Saturday, April 29, 2006

scorpios.. ctd

Following up on my two posts on Indian politics, I decided to check the zodiac signs of some of the politicians .... and to my surprise, Pramod Mahajan was born on Oct 30, a day before my birthdate (and a scorpio), and Sardar Patel, as I knew for the past few years, is Oct 31 - my same birth date

So whoever called be "Pramod Mahajan", was surely close on some counts.. !!

Friday, April 28, 2006

amazing stuff -1

Okay folks.. something different... a "puzzle " ....

Attached below is the email my cousin sent me, which I happened to see at 1 am in the nite !!
I did reply to him , but before I post my reply, I leave it you all to post your thots in the comments section !! Njoy.. its a friday folks


I have a puzzle 4 u.. actually its no puzzle, just math.. and i have the answer too (i think)... what i need is a logical (not mathamatical if possible) explanation for it...

q. consider a ball as big as earth. a belt around it just touching the surface all around and having the highest possiable length (same circumfrence for belt and ball). now increase the length of belt by 1 meter. so now the belt is slightly bigger...! and if the gap between the surface of ball and the belt is equall all the way around....

wat will be the value ?

A. (as i solved)

let circum or earth be C1 and radius be R1
let new circum of belt be (C1+1) and its new radius R2
we have to find what is (R2 - R1)

C1 = 2 * 3.14 * R1
(C1+1) = 2 * 3.14 * R2

so (2 * 3.14 * R1) + 1 = 2 * 3.14 * R2

so R2 = (2 * 3.14 * R1) + 1
2 * 3.14

ie R2 = R1 + 0.159

so it should be around 16 cm...

and it will be 16 cm weather the size of ball is of the size of a football, or that of earth itself, if the increment is 1 meter....!!!!!!!!! (as per the equations)

BUT WHY ????
i cant believe this,..... we are just adding 1 meter to 36000000 meters and we get a increment of 15~16 cm !!!! and a cat can go under the belt easly ... i thought it will be only some micro-meters...!!!!!!

just explain me this physically..... i dont want to believe maths.....!(eventhough it is de easy way)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Pheonix

I am glad on more than a couple of counts...

That I stumbled upon this news bit ...

That I followed up with this one ....

That, if the case of wife murdeing is really true, the fellow did get "punished"

That the corrective rather than punishing approach that Kiran Bedi talks about, works

That the Indian-English media can sometimes atleast report positive news

That pheonix is not just an Egyptian myth ! :-)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I have been a silent spectator to all the debate going on about reservations.. I pretty much go with soothsayer on the issue, but let me add some small bits to it

When I was filling up my Kerala engineering entrance exam application form years before, I had declined to use my Malabar quota and my OBC quota and I put myself in the general category.. I don't shy away to openly say that I am proud of that decision of mine as a 17 year old - I guess the most crucial role in this whole debate can be played by those among the "reserved categories" who are well off. If only they can lead by example.. if only they can send across the message to all the Indian polity that they be no more seen as votebanks....

Yathaa praja, thathaa raaja.. Its civic duty and ethical values of the citizens that has to change first.. its the citizen who has to stop bribing and not the "system" that has to stop accepting bribe... and so on

Having said that, what are the political implications of this ? As I have realised over the years, it doesn't help to ignore or run away from politics because its "bad" or "corrupt" and so on... rather, take it heads on.. go issue based... keep your vote close to your chest.. it has immense power, believe me... I hope the big middle class of India, who were lazy enuf not to vote, and then once BJP lost unexectedly were lost for words, are now realising the need to be a little more "involved".. arrey yaar, after all its your country.. your leaders..

It looks like Congress perhaps used this as an trick to eat into BJPs traditional vote bank- the OBCs. But my own feeling is that it will backfire.. if only the BJP can play its cards well .. a situation similar to the Ayodhya case where by trying to appease everyone, Congress lost its Muslim votes to Janata Dal and Hindu votes to BJP. Anyways, I won't get into the nuances of how the party should eveolve a strategy out of this, especially as the population of young Indians is a huuuge number, and most of them won't give a damn to the thrishool holding , Valentines day beating variety .....

So here is an issue.. grab it, keeping India's interest on top of everything ...

Easy said than done, eh.. especially with the BJP's spinmaster struggling for his life .... my sympathies... I haven't cared much to study about him, and I don't know how good or bad he is as a person -and I don't know what really happened with the shoot out, but it looks like it may have been a case of "Biting the hands that fed" ...

One thing I have to admit is that he was surely the brain behind many "innovative ideas".. As the IE editorial pointed out, Vajpayee's "thousand moon" gala, many of the yatra's, India shining campaign.... good or bad, effective or non effective, he was bold enough to be innovative, not to be laid back and passive... and he could handle multiple things at a time- be the strategist, be the organisational man, and also be a Minister ....

