Two men and a lion cub

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Monday, December 14, 2009


[Animal Planet aired a documentary, 'A lion called Christian' last night. Touched by the documentary I thought of sharing this with you all]

This is going to be a special one of all the tales of reunion you have heard and seen till date. The reunion I'm referring to is between a lion named Christian and two Australian men Ace Bourke and John Rendall. The two men on a trip to England in 1969 bought a lion cub (it seems it was legal in England then to buy and rear wild animals!) and gave him all the love and care 'the small cat' needed. Ace and John kept supplying 3 kgs of meat everyday to Christian; they played with him in the garden of a church after seeking special permission to use the garden as a playground for the lion! Christian started growing big and strong and was becoming unwieldy for the two men day by day. Not willing to leave Christian to the Zoo and to confine his life to the cage forever, Ace and John thought of alternatives. Then the men happened to meet Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna of Born Free fame, with their advice, the two men sent Christian to Kenya for the rehabilitation under the supervision of George Adamson, an animal conservationist. The bonding between the men and Christian was so much that the two men quit their jobs and relocated to Kenya for few weeks to spend some time with Christian before he was trained, acclimatized and released to the wild by George Adamson.

Below is the famous clip of reunion between Christian and the two men after one year of Chrsitian's release into the wild. When Ace and John flew to Kenya to see Christian, George Adamson had warned the duo that Christian might have forgotten them and could prove fatal to their lives if he leaps upon them thinking they are strangers. The video features Christian leaping upon the duo, but only to bear-hug them with the joy of finding his old pals.

Kudos to the unconditional bonding between humans and animals..

[Two young men in the video are Ace and John, the old chap is George Adamson, the commentary is by Virginia McKenna]

Find some more info here

Sshhhh... silence please

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 10, 2009


The other day I was watching a lesser known small budget movie called Hulla [Cast: Sushant Singh, Rajath Kapoor et al] in Zoom channel. Most of the movie is about how the central character played by Sushant Singh is bothered and irritated by the noises in his apartment and his surroundings - the whistle blowing watchman, the loud music of the neighbor and even the lesser loud noises in his apartment. I did not watch it fully cos I found the movie quite sloppy in the direction and the acting departments (Rajath Kapoor was good, other cast members were really pathetic). It is quite possible that this movie wanted to convey some thing more than just the noises affecting a person psychologically and making his life miserable, but I am not very sure of this as I did not watch the movie fully. But in a way I could relate myself to the central character! I do not usually over react as he does throughout the movie but I do get irritated to the core by the noises around.

I wake up around 6 every day. I like calm and peaceful mornings, but my neighbor strongly feels the louder she plays Venkateshwara Suprabhaata, Lord Venkateshwara appears in front of her so sooner. I have requested her few times gently, but she turns down the volume just for 2-3 days after my request, after which the speaker gets tested for its full power.

The moment I get into train/bus, the unpaid ubiquitous DJs play their favorite music in full volume on their China Mobiles. Why can't they just burst their own ear drums with that poor quality mp3, wearing a pair of head phones, why are they all bent upon torturing people like me? It irritates me even if my favorite music is being played aloud and/or when I am not just in a mood to listen to the music. To rub salt into the wound, most of them like the Hindi songs of the period when there was a void in the music industry after the death of Kishore and Mohd Rafi, making the likes of Shabbir Kumar and Mohd Aziz famous overnight. And this time to add some lemon to the wound already rubbed with salt, there will be many times War of the DJs too, 2-3 guys playing music simultaneously! I am not exaggerating; do not take a Volvo and travel by ordinary blue bus to Whitefield from Majestic some day to listen to these DJs. While I wait on the platforms or I travel in train, I get to hear another genre of ‘noise’. It's tapanguchi jingchak Tamil songs. Yes, you guessed it right the same overused pattern of beats to which you find Vijay/Vikram/Dhanush/Bharath/Vishal dance with 100 co-dancers on the filthy streets in every other Tamil movie. I have requested, ordered, threatened these ardent music lovers to use head phones or to turn down the volume, but 99% of the time they just have not cared for my request, order or threat.

Though hardly you get these DJs in Volvos, but seems like silence will be granted to me only in my grave! Here the buses have the FM and the bus driver himself dons the role of my torturer. Why is the whole world bent upon bombarding some noises on my ear drums, why is it so much against me wanting some silence or me sitting with my favorite book open while I am traveling?

Why are 'our people' like this? Why do they play music loud? Why do they talk so loud in public places? Why do they want to let the whole world know that they are praying to Lord? Why can't they keep the volume of the ringing tone low? If at all they keep it high, why do they always keep the phone on their desk and go away? Why do they talk so loudly on the phone? (Now I even know my neighboring cubicle guy's wife is 26 years old and the couple have applied for a house loan at an interest of 12% from a private bank. And I even know what tablets are to be given to the aunty's (who sits diagonally opposite to me) 8 year old daughter who frequently falls sick). Why do they set up public festivals and orchestras on road? Why do they honk even after knowing there is a red signal in front?Why can’t they be just quiet? Why are they so uncivilized? Is the silence so unbearable for all of them? Why don't they realize that they are disturbing others?
And the last of all, am I the only one who has so many complaints about these things..?


Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Mohan, my colleague and I reached Kanyakumari around 8 AM on 28th Nov. The plan was to roam around Kanyakumari that day and travel to Tirunalveli to attend my team mate's marriage the next day. We reached a hotel named Cape Residency, where Mohan had already booked a double bed room for our stay. The hotel is situated on the same single main road of Kanyakumari but away from hustle and bustle of the town. Kanyakumari is a small laid back town, more or less sprawled along NH-47, the only main road of the town.

After loading our stomachs with a delicious breakfast served in the hotel, we headed straight towards the Vivekananda Rock by walk. NH-47 diverges into narrow shopping streets leading to the beach. Frankly speaking the beach near the Vivekananda Rock and Tiruvalluvar statue could well be called as a rocky shore than a beach. Mohan said, Kanyakumari does not have a great beach and most of the tourists head towards Kovalam beach after paying a brief visit to Kanyakumari.

3-4 ferries commute from the shore to Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Tiruvalluvar Statue. We waited for the ferry in a long but fast moving queue. Those ferries had the capacity to transport at least 100 people at once. The life jackets meant for the passengers were safely placed on the rack of the ferry! I believe the ferry was not over crowded but it certainly reminded me of the recent boat tragedy in Kerala. Assuming that those life jackets were in good condition, I think if each of the passengers is allowed to wear while embarking the ferry and return the same while disembarking, it would take at least 20 minutes extra for each of the trip for a ferry. Which would mean the ferry guy is losing the business of another trip in those 20 minutes. So it was a trade off between 100 lives and few hundred bucks for the owner of the ferry, and the owner had chosen the latter!!

Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a magnificent monument built in the year 1970 as a tribute to the sacred place where Swami Vivekananda was enlightened while meditating on this rock. The Rock Memorial has a tall bronze idol of Vivekananda. This rock also has a Mantapam of Sri Padhaparai, the place where it is believed that Devi Parvati stood on a single leg for Tapasya to propitiate Lord Shiva. Going on a PradakshiNa around the Rock Memorial, it is really a breathtaking view of the confluence of Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. But as many people had told me, I did not see the color difference in the water of 3 oceans. The wind was strong enough to sweep off any puny human being. Then the ferry took us to 133 feet tall Tiruvalluvar statue, 200 mts away from the Vivekananda Rock. The statue is 133 feet tall signifying the 133 chapters of Tirukkural penned by Tiruvalluvar. This is supposed to be one of the tallest statues in Asia. To be frank, I would have admired the beauty of the statue more, if it was monolithic and the structure of the statue had been more proportionate. Then we gave a brief visit to Gandhi Memorial. The Kanyakumari temple was closed during the afternoon.

