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Archive for January 2004

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Honesty is the best policy – Says who??

How many Indian students with an undegraduate engineering degree from an university as prestigious as Indian Institute of Technology will stay back in India and work for the Indian Government?

An Indian student is a valuable commodity abroad. We stand out due to our technical acumen, hardwork and dedication. The press has never ceased to write about the “Brain Drain” from India. The Indian Government over the years had done very little to keep the qualified engineers in their homeland. Very few Indian students choose to live in India after their undergraduate degrees and Satyendra Dubey, a Civil Engineer from IIT Kanpur was one among them.

Dubey was working on the “Golden Quadrilateral” project. His honesty and commitment to work were not the need of the hour there. Conspiracy theory was hatched on him. He fell a prey to the unscrupulous men who put money over men, them over us and I over we.

Its time to unite against corruption and put an end to this chapter of shame.

To help Dubey and to fight corruption, please visit

S. K. Dubey Foundation

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 12, 2004 at 12:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

with 3 comments

Tale of Two Cities

All Characters in this article are purely real and any resemblance to anybody living or dead is definitely not accidental.

Triplicane is a traditionally Iyengar locality ( Vaishnavities) largely due to the beautiful Parthasarathy Temple adorning this place. Mylapore, on the other hand, has large Iyer community ( Saivities) also due to the famous Kapaleeshwarar temple situated here. Iyers and Iynegars are at logger heads in most of the issues but one common thread ( other than the sacred cross belt) that unites these communities is that they are TAMBRAMS( an acronym coined for Tamil Brahmins).

TAMBRAMS are quite unique in their thinking. TAMBRAM kids are raised with an amazing singlemindedness which would put the Al Qaeda terrorists to shame. The first words that a TAMBRAM boy hears as soon as he is out of his mother’s womb is his father commenting ” My Son will go to IIT”. Every TAMBRAM irrespective of his grey matter, is born to become a Engineer, be a successful Engineer and breed a few engineers. I wouldn’t be surprised if the American Governemnt changes their immigration laws for the TAMBRAMS just like they did for the Hispanics due to the contribution of the TAMBRAM community to the silicon valley.

Ask a TAMBRAM schoolgoing kid, his favourite subject.If he says anything other than Mathematics ( Kanakku, as his grandparents would have called it), then it means that in 20 years he will be a social outlaw. Mathematics and Math Tables are fed to him along with his baby foods which includes a daily diet of ladies finger( which exponential increases the retention capacity and makes a TAMBRAM remeber every formula deduced in the time from Pythogoras to Ramanujam). His lullabies go something like this “(a+b) = a2 + 2ab + b2, (a-b) = a2 -2ab + b2” sung in a lyrical fashion. A “CENTUM” in Maths is very important for his parents. A 98 or 99 in the subject even in a monthly test will put them to great shame in a community which soley measures the intelligence of a kid by his marks in Mathematics. Anything less than a centum would push his family into great depression and I have even heard of cases when the parents have put their children to concentration camp like rules so that he bridges the gap with the rest of the students.

The worst time in the life of a TAMBRAM is during his transition from high school to College. The Entrance Exam really takes a toll on him. He would be made to write exams in every nook and corner of this vast country so that he is not left alone and will surely join the herd of engineers produced by his community. Any credit to securing an Engineering admit will go to his parents and all the blame( if he fails to secure an admission) would be directed at the kid, who burnt the midnight oil studying for these exams. Even in Engineering, if he gets into any department other than Computer Science or Electronics, his parents would be considered unfortunate. Chemical Engineering, Production Engineering etc are considered equivalent to nothing more than a 12th Standard pass and his neighbors who end up playing a major role in his life would constantly advise his parents about putting him into NIIT or APTECH so that he works close to software, code and TAMBRAMS ought be the modern day equivalent of Karna and his armor.

