Every thing under the sun... and beyond!!!
Hi! If u have lost ur way and come here, u are free to turn back and get back to whatever u were doing! Dont tell me I didnt warn you. Contents of this page are MY VIEWS! If ur views differ, GO HAVE UR OWN BLOG!!! The contents are just my way of lookin at things, which may be right or wrong! I am not a racist, MCP, Political... Hell! I am not even informed on half the things to form an opinion! I just write what i feel that moment! Cheers!!!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I had the good fortune to watch an excellent movie recently... "Life is beautiful". This Italian masterpiece "La Vita e bella" is probably one of the most beautifully made movies in in world cinema...
The story is about a Jewish bookkeeper Guido (played to perfection by Roberto Benigni) and his family, during the Nazi era.
While I have seen many World War II movies, or war movies in general, what makes this movie special is the hope that it brims you with, once you are thru with the movie. Guido and his family are taken to one of the many concentration camps that were prevalent during Hitler's regime. What can a father do in this case? Does he tell him the grim reality, scaring the little boy to death? Does he try to do something heroic (like our desi movies) and save the boy and his family(making it too far fetched to believe)? NO! Instead, Guido tells the kid that the whole thing is a game, and the winner gets a real tank!
What I loved about the movie is the beautiful way in which Guido seeks hope in the darkest moment. His is the character that I cannot relate to, but would love to have an attitude like his. Be it wooing his lady love in a very innocent but cute manner, or hiding the racial discrimination that was meted against them for not being the 'Aryan' race, or saving his son's life in the most unusual yet believable manner thru sheer optimism.
How many times have we faced situations where we have faced despair, lost hope, immersed ourselves in self pity and bawled away to doom to everyone about out fate or kismet?? I have done that a lot of times. While I am not guaranteeing that I shall never do it again, what this movie taught me is what you see is what you get! While I believe in being realistic, than optimistic or pessimistic, this movie showed me the difference in being realistic and being cynical or critical about one's choices.
I guess, our lives are governed by the choices that we make... But then, once a choice is made, we spend too much time analyzing if the choice made was correct and incorrect. Our ineptitude to identify the present from the 'recent past' makes us not cherish the present. Irrespective of the choices we make, I have been inspired by this movie to live the present to the fullest, and plan the future without ruining the present. Irrespective of the darndest situation that engulfs us, we get bogged down only if we lose hope. And this movie has taught me that 'Nothing is worth losing your hope for'.
Yes, I agree... Life is indeed beautiful. and 'Hope' makes it so...
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
The last 3 weeks were wonderful. After almost 2 years, I spent 2 full weeks with my parents at home. Now that is a treat! I went home for a hardly 4 days last year, when I started blogging!
Anyways, I ve got a brand new camera. And now I am addicted!!! Call it juvenile, but I just cannot stop this obsession. Am enjoying my photography a lot!!!
In many ways, a photograph is like writing... Or reading a book. There are so many ways of looking at things in a photograph. And every single time you look at it, a new meaning appears out of nowhere, leaving you awestruck. I am not a good photographer, but, I find it fascinating. Like a child learning a new language... Every day, I learn new meanings of the same word... And I am hooked! :) Its like reading a Richard Bach, a Paulo Coelho. Its beautiful! :)
Oh, while you are here, please check out my work of art!!! :))) I call it the Human 'Nature'. Wonder why???? :) (Clue: There is a Pun intended in the title!!! :)) )
Friday, December 15, 2006
And have not been finding any interesting stuff to write about... My brains are filled with cobwebs and right now, the only thing i can ramble about is printer drivers... That, i am sure will bring my "popularity ratings" low... (the fact that they are at their nadir doesnt help ;-) )
Be Right Back... probably before the New Year! :)
Friday, October 20, 2006
Will you even cast a second glance at that fat dude who has just streaked his hair red??? Unless it is to laugh at him???
Will you even bother telling that Not So Pretty silent classmate/colleague of urs a Hi??? Nope!!!
