05 December 2005

The Home coming

A friend of mine is returning to India with his family after nearly 5 years in Singapore. I had initially thought he would be using public carriers to move his household items back to India and was a bit surprised when he informed that he was just relying on the 30 kgs per person allowance on the regular flights.

This is a real feat, considering the fact that we normally collect more than 30 kgs each time we visit India (and that is minimum once a year with atleast two visits from relatives and friends). I shudder to think the time when I would have to move back to India. I think we would end up leaving behind most of our stuff :))

02 December 2005

What else would you need?

They ask you to come to office on a weekend and pay for the transport, give you a day off and then top it with a gift..I like this :))

30 November 2005


Saw a cross-breed dog this morning....it was so funny. It had the perfect face, ears and color of an Alseshan , a pomeranian's bushy tail that curves upwards, furry coat and the height of a full grown german shepard!!!

23 November 2005

FLU Vaccination

Company sponsors a free vaccination for all its employees…and one comment from a fellow employee: “They do this to ensure no one takes sick leave!!” For some people nothing can be straight forward when it concerns their employer.

08 November 2005

OZ Trip - the WOW factors

Lets start with the points in favour of Oz.

The Wheelchair friendly buses are a boon to parents using the pram. There is a place allocated for the wheelchairs and prams and can be secured tightly using a belt, so that you don’t have to worry about it moving when sudden brakes are applied. Also there is a place to store large baggage and strollers if not in use. Saves a lot of space and makes it easy for the other commuters to move around.

You can find vegetarian food almost everywhere. Its a pleasant surprise, since in Singapore, you have to search high and low for a veggie burger!!! And the best surprise was that the veggie food (burgers, pizzas and some Mexican items) tasted really good. We found a very good Indian restaurant at Glebe Point Road in Sydney. It was a north Indian restaurant named "Flavour of India" and the sabji was fantastic...I have not found such a good one even in Singapore. The only gripe was that it was open only from 6pm to 11pm.

There are lots of passes available and some good maps and guides. So it shouldn't be a problem to get around the city. We had got the Orange pass, which covered the city and the beaches like Bondi and Manly. It included bus and ferry rides for a whole week. This comes at the same price as a one-day trip on the Explorer Bus, which covers only the city.

Another one is the See Sydney & Beyond Smart Card. You can save a few dollars if you plan well and this card is pretty useful. You can get it for 1,2,3 and 7 days. I feel a 1 or 2 day card would be sufficient. We had taken the card for a single day and were able to save around 20 to 30 dollars each.

Having a kid around is in some ways a blessing...you get preference in most places and you can cut queues :) It also helps in breaking the ice...and gets you friends easily.

The people are friendly and go out of their way to help you. One incident was when a lady asked the bus driver for change for 100 dollars. He didn't have and so asked the other commuters. At least three people stood up and went to the driver immediately with the change. It was like they were waiting for it!!! There were incidents when we just had to look at our maps and people came to us and offered help. There was this old lady, who gave us directions to a place and then went and requested the bus driver to stop for us a bit further down the bus stop as we had a kid!

07 November 2005

Back from Australia

Back after a fun filled week. It was especially wonderful for us, since this is the first time that the three of us have been alone together for more than a week. Living as a joint family with my hubby's brother's family and going on trips with others has always resulted in us having atleast another family with us wherever we go. So this was the first time in years that we were alone. Diwali and hubby's birthday were small celebrations with just the three of us.

Another point that was different during this trip was my thought process...it was connecting all sights and scenes to what and how it would get translated in my blog :))

More to come in the following days...

28 October 2005

Deepavali Wishes

Wishing you all a very happy Deepavali.

We are leaving for Australia today. Deepavali is in Sydney this time :)

27 October 2005

Trichy-il oru mazhail kaalam

It rained 10cms in Trichy and heavy rains in Karnataka resulted in the current floods in Trichy and the surrounding areas. When I spoke with my parents who live in Thiruvanaikovil yesterday, they told that the whole of Chatram Bus-stand, Chinthamani and areas around the Cauvery river were submerged. But luckily there were unaffected. A few things that they told made me think.

1. The crack in one of the banks of cauvery near Srirangam was plugged using 40 bags of sand and that prevented further water flow into the city. -- kudos to those who did the job quickly and stopped a bigger damage.

2. Why is it that Trichy has become a city dependent on the climatic changes in Karnataka?

3. When will they build proper drainage facilities on the roads near St.Joseph's College and Holy Cross College? A small rain is sufficient to flood this area.

4. During the floods yesterday, there were too many police and firemen around giving different instructions that people were totally confused and majority of the commotion was because of this.

5. People living in the low lying areas next to the river had moved to the roads and were living there with no cover over them!!!

6. Cauvery brimming with water is such an extraordinary sight that there were hundreds of people on the Cauvery Bridge.

24 October 2005

Is it in Singapore?

A normally busy road on the CBD which also houses one of the famous tourist attractions in Singapore is blocked for a whole day... A mail is sent to all the tenants around the area and information is displayed on boards about the road block. The road block starts as early as 7am in the morning and extends upto 7pm. All buses plying through that route are redirected...All this for a film shooting!!!

That is what is happening now in Singapore, that too for a Bollywood flick!!! All this is possible becos this film is being sponsored by STB (Singapore Tourism Board).

19 October 2005

Corruption less (in) India

Corruption in India has gone down when compared to the previous years as per this article in Rediff. Although this is really heart warming, I found a most disturbing info --- Schools and hospitals are the most corrupted organisations in Tamil Nadu. This is really worrying since schools are the foundation stones for a better future and hospitals are one of the essentials in a society. Teachers & Doctors are considered to hold noble professions and this is where we see the most corruptions in Tamil Nadu. How sad!!!

