Sunday, March 30, 2008

little nadas of myself...

As it always happens celebrities are always as questions to fill some gossip magazines which mere mortals like to read about…sigh life is hard being such. And in the meantime I categorically deny that I have sold the photo rights of my great grandchild to ABCD news corporation..And well I have a big announcement to make in a couple of days too , so check out the space here…dei dei jaada mathi the tag or ..

OKAY ...Here goes the tag from the world of mind curries..:-P

Ratatouille...Awesome movie..:-)

‘My Name is Red’ by Orhan Pamuk..Reading it for the past 4-5 months at slower than a snail pace…

Board room snoring. Will snake and ladder count as a Board game?? If then yes...But in intellectual circles I portray myself as a chess player with specialization in Queen Indian moves or something like that.

Used to be reader’s digest...but not a big fan these days. But during college times Outlook, India Today was a favorite of mine.
Infact that reminds me of my friend who quipped when i asked for some magazines to read..
"daa..evide weekoo outlookoo onnum ille"
"hmmph...Oru "week" thannu ninte "outlook" maati thannaal mathiyoo."

Vanilla and smell of earth after a rainy day is any day welcome.

6. FAVORITE SOUND? Of MUSIC? Edelweiss ;-P Waves at the beach.. oh...i couldn’t change this one…it is exactly the same for me...but on a daily basis when my French lady manager says...”You are working so hard…Go home baby!!” err was that a vision?

When you turn a blind eye when you could have done something about it.

LOL… Brain activity not active enough to THINK for the initial hour after wake up!!

KFC out here…but back home thattukadas in bakery junction...

Gunda and Chikki ...oh I forgot there was one more as good as these two…;-P

Maybe produce movies where am the hero…on a serious note am clueless.

“ a very safe and law abiding kind of driver…Driver should always concentrate on…”
“Bro could you hold the steering wheel while I finish the rest of the tag”.


Brain storming sessions in office are SCARY...though...the natural ones are fine.

Bwaahhahaa…this is insulting me…

Tea during winter…and cold guava juice during summer…

I really don’t know…maybe spend more time for charity.

NO!!! Broccoli and me...well I have made a curry of it once and am not a big fan of this veggie.

19. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE? Blonde...My Slovakian wife insists on that before our next Easter family get-together at her village.

20. NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED IN. Port Blair, Kottayam, Trivandrum, Mysore, Pune, Bangalore, Toulouse, Hamburg

Football and tennis. Cricket if it’s a grudge match.


My mobile.


Neither actually...I need good sleep.

Sunny side up…:-)

The river side near my home…or parambu back in naadu...and one place where I find ultimate relaxation is Gopalasamy betta near mysore..

Apfel strudel.

Vanilla with pineapple crumbs topped with butterscotch sauce..


And this tag goes to..










Monday, March 24, 2008

Trivandrum..of my dreams.

This post is inspired from

Trivandrum aka Thiruvananthapuram…I always wanted to write about my city…But I never craved a sense of belonging to the city when I stayed there. Maybe because I was an adopted resident of the city as my parents came from kottayam. But ever since I left the place four years ago, I have become fonder and more nostalgic of my city.

What is so special about Trivandrum is the unique position it is in now…A situation which if utilized can bring prosperity and growth beyond our imagination. It can if channeled properly generate wealth and increase multifold the living standards of the residents... To be treated with caution is that it doesn’t take the path of other cities where corrective action is too late. It is a challenge to both the administration and the people to handle the pivotal opportunity that has come at the cusp of our nation’s growth. Of late, I have been following several websites and chat forums which discuss the new projects and growth potential of the city. Many of them are a lovely read like Ajay’s blog which makes me feel gallant about being a trivandrumite. So that got me thinking about the greatness of our city…

There are many things which typical identify a great city…People ...Infrastructure...Culture...Location

If we aspire the city to be mentioned often enough in the global map we need all the four to give positive vibes to anyone. When for example when I ask someone what you feel about Mexico City it is the huge dense population that comes in picture...When I ask someone about Shanghai...people think about growth and world class infrastructure…Think about Paris and it is the romance…So each city has a USP which attracts or turns off people ....

