Sunday, January 23, 2005

The do's and how do you do it's

I thought, thought and thought to make this blog title correct - had to do a great deal of thinking to figure out the usage of the 's' and the apostrophe. Then decided that it doesn't matter anyways coz the title is gramatically stupid. Getting back... Management skills are indispensable for your life and thanks to something I pretty much suck at it. Last week I witnessed two Group Discussions and came to a rather pleasing conclusion that most people suck at it.

The people who take part in it can be categorised into various groups. One, people who know what they speak and do it with ease. Two, people who are convinced that sun bath and bisibelabath are something similar. Three, people disturbingly affected by the mega seials and get all excited even when somebody says that a fly can fly. Four, those with an eloquency of Vajpayee and an IQ of 27. Five, those who blissfully spectate under the rooted belief that silence is golden. There are many intellectuals as well in the fifth group. Just that they feel it's not worthy enough to strain the muscles in their mouth for this insignificant purpose.

Group I - Go ahead and try for a job. If you don't get one it means you lied. You don't belong to this group. For those in group II and III , I have nothing to say. I do not have any hopes that a brain that has not developed in a span of 20 years is going to get any better in a couple of years. Five in the mind, four in the hand calculations suit you better. Cheers. Group IV - you have every chance of ruling a democratic nation like India. Good Luck. And the few others who were blessed to be in Group V may read on...

[Wondering why I am being so nice to the last group? Err..I am one among them :)]

There are a whole lot of things which people look into in a GD. Lots of things which we guys need to develop, according to whatever was taught in that class.

Language : A good vocab. No grammatical mistakes.
So next time you guys watch an English movie, do not turn off the volume coz while your eyes are busy raster scanning the TV screen, some words might, without your knowledge, get into your ears.

Clarity of thought.
Think before you speak rather than thinking why you just said that atrocious thing after you do so. Confusing? This is what happens if I start typing before I think. The effects are pretty similar when you speak.

Voice Modulation
Helps to stress your points. So, do not sound like Vici the Robot. Should come naturally though. It's not something that can be thrusted upon. If you try to force it, it may appear to the judge that you have skipped some daily routine due to lack of time. Lack of time - and there goes your management skills flushed down the drain!

Body Language
Just the ones to augment your thoughts. Not a must that every word should have an action associated with it. Remember, this is neither Dumb Charades nor the DD News for Deaf and Dumb.

Eye Contact
For a guy speaking to a girl, eye contact is very difficult for reasons best known to him. Guys would prefer "Physical Contact" rather than eye contact. Otherwise, eye contact is easy if you have the confidence and as long as it's not Vijaykanth you are looking at. It is ofcourse important to have an eye contact with everybody in the group. But make sure you don't look like you are seeing a Tennis match.

Leadership Qualities
You should be able to start off a discussion and motivate the others as well. The entire focus is going to be on you. So unless you are pretty sure of handling it, it's better to shut your traps and sit.

Low EQ
Less tension more work, more work less tension. You should not leave the others in a state of "Why blood? Same blood". You have to be calm and composed. Don't worry, you can always take care of the guy who offended you after the discussion is over.

These are usually the basics in a group discussion. However, being an Indian, no matter how much you try, you will find that the discussion is chaotic. Blame the genes.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Here we go again

Mumbai Express
Originally uploaded by Prav.

The politicians were probably waiting for somebody to pick on. It's poor Kamal Hassan yet again. A controversy over the title of his upcoming film - Mumbai Express. Thol Thirumalvalavan, the leader of Dalit Panthers of India, has warned the actor to change the name of his film. He has joined hands with Dr. Ramadas to protect Tamil. S.J.Suryah's BestFriend is also under the hammer.

What needs to be done first...

  • Dalit Panthers of India should called Indhiyaavin Dalith Siruththaigal (IDS)
  • Dr. Ramadas should be called Maruththuvar Ramadas.
  • Thol Thirumalvalavan should wear a dhothi and a kadhar shirt.
  • All Tamil channels should be given Tamil names - Suriya Tholaiktaachi, Suriya Seithigal etc etc.
  • All marketing in TamilNadu must only be in Tamil - Thummal (Hutch), Paalpannai Paal (Dairy Milk), Kaapi Dhinam (Coffee Day), Soaru Ulagam (Food World), Paaru Di (CD), Olli (Sony) etc.
  • All train names need to be changed - Attagaasa Thumbikkai Viraivu Rayil (GT Express), Nadu Nagaram (Inter City) etc etc.

Mumbai Viraivu Rayil or Mumbai Express, don't understand how it matters. What's in a name, they say. How wrong they were! The politicians have realised very well that picking on cinema actors and film titles is the best way to get free publicity.