18 October 2005


Shopping for Deepavali is something that we and our kids are surely going to miss. Although Deepavali is celebrated in Singapore and you get the festive feeling when you do to Little India, I have always felt that the essence of Deepavali is somehow missing. I certainly miss the crowds on the streets and shops, during the weeks nearing Deepavali...and its always a pleasure to buy for an occasion. The past few years, our Deepavali dresses are one of those we got long back or some dress sent from India. Although we prepare sweets and savouries at home, the joy of sharing it with the neighbours and friends is so restricted here. Most of all I miss the fire cracker sounds that almost makes one go mad during this time.

Oh...how I miss it all!!!

13 October 2005

A Come Back

It's been really long since I have been to this space, although I have done a bit of blog hopping now and then...visiting some of my favourite blogs.

What started as a short break due to work pressure, turned out to be a looooooooooong one due to various reasons. I hope to start updating on a regular basis again and am really thankful for those who have been visiting during my absence.

A short update on what's been happening at my end:
Job going on as usual...but a bit better now. Have got a new colleague and so able to share the load.
The hard disk on my new machine (just two months old) in office crashed (happy it wasn't the one at home :)). But wonderful service...got it replaced with a day with all my data restored.
Home front is also good...have enrolled my daughter in a playschool to start from next Jan. We performed the "Yedu thuvakkam" (the first time she learns to write a letter) function yesterday for her.
We have planned for a trip to Australia during this month end. So, pretty busy with getting the necessary stuff ready.
A close friend and a cousin have become proud parents. Another friend in Singapore was blessed with twins. Now, she has become really busy. :)
This seems to be the month of birthdays...have attend a couple of birthday parties and there's one the coming weekend too.

So, that's for now....keep visiting :)

09 August 2005

Happy Birthday Singapore

That is how they celebrate the National Day in Singapore...Wish her a very happy birthday, and all gifts can be sent to me :))

Being 40 years old, the celebrations this year are extra special. There have been extensive preparations for the National Day Parade. This being the rainy season, I came to know yesterday that there has never been a time in the past 40 years when the National Day Parade was disrupted or cancelled due to rains. Hard to believe.

Lets see if it holds true this year too!!!

28 July 2005


What else can be done when AF has the "Nambikai" in you and asks you to take part in the "Kavithai Competition" by
Narayanan Venkittu. So here is my last minute entry!!!

engo ozhinthu kondirupavanai
thedi kandu pidithu

erandu cup theneer koduthu
yezhupinanen - kavithai vaendum

Kavithai piranthathu
Nambikai valarnthathu

ini thaedavendum
Tamil font-ai, valaipoo valara!!!

Thanks to Adengappa!!!

எங்கோ ஒழிந்து கொண்டிருப்பவனை
தேடி கண்டு பிடித்து

இரண்டு கப் தேனீர் கொடுத்து
எழுப்பினேன் - கவிதை வேண்டும்

கவிதை பிறந்தது
நம்பிக்கை வளர்ந்தது

இனி தேடவேண்டும்
தமிழ் Font-ஐ, வலைபூ வளர!!!

21 July 2005

Medical Tourism

India has great potentials of becoming a tourism hub. With its varied climatic conditions and cultural diversity, it has something for everyone. If advertised properly and with better infrastructure, Indian tourism can become a thriving industry providing jobs for millions of people.

Saw an article today about Visas for Medical Tourism The Indian Government is taking the right step towards tourism. But it would be encouraging to see them provide such visas for other countries too. Especially to countries like UK where the Medical cost is very high and already there is awareness about Medical Tourism in India.

19 July 2005

An Intro

We were looking for a maid, and this is how a Maid agency introduced us to the prospective maid:

"XXX, This is Mrs and Mr.yyy. They have come to employ you. They are also like you. They too have left family and friends behind and have come here in search of money...blah blah blah"

13 July 2005

Akkarai patchai

Why are they not sending you on overseas trips often? My friend's daughter who works for XYZ company has been to the US twice last year and this year she is going to UK.

Life is not just flying around to other countries. When are you planning to have kids?

06 July 2005

Kannadasanin Ponnama

Kannadasan, one of the greatest poets in Tamil, penned a song for his wife on their 25th anniversary. We now have the privilege of reading this through the post of their son Venkat Kannadasan.

Thanks to him, we have another GEM from Kannadasan. This song touched my heart and had me thinking about it for a long time.

05 July 2005

The Cookin' meme

Thanks to Af for tagging…

What's your first memory of baking/cooking on your own?
The first time I cooked was when I was in 5th Std. My sister and I prepared stuffed chapattii, with radish stuffing. It was very nice. Learnt it from a neighbour.

Who had the most influence on your cooking?
My mom and aunty. Both of them have different styles and tastes in cooking.

Do you have an old photo as "evidence" of an early exposure to the culinary world?
Nope! God saved the world!!!

Mageiricophobia - do you suffer from any cooking phobia, a dish that makes your palms sweat?
Rava Uppuma (yep, that's true, the most easiest dish to prepare). It never comes right for me. Maybe because its the one dish that I don't like much too.

What are your most valued or used kitchen gadgets and/or what was the biggest letdown?
Most valued kitchen gadget: Sumeet mixie.
Biggest Letdown: The knife I got from a big store recently, doesn't cut anything except my fingers.

Name some funny or weird food combinations/dishes you really like - and probably no one else does.
Mix any fruit with sambar/rasam and curd rice.

