Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Kannada spirit irli...

Sunday morning I got an unusal josh. I went to Jayanagar music store and started looking for Kannada bhavageethe song cassettes and CDs. I found that "Kannada Sahithya Parishath" has released a few songs sung by some of the famous Kannada singers. I picked up a couple of them and went to get it billed. The bill was just 70Rs. I somehow found this surprising as most of the English and Hindi cassettes cost Rs70 each. Then when I was on my way out, I found the instrumental section. I have been always attracted to Kadri and though I have a few of his tunes in CD and added to my kitty another of his cassette. In the afternoon I played all the cassettes and the most happiest person around was my dad. The "Hachevu Kannadada Deepa" collection was very good.

In the evening I went to a cousin's grihaprabesh. There a group of small girls (7 to 10 yrs old) had come from a remote village in Malnad. They were playing and making a lot of noise. An elderly person got irritated by the noise and so asked these kids to do something else. Suddenly they sat in a line and started singing some Kannada bhajans. For 45 mins they sung some 10 songs in perfect coordination. Everybody who had assembled were silently listening. We were all so much involved in the bhajans that we did not realise until 9:30pm that we had to have dinner and move to our houses. It seems that these kids sing in the village temple daily after dark there. They form a perfect group and they have a good sense for music. With no instruments and shruthi box, they sung the songs to perfection.

SPB always says that "Bhavageethe and Janapada geethe" have grown in Kannada more than in any other language. There are singers who just sing these songs (not film songs) for 3-4 hrs on the trot. More importantly they still get good audience. Recently 'C Ashwath' organised a program in palace grounds. There was total traffic jam near the area and all the seats were filled in palace grounds. Newspaper reports said that the number of people who had assembled for this "kannadave sathya" program outnumbered the collection for Bryan Adams.The organisers were taken by surprise.
What is this all about? Just some thots...

Monday, May 30, 2005

"The Lion King"

I had a wedding reception to attend on Saturday evening. But Friday evening's rain experience scared me from venturing out of the house. Walls had come down, trees were uprooted, vehicles left floating on the road --- These were some scenes of "Friday rain fury" in Bangalore. It turned out to be a good decision not only because it rained heavily on Saturday evening but also because I spend the evening watching the cartoon movie "The Lion King" on Disney channel.

The movie is superb...rating of 5/5.
First let me talk about the storyline. The 'good' king of the jungle is killed by his 'wicked' brother who turns out to be a bad king. The 'good' king's young cub is sent out of the jungle. The cub (Simba) finds new friends in the adjacent jungle and has a great time ('Hakuna Matata' - no worry time) as it grows to become a lion. One fine day, Simba meets his childhood girlfriend who along with the family priest (Baboon) inspires Simba to return home and become the king there. Simba fights his 'wicked' uncle and becomes the king of the jungle thus bringing in prosperity and happiness to the jungle. A very humane story, with lots of characters resembling the ones in the Amitabh Bachan age India love stories.

The story may be just one of the several reasons why I rate the movie so high. But the way the story is narrated and pictureised (literally) is simply great. The first song where the animals form patterns is mind blowing. Here is a small list of some very good scenes of the movie (the ones which impressed me).
  • The parade of the jackals in front of the 'wicked' king.

  • Water reflections of Simba and his girlfriend during their duet in the jungle.

  • The final fight between Simba and his uncle with volcano in the background.

  • Pumba, Timon and Simba walking on a log singing 'Hakuna Matata'. Watch the synchronous movement of their asses.

  • Scene where Simba is licked on the face by his girlfriend and the shy face of both of them as a reaction to that 'lion kiss'.

  • The stampede where Simba is rescued by his father.

  • Family priest realizes that Simba is alive and so paints mane over the picture of the cub Simba and hence depicting the cub as a lion.

Cartooning has come of age. The hyenas look very cool. The visualization of a bad guy is so beautiful (!) that my niece (5yrs old) immediately told that it was the 'Rakshsa' (demon) lion. The movie is for all ages.

If you haven't seen it, rush to the CD center and make it a point to watch it. Disney channel would re-telecast it for some more days. Don’t miss this wholesome entertainer.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Football season...Look back

The club football season came to an end in Europe with the dramatic finals of the Champions League. The season had mixed feelings for me.