Perhaps films should be named Aana, Aavanna, Eena, Eeanna...That way they will teach the public the basics of Tamizh Mozhi. Then, as time progresses, they can get to slightly complex titles like Amma, Appa, Thaatha, Paatti etc. After teaching the fundamental words, they can get to sentences like Amma Ingae Vaa, Eeyai Thoora Oattu, Dho Dho Naai Kutti etc. Finally they can make the people experts by giving titles from Thirukkural, Aathichuvadi etc. This seems to be the best scheme to propogate the beauty of Tamil in the simplest manner. The current generation will start learning the basics and after two generations Thamizh Thaai will be happy at the way things have progressed. In 2100 A.D., Thamizh thiraipadangal dialogues like, "Ayyo, amma ku phone pannaliye" will be replaced by, "Aiyyaho, en thaai udan tholaipesi-il uraiyaada maranthu potiyrey, naan en seivaen"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In my opinion, you just need to educate yourself from the right source. Cinema is ofcourse influential, but more because of the visual effect. Vulgarity may be condemned as cultural degradation, but not movie titles (as long as it does not suggest anything cheap). English words have become more common among Tamil speaking people and I don't think the process is reversible. Picking on every single aspect of a popular movie makes it explicit that all this is just cheap publicity.

Nandri, Vanakkam :)

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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

India's Pride

Originally uploaded by

It sure does give me a lot of pride to find someone from Chennai on the cover of a book, especially when it talks about great artistes who have changed the face of India.

Icons From The World of Arts, written by Ranjitha Ashoka, has a sketch of A.R.Rahman on its cover. As the name suggests, the book is said to be a tribute to all these icons who have done India proud with their dedication to their art. Every chapter begins with a sketch of the artiste being profiled in it. M.S.Subbalakshmi, MF Hussain, Zakir Hussain, Amjad Alo Khan, Lata Mangeshkar and A.R.Rahman are the among the few legends who find place in this piece of work.

There is however one doubt which arises. Am not complaining here, but could there be any special reason why Rahman made it to the cover ahead of the likes of M.S.Subbalakshmi and Lata Mangeshkar? Is it because his albums now have an international audience? Is it because he is making the world look up to India right now? Or is it just that he is just popular and is part of marketing strategy?

Wish I had written this in TFMPage. Nothing like IR Vs ARR! :)


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Guts and glory

Originally uploaded by Prav.

The place was overflowing with people. The program was scheduled to start at 6:30 P.M. The people started coming in before 4 P.M. and the auditorium reached its capacity in an hour. But the crowd just did not stop. Three projectors outside the auditorium for the benefit of those who could not get some shelter overhead. No advertising. This was no cricket match though. Not a Star Night either. It was the celebration of Tughlaq's 35th anniversary and the people flocked the place to listen to one man - Cho Ramaswamy. The perfect combination of brains and audacity in my opinion.

Nothing is being blown out of proportion here, for I am not basing it on any media report. I was one of those who queued up before 4 P.M. outside The Music Academy. Ferrari, Lazy Geek and Desikan - I was in some elite company :). I had taken my Nikon Coolpix which messed up at the right moment - battery exhausted! So, that picture was all I could manage. The picture might be blurred, but Cho's thoughts were definitely not.

Cho, a leading political critic, journalist and Rajya Sabha member, was at his best. His political knowledge coupled with spontaneity and wit is magnetic. Politcal satire at its best. Besides, he is one of the few who know what they says. A Libran like me ;) [chill, I winked!].

Some highlights...

