Saturday, October 2, 2010

Do you use credit card?

Hey everyone!

Its been actually ages since I wrote anything for Spotalks and I very much regret it. So as I was browsing through it tonight, I thought of writing something that is on my mind for the last few days- Credit Cards!

There is definitely a race out there among banks that offer credit card services! Every day calls, offers, redeemable points, gifts etc etc they can really turn our day into hell. But when I was offered a credit card by my bank, I enquired with some people about its uses and misuses. My findings were peculiarly strange when seen with an analytical eye.

Firstly, entrepreneurs and businessmen who enjoy a luxurious lifestyle (Lets use the Kiyosaki term 'Rich Dad' for these people) advised their kids against using credit cards! Perhaps because the kids are brought up in a 'need preceedes the cost' atmosphere at home (which means if you want something then get it, don't bother about the price) or perhaps they fear that the kids might not understand the need to save, or perhaps something else that I am unable to think of!

When I asked the same thing to my 'Poor dad', he said use of credit card must be encouraged! Why? He said 1) it helps to make the most out of offers and discounts,
2) helps you compile all your monthly expenditure to a single document (the credit card statement),
3) helps you curtail your lifestyle out of the fear of overspending (capitalising the fear of credit),
4) can be used across the globe so saves the forex trouble and also
5) helps you take loan in case of an emergency.

It is surprising that the two identified category of risk takers clearly hold contrasting views on Credit Cards. While businessmen who are considered risk loving people advise against use of credit card, the ordinary employee who is known for being risk averse seems to not care about the risk involved in Credit Cards.

However I feel that since it brings with it a risk of overspending, it is important to develop the right attitude of spending (what is that? the one that validates the necessity before spending) before one starts to use a Credit Card. I also believe that a good spending attitude necessarily does not involve meticulous maintanence of the expenditure down the paisa (or cents/shillings...)

Are you comfortable using your credit card? Or do you fear that you might tend to overspend? And is it correct to relate one's risk aversion to his readiness/inertia to use his Credit Card?


Sunday, August 22, 2010

the rude boy revelation

Whatever little hope I had of the american pop scene had completely dissolved into thin air(or a nauseous mixture of a various set of not so nice ingredients) when I started listening to a song "rude boy". Let me start with the first line, please bear with me.(dont make jokes about bears)

"come here rude boy, boy can you get it up. come here rude boy, boy is you big enough"

Now, I have nothing against the meaning of the song. I am viciously turned on every time I listen to this song, that my mind starts painting very vivid scenes of, well, scenes of... OK(i actually wanted to write something involving my pants, but i will let it pass). Something else bothers me. "Is you big enough"? Seriously, is this the best you can muster? Isn't the native tongue English? Or has anyone managed to change that to something else, because it was not too democratic enough, and wanted an american intervention? These kids are young, they can be taught to change, and together, we can. Can what?

"buckle up, I ma give it to you stronger, Hands up we can go a little longer, Tonight I ma get a little crazy..."

I ma? seriously? Why do we have a problem of reading normal words like 'am' these days? Selective retinal inversion disorder? I have a serious problem, I know. I fuss. too much. about a language that is not even my mother tongue. Its none of my business. I am not grammatically perfect! I dont care. I will whine when I feel like whining, that is something everybody should be allowed. Its the only thing that we can do for free. So, ma? really?

The last line is redundant. After listening to the song upto this point, it is crystal clear that the singer is crazy and had the audacity to impose this song on us; the song listeners, including myself, are crazy that this song has 30 million hits on youtube. Now, its time to blame youtube for censorship, and moral right violations, and how this can cause a serious dent in the youngster's mindset, and start talking about segregation, and how the singer is black, and how the black people live in too much poverty, and how the american president is black, and how america is not the bit concerned about oil spills and its crumbling economy, and how oil rich countries like saudi dont care two hoots for other religions, and how India is shining for 2 % of its population while none of this ever seems to matter for the millions who have nothing...(I am delusional now, I think I smoked too much weed).

"rude boy"
Oh, wow. Phenomenal. This is the kind of stuff that John milton missed out in paradise lost. This is paradise regained, rehash. This is the illiad of the crack heads. This is the opium of the trivially challenged american urban/semi-urban(?) youth. This is the short lived anthem everyone talks about. This is a song that can buy a meal for some. This is the song, that is meant to be just a song for some. This is the song, that is meant to be make sense for some. This is high school girly crap for some. So much for a song, eh?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

For India to be Super power

I have some thought process on what India and Indians have to do if India wants to be super power. Most of the thoughts are Utopian, humorous and some are non sense. There are as following

0. Eradicate Poverty

1. Abolish religion

2. Abolish casteism

3. Eliminate gender inequalities and inequities

4. Educate everyone

5. Don't reproduce (most people should not do it because India has alarming population growth)

6. Move towards open society

7. Free thinking should be embraced

8. Wealth should be redistributed

9. Legalize and regulate every taboos that society think it is...

10. Make English a mandatory language

11. Provide subsidized Healthcare

12. Abolish arrange marriage system too ( Will reduce dowry incidents)

13. Embrace interbreeding ( will improve the IQ of ordinary Indian people)

14. Implement compulsory sex education from primary schools

15. Penalize traffic offenders

16. Abolish nepotism in Indian politics

17. Criminalize racism and casteism

18. Abolish single sex education and embrace coeducation

19. Embrace consumerism and abort socialist policies

20. Make female education a fundamental right

21. Provide full employment opportunities

22. Modernize infrastructure

23. People should become polite

24. Selfishness should become normal

25. Individuality should be embraced

26. Pollution should be curtailed

 List goes on.. Commentators are kindly advised to include their list..

