"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."
Welcome! This blog is about my random thoughts, colourful pictures and paintings, some of my pencil drawings, reflections on things I feel strongly about and my experiences as I journey through life. Hope you enjoy it. Feel free to add your comments and suggestions, but please refrain from spam, racist or uncomfortable comments. Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, 28 August 2011


Those who do not understand Tamil or watch the comedies in Tamil movies, please excuse. You might not get the joke.

Last week, one of the cleaning staff tailgated in my project cubicle at work. She was collecting coffee cups and did not have the access for our cubicle. So, I happened to give access.

The next day, she was waiting for a bus at the bus stop on my way to work. She was in her sari and not in the usual hideous uniform that the MNCs provide the cleaning staff with.

If there is one guaranteed way for a girl to turn all heads in Chennai, she could simply choose to wear lipstick or sunglasses or really high heels. I was wearing all these, so everyone at the bus stop were tuned in to our conversation.

On seeing me, she smiled and since I couldn't recall her face, I blinked uncertain if I'd met her before. She said by way of greeting, "Ennaga enna theriyalaya??? Nethiku koda parthingalae... Nama rendu perum ore office la daane work pandrom."
"Dont you recognise me? We met yesterday. We work at the same office".

I still couldnt place her. She continued  "Ore building daan.. Second floor daan.." (Same building, second floor)  I was invariably reminded of the Vadivelu comedy in Marudhamalai (when he goes to the market to collect "mamool", bribe). " Ettaya anda pichakaran pakathula poi nillunga, vyabaratha mudichitu varen.. sillarai illa rendu perum sanda podama pirichukanga..." and Vadivelu saying "Oru adhikariya epdi nadathanumnu unaku theriyadu?? Avanum nanum equala??"

I was struggling to control my laughter. At this moment, the air-conditioned public bus arrived and as I was about to get in she said "Inda bus la enga poringa??? idu vela romba jaasti... saadha bus leye polame.." (The fare is very high, its better to travel by the non a.c bus with much lower fares)

I also remembered the Koundamani comedy (he is a rickshaw guy) where he is fooled by the beggar women who poses as a bank clerk. :)))) I was sure everyone else who were tuned in thought I was an impostor ;))

I couldn't help it... I laughed all the way to my work.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Random musings I - makes not much sense

There is a belief in Hinduism - "Everything is already decided and we are just living out our lives as preordained". It doesn't say by whom - not God or any supreme power. Its just that whatever is happening now, whatever decisions we make or the road we take is already decided. We merely do whatever we are supposed to do. It goes on to say that there is no point in crying over spilled milk - because you are supposed to spill the milk. Further it advises you to get on with it and go on living as you are supposed to do.

When we look at the concept of time travel or space travel or time-space theories, you can go back in time or move forward. The course of the events is already decided. So no matter what you do or not do, does not change anything - the outcome is always the same and somehow everything eventually sorts itself out or not. You just can't do anything about it. You simply live out the life in the time you are stuck with for the present and the future may take you further to the past or to the future or whatever it is supposed to do.

There is also the quote from Swami Vivekanada "We reap what we sow. We are the makers of our own fate. The wind is blowing; those vessels whose sails are unfurled catch it, and go forward on their way, but those which have their sails furled do not catch the wind. Is that the fault of the wind?....... We make our own destiny." And there is the Road not taken.

So which is true - Do we make our destiny or is everything the way it is supposed to happen the way it does?  

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Irksome incident

This is an irksome and hilarious event that happened today. If you have sensitive ears, please quit reading :)))

I had to return a laptop with the bag to the IT department in my office which supplied it for an onsite assignment. The laptop bag had a slight tear where the stitching had come off  the lining in one of the smaller compartments.

The fellow refused to take the bag and said it was not the bag he had given.  When I asked the moron if I had to pay a fine or repair it, he asked me to take it with me or leave it anywhere or escalate it. He also said the fucking laptop bag costs $120 - ha! when u buy it on a wholesale??? Bullshit! And this happens in a top ten Fortune 500 company!!!

To check if the laptop was working fine, he checked for scratches, the light and the catch to open it!! And its a f***** computer manufacturing company!!

This was the response email for the call (apparently you log a call for every single goddamn thing, get it approved by two managers and face a SOB while returning/receiving, even the Vogons would have had less paperwork) -
Serial Number xxxxxxxx  returned to xxx Stores, SINCE THE xx business Nylon Backpack xxxx 5/17/2011 Loc:xxx  xx Flr/xxx  RETUREND TO STORES IS DAMAGED AND WILL NOT ACCEPT THE SAME. HENCE THIS CALL IS CLOSED.

I had to speak to the manager, show her the bag and tote it every place, send a couple emails before the wa**** took it.


