Gandhi maram

Recently bumped upon the web site of my alma mater, National College – Trichy. The site has been developed by one of the current students. As you could see, it hasn’t been very professionally designed but then, it is a good start. I was wondering why I didn’t take the effort in the first place to develop a website for my college. During our days at college, we had so many complaints about the college management about lot of things, but I have always been proud to be associated with the college for various reasons. I have sent a mail to the webmaster appreciating the start and offering my hand in redesigning the site hoping that he wouldn’t mind about my unsolicited feedback.

Ours is a decent Arts & Science college (only for men.. shucks!) standing for about 85 years and its alumni include former President R. Venkataraman, former RBI Governor C. Rangarajan etc. Though the college is not in par with St. Joseph’s & Bishop Heber in terms of infrastructre & ambience, it did have its share of glory not long ago. The college was started during the days when the freedom movement was at its peak and my dad, who too is an alumni of that college has said that there used to be a sense of nationalistic spirit even in late 1960s, perhaps due to the presence of some of the professors who had taken active part in the freedom struggle. Thinking about our college reminds me of a huge tree known as ‘Gandhi maram’ (Gandhi Tree). It was under that tree Mahatma Gandhi addressed the people when he visited Trichy. ‘Gandhi Maram’ is a small part of great history and I used to look upon it as a source of inspiration.

During my recent trip to India, I went past our college but Gandhi Maram couldn’t be seen from the road. A new building has come up in the ground where the tree used to be. For a moment, I thought of dropping in to find out whether the tree is behind the building or not. Then I backed out in the hope that it would be there as I didn’t have the heart to know that yet another piece of history has been ruthlessly destroyed by my very own alma mater.

Hats off Kiruba!

I think Kiruba‘s decision to shut down his blog would be one of the talked about topics in the Indian blogosphere today. It is not an exaggeration to say that over a period of time, Kribs grew larger than the very concept of blogging and people started identifying Kiruba for anything associated with blogs in India. As some one said, he was a window to Chennai for those living outside, reporting on the nitty-gritties that you would only find when you live in that place. Kiruba did his best and when he says that he doesn’t find this motivating anymore, we have to respect his decision.

Only a couple of days back I was thinking that about the quality blogs that existed before and were closed down due to lack of motivation to continue. But Kiruba showed no such signs of slowing down. Unusually, he didn’t blog for 5 days and came out later saying that he is shutting shop. This lack-of-motivation funda happens in many things we do – like all of a sudden we stop reading books, stop playing/watching matches etc. It is all about priorities. When we have got better things to do, others get pushed back and blogging is no exception. Perhaps, if this weren’t such a publicly expressed forum & a more addictive habit, we would hardly give a damn.

Watching Kiruba from sidelines for about two years now, I am sure that whatever he gets into next would be as great & as successful as blogging. Hats off to him for inspiring so many people to express themselves out in the open.

F for …

I just saved myself from a huge embarrassment. Searching for a person’s name in a MS Outlook e-mail, I pressed Ctrl + F and started typing the name. While Ctrl + F in all other (no.. most other) applications would launch that little ‘Find’ dialog box, in case of Outlook, it is a shortcut for forwarding the mail as it launches the ‘Forward’ window and waits for us to fill the address field. As the search phrase was the person’s name itself, in effect I was about to forward a confidential mail to the person about whom the mail was about. I would have made a big a*s of myself, had I pressed the return key. Thank God!

Tennis Thirunavukkarasu

Well.. life moves on and in tougher times like this, few kind words from friends does lifts up the spirits. Thanks guys for being around.

Some of the mails that I read today helped me lighten the mood. Though I hate posting forwards in these pages, I couldn’t resist this one. Did you hear about Captain Vijayakanth’s latest movie “Tennis Thirunavukkarasu”? Click here to read the screenplay of the movie.

btw, is it okay to leave this in my domain? Could anyone foresee any problems or should I safely move it to a free host?

Paati

I have always had only one granny – maternal. With my paternal grand mother passing way during my father’s childhood, there was only one person that I could call paati. Like many women of her age, Janaki paati was traditional, systematic and orthodox so much so that when her only son – my uncle got transferred to Bombay in early 80s, she refused to go out of Tamilnadu. I have so many fond memories of paati as she was the one who reared me almost full time for about four years when my mother was busy with my younger siblings. A great cook that she was, whenever she prepared ‘saatrumadhu‘ (rasam) in the kari-aduppu (charcoal stove), the aroma could be felt in the next street.

