An Expression of Solidarity

Sunday, 7th December ’08
Venue: Marina Beach, Chennai
Time: Between 9.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m

To express the concern towards the affected persons at the hands of the terrorists during the recent attack in Mumbai and as an expression of our solidarity with the security forces that valiantly fought for us, we as citizens of Chennai wish to pledge our support and feelings for our fellow Indians.

This is the objective of the CITIZENS FOR CHANGE – CHENNAI CHAPTER [www.citizensforchange.in]

citizensforchange (Chennai Chapter), therefore, plan to have a gathering of the concerned citizens of Chennai at the Marina Beach behind the Mahatma Gandhi Statue (service lane) on Sunday, 7th December ’08 between 9.30 a.m. and 10.30 a.m. They will all assemble there, observe a minute of silence for the all the brave men and women who lost their lives in terror attacks and take a pledge for PEACE and CHANGE.

Please make it if it is possible for you. I know the post is up a bit late, but if you are somewhere nearby and reading this post before the event, do make it to Marina beach and express your solidarity to this good cause

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Map

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Tamil Pulp Fiction

Tamil Pulp Fiction is an extremely interesting and entertaining set of stories, translated from Tamil into English.

Got it as a gift from my cousin and was lying idle for quite sometime, until the recent rains marooned me at home and then i decided to devour this book with some vadas and kaapi.

Tamil pulp fiction

Boy, it was really good, i managed to finish the book in a day and am already planning to check the book stores if there is more of tamil pulp fiction translated into English.

What interested me to take up this book was the back cover…Mad Scientists! Hard-Boiled Detectives! Vengeful Goddesses! Murderous Robots! Scandalous Starlets! Drug-Fueled Love Affairs! ah it can’t be better! a good potpourri

17 Stories by 10 Tamil authors

Here are the ones..

Hurricane Vaij” by Subha
“Idhaya 2020” by Rajesh Kumar
“Matchstick Number One” by Rajesh Kumar
“The Rainbow” by Rajesh Kumar
“Silicon Hearts” by Rajesh Kumar
“The F.L.R.” by Rajesh Kumar
“Me” by Vidya Subramaniam
“Ripples” by Vidya Subramaniam
“The Rebirth of Jeeva” by Indra Soundar Rajan
“The Rich Woman” by Ramanichandran
“Dim Lights, Blazing Hearts” by Ramanichandran
“Sweetheart, Please Die!” by Pattukkottai Prabakar
“Tokyo Rose” by Tamilvanan
“My Name is Kamala” by Pushpa Thangadorai (excerpt)
“A Murder and a Few Mysteries” by Brajanand V.K.
“Revenge” by Brajanand V.K.
“Glory Be to the Love That Kills!” by Resakee

My favourites were Hurricane Vaij, Matchstick Number one and The Rebirth of Jeeva. I will not go into individual review of the stories, but trust me this book is a good time pass on a rainy day.

The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction translated by Pritham K. Chakravarthy. Published by Blaft. The paperback costs Rs 395.

go, grab a masala vadai and kaapi, sit back and enjoy the book.

Information source – Blaft and Amazon


Chennai Beach Ultimate Championships ’08

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Kathipara Grade Separator 2006-08

Kathipara Grade Separator is finally operational, details you would have read in the earlier post of praddy. Here i present three images – during construction , partially operational and fully operational stages.

Construction in progress with A R Rahman billboard in background – July 2006

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Finally, Kathipara flyover opens

The six-lane clover shaped flyover, constructed at a cost of Rs 250 crore at Kathipara junction is finally open.

I took the flyover from Guindy to Ashok Pillar direction, so took one of the arms of the clover and made a full loop. It’s just amazing and took me hardly 2 minutes to cover the crossing which used to take minimum 10 minutes previously during mild traffic.

I hope the authorities concerned put bigger direction display boards and also mark direction at least 200-300 meters before we take the flyover so that the motorists can change the lanes accordingly instead of changing it just near the start of the flyover.