Will you bother making thatr fresher who is just out of campus and has joined your team comfortable??? Just a 'Hi.. hows it goin?? ' NO! Freshers are supposed to feel intimidated... Using buzzwords... jargons... and then n0ot caring a darn, even when they come asking for help! Try doing the same to some experienced canditate who knows what is what!!! and bloody, half the 'experts' run away!!!
Reservations, Creamy Layer everything is a farce... Relationships are rare and superficial!!! Everyone is a fake!!! So am I! I fake that I am cool with everything! So do u! we all close our eyes... and see what we want to see... We've become statistical analysis tools, which analyse the Pros and Cons of another person, and then brand him... and if we have something to gain from him, we accept him!!! Else, he is an Outcast!!!
Individuality is non existent! Nobody likes individuality, although we all claim to possess it! Are we not moulding ourselves into various shapes that is acceptable to our peers? to the society? WHen a dude speaks peter English (Which means, fluent proper english), we call him a wanna-be!!! When our brother does it... Its cool! WHo are we to brand people? What gives us the right? The right to freedom of thought, expression and speech??? Why cant we just change our calculating mind... why cant we just be innocent???
Shame on Me! Shame on US!!!
Btw, Happy Diwali! :) (Faking here too)
P.S. I HAVE NOT STREAKED MY HAIR!!!
Thursday, September 28, 2006
XYZ INSTITUTE OF MGMT
At XYZ, we emphasize the importance of values, ethics, morals, sincerity, discipline, dedication etc in student life. We find more and more Recruiters are looking at not only your Intelligence Quotient (IQ) but also your Emotional Quotient (EQ) and Spiritual Quotient (SQ). (Cant believe they actually came up with all the quotients possibel! IO, QA and now SQ!!! What will they think of next!!! ) We desire to create a new breed of leaders, not just managers, who will be able to develop a strong nation. Both academic and personal disciplines are to be developed during your 2-year stay with us. We presume you have chosen to come to our B-school to make a career and not to waste your time in unproductive activities. (Holy Cow! How on earth did you get that!!! Was I that obvious???) Following code of conduct is developed for your personal development. You are requested to read this carefully and understand its implications before you decide to join us. If you have any reservations regarding these regulations, kindly feel free not to seek admission at XYZ. We look for a proper match between the philosophy, vision and mission of the Institute with your own personal values and expectations.
(This is some sort of disclaimer! A warning to all the students which says “Beware… Later don’t tell me I didn’t warn you!!!” )
CODE OF CONDUCT
1. I understand and accept that learning is MY responsibility. My purpose of being in XYZ is to learn and develop myself into a manager and a leader with a sense of responsibility towards society. I fully subscribe to the concerns, purpose of, and the processes at the Institute.
(I solemnly affirm that my loyalty shall never waiver from Taliban and its oppressive regime, and becoming a suicide bomber is MY responsibility!!! Dude! Whats wrong with you???)
2. This being a residential programme, I know that attendance requirement is 100% with respect to every class and every activity/assignment. However, I also understand that in case of exigencies I can avail 15% as leave with prior permission from the PGP Chairman.
(Ok... I am supposed to be a management student and not class 5th student from balshiksha elementary school! 100 percent attendence it seems! They’ll probably exect me to send a leave letter to PGP chairman tellin Dear Sir, As I am sufferrin from fever…)
3. I understand that Smoking, Drinking, and Drugs are not allowed in the campus, Presence of people having consumed liquor / drugs is also not allowed. Violation of these rules will result in instant dismissal from the Institute.
Fair enough! Considering the rest, this one doesn’t really make u laugh out loud!
4. I know that there is a dress code which requires all boys and girls to dress decently and in a dignified manner befitting a future management professional, which has to be adhered to and I shall abide by the dress code.
(No Comments! I wasn’t really expecting to come to college in torn jeans!)
5. I understand and accept that irrespective of any constraint(s) I have to complete activities and assignments on time. I will have to be self-motivated and no incentives will be available to me to get motivated, nor there shall be any incentives for co-curricular activities.
