Sunday, March 27, 2005

Gay Abandon

A couple of months back I was visiting my brother’s place in Dallas for my winter break. Three weeks of good Indian home cooked food sounded too good to give up. Moreover, I didn’t have anything else to do and if I stayed back at school, I am sure I would have wasted the little money that I had on booze and pizza. So after weighing all the options that I pretended to have, I booked my tickets to Dallas. On reaching Dallas, I was greeted by the smell of roast potatoes, Rasam and Sambar. I don’t know whether my cousin noticed the drool that was coming out through the sides of my hungry mouth. I earnestly tried to sit away from the dining table, as I didn’t want my cousins to think that the primary purpose for this visit was to fatten myself up.

So one fine morning my cousin bro. got a call from his friend and he wanted my bro to pick him up at the airport. So my bro asked me whether I could accompany him and the accommodating person that I am, I quickly said yes. Later in the day I realized the perils of mouthing a quick yes. My bros car refused to start and so we had to take his wife’s car ‘A BEETLE’. Yeah the car looked cute and all that, but a guy driving a beetle would definitely look odd and sensing that my brother gave me the keys and asked me to drive. And I knew what he was ‘driving at’ and so I quickly told him that I don’t have a license.He couldn’t ask his wife to come along with him because he refused to pick her friend up a couple of weeks back which was still very fresh in her memory. He muttered something like “ of all the cars why did she have to get a beetle…” and started the car. Well, if he had to blame someone then it had to be Hitler, after all it was he who designed this frightfully feminine car. But, I didn’t want to go over the history of the car to irritate the already furious driver. So off we went to the airport. Now this was during Christmas time and America was on an 'ELEVATED STATE OF ALERT’ declared color orange. I think Bush wanted to make this clear to every one, “ Hi dudes! Merry Christmas...enjoyin the party eh! Good, just to warn you, if u have a plane mysteriously knocking at your door don’t tell me that we didn’t alert you.Peace out!” Every car was thoroughly inspected by the cops and our beautiful beetle was inspected by an Afro American cop.

He knocked on the window and said “Ma'am can you lower your window please”. I admired the way how friendly the cops were here and totally missed out on the “Ma'am”. My brother had a smirk on his face when he heard that ma'am and muttered that he should have never agreed to pick up this friend. My brother lowered the window and the cop jutted his head through it and had a peek inside. He then gave a smile and said “Nice car you got 'guys’. Nice flowers and yeah you have a nice teddy bear there. So did you guys watch that show on ABC yesterday at what 8 or 9 pm.” I was pleasantly surprised, cops had the time to talk about TV shows when America was orange. Probably, the cops didn’t want the local population to feel the heat and have decided to mask the tension by striking friendly conversations . You just had to give it to these cops who tirelessly fight terrosists and are also in the mood to chat with two average guys in a beetle just so that they feel safe.But the teddy bear he mentioned about, was our beloved Lord Ganesha and I thought of correcting the cop but then my brother was totally pissed and shot back at the cop “Sir its not what you are thinking, this is my wife’s car and me and my brother are on our way to pick her up.” Hey…wait a minute we are not picking his wife I thought it was his friend…I hope my brother knew that lying to a cop was an offense. The cop then leered at us and sarcastically said “yeah whatever!” I just didn’t get it, why should my brother get back at a cop who was just trying to be friendly. On the way to the terminal, I gave my brother a lengthy sermon about the great sacrifices that these men are making for their country and we had no right to snap at them when they are just trying to be friendlyto make us feel safe. On hearing that my brother shot the nastiest look that I had ever seen in my short life of 20 years. He then told me that the show he was talking about on ABC was a reality homosexual dating show. Now, that gave a whole new dimension to the word 'guys'. I was completely pissed.… much for cops being friendly…...”bloody perverts”...can’t two guys go around in a beetle together. What has this world come to?

On reaching the terminal, we saw my brother’s friends waiting there. As soon as we got out he gave a weird look on seeing 'us'. My brother sensed what his friend was thinking and quickly introduced me as “the cousin who is here on a vacation” and I almost heard him say….” I wish I should have never asked him to accompany me or even better I should have never come here to pick you up.” So we were heading out of the airport and by some curious mischance we saw the same cop inspecting cars on the exit. He then tapped on the window and this time he said, “Gentlemen lower the window”. He then looked at my brother’s friend.” Hi there, I don’t want to make you ‘GUYS’ wait. I am sure you are in for a busy night. Have a nice one GUYS.” My brother’s friend was totally confused on hearing that and we then explained the whole sequence of events and he laughed all the way home.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Shine your light