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The usual whine. The same old bottle.
Sirs and Madams,
How much I love India Pakistan cricket matches. Have you seen the excitement? It borders on jingoism. You know why? Sometimes people need trust and credibility, as you rightly pointed out sometime earlier to overcome barriers. Whom should we trust? No offense, we know the pakistani people are a beautiful set of creatures just like us Indians, but do we trust the army that seems to be silently calling the shots? Do we trust the words of ISI that is feeding propaganda to any muslim on the streets of kashmir for azadi? Do we trust the mujahideen who have the patience of a 2-year old, but the military arsenal of a whole nation? Whom should we trust?
Why do you care, is the usual question.

My country, unfortunately doesn't care about serious issues-we are worried about IPL not making enough money to buy poor millionaires yachts and multi-storeyed buildings, we are interested in Dhoni's engagement and marriage because that would feed a family of four, we love spending our money and resources on ulaga tamil maanadu which is exactly what people need given most of them have TV sets donated free of cost, we must concern ourselves with hiking fuel prices every now and then so that the aam aadmi can squirm uncomfortably when he goes to the petrol bunk, and we must ask the vegetable vendor if we could pay by a cheque, since you know, the prices...

Something bothers me. I hate it when people have to die unnecessarily. When people starve and starve, of hopes of one meal a day. When wars are fought for trivial reasons such as mad men's propaganda. When the rains play 'ringa ringa roses...all fall down' with already starved villagers. When women have to face pigs who are high on libido and low on morals in every f**king place. Let's face it, life is f**king unfair. But there should be some fairness in being unfair-some men cannot have all the money. The money, it is of no use when you are dead and eating maggots inside the grave.

Communist, aren't I? Ah, I must the left leaning, arrogant, union creating, work hate mongering russian spy from the cold and snowy hills of kodambakkam...

Am I doing something about cleaning it up? I am sure as hell not going to, so why am I really bitching about something over which I am so indifferent? Because, there is something called justice. I am sorry, I meant to say, there should be something called justice. You know, the balance thing, with the lady with her eyes blind-folded? If she were to see some of the things that people do these days, she would definitely not hesitate to throw the scales at them along with 3 tons of TNT.
Ah, the times...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Over Confidence and Failure - part three

As I mentioned previously I was not doing any tutorials in my first semester mainly due to my familiarity with the subjects. That arrogance really back stabbed me to barely score decent in my first semester.  I contemplated scoring really very well before my exams but I flunked. I categorized my failure due to over confidence and poor judgement over the pattern of NTU scoring. This failure put me into the dark days of my life since I usually been one of the top performers in my schools throughout I could not digest the poor grades. I was totally depressed for a week or so. Moreover, the depression was aggravated by my loneliness in NTU since I was pursuing Entrepreneurship minor during semester break.  I wanted a solid come back with good grades. So, I put myself into the art of reclusion and seclusion.

In the hindsight, those are some of the worst mistakes of my life. I should not have secluded myself from the main stream NTU population since I missed some real good experience of networking and guidance. I realized later that sound career decisions are usually made through networking. It is usually networking which opens the boundless opportunities of high flying jobs. Reflecting on my failures, I consider poor planning and time management are main reasons. My over confidence was the natural product of self esteem I gained from being one of few privileged  blokes from Cuddalore old town to pursue UG in NTU. I became philosophical to realize that failures teach more lessons than success so I changed my mindset to tackle any kind of situations in my life.

At the same time, my first year is not completely about failures but also new dimension of learning in my life. I met people from all over world, learned their cultures and tried to learn languages, experienced international cuisine. More interestingly, my education has become more analytical than rote learning which I was used to for more than 16 years of my life. I don't deny that rote learning happens in NTU but still better than my experience in Indian system. Through failures and mistakes, I was able to understand my interests and more importantly my strengths and weakness. That path of my life gave ample opportunities to develop myself as a good team player and leader. I have participated and also won several competitions during my first years with people from diverse cultures and different backgrounds. So, I consider this might be a beginning of new era in my life towards education.

For part one - Click here
For Part two - Click here

Monday, June 14, 2010

Quantum Leap - A new beginning - Part two

The world has changed in the part two because I have reached the brand new country called Singapore. That was my first air travel experience in my life, moreover I traveled alone. I was anxious in the flight itself, what awaits me in the shores of Singapore. When I reached Singapore, I saw confluence of east and west though west dominated in the eastern part of the world. Singapore, one of the most vibrant city state economies of the world. It has thriving population which accepts people from any parts of the planet and better known for its international cuisine and local hawker centers. My arrival was greeted by my friend Karthik who took a cab, which happens to be a Mercedes ride from Changi Airport to NTU. I was completely awestruck, when I looked at the speedometer and found 110 KM/hr.