Motivation??? Ill be damned!!! After readin till this, I've begun to wonder as to what the word "Motivation" actually means!
6. I fully understand that I should not come out with any excuses or accusations for lack of initiative and efforts on my part. I shall not pass judgments either in public or private conversations without ascertaining facts from authentic sources.
7. I also understand that as a management student and one who subscribes to the values of XYZ, I will have to behave according to its norms at all times, both on and outside the campus. More particularly, I shall not behave in contravention of the Hostel Warden’s instructions. The Institute has the right to take correctional and disciplinary action if I misbehave with any outsider and if any act is in contravention of the norms of XYZ.
This one takes the prize!!! Now, I have to fear the warden too!!! Help!!!
8. I also understand that the examination system at XYZ is a strict one and in case of any malpractice I indulge in, I am risking my studentship for which there may not be any further warning, excuse or any opportunity to explain.
9. I understand that all the co-curricular activities including concept / space selling for souvenirs, EDPs, seminars, convocation etc. are essential assignments aimed at learning by doing and experiencing. These assignments may or may not have marks.
10. I understand that as per the OGPA evaluation system, I am liable to loose my studentship if I do not measure up to the standards prescribed. Even if I am allowed to proceed to the next trimester, I can be removed from the institution on declaration of the OGPA of the previous trimester / year. I am aware that I will not be allowed to proceed to the second year if I do not clear all the papers in the first year.
11. I understand that I will have to be courteous and polite with staff, colleagues, guests, faculty and others at all times, but not submissive.
Basically, I have tosuck up to the staffs!!!
12. I also promise that I shall not leave station without informing the Institute in writing. I shall also inform the change of my address and that of my parents both residential and official, to the Institute promptly.
Permissions Permissions and more permissions
13. I shall be attentive in all class sessions and shall write notes of each session which may or may not be evaluated by the faculty and may or may not be awarded marks. I also understand that if I absent from “Guest Lectures” I shall be fined to recover the cost incurred.
What the heck!!! I am speechless! Compulsory attendance… followed by taking down notes…
14. I undertake that I shall not lie, nor accuse / criticize or form judgments without understanding the context / circumstances, the person and the purpose. At the same time I understand that I shall have all the freedom, opportunity and avenues to air my views, suggestions, grievances, and also to express myself fully to the Director and staff at all times, which will be duly considered.
15. I accept XYZ as my own and I am here to make a career and therefore I shall do whatever is required to be done under the guidance, instructions, support and assistance of the Institute and shall not do or speak anything untrue, which will hamper the institution’s reputation and my purpose of being here.
16. I understand that whatever the Institute instructs or does will be in the best interest of the students and I shall abide by all the decisions of the Director and faculty although I may disagree personally or dislike certain aspects. However, I can exercise my right to clarify and being heard and to be counseled if I am wrong.
17. I agree to all the changes in the curriculum, fee structure, procedures and processes which may have to be modified from time to time as the institution evolves itself.
18. I fully understand that behavior (within or outside the campus) contrary to any of the principles, norms and codes while I am in this Institute will lead to remedial, correctional and deterrent measures and if the Director and or faculty considers it necessary, termination of my studentship.
19. I understand that the above rules and principles are meant to make my association with the Institute more effective, by functioning in orderly ways with a sense of purpose and commitment. Therefore, I understand what is important is not mechanical compliance but imbibing of the values and work ethos of XYZ. Towards this I hereby promise that I shall at all times along with the Director, faculty, staff and colleagues strive to promote and maintain a climate of love, mutual concern, togetherness, adaptation, team spirit, interaction and learning throughout my stay at XYZ. I shall be truthful to me, my purpose of being here, my parents and teachers at all times. I also understand and agree that I shall work tirelessly to live up to the vision, mission and concern of XYZ, which calls for at least 14-16 hours of conceptual learning and / or activities centered learning regardless of day and night.
