Friday, November 23, 2007

Way shots - Kerala

Alleppey-Changanassery Road

Houseboat moored at a distance


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Confusingly amusing...

An aerial view of Kerala's landscape is indeed a heart-warming one. Tiny little islands of green separated by a sparkling wavy threads of water or by black/reddish stretches of roads.

I don't want to mention those teeming blocks of concrete or tiled roofs that're the unmistakeable testimonials of our 'civilian inhabitation'. These specks (when viewed from above) can sometimes be sore spots to an aesthetic eye. Howmuchever beautiful views (elevation, facade and the like) they present us from the 'terra firma'.

These long winding roads and waterways have a close resemblance with the mental make-up of malayalee brethrens. Any guesses? Well, if you think on a different thought plane, you would find many a Keralite's psychological set-up as intriguing, enigmatic and confusingly amusing (if i may say so) like these twisty, twirly roads and waterways.

Do you agree or agree not?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Pursue your Happyness!

There are some movies that are really inspiring, educative and entertaining. A notable addition to this genre could be "The Pursuit of Happyness".

The movie tells the stsory of Chris Gardner, a self-made millionaire, entrepreneur and philanthropist who through hardwork, perseverence and sheer will surmounted many an acute obstacles to become highly successful in life. The movie based on a best-seller book by the same name, authored by Chris Gardner with Quincy Troupe, is indeed a most inspiring and watchable one. Some scenes are indeed tear-jerkers, like the shot of him making his son sleep at a public lavatory.

Sterling performances by Will Smith as Chris Gardner and Jaden Christopher Syre Smith Gardner's son are the highlights of this movie. One thing I guarantee, the money you spent for this is money most wisely spent, its my word!

Also visit Chris Gardner site: and

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Be Net-wise...

Do you use internet for banking and other financial services? If you do, then these tips might be a lot helpful for you.

1. If you receive your bank statements by email then print it, file it and lock it up in some safe place in your home. And Delete that mail.

2. Create a separate email account for receiving such mails. And try not to check such mails at your workplace or from a public place.

3. Never use that Copy-paste function when you want to key in your credit/debit card/discount/privilege cards for paying for goods and services thru net. Instead key in those number every time when you need to.

4. When taking prints of statements, account details etc make sure you get the exact number of copies you ordered to print. If the print hasn't come, wait/restart both computer and printer if needed. If your print command was initiated and printout not released instantaneously, then restarting computer or printer might print that sheet from its memory itself.

5. Never share your password with anybody, other than people you trust 100%.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

An act of goodness!

One fine morning I see a piece of sheet on a wall near the lift's entrance. Such notices are not that uncommon, because whatever our watchmen want to tell us gets expressed through those little pieces of paper pasted on that part of the wall, albeit in funny english like, watter for water, sapli for supply etc. Over the years we have been informed of many an info thru these quaint little pieces of paper notices made of package covers to tissues.

This time, the "notice" has been on a two line paper, which children usually make use of to develop beautiful handwriting. It says: " Found ear-ring in the lift. Bring the other of the pair and collect it". A mobile number was also given. I called up the number just to appreciate that act of goodness which is fast becoming rare in this world.

I thought if I had been on his place would I return it. Yes, but may be on another reason. I believe that things that somebody lost and which you found won't stay in your hands for long even if you keep it carefully. In one way or other, that lost item would eventually get off your hands without you even knowing it or you might have spent a certain amount of money unncecessarily which surprisingly would be equaling the value of that item, which you found. Moreover, I dont like keeping somebody else's items and use it as mine. I don't know how to express that feeling, its just something I cant myself put up with!

Well, if you get a lost item what would you do with it?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Superstar Global, Star Singer, Indian Idol, KBC...

Watching the slew of reality shows and celebrity programmes that hunt for talent?

Ever thought why there isn't even a single programme or reality event promoting science and literature. Big money is flowing into airwaves, but not even one per cent is being channeled to fund any science programmes, what a pity!

Many channels stress on the 'complete' aspect of entertainment and infotainment, but as such there is nothing real of that sort, when it comes to promoting scientific temper amongst viewers. It's high time the so-called Indian channels turn to their compatriots in the Europe and North America. BBC programming is a pointer in this respect.

Green Bengaluru...

I love Bengaluru. Loved more when it was Bangalore of 80's and 90's with much more greenery, un-crammed roads, less pollution, little-more friendly people and with a 25-29 temperature climate. Ask anyone what's great about Bangalore and the first thing they would tell is Climate. But now a lot has changed. Mean temperature has risen and climate is slowly turning warmer and more humid.

