Tuesday, March 29, 2011

கிரிக்கெட் கொண்டாட்டம்!

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அன்பார்ந்த பெரியோர்களே, தாய்மார்களே, பொது மக்களே (எல்லாம் தேர்தல் effectட்டு தான்!)
                     நடக்கவிருக்கும் இந்தியா பாகிஸ்தான் கிரிக்கெட் போட்டியை முன்னிட்டு, இந்த வாரம் வரவிருக்கும் பதிவுகள் வர மாட்டா. அடுத்த வாரம்...... அது அப்போ பார்த்துப்போம்!
இப்படிக்கு,
ஆல்பைன்

PS: எல்லாரும் double duty போட்டு, இந்தியா ஜெயிக்க அவங்க அவங்க இஷ்ட தெய்வத்தை வேண்டிக்கோங்க! வர்ர்ர்ட்ட்டா!!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dravidian women - paintings

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Came across this amazing oil painting work online... too good! I was blown away by the life in each of the paintings and the level of detail in each one! It was like watching a photograph taken by a renowned artist with a good SLR! I'd suggest you see every painting there - though the water colors, drawing and acrylic were not that impressive. And the face of the women portrayed, I could relate to each of it - I could see a friend, a relative, a co-passenger in the bus, in the train, a college mate and so on. The effect of lights and the props to bring the scene liveliness is totally cool! Usually people stick to inanimate objects or simple life subjects when they do oil paintings. Trying to capture a person's emotion, that too women, on oil painting is not small task and the artist has excelled in it. Each painting speaks! And I have no higher praise than that! :)


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Death penalty - a yes or a no?

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Every time I listen to the news, I hear that some heinous crime has been committed by a repeat offender. The latest to hit Neverland was the one where a female correctional officer was sexually assaulted and killed by a convicted inmate. He was a repeat offender and the police had proof of his involvement in all the previous cases.In one of them, he burnt the girl and had his DNA on her charred body. But still.... the judge decided to give this guy 20 years of prison, in which he was a 'good' inmate and so was allowed to visit his wife (who is a professor whom he met at a church after committing those crimes - how the hell did that woman agree to marry him? What is the use of education if you can't figure who is morally right and wrong? Some professor she is, huh!) every 45 days. And yet, he decided to force himself on a correctional officer who was unarmed and killed her. And....... the judges are still thinking if he should be moved to a higher security prison or not.

I'm all for giving someone a second chance. But that is only for smaller offences and that too only for first time offenders. Crimes like murder, sexual assault, child molestation, etc. needs that these guys be given the death penalty. Atleast, repeat offenders should definitely get the death penalty. The advantages are many fold: First, others who commit such crimes would know the seriousness of this issue. As of now, people talk A LOT about all this but when they know that the punishments are not severe enough for you to die, people don't worry much about it. The American society is partly to blame; people don't really worry about what happens twenty years later. They are more worried about saving their a$$e$ right now. If I can live today, I'll gladly take it. Who cares about the next 20 years? 

Second, we can reduce the HUGE overload on the prison system. Are you the person who says that people should be shown compassion and so the financial strains of the prison system should not make the poor prisoners unhappy? They are prisons, for God's sake. Not some spa or vacation property where people go and relax after the strenous job of committing crimes. Especially, repeat offenders for these crimes should not be shown any compassion whatsoever. They don't belong to the race of humans in the first place. For, a human can never treat another human in such a demeaning fashion.

Third is an indirect effect. Once people know that the punishments are serious, lesser people would do the crimes -> lesser people would be affected -> lesser police needed to capture these people -> lesser money needed to spend on upkeep of the police and judiciary system -> more money to spend on needed things like education, social development, etc -> more educated people (and lets hope saner people with some sense in their heads) -> lesser people doing crimes. And the chain continues! Ideally this would lead to a society with zero percent crime rate.

Now comes the question! Why do we still not have death penalty for these crimes and criminals? I searched through a lot of articles and websites, but couldn't find much. If anyone can explain to me, this forum is all yours!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spent!

