Author Archive

Hidden gems stumbled upon serendipitously…

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment

A friend had brought her child to work this weekend, in connection with “Children’s Day Celebrations”, and had got her decked up as a Native American.

He was sharing photos of the event with me, last night. (Featured below, Cindy Amrita, posing as a Native American).

An interesting series of mini-discoveries, happened soon after, that I would like to share with you all.

The moment I saw this photo, I was reminded of the very beautiful and silently smart woman I saw in the “Night At The Museum“, the native American lady who comes alive from the exhibit..

The name was complex, was all I could remember, still Google was helpful – Sacagawea was the name, I knew in just seconds..

Googled for her further, and learnt that she was the famous guide who helped in the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Then, tried to learn a bit more of the connection between her and the movie. And, landed on this article about Mizuo Peck, the Japanese-Caucasian actress!

And, hidden, like the proverbial diamond in the rough, was this article by a learned woman of Native American origin, elaborating, among many things, the responsibility borne by media story-tellers.

I was amazed at her command over the language, her ability to express forcibly, politely, yet sternly, what the right thing to do was.

The best thing about the web is this. The ability to level the playfield, to provide each an equally loud mouthpiece, and the once-in-a-while discovery that comes by laden with serendipity where each turn around the corner provides a more interesting vista and a greater learning experience!

Jai Ho!

The Power of ONE!

November 13, 2009 2 comments

In Mathematics, unfortunately, things don’t reflect the reality of life.
In fact, Einstein himself once said, “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality”.
So, don’t be seriously disillusioned just because, in Maths, raising a number to the power of 1 is as good as leaving it as it is….
And, worse, 1 raised to ANY POWER is still 1 itself.

Welcome to reality, and let us read this inspiring poem by an anonymous author.

One SONG can spark a moment,

One FLOWER can wake the dream,

One TREE can start a forest,

One BIRD can herald spring,

One SMILE begins a friendship,

One HANDCLASP lifts a soul,

One STAR can guide a ship at sea,

One WORD can frame the goal,

One VOTE can change a nation,

One SUNBEAM lights a room,

One CANDLE wipes out darkness,

One LAUGH will conquer gloom,

One STEP must start each journey,

One WORD must start a prayer,

One HOPE will raise our spirits,

One TOUCH can show you care,

One VOICE can speak with wisdom,

One HEART can know what is true,

One LIFE can make a difference,

One FRIEND can change your LIFE!

Now all I want you to do is this.

Re-read the poem, and stop at the end of every sentence.
Spare a thought to the first person, thing, or deed, that comes to mind when you think of that ONE heart or that ONE touch.
Do better! Send that person an email, or give him or her a call.

Spread cheer! We can all do with a little bit more of it!

Remember the Power of One!

Hearts in Harmony!

October 6, 2009 2 comments

I often wonder how words are born.

And, if I don’t know or learn about the original etymology, I just concoct my own.

Here is one that I came up with a few days ago.


This is a Tamil word, representing the heart…

Was wondering how this happened to be.

Could it be because Love is a matter of the heart?

And, to truly love you need mutual understanding and empathy?

And, இரு is a prefix for two in Tamil…. and தயம் loosely morphs to empathy?

So, Two-sided Empathy leads to a matter of the heart!

How about it?

Okay Okay, I know I know, the origin is all the way back to “Hriday” (ह्रदय) from Sanskrit.

But, haven’t you heard of that all-encompassing “poetic license”?

Categories: Neologisms Tags: , , , , ,

The ABCs of Religion..

October 6, 2009 2 comments

The past fifteen days have been tumultuous in terms of opening my mind’s eye about religions other than Hinduism.

I chanced upon a book titled “ABRAHAM – A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths” by Bruce Feiler.

It talks about how the common thread between the seemingly at-odds religious trio of Christianity, Judaism and Islam runs deep, spreads far and wide, and stretches way back into the dim undocumented past right up to the day the religion was born!

