July 30, 2007

Five Point Someone

Finally caught up with the Five Point Someone. Cool book. No wonder it is a best seller for 3 years now. Hats off to chetan Bhagat. Now, I have set my sights on 'One night@ a call center'. Actually, feels nice to read contemporary Indian authors, there is a connect at some level. And surprise, the book is available for 95Rs only.

Buried Heritage

K.T. Gandhirajan, specialist in art history has been trying to trace the history of a beautiful Jain sculpture half buried in a small mound at Pasumpon village in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district. [The Hindu]

An interesting aspect was that Muthuramalinga Thevar, Forward Bloc leader, used to lead the villagers in offering worship to the image on Tamil new year day in April every year. The sculpture used to be anointed with oil and bathed with water. The practice stopped after Thevar died in 1963.

Specialists in the study of Jainism and Buddhism including D. Ravikumar, Dalit Panthers of India legislator, and Mr. Gandhirajan said scores of sculptures of the Buddha, Adinatha and Mahavira were lying on fields in different parts of Tamil Nadu and they wanted the Government to protect them.

July 27, 2007

Poem Time

Priyan's Kavidhai


Would quite often criss cross TTK Road, Alwarpet. off late.. I was inquisitive about a good-looking store that had opened its doors next to Sankara Hall (near Naradha Gana Sabha). The Lladró store had a certain elite-ness to it, they offer some amazing Doll stuff (the ones on the display were simply breathtaking!). Was wondering how they manage to run a doll shop in a prime locality..

Landed on their website only to be floored by it's surprises. Lladró makes Porcelain sculptures. Very Simple. Today it sells its exquisite, handcrafted porcelain figurines in over 120 countries, and has become an internationally recognized luxury brand.

Brief look @ their origins

"In 1953 Juan, José and Vicente Lladró make their first creations inspired by an experimental vocation in a Moorish furnace built in their own home in Almàssera (Valencia), Spain. The brothers introduce innovations not only in the design and style of the figurines but also in the firing techniques, reducing the three-layer firing to a one-layer process. One-firing is an innovative method which creates the crystalline finish and the pastel tonalities typical of Lladró works. In 1967 work begins on building the City of Porcelain, an area which combines factory and office buildings with leisure and sport facilities for the workers. This innovative complex is opened on October 13, 1969. "

Their growth is simply amazing. The way they have traced their history in their website is also nice - www.lladro.com

A 2003 article in Business Line says
"Prices in India start at Rs 3,000 and go on to Rs 16.5 lakh, but the items in the Rs 6,000-10,000 bracket are slowly replacing the traditional silver gifts. Pointing to a porcelain Ganesh encased at the entrance, O'Brien says that is an investor's item. One of the limited editions it put out a few years ago, it cost Rs 69,000 then, but now it's been sold back to Lladro as its price has appreciated to Rs 3 lakh. Lladro buys back limited edition pieces as they have the potential to appreciate and be sold over and over"

A 2005 article says
"The expected turnover in 2005 is expected to be driven by sales of the recently-introduced, India special limited edition of Radha & Krishna and the open edition of Kanhaiya and cow. The limited edition of Radha & Krishna has been priced at Rs 2,35,000 per piece.

Breathe Easy;-))

July 26, 2007

Lenovo cools @ Himachal Pradesh

Not everyday U hear about any major IT or for that matter any renowned company setting up its shop in Himachal Pradesh. Lenovo the global PC maker has announced its decision to open a new manufacturing plant in Baddi. (Hmm..not even Sikkim).

Cool Move!!

July 25, 2007

Spin doctors, Phrases, President

Endeavour, rate of economic growth, socially inclusive, threshold of a new era of progress [Wonder ..how long we will be standing at the threshold itself?], weak and the disadvantaged, equal partners, beneficiaries of the development process, empowerment of women, banish malnutrition, social evils, infant mortality , female foeticide, full commitment to the protection of child rights, relentless campaign against poverty,ignorance and disease for a better future of the children,committed to the cause of education, would like to see every person to be touched by the light of modern education [Kavitha!..Kavitha!], science and technology, better governance, faster development, life of peace and security, stand united, fight against such divisive and destructive tendencies as communalism, casteism, extremism and terrorism..

