After shifting to South Bangalore, I have visited MTR Lalbagh quite a few times. The food they serve are really good, except for the amount of ghee they put in them. For instance, one can squeeze at least 100 ml of ghee from their dosa. They are literally dipped in ghee before serving, and I guess this is their USP.

Look at the regular customers of MTR. They are the ones who come for jogging in Lalbagh Park. Consider Mr. X. He goes to Lalbagh Park early morning to jog as a part of maintaining his fat levels. Our man does around 3-4 rounds in the Park and is thoroughly hungry. Off he goes to MTR on his bike with his friends. Now he devours those ghee dipped dosas and kesari, after which he burps and goes back home. Wonder his fat level will ever be reduced!

Saw this article today in the net.. Yet to read it though!

Yes! I am back after a long break, of 1 year 6 months!

What an auspicious time to start! It is Onam! in another 10 days it is Onam!

For all those who don’t know what Onam is, here goes the link

Speaking of Onam, it brings a sense of nostalgia to all Malayalees. Everyone will surely have fond memories of the 10 beautiful days of their life, which used to come every year till they passed out of school😉

For all the new generation, it is a time when they can either go back to their hometown, or catch up with some missed contacts/ movies etc. Anyway, Onam is something close to every Malayalee’s heart.

1 Question to end the post:

Imaging the case of Mudalvan. Let me explain the case here (BTW, I have joined a B School, so one can hear more “cases” coming! Phew!).

Mahabali, as usual, comes to Kerala this year too. He was bedazzled by the things happening in Kerala. He saw people going around in masks, thanks to H1N1. He saw the ads of Onam night party organized by a Pub in Cochin He saw the performance of our chief minister, who would have made a better Kathakali artist than anything else.

It was at this time he suddenly meets Vamanan. (Vamanan is also in a bad state today, sadly all priests are supposedly earning peanuts😦 )

He offers this deal to Mahabali: “Sorry Mahabali, it was a big mistake to have pushed you down to the underworld. I, in the process displaced a lot of Asuras who are now ruling our state. I am giving you an offer. You can become the ruler again, for the next 10 days. Please get me the Kerala which I saw when I came to Earth on that dreaded day”

Mahabali, bowing to Vamana: “Oh your highness, why do you want to push me down again?😦 I am living a happy life in the underworld. Why are you determined to spoil my happiness”

Vamana: “Oh! Mahabali, you cannot say this. I am desperate here. People are indirectly blaming for all the sad state of affairs in My (God) own country. Please help me at this time. You can leave after 10 days, I will not stop you. Please Mahabali, you will gain salvation after this”

Mahabali: “Oh your Highness, but..”

Vamana: “NO but, you have agreed, thank you very much for your consent” (disappears)

Mahabali: “Oh my God, why me?”

That was when our unsuspecting global mellu (GM) reach Cochin Bus Stand in Airavat (KSRTC Volvo from Bengaluru). GM is having a Lenovo Bag, i-pod (for shtyle), Nike Sandals, Levi Strauss and Co jeans and Iron Maiden Tees.

GM: “Hey Old man Sukhamaano? (in Ranjini Haridas accent).”

Mahabali: “Athe Puthra, nee evidunnu varunne, enthu cheyyunnu?”

GM: “Well, I am, I mean, njan Techtreeyil consultant aayi work cheyyunnu”

Mahabali: “Puthra, I have a good offer for you”

GM: “tell me old man”

Mahabali: ” ……………………………………………………… (full narration of the situation)”

GM:” Hmmm.. kurachu pulivaalu pidicha paniya, still, onnu sramichu nokkam (I will try)”

So, GM is the consultant to Mahabali for 10 days. The mission: Resurrect Kerala.

What should GM recommend?

Recently, Mr. Ramadoss was again in the news. This time, he was requesting (?) Mr. Shahrukh Khan and Mr. Amitabh Bachchan to give up smoking on screen. He was citing the example of Mr. Rajnikanth, who had decided not to smoke on screen. The very next day, Mr. Khan retorted by terming smoking on the screen as ‘Creative Liberty’.

If we further analyze this incident, we would realize that both of these individuals have a point in their argument. While the intention of Mr. Ramadoss is to discourage the public from smoking, his approach for the cause might not be the right one. In India, movies create a huge influence on the masses. The themes covered in the movies are widely discussed in all stratas of the society. The movie stars are always looked up on as icons and role models. Even their personal life is closely followed by the media. People follow each and every step of their favorite star with utmost care and affection. Hence, as far as eradicating problems (?) like smoking is concerned, movie stars could play a pivotal role in helping the administrators. But, will the message be strong if they give up smoking on screen? How many people knew that Rajini gave up smoking on screen for this cause?

