High Five! 

Up until recently I did not realize the physical power that kids can have. Was playing with a 15month old kid. I taught him to High Five and then to Low Five and we practiced for a while. Then the kid called me and asked me to pick him up. He hardly lets anyone other than his parents to pick him up and I was excited because it seemed like he really liked me because I was teaching him new stuff. 

So I picked him and BAM!!!! he high fived my bald head and God that hurt. But he was so proud of how he had high fived my head. I then had to sit him down and teach him high fives were to be done palm to palm and not palm to head. 

I think he got it right. Otherwise my Brother-in-law is getting high fived on his head each time he picks up his son.  

376 years of Madras

  

Madras…

Ok, for those of you who want to call it Chennai be my guest. But are Francis Day and Madras Day related? Please answer this one. 

The gentleman in the above picture is not Francis Day. That is the Gandhi statue on Marina Beach. 

Chennai Means Madras, No? Well, it means so much more.

Kannagi,, Signal Post and the Crow
A few months back there was a contest to sketch a logo for the Patios Brisbane Club and I was wondering if the essence of Madras can be sketched and I realized that this city is a mystery. She has so much hidden under all that tradition and you should not be surprised to see that a Veshti wearing guy with full viboothi and temple visit in the morning may be chilling out with a mug of beer in a pub in the evening or even better at a TASMAC with fellow kudimagans. Beer is not the drink of choice among the lower middle class kudimagans because it does not give the much needed kick after a hard days work. But how these folks manage to drink “Hot drinks” (Whisky, Brandy, Rum…) in the weather that Chennai has been blessed with has always been beyond my comprehension.

There are three seasons in Chennai,  Summer, Summerer and Summerest. Trust me, it is true. You may say that those words don’t exist but the heat from these three seasons is so damn real. When the mercury dips to 22degrees Celsius you can find the early morning Marina beach walkers wearing sweaters and balaclavas a.k.a. monkey caps (where do we find these words?) and going about their business of walking while complaining on how cold the city has become. While this might be baffling for an out of towner what baffles even the Chennaiites is how all those lovers manage to sit on the sands of the Marina at noon and spend time loving one another. It has made me wonder if it is true what all those poets say that when you are in Love then Sun feels cold and the moon seems hot.

Time has hardly stood still in Chennai. So much has been happening here in quick succesion.  How many people know that the true Madrasi speaks a very unique language No it is not Tamil It is a mixture of several languages. It is called Madras Bashai. Here are some samples of this unique language.

  • Saavu Graaki – Customer of Death
  • Vootla Sollitu vandhuginiya – Have you told in your house and come
  • Naastha thunitiya – Have you had your breakfast?
  • Bemani – Scoundrel/Rascal
  • Kasmalam – Dirty Fellow
  • Naina – Father
  • Aatha – Mother
  • Kundhiko – Sit Down
  • Biscothu!!! – Biscuit
  • Saitu – Reference to All North Indians.

If you ever want to hear the colourful Madras Bashai hop on to one of the buses which ply on the Pachaiyappa’s, Nandanam or Loyola College routes and you will be treated to some brilliant Gaana songs accompanied by beats. Songs about how girls tend to break hearts by merely calling a guy anna or about how the guys father was drunk and beat up his mother last night. Lots of take-aways from these songs. But beware while you are immersed in the songs there may be Pick pockets and pick pocketees (women) who are busy blade pottufying your pocket or your handbag.

 

Cooum River Under the Napier's Bridge

Some places which means the world to me in Chennai.

  • Marina Beach with the Gandhi Statue and more importantly a statue of Kannagi with anklet in her hand.
  • The Schmidt Memorial on Elliots Beach which is today used as an open air urinal and a place to drink alcohol.
  • The Central Railway Station where people step out to be fleeced by Auto Rickshaw Drivers who would volunteer to take them on a ride literally and figuratively.
  • Ayodhya Kuppam near Marina Beach and Ayodhya Mandapam in West Mambalam both these places have no similarities other than Ayodhya being a part of their names.
  • Super keera vadai, muttagose bonda, bajjis and somas (thats what those small samosa are called) accompanied with Nair kadai chai.
  • 29C bus which connects Beasant Nagar and Perambur.
  • Ranganathan Street, T.Nagar which has all those Annachi kadais selling anything that an average person would need including haircuts and Full Meals and is a concrete disater.
  • Areas which have been taken over by the Marwaris and Gujaratis. We have welcomed them with open hearts and they in turn have given so much back to Chennai. From Clothes to Food…
  • Road side Temples.
  • The Cooum River which has borne the brunt of the waste from the city.
  • Gopalapuram, Poes Thottam and Fort St. George the seats of power in this city.  Ofcourse we have the New Legislative assembly which is in disuse and now houses snakes and other sundry wild life. But I assure you it is no different from the legislative assembly in Fort St. George.
  • Kodambakkam with all it’s glitter and high budget movies.

