Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Future Tech!

Future Tech.

There biggest challenge in the online transactions world, be it in financial services  or E commerce or cyber forensics is to establish authenticity of users. KYC, personal profiling, digital profiling and number of practices abound. All of them have loopholes and always some one cracks through the system  and abuses it.

One of the tools used for profiling is biometrics. Fingerprint pattern identification or iris pattern identification is the most accurate tool today to establish identity.

I throw a question to banks and financial institutions today - why do we need ATM cards and credit cards which are prone to be stolen or hacked into to transact. Why is here a need for a physical card? Why don't banks introduce a finger print identification at an ATM that gives access to bank accounts by recording a finger print at the tike on client on boarding and using that as a unique identifier for all transactions for that customer with the bank!

This will eliminate identity theft, card theft, and a whole lot of security challenges. The technology is available, is low cost and scalable. Imagine a scenario where individuals don't need to use cards at an atm, but just needs to walkin and press his/her thumbs against a biometric scanner on the atm machine to unlock the account and transact.

This will eliminate need to carry many cards, increase account safety and reduce cost of cards based infrastructure completely. This will disrupt the credit card and debit card industry but will not eliminate them. In fact it will eliminate plastic card makers but not credit issuers like visa or master but on the other side will make issuing credit a lot more safer and bring significant credibility and accountability into the credit process and card based transaction process this benefitting such organisations.

The simple question is,  why then are banks not using this yet. The answer is some one need to start.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Defence

Defense lawyers are appointed by the state to defend any accused to establish a reasonable level of doubt that the defendant did not commit the crime. This is not because the defendant who may be a criminal should be protected, but it is to ensure that the prosecution is able to establish beyond a reasonable doubt the authenticity of the crime and the accused persons role in it.To ensure the burden of proving the crime is paramount as much as it is a burden of the state to protect all accused unbiasedly until proven beyond doubt that the person s absolutely guilty of the crime. The defense attorney has the complete burden of the state to defend an accused,  however genuinely he or she may have committed the crime to prove and ensure the prosecution has all the facts to convict a person beyond all reasonable doubt.

This may make a defense lawyer nervous day in and day out as this is a battle to bring one to the book of the constitution and get him/her to agree. The legalese is great for a story, but in real life the dichotomy of the attorneys profession ensuring 'not guilty until proven' but his own system of justification might be swift judgement of the crime and immediate punishment! Life of a defence lawyer is quite extra ordinary..!  Some times immoral. Some times the law will have to break its own boundaries...sometimes....

I wouldn't be surprised if one day a defense lawyer who efficiently defends a criminal by day in the court of law and even wins his cases might be conflicted in reality through his own knowledge that he defended a criminal and won and hence need to pass the real judgement to get things even as per his moral compass. Successful defense lawyer by day, vengeful killer by night, interesting backdrop for a thriller...well, will keep it for another day!

The Dichotomy of Opposites...Virodhaabhasam!

Can a person do something very intensely even if totally disinterested it and do it very well. I think humans are capable of that even if there is no incentive to do that. It is the human ability for excellence while being dispassionate or disassociated...Example ..did man's scaling of the everest do anything for mankind? nothing..but man did it and is even respected for it. Man is capable of such things..aplenty. And even vice versa. Superior intelligence or great action doesn't guarantee great outcomes .. at best it indulges in inertia , and do nothing or just enough to get by but revel in the clear awareness that doing and accomplishing isn't everything and the gain from accomplishment of meagre things based on the selfs world views is not necessary and is for lower beings. But, take this example..if a drowning man knows how to swim but doesn't, he will die...many times intelligence is self-defeating unless used ...so why do humans indulge in it like the proverbial ostrich...well we are mere humans aren't we!   This is the conflict...to be intelligent but not indulge in it because no one deserves to be at receiving end of it it or is it pain freaking laziness or stupidity, in which case it isn't intelligence!what else!Amen!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Di...

Why This Kolaveri Kolaveri Di...

Smart marketing or gone viral, whatever it is the Rajnikanth family is laughing its way to the bank already. The movie 3 will be a sellout.

What is this phenomena? Theses and anti theses are abundant already, i will not venture there. Whatever it is, it is doing great for the movie.
Not sure i will watch this movie for the song, i might watch it if the reviews are good!

This song reminds me of a dialoge piece from a malayalam movie some time ago that went viral when there was no internet and continues to do so even now! Absolute nonsense! Totally lovable!

Q: How many miles from Washington DC to Miami Beach?
A: ha!ha!ha! I am the answer...I am the answer...Kilometres and kilometres in these days of degenerating decency of Washington DC to Miyami beach when diplomacy and supercity become interchangeable from complicated America to America!!


WTKKD - Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Di

Why this Kolaveri Kolaveri Di? This Kolaveri for Kolaveri thaan maad aa irikkiradhu !(This madness for Kolaveri Di is maddening!)

Smart marketing or another phenomena of marketing going viral,whatever it is the Rajinikanth family is laughing their way to the bank already before the movie 3 is released. It is just 5 days since the song Kolaveri Di has been released on the internet and it has a few million hits making it the most 'hit' Indian song on the net in such a short time. The movie will be a sellout and a guaranteed hit.

This will will lead to a deluge of such attempts by Rajnikanth's and Dhanush's fans and many other followers(read apes) very soon. This very hummable and catchy tune though will be beaten to death soon by umpteen copies and remixes!! Remake attempts in Bollywood and Sandalwood will pop up soon and force more of this onto our living rooms and social media and news papaers and public spaces!

WTKKD?!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Maithreyi's window

Maithreyi’s Window


Everyday morning after prayers (song sequence dedicated to Krishna in Ananda Bhairavi) , Maithreyi opens the window in her bedroom – the window opens into tomorrow which the princess sees through it today. Maithreyi is able to see in clear detail for some time , what will happen tomorrow and then the image fades away to show the present. Maithreyi then closes the window and goes about doing her chores that help her in dealing with tomorrow.

This is established during a Diwali/Baisakhi festival – the princess opens the window one day and sees the town celebrating Diwali/Baisakhi which is 28 days away and praising the king and queen of Mithila for their just and fair rule of the kingdom where riches abound, there are no class differences, there is abundant food( lot of green crops and orchards), rivers are flowing musically, butterflies in the sunshine and picturesque landscapes with deer, cows, elephants etc live in harmony. There is a lot of wealth in all homes, there are no thieves and there is a lot of love in general. The Diwali/Baisakhi theme of festivities, goodies, sweets, celebrations, clothes, jewels, music and dance, crackers, visual spectacles of lights and sound should be created in a very grand manner to capture the scale of festivities and the way the people enjoyed and lived life in Mithila then. A truly visual splendor needs to be created for these sequences.

Scene elaborates on the lives of the farmers, the artisans, the army, the businessmen and the women and children all of whom are happy and trust each other and live harmoniously. Visuals need to be created for each shot. Period costume, lighting, language, etc to be captured clearly in overhead and wide span shots as well as street camera rolls. Daylight and night shots visuals to be captured showing day life and night peace.

Through the window, the princess sees a handsome young prince in grand and fighter attire on horseback winning over the people in her city through his bravery, charm, wit and ability to protect. Maithreyi meets him on the streets and he wins her over with his charm and abilities (need to create some brave scenes with a sword fights, tactics, fantastic dialogues – (can add a song sequence after that) Maithreyi falls in love with the prince and makes him promise that he will come to her palace and ask her parents for her hand in marriage. He agrees to come in the morning after prayers and breakfast. Then the image fades away from her window and the window shows ‘today’ and Maithreyi closes it and goes about her duties of tending to flowers, learning music, having elaborate scented showers and learning yoga and warfare. In ‘today’ Maithreyi falls in love more and more with her prince reminiscing about his antics that Maithreyi saw in through the window and is eagerly awaiting to see in flesh and blood the next day when he will come and ask for her hand in marriage the way Maithreyi saw through the window.

The reader comes out through the window and looks at the palace from outside it from a birds eye view of the palace which is spectacular – the minister’s voice is heard explaining a case in hearing and the camera pans into the grand and ornate Durbar. In the durbar is seen the King holding court and the minister is in the process of explaining the case to him for which he needs to decide a solution.

The King of Mithila –( Lalu Alex ) rules Mithila with his wife (Shobhana)in a grand manner. Court scenes show fair decisions being taken by the king to govern the kingdom justly. His wife nearby reassuringly supports his decision because of his wisdom. Maithreyi even participates when the king seeks her opinions on a particular difficult decision regarding a business deal (Maithreyi quotes a scene from the Mahabharatha when SriKrishna decided to favour the righteous even though the decision would have been perceived as a wrong action – Bhagvad Gita. This is to highlight those big decisions should be for the general good of the public and not for just public acceptance (and votes). The wise decision thus taken will ensure there is general good overall and there is harmony in the longer term.( the story where the king establishes his wisdom and makes the right decision needs to be created – the prosecutor and defense in this case will be powerful characters who will become part of the story in the window ). Dialogues need to be loaded and clearly rendered to establish the characters personality and righteousness or the absence of it clearly.

The plot :

The king has a sister who has two sons – One is a good guy and the other isn’t. They both want to be the successor to the King as the king has only a daughter and is unmarried and doesn’t seem to be interested in marriage as far as everyone knows. They do not see her as a threat as there is no prince charming come to steal their rightful throne away from them. They are jovial with the princess and also try to convince her that they love her so much where as they don’t and are planning to kill her and her prince if Maithreyi gets married. The minister who is a loyalist is by her side and knows the evil ides of the cousins and protects the princess from them to ensure the kingdom remains with her after her parent’s time.