How much more BS can they come up with? Esp. the at least 14-16 hours of conceptual learning and / or activities centered learning regardless of day and night part!!!Do they mean that hostel lights will be off only after each one completes 14-16 hours with the books? Whatever they meant, I’ll call it CRAP!
20. I shall follow all the rules of the hostel at all times and it will be my constant endeavor to keep my room and premises clean and tidy at all times.
I ve lived in a pig sty ever since I left home… Be it college hostel or current room! So, that leaves me out!!!
21. I shall not indulge in any activity, which would cause misunderstanding or division among students for any reason whatsoever I shall not indulge in any activity, which would lead to disharmony among the students who come from diverse backgrounds from all parts of the country.
22. I am fully aware that my purpose of joining XYZ is to have a quality education and placement is incidental in this process. I also understand that if my focus is only on placements, then learning will not take place. I also understand that I should develop myself competent enough to be selected by recruiters and XYZ can assist me only to the extent of bringing the recruiters to the campus and it is my sole responsibility to make myself fit enough for the recruiters.
23. I understand that I should live amicably with other room-mates in the hostel and I will not pick up quarrel with them on insignificant reasons.
I am 5 years old… and love playing marbles with a bunch of MBA aspirants. We love quarrelling on whether Barbie is hotter or Ariel (the mermaid). These are issues of international importance I suppose!!! (Phew!!!)
Basically, I wasted a lot of my 14-16 hours time going thru this sorry excuse for “Code of Conduct”. And in case u did the same… Welcome to the gang! The time you spent to read this could ve been utilised for scrating your hair, cutting your nails, sending forwards to unsuspecting colleagues, have 3 cigs, 2 coffee breaks… and then preparing for the CAT!!!
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Dinamalar.com seems to be the source of all evil! Along with other tamil dailies!!! Scores of photoghaphs updated every hour... 'Live Photographs', one link screamed! Dude... get a life! This is not some India Pakistan match where any one would be obsessed with the 'Live Pics'! Or so I thought! All I had to do was turn behind and look at the others in my cubicle! everyone seems to be hooked on to the pics!!! Thats it I give up!!! Ill have to spend atleast another week collecting Surya-Jyothika's marriage albums... their mehndi ceremony, their reception pics... and keep cleaning my inbox by deleting these HUGE files...
Talking of HUGE files... one thing that irritates me is ppl sending bitmap images! Dude, THEY ARE HUGE! You are already getting on my nerves by sending me 20 pics per day of Surya-Jyothika, you dont have to confirm your seat there by semding me 20 BITMAP files! If you wanna send the good will news to every one, please atelast send JPEGS and zip them.
And looks like the News Channels have caught the bug too! Look, I am an ardent fan of NDTV... Among the News Channels, I feel they are the best! But they did let me down! Imagine going home after a tiring days work, switching ON the TV to catch the news... The Southern edition was going on! And guess whats the opinion poll running? "SHOULD JYOTHIKA CONTINUE TO WORK AFTER MARRIAGE?" Well, I might have rather been hit by a raging senile bull!!! Or tramped by a wild elephant! Does it even matter if Jyothika works after marriage? Is it even going to reduce my tax? Or will it help reducing the reservations? Or hell! Will it even play any role in that pretty looking female even acknowledging the fact that I exist??? No you morons! You guys are supposed to be the only guys who make sense in the television! Stick to that!!!
Neways, seeing that we (yes! there are ppl who actually think like me in this case! Lots actually!) are totally outnumbered, i guess, we'll have to rage a war against these inhuman, cold hearted mortals! Or else, just keep deleting the mails, and bitch about the stupidity of the FANS, Media and every compulsive mail forwarder!!! :)
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Monday, August 07, 2006
With a parched throat, fear encompassing our toddler feet
what wrong have we done, for we are li'l kids
wish we knew why we are punished, for whose evil deeds
while we hide under the ground in fear
a disquieting thought that the end is near
Hearing the shells bite ino the skin
our our family, kith and kin
We long for a ray of hope, the warmth of the sun
smiling upon us, a day of muted guns
Mommy please wake us up from this horrible dream
Take us in your arms, we want to play by the stream
Wake us up to the sweet alarm of chirping birds
not the clangs of the broken shards
Please tell us these scars will fade
Please tell us life'll take us ahead
Please wake up from your eternal sleep
and dry our tears, for we can no longer weep.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Money? Well, it is a major factor, I agree. Accepted that it drives a lot of things today. Money and power have become synonymous infact. But then, can it really really drive us? I have my own doubts about that. I dont want to start off with the cliche and oft used statement that "money can buy you anything... but it cant...". However, it does hold true in its own way.