Trishul

Chennai is the city of dreams and so many dreams have been realized in this city where you seem to know everyone.

I moved away from Chennai a year back but I still hear the waves asking me to come back and I answer the call on some weekends.

A Small City with a Big Heart.

The Next in line for the CBC Tablog is Bushavalli a fashionista and a traveller. She blogs at Fashion Panache and My Travelogue. I am a keen follower of her travelogues and she has some excellent posts.

Here are two lovely posts on What Chennai means to these bloggers.

Click here for the post by Susan Deborah

Click here for the post by Anne John

Click here for the post by Bushavalli

Click here for the post by Ashwini C N

 

The Photos are from my Big Sunday Walk and Miscellaneous set on Flickr

India and Corruption, Blame yourselves!

So a lot of internet using Indians have come to believe that Anna Hazare an ex-army man who could create a model village will now be able to change the evolved DNA of our nation. Let’s say Anna Hazare does succeed and the Jan Lokpal Bill is passed then what? Will corruption end in our country in lets say 10 years. Impossible… This is what will happen in every day India.

1. Did you know that without corruption there will be NO autos running on the road today. Why do we people in Chennai get into an Auto even though we know that he is fleecing us by not using the meter? Convenience my friends. I don’t want to go through the process of looking for the next auto or use the bus. Because I don’t have the time to do so. I am a mighty busy man and I have to rush. No Time No Time… is the mantra, All the Time.

2. Ok, so I am at the bus – stop and waiting for the bus (ofcourse not trying to line maro the girls there Nandhini will kick me you see. ) so the bus is coming in and I see that the bus driver who is sitting in his mighty seat has decided to stop 50 mtrs away from the bus stop. I go rushing and jostling so I can get a place to stand/sit in the bus. If passengers don’t board the bus the driver and conductor will not have a job, will they? But no I don’t have time for that either.

I don’t see the point in one man #Anna #Hazare asking the government to pass the Lokpal Bill. Infact I don’t see much change even after the Lokpal bill is passed. (Don’t get me wrong I am so proud that a 70 year old man is fasting asking for the rights of an entire nation) I will still do things the way I have always done them. Because today I know of people who have a fixed budget to pay as bribe to traffic cops.

Activity for you

ask THIS  BOY to get his license before he touches his bike again and I promise you, we will be a far better nation the very next day. This is his Twitter Page…

It is not like I wanted to pick on him. He is a brother to me. But then there are thousands of such people who ride without a license. Even some of the smarter girls (girls are smarter and much more clever than the men folk) think it is cool to ride/drive without a license. (BTW Women make the best drivers, No I am not a feminist)

In a democracy if I dont care about my wrong doings, those governing me will not be bothered either. Please do understand that public servants and our Chor leaders have become so because I let them become thieves. I need to change before I ask anyone else to change.Till then no point going to Marina Beach, Gandhi Statue at 5pm on the 9th of April 2011 unless you want to gawk at that crow shit on the statue of Gandhiji.

I will BE THE CHANGE. Will you?

P.S. : All those freedom fighters got us freedom, look what I have made of it.  If Anna Hazare gets us this Lokpal Bill in place, I will find ways and means of twisting it to my convenience. Because in a country of a Billion I need to be on my toes so I don’t have to be a slumdog. Unless I will BE THE CHANGE.

Body to Soil, Life to Tamil. Long live Tamil.

World Tamil Conference

Tamil is my mother tongue, But I cant write the language. I can read it, though only if I have to. My Hindi reading skills are supposedly better. I have read Kabir’s Dohas and short stories by Hindi writers. I do actually understand them.

I never wanted to learn Tamil in school. Simple reason I was not going to get value addition because of it. I studied french so I could show off to girls in other schools by asking “Parlez vous Francais?” With Tamil all I could do was read some awesome literature which is among the best in the world. But which girl wants to talk to a Tamil speaking guy. Had I studied Tamil and had I described to a girl how beautiful she is in Tamil she would have given me a weird look and moved on to the guy with the fake fucked up accent.

Anyways I was wondering about how the government has forced people to have company name boards in Tamil also in view of the World Classical Tamil conference happening in Coimbatore. If your name board does not have Tamil there then down it goes or you better cover up the board because English or any other language in which your company board is written is a dirty language. It is a language that the illiterate can’t understand. A lot of criticism has been doing the rounds. I say keep it simple. Write it in whatever Language the company feels is appropriate.

