Cerebral Shangrila

Friday, October 31, 2003


ET's Supplement CD (Corporate Dossier) has an Article on the 20 most Powerful Businessmen in India . There are some Wonderful quotes sponsored by Johnnie Walker in that issue. Here are some of them :

1. Everyone who got to where he is had to begin where he was --- R.L.Stevenson

2. Man would not have attained the possible unless time and again he had reached out for the impossible --- Max Weber

3. I've got a great ambition to die of exhaustion rather than boredom --- Sir Angus Grossart

4. Don't be afraid to take a big step ...you can't cross a chasm in two small jumps --- David Lloyd George

Thursday, October 30, 2003

SARISKA - Afterthoughts

There were a few things which have been nagging me ever since the Visit to Sariska Tiger Reserve.

1. Why do they have a Village deep inside the Sanctuary ?

2. Why do they allow two wheelers/ four wheelers ( What protection do human beings have against animals & vice versa it becomes easier for poachers to get inside ) inside the Sanctuary ?

3. There is no signboard saying "No Honking"and the external vehicles disturb the animals by honking & shouting inside .

If the Govt is serious about Wildlife Conservation then let it act before its too late .

Wednesday, October 29, 2003


The photos that I took in the Sariska have come out quite well. Though I still have a lot to learn abt SLR Photograhy , I am quite happy with some of the snaps (Particularly of Sunrise & Animal shots ) that have come out. I intend to put them online in Yahoo Photos quite soon & will provide the link to that from here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

TN Tourism

I was pleasantly surprised to see a Supplement with Today's TOI & ET about Tamil Nadu Tourism. There were some good write-ups on the Tourist Destinations in TN with some wonderful photographs. Its heartening to see that the TN Govt has become proactive in promoting Tourism in the State.

However was suprised to see that a few big destinations were missing from the list ( Thiruvannamalai for instance) . Also there is no mention about the Wildlife Sanctuaries in TN ( Like Mundanthurai & Kalakkadu among others ) .


Here is the Report by Goldman Sachs on rediff.com . India would rank next to China & US by 2050.

Monday, October 27, 2003


Phreaker seems to be the Telecom Industry equivalent of an Hacker . Found this on the Merriam Webster Site.

phreaker \FREE-ker\ noun : one who gains illegal access to the telephone system

Did you know?
"Phreakers" are modern day troublemakers who specialize in attacks on the telephone system. The word, which became popular in the mid-1980s, is probably a combination of the words "phone" and "freak." ("Phreakers" are also known as "phreaks" or "phone phreaks.") A "phreaker" can use either low-tech means, such as whistling or using an instrument to mimic the tones the phone system utilizes to route calls and identify payment, or the more high-tech tactic of breaking into and manipulating the phone company's computer system. Their purpose is often to make long-distance or other expensive calls without paying, although some phreakers seem more interested in causing damage or havoc simply for the sake of doing so.


The onset of Winter in Delhi is the start of the Wildlife season in the north where Most Sanctuaries open post monsoons. We ( I , Aravinth & Durai) Decided to try Sariska Tiger Reserve located 200 Kms from Delhi near Alwar in Rajasthan. We started on a Saturday morning & inspite of the bad roads managed to reach Sariska by 11.30 am . Sariska Tiger Reserve lies 35 kms from Alwar . It is one the Project Tiger Reserves & has 35 tigers and 65 Leopards.

We were lucky to spot a young Doctor couple who agreed to join us for the Open jeep Ride inside the Sanctuary . The Open Jeep ride lasted 3.5 Hours late in the afternoon and we spotted Plenty of Peacocks , Hanuman Langurs , Nilgais , Spotted Deers , Sambhars , Wild Boars in their Natural Habitat . We were also lucky to spot a mini chase sequence Between a couple of Jackals & Nilghais . I was extrememly luck to Spot a leaopard stealthily following a Nilghai . There was considerable excitement in the park after that but we never spotted the leopard in the open after that . We thoroughly enjoyed the Trip nevertheless spotting plenty of ungulates & peacocks all over the Sanctuary. The Doctor couple decided to join us for the rest of the Journey and it was wonderful having them since they were great company.

