Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Brass & Bronze Days...

When my mom gave away all her bronze and brass utensils that were adorned with traditional state-of-art craftsmanship and had endowed our generation till-date with a consummate feel-of-belonging to the rich and popular dynasty that roots back to the most renowned “Appaji” of the Krishna Deva Raya’s era, I was mostly unfeeling and insensitive to these things that were getting out of our generation, which had been for so long (that no one can easily track-back) dwelling with us, constantly reminding us of our ancestral origin and also making us get accustomed to clean these heavy utensils every week with a sparkling “pink and yellow” to pass the spick and span test conducted by the elderly lady(s) of the family. This would usually be mothers or the in-laws.

When I was young, it used to be fun on every Thursday evening as mom would be busy cleaning all these utensils and would pay less attention to me and my brother, the kids.
She used to slog herself or with the maid to give the best shot to get these vessels to glittering brightness.

During those days, after playing for a longtime with my street friends and enjoying the bonus hours of a Thursday evening when I went to our backyard for freshening-up, I used to see the array of these bronze and brass utensils cleaned to perfection, shining to glare my eyes at twilight, arranged neatly one after the other size-wise kept upside down to dry out the wetness. I vividly remember cursing those vessels to have remained more dirty so that it took more time for my mom to invigilate the cleaning process or do it herself, which would in-turn give me more time at play!

Every festivity was an opportunity that awaited the finest exhibit of these vessels to the best of their utilization with the beholding contents of food cooked deliciously and offered to god before human consumption. This caught the attention of the neighborhood families in the street easily and middle-aged women who were daughters-in-law of joint families or mothers of 2-3 kids like my mom used to stream in to our home to calculate the worth of the bronze/brass utensils and their beauty and take-in the picture-perfect glow of these vessels with a shade of jealousy, that usually ended up in muttering “Why use all these vessels when there’s glass and stainless steel that the world is reaching out for!?” … mind you this was nearly 20 years ago!

An indignant grandmother of mine, used to retort with skilled tyranny “if you cannot stretch yourself to manage precious little possessions such as these, don’t you dare discourage my daughter-in-law who does it with whole-heartedness!”

That saved my mom’s time for one thing that those ladies always kept quiet for the rest of the times they visited my home for the Navrathri Doll Festival or Varalakshmi Vratham days!

Navarathri days used to be utmost fun with the dolls of plaster of paris, ceramic, good-old-mud and wooden dolls artistically dressed in glad rags and trinkets festooned with glitter papers and other eye-catching substances to enhance the beauty of these hand-worked dolls echeloned in a vast gallery with mounds of cereals and grains arranged in front of them in those cute-looking miniature cups and bowls made of brass and bronze, what an ecstasy and a delight to the eyes those were……

From the place of birth, we had been traveling although not too much to keep the things we possessed very light, but at least to an extent that we had to forcefully dispose off the stuff that weren’t of any use to my mom with her graying her and menopause knee-pains reminding her of her aging process, she finally had to brace herself for this decision of giving away all that she had been possessing for more than 35 years now.

All that glittered and glowed in our home when I was a kid, taking advantage of all of those to play, to boast, to fool-around….. is all gone now!

Nothing that’s bronze or brass except for a small lamp and a tumbler are left of the huge range of collectives and possessions that were passed on to the later generations from long, long ago by my great, great grandfathers!

“Sorry, Ma… I couldn’t even give a proper valedictory speech to honor our buddies when they left us”…I thought when my mom asked me to clean the lamp and the tumbler placing a small knoll of tamarind, for the month of Shravan is round the corner.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Soul Searching!

On a fresh Saturday morning in July 2007, I paid a visit to TTD Balaji temple at T.Nagar - Venkat Narayana Road, Chennai. I simply love the ambience and serenity of that place and the peace of mind and mental tranquil that I derive out of it every time I go there. With the impending load of work looming large in front of me in the coming days, that place was the only pressure-free-zone where in I could exercise my transcendental patience practice which was dancing on the edge of getting obsolete in me. Although I wasn’t a super-observer of patience and its assorted comrades like tolerance, persistence, lenience, forbearance and staying restraint, I wasn’t way too out of control with my anger too. Well I at least never used to shout at people with lack of discipline and manners - as often as I did these days.

It makes me feel like these people are strict followers of profanity and I am the one against this loathsome sacrilege. Displeased with my mental disability of temper-watch, unable to put-up with my disintegrating graciousness (although, its so only with the wrong-doers) and in a bit of soul searching with in and inside me alone, with the hope of trudging on with even a small fragment of the desolated equanimity that would lead me to be a bit poised, if not for anything miraculous.