Most of us aspire our city to grow and have a USP which would put it in the world map...Yes we have Kovalam which used to be our little USP …We have Technopark… We have VSSC…but are they worthy of mention in the current scale??...The answer is a resounding ‘NO’...

I don’t want to waste time cribbing the negatives and rather think how can we go ahead.. Here is the statistical comparison between two cities …Hamburg and Trivandrum.

Area 755 km² (292 sq mi)
Population 1,769,117 (10/2007)
Density 2,343 /km² (6,069 /sq mi)

Area141.74 km² (55 sq mi)
Population• 744,739 (2001) Density 5,284 /km² (13,685 /sq mi)

Source : wikipedia

It might be intriguing to you about the choice of Hamburg …simply coz

1) I have been staying in the city for past year and half and got a fair know-how about what drives the city.
2) It is the second largest port in Europe.
3) It is the only city in Germany having a positive growth.

So assuming that we aspire Trivandrum develops into a port city in the future, we can expect large scale migration of people and increase in the Urban area of the city, which would mean, that we can expect the reach the statistics of Hamburg in future if certain things materializes. It might sound preposterous to compare Trivandrum with Hamburg, But I simply find that it is the most obvious thing to while setting targets.
A city of that magnitude would required


1) Materialization of Vizhinjam Port
It is sad that we might have mentioned the word Vizhinjam more often in blogs than in any government documents or the dusty libraries of Ministry of Shipping…If there is no chance of that coming up sooner or later the whole post is a junk fairy tale. From what I have learned about the prospects of the port it would have been developed at meteoric pace by most other countries.

2) Excellent transport network
It might be audacious to propose a metro for Trivandrum. But I say it has to come some point of time anyway...isn’t? It might be of interest that Hamburg has had a metro for last 100 years . Our existing transport structure encourages people to use private vehicles which is what is least desired in a rapidly growing city. I believe people would be ready to abandon if comfortable and on-time public transport is provided. Assuming by the time technocity and other parks are fully operational soon, we wouldn’t be fancying 30-40k people traveling in own cars daily to work place...A metro would allow anyone to travel from say Pattom/Kowdiar to work place in 15-20 minutes. .

3) Relocation of futile infrastructure.
Honestly I don’t find any sense in having a stadium in the heart of the city…Probably we are the only city which is eating up good area of commercially viable area on three “not anywhere near world class “stadiums in the middle of town . Sad that it doesn’t even serve the purpose what it was initially built for…We have more party meets or channel award functions than anything else out there.. New sporting infrastructure in the outskirts of the city which would actually make sense of the term “world class” is what is required. The question that pops up is where the money would come from!! Yes I am sorry that I am no Warren Buffet and I assume the money is generated from converted commercial land and adequate private investment to be attracted …it would make sense!!…

4) Commercial culture
It is sad to admit that under current conditions Trivandrum is no shopping paradise...We don’t have a decent shopping street for that matter… What we have is a busy road from statue till east fort with shops and government offices on either sides and sporadic shopping plazas.. But it is crucial to develop something like a downtown shopping street which would actually make shopping a pleasant experience for consumers.

5) Airport
Sigh...How many umpteen times have we said this before…isn’t? With the existing infrastructure in Trivandrum airport it would barely fit the bill of international status...The 258 crore allotted to build the new terminal in my opinion is cosmetic and is a pitiful amount if we aspire to be a global city (just fyi 24000 crore is what is allotted for new terminal in Delhi (source:wiki)).

6) Resident space
Skyscrapers budding up around the city are signs of prosperity but to be taken in with caution, not at the cost of the environment…We are simply underestimating the cost we would be paying for lesser green cover. Blatant residential infrastructure development is the bane of most growing cities and authorities to be sensitive to environment and sensible pricing of the new homes built.


The “people” part of the city is as much or infact more important than the buildings and landscapes....Ofcoz when a city grows it is natural for influx of outsiders...That means we must be tolerant to new cultures and new lifestyles which they bring in...If Chinatown in London or Little India in Singapore are symbols of cities that welcomed other vibrant cultures, we must expect the same here… Embrace people from outside, be it from Delhi...Bangalore...Chennai. or Cochin. C’mon they are here for making a living and so do we…Does this all hatred make sense??

