Cerebral Shangrila

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesdays with morrie - book review

After losing my battle with idleness, I chanced upon the library at the resort. It was raining cats & dogs, a perfect afternoon for book reading. Hidden amongst the popular fiction titles was this little gem by Mitch albom. I had heard of this book before, thanks to amazon's recommendation list.

The book is about the reflections on life by a dying professor narrated to his favorite student. As the title says it's about " an old man, a young man, and life's greatest lesson". Albom meets his teacher every tuesday until morrie finally loses his battle to als.Morrie is that favorite teacher we ever had - more a friend than a teacher. Morrie offers simple yet deep insights on the purpose& meaning of life. The topics range from family, love, emotions, aging, money, marriage, today's culture and death.morrie's observations are completely devoid of ego & preachiness yet offers sagely advice for the younger generation.

We have just one life. Let us live it rather than passing through the motions. Life isn't an act and even if it is , sadly, you don't get a second chance.

A perfect lesson for me as I strive to answer the larger questions of life. In an eerie coincidance, I read this book on a Tuesday !

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sound of silence

Sitting at a remote resort in Bali, Indonesia , I ponder amidst silence. For someone who prides himself on reading 2 books a week, I have lost a rare ability - The ability "to do nothing".doing nothing , I have realized, is a lot of work!

It's time to discover the smaller pleasures of life - catching the sun rise in a paddy field, butterflies hovering around colorful plants, discovering ancient ruins amidst verdant forests, catching an evening kecak dance, thanking those simple people who are full of love.

Hopefully I shall discover the sound of silence in this amazing place. In that sound I seek myself.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry x'mas

Wish you all merry x'mas & happy holidays!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Central Park - New York City

Photo taken during the " Fall" at Central Park, New York City.
Here is my photo album of " Central Park".

These photos were taken during my trip in October.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Dr. Swamy & his Friends

Just when you thought you had seen the last of him, the inimitable Dr. Subramanian Swamy reappears to write a tribute to Paul Samuelson ( Appropriately titled " An Indian tribute : Guru").

Like most things with him, the later part of the tribute gets down to needless mud-slinging and self-praise.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

You Cannot be Serious - Book Review

" You cannot be serious" is the autobiography of John McEnroe . The book is very much like the man - irreverent , blunt, opinionated and " no holds barred". His inner turmoil, outbursts and professional rivalries have been captured very well in the book.

I really liked the book for it's candor and honesty. My rating for the book 6-4!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Margazhi" Month

Growing nostalgic about the "Margazhi" Maasam - The month of winter, Thirupaavai, Pongal, Bhajans and Music in Chennai. Needless to say, I miss the Margazhi music festival the most.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Paul Samuelson - RIP

Like an editor deciding on the "lead story" of the day, I was in a dilemma about what to blog - Accenture & Tiger Woods split or Paul's obituary. The answer was simple in the end because its Paul. The man, who probably wrote the best economics textbook ever, continues to inspire millions of students worldwide that it is worth pursuing a career in dismal science.

I first read his textbook a few years ago though by then it was already a 50+ year old classic. Though it was 56 year old, it was still quite contemporary & relevant.

The NYT has a wonderfully written obituary on the great man. Please read it.

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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Blogpost from iPhone

Got an iPhone on friday . I am already getting addicted to it. Here is the first post from the phone. Starting to love the apple
apps store - the possibilities are limitless!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 10, 2009

To iPhone or not

With a broken phone in hand, I am eminently qualified to trade up to an iphone. With all the three telcos in Singapore offering aggressive data plans this week ( Thanks to Starhub & M1 getting the right to sell an iphone), the consumer finally gets to make some choices . However, it turns out to be a " Hobson's choice" due to a complete lack of differentiation between the 3 telcos, with all the plans looking so eerily similar.

I have never been a device geek but what attracts me to the iPhone is the wide range of apps that promise to simplify & spice up my daily life.

Wise choice ? Only time can tell.


