Saturday, March 30, 2013

EVAM - Standup comedy troupe

Being part of CBC has its own benefits. The very first get together was a photo walk on old Elphinstone bridge. The second meet was even more interesting. We all gathered for a stand up comedy show. To be honest I never really had high opinions of the show, for the simple reason that, like majority of people who had never attended such shows and've only read about them on Friday news paper supplements, I was of the opinion that it was for some eccentric patrons and out of work movie stars and no one from general public even bothers to turn the side such events happen. How wrong was I !! First thing, tickets were priced at 300 rupees. Why am I revealing the amount first hand? well...just to stress the point that is following. The show was HOUSEFULL. Jam packed the auditorium was. It was so full that people didn't even mind sitting on the floors and pathways and whatever inch of free space available to park their butts. Another point to note was that the average age of the crowd wouldn't have been a day over 28. There were couple of oddball maami's here and there whom I later got to know that were parents of some of the performers.

Evam- as some of you might've known already are a drama troupe, known for their offbeat English plays and interestingly the stand up comedy show that we went to, was their 101st show. There were 4 performers and one of the acted as the compere. That guy was pretty neat and almost all of the jokes were xxx rated and many of them really brought the house down. Next performer was Karthi Kumar, the niranthara America maapillai of Tamil cinema who is well known for his bridesmaid who gets dumped at the altar roles. His theme was about abuse words. It was an interesting take on bad words and usage and ceiling for verbal abuse beyond which it goes physical with DETAILED explanation of all the bad words related to mom, sis and every other singleton word that you can think of, followed by his humorous take on Sex education and save tiger/save world campaigns. There was another guy who spoke a million words per sec. Again down right vulgar jokes and all related to tam brahm's and software engineers. The last guy who came up on stage pretty much had given up after those 3 rocking performances and was outright jealous of the applause that the other 3 got and which his hi funda jokes didn't garner.

The surprise factor for me was the gumbal that turned up for the event and also the applause and acknowledgement for some of the jokes that were R rated of the upper case R of the biggest font category :) Our Chennai is opening up for sure and considering that these fellows have quit their well paying jobs for following their passion, it feels happy to see that such vocations are also happening to find favour among general public.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Why this Oravanjanai

Two "Indian" fishermen gets killed in Arabian sea, the central government flexes its diplomatic muscle and goes to the extent of detaining the ambassador from that country and even dares to defy the might of the European union. Inga Bay of Bengal la daily scores of "Indian" fishermen are getting shot at or arrested and even worse killed by a country not bigger than a medium size state in India and no one from the center even bothers to acknowledge it. Its almost as if they are destined to die. Strategic reasons apart, isn't it time the people up north showed some empathy to those down south. After all we are all still part of the same country, right??  One can't help but wonder the bipartisan attitude. If Pakis send terrorists across border, there is unanimous condemnation, banning cricket relations and entire country erupts. But what the Lankan government is doing to TN fishermen is nothing short of terrorism. And rather than showing support, the other franchises in IPL are debating about moving the venue from Chennai for their matches involving Lankan players. I am not even going into their war crimes and all. If we are all part of the Indian union, I guess its bare minimal requirement of the government to take care of its people. If not, no point in calling ourselves part of a non existing union.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Liesbster award post

Rombbbbbaaaa naalikaprum oru award :) from one up and coming  vakeelamma

Naaama thaan poiyee solla maatomay (!!) aprum ethuku best liar nu oru award tharaangannu paatha,
Liebsterna vera arthamaamla!! Sollavayla..!! Evlo thaan naan FBla nakkal pannalum...enakum oru award kuduthamaikaaga vakeelammaku special thanks :)

Per the rules I should give away this Liesbster award to 11 fellow bloggers as an appreciation for their soulful writing. So the rules for this chain mail are:
a) Post 11 things about yourself
b) Answer 11 questions from the nominator
c) Choose 11 deserving bloggers and link them in your post 
d) Set 11 questions for them
e) Inform the nominees by commenting on one of their post.

Enna pathi random 11 points...oray shy shya me skipping this (ada evlo thadava ithey pointsa sollarathu..ella taglayum same thing asking)

 And the 11 questions by teacheramma

1. Have you seen the movie Kuch Kuch Hota Hai? Don’t you think whatever the character Rahul (Shahrukh Khan) did to both the heroines (Kajol, Rani Mukerkji) was the most selfish thing to do? (Let’s just talk about the movie only and not the personal life of the actors ;) ) Your thoughts please!

