Cerebral Shangrila

Friday, January 30, 2004

Martyrs Day - Gandhiji

Today is the martyrs day - the death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. A man who stands as the epitome of Honesty & simplicity . He is definitely the most famous Global Indian and inspiration to millions of people worldwide for his policy of non-violence. He is also the most misunderstood soul inside India , where half-baked historians & politicians have blamed him for the Partition of India . In fact most of the youth of today have grown on this diet of misinformation . I remember reading his Autobiography "My experiements with Truth"a few years back. Its a great book because its a candid & brutal confessions of all his mistakes and it takes a great soul to accept one's shortcomings. Also my views on Gandhi very considerably influenced when I read "Freedom at Night by Lapierre & Collins".

His message that India lives in its villages is the basis for Kalam's Vision 2020 and the Country realizes that Rural India means a lot to the nation as we strive to become the next superpower. My thoughts go to what Albert Einstein said about Gandhiji "Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as [Gandhi] ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth."

La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful)

Watched the amazing movie "Life is Beautiful" today . A wonderful tale of Romance,Humor & Nazi Concentration camps. The first half is refreshing with humor and attempts by Roberto Benigni to woo his girlfriend. Humor forms a part of the second half too against a grim backdrop of Nazi Concentration camp. Benigni's charm,optimism and his vow to protect the soul of his son pervade throughout the movie. The Background music score wonderfully complements the stunning Roman visuals. The movie is a stark contrast to most of the Jewish Holocaust movies since it uses Humor & Optimism to portray a poignant tale. Its tough to decide whether Roberto Benigni outshines as an Actor or Director (Although he got an Oscar for Best Actor , I would say the directorial touch was excellent) . The Kid is cute and Nicoletta looks ravishing.

I saw this movie a few years back in Italian with English subtitles.However today thankfully saw the dubbed version which made me understand a few nuances which I had missed earlier. Would highly recommend this movie to anyone who hasn't seen it . Please do see & realize what good Cinema is all about.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Smile on Billion faces

Its a momentous time for India . The economy is prospering , Companies are going Global , Service sector is expanding & as BJP claims "India is Shining" . However the modern youth are still wary of politicians . One Man has towered above all this and has become a role model for millions of youth . There have reportedly been fan associations for him , the first of its kind. The son of a poor fisherman he has risen to become a Scientist,Educationist and now the President of India - A.P.J.Abdul Kalam. A man of utmost simplicity & modesty , his speeches I would say are the most circulated emails among the net-savvy Indian population. His vision 2020 aims to catapult India amongst the Global superpowers. Here is a wonderful speech by him on the eve of our Republic Day (2004) .

The 25 Most Influential Business Persons of the Past 25 Years (in alphabetical order)

Here is the list from the Nightly Business Report & Wharton School of Business . This was done to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of NBR . Andy Grove of Intel was voted as No.1 from this list.

Mary Kay Ash (Entrepreneur)
Jeff Bezos (Amazon.com)
John Bogle (Vanguard)
Richard Branson (Virgin)
Warren Buffett (Berkshire Hathway)
James Burke (J&J)
Michael Dell (Dell)
Peter Drucker (Management Guru)
Bill Gates (Microsoft)
William George (Medtronic)
Louis Gerstner (IBM)
Alan Greenspan (Fed Reserve)
Andy Grove (Intel)
Lee Iacocca (Chrysler)
Steve Jobs (Apple)
Herb Kelleher (Southwest Airlines)
Peter Lynch (Fidelty)
Charles Schwab (Charles Schwab)
Frederick Smith (FedEx)
George Soros (Investor)
Ted Turner (Media Moghul)
Sam Walton (Walmart)
Jack Welch (GE)
Oprah Winfrey (Media Queen)
Mohammed Yunus (Banker)

Here is the URL to the complete article.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004


Just finished reading the 3rd Edition of "Chicken Soup for the Soul" . Found some really good inspiring stories in there . Here is one on Thomas Alva Edison :

On the night of December 9, 1914, the great Thomas Alva Edison Industries of West Orange, New Jersey, is destroyed by fire. Thomas Edison loses $2,000,000 that night and much of his life's work goes up in flames. He is insured, but only for $230,000 because the buildings has been made of concrete and at that time it is thought to be fire-proof.

