Saturday, November 17, 2007


Ok, here is a "real" rocking band. On my recent trip to Kerala I was so fortunate to watch them on the Rosebowl channel and twice. Calling themselves the first ever Alternative Malayali Rock band "Avial" is a band to watch out for. Guys,note that they sing Malayalam. Yes Malayalam, and that's what make them stand apart. I was instantly hooked. Back in Chennai I tried searching their album (which by the way is long overdue and very eagerly awaited) on the regular sites but check out following links from YouTube. All their performances on Rosebowl are there. Awesome stuff!

Karukara must be your first song. (The girl in the band is not a permanent member of the band.)

the others:



Nada Nada

even the remixed video of Nada Nada is good.

Awesome stuff! Check them out.

Malayalees are you listening? If these guys go on with songs like these they are going to become part of culture.

Avial online is at

The other band that rocked was Bennet and the Band with stellar performances from Karthik, Jyotsana and Gayathri doing extended versions of popular songs fused with classical and western music. It was nice to watch these singers unwind and do something other than what they normally do.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Diwali Eve, 2006 - Vizual springs a lovely surprise!

And I continue blogging again...

This is a report that was supposed to go out last year but as they say it's never too late.

Many could have hardly imagined that the employees of the company would spring such a beautiful surprise as they did on Diwali Eve, 2006 when it was declared as "Ethnic Wear Day" coinciding with the Diwali festival. Departments competed with one another to win the prize for the Team with the best ethnic theme. Boy was it a day to remember! The ladies were in with some very pretty and colourful sarees, jasmine flowers, colourful bangles and et all really making it difficult for me to decide who the best dressed one was though I could narrow to a handful of them after some difficulty and some tips from friends. As for the men, with traditional Dhoties many of them looked like prospective grooms.

As the smallest team in the competition we opted for a simple design, Rangoli, painting on a chart and decoration with lamps and decorative lighting. I think we did best without our important performer, our Manager who had to take off that day due to personal reasons. Our neighbours the Technical Suppport team were the noisiest of the lot but for good reason. No one could match their zeal. They had a bigger Rangoli done, elaborate decoration with Banana shoots, Mango leaves and even a game for visitors. I think they deserved to win for their enthusiasm.

The developers (.Net) were the only guys who had a solid theme. QA was the other team with a theme and they did well to decorate their very big department well but fell short of their performance. Maybe their theme just didn't click with the judges. However I wish (like another friend said) QA had received a consolation prize for their ladies who had come dressed so well.

But the PST team was the one that took everyone by surprise. What they did was Surreal! Located in the basement they creatively set the stage for winning the competition, jointly with the Tech Support guys. I wish I had captured their display exactly how it looked with a manual setting on my camera instead of using the flash. Their their theme might not have been the best but the ambience (lights, music) and hospitality were what I guess got them the prize.

The prize finally went to both the PST Team and the Tech Support team. Here are some pics. All these snaps from my SLR were scanned from prints so if the clarity is less
adjust your monitor's brightness and contrast settings. Click on the image or open it in another instance of the browser to view it bigger. In any case I have provided a link at the bottom of the article to download the entire original set.

Starting with the people who made this happen, Pallavi and Vivian, who also partly judged the competition.

Next the guys who made the basement a "romantic" getaway. The PST Team.

Of course who could forget the vociferous Tech.Support team that day.

Another pic of the Tech.Support team without their star "cheerleader", Sathya.

The ever-growing QA team.

Don't they look a bit over crowded? So let's split them up. The ladies first.

..and then the gentlemen.

The Developers team.

Front desk, Accounts/Finance and IT Hardware teams.

And finally not to forget my own team, the Fab 4 from Technical Writing.

If you need the original sized pics you can get them at the following link.
Vizual Ethnic Day, Diwali '06 Pics
You will need Winrar from to open the .rar file. It is similar to Winzip.

Vizualites, I am not with you guys but I hope you have a rocking Diwali this year as well. Best wishes!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Blogging halted!

