pocket and the vanity and pride of owning a diamond pays for itself. Kiah in Bangalore(Commercial Street) actually has some cleaning services as well, which is quite convenient since the product is high maintenance. The worse one was in Kolkata in South City Mall. On Saturday as I was walking around the Mall, I just walked in. There was no other customer. I almost felt like Julia Roberts when she walks into a high end store. First of the staff have a demeanor about them like “you cannot afford to buy this. Why bother getting up to serve this customer” all of them were sitting around, and seemed pretty over staffed. I looked around and felt a little uncomfortable as they couldn’t answer any of my questions on whether they had polishing/cleaning services or if they had any installment based plans. They were clueless and didn’t even want to ask any other branch like Bangalore whose example I had given I realized, this differs from store to store. Have left behind a seriously caustic moment and wanted a response back. Haven’t heard from them till date..

    So who’s got it right ?

  1. Saravanna Bhavan : Say what you want, this chain has got it right. The service, the timeliness, and the taste is the same whether irrespective of which branch one goes to.
    Canara Bank : Yes the humble Canara Bank, who are now going in for an image makeover. The service is the same, whether it was in Santa Cruz, Mumbai, or Dahisar, Mumbai, or Kilpauk, Chennai. No frills, just plain vanilla service. That’s all rite as long as one can expect consistency.
  2. Shoppers Stop : Same service. Almost similar merchandise. You wouldn’t really know if you were in Hyderabad, or in Chennai, Kolkata Bangalore or in Kandivli, Mumbai. Other than Size of some of the stores, most of layout is the same. Why the citizen card works in any branch. Its cool.
  3. INOX and PVR : Again they have got it right. Consistency. Irrespective of the city. The online booking of tickets, the screens, and the popcorn-it’s just uniform.
  4. Café Coffee day/ Barista : Menu, Decor, and services irrespective of city. It’s the same, Ok I would also grudgingly add Mc Donald’s for consistency. Décor, service, menu, and layout is usually the same from city to city/branch to branch.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Travails of finding a good driver

Chennai is booming. Right from my travails of real estate to finding a maid, well now the latest challenge has been finding a decent driver. What do I mean by decent ? well one who probably would misuse the petrol. Like my friend said his car was used by his driver with an L board to give driving lessons in Mandaveli..since it was a MH registration the car was easily recognized and reported to my friend. Whew.

I know a friend whose dad needs a driver who can help him to get in and out of a car, and drivers are getting pricey even for such tasks..its a bit of a shame.

What started as a wage of a steep INR 5000 for a driver n Chennai is now gaining huge proportions. They need INR 5000 plus a bata(tips) of INR 20 per day..plus late staying,and conveyance if he is staying far..You’ve got to be kidding even I don’t get such benefits at work!

The IT boom has led to more call taxis and more drivers for the shift pickup and drop. I even called up an agency who said that they didn’t have anything in my budget. So INR 5000 which was biting, is considered LOW!

Like hello. Considering one used to pay 4000-4500 in Bangalore and Kolkata(which is a cheaper city) upto april this year..I am quite lucky to have found some very honest and good drivers in these two cities. Knowing my folks they are very friendly and caring towards the drivers. Both my drivers were given mobile phones while I was leaving..but that is after one sets a good working relationship.

Now, in Chennai I have to call up driver services on an hourly basis..so that atleast I can get dropped to work in my car and my father can go out shopping or to the temple as the need may be. Evenings i usually go home with a friend. Since am, an early bird to work, and somehow get agitated if anyone or anything delays me while going to work..

The idea is to get a driver only by contacts or thro people you know. Everytime it looks like the goal post is near, one realizes that the driver needs more salary or is not ok with the timing etc..If anyone knows a decent driver who is ready to work 6 days, please let me know.

As for why I dont drive ? well first of all i dont like it..second of all, am all stressed out at the idea..and thirdly am not good at this..thot i need not add to the bad jokes on women drivers and just prove these guys right!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Travails of finding and keeping good Domestic Help

One of the things most Indian working women will agree is that there is a dire need of good domestic help. Granted there is the vaccum cleaners and the washing machines, but think about it, who has the time or the inclination..

My mother for example belongs to the old school of thot that the more housework you do around the house, the better shape one is in, she perhaps is right. So I used to do this complete sweeping and swabbing of the house over the weekends, and do the entire weeks laundry over the weekend..whew how exhausting..so on Monday morning when one is swapping stories of “what did u do in the weekend” I used to only have my very exhausting stry of housecleaning and laundry to share..