If I would say what is least attractive about Trivandrum is the political stigma attached to the place…Being Political conscious or aware doesn’t necessarily have to be translated to being politically militant… Funny when people give more importance to politics than their daily bread?? I would dream of the day when the outside world would be shocked to hear that hartals and bandhs used to happen on our state…Wouldn’t it make sense if you just think who is gaining out of the whole show!!
We need to educate people to change attitudes...Say hello to the traffic policeman. Say thanks to the bus driver…we can definitely put a conscious effort to make people happy about their jobs... And the people in those shops for god sake you are the seller…This is the most common complaint which I hear from outsiders about our city...Rather than blaming at people who are accusing us, lets correct ourselves…It aint dishonor to be good again.

The potential of our city is enormous...We can be a great port city...A niche IT metropolis...A fabulous tourist paradise...A class educational attraction…the potentials are plenty. There is a sense of hope and chance for us to be part of the change or define the change…Hope for a time when people would love the city for the modernity..for the heritage...for the beauty...and for the people...Hope to see better times for my city.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Hurrah... Olympics is around the corner. The time when a lucky bunch of people can travel abroad bindaas and wave hands at us during the opening ceremony …They always seem to say ‘Gotcha get back to work you idiots, we are here just for fun’. However I have certain psychic powers, which allow me to foresee the headlines we can expect around those days.

*So switch on your television sets ladies and gentlemen*

Good evening…I am Blabber Kapoor and this is GNN and we bring to you the top stories and remaining cooked up stories of the hour.

First we bring to you, our special spotlight segment on the Olympics in Beijing.

As always we have kept our medal tally intact retaining traditional numerical sequence of 000. Thankfully the athletes have done our country proud by their remarkable sportsmanship. Like in all tournaments certain teams at ‘certain’ positions in the medal tally are given ‘the fairplay award’. This time it goes to the Indian contingent. This award was given taking into consideration the Gandhian ways adopted by renowned boxer Gusti Singh who showed his other cheek after the Uzbek pugilist threw a classic knockout jab on his face. Fragments of Gusti pehlwan’s molar teeth fetched a high price at the souvenir shop in little known town of Termez in Uzbekistan.

Suzzie…(Oye...move that camera to her)

In tragic circumstances a body was recovered in the swimming pool shortly after a 1000 m freestyle race at the aquatic complex. Reports suggest the Indian swimmer drowned seconds after the race began. Investigators found the manuals provided by ‘Swimming Federation of India ‘ were found to be out of syllabus and incomplete... It was found that due to a minor printing errors, few pages of the bestseller do-it-yourself manual ‘How to learn swimming in 15 days’ were missing in his copy.

Meanwhile the Games ‘Lost and Found’ agents are investigating reports of another Indian who has gone missing last Thursday. Grainy camera footage suggests that the javelin thrower was propelled outside the stadium along with the spear. Search is still on going by Chinese authorities.

Back home glum faced Indian hockey team players were found munching KPS Gilled...oops I apologize for the slip-up… Indian hockey team players were found munching KPS grilled chicken at a downtown restaurant in Amristar…The players were not available for comments.

Now its time for a short break, but we leave you with a question in our SMS contest.

Which material is used for the flooring in Mr. Gill’s house?

A) Grass
B) Marble
C) Astro-Turf
D) He doesn’t stand on his floor

SMS your answer to 6655 and win a brand new instant coffee machine.

* Tantadaaaaaan…Ads for baby milk powder/Bike/Car/Baniyan/Bank/Masala powder/tooth pick etc… well as always starring Dhoni *

Welcome back our viewers! You are watching the Number 1 new channel (all others are bluffing). Here are other stories of this hour.

Beijing Olympic catering services reported huge shortage of eggs and chicken. The authorities have issued warning to un-disclosed contingents not to steal poultry from the Games canteen stores. Special greeting cards with Tiananmen Square stills were kept on their beds. Authorities report that 354 hens and 254 cartons of milk were surrendered outside the canteen keeper’s house the following day.

Popularity of our Olympians reached an all time low after Indian Archers brutally killed 3 Chinese onlookers during the preliminary rounds. One Indian newspaper has digged out that the grandfather of one of the archers harbored deep hatred for the grandmother of one of the victims. We are still trying to link up the story to make it look authenticate.