To those of you who have been reading my blog regularly or irregularly I have to inform that the blog is being temporarily halted. There is a possibility that I may shut it down too. Too many things are going on (work, personal things) that there is hardly any time to blog. Will keep you posted. Subash.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Accident

It has been just over a month now and I finally received Suchi's driving license from The Police in Guidny, but I will never forget the call, made immediately after the impact from Suji who called in on the Sunday afternoon at around 2:00 P.M. All she said was "Subash can you come...I have met with a big accident.... Although I feared for her and mother who were in the car something was telling me that they were perfectly alright. Before I could even ask her for details she just told me where the accident had taken place. I couldn't believe that after seeing so many accidents (or the aftermath of accidents) on that road our car would also one day be involved in one. I dashed to the accident scene as fast as I could on my scooter. Suji and mom looked severely shaken but hardly hurt. I thanked God immensely for his protection. There was a huge crowd. The accident was almost head-on. An overspeeding share-auto had hit them head on. The car was damaged on the front side. It had all happened in a fraction of a second. Our car turned 360 degrees and hit the median. The overcrowded auto meanwhile tipped and went dragging on its side for about 10-20 metres injuring several people in it. Two of them had fractures. By the time I was there the injured were being rushed to the hospital. Sathish, my brother also immediately joined us. After dropping off mother at our home on his way back an auto hit him too in his rear and sped off without stopping. Sathish's new car had yellow marks on the rear bumper of his car.

Our ordeal had only begun but at the end of it all it has been one big experience that shook us, enlightened us and even philosophically expanded our minds and vision. Though the traffic constables, the investigator found fault with the auto driver (before I arrived at the scene the people who gathered around were roughing the guy), at the Police station the entire blame was put on sis. What happened afterwards seemed even comical at times. I will not go into details for several reasons but to make it brief every accident seems like a new business venture or a lucrative sales lead for many people. The Police station, the police, the RTO, the courts the people who come there, and all the things that go on here make you wonder if there is a method to the madness. On what basis is the entire system thriving and going ahead? Has the human concience ceased to exist? Can we call this Human existence a civilized one? Can we even call it an existence? Looks like animals are much better off.

I am thankful to God that we are out of it although we pleaded guilty where we had no other choice. We just have to wait for the car to be back in good shape.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Spider Man 3, INOX and other things...

Two weeks ago I made my first trip to the Chennai Citi Centre (Oh yes, long overdue) and what a pleasant trip it turned out to be. Just a month ago people of Chennai woke up to read on the front page of "The Hindu" that the mall was given a notice of demolition for violation of some construction laws. I am sure by now it has been taken care of. We were six of us and we could reach the destination faster and quicker than reaching the Sathyam complex. We opted for Valet parking and the entire thing was a pleasant show. Shopping inside was neat and convenient too. The entire place looked well maintained.

Inox was our destination and the complex was as good and even better than the complexes I we had been to abroad. Everything was picture perfect and very well maintained. I had booked SpiderMan 3 tickets online and unlike the Sathyam's online site you don't need to possess an online account to book tickets. Talk of things getting better.

I must say it was a good experience at the movie. I thot' Spiderman 2 was my favorite but I guess Sam Raimi had no other choice for this installment and therefore you get more melodrama. The FX are terrific most of them done here in Chennai by Frameflow (now Sony Imageworks). After wathching movies at home on T.V and Computer I did find the sound pretty loud at the cinema but then it has to be that way, isn't it?

My wife and son had the privilege of seeing S3 at Sathyam on Day 1 of its release. Thanks to Jaya's friend who is a multi-media designer at the company that did the special effects for S3 and who is offered complimentary tickets for the show, well actually a "Project Presentation" because the entire project team behind the movie along with their project managers from the U.S.A were all there. Anu would tell my wife which scene she had worked on and so on. When the final credits were being shown the entire team waited to read the names of their project managers and colleagues. She also introduced my wife to the other programmers and designers mentioning the scenes they worked on.

