Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A New Year, A New Name


And yet another new year goes by. And it kinda makes me awestruck and guilty at the same time – this is the third New Year this blog has seen. And yet, I have an average of 15.67 posts per year and 1.5 posts per month (including the 5-6 I-shall-blog-more-regularly-from-now-on). As for New Year resolutions, I know that the trend today is to say "I don't have any resolutions, anyway everybody breaks them" (Another statistic- 11 out of 15 celebrities have said this in THE HINDU). And I can't say I have ever been much of a fan of New Year resolutions myself. Not that I think resolutions are useless, but I don't think I need any special day to make resolutions.

Anyway, last month I resolved to post more often. And to change my blog a little- and the poll on the sidebar and the ratings etc were a result of that. And now that I know I can keep that resolution for a month, I presume I can keep it for a year.

And as my little paraphrase states, the time has come for you people to tell me what else can be done about this blog. So please vote. (Or more welcome- mail me!)

And continue to comment.
And the time has also come for me to rename my blog-

"Among other things"

Why- you might ask. Because French is difficult to pronounce. And this phrase best describes my blog. Of course, I was strongly tempted to use "Inter Alia", but I have decided not to repeat my mistake. Also to keep my posts short. And simple. So that's it with my New Year resolutions. Let's see how long they last.

And of course, wish you all a Happy New Year! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My own million dollar recipe!! -- inspired by Avatar :)

Here is my recipe for a dish that sells for millions of dollars (73 million dollar opening) and will make you an instant hit cook (Cost of the dish was also in millions, but assured returns!).

Serves four (all of them men, preferably)

A verdict?

So I found this site that tries to predict if a blog is written by a man or a woman.
And when I tried it for this blog, Gender Analyzer says-

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


And guess what! I am beginning my fast today. Till Pongal. (No, it is not some Margazhi thing that I am into. I don't think even Andal fasted the month through. But on second thoughts, it makes sense right? Even if my fast fails politically I would have the remnant satisfaction of having done some puja, however unintentional, in the most auspicious month. (Krishna himself says- "Among all months I'm Margazhi!") But the explanation for why it will work, even if I unintentional is a longer story.)

As you might have guessed, I am trying to follow the footsteps of KCR. But, wait a minute- which region do I want a new state for......

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2012 (the movie)

Yes, now it's time for me to write about the movie. Maybe it's late but in true thalaivar style, late ah vandalum naanga latest ah varuvom ;)

So, here is the movie that people eagerly waited for … And it's very much the Indian masala movie you wanted to see. Did you say it's not Indian- it's Hollywood? (Alas! I thought "Hollywood was made of sterner stuff"… "Et tu brute!") In any case, I don't wish to review as such. I will just mention a few things I noticed/thought while watching the movie. Whether they make the movie good or bad is a decision I leave to you.

So here goes- 24 things about '12 –

Thursday, November 26, 2009

To value or not to value?

I read this post some days back… Are Indian values simply habits??

[ 2 answers to this question---- value systems are in general inherited, whether we like it or not. Second- read on...]

Before I start let me admit I have no interest whatsoever in correcting the writer. In fact, apart from this post, his blog is simply one of the best I have ever read. However, wrt this post, I think he is partially correct (which implies partially wrong), but I don't think it necessary for me to correct/convince him. I am posting this only because his article triggered an interesting thought process in my head)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


(Pre-script ;) :- The title itself seems to announce some doom right?! )

And now what! 2012!

I don't know if I should laugh or not… But seriously, I am seeing too much of this world ending business lately. It's all over the net; it's everywhere! A bookstore-shelf full of 2012 books, and then of course, the movie…. (In any case, I am armed with at least one article that speaks some sense- check out this link!)

I don't know how many of us remember that, before 2000, people actually said the world would end by that year. This, complicated by the Y2K was enough to make many people lose their sleep. And 9 years later, here we are, facing the end of the world. (Quite funnily,) AGAIN!!!

And I really don't want to laugh-

Monday, October 12, 2009

Are YOU significant? - Part 1

Are you significant?

When I saw this title on one of my company blog pages, the first thought that struck my mind was- “why am ‘I’ not writing this stuff?” For the fact that I am forever lost in thoughts about the world in general and the world in particular and what we are doing here and … in short, the “meaning” of life, why am I writing this stuff AFTER reading this title by somebody else, who claims never to think about it!
And after all, I always wanted to write precisely this kinda stuff on my blog.

Anyway, as it goes, I keep wondering-


Now don’t expect to find the perfect answer to this question in the following posts- I intend to take up the question rationally, and merely analyze..