  • While talking about Karunanidhi : "Ivara poruththa varaikkum, Dayanidhi Maaran dhaan periya aal aaganum. Kalyanathukkum Dayanidhi Saasthrigal dhaan, karumaarikkum Dayanidhi Saasthrigal dhaan"
  • "Karunanidhi kitta poi avar katchi-la enna ellam nadakkuthu kaelungalaen, onnum theriyaathu. Aana Bahagawad Geetha-la Krishnar sonnathu mattum nanna theriyum"
  • "Karunanidhi sollarthu padi paartha enakku en kollu thatha pathi onnum theriyaatha. Adhunaala en parambarai-ey illa-nu aagiduma? Thideernu mulaichangala en munnor ellam? Indha madhathoda arumai-ey adhoda pazhamai dhaan. Eppo aaramichuthu-nu yaarukkum theriyaathu. Avalo pazhamai"
  • "Ramadas pathi ellam yaen kaelvi kaekkareenga? Avara pathi sollarthuku onnum illaye. Ellarum padhavi-la vanthu bandha pannuvaanga, ivar bandha pannitu padhavikku vara try pannaraar. Ellarum ovar kitta permission veengitu dhaan padathukku paeru vekkanum"
  • When someone talked about Mahatma Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi : "Gandhi-a avamaana padutha vaera vazhiye therilaya ungalukku? Andha paeru avarukku irukkarthae avamaana. President kitta majority irukku-nu poi sonnavar dhaaney ivar"
  • "Pathirikkai aalargala-a naan kurai seyya maataen. Pathirigaigal ippo ellam pathirikkai dharmam padi nadakkarthu illa. Vyabaara dharmam padi dhaan nadakkuthu. Ennathaan ippo neenga enakku kai thattinaalum veliya poi shampoo bottle kodukkara pathiragai dhaan vaanguveenga. Enakku adhu vaendaam. En ezhuthukku madhippu konjam paer vaangina kooda enakku podhum. Adhuvum illama indha thalai vechukittu naan shampoo ellam kodutha evan vaanguvaan?"
  • One person came to the stage, spoke something about Cho and asked people to clap for it. Appo he said, "Enna asinga padutha ungalukku vaera vazhiye kidaikkaliya? Kai thattal thaana varanam sir, unga recommendation-la dhaan enakku claps kidaikkuthu-nu makkal ninaipaanga-la?"
  • "I will call Shankararaman as a third rated blackmailer." One of the audience objected saying that he was murdered. "So what if he was murdered? Does that make him a saint? You want to keep a statue for him? What he has done is a criminal offence according to IPC. BLACKMAILER. Appadi dhaan solluvaen". The tone with which he said this was simply amazing. Such guts, hats off.
  • "Enna sir politics idhu? Sonia Gandhi PM aana mottai adichuppaen, vellai pudavai kattipaen-nu, asingama illa?"
  • "BJP yaen ippadi irukaanga-nu enakku puriyala. TN-la tholvi tholvi nu sollikittu. Ivangalukku ennikku inga selvaaku irundhirukku adhu poga? Illatha selvaakku eppadi sir pogum? Idhu varaikkum win pannathu ellam alliance naala dhaan. Head to head fight Congress-oda enga ellam irundhudho anga ellam nalla dhaan perform panni irukaanga. Appuram edhukku demoralize aaganum?"
  • "Indha kaalathu politicans oda attitude evalo keezhthanama irukku paarunga. Karunanidhi Kumbakonam thee vibathu-ku kandanam therivichaar. Adhu Murasoli-la publish panaanga. Vajpayee and Abdul Kalaam oda paaraattoda. Yaen indha velai? Oru thamizh kavithai ezhuthi, adha translate panni ivangalukkellam anuppi, oru paarattu kadhidham vaangi, adha publish pannanuma? Perumai ku seyyara velai-a idhu?"
  • There was one person who came up and said that Cho should lead by example and correct all that the media is doing. Cho replied, "Naan enna sir avangalukku class-a edukka mudiyum daily 1 hr-ku? Avangalukku magazine vikkanum, avan appadi dhaan ezhuthuvaan. Adhukku naan enna sir panna mudiyum? Naan Jayalakshmi pathi ellam ezhutha maataen, aana ezhuthara magazine dhaan niraya vikkuthu. Makkal appadi, onnum panna mudiyaathu."
  • "Jayendrar-a north ku anuppanum, illa-na avar saatchiya influence panniduvaar-nu sollaraanga. Adhu eppadi Andhra border vittu nooru adi thaandi pona avarukku power poiduma? Pesaama plane-la suththa vidalaama? Eppadi dhaan ippadi ellam sollaraangalo therila. Appadi paartha Jayalalitha case nadakkarappo avanga CM-a kooda irundhu irukaanga, appo illatha influence-a ippo vanthuda poguthu? Sattathukku mun anaivarum samam dhaan, Jayendrar-ai thavira. Avar mattum oru padi keezha"
  • "Gurumurthy sonnathu ellathayum neenga oththukkareengala-nu sila paer kaekkaraanga. Adhu avaroda karuththu, avalodhaan. En karuththu enna-nu naan thaniya sollitu dhaan irukkaen. Adhukkaga Gurumurthy sonna ovvoru point-kum bracket poattu naan accept pannaraen, pannala-na ezhutha mudiyum?"

