Monthly Archives: March 2010

The Dance of Joy


Poor souls caught unawares, scrambled for cover.
Parasols pointing to heaven, to fight the heavy shower.
But two street urchins, unclad, carefree and in all glee.
Danced in the rain, mirroring their heart so free.


They had no money on them that could have got wet.
No expensive mobile phone to worry about, in their pocket.
But they had all the joy in the world, as they played near the sewer.
They danced and laughed at the world which called them poor.


They had no home to go to, and call their own.
Food was a rarity, but their faces never showed a frown.
And yet they danced, on the puddles, under that dark grey sky.
And thus they taught the world the true meaning of joy.


“Oh go on world, look at us from your comfortable busses and cars.
Pity at us, shake your heads, but we don’t need you to mend our scars.
We know that in a corner of your heart, even you want to forego pain.
What then stops you? Live life, come dance with us in the rain.”


P.S: A rain poem, I wrote during the monsoons… Aww. I miss the rains.:)

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Filed under Nostalgia, Poetry, Romance

The UniverCell Chennai Indiblogger Meet


I may be speaking for a few fellow bloggers out there when I say that I am not that comfortable with rules and things about blogging that are way too organized. And when I walked into the GRT Convention Center in Tnagar, this hot, sultry, Saturday afternoon, to attend the UniverCell Chennai Indiblogger Meet, and I saw a crowd queueing up for Registration, and a bunch of already  registered bloggers sitting there looking at the big screen, my first thought was, “Damn these guys are so organized. I’m at the wrong place.”

And boy, was it organized well or what? We queued up at the Registration desk in front of a laptop where we typed in our Indiblogger logon id. As each person got registered, his/her Indiblogger profile pic, along with his/her name got listed on that big screen under ‘Arrivals‘. Nifty little thing if you ask me. The big screen was the highlight IMHO. Tweets tagged with #indichn were streaming there, and all the bloggers armed with their mobiles, netbooks, laptops and any other wi-fi device known to man, got busy tweeting. Brave, Indiblogger Team, very brave. 🙂 There would have been close to 200 bloggers there, along with the sponsors, the media and the hosts – The Indiblogger team. And we were pretty soon, underway.

Hitler a Blogger?

The Meet kickstarted with this Video. I’m sure you have seen this on YouTube, but not with this ‘translation’ certainly. 🙂 Enough said, I’ll let Mr. Hitler do the talking. 🙂

30 Seconds of Fame?

I dreaded this… I sure did. But it was indeed neccessary if you had to know who you had in that room. And so it began. 200 odd bloggers, taking turns introducing themselves, with almost no one sticking to the actual ’30 seconds’. To be frank, a few bloggers were indeed funny and crisp. While a few, well, made us sleepy. I discovered my long lost schoolmate, now entrepreneur extraordinaire – @balajil there in the introductions. And I was delighted. I now had a known face to go with a lot of known Twitter handles there. But what delighted me most, was when I stood up and introduced myself and said I blog at Idlivadasambar.wordpress.com, I heard some cheering around which surprised the sanity out of me, and I went ‘What? Really?” 😀 Was delighted guys. You are rockstars. Made my day. And there was still more left.

Bloggers and Backscratching?

And then came the fun part. Socializing. Well, to be frank, I find chatting up in real world a wee bit odd. This was no different. But @balajil, helped me get started and I kinda tagged along. It was a fun little thing. We were ‘Chart-Men’ with a sheet of paper danging in place of a cape, for people to identify us, and leave their urls/twitter handles/and anything else they wanted to say, behind. I had quite a few people who walked up to me and said that they loved my posts. I was surprised, and totally blown away. Those who didn’t know me really wanted to check my blog out. And I honestly think, the title had something to do with it. 😀 This was perhaps the highlight of the evening. The bloggers, and their backscratching. My sheet was decently filled, but my enthusiasm, overflowing. 😀

Sponsor Speak.

UniverCell were sponsoring the event and used the opportunity to launch their own blog. They passed around a few mobile phones for people to feel and touch, and then go home and blog about it. The best blogger would get to work full-time as a blogger with UniverCell. Neato. I did want to try out the Touch Diamond, but sadly the phone never reached me. 🙂

Discussion or Pattimanram?