After resting for few hours in the hotel after a heavy lunch, we caught an auto to the Sunset point. As I mentioned in the previous post, Sunset and Sunrise are special in Kanyakumari. It was really a unique Sunset of all the ones I have seen till date, because while Sun sets in the Arabian Sea, it appears so that only a portion of the horizon is set as a platform for the Sunset, the rest of the long horizon being stretched in the direction of South and East.

The next day though we woke up early to see the Sunrise, clouds denied us the sight of Sunrise :( After checking out from the hotel we headed for the marriage of colleague in Tirunalveli. After wishing the newly wed couple and having a nice lunch, we boarded the bus back to Bangalore in the evening..

Trip to Cape Comorin

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009


A visit to the southern most tip of Indian Main Land (Cape Comorin) has always been a dream of mine, ever since I read and got influenced from the preachings of Swami Vivekananda in my school days! A colleague of mine is getting married in Tirunalveli,which is about 90kms from Kanyakumari. So I am heading first to Kanyakumari - will be visiting all the interesting places there and then going for my colleague's marriage the next day.
While gathering some info about Kanyakumari, I read that Kanyakumari is supposed to be the only beach in India where you can witness both sunrise and sunset! I think this is going to be really exciting. Though this is kinda obvious from it's geographical position, but I doubt if it is the only beach in India. I mean, aren't there any such beaches near the Souther tip of Gujarat or W Bengal..? Im not sure of that.. For those of who do not know much about Vivekananda Rock, this is a huge rock-island 500 meters from Cape Comorin. Swami Vivekananda got enlightened when he was meditating on this rock in the year 1892. By the way, Swami Vivekananda used to swim to this rock when ever he used to go there for meditation!

Above is the satellite image of Cape Comorin, Vivekananda Rock and the famous Tiruvalluvar statue. Also found this site, giving an exhilarating 360 degree view of the Vivekananda Rock Memorial (be patient when your browser loads the view, do not miss it!)
See ya all.. will blog about my trip once I am back from Kanyakumari.

Life's never so bad that...

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , | Posted on Friday, October 30, 2009


A dear friend of mine called me up from UK last night to say that he is returning to India this weekend, as Doctors treating his mother have told that she is having breast cancer. It was evident from his tone that he was broken by that. I tried to fill in some hope and courage in that conversation.
After hanging up the phone, pondering over, I thought that was another whiplash this time for another friend's family from the BOSS above. I say this as another family because; all my buddies have received at least one each in the recent past. A friend's father is suffering from recurring slip-discs, another one's father is living on anti-depressants after some feud with his siblings over some realty, another friend's father is a cancer survivor, a colleague's mother underwent knee cap replacement surgery recently.... And as you know my father is not well from past 2 years. Sorry to say, I am not able to find a single happy and healthy family around.
They say Life is not just about chasing happiness and being happy.. Happiness and sorrow are two sides of the same coin blah blah.. This is all best said and heard in some Satsang. But for a person dealing with all this every day, it is nothing but misery and only misery.
So at this point of time, I can't agree more on the saying, "Life's Never So Bad That It Can't Get Worse..."

Shantaram - quotes 2

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , | Posted on Saturday, October 17, 2009


Any Indian man will tell you that although love might not have been invented in India, it was certainly perfected there- pg 393
Mistakes are like bad loves, the more you learn from them, the more you wish they'd never happened - pg 402

Prisons are the temples where devils learn to pray - pg 404

Hate strangles a man, that's why hate has no great literature - pg 414

The only victory that really counts in prison is survival. Survival is not just about being alive. It's not just the body that must survive a jail; the spirit and will and the heart have to make it through as well - pg 415

People say that money is the root of all evil, but it's the other way round... Evil is the root of all money - pg 444

Pumping iron is Zen for violent men - pg 452

It isn't a secret, unless keeping it hurts - pg 454

Wherever you go in the world, in any society, it is always the same when it comes to questions of justice, We concentrate our laws, investigations, prosecutions and punishments on how much crime is in the sin rather than how much sin is in the crime - pg 472

People haven't stopped believing in love. They haven't stopped wanting to be in love. They just don't believe in a happy ending anymore - pg 504

There's nothing so depressing as a good advice - pg 545

Depression happens only to the people who don't know how to be sad - pg 546

It's better to have a weapon and not need it, than need it and not have it - pg 585

If we envy someone for all the right reasons, we're half way to wisdom - pg 607

A good man is as strong as the right woman needs him to be - pg 645

When the student is ready, teacher appears - pg 708

Wars can't change things. It's peace that makes the deepest cuts - pg 728

The best revenge, like the best sex, is performed slowly and with the eyes open - pg 805

Fate always gives you two choices, the one you should take and the one you do - pg 858

Old habits die hard, lie harder - pg 918

It is always a fool's mistake, to be alone with someone you shouldn't have loved - pg 921

Every human heartbeat is a universe of possibilities - pg 932

Following are the lines with which Shantaram ends:
I'd always thought that fate was something unchangeable; fixed for every one of us at birth, and as constant as the circuit of stars. But I suddenly realized that life is stranger and more beauitful than that. The truth is that, no matter what kind of game you find yourself in, no matter how good or bad the luck, you can change your life completely with a single thought or a single act of love - pg 933

Though I love each and every one of the quotes from Shantaram, following three are my personal favorites.

3. Fate gives all of us three teachers, three friends, three enemies and three great loves in our lives. But these twelve are always disguised and we can never know which one is which until we've loved them, left them or fought with them - pg 632

2. Personality and personal identity are in some ways like co-ordinates on the street map drawn by our intersecting relationships - pg 632

1. We know who we are and define what we are by reference to the people we love and our reasons for loving them - pg 632

Shantaram - quotes 1

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , | Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I finished reading Shantaram! This mammoth autobiographical fiction is penned by an Australian born writer cum armed robber cum heroin addict cum prisoner cum Jihadi soldier cum slum dweller cum doctor in slum cum Mumbai mafia member cum charity organizer cum screenplay writer, Gregory David Roberts!! Yes, you read it right; all these roles/professions (?) are of a single person in the very same incarnation. Shantaram is a rechristened name for Lin (which again is his name in fake passport) or Linbaba, as fondly called by most of the people in slum of Mumbai. This novel was written over a period of 13 years!, literally in blood and sweat as Gregory Roberts himself says. Twice the manuscript was destroyed by the police when he was being tortured in jail.

After escaping from high security Australian prison in broad day light, Lin travels to few countries holding fake passports and lands in Mumbai. From there begins this inspiring and vivid tale of Shanataram. This book brims with one liners and quotes. I am sharing a few with you guys... Hope this inspires you to take up this must-read-book.