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I came across an interesting game called Spent. It captures the daily struggles that most poor people face in the world. Though it is geared towards American economy, it applies to poor people in India and most other places. Do try it out - it is a good eye opener with regards to your priorities in life. It definitely was for me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Thulasi

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PS: Supposed to be a woman's day special post - but got delayed because I was enthued to put the other one first. Belated women's day wishes, everyone!
[Alert!! Story Alert!!]
"God!!! Thulasi, you are driving me crazy. I don't want to go and meet amma. I don't want you to go as well. Do you get it? Stop pestering me now. I need to get this ppt done before my meeting today.", saying so, I left for office. I'm Thyagu, a manager in a major corporation. I'm aiming for a promotion and have to give 'n' number of presentations as a result of it. Amongst all this, my wife Thulasi has been pestering me that we need to visit my in-laws that day. The day started bad; we were out of milk and my daughter needed some one to drop her at school since she can't take her dinosaur project in the auto. I didn't have time to eat anything else and ended up eating dry cereal with water. And threw half of it in the trash!!  

I felt bad as the day progressed and tried pinging my wife over work (one of the advantages of working in the same company). But she was away and I assumed she was running around attending all the meetings. After all, she is a manager with a team of 8 too! Meetings are the death of corporate life! We should have a few 'no meeting' days to get back our sanity. Back to topic, Thulasi is a very level-headed person and is very patient. And I, I'm the exact opposite. Suffice it to say, I have my highs and lows. And today is turning out a low day and I'm putting in every ounce of effort to end it at a high.

My meeting was scheduled for 10 am but got postponed to 3 pm to accommodate schedule conflicts. And, my GM was attending it. To quote his words, he was planning to 'drop in'. Knowing him, I'm sure he'll stay for most of the meeting. To top it all, my manager pinged to say that the one hour meeting got reduced to a 10 minute session since the partner director had a flight to catch. Everyone is in a hurry!! God!! Let this meeting go smooth and I walk to Tirupathi. A voice in my mind started wondering if I would walk from Bangalore (my current city) or walk from the foothills of Tirupathi or walk from Chennai (my native place). Shouldn't I pray clearly so that God doesn't think otherwise? Indha analysis ippo thevaya? Devuda!!

I left her a voice message asking her to call me and that I was done with my presentation prep. But she didn't call back; which was strange because we were in the habit of wishing each other before a big presentation or meeting. And we've not broken it in the past six years. But I was way past worrying about all this and started sending in applications to all the Gods I knew to do double duty and help me present and present well. I'm sure that the pitch I was going to do was going to save the company millions; only that it required some huge initial investments. And, my team was banking on me to pitch it right to the top management. So, I needed all the help I can get to convince my superiors.

Phew!! My meeting is over. I have given it my best shot and I thought I saw a hint of a smile on my GM's face. So, it is most likely a winner. I saw a voicemail from Thulasi and was so eager to hear it. It was short: "I'm going to be with amma. I'll come home late. Pick up Tharini from school and get something for dinner too. Don't worry about me. I'll call later". I was livid, to say the least!! First, she forgot to wish me for my presentation. Second, she didn't even ask how it went. Third, and most important of all, she has gone to her parents' place even when I told her not to. All the happiness of the meeting results drained away and I felt like hitting something. But then I had to pick up my daughter, get some dinner, read stories to her and put her to sleep. I was tired and angry, a potent combination for anyone. I tried calling my wife but it went to her voicemail. That added to the ire and I was getting irritated by the minute. 

Irritation turned to panic as time went by. As the clock ticked 9, I swallowed my pride and called her house. But her mom said she hadn't heard from Thulasi in the last few days. That was when I had the sinking-stomach feeling. I called my best friend Sundar. His wife Sumathi is my wife's friend. They came home immediately and Sumathi wanted to know what exactly Thulasi had said. Rewind back to morning:
I was super irritated with the dry cereal and lack of morning coffee and the fact that I had to drop my daughter off at her school since she asked with a hopeful look.  
Thulasi: "Amma called. She asked if we can come home today"
Me: "Thulasi, you know we both have a busy day at office. Tell her we can't make it and that we'll come on weekend."
Thulasi: "She wouldn't call without reason right?"
Me: "God!!! Thulasi, you are driving me crazy. I don't want to go and meet amma. I don't want you to go as well. Do you get it? Stop pestering me now. I need to get this ppt done before my meeting today."