What are the three edibles or dishes you simply don't want to live without?
Rice, sambhar, rasam

Your favorite ice-cream
Ice creams are not one of my favourites. Nowadays I restrictmyselff to the Vanilla or chocolate flavours.

You will definitely never eat...
All that flies and walks (and swims--- Venki is it ok now :))

Your own signature dish...
Idiyapam and sothi (a coconut milk curry), Fried Rice and Basanthi.

What is your most memorable meal?
The dinner we had for one of my hubby's birthday.

29 June 2005


Mangoes and India are inseparable. I remember reading somewhere that mangoes were sent as part of the wedding gift from India when Charles married Diana.

The hot summer season brings with it the scent of mangoes. Being in Trichy, near the "Thathachariyar Gardens" which is famous for its "Imam pasand" mangoes, buying mangoes during the summer was a must. In most cases almost a ritual. One of my uncles used to go there early in the morning, just when the retailers come to get the mangoes for their shops, so that he could get mangoes for the same price as the retailers. One would have to buy in bulk at this time as it is for wholesale only. So a few families would join together and get the mangoes. Just thinking about those mangoes makes my mouth water.....hmm..yummy smell and yummy yummy taste. Nothing can equal the pleasure of sitting around and eating those mangoes. We used to also get those small "Neelam" mangoes which have to be squeezed a bit and then sucked for the juice. Its the best way to eat a mango that has a lot of fiber.

After coming to Singapore, I did try a few of the mangoes that are sold in the supermarkets and felt disappointed. The ones from India which can be got in Little India were better, but nothing could beat the taste of Thathachariyar's Imam pasand or the small "Neelam".

This year, my in-laws visited us during the summer and guess what? They had got us loads of mangoes... the same Thathachariyar Imam pasands and "killi mooku" and Neelam from their own groves. This is called heaven :))

If there's anyone out there missing this wonderful experience, do feel free to drop by, we have enough to share with all of you.

22 June 2005

Education increases dowry

A friend of mine got engaged recently and he was telling me that they had not asked for dowry. I guess my "not so excited" reply to his statement was something he didn't expect. He told me that during his sister's wedding there was a demand for dowry and the sum he mentioned was really huge. Another interesting fact he told me was that in the recent times, the demand for dowry has gone up due to eligible (?!) guys working in MNC/Foreign.

This set me thinking.
1. Would the guys, who don't demand dowry, marry a girl below their status (implying will they marry a girl who can't afford dowry?)

2. Why did they have to agree to the demands of the groom's family when they got their sister married? Were they so desperate for a groom?

3. Has the boom in IT industry resulted in an unhealthy custom being revived? Where are we progressing?

The social changes, smaller households, increasing number of upper middle class families have all lead to families willing to go to any lengths to get the best for their children. Now, it is more of a "Social Status" when someone speaks about the dowry. Even the families that proudly boast that they had not demanded any dowry, ensure that the bride's family is maintaining their "Social Status". There is almost a rat race among the bride's family too. In a bid to get the best for girl, the parents keep increasing their budget when they find a "suitable" match.

We believed that education would eradicate this social evil, but it seems we have moved backwards with education.

17 June 2005

Cheese it

I once received a mail, about Cheese normally containing animal rennet, which is from the stomach of slaughtered new-born calf. I had never checked the label of Cheese packets before. Cheese was something like milk or butter and I didn't feel the need to check if it contained any non-veg item. This mail has really opened up the Pandora’s box for me. Now, I'm ever conscious when I get things from the supermarket. Apart from checking the dates, I also check the ingredients of even mundane things I get. I hope I don't end up checking for ingredient list in a packet of "cut vegetables"!!

I'm not sure of when this email was written and if it is valid still, but here is a list of eateries and Bakeries in Singapore and the Cheese they use:

Who's using what
CHEESE used by different popular eateries and bakeries in Singapore:
Pizza Hut: Vegetarian cheese -- Thank God, I frequent this place often.
Canadian Pizza: Vegetarian cheese
Pasta Fresca: Vegetarian cheese
Pasta Mania: Non-vegetarian cheese
Delifrance: Non-vegetarian cheese
BreadTalk: Non-vegetarian cheese -- Another place I used frequent, but now, I ensure that I don't get any items with cheese from here

PS: Vegetarian Cheese is made of fungal-based rennet. Examples are is Kraft's Philadelphia cream cheese and Spring Cottage's UK vegetarian cheddar.

13 June 2005


The "Book Tagging" virus has caught me too. Curtesy: Chakra.

So here's my list

Total Number of Books I Own: Think around 50+ .
Last Book I bought: Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Last Book I was gifted: On Wings of Eaglesby Ken Follet
Last Book I read: Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Five Books that mean a lot to me:
Quite a few here, but as requested, will list only 5.
Second Lady by Irwin Wallace (It was the first "BIG" Novel read by me)
Rage of Angels by Sydney Sheldon
Kane & Abel by Jeffery Archer
Fountain Head by Ayn Rand
Ponniyin Selvan, Sivagamiyin Sabatham by Kalki
And all the Enid Blyton and Amar Chitra Katha.

Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs:


09 June 2005

F1 Facts

Got this as a email and am posting it for all the F1 fans around the world.. especially Cogito and Twin-Gemini, two of whom I know are interested in F1.

Here are some interesting facts about Formula 1 racing

01. An F1 car is made up of 80,000 components, if it were assembled 99.9% correctly, it would still start the race with 80 things wrong!

02. Formula 1 cars have over a kilometre of cable, linked to about 100 sensors and actuators which monitor and control many parts of the car.