And at as usual, who is the celebrity I see this time when I go out with my sister Suji? Actress Radha and her daughter. How sad I couldn't say a few words. There were hardly any who were recognizing her. Some old timers did but their faces did show doubt as if not sure who the person was. Oh wonderful it would have been to have told her how 9'th Std at school was my most memorable year of my study life and how her debut film "Alaigal Oyvathillai" was one of the reasons.

And for those of you who haven't watched "Unnaale Unnaale" and plan to do so, please make sure you watch it on screen. The title song has been pictured at the Chennai Citi Centre. It's a lovely film and as usual Sada delivers a great performance. I had written about her acting earlier on this blog and I must say, after "Anniyan" this is her next good performance.
"Mozhi" is another movie that is worth you while too though it has Jyothika who in my opinion was never destined to be an actress. I know many of you are already up-in-arms against me but that's just my opinion.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A marriage and a death

So much has happened. The Cricket World Cup is over. Aiswarya's marriage is over. I have also moved into my new home and am slowly settling in. Fortunately much of the infrastructure is up and running. I am writing this post after my friend Shaji's request to do something about the blog after it had been showing the "The little bird that flew in..." on the front page for weeks. I will also be writing about that game (why shouldn't I say the overly hyped game of cricket in this country) very soon. But meanwhile here is something else I wanted to write about.

It happened on the day Aiswarya and Abishek Bachan were getting married in fact at around the same time on their wedding day. As I was returning from the site where my new home was being completed I noticed that the bypass from the Old Mahabalipuram Road to the Taramani link road that leads to Velachery was already being jammed with traffic. As more vehicles started entering the road it was getting worse. At first I was under the impression that the folks returning home from offices were causing the commotion or maybe some big vehicles were using the notorious U turn that is being temporarily created after traffic is made to take a diversion into the bypass road. I was right but thanks to my Honda Activa I could easily manouver and meander through the heavy traffic and continue beyound the U turn without much hassles. But ahead I saw a big crowd all gathered in a very unusual fashion. My worst fears were confirmed. Somone had been hit and there had been an accident. Traffic was being diverted on to the side of the road and we (most of us two-wheelers) were riding towards oncoming traffic. Somehow the bigger vehicles had been held up much farther ahead and we could pass through freely. Just at the point where the crowd was dense I realised they were intensely looking at something as though some spectaculor feat was being performed. As I rode past I knew something even worse had happened. I could hear people talking that someone had been killed. I asked some folks and they say the rider was hit by the hight tension electric wire that had snapped when a truck with a taller load had struck the wire snapping it. Riding past the spot I decided I'd just give a quick glance. In a fraction of a second I turned away when I saw so much red on the road on the other side that made my heart stop. It looked as though the person had bled to death. All my life I have avoided seeing such stuff all my life not with the feeling of not willing to help but I don't have the heart to take it. In that fraction of a second that I seemed to catch a glimpse of all that red there was both fear, gratitude, remorse and so much of other emotions all happening to me at the same instant.

Many were walking as though some dog or cat or other road-kill had taken place. I could see IT professionals walk out of the buildings leaving work all glee and happy looking forward to the weekend. No one even seemed to care. Then there are the others all standing around and looking at the body like a spectacle. Remember even when Jesus was being killed there were these kind of people looking at the entire process like entertainment. Maybe this is why the gladiatoral fights were so popular. Am I to believe they all are looking at the dead man with remorse thinking of his family and such. A death as this is truly something they don't get to see and so why not enjoy it while they can. On more enquiry I came to know that the pillion (the guy who sits behind the biker) was the one who perished. The live wire snapped his throat and even blew off something at the rear of his head. The biker survived. The news of this death was in "The Hindu" after two days. How unfortunate that his family had to lose someone in this fashion.