Famous triathlon Indian star was reportedly seen in Japan. In what legends call as first of a kind he swam across Yangtze Kiang and ran the countryside before swimming across the Sea of Japan in a mind-blowing display of physical agility. The athlete was found outside the US embassy seeking a green card.

Meanwhile the public outcry over the mismanagement of sports in the country is brewing...Our reporters went to the streets to investigate the real cause.

“I teach my child so that he can be a famous doctor one day. I am sending him to chemistry.physics, Biology and English also sending him to the music school where he is taking western music lessons...Although sometimes when he sings Pavarotti’s ‘Nessun Dorma’ our neighbor’s dogs bark!!”

Our reporters wanted to know what children think about it.

“Why don’t you indulge in football or swimming…Don’t you like sports?”

“I like playing badminton…But dad says u play only chess which would help me in Math…He says I ll be kicked out of home if I don’t score a score in Math!!”

Back to other Games stories.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi have split again.
They had a savage fight over the candies served in the games canteen. Paes wanted the Yellow one while Mahesh claims to have set eyes on them before...They have agreed to split for the time being and would announce their coming together for a national cause soon.

American athletes were denied ‘change’ at Games Souvenir shops as they were found to possess ‘Obama’.

Chinese miniature artists announce that they don’t have any ‘big’ plans for the games.

For the 2012 Games, American athletes plan to outsource the training routines to Indian service providers. The hard working Indians would run on treadmills while the athletes sleep.

A contingent from Afghanistan took the flight home after they found there was no event for anti-aircraft firing or minesweepers. Disgruntled players have returned to enjoy pastimes in favorable conditions…

Games anti-doping agencies found traces of blood and flesh in visiting fashion models from France.

Concerned over the rising pollution in Beijing, the CCP committee have requested comrades in Kerala to delay ‘attukaal pongala’ till the games are over. Comrades back home have agreed for the noble cause.

Amidst this chaos Indian cricket team is awarded 10 crore rupees by the BCCI after a tour of Kenya because they did not have enough space in their coffers to keep the change. Funds have also been allocated to improve facility in cricket stadiums.

We would now have an Air conditioned Sauna/Jacuzzi attached room for board meetings.

Spectators as usual would be shown…hmm…you know what!!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunday's weren't always Sundae's.

On weekends, I enjoy sitting at the riverside near my home.

There is nothing more relaxing than listening to the flow of water and quite often these times my mind wanders in rudderless thoughts. So last Sunday I was lazing near the beach and somehow pressed the rewind button of my memories tape recorder. It took me to the time when I used to attend Sunday class at the Lourdes’s church.

(A 10-year-old boy has written this post and author barely recognizes this character. Please respect his un-intelligent rant and which is not meant to be offensive in anyway)

* Sometime in the 1990’s at Trivandrum*

I was of the devout types who loved to occupy the seat farthest from the Altar. You know, just in case the Priest caught me yawning. Sunday classes were loved and hated at the same time...Loved coz that meant escape from the school books and homework’s...And hated coz of 3 kilometers of cycling, the last leg of which was a steep climbing road...Since the church seemed to stand on a hill, it almost felt like I was the Lord carrying two kurushu (my bike and bro) at the same time. If it weren’t for lack of opportunities I could have been Indian version of Lance Armstrong having already won back-to-back titles in the prestigious Tour de Muttada*. And after that tiring hike I wouldn’t be exactly in a mood to kneel down on my already wobbling knees and tell Lord...’Thank you for all the good things in life!!’

Anyways for the information of un-informed Sunday class is preceded by the mass, which normally runs for like 1.5 hours, but often felt like eternity. Infact I was the biggest fan of the priest who had the shortest sermon and sang abridged hymns. No wonder I have seen many folks doing the sign of the cross more or less resembling a blinding karate action…At times I have even slept standing like a horse during the mass…The only interesting thing I remember doing in the church was turning my neck around 45 to 60 degrees towards my left in undetectable swift movements to check out any cute girl on the other side. But even that has its own logistic issues like a familiar uncle or aunty who might be out there as spies. After about like 1.5 years…err…I mean hours the mass is over…Am so happy that I would be eager to clench my fists and shout.’ YES…FINALLY!!’. Am sure many elders out there wanted too...but they were pretending not.