Edison's son, who was twenty-four at the time, finds his sixty-seven year old father that night standing near the fire, his face ruddy in the glow, his white hair blown by the December winds. "My heart ached for him," remembered Charles Edison. "He was no longer a young man-and everything was going up in flames." But the next morning in the silence of the charred remains, while poking through the embers of his hopes and dreams, Thomas Edison says to his wife and son: "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew."

Three short weeks after the fire, Thomas Alva Edison delivers to the world the first phonograph.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Punjabi Wedding

Yesterday I happened to attend a marriage of my Dad's friend's daughter . My dad's friend is a Sardarji & this was the first time I was attending a Sikh Wedding. The remarkable aspect is that the wedding was just a 3 Hours affair (When compared to the Tam - Bram weddings which are 2.5 Days !!) . There was the Baraat followed by Reception for 30 minutes and then the Anand Karaj (Traditional wedding) where they go around the Guru Granth Sahib .

The Lunch was delicious with upto 100 varieties of everything from fast food , fruits, Roti , Side Dishes , Rice , Sweets , Ice Creams , Juices etc. The Fried Ice-Cream in particular was delicious. They take the ice-cream & dip it in Cream and then roll it over powdered coconut and then fry it in Oil for 3 seconds . So the final product is fried lightly outside & cold inside . First time ever in my life saw Ice-cream being fried !!!

Sunday, January 25, 2004

Rewarding Mediocrity

Happened to watch a bit of the Screen-Star Cine Awards the other day . The Best film award for 2003 went to Koi Mil Gaya . When we continue to patronize such mediocre films , why do we then expect to compete with the Global cinema ?

There is nothing wrong with commercial Cinema . But Steven Spielberg never got an Oscar for his commercial ventures like Jaws or E.T , he got an Oscar only for his classic "Schindler's List " . I fail to understand why the Jury fails to differentiate between commercial success & meaningful cinema . A 1000 Crore investment Industry , Bollywood ought to churn out more Quality for the money invested.


I guess it was Francis Bacon who said "Knowledge is Power" . The sentence is immensely true in the knowledge economy these days where companies compete on intellectual horsepower. The Indian victory call of the 60's ( Jai Jawan , Jai Kisaan ) is becoming increasingly relevant , as Indian Agriculture strives to match up with the Services Sector. Nothing much seemed to have happened after the Green revolution and uneven monsoons & increasing urbanisation has only added to India's agricultural woes.

ITC has pioneered the Community initiative e-choupal ( Choupal in Hindi is a gathering place ) . e-choupal makes global agricultural information available to the farmers at Kiosks ( the eqvt of a cybercafe ) at free of cost and this information empowers them and also kiosks help them in knowing about the weather , monsoons and other natural phenomena. They have already covered 11,000 villages & 1,00,000 farmers. As Gandhiji said India lives in its villages and it will be initiatives like this aimed at the rural markets which will wipe out our Poverty and not Glitzy shopping malls & discotheques.

Read this Case study ( Its a .pdf file) to know more.

Friday, January 23, 2004

WSJ India

The revered Wall Street Journal (WSJ) will soon be available in an Indian edition - WSJ India . Though the details are a bit sketchy ( 5 days a week ?? ) , It heralds the entry of another Global Business newspaper ( After FT , London) into the Country. Here is the report from TOI.

Thursday, January 22, 2004

Inspiring Stories - The Miracle Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge that spans the river between Manhattan and Brooklyn is simply an engineering miracle. In 1883, a creative engineer, John Roebling, was inspired by an idea for this spectacular bridge project. However, bridge-building experts told him to forget it, it just was not possible. Roebling convinced his son, Washington, an up-and-coming engineer, that the bridge could be built. The two of them conceived the concept of how it could be accomplished, and how to overcome the obstacles. Somehow they convinced bankers to finance the project. Now with unharnessed excitement and energy, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project was only a few months under way when a tragic on-site accident killed John Roebling and severely injured his son. Washington was severely brain-damaged, unable to talk or walk. Everyone thought that the project would have been scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who understood how the bridge could be built.

Though Washington Roebling was unable to move or talk, his mind was as sharp as ever. One day, as he lay in his hospital bed, an idea flashed in his mind as to how to develop a communication code. All he could move was one finger, so he touched the arm of his wife with that finger. He tapped out the code to communicate to her what she was to tell the engineers who continued building the bridge. For 13 years, Washington tapped out his instructions with one finger until the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge was finally completed.