Now greenery is slowly disappearing. More and more trees are being felled for construction purposes, widening of roads and in the name of beautification drives?... I recall with shock an image published by the Times of India on an April Fool's Day in 2004 (or was it 2005) showing the beautiful green stretch of Bangalore's happening M.G. Road. Though it was a joke to many of them it was a real shocker!

Bangalore is still comparatively more "green" to other Indian cities, and for that, Bangaloreans should be much grateful to the Defence establishments that dot the city. Some 40 per cent or so of the total land area that comprises the heart of the city, I believe, is being held by a number of Defence establishments. And these lands are abundant with a variety of trees and beautiful gardens, though of late, new buildings and extension works of the existing ones are slowly encroaching on these small 'green belts' inside their compounds.

I wish if more acreage of land had been with them Bangalore would have been more green.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Flashback Series - 1 : New Delhi - National Capital

Nizamuddin Railway Station: Early Morning. We reached there 1 hour prior to our train's departure, so lots of time to sole-grate (my term for loitering here and there just to pass time) and observe.

The first thing that caught our still sleepy and travel-weary eyes was the mazes formed by the platform "Sleepers", Parcels and Luggage: Mazes in different forms and sizes made up of Beggars, Travellers, Workers, Parcel Boxes, Huge Cartons, Sacks and what not... It takes a lot of patience and dexterity to wind through these with your baggage and minus the help of a porter. Somehow, we got to the platform where our train would come.

Rodents, Stray dogs, Ants, Roaches, Birds... in absolute freedom! Shoo them, and they are most likely to ignore your gesture. If you're that adamant and persevering, then they might stage a somewhat placating act of moving about here or there. As there was no train in rail lines in front of us, we could see how clean (read un-clean) the rail sleepers, lines and the other platform.

Human faeces, urine, food leftovers, plastic cups, oil, sewer water... on the rail sleepers and lines dirt, dust, grime, nauseating smell. Huh!

Why I narrate all these now?

'Coz, I would like to take a calculated guess. I guess that Nizamuddin Railway Station might be still the same, even now. With us, it takes years for things to notice, acknowlege, decide and act.

If things have changed for the better, please let me know thru' ur comments. If not, let me not have the wrong notion that my post would ever be taken even bit seriously.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Happy Onam!

Happy Onam, dear blog readers...

Though the present day situation in Kerala is quite opposite to what we extoll in the famous song (Maveli Naadu Vaanidum Kaalam...) sung during Onam days.

"Kallavumilla Chathiyumilla
Ellolamilla Polivachanam"...

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Swami Ayappan serial and our times

I am not an avid serial watcher. But one serial which I am hooked to these days is Swami Ayappan aired on Asianet (Weekdays: 9.30 pm - 10.00pm). Each episode is a lesson in itself. The 'Saramsham' or the moral of the story shown at the end of each episode is full of meaning and relevance to the pious and practical minded ones. Those episodes which connect directly with the Raja's rule are quite relevant in our times also.

What I find most interesting is that this serial is being broadcast at a time when the social and political atmosphere of Kerala is weathering a tumultous and critical period.

The Channel should be congratulated for all the good efforts it takes to influence and change the mindset of people and society for common good.

How I wish our politicos spared half-an-hour for viewing this beautiful serial.

Its full of wisdom and simple knowledge that could serve as beacons to our political masters in bringing out the best in them for their moral and spiritual betterment and for better governance.

I hope if our political and social 'servants' view it everyday then we can hope that our political and social atmosphere will change for good!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Teamwork does wonders!

Take a look. What a great way to illustrate, educate and emphasise the importance of Teamwork and the magic it can do.

I don't know whose idea it is! But, one thing is sure. Whoever thought about it is indeed a creative one.
Hats off to you anonymous!

Appreciating 'Sorry'!

Remember the last time you said "Sorry"? Maybe for not keeping up a promise you made to your spouse or to a friend. To a shopkeeper with whom you argued for not giving you the exact change as balance for the item's price you misread. To a colleague for accidentally (or deliberately) trampling on his/her foot. In all these above instances, you must have found, Sorry, as the-one-word-quick-fix that would do the face-saving or sometimes even life-saving act for all those deliberate or inadvertent wrongs/misdoings/mistakes et al of yours.

But how often have we understood the real worth or value of that word? Have not we consciously or unconsciuously taken that word for granted and used it copiously, not even considering whether use of that word was needed or not?