We then headed to Talbraksha Sulphur springs which lie 20 Kms from Sariska. The place was extremely serene & pristine (There is not even electricity in this village) and the Sulphur springs were very hot emanating from the earth . There was some excitement there too when the Hanuman langur started yelling panic calls after spotting a leopard but once again our long wait didn't yield a leopard spotting. We made some bonfire , sang songs & had a nice Dinner (Maize & bajra rotis which were very tasty ) and went to sleep.

Next morning we got up early & took some good sunrise photos amidst flying pigeons and made a short trip to a closeby Jheel where we saw some Turtles & aquatic birds. We then took bath in the Hot Sulphur Springs in the Temple ( These springs are supposed to cure Skin ailments ) and then started for Silserh Lake.
The Silserh lake is located 15 Kms from Alwar & is spectacular. Its easily one of the biggest lakes I have seen set amidst the backdrop of the beautiful Aravalli mountains. We also visited a Place called Garhwaji , which is located 8 kms from Silserh & is a place far away from Tourists. It had a small waterfall & wonderful hill views . Boating was pleasant in the Silserh lake & we also had a rather expensive Lunch at the RTDC Hotel there . We came back to Alwar where we saw the Ruined fort. The alwar fort is completely in ruins , the only existing structure is the spawling Fortress wall.

The Palace is just closeby , but is maintained in a very poor state. The Tank of the palace sadly is inhabited by pigs now . The Palace I am sure would once have been a magnificent structure because it has a huge hall of public audience & wonderfully ornate carvings. We then went to the main market of Alwar where we bought some Milk sweets ( From Thakur Das sweet Shop in Hop Circus which is reputedly famous for this ) and then dropped the Doctor Couple at the Railway station and headed back to Delhi. We found a better road route this time via Daruweria & reached Delhi by around 10.30 pm.

The excitement of seeing wild animals in their Natural habitat is an immensely exciting & satisfying experience. The people of Rajasthan are one of the most Courteous & tourist friendly that I have ever seen.

TRAVEL TIPS : The best time to Visit any Wildlife sanctuary is November - January & March - June. During the Summer the thirsty animals come to the waterholes and hence its easier to spot them ( But then Delhi during Summer is terribly hot too at 42-45 c ) . Make sure you book the Jeeps in Advance during the peak periods. Always carry a Binocular & a good camera . Observe utmost silence & keep your eyes trained to spot any movement. Most Sanctuaries have very good guides ( or in most cases the drivers themselves are good guides) & always take either an early morning trip or a late afternoon trip becase thatz when chances of spotting wildlife are high. But then at the end of all this , you have to be extremely lucky to spot a Tiger & hence pray to all your favourite gods before venturing out !!!

Friday, October 24, 2003


Was talking to my cousin the other day ( He is just 6 years old but is an authority in cars !!) . Asked him what were the new cars he has seen recently . He replied "I am not crazy abour cars anymore , I am crazy only about Pokemon".

Remember reading in the Newspapers sometime back that Pokemon is the latest craze among pre-teens . I have very little idea of what Pokemon is , but there is a lot we could infer from What age groups --- do what , to learn about the emerging culture .

Thursday, October 23, 2003

ASH on the Cover of TIME-ASIA

Aishwarya Rai is on the Cover of the latest issue of TIME - ASIA . The Cover Story is on Bollywood & its new found professionalism and Globalization.

DIWALI - North Vs South

Happy Diwali all !! I was discussing about Diwali with my Colleague yesterday ( He is a Punjabi) & found out that in the North, Diwali is Celebrated commomorating Ram's return to Ayodhya after the 14 Years of exile. Ask any south Indian & he will tell you Diwali is celebrated because Lord Krishna killed Narakasura . Strange that such a paradox exists within the same country !! Probably thatz the reason why India is a land of unity in Diversity ..