I watched Ladder 49 yesterday. It is about a Baltimore fire fighter played by Joaquin Phoenix. It is a very touching movie except for some goofy scenes that tried to portray the camaraderie of the fire fighters in the fire station. John Travolta plays the chief of the station and I have never heard of the rest of the star cast. The one thing that stands out in the movie is its sound track. There is this one song in particular 'Shine your light' by Robbie Robertson which was amazing. The lyrics were awesome.You need to know what happens in the movie to understand the meaning behind the song.
*SPOILER ALERT* As I consider all my readers to be too busy to watch movies Iam assuming that you are not going to watch the movie and so it is perfectly ok for me to tell you the movie's ending, in my effort to make you understand the significance of each and every line of this song. The fire fighter whose life is being chronicled in the movie dies in a rescue mission. He is being carried in a coffin to the cemetry and this song starts playing in the background. Here is how it goes

Artist: Robbie Robertson
Song: Shine Your Light


The cry of the city like a siren's song
Wailing over the rooftops the whole night long
Saw a shooting star like a diamond in the sky
Must be someone's soul passing by
These are the streets
Where we used to run where your Papa's from
These are the days
Where you become what you become
These are the streets
Where the story's told
The truth unfolds
Darkness settles in
Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so I can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength
To carry on, carry on
Don't wanna be a hero
Just an everyday man
Trying to do the job the very best he can
But now it's like living on borrowed time
Out on the rim, over the line
Always tempting, fate, like a game of chance
Never wanna stick around to the very last dance
Sometimes I stumble and take a hard fall
Loose your grip off the wall
Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so I can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength to carry on
Carry on
I thought I saw him walking by the side of the road
Maybe trying to find his way home
He's here but not here
He's gone but not gone
Just hope he knows if I get lost
Shine your light down on me
Lift me up so I can see
Shine your light when you're gone
Give me the strength to carry on
Carry on

Saturday, March 19, 2005


I just read a very disturbing news item on Sify. It reminded me of a story that my dad told me when I was 12 or 13 after I had a big fight with my mom.
I am sure most of you would have heard of it. Boy loves girl....girl tells boy to bring his mother's heart to prove that he truly loves her......boy stabs his mother and rips her heart out and runs to his lady love....while doing so he trips down with his mothers heart.....while he tries to get up he hears his mothers voice coming from the heart asking him whether he was hurt and to be a little more careful.
I was very cynical and gave my dad a look which conveyed " Yeah right, I believe you!!!". But now a more mature me would have probably believed my dad. Mom's are truly great, please read this article:

Some might consider the act downright stupid. Who will take care of her kids now? Will her kids really be happy? But, this whole tragedy just goes to show that Mom's are not capable of thinking logically when it comes to their kids. They could move heaven and earth to bring a smile on their child's face. Probably, thats the only reason why my mom thinks I look handsome than most of the heroes in the film industry. I hope she didn't compare me to the likes of Vijaykanth, Raj Kiran and Ramarajan (yeah the cynical me :D)

Friday, March 18, 2005

Funny read

This article appeared on BBC sometime back. Its about 419's a.k.a emails which start off like, I am the prince of Nigeria and I need your help in.....

Read it, its amazingly funny

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Slow and selfish

I always get pissed with people who try sounding diplomatically right and get even more pissed if people appreciate the person for doing that. It just looks so artificial and that was the first thing that struck me when I reached Raleigh. Now lets take this to another level...people hate Shoaib Akhtar because he talks his mind (agreed it can be brash and downright stupid at times). But you would atleast know that this guy would have the same things to say about you..... behind you and on your face. Now take Mr Goody Two Shoes Sachin Tendulkar, you always hear the same sound bytes.
Media: Sachin, how would you rate this century?
Sachin(if the team wins): I dont mind if I score a century or a 40...I am happy as long as it helps the team win.
Sachin(if the team loses): I am very sad that the team lost and this century didnt help the teams cause.

Media: Sachin, another century and you have the record for the most number of hundreds in either form of the game, Your comment?
Mr. Goody Two Shoes: I never play for records, I am happy to play for my country and contribute towards its success.

Press conference after press conference you hear the same things and for some strange reason I always believed the man. But offlate it just doesnt add up.Yesterdays draw can be blamed entirely on Sachin and to a lesser extent on Ganguly. Nobody scores 120 runs in 70 odd overs after scoring 350 runs at a run rate of 4.5 for a day and a half. And, with 7 wickets remaining...I just cannot see any possible reason for adopting such a painfuly slow scoring rate. A man who was batting beautifully with Sehwag made batting look as dry as the Saharan desert after Sehwag's departure. Ganguly the new man in was scratchy and looked out of sorts and it was up to THE BATTINGOD to maintain the run rate. But I guess Sachin desperately needed that century and wanted to reach towards it as slowly as possible without taking any risks. I was happy that he didnt get it. I read a news article which suggested the low sightscreen to be the reason why Sachin batted so slowly. Helloooo...? are you guys trying to tell me that Sachin develops this lowsighscreenphobia after reaching is half century. He score his first 50 of 70 balls and the next 50 of 120 balls.Dont try to justify his actions...maybe Sachin got out because he had loose motions....Sachin got that LBW decision because the umpire had a boil on his ass...wake up people. All I can say is that please dont make him out to be so selfless. Maybe I would have done the same thing as Sachin..... but I could never lie so blatantly that the Country comes before me and the reason why I played so slow was because of the team and our strategy. Being selfish is not such a big deal but acting 'selfless' sucks big time.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Praveen's Kavidhai

