“When you see things differently, you can do anything! Please speak openly & honestly with our sales team and remember we may be recording your call. Listen carefully and press a number”

– This is what you hear when you dial O2 mobile network sales team (0870 225 7879). Don’t know what these guys had in mind while phrasing this blurb, it not only sounds out of place but also irritating. Who are these guys to advice me to talk openly & honestly? In addition to the honesty bit, “remember, we may recording your call” sounds like a threatening note. Hardly the right way to welcome the new customers.

Diana

Perhaps if everyone connected with Princess Diana join together and publish a compendium of information, it would a world of good for many. If everyone publishes a book, releases a taped interview, presents some other evidence about Diana, how many sources of information would the future generation look for? Seven years after her death, there is no dearth of stories of whom Diana shared her bed with. At the way at which it goes, several decades later, we would still be able to find lot of ‘sensational’ stories about Diana. One big problem of being a royal in UK is, everyone wants to have a peek at your bedroom.

Hot Des(s)ert

I’ve never had fritters before. Neither did I know that it would be served hot. Last night when we dined at Good Earth, a Chinese restaurant at Bournemouth, I ordered a Banana fritters for dessert thinking that it would be some sort of cold & creamy stuff, only to find it served hot along with a syrupy sauce, tasting great. But what appealed to me most was the Vegetarian Pork. Since I have already had experience of being served prawns when asked for Veg. Fried rice, I asked the waiter several times about the ingredients. It was nothing but deep fried vegetables esp. cauliflower, capsicum and pineapples over sweet & sour sauce, making the plate very colourful. When taken with rice, it was heavenly. Having enjoyed it, now we aren’t bothered whether its vegetarian or otherwise.

Readers of the future

There is a book shop on the way to my office. Today morning, I saw a boy of about 5-6 years running past that shop and stopped on seeing something, started giggling and called his friend – another 6 year old. On seeing what he saw, the other boy started giggling as well. The reason for their giggle was a fairly large book with the appropriate picture on its cover. It was the picture that caught their attention. The title of the book: Joy of Sex.

What should I look for while buying a Digital Camera?

I want to buy it for someone who wouldn’t be using it a lot, but occasionally. He doesn’t care about any hi-fi stuff. Any suggestions/recommendations?

Indian Holy Man

Today as I was walking past a school on the way to work, I found that the children were dressed up in different, funny costumes. It appeared that a Fancy Dress Competition, as it used to be called in India, was being held today. It was heartening to see that parents had taken quite a lot of effort in getting them dressed up as Dinosaurs, Saddam Hussein, Ancient warrior, Frog etc. A mother approached me and asked whether I could help her with her son’s costume. That kid was being dressed up like an ‘Indian holy man’, dressed in orange with a long wig on his head, plastic trident in one hand and a little stick & a metal container to make up for kamandalam, all done to perfection. She even had some white & red powder to be applied in the forehead. Only thing she was confused about was which colour should be applied horizontally/vertically? I helped her do it the right way and that boy really looked like a young saint despite his lengthy black wig. That lady was saying that she had read in the media about the life of a recluse in India and went on to say how learned & noble they are. Perhaps, she hadn’t read about the latest news on an Indian holy man.

A Lovely Photo Gallery by one Maciek Da… (dunno what his full name is) Among so many galleries on display, check out the one on India. For a change, it presents a realistic picture (pun intended).

After enjoying those lovely photographs, do check out the other great photo blogs (Shyamal, Rajesh, Pradeep) and leave a note encouraging them. Nothing like a word of encouragement to do wonders to one’s spirit.

Ashoka, the Great

This is not a film review or any historical note, but yet another trip down the memory lane. I was in Class IV or V then, studying at ARR Matriculation School in Kumbakonam. It was one school that took Sports meet & Annual days very seriously. Weeks of preparation would go on religious and most of the students would be a participant in one event or other.

On that eventful year, I was part of a play titled ‘Ashoka, the Great’. It was the same Ashoka and his same story that everyone knows. That guy Ashoka went for war with Kalinga, won the war but horrified on seeing the loss of life he turned a new leaf and became a man of peace. Thanks to my appearance, I didn’t look like an Emperor, but someone thought that I would make good as a soldier. I know that I was not given that role due to my fine acting skills but only because I shamelessly, repeatedly & voiceferously volunteered to do anything to be up there on the stage. As it so happened, there was another group wanting to enact a play, our school decided that both the groups would perform on stage before a select audience (school management & teachers), who would select one play to go on stage on the D-day.

Everything was going fine on stage and there came the part when Ashoka would be on the battlefield seeing the ruins. I, as an injured soldier moaned in pain, delivered some dialogue and died. My mate was to do the same. But an ever-smiling guy he was, he was laughing all the way in the battle and also while he was dying. His supposed hoarse cry out of pain evoked laughter from the audience. As if that was not worse, the guy who played Ashoka was made to wear high heel footwear after making some funny decorations over it. Probably he was wearing it for the first time, he found it hard to walk taking each step with a sort of fear, that he looked more an aged old man than a young, great emperor in the battle. At one place, he was supposed to stop walking, rest his foot on a log or something and was to deliver a lengthy dialogue, which was the core one for the play.

Ashoka stopped walking, started his dialogue and rested his foot – but not on the log. What he thought was a log was actually my leg. That stiletto in his high-heel shoe went straight into my leg that blood started oozing out immediately. The very next second I let out a mild scream and sprung up. Ashoka didn’t expect that kind of attack from a supposedly dead soldier. That was enough to upset his balance and he barely managed without falling down. In the meanwhile, I suddenly realised that I was supposed to be dead and fell back again. The entire crowd were rolling on the floor laughing. However, that didn’t prevent our Ashoka from thundering his well-memorised dialogues.

Should I say, which way the decision on who to take up the stage on the Annual Day went? Fortunately for many and sadly for me, that was the end of my career in acting. Long live, Ashoka.

Shankaracharya

Without an exception, these politicians, bureaucrats, religious men manage a huge smile flashing their toothy grin, when they get arrested. The pride in their face would suggest as if they are going to prison for a national cause. To my knowledge Shankarcharya hasn’t done anything of that sort so far. However, having moved with politicians of all types, he had indeed picked up few lessons from them..

1) To promptly plead for medical treatment the moment he was produced in court.

2) To say that the arrest is politically motivated and vindictive (through his lawyers).

Given the influence of Kanchi Mutt across the political spectrum in India, would there be a free & fair trial in this case? Only time would tell.