I am sure We can display door numbers prominently. I am sure everyone understands numbers. Place the door number for any address prominently with the street address on every house/office. (For us door nos. are a miniscule thing that we put on the pillar adjoining the gate). So once we have the address system right we should not have a problem with the Tamil, English, French, Dutch. You get an address and you find it. It is really very simple. Anyone can find it. you don’t have to be an university educated person. Also display street names prominently in English, Hindi and Tamil at the corner of every street. Please make sure that politicians and film-makers don’t stick their brilliant faces on top of those. Now all that would make life easy right. Instead of going around bullying people to bring down what they have spent money on.

And for God’s sake Chamiers Road is easier to say than Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar Salai. I am glad that he was not conferred any honorary doctorates or the road would have had a Dr. in front (BTW I think it is the lengthiest name for a road in Chennai). Just like Greenways road has been renamed Dr. D.G.S. Dinakaran Salai.

Stop imposing people with what they have to do. No one likes it. Especially not us Indians. We will realize what we are missing after a while. Just like I realized that I can hardly read Ponniyin Selvan by Kalki. What a story? I had to read it in English. The Tamil version is supposed to be awesome. I understand it because no one, not even the best English to Tamil translator can do justice to Shakespeare’s works!

Now let me try and read Ponniyin Selvan in the way it was meant to be read. In THAMIZH! Nandhini here I come!!! 🙂

Also do read mollamaari thambi’s and jalsa paiyyan’s take on this. Also check out #brandsintamil

And of course please do visit the Ulaga Thamizh Semmozhi Manadu

Of Chennai Traffic

Well nothing can be done with the reckless way that people drive on Chennai roads. It is becoming worse these days. No concern for the fellow road user has been there for quite a while in Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

I don’t claim to be Mr. Perfect Driver But what I witnessed last night was a show of power, Show of I am BIG, show of I give a shit of you cars and bikes.

So Yeah It was three lanes and one bus in each of those lanes and they were having a bloody race. The MTC bus (Route no 54) decided to get to the car lane and over-take the other two. Problem was I was driving my car and I was fast being cornered by the MTC vestibule bus (Route no. 18) and the and Route no 54. Now there were cars and autos and bikes behind me, honking themselves to madness. All because three bus drivers had decided to race on Mount Road (Anna Salai). I literally rolled down my car window and yelled at the vestibule bus driver. The conductor and passengers heard me yell and asked the driver to stop. and the bus stopped right in the middle of the road and meanwhile I moved to the adjacent lane and zipped off cursing the MTC drivers, The Chennai City Traffic police and ofcourse road users in this city.

We are a set of people who get really aggressive everywhere. That’s what the system teaches us, be first, be aggressive or you will be left behind. Trample a few people and get to the top. We are people with a crowd mentality because we are one huge crowd. Actually second largest crowd in the world!

I have wondered if we get the crowd mentality, aggressive nature from our days of oppression under the British Raj. But then if that’s true why cant we leave our past behind. Well we cant leave our past behind because our present is hopeless and our future is bleak, unless we step back and chill down a bit.

Follow the road rules, they are pretty simple.

The Automan Cometh

A few Months Back (Yeah Yeah!!! I have not blogged in a while) I was having a conversation with a colleague at work and she said Personal blogs are Sad Stories. This one is for you lady!!!

Recently I have become an auto aficionado. Autos for those of you who do not know are three wheeled Vehicles which can take you on a trip or take the trip out of you and yes Auto guys tend to take you for a ride. Autos in Chennai don’t go by the meter it is good old bargaining which works.

IF you have time to waste and are looking for some fun and time pass, do this… best paintball gun

Wave a Auto down, Give him your destination then ask him how much it will cost. Let’s take my normal route Kilpauk to T.Nagar Say he asks you for Rs. 100 you do a small calculation 100 divided by 2 which is 50 and subtract 10 from that. So you will quote 40Rs. (Don’t think it is ridiculous If He goes by the meter it will not cost anything more than 35Rs. Now the autoguy will be shocked and will normally mumble jumble and proceed) If he does not I will assure you he is ready to bargain and can be brought to go on a ride for 45Rs.

Trust me there is nothing wrong in arguing for even 1Re or 2Rs. It is hard earned money after all. If you hate the auto guy and don’t want to have some fun torturing them feel free to take a bus back home. I do that sometimes or better still walk back home.

One of my friends actually tells that she is a college student and that her dad does not giver her enough pocket money. Interesting Story but I would not be able to tell something like that and get away with it.