Thwarted was I when I went this time to the shrines' rafting away all those alms-mongers, cursing-under-the-breath-tulsi-garland vendors, repeatedly yelling archana basket vendors, ear-jarring horns of the traffic, unbearably loud clamor of a bunch of fellas who are fighting over each other to take care of your shoes while you are inside the holy place. More maniacal hue & cry of the junta that has come to see the god and in desperate measure to make it as quicker and in a shorter way as they can by cutting across the Q-lines and being yelled by the throng that’s been tending to move so very lazily and haphazardly giving no room for movement in the Q-line that had formed literally two streets away from where the almighty stood all graceful and charming at his devotees. The congregation that had assembled in that early hours of a Saturday morning made me ponder how many others apart from me, were probably in a much worse state, perhaps possessing the most uncommon turmoil in their life, was there to seek consecration from the deity.

Something suddenly changed in my whole being. I felt a rush of fresh blood flowing through all my veins starting from the brains. I decided not to seek for anything this time around from God except this sanity that he has gifted me with. Determined, I kept my cool and moved forward slowly with the crowd, missing out totally, but with full-heartedness of my usual set of prayers, seeking for happiness, seeking for promotion, seeking for wealth and health, seeking for peace of mind at home and work. I wasn’t feeling guilty for my act. I was rather happy and contended, for the first time in my life, for I had asked the god for nothing, absolutely N.O.T.H.I.N.G at all.

After taking the holy prasadh, I prostrated in front of the powerful omnipotent lord seeking for not anything for I was a nonentity in the vast plate of petitioners that God had to attend to and get busy with.

With a revolting surge of new found happiness and fulfillment slowly overruling my rather inordinate demands of a naïve mind I unlocked my legs from the prostrated from in front of the God and landed myself to a sitting position.

There was girl in green salwar sitting next to me. She looked too disturbed and was persistently uttering Stotras with her eyes closed. I watched her as my heart voluntarily sought god’s help to resolve whatever that lady’s problem was. As I unfolded my palms in front of me and opened my eyes after praying for this unknown lady who was sitting next me, I craned my neck to see that she was no more there. But in her place was a Titan watch that belonged to her. Instantly I picked it up, pushed away the crowd that were standing in front of me to leave the temple, yelling out “excuse me” as loud as I can and leaving a bit of the crowd flummoxed in the process.
Finally, I found her near one of those shoe-guarding guys and tapped her on her shoulder as I was breathing hard with the fresh-sprinting I had done and extending her the watch with a euphoric smile on my face.

“Thanks a lot; it’s my lucky watch and my only priced-possession presented by my dad, who’s no more” said she.

Tears trickled down her cheeks leaving me completely bolted to the ground for few seconds and then I gathered myself consoled her and wished her good luck in all her endeavors and left my card with her incase she needed any help.

I stood there watching her gait and her mouth continuing to mumble:

“Vina Venkatesam na natho na nathah Sada Venkatesam smarami smarami,
Hare! Venkatesa! prasida prasida Priyam Venkatesa! prayaccha prayaccha.”

When I walked away, I whispered to myself, “Lord, I solicit nothing to be bequeathed!”

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Money, Money Baby!

WIPRO and other IT companies are planning for 6 days a week job, including saturday. They probably will start this practice with onsite guys.

Those were the first few lines of a FWDed email that I received today with a subject line that read in caps as: "WHATZ THIS?"

Scrolling down the email were couple of links that took me to today's online version of Economic Times,
News By Industry Section.

Another one led to the Times of India's
India Business Section.

Well, with the rising insanity of Indian IT folks to make as much Dollars & Pounds as they can before their age hits mid thirties... this definitely is not a happy news for the Indian Zombies... who are already slogging their way-out to get their posh triple-bedroom apartment in uptown Banjara or a costliest apartment with in an all-new-world by itself - The Lanco Hills - a mega techno-residential township project started in Hyderabad or to invest in a crore's worth Duplex Individual Bungalow on the Pune-Bombay highway!

On a more madrasi term.... To invest in a luxurious and well-appointed apartment with all amenities and clear-title in Velachery or Madippakkam or Pallikaranai or Mogappair West at a throw of a bunch of millions that they make in the Foreign Nation.

* Gone are the days when people were happy owning a Bajaj Chetak or a Hero Honda Passion.

* Gone are the days when kids were happy with riding a BSA SLR or Hero Cycle to their schools.

* Gone are the days when women folk used Corporation Buses as a mode of communication to go to shopping malls or temples or any friends place.

* Gone are the days when people hired maid servants to do the work, ONLY when the woman of the family was ill or away from home.

* Gone really are the days when people actually went to places like Moor Market, Uzhavar Sandhai or Sunday Markets where in you get to buy things at a very good deal on lowest prices.