IN Bangalore I did the entire work myself..it was something enjoyed. Then in Kolkata, I started getting used to having a weekend maid. Bless her. She would do everything like a little genie..and even sample my experimental and at times slightly bizarre cooking. Yes this is the same lady I had rescued from being exploited by the neighbours who used to cheat her of her wages. The other blessing in Kolkata was the IFB Laundromat for all my rugs and bedcovers etc to be laundered. Super service.

Then in Chennai. Well it seems like a bit of a challenge to find good help. IN fact on the day I was moving in my furniture the maid from the house above said she was available for work. The wage range was 1000! In a city like Chennai that’s a bit steep..since I was aware that my friends were paying say 500-800 for about 1-2 hours of work.

What happens is, if there is some new resident-imagine this - aggressive housewives, overweight, well manicured hands, spends time in the afternoon shopping, and hasn’t done a day of work in her life(at home or professionally) and will just overnight set the trend of highly maid domestic help service in a building premise..

So I have this maid…who stands and does a perfunctory sweeping action with the broom, most of the time is standing to see what I am doing. My dad asked her if she wanted anything…and realized she was just gaping for no reason..whew.Then there is the swabbing of floors, where she decides to generously pour out the LIZOL..i even asked her would u do this at your home ? so, why do I put up with this ? cause maybe I don’t have the energy or the inclination to be working like a beaver even when I get home..

Yes I am a bit miffed at this. Cause here I am struggling to have a clean home after getting back from work only to pay thro my nose..seems like my salary increases are just to pay off maids and drivers…as for drivers ? well that’s another thing

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

SO what all are necessary when one moves to a new city/location

For me one of the things that really helps is the JUST DIAL or the ask me services. I am a fan. Right from getting the phone number of the electricity department(to complain regarding power cuts) to local home delivery restaurants, its just what a new comer in a city/location needs

  • Some of the immediate requirements if you are any thing of a TV buff like me would be a cable connection. Am tired of these set top box cable mafias and not being able to use the set top box when u move..so have on the suggestion of a friend taken on TATA SKY and must say I am indeed very happy. Its very convenient to pay, to order and even the setting up was very professional.
  • Internet. Here TATA INDICOm is one of the worst. They just couldn’t care to even respond other than their auto message with the refernce number after which there is ZERO follow up. Airtel just makes it too pricey saying there aren’t enough customers in the builing. What next-do we have to start selling actively to neighbours and residents ? Looks like that’s the idea. So this time its BSNL which might just work out.
  • Salons/Spas. Again if u are anything as indulgent as I am, this is a must have J Its how I spend the rest of my weekends, relaxing. Thankfully found one in the next lane..so am quite happy with their clean décor and sanitized environment.
  • Ofcourse details on services of drivers and maid etc also availed thro Just dial.
  • The most difficult is Gas connection. Now if I have to change my ration card to every city I am transferred to, how is that even possible ? this is another racket wherein if one needs a Gas connection it ONLY with the GAS stove(they make their money on the very substandard GAS Stove that one needs to pay for with the gas connection. Thank god for friends who can spare a gas cylinder. Only hoping more and more apartments start initiating piped gas. Would be so much better for constant transferring people like myself.
  • Oh yes and details of nearby departmental stores and veggie markets..

    Its surely a good trend that more and more businesses are giving their contact details to services like just dial/ask me services so its easier tot get info on an SMS or an email. The flip side, one starts getting random messages from some “Abdullah massage wallah with 12 massages”, or from some “Panorama Biryani Place” just because I had asked for details of spa and or eating places…

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Happening.

Watched this with the office team on friday at Sathyam.

Premise of the movie : suddenly everything comes to a standstill and leads to mass suicides and incoherent behaviour. The suicide scenes were really terrifying.

There is a science teacher Mark Wahlberg and his estranged(maybe even slightly deranged) wife their friend and his daughter who are evacuating and moving to another city…on the way the figure out what was construed to be a terrorist attack is not one actually.

This happens due to chemical reactions between plants and trees and grass(and yes things green) like they are protesting about something or so. And this happens to large gathering and large groups. While the hero figures out that they need to break into smaller groups this works, hmmmm. There are a lot of subtle messages about nurturing trees(perhaps a save the world, make it green message) , one of the characters actually talks to plants. Taking cue the hero talks too..only to a plastic plant.

The end where they get into the strange house and a strange woman, whose house’s acoustics actually supports hearing the underground to the house opposite which was built for slaves, the relevance of which was kinda lost on me

There are various theories on the net on what the story means..some bizarre and some about life and how we are always afraid of something and running away from it….