From Brian Cavanaugh's A Fresh Packet of Sower's Seeds
from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul
Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor
Hansen & Patty Hansen

Geek Ban Gaya Producer

From a Geek - Hacker - programmer - Project Manager - CTO - CEO - Bollywood Producer , Vivek Wadhwa has done it all. The bollywood bug has bitten him and he is now turned a producer with an Indo-american Film . Read on here .

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Inspiring Stories - Good news

Robert De Vincenzo, the great Argentine golfer, once won a tournament and, after receiving the check and smiling for the cameras, he went to the clubhouse and prepared to leave. Some time later, he walked alone to his car in the parking lot and was approached by a young woman. She congratulated him on his victory and then told him that her child was seriously ill and near death. She did not know how she could pay the doctor’s bills and hospital expenses.

De Vincenzo was touched by her story, and he took out a pen and endorsed his winning check for payment to the woman. "Make some good days for the baby," he said as he pressed the check into her hand. The next week he was having lunch in a country club when a Professional Golf Association official came to his table. "Some of the boys in the parking lot last week told me you met a young woman there after you won that tournament." De Vincenzo
nodded. "Well," said the official, "I have news for you. She’s a phony. She has no sick baby. She’s not even married. She fleeced you, my friend."

"You mean there is no baby who is dying?" said De Vincenzo.

"That’s right," said the official.

"That’s the best news I’ve heard all week." De Vincenzo said.

From The Best of Bits & Pieces from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul
Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Patty Hansen

Dabbawallas & IIM-L

After the Forbes & Prince Charles its now the turn of the IIM-L Students to be impressed by the management skills of the famed Mumbai Dabbawallas . According to this report , The Dabbawallas have been invited to Manfest-2004 IIM-L's Annual festival .

Venkat / Vijay , How was the event ?

Swedish Proverb

“Fear less, hope more;
Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate Less , Love more;
and all good things will be yours!”

Tuesday, January 20, 2004


If there is a singular trait which can make/break an individual , it would be his/her attitude . Every Human being has his/her fallibility. Be it Lack of Confidence , Low Self-esteem , Negative Thoughts , Arrogance , Vanity , Dishonesty, laziness everything is reflected in your attitude .

I had a chance to attend a Training on Attitude today . I will not say that it has changed my life but definitely implanted a few thoughts worth pursuing . I will try to write/link more posts based on Self-development & inspirational thoughts/stories. Most of us are hypocrites. Either we don't admit our fallibility or dismiss heart-felt thoughts as being too emotional & maudlin . The greatest leader is one who learns from his mistakes and from others . Let us see if I can manage to implement what I learnt. I would be a happy man even If I live upto 50 % of my idealistic thoughts . As Gandhiji said "you must be the change you wish to see in the world " .

Sunday, January 18, 2004

Great Photos

Visit this gallery to see some Breathtaking photos of Wildlife .

Friday, January 16, 2004

CEOs Are Ridiculed for Huge Salaries: Why Aren't Athletes and Entertainers?

A very innocuous question but quite pertinent in these days of Corporate Scandals . This is a question for which even I have been seeking an answer for a long time. Take Bollywood for example , The Salaries our stars commend would make people wonder if its the same mumbai which houses the biggest slum in Asia . Here is an article from Knowledge@Wharton which offers some interesting inputs .

In Love with Mumbai Trains

Was seeing this colorful pictures of Mumbai trains when I fondly remembered my Mumbai days. I just adore the Trains !! . Particularly the Locals in Mumbai . They come packed with Crowds mostly five times their capacity during peak hours but hold an unknown fascination for me .

Right from the Railway stations ( The first time I saw Dadar station I was flabbergasted becos that was the first time in my life I was seeing so many platforms !! ) , to the ticket counters ( I once stood in a queue in Thane for 50 minutes to travel to Ghatkopar - A journey of 15 minutes !!) , The announcers ( Always found that the female announcers had a much cute patient way of announcing ) , The crowds ( The eternal Mumbai joke : there are only two differences between traveling by first class & second class in Mumbai Local Trains . The first difference is people put on deodorant in first class & they invariably don't in Second & people swear in English/Hindi in first class and in Marathi in second Class !! ) .