Ithallavo kelvi...ithallavo kostin..intha kostina thanjaavoor kalvettula sethukki vaikkapada vendia kostin...SRKa evan paathaan!!! laddu mathiri rani...rasagulla mathiri kajol...padathula SRK irunthathay poster paathu thaan theriyum :D

2. What’s your take on human rights for rapist?

Humanskaaga thaana human ithula ivanga epdi qualify aaguvaanga??!!

3. Women have gained freedom long back. But have they been granted that freedom in practice?

Practice panrathuku freedom enna vakeel doctor thozhila..ellam all reals thaan no trials

4. Do you believe in love at first sight? (Apart from your parents, yes, we all fell in love with them at our first sight, right? ;) )

Hmm...first sight adikaravangala love panna athaan love at first sighta?? clarification needed

5. Would you choose love or friendship when you’re put in such a complex situation?

I believe in Love followed by friendship...ulta case..hmmm...therila..don't think its for me :)

6. Describe love from your point of view. (Exclude the love for your parents, that’s always there, if not then shame on that person!!)

hmmm...most interesting and simple of all human emotions

7. Your most favourite food and the most hated food.

anything with Cabbage I the hate..anything with potato fav :) (intha kostin kekkarathukaga room poattu yosichiamma!!!)

8. Coffee (Just type what comes into your mind immediately. Please let it be for more than 5 words at least!)

Refreshing (ithu etho padathula vantha comedy mathiri irukkay)

9. How can we differentiate between love and other similar feelings like crush, infatuation, and addiction?

Success aana love..agalaina antha moonula entha option venumnaalum select pannikalam :D

10. If you’re made the Prime Minister of India for one month what are the changes that you will bring for the country?

Ippo thaan pakkam pakkama rendu post poten itha pathi :D

11. Your favourite song :)

Kal ho Na ho :)

Naan yaara korthu vidrathu..hmmm...same kostins..anybuddy interested..feel free to do the tag :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Travel travails

I am all for rules and all for breaking the rules at the same time. Those which makes sense to the general majority need not necessarily always be right and that shouldn't be the qualification criteria for a rule. For example dress code. Being presentable and being comfortable is fine. Adhering to something which is either of them is not. Ditto for the "chalta hai" attitude of the vast majority, including me. Take public transport for example, If a bus breaks down, if the seat on a bus is cramped, if the bus doesn't arrive on time, if the bus doesn't stop at the designated "bus stop" area, if the conductor/driver is rude, if they treat passengers as cattle, if they don't give proper change, if the bus leaks during rain, if the seats are damaged and above all if any gal gets squashed molested in a bus ...everything goes. No one bates an eyelid to these things. While 50 rupee ticket A/c bus is cleaned regularly and seats are almost neat and well maintained (though the a/c control knobs are mostly broken) and even has a supervisor nowadays to get feedback from "elite" customers on service improvement, why not for the other category buses. Why no one questions these things? How come a transport corporation with almost 75% share of the commuting traffic runs in losses? Why does a breakdown bus doesn't lead to punishment for the mechanic responsible for maintaining it? When a flight runs late passengers are paid a min. sum for food expenses..why not for bus commuters? When Ashok Leyland and Tata motors delivers the bus, why doesn't people check for each and every seat in the bus. Almost half the seats are unusable and lesser said about those automatic doors the better. They are bound to cause more hardships to passengers than the previous dabba versions. Buses are the lifelines to many a moffusil area where trains dont ply and for all those school kids who cling on to their dear life for the sake of education. I do seriously hope the transport ministry takes some actions on this before its too late.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mission 2025

The cleanup brigade has a lot on its plate. First and foremost there would be an army of them. Just like the army they would be grouped into brigades and platoons and would've commanders and foot soldiers. They would form the backbone of the administration. They would be rated and treated on the same lines of army personnel and would be punished with equal severity if found slacking. They would support the demolition squad in all their duty. They are bound to work by service level agreement and are expected to clean up the demo squad act to the minutest detail. Many a times I've seen newer government buildings shine in all its neatness and glory when they are inaugurated by dignitaries. But within weeks they get recoated with paan spit and garbage. Take for example our MRTS railway stations. Some where so neat and nice when started that even movies were picturised there. But nowadays they wear a desolate and dirty look. The cleanup brigade needs to be on their toes, literally, and has to diligently do their work. Initially every half hour they need to check the campuses and clean and once people begin to learn and desist from spitting and littering (ofcourse with the kind of punishments I've on mind for those who do so, I am sure they would resist themselves) eventually the frequency would be brought down.