The version we watched in chennai was a VERY poor one. IT had MIKES in the scene..such poor edition only caused our interest to be diminished from the movie while the whole theatre laughed everytime the mike showed up..it almost became comical. It being an M Night Syamalan movie I thot this would be kind of clue and there would be some deeper meaning a la Sixth. Quite disappointing.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dasavatharam review

Watched Dasavatharam along with my family in Mumbai at Growel Kandivli. Good thing was tickets were easily available, bad news small crowd so not much whistling etc during the “punch” dialogue/scenes etc.

As a family we are grudging Kamal Fans, meaning, his personal life and image that at times overrides our views on him as an actor. I haven’t seen too many of his movies, but the recent past have liked him in the roles that seem slightly more believable and closer to truth. Such as Panchatantram, Vettaiyaddu Villaiyaddu, even Pammal K Samandam, and ofcourse his old one Michael Madan kamarajan. Who can forget Kameshwara and his Tirpu dialogues-iconic movie that took the Talayalam(Pallakad Tamil Malayalam) dialect that we spoke to an audience. Anyway, so I am no gushing Kamal fan, just a viewer and here are my thots on Dasavatharam…

From the beginning I kind of thot it would be related to the mythology and modern day avatars..Not that far from my expectation. Story starts with 12th Century Chozha kingdom. The King is Shaivete(worshipper of Shiva) and is doing away with the IDOL of Vishnu in the temple which the Vaishnavites who look on haplessly. Kamal as Rangarajan Nambi fights with the kings men, is tortured and tied to “stake” and thereon drowned along with the idol. The Sets and the grandeur itself will take your breath away.

The next scene is modern day NASA(I think) or some American lab wherein BIO Chemicals are being researched for chemical warfare. Corrupt scientists want to “sell” this to other nations. Our hero, escapes with the vial and the chase begins. SO many twists, turns and super chases. We also have a few miraculous escapes like hero jumping off a cliff, bridge etc and still falling on a truck, laundry clothes etc etc..Who is chasing him ? An ex CIA who has moved to the dark side..Yes he has been employed to find the vial.

Throw in Malika Sherawat. The comment that she is in the movie for any other reason that she is in other movies is un called for. In fact she is slim trim and really looks like she could kill with some KILL BILL moves. The dialogue where they are looking at her as an interpreter and the Indian scientist says” She’s a pro” and Christian Fletcher(the CIA Kamal character) says” That ok. But can she speak English” was thankfully lost on the audience!

Kamal plays a number of roles right from Balaram Naidu(the Telugu government officer), the posture, the way he speaks /stands is very very authentic. Rangarajan Nambi looked really good-like he could kill for god and what he stood for..

Krishnaveni Patti talks like most of our paatties, cuss words like Brahmahatti, kattelaporavaney, etc actually make her so endearing..the voice tone just sounds like an old woman. Brilliant.
My own favorite was Vincent Boovaragan, while I could figure out if the dialect was Malayalam, I was informed its very Tuticorin Tirunelveli coastal dialect..he was my hero. Whatta guy.

The Last scene wherein Krishnaveni Patti laments her lost son with the dead Vincent Boovaragan on her lap, sends gooseflesh. So touching.

Govind the central protagonist scientist etc, could have avoided the road kill kind of wig he is wearing in the beginning of the movie. Why ? Kamal looks so much better if he looked like himself(say in the last song)

The Tall Character Khali(am yet to know what his role was) other than some more screen time for Kamal. Or the Sardar character who actually resembled Gulshan Grover. And the Narasahi Shengen character didn’t look like Kamal, but why was he in the movie other than just announcing TSUNAMEEEEEE.

Fletchers make up at times resembled Jay Leno. Bush was a super effort for someone like Kamal who bears no resemblance to someone like bush..simply super.

Asin, well she should FIRE her dubbing artist. The screechy perumaley could have shattered glass. Acting wise, she has made an earnest effort as an agraharam girl.

TSUNAMI ?oh my god..how did they even shoot this scene ? it was super..Yes I have seen movies like water world etc, but at the point of sounding a bit condescending, I didn’t expect a tamil movie to actually try and capture something like this in its magnitude with the complexity of characters..simply a marvel.

As for Chaos theory and Butterfly effect(which I must confess I had not heard of, until I read the review) this blog link summarises it well.


Friday, May 30, 2008

An interview I cannot forget..

