Helmets & Fragile Life

Any idea about the politics behind not making helmets compulsory in Indian roads – especially in Tamilnadu? I remember that helmets were made compulsory from 1984 and until late 1980s, before they were made ‘optional’. Sometime in 1999, New Indian Express campaigned for making helmets mandatory and even organised signature petitions to the then DMK government. But nothing happened. Over the years, statistics time and again have confirmed that vast majority of the fatal injuries could have been avoided if a helmet had been used. A report in Hindu says that a PIL is pending before Madras HC seeking a directive to the police authorities to make helmets compulsory. Do we need Courts & Law to remind us that life is valuable? I don’t understand how comfort takes precedence over one’s own life.

I rant so much about this today as I just came to know about the death of my friend Satish in a road accident, recently. He did his MCA with me and worked for Accenture and through them at Microsoft, Hyderabad. My heart goes out to his wife & their month old daughter. Life is so fragile. My hands tremble as I type this.

Disaster Recovery

There was a fire accident yesterday in the building next to my work place. Three fire engines were pressed into service to put out the fire. It wasn’t a major one and fortunately, there weren’t any injuries to anyone. Fire service personnel cordoned off the road as soon as they arrived and left the way clear for ambulances & other service vehicles that followed. Amazing thing was the way the fire engines were refilled with water very quickly. The manholes in the pavement that lead to water supply pipes were opened up and connected to the hosepipes from the fire engines. They even had a small motor to pump up the water into the engine, though they didn’t use that this time. All these days, I thought that these manholes were only for maintenance of supply pipes. But the mechanism allows accommodating the hosepipe from the fire engine without cutting the water supply for the houses around the area. All this happened within a matter of two minutes. Disaster recovery strategy here in UK is very impressive.

With its huge population and the general tendency of the people to ignore the safety precautions, India needs a comprehensive Disaster Management programme. Fire service personnel are the best people to be trained on those areas and more importantly infrastructure needs to be supported – like making available air ambulances (at least one per district) & other goodies. There are certain things that we could learn from developed nations and this is one among them. Sadly, we seem to realise these only when something strikes.

Campootar Engineer

Had a tough time today explaining my neighbour that being a campootar engineer doesn’t mean that I would be able to set right his troublesome PC. Worst thing is – after all the explanations in layman’s language about electronics & programming, that fella said “I don’t want you to do it for free. I would pay you”.

Chandramukhi

Watched Chandramukhi last evening. One of the biggest mistakes I did in the recent times was to have watched ‘Manichitrathazhu’ few weeks back. The problem while watching CM was that I was always a step ahead of the movie and knew about the next frame, that spoiled the fun a lil’ bit. Had it been the usual masala stuff, it wouldn’t have mattered, but this one is much different. All said, this is Super Star’s movie and that in itself provides a whole new experience altogether.

While I thoroughly enjoyed it, couldn’t help noticing few points..

  • Some of the jokes were not of thalaivar’s calibre and might have better suited the likes of Sathyaraj. Wonder, how Rajini who is, otherwise careful about his image slipped up a bit on this front.
  • What happened to the bad guy, who at the beginning vowed to grab the project from Prabhu? Ran away after the initial fight? 🙂
  • Nasser was irritating, to say the least.
  • Masala master Vasu shows his face when Super Star flies like Anjaneyar in ABT Parcel Service logo to prevent Prabhu from drinking the poison added tea. Glad that Vasu stopped with that and didn’t add any more spice.
  • These are nothing when compared to lot other Tamil films, including the ones of Rajini. No one would have expected such a different dish from Super Star, where he himself goes missing for a full 15 minutes and where Jo steals the show towards the end. On the whole, Chandramukhi rocks and my only regret is that I didn’t get to watch it in an environment where I can shout & hoot at will.

    Changing Times & Changed Me

    Made the first purchase for our newborn yesterday. In fact, it happened without any planning. I was out on the street, doing the usual weekly shopping when a smart dress displayed at the window of the kids’ wear shop caught my eye. Instinctively, I entered the shop, scanned the varieties and made the quick purchase. This shop has been around for so many years at the same place. I have gone past this shop tens of hundreds of times before, but I have never bothered to glance at that side. Times have changed very quickly and before I could realise, it has changed me. With the addition of a new member in the family, the entire thought process is slowly but steadily undergoing lots of changes in the last few days. From the need to allot more space to accommodate this little chap’s paraphernalia to placing the kid’s requirements first in every bit of planning to eliminate certain words in my vocabulary (that is the most difficult bit), I am thinking about lot many things of late.