Wednesday, October 22, 2003


A set of Articles in Rediff by Francois Gautier on what it means to be Indian Abroad. Its a wonderful comparison of the WEST Vs INDIA . Article 1 & Article 2 .


One of the fwd mails that I received. But this one caught my attention & is thought provoking.

An atheist professor of philosophy speaks to his class on the problem science has with Krishna.

He asks one of his new students Gopal to stand and.....

Professor: You are a Hare Krishna devotee, aren't you, son?
Gopal: Yes, sir.

Prof: So you believe in God?
Gopal: Absolutely, sir.

Prof: Is God good?
Gopal: Sure.

Prof: Is God all-powerful?
Gopal: Yes.

Prof: My brother died of cancer even though he prayed to Krishna to heal him. Most of us would attempt to help others who are ill. But Krishna didn't. How is this Krishna good then? Hmm?
(Gopal is silent.)

Prof: You can't answer, can you? Let's start again, young fella. Is God good?

Prof: Is Satan good?

Prof: Where does Satan come from?
Gopal: From...God...

Prof: That's right. Tell me son, is there evil in this world?
Gopal: Yes.

Prof: Evil is everywhere, isn't it? And God did make everything. Correct?
Gopal: Yes.

Prof: So who created evil?
(Gopaldoes not answer.)

Prof: Is there sickness? Immorality? Hatred? Ugliness? All these terrible things exist in the world, don't they?
Gopal:Yes, sir.

Prof: So, who created them?
(Gopal has no answer.)

Prof: Tell me, son. Do you believe in Krishna?
Gopal:Yes, professor, I do.

Prof: Science says you have 5 senses you use to identify and observe the world around you. Have you ever seen Krishna?
Gopal: No, sir.

Prof: Tell us if you have ever heard your Krishna?
Gopal: Yes , sir.

Prof: Have you ever felt your Krishna, tasted your Krishna, smelt your Krishna? Have you ever had any sensory perception of Krishna or God for that matter?
Gopal: No, sir. I'm afraid I haven't.

Prof: Yet you still believe in Him?
Gopal: Yes.

Prof: According to empirical, testable, demonstrable protocol, science says your Krishna doesn't exist. What do you say to that, son?
Gopal:Nothing. I only have my faith.

Prof: Yes. Faith. And that is the problem science has.

Gopal: Professor, is there such a thing as heat?
Prof: Yes.

Gopal:And is there such a thing as cold?
Prof: Yes.

Gopal: No sir. There isn't.

(The lecture theatre becomes very quiet with this turn of events.)

Gopal: Sir, you can have lots of heat, even more heat, superheat, mega heat, white heat, a little heat or no heat. But we don't have anything called cold. We can hit 458 degrees below zero which is no heat, but we can't go any further after that. There is no such thing as cold. Cold is only a word we use to describe the absence of heat. We cannot measure cold. Heat is energy. Cold is not the opposite of heat, sir just the absence of it.

(There is pin-drop silence in the lecture theatre.)

Gopal: What about darkness, Professor? Is there such a thing as darkness?
Prof: Yes. What is night if there isn't darkness?

Gopal: You're wrong again, sir. Darkness is the absence of something. You can have low light, normal light, bright light, flashing light.....But if you have no light constantly, you have nothing and it's called darkness, isn't it? In reality, darkness isn't. If it were you would be able to make darkness darker, wouldn't you?

Prof: So what is the point you are making, young man?

Gopal: Sir, my point is your philosophical premise is flawed.

Prof: Flawed? Can you explain how?

Gopal: Sir, you are working on the premise of duality. You argue there is life and then there is death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, science can't even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life: just the absence of it.
Now tell me, Professor. Do you teach your students that they evolved from a monkey?

Prof: If you are referring to the natural evolutionary process, yes, of course, I do.
Gopal : Have you ever observed evolution with your own eyes, sir?