03. An F1 car can go from 0 to 160 kph AND back to 0 in FOUR seconds!!!!!!!

04. F1 car engines last only for about 2 hours of racing mostly before blowing up on the other hand we expect our engines to last us for a decent 20yrs on an average and they quite faithfully
DO....thats the extent to which the engines r pushed to perform...

05. When an F1 driver hits the brakes on his car he experiences
retardation or deceleration comparable to a regular car driving
through a BRICK wall at 300kmph !!!

06. An average F1 driver looses about 4kgs of weight after just one race due to the prolonged exposure to high G forces and temperatures for little over an hour (Yeah thats right!!!)

07. At 550kg a F1 car is less than half the weight of a Mini.

08. In an F1 car the engine typically revs upto 18000 rpm,(the
piston traveling up and down 300 times a second!!) whereas cars like the palio, maruti 800,indica rev only upto 6000 rpm at max. Thats 3 times slower.

09. The brake discs in an F1 car have an operating temperature of
approx 1000 degrees Centigrade and they attain that temp while
braking before almost every turn...that is why they r not made of steel but of carbon fibre which is much more harder and resistant to wear and tear and most of all has a higher melting point.

10. If a water hose were to blow off, the complete cooling system
would empty in just over a second.

11. Gear cogs or ratios are used only for one race, and are replaced regularly to prevent failure, as they are subjected to very high degrees of stress.

12. The fit in the cockpit is so tight that the steering wheel must
be removed for the driver to get in or out of the car. A small latch
behind the wheel releases it from the column. Levers or paddles for
changing gear are located on the back of the wheel. So no gearstick! The clutch levers are also on the steering wheel, located below the gear paddles.

13. To give you an idea of just how important aerodynamic design and added downforce can be, small planes can take off at slower speeds than F1 cars travel on the track.

14. Without aerodynamic downforce, high-performance racing cars have sufficient power to produce wheel spin and loss of control at 160 kph. They usually race at over 300 kph.

15. The amount of aerodynamic downforce produced by the front and rear wings and the car underbody is amazing. Once the car is
traveling over 160 kph, an F1 car can generate enough downforce to equal it's own weight. That means it could actually hold itself to the CEILING of a tunnel and drive UPSIDE down!

16. In a street course race like the monaco grand prix, the
downforce provides enough suction to lift manhole covers. Before
the race all of the manhole covers on the streets have to be welded down to prevent this from happening!

17. The refuelers used in F1 can supply 12 litres of fuel per
second. This means it would take just 4 seconds to fill the tank of
an average 50 litre family car.They use the same refueling rigs
used on US military helicopters today.

18. TOP F1 pit crews can refuel and change tyres in around 3
seconds. & 8 sec to read above point.

19. Race car tyres don't have air in them like normal car tyres.
Most racing tyres have nitrogen in the tyres because nitrogen has a more consistent pressure compared to normal air. Air typically
contains varying amounts of water vapour in it, which affects its expansion and contraction as a function of temperature, making the tyre pressure unpredictable.

20. During the race the tyres lose weight! Each tyre loses about 0.5 kg in weight due to wear.

21. Normal tyres last 60 000 - 100 000 km. Racing tyres are
designed to last 90 - 120 km (That's Khandala and back).

22. A dry-weather F1 tyre reaches peak operating performance (best grip) when tread temperature is between 900C and 1200C.(Water boils at 100C remember) At top speed, F1 tyres rotate 50 times a second.

07 June 2005

A model in the making

We had a few guests during the weekend. One of the kid was the same age as my daughter. After the initial apprehension, both of them settled down to play. But there was always a fight looming at the horizon when a new toy was spotted. The kids ensured we were kept busy.

During one such fight, where both of them could not be pacified, someone switched on the music. Immediately both the kids stopped crying and started dancing. And what a dance it was!!! Two tear stained faces beaming proudly and dancing away to glory.

Wanting to capture the beauty, my hubby got out the camera and camcord...and guess what happened?

Both of them stopped dancing, and stood still for the photo!!! No amount of coaxing would make them dance. So we resorted to taking a photo hoping they would start their dance after that. But the smart kids immediately changed stance and gave another pose. This was something that we least expected from 17 month olds!!!

02 June 2005

What are they doing now?

I wonder what has happened to a few of my friends/class mates in school and college.

There was this girl who used to sit next to me during the computer practicals. It was on "Fortran" and during every practical class she would ask my help to find the cursor, which had moved down because she unknowingly pressed the "Enter Key". This was repeated in every class and even during the exams, in spite of me explaining to her what had happened and how she could get back the cursor each time!!! Hope she didn't land a job as a Computer Science Teacher!

Wonder what happened to the girl who used to fail in practically all the Physics tests/exams in school but managed to get into a medical college by virtue of her caste. Hope she doesn't fail her patients.

Then, there was this girl who was from a very poor family, but with an enthusiasm to succeed. She was above average in her studies, and excelled in athletics. She had bagged quite a few district level awards when in school. Hope she was able to pursue her dreams.

Wonder what happened to the girl who got married when we were in the 8th standard and the other one who married the person she loved in spite of finding out that he was not what he projected when he proposed to her. She married this guy with the blessings from both the families. She married him just because she was afraid that the society would speak ill of her if she didn't, as she had gone out with him quite a few time. I was very much against this, but couldn't convince her.

Where ever they are and what ever they are doing, hope they are doing well. Wish them all a happy life.