I have heard numerous stories from her children – four of them, about how strict she used to be with them in their childhood. A strict disciplinarian that she was, paati had never let any stray behaviour go unpunished, though for us, she often proved that grand children & grand parents were natural allies, despite the fact that she had trouble keeping up with the pace of the later generation. Behaviour of her grand children did amuse her, like for example she could hardly digest grown-up boys wearing shorts, let alone go out in the same attire. Neither was she able to understand why the morons go crazy whenever a cricket match was telecast in the telly. In due course, either she understood or chose to ignore those shenanigans.

Thanks to my behaviour at home, I always managed to be in her good books much to the chagrin of my cousins that I used to be teased as ‘paati-oda chella peran‘ (grandma’s favourite grand son). I was stunned to see paati weep in the road when I told her that I would be leaving the shores for greener pastures soon. She told that she might never get to see me again. Thank goodness – she was wrong. Though most of her grand children are settled with jobs & family of their own, all she expected from them was a pen – yes, a fountain pen to write tens of hundreds of ‘Sri Ramajayam‘s every day, with each letter smaller than the size of an ant.

Ever since she had had her heart attack about twenty five years ago, she religiously followed doctor’s instructions, was careful in her food habits and never once missed taking her medicines. Paati was getting more impatient, grew restless and nervous in the last few years. Given her age, it was understood. Even at her ripe old age, she always had her things in order, in place, always stuck to the routine and was never late for anything, though her only outer world pursuit was visiting Parthasarathy Perumal Kovil twice a day.

Three months ago, when I visited paati with a saree, she was like “enakku edhukku da idhellam vaangindu vare? enna oru 3-4 maasam irupaeno ennavo” (why do you get all this for me, perhaps I would be alive for at most 3-4 months). I chided her for talking that way and moved along. Alas, this time she was right. Janaki paati breathed her last today wearing the same saree that I presented when I saw her for the last time.

Good Friday & Easter Holidays

Good Friday & Easter holidays – for me this four-day weekend mark yet another year lived in UK. Easter in the year 2000 fell in the third week of April and that was when I flew in to this country for the first time. Now that I have lived here for 5 years, I am eligible to become an UK citizen. However, the possibility of me becoming a British citizen is very low, as I couldn’t get over the feeling that it is something like ditching my dear country that brought me up all along. Well, there is this concept of dual citizenship & all that, but in this case, my heart dictates louder than my mind.

When I came in here, I had set 2005 as the target year by which, I would be back home in India. I still ponder whether my objectives have changed, whether my old targets – if any, have been met. But I know that somewhere, sometime in the past – perhaps subconsciously I had set a different target year. As I muddle through the future, I am just praying to God to give me a balanced head over my shoulders to take a right decision at the right time.

Around the same time last year, I put up a post telling the world about the fourth anniversary of my UK arrival. Seems that I had more clarity that time. 🙂

Modi Masthan

Have a look at the personal website of Narendra Modi – the infamous Gujju of the recent times. Many of the opinions expressed in the site are really funny. To quote an example, “I hope some day Modi runs for top leadership of BJP, and run the country right way”. Decently designed site, though. Thanks for the link, Jammy.

Every penny counts

A friend of mine who shares his room with another guy noticed his roomie’s alarm clock had stopped working. Having remembered that it worked earlier that morning, he had mentioned to his roommate that the battery needs to be changed. His roomie had replied, “No. The battery is fine. I just took it off the clock. We are using that clock only for alarm purposes. Why waste the battery unnecessarily in the day time”.

I just can’t wait to meet that soul. Want to know whether he has got more such ideas.

Strange

Could anyone tell me the language of the (non-English) characters that appear in this page? I think it is Japanese.

Well.. my interest in finding out the language is not out of any literary pursuits. If you scroll down a bit, you could see that they have listed my blog in there and I have had quite a few visits from that link. I hope that it is not a notorious site.

Rituals well explained

Following Saranyan’s post on wedding rituals & Ranga – The Last Blogger’s post on his wedding invite, I thought it appropriate to put this up.

When I got married about two years ago, I wanted to do something ‘different’ in the invite that would explain more about the traditional South Indian wedding, as I was to invite many of my colleagues, most of whom were English. Moreover, lot many Indians (including yours truly) do not fully understand the reason behind many of the rituals at the wedding. As my knowledge in the rituals were very limited, I was looking for an off-the-shelf template and ended up with the below card, designed by Artist Maya of Vikatan fame. Thought that the link to their site would be useful for many who are getting ready to pick up the gauntlet. Ranga’s invite with more caricatures detailing the events is more impressive though.

       

The quality of the scanned images are very poor. But you got the picture, right? (pun unintended!)