I am looking for singers (male & female), preferably with Tamil knowledge, lyricists, drummers, keyboard players, flutists, guitarists for my album. If you are interested, please leave a comment or contact me via my profile page

Friday, April 29, 2005

major problem....

(From the 'Friends')

Monica's mom to Rachel: "I heard you changed you major from Chemistry to English. Oh Honey, did'nt know you loved the language so much !"

Rachel : "No, the parking lot on the chemistry block was always full"

Left me chuckling for a long time.....

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

[Book Watch] Angels & Demons

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown.

You guessed it right, from the stables of author of 'Da Vinci Code', just that, it was published before 'Da V...'

Apparently, after his phenomenal success with 'Da V...' readers started digging up his previous works and Angels & Demons started selling hotcakes once again ! and no, i did not do the same ;) ;p

So far this book has had an identical opening. The main character/hero is still Robert Langdon... the way he gets pulled into an 'International Mystery' once again involving religion, mysterious secret groups & codes are very xeroxically (tried coining that word now) similar to 'Da V...'

Keep watching - will follow up with a review.

Say What ? Idly ?

Next time you pose for a picture, why dont you try saying Idly ?

This salivatingly politically correct idea is sure not mine, but i don't think Priest Ramesh of NJ would mind me writing about it.

Recently, i attended my cousin's housewarming ceremony at NJ. Here is where I met Priest Ramesh. Ofcourse, with digicams around - clicks galore. Suddenly, the priest exclaimed 'Say Idly' when we were clicking - the guests burst into impromptu laughter making for a nice picture.

Not sure whether the suddenness of the remark brought the smiles. Couple of people in the group apparently tried it out themselves, that too in front of a mirror and came back with affirmation of 'Yes, Idly does bring smile on your face', which did not fail to bring another round of laughter.

Is it the pleasure of thinking about Idly or the novelety of the idea or it just works well and what more, with a native touch.....hmmm interesting.

Talking of Idlies - IMHO milagai podi (a.k.a kaara podi) makes for a better combo than sambhar. and ofcourse, the coconut chutney to go along with it..... yumm interesting.

So long.....

Saturday, April 23, 2005

[Song Watch] Indira

Indira by Suhasini ManiRathnam was about empowerment/liberation of women. The movie was a moderate success at the box office, largely due to the music, that was very melodious and had an folkish appeal.

All the songs were picturised very beatutfilly. You could still think of Arvind Swamy dancing on the boat for 'Odakara' or the girls dancing around in the backyard for 'Nila Kaigirathu' and the duet between Anu hassan & Arvind in the forest.

Lets get to the music....

Acham Illai - Anuradha Sriram, GV Prakash, Sujatha

This song brings out the now familiar, then pretty new, side of ARR's experimentation. The pace of the song (for the first half of the song) along with the treble, provides for the rhythm base for the song (People in 95-96 started crying hoarse, that ARR copies/repeat beats, pretty hollow accusations, one must add), children in the chorus, and Anuradha & Sujatha together. (He has since taken a liking to having Anuradha & Sujatha singing together like in Taal etc)

Raga Kalyani seems to primarily dominate the song - very nice, easy flowing, melliflous. Tabla & claps kicks in at 3.19 as if to challenge the pace of the song, but the kids singing pattamboochi so adorable, that you feel as if you are amongst kids in a school. vaanam pakkam is so nice, as if you are riding on the lines themselves and you start getting goose bumps....

The song takes another turn at 4.13 to panthuvarali bringing a forceful but tense mood to the song, appropriately so, since the song demands a puratchi by emphasising the need for optimism. Vairamuthu is simply superb when dons this role of conveying 'all is not lost' e.g - in Pudhiya Mugam Netru illatha (pathos).

Song ends on a high note both figuratively & literally. Well done

Rating 4.6 out of 5

Nila Kaigirathu - Hariharan

This was the time when people were going gaga over Hariharan after his stupendous hit of 'Uyire' from Bombay. He had made improvisation as his forte and you could 'feel' much of it in this song. He has met & exceeded the expectations, so to speak and done a wonderful job.

The original song (by Harini), is one among the all time bests of ARRs and the pathos version is even better. Chords play a major role in complementing the emotion of Hariharan (Katru veesum...). You would never want to stop hearing the pallavi - it is so beautful and oozes the passion, melancholy and tons & tons of melody.

Synth flute fills in the interlude, it is nice, but after hearing the pallavi, one can't wait to get to the charanam. Adho pogirathu... Hari, brings out the feeling of 'yearning' aekkam very well. His modulation is excellent.

Guitars (synth?) step in to a beautiful backing to complete the song.. this song, as pointed earlier, must be on one of ARR's all time best melodies.

The jury is still out on the ragam of this song...but Behag seems to be the predominant notes, while occasional Tilang Kamod touches can also be found... we will leave it to the 'spin-doctors' to tear their hairs out, while we 'repeat' enjoy the song, by the debutant Harini

Rating 5 out of 5

Thoda Thoda - SPB, Chitra

This is a very very simple song in its structure - but gosh, it does not compromise one bit in melody. Credit goes to SPB for a top-class performance.

A dreamy ambience is setup by the pallavi starting with a 'lub dub dub' that continues through the end and trademark flute by Naveen.

SPB eases his way through the pallavi, as only he can - he makes it sound sooooooooooooo casual and at the same time waltzes thru the lyrics. pretty short pallavi by ARR standards ;)

interlude Naveen walks away with such a nicely done flute piece, at times it feels like you are being teased to join in on a journey and ultimately leaves you behind or take you to different plane.

the charanam is lovely duet - but felt Chitra was a bit flat - once again by her standards. most of the song feels like shankarabarnam swarams - not sure, there is any specific raga pattern one can observe.

the second interlude - ARR steps in with a brief alaap (man, this guys is so comfortable even at such high notes) and then a brief pause, conveying the tense mood (same lub dub) and then violins come togethe to evoke a melancholy. You need to watch the song to see how nicely the situation is conveyed by the emotion in the music.

and SPB, at his best, finishes the song with his smooth vocals - (listen to 4.50-5.00)

The song gives you the feeling of listening to choir performance (that's the best way of describing the use of instruments - may be some one case explain it better)

IMHO, this is very very cute & melodious song by ARR

Rating 4.8 out of 5

Nila Kaigirathu - Harini & co

Harini announced herself with a big bang in this song. She grabbed with both hands, the oppurtunity that ARR threw her way and she did come out successful in the song.

The song starts with a alaap by Harini, (ofcoursing faking her voice for young kid) and with jaltharang. Once again, at Katru veesum... you can notice the absence of chords, but you can enjoy how cutesy/adorable the childish voice of Harini is. (Only time will tell, whether the occasional odd note, not out-of-scale, but still 'odd' was added only to convey the child singing)

interlude is sung as swarams - it is so wonderful, with Harini doing the alaap. the mridangam is simple but very sweet - important to note how ARR managed to bring instruments like mridangam, thavil(ottagatha), gatam (Azhagan Ratchasiye) & ganjira (Akkada) that were relegated only to the song with a concert scene etc to mainstream film music. the rest of the song finishes before you know it. one word - superb.

PS: The song reminds you of a beautiful oldie 'Humko man ki shakti dena' from Guddi.

Rating 5 out of 5

Odakara Marimuthu - SPB, Dr. Sirkazhi Siva Chidambaram

The setting of the song is the 'youth-talk' and who better than SPB to fill you with enthusiasm and 'thullal'(spring) in his voice. The highlight of the song is its structure. It has a more conversational touch, not faced paced, not many instruments during the stanzas - but nonetheless caught the attention of all the youth and became a raging hit.
Dr. Sirkazhi Siva Chidambaram assists SPB amply in this song - the interludes are when you can hear some serious instruments - they are lovely & sprightly with a very folksy touch to it.

Rating 4.3 out of 5

Munnerudhan - TL Maharajan, Swarnalatha

Folk song - captures your attention immediately - very short song. Listen to the piece starting 1.26 - wonderful chorus and the alaap - takes you into the lush green villages on the rural parts of the country. Even though ARR has belted out folk songs that are chart busters, the critics never stop accusing him of dishing out only fast-paced songs and the accusation are so not true.

Rating 4 out of 5

Overall Rating 4.6 out of 5
Verdict - Must Buy for melody lovers.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

[Book Watch] The Name of the Rose - follow up

Finally done with a monster of the book - 500 odd pages with the author's post script.

The book, as much of a mystery it promised to be, it invariably petered out. It ended up trying to tackle the bigger issue of state vs church during the 14th century and whether 'laughter' is a sin.

Even though it had some delectable intelligent passages, as a whole, it was quite a disappointment from the 'mystery' aspect.

The author comes clean in the postscript talking about, how he knew, it would never be able to satisfy a mystery lover. He also talks about various other topics of writing novels etc.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

Wednesday, April 20, 2005


Cartoons are wonderful way of expressing your thoughts - humour, anger, satire, sadness, ideas, ridicule, and much more.

Even though i don't go fishing for cartoons, the one that i used to regular watch out for were

1) Hindu's Keshav - don't think he actively does cartoons for them anymore - but he rarely failed to drive home the point. The best i remember was, when PNVR was in power, he used to be very slow/patient in acting to the extent of not resolving many issues, this was potrayed very nicely by a cartoon, in which PNVR is the boxing refree - and one guy is down on the floor and pVNR starts couting down, 10,9,8.....,0, -1, ....., -120,-121 etc...... that was lovely

2) Scott Adam's Dilbert, ofcourse the subject of dilbert's comedy gives Scott a wide scope. See my blog on Dilbert's All time best

3) Glenn Mccoy's Duplex - which by any standards, is not in the league of Keshav or Scott, is passably funny

and the cartoon i do not like that much - or rarely is funny (once again, to me) is Pearls after swine - with a caveat, that whenever the crocs & zeeba neighbors talk - it is cool.

P.S : In the DC area, we have what is called 'Washington Post' Express magazine that is distributed at all the metro stands in the area and lasts good for 20-30 mins of light reading covering all topics with a creatively funny eye-catching captions. It carries Duplex & Pearls.....

Long live humor - which takes me right to the next post....(above this one)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

[Nature Watch] Human Brain & Computers Contd

Welcome back. Part 1 of Human Brains & Computers started with an intro to how human/computer memory works.

We will continue with Part 2 (more on brains) about what is 'memory loss' and how hypnosis manages to magically bring things out.

The human brain has a conscious & sub-conscious component. The sub-conscious component is the un-inhibited provider of the information. The conscious mind is the 'moderator' and 'master' of the information i.e. the conscious mind acts as the gateway and 'analyzes & acts' on the information.

When a person is asleep, the conscious mind is what is actually asleep - while the subconscious mind is still wide awake. Hypnosis works on the basis of talking to the subconscious mind by altering the state of the conscious mind (like sleep).

Hence during hypnosis, many things that a person normally will feel un-respectful to say but always felt so, can be brought out (just an example).At the same there has been much worry about the idea that, since someone has 'direct' access to the subconscious mind, can they 'alter' or 'program' it to contain new behavior - highly unlikely is the verdict - but the caveat being - only, if you choose to let it happen :-)

So when some one 'forgets' (temporarily) then it means the conscious mind never had that information handy while the subconscious mind always had it and when you recollect, the master is given free hand to the entire information.

Back to systems, there are so many tools, that still lets you locate files (after an accidental delete, i.e. erasing it from the table of contents) provided - the file still being physically available. These tools scan the disk for any files that are not part of the 'table of contens' but part of the file system.

Disclaimer: Be warned that you are not encouraged to try any of the above at home, and your entirely on your own in acting so and the author can't be held responsible for any of the shortcomings in such readers' common-sense ;)

journey will continue....

Monday, April 18, 2005

Precision Clocks

How many times have you noticed how clocks since time immemorial, have helped us keep time or atleast blame others for not keeping time ?

Clocks, is one of the most wonderful inventions that serves a simple, yet important purpose. Many of the 'ghost' movies and 'thrillers' would not have been possible but for the potrayal of 'twelve-o-clock'. Whether or not humans thank the inventor of clock -the ghosts are indebted, since without the it being midnight - how can they come out of the resting place ?

Don't be betrayed by the simplicity of its job, come let us go into a behind-the-scenes journey of a clock.

Clocks have been around since 250 BC when water raising waters( Like fountain) would keep time and hit a mechanical bird that gave out a whistle. In 1504, not very precise time piece was invented by Peter Henlein. However, in 1656, Christiaan Huygens, invented the pendulum, breakthrough technology to 'accurately' keep time. The pendulum clock works on the following principle. The swing of a pendulum is related only to the length of the pendulum and on the force of gravity. Thus, when the length of the pendulum is so chosen, the pendulum swing can be used to measure seconds. But that is only a part of the problem solved. How would you 'power' the clock ? That is done by a 'weight' suspended at height and tapping into its potential energy. When the weight keeps going down, it ends up transfering its energy to the device it is suspended on. allowing a circular motion.

It gets more interesting right now. How would you 'count' sixty seconds to indicate a minute and 60 minutes into an hour?. Here is where 'gears' come into picture. Gears help you in providing 'rotary force' or controlling the torque.

Gears in conjuction with each other (called) gear trains- allow for control of speed, synchronization of gears and translation of the gears from one rotational axis to another. (i.e. horizontal gears & vertical gears - like car's transmission shafts & the wheel)

Now when you you setup a gear train with 1-60 gear ratio i.e. for every 1 turn of the leftmost gear, the middle gear has to turn 60 times - voila you got a counter of 60. Just chain a similar piece them together to another 1-60 ratio you got a minute&hour counter.

After having done all of this - there were only two things that remain to be explained. What exactly does the 'key' do ? and how does one 'adjust' the time ?. The key, if you have not guessed it already, provides for raising the 'weight' to its height and the adjust is provided for by bringing a common shaft across the axes of the gears.

Man, a what lovely piece of mechanical device and how faithfully has it served us. BTB, it is dinner 'time' so my digital clock tells me...


Sunday, April 17, 2005

[Movie Watch] The Village

The Village is by M.Night Shyamalan of 'The Sixth Sense' fame. The hallmark of all his movies are his 'twist' endings. Ofcourse, twist endings are nothing new to the books/movie world, rather far from it.

His movies are marked by a deep philosophical 'spin' to it. Yes, granted that, *any* idea in the world can be 'spun' into a philosophical thesis - however, it is very clear for everyone to see the same in Shyamalan's movies.

The very first time, I saw the ads for the movies, it un-equivocally provoked the thoughts of mystery series called Marma Desam - 'Vittuvidu Karuppa' by Indira Soundarrajan and when i saw the movie, the idea was indeed very close.

Now, getting to the movie - it is about a village which is sorrounded by woods inhabitated by blood mongering creatures 'those we dont speak of'. Any attempt by anyone in the village to venture into the woods immediately provokes deadly omen in the village. The village elders are a 'closed group'. The make the decisions in the village.

By the twist of events, there is a sudden need to get some 'medicines' from the 'city', but who would venture to 'cross' the woods to get into the city?. The blind daughter of village's chieftain, agrees to take on this onerous task for the cause of her love.

Can she do it ? how will the 'creatures' in the wood react - forms the story of the movie.

First of all - there have been so many rumors out there, that claim, the story was leaked out and hence Shyamalan had to reshoot the twist ending to prevent the movie from loosing its sheen.

Now, to the twist ending - it was the most jaded twist ending. So before the girl ventures out, the father takes her to a room and says 'Do your very best not to scream' and then the goes on to explain the mystery behind the 'creatures in the wood'. It is just that the village elders wanted to be away from crime committed in the city, and they consciously decided to use 'fear' as the controlling element of crime and they used 'creatures' as a way to instill fear.

Scene cuts over to her actually walking down the forest. and suddenly the 'creature' starts showing up - the girl is stunned and then she realises it is the village-idiot who, not able to stand her getting engaged to some one else, chooses to attack her and this as twist ending frankly does not 'thrill' you. And finally the elders agree that 'love' which can never be shut out of any community can lead to 'crime' and hence move on.

IMHO - with just a couple of edits the movie could have been a super thriller. All they had to do was not to show the chief explaining the mystery behind the 'creature' upfront i.e. before the girl ventures into the woods. When the girl is actually confronted with the 'creature', it would have led the audience to think that the creature is still on the prowl and once the girl 'is done with the creature', if they cut over to the flash back it would have been simply superb.

Anyways, yes there are gonna be some more blogs on the concept of using 'fear' as control mechanism. Keep checking back.

Rating 3.8 out of 5

Picasa Photo Upload for Blogger (Hello.com)

Yippie! now you can upload your pictures in blogger !

Cherry Blossom Posted by Hello

Friday, April 15, 2005

Marma Desam....Indra Soundarajan

Marma Desam debuted with 'Ragasiyam' - produced by KB & story by Indra Soundarajan and became a runaway hit amongst the TV audience. The concept of Ragasiyam was novel by Indian TV standards. Then came 'Vidadhu Karuppu' (a.k.a Vittuvidu Karuppa)

Ragasiyam was about the 'maragadha lingam' & 'siddhargal'. 'Vittuvidu...' is about the 'Karuppanasami' punishing all the baddies in the town. 'Yendira Paravai' (sorry eludes my memory now - *Thanks samy for correcting it*) was about 'Boomerangs'.

The hallmark of his stories are the delicate mix of mystery & mystique of super-human acts.

I liked Vittuvidu Karuppa very much. When i went to India this time around, I literally had to run from pillar to post to get a copy of the book. I went to a local used-book shop and picked up some other books by Indra and it did not fail to please me.

As spoken elsewhere, the use of 'fear' as deterrent has been a very commonly used approach to exert control/regulate the behavior of people.

Sometime in the future, planning to write more in detail about how 'fear' has figured in the scheme of things in man's social life for a long time.

BTB, the biggest drawback is his (yes, it is him) penchant for introducing totally irrelevant english passages, awefully bad english. (Well, am not a english supremacist, no-one necessarily demands him to write in English)

Having read 4 of his novels (including short stories) i will definitely feel comfortable buying/recommending mystery books by him

Happy reading.....

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Does Zero tell you anything ?

Does Zero tell you anything ? Yes, zero the number '0'. It sure does tell a lot about mathematics, about computers etc

We all know in this world, everthing is 'relative' and hence nothing is 'absolute'. Whatever we measure, quantify, qualify is with reference to 'something'. How many times have we realised that the 'reference' point is indeed zero, or, to be more precise, that zero is 'THE REFERENCE' point

Think of it, 'success' can be expressed as factor of failure as 'failure of failure' but 'failure' can not be expressed as factor of success. Likewise 'presence' can be expressed by a factor of 'absence' and not the other way around.

The thing zero 'symbolises' is the 'emptiness'/'absence'/'void'. Anything and everything in this world can be expressed from one end of the spectrum to the other. Nonetheless, everything has no meaning but for the existence of 'non-existence'. How ironical.

Having come thus far as to theory of non-existence, what exactly is 'THE REFERENCE' point or 'non-existence' ? is 'non-existence' the ONE & ONLY EXISTENCE ? is that what we seek to realise ? is that what we glorify via multitude of religions ? is that what we all forget ? is that what we all choose to conveniently ignore ?

pH Factor

Many of us know what is pH. we also know that it signifies the acidic/alkaline nature of a fluid and also that 0 indicates completely acidic and 14 indicates completely alkaline and 7 indicates neutral.

I can vouch that many of us, including yours truly, would know the above and just it. However, how many of us knew the significance of pH factor. (i can hear you saying, well yeah, one spends time writing a blog, it better be important huh? ;))

Just to reiterate, the jump on pH scale by a factor of 1, affects the concentration of hydrogen-ion by a logarithmic factor of 10 i.e. pH6 is 10 times more acidic than pH7 and ph5 is 100 times more acidic that of pH6.

Human Blood is strictly maintained at pH of 7.4, slightly alkaline. A swing either way by a factor of 0.2 is considered very serious and more than 0.5 is almost always fatal.

Cut over to a glass of Cola(yes you silly, Pepsi included). The pH of cola is of the order of 2.5. When one drinks a glass of cola, you need 32 glasses of alkaline water - not just regular water (which is set at pH 5.7 ) -to even neutralise the effect of drinking one single glass of cola.

People, find it so tough to drink even 8 glasses of 'doctor recommended water', let alone 32 MORE glasses of alkaline water for counter-acting the effect of drinking one glass of cola.

So, how does the body STILL maintain the blood pH level without causing serious damage to the system?.

The human body has a reserve of alkaline buffer. Buffer is made of Carbon Dioxide (C02) and Bicarbonate (HC03). Together they donate/bind, hydrogen-ions to regulate the pH level. This managing act is taken of care by the combo of lung & kidney.

This buffer however is 'limited'. So everytime, your blood pH level is regulated, you take some out your buffer. Sooner than later, one runs out of this buffer and you end up with high acidic condition in your blood which can lead to many deadly diseases like cancer and conditions like high blood pressure etc.

Yes, as much as I can unabashedly admit that I was not interested in chemistry, I can promise that i never heard anything even remotely close to this in any of my chemistry classes so far.

The next time you order that 'soda', think twice or even better order it with 32 glasses of alkaline water !

P.S : The human body is such a wonderful system that you can go on & on writing about it. Read this site for a bit more detail about how the pH in blood is regulated and functions of lung and kidney

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tamil New Year Greetings

En Iniya Tamizh Makkale matrum Ulagam engam paravi irukkum nanbargale,

Anaivarukkum Ulamarandha Tamizh Puthandu Nal Vazhthukkal

paravattum sumugam
viriyattum ulagam
marayattum theemai
vidiyattum unmai
kittatum maenmai
dhikkettum aanmai


let peace spread
let world open up
let evil disappear
let truth appear
let prosperity beget all
let Godliness spread in all directions

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

[Nature Watch] The Human Brain & Computers

Wait, before you jump into the conclusion that this blog is about the biology of human brain, stop. However, it is more about the marvels/wonders of the human brain and to get a better understanding of how brains/computers work similarly. It is going to be multi-part rambling about humans/brain/systems. It may help you understand computer systems better than help you understand the brain better :-), as they say 'it depends' ;p

Disclaimer: There may be some technical jargons that will be found occasionally. All efforts would be made to explain them, in the limited scope of the blog.

Human brain, as all of us know, is essentially like the software that runs on your body (hardware). As a computer is represented in a block diagram, the brain does the functions of processing stimuli (all types like visual,audio etc) , memory and the nerve cells (spinal cord is a nerve bundle) which act as the 'carrier' of the stimuli/messages to&from the brain.

First up - think of this, like any 'system', the processing/memory/messaging have to work in perfect harmony for the information you ask for to be readily available.

Loss of memory, is the easiest thing one can think of amongst the system, since it seems like the most frequent thing. As with any 'system' information organised in a file can be considered the 'finest' atom that the system keeps track of for the purposes of 'indexing a.k.a table of contents' i.e. when you say get me the list of files in c:\temp -> you a table of content for that folder which says what are files that are contained in that folder. All one has to do to 'lose' the file is to 'un-register' the file from the table of contents i.e. remove the linkage. So that, even if the information is physially available on the system - it is no more 'reachable'. This exactly is what happens when you 'forget' something for good. We will talk more about memory and the loss of it, and how via hypnotism, one can 'seemingly' bring it back. (and no, am not a hypnotist)


[Book Watch] The Name of the Rose

'The Name of the Rose' is a mystery/detective fiction by Umberto Eco is among the 'now reading' list along with 'Fantastic Voyage'

Book seems to contain a 'liberal dose' of questioning the spiritual/state-church setup in the ancient times with a regular mix of mystery. Sometimes, it leaves one gasping about the totally incomprehensible, distracting and senseless details and at other instances it makes you think deep about 'the spiritual question' and occasional deduction.

Very 'Da Vinci Code'ish (to the authors credit, this book has been around since 1980) but at the same time heavily inspired by the character of Sherlock Holmes (the king of all detectves IMHO.

The thing i liked best about the book so far, has been the dig at Agatha Christie. Hercule Poirot, her master detective, on every possible occasion, takes a potshot at sherlock holmes, by saying 'i don't run around like a hound dog looking for finger prints, different type of cigarette ashes, mon ami - i use my little grey cells'. To me that is quite unwarranted for all the hype about Poirot. As good as the 'detective' poirot is - his detective skills far far inferior as made out by Arthur Conan Doyle, nonetheless finishes far second.

In the preface, Umberto Eco, gives it back to Agatha, by saying, I dont invent some French detective, going about uttering unintelligible phrases. :-) As always, will follow up once the book is done (seems to be a long one)

We will talk about 'detectives in history' sometime later in another blog, in detail.

Till then, watch out !

Public Relations (PR)

PR is 'What one can live without but not succeed without' This has been my observation out of the sample of so many 'sucessful celebrities'. There exactly is the 'gotcha'.

You can be successful in life without being celebrity, with what one defines as 'success' being so subjective. You can be a successful celebrity without being successful in life with so many one-hit wonders who made a mess out of their lives. But what makes or breaks one's image in the perception of the public is entirely controlled by their PR.

Take the simple example of 'Aishwarya Rai'. Everytime there is a controversy sorrounding her, it adds to her image and fan base (not that she needs a PR). Be it the affair with Salman or the subsequent episode involving Vivek Oberoi her Hollywood movie or her Oscar appearance (rather called disappearance)Irrespective of the outcome of the 'event' sorrounding her, thousands of web-spaces has been devoted to her participation in the event.

That is PR for you. How people manage to 'manage' their image amongst the public is becoming the 'critical' factor in success as opposed to what they 'do'

PR is based on the idea that public memory is short, media needs sleaze and ofcourse PR managers need their jobs ;) Not to paint an entirely negative view of PR, come to think of it - *everyone* needs to do that in their work life and personal life to satisfy the needs of 'social ego - the ego of the society'. Soceity with the attitude of 'you are with us or you are against us' has essentially pulled the curtains down on people who dont want PR or dont get good PR.

Nonetheless, since success itself, as coined, does not have any meaning when many people don't agree with it - the idea of PR and Success being inter-twined is not very far off from the idea that hardwork and success being together.

would this blog do any good to my PR ? only time will tell ;)

[Book Watch] Fantastic Voyage

Fantastic Voyage : Live Long Enough to Live Forever by Ray Kurzweil & Terry Grossman talks about how within the next 100 years, life expectancy will grow, unimaginably so, to 5000 years !

Man, would one want to live 5000 years ? When will he retire ? How many relatives would he remember ? Do we all have to go through the grind of working,eating and sleeping for not just 50 years another 5000 years ?

It has been a very very interesting few pages so far - including the 'talk about modification of gene expression, notwithstanding the ability to modify genes themselves' meaning, you can create 'anti'effect to counter the disease causing genes . Talks about how 'remote-controlled nano-robots can be used to for precision-surgeries inside the body' and that they have already been used.

Think of sitting here developing IT systems compared to developing human system!. The book makes tall claims like nanotechnology combined with the bio-technology would render biology needless.

I think it is high time i quit Information Technology and shift to Bio-Technology - it is all so thrilling and fantastic.

More updates soon - please check back.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

[Nature Watch] Cherry Blossom in DC

Mother Nature was at her picturesque best during the 'Cherry Blossom Festival' at DC. For starters, Japan gifted US Cherry trees during the early part of the 20th century (1912 to be precise) as an act of celebrating friendship between the two countries. The Cherry trees blossom early in April and it makes for a wonderfully radiant pink, peaceful white and deep purple mixture set against the backdrop of one-and-only green of the western grass around the 'Tida' Basin'. Man is it not lovely ?

Have had the pleasure of visiting the Cherry Blossoms for the past 3 years in a row. Wondering how can i upload those nice pictures...don't think google lets me do that...pity :-(

As with any downtown, one should be ready to 'walk' all day between the pligrim trip of the 'vellai maaligai', monument , capitol hill, lincoln memorial - gosh - can't think of stepping into gym for another 6 months ;)

on a related note, the starbucks at 13th & Penn was downright pathetic - they dint have cup holders, sugar, horrible maintenance. Yes, they were too suffocated with the crowd - but, yo man, you don't expect that from Starbucks :-(

will be back soon with something 'more interesting'

[Book Watch] Engaging India - follow up

Finally, when all diplomats were 'warming up' to the idea of US-India relationship, some or other crises keep popping up to distract the US from 'Engaging India' - the book in one line.

(Find my earlier post on initial thoughts about 'Engaging India'

One is glad to read how the US Administration wanted to 'constructively' converse with India and how the various Indian administrations like PNVR, IK Gujral, Vajpayee wanted to reciprocate it. However, the book still oozes the sensation that, but not for the 'aNu guNdu', the world's largest democratic nation would not have been remotely on the radar of the inimitable super power.

It makes for an intersting read, quite lively, balanced and sometimes, gives you a 'behind-the-scene' look at how the Kargil war was dealt with.

Verdict : Nice read for folks interested in political/international affairs.

Saturday, April 02, 2005


Too many organizations these days have a policy of 'diversity' i.e. they have 'healthy' mix of people from different 'communities'.

A tangential jump, India is always called, and rightly so, mother of all diversities. Think of it, there are 14 official languages. All one needs to do is to travel 500 kilometers from where they are, and will find themselves in a place with a different native language. God! is that not so weird.

that brings me to the question - what is the 'real thing' that makes us all unite under the same roof 'Indians' ?

I am searching for answers. Eswar pointed out that, we have a common culture/religious background. We have same festivals(would rather call it similar) similar beliefs.

Nice place to start... YOUR ideas would actually be helpful.

'What are the things that you identify as common across all Indians, what do you think unites us all, despite such linguistic differences'

Thanks !


Blogger is beginning to test my patience....from what i hear, it is not just my patience alone.

Not only is it becoming very slow, it incessantly fails to publish causing you to lose your valuable thougts.

Tip: Strongly recommend copying the blog into a notepad before doing 'publish post' so that even if the blog fails and you have the heart to attempt posting again, you have your blog in the notepad !

Hope, this blog gets published at the first attempt....

[Book Watch] Engaging India

Engaging India: Diplomacy, Democracy and the Bomb - a book by Strobe Talbott, former Deputy Secretary of State for US during the Clinton era.

Just got to the fourth chapter. Man, does it not throw 'more' light on some of our leaders of the country. Talbott talks about how PNVR, Gujral acted when us had pressured them into not doing the testing.

It also talks about how the bjp government handled the pressue.

Has been interesting reading so far. Hoping it lasts through the book. Will follow up at the end of it.....