I would have easily won the frequent traveler award had there been one during my two years in Mumbai since my work used to take me all around Mumbai everyday in the Trains. The first day I took the Train , I learnt the most valuable lesson viz. never wear slippers . I later also learnt the art of moving with the crowds , traversing from one entrance to other (Since platforms alternate between Left & right) , Choice of Slow Vs Fast trains , The art of reading a Newspaper/magazine when there are 20 people in 1ft circumference around you . The beautiful stations of Navi Mumbai ( I used to joke that Jui Nagar railway station is better than Sahar International Airport !!) to the fast trains of Western Railway to the Long trains in Central Railway .

I miss all this fun now . Mumbai train memories I am sure I will cherish fondly forever.

Happy Pongal !!

India is a land of Unity in Diversity . You might call it Pongal in Tamil Nadu , Lohri in Punjab , Sankaranti in U.P,Bihar or A.P but the entire country rejoices the Harvest Festival. It also heralds the end of winter & start of the spring season .

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Sweet Win !!

I was re-elected to the Social services committee at my office today . After 3 days of online elections & voting by 800 employees , it feels nice that people have appreciated what I have done in the last 6 months and have reposed faith in me by re-electing.

Looking forward to new initiatves & co-working with NGO's for the under-privileged.

B-School Diversity

One of the main things a B-school looks for is Diversity in its students . Was reading today's ET when I was surprised to learn that Bengt Baron , CEO of Absolut Vodka was a Olympic Gold Medalist . He was a Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming at the Moscow Olympics (1980) & a bronze winner at the Los Angeles Olympics (1984) . Then did his MBA from University of Berkeley (Haas School of Business ) & after stints at Mckinsey & Co , Kodak & Coke is now the CEO of the Swedish Vodka powerhouse .

Boy , What a resume to have !!

Jokes from Jay Leno Show

1. Starting this week all foreign visitors entering the United States will now be fingerprinted and photographed. I think that’s okay. I mean you can’t get a membership at Costco unless you’re fingerprinted and photographed. I mean America should be harder to get into than Costco.

2. Mexico’s President Vicente Fox said that Mexico’s relationship with America has its ups and downs. That’s right. Their people come up here and our jobs go down there.

3. Boy that Britney works quick doesn’t she? She parties with a guy, decides to marry him, goes through with the wedding, gets a lawyer, gets out of the marriage, all in like 50 hours. She’s like J. Lo on speed.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Langue desordre ( Language Confusion)

I realize one thing now . I know no language perfectly . My mother tongue is Tamil . At work , we are learning the Phonetics of English to help us neutralize our accent . I am of course learning Hindi everyday by constantly communicating with Colleagues and friends . Now , started learning French on Weekends at Alliance Francaise , N.Delhi .

My English Tutor tells me I speak English too fast . There is a strong Indian influence in my English .

My Friends & colleagues tell me my Hindi lacks the Haa's & Bha's and sounds like a typical Madrasi Hindi .

Our French Tutor of course is working on making us forget our English , so that we could understand & pronounce French properly.

Thankfully my Tamil still remains tolerable else I would have wondered what the heck have I been doing last 20 odd years .

French Connection

Bonjour !! My French classes started on Saturday . French seems to be a very interesting language . English owes most of its words to Anglo-Saxon ( German in old days) & French . Thus learning French would make one an expert etymologist in English. Learnt Days of the week , Months of the year , Numbers , Verbs , Pronouns & nouns . The pronunciation remains sketchy though . However , learning a new language it lot of fun & interesting.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

We all owe something back to the society . Because after all the society has been responsible to a larger extent in our upbringing and also as a privileged lot we need to give back to the under-privileged. Never give money to the poor , educate him or give him the skill to earn that money . Illiteracy is the biggest evil plaguing modern India and is the root cause of most of our social evils. Let us dream of an India with literacy , social equality & prosperity .

These were my thoughts when I was elected to Social Services Committee at my office 6 months back . Thanks to my company , I got an opportunity to work with the under-privileged and the last six months have been very fulfilling since I have spent a lot of Quality time with them and initiated a lot of projects aimed at their well-being. So it was with increasing interest that I read the article on CSR in last week's Business World. Its good to see so many companies giving back to the society . Let us redeem our Tryst with Destiny .