Is it Love? I dont think so... I know that a lot of ppl will disagree with me on that... but then, ill rule it out because love is something that we all seek definitions and meanings of. And then there are these 'prophets' who can classify love into a hajjar categories... Conditional Love, Unconditional love... and lotsa other crap. I call it crap because, i doubt if there is anything like unconditional love... What we have for our parents is perhaps the closest thing to it... but then come on... get real... parents expect us to live their lives. i am not telling that they are unjustified in doing so... but then, hey there is a condition right??? :-) Basically, I feel every relationship is conditional... the thin line between emotional and practical people is how well they accept the condition! :-)
Well, that still leaves our question open. I feel it is trust. Well, that is the only emotion that exists almost as long as life itself. (For all those who say Life is short, I wonder what is the other thing that you know of, which is longer than your life... You've been havin it since your birth and will have it till your death!). Ever since I was a kid, even before I knew what love was, I knew what trust was. Trust is holding your father's lil finger while crossing the road. The trust that no vehicle will dare come near you, even though you are just 2 years old! Trust is lying down on your mother's lap after a very tiring day. The trust that nobody, (not even your boss) can enter your territory now. Trust is your friend giving you his email id and password. The trust that you wont end up reading his personal mails... Well, a toddler begins to cry when he doesnt see his mother for sometime... and the reason is not because he is mature enough to realise that he loves her... but simply because his wall of trust seems to weaken in her absence. Time will make him trust you... and once he trusts you, he'' cry if you are absent for a while too... I might not trust my neighbour, my colleague, my boss, my wife, my parents... but eventually it boils down to one thing... i ll trust myself! Face it! you cant find a person who doesnt trust anything... becasue in doing so, he trusts his judgement! Confusing? true!
The other day, I was lookin up for the meaning of the word 'trust'. The verb means Confident Hope. Paradoxes side by side huh? Confident indicates surety, certainty, conviction and having no second thoughts. Hope on the other hand has an element of uncertainty to it. We hope for a miracle, although we know they dont exist. :-) I hope to lose weight... but then the proabability of me becoming a CEO of my cmpany is more realistic :-). Hope has always indicated caution and tentativeness... and a lot of praying work. However, ironically it is this comnitaion of opposites that goes on to create an emotion that, according to me, drives the world. Again this can be directly atributed to the fact that every moment, rather situation, i'd call it... is a paradox. And what adds to its beauty is the co-exisence of the opposites! Words, Ideas, thoughts might always be contradictory... but in the larger scheme of things, each would cease to exist without the other. Without hope, confidence dies... and without confidence, hope doesnt exist either! Well, as Sushan says... Life's Tuff!!! :-)
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Saturday, June 17, 2006
1. realised that half of the worlds population lives in the local trains of Mumbai.
2. found out that the formula for finding the actual cost price of any dress in Mumbai is the Quoted Price/2. In case of decent shops, it is Quoted Price/3.
3. found out that there are cheats with fancy restaurants who sell sugarcane juice for 20 Rs per glass. N the next shop sells the same shit for Rs. 3 per glass!!! So, when it comes to food items... there is no specific formula for actual Cost Price... it is determined thru years of experience.
4. realised that The best place for a free body massage is the Mumbai local trains... provided u can bear stinkin arm pits...
5. Created my own Blog!!! Wrote one article, begged a cpl o friends to read it and post their comments, and actually replied back to the comments (like they are gonna visit my blog again ever!).