I will try to take some photos of the completed flyover soon.

So what’s your view and experience on the new flyover? Would it serve the purpose of seamless movement of vehicles in one of the important entry/exit to our city?


When the Shutterbugs spot a subject ….

…. they go all out to capture more of the person, object in varied angles, lights and perspectives. They would’nt want to miss the Golden Moment.

Seen here are the Photographers in action during the 12th (1st anniversary) Chennai Photowalk.


Smoking ban in Public places

Seems the ban is completely implemented in Chennai and our residents are following it to a T. Has anyone seen people smoking in public places even now?

Been to some Pubs and outdoor restaurants where people used to smoke previously, i don’t see it after the ban.

Honestly, it really feels good in a pub or a restaurant without the smoke hanging over the place. We are able to breath easy.

Is there a ban on smoking Hookah in Public places too?


Gandhi Jayanthi & Public smoking

The Centre has announced the Non-Smoking rule in the Public areas from Oct2nd, and as per latest report its a go ahead from the pinnacle court.

Hope the next Gandhi Jayanthi changes the scene in picture below …


The First Chennai Photoworkshop, Oct 08, 2008

Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan, of the popular blog Selective Amnesia the person who initiated Chennai Photo Walk, along with Mahesh and Seshu Badrinath are conducting The First Chennai Photoworkshop on October 8, 2008 at Chennai.

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Painted Pumpkins and the like

In my post “Painted Houses at Chennai” moyra commented “I am hoping someone could please explain to me about the effigy hanging in the last of three pictures” The picture referred to has an effigy tied  to a new building under construction at Velachery.

I thought I would do a post on this subject of painted pumpkins and the like. Read more


Mamallapuram Guest House

This is the Mamallapuram Guest House inaugurated by erstwhile CM of Madras Mr K Kamaraj 51 years ago and was under the ITDC Management subsequently. Taken over later by the GRT group and rechristened as GRT Temple bay.


Welcome to the National Salon 2008

The Photographic Society of Madras will commemorate its 150th anniversary with an exhibition of photographs to be held from September 17th to 21, 2008 at Lalit Kala Academy, Greames Road, Chennai.


Painted Houses at Chennai

This is a house in a residential colony at Velachery in Chennai. What is striking about the image is the paint – fluorescent paint – in ghastly colours. This is a recent trend observed in different parts of the city. These colours are not so pleasant to eyes. Yet there could be reasons why people go for such paints. In some apartments, only the frontage is painted with such colours. Some sources say it has got to do with Vaastu.

Vaastu is considered significant in India as it is an ancient science on the use and correctness of the space. A friend tells me that such fluorescent paints are sold as Vaastu paints by paint companies to dispose of their not so fast moving shades. The second image is that of a mansion at Triplicane ( bachelor’s quarters in Triplicane area are called mansions).

The third image is a shopping complex coming up at Taramani Road which houses Peter England showroom in the ground and first floor. The frontage painted with fluorescent shade paint.

A search in google with “Vaastu – Colours” throws some 55,800 entries. One such site www.http://www.sereneinteriors.com/colors-and-vastu.html  correlates colours with Zodiac signs as below :

Zodiac sign Colors suggested
Aries                            Coral red
Taurus                         Milky white
Gemini                         Green
Cancer                         Rose red, pearl white
Leo                              Ruby red, dim white
Virgo                           Emerald green
Libra                            Cement color, milky white
Scorpio                        Pink, coral red
Sagittarius                   Golden yellow
Capricorn                     Dim red
Aquarius                      Pink, blue
Pisces                          Yellow, pure white

The same site also bring out the colors compatible with the directions.

It is common belief in this part of the world that certain colours are lucky, brings good fortune and certain colours bring ill luck. The marriage invitations are still printed in yellow colour and obituaries are bordered in black.

But why this sudden craze for fluorescent shades ?

Could it be true that paint companies are selling their slow moving shades by calling them Vaastu Paints ?