Sunday, December 06, 2009

Paa - Movie review

An excellent movie that is a "must watch". A very refreshing and original screenplay with oodles of humor & fantastic acting from the cast.

Balki's biggest strength is his ability to think like children - that too with an amazing precision. The dialogues are super cool with even the most serious situations filled with wit and humor. The odd tirade against the media seems a little out of place but that is just knitpicking in an otherwise neat film.

Of the cast, AB Sr just morphs into the role ( You don't see AB , all you see is " Auro") but in my opinion Vidya balan overshadows them all and delivers a stunning performance.

P.C.Sreeram's cinematography and Raja's background score lend excellent support. "Paa" is definitely one of the best movies of the year. Just, watch it !

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Kanda Nee Oru Malai Vaasi

The song that I raved about earlier. Ahir Bhairav can melt even the stone hearted.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Nityashree - Concert at Sri Thendayudhapani temple, Singapore

A spectacular concert that was embellished with excellent Manodharmam & Bhavam. Here is the Song list / Review :

1. Gananadhane ( raga : Saranga , Composer : Periyasamy Thooran) - Concert started briskly with the kriti in Saranga.

2. Varasikhi ( raga : Supradeepam , Composer : Thyagaraja) - A rare piece by Saint Thyagaraja on Lord Muruga.

3. Padumanabham ( raga : Nagaswarawali , Composer : Papanasam Sivan)

4. Thirupugazh Kettanayo ( raga : Shanmukhapriya , Composer : N.S.Chidambaram) - Splendid raga alapanai in Shanmukhapriya rendered with great "Bhavam".

5. Vidalagumo ( raga : Devagandhari , Composer : Arunachalam) - After the breezy earlier song, this was delivered in a slow tempo.

6. Thanigaivalar saravanabhava ( raga : Thodi, Composer : Papanasam Sivan) - A short piece that still managed to capture the essence of Thodi.

7. Sri guruguha ( raga : Suddha Saveri , Composer : Muthuswamy Dikshathar) - Another brief piece that set the stage for the upcoming RTP piece ( which turned out to be sans "T").

8. Karthikeya Kamalekshana ( raga : Valaji , Composer : Srivatsa) - Beautiful rendering of Valaji raga. However there was no Thanam and the swaras were sung only briefly.

By now , she had got at least 10 "chit" requests and I was mentally preparing myself for a rehash of familiar tukkudas. However, I was proven wrong as this turned out to be the most enlivening part of the evening.

9. Sandanamum ( raga : Abheri , Composer : Arulavan) - rendered amidst huge round of applause from the audience.

10. Vizhikku ( Virutham) - Kanda nee oru Malai vaasi ( raga : Ahir Bhairav , Composer : Neelakantan) - The best piece of the evening. Ahir Bhairav can melt even the stone hearted . She made everyone emotional with her rendition.

11. E Endru Naan ( Virutham in Kedaragaula) followed by ragamalika in Hamsanandhi , Mohanam and Sindhubhairavi , ending with the kriti - Koovi Azhaikka.

12. Muruganai Ninai nenje ( raga : ??, composer : Papanasam Sivan) - I couldn't identify the raga ( seemed to be Hindustani based).

13. Mayil meedhu ( raga : Vasanthi , Composer : Sathur Karpagam) - A song that is not often heard and I suspect this could have been an audience request.

14. Aarumuga ( raga : Madhuvanthi , Composer : Sai Bhajan) - When she started the brief alaap, I was jumping with joy since this is one of my favorite ragas. Rendered very well.

15. Paar Alaum ( raga : Hamsanadham) - A very different mangalam in Hamsanadham !

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Four reasons why I love attending concerts at Murugan Temple

1. The artist would definitely sing "ShanmukhaPriya" - One of my favorite ragas.

2. Most of the songs are in Tamil.

3. The "Bhavam" exceeds the technicalities.

4. The concerts are free with sumptuous prasadams.

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