So after the mass bro and myself go to respective classes. We would be told Bible stories and taught moral lessons through these classes…My favorite Bible stories happened to be 'Noah’s Ark' and the story of ‘The Good shepherd’. Other favorites were ‘David versus Goliath’ which I consider truly inspirational if you are planning to deal with bullies in school...That story simply inspired me to throw stones at certain people…whoever said Bible is all about love.
Another character that I liked was 'Samson' ...I wanted to be like him and he was my favorite super hero after giant robot…Most of Shaji Kailas movies are inspired by the Samson story if you carefully study the finer nuances.

Now here comes the funny part. I joined the Sunday class quite late…Therefore when I joined 1st standard, I was already in 3rd at regular school. So that meant I was like the big brother in class. It also meant I could show off among them the teeny weeny kids. Many Sunday class teachers were ruthlessly harassed when I asked questions like ‘Did Jesus use fevicol to fix the ear of that soldier when St Peter’s cut it off’…Such horrible jokes made me a hero in the class though later neutralized by someone at home called Dad who proved hero’s can cry during certain intimidating circumstances.
When I reached 5th standard I met with a major bottleneck in my attempt at biblical prowess. Sunday class exams started taking shape of written format and that spelt disaster for me… Being student of a central govt school meant they dint teach the native language. My knowledge was limited to spoken Malayalam and was barely good at reading (which often caused blunder’s during Bible reading at home like...’Yeshu paatu paadi marichu…instead of ‘Yeshu paadu pettu marichu’)…So in a remarkable turning point in my academic history I took the exam where I answered the Malayalam questions in English…But the trouble happened when question pertained to certain hymns were asked and my translation of them would have made classic comedy jingles. The extra effects along with the hymns made it sound like contemporary rock.

‘Hello Lord…Forgive me...Oh…Oh..forgive me. "

Also I also took such exams to express creatively and personal interest in checking IQ levels of priests.

Questions like ‘Which Sabha are you from’ would be answered with cryptic clues like

Unfortunately in very tragic circumstances I failed in fifth standard.

So by the time I reached 7th standard I was writing the boards in school. It also meant that I was exposed to facts that it is possible to take the bus to the cinema, catch the latest mohanlal movies and reach back home perfectly in time in synchronization with the Sunday class. But after two such trips the guiltiness factor took over and I returned to the ‘kunjuaadukkal’ attending Sunday class. The only saving grace was that my baccha classmates showed tremendous respect and addressed me as chettaa** for being the senior most citizen in class... Soon I stopped going to Sunday class after age caught up with me …board exams, tuitions and such bad things happened in life which ending my biblical career.

Even now, I believe I would have made a good priest.
I am simply effusing with goodness, grace and appetite for good food. It is sheer bad luck that the clergy missed out this wonderful man who could have been destined to be the Pope one day.
*wikipedia link currently stopped for data update and website is down for routine maintenance.sorry for the inconvenience.But i swear it is world famous.
**elder bro

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Eros meets Venus and Andreas plays along.

Andreas is going on a blind date tomorrow.

Statistically speaking, Andreas has had a fairly successful married life having gone through divorce just twice in his chequered marital history. That makes the subject an interesting bet for our in-house office gambles. It means I can look forward to make some money in a couple of months or maybe if I get luckier in a couple of weeks itself.

He is shelling out a decent amount for this gripping event where a random group of boys and girls (primarily middle aged men and women who suffer from time freeze disorder) meet at the date house .If you already wonder about the silliness of it, let me tell you that it is a professionally managed event by a company which will use the services of a professional chef who act as the anchor for the whole event. The concept revolves around the chef who will teach the “boys and girls” a recipe, which they all cook together and serve the 'greater purpose' of getting to know each other. Knowing culinary track records I am eager to know what Andreas would do if the chef asked him to cut the ‘ladyfingers’. Got a gut feeling that he would leave a ‘lasting impression’ by and large...