In the EPL Chelsea were crowned champions but they could not reach the finals of the Champions League, which is disappointing. Chelsea had a bad day in office when they lost (conterversial goal) to the eventual champions Liverpool 1-0. Going by their EPL performance this year, it would be hard for the others in the next season to catch up with them unless the real competitors like Manu and Arsenal buy some good guys. Lampard and Terry were the key to Chelsea's success. The match against Barca was nothing short of amazing. It was difficult for me to sit and watch 2 favorite teams fight out and knowing that one has to make way for the other.

Liverpool may not able to defend their trophy as they have not finished in the top 4 of the English league. This has opened the debate of "Are the champions trophy the real European champions?"...Interesting debate!

Arsenal and Manu clashed in the FA cup finals. The amzing finals saw Manu hitting the post 3 times and Arsenal's goalie (Lehmann) saving some splendid kicks. Arsenal finally sent Manu crashing out in the penalties thus ending Manu's trophy less season miserably.
West Brom escaped relegation on the last day of the EPL playoffs. A dramatic win sent Southhamton out of the priemership for the first time in 18 years.

Barca won the Spanish league comfortably. The rich and talented Real Madrid were just onlookers as Barca won matches with ease. When I was in Barca's home stadium, the guide told us that the club president got elected because he promised to get Beckham. He failed to do so but got a better player in Ronaldino. Samuel Eto was in top form through out the season. Eto's comments after Barca's win will defintely add spice to the already hot relationship between them and Real Madrid. He said "Real Madrid Bastards, Hail the winners".

Lyon, Rangers and Juve won the French, Scottish and the Italian leagues respectively. Juventus victory and Liverpool's trashing of Milan left the star studded AC Milan trophyless in the season. CSKA Moscow won the UEFA cup beating first time finalists Sporting Lisbon in front of their home crowd. Rangers beat their arch rivals Celtic by just 1 point.

A similar ending was there in the Indian league. Before entering the final day of matches the top 3 teams were separated by just 2 points and any one could take the trophy. Finally it was Dempo club who won it. East Bengal failed to win their last match. Goans are shining at the moment. Next season will see Bangalore's HASC entering the league again. I hope they escape relegation. I want to watch the goans play in Bangalore. Calcutta's one time gaints Mohan Bagan just escaped relegation.

The best matches of the season.
Liverpool Vs Ac Milan - Finals of Champions trophy...Liverpool wins after they are down 3-0 at half time. Dudek saves penalties at ease.
Chelsea Vs Barcelona - Pre QF of Champions trophy...Chelsea wins.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Has disclaimer helped?

My company has introduced a rule which asks us to have a disclaimer to all the mails we send to people outside the company. The diclaimer is a 3 paragraph statement. Even with a font size of 8, the space occupied is pretty huge. When I send a 2 line mail to my friend outside, the size of the mail increases just because of the signature. When there is a conversation, 80% of the size is the disclaimer. Imagine if that friend also has such a disclaimer, then to read the mail is a pain.

Whatz the purpose of disclaimer? My opinion is not always the company's opinion. So when I mail some personal opinion from my company mail id, the company cannot be held responsible for my writing. Also if by mistake, the mail reaches somebody who is not supposed to receive it, he\she cannot charge the company of spamming it. I dont know when this concept came into existance, but I feel 9-11 had a major role in popularising this. There were lot of mails going around where people wrote supporting the attack on USA. Companies wanted to play it safe...and rightly so.

What I wonder is, why the fear? Is there any case where the company was held responsible for an individual's opinion? Or is there any major reason which I am missing!?

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Cobra squad

Bangalore police have got a new squad. After the Cheetah squad now its the "Cobra" squad. The squad is set up to tackle the traffic jam menace of Bangalore. The main job of the squad will be to goto the place where the jam has occured and immidiately regulate traffic to avoid long pileups. It is a one man army ie a cobra is a police inspector on a motorbike. 3 - 4 cobras will come to a place where the jam has happened and work together.