Have some more Tips, Incidents coming up…
Comments, tips and real life incidents are welcome.

Have fun using public transport.

The 71

Yeah This is my 71st post and I like this number for a number of reasons none of which will be told to you people simply because I don’t wish to bore you with the inane things. but yes I have a cool video for you people. I created it with a tool called Animoto.

Also I had been to this nice event about Tea Tasting @ The Alliance and I wrote an article for FindNearYou.com (If you did not know, this is where I have fun during the day) Click Here to Read the Article and leaving a comment here and there would be appreciated.

Diwali – The True Story

It is that time of the year when you get to stuff your face with sweets. Anyways here is to not wishing you a Great Diwali!!! Why?Am I freakin’ out of my mind? No No. As I say there is so much confusion about Diwali. See there are so many stories behind it. Here is the most ridiculous one I heard.

There was a Asura (Demon) known as Mahasura. He was a real wicked Dude living in the mountains. Eating shit loads of stuff. He was a terror in the neighbouring villages. So the villagers headed by our Panchayat chief (Nattammai Vijaykumar) signed a treaty called The Mahasura Treaty. Find the conditions of the Treaty below

The Mahasura Treaty

  1. The villagers will send a chauffeur driven bullock cart with three Massive Balls of Rice to the Mountains.

  2. In Return I Mahasura will not come to the village and eat random people.

Sd/-

Mahasura a.k.a The Wicked Dude

Nattammai Vijayakumar

So the villagers (under the explicit orders of Nattammai Vijayakumar) started sending a chauffer driven bullock cart with three massive food Balls everyday. As the Days went by they could see a new peak in the moutain range. It was the bones of the bullocks and the chauffeurs which was piling up along with all the shitting going on.

So one day Mr Bhima (Not to be confused with Bhim Boy from Michael Madana Kama Rajan, though he did play Bhima in the Mahabharatha Serial) who was in exile with his family members (i.e 4 brothers, one mother and the common wife) found out that Nattammai Vijayakumar is hand in glove with Mahasura. So he kills the Nattammai, and tells the villagers that he will be the chauffeur this time. His Mom asks him not to go. He does not care. The Common Wife pleads, cries and begs him not to go as none of the other brothers are as good as him in bed. (Yudhishtar can’t fantasize because that’s living a lie, Arjun is always aiming for the spot but he is only good with arrows, Nakul and Sahadev are really losers and can’t do much.)

But being the hero he is Bhima goes with the cart. and once he reaches the asura’s cave he realizes that he is very hungry. So he starts gobbling the massive food balls. But while he is eating the third food ball Mahasura wakes up and stands on top of the mountains and sees him food being eaten by some Mahmud Ali Look alike.

There is a huge fight, but each time Bhima tears Mahasura’s body apart he says some magic and the halves join together.

Bhima may have been good in bed

But bleddy no brain in his head.

Once out of frustration he throws the halves in opposite directions. Now body halves got confused and could not join. So Mahasura died and to celebrate his death we eat all those sweets!!! Well this is something I heard from a very unreliable source but he argued till the end that this is the real deal.

Yeah I have never heard this story being connected to Diwali. But Diwali is supposed to be celebrated on a New Moon Day(Night when the moon can’t be seen, namma moon samy can see it though) Why is it celebrated on the previous day in TamilNadu?

After winnig the war in Sri Lanka Rama boarded the special BJP jet plane from Colombo but as the flight was passing the Arignar Anna International Airport it developed some technical snag (Flights were free gifts to the party by Air Deccan) and had to land in Chennai better known as Madras then 😉 Rama and his team were made to stay at The GRT Raddisson and the people of TamilNadu heard of the dark dude and the fair lady and visited him there. The Sivakasi Firecracker Manufacturers Association(clever people that they are) told the Tamil People that bursting crackers was how a hero has to be welcomed. So that’s how fireworks came into existence.( No it was not the Chinese for Godsake!!!Please stop saying Chinese for everything) All this happened one day before Rama got to Ayodhya. So we celebrate it one day before the North Indians.

Also apparently the Tamilians don’t eat meat on the New Moon Day. So that’s when a conspiracy was hatched to celebrate Diwali one day ahead of the real festival.

If you have any Diwali stories. Please leave a comment I sure love listening to them and blogging about them.

Sathya and Vishwa – Part 1

Have you heard of Vishwa? If not please Read ahead…If you have and chances are you have. Still go ahead and read on.