P.S: The "People" reference in this post is solely and purely meant for I.T folks of this generation with a tad bit of an exaggeration added in for taste. Any resemblance or coincidence to the living or dead kinfolk from other vocational platforms or to anything authentic and genuine in real life will only make my post more credible with added facts!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Blog Publish Bug - Help Needed!!!!!

Okay, Lemme confess first...... This might sound mightily stupid... But I am still clueless as to why does it happen to me for the past 3 years (since I started blogging now!) and that too sporadically?

Why is it that some of my posts do not get reflected on my blog site even after publishing so many times and clicking on the view blog / view blog in a different window option.

I have already tried checking the settings section where-in I have set my url as http://salsworld.blogspot.com/ only!

Even after I clear the history, remove all the offline content and try out every other reasonable /unreasonable/insensible thing that I can think of.... I am fruitless in achieving this!

Brick-batters and Sound-spitters are always welcome! :-)

Suggestions on a Satirical Note are also warmly welcomed.....

Help Madi Please...................

The Sign

She was sweating profusely. The sweat beads had formed a peculiar design like a row of tiny & minuscule due drops filled on the grass during early winter mornings, on her upper lip, on her long sharp nose, on her forehead a little below where the hairline begins and around her eyebrows. She was breathing heavily. Her nervousness was pretty obvious with her quivering voice and trembling hands. She was totally shaken. This was not what she wanted to do. No! Never, Ever!

Slowly, she bent down to feel her stomach with a wave of her right palm and felt the butterflies inside. There wasn’t a total denial from her side. She had resigned to what fate had to offer her for the kindness personified that she always is. She tilted her head sideward to see him watching her; who was in a better state than her. For a split second, a fleeting moronic thought rose in her mind; of jumping off the window sill of the 9th floor that they were in. She felt dying would be a better choice than to make up a mind over a decision to be made which was as grave as this. But she couldn’t muster the much needed guts to do that even.

The damage was done already. No use lamenting about it. Any discussion or debate over spilt milk is not gonna gain her (or him for that matter) a penny.

He decided his home would be the best place to bring her in; as his parents were away for a while. He was very confident about persuading her into it once again. For he knew how kind-hearted and sweet she is; although she might get agitated and worked up in the beginning.

He moved a little closer to her on the couch at his living room and held her left hand. Slowly stroking her upper palm, he told her that it was all going to be okay soon and she need not have to really worry so much about it, these days this isn’t a big deal at all. He braced her up stating that it would be over once for all, if she agreed to do what’s being instructed to her and that he would really be grateful if she did it for him just once – this one last time.

Still unconvinced she looked up at him with a pool of confusion blinding her eyes and a cluster of wrinkles conquering her forehead. Inside her, frame by frame, images kept flashing by of the mistake that she committed of getting closer to him, of her not wanting to be a part of it, of how he deliberately dragged her into it, of how scared and agitated she was if her parents ever came to know about it…. All for trying to be nice to her only best friend, which was him.

She never really wanted to hurt him and that was the sole reason why she had to end up being party to it.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

As always, that morning Beulah rode her bicycle to school at 7.45am. On the way, she met Paul who was on his bicycle to the same school that she studied in. Paul is a very talkative boy and would do anything to keep good company of people around him who would joke, tease and love to have too much fun, all in good spirits and healthy attitude.

Paul always had a liking for Beulah as they both grew up together since their childhood as neighbors’ at Mussoorie until they were 12 and then Beulah’s dad got a transfer to South India and they had lost touch for about 3 years. When Paul saw Beulah join him in the same class as he studied, he was pretty much surprised and it was a dream come true for him for he never wanted to part with Beulah or her friendship.

But the three years after Paul had left; Beulah had grown up to be a gorgeous, beautiful, charming and a stunning girl in her early teens looking extremely attractive for her age. But she had turned out to be very quiet and more of an introvert sort, which was a striking difference from what Paul, had known her to be three years ago, as an argumentative person who was busy with her mouth full of words and a renowned chatter-box kind of girl in their avenue. Paul did like this flavor of Beulah as well. He rather liked her this way much better than her older self, especially because this saved him a lot of energy in the form of refutations that he always had to come-up with, every time Beulah started out with a new argument!

Paul’s teenage considered, getting closer to Beulah as a potential challenge and an issue of cachet and esteem for a boy of his age among his friends for he had uncontrollably spat out all about his childhood friendship with Beulah the Beautiful (BB - as she was fondly called in her class) and her family and so he was decided to go for it at any cost.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Beulah didn’t want to be late to school. But Paul had stopped her on her way. Pleaded her, begged her to come with him to his home to do some catching up for the lost 3 years. Beulah refused vehemently. After a lot of coaxing from Paul, at which he was very skillful, Beulah had to agree to go with him.

At his home Paul offered her sweets, cakes, sandwiches and confectionaries for munching on while they got busy in the talk and Beulah slowly opened up talking about the three years when Paul wasn’t around.