Suddenly, I had a feeling of entering a forest in a small state that is none other than NTU. The campus has ample greenery and concrete. I checked into my room to find that my room mate is an Indonesian guy but anyway he was away. I thought to myself that I am gonna experience multiculturalism right from year one. To my surprise, on the next day when I went to hall office to inform my arrival they asked me to change to an Indian room mate. Anyway, he is not a Tamilian like me but a south indian. We gelled together instantly, I got introduced to many friends who had great credentials unlike me. Sometimes, I even felt like I entered some alien land. Then comes the usual Indian identity, I am not talking about food but ragging. I was asked by my seniors to attend ragging sessions every night at some particular place. I used to be a very timid boy from small town hence I was naturally uncomfortable with those non sense.

Moreover, most of them spoke only Hindi during ragging sessions. I knew little Hindi at that time and escaped almost every session because I could not answers those people.  My English, which previously  had heavy Tamil accent was ridiculed by Northies. In retrospect, those ragging sessions helped me a lot in improving my English language skills and people skills. Though, I never stayed in a cosmopolitan city in India but I came to realize the attitudes of Indians in urban India. It was bit uncomfortable for me to open up. As the time pass, I was able to mingle with almost all the races in NTU. Within a week of ragging, I was an expert in offensive Hindi and English language. I got offended initially because I was not called by those words before in my life. Sometimes, I used to think whether I came to a wrong university that admits only rogue Indians. In hindsight, those seniors have better grades and job offer than me. Hence, I eventually realized it is only part and parcel of Indian students' life in NTU.

First year of my undergraduate is one of the most memorable days in NTU mainly because I hardly studied anything. I was exposed to the culture of watching sitcoms and nocturnal habits. Classes are usually conducted in a huge lecture theater that almost resemble Sathyam cinemas in Chennai with all the woofer facilities. Lectures in NTU are presented through beautiful presentation slides, which mostly put you off in sleep. Lectures are usually recorded and posted online on elearning site in NTU. Apparently, NTU is one of the pioneers in elearning facilities. We also have excruciating tutorials classes to attend. We were told to complete tutorial sheets before the class but I never did those in my entire NTU life. Thats fun! not completing homework isn't it?

To read part one click here

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Well... after what can be described as an indefinite break from almost everything in life, I am back to publish a little tidbit of a post- please don't deride me if the subject is not to your taste (no pun intended), as it is about arbitrage opportunities in pizza (or Canadian Pizza, to be more precise :P). So before people begin throwing tomatoes at me and calling me a right c*nt, I will try to explain in more detail.

The purchase of securities on one market for immediate resale on another market in order to profit from a price discrepancy.
intr.v. ar·bi·traged, ar·bi·trag·ing, ar·bi·trag·es
To be involved in arbitrage.
[Middle English, arbitration, from Old French, from arbitrer, to judge, from Latin arbitrr, to give judgment; see arbitrate.]

That is the dictionary meaning of arbitrage- it's a fancy way of saying that I've gotten a free lunch. So this adventure begins with me trying to get a decent dinner, when I stumble upon the two rival pizza joints (Pizza Hut and Canadian Pizza) right opposite each other. The CP joint had an air of absolute neglect, while the PH joint seemed very well done. Through prior experience, I decided that Pizza Hut would be injurious to my pocket so I decided to go for the Canadian Pizza offer. I looked at the pricing list (or "Menu") and then saw the deals. This is what confronted me:

Buy one get one free offer

1) 10" Regular - $23.90
2) 12" Medium - $31.90
3) 14" Large - $37.90

Getting one pizza has a thirty percent discount!!

So a quick calculation on the Large revealed that I would be loosing approximately $12 ( I then refined the calculation to $11.37 while deciding whether I should go for it). So one large pizza would work out to be $26.53. I also realized that the outlet only took cash. On the way to the atm, I worked out that 2 regular pizzas would yield an area of 50(pi) inch sq. I also worked out that the larger 14" would yield an area of 44(pi) inch sq. Now I realized I would get more pizza by paying less if I choose the 10" option. The N.P.A.P (Narayan Pizza Arbitrage Parameter, which is defined as cost of pizza per unit area of pizza)showed the following:

2 regular pizzas: 0.1521
1 14" pizza : 0.1723

Thereby a clear arbitrage opportunity exists in the said Canadian Pizza outlet and thus should be exploited until the opportunity disappears. But since sales (similar to liquidity) is low (it looked like a warehouse really! :P), I doubt this will happen! :D

P.S- I know it is an arbitrage opportunity of 2 cents per sq.inch :D

I also know it's not exactly an arbitrage as well, but somewhat poor pricing :D

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Dilemma - Part one

 As I said, I want to pen down my own journey to Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, I am here to share my dilemma in choosing the right university for my life. Many of my friends might know that I am originally from a small town called Cuddalore, which is nearer to Pondicherry. Though, Cuddalore provided mediocre education for very competitive world, I chose the hard path of switching my board from State to CBSE in 11th. For many who is reading this article will definitely see  this as a weird decision considering the fact that many students go vice versa. The sole reason for doing that is to challenge myself analytically and emotionally to equip myself for some great challenges later in life.