31 May 2005

Tamil Rocks

When I saw Nayagan as one of the best 100 All Time Movies on Time magazine, I was overjoyed. To couple it, Roja has found a place among the best sound tracks in the world and that too in the top 10!!. A big Applause for Mani Rathnam and A.R. Rahman.

Although there might be arguments that there are better films and sound tracks, I am glad that these two have been selected. It does give Tamil films a much needed recognition.

Mani Ratnam's reaction to Nayagan's selection is almost a damper.

------ Mani Ratnam, who's the only living Indian filmmaker to feature in the list, is sceptical about the honour: "I've long forgotten 'Nayakan' and moved on.
"There're so many films and filmmakers who deserve to be counted among the best. This is just the arbitrary decision of a couple of people, nothing more. I'm certainly not dancing on rooftops with pride and joy."

Why did he have to answer like this? How can he dismiss Nayagan? Shouldn't one be proud of their works?

27 May 2005

Visiting places

There has always been a big fight when we plan a vacation, especially when it is to new places. I prefer going places and learning new things. My preference is always a new country with the itinerary packed with places to visit. The hubby on the other hand prefers places where one can enjoy in leisure. Like a beach resort or a hill station where we can rejuvenate ourselves.

Ultimately the place would be decided based on who can argue better...And mind you, unlike most of the jokes that we see around, my hubby wins most of the time :(

Now, coming to the point, nowadays I too feel an inclination towards the resorts. Places where I can put down my hair and enjoy without any hassles. Places where I can allow my body to relax and take in the beauty around.

So am waiting eagerly for the next vacation plans...the hubby is surely going to be surprised.

24 May 2005


Slowly but surely when the day's early
Keeping our aims and ends in view
Never cast down by the troubles we meet
Brave in the hour of sour defeat
For life is a test
Where the brave do their best
Whether in work or in play
Strengthen your efforts
Maintain your Zeal
Play up and Play the game!!

----I'm not sure how many times I've sung this song and how many times it has provided me with inspiration. This was our school song and we took great pride in singing it. I cherished and enjoyed each and every line of it even when I was small. Earlier it was the music that had me humming this song. Later on, the words and meaning had more impact. They had the potential to rekindle my spirits. This song has been sung for almost a century now. But it is still vibrant and youthful as ever!!

Hail to our happy school days
Youth with a will to win!!!

That's the beginning line of the song.

BTW, The school is St. Joseph's Convent, Coonoor.

20 May 2005

Fancy Dates

There are a large number of marriages being solemnised today. Some say its going to be the record number for this year, surpassing even the other special days like Feb 14th and May 5th.

One of the main reasons people selected today was that it would be easy to remember. 20-05-2005. Yea, that looks pretty easy. But considering the number of fancy dates around, how can we be sure that one would remember this date. Especially when such dates are unique only when the years are added to it.

If selecting such dates were to ensure the gift from the spouse every year, then I feel a more appropriate date would be something that has a special meaning globally...like Feb 14th....in such cases at least the TV commercials would ensure that the spouse remembers the date. But then, you get to loose the valentine day's gift.

So if you wanted to have the best of both, maybe some other day that you are sure won't entice a gift from your spouse normally should be selected. How about the National holidays? But National Day doesn't sound romantic right?

So, what is the most appropriate date?

18 May 2005

Money Value

A Lady, her son and daughter had completed the shopping and had to return to the spot where their Tourist Coach would pick them up. They had got quite a few things from the supermarket and were using the supermarket's trolley when strolling along the malls. It was almost time to return and they came to a point where they had to get down one floor by using the escalator. Now the problem arose. They couldn't take the trolley on the escalator and if they leave the trolley and just take their goods, they stand to loose the One Dollar that they had to insert to take the trolley. The lady decided to leave the trolley without any hesitation. But the boy was pretty concerned. He didn't want to lose the money and he kept arguing with his mother. Finally these were his words to his mother:

"Mummy do you know the value of money? You are leaving behind ONE DOLLAR (SGD) which is more or less Rs. 25/-. I fully agree with daddy when he says you are a spend thrift!!"

I was amused to hear this, as it came from the mouth a kid not more than 10 years old!!!

13 May 2005

Bio 100% ... Maths no, no

When we were in school, a 100% in maths was fine. But if someone got a 100 in anyother subject, it meant something fishy was happening. The teachers used to reduce atleast 1/2 marks for each answer that required a detailed one. Marks were awarded in full only for the one word and definition type of answers. Then, a few centums started to sprout in the non-maths subjects in the Public exam results. This increased considerably, but the number of centums was always higher in Maths when compared to the other subjects. Today, I got to see the Entrance Exam results in Tamil Nadu for professional colleges and was astonished to see that there were no centums in Maths while there were a few thousands in the Biology group. You can check the details here.

What happened to Maths? Was it very tough this year? Why couldn't even a single person get a centum?

11 May 2005

Special Day - Today

What is special about today? If you had seen the commercials on Sun TV, you would promptly say its the "akshaya thiriyai". Don't know where this day was hiding a few years back. I, for one never knew about this until I saw the commercials.

Well, I learnt something else today. Its the "Roast Pig Day" for the Chinese!!! As per their belief, a person should have roasted pig on this day to ward of evil. Oh My! Don't know who came up with this. Strongly believe its got to be some pig farmer.

10 May 2005

Little Things

Morning Rush
Juggling Work
Screwed schedules
Boring Meetings
A cute smile
followed by the sound

Makes everything else endurable!!!
A peck on the cheek
A wide smile

Makes my day!!!

06 May 2005

Nice to be back

This past week has been pretty hectic, both at office and home.

