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Archive for August 2004

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“Go East” :A Mantra echoed even in Olympics

Is the sun finally setting on Uncle Sam’s Empire? The jobs are running out of America, the terror threats are increasing, Bush is seen more as a scourge than a friend in most countries and the Olympic Dream team was beaten by Argentina, a country torn by bad politics. I was surprised by America’s feeble showing at the Olympics. It won Bronze in events where it should won Gold. One more sore point is the fact that America wins only in sports where it has always won, it has not broken new ground in many sports. The dismal showing may not top the headlines as America gets ready for yet another season for Pro Football. American players and fans show more patriotism( in sports) to their clubs than to the country as they seldom see the Americans as a team competing for anything. Also “capitalism” has savaged the “patriotism” as players are more faithful to the owners who feed them rather than the country that raised them.

I am sure many of you are screaming “People living in glass houses should not throw stones at others” as India, my home country, managed just a solitary medal; but India has never boasted to be a world bully and also taking into account the great gulf in infrastructural, fiscal difference between the two countries, I am justified in bashing the Americans.

Yahoo! Sports – Olympics – U.S. tops charts for third straight Summer Olympics; China leads Asian meda…

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August 31, 2004 at 10:04 am

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Much Ado but Nothing to be written

I have not blogged in a while. The schedule has been pretty hectic over the last two weeks. I drove from Phoenix, AZ to Seattle, WA. Seattle is very green and beautiful but it rains incessantly. Coming from Chennai, I am allergic to cities which get too much rainfall on too many days. Rain, whatever relief it may bring, is also a spoilsport. You cannot do much when the skies open up except watching TV at home.

I watched “Risky Business” over two days, as the business was interrupted by running errands and also the stoppage in rain. Tom Cruise as a schoolgoer decides to say “What the Fuck” to his monotonous lifestyle and dials “1800PICKUPFONE”. The movie gives a whole new dimension to entrepreneurship. The move is quite old- I am sure many of you would have been lured by it, but if you have not, do watch it and let me if you need a sales person like Tom Cruise :=)

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August 27, 2004 at 8:51 am

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What CHENNAI means to me

Chennai was the place I was born and I lived for 20 years. What a city!! Mumbaites call it sleepy and people from southern Tamil Nadu might call it “Cooumpatinam” due to the ghastly smelling river runing across the city. Chennai, to me is very dear to my heart. The long coastline, those lovely sand covered beaches, sugarcane juice in the commotion filled Ranganathan street, the sandwich shop in front of Alsa Mall, jostling crowds at Devi Theatre, cool college goers hanging out in Gangotri, long winding lines at Chennai counsulate, EMU trainstop in Tirusulam overlooking the hills and of course home sweet home- I never grow tired writing about Chennai. The warmth and the peace that I get in Chennai is irreplaceable. I can confidently say it is the most peaceful city in the world where you are embraced however different you are. Ask Wasim Akram and the Pakistani team if you need more information about our love and affection.

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August 24, 2004 at 1:39 pm

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Pamela’s golden heart earns Mohini a silver – The Times of India. Pam’s Golden heart … what is he talking about…I thought Pam had a silicone heart 🙂

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August 19, 2004 at 4:00 pm

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India – 0 Gold 1 Silver 0 Bronze

Few weeks back, I had echoed my views on the present Olympic squad. I had not named Major Rajvardhan Singh Rathore as a genuine medal prospect and had called him as just another bad egg. Man, he proved me wrong. He won a Silver medal in Double Trap Shooting. Hats off to the Major.

My obsession with the Olympics began in 1988 when they used to show a 1 hr package of the games in Doordarshan at 7:30. I used to curse DD for showing so little. After watching the partisan jingoistic American media coverage of the Olympics, I have to give DD a pat on the back. United States Television coverage has always been married to neptoism but these games have taken it to a new low. The United States Basketball Team has been an object of approbium. They lost to Puerto Rico; I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Fox, ABC and NBC still lap up the disgrace by shamefully calling the defeat as a noble gesture towards one of US commonwealth nations. Puerto Ricans vote in American elections- they are considered to be a part of the United States. Soon Afghanistan and Iraq will follow suit into the U.S. commonwealth. :=)

America has been suffering reverses in many fronts. Roddick and Venus Williams lost. Maybe they wanted to take a break from the Olympics and prepare for the U.S. open. Again, in an era driven by professionalism, this might not seem totally out of place.

