Monday, August 23, 2010

Thinking of Mahabali every Onam

During "Onam" time I have always wondered if the "Vamana Avatar" was really justified? In almost all the other Avatars of Vishnu there was one or more formidable villains or cataclysmic reasons for which the Avatar had to appear. Mahabali was in fact a Vishnu worshipper. Was Vamana eliminated just because he belonged to the Asura clan? Was he eliminated because the Gods were worried if
Bali would become a God due to his charitable and other magnanimous attributes? I am not able to find the single most convincing reason for which he was pushed to "pathala". If he were to be eliminated why be given the choice of returning to the Earth during Onam? A consolation from the Gods for the benevolent and noble person he was? Other than Karna, Mahabali is the other person whom I have always sympathized for their tragic fates.

Happy Onam!

Wishing all you Malayalee readers a very Happy Onam!

Friday, August 20, 2010

When to use 'The' (as in thee) or 'The' (that sounds similar to "duh")

This was one of those unforgettable lessons from JP, my school principal at Vana Vani.

When I went to meet her in November last year when she had come to Chennai for her knee cap surgery operation the didactic nature in her might have triggered to ask my son something. I couldn't believe she would ask him the usage of the article "the".
What surprised me even more was my son coming up with the correct answer. I might have told him but don't know when.

Anyway here is how you use "the" correctly.

The article "the" sounding as in the word "thee" is to be used before words that begin with a vowel i.e a, e, i, o and u. The as it sounds in "duh" is to be used before words that begin with a consonant.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Can you surf the internet without loading the OS on your computer?

Like the Singaporean would ask, "Can?". And like the Singaporean would answer in excitement, "Can Laaaa!".

All you need is the software called Winki. Winki can be run off a disc or from a USB drive after selecting the disc or the USB drive as your first boot device in your BIOS.

The program is offered by MSI when you buy one of their motherboards. Although I didn't give it much thought at the beginning I decided to try it anyway. I didn't realise what a pleasant surprise awaited me.

If your BIOS is set to boot from the optical drive (your CD/DVD drive) on your PC, you can invoke Winki from the CD. No need of running your OS. Cool isn't it? The only gripe was that you need to enter the IP addresses of your Network, Subnet Mast, Gateway and DNS Server each time you do this. However it is possible that using Winki via the USB drive may permit saving these fields so that it is not asked of you each time you use Winki. Also your computer needs to be hooked to the internet either via an external modem or via wi-fi. If you are using a dialer on your computer to connect the computer, obviously Winki is of no use.

The internet was blazingly fast. Besides surfing the net (Winki uses Firefox) you can also view photos on your flash drive (pen drive), use the built in Skype, use one of the many Messengers, edit documents (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) using Open Office, tweak volume, set monitor resolutions, set language etc.,

Once you are done you can simply power off and you don't have to touch the OS of your computer. Neat.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Probably the most unforgettable wedding video ever made

Got it via a link on Facebook. Watched it thrice initially clapping away till the end, smiling from ear to ear and with almost tears in my eyes. I've lost count of how many times I have watched it now, as I have been watching it almost everyday.

Honestly, isn't life just all about having fun!

Several million dollar marriages pale when it comes to the simplicity and creativity of this one. Considering the fact that the players and the camera person had just "one take" this video is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The video has had over 53 million views on YouTube. I dug up some info and the couple and the friends/relatives have a website at

As mentioned on the site, though the usage of the song on the video has become an issue, the makers of the song should consider that this video was probably the best treatment ever given to their song.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Black naped Oriole

Among the manylovely birds that visit the farm next door this is one bird I have tried hard to photograph. These are extremely rare to spot but as I am used to most of the sounds of the birds around my home, an unusual sound confirms to me it is a different bird.

I have some crude shots of a better looking Oriole (where the black mask around the eye is stretched farther from the eye all the way back around the head) but this pic of the bird taken by my neighbour and bird lover, Showkath is worth mentioning and displaying here. And yes, I spotted this one too.