Yesterday because of wind and rain there were lot of trees that came down. The shuttle which leaves my office at 6:15pm got stuck in the jam near silk board and udupi garden. At 7:30pm when the 2nd shuttle was about to leave, a friend called up and asked us to change the route and avoid the jam. Our driver ignored and said he would take teh same route. And to our surprise by the time we reached the jam place, the cobras were in control. It was raining but the trafffic was being smartly regulated and there was no jam. We did not get caught anywhere. The cobras were there all through the jam location and had done a superb work. With the increasing population of vehicles and bad conditions of road, Cobras will have no spare time. Way to go Bangalore!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Smell of soil

Rain Gods opened up on Saturday and continued their onslaught on Sunday too. Bangalore was touching 37+ deg Celcius from the past 4 days. The rain was most welcome as the temperatures came down. But along with the temperatures, the trees and the electric poles came down too. There was a major power failure in my area. Traffic came to a standstill at many places. There are reports of people getting washed away in storm drains. But what I liked most was sitting outside the house as the first drops came down after a long time. As the drops fell on the dry soil, there was a unique fragrance from the soil. I love that smell always. The smell lasts for a small time only. Like a camera to capture pictures and a voice recorder to capture sounds there is no recording instrument to capture smell. How sad! I just sat outside and saw the 2nd "Ali kallu rain" of the season, wondering how ice is formed in the sky when teh temperature on the early is around 35 deg C.


This is supposed to be a horror movie and hence supposed to be scary. But it is neither a horror movie nor scares anybody. The movie is a mixture of Sixth sense, Unbreakable and the director has tried to copy Verma's style of shooting. The result is a ultimate horrible cinema. Urmila who has been giving very good performances since "Kaun" has nothing to do in the movie. Her talent is wasted. Nobody else has any big role. The first half is a big drag and people may tend to walk out of the cinema hall during the interval. The story starts off in the 2nd half only. Some spirituality and philosophical things are added to spice up the ending. The last scene is taken from "Unbreakable" where the underground train explodes.

I still remember watching Kaun with my classmates in Kerala. After the nightshow we tried to scare the girl classmates on the way to the lodge. Kaun was an ultimate movie and Booth followed its foot steps. VastuShastra was a lot better than this. Urmila had exceled in the roles. Directors should stop copying Ram Gopal Verma. Verma's next venture "D" has evekoed lot of interest as it is supposed to be a prequel to teh super hit "Company".

Friday, May 20, 2005

PIL against MPs

I just got an idea. I want to raise a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) with tha Karnataka high court. The PIL as the expantion says is in the interest of the public...the Indian citizens. What got me to this?

Bangalore has been suffering because of lack of development since about 1 year. It was when Karnataka and India got new coalition governments. Not a single road in my area is good. It was already bad and it is now worse. The infrastructure developement compared to the growth of the city is almost nothing. There is a major water crisis in places like Dharwad, Hubli and other north Karnatka places. Karnataka's problems with Andra over Krishna waters has reached a all time high point. The naxal problem in the Malnad region has decreased the developement pace of the region. The Mangalore ONGC project is still to kick off. There is a personal tussel between Chidambaram (he wants the project in Tamil Nadu) and Dharam Singh. These are just a small list of the problems facing Karnataka. Karnataka has elected 17 MPs from NDA which now sits in the opposition. None of these 17 MPs goto parliament, thanks to the stupid boycott of parliament because of some stupid reason. From the past 2 sessions, NDA guys havent been to the parliament.

Why have we elected these guys?
Not to sit outside and shout slogans against the so called tainted ministers.They are there to solve our problems. Raise it with the government and discuss the issues in the Parliament. If they can't to this, they should not be our representatives. Now what I want? I want to goto the court and ask the court the order these MPs to attend the Parliament and discuss the problems we face.
I hope this is a right cause.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Shuttle changed...some thots

Our shuttle changed again. But fortunately, its only when going back home and not when coming to office. For sometime now we had a Tempo traveller and a skilled driver. He used to bring us to office in just 1hr and on the return journey he ensured that we dont sit inside his neatly maintained vehicle for more than 75mins. It all changed because of the population increase in my company and guys from my area contributing handsomely to it. There are 9 new guys from my route. The transport guys had to run a 2nd backup shuttle to transport the guys back home. After some days of observation, they decided to put one big vehicle instead running 2 vehicles. Perfect decision. Now this big vehicle (Eicher 24 seater) cannot go in smaller roads and hence we are slow to reach home. Pollution is reduced. It takes more than 90 mins for me to reach home now.