(Appending post)This happened after I published this post initially.

The guy's manager rung him and he said it was totally damaged and she ordered him to discard the bag in the repair section :) I'd be delighted the day I resign this miserable f***** job.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Best Romantic Hero - Heathcliff

Of all the romantic novels out there in the world, I'd say "Wuthering Heights" is by far the best. Yes, it is a gothic novel and deals mainly with jealousy, revenge, greed but the reason is Heathcliff's love for Catherine. They are true soulmates. Heathcliff's intense love for Catherine lasts three generations across which the story spans.

An outline of the story:
Heathcliff is an orphan brought home by Mr. Earnshaw to Wuthering heights. Hindley, Mr.Earnshaw's son is jealous of his father's affection for Heathcliff from childhood and treats him a servant after Mr. Earnshaw's death. Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff are thick as thieves from childhood. She marries Edgar Linton as Heathcliff is reduced to a mere servant without manners or intelligence by her brother. Due to a misunderstanding, Heathcliff leaves town and returns after six months, rich and intelligent with an outward appearance of a gentleman. Events happen and Catherine dies heartbroken. The rest of the novel is about Heathcliff's revenge on Hindley and Linton and their next generation for separating him from Catherine and ends with Hindley's son and Catherine's daughter getting married.

The best lines from the novel say it all:

"It would degrade me to marry Heathcliff now; so he shall never know how I love him: and that, not because he's handsome, Nelly, but because he's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire."

"Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being."

What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here? My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself.

"If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it."

"That is how I'm loved! Well, never mind. That is not my Heathcliff. I shall love mine yet; and take him with me: he's in my soul."My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.

'You teach me now how cruel you've been—cruel and false. Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort. You deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears: they'll blight you—they'll damn you. You loved me—then what right had you to leave me? What right—answer me—for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart—youhave broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you—oh, God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave?'

"'And I pray one prayer--I repeat it till my tongue stiffens--Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living; you said I killed you--haunt me, then! The murdered DO haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts HAVE wandered on earth. Be with me always--take any form--drive me mad! only DO not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I CANNOT live without my life! I CANNOT live without my soul!'"

A moonbeam is beautiful, but it never has the same intensity, the savage hotness of a lightning. Their love was an intense, passionate lightning that burns the soul, bringing to the surface, the deepest emotions, the feelings which you never knew you possessed or even imagined you might possess. It was not a gentle stream but a stormy ocean.

The gentle, passionate Mr. Darcys, Mr.Knightleys, "Daring in love and Dauntless in war" Lochinvars are all dream come true, but given a choice I will happily choose myself a Heathcliff anyday.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Losing Passport - Down my memory lane

We decided to go on a weekend trip to Sweden and Norway (actually, Gotenberg and Oslo). One of our friends (S.) was in Gotenberg on an onsite assignment and we could stay at his place and sightsee. Having reserved the flight tickets, Su, Lav, J, A and myself started on the early morning of a Saturday from Luton and reached Gotenberg. We spent the day and the next sight seeing Gotenberg, the beautiful archipelagos and islands of Sweden and Oslo. On Monday evening at 7:00 PM we had to board our flights back to London.

We were exhausted on Monday morning and decided just to have a wonderful lunch and idle away. In the evening at half past four we planned to go out and return in time for our flight. I took my passport in my camera bag with other odds and ends you usually find in a girl's purse - some cash, a few coins, lip gloss, mobile...

In the tram, we were playing and taking pictures while someone casually took off with my camera bag. Luckily, my camera was spared. We noticed the bag missing only when we had arrived at our stop. It was then that I realised, I also had my passport in it. Two of us went to the central station which was the bus's final destination, two of us to pack the bags now that our plan was ditched and me and S, our host, the guy who was primarily responsible for losing my bag, and I went to the information center.

Here was my situation - An Indian who had come to work in London on a work permit and lost my passport in my trip to Sweden on a tourist Schengen visa. I had to go to work the next day and no one can know about this at my office.

Now I am all for the "QUEUES" and waiting your turn but in such an emergency, no way!! I do believe there should be an emergency counter just for such situations. So, after endless enquiries and copious tears, we managed to get to the police station. Only, no one had any idea who should handle a passport theft :) ->  Is it the local police station or the other police (incharge of some higher jurisdication, I'm not sure of the name)?
Finally, a sweet police woman asked me the details for the report, filed the complaint and even called the airlines to appraise them of the situation.

The one silver lightning was I had a copy of my passport and all the relevant visa pages. So in the airport, I was given a boarding pass. The Swedish authorities were very good and gentle and even apologised for my inconvenience for the theft in their country when I was a visitor. However, as they were not sure if someone would be in the UK airport to check my visa copies, they were afraid I might be detained and not let into the country.

