Sunday, December 31, 2006

Saddam executed on "Vaikunta Ekadasi" day

Yesterday was the holy day of "Vaikunta Ekadasi". Hindus believe that the gates of Heaven are opened on this day and people who die on earth on this day ascend to Heaven. Saddam Hussein was executed yesterday.

How cruel the world is! Even people who were against Saddam must have felt for the man yesterday when video clippings of his last moments prior to his execution flashed across T.V's the world over and the Internet. Saddam seemed so calm, clutching the Holy Kuran in his hand. When the executioners were explaining things to him he was looking at things as though he was visiting some exhibition were things were being explained to him. When the black collar was placed under his neck he patiently complied as though his waiter was adjusting his suit. It was difficult to watch the proceedings. I wonder what was in his mind in those last moments. I really felt for the man yesterday.

I am not trying to justify the things Saddam did in his life but haven't people who committed more heinous crimes got away with them, many still at large and many even living free. Several of the Khmer Rouge seniors are still alive and free, having massacared thousands. Several other criminals who indulged in genocide live and die even without going on trial.

Unfortunately America today has earned more of the wrath, this time of the supporters of Saddam by initiating the incidents that has lead to Saddam's death. America's war casualties in Iraq now number in excess of the lives that were lost in the 911 incidents. Who is going to be tried for these American deaths in Iraq?

Asianet the Malayalam T.V channel also telecast a short special about one Mr. xxxx.Nair who served as a cook for Saddam Hussein and his guests for 7 years. Saddam had personally given him a watch with his image inside it, a certificate and posed for photographs together with Mr. Nair. Mr. Nair was choking and hardly could speak on camera about the execution that took place yesterday.

May Saddam's soul rest in peace.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Last Sunday this time...

I and Binny are in the Cathedral School ground where "Deep Purple" is playing their final songs of their 2 hour concert. The concert is loud. As I stand close to the stage some 30 metres away leaving Binny seated behind on the grounds, I can feel the pound of Ian's Bass drum on my heart. I am screaming for some of their big hits "Smoke on the Water" and "Black Night" which was their concluding song. So was it a big concert? Yes, because watching them live was a great feeling but the sound was too loud to enjoy the music. And since all the instruments sounded as loud as the Gillan on lead vocal the music wasn't clean as it sound on my home stereo. Some may argue that the home stereo is not real live music but then I prefer the home stereo in this scenario where I can control the aspects of music that sound best. Certainly some equaliser work by the sound engineers would have made a big difference. The original guys have aged. Ian Pace has a small tummy, Glover looks more like the french guy from "Godzilla" and "The Hitman" and Gillan lacked a presence. By the time DP went on stage it was 8.00 P.M but the crowd was waiting for them. It was DP's second visit to the city. The last time they came here John Lord, their original keyboardist was with them. But the replacement Don Airey was good too. On his solos he even played some classical and the theme from Star Wars perfectly. Glover bass solo and Ian's drum solos might have been brief but Steve Morse compensated for all that with a great solo that includes pieces from Led Zepp's "Heartbreaker", ACDC's "Back in Black" and GNR's "Sweet Child O' mine". None of the paper's reported this the next day but DP even played a song they had written for Kalpana Chawla who was a big fan of DP. Gillan introduced the song mentioning her name. It is sad no one got it or did someone? Kalpana incidentally had taken Deep Purple's CD's with her when she had gone "space trucking". What I missed was taking a photograph with Binny with the concert as a backdrop on Binny's Nokia. How dumb?

The lonely trip to Central station on 16'th Saturday was also very nostalgic. Once in a while a trip like that (instead of taking the auto) helps expand your consciousness. Guindy station where I used to park my bicycle to go to college has undergone so much change. How different the electric train looked from the trains of the late 80's. I was reminded of the late nights returning from M.C.C with friends. I also remembered the very first day at college in 1985 when our seniors welcomed us and we joined them in the late night journey home by train. I also recalled vividly the day when we returned from the convocation three years later. All those lovely days when we were so young. The silence of the cool night's journey is broken abruptly by the ringtones of mobile phones. At 9.00 P.M there are very few talkers. I also recalled the trips to ITC at Thiruvottiyur where I worked for about 10 months in 1995 when I used to take 2 trains and a bus one way to the place....

The day after the concert I visited my principal again with her favourite flowers. A shorter trip but worth it. Princy told me about P.P Girish, my classmate who had visited her with his family. I am yet to call him.

...David, thanks for pushing me to get this post out...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Just one more day to Go

I can't believe I'll be watching Paice, Gillan, Glover and Steve Morse in just over 24 hours from now in Bangalore. Only praying that Binny can make it which I am sure he will. The Euphoria is so high that I don't think many will be missing the belligerent Ritchie Blackmore and John Lord. Over the years Steve Morse has replaced and covered the ace guitarist very well. Time to check out how the keyboardist does too. If you haven't purchased tickets yet I think they are still up for grabs due to the price. But then can you miss them...the one and only "Deep Purple".

Monday, December 04, 2006

Shakti is here in Chennai...

Guys, if you missed them before, they are here again. John McLaughlin, one of the guitar greats of all time, Zakir Hussain, U.Srinivas and Selva Ganesh. Although the violin will be missed let us see how Srinivas's mandolin can replace it. Selva Ganesh replaces his father on the Ghatam. Be there guys. Shakti re-incarnated as "Remembering Shakti" plays at Karamaraj Auditorium on December the 7'th.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's over.

Unlike last night my last day at work went off smoothly without a hitch. Good that my scooter's silencer developed a problem and therefore could not be used. Hidha took me to work on his bike today and I returned from my work in Suraj's car. It would have certainly been heartbreaking to have done the journeys alone. I thank God for having helped me this far.

A new life, a new adventure begins for me...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Parting isn't easy...

All of a sudden why I feel this sudden pang of sadness in me, I don't know. I didn't feel it all day but tonight I do. Mayble tomorrow it will not be there but I doubt it. Tomorrow I will be seeing more people to say goodbye on the last day of work. Am I going to cry? I don't know why I feel so down tonight though. With Eric Tingstad playing his haunting guitar in the background it is even worse. Many a time I have felt so sad to discover I lost a pen that I have been using for so long, then what to say of live humans. At least for this reason I must never be employed again. God imagine if I had to join another company now. It would be like being removed from my family to be included in another. I don't think I can go through another parting as this again.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Good events to look forward to...and some notes...

After the rains and the cool climate prevailing in Chennai it's that the time of the year filled with events such as concerts and the infamous Saarang at I.I.T, Madras that will take place in January 2007.

But first let me remind you of the event that will be taking place on the 17'th of December at Palace Grounds, Bangalore. If you missed them the last time, here they are again, "Deep Purple" in concert. Breaking the news at work caused outbursts of excitement. Binny, my friend in Bangalore who couldn't accompany me to the "Uriah Heep" concert in February this year at last can go for this one with me. A bunch of guys from work will also be coming. Can't wait for the 17'th to see Gillan, Glover, Paice and Steve Morse in action. Only Blackmore and John Lord will be missed but the replacements have been very good indeed.

Wonder who are pro's lined up for Saarang 2007. It is difficult to forget 2006's disaster at the Led Zepplica's show. First for Parikrama's waste-of-time opening where they were trying to rock the crowd to "Sare Jahan se Acha" now being performed by almost every rock band in India. Donno who started it. I had an idea about it too many years ago. Led Zepplica though starting late put on an awesome performance till time restrictions made authorities to request the band to actually stop performing. What a sucker that was. The band gets back on stage and after asking the crowd to cool down begin and when the guitar solo is just about to begin on "Stairway to Heaven" the power to the stage is unplugged and the concert comes to a shameful end. I cannot believe such a thing happened. Luckily I wasn't at the concert for reasons I explained earlier in posts many months ago.

There are other things that can be improved at Saarang. During Saarang and Mardi Gras (Saarang's earlier incarnation) I don't know why authorities get very touchy. My friend wasn't allowed to take his inhaler inside the O.A.T. Can't the dumb authorities find the difference from an inhaler and a pot-smoker's pipe? Do they expect an ashthmatic person to be without his/her inhaler? That was real sick. For the Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy concert, ladies and gents were forced into separate queues. Imagine the confusion. Also ladies who were found to be carrying big bags were forced to go back and re-join the mile long queues after disposing their big bags for safe-keeping. The Shankar, Ehsaan, Loy concert touted at the biggest ever Light Music show at the Saarang was disappointing on several grounds. Although Shankar did a good job at singing and presenting (oh yes, he did call the ladies on stage for a song, then the hardworking student co-ordinators of the show and later singers Vijay Yesudas and Srinivas on stage, and even confessed he wrote the JEE twice and without success) he got away without even singing one "Tamil" song. It was a complete surprise considering the number of Tamil hits he has. Why, even the movie "Aalavandhan" had music composed by the trio. You also don't begin a concert by saying you'd only be singing Hindi songs. That was a big let-down for his Chennai fans.

Another thing from an audiophile perspective is the audio. After the initial songs the crowds start singing and dancing so loudly the audio is hardly audible. All you hear is "bass", "bass" and "bass". While the dancing and screaming folks are not concerned as long as they are able to hear a beat, the others who came to enjoy the music are at a total loss. The audio certainly needs to be louder and clearer for these special shows. O.A.T is acoustically a very good venue afterall. And finally, one thing that needs to be avoided is to stop introducing the performers. IT IS REALLY SICK! Imagine introducing Uriah Heep on stage. Why let some unknown student hiding behind a mike, with first-time (or seems like the first time) talking-and-presenting-skills to introduce a band who hardly need an introduction. Or better still, introduce the performers with zest and fervour (like how they introduce the basketball stars at N.B.A games) or a simple "I.I.T, Are you ready for "performer"? instead of reading out the resume of the band and their memebers. I.I.T, let's get professional. You can.