Getting into IIT was my dream, which ended as a dream mainly due to the lack of fundamentals while the kids from privileged background gets drilled from their tender age. Anyway my hard preparation of one year of my life gave me immense analytical sheer. The world of maths, science was not enjoyable for at least one year since I need to internally motivate me to slog long hours in solving some complex problems. I wouldn't say TN state board is bad but certainly it doesn't encourage students to solve problems so I really faced humongous challenge while comprehending the  IIT JEE problems first. Eventually, that experience was a real learning experience which tested my patience, perseverance in learning new things. Since, I was not actually preparing for CBSE board exams for one year I got damn scared before the commencement of board exams. So I took voluntary leave from boring schools and buckled down for exams. My memorizing capacity which I garnered from State board curriculum was a real savior.

I was able to master the theories of all subjects pretty well and confident before board by solving past 5 year board papers. Apart from English, I was able to score  well, particularly thanks to a friend of mine who helped me to score good marks in Computer Science; the subject which I abandoned until the exams. So, I was able to crusade the board mess with my good state board hand writing skills and presentation skills. But, still I have to prepare for engineering entrance examinations particularly AIEEE and JEE. Though, I totally gave up the confidence of clearing JEE, I did prepare well for AIEEE. I also applied to two Singapore universities mainly due to the advice of a Senior friend. After the exams, both the universities called me for pre-assessments.

I went to Bangalore to give my NTU entrance examinations. That trip to Bangalore was made awesome by friends of my Uncle who were damn funny commenting on the girls who wrote the exams. One of the guys during that time got an admit to IIM Calcutta. So he told me to take the NTU entrance exams seriously. Right after my NTU entrance, I had to write my AIEEE exams but I really screwed up the exams since I completely juggled marking of chemistry paper. I was shattered right after the exams because I definitely know that my chances are very slim. So, I returned home with a heavy heart. Then, there was huge fuss about TN engineering entrance. Ultimately, they did conduct it. I received my offer to join NTU, Anna university and also NIT (Some NIT in north).

I always wanted to pursue chemical engineering since chemistry was always my passion in life. I got chemical engineering in Anna but I forgot to put chemical as my first option in NTU. NTU offered me mechanical engineering. I had little guidance about NTU those times. So I called up that IIM dude asked for his guidance he urged me to go to NTU for exposure and learning. I solely decided to come based on his wise decision. I dropped my plan of joining Anna which was my comfort zone naturally. Hence, the beginning of different life in a new environment.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

murphy's laws...

I am starting to my college, so it started to rain heavily. as soon as i was inside the safe confines of my department, the rain stopped. The rains are always different when you walk. its rushing into your face, creating a tremendous amount of precipitation right in front the glasses so that you have to take your glasses off in case you need to see the 18 wheel trailer that would have squished you had you not taken them out at the right time. as soon as you go stand in a bus stop, the bus driver knows you are there, and somehow manages to drive slowly (by telepathy,i think), very slowly, so that you are totally drenched. the instant you get inside the bus, your pockets respond normally, by holding the change in. you would find every other currency note except the dollar that is very much necessary; it is usually during this time that you can hear the people breathe very heavily, the whole bus waiting for you. you are responsible for their delay. if they are late for a meeting, its you. if they are late for the flight, you should pay them their fare.

computer labs are god's way of playing chance games on mortals. i am shocked by the utter simplicity of the algorithm though. if you are desperate to do something for your assignment in the lab, you will not get a system, it will be full. depending on the % availability, you have to reassess your assignment's importance. if its very important, sorry man, tough luck. if its not, you just might find a space. if you see an empty space,

#1 there is a person on the other door waiting for the system and he is close to the seat

#2 the computer just crashed

#3 you forgot your password and you hear heavy breathing of the other 'waitees' from behind.

#4 the guy next to the seat has reserved the seat for his girl friend.

just before the day of the exam, you would feel like you have to absolutely sleep, in the absence of which your head will explode into a million and eight pieces. but the day the exam is over, not even a million gallons of cough syrup would put you to sleep.

so much for normalcy in life...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Coming Up

I have plan to write chronicles of my NTU life from May onwards. This 10 part series will have some fictional elements but mostly based on my own reflections of NTU life. NTU has given immense opportunity to network with varied minds of diverse cultures and distinct backgrounds.

Coming soon........