I think, we would really be appreciating the worth of 'Sorry' only when we expect it from somebody else, for a wrongdoing of theirs. We would be expecting 'Sorry' to with utmost earnestness and bit forgiving mindset, especially if the wrongdoer happens to be someone close to your heart.

Only when a 'Sorry" is due to you, we try to appreciate the value and worth of it. That singly makes 'Sorry' a valuable word. Not to be used regardless of whether the situation warrants it or not.

So next time you use the word 'Sorry' think twice and more importantly let it come from, from the bottom of your heart! And see what magic this five-letter word creates in the mind of the listener!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Cost to Company?

HR Manager. 3 years of dedicated service. Instrumental in bringing about enhanced productivity, low-attrition and allegiance among employees to the company. Winner of several do-more-so-that-company-will-benefit awards.

An interesting entry in the relieving letter:
Cost to Company: Rs.14,65,005

By the way, can you just let me know whether you have come across any doc that mentions the 'costs suffered' by an employee by way of working for long, extended hours, putting up with office politics, staying away from his/her dear or near ones etc... etc...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

An Utopian dream?

No hackers, No anti-social websites, No unwanted mails, No junk mails; In short, absence of everything that nullifies the advantages and benefits that the cyber world offers us...

How fast, easy, time-saving and productive our cyber journeys be then?

Freedom and Space to Express yourself...

If you have ideas and you want people to know about that, what would you do? Grab a microphone, jump onto a pulpit and start speaking at the top of your voice. Well, this idea of speaking your mind out is not bad, but the problem is that, there would be few listeners for you and fewer who understands you. If they don't like what you like to say, then a physically vigorous crowd (three is a crowd, please remember, ha! ha!) would not think a wink's time to throw their footwear at you.

So what's the safe alternative?

Blog, man, blog. This is a much safer and effective way of communicating your ideas without being putting your self to physical and verbal on-the-spot feedbacks. Blogging has its advantages. Perhaps, there are more chances for you being read and understood in a more effective and proper way that it would've been otherwise, IF, what you blog about is for the good of the society.

Heartfelt thank yous to the people at Google, for providing such a great platform!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Amrita TV - Amritam for your eyes and ears!

They haven't been onto the competitive turf of channel-supremacy for long. But given the style and strategy, it won't be too long before they take the top-slots of the viewers' minds and TRP listings. The programming content catering to a wide spectrum of viewers has indeed been different and interesting one. To a great extent, I must say, their programming strategy is in line with the concept their tagline publicises - Endearing, Enriching and Entertaining.

Another peculiar feature I find with Amrita TV, is the quality of their thoroughly different visual graphics. The visual treat these graphic imageries invoke in any viewer's mind would indeed be a gladdening and refreshing one. And indelible too! Watch the graphics for programmes like Pradakshinam, Parasparam, Vanitharatnam, Chitranjali et al. I am sure, you won't miss the impressive strand of a colorful, exciting and attractive theme specific to each programme and in line with the channel's visual scheme; omnipresent in almost every graphic imagery you would come across. I guess, there is a wholly independent and exclusive visual designing team working in Amrita for this goal. Anyway, keep up the good work!

More publicity please...

A woman who is into her late thirties and desirous of attracting attention whichever way possible. Sensing that her Bollywood stint is almost over, so she must look for greener pastures abroad. Would Hollywood be okay? Oh, yeah! But the sad thing is, in Hollywood real acting talent matters. Not "just acting" won't do. But why get disheartened? Channel 4's Big Brother has brought plenty of pounds to her kitty. Whether Indians or Britishers were hurt by the kind of 'competitition' she faced inside the celebrated confines of Big Brother does not bother her. What matters to this lady is nothing but the highly-held values of Mother India; fortitude and forgiving mentality.

So, what she did? She ingeniously attributed all the Big Brother hullaballoo to a "communication gap". Dear friend, think again, if people throws tantrums on you (*ed words, including) never mind; when enlightenment dawns on you in the form of realising what you stand to gain (or lose), you can excuse your opponents by invoking the much-cliched "communication gap". That will create a win-win situation for all those concerned. Here, Channel 4, Shilpa, Jade and all those associated with the Big Brother won in one way or another.

Now, Richard Gere's kissing. Dont think of it as vulgar. He was brought up in a different culture and what wrong he did:he just kissed and that's it. Just kissed! Why make a furore over that. Gere, the celebrity Buddhist, has been grossly misunderstood. Grow up, Indian media, to the ways and customs of western world! It's a shame that every time a well-meaning lady has been put to such troubles so as to come up with a well-drafted excuse for the sake of hers and others!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Did I hear...