After graduation like most of my friends I wrote the entrance exams for banking clerical level. Dont ask why, its just my middle class value at the back of my mind to hold on to a “secure job”. Banking and government jobs at one time used to be of high esteem.

Why clerical level?
Well selection criteria is even Non-Graduates.

I wrote this test like the rest of the other entrance exams. All my friends and people I knew didn’t get thro. Imagine my surprise that I passed. the tests!

Anyway, the day of the interview was the same day as my MBA entrance exam(CET-Common entrance Test). SO I rescheduled my interview from morning to afternoon.

I reach the venue in the afternoon. Hordes of candidates waiting in line for an interview. I waited three hours for my turn. Was one of the last 4 to be called.

Entering the room to find a panel of what seemed like retired personnel about 10 of them having chai and snacks and laughing loudly. Am asked to be seated and the interview begins

The first question was why didn’t I make it in the morning. I said, I had an entrance exams for post graduation studies. And that was it.

Every question was mocked with “oh, don’t ask her that. These are MBA” would be students”, and roaring laughter followed.

I somehow went thro this interview not knowing why I was putting up with this. Call it innocence or just lack of experience.

The interview was over in Half an hour. The oldies were still mocking. I knew I wasn’t selected. So yes it certainly hurt my ego to think, I couldn’t make it to even a clerical level exam.

If they had even said, “we think u might be overqualified for the job. I don’t think you should have applied”, or even if they said, “if you work with us and still continue college thro evening classes that will help u get ahead in banking ”perhaps I would not have left with such a bitter feeling about nationalized banks.

I swore I would never join any nationalized bank. Who would want such colleagues. Think Tommy Lee Jones and his alien colleagues in the Post Office scene in Men In Black II, get the picture ?

If one considers some of the Staff in Nationalised Banks, one would be really really surprised how they passed thro these stringent selection processes.

Am wondering if the tests and selection were just an eye wash...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Adventures on the arranged marriage journey...( concluded)

  • Then there was this guy who had his own apartment in Kandivli and I went in to meet him. Of the mundane things he droned about was about his his apartment has a lovely view. And huge windows. He worked at some never heard of company and wanted to join another never heard of company.

Seemed highly opinionated. Then as the conversation(monologue, more like it) progressed, he mentioned about Chennai. And how the women in Chennai shop in the huge Saree Mahals… The poor husbands waiting outside. Its pitiable.

While I didn’t have any firm opinion on it.

I just heard him, until he said, “if my wife was to do the same, I would just throw her out of these huge windows”

Enough heard. I made a quick exit faking a phone call. I think he had all the makings of someone with a murder motive if need be!

  • Then there was this guy(who is known via our family), who wanted to know for how much was my grandmas apartment sold. Am a little concerned when people want to know such intimate finance details about our family. Whew !
  • Or this guy whose folks obviously made the first move and called us to Hyderabad. Said he worked in a top IT firm. I saw him with his Sister, Sisters husband and his dad. We met at a restaurant. Was unable to get a word across to him. He just sat there talking to his baby nephew. The whole meeting was so weird. His dad wanted to know if my folks will make Diamond earrings for me in marriage(just one of the many criteria that some traditional families look for)

His folks wanted us to revert with an answer. My folks were also confused at this very very traditional meeting, but the guy was nothing to write home about, since he barely talked, but apparently was keen to marry. I was like soonest ? Well here is the answer, its “NO”.

  • Then there was this doctor family from the UK. They were very well placed. The guy was a doctor, very handsome, although he had a massive squint( which I was ready to overlook in case he was a nice guy) We went out in Hyderabad. Shopped. Had dinner. The works. The Doc then leaves for the UK and we barely stay in touch. Since this just fizzled off, we called it off. Certainly difficult to be in touch after two meetings, esp if it seems like an effort.
  • Then there was this guy whom I met from Pune. It was quite an effort to keep up the conversation. He was the exact opposite of me. I of course can have a monologue if need be. But then a few tings about the guy was a put off. Dandruff flakes on the shoulder, and poor dental hygiene. Yes I am very particular about a few things. Every bloke would usually buy a head and shoulders or a clinic plus, one doesn't know why, its just a very bloke thing. So this one obviously didn’t believe in it. We then went to visit his family in Pune, maybe I was just very superficial, lets give this a chance. The house was musty smelling. The coffee was cold. The idlis they served were rock hard. I of course went into the kitchen to “help out”: and chat with his mother The kitchen was dark, dingy and not very clean. It certainly put me off. We left, and I said to guy the next day, it was a no go.