Play with these phrases, rearrange them.. Voila! U have got a public speech ready for any occasion.
[the phrases were taken from Pratibha Patil's speech soon after taking oath as President]

Retirement Tantrums

Our current vice-president & soon to be former-vice-president Bhairon Singh Shekhawat apparently does not like the official Bungalow offered to him. The Union Urban Development Ministry is now scouting for a new Bungalow.

Vice-president post by itself is a dubakur post (I have strong reservations on continuing with President post itself!).Imagine sponsoring their living even after they have been ousted from that post. On top of this, these people have their own whims & fancies. How abt spending from their own pocket and getting a roof over their head like any other common man?

July 23, 2007

Pillar Stories

Visited an old Jain temple in Alagramam, near Tindivanam. The pillars at the temple were telling a story of their own..caught a few with my cam ;-))

** was surprised to see a commoner -the pious looking man with folded hands, among the statues - later came to know that he had given away lots as endowment to the temple.

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows

Appa!..Still reeling under the Harry Potter magic!!... Finished the seventh & final edition of Harry Potter series after a marathon reading session.

WOW! J.K.Rowling knows exactly how to capture her audience. Harry Potter survives - has a Tamil Masala Movie type ending. [Ooshh..19 varudangkaluku piraghu..//After 19 years..]..OK no more spoilers...

Go get your copy.

Joke-O-Joke - 2

If DMK scored earlier , AIADMK entertained the Great Indian Public with a same side goal.
AIADMK MPs voted for Shekhawat in the presidential elections (acting against the decision of UNPA to abstain from voting) . J.Jayalalithaa says the MPs themselves decided to vote and she didn't have a clue on their behaviour. She blamed it on the Election Commission's notice on issuing whip to party MPs.

July 19, 2007

Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix

Enjoyed Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix to the hilt. INOX made it more enjoyable..
Everytime, I see Harry Potter, I'm amazed at the casting. Here too, they have scored a six with Dolores Umbridge, the new Defence against Dark Arts teacher. Imelda Staunton fires life into this character. Luna Lovegood looks her dreamy self.

It is quite difficult to visualize a movie from a book, but kudos the director, he has come out unscathed. So u see.. lots from the book have been modified or cut out..but then it doesn't stop you from experiencing the magic of Harry Potter.
The scenes that stand out are
1. Ministry of Magic introduction
2. Dolores Umbridge bringing in new rules
3. The secret DA sessions that Harry takes
4. The showdown at the ministry of magic
5. The gripping climax
and people will curse me, if I dont include the much touted kiss between Harry Potter & Cho Chang. Well...not bad ;-))
..but we were heartily laughing when they zoomed out to blooming white flowers.

Don't expect any critical review of the film: from an unabashed Harry Potter fan.

July 16, 2007

Costly Turnaround

Guess ..Entrance exams spell trouble everywhere..

In Karnataka, for the first time, an entrance test for post-graduation courses was planned in July. But due to protests from all quarters, the test was cancelled. The matter didn't end there.

The Universities had to refund the fee which means they have to return 28,000 demand drafts of Rs.400 each - sending them by speed post / registered mail will cost them Rs.840,000. (Rs. 30 per demand draft) [MSN - Link]

Unnecessary financial & admin overload.

July 12, 2007

Ahhh..Dedicate ..

The most abused word in media today would be 'Dedicate'...The Radio FMs , TV channels are all filled with this Dedicate-mania

Try this..the default format for most programmes

"Hello ...Hello
..Whatz Ur Name?Where are u calling from?
....My name is Mannakati..I'm calling from Thiruour
..How Are U doing?
.... I'm fine..How are U doing ?
..I'm very fine..What song shall I play for U..
....Please Play Thee pidika Thee pidika Mutham kodu da song..
..Oh sure..nice song..Whom do u want to Dedicate this to?
....Hmm My Periyanna, Akka, my Brother-In-law, Paapu, friends, my parents..and for U too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
..Oh soo chweet..Thankyou..


