Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Memorable Jaunt..!!

We took off one day or rather night; on a trip at around 2:30 in the AM. We, as in Me, G and B. For certain “can’t-be-put-into-words reasons” the names are withheld…! :)

It all started with Glen wanting to do something wild. And then my boss suggested going to Sri Sailam which is about 250kms from where we stay… A cool 5 hrs drive through half-highway half-wilderness…

They had gone out earlier in the day to the Sanghi temple (G&B). And then Madame G started feeling restless and wanted to do something totally wild..! And so this trip was decided upon… they called up and asked me if I was game and I so was… :-)… the plans were made in a hurry; we decided we would leave at 2:30 sharp so that we would get there max by 8 and we can leave the place by around 4 in the evening..
So we got set, B told us he would come and pick us up at 2:30 and asked us to be ready… we were too excited to be asleep but still had to get some of those 40 winks and so we slept by around 12:30-1:00 AM. Both of us got ready by 2:30, had a cup of tea while waiting for B. By then it was pouring heavily outside..! B called promptly at 2:45 and we went downstairs got into the Scorpio and left…

It’s a great drive to Sri Sailam… the roads are pretty smooth and not all that bumpy… we had to pass a hilly stretch called the Nallamalla hills and a forest reserve; supposedly a tiger reserve! :-)
Srisailam boasts of a huge temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati. It’s one of the 12 shrines in India which is a Jyotirlinga (A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam is a shrine where Lord Shiva, an aspect of God in Hinduism is worshipped in the form of a Jyotirlingam or "Lingam of light." - wikipedia) shrine… Shiva's sacred bull Vrishabha is said to have performed penance at the Mahakali temple till Shiva and Parvati appeared before him as Mallikarjuna and Brahmaramba. Heroic legends from the Mahabharata and Ramayana are sculpted in stone on the temple walls and the Mahabharata epic refers to Srisailam as Sri Parvata - the blessed hill. You can hear the buzzing of a bee through a tiny hole in the Brahmaramba temple, where Parvati, in the form of a bee, slew the demon Mahisasura. It is one of the holiest places that India has to offer.

We booked into a hotel near the temple; had breakfast; freshened up and then went to the temple… it was really crowded but B knew someone who was part of the temple committee and therefore we managed to move ahead of the major crowds; had a really good darshan of God and then we moved out. B went to get “prasadam” from the counters and then we went to meet B’s friend who had gained us entry into the temple away from the crowds. We went into the “laddu-making unit of the temple”… the laddu was amazing… Enriched in ghee and dry fruits..!! Yummy!!!

We came back to the hotel; had lunch and then rested for a while… We were really tired out by then.. Especially B who was driving the entire stretch… we got up at around 3:30 in the evening… and left Srisailam…!
And by then somehow when we left we took a wrong turn somewhere and well lost our way and went on a detour of about 40 kms…! Then it struck B that we were going the wrong way and we turned back…
The drive back through the Ghats was at breakneck speed… me and G dozed off which was a good thing or we’d have been shit scared of the way B was driving..!! There was one time that I opened my eyes and my glance happened to fall on the speedometer; it was touching 140 which kinda made me pass out..!! 140 on the Ghats is not a safe thing..!!

We soon crossed that part and reached the forest reserve part where we stopped for tea at one of the tumble-down huts by the roadside..!! B and G were talking nineteen to dozen about cars and stuff which I was not interested in.. I chatted up the lady in the shop – Andalamma – her name was and I was soon chatting to her; me in Hindi, she in Telugu..! :-)… we had hot tea and mirchi bhajjis there… Then we were on the way again…
By the time we touched Hyderabad outskirts it was close to 9:00… stopped at a nice hotel on the way back; had food; by that time I had a splitting headache and all 3 of us were dead tired..!! it was 11:00 PM by the time we got back home… B dropped us and was soon on his way back…

We just crashed as soon as we got back.. !!!
All in all it was a great trip and a great day out...!! :-) Thoroughly enjoyed ourselves to the hilt..!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Music..!! Memories!!

Very few times you listen to some songs that leave an indelible mark on your psyche…

And this is not just the MUSIC that I am talking about… I am talking about the lyrics of these songs and in some songs some lines; here and there..!!