Mindtree Consulting

Seems its a company with a difference . Started four years back by Ashok Soota , then president of Wipro & a few other From Lucent & Wipro , Mindtree's Logo was designed by a Spastic Child . One of their vision is to power the primary education across the country . Here is their catchy Corporate Anthem :

'Thrown from the rooftop
We know we'd reach the sky
With some help from the special children
Who taught us how to fly
Mindtree, you and me
crafting tender technology
Mindtree it's in our blood
Imagination, action, joy'

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Noida - Capitalism at work

I am in a happy mood today . Two reasons , I had power all day today after a hellish last two weeks where I had power supply at my house only for 100 Hours out of the total 336 Hours (two weeks) ( Tough to believe but then that is Noida , Its hell during peak summer & winter ) and the other reason being the Sun shone out brightly today after almost a month of extreme cold .

Noida is a perfect example of Capitalism . They rob the poor & reward the rich . I live in the Outskirts of Noida close to my office. Hence our Area goes without power for almost 12 hours a day during peak winter & summer so that people in affluent areas could remain cozy in their Heaters,Geysers or AC's . Its like a trip back to stone age when you have power only from 10pm to 6 am ( When you don't need it !!) . If Noida , which is the Industrial Base and one of the most affluent areas of UP suffers this fate , I shudder to think of Rural UP & Bihar and the other cities.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

End of the Ice Age

The world's most gritty cricketer Steve "ice" Waugh has bid adieu to the Test Cricket . Another Sporting Legend ( After Pete sampras) leaves the stage to conquer millions of hearts in Kolkata . Steve is the ultimate role model for mental toughness , a very important trait in any form of sport . The 200 Against W.Indies at Jamaica in 1995 still stands in my eyes as one of the finest innings in this era. I am glad in a way that he is retiring , because he is now going to be an ambassador for hundreds of under-privileged citizens of Kolkata. Steve is not just a great cricketer , he is a great Human being which is much more rarer trait these days .

Here is a Salute to him by my favorite Sportswriter Nirmal Shekar of THE HINDU .

My favorite 10 movies

A good movie is like a 24 carat Gold. Rare to find but immensely satisfying on seeing it . As an Avid Movie watcher , I have had the pleasure of seeing many such great movies . I prefer movies in the genre of comedy , History & Drama. Tear-jerkers and action flicks are not my cup of tea. Here is an ode to my favorite films ( 3 English , 4 Hindi , 3 Tamil) :

GODFATHER : ( Dir : Francis Ford Cappola , Cast : Marlon Brando , Al Pacino , Robert De Niro , Robert Duvall , Diane Keaton) adaptation of Mario Puzo's Novel about the Saga of Don Corleone & his family . It is the father of all Mob Dramas . Great Acting ( Brando , Al Pacino were awesome ) , Cinematography , Music and memorable dialogues ( I'll make him an offer he can't refuse) . The film scores high both on Screenplay & the visual effects . The Sequel(part 2) was as good as the Original ( Though God father Part 3 was a fiasco) . This film even today remains an institution and numerous clones have been spawned from this masterpiece.

SCHINDLER'S LIST : (Dir : Steven Spielberg , Cast : Liam Neeson , Ralph Fiennes , Ben Kingsley )
A poignant tale of how a Selfish industrialist later manages to save thousands of polish Jews from Holocaust .The wonder boy of Hollywood (Spielberg) shot the whole movie in B&W in a color era. Amazing Visuals , Moody Music and wonderful acting. The Last Scene Where Neeson breaks down in front of everyone is emotionally appealing. Well if you haven't cried during this movie , chances are you never will. "The List is life".

FORREST GUMP : (Dir : Robert Zemeckis , Cast : Tom Hanks , Sally Field) The amazing story of a simple , mentally challenged man who believes in Honesty & Trust . The underlying moral that innocence & honesty triumphs over anything else was told over a beautiful screenplay with some amazing visual digital imagery involving JFK , John Lennon . Tom Hanks just lives the Role . It won him a Consecutive Oscar in 1994. "Life is like a Box of Chocolates" .

PYAASA : (Dir : Guru Dutt , Cast : Guru Dutt , Waheeda Rehman , Mala Sinha , Music : S.D.Burman )
This largely semi-autobiographical movie has long been acclaimed as a masterpiece. It shows the disillusionment of an idealistic poet with the society and the recognition he gets after his supposed death . The beauty of this movie is its coincidence with real life where Guru Dutt died young and was later hailed as a icon in movie-making. The Stunning Cinematography & Screenplay conveys the mood of a confused nation disillusioned with the Nehruvian socialistic principles and social apathy . The life of the movie are the lyrics of Sahir set to memorable tunes by the maestro R.D.Burman . "Jaane Vo Kaise " , "Jinhe Naaz Hai Hind " , "Yeh Duniya Agar Mil" are some of those immortal songs .