The simple and the astonishing truth about India and Indian people is that when you go there, and deal with them, your heart always guides you more wisely than your head. There's nowhere in the world where that's quite so true. - pg 35

The only force more ruthless and cynical than the business of big politics is the politics of big business - pg 52

The truth is a bully we all pretend to like - pg 62

It is the mark of the age in which we live that the style becomes the attitude, instead of the attitude becoming the style - pg 91

The real trick in life is to want nothing and to succeed in getting it. pg 96

Sometimes you have to surrender..., to win! - pg 115

It's a fact of life-on-the-run that you often love more people than you trust - pg 156

We can compel men not to be bad, but we can not compel them to be good - pg 184

The worst thing about corruption as a system of governance is, that it works so well! - pg 186

There is no believing in God, we either know God, or we do not - pg 194

Suffering is the way we test our love, especially our love for God - pg 214

I think it is a part of growing up, learning to control our suffering. I think, when we grow up and learn happiness is rare and passes quickly, we become disillusioned and hurt. And how much we suffer is a mark of how much we have been hurt by this realization - pg 294

Like most things and most people, slum is not as bad as it seems - pg 329

I dont know what frightens me more, the power that crushes us, or our endless ability to endure it. - pg 336

You are not a man until you give your love, truly and freely, to a child. And you are not a good man until you earn the love, truly and freely, of a child in return - pg 353

The contours of all our virtues are shaped by adversity - pg 379

One of the ironies of courage, and the reasons why we prize it so highly is that we find it easier to be brave for some one else than for ourselves alone - pg 381

Im tagged..

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Monday, October 05, 2009


Sum tagged me..
Below is a list of things that irritate me... that tests my boiling point:
  1. Untidiness and untidy people
  2. Lazy bums
  3. Loud TV volume of my neighbor
  4. Public festivals
  5. The Pop-up ads in websites. They irritate me more when they keep the Close Window button on top left corner. They irritate me to the most when there would be no Close Button for the window and I am just told to wait by a count down timer, stating Ill be redirected to the site in N seconds. What makes those guys think that I visit their news website and get impressed by their forced-upon-ad and will end up buying an Audi!
  6. Poor interpersonal skills
  7. Poor listening skills
  8. Egoistic people
  9. Half baked pots boasting themselves as next Einsteins
  10. Bullies
  11. Plastic smiles
  12. Guys who try to impress any and every girl/female they come across
  13. Reality TV shows and all the daily soaps
  14. Auto drivers
  15. BMTC bus conductors
"Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves"
Carl Gustav Jung
This was mentioned as the GTalk status msg by my friend Suksy. I could not agree more with this saying, as all the above things listed and lot many which I've not listed here, have helped/have been helping me in understanding myself better.

I love people:
  1. Who trust me..
  2. Who have helped in my bad times..
  3. Who are intelligent..
  4. Who understand me
"If you judge people, you have no time to love them"
Mother Teresa
This is another gem of a quote that I admire the most. I have experienced this thing literally happening with all the withering relationships I’ve had in the case of some of my friends, acquaintances and some special people. I make my decisions by mind and not by heart. I am a ‘mind guy’ and not a ‘heart guy’. I wish I could change this virtue of mine… :(
Though these are the things that surface my mind at this point of time, but to see only four entries in the second list against the 15 in the first is surely disheartening. That says I have more things around to hate than to love... :((

I tag Shashi, Saravanan, Suksy n Anonymous aka Deva :)

Wanted - No! this was never wanted and will never be!!

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , | Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2009



If you have read any of the movie reviews in my blog previously, there is one thing in common with all of them - all the movie reviews are my movie reco's to you guys. I've never wasted my time and energy in writing a review for a movie which is bad/worse according to me. But this is going to be an exception! I am writing this, because I felt there is no better way to vent my anger out!!

Was forced to watch this movie last evening. As every one knows, Prabhudeva forays into directing Hindi movie this time with a remake of smash hit movie Pokiri(Telugu) originally directed by Puri Jagannath.

  • When Murugadoss remade Ghajini in Hindi, though the plot of the movie was very ordinary, hero seeking revenge for his GF's death, but the 'gimmick' of anterograde amnesia + the greatly talented Aamir Khan carrying the weight of the whole movie on his newly built bod turned the movie into a run away success. But what is Wanted offering us..?
  • Let me say, I have not watched both Telugu and Tamil Pokiri's, even after many of my friends insisted. So I do not know how good/bad they were (after all, a hit movie need not be a good movie and vice versa) and I can not even comment whether it was a bad 'transliteration' that made Wanted look so bad.
  • Wanted's plot would have been apt in the 1970s era. It is so overused, lackluster thing now.
  • Salman yet again proves he is a bad actor. The very few expressions on Salman's face have never failed to confuse me. I always think, what does this expression mean..? Is he worried about some thing? Or is he just making faces? Or is he thinking how to emote this one? Or is he trying to smile while dealing with some problem in his stomach?
  • There is always so much of Salman Khan the star, his attitude, his so called style in all his characters that whether it is Radhe or Prem or Suraj or Aman or what ever, he looks the same.
  • There are so many scenes in the movie that look so 'south', I can not digest them in a Hindi movie.
  • I agree Prabhudeva is a good dancer, but he is that bad a choreographer.
  • There is a repetitive dream sequence in the first half of the movie - whenever Salman sees Ayesha, he becomes Salim and Ayesha becomes Anarkali and 'Jab pyaar kiya tho darna kya' runs in the background. In all these sequences, Salman gives a priceless expression of not-knowing-what-to-do. I probably had the same expression on my face in all those scenes and many other so called comedy scenes.
  • Why are there so many songs in the movie? Why Sajid-Wajid again..??
  • I congratulate Prakash Raj on winning the Best Actor award, but I humbly ask him, why did he do this role of Ghani Bhai? I've seen Prakash Rai doing this weird villain role in so many Tamil and Telugu films; I can not stand him doing the same thing again.

The Hindi movie scripts are much more intelligent and complex these days catering to the equally demanding audience, Prabhudeva should get updated before he even thinks of his next Hindi movie.

Love Aaj Kal - not a great work of Imtiaz Ali

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , , , , | Posted on Thursday, September 10, 2009


As evident from the title of the movie, it is an attempt to juxtapose the 'love of yesteryears'(of 60s to be precise) with today's 'modern love'. This is a comparison of the love as an emotion and as an expression and how it has changed during the course of time. There are two story lines of the couples, Veer and Herleen (Saif and debutant Brazilian model Giselli Monteiro) and Jai and Mira (Saif again and Deepika). The love story of Veer and Harleen is simple, cute and innocent and touches the heart. They hardly talk to each other throughout the movie but convey a lot through their silence. Where as in the story of Jai and Mira, they are the perfect representatives of today's Gen-Y (or Z or what ever) world. They love by mind and not by heart (according to Rishi Kapoor who plays the older Veer so adorably), who choose career over love, who throw a party to their friends on their break-up, who are spoilt by choices, who are more 'practical' than their previous generations. Now that's quite a lot of things to tell in the story of just over 2 hours. Though Imtiaz was successful in narrating the story of Veer and Harleen (quite a simple and easy job though), he seems to have lost grip in telling the story of Jai and Mira. The love story of a pair which is torn between the decisions made by head over heart has not come so endearing. The attempt to show the characters of Jai and Mira as confused pair, yet they themselves thinking that they are very firm about their decisions taken in life is not successful.
That does not mean the movie is not good, it is certainly a good movie, but not to the standards set by the same director in his earlier movies like Jab We Met and Socha Na Tha. Love Aaj Kal has it's moments, is funny in parts, is touching in few scenes. As a matter of fact, my favourite scene in the movie is the one in which Harleen brings a cuppa chai hiding behind her dupaTTa to Veer who would have travelled all the way from Delhi to Calcutta just to have a glimpse of her. The other one being Jai just making it to the airport to bid farewell to Mira.
I liked Saif more as Veer than as Jai. Saif seems to have done some homework in bringing across the body language and gesticulations of a Punjabi munda of 60s and it has worked very well. He has done pretty decent job as Jai too. Deepika looks stunning in few scenes. Not sure if I am the only one who is having problems her dialogue delivery. I feel it is some what not perfect, not right. But if we have lived with two left feet of Saif all these years of his acting career, who seems to have no interest in improving his dancing skills, then Deepika is pardonable. Just check Saif struggling to shake his hip in the song 'Twist.. twist'. The credit of managing Giselli Monteiro as Harleen by giving her hardly any dialogues should go to Imtiaz. Rishi Kapoor as older Veer is simply superb. Of all the songs by Pritam, I liked 'Chor Baazaari' sung by Neeraj Sridhar, Sunidhi and 'Aj din..' sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.
Overall, the movie is good, but not great. Love Aaj Kal looks like the best work of any debutant director from Yashraj Banner, the movie seriously lacks the spark of Imtiaz Ali.