Some of those lyrics bring an involuntary smile on to your face and it’s not necessary that there should be any rhyme or reason to it..!! It can be because of anything..!! They can bring to your mind a special person, some memory somewhere sometime…

Some of the songs that I have heard in the recent times are an example to what I am talking about …

Below are a couple of lines from certain songs that do the same to me..!! Most of them are from Tamil songs and the list is only partial… but they are close to my heart all the same for whatsoever reasons!!

Yahan sab kuch hai maa phir bhi lage bin tere mujh ko akela
– Lukachuppi – Rang De Basanti

Jaise bina matlab ka pyaara rishta ho koi
– Taare Zameen Par title track

Bhoomi thodatha pillayin paadam
– Pacchai niramae – Alaipayuthey

Endhan kaadhal ennavenru sollaamal aenga aenga azhugai vandhadhu
Endhan soagam unnaith thaakkum enrennumboadhu vandha azhugai ninradhu
Manidhar unarndhu kolla idhu manidhar kaadhalalla
Adhaiyum thaandi punidhamaanadhu
- Kanmani Anbodu Kaathalan – Guna

Enadhu sondham nee, yenadhu pagaiyum nee

Kadhal malarum nee karuvil muLLum nee
Chella mazhaiyum nee, chinna idiyum nee
PiRandha udalum nee, piriyum uyirum nee
Maranam meenda jananam
- Oru deivam thantha poove – Kannathil Mutthamittal

Anbin paathai saernthavanukku mudivae illaiyadaa,

Manathin neelam edhuvoe, athuvae vaalvin neelamadaa,
- Anbe Sivam title track

Avaraikku poo azhagu

Avarukku naan azhagu
Mazhai nindra pinnaalum ilai sindhum thuLi azhagu

Alai meendu poanaalum karai koNda nurai azhagu
- Kannukku mai azhagu – Pudhiya Mugam

Forever trust in who you are
And nothing else matters….
-Nothing else matters – Metallica

Kadavule konjum vazhi vidu un arugilae oar idam kodu

punnagai engaL thaimozhi endru varam kodu
boomiyil sila maaRuthal thanai vara vidu
-Putham puthu Bhoomi – Thiruda Thiruda

As life goes on I'm starting to learn more and more about responsibility

And I realize that everything I do is affecting the people around me
And so I'd like to take this time out to apologize for things I have done, and things that haven't occurred yet.
And things they don't want to take responsibility for.
-Blame it on me – Akon

Kadavul illai entdren thayai kaanum varai
Kanavu illai endren aasai thondrum varai
Kaadhal poi endru sonnen unnai kaanum varai
Kavidhai variyin suvai artham puriyum varai
Gangai neerin suvai kadalil serum varai
Kaadhal suvai ondru thane katru veesum varai
Vaanam illamale bhoomi undakalam
Vaarthai illamale baashai undakalam
Kaadhal illamal ponal vazhkai undakuma
Vaasamilamale vanna poo pookalam
Vaasal illamale kaatru vanthadalam
Nesam illatha vazhvil paasam undakuma
-Netru illatha maatram – Puthiya Mugam

Iyarkain mozhigal purinthuvidu
Manitharin mozhigal thevai illai
Idhayathin mozhigal purinthuvidu
Manitharkku mozhiye thevai illai
Kaatru veesum pothu disaigal kidayathu
Kaadhal pesum pothu mozhigal kidayathu
Pesum vaarthai pola mounam puriyathu
Kangal pesum vaarthai kadavul ariyathu
Ulagu theriyum kaatrukku uruvam theeta mudiyathu
Kaadhal pesum mozhiyellam sabdakootil adangathu
Vaanam pesum pechu thuliyai veliyagum
Vaanavilin pechu niramai veliyagum
Unmai oomai aanal kaneer mozhiyagum
Penmai oomai aanal naanam mozhiyagum
-Kaatrin Mozhi – Mozhi

Mouname unnidam antha mounam thaane azhagu
Parvaigal pothume athil vaarthai pesi pazhagu
-Mouname Unnidam - Mozhi

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

For Book worms!!!!

