Monday, March 28, 2005

Too bad. The day I wrote that India had beaten Pakistan in their country, they have managed to beat India in the Bangalore test by 168 runs. Not the result that I wanted, inspite of Sehwag's double century in the first innings. What is happening to Dada Ganguly ? Is he planning to rest on his past achievements ? I hope he finds form ASAP.

I was watching Hyderabad Blues after a very long time yesterday. Really a great treat to watch, especially when Varun finds it hard to get adjusted to loudspeakers, gossips, flattery etc... I did not find myself accosted by loudspeakers in temples when I went to India last month, but had my share of gossips, people telling me how they perceived that I would travel abroad and make it big. Naan annaikke sonnen, ivan peria aal aayiduvan. I have not started to think BIG, but for them I have made BIG.

The saving grace was that none of these comments came from my own family, since I was the last person out of the country, everyone had their share of going overseas and experiencing life outside India. One of my colleagues had asked me what kind of fanfare would I be expecting when I land in India, like a Tamil film, with garlands and all the members of the local council to stand at the gates of the town to welcome home the prodigal son. My reply was, none whatsoever. Everyone would be happy, but my arrival will not drastically change their immediate lives. In my father's words, a sense of attached detachment. One of my uncles also mentions that even one's thinking has to be generous, whether we can help a needy person or not, start to think that you can help, and you definitely can and will.

Wherever I go, and whatever I might do, if I can enjoy a good meal, read Thayir Saatham (curd rice), and a good night's sleep, that is all I might need.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

I cannot wonder about the Bush administration's latest political stunt to appease India over the sale of fighter jets to Pakistan. I was reading this news article in AFP in which USA is outlining plans to help India become a major world power in the 21st century. True, we we Indians, have always been wary of the USA over it's 'blow hot, blow cold' attitude with Pakistan, condemning them for their actions in Kashmir over the table and running the leg up the other person's leg under the table.

Now it is the sale of fighter jets to Pakistan that New Delhi has severely protested against. In the above article, Washington has spread its arms to say, India can get whatever she wants, you name it, we provide it. But... Would USA not use this by asking India to step down the Iran - Pakistan - India oil pipeline since Iran is next in the USA hitlist, as Condoleeza Rice came to India this month specifically for that. This pipeline has to be built and Indians are the most benefitted as we get direct access to oil fields of the Iran. This should help bring down the oil prices down to a bearable level.

And, furthermore, I find it difficult to understand couple of things about India's foreign policy.
  1. We go for a oil pipeline reaching us through Pakistan and still we are worried about what would happen if they acquire more airpower. As I remember, we also have our range of Sukhois.
  2. We may not have a good track record against Pakistan in cricket when it comes to Sharjah, but we defeated them in Pakistan, and also not long ago, defeated them in the wars.
  3. We invite Musharaff to India to watch cricket, but ask him not to travel in a F-16 bought from USA. Did we not buy the Sukhoi technology from Russia ?
  4. We have demonstrably more airpower, navypower, armed forces and the 'N' power, yeah we have that too. Won't all of these suffice to guard us in the event of any attack?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Got this excellent link from VJ - MapmyIndia. Good to see a service like Yahoo Maps.
While I was in India, I had the good fortune of attending a function to mark the start of DVD sale of Mani Rathnam's movies at Landmark, Chennai. I had been to the function along with Expertdabbler a.k.a Prabu Karthik, who had immediately posted his views about the function (read Mani Talks). Karthik's expectations about the function are still in my mind. He referred to Mani as a director who does not provide interviewing opportunities every now and then, rather his interviews are more awaited than his movies. Good example of a person who talks less, achieves more. Also read, Anand's views on Mani here.

The group that organised this function had put up advts in newspapers in Chennai and also had put up billboards around the city to promote the event. But on reaching the venue, we were pleasantly surprised when actors like Madhavan, Suryaa, PS Keerthana came on the scene. Also available, the eyes of Mani - PC Sreeram, Azhagamperumal, who is one of Mani's assistant directors and the director of Dum Dum Dum. People may also remember him as the landlord of Karthik and Shakthi in Alaipayuthe. Paarthiban, father of Keerthana also made a brief appearance.