The big vehicle has higher seats and so there is a support till the head. The TT that was used earlier had seats that supported the backs only. Both are comfortable. In the TT one could turn back and see the other guys. We used to talk about all the things on earth in the shuttle and almost all of them could see and participate in the discussions. With these newer higher seats, we cannot see each other and hence there are no common talks. One can talk to his\her immidiate neighbor only. This is bad as the interaction and the liveliness of the shuttle travel is gone. The radio which was a reductant stuff earlier has gained importance now. The time to finish off a book has reduced.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Observant ?

I got a mail from a friend of mine. The questions in the mail are the ones which we have seen mostly on a daily basis. Still we dont remeber these. This questionairre checks how Observant a person is?
Try it out.

1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?
2. In which hand is the Statue of Liberty's torch?
3. What two numbers on the telephone dial don't have letters by them?
4. When you walk does your left arm swing with your right or left leg?
5. How many matches are in a standard pack?
6. On the United States flag is the top stripe red or white?
7. Which way does water go down the drain, counter or clockwise?
8. Which way does a "no smoking" sign's slash run?
9 On which side of a women's blouse are the buttons?
10. Which way do fans rotate?
11. How many sides does a stop sign have?
12. Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?
13. How many lug nuts are on a stand ard car wheel?
14. How many sides are there on a standard pencil?
15. Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Grumpy,Dopey, Doc. Who's missing?
16. On which playing card is the card maker's trademark?
17. On which side of a Venetian blind is the cord to turn them up and down?
18. There are 12 buttons on a touch tone phone. What 2 symbols bear no digits?
19. How many curves are there in the standard paper clip?
20. Does a merry-go-round turn counter or clockwise?

1. Bottom
2. Right
3. 1, 0
4. Right
5. 20
6. Red
7. Clockwise (north of the equator)
8. Towards bottom right
9. Left
10. Anti-Clockwise as you look at it
11. 8
12. Left
13. 5
14. 6
15. Bashful
16. Ace of spades
17. Left
18. *, .
19. 3
20. Counter

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

An ethical question - To buy or not?

Yesterday we had a coffee corner discussion about shares and which are the hot shares to buy now. ITC is a good bet one guy suggested. Another punter in the market suggested not to buy ITC because it is a tobacco company. By buying the shares of ITC, we are indirectly supporting smoking which means we are helping in spreading of cancer. Wow ! I had never thought on these lines. I totally agree with this argument. But then the question is which share to buy? The big manufacturing industries, the petrochemical industries, textile guys all pollute the envoirnment and the local population suffer for decades because of this. On the other side every big indusry provides employment and hence people have food to eat atleast. ITC also puts funds in rural development which is good.
It is really an ethical question and individuals need to take a decision in what company should one invest.

Monday, May 16, 2005

"A heap of broken images"

Me and a friend of mine met on saturday and decided to watch a play in RangaShankara. The play was titled "A heap of broken images". It was written specially for RangaShankara by the Jnanapita awardee Girish Karnad. The one woman show was for about 55 mins.

The show starts off with the lead lady giving an interview on a TV show on the launch of her new English book. Basically a Kannada writer defends herself for writing a book in English saying that thoughts do not have a language. She also says that the book is a tribute to her handicapped sister who died recently. She thanks her husband for supporting her throughout her career.
When she is about to leave the studio after the interview, the play kicks off a talk between this writer and her conscience. The theatrical way of showing conscience impressed me. It's a TV. This conversation brings about the real story. The novel is actually written by her handicapped sister and puts the duplicate writer in a bad shape. The family is broken after one sister steals the novel from the other. Husband goes away from her etc. The direction is good but the play drags in some instances. Some parts of the play could have been cut easily, specailly the talk about the assumed sex between the husband and the below the waist handicapped sister.
Rs 100 seemed to be a bit expensive.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Gold day

Day before yesterday was "Akshaya thadige". It is a very auspisious day in the Hindu calendar. People have the feeling that what ever goods they buy during the day will only increase and there will be growth for them. Somehow over the years the belief has turned towards buying gold. Lots of people flocked gold shops all over India and bought gold. Gold shops couls not handle the rush and some of them had to close the shop early because there was no stock left. There was a traffic jam near my house as people parked their vehicles and thronged the small gold shop of my locality.

Look at some statistics.
Bangalore - 356 crore Rupees worth gold sold on the day
Chennai - 1800 crore Rupees worth gold sold in this week
Hubli - 8 crore Rupees worth gold sold on the day
Who says India is a poor country.