Slowly the rapport that was lost between the two returned to the best of forms leaving the two totally more curious to know more about the other person.

When time was not failing in its duty; they both were yapping away to glory.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

She kneeled down on the floor with both her palms folded together in front of her chest she prayed to God. She confessed everything to god and sought forgiveness from the almighty. This was getting him restless for she was delaying the time more and more instead of just getting it over and done with. But he didn’t have the nerve to disturb her prayer either. So he kept pacing up and down biting his nails very hard.

After praying she slowly opened her eyes. There was a bit of calm and peace in the once confusion squirming eyes of hers. Decidedly she got up and walked up to him who was now at the verge of tears.

With out a word Beulah took the card from his bag and signed as “Mark Stevenson” on the “Parent’s Signature” column above which stood the single digit marks of Mr. Paul Stevenson in all 7 subjects of the recently held Quarterly Examinations for the (Second Year’s) Higher Secondary Education underlined brightly with red sketch and evidently filled with scornful remarks in the “Teacher’s Comments” section by his class-teacher.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I got my copy too..............

of the most awaited..........the most anticipated, the most talked about, the most read... by millions & millions of people around the world.....


Back After a 10 Days' Break!

I was off to Chennai from 13th - 22nd of July.

It was a mind blowing experience.... I had been to a bunch of wonderful places in TN as well.

One of the most fabulous and remarkable experience being - Kumbakonam Trip!

That apart, I happened to visit Chidambaram, Vaitheeshwaran Kovil, Salem and some such places.....

More on the beauty of the places that I travelled soon.... :-)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Final chance to hear yourself on Radio Mirchi!"

That's what the subject of the email that landed in my outlook inbox this morning read.
Our firm was recently acquired; in polished terms or bought; in raw words, by a technological, consulting and outsourcing giant of Information Technology Sector.

Well, after having enslaved us as underdogs, heres what they are doing.....

They have made us loose our identity and are now throwing biscuits randomly at air and have given us a new life... where in we are all trained/not-so-trained dogs tied to their respective poles and are expected to grab the biscuits to be caught and eaten appropriately.Failing in which we might be sacked? thrown-out? fired? given a pink-ticket? produced a termination-notice?

Wait, don't they all mean one and the same?!

What are we to ga-ga about the integration now and that too on air?

That we aren't happy about our integration?

When minions are taken over by techno-giants... this is what happens... They make you look like fools... they take-away your visiting cards... they take-away the email id that you are accustomed to for nearly how-many-ever years that you were with your firm...they take away your name plates... they take your id-cards... they take-away the intranet site that you were referring to so far for all the information....

What kind of garlic & onions are they expecting from us to be spouted on Radio, after having snatched everything that belonged to us, everything that was ours, everything that identified us, everything that we used and had been with us till yesterday?

This is worse than the feeling of a newly married bride going to her in-laws place after marriage!

Believe me, it sucks!

You haven't quit... but you have somehow changed the firm already?! .. How does that sound one fine day when someone writes back to your email saying..... "Yo, dude! You never told me that you switched job?!"

And I am like, yah... Surprise, Surprise!!

[Grr.... Loathe you, Cheater!! ...]

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Beggars can (Very Much!) be choosers!

For those that raise an eyebrow reading that unconventional statement, this post might definitely make them second that belief of mine.

My on-road travel distance to office is nearly 4kms from my home. The time taken to cover this distance varies significantly based on the peak traffic hours and the volume of the vehicles on road, both moving and stationary. That leaves me with very little options of overcoming the wait-period in the traffic signal at Cyber Towers for more than 20mins, that’s the worst case scenario that I am taking into consideration as that is what would best suit the story that I am gonna present here to justify my very first statement.

Moving back to my story, it was 7.30pm on a Monday evening and as always I was relaxed a bit as it was my drive back to home after a long Monday’s workload.
As expected, the minute I halted my bike for the traffic signal that exposed the red light, I knew better to turn my vehicles engine to rest, as I was some 100 vehicles away from the signal point and it was potentially impossible for me to cross the road before the signal fell back to show red. *Sigh!*. The green light hardly shone for about 10 seconds or so.

Goaded with the discomfort that I was going to undergo for the next 15 or so minutes because of the wait amidst the bunch of cars, shuttle vans, Office buses, trucks and two-wheelers that were emitting thick black smoke as a result of the burning fuel, I took my helmet off to save myself from some serious choking due to lack of fresh air, (as if that’s going to help me any better..Silly me!) and that was the mistake that I did!

I suddenly felt a hand groping on my thigh …startled, I looked at the direction from where the hand was reaching out and touching me, I saw a pale looking, short, dark, thin and puny boy of around 7-8 years of age in rags.