That smoking is injurious to health is universally accepted, and eradicating this evil from the society is a mammoth task. The only way out, in my opinion, is to spread awareness about the ill effects of smoking to the youth, and to reduce their exposure to smoking at young age. This is in line with the recent survey by NDTV, which shows that people become habitual smokers during their teenage. As a first step to reduce the exposure of teenagers, government should ban smoking at public places. As a kid, one always would be desperate to try out what other adults do. They will be desperate to graduate to adulthood, and acts like smoking are seen as something really “cool” by these ignorant kids. Recent studies suggest that secondary smokers face equal danger for inhaling the fumes as primary ones. Moreover, there are many people who are allergic to the smoke. Considering all these factors, it is important and essential for government to ban smoking at public places.

The next step that they could take is to ban shops from selling cigarettes to the citizens who are minors. If they can ban sale of liquor to those below 18, why can’t they ban smoking as well?

In the metros, hookahs are a major craze. We can see hookah spots so crowded with youngsters who want to taste the flavored hookah. Kids are also ill informed by the so called cool dudes that hookahs, unlike cigarettes are not harmful to health, and are not addictive. This is a blatant lie. Hookahs also give that “inexplicable” ecstacy that smoking gives you and has trace amounts of nicotine which causes addiction. This is a major route through which the youth in metros get addicted to smoking. I was at a popular hang out in Mumbai last week, and was startled to see high school going kids smoking hookah and when they felt that I was watching them, they tried to act cool. But as I continued staring at them, they felt really uneasy! They are, afterall, kids! Now, hookah is very expensive. Once they run out of their pocket money, they will graduate to cheaper means like smoking. I know at lot of people who have taken up smoking as a result of this hookah addiction. This dude, who is a close friend of mine used to protest like a social activist whenever his dad smoked at home. He used to tell me smoking is the worst habit that a human being could possess. Now this guy is addicted to smoking, thanks to hookah. What should I call him? Hypocrite? Or an ignorant brat? This is where health ministry can come into play. They can strictly ban shops from serving hookah to underage kids.

The next step is the most vital one. Information. How many of the kids are aware of the ill effects of smoking while they take it up? How many know that every 2 out of 3 smokers die due to its ill effects? Information could be used as a major tool while trying to eradicate smoking. Now just sending out pamplets or writing on the cigarette pack won’t help. The message should create an impact on the youth. This is where film stars could be used. As Mr. Khan rightly pointed out, smoking on screen is a part of creative liberty. Not always should you portray ideal heroes. Since smoking is a part of common man’s life, they should show such scenes while enacting such scenes. Not smoking on screen does not conspicuously convey any message against smoking. Instead, film stars can feature in ads showing ill effects of smoking. This will create more impact than anything else. If Rajini works on a campaign to eradicate smoking, it will have more impact than not smoking on screen. It will send a stronger message against smoking than not smoking on screen.

Only a conscious effort can loosen the vice grip of smoking on the youth. I hope the health ministry understands this, and tries seriously to eradicate smoking from the society. They cannot, of course, attain this without the help of parents, who also form a very crucial element in the drive against smoking. Many a times the kids get lured into smoking seeing his or her dad/mom enjoying a puff. Parents who smoke will always be shy to discuss its ill effects as they feel that the kids would loose respect, which is not the case. So, more than Shahrukh or Amitabh, if the parents don’t smoke, there are high chances that the kids also don’t.

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Artist: Creed

Album: Weathered.

 Song: My sacrifice

Hello my friend, we meet again
It’s been awhile, where should we begin?
Feels like forever
Within my heart are memories
Of perfect love that you gave to me
Oh, I remember
When you are with me, I’m free
I’m careless, I believe
Above all the others we’ll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
My sacrifice

We’ve seen our share of ups and downs
Oh how quickly life can turn around
In an instant
It feels so good to reunite
Within yourself and within your mind
Let’s find peace there

When you are with me, I’m free
I’m careless, I believe
Above all the others we’ll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
My sacrifice

I just want to say hello again
I just want to say hello again

When you are with me I’m free
I’m careless, I believe
Above all the others we’ll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
Cause when you are with me I am free
I’m careless, I believe
Above all the others we’ll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
My sacrifice, My sacrifice

I just want to say hello again
I just want to say hello again

My sacrifice.

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Imagine you are in a village in North Kerala. You are returning home after the second show. The time is around 12.30 AM. You had your friend’s company till the banyan tree near the temple. Now you are on your own. The only light guiding you along the winding and treacherous road is from the moon side. The temple is closed for a week after the annual festival, and the legends advise people not to go near the temple for the next seven days for the fear of ghosts. (According to the history of the temple, Devi has gone to visit lord Shiva, and will be back only after seven days. So, the village is unprotected for these seven days.)

You pass the temple pond (ambalakkulam) and you could hear the sound of water gushing. You are slightly scared, still you look into the pond, and you see an old man in white dhoti washing his face with the cold water. You could feel the cold breeze on your face, and suddenly a chill runs through your spine.