God's own country... (Not every part of Kerala is beautiful...)
Devil's own people... (Not all Keralites are bad people...)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Minus for food supplements and a Minus 2 for IQ

John Starr, a consultant and researcher at the Royal Victoria hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland says that smoking through one's life may typically reduce his/her IQ by 2. Also this might explain why memory lapses and slower thinking found in many people beyond the age of 60.

A separate finding in connection with a study by the Scottish Educational Research Centre reveals that most vitamins and minerals said to be present in food supplements have almost no effect on mental abilities. However, these supplements containing folic acid and vitamin B12 can help reduce levels of homecysteine, an amino acid that in high levels is associated with increased risk of vascular disease and dementia.

Source: Gulf News, Monday, March 26, 2007.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

No Child's Play - Literally!

Next time when you buy your children soft toys think twice! According to a report published by ToxicsLink.Org, soft toys made of Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) could pose serious threat to children's health as they may contain neurotoxins and nephrotoxins like Lead and Cadmium.

Out of 111 toy samples collected from Delhi, Chennai and Mumbai, 77 were found to be made of PVC materials. Further tests on 88 samples revealed them to be containing of varying concentrations of Lead and Cadmium.

A full report can be downloaded from

Monday, March 12, 2007

Celebrating the beauty of Nature...

Whenever I see a Tamil song what strikes me most is the way they are picturised. If you would ask me who makes the most beautiful song sequences in Indian Movies now, without a second thought i would say, Tamil movie people (I don't want to say Kollywood, because i dislike imitative mentality. Tollywood, Mollywood, Bollywood... And secondly, Tamil movie people do make beautiful contributions whichever film industry they work with). Take any number of Tamil songs released in the past few years and you would find most of them, quite beautiful ones celebrating the vivid and vibrant hues of nature and that too quite 'naturally'. I think that, this beautiful trend was to a great extent made chic (if i may say so) by Manirathnam's Roja which contained some beautiful picturisations of Nature in all its natural glory...

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Spammers! What do they get?

These days I get a lot of spam mails eventhough i never have opened such ones in the past. With Spammer behaviour, the general assumption is that, the more you read (read Open) such mails, the more will be the probability of you receiving spams. This general assumption is premised on the fact that if you open a spam mail (forget about you ever reading them) you are sending signals to the spammer and other prospective ones that such a mail id is in use. And Presto! your inbox would be Spambox in a few days. So Lesson 1. If you receive a spam mail either mark it as spam or just select and hit on the mighty Delete.

But what do these Spammers get? I don't think anyone would ever be as stupid as to open and read mails that come with stupid subject lines for example: ' And canyon do republic'. Would you be that inquisitive to read a mail with a subject line which obviously hints of spam flavour? You aren't such a fool, are you? Still they spam in a more or less similar fashion. They think you can be fooled. But who is the real fool?

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Superstar Junior in Amrita TV

Three contestants vying for three top honours. And on the basis of viewer poll, Alsabith from Thrissur emerged the winner, leaving Pradeesh from Kannur as the first runner-up and Lincy from Kottayam, the second runner-up.

In my opinion, the winner should have been Pradeesh, because he had been steadily progressing since the event started off. Alsabith was, to a great extent consistent with the quality of his on-stage performance and in the style of singing. His smile was indeed of a crowd-winning kind and his resourcefulness very much appreciative. But Pradeesh was my favourite because his tonal range was indeed great and he gave all himself for every song he sung. Moreover, he had been little adventurous and courageous too because he tried to sing some songs which, for a boy of his age, would have dared not to sing in such a contest. And it would not be incorrect if i say that, in these "little adventures" he had been successful to a great extent.

One doubt, remains nonetheless: Did the counting was strictly on the basis of one-vote-from-one-mobile-number or was it based on the total number of sms votes received for each contestant. If there had been no double or multiple counting of votes then i should say that the contestant poll was indeed a fair and equitable one.

Fr. Dr. Paul Poovathinkal C.M.I.

With a Doctorate in Music from the prestigious Madras University, Fr. Dr. Paul Poovanthinkal has reportedly become the first Christian priest in the world to get a Doctorate in Carnatic Music. He is one of the distinguished few who has attempted in creating a different kind of church singing based on the Carnatic Musical Ragas instead of following the Roman style of singing. He also conducts a musical academy, Chetana, in Thrissur (Trichur). Hoping to bring more info on him in the future...

(Courtesy: V.K Sreeramente Veritta Kazhchakal broadcast on Kairali TV, a Malayalam channel)