ANAND : (Dir : Hrishikesh Mukerjee , Cast : Rajesh Khanna , Amitabh Bhachan , Music : Salil Chaudhury)A tale of two friends one who is terminally ill with Cancer and the other trying to save him. Anand's humor & zest for life is infectious and he makes you laugh when he laughs and makes you cry when he dies in the end.He enjoys & savors every moment of life and Rajesh Khanna immortalizes the role of Anand with Amitabh lending a good support . Hrishida's Direction is amazing. The sensitivity and the emotional appeal he brings to the movie is the hallmark of his direction. The movie has great music by Salilda ( Arguably his best ) with wonderful lyrics by Gulzar and some soulful singing by Mukesh . " Zindagi Kaise Hai paheli", "Kahin Door jab Din " , "Maine tere Liye" are songs that continue to haunt us even today. "Babumoshaai".

GOLMAAL : ( Dir : Hrishikesh Mukherjee , Cast : Amol Palekar , Utpal Dutt , Bindiya Goswami , Music : R.D.Burman ) To Think that Anand and Golmaal were directed by the same director is baffling which in itself is a tribute to the versatility of Hrishida. In my opinion Golmaal is the best in the humor genre with the antics of Amol Palekar and Utpal Dutt providing one with non-stop laughter . A story of mistaken identities and the subsequent Golmaal to fool the boss form absolutely hilarious encounters . Amol Palekar is too good and so is Dr. Masoom Raza with his witty dialogues. "Aanewala Pal" remains an evergreen melody even today . "Baal Baal Bache".

DILWALE DULHANIA LE JAYENGE (DDLJ) : (Dir : Aditya Chopra , Cast : Shah Rukh Khan , Kajol , Music : Jatin-Lalit )A candy floss NRI romance which captured the nation and the spirit of the 90's . Shot in exotic locales with stunning visuals ,the on-screen chemistry between Shah rukh and Kajol lights up the screen. Aditya Chopra made a dream debut with some slick direction and terrific screenplay and dialogues .The movie was one of the biggest grossers in Bollywood . Mellifluous music by Jatin Lalit with songs like "Tujhe Dekha" , "Mehndi Laga", "Ho Gaya Hai" .

KAADALIKKA NERAMILLAI : (Dir : Sreedhar , Cast : Muthuraman , Ravichandran, Kanchana,Rajashree,Balayya,Nagesh) Humor rules supreme all through this wonderfully entertaining movie of forged identities by two close friends. Balayya is a Rich landlord with two beautiful daughters . Muthuraman loves the first daughter and Ravichandran the second . Muthuraman dons the rols of Ravichandran's Rich father to satisfy the greedy Balayya . The movie revolves around this plot with incredible humor provided by Nagesh , as Balayya's film crazy son. The episode where Nagesh recites an eerie story to Balayya is acknowledged as one of the best scenes in comedy even today . Sreedhar's screenplay , dialogues & direction are the sheer work of a genius. The film has wonderful music by Viswanathan-Ramamurthy with memorable songs like "Nenjathai Alli", "Yenna Paarvai", "Anubhavam Pudhumai" , "Naalam Naalam" . "O-Ho Productions".

MOUNA RAAGAM : (Dir : Mani Rathnam , Cast : Mohan , Karthik , Revathi , Music : Illayaraja)
The man who gave tamil cinema centerstage in the National Panorama , weaves a wonderful tale and explores the Relationship between a Husband & wife. Revathi was already in love with Karthik , who dies in a police encounter .She gets married to Mohan and starts hating him and the relationship from day one. How Mohan changes her and wins her over forms the rest of the Story. Mani's brilliance lies in the deft handling of human relationships and for well etched characters who form the backbone of the movie. All the Actors have done a fabulous job and the humor provides a welcome variation to an otherwise serious movie. The Locales around Delhi make up for stunning visuals and P.C.Sreeram's photography is awesome. The life of the movie is its music. Illayaraja proves to the world why he is hailed as a Maestro & Genius. Melodious songs like "Nilave Vaa", "Pani Vizhum" , "Manram vandha" combined with excellent background score where the BGM conveys the emotions of the characters with skillful choice of instruments .