About Jayendrar issue : The decision to arrest Jayendrar is correct assuming that the Police had concrete evidence. It however raises too many questions if the Police try to associate new cases rather than concentrating on these "concrete" evidence. The Government is under no pressure to compulsorily jail a person who has been arrested. It is just being treated as a prestige issue of the Chief Minister which is unnecessary. Rs. 5Lakhs being given to SankaraRaman family also raises doubts, for he was no public servant, but a third rated blackmailer. Media has also done its best to insult the heritage of such an ancient Mutt publishing everything which the Police give them, which is not healthy.

Such rationale thinking and ability to express it all with courage is a rare combination. Never has he eaten his words. There just cannot be any successor to this genius.

I am just wondering why he doesn't write in any of the English dailies :(


Thursday, January 13, 2005

Technology has improved very much

I love cell phones just like Michael Jackson loves kids..err..I mean dance. This is the second straight post which deals about mobile phones. Now, don't look at me like that. Just an interesting bit which left me wondering what else could possibly be done to make things "easier".

SCH-S310 - this is Samsung's latest model which has motion-recognition capabilities. Instead of typing using a keypad, the user just needs to write in thin air, the numbers/text which they wish to key in.

Now that sounds amazing, alright. Credit to the team. Bravo. But isn't it kinda stupid? I mean who would write in air everything he wishes to key in? To Mr.X on the street, who doesn't know that there a Samsung SCH-S310, I would look like a complete jackass. It's quite natural for him to think that I had wanted to conduct a symphony and ended up mad in the streets since I couldn't achieve my goal. Besides I'll be left with aching arms to be called a jackass after paying 20K+ for a cool development.

Technology needs to improve, no doubt. But I guess there needs to be some purpose behind whatever is done. This, who knows, may form the prototype for something else in future. But in its current form, it just seems highly stupid.

What do you say? Would you buy it? :)


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Gasping for breath

Message not sent this time. This is something that really gets on my nerves. Especially when it is accompanied by that horrible beep sound. [Warning : Warning tones make you feel that you are rather not wanred!]. Thanks to the congestion in the Hutch network, I have been edgy round the clock.

My best companion in recent times has been my mobile phone, Nokia 6610, a very good sign to suggest that I am pretty jobless [makes me proud for reasons unknown!]. I part with it only when I get a call from mother nature or when I find it hard to stay without taking a bath any longer. Even this is because I have assumed that it is hydrophobic. Already had to be taken care of once, when water got into the keypad and messed up the whole circuit. 650 bucks down the drain!

I look like a saint when I sit with it. My parents disagree, I believe. They give me this look which makes me feel that I am like an idichu vecha pillayaar, if you know what that means. Anyways getting back...In Ardhapadmasana or Shavasana, typing away to glory. Just two things short - a halo [asking too much, yeah!] and sacred beads. I could have very well become Mylapore's kutti saamiyaar. Am still glad though. Every saint spends some time of his life in prison, probably as part of his sanyasa. Perhaps god's way of saying, "if not in the forest eating fruits, in the jail eating something worse".

Hutchison Essar. Multinational. Attractive ads portraying eveybody from a kid to a grandpa breaking into a natural toothy grin. A cute pup which follows you wherever you go. Period. But for the past few days the network has been a total mess. The messages take a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 15 hours to reach the recipient. Only guarantee, your message reaches. Eppo poguthu, eppadi poguthu-nu yaarukkum theriyala, aana poga vaendiya nerathula correct-a poga maataenguthu! No idea why this is happening all of a sudden. Too many humans and too little dogs to follow?

Err... after the month of Margazhi, with the increase in the number of dogs, I guess Hutch would be back on track! :)


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Da Vinci Code

Originally uploaded by Prav.

Does that look like a man? Well, I don't think so. This, according to The Da Vinci Code, is Mary Magdalene, wife of Jesus Christ. Old news perhaps, but it is new to me [and this is my blog!]. Thou shall put up with me :)

Just got to read the book last week and it was worth the wait. Facts or not, Dan Brown has crafted a beautiful piece of code. He has put Da Vinci's works [is this guy a painter or a photographer?!] under a microscope to decipher things which Leonardo may or may not have intended to convey :)

The Last Supper seems to have a woman to the right of Christ, dressed in opposite colours. [Heard from my sister, however, that in those days men and women both had long hair, and women were not supposed to let their hair out]

The Madonna of Rocks is said to contain something weird too - Baby John blessing Baby Christ!

The author also takes a dig at The Bible, saying that the existing form of Christianity is a hybrid of ancient Christianity and Paganism which the Church refuses to accept. That is the reason, he says, that Christians worship on a Sunday, the holy day of The Sun in Pagan worship.

Ultimately it just turns out that your faith is what you believe in. Nobody is worthy of pointing out the rights and wrongs in it.

Cheers :)


Monday, January 10, 2005

Chipping in . . .