(The Professor shakes his head with a smile, beginning to realize where the argument is going.)
Gopal : Since no one has ever observed the process of evolution at work and cannot even prove that this process is an on-going endeavour, are you not teaching your opinion, sir? Are you not a scientist but a preacher?
(The class is in uproar.)

Gopal : Is there anyone in the class who has ever seen the Professor's brain?
(The class breaks out into laughter.)
Gopal : Is there anyone here who has ever heard the Professor's brain, felt it, touched or smelt it?.....No one appears to have done so. So, according to the established rules of empirical, stable, demonstrable protocol, science says that you have no brain, sir.

With all due respect, sir, how do we then trust your lectures, sir?
(The room is silent. The professor stares at the student, his face

Prof: I guess you'll have to take them on faith, son.
Gopal : That is it sir.. The link between man & god is FAITH. That is all that keeps things moving & alive

Tuesday, October 21, 2003


Here is an Article from Screen on the inimitable Kishore Kumar . Quite a nice one.


Delhi to Chennai is quite far . The Domestic Air Travel market has witnessed a tremendous boost thanks to the Apex fares Concept started a few months ago. It has made flying affordable to the Upper Middle class which otherwise has been used to travelling in the 2nd/3rd AC's by Train.

Sahara has gone a step ahead and introduced online bidding in partnership with indiatimes.com. I was pleasantly surprised when I won a Bid Yesterday for Delhi-Chennai at a price of Rs.2925 (The actual Cost by Jet is Rs.11300 !!) . It has now thrown open the doors for numerous people who otherwise cannot afford the steep air charges. Long live Bidding !! Long live low airfare flying !!

Monday, October 20, 2003


Its the start of the Delhi Winter which means that its one of the best time for Bird-Watching. Though its a little too early , 4 of us decided to catch up on some Bird Watching at Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary which is located 60 Kms from Delhi in Haryana.

We started at 5.30 am from Noida and reached Sultanpur by 7 am. It was still chilly at 7 am and we were greeted by a Deserted parking lot at Sultanpur. The Sultanpur Jheel is a wonderful Bird Watching spot and the total walk around the Circumference of the Jheel is around 6.5 kms. We saw a lot of Birds like Cattle Egret ,painted Stork , King fishers , eagles, parakeets , Ibises , Spoonbills,Herons etc. I made some good use of my SLR camera . It took us around three hours to walk through the entire Circumference and it was a Pleasant walk thanks to the Weather and cheerful friends . There is also a small museum near the entrance which has some good photgraphs & description of the aquatic birds there.

From there we headed to Sohna ( Its 25 kms from Gurgaon) , which is famous for its hot springs. We visited the Shiv Kund where hot water was springing from the ground and pilgrims take bath in the temple . The Hot spring water is supposed to be a curative , curing you of all your skin ailments. We then reached Gurgaon and spent a few hours in the malls. They were all Glitzy & the parking system there is very well organised reminding me of the ones I have seen in the US Airports.

We visited the Qutub Minar in the evening and took some nice snaps. Started by Quub-ud-din Aibak , it was completed by Iltumish later. Constructed 800 Years ago it still stands tall and is one of the most important landmarks of Delhi. The incomplete Alai-Minar is right next to it.

It was a nice one day outing & we were glad to have covered so many places in a day and returned by around 6 pm to Noida.

Friday, October 17, 2003


Johnny Walker sponsors the Business Case Studies in Economic Times . I liked their Tag line a Lot. It said : The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going ------ Keep Walking .

Thursday, October 16, 2003


I liked the header in Chaotic solitude's Blog site which says "Inside every (wo)man there is a constant urge to find a structure in Chaos ! ".

We all live in a Chaotic world. We miss appointments , have our fears , have all kinds of complexes (Superior / inferior) , Do some mundane work , try to enjoy life superficially .....the list goes on .... And as the title goes we are all trying to find a structure amidst chaos ...