But more so, I consider it necessary for everyone, and I mean EVERYone, to think about this question at least once. It may sound a lil profound, and a lot “this is not my kinda thing man”, but at least take five minutes off and think about it, and it might add a lot of sense to what you do everyday. And who knows, you might be the one to find the answer not only to this one, but a lot more questions that continue to haunt mankind!! :)

(See Part-2)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mundaneness and Maxims

Ha! A blog topic…

These days I am so lost that when I really found something to rant on, this was the first expression that came to my mind…

(For those of u who don’t like what we Chennai people so fondly call build-up, skip this para.) Anyway, while I was chatting (as I always am), my friend made a statement… it was routine, normal, nothing spectacular; but it takes a really ordinary statement to spark an idea in your head!

It’s simply that there are a few adages that you come across .. (Call them ideas/fundae if you like). You love them the first time u hear- they actually seem mind-blowing. And with time, they get boring. (chaat is the right word for it! Bless the soul who discovered the word- one legacy of NITT-ians to the world.. he… he… For those of u who dunno “chaat”, see end of article) Like, yesterday, somebody’s status message says- “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, only today is a gift- that is why it is called the ‘present’ ”

Ya, it is true, quite valid, and very much the same good idea that it was when I heard it the first time. But by now, I have heard it so many times, that anyone starts saying it, and I go “chaaaaaattttt” in my head. And yet, it does seem an injustice to the idea- I mean, what harm did it do, that one day I think its brilliant and later I think it’s pathetic? Even worse, the first person who told me that (maybe then I was only a little kid)- I’d have thought he was oh, so bright and given him an extra 5 points in my mind. And today if anyone says the same thing, I think, “O, what the hell!” and zoink! my impression of that person has spiraled right down (in other words, -20 points!).

Crazy how the human mind works, eh??

Anyway, it’s almost like we lose the charm that life held for us when we were small (ya, i know- “return to childhood” is a really stupid theory, as all “return to this or return to that” theories are.) But I remember one speech I heard at Jawahar Bal Bhavan, Trivandrum… hey wait, that’s not what we were discussing, right… We were talking about adages and not childhood-is-the-best-phase-of-life. So, let’s keep it for another day – though I know those “another day”s never dawn, but still… After all, hope is what keeps life running (n now, u don’t say “chaaaaatttttt”)

<“chaat”= “boring” version with advanced features and additional meanings … for that ultimate language experience… download NOW!!!---- ahem, u got what chaat is, didn’t u? ;) >

1. The phrase that triggered this post was “Change is the only constant”.
2. There are a lot more phrases that are chaat. I will add them as and when I remember- For instance,
"Winners don’t do different things, they do things differently" (And anything else you read in ‘You can win’ )

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Life... Inundated!

A dream a dream… a dream I float along
Swept off my feet, off the forlorn song

Ripples of a shock so electric quickly flutter through me
And the very recollection of it leaves me overtaken by ecstasy

Was this me that lived yesterday and the day before?
Or has my soul been stolen by some spirit of lore?

Is this the same Earth that we walked on?
Or has it been replaced by the paradise this morn?

As the whispering autumn leaves crumbling under my feet
string a song of memories on a thread of the scorching heat

a glance, a wisp, a sudden bright phrase,
a breeze a nod- all merge into a single face

Was that just a word? Or a solid iron clasp-
that gripped my struggling soul and wringed this euphoric gasp?

Was it only a brief movement of your finger?
Or did the air turn piano and make that sweet music still linger?

Was that just a glance? Was this just an inadvertent touch?
Why did the air suddenly turn solid and yet radiate you so much?

This must be a dream, for the world is upside down;
For if this is real, in pleasure does life drown!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

In the name of education...

Most of us have seen the IIPM ads. N a lot of ppl know its trash. However, here is a page I saw (Courtesy: Avinass. It was his status message!) that gave proof.
And for the sake of those people who might not have realized it is a fraud, I thought we should spread the word.

Do check the page, if you are interested. But even if you aren’t, please forward the link; you never know which of ur friends might forward it to someone who was about to ruin his life by joining!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Ah! I had almost forgotten the pleasure of writing (or typing, to be precise!). But the big machine of daily life tends to crush you in its monstrous wheels (why the hell do I sound like Im a damned 18th century writer??!!), and you are unable to squeeze those minutes from your day to blog.

(Well done, Suchithra, as ever you retain your ability to spin yarn! :) )

OK readers.. The real reason is this.. I had a very short vacation and couldn't blog. And Im joining work next week so I ve no clue when I will be back next. Hope its soon...

So long...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Mysterious Stranger

(This post was formerly published on Christmas day, but later removed since I was not sure of some of the sources for the claims on theism.I have verified them, and hence, put it back again!!)