I have brushed up on my reading skills after landing up here in Hyderabad… MBA left them a little dusty… as in I am talking about fiction here… don’t get me wrong... The reading of the other kind I did a lot in MBA… had enough of it as well… There are a lot of book sales here in hyd which sell second hand books or pirated copies of most fiction authors… have picked up quite a few for my collection ever since… but apart from them as well I frequent the good stores as well..Like Crossword, Odyssey, and Landmark which sets my pocket back by a few hundred books but still worth the money..!!!

Check out these books by these authors….! Must read!!! :-)

Khaled Hosseini – “A Thousand Splendid Suns” and “The Kite Runner”
Both books make for amazing reading…! They are not the normal books in which expect to be glued to the book until it’s done but well they are very interesting to read… one speaks about the plight of women and the other about a man’s travails through life. Both are set in the background of Kabul and Afghanistan.
Gregory David Roberts – Shantaram
Takes you through one man’s journey of life… makes a great read for the language used and the way the author has portrayed his thoughts into words… His experience if they are to be believed are amazing… a detailed scene by scene account of his life is what the reader gets to experience.

Ken Follet – Pillars of the Earth
A story of passion and idealism, which describes a group of men and women in the Middle Ages whose destinies are linked with the building of a cathedral. In a country torn by civil war, two generations struggle to rise above their primitive circumstances and create something beautiful.

Mario Puzo – Godfather
If you have not read this book till now forget everything else go pick up a copy of this and start reading…!! By far the best book detailing the Mafia game in the book world…!!! And while you are at it, check out his other books, Omerta, Sicilian, The last Don, and Fools Die…!!! They make good reading!!

Jeffery Archer – Any of his books
Check out his books – Kane and Abel, Not a penny more not a penny less (AWESOME!!), The Prodigal Daughter, Sons of fortune, The Eleventh Commandment, Honor among Thieves…

If u like the thriller, mystery genre read some of James Patterson’s books (Along came a Spider and Kiss the girls are gr8!), David Baldacci (this one’s more of strategy and mind games – The Winner, Split Second, Last man standing are good books!), Mary Higgins Clark (Kind of repetitive plots – you’ll start guessing who the culprit is by around 2-3 books – check out Stillwatch, All around the town and Loves music, Loves to dance!!)

And of course here are some of the other books that are part of my favorites list…
› There is a song for every dance – Mridula Martis
› Sister of my heart – Chitra Banerjee Divakarunni
› The Inscrutable Americans – Anurag Mathur
› Five point someone – Chetan Bhagat
› The Cottage, Daddy – Danielle Steele
› Master of the game, Rage of angels, Tell me your dreams, Windmills of the Gods – Sidney Sheldon
› Prizes, Doctors, Acts of Faith, Man Woman & Child – Erich Segal
› The Testament, The street lawyer, The firm, Partner, A Painted house – John Grisham
› Da Vinci Code, Digital Fortress, Angels & Demons – Dan Brown
› The entire Harry Potter series – J.K.Rowling
› Detective – Arthur Hailey

And on the flip side… ;-) Check out these management books as well… they are good stuff!
Google Story, Blue Ocean Strategy, Brand Failures, GE, Dell…. They are quite interesting to read.

And on that note… happy reading..!! :-)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fun at whose expense?!??!

In continuation to one of my previous posts on Cultural Sensitivity… not quite the same issue but somewhere along the same lines…

Have you noticed how people react when u speak a foreign language..?? I mean a language that u actually dunno but are trying to learn..! Take my own example…

I am not very fluent in Hindi, it being a language that I did not have much exposure to… Now definitely it is a lot better than what it was back in MBA… I still get confused with the grammar et al but anyways… that apart… back when I was in MBA I used to try to speak in Hindi trying to develop it but well where was the goddamn chance.. The very few times that I tried to speak in that language well I got ridiculed for my Tamilian accent when I spoke… and therein I got a little conscious of the way I spoke and stopped speaking or even attempting to speak in front of my friends..!