Wednesday, October 15, 2003


This is one of the most common Trivia questions of all time. David Ogilvy ( Commonly referred to as the Father of Advertising) achieved immortality with this Ad . Here is his line :

At 60 mph,the only sound you can hear is the ticking of the clock! -- This was the line he used for the Rolls Royce .


Everyday when I read the newspaper , I wonder if there is another city where there is more Crime against Women ? Delhi leads the list with all kinds of heinous crimes committed against Women. Its ironical that the National Capital has been setting such a bad example ..

Here is one such latest incident .

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

50 Most Desirable MBA Employers

Here is the List from FORTUNE.


The Quality of newspapers reflect the face of a city to a larger extent. The Indian Metros have been divisive on the issue of Newspapers. TOI is a near Monopoly in Mumbai , while The Hindu dominates Madras (Chennai) , Delhi has a tough Competition between TOI & HT while Calcutta has the Telegraph & Statesman .

I have been observing a paradigm shift in news reporting both in Newspapers & in Magazines over the last few years. I am not too sure if its the changing times but the News is increasingly focussing on Glamour & glitter than on actual content. There is very less fodder for the Intellect & more for the eyes in glamour photos & P3P's. More on this later . But its definitely time to Ponder ........

Monday, October 13, 2003


Have a Look at this Photos from TIME website. The first one is beautiful.


She is the wife of an acclaimed business icon whose company is ranked among 25 best-run companies in the world. In those days when Telco's recruitment ads carried a clause `ladies need not apply', she penned down a letter to JRD Tata, suggesting that Telco would be a loser if it didn't recruit her. Appreciating her
guts and enthusiasm, JRD changed the company's recruitment policy immediately.

Identify this lady who is a prolific writer, lecturer,philanthropist,...all rolled into one.

ANSWER : SUDHA MURTHY , Wife of N.R.Narayanamurthy (Infosys) .


The Cough & cold still persists but that didn't deter me from making a Evening trip to Gurgaon on Saturday. Gurgaon is the Call Center Capital of the world and has plush malls & makes you wonder if you live in India . We went there late in the Night to take some Night shots with my new Camera of the Glitzy malls and active night life. It was quite cold and Venkat ( This Guy is one heck of a Driver , He drives Two wheeler like a F-1 Driver !!) & I travelled 120 kms(to & fro) on a two wheeler . The photos have come out quite well although I still need to learn a lot on night photos.

Friday, October 10, 2003


As an Elected member of the Social Services Committee in my office , I had the privilege to Visit a Couple of Schools in S.Delhi being Run by Deepalaya an NGO for the Slum & under-privileged Children. The Children were really cute & full of talent. Such trips have really been a eye-opener for me as to how much needs to be still done for the upliftment of Destitutes & poor. I feel as if I live in a Parallel world full of Glitz & glamour (Most of us are unaware of the Society around us ) , whereas I hardly live 10 kms away from these Slums. We are hoping to do some Volunteer work for them on weekends & also some Material / Monetary Contribution.

Such Visits leave you deeply questioning your priorities in life & purpose of Humanity in General. We have to admit that we owe something back to the Society & let us all start making some Contribution , however minor it is , to make a Difference to the Society & make the world a better living place.


Saw this Article , when I was browsing Screen's website. Ramlal scored music for a few V.Shantaram Movies in the 60's . One of his songs "Tum to Pyar Ho Sajni" has always been one of my favourites. In fact when I was young , I had this Taped Chitrahar cassette which had these songs Tum to Pyaar Ho & Pankh Hote to ud aati Re (I understood very little Hindi then !!) & I was very fascinated by the music.

Its sad to note that he is a forgotten man today.

Thursday, October 09, 2003


After weeks of one-liners & mudslingings , the Greatest circus on earth has come to an end. Arnold Schwarzeneggar has become the new Governor of California . The last few weeks provided great fodder for the American Late night TV , with Leno being at his best ..............