Beautiful!! That is the only word I have for it- for Mark Twain’s “The Mysterious Stranger”. I’d suggest u read the book because it’s not a long book, nor a boring one, so even if you are a poor reader, you can try it. I know it’s supposedly a classic, but effectively, it is only something like a fairy tale.

I’ve read classics before and they are usually quite boring. Even when they try to be interesting, they are such a pain to read. It is as if the author wanted to strain you to your maximum before you finished the book. And here is one, that is very very simple. Childish, in fact. And yet in its childish simplicity, it talks about some of the most serious issues in this world. Issues that shall probably remain unresolved till the end of the human race. Yes, it talks about the human race, about ‘our childish fantasies’, as Twain calls them, and about our frailties and about how stupid we can get (especially with respect to religion)!! (It is quite a weird coincidence that I happened to read this book on Christmas day!!)

Anyway, I was surprised at the intellect of Twain in comparison with the best of authors of his time. When people were still writing about society, love and marriage, here was a man who wrote about why we exist (or whether we exist at all!). And his great talent lies in the fact that he makes the book so delightfully interesting! Every minute that I was reading, I was eager to know the end, even though there was not much of a mystery! In fact, the element of magic made the book quite implausible, and I knew anything could happen anyway. And yet, I was wondering whether it shall have a good ending or not, whether the hero shall be happy in the end etc etc.

Oh, of course, as usual I forgot to tell you the story- it is a tale of three boys, (one of them, the narrator) and how they meet a mysterious stranger- who claims to be an angel, and even performs a great many actions that normal men cannot. They story goes on to tell you whether he is an angel or not and whether he could do any good to the boy or did he bring about further ill luck?!

But as part of this seemingly simple plot, Twain raises some beautiful questions that are very profoundly philosophical. It would probably take me days to discuss each of them, so we’ll keep that for the future, but I’ll just mention them here.

• How important are we in the universe? Is our lifespan too short for us to be of any real significance??
• Why do men always follow the majority, even when it’s against their own interest?
• What, in effect, have we achieved through civilization? Have we progressed at all?
• Who exactly is God?

Actually Twain talks about the insignificance of human life in comparison to that of angels’- a part that almost made me discredit him for his irrationality. Only in the end does he let you realize that he had only been sarcastic and he is as scornful of superstition as you and I!!

Then there is the beautiful statement “There is no other (life)!!” All rationality can tell us that we must be bothered only about our life on earth, which is such a struggle in itself! But how many people do we see, who talk of a life after death and how to pave way for a good one there??!! Isn’t there enough left for us to do to better this world for this life? Why would we want to waste our time thinking about another?? Or even worse, fearing it?
Anyway, the best part of the book, as I found it, was the angel’s speech against God. I can’t say I’ve read a more direct and beautiful argument against the more common portrayal of god!

“God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; … who mouths justice and invented hell—mouths mercy and invented hell—mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; … who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all;”

He prompts us to ask- Isn’t such a god another figment of our imagination?? How can such a God be “God” at all???

Maybe, our definition of God is wrong; maybe we are not even sure what kind of God we should have??!! The point is not that. It is not even whether God exists or not. Only that, as believers of God, shouldn’t we able to answer these questions? If we were right shouldn’t we be able to find some reason for God’s actions? And explain the sorrows of the world??

I am reminded of the dialogue from the movie ‘Dasavatharam’, “If God wanted to prevent catastrophes why should he invent clever remedies; why couldn’t he just stop us from thinking these horrible inventions for mass destruction??”

They are serious questions, and we may not find the answers for years to come. But it might be useful for us to remember them, and try to find answers as we continue to live!!

(P.S.:- Yes, I missed the most important thing he said in the book- that all life is a dream! I don’t think it is.. but that is an even more abstract topic to talk about, so maybe, some other time!!!)

(P.S. as added on 21.1.2009:- Most of the statements about God are made on the basis of 'Genesis' in the Bible. It makes a good read, honestly, and would probably enlighten you a great deal about Christianity! Of course, the Hindu religion's portrayal of God is quite different, and in fact, there are numerous opposing theories within the religion itself; so we cannot really analyse it from Twain's statements! But yes, there are overlaps, and maybe we can send some time pondering over them!)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

Hmmm... Another year went by, and little do we know, whether it was for the better or the worse! I read enough posts saying it was a bad year, posts primarily prompted by recession (and of course, the terrorist attacks), i presume! And yet, I do not have the heart to call the "International Year of the Potato" a bad year!! :D Besides, we never know if some bad event was really bad, or did something good in the long run! So let's just welcome the new year saying (from Longfellow):-

"Trust no future, however pleasant,
Let the dead past bury its dead,
Act, act, in the living present,
Heart within, and God overhead."

Wish you all a very happy new year!!