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The waves

As the Wind Blows

Location: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India

28 June 2003

Now, for a real good design :-)

It is sweltering hot. You switch on the fan and try to relax. But your relaxation snaps in five minutes. Because, the fan begins to slow down and comes to a grinding halt.

Hmm.. no power:-( You grab the nearest paper, cloth, handkerchief, saree pallu – anything that is in the nearest vicinity. Pathetic. Nothing can compensate the whirring fan, you moan, groan and wait patiently (?) for the power to be restored.

But wait a second, why not try the brand new “panai oulai visiri” ( Fan made of Palm leaf) that you bought on a whim of fancy? Hold your hand on the looong handle and just gently rotate the Palm leaf fan… Ah… now it is better…

I tell you, there is nothing, nothing like “panai oulai visiri” on a hot summer “powerless” day /night. In fact the fan’s ergonomically designed features leave me astounded.

The fan size is just correct, good to sweep enough air around you for a cool radius of 1 meter. ( Incidentally you do a social service by lending air to your neighbour within that 1 meter radius :-)) The handle is so long and slender – easy to hold and rotate. So much so, that you don’t need to put any great effort to make heavy strokes. The long handle ensures that you get sufficient breeze with just a gentle swipe of your palm back and forth.

And what is more, it is so eco friendly – the trendiest thing today. In fact I would suggest that we start distributing this “panai oulai visiri” along with “thamboolam”
(return gift) in social functions. – if power happens to fail during the function, voila, you have your mobile fan :-)

27 June 2003

Bad design topic again :-)

I guess Blogspot urgently needs some usability people around. From the feed back I get, I think the new design that they have shifted us all to, doesn't seem so user friendly for many bloggers. Usability folks, may be you can pitch in your help?

Meanwhile the site has announced some prize for improving the design??!! should check it out :-)

26 June 2003

Exclusively exclusive!!!

The magic word in the media. But sometimes it is being used sooooo indiscriminately that you start looking for the dictionary. Considering the importance China enjoys in India’s political and economic perspectives, one can understand the heavy-duty press entourage accompanying the PM. But I couldn’t understand why some TV channels are vying with each other to project an interview with Yashwant Sinha as “Exclusive”! (I can perhaps forgive if the interviewee was China’s president or for that matter our own PM himself). What is exclusive about a routine one - on - one interview with our own cabinet minister, by a press member from the same entourage?
It is when I saw both BBC and NDTV telecast their respective interviews under the “Exclusive” slug, that I started looking for the dictionary. Competition at the satellite "waves" (no pun intended please :-)) seems to be getting hotter by the hour!!

23 June 2003

Bodhi Tree Speaks! ( Of course Gauthama Budha has the copy right for the Tree.. But we ordinary folks can have our own trees too, right? :-)

“Fame is very odd and very isolating experience…. I never wanted it and never expected it and certainly did not work for it……. This came to me through doing the thing that I love doing most….”

So said… who else ? – Rowling of Harry Potter fame.

But in those few words Rowling has summarized the essence of Bhagavd Gita - ok for that matter if you dig all scriptures, you will something on these lines - When she set out to write stories, she didn’t have any great ideals to serve the cause of children. Nor did she aim to acquire money, ( richer than Queen of England??) fame, etc..etc..
As she puts it simply, she just enjoyed weaving her story. That’s all. What followed were by products, she didn’t expect. And that precisely is how life goes on. “Do your duty, but don’t expect the fruit.”

In my perception the “doing your duty” part translates into doing something that you enjoy and love doing. You are not working towards any destination. As you travel through your dreams and fantasies, the destinations keep arriving at you. If you have closely followed the biographies of many celebrities, you will find them talking as Rowling does. Bill Gates didn’t set out to be the richest human being – but computing triggered his imagination and sense of exploration. Music is a way of life for MS Subhulakshmi. She didn’t aspire to become the queen of Karnatic music. Becoming the President of world’s largest democracy was not Abdul Kalam’s goal when he set out to pursue his dreams from the quite shores of Rameswaram.

That, then, is life. Is it?

I write /sing / dance/ paint/ talk ___, ___, ____, ….fill up the blanks as per your choice - because I / you enjoy doing it. The rest happens on its own. If you get money, recogntition, fame, boquates, brick bats, - they all are by products.

You do because you have this urge within you, the thirst within you to explore the unknown / or to portray the known in whichever medium you feel comfortable.

21 June 2003

Today is my cousin’s wedding anniversary. Many more Happy returns of the day Sulo and Kannappa !!
btw, I wanted to surprise them with some novel idea of greetings. So folks, if anyone reads this post, why don’t you give them a big hand for completing 3 decades of happy married life !!!

20 June 2003

Check out what is Latest on HR Talk

18 June 2003

For some, the smile never ceases: No matter what...