Who are the unfortunate ones that lose life like this. Like Sting sang " fragile we are" How many people die like this everyday making me feel how blessed I am for every waking hour of my life. My prayers go out for these people. May their souls rest in peace. As I go past the electric wire on that road almost everyday I am glad that I wasn't the victim on that fateful day. Back at home as I switch on the T.V that is showing poor footage of Aiswarya's marriage on almost every news channed I cannot help the irony of both the events. How incredible God made this earthly sojourn to be.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Little Bird that flew in to change the Sunday...

First of all everyone at home is happy that little Pranay is back after a month's stay at the hospital. How nice to see the little fellow back where he belonged. He is under so much close attention now, more than ever before.

Before we planned to go and visit him I han an unlikely visitor at home. From the window beside which I work most of the time I listen many a time to the sound of the birds, sparrows, and others I don't know but am' very curious. Such sweet sounds only God can create. There is one very tiny bird I see very often. As small as the bee-humming bird but maybe a shade bigger. Has a slightly longer and pointed beak and makes very sweet sounds. Very fast reflexes it can detect even a small movement. You need to be very still if you are watching them. On Sunday morning after cleaning my Dell Computer I go back to my room and I am surprised to see the tiny one on the grill of the window and making its familiar call. I instantly notice that it is unable to get out of the room. It wasn't flying very well and kept falling to the floor. I quickly slided the window to prevent him from going out of the window. Like the fly it kept hitting and banging frantically against the glass window trying to get out it but in vain. Chaithu, sleeping until then woke up saying he had been hearing the bird for a long time. I closed the door and tried to get Jaya and Chaithu to help me catch the bird. I realised it wasn't able to fly very well. With some difficultly I finally managed to catch it and put it in a pan (that's the best cage I could manage). Luckily the pan had a glass lid and a hole in that lid just enough to let air inside. It was still trying to fly out maybe again mistaking the glass lid for open space. I rushed to mother's place hoping I would be helped by them. Suji, my sister made a nice cage using some well ventilated plastic baskets. I was both angry and irritated that no one was feeling for the bird as much as I did. I was just too fanatical. We brought the bird back home. Sometimes it would just stop trying to fly out and it would just sit there. Meanwhile it looks as though its parents had heard its call and they were flying outside the window. I would place the basked in the balcony to attract them and the sounds made by the chick (which I had realised by then) and its parents seemed conversational. I also noticed it swallowed two mustard seeds I had put inside the basket. After a while it would desperately go for the openings in the basket. What tenacity! I just couldn't help admiring the little one, making its calls and trying to fly out.

After lunch I decided I would take it to the Blue Cross just a 10 minute ride on my scooter where I had already called saying I would be bringing in the little bird. As Chaithu and Jaya accompanied me and the little one I couldn't help watching the parents circle the place a zillion times, jumping from tree branch to tree branch. There were predators around (crows, how much I despise them for this, although they are treated sacred by us Hindus) and I knew the chick would be a "sitting duck" for them. The ride to Blue Cross was slow but the little one kept squeaking all the way.

Blue Cross was a mini zoo. It was my first visit and I was both impressed and amazed. There were noises from the cages from all over the place. The place itself pretty huge and laid out quite well. There were people taking care of the animals even on a Sunday. At the emergency clinic doctors were attending to an injured dog. From one enclosure you could hear scary and wailing cries from dogs. I was told these were the most frightened and abused ones. I didn't want to go there. There were visitors feeding some of the animals. Paranoid of the dogs and all the screams Jaya stayed behind while I and Chithu headed for the office moving cautiously but without fear among the dozens of stray dogs that were lying around the office. After being assured that the little bird would be put in a large cage we were lead to the aviary atop a flight of stairs to a building at the rear of the compound. There were about 50 or more pigeons being fed. Two injured parrots were in a huge enclose where they had sufficient room to fly. The lady (she had scars on her hands) who took our little cage let the bird out in a cage large enough for it to fly. The little one immediately took flight and started perching on the bars of the cage but it wasn't frantically trying to get out. But the poor infrastructure and callousness of the center were soon to be exposed.

