Saturday, May 28, 2005



If someone thought that penning an autobiography is facile, then you gotta be kidding. You need to have a great memory for sure to diligently chronicle the highlights of your life and then write it down with a flair that would make the readers appreciate and seek inspiration from your achievements.

I haven't read many autobiographies but the one I do remember having enjoyed was the one written by Agatha Christie. She did live a very eventful life and although she conveniently omits a very embarrassing incident in her life attributing it to her bouts of amnesia, the book is definitely worth a read. She writes at length about her childhood, her knowledge of medicines (because of her stint as a nurse during the world war) and her fascination for books and archeology. She also speaks about her characters like Poirot, Marple, Tommy and Tuppence.
The one flaw in the book is it's bad editing since the periods and incidents appear disconnected probably because she wrote the book over a period of many years.

So ppl who are reading this, let me know of other autobiographies worth reading, coz i would be interested in giving it a shot.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Rains and Sleepless Nights

The one thing that's taken for granted nowadays at the place where I reside is the power failure which accompanies every rain. I mean, the rain is a harbinger of power cuts and the period of this shutdown seems to be directly proportional to the intensity of the rain. A drizzle would leave one without power for half an hour and a thunderstorm would leave you in darkness for the whole night. This nocturnal activity and the scorching heat of the summer (I know that Bangalore is known for its salubrious weather but this year's the worst I have felt) leaves one sleepless which in turn makes one groggy during the day for want of sleep.

The irony is that the rainy season is yet to arrive. So if this is an indication of things to come, the electricity officials are doing a great job of making us get used to the humongous blackouts that are bound to follow later.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005



This title is something I have associated with Joseph Heller because his works are unique. As one reviewer reviewing his book “Closing Time” puts it “Heller is the master of the morbid wisecrack. Heller dissects the American dream with as sharp and poignant a wit as ever”. In his works Heller creates a mad mad world and some of the conversations of his characters are hilarious to the point of being absurd. The one thing you immediately notice in his books is the colossal length of some of his sentences, reading which you are as confused as ever.

In “Closing Time”, another allegory like “Catch 22” there are some paragraphs and conversations that do make you laugh. Consider this first extract:
“The Freedom of Information Act, the chaplain explained, was a federal regulation obliging government agencies to release all information to anyone who made application to it, except information they had that they did not want to release. And Because of this one catch in The Freedom of Information Act, Yossarian had subsequently found out, they were technically not compelled to release any information at all. Hundreds of thousands of pages each week went out regularly to applicants with everything blacked out on them but punctuation marks, prepositions and conjunctions. It was a good catch, Yossarian judged expertly, because the government did not have to release any information about the information they chose not to release, and it was impossible to know if anyone was complying with the federal law called the Freedom of Information Act.”

Here’s another good one from one of his characters:
[“And Christopher Maxon is always agreeable,” Patrick guaranteed, “as long as you give him something to agree with. I have lunch with him frequently when I feel like eating alone”].

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Music of Mayookham is captivating

After a short hiatus, the winning combination of director Hariharan and musician Bombay Ravi who churned out wonderful hits like “Nakashantangal” and “Sargam” are back with their latest Malayalam film “Mayookham”.

I was listening to the music of the film and was glad to see that Bombay Ravi has not lost his touch. The album is diverse and offers some wonderful scores and in a way transports you to the golden era of Malayalam films from the mid-eighties to the mid-nineties. The album is unique in that each song is a solo and no singer gets to sing two songs.