Veerabhadran and Ananthabhadran could be the two sides of the argument with Ananthabhadran as the negative and Veerabhadran as the positive. The minister would be Thilakan who with his sharp tongue and wit establishes justice for the king and demonstrates his undying loyalty until death. He is the eye and ear of the King and is trusted by all in the kingdom. The Vaidyan takes care of the health of the king and queen and is befriended by the cousins to overthrow the king. The Vaidyan is comic and provides amusement as the comedian in the movie. Since he is the Palace Vaidyan and has access to the health secrets of all in the palace and has unrestricted access to all, is also privy to information about all in the palace and can pit one against the other to have general good merry which he claims is the objective of good life – to be merry and happy. He is recruited by Ananthabhadran to kill the king and queen and become the successor. The senapathy comes to know of this and informs the king who asks the minister to investigate and establish the truth. The minister engages in a detailed Q&A with all parties to establish the truth and gets to know that if he teamed up with Ananthabhadran and kills Veerabhadran, he will continue to be minister and be more powerful as he is the link of continuity of law in the kingdom. He teams up with the Vaidyan who has also been assigned by Ananthabhadran to finish off the king , queen and Veerabhadran. One night after drugging everyone, they enter the Kings chamber to kill them and find them missing. Veerabhadran walks into the chamber and finds them with poison and knives. They plead for their lives and blame Ananthabhadran for asking them to murder the king and queen. Ananthabhadran acts shocked and supports Veerabhadran and encourages him to imprison the minister and Vaidyan. He immediately orders the senapaty to capture and arrest the vaidyan and the minister promptly does so. Dungeon scene - where Thilakan and Jagathy mastermind an escape and gets away in disguise after killing the senapathy and Ananthabhadran.

The king hears of this from Veerabhadran and mourns their loss but however praises Veerabhadran for doing the best for the kingdom and promises to marry the princess to him on her 18th birthday. The princess in the meantime goes through the motions of the mourning of her cousin and then gets shocked to know her impending marriage with Veerabhadran. Veerabhadran in turn is dreaming to marry her and become the prince.

The princess has her own plans though – Maithreyi wants to be the princess and rule the kingdom and not be wife of Veerabhadran . Maithreyi befriends the vaidyan and the manthri in hiding in a different kingdom in disguise as a village belle and convinces them to join her in her plan in return for their earlier positions of palace Vaidyan and Manthri. But fate had a different plan for her that Maithreyi would not be able to change even if Maithreyi knew it – and Maithreyi came to know it.

Maithreyi wakes up the next day amidst great thunder and lightning - the closed window opens in the lighting in the middle of the night unlike its morning openings . Through that Maithreyi sees the darkest hour of her life. Maithreyi sees that Maithreyi is running through a forest chased by some men on horseback. Maithreyi is running and running until Maithreyi reaches the palace which Maithreyi finds is deserted. The manthri and the Vaidyan stop her with swords from entering the palace and tells her Maithreyi will be killed. Maithreyi turns around to run for life and is stopped by the handsome prince Maithreyi dreamt about getting married to during Diwali/Baisakhi. He comes forward to attack her and in a split second Maithreyi jumps to the side and picks up a sword lying there and beheads the prince. Maithreyi then turns around and chases the Vaidyan and the Manthri and kills them too. Maithreyi then goes on to establish herself as the Empress of Mythila. Unquestioned and unparalleled. The reader moves back to the present and sees the princess in the room now shivering from what Maithreyi has seen. Maithreyi knows that this will be her fate the next day. Maithreyi is in turmoil over why the prince tries to kill her and how the Mantri and the Vaidyan also turned against her and Maithreyi collapses unconscious.

The reader moves to the open window and moves out – into the world of the morrow !! Veerabhadran is seen to have developed into evil after being promised the kingdom and marries the princess and imprisons the king and queen. He then terrorizes the people and plunders the wealth of the kingdom away on gambling, wine and women. He loses his ability to fight and all his wealth. Then a prince from a neighboring kingdom comes attacking to conquer Mythila and imprisons Veerabhadran and conquers Mithila. He then plans to kill the princess and proceeds to kill her when Maithreyi jumps away and beheads him instead. The camera then goes back through the same window into the palace and the window shuts close. The princess awakens from her unconsciousness in the morning and remembers the happenings of the night. Maithreyi is dazed and confused and then slowly goes to the window to open it and see what lies in store. The window opens and what Maithreyi sees is a grand procession – one led by a prince who comes to the palace asking for her hand in marriage. Maithreyi is confused why the window is showing this as Maithreyi had already killed the prince the previous day! Maithreyi shuts it close and after thinking about it , dismisses it as something Maithreyi can’t figure out.

Maithreyi gets dressed and goes out into her wonderful kingdom and is met by a lovely prince with whom Maithreyi falls in love. Maithreyi returns back to her palace with confused emotions knowing that Maithreyi had seen a procession this morning of her prince coming to marry her and also seen herself killing the prince. Maithreyi panics and runs out to the palace hall to see her parents and the mantra and everyone there are looking at her with smiles – the Vaidyan announces that Maithreyi get ready and comes back to the hall. Maithreyi gets back into her chamber and comes back in resplendence to be proposed by the prince, exactly on Diwali day - the way Maithreyi had seen on her first instance through the window 28 nights ago! Maithreyi is scared and astoniMaithreyid ad confused with what’s going on and realizes that what Maithreyi had seen of killing the prince was yet to happen and will happen in 28 days and what Maithreyi had seen of her marriage was indeed happening. The prince steps forward and amidst blessings from all wears the mangal sutra around her neck and takes her around the agni pradakshinam in the bond of marriage. Maithreyi detaches away from the celebrations and runs to her chamber and throws open the window - and sees that the prince was searching for her the princess and his newly wedded wife – the window had stopped showing her the future! It was just like any other widow – just a window to the other side.



As Maithreyi settles in and accepts that the window has lost its ability to show her tomorrow and tells others in the place that it is now a normal window and Maithreyi will be able to lead a peaceful life without knowing what is in store for her tomorrow. Maithreyi wows to take good care of her family and her kingdom and send everyone away in readiness for her first night with her newly married prince. In the bedroom a new story unfolds. The prince tells her that Maithreyi was stupid to have believed him in the first place. He laughs and tells her that Maithreyi was going to be killed and this was planned by the Manthri and Vaidyan who had come to him for help when they fled from their kingdom. They had hatched the plan to kill everyone and claim the kingdom – hearing this Maithreyi runs out of the room and runs away into the garden – Maithreyi is chased by the prince and the scene Maithreyi had seen through the window is recreated. Maithreyi jumps up and kills the prince as Maithreyi had seen – all the while going through the emotions of having loved him, betrayed by him and having to kill him to save herself from death. Maithreyi then turns around and with a determined look walks to the window and opens it – feeling better control over her destiny, having become the Empress of Mithila Maithreyi feels Maithreyi is invincible now – un conquerable and has the power of seeing tomorrow and commanding her fate to show her a better tomorrow. Her arrogance and transformation from a light eyed , lovely princess in love to a tyrannic warring conquerer, thirsty for blood and conquest is visible in her face, her ody language and her demeanor. The window opens and what Maithreyi sees her shocks her - Maithreyi sees her dead body being taken in procession for cremation to a river side. In shock Maithreyi closes the window and turns around and is stuck by a knife on her throat. The camera pans to show a laughing Veerabhadran who had thrown the knife telling her to die so that he can rule the kingdom. Maithreyi fights death and pulls out the knife and lunges at him in an attempt to kill him. He steps aside and Maithreyi falls down with the knife held in such a position that it enters her heart – and Maithreyi dies.

A shaken Veerabhadran picks himself up from where he had fallen while trying to escape her and walks over to her. After closing her eyes he looks up at the window and walks over to it in an attempt to let some light in. He slowly opens the window and - what he sees shocks him. !!! He turns around to the right at the reader and a loud scream is heard in the background.

The story of maithreyi’s window will continue – this time as Veerabhadran’s window in an even more exciting avatar.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

shift_enjoy

As I ease out of my gate onto the lane that leads to the main road , a racing and screaming car belches its horn loudly from behind my car forcing me to slam my pedal hurtling the car towards another passing car . I turn around to see the driver of the car holding onto the wheel for dear life probably trying to remember if he has paid his cars insurance and his life insurance premium! I turn around to see all passing cars shouting profanity at me for not playing by the rules!


No one wears seatbelts – guess the car companies will stop making them as cost reduction initiative. Roads will never improve and travel speeds will never increase either. I lower my windows and get a blast of loud honking from all passing vehicles, grunting diesel engine trucks and buses and the blaring music from the hi-fi of many a passing vehicle. I promptly pull up my window.

I shift into gear and was about to accelerate forward when the most irritating thing on Bangalore roads come up towards my car – the inevitable speed breaker! I barely see it and the car goes over it shaking everything in the car including me and making me wonder if it was a speed breaker or a back breaker!

A vegetable shopkeeper throws the day’s junk from his shop out onto the street. Some of it splashes on my windshield and the rest go under the wheel. I set my wiper on to clean the window and spray the remnants off my window with moderate success. A lady at the balcony of the 2nd floor apartment right above the car on the road chooses this opportune moment to empty her bucket of washed clothes waste water onto the road and on to the top of my car. The water washes over my car leaving soapy suds all over the car and some grime and color. My car looks like it is emerging out of Eastman colour bollywood movie.

I recover and try to keep the car on course. A yellow tin box of a school bus comes dangerously rattling and passes my car, almost kissing the rearview mirrors. Four squealing school kids in their pretty school uniforms dart from the sidewalk across the front of my car to the school bus that had screeched to a halt. They boarded with great merry .I could hear them singing. I slammed the brakes to avoid the children and the car squealed to a stop, tyres burning and spitting smoke. I had just managed to stop short of murder!I could see the yellow bus on the rearview mirror, rattling away from me further and further .

