Sunday, August 23, 2009

Madras Day!

Chennai Aka Madras celebrated its 370th Birthday yesterday and it just slipped out of my overloaded brain. I decided to give the post a miss, but it’ll be unfair of a Die-hard Chennaiite!

The very word Chennai brings a m̩lange of emotions. A city where the old and new co-exist with ease. It is a multi-faceted place, ever changing, yet sticking onto its roots. A city where every event is a moment of joy and celebrations galore! We the people of Chennai symbolize what is called the РCase of Contrasts and Extremes.

Chennai is – I really don’t know. The words don’t seem to flow for some strange reason. Not because of my inability to think, but because, its such a complex place that, it cannot be summed up in one little sentence!

Madisar Maami & Mini-skirt Chick, Lungi & Armani, Sundal & Sushi, Kapaleeshwarar Kovil, Thousand Lights Mosque & the Velankanni Church, Saravana Bhavan &The Park, Satyam Theatre & Raaki Theatre. SRK & Rajnikanth, Sunda Kanji & Chivas Regal, Potti-Kadais & Swanky Malls, Poli Samiyars & Art of Living, Marina Beach and Mayajaal. Did I miss something? Yes! Tasmac and Dublin!

People tread these paths with equal ease, and know how to strike that balance. There is something about this city, which is inexplicable. The minute you step out, a sweeping feeling takes over. I think it’s called “Magic of Chennai”.

Living in Chennai, is as good as being in paradise. It’s safe as an oyster shell. An unshakable belief in people, that nothing can go wrong with the city. An epitome of warmth, it welcomes everybody with open arms. Chennai means different things to different people. You can belong to any category, and still fit in like hand in glove. Dint I just mention Chennai magic- This is it!

It’s “THE” place to be in. You can do just about anything. For the sake of simplicity and thanks to my assignment hangover I’d classify it into the following categories.

1) The Food: Ah! A foodie haven. Fried prawns on the beach, five star cuisine, Mexican, thai, continental, sundal, the filter kaapi, the unbeatable idli Vada combo! Everything just falls into place. You can be a high flying business executive or a ever broke college kid. There is something to fit in your budget. You’ll never go hungry here!

2) The Roads: Do you like the latest pulsar Ad? Want to try out those stunts sometime? No worries bring your bike here. Riding is as good as performing stunts! Left la signal pottu, right la kaiya pottu, straighta pora pasanga :D Zig-zag-zoom is what we do every day.

3) Shopping: If you are a shopaholic, please come! Pondy bazaar road side porukkals, Westside, Lifestyle. The choc-a-block T-nagar. Budgetary constraints are best forgotten. You can do a whole range of shopping with just 200bucks, provided you have the ability to mill in the crowds!

4) The Beaches: Chennai is one of those luckiest cities in this whole wide world. We have a beach in almost every area. The Besi and Marina being the pick of the lot. These places are breeding grounds for – romance, kalla kadhals, football and cricket matches, gossip, fitness freaks; the fortune tellers- all find solace in this place. You can never get enough of it!

5) The Movies: We’re movie maniacs! There are so many thalas and only one thalaivar. The undisputed Cinema Paradiso. Movie releases are as good as festivals. Larger than life cut outs, Abhishegams, vitta prasadam kudu kudupom :D

6) The Transport: Monstrous MTC busses, MRTS , Share autos, Autos, Share vans! If you are lucky, a bike or car of your own. Travelling in these are the best forms of adventure. F1 will lose out on its charm if they see our Chennai drivers fighting it out on the roads.

7) The Police Mama: You spot them at signals. If its month end, don’t perform any of the stunts mentioned in point-2, they’ll fleece. They’re sometimes the nicest people around.

8) The Auto Drivers: This should’ve been my first point. They’re the specimens. The Brand Ambassadors of the city. Mess with them; you’ll never get away with it. With exorbitant rates, coupled with bad driving skills, they rule the city!

9) The People: Everybody is a star! You can participate in a tv show and become popular. All we need is fodder for gossip. :P Chennai-vasis love our fellow people. Be it street fights, fighting over pots of water, we rule!

10) The Rains: How did I miss this?? When it rains here, it really does! Clogged roads, over flowing drains, crowded streets. Yet life goes on as smooth as ever. Everything gets a coat of fresh paint in this season. They look nice and clean. Water does the trick. This is when point-9 people take maximum advantage of you.

All said and done, Chennai can never be described in any number of words. No matter how much you say, something still goes unsaid.. That is what the city stands for. Just when you think, you’ve figured it out, it springs up a surprise. Chennai may not be a Mumbai or Bangalore. But its “Chennai” Unique in everything- Language, culture, people, lives.