Let's wait and see what Saarang 2007 promises.

I make a different move

Come December 1'st and I go solo. I have decided to freelance for a career. The decision didn't come easy and took almost three months to convince everyone at home. With responsibilities and a home loan dangling like Democles sword over my head it will be quite a struggle but I have decided to go the freelancing way. It has been something I've been wanting to do ever since I started working way back in 1991, do something and be on my own. This is what writer James Allen also did at the same age of his life. But like James Allen I don't wish to die at the age of 48. With the blessings of God and the prayers of my people and the best wishes of friends I am sure I will make it.

This will also give me more time on my blogs which have been crying for content for a long time.

After three years of being at Vizual I am not sure how much I will be missed but I am sure I will miss them.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Of Processions

I know I have really taken a break from writing for a while but here I go again...

In the couple of previous weeks the country saw the mass immersion of hundreds and thousands of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Durga idols of various sizes and proportions in the sea all over the country. On the day of the processions normal traffic came to a standstill on roads where the processions snaked they way. In some places traffic was not allowed to ply through these roads. What if you were in an emergency and stuck on one of these roads? What if you had someone critically ill to be taken to hospital? What if you had to catch a flight or a train trip?

As far as my knowledge goes (I am no pundit or Guru and correct me if I am wrong) nowhere in the Vedas or the Hindu religious practices have I come to know of such an instruction about the immersion of idols in the sea after marching through streets in a procession of the kind I am to explain. Other than polluting the sea with paint, cardboard, paper, glue and colors and causing ecological damage I don't know what good the actual process of immersion of these idols can do to the people indulging in the same.

Besides there are other sides to these processions as well. People, particularly the young ones in these processions are in a very intimidating mood. Many are drunk and dressed in disheveled clothes. Many of them wear fancy glittering clothes, headbands, ribbons, turbans and what not and with color powder applied to various parts of their body and clothes as though suffering clearly from identity crisis. This is accompanied by slogan shouting, frenzied dancing and music playing. Almost all other similar religions processions in this country share these traits. No wonder the word "juggernaut" that India gave the world stems from one of the most famous processions in the country, the famous temple procession of Jagannath at Puri in Orrissa. I was told that frenzied devotees would throw themselves at the wheels of the moving "Rath" (chariot) and kill themselves and hence the name.

Political processions on the other hand a tone of authority, autocracy and who-do-you-think-we-are and you-dare-not-mess-with-us undertones. It's worse if the procession is of the ruling party. I have stayed clear of most processions. But whenever I have accidentally come across political processions it is a disgrace to see how the men particularly the ones that are ferried in open trucks from outside the city look at women. These guys indulge in the "virtual" rape of women and girls by the way they stare at them. How boldly our women have learnt to live with this kind of sexual harassment.

There were days when processions were opportunities for communities to come together, foster brotherhood and spirituality but these days even these colourful events in the villages have politics and power as motive. Today it seems as though most of these activities are being exercised for escapism, as opportunities for venting out suppressed emotions and frustrations. Even in Singapore I saw it at the annual Theemithi (Fire walking) festival. It looked as though it was some psychological exercise these youths were indulging in to free their suppressed emotions and feelings (identity crisis certainly being one) than spirituality or God realization. After all did God want humans to jump into a bed of burning coals to understand Him?

Coming back to the idol immersion, I remember the community well at the end of our street in Velachery where I first lived. It was a big well with steps embedded inside the walls of the well in a circular fashion descending to the very bottom. Every "Ganesh Chathurthi" day the residents of the street celebrating the festival would indulge in chucking in their clay Ganesha idols at the end of the festivities. More than any religious feeling the objective of the dumping of the Ganesha idols in the well was to find out who made the biggest splash. As a small boy I watched and enjoyed the throwing of the Ganeshas into the well although our family was never used to such a process. In the years to come people started throwing in all kinds of rubbish and very soon the well became a garbage dumping hole. Over the years so much garbage was dumped into it that it was eventually closed. Can you imagine that! Ganeshas and garbage killed a life sustaining well!

In conclusion, envisioning that all such unwanted and purposeless processions will be banned someday I am reminded of J Krishnamurthy's sayings (not quoted verbatim) - "Burn all the Churches, Temples and Mosques of this Earth...and man will realise that he can still find God without them."

Saturday, September 09, 2006

What the hell was that?

On Thursday last, after work as I watched T.V I was horrified to see images of Telgi (the man behind the multi-crore (i.e millions) rupee stamp paper scam) being interrogated in a room in a Hospital in Bangalore. I wonder if this is standard operating procedure because for the first time I saw a man being interrogated under heavy sedation. He was lying down. Wires and tubes stuck to his body suggested his blood pressure, heart and maybe other vital organs were being monitored. Telgi is supposed to have been administered some "Truth Serum" which I believe is some highly intoxicated drug-dose. Telgi was lying down on a bed and hospital staff all dressed in traditional surgeon's clothing and with gloves and face-masks were positioned all around him. One lady was asking him questions from a note pad. Telgi was in a semi-concious state but it looked as though he was almost on the verge of lapsing into an unconcious state. It was just terrible to watch. The lady who was asking him questions was constantly slapping his face (gently but firmly) to make him speak. Telgi seemed to be answering only half of what was being asked. His answers were slow as an L.P record would play in "Slow motion" speed. Another person near his head was also constantly shaking him as though to keep him awake. It felt like a scene from a "concentration camp". Was all this done with his consent? An explanation of this unusual method of interrogation by any of the news channels would have been very useful. Instead one after the other they all went on and on and on describing the statement Telgi had given and the names he had mentioned of politicians and other high ranked people involved in the scam. One channed even boasting that their's was the first channel to do so and such. It just goes on to show the callouness of our media. First of all the media needs to know one thing: "THEY ARE SUPERSTARS WHEN IT COMES TO IMITATING THE WEST (U.S.A)". Every nuance of behavior, reporting, dressing and what-not are imitated. Indian media, particularly television has almost lost the word "originality". These guys have sold their souls to copying and imitating the west. Even if Telgi had been a hard core criminal was it just to show the bizzare proceedings of his interrogation to the public as it was done.

The only consolation is this. Why wasn't this procedure used on hard-core criminals? It could have avoided torture and better still, may have brought out the truths.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

One year of blogging.

Yes it is 2.45 A.M. Today is Onam, the big festival of the Malayalees world wide. Happy Onam to all you "Mallus".

I cannot believe one year of blogging has gone by. Last year on Sep 4'th I published my first article. 2005 was also the year of the blog, August 31'th was blog day and the blogger's conference is taking place at Tidel Park this weekend. The conference has been sold out. If not for my appointments on that day I would have keenly participated. Another reason to celebrate - I have received 100 favourable votes for my reviews on so far.

Here's a big "Thank You" if you have been a regular or a casual reader of my blog and reviews.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

A trip to remember

The "second season" as they call it in Ooty during this time of the year and having heard that it was already dristling showers there I was a bit apprehensive about our trip but it turned out to be my best trip to the Blue Mountains so far. Instead of staying at Ooty our stay was about 15 kms down at the quiter Coonoor. The weather couldn't have been better with ample sunshine and cool temperatures. A fine dristle of showers would take place now and then but it hardly caused a worry.

The Salvation Army's Christian Retreat centre, "Surrenden" was an idyllic resting place nested in the mountains which was to be our home for the three days of stay. The hospitality of manager Samson and his people was great. Food cooked at the mess was excellent too. Binny, Siji, Siji's mother and the little one Prahlad had already arrived the previous night from Bangalore by road on a trusted Scorpio which would be our means of transport for the next two days. Binny was at the wheel with Siji his trusted navigator. What a memory she had for the various points on the routes. Thanks to her we would never miss our way while driving.

Our families were meeting for the first time.

Sunday, Aug 3'th - After a sumptuous breakfast at "Surrenden" we then drove to places around "Coonoor" notably "Lambs Rock". Binny and Scorpio were the heroes of the day taking us effortlessly to places difficult for most other vehicles. Luckily we had started early and were able to avoid the crowd which were gathering fast. A guide helped us around the place and trekking through the forest up to the point from where we were able to see some breathtaking views. Monkeys infest the places these days. If you have anything eatable they charge at you. It's a knack they employ to get food from you. Hide your food and confront them cautiously and they will retreat. The weather with occassional fine spray of showers was a treat. The guide also helped us find a small rivulet where we could feel the water with our feet.

As we drove I couldn't help admiring the majesty of the mountains and the grandeur of God, and how these mountains make an infitismal part of the cosmos designed by Him. And our seers go on to say that there are things grander than these that God can show us. A feeling of anything is possible also enters your soul as you move through these mountains.

Back at Coonoor we had great food at the Blue Hills restaurant.

The trip wasn't without some adventure. Jaya was bitten by a leech. I think it was near the little rivulet that she must have made contact with the leech. The intriguing part was this. She felt no pain of either the biting or when the blood was being sucked. The leech had had its fill and had fallen off from the toe it had attached to. However the fine pore it had created where it had disabled the clot continued to bleed and it was only then we realised she had been bitten. With all that blood it looked frightening. Once back at "Surrenden" we were adviced to wash the wound with warm-salt water.