Ok. I’ll be frank. This was my least favourite part of the evening. It was supposed to be a Traditional Media Vs Blogging, kind of a ‘discussion’. Turned out to be a one to one pattimanram kind of an event with a strong Tamil flavour, and irritating a lot of non-Tamil bloggers as well. The highlight of this particular segment however, was the large screenon the background, that was ticking away with tweets from bored bloggers, venting out their frustration, which ended up as a funny, delightful reminder of why you shouldn’t really irritate, a bunch of bloggers armed with free wifi. 😀 @shilparathnam anchored it with Bala Bharathy from Zee and another gentleman doing the majority of the talking. Could have been a lot better.

Show Me the Food.

And then, the moment everyone was waiting for. FREE FOOD. On the Menu, were delicious Chicken Sandwiches, Paneer Cutlets, Rasmalais, and Mango Ice Cream, to be washed down with a BIG bowl of Coffee. I will not embarass myself by saying how much I ate. But trust me when I say, I was HUNGRY. 😀 Super Food. Loved it.

Tea on My Shirt?

Well… That too. 😉 But when the Indiblogger team announced that t-shirts were going to be distributed, a queue sprang up, faster than you could say ‘me too’. And in the queue, new friends were being made, cards and urls were exchanged, photos were clicked and a solid 3 hours of fun, thus came to an end.

Overall?

Brilliantly done Indiblogger. Organized well, and executed in super fashion. Would love to be back when it is back in Chennai.

A few things I took away from the meet.

1. The Chennai Blogger Crowd is alive and kicking.

2. Tamil Bloggers are in awesome number here. Alright!

3. My blog’s USP is its title. 😀

4. Never irritate someone who is on Twitter.

5. Its a pretty, god-damn, small world.

6. A Rasmalai when in contact with tomato sauce, tastes funny. 🙂

7. When you are talking to a blogger, you better keep it crisp.

8. A full tummy

9. A super tshirt

10. Anything related to blogs, needn’t always be unorganized. 😉

Here are a few pics I clicked on my phone

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Filed under Current Affairs, General, Review

Took My Breath Away…


Tired of tired fingers, turning its pages again.
An old, open novel, fanned down on my chest in disdain,
As tired eyes, sought oasis in the desert of boredom,
I scoured the world, through the halved window of my train.

Ten and two hours’d tired me, yet I had more time to kill.
I’d even used all bits of paper to clean out the window sill.
And then it came, like a fresh breath of fragrant air.
And even in the melee of a moving train, time seemed to stop still.

Poets often say, a thing of beauty, is joy forever.
But if anything ever gave joy to beauty, it had to be her.
I pinched myself, saw an angel in blue, walking right towards me,
A funny new feeling engulfed, felt like a Summer Sun in December.

Like clear sparkling water, that rushes down a splendid ravine,
Like a new tender leaf swaying in the breeze of God’s design.
She came and sat herself on that vacant seat before me
No language had a synonym of beauty that could match her form divine.

My tired, slouching body, found an excuse to sit up straight.
That old, open novel, sprang up to a sprightly life before my face.
The top edge of my book, would have never had this much of eye time,
Pity, I forgot those reading glasses, on my head which were placed.

Day turned to night, and then night turned back to day.
I stayed a silent admirer, but not a word did she say.
She looked straight at me sometimes, and made me weak at the knees.
God’d been unfair to her, He must’ve took ages to make her this way.

And then like how she’d come, she was gone in a flash.
Feeling her way through the compartment, holding her father’s hands.
I stood there shocked, muted, I wanted so much to say.
She’d left her Braille books behind, but she’d taken my breath away.

-X-

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The Palace of my Dreams!


This is one of the first posts that I had written ever. And nostalgia, made me repost it after ages.

Not so long ago, a bunch of college kids landed up in a college far away from home, and decided to rent a house after they found the hostel too cramped, and the food too boring. They found an old, rickety chettinad house, which luckily the owner was ready to rent out to bachelors. And thus they found their ‘Palace’, their bungalow, their home for 4 years. I loved my palace of 4 years, and every second of the time spent there. And yes, I miss it, big time.