The album starts with “Katinnu Sugandham” sung by the omnipresent Yesudas (there are very few films in Malayalam where this legend does not get to sing). The song works mainly because of the poetic lyrics penned by Hariharan himself. “EE Puzhaum” sung by the gifted Chitra is nostalgic and invokes the picturesque beauty of Kerala. Lyrics by Mankombu Gopalakrishnan, with Chitra at her best, you can’t ask for a better song. Vijita Jai Ganesh sings “Tho Geha Krithya”, can’t comment much on this except that her sweet voice suits the song well. I guess a Malayalam album is incomplete without Jayachandran’s melodious voice. His voice is as youthful as when he started off in the 70s. Here he sings “Chuvarillathe”, another gem from the pen of Hariharan. Thought provoking with excellent music and a soulful rendition. “EE Puzhaum” repeats with an equally poignant male version sung by a new singer in Chandrasekhar. The voice is fresh and adds to the flavor of the album. “Dhanumasa Pulari” by Sujatha and chorus is vibrant and brings the festival spirit to light. Now coming to my favorite song. The extremely talented and versatile M.G. Sreekumar sings “Bagvathi Kavil”, with lyrics by Mankombu Gopalakrishnan. A romantic song, this is another feather in the cap for Sreekumar.

A great album, I am looking forward to the film and hopefully it won’t disappoint either.

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Will Federer Conquer Roland Garros?

With the French Open round the corner, all eyes are on Roger Federer. Rohit Brijnath in his article "A Graveyard of Heroes" written for the Hindu, mentions about the French being the only slam which has eluded big players like McEnroe,Sampras,Edberg to name a few. All tennis aficionados would definitely like to see Federer win the elusive French open, since the grace and the insouciance of his game definitely ranks him among the greatest players to have played the game.

There are however obstacles he has to encounter in Coria and a rejuvenated Ferrero. The major threat would be the in-form Nadal. There is also a dark horse lurking in the form of Richard Gasquet (a player to watch out for in the future) who was highly impressive during the tournament in Hamburg last week.

I hope that Federer wins the French since it is the toughest grand slam to win and winning it would without doubt raise him to the pinnacle of tennis.

Friday, May 20, 2005


The Quizzing Imbroglio

The quiz I attended yesterday turned out to be a disaster. I guess I wanted to know where I stood with respect to my “GK”. After the quiz, I am not sure if I am “standing” anywhere. The first round was a written prelim and out of all the questions (don’t want to reveal the exact number here), my partner and I managed one question correct. It was a shock when I realized which one we had finally deciphered. I am averse to watching the daily soaps on TV, but such is the impact of this serial that we guessed the audio clip playing the theme music immediately. The soap was “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” which when translated means “Because mother-in-law was also a bride once”. It hit me sometime after the quiz. My partner does not know this but I had spelt the answer wrong. There was now an extra “n” in the second word changing it to “Saans” which does change the entire meaning drastically.

So much for my quizzing skills. My only hope is that the quizmaster shows mercy and does not reduce the score to zilch because of the typo.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Animal Welfare - Something to Ponder About

Yesterday was a bad start to the day when I received the following link from a friend. It was definitely disturbing and a cause for concern. Simply inexplicable and inhumane is how I would put it. Probably the best way to put an end to this is to spread awareness and I would be really glad if this space takes a step forward in this direction. The news item is below. More on this is available at

"Today, at a news conference in Washington, D.C., PETA revealed the findings of its 11-month undercover investigation into Covance, the international drug-testing giant (formerly known as Hazelton).
PETA’s investigator worked as a technician inside the Vienna, Virginia, Covance laboratory, where she documented workers who were striking, choking, taunting, and deliberately tormenting terrified monkeys. She documented monkeys with broken arms left without proper veterinary treatment and animals in desperate need of euthanasia, who were kept alive and in agony just to please drug companies. Other primates, used in lethal irradiation experiments, developed open wounds on their stomachs.
When PETA called the U.S. Department of Agriculture for help during our investigation, the agency took five days to respond. Please help these suffering primates, who live in constant fear of the next horrible thing that will happen to them."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Let Sleeping Humans Sleep

Usually my bus journeys from office to home and vice-versa are uneventful. Today was an exception. On my trip back home, I realized that the person sitting next to me was someone who usually gets down at the stop prior to mine. Being a casual acquaintance, I greeted him and then got engrossed in the book I was reading. My neighbor however had drifted into a sound sleep. As the bus neared his destination, I began to get concerned. I decided that I needed to wake him up before its too late. I shook him and told him about the impending stop and that he needs to be getting down. He woke up with a start as if from a nightmare. He told me that he was to get down much later today. He was however appreciative of my effort and thanked me. I wasn’t too happy that I had interrupted his peaceful slumber. It also added to my misery when he stated that he had had an exhaustive day yesterday and he needed to catch up on his sleep. By this time, my stop had arrived and I mumbled an incoherent apology before I left.