And now here in the Telugu Desam, it is like a rerun of the same thing… Every time I try to talk in Telugu I am jeered at because of my mispronunciation of certain words…! Well..!! But I don’t give up now… it’s not imperative or crucial that I learn Telugu… But still now the feeling that comes up in “WHY GIVE UP?”… That was not the case with Hindi… it was imperative that I learn Hindi ‘coz it’s the most useful language in India. Anyways…

One other thing that I have noticed with this kind of jesting and jeering is that it’s mostly done by boys/guys/men/males….!!!! Wonder why? Has it been just my experience… Maybe.. Maybe not..!! :$
The girls I have found are not that bothered about how the language is spoken as long as the meaning is conveyed… in fact they might even try to correct you if you have gone wrong somewhere… but with guys… Well…Humph!! ... First they’ll poke fun at you… next they will tell you why people like us should never attempt a new language… then they will poke fun of all girls and if that was not enough, they will make fun of the place you come from (in my case, Palghat, a district in Kerala), and proceed to tell you reasons as to why people from my place find it difficult to learn a new language..!! ARGH!! It is irritating to say the least and you actually don’t expect it from people like that..!! Especially people you consider your friend..!

Anyways …. I guess it’s like the dog’s tail thingy…!! U just can’t change some things… and I figure.. Chauvinism is one thing you just cannot change about MEN!!!

I have just one thing to tell them all…
“Ir al infierno”..!! :-)

Friday, February 8, 2008

There are no regrets in life … just LESSONS!!!

How many of us think of it that way??

I, for one, have a few regrets in life…!! And that too just in these past few months ever since I came to Hyderabad and took up my job in Satyam… I wonder how!! I used to be this happy-go-lucky character who never used to take anything seriously and who always was of the belief that you should never regret whatever u do because ultimately they teach u something about life… easy to say… hard to follow..!! I have tried it myself so many times… I mean… When someone asks for your advice on something to do… about something they wanna do or something they did… that’s what I keep telling them… you should never regret whatever you do b’coz they r all experiences and lessons learnt etc etc..!!

Now I feel that’s a very hazy statement to make…
Is there anyone who does not regret something that they did that went wrong..!!

There are a lot of things that I did that I thought would not turn out the way they did! It’s very weird!.. Sometimes, even with the purest of intentions, we make things worse when we do our best to make things better… thought to ponder over!

I am not saying that all I have is regrets!! In a way I am glad that those experiences happened … b’coz there have been a lot of valuable lessons learnt in that… the hardships would have come later…Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would probably be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. Or for that matter know ourselves to such an extent …

There have been times when I have been ashamed of myself for a lot of things that I have done… guilt trips that have led nowhere but to my unhappiness… but ultimately the fact is that I have hurt a lot of people by my actions, words and deeds... things done…!!

I don’t even have any clue as to why am writing this..
Maybe just to say that.. I have changed my stance in saying have no regrets! But on the same lines I also say that… There are no regrets in life, just lessons. Some wise person said that…If we fill our hours with regrets over the failures of yesterday, and with worries over the problems of tomorrow, we have no today in which to be thankful…

I would much rather have regrets about not doing what people said, than regretting not doing what my heart led me to and wondering what life had been like if I'd just been myself.

I have just one piece of thought to share with you…

Be honest with yourself… don’t do anything your conscience tells you is wrong and accept everything about yourself--I mean everything!!

You are you and that is the beginning and the end— No apologies, no regrets.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


This is a piece of writing that i came across in satyam blogs.....

It makes nice reading..! :) Do we all go through this??!??! Do we identify with this?!!?

"It was 7:45 am and I stood there in the bus stop waiting for the office bus to arrive. I stand there in the same spot as I did a few years back waiting for my college bus. Little did I know then that things would change so much in 1 year; the tree under which I was standing seemed to be looking at me and smiling, perhaps the only living thing that stands as a testimony there, watching the transformation of a loud and bubbly person into a quiet professional!

I wouldn't blame the professionalism for the change though.

It is destiny, or maybe you could call it life.