Just after a short while I couldn't see the tiny bird in the cage. Where did it go? To my surprise I see it at the bottom of the cage where I guess it had dropped without having the strength to fly. But even worse there was a gaping hole at the bottom where the soldered cage had given way. What a shame I didn't see it. By the time I alerted (almost screamed) to the ladies who where standing there it had slipped through it and flown away into the open. I was surprised it could fly so well. It was still making calls frantically as if searching for its parents. I was sad and shocked. It took a while for the inattentive ladies to ascertain as to what had happened. I and Chaithu ran down the steps of the building to a nearby tree from where I could still hear the bird but couldn't locate it. The lady who attended to us was joined by a man now and they too were trying to locate the bird from the constant cries. Chaithu was the one who located it perched on a branch nearby. I wondered why none of the adults could locate it. The bird was calling incessantly. I was so sad that it was trying to call its parents. Was it hungry? I saw it swallowing a mustard or two I threw in the basket, but I wasn't sure that was its food. The man tried to climb the tree but the disturbance frightened the little one who flew away into another tree, this time much farther away never to be seen again. I felt hopeless that I had displaced the little chick afterall. Would it starve to death? Would it become prey to some predator in the night like the owl? If only I had let it out when its parents were circling our area. But then it was hardly able to fly and now it flies so well. We could still hear it calling and it was getting all so painful but we couldn't do anything. All the comforting of the staff that it would survive fell on my deaf ears.

I left Blue Cross bereft of something so dear to me. Back at home the parent birds were still flying around the trees and the building searching and calling for their little one and I could never forgive myself for what I did. I should have atleast caged the bird, fed it and then let it out when it was well and much stronger. Spending hours later on the internet I discovered it was a "Prinia" a type of bird that belong to the "Wabler" group.

I see adult birds now and then and can instantly recognize the call of these birds but I keep wondering what had happened to that little one that flew in on that Sunday morning.

Kiruba's Kind Gesture

When something as magnanimous as what Kiruba Shankar reported on his blog happens it is hard to ignore. KS's neighbour, a youngster studying in an engineering college here in Chennai had a bad fall from a building and is currently in Appollo Hospitals where he is almost paralysed from his waist below. Kiruba spreads the news of his condition on his blog and instantly help flows in. Engineering students at SRM college who heard the news of his condition from a friend pool in money and raise over a Lakh of rupees. It is just incredible what the power of the blog and a big heart can do. Complete with pics, read all about it at at

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Iron Maiden in India

The news of Iron Maiden to play in Bangalore from David's site was quite a stunner. Must have been the sweetest thing to read for Maiden fans. Yes! the Heavy Metal Rockers are going to play on March 17'th at Palace Grounds, Bangalore. It brings to me fond memories of college times in the 80's when T.P, my friend at I.I.T Madras and big IM fan used to play me songs such as "Halloween be thy name" and "Seventh son of a Seventh son". Though I am not a big fan of the band I consider "Alexander the Great" from their "Somewhere in Time" album, one of the greatest (maybe even the greatest) heavy metal songs. I am sure it is going to be a loud concert, louder than Deep Purple's but I will not be making it. I have watched Iron Maiden live on video and certainly I don't think I could take their music for two plus hours or more. However I am sure tonnes of heavy metal fans are going to turn up and so must you if you are a heavy meatal fan or better still if you a Iron Maiden fan.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

What another great concert!