6. Came to the conclusion that my family doctor is a genius. Well, he is the only one who can cure my perennial ulcers (Oxymoron???).
7. My Dad cant drive a car for peanuts. Neither can I!
8. Any car is only as goodas its driver,... So our Ford Icon is a worthless bauble.
9. Nothin can ever beat home food!
10. Meetin up with an old friend is one of the most refreshing things ever! It can keep u smilin for till the bill for the dinner comes!
11. Restaurants in Mumbai cant make Hyderabadi Biryani. Their idea of the same is Green Chutney mixed with rice! Help!!!
12. Our cable tv operator has no movie sense... and he actually puts soft porn (May i add lousy too) after the last football match of the day is over!
13. Nobody is indispensible. I was not there for 10 days, and nobody missed me @ work! Not that I made a lotta contribution at work.
14. Mumbai is just as sultry as Chennai... So i should stop comparin the 2 cities.
15. All Dads love travellin by King Fisher Airlines... while I always have the pleasure of travelling in Indian Airlines! When ll they change their service approach? They can be lousy! They are lousy!
16. Football is low scoring as compared to cricket... but Lotsa fun!!! I an become an expert in analysing post match performance even without knowing A,B,C of football! :)
Basically that winds up my break. Work Beckons... As Arnie put it... Ill Be Back... (Like it is gonna make a difference! :) Adios!!!
Friday, June 16, 2006
U know, being a Tam-Bram based in Mumbai is sooo cool, esp if u are a foodie! I mean, at our home, I can remember being fed idly sambhar and dosa chutney, even before i was fed cerelac (intentional hyperbole!!!). N once i grew up, I remember the breakfasts having Pongal too.. Ven Pongal with chutney and Ghotsu. For the ill informed, Pongal is the tamil version of Kheer, Ghotsu is well... Ghotsu! Ven Pongal is lotsa Ghee with Pongal! And then ofcourse who can forget the elixir of life, thair sadam! (curd rice!) I mean, no true tam-bram who belongs to the lineage can deny loving Thair Sadam... and the innumerable helpings of mavadu or some other urga (achar/pickles). Whatever said and done, i feel Sambhar has been our contribution to the world... well, to Indian cuisines across the world. I mean, all my friends relish the crap that i cook and feed 'em, callin it Sambhar! My cousin abroad has her American n punjabi friends swoonin over the Liquid she proclaims as Sambhar too... :)
Oh! i forgot the kara kolambus... (the sibling of Sambhar, which is stronger and more spicier!) and Rasam (Sambhar without too much dal, and with lotsa tomatoes and Tamarind!) So u see, what a vital role Sambhar plays in our lives!!! I mean, it is the perfect side dish. With rice and dollops of ghee, with Curd rice, with dosa, pongal, idli, pakoda, u name it, and it can be used! (hell! when my mom is not lookin i actually have it as a side dish for pulao too!!!). Vada Sambhar is another famous combo which every tambram must know accept and relish!!! And the poriyals too... the Urlakalangu (Potatoes) and its siblings (senai) played such an important role in our brought up! And the Avials too!!!
Today I am in Kochi, cookin my own crap, eatin my sorry excuses for food! And missin ghar ka khana... call me a foodie to have devoted a whole blog for food! All typical tamil saapadu... whatever said n done, nothin can bring the taste of Veetu Saapadu (Home food!) All that talk has made me hungry like hell!!! As i cant gt home food, ill settle for the next best thing! Ill grab a beer (with urga!) n then some chicken 65 and finally end up with some fried rice from the roattu kadai (read as hawker) and go to sleep! Buonas noches n Bon Apetit! (different Languages i Know!!!)