Green Route trek - Part 4

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009


I remember a railway guy saying that there are totally 17 tunnels and 20+ bridges. But it is not easy to keep a count of tunnels and bridges when you are trekking. After the initial drought of tunnels in the trekking route, we kept getting tunnels after tunnels. Entrance of each tunnel seemed like a big mouth of some demon; we helplessly kept surrendering ourselves into it one after the other. Then we reached another abandoned station, but this time we saw some 20+ trekkers from some adventure club from Bangalore, that included some stout girls. Sighting the waxed legs exposed out of the three-fourths, Narayan seemed rejuvenated. He started walking faster and faster to reach that gang ahead. Narayan wanted to join them, but Byre had different plans. I think Byre hated to follow the slow moving gang. He pulled us along and walked faster. That gang was split into 3-4 smaller groups. Byre and Sharath walked faster to overtake some of the smaller groups. Pujar, Narayan, Ethapay n me were walking slow along with few members from other gang. Byre was striding through the tunnels. That guy did not even want a torch! I do not know what had gotten into his mind or if some spirit possessed him when he was inside a tunnel. He was almost 'jogging' inside the tunnels. After few attempts of catching up with Byre, I gave up. I took my own sweet time and kept trekking with Pujar and few others.

That must be some 300+ mts long tunnel, we had crossed nearly 3/4th of it. Byre and Sharath were already out of the tunnel. We could see the exit of the tunnel. That is when the people from the other gang who were following us shouted, "train.. train..", we turned back to see an engine approaching us with a considerable speed. The tunnel was curved and that's the reason the light from the engine did not reach us until it was so close, but I am not sure why dint we hear the honk at least. We could have stood in the ditch leaning against the wall, but I think it is a natural tendency to run towards the light when we are in danger. 4 of us and a guy from the other gang ran towards the exit of the tunnel. And just stood safely outside the tunnel (See the pic). We stood there taking snaps for 2-3 minutes until that long goods train went past us. It was a narrow escape, though from a self imposed danger.

Landslides in this place are as common and as natural as rain! As I had mentioned previously, there is a great amount of man power deployed to monitor any fresh landslide obstructing the movement of trains and also to clear them with highest priority. In some places we also saw some people checking, fastening the giant mesh that was hung on the rocks along side the railway tracks. Near the entrance of a tunnel, we saw a customized truck on railway tracks! [tires were replaced by train wheels for this truck] and a JCB clearing a fresh landslide. A large heap of mud was spit on the railway tracks by the hill that stood aside the track. 6 of us and also few people from one of the smaller gangs had to wait till JCB gave us some way to go ahead. One of the stout girls from the other gang was also waiting along with us. Later when we reached Yedakumeri, Ethapay said he shared his *torch* with that girl and helped her walk through one of the tunnels. We believe Ethapay and what ever he says must be true. I know it was cold and raining and they had a single torch in the dark tunnel but now you guys don't get some dirty ideas ;)

I think except me, others were happy with their shoes to walk on gravel; all hard soled ones. Some website/Wiki had an exclusive tip saying one should wear moderately hard soled shoes for Green Route trek. Harder the soles, the chances of getting the ankle twisted were more according to them. That sounded extremely sensible to me and I had worn some shoes with not thick (but strong) soled shoes, and I ended up being the worst hurt guy in my gang. I think the last stretch of 5+ Kms to Yedakumeri was THE MOST PAINFUL trek for me. My calf muscles and thighs absolutely had no issues. If I had to walk for another 10 Kms also they would have borne the load of me on them but my soles... arrggghh every inch was paining like hell. I felt as if every stone I kept my foot on was piercing my sole. I felt I was bare footed. Adding to the woes, I had got 3-4 boils on my toes. The pain made me behave cranky, I could feel it but I was helpless. It was like, all my energy was channeled to reach Yedakumeri and I wanted not to have an extra step wasted in that effort. So much so that, once when Byre and Narayan called me back to have a look at some creature or some thing I did not walk back even for few steps. As I told before, I did not want to waste a single step of mine.

It must have been around 4PM, we sensed that we had cleared all the tunnels and bridges and were just few minutes away from our final destination, Yedakumeri station. Some more enduring steps, Pujar, Ethapay and me spotted the station. It started pouring as if the rain waited for us to reach Yedakumeri. We strode towards the platform. Stepping onto the concrete floor of the platform, I screamed at the top of my voice, it was more of an outlet for my subdued pain than a cry on reaching the destination. We occupied relatively a warm place [warm place is one where ceiling does not drip] and had lunch for the day. We had to kill 6 more hours in that place before we catch the train to B'Lore. We started playing Dumb Charades, as Byre had forgotten to get a pack of cards.

---------- x --X-- x ----------

The corridor of the old railway station with algae coated walls and leaking roof was providing shelter for six of us with few other trekkers. The railway platform was facing the gigantic rock covered with thick moss and other bushy plants. Two railway tracks were lying cold between the rock and the platform. The moon was playing hide and seek behind the dark clouds. The pattering drops from the edge of the roof of corridor were rhythmically causing ripples on the stillness of the night. We were resting on the floor with our towels and half dry jerkins protecting our backs and asses from the cold concrete floor. The railway officials had switched off the 4 tube lights that were lighting up the entire stretch of railway platform after their dinner; they had dozed off in their cozy rooms remaining indifferent to the guests sleeping outside.

We were waiting for the arrival of a train @ 11:30 PM to that station. The train was coming from Kukke Subramanya and was destined to reach Bangalore but via Hassan n Mysore. The train did arrive on time, spotting a door open we got into it. The train was overcrowded. Badly wanting for a good night’s sleep and some cushion to our asses we got down of the train in Sakleshpur. Caught a bus from there back to Bangalore…

Last few tips to trekkers:

Tip 1: Once when the track was abandoned, bridges must have had missing planks. After it's conversion to broad gauge there are no missing planks.

Tip 2: The trek is very safe (both through tunnels and on bridges), until you really have bad reflexes or you panic or you try some thing really really foolish

Tip 3: Monsoon might not be favorable to trek this stretch , but I would say Green Route is best relished only during monsoon!