A respite from the agony of several things going on (my brother's hospitalized sick child, the death of pet dog after it was run over in an accident, my uncle's first death anniversary) last Saturday offered relief in the form of a fusion concert. On the Thursday before, only God knows how I had sped on my scooter to the Narada Gana Sabha to get free tickets for the Ganesh/Kumaresh concert. I spread the word around and my ex-company friends did not have difficulty getting their free passes too and what a great show. I wouldn't say the audio was as good as their previous "ticketed" show but it was certainly good for a free concert. For my friends (Sathya, Anand, Kandan and Marudhu from my ex-company) I am sure they are convinced a much better drummer than Sivamani really exists in the form of Arun Kumar. After the concert when I met Arun he recognized me from my previous visit. I gave him a small card with details of my articles I had written about him on my blogs. I gave similar cards to Ganesh too. Arun gave me his visiting card but he hasn't responded to my e-mail yet. I did mention to Keith about my friend bassist friend Ebenezer Deepak too. I regret I didn't call Ebey to the show. I also felt stupid later why I didn't purchase the CD and get it autographed by the musicians Ganesh and Kumaresh, Keith Peters and Arun. Some of the compositions were soul-uplifting. I am happy A.R.Rehman who released the CD and who presented the first copy to Vikku Vinayakram was present for one of those beautiful compositions. No wonder he said later in his speech that one of the reasons for his staying in Chennai was because Ganesh and Kumaresh were here too. As usual Keith and Arun never disappointed and with their solo's received repeated applause and cheers from the audience. Whoever made it to the concert received their time's worth. Though it was a CD-promotional concert it was as good as their previous performance.

My little one enjoyed it too. It was actually his first concert. After dinner at Kabul, located just across Narada Gana Sabha I was only wondering if the concert and the going out was a coincidence on my 10'th wedding anniversary that I had hardly mentioned to anyone, not even on the day after, on Sunday, at John Prabhakar's wedding reception.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

January, 2007, the month that was

Although I still look forward to the rest of the year as one of my most important years in my career January has had its bitter and traumatic moments. First the death of my ex-colleague's wife. She was only 31. It was a shock to all of us. I didn't know I had to be meeting my friends of my ex-company at such a tragic occassion. I cannot say how many times the phrase "Forgiveness in the face of Death" has crossed my mind in those days. Death makes everything seem in this life so silly and ephermal. The very next day my nephew fell ill and continues to languish in a hospital in Chennai with a heart condition. The only saving grace was Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba's visit to Chennai. I, Suji and mother were blessed to have a "darshan" of him and better still a closer "darshan" from just a few feet as he passed us in his car.

Today Ganesh-Kumaresh are giving their concert that I am looking forward to very much. I had been to the duo's previsous fusion concert which was one of the best I had ever been to and this one should only be better. Inspite of all the happenings only God knows how I rushed on Thursday morning to Narada Gana Sabha to get my tickets. A.R Rehman (that's the Malayalee spelling) and Vikku Vinayakram will be inaugurating their new CD the occassion must serve as a getaway from the bitter moments of January.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Wasn't Diwali enough?

I am actually surprised that there are advertisements for purchasing crackers for "Pongal". Never heard or seen this one before. Having sensitive ears I have detested these high decibel crackers all my life. When I see small kids being encouraged by their elders to light and burst them I am appalled by the dumbness of these folks who think they can make a "brave" child out of their kids by doing so. Actually when I was a small child I did it for the same reasons too but as I grew older it just looked so ridiculous. There is absolutely nothing brave about it. Instead these high decibel explosions are only going to cause ear damage. Maybe many of these guys actually are hard of hearing and that's why seem impervious to these noises.

Apart from personal injury from fire crackers, noise is another thing these guys must be concerned about, particularly when there are the old and the convlascent around. Inspite of bans on loudspeakers and crackers being used after 10.00 P.M many folks indulge in them giving the law a "damn".

Luckily these days there's a growing trend in the fire crackers that fly up like rockets and light the sky (another thing we are taking from the west?). Whatever, this is a better way to go. In Singapore I was told that the a government ban on firecrackers had to be put into effect after at least three or four homes used to go up in flames every year (apart from accidents) during Chinese New Year celebrations when anyone (as it is in India) could light and play with firecrackers. I am not implying that we ban firecrackers but the noisy ones MUST go. We shouldn't forget that even these and most of the rest of the fireworks involve huge amount of child labour.