There was a discusson during the Chennai Photowalk. Everyone wanted to know who Vishwa is? Well this Video is of Sathya with his Vishwa. Yes the peacock feathers represent Vishwa (Read about Vishwa Here.Coming up next : Dilip’s Version of Vishwa). Strange that Sathya would hold body parts of a peacock and pose for photos.Something he normally wouldn’t do…

He is a narcissist though, so the poem goes

 

A Peacock

Is Holding Peacocks’ feathers

Adadey!!!

All said in Code language. He is a Master Cipher and talks a lot in code language.So decipher what he was trying to say.If you know the message please feel free to leave a comment and I would take you out for Dinner if your answer is right. The catch is Sathya will be the judge. Good Luck!!!Cheers!!!

Photo Courtesy: Amirtha

Excuse me Boss!!!

Well, let me assure you this has nothing to do with my boss. Well to tell you the truth my team in FindNearYou.com is probably the coolest team. We get to meet celebrities and do a lot of cool stuff and the best part is FindNearYou.com is one big happy family kinds. Lots of fun. But as I said this is not about work so…

I was invited by Alexandra for a beach get-together one Friday evening. (This was happening in the same beach where they have a memorial upon which people piss all the time. Infact one friend of a friend of a friend even found a couple making out. If someone would come too close their secret code was tch…tch…) So Alexandra her boyfriend Arnaud, Laury and me got some sandwiches and then went in search of the picnikers. We found them sitting right at the beach front drinking beer.(Is that not illegal?) Anyways there were men and women, young and old, chatty and quiet, students and office goers and the best, French and German. They were in separate groups and I could catch some words in French. Though the German skidded away to glory over my bald head. I realized I have a prejudice that the German and French are like sworn enemies. (Well if you are wondering why, you really need to bruch your history!!!) But they were nothing of that sort, though they sat in separate circles they were all mingling and jingling.

After a while people started getting up and I was like “Finally picnic over”. But while that thought was running I realized these people were walking towards the sea. They were going for a swim. They were changing right over there with the local boys who were watching all this passing nasty comments.

But before too many people realized what was happening they were having a ball in the dirty salty water. There were some who had stayed back, like my friends Arnaud, Alexandra, Laury and Camille. Slowly a crowd was gathering around us and I was like ” These guys have gone crazy” But a group of guys walked up to me and started talking to me.

Boy1 : Excuse me Boss!! Hello Boss!!!

Boy 2 : Are you from foreign?

I was really in no mood to talk.

Boy 1 Excuse me Boss. Are you working or Studying?

Boy 3 : Dai Avarukku English Theriyadhunnu Ninnaikiren( I think he does not understand english)

Boy 1 : Excuse me Boss. Just talk something.Let us have friendship.

I was wondering “Is he Gay and hitting on me?” I just ignored him and after a while they left having realized no one was talking with them.

I keep wondering why he kept saying “Excuse me Boss” he should have called me MOTTAI BOSS!!!!. Bleddy Fella!!!

For an Audio Version excusemeboss

Ctrl + D – Bookmark yourself to Glory

Bookmarks have been around for a long time. Even before the web decided to happen. But it is strange that today we have so many kinds of bookmarks in this era of web 2.0 that we have forgotten teeny weeny Mr. Bookmark. When I was in school bookmarks was one of the most cool things to have. It had a fan following of students teachers and parents alike.

Some students had the unfair advantage of having stay at home moms. Moms who would cover their notebooks neatly. Label the Notebooks and then stick a bookmark to a thin ribbon and paste it in the top inner spine of the book. Some of the mother even got the initials of their children drawn on the bookmark. I always found it ridiculous that parents would go through such trouble so that the children can show off their unique bookmarks to their classmates. I thought that bookmarks were too sissy and that they did not have the intended cool factor. So I never had one. (I Could effectively turn pages.)

So the parents loved bookmarks, my friends had so many bookmarks all stuck to their notebooks and the best part was they came with all kind of designs and I remember Tom and Jerry, Popeye, Asterix, TinTin and so many more and the lady teachers simply loved bookmarks. Because they said that it made life easy for them when they corrected the students Home Work(HW). Most teachers would be pissed off at me for not having placed a bookmark at the appropriate pages. Anyways there are too many bookmark stories. Basically I hated bookmarks when I was a primary school student at Don Bosco, Egmore.

Something happened at work which reminded me of bookmarks. We were in a meeting and  we had a discussion about bookmarks and how we could use them and Amousia man who is a SEO Specialist( He is brilliant at his job) says “We are already bookmarking all that needs to be bookmarked. Amousia man is too focussed to even understand what is happening in a world outside his SEO world. Wake up Amousia Man and smell the roses. there is more to life than just Ctrl + D .