Praveen and I have been class mates since class 7. Though he is from Kerala, he knows more Tamil than I do (Ok, I am not a good basis for comparing with). But, this piece from him was beautiful. I am not very good at writing a glowing review. I could never digest the fact that there are people who are more talented than me ;). I have tried transalating it into Tamil. While I tried transalating it, I just couldn't help noticing the beauty of Tamil...there were some words that just didn't feel the same way when written in English...or maybe I just dont know enough English to fill in the right words. All of the sudden I suspect its the latter. Anyways I will leave you with the 'kavidhai' and its English transalation.

vodum naeram oru kanam nindradhu
aval azhagai rasipadharkku

veesum kaatru sattrae yosithadhu
aval koondhalai kalaipadharkku

paayum alaigal konjam kuzhaindhadhu
aval udalai ninaipadharkku

kozuthum sooriyan paavam parthadhu
aval maeniyai suduvadharkku

suttrum bhoomi dhisaiyai maatriyadhu
avalai thirumbip paarpadharku

Ivargalai pol naan innum thayanguvadhu
yen kaadhalai solvadharku

- Praveen Sathya

English Translation

Time stopped for a moment
to soak in her beauty

The breezy wind contemplated
on blowing her hair away

The tides/waves stepped back and hesitated a little
to wet her body

The scorching sun pitied her
as it didn't want to scald her skin ***

The rotating earth changed directions
to have a second look at her

Like them, I too hesitate
to tell my love for you

*** this line was really difficult to transalate, so if you have a better way of putting it please drop it in as a comment.
(Karthik, stay away! Even though you are working your way towards that doctorate in Linguistics....the 'mudhala sambar apparam fightu' brand of Tamil won't work here :D )

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Budget 2005-2006

Overall, everyone is happy with PC's budget. Many of you guys would have already read about it in the papers. India Inc. is very happy, stock markets shot up by 144 points on budget day. However there was this one person who wasn't too impressed with it. It was my uncle and he works for a bank. My uncle and I always had good discussions about the budget when I was in Madras and we still do have those discussions but its now through emails.

I would like to present his criticisms here, as it would make for some interesting reading.

****As usual with any Budget of Chidambaram, it is eloquent in English but empty in figures. He wants to establsih Bharat Nirman without Capital. Gives Tax Relief for every one but wants to Tax if they withdraw cash more than Rs10000/ from the Bank. Also wants details of all deposits where withholding tax is not deducted. He wants to ride on the back of the Bankers to get hold of tax evaders. In India you have to pay fine as tax for doing something wrong and tax as fine for doing something right.This Budget makes no effort to reduce the Fiscal Deficit. He has not brought any reforms on labour. Harping on 100 % FDI is o.k but how will foreign investors think about investing in an India without infra structure. He says Banking in India is a picture of paradox? These are the same Banks which brought about green,white (Milk) Revolution in the Country. These are the Banks who lend when there is aTsunami tragedy or a Bhuj Tragedy. Will HSBC or Citi do it? They will term it commercially unviable and will probably throw in a few dollars as charity and tell the world that their deepest sympathies rest with affected countries. He is more interested in selling the Indian Banking system to American Banks. Here is a Country with a Finance Minister who is more interested in selling the banking system to foreign vultures in the name of liberalisation. What a paradox? What about the desalination plant in Chennai? With 12 minister and 40 Mps Tamilnadu, I cannot even think of drinking water.It is a pity.****

If you guys were wondering what Bharat Nirman is....this is the link

And Fiscal deficit in simple terms means that you spend more than what you get.

And FDI is foreign direct investment. If GE sets up a facility in India it is considered as a foreign direct investment. I am not sure about this but I think foreign bodies(FII) investing money on the Indian stock eschange are considered FDI too.

Well, my uncle has expressed his frustrations with the budget as a Chennaite banker. I kind of agree with whatever he has to say. The most ridiculous thing that I found about this budget was "Why should I pay 10 rupees as tax for withdrawing 10000rs?" If the only reason for that is zeroing in on black money....then PC please wake up, people do not keep their black money in their bank accounts.
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