"YOU graduated in Literature, right?" asked my young cousin. "No, in Economics." I hastily clarified . "Economics honours," I added for good measure. The question coming from anyone else would have been innocuous, but from my cousin who was a third year engineering student,it was almost offending. As a card carrying member of the Tamilian Brahmin community,or Tam Brams, as the endearment goes, I knew that in his world-and that included his parents, relatives, colony friends, project group,dorm mates-someone who graduated in Literature obviously did so because he or she had a learning disability. The poor thing was a freak who couldn't get admission into an engineering college or even a pitiful, but definitely more acceptable, science course. Or worse, such a specimen was a wasted wanton whose desire to do B.A. was an irresponsible, rebellious act, almost akin to joining a Neo-Nazi like cult group and living on the edge of civilised society. In any such conversation with a bonafide Tam Bram, I find myself fervently hoping, that despite falling under the horrifying category of B.A Economics,with its connotations of statistics and analysis of numbers and trends, would redeem me a little in their maths-science obsessed eyes. For a Tam Bram family mathematics and science are not merely subjects in the school curriculum. They are a religion. And the dharma of every Tam Bram student is to master them and pave his way to the heavenly portal of an IIT. Or at least to the ordinary portal of a local engineering college,which the family will eventually reconcile to, in the absence of the 'real thing'.The first time I seriously understood this was when I was in primary school and on one sunny day was gleefully reading out my final exam results to Grandpa who was sitting on the porch and frowning in attention. "English: 90 percent, Hindi: 85 percent, Social Studies:87percent.." I prattled on. "How much in maths?" interrupted Grandpa. "Maths: 97 percent," I said grinning widely. "What happened to the remaining marks?" was his unexpected reaction. After which he asked me to fetch the question paper,spent the next two hours going through each problem and figured out where I could have lost the precious three marks."Nothing less than a centum in Maths next time." he said finally.'Centum'is a word unique to the Tam Bram world, that a child grows up listening to. It is a figure that even if sometimes elusive, is never lost sight of throughout the academic career. Centum, Maths, Science, Brilliant Tutorials,Engineering, IIT, B.Tech, Computer Science, USA, Financial Aid, I-20, Student Visa, M.S, San Jose, California, Oracle, Microsoft, Intel. These words and names are like carefully arranged furniture in the mental landscape of a Tam Bram boy-and increasingly girl- below the age of 25. Care is taken not to clutter it with anything related to useless stuff like literature, history or art. Show me a Tam Bram boy who wants to be a fashion designer, VJ, historian or air force pilot and I'll show you something wrong in his blood line. For all such are heathen, a blemish on the fair face of the community. Till about 15 years ago, the only heathens were girls who did not sing. Formidable maamis from the neighbourhood would drop in> for a casual afternoon gossip session with grandmom and on espying any hapless young girls in the vicinity, would pounce on them with the dreaded entreaty, "Oru paatu paadein." (Sing a song). A simple three word sentence, you would think, but in maamiland it is a deceptively camouflaged barometer of the girl's cultural grooming and readiness for Tam Bram society (read marriage market) and her mother's efforts in making her a fine Tamilian lady. A Tam Bram girl's singing talents always have to be on standby, as they could be called upon by anyone no matter what the time of day, nature of the occasion or profile of the audience, by simply uttering the three powerful words, "Oru Paatu Paadein." And woe betide the girl who in shameful ignorance, takes the words at face value. When the words were uttered by a visiting neighbour, I readily accepted and joyously broke into a popular Hindi film ditty. I had finished the second paragraph when I stopped to check audience response. My mother had a strained, embarrassed smile on her face, grandmom was scowling hard, an aunt hurriedly excused herself and went inside and the venerable neighbour looked so disturbed, I thought she was on the verge of a heart attack."Well..that was nice, but don't you sing any varnams or keerthanais?" she finally asked, after an awkward silence. My mother hurriedly explained how in the culturally bereft North we were unable to locate a Carnatic music teacher nearby...but hopefully by this summer she would manage to do something about it. That's when I realised that the only music that was expected to pour out of your mellifluous throat where classical Carnatic songs. If you didn't know any, you simply shut up and ducked out of sight of visiting maamis. And if like me, you are a non-engineer-non-Carnatic-trained loser of a Tam Bram, you should be drowning yourself in a drum full of idli batter for having wasted this lifetime.