My colleague is on leave and I've had to take on the job of two. I don't understand why everything has to go wrong only when we are short of staff....and everyone wants their problem to be addressed first with topmost priority :(

To top this we have a few guests at home and I've been trying to juggle between office work, cooking, cleaning and taking our guests out. Most of the time, I ask them to come to a particular place and then join them directly after office. But on the whole it has been fun. I'm sure I would be going down by two kgs atleast and that's sure a bonus :)

Last weekend I had been to see the musical fountains at Sentosa and was surprised to see the large number of Indian Tourists there. I think STB's (Singapore Tourism Board) advertising tactics are paying off.

29 April 2005

The Fountain Head

I read this article about the 'UGLY' buildings in India. I have always admired and been proud of the architectural variety in India. This person seems to be another one of those people who blindly favor western culture. I was purely shocked at the venom of his words. He wants to change India into another of those 'monotonous cities'. I feel there should be a proper blend of old and new, such that it gives a completely different view and people are enticed to visit India purely to admire this beauty.

PS: What does the title have to do with the above - just that I got reminded of Ayn Rand's book when I read the above.

27 April 2005


How many years has it been now? 2 - 3? That's when I last attended a full-fledged training in a classroom setting. So it was with a trepidation that signed in for the course. It was an interesting subject, one that I had longed to attend for a long time and it was related to my line of job.

The first day was really good. I managed to attend the full day without drifting off even for a minute. Now that's an achievement!

The second day started with another guy coming to train us and he had a vast experience in "Teaching" - being from a famous university here and had a good knowledge of the subject. This is where the problem began...Since he knew a lot, he was very enthusiastic about passing on the whole chunk to us...we the poor souls who were expecting to get a bird's eye view of the subject where subjected to a whole dose of technical jargons and calculations, such that at the end of the day, the trainer couldn't complete the course. So he left the last bit for us to go through. As my luck would be, this chapter covered my current scope of work and I had joined the course with the aim of getting a better understanding of it!!

So end result was -- I'm still a layman in that area.

21 April 2005

Uniquely Singapore - Contd

Continuing from my previous post.

4. The way the government embraces different religions and their festivals. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw Serangoon Road decorated for Diwali by the government. Infact this was something that created a very good impression of Singapore on me that it was the first article I blogged about.

5. Neat City - by this I am not trying to highlight the more common, "Clean City" line. I'm referring to the neatly planned city. There are a large number of flyovers, but none of them are an eyesore. They beautifully blend with the surroundings. Another mention is the electric wires. They are all underground ones and hence you don't find ugly dangling ones from electric poles. Incidentally I noted both these features of Singapore only after visiting Bangkok. The moment I saw Bangkok, I wondered what was wrong with it and these things hit me right inbetween the eyes. Its interesting to note that none of these came to my mind when I had been to India....think I was more occupied at revisiting old memories :))

6. Singlish -- something really "Uniquely Singapore". Unless you are a Singaporean or had lived in Singapore or had a Singapore friend, you would not understand this. Although they claim to speak in English, you wouldn't be able to understand what they speak until you get to listen to it quite often. :)

Those are few of my observations about Singapore's uniqueness, although I'm sure that STB would have another list such as the shopping, food, its zoo and airport.

20 April 2005

Uniquely Singapore

This is the adage given by Singapore Tourism Board to promote Tourism in Singapore...and the lengths they go to, to attract tourists is really amazing. The recent one being the Casinos. But they don't want to name it a Casino...its an Integrated Resort!!!

Coming to think of it, what would I call unique in Singapore?

1. The greenery (but this has a sore point with me. Singapore is touted as the garden city...for me a garden means beautiful, colorful flowers spreading their fragrance. Singapore has only green trees, plants and grass all around. So I feel it should be called a green city.)

2. Moving from a third world country to a first world country within a decade (that's some achievement!!!)

3. With only 632 sq kms available and four million people to accommodate, Singapore has managed really well, by having almost 40% of undeveloped land still at its disposal!!! All thanks to the HDBs.

...getting late today. Will continue with this tomorrow.

19 April 2005

Pope and Prophecy

Read this interesting article about the Pope and their fate. According to it, there would be only 112 Popes and the one to be elected now would be the 111 th pope. Hope I live to see if this comes true!!!

13 April 2005

Iniya Puthandu Nal Vaazhthukal!!!

Anaivarukkum, yen iniya puthandu nal vaazhthukal!!!

11 April 2005

Indian Vs Chinese

Some things that I noted -- mostly superstitions

1. No: 8, 13 are lucky for Chinese while not for Indians.

2. When going for an important function (mostly auspicious ones) go in odd numbers --3 or 5 as per the Indians and its the vice versa with the Chinese.

3. Tortoise, owls, frogs and cats are lucky for Chinese. Its just the opposite for Indians. "Aammai puguntha veedu" , "poonai kuruka poochu" are some examples.

Think the higher officials should keep this in mind, now that there are talks for closer ties between India and China.

07 April 2005

Govt offices are better

I was working for a MNC in Chennai for almost three years after which I got a transfer to their Singapore Branch. I was with them till last year, when I quit to join the current company. As per the practice of the Chennai company, once a person gets transferred to another branch, whether in India or abroad, the person's name is retained in the database as an active employee but transferred. They update the database once the employee returns or quits.

Its more than 5 months since I had resigned from the company and I had called the HR in Chennai to check out something. That was when I got the shock! The HR person informed me that I was still an active employee as per their database! This, when I had tendered my papers a month before quitting as required by them. I have also received my experience letter from the Singapore Office.