Green Route trek - Part 3

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Sharath and Ethapay were cautious about leeches and smeared (poured?) Neem oil on their legs and shoes. The sight of the tracks enthused all of us. After spending few minutes on the photo session marking the initial point of trekking, we started the famous Green Route trek. The railway milestone there read 47/400. It took us few hundreds of meters to decipher that the milestones were indicating Kms/Mts, so that made us fix the number 47/400 in our minds as the reference point. Sharath exploited his Digital SLR by taking the pic of mist on leave, mist on spider web and all such tiny little but beautiful things. Knowing the imitations of our cameras, Ethapay n me concentrated on the big things like the trees around, the shrubs and fellow human beings, which were big but not so beautiful :)

After trekking for over a kilometer we were eager to spot the first bridge. While crossing the bridge, this time there were more camera clicks and solo pics taken, mostly of Ethapay :) By then we had managed to learn the art of walking on the gravel not hurting our soles nor getting our ankles twisted, Only to realize later @ the end of the day that there IS NO trick to walk on gravel for 20+ kms not hurting our soles. We spotted a woman walking between the tracks, greasing the edges of the tracks with a sticky black fluid which she was carrying in a plastic bucket. That woman was wearing a pair of Hawai slippers putting us to shame. If she had not got the task of checking the oxidized edges on tracks and greasing them to prevent them from further rusting and hence to prevent friction with the train wheels, I bet she would have walked with a better pace than us. After trekking for nearly a kilometer, we heard the honk of a train. Spotting it in the opposite direction, we all got off the track. The goods train was trying hard to pull the load with a slow pace. Sharath wanted to take a pic of train approaching in opposite direction and moved back on the track to take a pic. Seeing Sharath's heroics through a small rectangular 'windshield' (Volvo buses would have bigger rear-view mirrors :)), the driver of the goods train honked loud but in short bits. I think it roughly translates to 'Get off , you heroic ass****' in English ;) The goods train in these region usually have two engines, to pull the load in the slope and also to help the train decelerate quickly.

Many more photographs snapped and many more PJs cracked, we now could spot the stranded railway station of Donigal waiting for the guest trekkers like us. We alighted our backpacks in the corridor of the platform. We freshened up; thanks to the wash basin with a tap there. The platform has few rooms for the railway employees who patrol in shifts to notify any landslide obstructing the movement of trains and also validate other technical details pertaining signals and railway traffic round the clock. Sharath handed over our share of Chapatis neatly rolled into a parcel. Thanks a ton to his mom for the effort. Chewing every morsel of my share of Chapatis, I relished the whole milieu of the stranded railway station more and more. The sight of empty stations and empty platforms always fascinates me. I stared at the empty platform as a spectator would stare at an empty stage, just after his favorite play has gotten over. Yes that’s the precise feeling I have every time I look at an empty platform. There must have run a Simran towards her Raj, from the loosening clutches of her father around her wrist. There must have been a Geet just making it to the train, traveling to meet her Aryamaan. There must have run a Veer wriggling past the people on platform just to get a glimpse of Harleen before she leaves his town for ever. I know these thoughts are highly cynical, but it amuses me the most. I was brought back to the reality when Pujar asked whether we have carried sufficient food for lunch. We relished Chapatis and saved few for the lunch in the given share for each of us.

Having a clear goal of reaching Yedakumeri railway station before the dusk, we did not rest in Donigal station for a long time. Carrying our backpacks, we trekked ahead. The drizzle accompanied us throughout. We kept getting bridges after bridges, but much awaited tunnels were not seen at all. Almost all the bridges we crossed had at least one stand-by just to safely (!) run to it and stand aside when the train comes when trekkers are in the middle of crossing a bridge. Luckily we did not get the train when we were on the bridge.

Tip: Be careful when you are running to the nearest stand-by, some of them have missing planks and more over they would all be very slippery during rainy season.

Trekking ahead, as precisely told by a railway employee, we got our first tunnel. Near the entrance on top of the tunnel, all the tunnels are etched with the year it was constructed in (most of the tunnels are built in 1970s) and the length of that particular tunnel (ranging from 100+mts to the longest being 572 mts).We were all excited to walk through the pitch black darkness. We all made sure we hear no sound of train before entering the tunnel. Every one of us had obeyed to the trip itinerary by carrying a torch each. The first tunnel was some 100+ mts long (I think). We walked few steps ahead and felt as if the darkness has engulfed all the six of us. Pointing the bright spot of the torch on the track, I looked ahead; my eyes failed to spot any source of light or any other bright spot in the tunnel. For a moment I thought I was blind. My eyes were wide open but I was seeing only darkness and nothing but darkness. Walking through the tunnels is more fun when the tunnel is curved and there absolutely is no chance of sighting the other end of the tunnel.

Tip: When you are in tunnel and train comes in, do not panic. Just stand resting your back against the walls of the tunnel. All the tunnels have this sufficient gap.

[In the next and the last part of this travelogue, expect to read about Byre - the Usain Bolt of trekking through tunnels, a narrow escape in one of the tunnels, a landslide, Ethapay's chhoti si love story inside a tunnel and reaching Yedakumeri station]

(to be contd...)

Green Route trek - Part 2

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Thursday, August 13, 2009


The bus driver seems to be was in real hurry and dropped us off in Sakleshpur very very early than we expected. There we were... in the sleeping town of Sakleshpur at 4:45 in the morning. Donigal, the place to start the trek is 6 kms away from Sakleshpur. Our bus was going further to Mangalore and we could have requested the bus conductor to stop @ Donigal, but we did not. We had thoughts of taking a lodge for freshening up. But after seeing no lodge is open, we decided to walk till Donigal. Foreseeing the food we were carrying would not be enough; we got some bakery food parceled. Actually we had plans of buying some apples, as we usually do while going for any trekking, unfortunately no fruit shop was open so early.

Tip: Get down in Donigal than walking all the way to Donigal in the wee hours. Any speeding vehicle could knock you down

Though the official Green Route trek starts from Donigal but we had started trekking to Donigal. The street lights bid us adieu after walking for few hundreds of meters from bus stand. We all switched on our torches to let know the drivers of trucks, buses and other speeding vehicles going past us in both directions that there are some poor souls walking on the edge of the road in the dark. While walking, we heard a peculiar rhythmic sound as if a wooden gong is hit with a wooden mallet. Later we were amazed to realize it was some insect making such a loud but musical sound. Ethapay said it could be mating season for those insects and males could be producing that sound to attract females. I hope these male insects dont lose all their energy in just producing that loud sound and get exhausted, I dont think those tiny creatures will be left with any energy when they have to actually perform ;)

Seeing not a single inch of land dry, we forecast the weather for that day. The rain God nodded in agreement with a drizzle. We sat under the roof of a closed shop and wore our jackets. After walking for nearly an hour, we reached Donigal. Donigal is a silent village next to Sakleshpur. We counted and found 3 hotels in Donigal. The village must be so widely spread, that if a strong armed person throws a stone away and there are very less chances of stone landing within the bounds of Donigal. We chose to have a cuppa Tea each and rest a bit in the biggest of the 3 hotels The other 2 hotels did not have tables and chairs, they were mostly like kiosks but a bit bigger in size. All of us had tea. Byre, Narayan, Ethapay and Pujar lied down on the benches of the hotel and utilized the hotel as a lodge. Sharath and me clicked some pics within the hotel. We ordered 2 plates of parathas which was more of an act of returning favor to the owner of that hotel, for allowing us to sleep on the benches in his hotel.

Six of us shared those parathas and were about to leave the hotel for Donigal station around 6 AM. But, this time the drizzle was an understatement. It was raining well. Ethapay and Narayan wanted to start the trek waiting for the rain to stop or slow down. But rest of us convinced them that it is gonna rain this way throughout the Western Ghats during the season of monsoon. Asking the hotel owner for directions to reach Donigal station, we left the hotel thanking him again. The dampen road and the surrounding greenery inspired us to click many photos on the road to Donigal railway station. We made few calls from the public 'one Rupee coin' booth in Donigal. We were almost sure that, that was going to be the last link to civilization before we start our trek.