We – me and my son Venkat - were watching an old movie –“Life is beautiful” – It was about concentration camps and gas chamber – something all of us have heard, read, seen on movies several times. But every time you see it, you can’t help a chill running down your bones. So it was this time too. And as usual this time too I felt ashamed as human being that such things did happen in this age – where a whole lot of community / people were treated as dirts and were killed like flies. Even today terrorism and war kills people enmass. But Hitler’s way was different. He pulled ordinary folks from ordinary lives and systematically numbered and wiped them away systematically. The silence of the wife when she comes home to see a ransacked house and finds her husband and kid missing, is poignant.

But what struck me was the hero’s positive – the –never-say-die- attitude to life. Guido, the jolly, take-it-easy- guy is bundled along with his toddler son to one of these camps. His wife , an Italian, insists that she be taken too. But they are kept in different camps. Through out the stay, Guido hides the hoary situation from his son and tries his best to convince his son that they have come for a game, that they are actually living in an excellent place. And that at the end of the game whoever score 1000 points will get the first prize – a battle tank. The story revolves around all that he does to communicate to his wife and keep his son in good cheers, building on his lies about winning the game and the tank.

Two scenes touched me. As soon as they arrived at the camp. The kid tells dad, “ I didn’t like the train ride. It was very bad.” Guido immediately passifies, “ Yeah, it was very bad. Don’t worry. We will take the bus back home,” knowing very well, that there is no “Going back” for them. On another occasion, the kid asks dad that he had heard that people were thrown into fire. Guido rushes to explain.” Do you really believe that? I know wood is thrown into fire. But People? You mean you just pull someone and throw into fire? Impossible. Don’t believe them.” and he laughs.

And the final scene when the allies tank really enters and the kid’s eyes pop out in incredible joy. He mounts and takes a “victory” ride. When he sees his mother on the way, he jumps out and rushes to her. As the mother hugs him he tells her with great pride, that the “Game” papa told was really over and they really won the tank. “ We won, we really won.” Little does he realize that papa was shot by the nazis.

12 June 2003

There is an interesting feature on blogs at rediff. I have my "quotage" (word courtesy, kiruba ) too :-)

Déjà vu..

India and Pakistan praised for resurrecting talks.

Special correspondent.
Date Line: ------

India and Pakistan have been lauded for agreeing to resurrect bilateral talks after several years and “facing up courageously to the prospect of criticism at home as talks proceed and the time comes to make tough decisions.”

Mr. -------, said that the majority of the over billion people in South Asia need better lives and a better government….blah…blah….blah….........."

Well, searching for an old news clipping of mine I stumbled across this headline and froze. Just fill in the blanks with appropriate current names / dates and voila, you have News Update as on June 12th 2003.

Some things in life, folks, don’t change.

10 June 2003

Secret of Energy - (No. Not boost; nor Horlicks either :-)

Hillary Clinton is back in the news. What else? She is out with her much-awaited memoirs of her white house days. Forget the book, “Living History” and all the dust it is going to kick off – or has already kicked off – But what interested me in the news item was her flawless face radiating some inherent energy. What exactly is the secret of such radiance – after all that she went through in her personal life? The photo by AFP should be circulated for motivational seminars – Motivational speakers can make a note :-) unfortunately the hinduonline is not providing the photos on its news stories. I would have loved to give a link to this photo. Anyway, just checkout the story. Unfortunately she declares that she nurtures no presidential ambitions. Hillary as president would have been good for India.

09 June 2003

Some examples of “Human(e) Touch”

A scene on a flyover. An autorickshaw driver pushing a hand cart infront of him, quite oblivious of the traffic jam created by these two slow moving vehicles. What will you call the auto driver’s gesture? Humane? Or nuisance / traffic violations? My immediate reaction was the latter. But on second thoughts, the gesture did touch me –( hence this post:-) apparently this was one way of a human being lending a helping hand to another human being who was puling that heavily loaded cart up the steep part of the flyover.

07 June 2003

Yesterday we, I mean my family, hit upon a real treasure trove when we tried to clean up an old cupboard. What immediately interested was a small bundle of sepia toned papers neatly folded and almost breaking in the folds. Tucked inside the bundle was a stamp paper. When we pulled it out to check out, we found the date of the seal as 20, November, 1873!!!!! Yes. The document was a 19th century stamp paper and the Tamil written in it certainly is not the lingua franca today. Despite our hard efforts to try to understand the Tamil words, they hardly made any sense. We presumed that it was written in “grantha” with just a sprinkling of few words having any resemblance to modern day Tamil.

I decided to preserve some of my own archive material – old letters and greetings or current Tamil magazines – for posterity. Who knows - a century later my great grand children could discover them and try to read the “strange” Tamil used in the 20th century!!! Particularly some of the madras Tamil used in magazines :-)

And our family archeological expedition gave us an insight into the escalating graph of inflation over the past 7 decades. In 1937, our parents got married in a princely sum of Rs. 2500 ( with a clear margin of Rs. 141 left after total expenditure, for performing more functions in future after the five days wedding ceremonies!). The wedding saree – kooraipudavai cost my grandfather a cool Rs.30!! and the traditional diamond ear rings were Rs.110!!! To find out the scale of inflation, you can workout your own calculations with current market prices !!!