Thursday, March 25, 2010

the strange encounter with the fourth kind...

at the rate of seventeen feet per second, my professor was digging a grave for me to be buried in. i had forgotten my report. worse, my professor was in a very foul mood. this is probably the worst combination ever, right after ramarajan's pink and green. i could see his contorted face, it was like seeing the blob, or the thing, or a combination of all the alien creatures ever conceived in those scary movies. the conversation:

blob: rip, tear, kill...

sub text: where is the report?

me: oops. i mean, sir?

explanation: never say oops. never ever use that word, even though its not a word. it cannot be accepted by professors/bosses/anything that barks. the word oops can as well be substituted with "please kill me and feed my arms and limbs to stray dogs".

blob: rip, flesh, blood, tasty.

sub text: what do you mean, sir? what the hell happened to the report, isnt it due today?

me: i know, i mean, i didnt. i mean, i wasnt sure. i actually thought it was.

explanation: that is probably the most stupid explanation a human being with even negligible quantity of white and gray matter can come up with. its hard to think on the feet, it is best to think of a valid lie, that can be validated by all possible means. i repeat, all possible means.(forget that, and you will pay for it dearly.)

blob:grrrrrrr.growl...thunderous sounds.

sub text: you had no idea, what kind of an answer is that? arent you old enough or should we talk about this when you start nursery classes again?

me: hushed silence. head bowed down, staring at the virus-parasite battle on the floor. virus-1, parasite-0 after round 1.

explanation: retribution in life comes at the later stage. you would want to maim him right now, or do something really bad to him like make him eat your dal, but have patience. there is always time to plot and scheme. conspiracies are not successful all the time.

blob: licks tongue on the chin. rolls its eyes.

sub text: now you forgot to talk? or you cannot talk anymore?

me: i am sorry.

explanation: dig your nails into the flesh, bury your face in the imaginary sand, muffle your voice in the imaginary handkerchief, ball your fist and slam it into an imaginary wall, blow out the imaginary steam out of your ears, and apologize. he pays, you live. he doesnt, you sit by the dumpsters, asking for quarters.

blob: subdued. turns around.

subtext: i am very disappointed, gautham.

me: *phew* i will finish it and turn it in today sir.

explanation: time for some tequila shots and jagermeister. whistling *always look on the bright side of life*...


Monday, March 8, 2010

M F Hussain - The Greatest PAIN-ter of India???

“The Picasso of India” says one. “Pride of India” says Nirupama Rao. Now, is he truly what they describe him to be, i wonder.

Yes, he’s a painter, i agree. And Yes, he’s the best India has produced. No doubt.

Let me just ask you one question. If he had been born a non-Muslim and had he attempted to do the painting of a certain religious figure of Islam, how would the Muslim world have reacted?

The issue here is not about religious tolerance or sensitivity. Soutik Biswas of BBC writes (here)

“The story of Husain is one of the saddest of post-Independence India. It is a story of how the country's most famous painter has been hounded out while the state looked on.”

The issue at the core of his plight is his creativity. My point is Mr. Hussain being such a gifted painter that he is, why was he not creative enough to express his creativity in other ways than to paint Hindu Gods and Goddess in that way. Just because there are sensual and sexually explicit sculptures at places like Khajuraho, does not mean Hindu’s are open to it. Its akin to stripping a woman naked just because she lets her husband do it.

The problem with artists is that they take their Freedom of expression for granted. Mr. Hussain is 93 today and has lived through the most painful periods of our history - the partition, Indo-Pak wars etc. What has he done for the country with his creativity? I have not heard of any of his paintings that portray religious harmony. Certainly the media has not highlighted any of it - The Hindu included.

Certainly Hussain could have used his talent to good use. Not in the way he has.

Do you think he deserves all the accolade he’s getting? I certainly don’t.

I cant but wonder what would have happened to him had he used his creativity & played arnd with his own religion. Remember Salman Rushdie?

Clearly, Mr. Hussain is a smart man that he chose to play with the sentiments of Hindus who are tolerant and who even praise your work towards the twilight of your life.

My anger is not towards Hussain - rather the government and its censorship board for doing little to uphold the sanctity of India’ major religion.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Lord Krishna & Gopiyars

Who is the most influential person in this world? I should say Lord Krishna. Weather a person is good or bad, follower of hinduism or not, materialistic or spirtual, everyone is quoting Lord Krishna.

Numerous literaute, art forms,and actions are moulded after Lord Krishna's life and teachings.

Recently, an article about a prominent Swamiji had been great shock to us. Using the concept of Krishna & Gopiyars, he had cheated on the innocence of many beautiful young people.

The fraudulent Swamji had the intelligence to read what Lord Krishna had mentioned in geeta and mahabharata stories. He had witten and given so much spirtual discourse. He had visited numerous temples, did various noble acts like giving alms and building hosptials.Yet, now his name had been degraded and he had brought great dishonour to himself.

Now again the name of Lord Krishna and gopiyars are mentioned to justify evil acts.Swamiji had thought of himself as playful Lord Krishna and the ladies as gopiyars.

Just to share and clarify with the readers, according to the Bagawatha puranam, Lord Krishna was brought up by the cowherd girls called Gopiyars. For them Lord Krishna was like their son, and best friend. THe girls were enticed by the young lord krishna who was less than 16 years old. When he had killed the King Kamsa, he was only around 11 years. When Krishna was playful with the cowherd girls, he was only around 10+ years. All his playful pranks brought great joy to the people and they were attached to the adorable person. He was a 'theeratha vilayathu pillai'. And he was really a adorable child ( pillai). For many of the ladies, they had sang and dance with the adorable child. Their yearning was to be always with Lord Krishna.