What does this really teach me? People who sleep in a shuttle are the best judge of where their destination is. Never impede upon their sleep and then face their wrath later.

Saturday, May 07, 2005


The New Look Hindu

The Hindu is definitely a newspaper which does not compromise on its news coverage. So when someone asked me what I thought of its new look, I replied that it most definitely gives it a very "New" and contemporary feel to it. I was however ambivalent that if this would invade upon the space for its news coverage. Now that this new look is almost a month old, I can safely say that my worries were superfluous. I know its still early days but I hope that at least the news coverage stays the way it is, what with most other newspapers going "The Tabloid" way.



There have been a plethora of quiz shows on TV. "Padayottam", the latest entrant in the Malayalam channel Kairali is different and refreshing. Thanks mainly to the histrionics of the quiz master G S Pradeep the show certainly keeps you engrossed. Pradeep who shot into limelight with that quintessential TV show "Ashwamedham" , Kairali's version of "20 questions" is in full form once more. The 5 rounds offer a very good variety of questions. My personal favorite is the "Crossword" where the participants need to guess a person in 4 clues (a compressed version of 20 questions). The only negative factor is that the Picture clues are hardly visible to the TV audiences.

Pradeep goes over the top at times especially when he introduces the next round to the audience (this very theatrical display has me in fits of laughter).He is however the ideal anchor, he does have the air of superiority but keeps it subdued without being overly supercilious. His vitality certainly rubs off on the show and the participants. For his presence alone and the range of questions the show offers, Padayottam is definitely a cut above the rest.

Strictly for mallu audiences, catch it every wed and thurs at 9:30 pm.

Sunday, May 01, 2005


My dog's become moody.

My dog has entered what you would call "the old age". The one thing that's struck me immediately is that its gotten too moody. I mean earlier, when I was returning home, it would be the first to greet me, the wagging tail an absolute delight to watch. I would have just gone out for a walk probably for ten minutes, but that would not deter my dog from welcoming me with the same enthusiasm as if it had not seen me for ages, making my home coming all that more worthwhile. All that's changed a bit now. I mean there are days when he does welcome me home like before but its not too consistent. On some days, even when I return home after work (being away for some 12 hours), i dont see him at the door. Although he is wide awake , I cannot make him come to me. So what I do now is to make amends, everybody goes through old age, and since Iam young enough, I walk upto him, the thump-thump of his tail on the ground is evidence of his appreciation :-).


What a contrast

When I visited the Bangalore Institute of Oncology, little did I expect that it would turn out to be so depressing. I knew that it would not be a pleasure visit, but I wasnt ready for the sights that greeted me there. There were people recovering from radiation and chemotherapy. People of all ages. I particularly noted a kid of about 8 sleeping on the sofa in the waiting room. She was hairless (probably signs of the treatment in process) and was surrounded by her family. A little while later, an older man came in with his family. He looked like he was in his last legs. He had a lot of difficulty walking, he would walk about three steps and then stop to recover and then continue again. Probably the only thing I was glad to see in this environment was when I saw a doctor coming out to meet the patient. In her forties, someone who would impress upon you at first sight, she had a wide smile on her face, the smile that did not vanish at any point.I guess it does lift the spirits of the patients when you see a doctor with a pleasing demeanor.

The very next day I visited the Forum (the shopping mall) in Koramangala with a friend. It did not take long to register the contrast between the two places. Here there were a lot of smiling faces, faces that had perhaps have not been acquainted with sorrow. Couples walking hand in hand ready to face the challenges of tomorrow. Who knows what this tomorrow brings?

This made me realize one thing, you never know but happiness in life might be ephemeral, enjoy it while it lasts. As someone once said "The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it".

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Free Hit Counter