I liked the last chapter where the author ties the book up, by talking about the need for a new Abraham and what qualities He must possess..  He also recounts a personal story of fulfillment where he was amazed at the unity and willingness shown by luminaries of the three faiths to come together and indulge in discussions and debates on the topic.

Anything, these days, anything that can stop all the meaningless violence in the name of G_d, will help.

My only bittersweetness at the end of the book was that this guy has achieved so much at such a young age.

It is truly a masterly achievement to write about three religions currently at loggerheads without hiding the truth NOR trying to please everybody.

Imagine walking on a sharp blade edge while blindfolded, with a full wineglass balanced on your head. Bruce’s job was tougher!

Right after Abraham, I jumped to the latest Brownian sensation – The Lost Symbol.

If Abraham gave me, a rank outsider, a layman’s intro to the ABC’s of the three religions borne out of the Fertile Crescent of Arabia, this book taught me one more ABC about religion.

Langdon, our fast-running, puzzle-solving, lap-swimming claustrophobic Robert Langdon, our dear Professor Symbologist is at it again.

And, while at it, he asks a student, what was the Acid Test for a community to be called religious..

And, the student correctly answers:- A B C.

ABC – Assure, Believe, Convert.

Religions ASSURE Salvation.

Religions BELIEVE in a precise theology.

Religions CONVERT non-believers.

I am not sure how right this is, for, ever since Danny boy indulged in deceit so low as to say in the first page of his book, that everything in this book is real and actual, (while conveniently misleading us by writing THAT SENTENCE itself as part of the fiction in the book), I have decided Mr. Sodium Chloride will be my faithful assistant whenever I run along Dan Brown’s 24-hour hunts..

Anyway, that ABC sounded neat and compact…

Felt like sharing with you all, and wondered what you would think about it all…

P.S:- Oh yes, I have gotten into the habit of spelling G_d o-less. A neat habit I picked up from a Jewish friend of mine. Seems they refer to Him thus, for, it is immoral to take His name in vain… Nice!

Zoho Mail’s OutBox Feature..

October 5, 2009 Leave a comment

After swearing by Calpyso, then Outlook, then the open Thunderbird, I moved to Zoho Mail recently, and am LOVING every moment of it!

One interesting feature that has so often saved me from the type-faster-than-you-think syndrome is the Outbox feature of Zoho Mail.

Similar to the goggle-feature of Gmail, but just better thought out, and less obnoxiously described (come on, who would want a feature that is “supposed to help drunk latenighters from sending off inappropriate mail!!”), this feature lets you keep mails that you have “sent”, in a waiting room for a few pre-ordained minutes… during which time, you might suddenly realize you forgot the attachment, or that you aren’t really THAT angry with your wife, or that you hit REPLY-ALL instead of individually replying to that important mail from your boss!

All it lacks though, is a nice name. So, to the good folk at Zoho Mail, I have a suggestion, a neologism, no less!

Let us call it Quarantime. 🙂

A portmanteau of Quarantine and Time, which is what it is..

What do you think?


Pretty Woman, Walking down the street..

October 2, 2009 5 comments

The morning started today, just like most mornings of days-of-note start these days.

By spending a pleasant moment at Google’s homepage, appreciating the creativity of that much-envied logo designer with way unhealthily too much time to kill in his hands.

Today, it was Bapuji himself, the Father of Our Nation, greeting us with his hollowed hallowed smile.

After many other chores and bores that I won’t burden you with, we reached the evening of the day.

Radha, my loving wife, planned to visit the nearby groceries shop and bring home veggies for tomorrow, while I ‘did time’ with my son Aditya and ‘his sister’ Ammu.

And what I relate here below, is a faithful reproduction, scene-by-scene, hopefully uncoloured, of what transpired between 7:30 pm and 7:35 pm today, the second longest five minutes, perhaps in my sweet wife’s life.