This is where I truly belong. No matter where work takes me, I’ll still come back here. Buy a house right in front of Besi-Beach and live there for the rest of my life!!

Chennai, I LOVE YOU!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Three More Awards!

It's raining awards in my blog now! :D LOL
Thanks to Venky for passing on three awards! Here they go!

Humane Award

humane award
Beautiful Blogger :D

Beautiful Blogger Award
Timeless Friendship!


I pass on these awards to: Soms, Vedha, Gitu, Kaddu, Supri, Sindhu, Nithi Pri, Shreya, Prasee, Aishu, Sowmi

Spread the Cheer! :)

An Award and a Tag

I got a msg from Nithi in the afternoon, saying She's give me an award! Here it is - Creative blogger award.
Thanks Nithi!! :) It feels good to be encouraged.. This is my 2nd award!



The Tag. Nithi has passed me the ABC tag :)

So here it goes

The Rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share the ABCs of you.
4. Tag 4 people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let the 4 tagged people know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so that there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag.

The Tag:

1. A – Available/Single? Single, not really available.

2. B – Best friend? I'd be unfair if I mention names. So, lets say LOTS!

3. C – Cake or Pie? Cake

4. D – Drink of choice? Filter Kaapi!

5. E – Essential item you use every day? Contact Lenses, Mobile and Lappy.

6. F – Favorite color? Purple, Black and Blue.

7. G – Gummy Bears Or Worms? Gummy Bears

8. H – Hometown? Chennai

9. I – Indulgence? Chocolates, potato chips, chaat, pickles and tacchi mummam

10. J – January or February? April :P

11. K – Kids & their names? Read question 1, I'm single! I love naming kids though..

12. L – Life is incomplete without? Love, affection and that feeling of belongingness

13. M – Marriage date? I'll give u my DOJ next year, Marriage can wait!

14. N – Number of siblings? Younger bro

15. O – Oranges or Apples? Apples! (they have negative calories)

16. P – Phobias/Fears? Haha! Getting lost on the roads, Insects, exams. Changes from time to time. I'm really scared to climb down these trenches.! :(

17. Q – Quote for today? My life, and I'll live it, the way I choose!

18. R – Reason to smile? I smile all the time. :D It's called grinning mind you!

19. S – Season? Love the rains, and chilly December mornings!

.20. T – Tag 3 People? You'll find it at the end of the post.

21. U – Unknown fact about me? It falls in the unknown quadrant of the Johari Window.

22. V – Vegetable you don't like? Bitter gourd (ewww)

23. W – Worst habit? I bite my nails when I'm tensed. Qualities- temper!

24. X – X-rays you've had? A lot of them :P My teeth and mouth are worth a million bucks :D

25. Y – Your favorite food? A foodie at heart! Anything veggie, fried and scrumptious!

26. Z – Zodiac sign? Taurus

I am passing this tag and awards to Vedha, Gitu, Kaddu, Supri, Sindhu, Pri, Shreya, Prasee, Aishu,

Friday, August 21, 2009

Individual Social Responsibilty

Caution: A very preachy post ahead. If you are in no mood, to discuss serious affairs, please give it a miss.

We celebrated our 63rd Independence Day last week. A lot of discussions were on, Politics, The Nation, Economy, Poverty, the fragile Social Threads that bind the country, etc. What, I observed was, a lot of them missed out on this very important and crucial factor. This very factor can rewrite history. Most of us are bestowed with it, yet there are so many people who only dream about it. Look at us - Multiple degrees beside our names, well paying cushy jobs, education in / from good institutes. We look at these and we are satisfied folks.

But do we all know that there is a sizeable chunk of the population which survives on thumb-impressions as a personal identity?

Yes! It is “Education”.

This 9 lettered word, holds paramount importance in a country like ours. A lot of people are crying hoarse about it, NGO’s of various sizes dissect it, huge corporations indulge in it. But, not many people stress enough on it. It is assumed that it is enough if you dish you stats about the pathetic state of affairs. Personally, I feel that, this very important issue isn’t given its due. Corporate Social Responsibility is what everybody talks about. Can a group of corporations achieve what a nation hasn’t been able to achieve in 63yrs of independence?

By corporations, I don’t mean the top brass; I’m talking about the ‘people’. Not many realize that the responsibility lies with us, we the people. No matter how many corporations, NGO’s and Private Groups come along. Nothing will change, unless we as individuals decide to take up the real challenge. Firstly, we must understand how important education is. We’ve been blessed, so why not pass on the benefit to a handful of other people.

