Feb 24, 2007


While slogging to finish yet another set of homeworks that never cease to come, I suddenly remembered my college days. Troublefree and worriless. Never bothering to study for the college's cycle tests. Even the minimum of efforts I (we) bothered to put in, were just an hour before the tests. We (myself, sriram, vijayaraghavan, prashanth, abhiram, thyagu, maadu, venkat, sashi, vedik, etc.,) used to gather around a desk. And amidst discussions about cricket matches, latest episodes of Justice League (included after sriram reminded me of what I and abhiram talked mostly about) and other more earthly things in life, we would study a bit for the test. Semester exams were no better. Abhiram will get the textbooks (the much touted 'local authors') photocopied a couple of weeks before the exams and we will take copies of the copy from him. And on the exam days, abhiram would write down all important points on one notebook, and we would do last minute studyings and revisions. Life was easy.

How much I yearn to be back in those days, back in madras. Walking on the GST road at 45 deg C beats trudging through 6 inches of snow at -10 C by a far call. And yes. I liked the chaos.
I know I am sounding like a frog within a well, feeling content with its mere existence, but thats me. After all it takes all sorts to make the world.


Feb 14, 2007


I have been so captivated by this song for some reason (I dont know why!!) and been listening to it many times a day, I thought I would post it here.

Needless to say, Ilayaraja at his best. His baroque selection of instrumental music comes to the fore in this piece.


Feb 8, 2007

High hopes...

Just like any other 'Madrasi' who can read a word or two in english, my morning has never begun without a cup of coffee and The Hindu (delivered promptly by the hyperactive 'newspaper boys' at 5 A.M).

After coming to the U.S., I managed to substitute traditional coffee with (and adapt to) the Instant version. But The Hindu I could not. The online edition of the paper is pathetic and it depressed me further with the never ending pop ups (something akin to the numerous advertisement slips inserted into the newspaper by the delivery agent, which keeps falling on me as I open each page). When the epaper of The Hindu was introduced, I was more than happy. It gave as close a feeling of reading the real paper as it ever can. It did come with a rider, that its free only for a trial period. I was thinking that after it goes the paid way, I will purchase its subscription.

But I was shocked to see the subscription rate: 10 dollars per month or 100 per year!! It is almost the cost of the local paper's subscription here in the US. Whats the idea charging 100 dollars for an epaper? I am sure to get responses like "If you like it pay the price or else settle for the free online edition", and "cost of devoloping an electronic edition is high (really??!)".

I am sure only a miniscule of The Hindu's loyal readers back home resort to the online edition. So a free epaper is not going to bite into its subscription base. But I am not expecting it to be free either. People outside India will be happy to pay a nominal amount. But not $100 or Rs 4000 per year as The Hindu puts it.

So it was with dire consternation that I clicked the Log In button with a thin ray of hope, that some bug in the server will allow me to access the epaper. It didnt. But what I saw made me laugh my heart out. Here is a National newspaper, trying to sell its epaper at 4 times the cost of its print edition, and this is what they have to say to the 'unsubscribed' readers:

My subscription "has been expired"? I should renewal my subscription?
High hopes indeed for The Hindu.

Update: Looks like someone had pointed out the mistake and so the message now states
"You now need a subscription to access the epaper."
Still having high hopes, arent they?


Truly an Endurance test!!

Surely this situation would not have been considered during the vehicle's design. Approximately taking each person to be 50 kg, and I see atleast 25 people standing on the top, it amounts to more than a tonne. I am sure the roof was designed to offer only structual stability and not to bear loads. AL has the right to be proud!!

Picture Courtesy: The Hindu, Feb 7, 2007


Feb 3, 2007

Chennai: Changing skyline

When I went to Chennai on August 2006, I found a lot of differences. The trademark congestions, traffic jams, and strewn garbage were still there, but the rate at which new things had come up was just too amazing. Living in Chennai all my life, the changes seemed normal. But seeing it after an year, I was struck down by the changes. It was a surrealistic feeling, as the old familiar places blended in with their new foregrounds: new buildings, roadways, etc., It looked as if Chennai received a huge facelift in an year.

New flyovers are being constructed at the Cathipara, Koyembedu, and Padi junctions. A six lane IT Highway (formerly the Old Mahabalipuram Road) is coming up. The 'MIT' flyover at Chromepet, which never looked like being completed when I left in September 2005, was fully functional. A series of new malls. Hordes of Toyota Innovas, which is just unbelievable, considering the fact that they were not even in the market in Sept 05, and in Aug 06 one in every 3 cars in Chennai seemed to be an Innova. GST Road (NH 45), connecting Chennai to the southern cities, sported a completely new look (seen on the picture ).

A project in the pipeline for Chennai, which if it comes up will change its face forever, is the proposed Metro train. Estimated at a whopping budget of Rs.7129 crores, the Metro train would be a unique addition to Chennai, as it is planned to be a partly elevated and partly underground service.

These and many more changes being ushered in, is truly putting Chennai on the World map. No wonder major Automobile manufacturers and companies like Samsung are competing for space to set up their plants in Chennai!


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