After Engineering, the next stop in the TAMBRAM railway has to be a Masters in The United States. San Jose, CA is the dream destination of almost every TAMBRAM older generation. If it is not San Jose, it has to be Seattle or one of the Intel facilities. The application process to the land of fruits and honey evokes a lot of animated conversations. Typically, our next house thatha( old man) would say ” Apply in Stanford, my son lives in Ohio( pronounced o-eee-o) and he will come to pick you up from the Airport”. For a TAMBRAM who is not well versed with geography and is a faithful follower of elder’s words, this would seem like a really good idea. Little would he know that, Stanford and Ohio are thrice as far apart as Delhi and Chennai.

When a TAMBRAM lands in the United States after much hype and hoopla, he will start missing the single best thing that he liked about home – Mom’s home made recipes. Idli with Sambar, Dosa with Millaga Podi( Crounded Chilli Powder mixed with Oil), Curd Rice with Mango Pickle, Adhirasam, Appam, ( traditional TAMBRAM sweets). Not able to get anything close to these, he settles for the next best thing which are Hamburgers with French Fries, Tortillas with Chips, Fried Rice with Lemon Grass Chicken, Brownies and Bagles. For a TAMBRAM family, a boy in the United States is a point of great pride. He is considered to be a few rungs higher in the social ladder than his cousin who might be finishing up his Masters in Economics writing up a good dissertation on ” Poverty and its Effects in India”. An Ecomincs Student is nothing but a COMIC NOSE in the family, a guy who had to settle for something as lowly rated as Economics.

Await more in the journey of a TAMBRAM……

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 8, 2004 at 1:15 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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Steve Waugh – Australian for Mental Toughness

The Sun has finally set over the Australian Empire. The guiding light of this great cricket team Steve Waugh has hung his boots and will not grace the cricket grounds around the world with his red handkerchief. Few men have had better farewells in sport. The one who comes to recent memory is another legend in his sport, Pete Sampras. In a field where memory is short lived, the name of Steve Waugh and his deeds will be sung and remembered for time immemorial.

I started following this Australian Cricket team with such great intensity purely due to the “ICE MAN”. I read far and wide about this extraordinary cricketer from Bankstown, New South Wales. I passed some of the vintage Waugh stories to my brother, with whom I had relished and cherished numerous Waugh moments. Whenever the run rate is a little below the normal rate and Steve Waugh is facing a spinner, both of us would cry out “Steve slog sweep him”, to the extent of almost pleading him to slog sweep the ball over midwicket. Ironically, it was this slog sweep which proved to be his undoing in the final innings of his glittering career. Whenever the Aussies are in a spot of bother and Tugga walks to take guard, we both would say in unison ” ICEMAN pathu paan da”( Iceman will take Care). We rubbed on the spirit to my mom who has many times faced the brunt of our Waugh superstitions. I am sure she will vividly remember the 120 that Waugh made in the final super six game against South Africa in the 199 World Cup when she received the best hospitality from her sons. The truth being that we did not want her to get up from the chair as soon as Steve Waugh started unleashing his repetoire. But I guess, she should be thankful to us for having made her some exceptional rearguard action from the modern day gladiator.

I would rate the hundreds that Waugh made in the Caribbean as the most memorable moments of his career. I stayed up all night to watch Waugh battle out Curtley Ambrose and the West Indian pace battery. In an innings which ended the West Indian domination over World cricket, Waugh displayed character and silenced his detractors who had suspected his technique against the short ball.

If Waugh was hardness personified in the field, he was softness personified off the field. His human gestures ad philanthropic efforts have earned him great admiration and respect even in his final frontier of India. His endeavor to build homes for the leprosy affected children in Calcutta has ensured that his deeds will stand the test of time and will be remembered for a long time.

He has chosen to go out on a high. Few men can ever come close to him in terms of toughness and leadership. I will always revere him as my greatest idol in life.

For men may come

men may go

Waugh stays on forever.

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

January 8, 2004 at 12:07 am

Posted in Uncategorized