Tip: Only BSNL network works here. Better carry a BSNL sim

Tresspassing through some private estate, we reached the railway track to Donigal station. Donigal station was still quite far away.
(to be contd...)

Green Route trek aka Sakleshpur Railway Track trek - Part 1

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , | Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009


It was 10’O clock in the chilling night of Yedakumari. The corridor of the old railway station with algae coated walls and leaking roof was providing shelter for six of us with few other trekkers. The railway platform was facing the gigantic rock covered with thick moss and other bushy plants. Two railway tracks were lying cold between the rock and the platform. The moon was playing hide and seek behind the dark clouds. The pattering drops from the edge of the roof of corridor were rhythmically causing ripples on the stillness of the night. We were resting on the floor with our towels and half dry jerkins protecting our backs and asses from the cold concrete floor. The railway officials had switched off the 4 tube lights that were lighting up the entire stretch of railway platform after their dinner; they had dozed off in their cozy rooms remaining indifferent to the guests sleeping outside.
The six of us had just finished our ‘royal’ dinner consisting whole wheat bread slices with pickle and sauce with some Haldiram’s bhujia for garnishing. Sharath was lying left most next to Byre. Narayan was snoring next to him. I was involved in nonsensical talks with Pujar and Chetan to my right. I had held my bright torch up on my stomach pointing upwards to the white roof with many yellow and greenish patches, that serving as the only bright source of light after a dimly lit incandescent bulb at the other end of the corridor. To our left there were few other trekkers from Bangalore, most of them were tired and half dead after trekking on the Green Route for 20+ kms whole of that day.
A thought occurred in my mind. It was a Saturday night; all the 6 of us could have been on our cozy couches of our warm rooms in our respective houses in Bangalore, if we had wished to. But instead, we were lying curled up in some remote railway station in the windy and chilly Western Ghats waiting for the arriaval of a train @ 11:30 PM to that station. The railway employees there had said that train which usually does not stop in that station was stopping to our luck that day due to some signalling problems. Our calf muscles were tested to their best and our soles were paining every millimeter after walking on the gravel of the railway track for 20+ kms and other 10 kms on road. I had 4 boils on and in between my toes caused by my not so comfortable shoes. I just thought, was this misery worth in the name of thrill and adventure? Then my heart said, it was worth every penny of the pain! My mind was filled with the picturesque landscapes, fog covered mountains, innumerable streams and waterfalls, pitch dark tunnels, mind numbing metal bridges and fresh green vegetation that we had seen while trekking on the railway track that day.
---------- x --X-- x ----------
A trekker’s CV in Karnataka is incomplete if s/he has not been to Green Route aka Sakleshpur Railway Track trek. This has been a long pending plan for us. When we were searching for places to visit in monsoon, Green Route was last of the options. People and expert trekkers warn it as not a safe thing to trek in the monsoons on Sakleshpur Railway Track. With some hesitation and queer enthusiasm, 6 of us had gathered in the Majestic KSRTC bus station on Friday night.

The 6 trekkers are,
Pujar: He is in search of a Mexican Lingayat girl to marry and is very particular about this specification
Chetan aka gungru [not ghungroo]: People who have seen a recent Kannada movie Eddelu Manjunatha would know the reason behind calling any person gungru and are free to laugh to their heart’s content :)
Sharath aka Techie: The proud owner of D-SLR camera and the most organized guy in the gang
Byre: Toughest guy amongst us. Kannada movie director Suri is thinking of casting him in the sequel to Junglee
Narayan: The silent killer had grown thick stubble on an insistence from some hot aunty
Me: the loaferest loafer of the gang :)
Carrying enough food items and all the other necessary equipments for the trek, we boarded the famous red KSRTC bus to Sakleshpur. Chetan and Narayan preferred Volvo bus, but Byre chose Red bus over Volvo as he wanted this to be a tough trip preparing us for the tough trek of the next day.
The bus was relatively less crowded. We occupied 6 seats in the middle rows of the bus. The bus left Majestic exactly at 11 PM as scheduled. We all were pulling each other’s legs, cracking PJs bigtime and sipping Sprite, were just 5 hours away from what could be called the best trek of our lives.
(to be contd..)

First day of Nandan Nilekani in Parliament

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Friday, July 24, 2009


[This is one of the mail FWDs I got and felt like sharing with you all. This is a work of fiction by a creative blogger and NOT by Nandan Nilekani himself. I know this mail is going rounds these days as the genuine first person account of Mr.Nilekani, but it is not true. Just read on and appreciate the creativity of the blogger who composed this. btw, Nilekani has published his Last Post in his official blog and has mentioned that he is not supposed to comment on any Govt policies and hence ending his blog.]

The House was in pin drop silence. I was brimming with anticipation and excitement!!!! Manmohan had informed me that my introduction was one of the important points of the agenda. I hoped that I will be able to make my speech properly. After so many interviews and conferences, I was nervous today!!!! After the Speaker indicated that the proceedings of the House could begin, Manmohan formally introduced me to the entire House. He mentioned that as the head of the Unique Identification Authority of India, I was responsible to ensure that each and every Indian had a digital smart card as a proof of his existence.
Manmohan spoke about why I was selected and also some references to the various projects executed by me in Infosys were mentioned. The House listened with rapt attention. I was asked to say a few words and I did exactly the same!!! I thanked the Government of India for having given me this opportunity and I assured the House that I would strive to successfully deliver this project. The Speaker then formally inducted me into the House and before the proceedings could move any forward, there was a small commotion on the other side of the hall.
It was Minister of Textiles who had a comment to make before the next point on the agenda. He made a request that I should be attired in a more austere way instead of a flashy suit. It did not go well with the image of a minister who should live to serve the common man and should be less ostentatious in his habits. I stood up to reply. I offered my apologies to the Honourable Minister and assured that I shall be in a more acceptable dress next time. I felt that he was right. We also used to have corporate dress code in Infosys. So it's here as well!!!!
I sat down and felt somebody nudging me. I turned around and to my surprise; it was the former Indian skipper and one of my favourite batsman Mohd. Azharuddin. I remembered that he had recently won the elections. I smiled at him and mentioned to him that I used to like his game very much, shaking his hand. No Rolex, I noticed. Azhar told me that he would fix me an appointment with an Italian designer who had designed his dapper Kurta suit. An Italian designer in Milan doing Kurtas!!!!! I made a note of this and reminded myself to give this example to Friedman for his next book, The World Markets are flattened.
Since there was no doubt about the Fixational capacities of Azhar, I told him to give me the details and I would consider. The proceedings of the House went on with numerous bills being debated and passed as I sat as a passive audience waiting for my projects turn to come up. After the lunch break, it was the moment for me!!!!


