Archive for June, 2007

You know you are in Chennai when…

… 90% of the billboards advertise saree or jewellery brands (the rest advertise politicians)
… you hear ‘let’s go to the beach’ a lot more than ‘let’s go home’
… the auto drivers treat you like your surname is Hilton
… you’re served 4 chutneys with 2 idlis
… potential grooms are classified in to just 2 categories – IIT-M grads and non IIT-M grads
… a multiplex advertises 25 daily shows of the same movie, and the tickets are all sold out
… you try another theatre, and are asked try after a month
… you try a third, and realise it’s easier to find an auto that won’t take you for a ride
… there’s just one name being whispered in every nook, corner and newborn ward of the city – Sivaji

Lessons from Delhi

I traveled to Delhi after a gap of some months, in the case of some areas a year or more, and was astonished to see the pace of infrastructure development. In fact, every time one travels to Delhi, one notices improvements. Be it the centre medians, the sidewalk skirting, the sidewalks themselves, the road surfacing, the flyovers or the metro, there is continuous, visible progress. Driving to Jhandelwal Extension, I was astonished to find an elevated railway along the middle of the road with a station further down. The last time I was there, admittedly a little more than a year ago, none of this existed. That’s pretty fast for executing infrastructure on that scale!

Graduate found dead at MCC

A B.Com graduate, 26, was found dead at the Madras Christian College on Friday. The boy, an alumnus of one of the oldest educational institutions in the city, is suspected to have committed suicide. He was found at Room Number 13 of Thomas Hall and was immediately taken to the Chrompet General Hospital, where he was declared “brought dead”. The motive for the alleged suicide is not yet known. I lived at Heber Hall for over an year just a few minutes walk from where the dead youth was found. My heart goes out to his parents. It’s for their sake I don’t want to mention his name in this report.

It’s only a movie for Christ’s sake

Is there anybody in this city who hasn’t heard of Sivaji? The hype about the Rajnikanth starrer both in the media and off it has been overwhelming these last few weeks. I found it irritating at least towards the last few days when you could hear nothing else on TV.
I occasionally write movie review for the newspaper that I work for and am passionate about film. But the hype had even a person like me say: “It’s just a movie for Christ’s sake.”
I was glad to miss the movie, which I don’t intend to watch anytime soon. It’s hard to get the tickets anyways.

Do you use your seat belt?

Some years ago, I was one of those legions of drivers who couldn’t be bothered to buckle up when I got behind the wheel. How important this is was brought home to me when my brakes failed on the way to work one morning, just when the cars ahead of me braked to a sudden stop. I hit the car ahead of me at about 30 Kmph, wrenched my shoulder as I braced myself, and twisted my knee by practically standing on the brake in the hope that the car would stop. Ever since then, I have religiously buckled up the moment I got behind the wheel, and I also insist that the passenger in the front seat buckle up for safety. However, I still did not bother to buckle up if I was a passenger in the back seat, despite the fact that I often travel as such during business visits. Until last Tuesday…

Expect a bright and Sunny Day

Since the Met Department predicted rain, and superstitions cannot be wrong. As a commenter mentioned in my earlier post, with the current chief minister, we should have deficit rainfall not an early monsoon. Superstitions and beliefs like this which affect voting patterns are not formed over night, and don’t change overnight either. Something has to be wrong.

Today’s paper had the answer. The Met Department predicted three days of rainfall for the city. As is the case with the Madras Met Department, they will always get it wrong. Everytime they predict rains, it will never rain. I remember the cyclone warnings they issue, asking people to expect heavy rain. The next day will usually be a bright and sunny day, with temperatures touching mid 30s as usual.

The superstition still holds, and the met department too has predicted a bright and sunny day. Today will be a bright and sunny day. Thankfully it will be a bright and sunny day. I don’t like rainy days. I cant drive my motorcycle without getting my trousers and jeans dirty.

Heart of chennai

Aren’t the roads we call the heart of a city?
water logging at velachery
As usual, today morning I went to drop my son at school, and it was still raining, some roads in AnnaNagar were fully crowded, those are ones which are actually near the school.
The places I had been was the belly area in AnnaNagar – Chinmaya Vidyalaya and the CSI Bain school for girls.
The reason was that some portion of the road was unfit to use as rain water was stagnating and people wouldn’t park their cars or neigther couldn’t people use that portion of the road, instead they had use the middle portion of the road. Some would actually park the car right in front of the school gate.

And worst part was freak accidents during rain time.
Some schools were declared holiday, at velachery and some at Perambur.

Do you think, school should be little worried about school timing during rainy days or should school be non working.
Or should we actually worry about our roads.

Power Cuts and Politics

I’ve been in Madras for roughly a week, after coming back to the city, and there was power cut on three nights. I am wondering if this has got anything to do with the change of government. When the previous government was in place, there were far fewer power cuts, and if there was any power cut, it would last 6-8 hours. Being a power surplus state, one would expect far fewer cuts, but I remember far fewer cuts in the period 2001-2006.

Between 1996 and 2001, the most popular excuse for not doing homework was power cut. I remember using that excuse even if there was no power cut. Is the frequency of power cuts related to the party holding Fort St George? I wish I could gather data to do an analysis. Do others living in the vicinity of what I call old madras (areas populated before the IT boom) also share a similar feeling? My hunch is this difference, if any could be linked to the nature and magnitude of corruption. With MGR’s 10% system, one party could benefit from more development, whlie the other probably has other sources of income not linked to development. At the end of the day, it is personal financial gain which motivates our politicians to work

The Magic of Sivaji


I am not the type who goes to a movie in the first week of its opening. But the hype created in the print media, FM and the TV created an urge to go to Sivaji.

Two days before the release of the movie TV Channels like CNN IBN and Headlines Today were having editions on Sivaji running for 2 hours with live coverage of interviews with the fans spread across the metros. I found Rajni also has fans in Lucknow who was arguing in favour of Rajni. A college student at Mumbai, in spite of not knowing Thamizh recited the dialogue “Naan oru thadavai sonna nooru thadavai sonna mathiri” from Basha

Concert at YMCA Nandanam

Date: June 24, 2007
Venue: Buck’s Theatre, YMCA Nandanam, Chennai
Musicians: Mademoiselle K from France and No Idea from Chennai
First notes at 7 p.m sharp.

The show is FREE. Passes, when I last heard, were available at Alliance Francaise.

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