We took some rest and decided to spend the evening at Sims park. Without wasting a lot of time on tiring walks (though walking down to the park and up was a good workout) we rested well at Sims admiring the wonderful collection of trees there.
In places as these particularly the parks, people are euphoric. How nature lifts your spirits, inspires you with its peace and serenity where your heart and mind do things you never did before. No wonder saints found the peace of the hills and mountains perfect environments for searching for the truths. Poets, painters and singers found their inspiration alike. Others who do not realise this indulge in some activity to release this new found energy and inspiration. We found one couple and their small child playing a "catching game" oblivious to the passers by. Many others were indulging in similar passtimes. One group also trying to take pics using ususpecting pretty people for the background. There were people dancing, playing Kabbaddi and so on. I wondered why they couldn't just lay back and quitely enjoy the beauty of the place. Afer all isn't that more rejuvinating than the noise and commotion they are used to in the city.

On Monday we drove to Ooty. The day was getting more crowded. We spent some time at the Lake where we went for a ride. Somewhere in the middle of the lake I tried rowing the 8 seater but was exhausted in minutes. I realised it takes a knack to row and let the rowman take over soon. Did I say stars? We saw a couple of them. First, Kiron Tandon shooting at the lake in Ooty for a Telugu film. There were a couple of other ladies too but only Kiron was recognizable. I was stunned at the layer of makeup she was wearing. I wasn't keen on going to watch the film shooting though Jaya was nudging me to go there to take a closer look.

We then looked for a place to eat and Siji's informers suggested "Shinkows" (oh how I can never forget the place). The food was awesome! Next, buying home made chocolates from that place (was it Kings corner?) and that was where we saw some more stars. Esha Deol and Parisad Zorabian were shooting for a film. Standing just a couple of feet from Esha I asked one of the crew if I could take a picture of her. I was told not to. I obliged. We then walked up to the store to buy our stuff. A small crowd had gathered there to watch the shooting on the street below.

As Esha was walking to her post from where she was to be shot I tried to take a clever shot from where I was standing up above with my zoom. It could have been a great shot of a shy Esha with her head stooped low and looking down. "Hello, Hello" I heard a lady scream from below. "Look at her with your eyes, not with your lens" she continued. I couldn't forget those unforgettable words. I gestured saying I wouldn't.

Feeling like an idiot, I asked myself. Why the heck do I want to take a picture of Esha Deol? Would I do that to every actor I see in the streets? Why? To tell people he/she let me take his/her pic? Was that an achievement? In what way does that make me close to her? Even if it did are Esha and me going to be friends for life? Who are these people anyway? I found them cold. No one even cared to look at the people around. Maybe that's their statergy or maybe they are just sick of people starring at them. Had it been Jimmy Page or Niel Peart or one of those thousand stars I adore I would have even gate crashed but why for these people?

Makeup was doing more damage to them than enhance their looks. The lady next to Esha Deol had her boobs puffed up so big that even a child could say she had things stuffed inside the clothes of her chest. People on the stret were being cordoned of so that we may not appear in the shot. I began to think if we were going to be stuck on the shop above till those countless retakes end. Luckily there were only two. Esha and Zorabian were to just emote as though responding to the things the other ladies were saying as they cat-walked for the shot and here's the best part. These ladies were not even speaking. No sound uttered. Just lip-syncing as if they were talking something. I thought maybe it was some footage for a shot where only music is played. Even then what a put-on? Exemplifying Maya all the more. Man can simply denounce God and worship Maya then. In fact that's what many seem to be doing unconsciously anyway.

We then decided to spend the afternoon in the Botanical Garden. We saw similar things that we saw in Sims park. I and Binny just laid back on the grass to take a blissfully comforting rest. Chaithanya and Prahlad had fun in their own way while the ladies took a stroll. After spending a good deal of time we returned to "Surrenden". Prahlad by then had coerced his parents to buy his n'th car as toy.

There were other families that had come to stay at the "Surrenden". Among them were Kochu Krishnan and his wife Chandrika from Coimbatore. Jaya is on a high whenever she meets "Mallu's" on trips. Another family was from Madras comprising parents and their teen children (Esther and Grace) were good company on our last days after Binny and family left. The father of the kids also happened to be my super-senior at Madras Christian College.

Samson the manager of "Surrenden", his son Abishey, dogs Remo (the German Sheperd) and Tiger, were ample company for Chaithanya. With Murugan, one of the other staff, we trekked through the forest and walked down to a nearby Golf course where we did some fishing for a while in the small rivulets and ponds en-route. Murugan could only catch a crab that bit his forefinger. We let it slip away back into the water. The trek back up to "Surrenden" made us sweat. I thought it was good aerobic exercise for the heart. Samson would fill in with stories of how bison would frequent the forest and how during his school days he and his friends found a pair of Leopard cubs that they returned to the wildlife authorities.

On the day we left "Surrenden" the entire staff were there to see us off. It was a sad feeling. People in other parts of TamilNadu are so warm and respectful of one another unlike in Chennai. In and around Coimbatore and Ooty, they address you with the familiar "Annae". Only we in Chennai make all the culture-spoiler Tamil movies and vitiate their minds with the bad Tamil we know and speak here.

As we journeyed back to Mettupalayam in the toy train (my last ride for sure in that Claustrophibic thing) I couldn't help admiring the imposing might of the mountains and the beauty of the deep valley below. The electric poles and wires on top of these mountains go on to prove how great man (another of God's creation) also is.

Pics of the trip to be posted.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

The down-to-earth "Mallu" stars and a vacation

I don't know what's the coincidence with May/June and meeting famous Malayalam personalities. Last year for the vacation trip I had the good fortune of meeting some eminent Mallus, singer Unni Menon in the train in particular. While washing at the wash basin I started a conversation with him and told him how I had seen him in concert at the Jalakanteswara temple, I.I.T Madras many years ago in the 80's. My cousin who was visiting us was also present for the concert and mentioned that if the concert had been in Kerala there would have been atleast a couple of thousand would have turned up. Unni Menon was very friendly. He was travelling with family and like me was returning from vacation in Kerala with his boys. We would exchange smiles as I would walk to the wash basin and back and it was during one of those trips I made the audacious move of asking him "Would you like to meet my family". The modest Unni Menon cheerfully consented. We had a nice little chat. He was busy with work in Tamil and Telugu than in Malayalam. There was also an Indian Express guy among us who joined the conversation too. I could never forget my son's answer when he was asked by Unni Menon what he would like to become when he would grow older. "Spiderman" came the reply.

After the mother-daughter special in the popular Malayalam magazine "Vanitha" featuring singer Sujatha and her daughter Shwetha on the cover I just couldn't help writing about meeting them at my cousin's son's marriage reception. Thanks to Ragesh, my cousin's son, the groom and who also happens to be a recording engineer at Chithra's studio in Chennai, several singers were present. It felt great to tell Sujatha "Chechi I still listen to your "Kaalai Paniyil" after all these years. Sujatha did tell me that she continues to get requests for singing this song at concerts. It intrigued me when she asked me if I were a singer. I only smiled. I had a few words with Shwetha, her daughter. When I asked if Shwetha got her height from her dad Sujatha, without being offended answered that even her husband was a short person. We did talk about Shyam the yester-year music director and Jency the malayalam singer who gave Ilayaraja some very big Tamil hits in the late 70's and early 80's. I did mention about my meeting last year with Unni Menon and about my blog too. Wonder if they'll get time to read it lest they remember the site.

Singer Ganga was modest to even sing a few lines of "Azhage Brahmanidam...." to tell me the song she had sung for a Tamil movie. I did tell her that one of her college mates was my colleague at work. My friend's name seemed to ring a bell in her. Karthik seemed to be pre-occupied with something but he was kind to answer when I asked him about his current and future projects. Ragesh later told me that Karthic was already engaged to his love interest when he had come for the reception. The singer is married now. I missed the opportunity of telling him how much I admired the way he sang the Malayalam song "Agale". "Ra Ra..." fame Binny was also present but I didn't start a conversation with her.

We are off for a small vacation for this year. This time to Coonoor where I join my old friend Binny and his family who are driving from Bangalore. Wonder whom I'll meet on this trip.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Spread the Word

While the world is watching and searching on the internet for information on the Paul McCartney and Heather Mills split let me take a moment to support Heather and Paul for all their valiant efforts to stop several evils that are being perpetrated on animals by the Chinese and lately to a lesser degree by the Czech Republic and other nations. It's a shame that several top models including Cyndi Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and singer Jennifer Lopez are causing extensive damage by showing themseleves in clothing made out of dog and cat fur and promoting the sale of the same. Heather has called for a total boycott and ban of dog and cat fur as thousands of cats and dogs are being killed and skinned alive (even puppies and kittens aren't spared) in China.

China, the nation that is fuelling the dog/cat fur trade have the notorious reputation of eating any living being on earth. They even ate humans. Reader's Digest published a fantastic story of "The Most Wanted Man in China". I don't recall the person's name but having escaped from HongKong he spilled the beans on the Chinese revolution where school kids killed and ate cooked parts of the people they hated including those of their teachers. Who can forget the notorious "bear bile" products. I remember the documentary some brave reporters had filmed with hidden cameras of captive bears in unhygenic and unhealthy (poorly fed of course) clandestine operations in several parts of China. Metal tubes were stuck in their bodies directly connecting the liver from where bile was periodically extracted.