The moment you open your eyes after a blink, the man is gone! You are startled, and the next thing you hear is someone following you.

Will you run for your life, or look back, or look for the old man?

What happens if the power is given to the undeserved? When these headless chickens are the flag bearers of our nation, who suffers on the long run? Two separate incidents last week can answer this question better than any other in the recent past.

The first one involves Mr. Ronen Sen, Indian Ambassador to US. When he made a seemingly harmless comparison of the journalists who run around with all the dirt splashed by the great communist gurus to headless chicken, whose ego is hurt? It hit the stalwart Comrades who still live under the glory of the 19thcentury greats like Carl Marx. They went to the extent of demanding a calling back of Mr. Ronen Sen for this minor incident. Mr. Sen is a diplomat; normally we don’t expect them to get entangled in controversies like this. But the unexpected happened.

On a closer look, why did the commies get incensed when Mr. Sen called the journalists headless chicken? Is it some kind of “self realization” that the great sages talk about now and then, followed by the inferiority complex that emerged out of it? When you are addressed daily by appellations worse than a headless chicken in the Parliament, why do you take them in a sporty manner? Mr. Sen, if I am correct, would have burned the midnightoil, in order to reach the position what he is today, unlike the commies who must have been more interested in strikes and college union during their screwed up college life, through which they came to power. One should respect his education if not anything else while demanding an apology in front of these headless donkeys. Moreover, are commies so low on self esteem to get pricked by a comment that is supposedly pointed toward the journalists? Is this move motivated by their guilty conscience about their irrational stand on nuclear deal? I am not a staunch supporter of the nuclear deal, but had there been any doubts regarding the deal, why didn’t Mr. Prakash Karat, who is the biggest of the losers point it out before the Congress made their intentions public? How can incorrigible and obnoxious individuals like Mr. Nilotpal Das make totally outrageous comments like Communists have always supported actions that are meant for the progress of the nation? , Getting back to the poor show against Mr Sen, was there a need for this big hue and cry? Now who are the real headless chickens? Commies or the journos? They should be ashamed to accept the unconditional apologies from Mr. Sen. Moreover, they should be charged for the mockery made by them against the educated lot. Incidents like this send wrong signals to the youth regarding power and authority. In my opnion, people who use their clout for wrong reasons like this should be stripped of their power and banished from politics forever.

The second incident is about the omission of “The Wall”. Rahul Dravid is one of the most prolific batsman Indiahas ever seen in the recent past. He is one of the rarest of its breed to ever bless the game of cricket. Moreover, he is a gentleman, a gem of a sportsman. He has been chosen by Gillette to be a part of the big league of Roger Federer and Tiger Woods in their latest advertisement. In the last series, his form has been dismal, scoring two ducks. But, is one series good enough to estimate one’s position in the team? In that case, why didn’t Sachin get dropped after his dismal Windies series? Why did they not drop Agarkar for long time? Another Mr. Obnoxious (thanks to Vamsi for this terminology) Dilip Vengsarkar, has been cheap enough to make illogical remarks like selection is purely based on merit, and form. Then how the fuck did he choose Sehwag? Where has he shown his form? When our Mr. Obnoxious raised doubts about Dravid’s fitness, he chose not to comment about the fittest on earth Sehwag and his paunch. When Mr. Obnoxious’ love interest Sachin was struggling for form, he used resort to the good old saying “Form is temporary and Class is permanent”. Keep shuffling Sachin from batting position 4 to 7, and let him maintain the average more than Dravid, I will eat my word. (In fact the primary reason for Sachin to make a public comment about Greg Chappel’s mishandling of the team was the latter’s opinion regarding his batting position. Apparently Chappel wanted Sachin to move down to middle order, which the little master found offending. He, though is the greatest batsman on earth, belongs to the same league of Mr. Vengsarkar when it comes to politics and ego.)

Dravid has been the victim of the cheap ego and politics. I am sure Sachin will hold the grudge against Dravid for the Chappel incident as well as the great declaration at 194 in Sydney(I hope I got it right). Otherwise, why does it take him so long to support Dravid? I can understand why Dhoni is keeping quiet. He is new, and he would not like to get out of sorts with the team management so early. Moreover he is afraid that such a stand will affect the solidarity of the team, with the influence of Sachin still strong on players like Yuvi and Sourav. The onus, no lies on seniors like Sachin and Dada to take the issue up with Sharad Pawar if required.

If this is the “Indian” way to treat gentlemen, then there is something seriously wrong with the system. Or you need to become another Nilotpal Das or Prakash Karat or Dilip Vengsarkar.

This is indeed a big news for me…

I recently came across a file of 660 pages, named Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows. I am reading it now. Even if it is not the original, someone has painstakingly written a whole story!