Hence, I spent the night at my friend's place and flew the next day to London. This was only possible as a person high up in the Scandinavian Airport Association (or something) had directed everyone to check my passport details before hand and ensure I have an easy immigration check. I had no trouble getting into UK without my passport as everyone were informed of my plight. Easy Peasy!

My dear friends were very anxious about this whole episode, kind enough to pitch in with the additional expenses and were very happy when they met me at Luton that evening. From that time on, I never trust S. with my passport bag ;))) and always carry a copy of my passport in all my bags.

P.S: I got back my camera bag with my passport in it sans mobile, as someone had returned it to an information center. I was fined (a paltry sum) for losing my passport! I was also spared all my odds and ends and the dumb thief didn't take the cash.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Bhaja Govindam - M.S rendition

The first time I heard the Bhaja Govindam song when I was six, I was hooked. For the ignorant souls, it is a devotional song composed by Adi Sankaracharya about 'Bhakti' to lord Krishna, Govinda. It emphasies that the devotion to Lord Krishna is the first step in the path of spirituality towards attaining moksham - spiritual absolution.

It was the first song in the audio cassette followed by the Vishnu Sahasranamam. Both are rendered by the legend M.S.Subbulakshmi.The significance of this audio version is that one of the timeless, classic song explaining the Bhakti margam is sung by M.S. When singing a devotional song, perfect rendition of the raga, tala, shruti is just not sufficient. The singing must capture the essence of the lyric, must move the listener to the poet's imagination which can be achieved only when it is sung with Bhakti. The lyrics sung by the distinct exceptional, ethereal voice of M.S drips with her devotion to Lord Krishna and transports one to Vaikundam - the abode of Lord Vishnu.

This song remains my most favorite song - a ray of light, hope and comfort in the bleak darkness. A lifeline whenever I feel desolate, hopeless and lonely. Hope you enjoy it.


Unfriend a person on Facebook

When C. told me she was going to unfriend one of her best friends in Facebook, it got me thinking - Why does a person unfriend someone in facebook?

I can understand the feature being used when you accidentally accept a friend request but later realize that you don't know the person - although this seems such a lame reason. Ideally, you have to verify if you know the person, whether you have mutual friends before accepting a request.

The common reason seems to be when something goes wrong and you no longer want the person to know what you are up to. But when you go to the trouble of searching for a person in facebook, as in this case, and sending a friend request to them, have some really memorable memories as a friend, received timely help from them, why would you want to unfriend the person for a reason which is not life threatening or base treachery?

It really baffled me. This person had helped her when she none to turn to, had loaned quite a bit of money when no one bothered, yet now that things were not well, she wanted to unfriend the person. "It was one of the means of showing displeasure", she said. I found it downright insulting, a slap in the face.

Well, I do hope she comes to her senses...

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Behavior of People commuting buses in Chennai - Thuggish

I am sure everyone has taken the public transport at one point or another in their life. And I am equally sure that everyone would agree that it is a nightmare in Chennai.
I have lived in Chennai most of my 26 years and fortunately had to travel only for shopping or on the weekends until six months ago when I changed jobs and started working for a software company that does not provide transport. The six months have been an eye opening experience for me.
Everyone in Chennai knows that the roads are deplorable and the sewers on the streets even in the best of summer days. People blame politicians for the bad roads, the sad condition of the buses and generally anything that is wrong. But seriously, having a comfortable journey to work is not a miracle and does not need perfect roads or clean buses.

You just need to have some consideration for your fellow passengers. There is no excuse for leaning over others or stamping their feet just because the bus is crowded. Inertia is not an excuse to fall on a person in the blistering heat. And when someone asks you to move aside, they are not to be blamed. I wonder if by some perverse sense, they actually enjoy brushing against another in the sweltering climate.

Adjusting does not mean having to put up with fellow passengers trying to crush you in a non-crowded bus or allowing someone to push you around while they scramble to get a seat. My purse was once stolen in this rush.

Even as a bus enters the stand, people rush to get in. Even before the bus is empty, the crowd tries to get in without waiting for everyone on the bus to alight. There is a thing called "QUEUE".

Surely the government is not responsible for a person spitting out of a bus window not bothering about where it might land.

I used to pity the poor and so called lower classes of the society. But as I have observed, the unruly behavior and the unclean habits of these masses are the major reasons for discomfort in the MTC buses.

These are really basic manners which even children are supposed to know and follow.Before blaming everyone else for the problems, people need to change their behavior and be disciplined. Just adopting a few basic manner lessons would go a long way in making  everyday journey pleasurable.