China must be on the no.1 spot for cimes against animals. On the spiritual side I am reminded of PrabuPadha founder of ISKON who said, "Tragedies of the worst kind will be come to the those who ill treat women and animals."

Heather has literally ripped Cyndi Crawford who once said she would rather go naked than wear animal fur. Today as Heather says, Cyndi Crawford has sold her soul for animal fur. Check out her views at the following link.

Heather Mills Note

Heather and Paul also run effective campaigns to stop the barbaric hunting of seals and support for the rehabilitation of landmine casualties. Check out her site and spread the word on the cruelty being done to dogs and cats in China.

Heather Mills McCartney

Back from a break

The good news is that blogs are up in this part of the world after the Indian Government ordered all ISP's to block all free blog services. Nice to be back online again. Feeling much better after Yoga, meditation and exercises. Boy what a feeling to be healthy and free from those "dizzy" days.

Meanwhile the FIFA World Cup is over. The final was probably one of the most lacklustre matches there has been. France could have done better and plagued by Zidane's infamous head butting. The more you see it the more frightening it looks. There were some amazing goals, particularly the ones from Argentina, the David Beckam fee kick goal, double header from Klose and team-mate for Germany and others I don't recall now. Ghana, turned out to be African nation that played some good games. My favourite Germany finished third. I felt so sorry for Klinsman.

Anyway nice to be back online again. Watch this space.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Will we see more of her again?

Just watched "Kanda Naal Mudhal" last night and we fell in love with the movie. It may be Laila's swan song but what a lovely movie. It is sad I missed this one on screen. Run and get the VCD/DVD. Quick and well paced with good editing the movie was so engrossing the movie seemed to happen so soon and it was over all. Very much worthy of a second-watch. Laila stole the show like she did in her previous good movie "Ullam Ketkume". Yuvan's music was great and so was the background music. "Pani Thuli", "Merke Merke" and "Kanda Naal mudhal" are lovely numbers that I also reviewed on my music blog. Good work by Prasanna and kudos to the director Priya V. Something really refreshing amidst the crap load of blood, screaming and vulgarity profusely used in Tamil movies these days. This movie is good for the family, with friends, with anybody who loves decent entertainment.

Monday, June 12, 2006


My dizzy feeling in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons took a toll on my happiness in the previous two weeks. My personal blog has suffered quite a bit though I manage to post reviews on Amazon and articles on my other blogs. I had to leave office for home a fourth time ever since this feeling of dizziness has been happening to me in recent times. What is surprising is that it peaks only in the afternoons around lunch time and on some days it's hardly there. My doc suspects it could be reactive hypoglycemia. After putting off my Glucose Tolerance Test for several weeks I finally took it and to my surprise I came so clean in the test that my doc now thinks I may have a phsycological problem. In the meantime I came across two inspiring incidents one of which I would like to share and one that helps me a lot when I would be discouraged and upset with my afternoon condition. The first is about Mark Inglis, the double amputee who scaled Mt. Everest a couple of weeks ago. But what really shook me is the story of Nick Vujicic, the child who was born without limbs. I got this in an e-mail forward and here it is, reproduced word for word.

My name is Nick Vujicic and I give God the Glory for how He has used my testimony to touch thousands of hearts around the world! I was born without limbs and doctors have no medical explanation for this birth "defect". As you can imagine, I was faced with many challenges and obstacles.

"Consider it pure joy, my Brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds."

....To count our hurt, pain and struggle as nothing but pure joy? As my parents were Christians, and my Dad even a Pastor of our church, they knew that verse very well. However, on the morning of the 4th of December 1982 in Melbourne (Australia), the last two words on the minds of my parents was "Praise God!". Their firstborn son had been born without limbs! There were no warnings or time to prepare themselves for it. The doctors were shocked and had no answers at all! There is still no medical reason why this had happened and Nick now has a Brother and Sister who were born just like any other baby.

The whole church mourned over my birth and my parents were absolutely devastated. Everyone asked, "if God is a God of Love, then why would God let something this bad happen to not just anyone, but dedicated Christians?" My Dad thought I wouldn't survive for very long, but tests proved that I was a healthy baby boy just with a few limbs missing.

Understandably, my parents had strong concern and evident fears of what kind of life I'd be able to lead. God provided them strength, wisdom and courage through those early years and soon after that I was old enough to go to school.

The law in Australia didn't allow me to be integrated into a main-stream school because of my physical disability. God did miracles and gave my Mom the strength to fight for the law to be changed. I was one of the first disabled students to be integrated into a main-stream school.

I liked going to school, and just try to live life like everyone else, but it was in my early years of school where I encountered uncomfortable times of feeling rejected, weird and bullied because of my physical difference. It was very hard for me to get used to, but with the support of my parents, I started to develop attitudes and values which helped me overcome these challenging times. I knew that I was different but on the inside I was just like everyone else. There were many times when I felt so low that I wouldn't go to school just so I didn't have to face all the negative attention. I was encouraged by my parents to ignore them and to try start making friends by just talking with some kids. Soon the students realized that I was just like them, and starting there God kept on blessing me with new friends.

There were times when I felt depressed and angry because I couldn't change the way I was, or blame anyone for that matter. I went to Sunday School and learnt that God loves us all and that He cares for you. I understood that love to a point as a child, but I didn't understand that if God loved me why did He make me like this? Is it because I did something wrong? I thought I must have because out of all the kids at school, I'm the only weird one. I felt like I was a burden to those around me and the sooner I go, the better it'd be for everyone. I wanted to end my pain and end my life at a young age, but I am thankful once again, for my parents and family who were always there to comfort me and give me strength.

Due to my emotional struggles I had experienced with bullying, self esteem and loneliness, God has implanted a passion of sharing my story and experiences to help others cope with whatever challenge they have in their life and let God turn it into a blessing. To encourage and inspire others to live to their fullest potential and not let anything get in the way of accomplishing their hopes and dreams.

One of the first lessons that I have learnt was not to take things for granted.

"And we know that in all things God works for the best for those who love Him."

That verse spoke to my heart and convicted me to the point where that I know that there is no such thing as luck, chance or coincidence that these "bad" things happen in our life.

I had complete peace knowing that God won't let anything happen to us in our life unless He has a good purpose for it all. I completely gave my life to Christ at the age of fifteen after reading John 9. Jesus said that the reason the man was born blind was "so that the works of God may be revealed through Him." I truly believed that God would heal me so I could be a great testimony of His Awesome Power. Later on I was given the wisdom to understand that if we pray for something, if it's God's will, it'll happen in His time. If it's not God's will for it to happen, then I know that He has something better.

I now see that Glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can't be used.

I am now twenty-one years old and have completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial Planning and Accounting. I am also a motivational speaker and love to go out and share my story and testimony wherever opportunities become available. I have developed talks to relate to and encourage students through topics that challenge today's teenagers. I am also a speaker in the corporate sector.

I have a passion for reaching out to youth and keep myself available for whatever God wants me to do, and wherever He leads, I follow.

I have many dreams and goals that I have set to achieve in my life. I want to become the best witness I can be of God's Love and Hope, to become an international inspirational speaker and be used as a vessel in both Christian and non-Christian venues. I want to become financially independent by the age of 25, through real estate investments, to modify a car for me to drive and to be interviewed and share my story on the "Oprah Winfrey Show"! Writing several best-selling books has been one of my dreams and I hope to finish writing my first by the end of the year. It will be called "No Arms, No Legs, No Worries!"

I believe that if you have the desire and passion to do something, and if it's God's will, you will achieve it in good time. As humans, we continually put limits on ourselves for no reason at all! What's worse is putting limits on God who can do all things. We put God in a "box". The awesome thing about the Power of God, is that if we want to do something for God, instead of focusing on our capability, concentrate on our availability for we know that it is God through us and we can't do anything without Him. Once we make ourselves available for God's work, guess whose capabilities we rely on? God's!

You can reach Nick at

Sunday, June 04, 2006

News from the Vacationers in Kerala

Jaya and Chaithanya just returned after a three week holiday from Kerala where it is raining cats and dogs. The South West monsoon struck during the last week of May and it has been raining without respite in "Gods Own Country". Maybe the repercussions are being felt in sweltering-hot Chennai with showers now and then including a big windy downpour on Saturday night that gave relief to many of the sleepers here in Velachery when we went without power. Amma and Achan had a wonderful incident to tell. They had been to the marriage of my cousin's son in the Guruvayoor temple. Amidst the thundering downpour some 225 couples got married that day. The place was a mess. It being an auspicious day for marriage couples booked slots and time on that day for tying the knot. Besides the decorated brides, grooms and their relatives, there were friends, camera crew and equipment, priests and regular devotees to the temple. At one point there was a small stampede when the gates of the "Sanctum Sanctorum" of the temple opened and some one rushing to the temple trampled one of mother's toes. The wound is still healing. I'd like to add something here about the marriages. For all these 200 odd couples only a handful (sometimes even lesser than that number) of priests conduct the marriages. Every time a couple is to appear before the priest (for the short duration of their marriage) their names are called. Now this is really a close call. It is a time when the the couple or their relatives have to listen carefully as there could be more than one person with the same name. This does call for confusion although mistakes are rarely made. One Malayalam movie was also made based on this confusion where one of the guys ends up tying the knot with the wrong girl with the same name as his bride.