    There are those who have been the quite good, but don’t know why it didn’t work out category :

  • The foreign service(or was it ambassador)’s son. Very nice family, nice guy. He was working in the USA and we met once. Our parents got talking while he and I talked. The meeting went well. I knew he liked me. But again, I was wondering what if, and whether this is it. Again 9 years ago and I was just starting off in my career. He even mentioned who am I to stop you from becoming what you want to. It was very nice to hear. But I was undecided after just one meeting. His father called to know our reaction, and I was undecided. His father hung up the phone saying, if she cannot decide then it’s a NO. Well tough luck.
  • The wing commanders son. Doing his PhD in the USA. Very sweet guy. Looked like Bruce Willis. Had nice eyes. Very good family. We bonded and chatted away. We sat on Besant Nagar beach and he asked me the question. I don’t know whether it was cold feet or what. I was just not able to go ahead and decide that this was it. The fear of packing up and quitting my job to go to a foreign land, with someone whom I know recently was surely nerve wrecking. I felt like it was a jump without a parachute and this was 8 years ago. He went on to get married to someone else. And of the proposals, this one was surely one which often leaves me thinking what if….
  • Then there was this guy in Ahmedabad. Very nice family. Everyone was so sweet. He introduced me to his friends and family and it just seemed all rite. We went to visit them in Ahmedabad. He had a beautiful house and a lovely family. I have never seen such lovely hospitality or closeness that his family was. He was an aggressive guy. A go getter. He didn’t want to leave Ahmedabad. He had all the makings of a CEO to be. Very non-compromising, and very very spirited. The tough thing was I felt, there might not be a place in the house for two CEOs.*cough* This is another one, that my folks still wonder, why this one didn’t work out.

Some of the good things that have happened from these experiences :

  • A few lessons that there are all kinds of people out there.
  • It also helped me to learn a lot about myself. I realized that I can be very patient if need be, or what actually is important for me.
  • Atleast the emotional involvement is less, So when something is called off it doesn’t bother as much.
  • Some of the families were so nice that I am still in touch and its no hard feelings, so what if the proposal didn’t work out. Which is very cool.

    Someone asked me why these posts on arranged marriages and in case I wasn’t all for it.

    I am.

    It saves time to sort. It takes care of the basics in terms of a background.

    There is a high HIT rate. And so many couples are “happily married” from the arranged marriage method as opposed to those “falling in love”

    The reason for posting was only for me to keep these memories afresh on people one meets in this lovely journey. It just helps to appreciate that Special one even more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Adventures on the arranged marriage journey IV

Here was this guy who looked great on paper, Good family background, mother golfer, the gent well placed in an IT firm, takes part in performing arts and media. He calls and one of the things he asked me was whether I drink. I mentioned about how I do enjoy my wine. But since july 2007, have probably had only 3 unfinished beverages..whats come over me ? I don’t know. I just don’t enjoy it anymore I mentioned.

The guy just took off and lectured on alcoholism. Mentioned about how strongly he felt about/against alcohol. Even mentioned, “if your matrimonial profile had also suggested you indulged in any moderate drinking, then we wouldn’t have even gotten in touch!” he also mentioned about how he “let go” of so many proposals just because of this one factor. I like wow!

He then went on to add about how he refuses to leave Chennai, how strongly he feels about alcohol and smoking. Well I don’t smoke and don’t like passive smoking too much, so we had one thing in common.

As for being in Chennai and NEVER leaving the city, wow. I don’t know. I didn’t have any fixed ideas on where I wanted to settle.(I was in Kolkata then). One thing I mentioned to this guy was that, he seemed to have 3 conditions, of which he was not ready to meet midway. Opine that a place to settle etc needs to be mutually decided. For me I was unable to “fall into” someone elses very rigid plans

I thot, since I am not really enjoying my social drinking, let me see what else this relationship will have to offer. One of the things was, the person seemed very self absorbed,”I am like this, I am like that” all this on the phone. And then I realized that the conversation invariably steers towards drinking.

He mentioned he liked to travel and would like to see places “We must one day visit Paris the most romantic city, and I hope to keep you away from wine tasting/drinking there”. I was like hello. Even in the hypothetical situation, huh ?

I then asked him “what if say we have a fight and to spite you I have a drink, now that I know it upset you so much “? He said, “I wont talk to you that day!”

Wow, while it was a hypothetical situation, it surely made me uneasy. I didn’t want to write off someone on just one glitch but it was difficult to even build rapport when everything steers towards drinking, although in his words it was “Alcoholism”.

Strong views. Rigid thots. No go.