So how did this happen? Were the Chennai HR people not informed or was there some misinterpretation? (I don't know what or how they can possibly mis-interpret a resignation). How would it have been if my current employer had called them to check on my previous employment history? Would the HR have accepted something similar if done by an employee? (I remember the number of calls and mails sent to a person if he/she was not able to submit some paper or detail as required by the HR on time....that too with a CC to the person's manager!!!)

If a popular MNC that proudly proclaims itself as a PMM level 5 company with global standards can do this, then I feel that our government offices should be given an award!!!

PS: Is there any way I can get the salary for 5 months from them? :))

04 April 2005

Food in Singapore

I chanced upon a conversation in the lift today. It was between a Singaporean and a foreigner who had come to Singapore just a few days back. The Singaporean was asking the new fellow if he had settled and the usual things about Singapore. All was normal, until this guy said, "Oh everything is fine except for food in Singapore. It sucks. There no variety here".

This was something new for me. Normally foreigners to Singapore appreciate the different types of food available in Singapore. Also there would be food courts almost everywhere, malls, cineplex, housing units, beaches, etc. In most of these food courts you would be able to find a variety of Chinese food, atleast one Indian food, a malay food and a fruits and drinks stall. Below our office we have one of the finest food courts and world famous food chains like McDonald, Burger King, Tony Roma, Starbucks, Dome, Pizza Hut and what not. There are also exclusive Thai, Indonesian, Japanese and Indian restaurantssss. I wonder what this guy was meaning when he said that the food in Singapore was lacking in variety.

When I first came to Singapore, I couldn't stand the smell of the food courts. I used to avoid going anywhere near a food court. Being a pure vegetarian, I was also frightened to try out the various cusines. I had to restrict myself to the few Indian shops around. But now after some experiments and advise from friends I have found quite a few places to enjoy food. We have Veg Burger, Veg Sandwitches, Vegetarian Chinese food, around 7 Indian food outlets and lots more. So eating is a joy now :))

31 March 2005

Today's diary

Had Kambansorru (corn rice if I have to literally translate it!!) in the morning. It was heavenly. Don't understand why we lost such wonderful food in the process of urbanisation.

Kiruba felt that he had enough of blogging and called it quits. Being a person who has influenced quite a few to start blogging, its no surprise that his statement should elicit 100+ comments from bloggers around the world. His was one blog that I found had visitors other than Indians too.

Blogger needs some serious attention. It is very slow and I've not been able to post the previous two days. Even the commenting seems to have a problem.

29 March 2005

Mood off

Mood off...Indian Cricket team sucks :(

24 March 2005

Inba Thaen Vanthu Paayuthu Kaathinilae...

It was after a few months in Tokyo. My colleague and myself were practically starved of Tamil songs. Especially the filmy music. The only Indian music we heard was from my walkman which used to be permanently in my traveling bag. Unfortunately I had bought only one cassette. So we were resigned to the songs from "Dum Dum Dum".

As the days neared for us to leave, we were discussing on what we would do immediately after reaching India and one that was foremost in our minds was to listen to some good old filmy songs in Tamil.

On our way back to India, we had planned to visit Singapore. Loaded with a transit visa, we scanned the airport for my cousin at 2am...I don't know how he managed to smile and welcome us at that ungodly hour!!! We came out and found a taxi. It was being driven by a North Indian cabbie. Shoving our bags into the cab, we got in and settled down. The cab started moving and suddenly the song "Ninaithalae inikkum" filled the air. We were both pretty excited to hear the song and started grinning from ear to ear. Nothing that my cousin spoke fell into our ears after that. We were blissfully listening to the song. It was almost a shock at the beginning to hear the song as we were least expecting it. It turned out to be one of the most interesting journeys.

PS: Coming to think about it, that song didn't have many words in it expect for "Ninaithalae inikkum"...So much for a Tamil Song!!!

23 March 2005

Blog - a wild fire

Blog was just something that was mentioned in the net and discussed by some tech-savvy people. This was changed overnight when I got introduced to some blogs. Now, here is a new entry from AF, who is a very close friend of mine. Welcome to the world of blogging AF!!

22 March 2005


Came across this in a mail.

Just append ".mirror.sytes.org" to any URL and watch the fun!

For e.g. instead of www.yahoo.com try www.yahoo.com.mirror.sytes.org

this works for any site......

Imagine the kind of logic they must have used.

17 March 2005

Intricacies of a language

I think it was during my 6th Standard. We had the usual school inspection. There was a flurry of activity a week before the inspection. The whole school was spic and span on the day of inspection. We were all instructed to be on our best behavior. We were all waiting eagerly for the inspector and were a bit apprehensive. The inspector turned out to be a very jolly person. He visited us during our Geographical classes. He asked us some general question and then suddenly asked this "How does Geography influence a language?"

We tried to outsmart each other and gave all sorts of replies. He patiently listened to all that we had to say and then gave a big explanation. What caught my attention was the example he gave.

Geographical conditions and climatic conditions have had a great impact on language. Apart from the general structure and usage, the expression is also greatly influenced by external factors. For example consider the expression -- "warm hearted". Well if you translate this to Tamil, it would be "soodana manasu". But do we have such a phrase in Tamil? We only have "koolirntha manasu" which would be "cold hearted" but actually meaning "happy heart". So in a cold country, "warm" is something nice and vice versa.