The most critical task of the cleanup brigade, as mentioned before, would be to support the demo squad. They would be the eyes and ears for the demo squad. They would be supported with state of the machinery for cleaning and there would be a dedicated mechanical division for helping them with machines and breakdowns and spares. The cleanup brigade would own all the roads and highways and lanes and streets and would be responsible for the maintanence and cleanliness of them. Any pothole or speck of dust would be treated with ruthless admonishment and the team responsible for that area would be punished severely. The punishment for individuals and corporations responsible for the act would be treated equivalent to treason and would be dealt with same level of contempt. Begging would be banned and any person found involved in begging or encouraging would be arrested on the spot. Rehabilitation department would be made even more stronger and with the complex role of cleanup squad and demo squad , rehabilitation would need to be more proactive and aggressive on their act.

Next equally critical task would be to clean up the city walls and compound. Banners, posters, cut outs and graffiti of any form would be banned and any person indulging in doing so would be arrested without bail. Ministers would be prohibited from conducting meetings on public roads and all such meetings would be restricted to auditoriums and halls. Every school kid passing higher secondary would be sent for military training. Mandatory army drafting for kids over 17 would remove a major chunk of youth from the roads. Kita thatta Thuglaq darbar mathiri irukalam. But it would discipline them, hopefully and we would have an army of trained youth ready for any eventuality. For those who fail the physical fitness there would be home guard or national service duty of some kind enforced strictly and there would be no exceptions. Without the clearance certificate of those two years, the results of which would be made available on a public portal, which anyone can track and verify, they wouldn't be employed anywhere - private or public. There would be a stipend amount paid for those from economically weaker. Basic civil law and rights would be made a mandatory course on all curriculum and everyone has to clear the exam. Anyone failing to do so will be retained on the same class and wouldn't be considered for any job opportunity. Driving exams would be made so difficult that anyone who clears them would be qualified to drive even on Mars. Road rages would be treated on par with homicide and equally punishable offence.

Any person earning more than a specific amount would need to compulsorily invest in govt run businesses. Or make a sizeable donation to the relief funds apart from their taxes. No minister of state would be allowed a vehicle of his own. There will be a shared pool of vehicles reserved for government purpose and for each mile travelled they had to shell out money of their own for maintenance. All kinds of protests and protestors are encouraged to show their strength off the city limits. Any disturbance to public property would be dealt with sternly and the event would be treated as criminal offence. Elections in college would be deemed illegal and any student body protesting the same would be disbanded and criminal action would be taken against those who resist. Uniform school fee would be levied across the state and facilities and syllabus would also be govt proposed. Any institute that fails to meet the norms would be disqualified.

I think ithelaam panna atleast oru 12 yearsaachum thevai...athan 2025 :) but if possible namma APJ sir sonna mathiri oru  years munnalaye mudikka pappom :D for dictatorship :D ok?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dictator gils

Mudhalvan was a movie that inspired the hell out of me to say the least. Like those that they give on Schools, like what will you do if you become president or CM kind of essays, kudos to Shankar-Sujatha combo for coming up with a movie on a theme so fantastically creative. Apdi thappi thavari gils CM aana enna aagum TN...oru vibareetha idea thaan ...irunthaalum...oru list ready panni vachipomay :D

First agenda would be to hire at least a million resources..either voluntarily or forcefully or those who had registered with employment exchange. They will be split into two group will be called the demolition squad..second would be the cleanup gang. Both would be under direct control of Gils. First groupoda velai is to, as the name itself says, demolish. To me the root cause of all bribery is encroachment. And by encroachment I don't just mean those hectares and acres of govt land "swaha" pannufied by arasiyalvaathis. It starts right from my doorstep, literally. Our house owner has made a sloping portion to move his bike into the house. That juts right onto the road. Likewise, there are so many people who had made illegal extensions of their houses to move their vehicles in and out. And slowly it becomes part of their house and with extended sunshades and stalls they eat up half the roads. If you stand at one end of any residential lane in my place, you will never ever see a straight line of a road. It is always like a stream of water waxing and waning all along. Its such a sickening sight to see people so blatantly misusing and abusing public property. Whenever we read of encroachments, we always think of sudden temples and mosques and churches that spring up out of nowhere. We think of bigwigs and their immense real estate. We never realise the mistakes that start right from our house. To protect the few centimetres of ill-gotten property they resort to bribing and their starts the decay of the system. So, the mission statement of the demolition squad would be to destroy, without any paarapatcham, any construction that has extended into public space.