I could hardly hear him in the noise-mania of the highly trafficked roads, feebly he was calling out “akka akka…” and was wailing his right palm in front of my face and was asking for alms.

He told me that he hadn’t had food in two days and was hungry and that I am to give him some money which would buy him the meal that he failed to intake in two days.

Although at the first shot, I felt anger swelling inside me to blast-off the guy for being so stupid; to scare the freaking hell out of me, by prodding my thighs….But, I felt a sudden gush of kindness flowing through my heart from nowhere, cooling me down entirely and I caught on to a conversation with that little boy.

Apparently, he knew no more than akka in the South Indian languages but sounded good-enough with his Hindi. When I asked him where he was from, all he knew was that he was from Gujarat and that his parents had deserted him when there was earthquake that shattered the entire state early in the 2000's.

I felt sad for the small soul suddenly, and asked if he would come home with me.

Scared and shocked he asked me why and inquired if I was going to hand-him over to the police for begging. Concerned by his fright , I told him not to worry, and said that I was going to take him to my home, give him some good clothes and food.

A bright smile filled his little face and vanished almost at the same pace as it had formed.

Why are you doing this to me, was his next question..followed almost immediately by Are you going to make me your slave? He started retreating with a couple of steps from where I was standing with my bike.

I let out a smile and assured him that I wasn’t going to enslave him (as this is what a lot of people around my place do usually; so was his rightful concern). I told him that I was going to find him a job, which made him earn money so that he can eat happily - at least two full meals a day at that.

[I had in my mind the job of cleaning/washing my car and the four bikes that my family and my landlord’s possessed.]

For a second, his expression was pretty blank and I couldn’t read his face.

Then, suddenly and unexpectedly he started screaming at me for reasons below:

“Whaaaaatttt??? Why should I work??? What makes you think that I should be working in the first place to earn money???? What do you think I am doing now???? If you can’t shred a penny say so and get the hell out of my way, stop giving cheap-rated advices that are worth nothing and spoil my business! I wonder what your teachers and schools teach you, not even the basic manners of “How not to waste other’s time” and “How not to disturb others business for no apparent reason”…. Now, now all the crap that you gave me apart, are you going to give me any money or not???”

I was totally taken aback by that 1 minute long discourse of his that totally stuck me hard with an iron mallet somewhere near to where my Cerebellum was located inside my head.

My mouth wide-open, not paying any attention to the honking vehicles behind me, as there was a green that had made the bunch of vehicles ahead of me to cross-over the road leaving some space ahead of me to push forward…. With reality hitting me harder than the virtual iron-mallet, I shook my head in utter despair and got my bike to life instantly and moved forward.

When I thought, that was it, the puny boy, once again ran to me some ten steps ahead, and again asked me for money. Disgruntled, I just wanted to get it over with; so, I rummaged through my bag to catch hold of some coins… and unfortunately was just able to find one 50 paise coin. "Money is money anyways" is what I thought and reached out to his out-stretched hand and placed on his palm.

Long pause. [I was looking at him, and his face told me that something was wrong].

He glared at it and then looked up at me and glared at me as well. I was clueless.

I asked him what the matter is and what he told me as an answer literally got me reeling with shock.

He said “For all that waste of time that I underwent, you should be actually giving me Rs.5/- for I have lost my business where in I would have made that much, but that’s okay, I don’t expect a two-wheeler rider like you to be well-off to be giving away Rs.5/- but I expected a 2 Rupee coin at the very least. But you gave a 50p coin and insulted me. And if you didn’t know, I can’t even make onions out of this 50p coin as it’s not made of iron. I don’t want this menial useless coin, keep it to yourself” - with that he placed the coin on my bike’s handlebar and walked away in a glorious trot cursing me furthermore to have spoiled his valuable and precious business hours!

Gosh Felt I!

Vijay TV - Airtel Super Singer Junior!

Well, Well, What can I (not) say about this hottest and latest reality show that the mobile service provider Airtel has tied up with Tamil channel Star-Vijay to co-brand and promote, for the hunt of TN’s sweet little golden voice?

This vocal talent search was exclusively for kids of age group falling between 6-14years. This reality show indeed created a huge wave of response among everyone starting from the youngest one to the eldest one of the family, keeping them engrossed and gripped in keeping track of the show without fail every Friday/Saturday 8pm on Vijay TV and (unbelievably) not to miss the repeat telecast as well, on all Sundays between 3pm-4pm. Besides that, this kid’s reality music show has gained momentum among all the music lovers of Chennai and the entire Tamil Nadu too.

