March 31, 2008

Pondy thro foreign eyes

On the southeastern coast, about 150 miles south of Chennai, Pondicherry is, for an Indian city, tiny. Just about a million people live there, mostly in the types of charmless, three- and four-story concrete buildings erected all over the poorer parts of Asia. But near the Bay of Bengal, the cityscape changes drastically. Soon you see tile roofs and wooden shutters, balconies and colonnades, wide brick streets and pastel Catholic churches — the neighborhood once known as the Ville Blanche, or White Town, where the colonists lived.
The air-conditioning was blasting, and when I turned it off, I heard something I’d never heard before in India: nothing. No traffic or honking horns, no vendors’ cries, no heavy machinery whirring from within a neighbor’s home.

Peace pervaded the neighborhood. In a neatly subdivided park, office workers on lunch break napped in the shade, and along the waterfront boulevard, couples and families — mostly Indians, the women in stunning yellow, orange and teal saris, along with a smattering of French tourists — ambled past the too-rocky-to-swim beach, the stately Hôtel de Ville and a statue of Gandhi.

More interesting observations in NYTimes

March 26, 2008

Old habits die hard

'Nav Shristi' - an NGO working for women and child rights - was shocked when two police stations in the capital demanded Rs 12,274 each for disclosing information on missing and kidnapped children in Delhi under the RTI.
More info - NDTV

March 19, 2008

“Om lingalingalinalinga, kilikili….”

Missed the pleasure of viewing this program on TV..Anyways..more programs of this kind is the need for the hour. With 'poli' samayars & ammas mushrooming at the same pace as new IT companies on old mahabalipuram old, it is high time people come face to face with truth.
On 3 March 2008, in a popular TV show, Sanal Edamaruku, the president of Rationalist International, challenged India’s most “powerful” tantrik (black magician) to demonstrate his powers on him. That was the beginning of an unprecedented experiment. After all his chanting of mantra (magic words) and ceremonies of tantra failed, the tantrik decided to kill Sanal Edamaruku with the “ultimate destruction ceremony” on live TV. Sanal Edamaruku agreed and sat in the altar of the black magic ritual. India TV observed skyrocketing viewership rates.

Everything started, when Uma Bharati (former chief minister of the state of Madhya Pradesh) accused her political opponents in a public statement of using tantrik powers to inflict damage upon her. In fact, within a few days, the unlucky lady had lost her favorite uncle, hit the door of her car against her head and found her legs covered with wounds and blisters.

India TV, one of India’s major Hindi channels with national outreach, invited Sanal Edamaruku for a discussion on “Tantrik power versus Science”. Pandit Surinder Sharma, who claims to be the tantrik of top politicians and is well known from his TV shows, represented the other side. During the discussion, the tantrik showed a small human shape of wheat flour dough, laid a thread around it like a noose and tightened it. He claimed that he was able to kill any person he wanted within three minutes by using black magic. Sanal challenged him to try and kill him.
More on Rationalist International

[Via Abi's Nanopolitan]

Raghuvaran - a great actor

A sudden & early end to a great actor. Raghuvaran would always remain as one of my fav. actors. Had a great potential - heavily under used by the film industry. Most of the films, he was a caricature villain, but there was a certain spark that came out even through mundane characters.

A huge loss to filmdom ;-(

March 18, 2008

Chennai Super Kings

Not everyday, you can see a vijay's photo in Business Standard's website. Well..he & Nayantara have been signed up as brand ambassadors for India Cements' IPL - Chennai Super Kings.

March 12, 2008

Sins 2.0

Vatican is on the sins list
The Catholic Church on Sunday updated the 1,500-year-old list of seven deadly
sins, publishing the new list in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.
Now, the souls of drug-pushers, the obscenely rich, environmental polluters and
“manipulative” genetic scientists will go to Hell, unless they repent and seek

Just in case you forgot what the original seven sins are : lust, gluttony, avarice, sloth, anger, envy and pride

March 11, 2008

Zoho People

Zoho's latest offering is an on demand - People Management and Recruitment Solution - Zoho People. It is basically targeted at SMBs. Zoho just keeps adding to its stock. Web is an interesting place to be in.


Saw Jodhaa Akbar last saturday - Satyam - Full house.
Quite impressed ..I should say. As a film, it stands on its own. Hrithik & Aishwarya (After HDDCS, I liked her in this) have come out with a flamboyant performance. What a difference between Dhoom 2 & this movie. A.R.Rahman rules. Ashutosh Gowariker can be commended for having brought in a terrific team, but the story is not in the league of Lagaan. The film was a lengthy one..the fights could have been toned down. There are the customary Hrithik scenes - Wild Elephant taming, bare torso sword fight practice, etc..But who is complaining? ;-) Aishwarya looks picture perfect, the costumes & jewelry adding to her beauty. In one of the reviews, somebody had mentioned, the director's master stroke was to give minimal dialogues to Aish. I agree. Can definitely see it once.

March 06, 2008