Though we were staying in a place most of us would call a village, we had some neat stuff filled in, built out of our home made technology. Barani had brought in an old black and white tv from his house. It was wonderful, considering it still ran, albeit being pronounced dead in the Barani household. It was on its way to a tv shop for a few hundred rupees when Barani thought we could do something with it. A few hundred rupees and a trip to the tv repair shop later, we had our own personal tv, which only a privilleged few in the student community had. And we did not stop with that. Elay got a car audio. All of us pooled in whatever speakers we could find, I gave my walkman speakers and a single torn speaker from home, Abhi and Elayraja got a couple of small speakers, Barani gave one, and with the help of a big roll of copper wire, we started wiring up our project. Our sound engineer – Elayraja ‘borrowed’ a couple of our owner’s earthern pots from the ‘maadi’ and fixed our speakers inside them. A Sunday later, we had our own ‘9.something’ Home Theater. Move over Bose and Blaukpaunt, the sound effect was surreal. Mainly because we built it ourselves. It was a home theater in its true sense. You could hear it from any corner of our home. Right from the door to the bathroom. We had lined up our house with speakers.

There was something I devised to isolate our ‘study/sleep’ room from the music when we were actually studying/sleeping. At the rare occasion when a few actually had to concentrate and study something and the others felt the urge to listen to music, we set up a switch that would cut off the music to the speaker in the study room. I was so proud of the innovation, that sometimes I spent time in the room just to use that switch. Since that room did not have a ceiling fan, and our budget did not permit us to get one, I brought a tiny table fan from home that was being used in my home as an exhaust fan. That didn’t work too well, and we were not surprised because we felt that more power went to the surface of the fan than to its motor. We used it to test our electric tester sometimes watching it glow to its fullest, and sometimes to jolt up unsuspecting first time visitors to our palace. But I loved that fan nevertheless, as it stood in a corner, unrivalled, untouched, spinning away to glory.

Initially we had no cable connection. There was a cable wire running in our maadi. But we decided against the ‘pirated’ connection because we were honest guys. And also that the wire was very visible from the road, and any malpractice would surely be noticed and scoldings and bad words would have followed. Being the geniuses that we were, we devised a small receiver out of tin foil, aluminium hangers and magnetised needles and kept it close to the cable wire a few inches away, away from the sight of prying eyes of the cable guy. To our amazement and surprise, we got a hazy picture in the tv of a few channels. Satisfied with our achievement we sat smiling, admiring our genius on the screen. But a few days later there was an argument whether the actress in that song was Simran or Trisha or Reema Sen. Somebody claimed that it was the hero himself. And during the triangular series, when in the 40th over, the wind knocked out our reciever, we decided that it was worth getting a proper, original cable connection and shell out a few bucks every month, than getting the match status from somebody else.

We also offered our services to our less privilleged, less creative friends by letting them watch tv at our p(a)lace or setting up similar contraptions in their rooms. Our fees – Bajjis and Bondas for all of us in the evenings. Heck we were studying to be engineers. That’s the least we could do. Help mankind with our expertise. Ours was a popular hangout for most of our friends, much to the dismay of our neighbours. During matches, everytime Sachin hit a four, our neighbours were hit with an avalanche of shouts, wolf whistles, screams and claps. It was an experience that all of us would treasure for our lifetime. Lying on that cliched – ‘Kizhinja paayi’ and watching Sun tv till late night and waking up to the beats of a ‘gaana paatu’. Dancing to a rehman number in the bathroom, fighting over the channel to watch, that argument of which hero was popular, boy I miss it all. There was so much that we guys did that we would never be able to do again.

Today I have a 29 inch, Sony Wega tv at home which is hooked up yo a 5.1 Home theater. A Sony music system, DVD player, CAS, Set-top box, you name it. But I badly miss the setup that we created back in the college days. This crystal clear picture with sharp audio could never match up to that hazy picture and loud audio that we experienced in our palace. Now when I think of it, I realise, that I had left behind some friends, some experiences and some treasures when I graduated. And I am sure everybody would be feeling exactly what I do. Its just not about the things you have, its the people you share it with. Oh boy…. I miss it all.

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Reservation Road


Hey there. Happy Women’s Day Ladies. Hope you enjoyed the day. All of you are Rock Stars. Period. Did you read my tiny, little tribute to you guys on your day. I know it was the 8th of March yesterday, but honestly, I was more excited about the Oscars than about Women’s Day. 😉 But then even the Oscars turned out celebrating Women’s Day with Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first woman in the history of the Academy to win the coveted Best Director trophy. Though, I have my reservations about the winners of the Oscars this year, I think that could be reserved for a separate post. We are here to discuss ‘Reservation’ of a different kind.

photo courtesy: manjul.com

If you’ve seen the news channels, you would have guessed where I am coming to. Yes the 33% Women’s Reservation Bill, that led to some unruly scenes at the floor of the house where it was tabled yesterday, and which has been passed successfully in Rajya Sabha today. A landmark move, no doubt, for a bill that has been a topic of debate in the country for some time now.