 The link is: http://everythingelse.wordpress.com/2007/04/13/harry-potter-and-the-deathly-hallows-leaked-pdf/

It was a Friday evening. I slowly slipped out from my mother’s view, and tiptoed to the terrace. After ensuring noone is around, I climbed over the chimney. I have been severely warned and reprimanded by mom and dad against climbing over the chimney, as they say I may fall down and hurt myself. As I had no accomplices in this act, I had to make sure that none of my parents or the countless aunties  who  do part time espionage for them, are not observing my climbing over the chimney.

I took out the old pencil box from ventilator, and opened it. It had four teeth inside it. I looked at them with some sense of a valuable asset that I possess, and suddenly I could hear my mother calling for me.

I answered: “Yes amma… I am coming”.

I hastily closed the box, and hurried to hide it back. Sadly, I had a momentary lapse of concentration, and the box slipped from my hand and fell down. I ran, took it and by the time I could go back to hide it elsewhere, my mother saw me.

She came running to me, and I was struggling there, to hide the box. She asked me: “What are you doing?”

I was not a big liar then. So she could easily observe me battling out to cover up the situation. I have been told by my parents that if I lie, I will lose my eye-sight. So, I was a bit worried about losing my eyes as well. Still I showed some nerve, and answered:

“Nothing amma”.

Dissatisfied with my answer, she came forward and grabbed the box from me. She opened it, and I could see glasses shattering in front of me. I have been robbed! She just looked at me back, and then scolded me.

“For how many times did I tell u not to keep any of these things with you? Why don’t you understand? I had told you everytime to give this to the maid, so that she can throw them off after moulding it with cowdung (superstition)”

She took them and walked off.

Tears started rollicking from my eyes, and I cried and begged to my mother to give it back. She simply refused, and after making a few more unsuccessful attempts,  I declared that the battle has begun. The mode of retaliation was instantly discussed (with my alter ego I mean! I had an alter ego when I was a kid :P) with top priority, and good old Gandhiji’s mode of Satyagraha; the hunger strike was approved unanimously.

The time is 8.30. I had not relented to my mother, and I was really feeling hungry. There have been many attempts from the management’s side, to reach a consensus, and call off the strike. She tried to lure me by giving lucrative offers such as five star, gems, dairy milk, amul mike chocolate etc, which poured oil to my burning hunger. Still the demands from our side (My alter ego and I) were not accepted, and we decided to continue the strike.

Finally the ultimate authority, my dad came after a hard day’s slog at office. He is visibly tired. Management proposes this infront of him. He listened to her patiently, takes a light shower before coming to my room.

Stroking my head gently, he waited for sometime. Then he slowly raised his voice. “What happened dear son?”

I was eagerly waiting to explode. I narrated my version of whole story, sobbing. All efforts were made from my side to denigrate my mother and label her a cruel capitalist. I called for the unity of workers of the whole world!

 He listened to them patiently and approvingly. After hearing the whole narration, he told me: “Dear son, I accept that amma was short tempered and non considerative when she took away your valuable assets. But think about her. She is your mother. She also loves you. She didn’t do that to purposefully hurt you. There is no use for you with those tooth. Since it was something precious for you, I am ready to pay a compensation for it today. You try to work out, the compensation is going to be much higher than what you could have asked for it anytime.”

He has always been smart in fueling my interest while coming up with offers like this. Since I was really hungry by then, I was also waiting for some kind of opportunity to work out an agreement. I, trying not to sound too curious, asked:”What is it?”

He replied: “A game of chess and a light stroll towards the temple after dinner.”

I jumped in joy and said:”Yes!”

My mother was still gritty. She said: “He is hungry. He would have come for dinner anyways.”

This was too much to me. I went back crying, and praying in heart that dad would again give some more offers.

My dad scolded my mother, and then came back to me:”Dear, let us have dinner, and a game of chess, and then a stroll towards the temple and we will observe the night sky for half an hour there.”

I increased my demands:”I would come if you promise me that you are not going to take amma with us.”

He smiled, and then winked towards my mother, and said to me:”Of course, that is a part of our agreement. We, bad boys will freak out tonight!”

I was overjoyed, I came out, started singing my favorite song, and jumped in joy, and moved to the dinner table. The dinner was one of the most delicious one I had till then, thanks to my irresistible hunger.

The Doors

Artist: The Doors (yeah! Jim Morrison is Gawd)

Song: Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house were born
Into this world were thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm

Theres a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin like a toad
Take a long holiday
Let your children play
If ya give this man a ride
Sweet memory will die
Killer on the road, yeah

Girl ya gotta love your man
Girl ya gotta love your man
Take him by the hand
Make him understand
The world on you depends
Our life will never end
Gotta love your man, yeah

Wow!

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house were born
Into this world were thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out alone
Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm