[ To Express, To Reflect, To Give Back ]

9 hours in train???

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

Everyone at lunch the other day were asking me about our planned trip to India in August and naturally it started off which airline, how long is the flight, where do you fly into etc type questions.

I explained them that I am flying into chennai from Frankfurt and flying back to Calcutta for something and flying back to Chennai and then taking a train ride to coimbatore, my home town.

“Oh! Train ride? 9 hours? must be exotic?”

“hmm…not really!” …”we will just get on and sleep our way to coimbatore”

“Sleep? in the train? Why would you go by a train then?”

“Well…to get to city B from city A”

“Oh ok, you mean you can’t take a flight from city A to B?”


I sensed that this was going somewhere.

“Then…Why don’t you take it? Don’t you want to spend time with your family man?”

“!@*&^@(*&@)*(&!)(&*~&$@*&^!…I don’t know, I didn’t seriously think about it I guess”…my heritage comes to rescue…”Its less expensive if you go by train!”

“Oh ok. That makes sense. How cheap is that really? I am just curious how much a flight ticket cost when compared to train?”

…curious? details…details…

“hmm…let me think…perhaps, flight costs 2500 bucks and train around 500, may be, I am not sure”

“You are not talking dollars, are you?”

“oh no, I would say the air ticket comes to about $60 and train around $15…”

Yikes..@%^$@&^%@()*!^*%#…why am I going this far into the details????

“Just $60? for a flight that would save you 9 hours? I think you should fly man”

“hey, you know what, I have a meeting at 1, I have to go, I will see you upstairs!”

Upstaris, I kept pondering about all the questions I was asked…..Don’t know….Guess, I want to be an Indian when in India!

Chidambara Ragasiyam Forum?

Friday, June 24th, 2005

Apparently there has been a sudden surge in the visitors and their comments to one of my earlier posts on ‘Chidamabara Ragasiyam’ series on Sun TV. Whatever I had written about 7 months ago still holds absolutely true (This is still the only one that we watch in Sun TV!) about this thriller series. Except for a couple of weeks, we haven’t missed a wednesday night. Its only getting better as the final episodes are beginning untie the knots of a ‘obsessed’ killer(s?).

Thanks to one of the visitors, kalaa, who pointed out to me that there is an online forum to discuss about the series and to catch up the story line if I happen to miss any. This is wonderful.

Chidambara Rahasiyam – TV Serial – Updates and Discussion.

One of the recent insider info post for the last episode reads…“when that guy tells somu that mahadevan and the other guy comes and they probably killed the boy. Somu thinks back to the incident where Mahadevan’s girlfriend’s dad dies. You know when Somu and the guy are eating, and he suddenly dies. Then Somu runs to the middle of the house, and the girl says “appa I am coming”. You should notice at htis point that the whole scene is B&W, but in teh back of teh house they show the violin in color. This was an indication that mahadevan was there. “. This is cool man, I wasn’t smart enough to catch that violin piece, I do remember wondering why Somu is thinking about something…

Infact, after spending a few minutes reading thru some of the observations, insider info and tit bits in the forum, I am simply more psyched to watch every episode even more closely and carefully! If you have been following the series at least for a few weeks now, you will know exactly what I am talking about…others, you better skip this post!

Perhaps, Nagaa should start thinking about a community portal for his productions and build a dedicated fan website. Though I don’t watch his other series, ‘Idhu Mattum Ragasiyam’, I hear from folks I know that its equally captivating.

Ignite your souls

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

Sometimes we forget what we know. On those occasions, we need a simple reinforcement. When that comes from a person who has accompolished more than ‘something’ in life, it goes into your heart like a razor.

With pride, I recommend you to read this Commencement address by Steve Jobs at Stanford.

Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. If Steve Jobs could do it with this, why not you? us?

MTV has plans…

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

Started in the garage of two enthusiastic Brits, Neopets is neat KISS idea. Dont know what KISS is? Keep it simple, stupid!. An online community, or web site or portal or however the technology world wants to refer to it, for users to create and rear virtual pets. All for free. Then offer nice value added fun things and services around the core concept of virtual pets. You should check out the plethora of characters they have created for you to have your virtual pet.


If thats not enough, there are instructions to create your own cutie little chubby pets. There is also games and puzzles where you let your pets play and compete againsts other’s. Perhaps, Your time is better spent on their website exploring than me trying to explain it. With close to 60 million registered users ( should we believe? ), a pretty darn achievement indeed in innovation. For the millions of children isn’t it a fun place to be? You bet it is, and for the few million adults who stick to neopets.


Why am I talking about it? A bit silently, MTv acquired this online community becoz MTv has plans…to be an all-round global entertainer…

Here is a question to ponder. What would take an individual in India to create something like this? A vision, lot of brain and a bit of $ is all I can think of…Are we there yet?

Batman Begins

Thursday, June 16th, 2005

One thing common between me and Batman is we both like the color
Black. Aptly so, that color rules every screen of the new and much
expected comic-book flick – “Batman Begins”. We made a crude decision
to sacrifice our weekday evening ( and my fav ‘Chidambara Ragasiyam’
in Sun TV, which I have only missed twice!) for an exploration of how
batman is beginning his saga. As the name implies, the movie focus is
more about how the boy by name, Bruce Wayne, the heir of the stinking
rich Wayne empire, became a dark knight ‘Batman’. Since I went in with
a bit of expectation on hi-end action, I had wait for almost an hour
or so until the real batman comes into life and action. Besides the
movie runs for a full Bollywood style two and half hours, so that
still left us with hour and half of true batman adventure in the city
of Gotham.

Christian Bale, who plays the black hero, lives up. Dressed up on the
Batman gear, he looked stunning and ferocious. He was just as normal
and handsome as he could be without the gear. The story is shot in the
comic-book city of Gotham, which you can imagine to resemble close to
Manhattan or Chicago. The action sequences were not that great as one
would expect from a 2005 movie but were good enough considering they
intentionally wanted to keep it as close to the comic-book reality as
possible. Batman’s car, also referred in the movie as, Tank, is
ridiculously cool. No model, mo make, no color, no mirrors, no wind
shields but does everything you can imagine in a mobile toy.

For a beginning, Batman makes a big splash and its worth a trip to
your local theater or better yet, watch it in IMAX. I don’t have to
tell you to scout the web (aka Google) for batman begins pictures or
at batmanbegins.com.

10 years of ecommerce

Tuesday, June 14th, 2005

eBay is one of the companies I would want to work for. The current edition of Economist has a lessons learnt article on eBay. A must read if you own a business or work for a firm that has a some form of web presence.

Lessons from eBay

And for the other companies I would want to work for? Amazon….Yahoo….

A morning with Grady Booch

Wednesday, June 8th, 2005

I will be in manhattan to listen to Grady Booch (his blog) speak on ‘Evolution and Innovation in IT’. The IBM sales guy I knew gave a chance to get in there and I grabbed it without a second thought. I have never met anyone of his caliber before and I hope the very least to shake hands with him if not more.

The concepts of design and architecture were terms exclusively used by the construction engineers until Grady introduced them to world of software development. Most of what I studied in college and in my early years as a software engineer is all what he had written. So it pays to go and see someone who in a way is largely responsible for how the software industry has turned out to be today. He continues to be a visionary thought leader at IBM and one of his jobs is simply go around the world and talk!

If nothing else, I will get to see what it takes to be a visionary. My guess is it might not be that much!

If you are technology savvy check the wiki updates from the recent Emerging Technology Conference. As close as you can get to ‘HOT’ technology.

Admitted to NYU!

Tuesday, June 7th, 2005

Tthe day has finally come, rather earlier than we were expecting. I got the official admission offer letter from NYU Sterntoday 🙂 I was holding my breath until I read the first word of the letter…’Congratulations!…’. I knew what was going to follow. Incidentally I was talking to Harini on the phone as I opened the letter and as soon as I read the first word I shouted to her “Huh! I got it!!!” She had no clue.

After all, I have been waiting for this day for the past 6 months for it has been a tough ride for the past six months to work on 2 GMATs, 2 gruelling application processes(NYU & Rutgers), 3 demanding essays, several recommendation letters, a whole lot of visits to the local bookstore and a delightful experience at the Indian consulate in manhattan to get my graduate certificates authenticated. I must also add the broken promise to not watch movies! But the fruits of the efforts have paid off and I am really excited to have come this far. It is a whole new beginning from now onwards but truly a significant turn in my life that I am hoping to make the best of it.

Quite a few people stood by me during the whole process for all of whom I send my heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

A saturday afternoon with Julia Roberts

Sunday, June 5th, 2005

We saw Erin Brochovich yesterday. It is an old one though, but glad we had seen now rather than never. It is a compelling story of a real woman who literally betted her life and family for the sake of a californica community and chemical company’s villanism. Surprisingly, the movie is so wonderfully crafted ( directed ) that one would be surprised that such a story is still captivating and engaging. Not for a second we felt boring or taking a break. When I watched real Erin talk on the DVD’s Bonus section, it was a moving experience. The real Erin in fact shows up in the movie as a waitress serving Julia Roberts (Erin in the movie) and the kids dinner where real Erin finds it hard to believe a trivial experience from her life being casted to the details right infront of her eyes! Kudos to Julia, she excels. Another interesting DVD waiting at my living room : Run Lola Run (german).

The last two days has been HEAT days, brewing at 87F. Not wanting to waste the Sun, we wandered around the town of Chester for their Craft Show. All hand-made arts and crafts, beautiful and tempting. We escaped the temptation to fall into the American trap of ‘buying things that you absolutely don’t need!’. But life here is trying to escape out of these shopping nets anyway…everyday.

As I am sitting here on the 3rd floor of our house and it feels like all the heat in the house is rounding up next to me blowing at my face. I feel the stuffiness, but I have to admit we enjoy this lot more than the freezing sub-zero killers of Jan and Feb. Heard that its hitting 110s in parts of India and people are dying ( someone said Sunil Dutt himself was a victim of sun stroke!)…Lets pray for some mercy from the God of Light.