We also had to hear the sad news that one our close family friends is now fighting cancer. We grew up together and she was like a mother to us. We treated and considered her children (like us, 2 brothers and a sister) as our own siblings. I will never forget her prawn curry and the innumerable times we have been at her place for lunch and dinner when we were here together in Chennai. Already having low blood pressure related problems I pray God gives her the strength to endure the 6 hr sessions that she has to endure on a regular basis where she is kept unconcsious for the entire period of the treatment. The other sad news was of a very distant relative Sangeeta who passed away in her early twenties in my mother's village of Arattupuzha. Sangeeta's sad story began 10 years ago when she was paralyzed in a car accident. Her newly wed brother was instantly killed and another suffered damage to his heart. The depression that the parents have been going through has been destroying them morally and physically too. May her soul rest in peace and may God give her family strength to "Go On".

Sunday, May 28, 2006

What a concert!

I had the feeling we were in for a "treat" and so it was. For one and a half hours Ganesh-Kumaresh, Arun Kumar, Keith Peters, Shyam, Satish Kumar and Ravichandra made Saturday night at Narada Gana Sabha an unforgettable one; the best contemporary Carnatic music or in my words "Fusion Music" concert I have ever been to in my life so far. Everyone present on Saturday night got their money's worth and more. Both carnatic music lovers and rock fans from the cosmopolitan crowd couldn't have got it better. The loud cheers and claps after every composition said it all. Each composition based on a popular raga was embellished with bass, drums and the piano giving it a universal appeal. Though not a single song was played from the "Colours of India" album it was a concert to remember.

Arun was the one I came to watch and with searing hot solo's including a nice duet with Keith on bass he delivered the stuff we came to watch him for.

However meeting Ganesh, ArunKumar and the others personally and talking to them was the icing on the cake. Ganesh with pen in his hand was already signing autographs and he gladly signed the back of our tickets. When my brother asked Ganesh why he hadn't performed "Taj Mahal", Ganesh reassured they would perform the number in their next concert very soon. I did tell both Ganesh and Arun that I had reviewed their "Colours of India" on my music blog as my very first review and Arun seemed very curious about it. If only I had written out in a card for them to remember. When asked about his kit called "Traps" Arun told me that he had purchased it when he had gone to the U.K.

While this was going on here, miles away in Indonesia over 4000 lives are lost to mother nature's fury. My prayers go to those suffering, dead and the bereaved. May their souls rest in peace.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

What Luck!

I must be really lucky. Ganesh-Kumaresh along with Arun Kumar on drums, Keith Peters on bass and others are performing in Chennai on Saturday the 28'th. Arun Kumar is the one I want to watch. After getting the mail from Sathi this morning I rushed to Landmark in Nungambakkam to get my tickets. At Odyssey in Adayar they have already sold out the Rs.100 tickets but at Landmark I could them. Can't wait for their concert that at the Narada Gana Sabha and to hear the songs "Taj Mahal", "Utsav" and the rest. Colours of India was my first review of an album on my music blog and I can't believe I am going to see the musicians of the album. Vijay (my brother- in-law)who is going to be back from Dubai on Saturday morning day is in for a pleasant surprise as I haven't told him of the tickets or the concert unless he is reading my blog. I am sure Arun Kumar is going to deliver what we missed at the Mynta concert where we longed so much for a drum solo and returned disappointed. Till then let me listen to "Taj Mahal", "Utsav" and "Ghambira" once more...

Friday, May 12, 2006

A break and a new "link"

Last week was plagued with computer problems and poor health. My dizziness had returned and it doesn't seem to leave me completely. I only found a little time to put a link from my site to my reviews on I have been reviewing stuff since 2004. Three of my well researched reviews on the horrible movie "The Passion of the Christ" were removed. Yes, you can report reviews and they will be removed by Amazon. I hadn't written anything against Christians or their beliefs. However I was vehemently against the unnecessarily barbaric and exaggerated brutal depiction of Christ's death. Amazon retained the votes I got for them though. It was then that I decided to start a blog on the same but the blog never took off. You can check my reviews by clicking the link in the links section on the sidebar on the right.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

A Link from my blogger friend

I found this link on Nermeen's blog and couldn't help including it on mine. A must visit if you care to stop or condemn the crime of Sex Trafficking.

Friday, April 21, 2006

My Wordpress blog goes live

Hello friends, my blog on great music that remains anonymous went live today with my first review being posted this morning. This is my way of trying to make these great albums and songs less anonymous by spreading the news about them. The blog is called great-anonymous-music. I must confess that this blog is dearer to me than my personal or my music blog. Boy am I passionate about it! The fun part is I use WordPress, the blogging software for this blog. If you are considering serious and professional blogging you must take a look at this software. It is highly flexible and can be tweaked with some effort but the learning curve is very small. You can tweak themes to give your blog a professional look. If you have your own domain and are on a hosting plan, WordPress is the blogging software you need to be checking out. The best part is this. It’s free and has awesome documentation and support. There are currently over 600 WordPress themes and counting. Imagine the choices you have for your blog’s theme. To learn more about WordPress here is the link,

Monday, April 17, 2006

Changes and some pics

We complete one month and a half of office work, play and dining together at the new office premises on Mt.Road. Our company bid goodbye to Tidel Park in February as we moved our office premises to the new location. The last day at Tidel saw much packing and photo sessions. Here's a pic that Sri took of me on the last day at Tidel Park.

Then there were the leavers. First "The Hulky" Joseph from our team. Joseph moves to pursue a career in Bangalore. Joseph and I have been together since 2003. The big guy will be missed. Here's an old pic taken with Rajeev's Nokia (then the costliest biggest and most versatile mobile phone in the company, Rajeev is in the background.)

And how can I forget John, the only guy who could do a fine impersonation of me (now poorly imitated by others). Here are some of John's pics on his final day.

Myself, John and Guhan

The guys with attitude pic. Prabhu, Muthu, John and Sri. Sri sporting a similar shirt on John's last day expressing his....

And of course Syed Mushahid, our hard working, skilled System Manager who also successfully oversaw our move to Mt.Road. He now leaves with his family to pursue a career in Dubai after some relaxing and holidaying of course. Here's me with Syed and his MVP of the month cup on his last day.

Others who left and will be remembered are Karthik, Ashok, Kshama and Annette. And of course Murali, biker David Ebenezer and his girlfriend Rejitha (I missed them in my original post).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Time and a Word

It was in February 1996 that I first left India's shores for a country abroad. The circuitous trip (to save travel fare of course) arranged by my company took me from Chennai to Bombay via the now defunct East West Airways. I will never forget how the full moon illumincated the clouds that night as we flew over the clouds. From the domestic airport in Bombay a shuttle took us to the international airport. From there Cathay Pacific took us to Thailand. How beautiful the airport looked in Bangkok and so different from our Indian counterparts. Even from the skies Thailand was simply stunning. Another Cathay Pacific flight took us to Singapore. It was like a dream for me. Time has flown ever since that day. So much has happened. So much pain and joy, trials and success. But a song that reminds me so much of "The Present" is this song from the second CD that I purchased in Singapore, my first of the band "Yes", called "Time and a word" from the Yes Highlights hits compilation CD. Here are the lyrics. Listen to this song if you ever get the chance.

Time And A Word

In the morning when you rise,
Do you open up your eyes, see what I see?
Do you see the same things ev'ry day?

Do you think of a way to start the day
Getting things in proportion?
Spread the news and help the world go 'round.

Have you heard of a time that will help us get it together again?
Have you heard of the word that will stop us going wrong?
Well, the time is near the word you'll hear
When you get things in perspective.
Spread the news and help the word go round.

There's a time and the time is now and it's right for me,
It's right for me, and the time is now.
There's a word and the word is love and it's right for me,
It's right for me, and the word is love.

Have you heard of a time that will help get it together again?
Have you heard of the word that will stop us going wrong?
Well, the time is near and the word you'll hear
When you get things in perspective.
Spread the news and help the word go round.

There's a time and the time is now and it's right for me,
It's right for me, and the time is now.
There's a word and the word is love and it's right for me,
It's right for me, and the word is love.
There's a time and the time is now and it's right for me,
It's right for me, and the time is now.
There's a word and the word is love and it's right for me,
It's right for me, and the word is love.

© 1970 Cotillion, BMI
* © 1970 Pennywhistle, BMI
**© 1970 Ten East-Cotillion-Springalo Toones, BMI
All rights reserved.

Friday, March 31, 2006

The abominable butcher is back

I couldn’t believe it when Sri brought to me the news of Mel Gibson’s next movie. It hit me like an electric shock. The first thought was this. How perfectly well I had forecasted that Mel’s next movie would be one closely related to or worse than the butchering of that he did in “The Passion”. One of my predictions was that he would make a movie on human sacrifice most probably of the Aztecs. I came very close. Mel’s next movie “Apocalypto” is about human sacrifice and the Mayan culture. If this trend continues you can expect more such gruesome stuff in the name of entertainment or movies from this very sick guy. I think this is really a wake-up call for me to finish what I so eagerly wanted to write about; the horrible movie “The Passion of the Christ” which was made for Mel’s sadomasochist desires disguised in the name of religion. “Apocalypto” and maybe many others to follow are only going to confirm this side of him.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A day I'll never forget - Part 4


As I alighted the auto to get back to Binny's home I wondered all the things I could tell my folks back at Chennai about visiting J.P. I was sure I would blow their minds. I even wondered how the Uriah Heep concert that evening would compare to the experience I just had at my school principal's place. The auto journey lasted less than 15 minutes. Only when I paid the auto guy on my return trip did I realise that the guy who took me to Promenate Road that morning had charged me double and that too without using the meter, a rare thing in Bangalore.