I was still in the lane, I notice another another speed breaker and slow down. This one is a mountain. It certainly broke my speed and my back. I wondered what else it breaks! My car climbs the mountain and rolls of its side to be encountered with a big fat brown cow glaring at me straight on with every intention or ramming into the windscreen. I punch on the horn and the car lets out a loud honk. The cow is unperturbed. It stands its ground. I halt. No amount of honking makes any difference. Then after a few dangerous lolls of its tusks near my windscreen, the bovine being moves away and turns around. I catch a glimpse of its grinning teeth and wait for it to turn away before I restart the car that had switched off after idling for a while , and move on. My day and the journey to work had just begun. I turn on the stereo and the familiar RJ starts chattering again like she was the most happiest person on earth. I hope it is a good day.

shift_enjoy

I enjoy driving. I enjoy the feel engine drumming out the power of a hundred horses from its belly pushing the metallic beast forward in a glorious war with the tarmac raising my adrenaline a few notches high on the rare occasion when I get to slam the pedals to the floor and let the beautiful metallic beast cut its way through wind, water and sun.

I enjoy this experience of being cocooned inside the little luxury of the air-conditioned, soundproofed, unpolluted environs of my car, listening to my favourite tunes or to the sexy voiced favourite RJ chattering away as if this was the most happiest moment of her life always. I enjoy the smooth way the car smoothes over the city’s numerous speed bumps, pot holes and eases through the maze of sulphur spewing , grunting and coughing diesel guzzlers whose respect for other vehicles stand next only to India’s respect for Pakistan.

I enjoy the various insights I gain in life by merely driving from home to work and back. The sheer experience it provides one with in life that reminds us of the animals we are at the basic level is such a humbling experience in itself.

I slide in behind the wheel of the car in the yellow boxed darker than hell parking lot at the basement. The security guard doubling as the car wash guy car had left the wipers up to make the car pretend that it has taken a wash. The guard must be poor, or must be lazy, I muse. I put the gears into reverse and almost hit a pillar. My car inches eases out of the little yellow boxed parking space allotted for my car and brushes at the mirror of my neighbours vehicles which is parked as if we were sharing parking lots. Is the builder’s greed bigger than my neighbor’s insensitivity, I muse. By the time the car’s rolling out of the main door of my apartment complex I have gained immense insights into human life that I wouldn’t have gained through penance at the Himalayas. More on my next post – the great pleasures of driving in Bangalore.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Newspaper times.

I have a habit of reading newspapers everyday. I started reading it from the days my father used to read “The Statesman" when we used to live in Calcutta before it became Kolkata. Moving to a small village called Pallassana, in Palakkad, Kerala, where the newspaper agent could not provide us with English newspapers as he could not get one for us everyday, i started reading the Malayalam newspaper “Malayala Manorama” and then the “Mathrubumi”. This opened up a different world to me. A world seen by Malayalees and written in Malayalam – This was alien to me but gave me a window to a new world and helped me learn to read, write and speak Malayalam well. Looks like I was meant to learn Malayalam and see the world that a Malayalee sees through the Malayalam newspapers.

I went back to reading English papers when the agent started to get “Indian Express” everyday in my village after many years. I then moved on to read “The Hindu” when I went back to Kolkata for a brief period because my father used to subscribe that instead of “The Statesman” as he believed that “The Statesman” had stopped reporting good content and that “The Hindu” was by far the best daily journalism in the country. I benefited from this decision as well. The Hindu had many eminent journalists who wrote about various matters of great national and regional importance with great insights and honesty. They also had great command over the English language and I was at the receiving end of both good journalism and good English everyday.

I moved to Bangalore to pursue (I always wondered why does a career need to be pursued? Isn’t there a better word/usage for it? ) and then moved on to reading the Deccan herald and then the Times of India, in Bangalore. Few years later , I was introduced to color newspapers by the Times of India and that certainly made my news more colorful. The language and the content were substandard as compared to the Hindu and the Statesman but made up for it through liveliness and diverse content(that’s my justification for not reading better papers!). Moreover it was cheaper and ‘cool’ to be reading The Times Of india (TOI) than when ones claims to be reading the Hindu! (Yes!! Reading newspapers, and that too TOI was cool! Unlike now when reading anything on a paper form is so un-cool!!)


I am now in China and I read many more papers and magazines on the net everyday. This includes the before mentioned ones and some new ones like the Economic Times, Economist, The South China Morning post, the Xinhua Daily and The Strait Times . One reason i read it on the net is because i get i free and can read it anytime I have feel like reading by just connecting to the internet. A newspaper paper in China costs 7 RMB to 10 RMB here daily, which translates to 50 to 70 rupees per paper per day. I have been habituated on spending in the range of 2-3 rupees a day for a paper all my life and find it appalling to have to pay 70 rupees for one paper. Moreover I don’t understand why a newspaper would cost 70 bucks a day in China where they invented the paper and the printing press and mass production and mass consumption (read as 1.3 billion potential readers) should make things much cheaper as it has done it for all other Chinese goods!


There is one more reason why I read many papers (yes it is still called news ‘paper’!!) even though it is the bites and bytes version! , that is due to the law of averages. I feel and have proven right in many instances that, the more options one has, the wider variety of views one has on same and different subjects. This is better than just one view. Interestingly news papers here all show politicians smiling, great government programs for social & economic development health care and public welfare, and infrastructure and general development in big bold columns with smiling politicians endorsing them. Achievements in the field of technology, science, healthcare, business etc are always the headlights - owing all this to the great Government of the country.( now you must be getting the drift I suppose?).


I have also realized that there is more news available on blog sites on the net where Chinese share their views freely and the newspapers rarely report what one could find on the various blogsites. Lets just say that News will find its way to interested readers, one way or the other.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Demo-crazy vs auto-crazy?

Talking about democracy, examine this. If the family is the basic pillar of society on which a nation is built on, shouldn’t democracy and its tools be integral parts of the family establishment according to Indian conditions? The Chinese would disagree though!!.Why does the grandfather or father have to be called the head of the family when they are retired and need help to manage their daily lives themselves? Why cant anyone be the head of the family by popular vote! Why not the youngest daughter in the family or even the maid – they are the most popular and powerful ones one amongst us anyways and will win most votes if they stood for election to the ‘head of the family’. Isn’t that how we Indians select our politicians and leaders to run our country – sheer popularity and power. Need not necessarily have the skills and knowledge for governance! isn’t it?!


Shouldn’t we draw a ballot and elect the head of the family every year or every 3 or 5 years as needed to propel the family towards its goals. These need to be defined clearly or else there will be groupism and more candidature for elections and thus reducing single majority for creating the ruling body. This will then result in an unstable leadership as seen in the past cases of our governance in our country.


Shouldn’t we have five year plans, economic policy, law and order, justice and punishment, defence, education policy, environment policy, revenue plan, expense plan, retirement plan, development plan and the myriad number of controls that are used by any governing establishments for running its daily chores.

Shouldn’t we have 'A Mission Statement', 'A Vision Statement’ ‘family etiquette rulebook’, a constitution, a penal code, a judiciary, a ministry for each matter of importance to the establishment etc, and also an opposition! I can be the opposition anytime!

Shouldn’t marriages in the family literally be marriages of convenience arising out of diplomatic need and to further the family’s social, financial and personal standing rather than be matters of the heart or of the stars (read astrology).

Shouldn’t defence policies be towards building defence mechanisms like the Nuclear warhead type secret and lethal WoMD. For example secrets about the neighbors secret liaisons, and other secrets that can damage permanently and heavily.

Shouldn’t families maintain appropriate diplomatic relations within the extended family and society in general and pass arbitrary aggressive comments in the media (read social functions and apartment association meetings) against ones enemies/neighbors (aka Pakistan and China) from time to time to keep the relationship or the lack of it simmering on the boil.

Shouldn’t family members have dharna’s in front of the kitchen (read food and beverages ministry) if the food cooked is not what is expected by most members, dharnas in front of the master bedroom (central ministry) for all matters of larger concerns, wife’s cupboard (finance ministry) for reforms and spending, wife’s side of the bed (read home ministry) for general law and order as rightful means of protest and demonstration of demands.

Shouldn’t matters regarding career and social life be according to professional and social ‘norms’ (read as considered to be correct by the large public) as against the widely used and abused current form of ‘according to one’s will’.

As seen in many cases normally, we are democratic at will – that is truly democratic isn’t it. But is it? By virtue of this democracy, don’t we become autocratic and impose our will on lesser beings and on situations where we can and hence cease to be democratic. So how can we claim to be democratic? Is this choosing of ‘I’ll do what I feel’ democratic (free spirited will deciding for oneself and not controlled by other factors) or is it an autocratic one that means that I will not follow ‘norms’ and ‘status quo’as I don’t believe in democracy, I believe in autocracy and hence my behavior reflects independent will.

Food for thought? – Maybe!

Free will or free wont!

Free will or free wont!


Advice from elders go like this - Raviley ezhunnette, nerathey kalathey kuliche karyangal cheythukoodey! Now that means why don’t you get up in the morning, and do something early! I never understood why they wanted me to get up early in the morning to do ‘something’. I felt that I could do the same ‘something’ noon, midnight or pre dawn and still accomplish lots or more than what I would by doing it early morning. And I get to sleep through the morning too!


Nerthey kaalathey kedannorangi nerathey eneetuoodey – I like that part of the statement. It means nerthey (early), kaalathey (morning) kedannorangeettu (sleep) and get up and early is the part that I don’t like! Ha Ha!Talk about bending stated facts or stating bent facts huh!