Undoubtedly this reality show has kept the audiences in tune; with the little ones rendering their best in their sweet intoxicating voices every time they are up on that little podium in front of the judges. Wow… really adoring those little ones are… Each and every one of them!
It’s a dream for every little soul out there to become the “Chosen One”. But alas, the big fat bag with 5 Lakhs prize money and the fame-game is all waiting up there to be owned by one among these 45 bright kids from all parts of Tamil Nadu, especially from Chennai, Coimbatore and Salem.

Auditions began… these exuberant kids were brought under the conditions of performing live with no orchestra to support the musical notes emanating out of their vocal chords with pressure, mounting tension, stage fear, nervousness and anxiety in front of the most renowned singers, both classical and playback of Tamil Nadu.

Distinct stood the-one-in-a-million voices of bright kids like Balasarangan, Dhanyashree, Vidhyalakshmi, Srinidhi, Krishnamoorthy, Vignesh, Roshan and few other kids whose names I wouldn’t recollect at the moment.

With each growing week, levels increased and the 45 children were growing lesser and lesser in number, who had given their best and made it to the next level of screening. The spot selections were almost unbiased although I wouldn’t say a 100% so.

Things were definitely on neutral terms until quarter finals. But from there on started the most awaited, anticipated and absolutely clichéd favoritism, and preferential treatment of the kids in being rated for their renditions.

With the extraordinary performances that which still have the power to linger in our ears, one still wonders why was “Balasarangan” eliminated and pushed into a fluke-based round such as “Wild Card Round” without being given a ticket to the semi-finals, when there are kids like Roshan who still needed to have had a significant re-consideration in being selected for competing to get into the semi-finals.

Not that Roshan is bad, but definitely Roshan is one of the very youngest one of the lot and has a lot more scope for improvement and time (which is more important for a Junior singer!) as apposed to the other contestants. So, he could always have made his way through even after a year or so later, which wouldn’t have hurt, but definitely such is not the case with certain other kids who were already bordering on the lines of turning 14 and whose voices were undergoing the adolescent changes, for example Saicharan.

But even though Saicharan exhibited the best tempo and rhythm, his voice wasn’t an apt one for a Junior Super Singer. His was an almost matured voice, which touched melody with that rare style and induced that soft feel of euphony leaving no room for the listeners to expect any jarry-western or indi-pop or loud folk or other type of songs to be rendered from a voice like that of his. Not his mistake at all. But this kid is really good at music- that’s for sure!

Now, there’s this increased rage and angst against two sad facts:

1. Balasarangan’s elimination in the wild-card-round.
2. Abarna’s selection for the finals-round.

Why was Abarna selected of all the people… especially when the amazing ones like Srinidhi were lost in the crowd way back in the initial levels of screening itself?

Something that really needs an agreeably valid and acceptably sensible explanation would be; even in the 6 contestants that fought for one position to squirm their way into the finals:

1. Where did Dhanyashree’s beautiful voice disappear?
2. What happened to Balasarangan?
3. Why was Vidhyalakshmi not selected?

Was Dhanyashree not good enough in her rendition with Srinivas?

Was it Vidhyalakshmi’s mistake that, the song Anuradha Sriram chose happened to be a dominating one with Anu singing most of it, leaving little choice for Vidhyalakshmi to prove herself?

Was it Balasarangan’s fault that his duet with Anuradha didn’t click that well?

Undeniably, Dhanyashree sounded far better than what Abarna had to do in the wildcard round and in the other initial rounds as well.

Although there are a lot of allegations raised with the selection of Saircharan for the finals by the Judges Usha and Chitra, its far too realistic to believe that Unni had to end-up selecting Abarna of all six highly qualified contestants of the wild-card round.

Why only three judges for the final round is another impending question that’s been itching my mind for long. And why are all of them females is another… but then let’s not get into feministic or male-chauvinistic mode now.

Why SPB or Yesudas was not part of the finals jury board?

Most importantly, what happened to Chitra who was all along there with all the other prior levels?

With these and many more to add, there were clear-cut cases like; Saicharan’s score board was constantly ensured to be kept atop the other contestants although his performances failed him sometimes.

With glitches like Abarna’s threshold to the Finals, Balasarangan/Srinidhi’s elimination, Airtel Super Singer Junior did make a mark among all the viewers of Vijay TV in the hunt for the golden, sweet little voice of Tamil Nadu.

Balasarangan’s “Chinna Kannan Azhaikiran” and “Malarndum Malaradha” were a sweet treat to the listeners.

Kaatrinilae Varum Geetham” by Srinidhi was one more beautiful and perfectly sculpted rendition.

Last, but definitely not the least to talk about the two best finalists, Krishnamoorthy and Vignesh; its bliss to hear these two kids that have been bestowed upon with one of the mellifluous and honey-filled voices that god can favor to gift the human kind.