Binny's son Prahlad had returned from his day care centre. If only I had more energy I would have played with him all afternoon till I left for the concert. But I was mentally and physically drained out. Yet the little one was just too adorable to be left alone. The lunch was a feast. I stayed away from fried food. I thanked Binny's mother-in-law for everything. Afterwards I was so tired I tried hard to stay awake. I then walked a big stretch to inflate the plastic water tub I had got for Prahlad but I wasn't successful. I only got more tired in the process. I tried my best to give the little quick learner company. As I dozed off I could still hear him talking all kinds of things around the bed. It was so cute.

When I woke up at around 5.00 P.M the little one was still awake. Binny's mother-in-law had tea and goodies ready. I bit into some delicious stuff and was trying to remember the recipe to tell Jaya back at home to make them, some kind of sweet dosa rolls. I called Binny and it was sad to know he wouldn't make it. But he promised that if he ever got the chance he would meet me at Palace Grounds.

I arrived at Palace Grounds almost one and a half hours early. What a pleasure to take the auto in Bangalore and Kerala after the rip-off's that take place in Chennai. (Guys, it's worse in the temple city of Chidambaram). About a dozen or so people had turned up. I tried picking a conversation with one of the co-ordinators of the event and he even told me I could meet members of the band if I checked out the backstage. "Can today really be that wonderful", I asked myself. I did walk to the mammoth temporary shelter where the band was resting but the co-ord. there amidst tight seurity refused entry politely. I retreated to the entrance. The crowd seemed to grow by only a trickle. There were two entrances and a small queue was forming at one of them. After some more boring moments I decided to join the growing queue. I took opportunity to talk to one of the guys standing just behind me in the queue and we ended staying together till the end of the concert. Yogesh (Naresh, sorry if I got the name wrong) was a like-minded, rock fan from the same age group and like me had left his wife and child to watch the concert alone. In fact it wasn't a surprise that fans of Uriah Heep would be in this age group. But unlike me he had been to the JethroTull concert too. I had been to Tull's concert in Chennai(then Madras) in 1991 and one was enough. The waiting outside was getting impatient. Finally as we were let inside it was almost dark. What surprised me was the poor turnout. Hardly 2000 or even less and maybe a bit more by the end of the show. Bangalore didn't know what they had missed. We could go right up to the tip of the stage but decided to stay reasonably behind to enjoy the music.

Some half an hour behind schedule Uriah Heep took to the stage. Some vocal tune played in the background. The crowd cheered esctatically.

For the next hour and 45 minutes, with an almost non-stop gig Heep left all of us spell bound with a brilliant performance. Heep played tight and neat. No improvisations or solo's but there was hardly a moment that was boring or tiring. No wonder they are such a great live act even to this day.

"One of the greatest concerts I have ever been to", I heard the guy behind me say that to his friends. "Couldn't have said it better", I told myself. Only the band Bread's concert in Singapore that I had been to with my brother and sister in 1997 could beat Uriah Heep's concert in Bangalore that night. It's a pity that after JethroTull's concert at I.I.M Bangalore on the previous Friday and Bryan Adams concert on Sunday, just about 3000 or may be just 2000 might have turned up on Wednesday for Uriah Heep. But the fans who came for the concert got their money's worth and more.

Bernie Shaw on vocals kept cheering, talking and smiling to the crowd ensuring the tempo stayed up and that there was never a dull moment. The only other person in the band that could beat Bernie's smile was guitarist Mick Box, the only original member from Uriah Heep's inception. With his shy smile and awesome riffs Mick's onstage stance and presence is unforgettable. For both Bernie and keyboard player Phil Lanzon it was their first trip to India. Bassist Trevor Bolder and drummer Lee Kerslake had been here, as mentioned by Bernie, "...22 years ago..." The current line up have been together since 1986.

First came the new songs. They weren't bad. Then came "Free Me" their big hit and this was the first song to really shake the crowd. "Free Me!", the crowd joined in.
A couple of more new and not so old songs followed. To relax a bit an acoustic number with Phil on the keys also followed.

Then Bernie took time to introduce Mick to the crowd. Mick took the limelight and started the chords of "Gypsy". I screamed my lungs out! Being an audiophile I only wished Mick's guitar could have been a bit more louder. "Gypsy" was not studio perfect but it was performed well. "Gypsy" was followed by the classics, "The Wizard" and "July Morning" much to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd who seemed to join in whenever Bernie motioned to them to do so. I screamed yet again when Heep started one of their very big songs "Take a Look at yourself". The only downer was the way they ended the song. The original is a must-listen for anyone who listens to rock. The ending is simply an overkill. Donno if it was studio work, but certainly Heep is capable of playing such stuff.

The band took a break saying, "Goodbye" only to come back to a waiting crowd screaming "Easy Living" (of course they were going to be back on stage). And what did they play? "Easy Living" of course. I though it was the end. "You want more music?" screamed Bernie and Mick started playing his acoustic guitar and Uriah Heep were performing "Lady in Black". I couldn't believe it. For the next 5 or more minutes Bernie gave a vocal training class for the entire crowd with the song. Gesturing and singing he conducted the crowd like a master musician. People who sang, did it with their lungs out. What a finale for the show. I couldn't believe the concert came to an end with the same song that I had begun writing about on the blog about Uriah Heep some few posts ago. My voice had changed with all that screaming and singing.

Binny was waiting outside. So sad he was not able to be with me at the concert. After introducing my new friend from the concert we left for home. To the inquisitive Binny I start narrating things from the concert....


Friday, March 03, 2006

IIT'ians form New Political Party in India

I have to interrupt my concluding post on the unforgettable day with this one before it is too late. After reading about them in "The Hindu" today that they are going to contest in the elections in TamilNadu and Kerala, this post is long overdue. Ever since my brother wrote to me about them I have been thinking of posting this info. "Paritrana" has been formed by four ex-IIT'ians. Check them out, read about them, join
By the way, like some others I am not going to attribute the formation on this party to Mani Ratnam in any way. That's just rubbish.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A day I'll never forget - Part 3

(this post took me days to write...)

I was really sad when Binny said it was doubtful if he would make it to the concert as he had an important overseas call to attend to at 6.30 P.M. However he promised he would do his best. Breakfast almost resembled a meal after which Binny headed off for work. Siji would be leaving in a short while later. The little one was up but I gave him time to get used to the stranger in the house. It was also time for me to leave. As I was getting ready I was wondering if my ex-principal's address that I got from my school was the right one. How sad that she did not leave a phone number. Was it to remain private? Would she be here in Bangalore or had she gone abroad to one of her children? I had many questions on my mind. I was just left with the optimism that my hope gave me. Promising Binny's mother-in-law that I would be there for the lunch she was preparing for me I stepped out into Charles Cambell Road to find an auto to take me to the address I dearly held in my shirt pocket.

All autos seemed to be heading in only one direction and none of them were prepared to take me to Frazer Town. Finally I managed to talk one guy in knowing fully that he was ripping me off. Hard to believe that he was Tamil. But I just didn't care. All I wanted was to see J.P, my "Princy", just one more time. Though it was hardly a 10 minute ride, the auto driver didn't seem to know the way. He was asking me to ask people for directions and I had to tell him it wasn't my job to do so. Fortunately wherever I turned to it seemed there were tamil speaking people who gave me directions. Very soon we were riding on Promenate road and luckily the words "Aaron Moore" on the compound of a building flashed past my eyes. I instantly asked the auto driver to stop and turn around. I couldn't believe I was actually standing before the building. I was still in doubt. Would J.P be here? A security guy came towards me and I did not waste time to enquire about Mrs. Jabamalai Peter. When he said that they live here, I thanked God profoundly. He then told me sadly, "You just missed Mr.Peter. He just stepped out. But Madam is inside." That's all I wanted to hear. I enquired about the nearest flower shop where I could buy flowers and hurried to the auto. The impatient auto driver said he would take me there for the same fare but not any further. The florist was a kilometer away. Once I reached there I tried to negotiate with him a trip back to Promenate Road but this time he was almost in a ready-to-fight mood and started his unreasoanble terms. I paid him the fare to get rid of him. For the boquet I chose bright red just-about-to-bloom roses (big rose buds just opening). The boquet turned out to be more beautiful than I thought it would. On the card I wrote "To my most respected and beloved Principal". I tried walking the route back to Aaron Moore but I decided to take the auto for fear of spoiling the flowers. What if princy had to leave the apartment for something? I checked that with the security a second time as soon as I got there. This time I just had to pay the minimum fare for the ride.