I was at sea. My laptop did not have any reserve power. I went to Manmohan and apprised him of the situation. I was sweating. He calmly replied that this would not be a cause of concern. I was flummoxed!!!! The Speaker asked me to explain to the House on what were my plans for the Unique Identity Project. I replied that I have a plan prepared for 30-60-90-120 days milestones and I have presentation to make for which I need a power socket, a projector and a screen. I had no idea what was going to happen after this.
The next couple of minutes were a complete jolt for me. I was completely in a tizzy. Let me just summarize what happened. A Joint Cabinet Secretary Committee was set up to judge the feasibility of my request. The Under Secretaries for the Ministries of Power, IT and Broadcasting will prepare a Viability Report after scrutinizing National Security threats to my request. This was because the power socket comes under Power, laptop comes under IT and projector comes under Broadcasting. I have also been told to reconsider my timelines of 30-60-90 days and start thinking in terms of years. Probably, they are right. I did not have the foresight in this matter.
The summary of the issue is that I need to come up with a more inclusive, democratic, comprehensive long term plan for this project to be executed over the next five years. I have also been given a presentation slot 3 months from now (by which the issues related to the power cord etc will also be resolved). I am filled with mixed reactions. I was planning for a quick resolution; the management wants a strategic solution. I come out of the House and text Murthy.
"You wont believe it but these guys work just like us. I am on a NATIONAL BENCH for the next three months!!!!!!!!"

15 kisses that changed the history of world Tennis

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , | Posted on Friday, July 10, 2009


Pic courtesy: Go Roger!
Check here for Federer career statistics

Some straight questions

Posted by Anantha | Posted in | Posted on Saturday, July 04, 2009


Caution: Explicit use of language when and where it is required

You could call it just a juxtaposition of some of my genuine questions, some info to pass on and few of my opinions; that's what is my say about gay rights, about recent decision of Delhi HC on 377, about the altered sexual orientation of nearly 20 million people in India. As I am not able to take a firm stand on this topic with my current knowledge on this subject, I could sound idiosyncratic in few places, but can’t help it! Being a heterosexual I could also be biased about this topic!!

  • First of all, is homosexuality and bisexuality normal..?
I know normalcy is subjective. So heterosexuals not supporting this could call it not normal, LGBTs (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Trans genders) and liberal supporters could call it normal. So that was a really vague question...

  • Biologists have proved that homosexuality is observed in many of the animals like antelopes, boars, bulls, chimpanzees, cows, ducks, cats, dogs, fruit flies, geese, gorillas, gulls, horses.. etc Is human being just an addition to this?Is sexual orientation of a person decided at the time oh his/her birth? Or is it a trait picked up by some hormonal changes during puberty? Or is it an influence of surroundings or is it a mix of all these or any of these? This research says, though there is a region identified in X chromosome, if it is present in heterosexual females, it gets passed on to their male children. This could make that child a homo. Again such a gene was not found in female homosexuals. This research also says that just a region in X chromosome is identified but not the exact gene. Also there is no measure of how much this gene could influence a male child to be born as homosexual.

This study says, it is largely shaped by genetics and by few random environment factors.

  • What about bisexuals?
I read some where that these are the people who are still exploring their sexual orientation. Some might remain exploring; some might be bisexuals with a liking for one gender over the other.
  • Don’t bisexuals increase the risk of spreading HIV and other STDs?
  • Isn't homosexuality a dead-end of evolution?
Isn’t homosexuality being considered as dead-end of human evolution? Read this and this. Though these articles do not give a clear cut answer, they throw light upon lot of aspects.

Indian Mythology:
  • Khajuraho sculptors and Kamasutra have mention of homosexuality. But does that mean it was prevalent in India from a long time? Was it considered 'abnormal' even then? Any mention in old scriptures about this?
I know Amba reincarnating as ShikhanDi in Mahabharatha, Lord Vishnu taking the avatar of Mohini to kill Bhasmasura, Arjuna assuming a transgender named Brihannala during the period of Pandava’s disguise, but these are anecdotes from our mythology about male transforming into female and vice versa. But Is there any reference to homosexuality anywhere?

Indian Penal Code:
IPC 377 states, “Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.”

Delhi HC has decriminalized IPC 377, and the section still exists. Meaning, a non-consensual sex against the order of nature with man, woman or animal is still a punishable offense.
Dat also means homosexuality is still not legal in India.

  • When IPC 376 states a rapist gets an imprisonment of 7-10 years, was’t the pre-existing 377 (before decriminalization) little unfair? Because a consensual sex with a partner of same gender would put a homosexual behind the bars for years equal to that for a rapist?
  • Does IPC 377 (before decriminalization) imply a consensual anal sex by a man with his own wife considered as domestic rape?
Uncategorized category:
  • Do people become gays/lesbos by choice..? Is it more to do with their life style..?
Conservatives might call it lifestyle chosen; liberals might call it an orientation by birth.
  • What about some young people who indulge in homosexuality for fun, in the name of adventure, in the name of exploration, or just for gimmick? Are they formally considered gays/lesbians?
  • Why do eunuchs act so horny? Any research on desire to indulge in sex is more/less in people with altered sexual orientation?
  • Why do most of the fashion photographers and designers "act" so feminine?
  • What about those porn actresses, who say they love girls and also love to suck co**? Is it their profession pushing them to the edge? or is it that many of the porno actresses are bisexuals?
  • In a threesome or group sex, if a person is *helping* the other same gendered person, is s/he called a lesbo/gay?
  • What if a set of people in future dare to reveal their sexual orientation towards animals like dogs/horses/goats or minor children, would Indian Judiciary reconsider the existing laws then also?
  • Most of all in future, if your daughter comes home with a daughter-in-law or son with son-in-law one day, would you welcome them?????

90% of eveything is.....

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , | Posted on Monday, June 15, 2009


Happened to read this quote by this wise man named Theodore Sturgeon, a science fiction writer.
"Ninety percent of everything is crap"
That's stunningly true isn't it...?
Doing a bit of Googling, found out some interesting facts about this so called Sturgeon's law. Though he quoted this aiming at the Science fiction published all over the world, but later argues that 90% of film, literature, consumer goods, etc. are crap. 
PS: Though, I personally feel ninety percent is an exaggeration, or may be the things I consider which are not crap now might actually turn out to be crap at later point of time. So there are chances that I might totally agree to this quote some time in future..

To Federer, with love

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , | Posted on Monday, June 08, 2009


Dear Roger,
First of all congratulations on achieving the feat of winning 14 grand slams and sharing the page of History books with Sampras for the moment. Most of all, congrats again for breaking the jinx of Roland Garros.
I have been following your game since the day you lifted your first grand slam. Since then I have been loving your game, not because you kept lifting grand slams one after the other, not because the tennis experts speculated that you would be the greatest  ever tennis player one day, but just for making the game look so beautiful and stylish! 
I still remember when Leyton Hewitt [I think] said, "It is unfortunate that we are playing in Federer's era". I enjoyed the way you dominated in all the tournaments, no matter who the opponent is. That is when the grey-heads of Tennis stirred up a debate, whether you could be called the greatest ever Tennis player, they compared you with Rod Lever to McEnroe to Bjorn Borg. I never bother about these kinda arguments, because firstly I feel it is unfair to compare two players of two different eras, secondly I have not seen them playing! No matter what people opine, for me you are the God of tennis. In future when a new champion emerges (who would certainly have to bear the comparisons with you) and my kids watch him play, I would love to tell them how better were you!

