April 28, 2006

Off to Pondicherry

I'm off to Pondicherry for a two day weekend trip...hope it is a welcome respite from the scorching sun in chennai..High Hopes ..ugh? Cruizing thro ECR can be real fun..

April 27, 2006

Business-Today & Gobi Manchurian

Chanced upon the Feb 2006 issue of Business-Today; out of the blue I find an article on Gobi Manchurian in Gummidipoondi

The last thing you expect in a business magazine is a non-descript writeup that traces the origin of Gobi Manchurian without any trace of any business angle.
The author is surprised that the dish has made inroads in all classes of hotels in chennai & blore.

Worst part is you have a box writeup on how to make Gobi Manchurian!!!

Well.. The article :
it emerged as a culinary firmament sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990's, in Bangalore
It is wholly original dish. not North Indian not South Indian and definitely not Chinese
Pubs started offering Gobi Manchurian as a starter for their vegetarian patrons
So much for a business magazine!!!

April 26, 2006

Stanford University sings iTunes

Guess..Its all abt moving ahead with the times!

Stanford University has come out with a new facility to download faculty lectures as iTunes - Presenting Stanford on iTunes

Tip: Daily Journal

April 25, 2006

Former CM pays his respects - sigh!

I saw this photo in a tamil journal. Here the Former CM, O.Panneer Selvam is paying his respects to the almighty Jayalalitha's Election campaign Van's tyre.
Sycophancy at its best (worst?)

April 20, 2006

Triplicane Ratna's Cafe in Velachery

Good! Finally some decent hotel has planned to open its doors in Velachery. Triplicane Ratna's cafe, famous for it's Idli sambar & filter coffee is opening its third branch in 100 ft bypass road, velachery.

I still remember the first time, I visited Ratna cafe in triplicane. For the hype that my father was building, I imagined it to be a swanky hotel, but the hotel was rather mundane & there were scores of people. But when I tasted their trademark Idli sambar, my views changed drastically. If there is something called heaven, then the sambar was definitely heavenly.

Velachery is actually a marketer's delight. But unfortunately, there arent any big names in any sphere - be it hotels, theatres, hospitals, textiles, schools, shopping malls, etc., With new apartments, with 50 to 100 houses springing up every now and then, the demography of velachery has completely changed from a sleepy suburb to a haven of software professionals & their likes. Albeit no facilities.

I always wondered, why the biggies in the business didnt tap the market that is waiting to explod? I thought, a Saravana Bhavan would be a killer in velachery, Hmm.. Ratna Cafe seems to have more market acumen. But I'm sure the rest will follow suit.

April 17, 2006

Unintended Comedy - starts with declaration of assets

Reading the asset declarations of leaders is definitely a welcome relief in between a hard day's work.

Sonia: owns no car and the money she holds in cash is Rs 20,000. she has lent Rs 5,04,394 to her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.

Jayalalitha: Her assets include a commercial complex worth Rs 29 lakh at Chennai, deposits in banks, financial institutions and non- banking financial companies to the tune of Rs 2 crore, bonds of Rs 50,000 and Rs 20,000 as cash. Since her jewellery had been seized by the police and in the possession of a court at Chennai, it could not be valued she said. She also owns five cars. Jaya also has Rs 20,000 only as cash.

special asset: the wealth case and an income tax case as pending against her before a Bangalore court and a Chennai court respectively.

Karunanidhi: owns property and shares worth more than Rs 22 crore. He is facing five defamation cases, a case under TESMA Act for supporting the strike of state government employees and another case relating to "hurting the sentiments of Hindu devotees".

Politics should be one hell of a career to earn soooo much, when you consider their meagre beginings. ;-))

April 13, 2006

Rajkumar's Death & its aftermath

With due condolences to the demise of Rajkumar, there is simply no justification to the violence that has been unleashed. This is not the way you pay homage to somebody you love.

If you feel sooo bad abt the happening and you had to show your anger, how about breaking things in your house? It is so convenient to break up & burn other's belongings.

There are unconfirmed reports of death due to the violence. Who would be held responsible?

The police should have anticipated the mob fury & should have equipped themselves properly.The anti social elements have run amok under the garb of Raj kumar fan club.

April 12, 2006

Bodyguard Muneeswaran, Vahana Kali Amman

Found an interesting link between chennai & Blore.
On the way to chennai central railway station (from Mountroad), You have the all 'powerful' Bodyguard Muneeswaran Temple. Scores of vehicles come here for puja and blessings for an accident free ride.
Likewise, I saw a temple - Vahana Kali Amman temple in Bangalore (near Yeshwantpur)

Googled the story behind the 'Bodyguard'
In 1919 a group of labourers from North Arcot district brought the idol with them. They placed it under a neem tree adjoining military barracks. A commander of British troops took strong objection to this. He ordered removal of the idol. But he changed his mind after meeting with an accident the same day. The deity was allowed to stay.

Thereafter, the number of worshippers swelled day by day, and a small shelter was provided for the idol. Drivers of various vehicles firmly believed that Muneeswaran could protect them against accidents, and hence they fondly termed him 'Bodyguard.' The name came to stay.

People do have some queer ways of worship!
I would love to see, Helmets or Traffic rules charts being sold as prasadham.;-)It would be of better use.

April 10, 2006

Jambav - Being Autism Aware

Jambav believes Information Technology and Software Programming are the two channels that have maximum potential in catering to children with special needs.

Do visit http://www.jambav.com. It sure helps you understand the needs of a special child.

'm proud, this initiative comes from our stable.