I’m a part of an NGO, which works for this purpose. Walk into any orphanage, you’ll be shocked to find kids, who go to schools but cannot read or write properly. I don’t mean to call them dull. What they lack is that motivation factor. They see no reason why they should probably study. The teachers in their respective schools don’t even care. Out of every 10 children, 2 are really interested in making it big. The rest of them can also make it, provided we motivate them, enlighten them about the benefits. Teach them, goad them, and be persistent. They don’t listen to us right away, they’ll question you; so, have the right answers ready. Be convincing, tell them how important it is for them to move ahead in life. Inspire them.

There is a lot you can do. Start with your maid’s kids. You are not doing them a favor by giving them your old books. Make sure they read them. A genuine attempt in understanding their needs goes a long way, in bestowing them with a decent future. Join an NGO with similar interests. Just joining the bandwagon isn’t a fashion statement. Bring in a difference to at least a couple of children. There is a lot we can do at an individual level. Little drops make a mighty ocean. It is our “Individual Social Responsibility”.

Go ahead, and teach a couple of kids atleast. I'm sure you will be remembered for more than your degrees worth. A well paying job in an MNC is worth a million bucks! An answer from a kid whom you taught English grammar to is 'Priceless'!

Jai Ho!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Disconnected

A decade back, if you had an internet connection, people would go like “You have a connection? Oh! Really?! Nice yaar”

Now, if you dint, like in my case disconnected, the same bunch go like “Oh, yours is not working? Sad re! Change it soon”

My internet or the lack of it trigged a lot of comments. My neighbor, best friends, anybody and everybody seemed to be worried about my non-working internet. I dint feel anything for the first couple of days. It struck me on Monday that I needed a connection, because my boss wanted the rough draft. It was 24hrs of sheer restlessness. By next day, I had found things to keep me occupied.

I login to my account say twice a day at the max. Don’t prefer staying on for long stretches. Being available doesn’t interest me. I hate the concept of logging in, first thing in the morning before you even grace the toothbrush, to staying up until the owls go to bed. I see no rhyme or reason to be wired all the time. Random quizzes on facebook, twitter updates, blog updates, don’t really keep me engaged. I like reading a good article once in a while, but never gets to the level of obsessing over it.

I like being wireless! Give me a book or a movie. Add to it a Marie biscuit packet, comfy pillow and a mattress. You’ve had me! Good food is always a part of it. You wouldn’t see me get up from that place, unless I’m pulled out on demand. My mom enjoys calling out for me. I’ve always been a huge fan of books, off late movies. I give into indulgence of the net, only when there’s a very interesting conversation going on, or if there’s work which has to be submitted the next morning. Otherwise, no matter what happens, I’m off by 10.30.

Internet, I have observed has a quaint resemblance to drug addiction. What starts as a fun activity, slowly sucks you into its web, leaving no room for reality. By the time you realize its effects, you are well drowned in there. Social Butterflies will argue that, it energizes them. People get so engrossed in the virtual world of text, colour and graphics, that GUI format has more respect than its verbal counterpart.

I’m not preaching for complete abstinence, but avoid over-indulgence. Do a reality check. (Don’t look for a reality check quiz on facebook please) A realistic assessment of how you spend your time. If you eat-breathe-sleep; internet, your doomsday isn’t far away. I wish, you people, understand that there’s more to life than Gtalk, YM, Blogger, facebook and Twitter. It’s high time you took control of the reins. Catch a flick, read a book, ‘talk’ to ‘real’ people. Develop a new hobby, but get off the system!

I’ve gotten into the habit of passing on free-wheeling advice. Wannabe consultant in the making you see. Staying on the web for too long isn’t going to make you Spiderman. Set a timer; keep a watch on how much time you spend lurking around. Entrust the responsibility to somebody who cares about you. It takes time; it’s difficult, you’ll feel very off colour in the beginning, trust me, it does a lot of good to you! Also goes a long way in ensuring your sanity.

In no time you’ll become like the Old lady in To Kill a Mocking Bird, who was cured off her morphine addiction. Try it!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Salad Se Sweet Tak

The topic sounds like a Karan Johar Movie! There was no other way I could word it. My days at office are over. I'm mildly senti, not overboard.
Never thought I'll enjoy working as much. 15days of hardwork, plus lots of fun in the aapice.
The coffee vending machine and the lunch hall were my favorite haunts.
It was an out and out, throughly enjoyable experience. No exaggerations here. I was one of those few lucky folks, who got away with it.

Most of the student interns from my class were in their respective companies, slogging it out. I, on the other hand, walked in and out of aapice, as and when I wanted. There was no fixed reporting or leaving time. It was more like home you see. My Boss, made an irrestible offer of working from home as well.