A relative of mine has been buying gold on this day for the past 15 years. He and collegues of my sister influenced my sister to buy a gold nose ring on the special day.
The day does'nt stop with gold purchases...there are lots of functions ceremonies organised. All wedding halls of Bangalore were booked. There were many grihapraveshas. In some parts of Northern India, there are mass weddings organised. There was a mass child marriage conducted in Madhya Pradesh. I still think that this day did not break the record set on Nov 28th 2004.
This time Basava jayanti was on the same day and so there was a holiday for the state government employees of Karnataka. This may have increased the rush to gold shops. Basava is a very famous Kannada poet of ancient times. He also brought about some changes in the society regarding casteism.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Great 24 hrs

It has been an amazing 24hrs for me. Yesterday at 3pm I cracked the code which was the most problematic piece. There were bugs reported on it almost daily. I cooled down the guys who had set my ass on fire for this piece of code. The code was not mine. Then I went to my cousin's grihapravesh. A number of relatives and cousins had assembled and we had fun till 10pm when the pooja ended and we had some very nice food. Just as we washed our hands, it started raining and Bangalore was cool.

Morning I got up, not because of the sun rays that entered my room but because the wind from the window was very cold for my bare chest in bed. It was drizzling and dull. Bangalore was Bangalore after a long time, I felt. I went to the grihapravesh again and had pumpkin halwa in breakfast. It was just the start I wanted.

I was welcomed into the office with a voice message from a customer who had thanked me for helping him crack the code. The enthu levels just rose. I cleared the all the pending issues with that code through the day and I am still fresh for a demo. Wow!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Music System - VJ550

My Music System

Yesterday my music system arrived. After some rounds to some shops, we settled on Samsung. The not so expensive model with decent and sufficient features. Though I felt that 1700W output is a bit too much, there was no model that produced less (at least in the shops I went). I checked the rates of Sony, Philips and LG too. Sony is the costliest though it has slashed prices. Philips is the next expensive one. There is no DVD player in VJ 550. The one with DVD costed around 6000 more. Stand alone DVD players come from 3500 onwards. So why should I go for a music system with DVD player?
Now the problem at home is where to place the speakers?

Monday, May 09, 2005

Mysore follows Barcelona

Mysore, the tourist capital of Karnataka has finally woken up. Government has taken some steps to promote tourism in this beautiful city. Following western nation arrangements, tourists in Mysore can now go round Mysore in buses which ply all round the clock.

My experience with the Barcelona buses had been good. We had taken a 2 day ticket which can be used to move round the city attractions. We could get in and get out of the bus anytime. There were announcements at each stop about the near by tourist spots. The commentary and the announcements were in Spanish and English. These tourist tickets give discounts on the entry tickets for some tourist spots. Restaurants offered discounts too.

At the first implementation these features may not be there in the Mysore bus. But this is a great move and hope other cities follow this.
It's a long time since I did some sight seeing in Mysore. It's the right time to plan one.

Friday, May 06, 2005


I plan to buy a music system. I am confused as to which one to go for. I had a radio, casette player and a transistor. But all of them are out of order now.
Philips has a good CD\casette player. It costs about 5k. But people generally recommend Sony. Sony is very expensive and I have also heard complaints about Sony players not playing some mp3s. My sister has a Samsung player. The features are good and the costing is ok but I find it very bulky. Friends also suggest to go for a DVD/CD/mp3 player. Bill Gates predicts that DVD will be out of market in the future. But there is no radio in many models. FM is a craze now in Bangalore.
One thing about electronic goods. They get outdated very fast and so go for the latest.
So much confusion. Huh!!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Can we track a lost cell phone?

In the past 2 weeks I have heard 3 complaints about people loosing cell phones. In 2 out of the 3 complaints people themselves are responsible for the loss. In the 3rd case it was a robbery. But in all the 3 cases, the people want thier phone to be useless to the person who is currently having it. I am told that there is a special number which can lock the mobile and it becomes useless. The service provider can somehow do it. I am not clear about this logic and I belive that the sim card will be thrown out as soon as one finds a cell phone. When there is no SIM card then, how can any service provider reach the phone to disable it?
I do not face such problems as I don't carry a cell phone.