Here are some Details about the Nikon camera I had Bought . Since a few of my freinds had asked me about the Details , I am posting it here . I got a Nikon F75 SLR Camera with Nikkor 28-80 mm lens. I also got Nikkor 75-240 mm Lens , A nikon Camera bag & a Tripod kit free along with it. The complimentary offer is on till 31st October in Singapore. I got my camera from Singapore where this deal is on now. The price is S$675 ( Approx Rs.18000) .

Pls Visit Nikon Singapore site for more Details.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


The Winter is setting in at Delhi & the nights have started becoming chill. I have caught a bad Sore-throat & fever . The winter this time according to weather bureau is going to be one of the coldest . Letz see how I survive Dec-jan ..........

Tuesday, October 07, 2003


Way back in 1997 when I first heard about Yahoo , I thought Shammi Kapoor owned the site :-) ( He was the president of Indian Internet Users Assoc then) . There have been numerous versions as to why it is named as Yahoo in my Quizzing Groups. Here is one from the Horse's mouth (from the Yahoo Site ) .


I was listening to How to name it by Illayaraja and was wondering if it was ahead of its times , when it was released in the mid 80's. Illayaraja shows why he is called the maestro with skillful & wonderful use of Stringed Instruments to create a delight for the ears. There has never been a question about his Genius but this Album didn't become too famous with the masses but just ended up in the shelves of the classes.

Particularly his usage of Violin in this Album is awesome.


A Company founder was given the Cornell lacrosse team cap while at college by his grandfather. He lost it and had to search for it desperately. The manual of the beta version of of his product(?) had an appeal to readers to return his hat if found by anyone !Identify the founder and the company which was incidentally named after this?

ANSWER : Red Hat, Mark Ewing


Found this interesting piece of info about the Term Scapegoat .As we know Scapegoat is one who bears the Blame for others.

The history of "scapegoat" is based on a linguistic misunderstanding. On Yom Kippur, the ancient Hebrews would sacrifice one goat for the Lord and lead another one into the wilderness bearing the sins of the people. The ceremony is described in Leviticus, where it is said that one lot shall be cast for the Lord and one for "Azazel." Modern scholars usually interpret "Azazel" as being the name of a demon living in the desert. But ancient biblical translators thought "Azazel" referred to the goat itself, apparently confusing it with the Hebrew phrase
"‘ēz ’ōzēl," meaning "goat that departs." The mistranslation was carried through Greek and Latin into a 16th-century English translation, where the goat was rendered as "scapegoat"; that is, "goat that escapes."

P.S : Piece courtesy Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Finally got my GF

After weeks of loooong wait , Finally got my GF , a Nikon F75 SLR Camera :-) Got a fabulous deal where I also got a 75-240mm Nikkor lenses , Nikon Bag & a Tripod Stand free !! ... Looking forward to a wonderful weeks of Photographing ..............

Sunday, October 05, 2003


Once a Madrasi , forever a Madrasi . Its been almost 6 Years since I have left Madras . I have lived in Various Cities throughout India & also spent a few years in the US . I now watch more Hindi / English Movies than Tamil , Follow the National/International Politics much more than the state politics but if there is one thing that hasn't changed is my craving for Madrasi Food.

I have never been & never will be a big fan of Chappathi/Roti cuisine and my countless trips in the NCR Region in search of good south Indian food would be testimony to that fact. Idli still remains my favourite breakfast !!. This weekend had some Great food at a friend's place & also had a wonderful dinner in Delhi. All these culinary musings are perhaps an afterthought of such good food :-)

Thursday, October 02, 2003


Is it ethical for Human beings to restrict the free movement of Animals by putting them inside a cage ? Animals have as much rights as we have for freedom and its high time that Mankind respects it. Apart from this , most Zoos are sub-standard and end up torturing and killing the animals much before their Lifespan. Here is an Article from the Guardian.


Seems the Happy Days are back for the Indian techies after the Long recession . MNC's are Hiring Big time & so are the Domestic IT Majors. Almost half of my friends have switched jobs in the last 6 months. Here is a Report from the Reuters .