Neways this concept was new to me and I found it very fascinating. It might have been really interesting if this concept was in India. Or maybe it existed already. I guess ammachi made some awesome pulli itta meen curry that simply swept appachan off feet (during which he fell with a resounding thud) before they got married in early 20th century...Ammachi in her trademark chattayyum mundum and Appachan in his coarse demeanor might have registered for the blind date at one of those swanky hic places in changanaserry*...After all It would have been a blind date neways coz of the frequent power cuts those days. And hic places in changanaserry are invariably paraipally or kurisimoodu palli.

Nonetheless I guess there wasn’t much of a choice back then and the date usually lead to marriage. Now envisage how things worked several decades further ago, an era when people sneered and expressed shock at adult marriages. Those days of child marriage meant it was the happiest day in a kid’s life besides the obvious “happy birthday”. He would taunt his friends. “Hey mate, Dad said I can skip school tomorrow coz am getting married to Susan of III you do that bleddy homework youself!!..boohooh...”

However recollecting my own intimate personal experiences, the first dates I had was in the late eighties most of em which left a bad taste in my mouth...those midgets were not of my types and for sure I didn’t fancy the seedy stories I had to deal with after that! Later on during my teens I got acquainted with voluptuous dates who were born in Dubai, Saudi and other gulf countries. We were almost like made for each other and I have many fond memories with them.
Man!! Those Arabs are really lucky to have so many dates…. especially the premium export quality ones!! Love em!

Coming back to the story, just like they say all good things have to come to and end. The couples are often temporarily blinded by a phenomenon called cupid blindness syndrome which if left untreated leads to marriage. The bitch suddenly becomes the darling and the pig suddenly becomes the handsome bloke. Well it is all a vicious circle and sooner or later the names will keep changing.

But the real problem with marriage which most of my friends are worried about is, one of them gains weight. Sometimes both the guy and the girl…But for sure at least one of them will turn chubby in a couple of months. This too is not devoid of scientific explanation, which was extrapolated after careful research by this PhD holder. On an average, every newly married couple is forcibly made to consume 65 kilos of Ladoo, 123 litres of milk, 33 pound of gajar ka halwa, 125 kilos of high fat peda and ofcoz not to mention the 256 chickens and 150 goats all by loving relatives and friends who simply cant stand passing on a revenge they were subject to. It is interesting to know who actually gets to be the scapegoat coz he or she would be then send to a horrible and horrendous place where unspeakable crime of epic proportions happen behind closed doors. It is often called *the gym* in conventional English language.

Personally I would prefer to know the 'gym' like a topic which your learn about in school and can forget after the exam. Must say it is the most de-motivating place I have ever been to in my life. Even more discouraging than a graffiti painter who asked Picasso. ’Mamu...Do ya know to paint??’ . But often I have seen people who badly need motivation going through those hallowed doors. The kind of guy who will pick a 2.5 kilo dumbbell and do some kind of wobbling action for a minute and ask us.’ wings...Haven’t they got bigger?’ and wouldn’t stop asking that until we say in exasperation... ‘Man…. I swear you look like Sylver Stallone in Rambo. I swear’
Folks you are at the wrong place for self-motivation. Better listen to Frasier for that!!

The gym-marriage relation predates from pre-marriage times. My roommate is getting married soon and I now understand the sacrifices he is making for it. Cycling for hours to shed those exquisite storehouses of energy called ‘flab’s’. Checking out countless shops to get the right suit which is getting difficult by the day coz out here a 6 foot tall man is often addressed by girls as ‘cho chweet...cute lilliputian isn’t? ‘. And the last straw is the mischievous technique which I have employed asking him to make new and different dishes daily so that he can impress his wifey post marriage. I don’t have to cook often these days.;-P

Dating, Marriage and life thereafter is something like the antonym of physics. There are no laws, no rules and no formulas…Things just have to happen by. Neways let me see tomorrow how and when Andreas arrives in office. It’s quite easy to figure out how well his date went by. You just have to check out how meticulously has he worn the tie and whether he has already started growing the classic tragic stubble... ;-P

Like all stories they taught in school, the teacher asketh the moral of the story. But I rather suggest a moratorium considering the best interest of our country and the burgeoning population, Fellow countrymen let’s have more of dating and less of mating!! Whatsay?

*Biggest metro-city in the world after Newyork