That was perhaps the reason a few years before, a friend of mine once called me Pramod Mahajan jokingly as we used to work for the same cause .. I called her back Uma Bharti, and unfortunately a slight parallel with Uma Bharati seems to have happened in her case too... (eventhough not an exact parallel)

The IE editorial ends with a very interesting statement and I paraphrase... "We have a vested interest in seeing you back to normal, Mr Mahajan , for you are a newsmaker" .. Shall I say, I too have a vested interest in seeing him back, but for different reasons ??!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

light theesko

Interesting one liners

* "Mud thrown is ground lost"

* "The best way to predict future is to create it"

Thursday, April 20, 2006

what gets him going ?

I don't usually write about Indian politics on this blog, but here's for a change

There is one man I always carefully observed in Indian politics - LK Advani- for the sheer energy he brings with him. From the times when his "scratching on a rock" type voice in the mid eighties would pull huuge crowds, to even now as 78 year old going around in scortching heat, he has been in the limelite, all along

He is one person whom I know went against conventional wisdom, coined his own ways and terms (remember "psec" ?) , and perhaps made his own new standards in politics (remember the resignation within hrs after the Hawala accusation ?)

And be it thro' making interesting statements, or through his "resignations" or the yatras, he is there in the news, almost everyday.. Do I agree with all what he does ? thats immaterial, its the sheer genius that he brought along that surprises me.. 10 years ago, before anyone could even imagine, our man predicted a looong "coalition politics" ahead for India. And changed the entire outlook of BJP, from being an isolated party to a more coalution friendly one. I remember one his statements "We are not here for sanyasis to sit and do bhajans , we are here to rule the country"

A man who is known to speak his heart out, an organisational man to the core, one who , if decided on something, takes it to completion how much ever whoever criticises him (his 3rd yatra seemd to lack all support, until it actually took off)... - I can't help but check his zodiac sign.. (not that I majorly believe in it, but just for fun sake) - yes he is... a scorpio, like me !!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

the silver linings..

The weekend, esp saturday was great.... as it proved ...

That even in the midst of all the junk of our backyard, there can be thingzzz of beauty..

That team work pays, how muchever it seemed like sinking in between ...

That passion and committment can prove a point how muchever people are skeptical

That samskritam packaged suitably can be fun... reaaaaal fun

That all it takes to break ice is a small gesture.... and

That it feels good after all !!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

atleast this...

Prelude: For those who don't understand mallu and the functions of vishu

"Kani" - the "darsan" that you have in the morning as the first thing

"konna" - the beautiful yellow flower (see my previous post) that grows in kerala at that time and is used for kani

"Kaineettam" - the pocket money that elders give kids on the day

"sadhya" - the feast


So what .. if I missed "real" Vishu for the 5th consecutive year ? Atleast I can spend my day in those memories.. of getting up early in the morning and being taken to the "kani"... and then crackers and crackers and getting the "kaineettam" from elders.. and then again crackers and crackers.. and then the temple visit... and then again crackers and crackers.. and then the visits to our tharavadu and then again crackers and then the Vishu Sadya and then again... well u know what !!

For some reason I like it better than Onam.. may be its the crackers.. may be its the fact that you don't have a rain threat.. Or may be its that its just one day... Oh well, I am speaking as tho' I am in Kerala

Well to be honest, this has been my best Vishu in US. For one, this time I did not miss the kani and the puja at the temple, which , surprisingly they do on the 13th... And yeah, I got the dollar coin as kaineettam as well, from the Santhi ! But then much more than that I owe my Vishu feeling to the couple- "AR" and "AA". .. It all started yesterday nite, when we went on the Konna stealing mission around the Univ- Oh well, it was not really konna, but the yellow flowers shown above.

It was so typical of what we used to do in kerala- hunt around in someone's house for konna, get chased away by their dogs.. and so we would have a girl as a shield as the guys climb on tree tops.. the house people find it tough to chase us away if we have a girl in the team.. Oh well, but here "AR" was taking the lead herself.. and the 4 of us who went with her, hardly did anything as she boldly did the honors !!

And then, I wanted to wake up at 4.. but ended up waking up at 6.. after having done my taxes, and for someone else as well, who needed it ,and having my classic "Paalappam" as breakfast, I headed to "AR" and "AA" 's place to see what they have got. And to my surprise, I was asked to close my eyes before they opened the door.... lead by hand, made to turn around this way and that way just as I would have been made to do at home back in kerala, and finally open my eyes, to a beautiful kani she had set up the previous nite- even with ashtamangalyam and stuff !! (see picture). Thanks a ton folks

And then she started making dosa.. I was already full but stayed on to try it out.. and the nostalgia that I expected was right there - when I was given chutney powder (the "chilly powder") and asked "Kuzhiyundakku" - meaning, make the pit so that she can pour the oil to mix it..- once more in classic mallu style.. how such small things can take you to a totally different world..