More so for Krishnamoorthy as he stands out with his ever-lasting ease at rendering almost anything and everything with a cute little smile.The technical finesse in the voice of Krishnamoorthy which was presented amicably in each of his renditions made him the super-star kid of this whole Musical-Extravaganza. Especially his “Sangeetha Jadhi Mullai” is an amazing effort that would be spoken big for years to come!

Krishnamoorthy was unstoppable with his near perfect renditions every-time and through-out and most noticeably his down-to-earth attitude, coated with a warm smile and his humble nature bequeathing, when he endearingly said “Yenna Nalla padu-nu sollamattiya da?” – To Saicharan, where in Sai wished Vignesh “Good-Luck and asked him to give a tough competition to Krishna”, in the finals; when Krishnamoorthy and Vignesh were to fight against each other.

Vignesh was rhetoric; he had a best-fit carnatic voice that was a pure enchantment to the crowd during his renditions like “Vandhal Mahalakshmi” and “Marudha Malai Maamaniye”. It was a glory to all those ears that listened to these two songs, by Vignesh – truly a splendid effort by the kid!

Both these kids are extremely good, but definitely my vote goes for Krishnamoorthy as he has proven to be flawless and unblemished in all of his renditions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Zombies are made (not born?!)

Upon request from couple of my best buddies I am posting this one yet again!
At 7.30am,packed in a bus, that was suffocating already, carrying more than the required number, with windows tightly shut to prevent the rain water hitting & wetting the faces of the window-seaters, jam-packed with people finding happiness in even an inch of space that they can get their feet on – I found myself staring at the crowd in the bus…Heavy imported laptops slinging from their shoulders, assorted with massive jackets making wuish-wuish sounds, lunch kit, office bags & other stuffs to make the place even more crammed and ineligible to breathe-in and breathe-out.With all those sleepy and grim looking faces filled in that dimly lit corporate bus, it gives me an impression of a bunch of automatons being transported from one site to another for some technical enhancements on to those expressionless flat faces…

The first site being taken to would be: The so-called Office.I sincerely don’t believe that site would provide the missing expressions on the faces of these androids…but I am sure they would obtain at least half-of-what-they-want in the name of peace & happiness when they reach their next Site:-HOME! – Say in 8, 9, 10, 12 hrs from now…

Yet for all those that live away from their homes and are put-up in hostels or PGs or be it C/O platforms it doesn’t stop there either as their struggle for life proceeds after office hours.. Struggle for food, struggle for sleep, struggle for privacy, struggle for freedom & peace and all the other assorted troubles that would prop up when one is forced to live in a common-place.

On a constructive note, No other field except IT in today’s scenario is as well-heeled with bags and bags of dollars…Giving you a head-start at:

1. Free monetary flows (with instant loans & EMI’s following pursuit)
2. Plush living with the possession of a spacious triple bedroom apartment in the heart-of-a-most-happening software city.
3. A sophisticated air conditioned car parked at your portico.
4. A bunch of cards that you swipe-in to get to anything, anywhere and anytime
5. A mail sent to your team with a list of acclaims and accolades from your top management for your sweat-n-blood.

Such perfection has definitely got to do with at least a minimum amount of sacrifices…Here goes the top six of the eternal list…

  • Residual remains of being a work alcoholic – sucking out all ur energy cells.
  • Receding/Graying hairlines.
  • Traces of faintly skewed brains (mind?).
  • Over-worked eyes behind those high powered lenses – which you very smartly call as anti-glare glasses.
  • Permanently dark (ened) circles bearing eyes that are gone way inside their respective sockets.
  • Uneven, ill maintained and shapeless and unhealthy body conditions are one the most prominent diseases for being a s/w pro for a relatively long time…

Well, when I say relatively long time, I strongly believe that “ONE” full year under the same type of work would also create the sufficient damage that would make you a perfect “whatever-you-are” as described above!

Multi-lingual crowd from all four directions of the country bringing in their drawl to add to the dashboard which is already overloaded with too many linguistic theories set-out by the majority crowd or localities.

Paragraphs to sentences to words, you are so conscious every time you utter a single sentence of the local language because you don’t know the language yet you would want to learn and speak to please the people around or with the only notion of getting their understanding in a better way comparatively.

At the end of the day, the entire group has a common way of talking; credit goes to the contributors from different parts of India as specified below…

Simply South:

Yellow becomes “Ellow”
Number becomes “Nem-ber”
Air becomes “Ye-air”
One becomes “Vone”
Twenty becomes “Tonty”
Account becomes “Yec-count”

Nostalgic North/the rest of the India:

Veg. becomes “bheg”
Potato becomes “Batata/o”
Parent becomes “Pay-rent”
Oh come on becomes “Arey Yaar”
Oh yes becomes “haan naaa”
Hey listen becomes "Arey suno naa"
What I would like to say is becomes “What I would like to say ki”

These transient yet practical inabilities of human-mind get into this doggedness with issues in a quick click of the fingers seeking out for alternate ways of communication.