Another one goes like this - Choododey kazhichoodey? Thanupichu pacha vellam poley aaki endhina kazhikkaney! Some foods are tasty when cold, and I think I like some stuff cold! They can eat food piping hot if they like!


Not that I don’t like getting up early or eating hot food. I just don’t feel like doing it then. Remember the days when I used to wake up at 5.30 Am and leave home by 6.00 to play shuttle with many of my comrades in arms, or when I used to eat hot beef chilli and parotta at 3.00 PM everyday for lunch at Kollengode Shakunthala hotel? Well what do they know about choosing convenience over so called their own version of ‘wisdom’!!?? So where did democracy go in the scheme of things in a family. Why does democracy have to be only part of nations/states governance.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Mind It!


If Quick Gun Murugun was anything like the real quick gun murugun that Channel V created a decade ago , a sarcastic take on South Indian movie culture + cowboy culture + generally south Indian culture then I must say that it is in bad taste. The hidden but loud racist divide between the North Indian and South Indian cultures will just get widened with this fanning of the fire with such targeted , disguised pot shots .

‘Saala Madrasi’’ as all South Indians are known North of the 4 South Indian states is a clear misnomer. It is hilariously out of mark and is a clear indicator of North Indian judgementalism and casteism and superiority assumptions that are so ‘un cool’ and unnecessary in todays times. Someone disguising sarcasm to make a movie and releasing it across the nation is blasphemy. India is a free country so I take offence to bigots generalizing and associating Sambar and oiled hair and loud fluorescent dressing with all South Indians is very caricaturish and targeted. This is the new wave of unnecessary sectionism that someone is recreating and bringing into the open. I find it objectionable as if we don’t have enough in our country to deal with already.

Examine some of the loud representatives of North Indian Culture Dal roti, makhan(cholesterol), lassi(more cholesterol), turban(unwashed and smelly), bhangda (dance? nah!!) , Hinglish!!! and ghutka chewing, paan eating, truckers!!. I recently started wearing masks and a bullet proof shirt after a certain Rajasthani neighbour spat ‘ghutka’ on my pristine white shirt when he asked me if I work in ‘Shanghaayi!!’ I doubted if he was a tad high on ‘Bhisky’ because I had told him just before that outburst that I work in Guangzhou . I remembered that he always addressed my ilk(read Mallu Menons from Malabar) as ‘Tum Madhrasi log!!’ . How literate he must have been..! Madras was never Madhraas!And imagine Malabar as part of Madras. He was certainly a dated piece. A relic!! I thanked the stars that no Chennaite was around to hear this man say that or he would have know how a ‘sambar’ and Thaiyir saadam fed Mad-rasi can become Mad even without the need of any ‘rasi’!!! I also learnt that Punjab was ‘Punjaabe’ and dal was actually ‘Daale!’ Delhi was Dilli and all Dillites feel they are Gods Gift To India! Every Dillite claims a connection to some one at the High commission, the parliament or the central ministry! It beats me what they are doing in South India when they have such connections up north… blah blah!!

I was once witness to a party of North Indians. I learned quickly that ‘Bhisky’ was a rare commodity and was always to be consumed by the bottle in minutes and then one was supposed to raise his left hand and right leg while swirling the end of the right hand and push the air back and forth while raising one’s head and lowering it every now and then to match the raising and lowering of the right feet. This was to be accompanied by the loud bang of tables when drums are not around and followed by the war cry.. hurrrrrrrrrrrrre! And Balle Balle!! every 30 seconds. Dance I suppose!! Hah! I thought civilization had evolved. But Ahem..

A movie recently showed Delhi as Dilli and dirty side lanes and unclean slums as great places to be and enjoy! I don’t want to be anywhere near such places to invoke nostalgia!!
Throwing colourful but toxic chemical powders , drinking gallons of cheap marijuana laced liquor in the name of festival celeberation and doing all unsayable things to girls who choose to lower their morales(read the necessary pieces of clothings that cover their dignity) under the ‘influence’ and pretending all this is passable in the name of religion and celeberation!! come on give me a break!
Eating tons of cheddar cheese and ‘makhkhan’ loaded sweets that pile on to arteries and kill.
Glorifying ‘Shudh ghee’ as healthy and unloading gallons of it in all things that one needs to eat!! Puh!!Healthy life style I say!!
Ghee and cheese loaded ‘Mithai’ that straight away find its way towards ones waist and some unmentionable parts of women eaters are the North Indian way of ‘Mooh mithai!!’ sweetening ones mouth!! And examine this ‘Tumhare Mooh me ghee shakkar’,I can understand jealousy but can never understand why one should wish some one else’s mouth to filled up with ghee( cholesterol & fat) and shakkar(read Diabetes)!! People!!!

Assuming superiority of race and shooting, torturing and raping people to assert superiority!! . Isn’t this very ‘Nazi’. Isn’t this what the Fuhrer did and the world condemned as the Holocaust!! And the perpetrators of such crimes in India assume Superiority! Booh!

Ask Anyone –

Where do all the software Engineers, scientists, technocrats and intelligentsia of India come from
Where does Vegetarianism come from in India
Where is the highest literacy in India
Where is the Lowest Crime in India
Where is the best health care in India
Where is the best Education India
Where are the most developing cities in India
Where is the most expanding Industries in India
Where is the hub of culture and tradition of ethnic India

And

where did Islam and terror come to India from
where did ‘partition’ come from in India
Where did corruption and bad politics come from in India
Where did Phoolan Devi and Lalu Yadav come from
Where did Mayavati and RSS come from in India
Where did Jyoti Basu and Yechuri come from in India
Where did Singur and Nandigram come from in India
Where did ‘Babri Masjid’ and ‘Ayodhya’ Issue come from in India
Where did ‘Blue Star Operation’ come from in India

And they say Quick Gun Murugun!! Well South India is doing the Balle Balley on all things that matter while the others watch cheap spoofs trying to pass off as movies! Dil Boley hadippa!! Ha ha!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Vice Versa!

From Pic courtesy: Web 2.0



Vinod

Regards

Now lets start thinking vice versa.Only Pun intended.In the world of today where equality of genders is unequal and polarization of societies are of stratospherical proportions, in spite of all the hoo haa about equal opportunity..let's examine some hypothetical examples of our unidirectional world that is prevalent today against its vice versa.

The woman opens the door for the man and steps aside with a bow and a directional wave of the hand for the man to pass - chivalry.

The offering of a chair to a man by a woman.
Of course! the woman goes down on her knees and 'ahem'.... proposes( ha ha!)
A speech starting with Good Morning Lads and GentleWomen.
A lady Ronaldo instead of Christiano is acquired by Real Madrid for 80 Million Pounds

Lets move on..

A Marilyn Monroe does a "GodMother' with Mrs Puzo and Mrs Coppola.
Ms Hillary summitts the Everest.
Ms.Swarzenegger is Terminator.
The Taj mahal was built by Begum Noorjehan for the Shahenshah Shahjahan.

Come on..!

Men wear Bras and Garters while Women dont!!
Men have PMS and women dont.
Men get pregnant and Deliver during Paternity leaves.
Women pay Alimony.

Move on..

Red means GO, green means STOP!
White means dirty and black means clean
Nigger means cool and white means freak!
Indian & Chinese means stupid and expensive while American means intelligent and cheap(ROFLAD!!! - Rolled on the floor laughing and Died!!)
French are liberal and Chinese are Democratic

Move it..

BJP means secular and Congress means stable!
Laloo means honesty and Basu means efficiency
Mamta doesnt mean Singur and Tata doesnt mean Nano!
Rajnikanth is Nadigar Thilakam and Kamal is Thalaivar!
Shahrukh is Vijay Dinannat Chauhan and Amitji is Rahul!

We could go on ..couldnt we. And we could stop. Please let me continue.

Hello,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

An Internal referral.


Internal referals in an organizations are a common thing in most companies. Staff engage in it to get the referal bonus or to 'help' someone in their family or friends circle to get a job in the same company , often reluctantly and many times due to incessant followups which become unavoidable after a certain point of time. Some refer others to companies to get in their own clique of friends or ex colleagues hoping that they will form a coterie of like minded poeple who in turn can do great things for the company and also mutually benifit from it. Some do it for purely placing their own sources in strategic positions to wield power/influence.

Most of the times this action serves counterproductive to the reason why the person did the referal. Many a times, once the refered person gets on board, he/she starts to pursue their own agenda which in most cases are diferent from the reason why the person who refered him actually did. It is also seen that many a times, the person who has been referred goes on to build great credibility in the organization and becomes larger that the person who refered or is a very bad performer and takes down the credibility that the referer had built over many years of had work, PR and other commendable as well as unmentionable things.

After years of working in large corporations and refering some persons into the same organizations, I have now a fair understanding of the dynamics of the same and have arrived at some observations around referals that I find is amusing and common. This might be of help as pointers to follow or avoid when refering others to your organization;

Set your expectations and align agendas accordingly right at the start lest agendas clash or never meet.

Refer high performers from other companies, who are significantly junior to you and wait until the person comes on board and builds goodwill and then go to town with posters screaming , you refered the person and thus sucking away that persons hard earned goodwill and adding it to yours .

Refer successful and knowledgable persons to key positions that will never be a threat to your own line of work or reputation and you can still benifit from the success of the persons own capabilities and successes by passing on the word that you refered him in.

Refer and ensure that when the person becomes successful, the person himself goes tom tom that you refered him and helped him achieve what he did and thus transfering all of his success and credibility over to you.

Never refer intelligent and efficient people in your own area of work who can compete with you and even win - they might be a threat for your survival iteslf. Do so only if you know for sure that you are better than him and can ward off any such actions with stellar performances yourselves!