Anyway, had a pretty good day.. when finally in the evening, I tried my hand at the paayasam (kheer), which came out decent - which my friends at the samskritam practice had a good time with (Sorry "AR", I will make it for you again some other time, after all its instant :-) ) and the usual temple trip, this time in a white mallu mundu (dhothi)


Of course there are so many old memories that come to my mind about Vishu.. but one of them sticks out ... it was my last year at IITM, and I knew I was going to miss Vishu at home for quite some time to come, so I made sure I will go home .. and go I did.

For those who don;t know, gardening is my mom's biggest passion in life... and as I landed up at home, among the many things that she told was that she got a new plant (I don't remember which, but it was perhaps a rare variety of hydrangea ..) and she is eagerly waiting for the bud to grow and flower...

And so its time for the Vishu crackers and she sat there watching me go crazy like a li'l kid burning them away .. and all of a sudden one of it landed on a plant.. and my bad, it was the same very new plant. It burst and something green went all the way up. For a moment I was breathless and as I looked at her, I saw that face change from a watchful one to ... oh no, she started crying.. really..

And there I stood not knwoing what to do.. but somehow finally I managed to console her.. and a closer examination of the plant gave us some hope that the bud may come back again..

And , well, shall I not leave you with the good news ? Back in IITM, while I was on my final project (in summer), in one of the weekly (YES, unbroken for 4 years) letters from my parents , my mom had "printed" in her beautiful handwriting, that not only did it grow back, but gave beautiful flowers as well .. subsequently, when I went home, before leaving for US, she had carefully preserved that plant with the flowers for me :-)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


rajabhisheke jalamaaharantyaa
hastachyuto hema ghato yuvatyaa
sopanamargena karouti shabdham
tatum tatum tum tata tum ta tumtum

meaning: For the abhishekam of the king, a woman goes to fetch water (sacred water from temples pond) in a gold (metal) vessel. when she is carrying the water over the stairs of the pond, the vessel slips from her hand and it makes the sound - tatum tatum tum tata tum ta tumtum.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

March to April

And there goes... sneezing and sleeping....the month of March ...

How many a dreams collapsed, I know not.. I rather think not

But hey, perhaps it can't get any worse ? Or may be thats a deceptive under-statement ? injustice to the millions who suffer worse ?

April will be better ? Or will the symbolism of its first day carry forward to the rest of the month ?

At times, it suffocates to look back at some realities of life... the number of years that you have left behind... and in particular, the number you have spend unproductive.. atleast apparently
And then even smaller things start scaring you.. Hey I can't remember someone's phone no: which I so very prudently used to remember together with the fifty or sixty others... Oh, the saved numbers in cellphone and emails in gmail makes your memory so lazy.. and worst how many times do u have to call from some one else's cellphone to find out where you last kept your cellphone

Makes you think sometimes, does it - whats life ?


Well, whats the point musing in the negative.. whadya got interesting today ? Well, Vishu is not the only thing I miss in April.. its also the 11 day festival at the temple back home... 11 days... the long and dusty(now its perhaps tarred) approach roads to the temple would be crowded on both sides with vendors.. of all kinds... be it food, bangles or toys for kids....

And then, 4 out of the 11 days, there are fireworks.... 6 days, cultural programs..... processions with decorated elephants, morning and nite, every day .. and that too the elephants climb down and a number of steep steps to take the idol from the hill-top temple to the stream down....

Its also a time for various of my relatives to drop by at my house.. Together we would make rounds... devoid of many a parental restrictions (not that I had many anyways, I was always a "trusted kid" )

Not just fun, many a wonderful temple arts (Paadakam, Thullal , Koothu, Poothan kali, Sopanam......... ) would be there everyday ... and of course my Fathers' favorite Kathakali - atleast one night-long one .. But sadly, the last time I was home during Pooram, most of the "interesting" stuff was telecast live by a local TV channel, and I found many people watching it at home... what a loss.. is that what the festival is meant for ? What fun without immersing yourself into the dust and the chaos .... and finding the beauty of the art with your eyes ..

Well, well well... this years is April 4 - 14 ... and 14th being my ever favorite festival Vishu. And I miss them, for the 5th straight year (How glad, I made it for the last year at IITM)

leaving me just with this link I found, with pictures...