Yes Life, esoteric in the true sense, for one does not understand why you meet hundreds of people every day, work with so many, and still remain lonely. I am now in one of the corner seats in the bus, looking out of the window watching people trying to catch up with "life"! It's an hour's journey and the only company that I generally have is the chatter of the RJ. I seldom notice the person sitting next to me, for its going to be yet another stranger or maybe you could say another acquaintance. It is annoying at times when the radio is switched off, not because I am cut off from the melody but because I would now be thrust with the thought of the solitary travel ahead. I can't help thinking about the short bus journeys to college, well it's a paradox to call a distance of 40 kms "short", but that is how it always seemed. A typical college day always begins in the bus with all the familiar faces; you look forward for all your friends to get in from the various stops, the reasonless giggles, the loud laughter that were stifled to avert the eyes of the lecturers and professors who would watch on us as if we were their prospective prey for the day, well as I said it was a different life then.

The pleasant memories of college are in itself good enough to save me from the misery of the bus journey. I notice that it is time for me to get down and flash my smile of acknowledgment to all the known strangers that I see as I walk towards my cubicle. A few of my project mates greet me with their morning wishes and as always, we exchange our pleasantries. Discussions jump to the weekend plans and I wonder what I'd do over the weekend. It would be just another day staring at the mobile, wishing it would ring and bring back some wonderful moments that are now missing in life or maybe the safer option would be to come to office, for it's my new founded asylum these days.

A few years back, weekends or weekdays didn't matter to me, I was always busy. I always stood doubting the authenticity of the wall clock that seemed to be in running too fast to perceive its movement. Alas, now it seems as though my clock is suffering from some kind of paralytic attack.

There is a time in life, where one needs to go ahead, leave behind all your friends and carry along only memories. You do make friends, but then you never get back the same old close ones, you do meet people who'd be so good to you that you could tell them anything and everything, but you'd not find a person, to whom you needn't say things, friends who just know you.

Occasional calls from such friends, has been the only thing that I seem to look forward to, but I cant help but notice the uneasy pause that lingers around the conversation, pause not because of the relationship, but because it is too short a duration to say everything, and of course you cannot completely rule out the paucity of words!

As I sip coffee from the ubiquitous coffee mugs, watching the drops of rain, trickling down the tinted glass panes, veiling the scenic beauty outside, I tell myself, may be there'd be a day when things change, when life offers a rewind, a recap of all the events, and I'd just have to wait.

Capricious are the ways of life, for I know there would be many who'd be able to empathize with me, ironically, even the dear ones that I miss this moment, waiting perhaps. . . ."

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

This one is for you APPA..!!! :-)

This one is for you DAD… :-)

You know one of my earlier posts, in the very beginning when I started my blog was about my MOM… and well.. back then .. it was so easy to write about my MOM… I dunno why…
For appa.. I dunno where to start and I somehow feel that these words are not going to do him justice…

My appa is my best friend in the whole world… only after him everyone else takes precedence (spare my mom!). I don’t call him a best friend in the same sense that I use for my closest friends… he is my best friend in the sense that I can share with him anything in the world ranging from what I feel till crappy jokes and we would still be father and daughter…!! I mean for how much ever I call him my best friend.. He will always be my APPA first and then anything else…!! I have heard a lot of people tell me that they share a great wonderful relationship with their parents and that their parents are very chilled out and they are more of friends rather than parent and child… I don’t agree to that… no parent can ever be that chilled out with their offspring that they become their best buddy..!! Because at the end of the day it is their child…!! And they would not want any harm to come to them in any way..!! Only parents can have that kind of selfless love for anyone…!! But enuf of that…

There’s an incident which happened in my childhood that my mom is very fond of repeating..!! Back then appa used to record our talks when I was really little, like maybe arnd upto 4 years… so when I was like arnd 2 – 2.5 years old, they made me recite the nursery rhyme “Chubby Cheeks…Dimple Chins etc..”. There’s a line at the end of it which goes something like “Mummy’s pet is that you??”…Me the smarty-pants as ever said that I am “Appa’s pet”… twice they asked me the same thing and I stuck by it saying that am APPA’s pet and not Amma’s… amma is still fond of reminiscing about it and saying that I was always a Appa Otti (Glued to Appa) and I loved him more than I loved her..!! lol..!!