I recently refered a person into my company to a senior position than mine purely based on the need of my organization and the skills of the individual matching the same.Even though I am not paid any referal bonus for this noble act as we do not have a referal reward policy , I am happy that the organization seems to have chosen to hire the person and the person has been working at building his success story in line with the conpany's expectations. I hope I did the right thing and this will not boomerang some day. I also realise that I have just added on another dimension to the whole referal thing by refering a person to such a position. It has now partly become my resposnibility personally to ensure that he succeeds in this role so that the company, himself and I benefit from it. Well dint I have enough on my plate earlier?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A December Nostalgia

Let me engage in some rhetoric..its been a while.. Managed a quick visit to India and returned last evening. It was an official trip with a holiday of sorts squeezed in and as always turned out to be more hectic and tiring than a workday.
Scene 1: Nostalgia Bangalore Chapter
Meeting Location - Ranjith's house at Domlur, Bangalore .
In continuation to Sajith's note on our brief Bangalore meeting at Ranjith's house with Nostalgia's Bangalore chapter, here are some updates. Vimal and Manoj chose not to meet quoting busy schedules. We believe them and pray for more time for good things in their lives as well :-) I managed to make everyone wait for an hour before turning up for a short visit.I did not rendor apologies and was promtly thrashed verbally and then forgiven immediately. 1 full whiskey got over in 30 mins and only 3 were drinking! In the animated 30 mins or so that i spent there i noticed a few things: Madhavan remains the same but has sprouted a French beard and a glint in his eye that shows his success in his family life and business :-). Way to go mate :-) Sajith had the typical analytical eye of the successful HR professional that he is which was quite visibly represented by his expanding tummy :-). Pradeep's demeanor and his physical proportions demonstrated that the medical profession has no recession even if the world goes bankrupt. Ranjith in his everpresent kavi mund reminded me that here is a guy who might have been born wearing it! The nice fellow made us all feel at home literally and was the perfect host. The banker in him was kept beneath covers during the discussion and the naadan mallu changathi was the one visible. His mention that he doesnt want to travel via KSRTC to Palakkad with me but will drive the next day with his boss in a FORD has me rethinking about his character now. I will deal with him separately :-)

Scene 2 : Nostalgia Headquarters meeting
Location - Fort Palace Palakkad.
Rajith's mutiple efforts at organizing a Nostalgia meeting over two weekends finally bore fruit. We all agreed to meet at FP last Sunday at 4. I managed to be late by an hour thanks to my dear friend promising to get me my return ticket to Bangalore on KSRTC and then merrily driving around at Nelliampathy with his boss on the FORD while his dear friend Sunil desparately tried to get me a print of the ticket with the BSNL DSL connection being very friendly to connect and but unwilling! He finally succeeded and my father dropped me at FP so that I can meet(read drink) with my friends ;-) The setting was inside the 'AC' dark room inside FP..one of the upmarket bars in town! We cant change FP nor Palakkad, we can change the venue next time :-). Amidst plates of Beef fry and chikkan pepper fry and a few bottles of beer and soda bottles and some glasses, i could barely make out 5 men huddled around a table , when i entered the dark room . I uttered a namaskaram with a raised hand and a few others reciprocated. I realised I had found them :-) Rajith the arbitrator uttered the initial pleasantry and then all the others proceeded with similar courtesies and i reciprocated with equal elan. A few moments of sight acclimatization and i settled in and ordered a kingfisher to many surprised exclamations. Little did they know that I was trying to drink less by drinking more, read beer :-) Prashant was in the middle - nursing a beer with finesse; spoonsful of beef finding its way to his expanding waistline at a steady pace. We made polite conversation and then the table assumed quietness. Rajith popped the question - China visheshangal para. And the rest of the table assumed an audience mode while I assumed the speaker's stance and rolled out my speel of China. I was jabbed many times with questions and at some points of time, there were more longer questios than the answers itself with the questioners taking longer and longer to probe without providing me a chance to answer :-) some even complained that i was not loud enough! I must say I had a tough time keeping up with my beer that was going flat and eating answering the questions. Hope I did some justice to the questions. Sunil chinnathambi refused to recognise me initially and then went on addressing me as Etta throughout :-) He is a must have in all such parties. That guy rocks.. way to go mate :-) Sunil Shivadas with his classic sense of humour was very quick to captilise on every opportunity to crack a good one and we all thoroughly enjoyed it except for Sunil Chinnathampi who was at the recieving end most of the time :-) Govindan kutty was the typical academic - he grilled me with a QA session and then i saw disbelief on his face and even inacceptance many times of what i said because I was speaking about the Communist party and the Chinese govt. I was in fact positive and maybe candid which was the reason why GK was a bit disturbed. He demanded that i write a note on 'China visheshangal' everyday and I promised i would. I hope to keep up that promise GK ..but with a slightly reduced frequency. Sanjai turned up in between quietly and mentioned he was coming from the station. His first few words were - Kulichitilla, pakshe Pallu thechu! It sounded like both the activities were exceptions for him!! :-) I was surprised that he was actually trying to recognize each person. I then realised that he was faking ignorance. Not much has changed in terms of his appearance except for a few grey hair that comes as part of the grill in a Journalists life and maybe a few extra hair have greyed with the difficult times he is faced with for some time in his family. He went on to explain his child was recovering and we all hoped and conveyed our support that he gets well soon. Today's mail from him mentioning that his child is fine is a great relief and we hope and wish that everything looks brighter by the day for him and his family from now. He also spoke at length about his profession and it was great fun listening to him as always. Chinna thambi slipped out to have a separate meeting with some one then spoke loudly on the phone for a while while making himself the greatest entertainer around :-) Rajith looks the same. Looks like a disciplined health freak with no alcohol, no smoking , no meat and no tummy :-)Rajith the arbitrator asked some very strategic questions and let the others speak more and drank in many fruit juices along with whatever nonsense we all said :-) Thanks Rajith for oranizing the meeting da. You are doing a great job of keeping us together and in touch and such meetings certainly go a long way on carrying Nostalgia forward. I formally announced the plans that Ranjith and I had finalised one evening at Bangalore on making a film. We will be rolling out the project in 09 and will keep you all posted. Will seek your inputs very actively as it progresses. Sanjai also announced his movie creation plans and said he will confirm the date. I am sure Ranjith who joined later from Nelliampathy would have discussed the plan frward with Sanjai and the team. I, with Rajith sounding the alarm that i will miss the bust at 7.30 , i sought help to get to the KSRTC transport stand and our dear friend Prashanth offered me to be dropped in a chauffer-driven AC car to the non AC KSRTC bus :-) and after saying the right goodbyes and the customary hugs and handshakes later, I said bye to Nostalgia December 21 with the hope and promise to meet again soon for even more great times. Thanks guys for making it happen. I really enjoyed it. Hope everyone else also did.

Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Valiya Vadassery Tharavad - A Rememberance

It is with deep grief and great respect for our Tharavad that I decided to write this piece. I recently went home with Achan, Amma and Vani and spent some time there. It was a great feeling and I wish to share some of my memories there that some of you will also identify with.

The house has withstood more than 400 years of tough Palakkad weather and might live another 400 more. We all know that I am being wishful and the reality is that it will fall anytime. Many parts of the great house has been falling from a long time.Our external walls have collapsed many times almost on passers by many times. I remember once the kitchen room fell on Amma's head and once the wall of the well caved in while she was drawing water from the well. I have had tiles fall on my head and seen many a displaced tile, stone, pillar, pattika, wall etc.

I remembered some occasions and experiences connected with our life at our Valiya Vadassery Tharavad and felt like writing and sharing them. Our school days at the Tharavad without electricity, without running water,without proper toilettes, without proper medical facilities, without much money, without any krishi, without any revenue, without any scope for improvement it in a long time, the times when we had visitors from our family residing in different parts of the country and the world who would come and live with us for a weekend rarely or for a few hours or minutes because we dint have facilities to help them stay longer like the above mentioned and yet we lived there for so many years with just the name of the Great Vadassery Tharavad and our Guru Karanavars and Muthi Muthashanmar and Ayyappan protecting and nurturing us till date. I have very fond memories of those days and will always cherish them. I am fiercely proud of our heritage and feel extremely fortunate to have experienced it in good measure. I can also imagine the greatness and glory of our Tharavad in the past which our karanavars lived and left for us to carry forward and handover to future generations.

I remember the many Vishukanis that Saraswathy Muthi showed us by keeping awake and doing the Kani kootal. I remember the innumerable nights when Muthy opened the door for me with a smile when i used to come back late from secondshows or even otherwise.I remember her taking care of me when I was unwell and ensuring i et well.She is the most unbiased person in the whole of universe as far as I have experienced. I remember many stories told by Muthy regarding our family, its members and our desham.

Let me start with my young days at home. Ammamma helping Amma manage the two us us -Manojetta and I. The ageing Ammamma with many kadams and failing health but unfailing affection towards Amma and us even in her last days to ensure we grew up and had a life of our own. I remember the days when she used to use 'kozhal' for lighting pacha verake at the kitchen and manage with some maids in extreme conditions. I remember from hearsay from my mother and her siblings on the great grand woman that she was at one point of time with Muthacha as the Circle Inspector of police and other able and great brothers at tharavad with wealth that anyone would envy and all kinds of facilities unheard of for even wealthy people couldnt afford. I remember the picture of the Ford that was hers and which my mother and her siblings used to travel in. I remember Kalam and the various stories asscociated with it. I remember the kalam itself and the kolam near it . I remember some of the workers at kalam and some of the names when mentioned. I remember the days of greatness from what i have heard and experienced about our Tharavad.