As I told Sumathi, it hit me!! How could I be this crazy? Thulasi calls my mom as amma as well. I just assumed that she spoke about her mom. God!! I called up appa in Chennai just to hear my dad say "Thulasi was great today. Without her, we'd have suffered so much. She came this afternoon and took your mom to the doctor. Your mom is a lot better now. I dropped her at the airport an hour back. She should reach home soon!". I spoke to my parents for a few more minutes, assured them things would be fine and that we'd all come again some time soon and not to worry about anything. I felt I had been an idiot for assuming things and thinking bad about her. I suddenly wanted to see Thulasi, hug her tight and apologize to her. I looked up to see Thulasi in the doorway. She looked so beautiful. My Thulasi, as pure as the herb of her name!

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Leave letter to Dmgr

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[Dedicated to Porkodi - who has been working day in and day out to make a biiiiiiigggggg ஆணி குவியல்]

Dmgr - அட அதுதாங்க நம்ம மேனேஜர் - அவர் அப்போப்போ damageum பண்றதால, செல்ல பேர், காரண பேர் எல்லாம் சேர்த்து வந்த பேர் dmgr.

Idea copied from some photo posted by someone on facebook - but slight change!
அவங்க டீச்சர்க்கு எழுதி இருந்தாங்க, நாம நம்ம Dmgrக்கு எழுதலாம். அவங்கவங்க கஷ்டம் அவங்கவங்களுக்கு!!

From,
நான் தான்,
உன் team தான்,
இதே company தான்யா,
அண்ணே! இதே ஊரு தாணே!

To,
உனக்கு தான்,
இந்த team தான்,
அதே மன்னார் அண்ட் கோ தான்
அட, அதே ஊரு தான்! சொல்றோம்ல!

Dear Dmgr,
                   ஆணி பிடுங்கி பிடுங்கி எனக்கு ஒரே tired ஆயிடுச்சு... So, இனி எவ்வளவு ஆணி இருந்தாலும், அதெல்லாத்தையும் நீயே பிளான் போட்டு புடுங்கிகோ! நான் இன்னிக்கு லீவுங்கோவ்வ்வ்வ்!!!

PS: எதையும் பிளான் பண்ணி தான் பண்ணனும். அண்ணனோட பேர damage பண்ணிடகூடாது. அண்டர்ஸ்டார்ண்டு??

ரெம்ப தேங்க்ஸ்,
நான்தானுங்க

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Paarthathum Kettathum

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Daily, morning carla pogumpothu ethavathu ketkarathu, vela paarkarapo ketkarathu/paarkarathu, facebookla makkal post panra videos pakarathu ellam en hobbies (periiiyyyyaaa hobby nellam sollapadaathu!). Adhula silathu apdiyae manasula gondhu pottu ottikum. Inniku paathathu/ketathula silathu idho:
  • Oru payyan classla oru edathula utkaara maatendraanu avan teacher tape pottu avana chairla ottitaangalaam. Adhuvum poster ottara kutti tapela. Adhula andha payyanukku psychological stress vandhuduchaam - idhellam ennanga idhu? I remember getting hit on the hands with a ruler for all the classroom mischief during 3-5 grades. Ivanga ennadanaa, oru kutti tapela suthinathukku psychological disorder nu solranga. Haiyyo! Haiyyo!
  • AC on panrathukku, switch, remote mattum illama SMS moolamaa kooda activate pannalaam... idhu US la illenga... saatshath namma Chennaila thaan! Remotela panna mudiyaathathu SMS enna panna mudiyum? Maybe officelerndhe SMS anuppi veedu porathukkula, AC on aagi veedae cool aaganum nu vachurukaangalo?
  • Maalaiyil Yaaro song, even after so long, is good.
  • Adhe pola, Janani Janani songum... even though its on the slower side, it is amazing.
  • Sathi Leelavathi dialogues (adhuvum, "ennayae pudikala break pudikala enna?" Lol! :D) arumaiyya!!
  • Vijaykanth + ADMK should be a good enough kootani against DMK. And they have around 59% of political clout. This election should be interesting!
  • BJP standing alone in all constituencies in Tamil Nadu is bad, very bad for them politically. Pesama avanga ADMKvoda seralaam... Innum konjamaavathu deposit varum.
  • Vijay as Vandhiyathevan in Maniratnam's Ponniyin Selvan - not sure how it'll go. But if he spoils that part, he'd get into my least favorite actors in the blink of an eye!
  • Tax time in US - seekiram tax kattanum yaa! Oore atha pathi thaan pesuthu!
  • Facebook among the most hated tech companies - Idhukku like button ellam illaya?
  • Correctional officers being victims - looks like a new trend in Neverland :(
  • Somalia pirates earn around $10000 a year, which is like 17 times the average salary there. And all this for a bit more, if not the same, level of risk. Avangalukku risk edukarathu rusk saapdara maathiriyo?
  • Cricket, cricket, engengu kaaninum cricket, yaarudan pesinum cricket, edhil ketinum cricket! Ellam world cupin maayam.
  • As a side benefit of WC, sema super ads!! And I get to see most of them! I loved the Pepsi ad collection for world cup.
  • Naalaiya Iyakunar short films ellam nachunu iruku - saw Vinai, Sattenna maaruthu vaanilai. 
  • Some more TED talks! 
Ithana media interaction iruku, adhuvum less than 8 hoursla... idhula paathi time vela vera panrom! I'm sure everyone has a similar level of media interaction in day to day life! No wonder we are called the 'information overloaded' generation (idhuvum innaiku padichathu thaan!).