APPA is damn chilled out… as a person..! It takes a lot to get him ruffled unlike Amma… When I and my amma would disagree on something…just to get my way, I would run from her to him..He'd make me laugh just to comfort me…then finally make me do just what amma said…!! And I would never realize it..!! :-) … Anytime I have something to say to either of my parents I prefer to say it to appa ‘coz irrespective of whether he took my side on whatever I had to say, he would still listen with a clear and cool head his face barely portraying his emotions… with APPA you never know what he is thinking until he opens his mouth and says something…!! Amma’s clearheaded thinking comes at a later level after she has thrown a ruckus about the whole issue…!

My DAD is everything to me… a father, a teacher, a playmate, a model, a conscience, a friend…!! He gives me neat advice on what and how my investments should be and guides me on my career as well…!! But on the flip side he sends me all these dirty jokes, and funny forwards etc which my mom totally disapproves of…!! I call my dad “da” which might seem very inappropriate and disrespectful to many… but he knows that I call him that with a lot of affection and fondness and as long as he does not object am not bothered… :-)

I am running out of words…!! In fact I have already run out of words…
All I gotta say is one thing…!

Dad’s cool… DAD ROCKS!!! And I’d do anything in the whole wide world for him… all he needs is just ask… actually not even ask… :)…

I came across this by chance on the net… speaks for itself…!!!

God took the strength of a mountain, The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun, The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature, The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages, The power of the eagle's flight,
The joy of a morning in spring, The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity, The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad

Monday, February 4, 2008


I've learnt the hard way, that sometimes,
even with the purest of intentions, we make things worse
when we do our best to make things better…

Friday, February 1, 2008

Support bacteria - they’re the only culture some people have…!!!

Cultural Sensitivity - The ability to adjust one’s perceptions, behaviors, and practice styles to effectively meet the needs of different ethnic or racial groups…

Is that very difficult to understand?? I mean… just showing some respect for others’ culture and language….
Now how complicated is that? All you need to do when that happens is to keep your mouth shut or at least not say anything derogatory or offensive or nasty…

But nopes… that’s not bound to happen is it…!?!? People have to be bias towards someone because of the way they talk, their styles, their way of living or just simply the place that they come from… how cheesy can that be??? Sheesh!!!

We had a course during our MBA called “Business Across Cultures”… where in it was drilled to us that we have to be culturally sensitive to all sorts of people from various backgrounds… but somehow it never told us how to deal with culturally insensitive people…

What do u do?? Do u just keep quiet? Do you walk away? Do you tell them what’s on your mind precisely? Or do you just “give it back to them and tell them to go take a hike?” .. Especially when they are people from your organization? From your higher-ups? From people you think are your friends? From people whom you consider mature, sensible and sane???


I am out here in a different state… trying to adjust myself to a whole new different language… a whole new set of customs and traditions and what not!!! Forget the fact that it is in the south of India from where you hail from yourself…!!! And in my case… a Tamilian born and brought up in Kerala… I take gibes for both Tamilians and Malayalees….!!! And this from people whom are way senior than me and are considered to be the epitome of wholesome goodness… Whoa!!!

You know what the worst part is… when u go out with ur team (all of ‘em telugu’s) and then they start talking in their mother-tongue… and hey!! I practically have to shout out that am there too!! And I am a part of their team as well..!! And well I would like to be a part of whatever discussion they are having…!! Hmmm… but more often than not I keep mum.. Because am tired of pointing out that I don’t understand their language and that it takes time for me to follow!! And well.. When I talk with my friends in Malayalam or Tamil, I am again subjected to taunts.. That I am in their land and I should not talk anything other than Telugu… I mean how trite is that??

So now how is it gonna resolve the issue?? I have started listening closely in the conversations.. for hey! Telugu is nothing but another south-indian language and well.. I will master it for sure… in fact even sooner than I think ‘coz if I can master Malayalam and Tamil then telugu is no great shakes..!!

“Enti… emantaav…? nenu correct ga cheppaana…. ;-)"

And that’s the way the cookie crumbles.. :P

Grahanam - A review!

It has been quite some time since I penned something on this blog, and even longer, since I wrote a movie review. But there is no good time ...