Second task of the demo squad would be to recover foot paths. Not a single store in mylapore will survive them if this comes into effect. Every paathira kadai to travels to emporiums to book shops to sweet stalls to restaurants, each and everyone of them have occupied so much square footage that, they wouldn't just be recovered but would also be levied a penalty rent amount for all the years of abuse. They don't just occupy these spaces but if any pedestrian tries to walk on whatever is left of the foot path, they chase them away as if its a private place. All hawkers, irrespective of their economic situation will be removed. There will be a separate sector created for them or whatever is there already in place will be used and anyone found violating would be arrested without bail.

Third task would be to clear the waterways of the slums. Civilization has moved a long way from river valley dependent times and rather than surviving in all those filth around them, they don't just pollute the environment but also their own lives. All the waterways will be cleaned with utmost priority and would be declared military protectorates. Any violators, be it factories dumping garbage or apartments turning in their sewage, would be shot dead. Period.

Fourth and somewhat difficult task for the demo squad would be schools, colleges, shops and other major establishments involving scores of people. Any of these institution that doesn't satisfy fire safety norms would be destroyed without hesitation. It might cause harm to the education of the kids, but their life is worth more than a namesake degree I guess. Same goes for the workers. Rehabilitation and replacement will be provided but not for all and sundry. The perpetrators will be made to suffer the consequences. Their ration cards, passports and all other government issued ID's will be seized from them and their nationality would be cancelled. They would be declared stateless. Their properties would be taken over by the government.

Ithellam demolition squadkaana velai. Appo seconda sonna cleanup gang enna pannum..athu adutha partla :) Heil gils nu sound kekkutha? :D:D

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Roads - Survival of the quickest

This is not your typical "I am US return I hate every thing in India" kind of post. Even before also my opinion on our traffic system is not that great. But now that I've a reference to compare it makes it more pathetic. When me and my roomie went for driving classes the first thing that stuck us was the road signs. There were like zillions of them. And also the lane system and the notifications marked on the road. Since neither of us had driven car in India and most of our journeys were either via office cab or by public transport never had that close to the road kind of experience. We were always wondering how the signs would be on our roads in India and it would often lead to arguments. I used to feel that most of our roads never had any lane system and since they are narrow to begin with doesn't make sense to partition them into halves too. He always used to insist that, even if we do have lanes people never used to stick to their sides and would often spill out. That is kind of understandable though not correct, in case of rush hour traffic but I was under the impression that our folks would behave properly when there is lesser need to rush. But I've been proved wrong a million times over. Somehow there is a murderous rage which erupts inside everyone the moment they are seated on their vehicles!! Everyone rushes out like they wouldn't rest till they don't see blood!! There seems to be an army of people on a death race, willing to squash everyone to pulp just to reach their destination a few seconds earlier. I am confused over which is the correct rule of the "honk" - to hit and then honk or to honk and then hit or just honk and keep rushing at the pedestrian leaving him or her to their own fate, taunting them to make the walk if they don't care for their life. There is zero tolerance towards those who walk. Its as if you are one wretched soul, unable to afford your own vehicle of destruction and are not fit to walk on the sacred roads reserved for the death squads. From a  bird's eye view, it must be looking like a dance of death in motion where each one tries to survive and kill each other at the same time. I had forgotten the art of crossing the roads and each day I spend close to half hour, shivering on my feet, waiting for some crowd to join them in crossing the road. Feels like the Israelite, awaiting their Moses to cross the red sea!!! Wish I had his wand to waver off the traffic for the few seconds I need to reach the other side. In the past 7 days on the road, I've been hit or rather "kissed' by autoes thrice. Really really scared !!! :(

Saturday, March 09, 2013

I the back...again ;)

Like an out of form cricketer being given innumerable chances to get into the Indian cricket team (entha cricketer pathi pesarennulam kekkapdaathu..there are so many of them like this), Chennai takes me back again for one more time.

Vanthu oru vaaram aachu. One advantage of being a night owl is, epdiyum no intha jetlaglam oray naalula sari aaidichi. Veetla iruntha thookam varala but office pona kannu sokkuthu. Oru vela IT officelaam government office stylela work panrathunaala irukumo??!! Naama thaan punctual paranthaamannu paatha, en ex-team makkal enakku melanu prove panitaanga. I went to opice around 2. Appo thaan paathi team coming to opice itself!! Lean periodnu solraanga aana makkalaam snacks saaptu semma rounda irukaanga :D