MICHEAL MADANA KAMA RAJAN : ( Dir : Santhana Barathy , Cast : Kamal Haasan , Nagesh , Kushboo , Manorama , Urvasi , Music : Illayaraja)Kamal's talent shines brightly all through this humorous movie. Kamal Haasan proves his versatility in this comic caper where he dons 4 roles - Thief , Cook , Fireman & Businessman . Its amazing the distinctness he provides to all these characters and no wonder he is recognized as the one of the finest actors in the country . The story is a perfect masala story about 4 brothers separated at birth and how they avenge their enemies. The Palakkadu Cook & fireman Raju shine with some Hilarious scenes particularly the fish scene & Nagesh catch my point scenes. Crazy Mohan's every dialogue is a gem and makes the audience erupt with laughter. Nagesh , Manorama and the Paati have provided wonderful support . This film is a tribute to Kamal & Crazy Mohan's sheer genius. "Bheem Boy , Catch my point ".

OTHER HONORABLE MENTIONS : Shawshank's Redemption , Casablanca , Sunset Boulevard , Psycho , To kill a Mocking Bird ,Rear Window , Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid , Modern Times ,Life is Beautiful,Gandhi , Raiders of the Lost Ark,Singin'in the Rain, Taxi Driver,The Bridge on the river Kwai , Awara , Mughal-e-Azam , Madhumati , Mother India , Guide , Koshish, Dil Chahta Hai , Lagaan, Chupke Chupke , Karnan , Thillana Mohanambal , Thiruvilayaadal, Mullum Malarum, Sindhu Bhairavi , Samsaram adhu Minsaram, Devar Magan , Maha Nadhi ,Roja .

Tuesday, January 06, 2004





4. I'M NOT 50. I'M $49.95 PLUS TAX.





Sunday, January 04, 2004

Blogging Tips

The Second most searched word last year on Google was Blogging. I Started my Blog thanks to my friend GBS (Chaotic Solitude) . Four of my friends have since started blogs,after seeing my Blog. So what makes a good blog ? Here are a few Blog Tips which I culled from the internet :

1. Frequency, good writing, and personality - a mix of all those is critical.

2. Use correct grammar, no misspellings, and make sure all punctuation is in the right place.

3. Remember that whatever you publish will be found and archived by Google and other search engines and Web sites. So really think carefully about what you are putting out there before you do it.

4. Avoid today I did this posts, unless what you did was extraordinary.

5. Don't worry about who is reading, and just write about what is interesting to you.

6. Before you begin blogging, figure out your boundaries. Decide how much or how little you are comfortable with disclosing.

7. Don't try to please an audience, and don't post simply because you feel like you ought to . only post when you have something to say.

8. Photographs liven up a blog and, if they are good, can really be worth 1000 words.

9. Retain your sense of self and style - don't constantly emulate and copy those around you.

10. Last but not the least , Know your audience.

TIME's Bollywood Top 10 Films - Photo Essay

Here is the Time's Photo Essay on the top 10 bollywood movies. They haven't done a bad job with the compilation (The only exception being the choice of Devdas ) .

Saturday, January 03, 2004


Finally found time to give the Blog a much needed tweaking. Although on the face of it , the changes seem quite mild , its quite an acheivemnet for me knowing how bad I am with HTML Codes. Will try to update the site much more in the near future , Where I am looking at more value additions to the Reader & getting more eyeballs through good content.

The Futility of War

A Confession first . Seeing a Bollywood War movie gives me no expertise to comment on what happened at Kargil or on what war is all about . But there is no denial about the Futility of lives being lost because of enmity & hatred.

Saw the Movie LOC - Kargil yesterday . It was an epic movie spanning four Hours . The movie leaves most Indians with a feeling of Patriotism & exhilaration . The Locations are terrific and most of the Star Cast ( Its almost a who-is-who of Bollywood ) has acted very well particularly Ajay Devgan & Saif Ali Khan . But on the downside it has portrayed the war as a one-sided story with expletives thrown liberally all over the movie.

I have always had great admiration for people in the Defence forces. I like their immense self-confidence & discipline and their patriotism in serving the Nation.

If you allow your Head to rule your heart , you start wondering why the heck are so many people fighting over something which if given the right initiatives could be solved peacefully. Mutilation , maiming , Torture all is fair in war . Is that what a sane thinking individual would resort to ? Consider the Billions of Rupees which India & pak would have spent on these wars which otherwise could have been used for their country's Development . War is never a solution .

I remember this Classic War Quote by Benjamin Franklin "There never was a good war or a bad peace".