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August 18, 2004 at 9:29 pm

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Back in AC, ouch AZ

I am right now in Arizona. The state brings back some fond memories. I had some of the best times of my life in this southwestern state. Arizona is very popular around America for its sweltering summer heat. Actually, the weather Gods have surprised me this time around. It has been raining in the evenings and has been quite muggy. I found this really funy poem about Arizona on the web. Arizonans can identify with the narration.

The devil wanted a place on earth

Sort of a summer home.

A place to spend his vacation

Whenever he wanted to roam.

So he picked out Arizona

A place both wretched and rough.

Where the climate was to his liking

And the cowboys hardened and tough.

He dried up the streams in the canyons

And ordered no rain to fall.

He dried up the lakes in the valleys,

Than baked and scorched it all.

Then over his barren desert

He transplanted shrubs from hell.

The cactus, thistle and prickly pear,

The climate suited them well.

Now, the home was much to his liking,

But animal life, he had none.

So he created crawling creatures,

That all mankind would shun.

First he made the Rattlesnake

With its forked poisonous tongue;

Taught it to strike and rattle

And how to swallow its young.

Then he made Scorpions and Lizards

And the ugly old Horned Toad.

He placed spiders of every description

Under rocks by the side of the road.

Then he ordered the sun to shine hotter,

Hotter and hotter still.

Until even the cactus wilted,

And the old Horned Toad looked ill.

Then he gazed on his earthly kingdom

As any creator would.

He chuckled a little up his sleeve

And admitted that it was good.

Twas summer now and Satan lay,

By a prickly pear to rest.

The sweat rolled off his swarthy brow,

So he took off his coat and vest.

“By Golly,” he finally panted,

“I did my job too well, I’m going

Back where I came from,

Arizona is hotter than Hell.”

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August 18, 2004 at 8:20 pm

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Usaar Pakiri OB Adikaran Machi

Thamizh is a very ancient and pristine language. Its history goes a long way back. When you land in Chennai, the capital of Thamizh Nadu, the scent of Thamizh is hard to miss. Chennai Thamizh is a dialect of th ancient language, but you could hardly tell. Chennai Thamizh is really a lingua franca between English and Tamil speakers.

As soon as you land in Chennai and walk through the airport doors, you can meet the auto rickshaw man who is clearly a card carrying member of the Chennai Thamizh speaking community. He would woo by saying you are the first “savari”(customer) since morning , so you have to do “boni”(Appetizer).If you don’t agree with him on a particular rate to a particular place, he would call you a “Saavu Kraaki” (Dead Meat). The beauty of Chennai Thamizh is that it is not thought in schools. It is somethign you develop. It is like common sense, nobody teaches you.

You would be perplexed to know the language and its terms. “What do you do with a Gujili?”, if you thought Gujili was like Bijli(a Deepavali special cracker), then you better think again. Gujili is a girl. So what do you do with a girl?. You can do Gilma or Gujals. All these are synonyms for types of “fun”, you can have with women. Has anyone ever given you “Halwa”? Innocently, if you say “yes” relating “Halwa” to the sweet jelly substance, then chennai laughs at you calling you an “idiot”. You are given Halwa means you are cheated.

I am sure the world is already confused and is already saying” Dei Domaru, unkuda bada bejara pochu. Enga kitta wrongu kattina sevulu Avulayudum. Rapture aayiduva”.(Don’t mess with us) Email me and I can send you a glossary of terms used in Chennai. Carry it along , when you come to Chennai.

Joot, Machi

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August 13, 2004 at 5:38 pm

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Capital Punishment – Are we justified

We have seen it in movies when the victim is about to be hanged, the protoganist will come from nowhere and save the ‘to be hanged’. . On Saturday, Dhanajoy Chatterjee will be sentenced to death for raping and murdering a 14 year old in 1990. There will be no heroes who will come and save him in the last minute. Even the President of India has given him guillotine orders. In a nation which boasts of non-violence and peaceful co-existence, is hanging the ultimate punishment for a man’s notoriety?