As I walked into the beautiful frontyard my heart was already beating fast. Would she recognize me? She used to have a photographic memory. Apart from the flowers, I also carried with me photographs from my school days, photographs of my son, my wife and our entire family comprising my parents, my brother's family and my sister's family and my Canon SLR. My brother and sister had also studied in the same school. I was directed to the first ground floor on the left. As I approached the door slowly, I saw a maid cleaning the entrance. I asked her to call for the lady of the house and told her who I was. The maid went inside. I strained hard to hear the conversation but could hardly hear a sound. I couldn't believe that my principal was inside and it was just a few seconds before I would see her. The smiling maid returned asking me to come in and be seated. "Madam will be here in a moment" she said. When I tried to remove my shoes the maid assured it was alright and that I could enter wearing them. I could already see how impeccably clean and fresh the home looked. "Yogah Karmasu Kousalam" in action. It almost reflected the way princy used to maintain VanaVani. Somehow I also began to get a feeling of the inside of church. Almost everywhere I looked there were pictures of Jesus or the Holy Cross and items related to prayer and worship. There was just two photographs in the room. One I guessed was that of Father Murphy. The other on a coffee table was of three people and of them I could recognise two. They were the daughters of my principal, my super seniors at school. I waited, sitting on the edge of the sofa seat staring at all doorways not knowing from which one she would emerge. A few more minutes went by, my hands were beginning to feel cold and then.....she appeared! Walking in slow steps and slightly slouching on her feet as if there was a limp she approached the guest in the room. Gone were the elegant sari, the neatly done hair ball or the perfume. Most of her hair had greyed but her intellect and will power shone from those dark powerful eyes. The strict disciplinarian she was, she was neatly and plesantly dressed for her age in some kind of skirt/gown/overalls combination. A strange sense of disbelief and curiosity was there on the face that I had not seen in 20 years. She hadn't seen me for 20 years either. Without wasting a moment I stood up, approached her with the flowers and said the words with all the excitement and respect I had for her, "Maam, I am S L Subash, VanaVani student from 1971 to 1985. I have come to see you from Chennai, after 20 years". I saw an intense suprise, excitement in my principal's eyes. I even wondered if she was angry but I was ready to take anything from her. "Twenty years, twenty years...", she repeated in her disbelief and she was almost shaking as she took the boquet from my hand. I held her hands as she almost fell into my arms. It was so intense I couldn't believe I had tears in my eyes. "Idhu Naan Valartha Pulla ma, yen pulla, naan valartha pulla ma..." she proclaimed to her maid in tamil, who was also watching the scenes. "Tell me, tell me, where are you now, what are you doing, why did you come to Bangalore, how did you know I lived here.......", the innemerable questions poured from her non-stop. I answered them patiently. "Sit Down here, I'll get something for you, Kalai inga vaa ma......." her excitement knew no bounds. I just thanked God, He kept her alive all these years for this moment. She asked me sit on the sofa and as she was counting the flowers I told myself, "Oh my God, was the count correct". "Beautiful roses, beautiful roses", she said and quickly got up to arrange them in a vase. "Those are angel flowers" she said pointing to the white small flowers on their green stems that were arranged between the roses. I had something to learn from her even now. For the next 30 minutes or so we were competing with each other with a volley of questions and answers as though we were left with only a few minutes of meeting time. It looked as though we had a zillion things to tell each other and I was surprised to hear and learn many things about school, her life, friends and teachers. Most of the time I would just stare at my principal or hold her hands as I gave time for her to do the speaking. At times when I would caress her back or her knees I realised how old age had caught up with her. Her knees were swollen and in the cold Bangalore weather I wondered how she bravely fought her arthritis condition. As we continued talking she walked to the kitchen (another neat room) to get me some goodies (murukku, the thin vadai and laddus made of milk and ghee). She told me they were all home made. They were very good indeed. I avoided the sweets though. As we talked further I learnt later the truth about several of my teachers. Many of them had died, some very painfully. I did tell her how the English and the education that VanaVani had taught me had been of immense help during my years in Singapore and the U.S.A.

I then showed her the photographs I had brought along. There were pictures of me in my third and fifth standard. My XII Std. photograph was there too but unfortunately I wasn't there in the picture as I had not come to school that day but my principal did. Princy was sharp in identifying most of my classmates. She corrected me even when I got one of those names wrong. Behind one of those photographs I requested her to write for me and sign her name which she gladly did. At 76 years her writing had become a little shaky but I thought 76 was an achievement indeed for a person who had been through a lot in life. How nice it was to see that same signature that used to be on my report cards every month, every year for almost 12 years. I thanked God again for this moment.

(Fifth Standard, J.P is not in this picture. I am in the top most row, standing 6'th from right, the little dark guy with the crooked grin)

It looked we could go on for a full day talking things. There seemed to be an endless list of topics for discussion. It would be another hour or so (I am not sure) before Mr. Peter would turn up. Mr. Peter had undergone a bypass surgery of the heart. He seemed cheerful and young. Not many people could still retain the sense of humour he still had at this age. Together they showed me the house. It was a comfortable house for the couple. There was yet another photograph of J.P in her younger days with her daughters in another more spiritually peaceful room and I instantly recognized my seniors as those were the faces still fresh in my memory.

For the first time in its life (10 years) my Canon SLR let me down. It wouldn't load the film in the case. I tried several times but it just wouldn't work. I didn't know if it was the problem of the camera or the roll of film. "If I had only borrowed my sister's digital camera", I scolded myself. I only wondered when there would be a next time for me to take pictures with princy.

I had to take leave as I know Binny's mother would be waiting for lunch but I just hadn't had enough of talking with J.P and Mr.Peter. I gave my principal my company card on which she wrote my name as she would always address me "S.L.Subash". She then took other details of mine such as address, phone numbers of my home, my parent's home, my mother's name and my father's name. As I was about to take leave promising I would certainly visit her again, stay with her for a day, bring my family...,I bent down to touch her feet. "You must not do that, you must not do that." she cried and with an affectionate hug cheeked both my cheeks with hers.

Mr. Peter called security and fetched me an auto. I left Aaron Moore, Promenate Road feeling accomplished and deeply moved. In all this excitement I forgot yet another thing, to get J.P's phone number. But will I go and visit her again next time I go to Bangalore? Yes, of course.

To be concluded...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

A day I'll never forget - Part 2

Sleeping in the side uppper berth is certainly not comfortable, but I tried hard to get some sleep with much twisting and contorting. Anyway it helped me stay awake to check the time on my watch. The train was scheduled to reach Bangalore Cantonment at 4.00 A.M but I think I overestimated the punctuality. I was up at 3.00 A.M and the train would reach Cantonment only at 4.45 A.M. I felt so sorry for Binny who would be waiting for me there. One of the girls who was sleeping in the upper berth almost stepped on my shoulder as she was trying to get down in a hurry when the train arrived at the station. "You should have been up at 3.00 A.M, girl", I almost wanted to say but my mind was not on any of such things. My heart was already racing anxiously to see the friend I had never seen in 10 years. As I alighted into the platform into the cold Bangalore weather with my jacket fully zipped, ears and head covered with my tuke I frantically looked for Binny. He wasn't there. I started walking towards the exit knowing I would bump into him any moment in a rapturous welcome. But Binny was no where to be found on the platform. I then passed the ticket collector on the gates of the exit to whom I gave my ticket. Within seconds my head scanning the waiting area like a radar fixed my gaze on a familiar face I had seen 10 years ago. It was Binny who was also looking straight at me. Smiling wide from ear to ear we ran to each other in an embrace that simply melted away the years of seperation. Binny had put on some weight but most of his hair had turned completely white. A volley of questions and answers about life, career, friends and family followed forgetting how tired we really were. He had also been up since 3.00 A.M that day. His normal hours at work are also stretched to hours after sundown. He had come driving and so there wasn't any hassles for transport.

We reached his roomy and comfortable apartment in Cox Town in 15 minutes or less. Binny's wife was up and the hot tea she made for us kept us awake for more talking. Seji also hails from Panampilly Nagar in Ernakulam where my wife also used to live at the time of my marriage. How small the world is. I had brought photographs of Binny, myself and friends when we were at I.T.C, in Thiruvottiyur, Chennai in 1995. How different we looked then with so much hope and promise about the future. After talking for some more time Binny suggested we drive to a place to meet someone. I thought that would be a fine idea so that Seji could get some sleep. As we drove to the vicinity of the L.I.C building that morning and parked beside the neat road there, I recalled the days when I would visit my brother in the late 80's and early 90's when he was doing his Engineering at M.S.R.I.T. It was so much fun, those days. I immersed myself in these thoughts enjoying Bangalore's early morning calm and cool weather as Binny walked across the road to do some business with a friend on the other side. On our way back we stopped at one of those tea/snack stalls that Bangalore is filled with. It was a working day afterall and Binny had to rush to work.

By the time we reached home Seji and her mother were already preparing breakfast. The little one, Prahlad was going to be up any moment. Although I was feeling a bit tired I knew I had to save all my energy for the most overwhelming moment of the day which was to happen in just a couple of hours.

To be continued...

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A day I'll never forget - Part 1

What a truly unforgettable day Feb 8'th turned out to be. It was also this day 10 years ago that I stepped into the now defunct East-West Airways flight enroute to my first trip outside India, to Singapore. The circuitous trip would take me to Bombay's domestic airport and then from Bombay's International Airport to Singapore via Bangkok. Why that long roundabout trip instead of a direct flight is another story. I hardly could have guessed then what I would be doing 10 years later.

Exactly on the same day 10 years later, I am on the Mysore-Kaveri express train heading for Bangalore from Chennai for three important reasons. First, to meet an old friend after a decade. In fact I was with Binny for a month when he started his software career in Bangalore in 1996. I was working for another software company, also in Bangalore. Hardly three months later I was off to Singapore. Though I was in touch with him till 1997 contacts with Binny ceased. It was just a few months ago while searching in an old diary that I located his Kerala address and phone number which fortunately had not been changed. I tracked him down with that information and boy did I surprise him. We have been in touch ever since. He had changed three jobs, have got married and also had a son. I was only eager to see him and his folks but had no idea how he would look after all those years.