July 11, 2007

IT Bellwether takes a Beating

Infosys report card is out and as widely guessed - their net profit (Rs 1,028 crore) for this quarter is down 8.5% from Rs 1,124 crore in the last quarter.

V Balakrishnan, CFO, Infosys: “The sharp appreciation of the rupee against all major currencies impacted our operating margins during the quarter. He adds "However, our robust and flexible operating and financial model enabled us to maintain our net margins while absorbing the impact of appreciating currency, higher wages and visa costs.”

Thanks to the technology stocks, the market has come down from its 15K peak.

Full report in Economic Times.

July 10, 2007

Tamilnadu's Political Drama

U have to give it to PMK's Ramdoss for pepping up the political scenario in TamilNadu..Not that there are any dull moments...

From last week or so, there has been some significant movements in the political contours...It all started with the Engg. & Medical Admissions (which by itself is a Mystery-blockbuster every year..with a new twist & turn in every corner..err..court case)

Ramdoss took on DMK's Higher Education Minister K.Ponmudi for his inactiveness in controlling the private Engg & Medical college fees.

Karunanidhi stepped up the gas & went public with his grievance that intra-alliance issues should not be discussed in press releases.

Ramdoss didnt miss a beat and struck the blow saying that the DMK alliance was only for the election & it is the party's duty to act as a True opposition party.

The AIADMK could obviously smell the bad blood & now Jayalalitha has sent out an open invitation to PMK - "If PMK founder Ramadoss chooses to come to our front, he will be welcomed affectionately.He will be given due respect and will be treated honourably,"

The game continues...

July 09, 2007

Fed-Ex rolls on @ Wimbledon

Amazing display of power & technique. At the end of the day, Roger Federer's serve made the difference. 24 aces zoomed past Rafael Nadal. (I wishfully thought of Goran Ivanisevic who had mastered the art of bullying his way thro matches with his aces). Nadal will no longer be a clay court-only specialist. He almost toppled the Lord in his own backyard.

Venus & Bartoli's match was also interesting in the sense, no one guessed that these two players would be playing in the center court. Venus clearly dominated bartoli is all departments. She rightly deserved to win.. but somehow the thrill of a Steffi Vs. Seles kind of match was missing.

Dakshin Chitra - Cultural Hub

Dakshin Chitra is simply amazing. Feels good to see the effort put in to conserve our heritage ..esp South Indian culture. It is run by Madras Craft Foundation, an NGO.

To start with, it props up on the East Coast Road - it is a pleasure to drive down the ECR. The first impression of Dakshin Chitra is that of a well kept majestic cultural center - not one of those run-down-please-look-at-me-kind-of place.

The entry fee was 50 per head. It was worth it & more.

U basically get a feel of traditional living in all southern states - Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka & Andhra Pradesh.

Beautiful thematic houses have been reproduced in full glory - utensils - clothes, et all. Some interesting themes - Chettinad House , Brahmin House, Tanjore Agriculturer's house, Potter house, Cloth Weaver house, Basket weaver house etc.,

We were regaled by a karagattam kind of dance. Some great footwork & balance by the artists. Puppet show, documentaries were also in the list. Artisans carry on with their work & sell their products in specially erected stalls. The place also has a good restaurant.

A must visit place.

July 04, 2007

Anuradha SenGupta - IBN Blog - Sivaji

Sivaji, The Boss. Of Crap - The title was explosive enough..the content was even more explosive. The result - 972 comments on the blog.

Anuradha SenGupta's CNN IBN's Features Editor did the right thing to increase the popularity of the blog. Go against the tide - comments will flow in.

I would like to support her on the front that it is her personal opinion and she has every right to blog it. But she is grossly mistaken on her opinion. I have the right to say that.

Sivaji did not pretend to be a path-breaking-greatest-of-all-movies. It was promoted as an out and out Rajini film with Shankar at the helm of affairs.Shankar has delivered what was expected and Rajini was simply awesome. You are glad that u spent the 100Rs. on the ticket. And that is what a movie should be all abt.

July 03, 2007


5 years ago in a magazine cover. The devotees are a blessed lot, if the lady spits milk on them. Yuck!