Furthermore, when Lord Krishna had attained his adolescence and youth, he was busy fighting wars and doing high level diplomatic ties admist the highly chaotic situation of rivalry among friends and relatives.

So, I hope next time, no one should use Lord Krishna's lifestyle to justify their wrong deeds. Or come up with misleading comments like, ' thats what lord krishna did'.

Disclaimer: All comments are just for discussion only and not meant to offend anyone or propogate any ideology.

Monday, February 15, 2010


straight sets. i ask you, straight sets. what is this, the nungambakkam chennai open? even that event's final game was more interesting than the one sided australian open final game. roger federer was sipping martini on one side of the net, a shaken and stirred andy murray was puffing, panting, cursing, bruising, swearing, and was reduced to being a mortal, on the other side. if there ever was an event that could have completely made justice to the expression "without breaking a sweat", federer's game was one. it was a statement by itself, much to my chagrin, much to some other people's squeals of happiness. if schumacher can get back into racing, why can't we have pete back?

i relished a hope that rafa would prove to be a revelation in tennis, after the mighty federer. I was left licking my wounds when andy murray(who, you ask?) actually won the first two sets in the quarterfinals. Rafa did not retire, he lost! How badly i wanted andy roddick to win the wimbledon final last year. I was not looking for a competitor; i was merely looking for temporary solace in the form of shock defeats for roger. Roddick was playing like pete; there were moments when he surpassed sampras' style and agility. He was on par with federer. In the end, there were no arguments, and history was made; pete sampras was no more a legend now. someone had managed to surpass greatness itself. finally, tennis had found its god. There are no more records to be set as long as there is roger federer. the word 'record' ceases to hold meaning anymore in mens' tennis.

it is always good to take things on a lighter note, but certain serious things like games, it should be dead serious. there are other trivial things like politics, bureaucracy, governance, poverty reduction and global warming that you can just shrug off, and go about with your life. everything fades out of people's memories. nothing is ever worth enough to brood and cry over. ultimately, nothing matters. nothing.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Love is Life

Hello readers,

Happy Valentine day. Love is life. Life with its all shortcoming is fulfilled by one drop of love. Love transcends all the worldly obstacles created by materialistic world. It transcends race, religion and status. Love is an innocent feeling that comes to a human like gravity on the earth. Hopefully, everyone's life should be showered with love.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Tyrannosaurs Rex male.....

We all know Tyrannosaurus Rex- the largest land carnivore to ever walk the earth- a six tonne walking behemoth, who terrorized the earth some 65 million years ago. We all imagine this creature to be an enormous, merciless predator who uses his fearsome jaws and bone-crushing teeth to deliver a fatal bite on his prey. But new evidence has emerged and this makes the tyrannosaur an even more formidable prospect and provides a fascinating insight into what happened to this humungous beast.

The first line of evidence comes from the evolution of birds from theropod dinosaurs (or dinosaurs so bad, they will bust your backside and then eat you). We know that birds share a variety of characteristics with many theropods and indeed scientists now conclude that birds split from the group that contained these meat eaters. Their eggs were virtually indistinguishable from a bird's egg and they had similar foot structure. So thus, using "sound" logic, we can conclude that T. rex was indeed closely linked to birds.

We also thought that T.rex's arms were pretty useless. This was the theory prevalent in the scientific community until new evidence about the neurology of these dinosaurs came to light. Using accurate scanning techniques and creating a cast of the brain of the dinosaur and skeletal structure, paleo-neurologists have come to the conclusion that there was a huge bundle of neurons running from the arms to the tail of the dinosaur. This made the T.Rex's arms very sensitive to touch and would have made him ticklish to say the least. These connections show that the arms acted as some sort of "trigger" to the tail of the dinosaur, like a toggle switch. These were found only on the male T.rex and lent more credence to sexual dimorphism present in these dinosaurs.

Respected paleobiomechanist, Ricky Ho, from Amblin Entertainment, who provided his expertise to the depiction and movement of the dinosaurs in the movie Jurassic Park et al (he attributes the incorrect velociraptor depictions to being stoned on "high quality weed") has recently published a paper on the movement of a T.rex's tail and to his astonishment, he was able to calculate that T.rex could create tremendous forces with his tail (once again found only in the male dinosaurs) and his calculations suggest that this would have lifted the dinosaur off the ground. His explanation was that the male T.rex was a henpecked dinosaur, whose murderous and larger wife, the female T.rex hounded him to get more hardrosaur or sauropod on the table. To escape the nagging, the male would use the toggle in his arms and then fly away. Calculations and careful juxtapositioning with the program "Photoshop" state that the male T.rex was able to fly at an altitude of seventy feet allowing him to talk to his best buddy Breviparopus, before sinking his teeth into him and bringing him back to his nest. This also explains why Breviparopus skeletons are rare to find.

Here is the picture published in the paper:

In case you haven't noticed, this was a bit of fun

Saturday, January 16, 2010

poli(many) ticks(blood sucking)

disclaimer: if you support DMK, or if you are a Vijay fan, or if you are in favor of telengana, this post is not for you.