    In whatever I do, my mind right now is with Anirudh. I am trying to put down things as I think at the moment. Perhaps, all these might be nothing but initial euphoria and life may continue as before.

    Thankyou!

    A big Thank you to everyone for your wishes over the comments, e-mails & phone calls. It was truly overwhelming to hear from people whom I have never met till date. Thanks again.

    Right from the time I heard that my wife has been admitted in the hospital and till the time I got the news about the birth, it was a nerve-wracking hours for me. Needless to mention how it would have been to Ramya. That was the time I regretted our decision of having the delivery in India, though at the end, it proved to be a right decision. At one point, I called up the travel agent and demanded him to put me on the next available flight to India flying out of Heathrow. While BT, Telestunt & O2 made brisk business all through the day, people at the other end might have thought “what sort of update he expects every 5 minutes”. It is a great feeling and all of a sudden, I feel more responsible now.

    Baby weighed about 3.2 kgs at birth. Both mom & kid are doing fine. As of today (Saturday morning), they are still in the hospital and would remain so for few more days.

    For reasons that I would let you know at a more appropriate time, I am still in UK and would have to wait for some more time to meet my son (& ofcourse, his mom).

    Thank you all once again for your good wishes.

    Introduction

    Forwarded to you by a proud dad!

    —– Original Message —–

    From: Anirudh Chakkarapani
    [mailto: anirudh@chakkarapani.com]
    Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2005
    To: All of you!

    Hello

    How are you?

    I am Anirudh. At the time of typing, I am just about an hour old, as I was born at around 7:38 pm (IST) on Wednesday, 20th of April 2005 at Trichy, India.

    My mom & I are doing great, but a lil’ tired at the moment. We are just waiting to get home & join my dad. I’ve said ‘Nah!’ to photo-shoots so far. But I was told that my dad is already pestering for my snaps. I would oblige him a bit later. Since I am busy receiving relatives & friends, I have asked my dad to keep in touch with you all on my behalf.

    Catch you all a lil’ later folks. Lotsa things to do now.
    See ya.

    luv,
    Anirudh
    s/o Chakra & Charu (Ramya).

    Dad: +44 (0) 773 667 6377
    Me: Would get one soon!

    Folks, can you please tell me whether you are able to see the above Tamil letters properly without having to add/delete/update any font or whatever. Thanks.

    On a dark night, at the beach..

    Few days back, after having a sumptuous dinner I decided to take a walk in the beach nearby. It was around 10 in the night and in the long stretch along the coastline, there were hardly two or three people. After walking about a couple of kilometres, I sat on a bench for few minutes. I was about to get up & return back when I saw a chopper fly over the sea. Perhaps, it is from a coast guard kind of set up – patrolling the sea, I thought. Within a minute, the chopper came back and I saw them use the floodlights scanning something. They were flying low and appeared to be contemplating to land somewhere. I thought that something exciting is gonna happen – some search operation or something like that and decided to stay put at the same place and watch the proceedings. Few minutes later, a siren blaring police car came speeding and made a screeching halt. One of the cops came running towards the direction of the chopper talking over the radio. I was there – now, standing – watching all the action with a bit of excitement. Then the cop came to me and asked, “You alright mate?” and I in turn asked what was going on.

    Apparently, it was a sea patrol chopper that flew by, who have spotted a lone man sitting in the beach (its me!) and seeing someone sitting at a place gazing at the sea at that time of the night, they had suspected that the person might be contemplating suicide coz they have had such a case before. Not me folks. Not any day.

    Anbu Selvan, IPS

    Might sound a bit odd to write about this movie, when the blogosphere is in awe with Chandramukhi & Mumbai Express.

    Got to watch Kaakha Kaakha again this week. I watched this movie when it was released more than a year and half ago and even posted a review of the movie in my old blog. I have a feeling that this version contains few swear words that I think were muted when I watched it for the first time. In fact, those words – though derogatory it would sound in isolation, adds to the meat of the movie. What I like about the movie is the portrayal of the villain – he is not from Pakistan, he doesn’t have any muscular buildup, doesn’t have any ugly tooth, is not a womanizer, doesn’t repeat any stupid punch dialogues but is a plain, simple guy with a kind of rogue look and fittingly punctuates his dialogue with maane, thaene, ponmaanaes that doesn’t stand out. This is one of the movies that I would like to have it in my collection. The character of Anbu Selvan, IPS did leave a good impact in me.

    By sheer coincidence, I came across a report on real life Anbu Selvan, that triggered this post. Want to have a look? Here you go.