Women's dayku post podalaya..status update pannia...atleast naalu ponnuku wish panni msg anupinianu oray the imsais. Ada pongappa. Newspaperla kashimir kundu vedippu epdi pulichi pona newsa aadicho athey mathiri rape news agitu varuthu. Bus rape..veetla infants raped..autistic child rape nu oru ponnu vidaama thedichi pudichi rape panitrukaanga!! Hindusthaan lenthu Rapeisthana maaritu varuthu..intha timela womens day celebrate panrom sollitu already safea irukara ponnungaluku wish panni maska adikarathu avasiyama thonuthu. I fear for the safety of my friends and folks. All of a sudden aan makkal ivlo veri pudichi alaiyaraangala..illa..ithelaam ipo thaan newsa varutha therila. As I was preparing to leave I got a India travel advisory from my own aapeece. Be aware of rapists, pick pockets, malaria, dengue and kidnappers nu potu irunthichi. Was feeling very bad. And paavam antha Nirbhaya ponnu. The news about her tragedy started as bus rape victim..grew as Delhi gang rape and got blown up as India gang rape. When we were watching tv on office cafeteria the news came up and all the vellakaarans were watching us for our reaction. Shameful is mildly putting it.

Aprum, my usual airport escapades. Airport and gils iruntha kodumai illama irukuma. This time surprisingly it was relatively trouble free, except for the first hiccough. As I was clearing security at charlotte airport, I came out of the clearance and was collecting my things. I called up my friends who had came to send me off and went to collect my boarding pass. It was a lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggg corridor. When I reached the counter, a vellakaaran came rushing ahead of me, apologised and barged in to collect his pass. Appo thaan I realised, I had left my cabin baggage at the security clearance itself. Unclaimed bag...running Asian..sweating like anything...suthi vara security folks. Imagine the situation. En nalla neram...before it could raise any suspicion, I took the bag and escaped from there. Athenna therila..airportukum gilskum vaasthu sari ila nenaikren. Any parigaaram palagaaram...please ping me.

Ippothaikku attendance putting..appalika comings. Take care makkalay :)

Friday, March 01, 2013

Esse quam Videri

Velayaattu pola 11 months have passed since i came here. And now the time has come for me to return back to Chennai. The gravitational pull and push of chennai on me is such that, it takes me in after an year away only to push me out within the next year. Every time when i come back, i always promise myself to have a different lifestyle, more outgoing and spending time at new places with new friends, only to confine myself to my room and computer on weekends never to even come out for sunshine :) Hope this time it changes.

When i came in here i had lot of complaints. I was so much in denial that, i forgot to look at the other side, the real side, the positive brighter one. I squinted my eyes to make the picture distorted and it took a while for things to sink in. As i pack my bags i realise the past 11 months would've been anyone's dream. I could've been like Charlie Harper from Two and Half men minus the booze and ladies, with hardly a care in the world. I forced my managers to give me more work and constantly complained about the casual life style here. Over a period of time, i even grew accustomed to it. It always felt like a dream and never for one i could believe the things happening here and i always was bracing myself to wake up from this unbelievable dream.

I had my longest vacation ever and visited places which were not even on my list of places to see, for the simple fact that i had not even considered the possibility even on a wish list. I pushed myself to enjoy things that i was too lazy or too scared to even give it a try. I got a large pizza free from Papa John's last week for being one of the most prolific online customer and then only realised the number of pizzas that we had ordered in past several months. I began to understand the way people operate here and their thought processes and almost got a hang of it. But I still dont understand why they so crave for staying here. Apart from financial benefit, there is hardly anything to aspire.

Every city where i've stayed, away from home, have taught me new things. This time, it was cooking. I can now cook to feed my ten foot tongue. Though just a couple of dishes, i guess i will survive on it. All throughout i've been blessed with amazing roomies. Every single one of them have something valuable to teach me and almost all of them are friends for life. This time no exception. Somehow all of them have been very caring and considerate to me and i am really grateful for all their support. All throughout my life, i've been surrounded by all good people, be in real or in my virtual world. They are simply great and kind hearted and helpful and understanding and with all these qualities they are obviously successful and happy too. Its one of the innumerable things that i thank god for introducing me to all these kind folks. My friends are my rainbow drawn with a permanent marker on my cloudy mind. It lulls me into a comfortable thought that everything is good with the world when they are around. It gives me a sense of confidence and hope that i can strive hard and someday might even be like them.

Like every trip of mine, I had some more important learning's from this trip too. To wait. To be patient. To give time. To think from other side of my perspective. To be grateful. To keep calm. And its not just bad things that happen unaware but even good things too. I may not have learnt what i want, but it clearly made me realise what i dont want.

Every time, my return back to Chennai, has always been a case of confusion and chaos and this time is no exception as well. And the moment i relax, the city pushes me out again to some place far off. This has been the story of my life so far and let me see how long it keeps me in this time. Hope to catch you from the other end of the planet soon. Till then take care and good luck :)