"the CM of tamil nadu donates sarees and dhotis". soon, he would also start to donate underwear that has been made exclusively for the individual's size soon. Plans are on the anvil to hire a number of tailors from all across the city to take the measurements. There are also plans, that the CM is going to launch a scheme to donate free tata nanos to all people who live below the poverty line since that is exactly what they need, according to some senior researchers in the ILMCG(I love my CM group). wait, they are all above poverty line now. The CM also has offered to consider a cabinet proposal to take people to the moon when the bill for extraordinarily foolish spending is passed in the legislature. We asked the tramp on the road side for a reaction, he says: "I have a degree in BE, i have 5 years of experience in Operating systems, somebody, please give me a job, my government has ruined me with taxes...PLEASE *sobs uncontrollably, and starts to convulse*
the finance minister has come out with a statement on the drastic reduction in the rates of inflation the last few days. figures show that the inflation rate has come down from 17.009812 to 17.009811 %, a whopping 0.00001,(or does it have another zero?). the news was greeted with cheer all across the country, as it was well received by the people living on the streets, in the slums and the workers who have been laid off. there are also reports that there is going to be a massive bust of the finance minister to be installed in the new delhi junction. It would provide a beautiful aesthetic component to the railway station which is otherwise world class in facilities-leaking toilets, improper flushes, open defecation, broken water dispensers. the bust would provide the well needed relief for the eyes, while all the other parts of the body start to rot.
kalaignar TV has plans to broadcast latest mega hit movie vettaikaran for pongal. when asked for reasons, the officials cited the enormous hilarity of the movie, and how this is a movie that would prove to be much more comical than any of the previous movies of its ilk. the movie has Dr.(suppressing a chuckle) Vijay, and some other insignificant people.
I am going to win next time, says actor vijaykanth. participating in the national tournament for middle aged rich but not so rich and famous but not famous enough to win politicians, after losing the "how can you cheat the people best" to a better candidate who displayed incredible knack as a poltician, vijaykanth was quoted as saying that he would definitely win the contest next time. there was also Chandrasekhar from the TDP who won "how can you destroy the national integrity" contest with his amusing antics on the road.
i wish i could stay away from politics, but once in a while, i hear news items like this: "DG of police charged with molesting his maid". He has two kids, makes a lot of money, and oh, he has a wife too.yes, she is pretty, that is why he wanted to sleep with his maid. please, grow some brains, or just do us all a favor and retire to tibet, or the hindukush mountains, where there are less human species you can bother.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Arrange Marriage - Is good or bad?

A great fan of vijay TV "Neeya Naana". It is important to point out because through that program Tamil people living abroad exposed to realities and contemporary issues in Tamil Nadu. Some of the issues discussed were prevalent throughout tamil history but some were contemporary. Anyway, the topic here for discussion is "Arrange Marriage". After watching a session on "Hurdles faced by Love Marriages" in Tamil Nadu. It boggles the modern mind why is the arrange system still preferred in Tamil Nadu while the literacy rate and urbanization are on rise. The veracity of violence against love marriages are undeniably horrendous. The burning question today is why isn't society comfortable with love marriages or why is arrange marriage still preferred?

Some of the reasons that come to any informed mind are caste, creed and status. Arrange marriage can be categorized as process of forced selection, could not be termed natural selection. Tamil society is not fully or partially liberated from the shackles of caste or religion. Many tamils regard caste as something bigger than life which is absurd considering if that person is educated. Caste is still prevalent in society because every basic amenities provided by government wants to know your caste. As a result people are bound to think on the lines of caste. Even education which is needed for the liberation of brain is provided on the basis of caste.

Complex issue of religion is another hurdle in a free marriage system. Religion is going to stay even if society reforms on caste issue. Every human treats faith something above themselves. Major wars were/are mainly fought on the lines of different religious faith. So changing people attitude towards other religion is very perplex. Something oblivious to common man is status symbol. Economic reason is one of the predominant factors in deciding whom to marry. In arrange marriage system, all issues are easily sorted out and parents settle on groom or bride. But in love marriage, natural selection is at work. It is really hard to woo a girl in Tamil Nadu because of the binding traditional values. Apparently tamils are ranked as most conservative among other south indian states.

Arrange marriage should be in place for tamils because of the complex issues which are disallowing people to fall in love. Tamils who are out of wedlock can use arrange marriage system to marry. If we choose to live in an utopian world of love marriage in Tamil Nadu, then better luck next time because tamils might take another century or some to drop their age old caste, creed and status. But certainly falling in love is the most pleasant period of one's life, a sorrowful end to the beautiful beginning of arrange marriage in Tamil Nadu.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

You can measure the circumference of the Earth too! Simple experiments-I

I have an unhealthy man-crush on Eratosthenes, even though he has been dead for close to two thousand and two hundred years ( I know it sounds odd and to some people sick, but listen to what I have to say for him and therefore in my defence). He had the nickname of beta as he proved to his friends that he was the second best in any field- he was a true polymath excelling in mathematics, astronomy, cartography; he was also a poet and an athlete! He was a man to be admired. I will outline his experiment where he calculates the circumference of the earth. The best thing about this is that anyone can do it for themselves! I mean this experiment is well over two thousand years old! I'll give a slightly revised edition as Eratosthenes did not know about meridians and latitudes