April 05, 2006

Corruption Cancer Engulfs Doctor's Community Too

Shame on those lesser mortels who allowed corruption at the entrance exam for All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Imagine..These people are supposed to act 'god'. But, for a few bundles of money, they throw all morals to the wind and pass answers to the entrance exam questions. The entrance exams inturn will produce more doctors who enter college via illegal means.

Now, how do you think they will recover the bribe money ..from us only. period.

Hindu reports on how the modus-operandi was carried out.
Sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told The Hindu that two doctors used an imported Docupen R700 version scanner made by Planon Systems Solutions Inc, U.S., to scan the question paper soon after it was distributed at the Asan Memorial School and the Pachaiyappa's College in Chennai.

The 8.5-inch long scanner with a storage capacity of 100 pages was passed on to another suspect who took it to a nearby hotel where senior doctors downloaded the question paper into a laptop. Within an hour, answers to all the 300 questions were sent to "beneficiaries" through short messaging service (SMS).

Describing the offence as the first of its kind, the investigating official said the scanner was a two-year-old concept and that the accused (doctors) might have used it during the earlier examinations (of AIIMS) as well. "This was a commercial venture involving senior doctors, including some professors. Though the prime suspects made huge money, the doctors who actually answered the questions were provided conveyance, lunch and tea in the hotel room."
Report in Times of India on how it all started.

Oldest Hero Stone Found

Hero stones over 2,300 years old and inscribed with the Tamil Brahmi script have been discovered, for the first time, at Puliyamkombai in Andipatti taluk of Theni district.

The three-foot high stones seem to be a part of urn burials found in large numbers in the area.

The first hero stone has three lines that read, "Kal pedu tiyan antavan kudal ur akol," which means it has been put up in memory of Tiyan Antavan of pedu village, who died in a cattle raid at Kudalur. The second stone is partly broken. The inscription says it is in memory of Atan. The full name of the village and the man could not be ascertained as the stone has been damaged. The inscription on the third stone reveals that it is in memory of Patavan Avvan of Velur.

This is the earliest inscription found so far in Tamil Nadu.

More information in the Hindu Report

April 03, 2006

My first Digital picture

Does the blog sound like a class I scrapbook..Well I dont mind.

A friend of mine got me a Canon IXY Digital 60 camera (5.0 mega pixel, 3x optical zoom) today from Japan.

First impression: It is very sleek, almost fits in my palm.Clarity is damn good.
Problem: usability is a bit difficult (may be 'll get used to in the coming days).

Karnataka Government Museum

Established in 1865, the museum houses sculpture from the Hoysala, Nolamba and Gandhara periods. Also on view are antiquities from Mohenjodaro and terracotta from Mathura. The painting section includes miniature paintings from the Rajasthani and Pahari schools. there are also traditional paintings from the Among the miscellaneous items are ivory carvings and inlay work, sandal-wood caskets and other ohjeci-and arms and armoury.

This is all u get from the web. Chennai Museum is much better. It has a dedicated website.

The Museum is equally disappointing with few statues in one block, few neolithic, mohenjadaro, Arikamedu remains. There is a huge section of Tanjore paintings & moghul paintings.

The huge Burmese bell, Mayil Veena (Peacock shaped veena), soldier's armour stood out from the crowd.

Felt nice seeing the rich Hoysala sculptures..Really breadth taking!

TheBharat.com has some travel info.

Visvesvarayya Industrial & Technological Museum

WOW! If only the schools taught science as in Visvesvarayya Industrial & Technological Museum, you would have people who really love science take up higher studies than joining science courses as a last option, if you didnt get a medical/engg course.

It is an elaborate setup with three floors and a much welcome canteen in the fourth floor. The museum lives up to its name and there are lot of working models in all the spheres of science.

The Museum houses a HAL HF-24 Marut [BD-884] which is displayed outside the main building facing the road.

In the groundfloor, there is a breadth taking model of the first aeroplane built by Wright Brothers.

You have to be there to experience it. But it would be of much interest to school students. On the flip side, it takes a lot of time, I'm not sure, if we can capture the kid's attention for more than two hours.

BTW, Who is this Visvesvarayya?
He was an eminent Indian engineer and statesman. While he was Diwan of Mysore, Visvesvarayya was knighted by the British for his myriad contributions to the public good. He implemented an extremely intricate system of irrigation in the Deccan area. Visvesvarayya achieved celebrity status when he designed a flood protection system to protect the city of Hyderabad from floods. He was also instrumental in developing a system to protect Visakhapatnam port from sea erosion.

Sir MV supervised the construction of the KRS dam across the Kaveri River from conception to inauguration. This dam created the biggest reservoir in Asia at the time it was built. Sir MV was rightly called the "father of modern Mysore state" (now Karnataka. After India attained independence, Sir M. Visvesvarayya was given the nation's highest honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955.

More from the wikipedia

Indian Railways - (mis)timings

Got back to chennai in Kaveri Express (Mysore - Chennai). We got the ticket for the last train of the day only. It was scheduled to start at 11.45 p.m in Bangalore. The train arrived from Mysore at 11.00 p.m. I was surprised to find the train on dot, but my surprise changed into despair when there was no sign of the train leaving the station even at 12.15 a.m, there was a big working day waiting for me after 4 days Hols. Finally it started around 12.30 a.m. After taking breaks at few stations, the train reached chennai at 8.00 a.m. It was a damn tiring journey.

The hundreds of passengers who have paid the money for ticket are simply made to wait without being offered any reason. People are taken for granted. The least they can do is, tell us why were are kept waiting.

I'm sure this will not happen with any private customer service sector.