  • Overcast sky. Belying the promised full-moon of tomorrow.
  • Dark street with very few streetlights. Darkened further by overhanging branches from trees on both sides of the road.
  • Very few people on the road.
  • The occasional stray dog barking at some imaginary enemy.
  • The cricket ruing India’s unceremonious exit from the Champion’s Trophy with its own high-pitched elegy.
  • Radha, my beautiful wife, walking down the road, in a fast pace, burdened by three plastic bags full of unpalatable goodhealth.
  • And yes, happily burdened further with thoughts about family, and her product’s future (She is Product Manager of Zoho Mail, at ZohoCorp).
  • Suddenly, her uncanny sixth sense tells her of some unusual activity and she looks askance.
  • Three teenage goodfornothings perhaps half her age, clearly NOT inebriated but trying hard to LOOK SO, are giving her the look.
  • Pulse and pace, a bit aquicken, she overhears snatches of the conversation.
  • (GFNKid – short for Good for nothing Kid, okay?)
  • GFNKid1 to Kid2 – என்னடா  100  ரூபாவா 200 ரூபாவா? (Whatsay, A hundred bucks? Perhaps two hundred?)
  • GFNKid2 to Kid1 and 3 – nondescript laughter and villainous guffaw.
  • GFNKid3 to Kid1 – டேய் வேணாம் விடுடா போவட்டும்! (Hey, let go maan, why bother!)
  • GFNKid1 to Kid2 – ஏண்டா rate தானேடா பேசினேன் rape-aa பண்ணறோம்? (Why the hell man? I am just discussing the rate, we aren’t raping after all!)
  • Quickly deciding discretion to be the better part of valour, weighing the bags in her hands and mentally testing their coefficients of restitutions when banged forcefully on bony-boxes filled with unused clay, Radha just decides to let them know she has heard, and quickly turns the corner, avoiding confrontation, letting them live to see another day.

So, a happily married, 35+, well-educated, bold woman wearing normal work-clothes, in the middle of a well-trafficked street, in the center of the city, quite early in the night, is not safe from urban werewolves.

It is credit to the stainless steel in her nerves that she recounted this event to me with a hint of a smile rather than shaking like the proverbial leaf.

Like any self-respecting husband would, outrage made me want to dress up and run down the road to get her to spot those chaps. But she didn’t want me to. They didn’t look like kids from this locality anyway.

So, I am just letting my steam out by shooting imaginary bullets at those perpetrators of this crime of indecency. (Why else do you think I made that story a “bulleted” list!)

Readers might wonder what’s up with me. I don’t seem to have felt it deep down, I am turning it into an occasion for a blog post for godssake!

But, that’s what happens I guess, when repeated exposure to shocks and disbelief inures you to further pain. Like that bite-of-the-new-shoe, it is gone the fourth time you experience it.

Sorry MK, O Father of our Great Nation, we aren’t independent yet, if we are to go by your dream-dictum about the true meaning of independence. FAAAR from it!

Seems you said, “India will be a truly free country, only when a woman can walk its roads alone at midnight, with not an iota of fear”..

Bless you, that you are gone, not to see this day.

And, now, when I look back at the Google Homepage, I think, Dennis Wang was right… We gotta Google for Gandhi.

SEARCH for him, yes we can.  But, FIND him, can we?


Update 1:- I asked her permission before blogging about it, and that wonderful epitome of modern womanhood said, “Why on earth should I be feeling ashamed about what three addle-pated street rascals had to say? Go ahead, if it will bring you back to blogging!

Update 2:- Yes, I said second-longest. For those still wondering, 8:40 pm to 8:45 pm, May 14th, 2000, was the longest ever! Aditya came to this world, that happy moment!

Moved, so, Moving..

October 2, 2009 Leave a comment

Have finally decided to ditch the hidden-from-everything middle-of-nowhere relic of a blog I had back at Rediff (the Tipping Cup at Rediff Blogs), and resolved to take a new home here at WordPress.

Hope I have a good time giving you a good time.

The new Rajendran of the post-twitter world.

(Basically, no time for embellishments, is what that threatens to say!)