Lets face it, we’ve grown up with this bill as part of our lives someway or the other. I remember debate competitions held in school and college on this very bill. It has had a staunch number of supporters and an equal number of opposers from the time our former Prime Minister Deve Gowda proposed it to Parliament way back in 1996. It has been brought to the floor several times earlier as well, but has never been passed. It passed its first test today in RS.

All right, so what does the Bill seek to provide? Well quite simply what it says. The Bill, if passed, would reserve one third, of the total seats in national, state, local Governments exclusively for Women. This would aim to involve Women where it truly natters. In the matters of running the country.

But then comes the most important question. Is this Bill really necessary? Before I present my argument, let me state, that I have immense respect for women and think they are no less than men . And perhaps, that is the main reason that I find this bill utterly unnecessary. Women have excelled in various spheres of life. They run huge corporate houses, run political parties, excel in every field imaginable, fight battles on the field, do everything that a man can do. But they have not done that with reservation backing them. They’ve done it on their own, on their own merrit, their own hard-work, which is why I respect them and celebrate their success. But when they have a quota backing them, my respect diminishes almost immediately.

The 33% quota is already in effect in Panchayats. And how many times have we seen a famous ex minister or local bigwig, run the show, making his wife/daughter as a puppet Panchayat Chief. There may be exceptions, but the general scenario is the same. And like some parties argue against the bill, it has potential to be misused. They argue that reservation would only help women of the elitist groups to gain seats, therefore causing further discrimination and under-representation to the poor and backward classes. Valid point if you ask me.

We are a far more open society now, which does not see women as weak or those who require a man’s support to excel. Why then insult them with a ‘reservation’ Bill when they are much more capable to function without one. My honest opinion would be to provide more platform for women to compete with men on equal grounds. Because ‘Reservation’ in my opinion, does nothing to liberate women. It just gives another excuse, to portray women as the weaker sex, which needs a quota system to keep them in the race. Believe me, women are much more powerful than this bill makes them out to. Reservation in any form is anti-democratic in my opinion. Why have a reservation at all? Why not ask the parties to field women candidates in equal measures and ask them to contest elections like an equal? That would make more sense to me.

But before you dismiss me as an anti-feminist, this, of course, is only my humble opinion. I would love to hear your views on it as well. Perhaps someone can convince me otherwise.

But inspite of all that, today is a landmark day indeed. Historic, no doubt. But necessary? I really don’t know. 🙂

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Filed under Complaint, Current Affairs

Guardian Angels


I wrote this poem in March 2008 on the occasion of Women’s Day. Felt compelled, to repost it today.

___

You gave me life, you brought me into this world,
Enduring pain that no other mortal could bear.
You cared and loved me like no one ever could,
You quitely shed a tear when I wasn’t near.

You made me the man, that I’m now.
And I would owe everything I have, to you forever.
I wondered where you got all that strength and love.
You’re a goddess, but you chose to be called a Mother.

– To a Mother an Angel, a Woman

___

I’ve broken a few of your Barbies myself,
And hid a few other dolls when you broke my bike,
Although I feel embarassed to admit it,
Those imaginary tea parties were the best ones in my life.

Oh those days of fighting, about whom mom loves more,
Pulling hairs, and throwing pillows at one another
The world thinks, that its fight, that we do best,
But only we know how much we love each other.

– To a Sister – an Angel, a Woman

___

You came as a stranger, and became my life,
You held my hand for eternity,
You walk by my side, as a constant companion,
And promised to love me unconditionally.

You work at office, you work at home,
You stay busy when the rest of the world is free,
You’re a Manager, Counsellor, Friend and Critic,
They say men are stronger, but I disagree.

– To a Wife – an Angel, a Woman

___

You are the happiest when I succeed,
And the first one to tell me when I’m wrong,
You pull my ears when I do something naughty,
And listen to my non-sense all day long.

You tell me all your secrets, and I trust you with mine,
And I can tell you about my latest crush without fear,
With you around, I am never alone,
You are always there to wipe that tear.

– To a Friend – an Angel, a Woman

___

A woman, I believe, was created with care,
God indeed took that bit of extra time.
A big heart, strong mind, in an aura of splendidness,
An embodiment of brains and beauty, Oh Woman, you are divine.

___

Here’s wishing all the women of the world –

A Very Happy Women’s Day!

😎 You girls rock! 😀

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Filed under Nostalgia, Poetry