Is the constituition really justified in sentencing a man to death? I have looked at it at two ways and I want this law to be repealed just like POTA. From a very sadisitc angle, death is too easy an ending for such an heinous crime. Ask any deserter or quitter, who is ailing with pain, they will tell you that they want to die rather than writhe in pain. You should keep him alive in a concentration camp like setting and make him realize his mistake and what he is missing. From an humanistic angle, I would say the Governemnt should be charged with murder everytime it hangs someone. The constituition treats suicide as an offence – meaning even you don’t have the right to take away your life. I cannot find the rationale behind the Government taking over your life when it says you don’t have the right to end it.

Capital Punishments need to go. I am sure there will be conflicting views on this and I would love to hear them. Let us pray that Dhanajoy rests in peace.

Where will Dhananjoy be hanged?

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

August 12, 2004 at 10:36 am

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Two Births- August 15

August 15– 19 years ago was the day my brother was born. I was 7 then and I don’t really recollect my first reaction to his birth. In those days, only grocery stores used to have telephone lines and my aunt got the news from the hospital and carried it all the way to my house few tens of miles apart. I was expecting him for 7 to 8 months and we had even christened him. But his birthday on August 15, changed our plans and we decide to name the small baby boy – “Bharath”. At 7, I was proud of him; mighty proud of him just because of his birthday- A pride that you usually reserve for the greatest of your countrymen. I would tell my classmates with a certain degree of cockiness that my brother was born on Independence day.We grew up to become very different siblings. Some of our greatest moments came in front of the television set, cheering those hated Aussies. We loved the Aussie cricket team. Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Shane Warne, Michael Bevan, Glenn McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Jason Gillespie etc etc were like part of my family. Happy Birthday – Little Brother!!! I am still proud of you more because its you and less because of your birthday!!! He is 19 and he has miles to go before he sleeps.

August 15- India awoke to freedom at the midnight hour in 1947. We are 57 years old. Whoa!!. As we pat our back on our achievements, we should also spare a thought for all those people who died crossing the border on the fateful day of the partition. Many of still regard Pakistan as a sworn enemy and would love to blast the shit out of them. But won’t the two countries be better served if the billions spent in defence is spent in improving the lot of suffering people. 16.74 billon dollars will be India’s defence spending of the year. A lot of money considering nearly 50% of the population still makes less than a dollar a day. If you ask P.Chidambram about this gulf, all he will have to say in encouragement, would be “Main Hoon Na”

One thing is for certain, we are 57 but we are not old and we have miles to go before we sleep. Vande Mataram!

Written by Sudarshan Suresh

August 11, 2004 at 10:58 pm

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Arivudai Nambi Kaliyaperumal Chandran

“Sattaila Enna Bommai” (Whats the graffiti on your shirt) asks the interviewer and the interviewee replies “Poonai, Sir” (Cat). “Adhula Enna Peruma” (Why are you so proud of it)questions the interviewer and orders the interviewee to get out. Don’t worry this is not a Silicon Valley job interview. This is from one of my favorite movies of all time “Thillu Mullu”. As I am sitting at work, I reminded about this movie and cannot stop laughing.

The Interviewer in this movie is Sri Ramachandra Murthy played by “Thengai” Srinivasan- what a portrayal by a great actor. He is a strict boss who adheres to Gandhian principles and cannot tolerate sports, sportslovers. He is committed to the three D’s – Dedication, Discipline and Determination. He is looking for an assistant and reviews the candidates in a very different fashion. There is one candidate who comes in with the name of Subramaniya Bharathi( Bharathi is a great Tamil poet) and would be unable to pronounce even the basic syllables of the Tamil Languages. So who gets the job finally? Thalaivar “Rajni” comes in as Arivudai Nambi Kaliyaperumal Chandran and wins the heart of Thengai.

Amazing movie. Thengai and Sowkar Janaki outdo each other in every scene. Rajini is fabulous. Hindi folks will be crying foul as the movie was a take-off from “Gol-Maal”. I have not had a chance to see “Gol-Maal” but an action hero like Rajni doing comedy with such good timing was commendable.

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August 11, 2004 at 11:46 am

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