I remember Sundaramamas walking trips and then cycling trips each week to Tharavad from Koduvayur and back,I remember Udaya mama visiting periodically and always sitting thinking at the Dharmathara or Thalam near Ammamma.

I remember the days when Kuttymama used to come and stay for a week during kali and made us all practice the steps at Nadumuttam and Dharmathara. I remember the days of Kuttymama being Kaliachan and then Papamama being handed over the same Sthaanam by Kutymama.I remember the days when we used to go for Kali kumbidal at Bhagavathy temple, nariyum puliyum kollal, Karivela, kali abyasam edakkali at Pathiyaatil veede, Praying at our Mache and Ayyapande thara before Kali.. giving guru dakshina to Ammaama and then later to Papamama when he became kaliachan and then proceeding for Arangu kali each day of the kali.

I remember Ammas struggle in managing us with the limited facilities available at home after returning from Kolkatta. I remember all my mothers efforts in very fine detail to grow us up into what we are today amidst all the crisis, pain, inefficiencies in the shade of our great tharavad. I will not venture into detail as I am sure my prose will not do justice to the magnitude of her efforts. She is a great women. A true Vadasseryite and I am proud to be her son and be called so because of her. She has been with me every moment of my life and will continue to be the most integral part of my life ever. I pray to all the gods and our Tharavaatu Deivangal to give her good health, long life, peace and happiness always.She is truly a great mother and I am proud to have her as mine.

I remember Acha staying with us there while coming on Holidays from Kolkatta. I remember Achan initiating and putting the first power connection at Tharavad in 1990 so that all of use could have electricity to study. All of us studied and passed out from there and went on to pursue our future better . Achan's effort to make a difference in our lives with such acts are many. I remember Achan initiating and ensuring that we have a telephone at home so that everyone is connected to Tharavad. I remember Achan coming home each year after travellling miles, with sweets, savouries, clothes and goodies for all. I remember Achan's fond care while he used to come and remotely via letters. I remember the great times that we spent listening to his advice on how to live life and make good of it. I remember Achan sitting at Dharmathara and discussing various matters with all of us at home.

I remember Papamama getting us all admission at Chinmaya Vidyalaya and requesting for donation waivers with the management committees since we couldnt afford it. Papamama was keen to make us all study at CVP to provide for a good future for us. He then helped pay our fees many times and then created a healthy competition to motivate us to perform well at studies and rewarded us with cash and many eatables each weekend as that was the most valued and scarce resource then. I remember Papamama teaching us the Kali steps and paralelly teaching us to ride a bike. I remember Papamama coaching us on the ways of the world and how to deal with matters in life. I remember him taking us around on the bullet and then the Kawasaki. I remember the numerous weekends when he brought us brookebond tea, chicken , chips and many eatables. I remember his engagement and then wedding to Ammayi at Kudallur. I remember Tuutus childhood days and their family visits and then later their visits with Teena when we used to run around carrying the beautiful girl baby around. I remember Ammayi adapting to our culture and the ineffiencies at home and supporting Papamama in everything.I remember the days when Kuttymama used to come and stay for a week during kali and made us all practice the steps at Nadumuttam and Dharmathara. I remember the days of Kuttymama being Kaliachan and then Papamama being handed over the same Sthaanam by Kutymama. I remember Papamama treating us as young men and then men and women when we grew up without the prejudices of an elder Uncle. I learnt character from him. I learnt principle, value of relationships, corporate culture, sales and mediation techniques, budget management, priroties and a whole lot of things from him over the years.

I remember Janardhana Mamas visit once in 2 months in his car just to collect the coconuts that belong to his one tree in the Vadakkorathe mittam, I remember Saromama's kalyanam at Kunissery, and reception at Tharavad.I remember Sreemama at home in Padinjaarara upstairs. I remember Cheriamma coming home with newly born Anitha/Sunitha and Pappu/Prasan in tow.I remember the girls starting to talk, they starting to walk, going to school, and turning out to be very naughty and lovable girls and now into great women. Little did anyone know that they will live there till 2008!

I remember Valiacha's table at Padinjaarara upstairs corner which later became Srikanth's studydesk.I remember Valiyachas Krishi management, koythu season, nel vevikkal, onakkal and vilkal, podikkal etc.I remember his many sabari mala seasons and his komaram thullal and sharanam vili during the season and at Vilakke times. I remember the difficulties that all our mothers at the Tharavad faced in helping is grow. I remember Valiammas doshas at her kitchen on many days and nights. I remember the great Vishu times when we used to get Kaineetams, new dresses and huge amount of crackers to burst. I remember her supporting Amma many times .

I remember the sacks of crackers we used to buy for vishu and the big heaps of tamarind at home with all of us helping to clean it up and eating kilos of tamarind in the process with Muthy giving us a earfull. I remember the secret room at Vadakyaara upstairs which was also called Nidhiyara,the kalyana ara, the 3rd floor Mache thatte, the room that Cheriama used - kezhakkaara, the room that we used - Thekkaara
I remember The many engagements, kalyanams, vela time, kali time, mandala maasam sharanam vili with valiacha and the numerous Ayyappan poojas at Mache and Ayyappans Mulla thara.

I remember enjoying atleast 10 Onams there with all of us putting pookalam led by Shobha chechi and Andha Sundh in tow, making Madhor and the daily thrice poojas and melnottam by Saraswathy Muthy for everything, sitting in our Thalam with Ammamma and Saraswathy Muthy Omana valiamma and Cheriamma and Amma on the Charupadi in the Ahaaya teaching us values in life.Valiyamma, Valiyacha, Amma, Cheriyamma, Sreemama and all of us children along with Ammamma, Muthy in the Dharmathara in the evenings seeing Anitha and Sunitha learning to walk for the first time and then seeing them grow up.

I remember Praveen and Prasan running around playing, Srikanth and I building temples at kezhakkoram and doing what all many young boys do - doing many fun things, Manojetta studying at Andraalathara - ensuring i get back home on time from mannam and study well, ensuring i go in the right direction in life, ensuring i dont pick up the wrong values etc, Shobachechi putting pookalam and Anitha Sunitha learning to walk and go to school. I remember we running to catch NTP to Pallavoor, we playing football and shuttle at mannam and the numerous 2nd show films at lakshmi talkies.I remember doing pressups and pushups at the Thalam upstairs everyday and having a great neendhi kulikkal at pudhukulam every day, twice, come summer, winter , rain or anyweather.

I remember the kadhakalis and the mudras which Amma used to translate for me, the ayyappan paatus, the poraattum kalis, the paana chaatam, the vettakaruman paate, the niramaalas, the sabhamadam , pudhukulam neenthal, the chiluke and the desham activities . I remember all of us growing up there breathing the air around, eating the food made in that kitchen on veraku aduppe, and learning kali steps at nadumuttam and tharmathara, enjoying the rains inside the house at the nadumuttam, the cool feeling of thalam inside during summer, the mysterious rooms upstairs and the wonderful smell of old wood.

I remember the day when Ammamma and Muthi breathed their last at Tharavad and left us all.

I remember the all the experiences the great Tharavad house has given us. Our Gurukkanmaar, Kaaranavars, Machiley Deivangal and Ayyappan at Mullathara blessed us all and ensured that all the members living there and connected with the great Tharavad lived safely and left the home for greener pastures with enough strength and capability to move on in life. Many of us who have lived in that house and grown up there know every stone and every grain of sand there and it pains to see it just fall apart piece by piece , slowly and steadily. I am sure everyone attached to that house feel the same.We need to do something quickly together to ensure we dont lose it totally to time. Our Tharavad is too precious to lose. It is invaluable and irreplaceable. We need to get together quickly and strongly to keep the Tharavad intact in whatever shape, form or size. We owe it to our generation and the future ones. Long Live our Great Vadassery Tharavad. Long Live all who helps keep its glory alive. Long live Vadassery Family

Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Friday, September 26, 2008

Veendumoru Onam

Onappookalam, Maveli, Madhore, Onakkali, Onaghosham, Onashamsakal, Onappoda, Onasadhya okke Onathinde pratheekangalayi nammal karuthunnundenkilum.. sathyathil ippol njan kandu varunna Onangalil idhu virtual bhavathil aane ulladhe.. realityil ninnum valarey vidhooram. emailukalil, scrapukalil, chatukalil, phonecallukalil, advertisementukalil, sinimakalil, pinney shopping mallukalil, storeukalil, thunikkadakalil okkeyaane ippol njan Onam kanduvarunnadhe. Kaashu chelavaakaanulla upadhikalum, kaashu chelavaki medikkan pattunna chila anubhavangalum aayi maariyirikunnu nammude Ponnonam.. TV yude sthaanam living roomilum , bedrooomilum,endhine bathroomil polum aayi varunnu,kudumbaangangalde sthaanam telephoneindeyum, emailindeyum maru vashathe ulla kaanaankazhiyatha saadhanangalaiyi mariyirikunnu. Adhum manapoorvam aane.. Orumichu kudumbaothode Onam enna concept paade maariyirikunnu.'njanum ende TV serialum maathram'enna concept aane common. Angineyullaoru Onathinidiyail njanum ende bharyayum koodi theerumanichu..ee onam divasam nammal TV kanilla.. samsarichirikkaam.. pazhaya onakkalavum..anubhavangalum..manassinu sandhosham pakarunna karyangalum okke samsarichu.veetil nalla bhakshanam onnum undaakaan menakkedadhe.. nalla restaurantil poyi bhakshanam kazhiche, nalla baril poyi nalla kallu kudiche orupadu nalla nimishangal panku vechu Onam aaghoshichu. Njangaludey onathinde ee varshathe flavour 'family' focussed aayirunnu ennum orkunnu. Nammal enganey aane Onathiney kaanunnadhum aaghoshikkunnadhum ennadhe nammudey ishtamaanennum.nammude sandhosham aane typical Onam celeberationiney kaatlum pradhaanam ennum manassilaki ini mudhal eppozhum namukke nammadey flavour of Onam madhi enna bodhapoorvamulla theerumanam eduthe.. iniyulla jeevithathil oro onavum..valarey vithyasavum ..valarey sandhoshameriya oru sambhavam aayirikkumennum orthu aanandikunnu. Ellavarkum avaravarudey Onam valarey manoharamayirunnennum..iniyulla Onangal adhilerey manoharamavatteyenne aashichukondu njan ende vaakukal upasamharikatte! Nandhi! Namaskaram!

Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Roissy Charles De Gaulle, Crakowie!!

Well 11 days ago, I was at the same airport for the first time. No money in hand, no idea if my cards would work and with no clue on what to do during exigencies.

Today, I am here 5 hrs ahead of my flight and have checked in my baggage.. figured out the cheapest ways to have some beer and food and am indulging in a beer called the Navigator from Amsterdam, with an alcohol content of 8.4%. I am gulping down this drink (half a litre) in between mouthfuls of Casino potato chips and typing this in the passenger lounge opposite Paul’s Restaurant at Terminal 2 next to the Delta Airlines checking counter which has just a few people now at the Roissy Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris, France. I have managed to survive in Europe for 11 days and also learnt to find and do things that I feel like doing to add to my experiences in life.

While reflecting happily that I find writing increasingly interesting and practice this once in a while with passion, I also realize that this passion has been infectious and has touched my wife too. She sent me her 3rd blog (read as writing) today for proof reading which I found was wonderful to read because of the richness of its content.

I digress. When I first set foot at the Roissy Charles De Gaulle (CDG) 11 days ago, I learnt that it is a large airport with a few terminals and shuttle trains to take you from one to the other. I also learnt that there were only 2 ATMs across all the three Terminals and their variants ( A to Z!). The fact that none of these ATMs would accept my China Merchant’s Bank ATM card for cash withdrawal inspite of the bank’s call centre agent in China and the Union Pay (Chinese Equivalent to Visa/Mastercard) website and call centre agent also claiming that CDG and France had a total of 20000 ATMs that would accept the cards. Well this was another big learning!!!

Breaking into sweat out of anxiety, exhaustion from walking all over all the terminals and speaking to ill informed call centre agents in China, It dawned upon me that I had 3 more options which I hadn’t thought about before! One was to use the HSBC Visa debit card or the ICICI Mastercard or the Amex card to draw cash from the ATMs. At this same opportune moment, the memory gods that sometimes fail me, came swarming to me and reminded me that the HSBC account did not have any cash balance to withdraw from, and that I had received an email from the ICICI bank stating that my card had expired, plus I needed a new ICICI card to transact and also that I did not have my Amex card’s username and password for use in the ATM. Now stranded without any options, I called my wife in China to narrate my desperate situation. While I was doing the same , it dawned on me that the only option was to check if the ICICI expired card could work. I was also aware if the risk of it being eaten up by the French ATMs or risk the same with my China cards.

I found the two ATMs and decided to experiment with both the cards. The efforts at using the China Merchant’s Bank card at both the ATMs bombed. I was lucky to get a printout stating, card invalid! I was also lucky to have got the card back in spite of this. Well, the French Bank don’t have appetites for Chinese cards!! Then the hand of god waved over me and everything changed. The ICICI card that had expired, worked and I drew 300 EUR money from the ATM after which the ATM said that I had maxed my limit. I was fast to reconcile to the fact that I need to contain my expenditure for a day at 300 EUR. I was better off now than till now and proceeded with confidence to chekin for my flight to Krakow, Poland. I had planned to go to Les Fontaines, Chantilly, France directly from Paris and return to China but realized that I could go to Krakow and meet and discuss issues/opportunities with my counterparts there as I was in Europe and was logical thing to do. I checked with my boss who reconfirmed that I was right and gave me the go ahead. So here I was in the checkin area for LOT , the Polish Airlines and decided to write about the day’s proceedings.

I treated myself to a takeaway Cappucino and settled in cozily to start typing. A good 2 hours later after repeated delay announcements of the flight due to air traffic control clearance issues , I was finally allowed to board the aircraft to Poland. It was a 50 seater small plane that looked cheaper than even Deccan airways ( I felt proud that Deccan was better than this in India!). The flight rolled on and finally took off to Krakow under the sunny weather. I landed amidst loud clapping from all passengers at KRK to realize that it was warm ( 28 degrees C)and the airport was even smaller than our very own Coimbatore airport but was much more snazzier than the Bangalore HAL Airport! I disembarked and claimed baggage and was met at the arrival lounge by Lukaciej who spoke flawless English and wore a Ray Ban sporting a thin line of hair for a beard. He welcomed me with all his assumed Polish(read European!) demeanor of deliberate superiority trying to hide the deep seated East Block insecurity of all Poles!
He went on to say that It would be easier for me to pronounce Lukaciej and Lukas as most foreigners do that rather than attempt Lukaciej. I instantly surprised him with a clear and precise rendition of the name in the same accent and intonation and literally explained to him that I speak 7 languages apart from English and these had evolved from Sanskrit like many languages even in Europe and such small things were never a deterrent for us to pronounce names clearly. This sort of unseated him from his assumed European superiority which I had challenged and cut down clearly and quickly with my Asian superior demeanor and explanation of the Sanskrit intricacies and language etc! Now we were suddenly on equal terms and I made him feel at ease by mentioning that his country was beautiful and I need information from him to understand his country. This was an instant trigger for him, he fell for it and said that he liked me instantly after that and went about explaining all the sights, cultures and traditions of the Poles in between the 20 mins ride from the Airport to the Sheraton Hotel next to the Viswa River.
Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Westward Ho!

One morning in March, a mail from the Director of training for the Outsourcing vertical in Capgemini informing me that I had been nominated for a 1 week residential course in Les Fontaines(les-fontaines.com) in Chantilly in France was a welcome surprise in an otherwise predictable work environment. It was an indication that my superboss(boss’s boss) who had nominated me believed that I was deserving of that opportunity and considered it a wise investment as well which was reassuring and comforting in its own way that I was valuable to the organization and to him for considering such an investment in my development! The bonus was a possibility to experience more of the beautiful country of France and also a possibility of realizing my dream of visiting Paris. My Parisian CEOs comment that Paris was the most beautiful city in the world and comparable only to Rome had ignited this inherent deep need to experience the beauty of Pari ( as he called it)! There was an additional opportunity to visit Krakow in Poland , another beautiful country in the East Block of the Iron curtain making the opportunity very attractive.. almost a dream come true!

The fact of having to leave my wife back in Guangzhou for 11 days while I go about experiencing my dreams without being able to share it with her along with me was a certain dampener to the whole scheme of things. I reconciled myself to the fact that this was a business trip which was necessary and unavoidable even if I did not want to do it! I reconciled to the fact and decided that I will make the most of this opportunity to experience every aspect of these places to the extent possible and share with my wife to make her experience the same through me.

The day came when I had to finally leave for the trip. The Murphy’s law has been so accurate in my life in many cases , I could be a living testimony to it and be a scientific evidence to people who doubt its existence. I managed to leave home late in spite of having 3 hours of lead time to reach the airport. As Murphy would have it, I managed to board the flight without any RMB, USD or EURO and 3 plastic cards which I did not know will be usable in the countries I was visiting! I realized that I don’t have a penny and didn’t know how to manage if I needed one! This is where the survivor instincts in me awakened and instilled affirmation that I would be able to manage in spite of my situation! I don’t know how this happens, but this happens always! My banks website and the agent who I spoke to from the Bank’s call centre informed me that the card would be accepted in Paris!. I realised on arrival at Paris that there was not a single ATM in any of the Charles De Gaulles Aeroport De Paris did not accept my card. I realized that I was now on foreign soil without a penny and without a way to arrange for any either.

In between the racing of my heartbeat and the sheets of perspiration breaking on my back out of anxiety, anger, stupidity and helplessness, it dawned on me that I had a Visa debit card! I realized in the next instant that I had received a mail from the bank stating that the card had expired last year and I was required to renew it. The bank had sent me the new card in India while I had been in China and the Bank decided to disable it as it had never been activated in 1 year after issue. I decided to take a chance with the old card risking losing it to a hungry French ATM tummy!

The hand of god that has always helped people like me in such circumstances came to my rescue and luckily I was awarded with the permission to withdraw cash from my India Account with the old ATM card. I don’t understand why I had always carried it. Maybe because I was destined to use it and appreciate the hand of god from Paris! Or maybe in the scheme of bigger things, this was the design sketched to add to my experience in life! My heartbeat and perspiration came back to normal and I realized that in between all this chaos, I had been drawing energy, reassurance and support from my wife via ISD calls all along to maintain my sanity and to get me through this situation. It had worked for me and I feel that is special!

Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beijing Olympiad!

The Olympics is two weeks from now and Beijing is all set for the it as planned. Beijing, with the mammoth national government machinery can move just about anything in China with the stamp of the Govt seal unlike in all other countries! Beijing has ordered the the rain clouds hovering over Beijing like a Damocles sword to move away or be moved forcefully! A 40% probability for raining was announced by the govt media machinery - a conservative estimate! A country that claims to be 1.3 billion in population (the figure claimed by the same machinery that controls all media content-TV,Cinema, Internet, Radio, newspaper, magazines etc!We all know how trasparent these claims and the data are and hence HAVE to believe it!) is gunning for the top slot. Participants for team games like rowing are being encouraged so that if they win the event then as per Olympic rules,the medal tally goes up by as many team members that are in the team unlike in footbal where the team wins only 1 medal inspite of the team having 11 players. India on the other hand sends individuals for Olympics for events like shooting, TT, weightlifting, badminton!!