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Snapshot of a week

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Snapshots are fun in that they help us capture life as it is right now. And they help us remember how life was when we look at it a few years later. Here's a snapshot of my last week:

  • Had to finish some work at office and wrap up a long week.
  • Got ready for a much needed holiday with family and friends. That included going shopping for a dress, packing stuff, making sure all the loose ends are tied, parking my car correctly, cleaning up my room and home before I leave (so that I don't have to do it when I'm back all tired out) and a million other things to do before you go on a trip.
  • Had a snow scare due to which I had to move my trip a bit (and plan all the logistics like getting dropped off/picked up at the airport along with the move).
  • Had a crazy long flight where I met a tattoo artist who was an interesting companion and she yapped away to glory. All I had to do was nod and the conversation was in full sway.
  • Got to spend some quality alone time with each of my nieces. They are at the stage where playing with both at the same time is not enough anymore and I have to make sure to spend time with each without getting the other all worked up and feeling 'I'm missing on things'.
  • Was surprised how much B had grown in the last few months. She is fast slipping out of the toddler mode and into the first grade mode. Though, there are still some cute moments... and I intend to make the most of them :)
  • Got to check off two more things in my list of '101 things to do in US'. Sadly, nowadays, the list is getting filled slower and slower. But the good thing is, I'm past 75 in that list now. Hopefully, I'll hit 101 soon.
  • Did a long drive with some great company. It was fun since my last long drive was months earlier.
  • Got a good insight into the Telangana issue. Though a split might be good for this case, I shudder to think of the aftereffects of this in each state across India. Some that I can think of: Gujarat, Kashmir, NE states, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra. As an Indian, I'm really concerned and worried about all the infighting going on. Hopefully, things get resolved such that India doesn't get affected as a whole.
  • Realized that the 'Mannipaaya' song of Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaya has awesome lyrics in Telugu. And, I loved that song itself. 'Vinntunnava' is a constant on my player now. Note to self: Start appreciating the music itself and not judge based on the lyrics of a song.
  • Had a blast of a weekend after a long long time, a slice of grad school life after almost two years. Now, I know what exactly I miss from grad school. Though professional life is fun and I'm fine with it now, grad school experience was too good.
  • Talking to K has become more and more fun - I'm constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of stuff we talk to each other about.
  • Felt bad for MG, one of my favorite couples. I thought they were perfect together (despite some obvious differences)... but then things were not to be.
  • Was pretty riled up on Monday due to a bad disagreement. The sleepless nights and long talks didn't help matters much and I was a goner by the time I hit bed yesterday. 
  • Missed a few b'days when I was gone. Oopsie! (B's favorite term :))
  • Got some sunshine, the most precious commodity at Neverland. Even when inside, I was boning up to the window to get the maximum sunshine possible. It felt good to have the heat beat at your skin after months of cold. However, I also realized that I can never be super happy with that much heat since my skin was totally disagreeable to it. And so, Neverland sticks to cooler weather :)
Till Thursday, see you guys!