The second and most important reason, to meet my most respected and admired school principal after a period of 20 years. What a shame that I visited the only school I went to only once after leaving school, and that too the very next year of leaving to write an examination. I have met teachers and classmates on and off outside school but I wonder why was I an introvert in going to school and seeing my teachers or friends whom I respected and loved so much.

And finally the third reason. Going to watch Uriah Heep about whom I had written so much in my previous posts. They were playing in India (Bangalore/Chennai) after 23 years. My friend Binny was a big fan and it was he who had given me a "Best of Uriah Heep" cassette, during our first time together at Chennai.

To be continued...

Sunday, February 05, 2006

A Sad loss in the family

On Friday, a week before, we were told the news of a distant aunt's passing away in Kerala. The rotund, lively and cheerful aunt will definitely be missed. It is sad I will not be seeing her anymore on any of my future trips to Aratupuzha, my mother's native place in Kerala. However none of us were prepared for what was to happen on the morning of Sunday the 29'th. My uncle, the eldest of my mother's siblings and the last surviving maternal unlce passed away in his sleep. A man who lived heartily till his death and yet went through so much emotional pain in his life, he had the priviledge of seeing his closest of relatives just the previous night of his passing away. Everything seemed to come to a standstill for us because it was quite unexpected. My uncle was supposed to be discharged from hospital on Sunday after he was admitted for a brief illness. For a person of 77 years he was perfect in health. As the flames engulfed his body in the electric crematorium my brother, to make sure even asked me if he is still in a coma. There was no sign of any decay or odour even after 28 hours of his death (he was kept in a freezer box though). How healthy he looked. There was no sign of any stiffness in any part of his body either. Only that his body felt so cold. Not surprising for a person who deovoted much of his lifetime in deep spiritual endeavours. He was probably the most religious person in our family. Only his mother (i.e my grandmother) could come close. My uncle had mastered reciting the Gita from memory at a very early age and was a strong believer in The Christ. Years later he would confess to me about the awakening of the Kundalini Shakthi in him and the unbelievable experiences he had after it was raised to his Ajna Chakra.

My biggest regret though is the fact that I didn't do ENOUGH and give ENOUGH to a man who lived a very simple life. All he ever wanted was to be in the company of his folks and probably share a simple meal with them. If only I could have him back for one day. But can that happen? My only small consolation is that I was there for him during several of his difficult times but those things seem trivial in the face of his passing away.

It is overwhelming how 77 years of living can be put to an end in an instant. All the emotions of pain and suffering and happiness of all of those years, gone in a flash. How death can suddenly expand the conciousness. How silly and stupid some of my actions seem. How forgiving the mind becomes. All of a sudden there is a feeling that there is hardly any time left. So why not make most of it by being the best, doing the best you can at all times to anybody and everybody.

Here's a picture of my uncle in his 20's. An ardent fan of Thiagaraja Bhagavathar, he even met his matinee idol when he came to Madras searching for work in the early 60's.

My uncle had an interest to go to Dubai. Here's a pic he had taken then for the passport at G.K.Vale and Co.

My uncle weeks before his passing away.

Even Led Zeppelin themselves would not have detracted me from my decision of not going to the concert at Saarang that night. What concert anyway? I went to I.I.T and amidst the deafening noise of the informals (which I found to be so immature for my age) around the venue of the concert I sold my tickets easily. I later discovered that the concert was a shameful fiasco. More on that later.

And if that wasn't enough I learn the suicide of another very distant relative. Her entire life was a tale of tragic love and one that will make even the classics look puny. I only pray that the souls of these lovable people lie in peace and that the lessons that their deaths have taught me remain unforgotten.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Just wrote about them, and here they are, Uriah Heep in India, again!!!

Machaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! I screamed to my friend in Bangalore as I called to tell him about Uriah Heep's concert in Bangalore on the 8'th of next month. I had just written about Heep's historic concert at I.I.T, Madras in 1983 and I couldn't believe it when I went to their site for some information only to discover that they are playing at Palace Grounds next month. Tickets go on sale from Friday the 27'th onwards. Check the site.

Uriah Heep's concert in Bangalore

On the band's site it also says that one of their members Goalby, was attacked and bitten onstage during the concert in Banglaore for which he had to take shots for Rabies. Check the link to find out.

Uriah Heep's 1983 concert in Bangalore

A Revelation!!!

Question: Which is the biggest rock band/act to have played inside the campus of an Univertsity or College in India?
Answer: If you said Uriah Heep, I.I.T, Madras then I'll call you one true rock fan. But chances are that a) You live in or around I.I.T Madras. b) You are a resident of Chennai c) You are a die-hard hard rock fan. d) You are a "Heepster", a die-hard fan of Uriah Heep (so what's the big deal with the options? I just wrote them anyway.)

Now that I.I.T's annual cultural fest "Saarang" is on I though it would only be apt to mention about the biggest rock event that took place here in Chennai many years ago.

The year was 1983 and the month, October. The event took place at the O.A.T (Open Air Theatre), the venue of a countless concerts, cultural events, rock shows, movies, school events, you name it. I learn from Uriah Heep's website that the band also played at Bombay, Bangalore, New Delhi and Calcutta that year but I doubt if it was played at a college/university venue.

Heep were in their prime. A very big act in rock and heavy metal with a huge and growing fan following around the world. Their popularity rivaled and beaten only by bands such as their close relative, Deep Purple. In fact if you guessed why their earlier sound, sounded very much like Deep Purple it was because these guys were practicing (for a while) in the same building where DP were practicing their hits. (Source: Inner sleeve notes of the 30'th Anniversary of DP's classic "In Rock" CD)

Hits like "Gypsy Queen", "Take a look at yourself", "Firefly", "July Morning", and "The Wizard" would only convert first time listeners into loyal fans. Any avid rock fan of the 80's will remember "The Dance", the staple of rock bands playing competitions in the city in the mid 80's.

But hold on. Here's something I stumbled into that blew my mind while searching for info about Uriah Heep's I.I.T concert. I chanced upon this quiz on Kamal Hassan where I discovered something incredible. Remember the tamil movie "Kalayana Raman" starring Kamal Hassan and Sridevi and the hit song "Aaaha vandidichu, aasayil odi vanthaen...."? The song begins with an "Enhaaa, Enhaaa, Enhae, Haaanh, Enha, Haaanh" which is exactly what is sung in Uriah Heep's song "Lady in Black" from their 1971 album "Salisbury".

I am not implying that Illayaraja lifted a tune but someone related to or associated with Illayaraja did. How else can such a tune be lifted off a song? The chances are one in a million or maybe a zillion.

I regret I didn't go to the concert. I was still in school then and months away from giving my Matriculation exams. I remember stopping at the O.A.T to watch the Goliath of a set being built as I rode back home after school. Tickets for the concert sold for just Rs.10/-. A friend who went to the concert said it was excessively loud that she had to cup her hears frequently to listen to the deafening sound. Her brother told me that lead guitarist Mick Box got so high that he started playing his guitar with the pots lined up there for decoration. I truly missed them and also missed being a part of history

Having written that, here's another question. Who else do you think were a bigger act than Uriah Heep to visit Chennai, or was there a bigger act? Was it Osibisa (in the 70's?) or Jethrotull (1991) or MLTR (2000). I am sure you have your own favorites but in my opinion there WAS one such band. In my opinion they were the best ever. I'll leave that discussion for another post. Till then let me keep you guessing. I'll leave you with some clues though. This band were one of those great bands that lived most of their lives in anonymity. However their contribution to rock music were collossal. When they played here in Chennai they toured with "The Boomtown Rats". Yes, the very same band fronted by Bob Geldof. Bob Geldorf would later go on to concieve 1985's "Live Aid" and also be involved with Live 8 in 2005. I am not sure if Bob Geldorf was in the band then but Boomtown Rats WAS his band and they DID come here.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Kissing in Indian Ads?

Yes and it's on TV. Next time you watch TV and if you catch Chevrolet's new luxury car advertisement, don't impatiently change channels. It happens towards the end of the ad. and it lasts for a fraction of a second. Not a steamy one but a gentle one on the lips.

Smooching cannot be far behind. Coming soon to a TV near you.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Greed Moves America? It moves Indians too. Part II

It has hardly been two weeks since I posted an article on that notorious chain mail and I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw a similar mail in my inbox at work today. We almost had a blast. Sri promptly replied to his sender with "HAAAAA HAAAAA HAAAAA's and HOOOOOO HOOOOO HOOOOO's". Others were curious and someone called to attention the article on my blog too. However in this chain mail the guys from Cognizant simply ruled. There could have been a hundred or more e-mail id's and names. Cap Gemini and others were there too. One thing that was common between the mail that I previously posted on the blog and this one was the false affirmations of those who claimed they got the money. The rest were different senders. I am not reproducing the mail here for two reasons. 1. To avoid wasting storage space and 2. Most important, to save that "anonymous" commenter on my previous blog a heart attack. I am sure this chain mail is going to be around for another five years or more or as long as the stupidy and greed lasts. What a shame!

To read my first article on this chain mail click the link below.
Greed Moves America? It moves Indians too