Originally uploaded by Prav.

Compassion towards fellow mankind. This is one thing that the Tsunami has brought to the fore. Relief, in cash and kind, have been pouring in from all quarters.

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher has donated a mammoth $10 million. Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova has donated $10 thousand. Carlos Moya donated his prize money at the Chennai Open. All for one cause - relief to the Tsunami victims.

Now it is the turn of cricket stars to chip in. An exhibition ODI match was played at Melbourne between World XI and Asia XI today and the proceedings of the match donated for Tsunami relief. More than 14.6 million Australian Dollars was raised during the event. Every run was worth 1000 Australian Dollars. Prominent cricket personalities like Sachin, Lara, Ponting, Cairns and Gilchrist participated in the event.

Amidst all the gloom there is just one thing which brings happiness - the reaction of the world towards the Tsunami victims. The Tsunamis seem to have washed ashore a great deal of humanity.


Sunday, January 09, 2005

From dad with love

New Year has begun very well for me. I haven't taken any resolutions as such, but my dad seems to have made it a point to advice me. Argh..probably his only resolution that he is sticking on to, unfortunate for me.
It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom.
My dad sure does share Aristotle's thoughts! It has been two millenniums since that had been said, and I, in 2005AD, have to suffer for it. It may be cliched to say "Avan paattukku sollitu poitaan, naan dhaan avasthai padaraen", but it can't be worded more appropriately.
I seriously can't understand the benifits of going to bed early (at 11) and getting up like a pisaasu at 5 in the morning. Vaasal thelichu kolam poda poraena? No. Maargazhi maasam chapla kattai thookittu bajanai panna poraena? No. Then why at all rise even before the Sun God?! But ofcourse, both my parents had given up their hope to wake me up long long ago. That's a big story by itself, about which I'll blog later. So I have it my way in the morning. Up at 6, not a second before, but probably a few minutes after :)
But every night, I have to listen to (or atleast pretend) a Vijaykant style lecture from my dad. I prefer to go to bed at 12. Can't help it, perhaps am a born IT professional with all the talent inborn? B.E. CSE - am already on the right track! :)
"Praveen 12-ku ellam padutha nervous weakness varumaam da"
Appo seekiram poi padu pa.
"Sleep late, don't get up in the morning, don't go to college!"
Fine with me, but nee thittuviye?
With such replies, I can see the size of the lecture already going down considerably :)
I have been like this for many many years. My mom even calls me an adutha raathiri pisaasu, but instead of getting put off, I just smile (saintly, isn't it?!). The New Year seems to have sparked off something, triggering all these advice-o-manias. Everybody is blessed with such loving and caring parents. Curses, the Veena player, is nodding in agreement I suppose :)
Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.
How did Einstein know about my sufferings? He truly is a genius! :)

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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Au Revoir 2004!

It is just not possible to recollect the incidents that happened last year. A mighty Tsunami has completely blocked my memory, washed of all thoughts about what happened before the Black Sunday. It is nearly impossible to look past this mighty barrier. Nostradamus has predicted a deadlier 2005. I just pray that his predictions go drastically wrong....

Welcome 2005 :-)

In this New Year I wish peace prevails and there are no more such tragic events to set us on a backfoot. On a more patriotic note I wish that India moves a step ahead in its Mission 2020.

Other than this (or "apart that", as my maths teacher puts it), I have loads of Chinna Chinna Aasaigal. I wish that....
  • Saurav Ganguly ducks completely when a short ball is bowled.
  • Laxman wears yellow tinted glasses so that he can always perfrom well.
  • Sharapova plays a lot more tennis.
  • Laloo trims the hair springing out of his ears.
  • Laloo debates in English for one complete hour with George W Bush.
  • All the tainted ministers be honoured with Padma Vibushan or Bharat Ratna.
  • Jayendrar is not accused for the murder of Muthupaechi and Soolakaruppan fifteen years back.
  • Police monitor child labour in Sivagasi rather than matters which case labour pain.
  • Weeklies don't publish the life stories of Shakeela, Jyothi Lakshmi etc etc.
  • Vijaykanth dances for "Its the time to disco" in his next blockbuster "Perarasu".
  • Captain does a Tarzan jump in the canyons.
  • Vijaykanth, Sathyaraj, VijayaRajendharr and Simbhu act in "The Jungle Book" with Baby Shamli as Mowgli.
  • Girls in CAT class continue to wear tight T-Shirts.
  • Balagurusamy has a hair cut.
  • Hermoine is old enough in the next Harry Potter movie ;-)

...and many more!

How about you guys? :-)

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