Then Rafa emerged as the 'next big thing' of Tennis court and started showing the world that you are not unbeatable, that even you have a vulnerable side. With an amazing combination of controlled aggression and precision, Rafa surely is a toughest contender for you. Every time you played against Rafa in a big match, whether on clay or grass, I have prayed to God as if I was waiting for the results of my final exams. When Rafa firmly denied you a French open in all the 3 finals from 2006-2008, I had feared that you might also end up like Sampras, without a French open. Every time you lost to Nadal, a very basic question that does not only pertain to Tennis but life as well used to rise in my mind - In the war between aggression and grace, why does aggression turn out to be victorious most of the times? 
I was less disappointed when you lost to Rafa in straight sets (1-6, 3-6, 0-6) in French Open 2008 finals than when you broke into tears after losing to him in this year's Australian Open. I could not believe it. I mean I did not like it! What was that indicating, a man who hardly used to show his emotion on field once, has given up? Did you accept Nadal as your jinx not only on clay but also on other surfaces? I am sorry to say, I had not expected that from you.
Though this victory in French Open would add to the tally of career grand slams, I would say, you won it easily this time. Your nemesis was defeated by Soderling quite early in the tournament. The other threats, Djokovic and Murray also not making it to the final 4. Though Tommy Haas and Del Potro made you sweat, I think this was relatively  an easy grand slam for you! Hope it gives you the confidence of clearing the mental block of Roland Garros and a sigh of relief. 
Agree you have won it, but I want you to EARN it beating Rafa in French Open finals some day.... I know that victory would be more satisfying for you than the current one. 
Your greatest fan... 

IPL10 - A futuristic look at IPL

Posted by Anantha | Posted in , , , , | Posted on Monday, April 27, 2009


Disclaimer: This is a hypothetical and futuristic take on IPL

This is the year 2017. 10th season of IPL is about to kick off in few days in Las Vegas. Here is an account of IPL, the way it has grown and changed in the last 10 years since it started in 2008.

  • The IPL which started as a league of 20-20 game back in 2008 is now reduced to 10-10 overs, making it the shortest form of Cricket. The reason being cricket enthusiasts started to lose interest in 20-20 after few years of IPL. People demanded more excitement as they considered 20-20 was pretty slow game (!)
  • There are 15 teams now participating in this IPL-10. Shimla Apples is the newest team playing its first IPL. Preity Zinta who was once a co-owner of Punjab Kings XI, is the sole owner of this team. She ventured into owning a team of her own after an alleged spilt-up with her long time beau Ness Wadia. The pair has finally split after multiple reconciliation efforts by their family and friends. She says now she will be able to concentrate fully on IPL as she has taken a sabbatical from her acting career. Well, we all know that she hardly had any roles in her kitty, since the first season of IPL ;) Yadavs of Patna is another relatively new team with Lalu Yadav's son Tejaswi Prasad Yadav captaining the side. The team is owned by none other than Rabri Devi. This team is a good contender for the IPL trophy this time.
  • This season of IPL has most number of baseball players (on an average, every team has 2) than any other IPL seasons in the past. Most of the team owners and coaches felt it was a strategic necessity to buy baseball players for the team as there are records that 220 (in 10 overs) is also not a safe total to defend these days. For this reason, team went on a buying spree across the world. Most baseball players were bought from teams in US. This is when BCCI showed interest in conducting IPL-10 in Las Vegas. BCCI says it is also an effort to popularize cricket in US. The newly set up Cricket Board of USA has managed to set up a new plush indoor stadium for IPL-10.
  • The cricket pitch is prepared of synthetic material unlike the hard soil pitches of the outdoor stadiums. This kind of pitch is supposed to bring ball straight on to the bat without any scope for spin, swing, and enabling batsmen to just cudgel the ball. The ball is also a made with a mix of leather and special rubber, making it much lighter and is supposed to cover long distances when hit by batsmen.
  • Ever since IPL-7, ICC has permitted the use of double sided bats made of special fiber instead of wooden bats used in other conventional formats of the game. These double sided bats help the batsmen to hit the ball farther without much effort. These bats look very much similar to baseball bats, which also helps the baseball players in the team. The word club is being used synonymous to bats these days.
  • New set of rules say every team could only play 4 Indian players and the rest have to be foreign players. This is an encouraging move as it gives the team the best of talents across the globe.
  • This is the 3rd successful year of the new chairman Another Bindralmiashah, after there were allegations on Lalit Modi of dwindling the money of BCCI during his long tenure as IPL chairman.
  • 18 year old Arjun Sachin Tendulkar is the new sensation of IPL-10. There were rumors that his father, legendary Sachin Tendulkar did not want his son to start his career with T10, instead he wanted his son to start with the traditional format like ODIs. Arjun Sachin Tendulkar is the costliest buy out by any team in the history of IPL. Rumour mills say Mumbai team quoted him close to 500 million USD for a contract of 3 years.
  • IPL-10 is also going to be the last IPL of arguably the God of IPL, Yusuf Pathan. He has decided to retire from cricket after this season. When asked about his next plans, he says he is already in talks with few of the team owners to join them as batting coach. Yusuf is the only batsman in the history of IPL to have an overall strike rate of over 250!!
  • There is also a new variable being added to the statistics of batsmen. Along with number of matches played, run aggregated and strike rate etc, this new variable is gonna be number of sixes hit by the batsman. A similar element will be included for bowlers, for the number of sixes conceded.
  • Cutting edge technology always has been part of cricket.
  1. The new technology enables to sniff and tap the thoughts of the brains of bowlers, batsman and fielders which is available for the analysis when the match is in progress. But grey heads have revolted against adapting this technology as this information could be used by the opponent coaches to guide their players on field.. But there is also an argument that it is fair as the info is open for all to use and make plans and counter plans.
  2. Umpires no longer stand in the field. In an effort to nullify human errors, all the umpiring decisions are taken by the third (but the only!) umpire.
  • There are also rumors that there are gonna be no bowlers in any team from next IPL. Due to this bowlers' future is in doldrums. Instead of bowlers, there are gonna be bowling machines used. Automotive giants of Japan and S Korea seem to have prepared the prototypes of bowling machines which can generate a maximum speed of 200 mph. Whether there has to be a regulation on this speed of bowling as it requires super human batsmen to judge the balls thrown at these extreme speeds is yet to be decided by ICC. The legends of the game like Sunila Gavaskar, Steve Waugh and likes who have always expressed their dismay against commercialization of cricket now have openly lashed out at robotizing cricket also.
  • Bryan McFixer is returning to T10 format after clearing the charges of match fixing in IPL season 9. He had played four continuous dot balls in the semi finals of IPL-9.
  • Television broadcast rights have been bought by Zoom channel this year in India.
  • There are close to 250 official commercial sponsors overall for this year’s IPL.
  • The popularity of T10 has affected the snail paced ODIs let alone Tests. There are only 5 test playing nations remaining now. Kenya being the last and latest team to get the nod from ICC as test playing nation. Rest of the teams are England, Australia, West Indies and Sri Lanka. India stopped playing tests 3 years back, as BCCI decided it was not a lucrative business.
  • According to the latest rule, if a batsman fails to score in the required run rate, he could be called off by the batting side captain. A batsman of choice (any player from the squad who has not played yet in that innings) could replace him. Mostly like a substitute in a football match.
  • At last how on earth can there not be anything special about cheerleaders when IPL is being held in LV? This time many of the teams have hired strippers from various Clip joints of LV. Various Women's rights activists in India and as well as in US have protested this nanga naach in the name of Cricketainment. But chairman of IPL, has announced a part of the profit of IPL is gonna be donated for the welfare of Commercial sex workers in India. This has pacified many of the activists in India.
  • BCCI is also thinking of introducing 5-5 overs match before cricket enthusiasts turn their faces away from T10. Would they name it F5? And will it remain a mass hysteria like F1 for decades? Only time has the answers in its belly...