I was in Beijing and the saw the state of the art media centre(read govt machinery!),the Nest and the Aquatic Bubble-the world's most advanced stadia complex ever built. The govt moved all industries in that region to be relocated to another part of the country to make way for the complex and to clear up the air so that athletes can breathe clean air while the rest of the country breathes the air that was exchanged! The govt has banned fluids, bags, even cell phones into the area. Cameras allowed only with permits.1 cop for every 5 persons have been deployed and still terrorists(??)killed 16 cops yesterday as reported by the machinery! Nations have boycotted the games in protest against the absence of human rights in the China and yet the West hasn't! The country has been ravaged by a 7.4 richter quake, a snowstorm,floods and famine this year and yet the country is gung ho for the games!! Viva Beijing!!

Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Pudhukkulam


Nadakkaan padikunnadhinoppam Pallassanakkaran padikunna iniyoru karyam neenthal aane. Pudhukkulam nammadey kalariyum. Njan orkunnu..pudhukulathil chandi niranjirunna kaalaam. Kadavil irangiunnavadam maathram vittu valarunna chandi.Aadhyamonnum kulichu kayarumbo choriyarillatirunnu..pala arshangalke. Pinney chorinju thodangi.. sahikkavayyadhaayappo..dehsam kolam vrithyakaan theerumanichu. Chandikal muzuvan vari orathu ittu!Divasangalolam..motor vechu venalil kolam vattichu..onangiyappo..vellam ullappol nashipikkaan pattadhirunna chandikke nereyulla deshyam theerkan onangiya chandiye kathichu kalanju..verum chandi nissaaram! kathi chaambalayi! njangal jeyichu! Vellam vattichu kalanjappol adhaa adiyil 4 adikke chere! adhu naatam thodangi. Meena maasathiley sooryande tejussil avar polum vaadi unangi..man kattakalayi..naatukaar vetti tractoril ketti valamayi kondu kandangalil ittu! dashakangalayi adhil kidannalinja plasticum, meenindeyum manushyandeyum avashishtangalum koodey! Valamo? Veshamo! 2 maasathinullil kolathil ella chandiyum cherum eduthu kalanju. Nadukkiley paara pottichu kalanju. Idhoru valiya sambhavamaytirunnu. Diwasavum orupasdu per joliku vannu man/cher kadathumayirunnu. Joli illaathavar kolavakki8l ninnu idhu nadathikunna bhaavathil ninnu. kandaal aagey aa bhaagathe joli therakke! anganey 2 maasathil kolam mozhuvanum vrithiyaaki..mazhakkaalam vannu! melle melle kolam neranju..oppam nammudey ellavarudeyum manasum! theli vellam..varsha kaalathey mazha kolil neranju nammaudey pudhukulam niranju. Chila budhi raakshasanmaar paranju"nalla avasara,mane..namukke meen valarthaam. Damil ninnu nalla meen kittum..njan konduveraan..desha sneham!!! anganey korey tractoril meenkunjungaley kondittu! aaro paranju..meen nereye undenkil vellam vrithiyaakum..appo korey meen koodey ittu! appol theli vellam aayadhu kondu meenukalku bhakshanam illa..appo veendum budhiman paranju"namukku theeta ittu kodukkaam....panni kaatam best aane"anganey tractoril korey load theli vellathil panni katam kalakki cherthu!
Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Mukundettaney orkunnu!

Neran randu mani.Karipuranda iruttumoodiya chayakkadayude adukkalayil..mukundettan chaya adikunnu.Pala thavana upayogicha tikkashanteyum..karapurandu katta kuthiya aruppa thuniyudeyum aduppiley nanavu maraatha pacha veraginteyum gandhamano..atheyo mukundhettante chundiley anaswara saanidhyam pidichitulla 10aam numberinteyum kadakakathu shirtidaathe veyartholichu nadakkunna mukundhettante veyarpinte durgandhamano ennariyilla..ver thirichariyaan prayasam.Sramikkadhirikunnadhanu nalladhe! Ithinidakke..ucha choodinte ksheenavum, undu vayaru niranju kavinja paravashavum..ellaam koodi aakey oru vallatha ashwasthatha. Undu yeledukkan marannu yechil ila itittu pokunnavarey cheetha parayunnu mukundhetta.njan avadey korey neramayi onnum 'order' cheyyathe manorama pathram vayichu sthalam modakkiyirikunnathinu aakshepam nerey parayaan pattathey irkunna ente nerku manthrichu..naasham! Evettakalu chorunnuano..atheyo verey vellathumo! Madu pettathu polundu..naasham. Ullil ayaal ennodano parayunnadhe ennalochichenkilum chevi kolladhe irunnu vayichu kondeyirunnu. Kadayil aalozhinju..mukundhettan ellam odukki vannu ummarathey meshayil malarnu'...'amme deviye' .. 'kirathamoorthey' yennoru kottavaayude idayilude japichu! Ninakku poikoodey..njan onnu mayangatte enna bhaavathil enne onnu noki..njan manapoorvan shradhichilla..mukundhettan kannu chimmi. 11 mani mudhal..ayaal varuthunna pathram..ayalko..kadayiley 'customer's ko kodukkadhe njan vaayikukayairunnu..idhu kazhinjittu..venam enikku..pathrathil ninnu padicha kaaryangal pareekshekezhuthaan enna bhavathil..aareyum koosathey..prathyekichu onnum 'order' cheyyadhe chumma irunnu chair choodakunnadhu enikku ishtamulla vinodam aayirunnu..enikku maathramalla..mukundhettaney ariyunnavarum aa kadayil varunna mikkavarum inginey thanneyayirunnu.. Ummarathey kolaayil vechirikunna 'counter' paruvathil ayaal upayogikunna venalkaalathey sarvath kuppi 'stand' vaikunneram bar 'counter' aayi maarumayirunnu. Angineyulloru chayakkadayude 'proprietor' aanu nammudey mukundhettan.Nalloru manushyananu

Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Frankfurt,Germany!

Travelling to Europe from Guangzhou is tough. Its a 9 1/2 hrs flight and across the vast expanse of China/Russia and cutting through Northern Europe as Lufthansa's navigation system lets passegers know isn't a very pleasant experience. Cold and old airhostesses! Very German! So was the food! At 5.25 AM , Fraport (Thats what they call Frankfurt Airport!) is cold and dry.Very German again. Why do I get this association that all things German are cold and dry. I just remembered the Fuhrer briefly when I saw the cold airport interiors with the unfriendly looking huge German co-travellers in long wintercoats walking to the numerous passenger bays with some expression of boredom!It must be the winter! Or is it German to be that way!
Anyways...stepped out of Fraport on to the road and was stung by the cold. The leather glove that I used in Manali last year to protect me from the cold wasnt good enough. I ran back in and enquired at the 'enquiry' how to get to the city centre hoping I would get a cold German answer. I was pleasantly surprised, the lady answered in perfect English with a beatiful smile and recommended me to buy an all day ticket via train to anywhere inside Frankfurt and save money instead of buying a ticket each time I travel from any point to any point! I just realised, the western world is different from Asia. In GZ & India I would have been cheated into buying something I didnt want! Went to the platform, and found cold platforms, with a cold 'funtional ' looking train. Boarded in and invited some 'looks' from some Caucasians; was surprised to see many Chinese though. Gotoff the train at Wachtkopf, the city centre. It was 7 .30 a.m and dark like the night. I walked around the city under the street lights, in the cold, drinking up the sights of the city before the first few Frankfurters started their day. A few coffee shops that were open all night were still open. Everthing else was closed. I remembered my hometown in India! 7.30 a.m is the most busiest part of the day there! Thats India! I walked through city streets..
Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com

Frankfurt Morning!

At 8.00 AM a few cars went by on the roads. It was slowly starting to dawn. The sun was slowly starting to rise! I was suddenly in the city centre with beautiful buildings ..more than a century old. Very wide public places, no litter and fresh air. I could see the rising rays of the sun glint off a building a few blocks away. I looked up and stared the the headquarters of Deutsche Bank! What a Majestic Building! The seat of Power of the DB world! My wife would have loved to see this sight. She loves DB(was an employee hehe). The new age glass building seamlessly blended into the 18th century acchitecture of the buildings around it. The underground metros, the Mercedes benz taxis, the electric cars(mostly hatchbacks) all seamlessly merge into the landscape. The land of the Fuhrer! The Rhineland! I was cold and it was time for me to return and I headed back to the metro to get back to the airport. I had another flight to board. Life of a BPO executive! I brushed, shaved and cleaned up at the airport changed into another pair of air worthy clothes and checked my jacket pocket for the ticket and passport. I have an hour before the next flight. I decided to walk around and look at Fraport. I found many German stores, very efficient and understated signboards(very German) that helped me explore around. Grabbed a Cappucino at Starbucks and a German cold sandwich at 'Leftwache' and went about souvenir shopping! I realised that Futball and Beer very the selling attractions in Germany. All souvenirs were either proclaiming soccer star names or the Oktoberfest! It was time to move to the check-in area..I turned around and started walking to Counter A9. I heard the lady announce that check-in for my flight would commence immediately. I lugged my Thinkpad and edged ambled along towards 'Security Check'. I was carrying 30 electronic memory card readers in my cabin baggage intended for my colleagues who I would be meeting later in the day. The bag went through the scanner and I was asked to move aside for interrogation!

Author - Pallassana Vadassery Vinod Kumar
Email - vinodvadassery@gmail.com