I had access to unlimited free lunch, a system all for myself, unlimited internet, unlimited coffee, and yeah, Hot Chocolate and Elaichi tea included. Every morning, I reported to my desk with a nice cup of Nescafe Coffee! Hot chocolate after lunch, Tea sometimes. Lunch was probably, the best thing in the whole company! Lunch time was feast time. Starts with Salad, juice, roti/ dosa, rice, two varities of subzi, appalam, curd rice, fruits, pickle and a sweet! The food, was awfully healthy, yummy, and really appetizing. If you are a foodie, you'll demand that your cube be right inside the lunch-hall :D

Work-wise: I had lots of papers on my desk! File after file, huge documents with random comments, excel sheets with different coloured cells, lots of numbers, client details. It was hectic, while I worked. It wasn't that pressure cooker situation. I was totally into working, and was enjoying all the attention bestowed upon me! Good part was, the concept of dumping others work on me wasn't there. So, when I worked, I really did.

My job at the company, was to develop a computerised system, and integrate the departments operations. Nothing technical, but simple understanding and putting things in order. Integrating the system, so that work gets done faster. Finally, making sure, the model is compatible with SAP. Work isn't complete yet. Only the blueprint is ready. Rest is in the pipleline.

I simply can't stop raving about the company. I've never felt happier when my work was being appreciated. There was this sudden surge of energy in me. Was never bored or dull for a minute. End product- The Boss, was extremely happy with the outcome. A 'very good', from the horse's mouth, goes a long way in keeping people like me motivated!

Monday, was my last day at work. I was supposed to get my letter from the HR guy, dint happen. It will be couriered to me, apparently. I left the building feeling a little sad. I'll miss my desk, the coffee vending machine, and lunch hall goes without saying!
I can't wait for January to come :D


Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Case Study of Love Aaj Kal

Going by the title, I thought it was a movie about “love these days”. Jai and Meera are aaj-kal ke couples. They are very modern, outgoing, fun loving junta. They have career goals as well! Saif wants to join Golden Gate Inc. and Deepika wants to restore old buildings in India. When they decide it’s time to move on – they break up. There is no rona dhona, they smile, decide to keep in touch, say bye-bye; even host a break-up party. Awesome! Point to be noted here is – Long distance relationships don’t work.

What happens there on is the story. Enter, Veer Singh, the coffee shop owner. When Meera decides to leave London to do fresco in India, VS convinces Jai, that he has to go to the airport to see her off. Fair enough. They split, but keep in touch. As time passes by, they start going out with better people.

Here, comes in the twist in the kahani! What you thought would be a happy-go-lucky love story, completely changes gears. A parallel love story of VS and Jai begins. Jai picks up cues from the older man’s story. Although he calls it stupidity, he still continues to go in the flow. Like all other love stories, the lovers have that nagging feeling, even after they part ways. They don’t express it openly.

The older man follows his lady love with diligence and perseverance. Goes all the way to Calcutta, just to have a glimpse of her, she in turn gives him black tea. It’s his pratigya! He is a firm believer, in old-fashioned love adage- ‘pyar bas ek baar hi hota hai’. He tries to drill sense into Saif’s –I’m-a-Casanova’ brain. Said follows his instructions, and lands in Delhi to ‘surprise’ her, just as it happens in the parallel version. When they meet, they’re still very comfortable with each other. Lie to their respective beau’s and hang around!

In the meantime, Deepika gets married. Saif feels awful. Inspite of which he lets her move on with the good life that beckons her, vice versa. Only after getting married, does she realize that she still has feelings for Saif. By then, Saif joins his dream company, lives his life to the fullest, yet feels a void in his otherwise full heart. Other women fail to entice him. That’s when a jolt strikes his ‘I’m-A-Casanova’ brain, that he can be happy only with her and nobody else! (Ah! I know). He flies back to meet his ‘janeman’.

Parallel story, VS, goes out for his lady love. He elopes with her, on the day of her marriage, (of course with her mother’s aashirwad). Deepika is happily restoring buildings. The modern day couple(J&M) meet- decide they will never split and live happily ever after! All Hindi movies and love stories in general have to have a happy ending! They meet at the very Haveli where, VS and his Lady Love met for the first time. There cannot be a happier ending..

Only, surprise element is, VS and his Lady Love move to London, and continued living happily ever after. Now, we know that J&M will do the same!

Moral of the story: All love stories are the same. Happys Endings Forever! Nobody likes tragedy and yeah, Pyaar bas ek bar hi hota hai!