Let us assume that the earth is a sphere ( It is not exactly a sphere, but let us assume it!) We know that the rays of the sun are parallel to the earth. Let us take two places on the same meridian (or longitude or actual timezones :P), during the equinox. We take two sticks of equal length and take them to two places apart on the same longitude. The shadows cast by these sticks are then measured and their angle to the vertical is determined- this is akin to finding out the latitude. This has to be done at noon, when the sun is at it's zenith and the first stick will cast no shadow- while the second stick, some distance on the meridian will do so. This is a measure of the difference in latitude (Difference in angles to the vertical the shadows make). Now find the angles made by these shadows to the vertical and find their difference! Then finding the circumference of the earth is a piece of cake! Let a hairy Eratosthenes show you (Being hairy was manly then!)

You know the distance between the sticks, X- you know the difference between the angles, which is A. All you do is plug in the arc length formula and "Voila!" Solve for the circumference, S!

Eratosthenes was a bit lucky though- he got lucky with his guess for the distance between his sticks (one was in Alexandria and the other was in Ancient Syene and the ancients had a measurement system which was as reliable as a mule is easygoing and timid). Secondly the two cities were not on the same longitude, but were close enough to each other so that the result was not distorted beyond recognition. But still it was a very good estimate and he successfully calculated the circumference of the earth!

I know that we can't travel a good 800 kms just to measure sticks' shadow lengths! Use an atlas is all I can say! Unlike Eratosthenes, we are not paid to measure lengths of a stick (or two!). But it is still fun and some nice trivia and I was in a thoroughly nerdy mood, considering I am jobless and watching a whole lot of youtube!

What should be taught in Schools and Colleges?

After all these years of studying in Singapore, what I realise is that the education system has to change drastically to meet contemporary knowledge based economy.

Starting from secondary school education, our education system focus a lot on learning from the book. Every little thing taught in our schools here are focused on getting students to perform well at the O' level. I was so worried about getting good grades that I forgot to enjoy my life and learning life skills.

Even in JCs, loads and loads of information are thrown at us and we just simply study without even understanding why we are studying.

Even now as a University student, I certainly know that given any subject, I will score well. But, what’s the point? What is the need to emphasis on grades when no one cares about it at the end of the day when you apply for a job or even when you have secured a job.

I would suggest that our education system needs to change such that we allow students to expose themselves to different aspects of life. I would prefer yoga classes in secondary schools. I would force every student to develop some skills in arts. Currently only students whose parents are interested in getting their children to all these extra circular activities enrol them in such lessons. What about others? This is where our education system has to step in.

Our schools should aim to develop critical skills and analytical skills among students. I would say this is certainly lacking currently. The most importantly they should get rid of the “students listening to teachers' lessons” practice. Instead, they should hire three teachers for each lesson to guide students to do independent learning, which is a life skill essential to become successful.

And most importantly, during secondary and Junior College, the education system should be such that the University is just a continuation of their education instead of something totally new, which is the case at present.

I believe there are loads of space for improvement in our education system and I sincerely feel that the ministry should step in quickly and alter the system to be more practical and useful.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Inhuman Ministers

Please watch this video and also forwarded it to as many people as you can. I have posted two videos one in Tamil and other one in English. If you watch this video and introspect for a minutes, you would definitely understand that India will never ever become super power or any power. When we lack basic humanity, what do you expect Indians to achieve and what for? There are lots of questions lingering in my mind but certainly I feel ashamed of being Indian/Tamilian.

why south indians are not getting attacked in Australia

Has anyone heard if anyone named Narayanan or karthik or Kannan getting attacked in Australia? What do you think are the reasons why these names don't appear in the news?

Well, anyone can easily understand that, if you behave well in a class during your primary school days, your teachers would have liked you and would have taken care of you. Well south Indians certainly have been taught this lesson and they carry forward this attitude of behaving well where ever they travel.

South Indians, especially, Tamilians, are known for adapting well to different environment, be it harsh or easy going. They certainly know the limits of living in another country and how they should behave in order to mingle with the locals well or at least stay out of trouble.

The South Indians are certainly less egoistic and more practical than their counterparts. They know the objective of their stay in a country like Australia. They are there to study and earn a living; not to show off their dominance over others like Indians from certain regions of India always indulge in.

No matter how well developed they are, most South Indians remain humble and hope to improve their existing skills, instead of trying to portray an image that they are superior to the locals in every possible way. This humbleness sets South Indians apart from others and makes them desirable people, as opposed to getting stabbed by some extremists in Australians.

One has to understand that there has to be reasons for extreme behaviours of people, especially those coming from a developed nation like Australia. As long we South Indians stay humble, we are safe where ever we are.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year

Hi readers,
Spotalks wishes every readers, a wonderful and prosperous new year ahead.