The function was very good with questions to Mani on how he handles his movies, his experiences from working with both Ilayaraja and AR Rehman. The much enjoyed function had one dampening effect, the interview session was conducted totally in English, could have been done in Tamil as Mani makes his money mostly from Tamil movies. This is just my silent and humble opinion. I have uploaded some photos from the function here, here, here and here.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I tried to add a link to blogrolling list at Blogrolling and by mistake did not enter the URL of the link that I was trying to add. Have a look at the error message below - doesn't this really rub it in ?

'The title and url are required. You must be new to this whole linking thing eh? Well figure out where the back button is and go back and enter all the info please...'
As I am 28 years old, the elders in my family started to find prospective brides for me. Me, I put up what I thought was a logical explanation to why I am saying 'NO' for marriage now. I had explained that the present call center job would take care of me very well, but when it comes to supporting a wife, it could provide some hellish moments in life. My parents had this to say to me - We are not getting you married right now, but rather we will search for a daughter in law so that you can come along and tie the knot. Well, that is all fine.

As a result of delibrations and fighting, shouting matches, sulking in the corner, the works.. I was off to see the first prospective bride, I did not want to, as I had made up my mind by looking at her photograph, still, parental pressure made me go all the way to Bombay to see her. I landed in Bombay on Valentine's Day for the Penn Paarkum episode. After that, it was total fun. Her parents received us (we were a group of four) very well at around 4.30 PM and it by the time she came home it was 6 PM, as she was not able to take a day off from work as she had just joined the job. She looked better in person than in the snap. Her parents and we soon found ourselves out of chatting topics well before she arrived, I even thought of closing my eyes for sometime... 'Mouna Raagam' flashback.

I did not venture for a informal one to one with her and neither did she. Good !!. I would have certainly goofed it up. The bottom line is that we liked her and my aunty summed it up in 'There is not a single chance for us to say no to this girl'. I have also informed her family of my present situation here and if everything goes well, the two families will unite in holy matrimony sometime in the second half of next year. I did not want to see any other girls, basically as I am lazy and I kind of liked this girl as well. Her paternal grandfather and my grandfather were classmates while they were studying in college.

To all those eligible bachelors out there, it's not such a bad thing to go see the girl, in fact it is very enjoyable, you are the center of attraction for once and mostly you will find the girl willing to talk to you, not like the olden days where the girl stands behind the door peeping out at you.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I have come back to my country of residence from my country of birth - and I am still homesick. I miss my parents more than anyone / anything else. That was expected, I guess. Well, lots to be told to you people ...

First things first - the disgusting airport people at Kochi International Airport. The airport is well maintained and new looking, which is good, but the customs staff inside the terminal are still outdated. The fact is that I have shaved my head when I visited Tirupati on my birthday on March 7 (Yes, I am 28 yrs old now). The photograph in my passport is definitely different from what I look now. I am not saying that nobody should question me on anything, but there is a decent way of doing that and not questioning and looking at me like a common thief. The customs official looked at me (why do they always talk so well to ladies, beats me, still) and asked me whether I am the same person who was in the photograph ? Duh !! Even if I had swiped the passport from someone, would I venture to say NO ? Anyway, after that came the questions of asking me what I was doing in Australia and how many years have spent there.

After asking me all these questions, he asked me to wait for sometime, which was nearly half an hour. He called his supervisor and then they proceeded to talk with each other on whether I was a culprit or not, and then called me over to hand over the passport and the boarding card. And, Kochi International Airport also collects Rs 500 as aiport usage tax.

When I landed in Melbourne after a four hour stopover at Singapore, the Immigration officer here did not even glance at my face and the passport and then gave me a big smile and a 'Welcome Back' greeting as well. All said and done, India is India, but I would seriously that the attitude of the airport people changes.

My story is not that dramatic in any sense, having heard horror stories from friends, making it all the more necessary for the officials in India to develop a sense of who is a culprit and who is definitely not.

Friday, March 18, 2005

@ Changi Airport again after the 40 day trip to India. Have to step up my blogging after I reach Melbourne.

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