So I have a veritable buffet of:
1) Juveniles who prefer to indulge in meaningless emoticon exchange.
2) Their marginally more intelligent brethren who walk with a boulder-sized regional chip declaring a diabolic nature over the other clan members, not caring a shred about the folks from the rest of the country.

Anyways, over and beyond all this…there comes an onsite opportunity that dives you in with full energy to get accustomed to this, like how a treasure is waiting for the man who’s playing the hunt game facing hardships and difficulties, only to seek the gold & in our case to seek the foreign currency and the glimpse and sniff of the overseas air which would add value to one’s resume on their achievements column…but no one has the guts to mention as a foot note the things that they had to forego for achieving what’s on their papers do they?

They don’t talk about the number of insomniac nights they spent in an alien country having no sign or feel of home to pour out or share the sad things or the happy moments…Number of times they had to brace themselves up from not breaking down every time they were ill-treated as if they were some down-trodden or menial things belonging to the lower order world...

Well they wouldn’t…would they? Would you?

Cos, it’s a world of gamble….and every man wants to speculate.

Hmmm…now that explains it all…. Monetary needs that forays all the other emotional and sentimental needs….

A vicious circle though…..this is why people don’t mind being zombie’s from the “land of androids” transported from the source to their destination and vice versa.

A hope…The hope that keeps every man alive…A hope is a target. It’s an aspiration... it’s a fire of desire…it’s a goal post that you draw for yourself!

Hope of achieving the best in you in your short span of life – that is what it is and that is where the whole world is heading to……

On that very thought….I resign for now.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What the heck?!

The creepy craziness is taking over me all of a sudden, slowly swallowing me head-first, when I fight hard against the gashing and tearing grips of the demon thats eating me alive, I feel a strong knot forming in my throat causing no more than a helpless, inaudible croak to emerge out of my mouth when I wish, with all my force to scream for help from this insane demon that's mercilessly preying at me, I hear none... I see none & nothing but darkness all around... no noise but an eerie and sinister sounding creature sneering at me and another gulping me down alive... There I was.... nearing the dawn at the lowest ebb of the world, with distress, pain, misery, gloom and melancholy all singing at high-pitched voices and banging on my head cruelly!

One I like the BEST!

For some unknown reason, I really adore this picture!

Kodak Moments at Chicago!

Click A: No, This not the Tide Ad. to compare the whitest white!

Click B: Assorted bunch kept in my office lobby

Click C: From a park right in front of my Apartments

Click D: White Vs Pink?


I have been longing to buy rose plants ever since I returned home.

But, the constraints of living in a rented individual house's front portion with nosy & finicky landlords, my mom had kept postponing my wish to be realised. Finally, last weekend I made my way to get what I wanted when we happened to stop by a market road to buy some household essentials that are generally purchased on the platform or roadside small-vendors.

Right opposite to one such vendor, were rows and columns of beautifully adorned, skillfully nurtured, delightfully blooming and happily radiating rose plants....Wwwwhoaa! What a beautiful sight it was....

Amazed with the brilliance of the bright roses, festooned with colorful hibiscus plants dancing to the beats of the mild breeze that was bringing along loads of freshness in the air, my legs automatically sought to the direction of the warmly welcoming roses' family...

Adding more to the ambient atmosphere was the just-about-to-rain dark clouds racing against each other in spreading the grey carpet to shower the city!

I bought 6 rose plants - Red,Yellow,Orange,Pink, Purplish-Red, Orangish-Yellow...
and an orange hibiscus plant, all of them decorating my front veranda bringing in fresh frangrance in the air everytime I open my front door to take a look at them!

I love my plants!

They are simply adorable..... If I were an actor and someone asked me, what would I be if I weren't an actor, I would have proudly told - "I would have owned a nursery of Roses! - All for myself (Sorry, Not For Sale!!)"

I can hear voices calling me "SELFISH"!

More on roses soon.......

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Python - A Folk Tale

Once upon a time, the python was very poisonous, while no other animal had any poison. One day, the python bit an old man and he died and his friends carried him home.

The python wanted to make sure that the old man had indeed died. So it sent a smaller snake to go and see if he had really died. The small snake went to the old man's place, but could not see him. All it could see was a lot of people making a lot of noise with trumpets and guns.

The small snake thought that the people were rejoicing because the old man had come home alive. It hurried back to the python and told it what it had seen. On hearing this, the python was so annoyed that it spat out its poison and swore never to bite anyone again. Some of the poison fell on some thorns, and they began to sting from then.

The rest of the poison landed on the ground and was eaten up by the ants, wasps and the smaller snakes.

From then on, all these have been poisonous, while the python has been non-poisonous.