Namma Chennai @ 2.50 AM

Route Tidel Park, Taramani to Valasarawakkam; Distance around 16 kms

This is a random post on what I observed in Chennai while riding back home after a tired day/night at 2.50 am in the morning.

Security at Tidel Park – There are night security guards everywhere, little relaxed compared to the day shift ones, but still gives a feel of being safe and secure.

Speed – Crazy speeds, by the half asleep cab drivers who shuttle the techies from office to their homes. Be very careful when you drive in the OMR, people drive here at crazy speeds at night. Wish they installed speed camera or monitors here.

Vehicles on road – Office cabs and high speeding Lorries mostly.

Street Lights – Lit all the way. Good improvement compared to how it was a few years back.

Dogs – Saw almost around 50 dogs all through the route – all awake, wonder when they really sleep. Thankfully none barked at me.

Police Patrol – Found one patrol car next to my flat, around 4-5 cops talking to someone. Wonder if that was a case or a normal beat. I would still say Chennai is a safe city and Police here are very efficient.
I even saw quite a few patrol vehicles with policemen giving some instructions over loud speakers at 12 in the night from their cars.

Signals – Amber all the way

Petrol station – Around 6 petrol stations in this route, but all were closed, except the one before Ashok Nagar.
Don’t ever forget to fill fuel in your vehicle earlier itself if you plan to travel somewhere late in the night or early in the morning.

Road Laying – Happening right now near the Bridge after Saidapet bus stand. It happens only at late nights and early morning.

People – Some people were randomly walking, Saw a few construction workers/labourers returning home, wonder what took them so late to reach home. Techies in cabs.

Tea shops / eateries– Unfortunately I didn’t find anything open at this hour.

Public transport Buses – Didn’t see any, except a few empty ones which i presume are going to the bus depot to be parked there, but I have heard there are a few night services, wonder where I can get more details about them.

Out Station buses – Saw a few buses leaving Chennai via Ashok Nagar, one SETC bus to Bangalore, None going towards Koyambedu bus stand though. Think after 4am the buses start entering Chennai.

Apartment watchman – Fast Asleep, honked twice to wake him up, consolation was – nearby flat’s watchmen were awake.

So what did you observe in Chennai at these un-even hours?

Ps- This post is not an informative one, but just an observation on how things are and look like at early hours in Chennai


Lesser known food joints in Chennai – Mattas

It’s right there and even then i am sure you will miss the place. No it’s not a place where you can take your date for a nice dinner and no it’s not a place for all the health freaks out there but we can tell you it’s a awesome place with yummy food where you can go with your friends and have a great snack right by the road!!!

Mattas is your friendly neighborhood eat-out/fast-food located in Ashok Nagar. There are just 4 tables inside and it gets really cramped but you could just sit outside on plastic stools.

It’s a totally VEG fast-food and trust me there are some interesting choices there!

We start off with the usual tomato soup which is pretty ok and ordered some Veg Balls – the veg balls are really good, though a little less oil can do wonders, but it’s nice and crunchy on the outside and tastes awesome. The portions they give are good.

Our favorite is the chilly Gobi rice. It’s basically fried with gobi in it and it’s nice and spicy and the portions are really filling mind you.

The chilly mushroom here is awesome too. Its deep fried pieces of mushroom and you really wouldn’t believe some one could make mushrooms like this. You have limited choices and the menu is basically displayed on a board – chilly gobi, panneer and usual other vegetarian dishes you would find anywhere else and trust me the food is neat – they serve on steel plates with a banana leaf on top. I wouldn’t recommend the water they serve you there though.

All in all a good place to catch a quick bite before you head home to some good sleep after work.

Prasad my friend who agreed to review this place with me, has been going to this joint for the last 8 years now and agrees the taste has not changed a bit; though the prices have gone up a wee bit – come on inflation is catching up folks!

A quick dinner for two would set you back anywhere between Rs.100 to Rs.150

Ps – Will update later with the address and photos.


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