He gave many such examples and we ended up having a wonderful time. This was one inspection day which I would never forget in my life!! (Infact I remember the inspector vividly even today)

15 March 2005


Books have been my passion. I remember instances when I used to sneak to the kitchen late in the nights to read books (couldn't use the hall or the bedrooms as the light would be seen by my parents :)) At home, I used to always be with books. This habit of mine was a real pain for my mother. It was she who had introduced me to books and I'm sure she really regretted that day!! Chores would be conveniently forgotten, food untouched or left to burn, milk left to boil over and what not!!! If she had to get something done by me, she would have to hide the books first. :) Even then I would be reading the bits and pieces on the paper that was used to cover something bought in the grocery!!! I remember times when I've read bits of stories with no beginning or end. :))

On thinking back, I think books have just been books. I do seem to be capable of living without a book for months. :) The last time I read a book was about 5 months back...Now that's an achievement for me.

PS: I do manage to read the newspaper and magazines regularly...and you need to add blogs to the list now. So, it doesn't really look like an achievement right?

14 March 2005

Is this right?

A friend of mine is in last few weeks of the third trimester and had been to visit her doctor last week. On checking her, the doctor had asked to come again in four days as the baby's head had not turned. So she wanted to manually turn the baby, since if this is not done, they would have to go for caesarean. This is her third child and since the previous two were normal births, she didn't want to go for a cesearean. Later, when she was discussing this with her friend, who is a gyn and had been practicing in India, the friend asked her to wait for a few more days to see if the baby turned by itself, since it was common for such occurrences for the second or third babies.

My friend was clearly intrigued by this and did a bit of browsing and came to the conclusion that she could wait for a few more days. She then went to her doctor and told the same. The doctor was not very happy about this and warned her of the consequences. Finally she made a note of this in the records and told her that she would not be liable for anything that happened later.

Now, I have this question...Did my friend do the right thing and did the doctor take the right action?

10 March 2005


I have always been intrigued by Chanakya. I have been wanting to read more about his life and teachings. But haven't had the luck so far. Today, I got a mail with Chanakya quotes. Pretty good ones.

Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC-275 BC)
"A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first."

"Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous." -- the best one :-)

"There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth."

"Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions - Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead."

"The world's biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman."

"Once you start working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest."

"The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction."

"God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple."

"A man is great by deeds, not by birth."

"Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends." -- another one which I liked

"Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person."

"Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere.Education beats the beauty and the youth."

09 March 2005

Sore Throat

I have been having a sore throat from last night. Was wondering why my throat was irritating resulting in dry coughs the whole night and this morning. It was only after I came to office, I came to know that it was because of the bush fires in Indonesia and that most of my colleagues were also affected. If we are able to feel the impact of bush fires so far away, imagine the plight of the Indonesians. Last year too we had the same problem and it was found that some of the fires were caused by greedy individuals who were clearing forest areas to expand their cultivable lands.

08 March 2005

One Song

Today, on my way to office, I heard the song "Sotta Sotta nanaiyuthu TajMahal". I have heard this song quite a few times before. But today it had a special effect on me. On thinking back, I don't find that the lyrics of this song is something great...there have been better songs. I think it is the music and the voice. The song seems to keep repeating in my mind...this inspite of me listening to other songs after this one. Not sure who sang the song. But the voice was simply great. One more song to my collection of "Best Songs".

04 March 2005

Brides for sale

Yep! That's what I mean - Brides for Sale. There are many Matchmaking Agencies in Singapore, who get brides from Asean countries like Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia for Singaporean men. These girls come from a poor family and are young. They are eager to marry Singaporean men in the hopes that they get liberated from poverty. The Men on the other hand prefer such girls since they find that they are already past the age of courtship and would prefer a submissive wife who takes care of all his needs. So in most cases it turns out to be a good proposal. What had me writing this article is not the idea or the marriage. It is the way it is being executed. So how does the matchmaking process go?

There are two ways.
1. The interested men are taken to the countries where they can select the brides. This is a 6 day trip, where by a fair is arranged where the prospective girls are paraded before the men. If the men like any of the girls, they have a small interview and if all goes fine, the marriage is finalized and solemnized within the 6 days. The men return to Singapore and the girls wait for the visa and tickets to join their husband.

2. In the second case, the women are bought to Singapore and they sit for days in a shop window (like a doll in a garment showroom!!) to be gaped at by all those passing by, waiting for their groom.

This extract is from Straits Times, A Singapore Daily.
Said 19-year-old Miss Tran Thi Thoa, who found a husband after sitting for five days in a shop window at Vietnam Brides: 'My friends told me that Singapore men are very good.'

If the first incident looked like a mattu santhai (animal fair) the second one reminds me of some other profession!!!

Hide and Seek

Have you ever wondered if a particular scene or sequence could really happen in life when you watch a film? Do you like James Bond and the likes? Do you like fast action movie? Then this is for you. Enjoy and have a nice time.

03 March 2005


Came across Aavishkaar through Good News India. Here is a golden opportunity to return something to our home country as well as make a good investment.

01 March 2005


In those days a budget had normally meant a rise in some of the items...it might mean a hike in the bus fare or a hike in gas or something similar. That is what it had meant to us most of our childhood years. It would mean that our parents would be discussing the price hikes and how it would affect us. Then, it grew to the point were we discussed issues on investment and returns. But never had the budget got us wondering and talking about the influence of it in the building of the nation, the future, etc. It is only recently that we have we started analyzing the budget on the basis of its implications on the nation at large (mainly due to P.Chidambaram, since we started watching the budget with interest only when he became the Financial Minister the first time). This years budget seems to have had a good reception at all levels. Check out the ratings at rediff in Budget 2005

28 February 2005

The Political Drama

The Drama has started in Bihar. Who would win and who has more political clout would be known in a few days...

Now, don't worry. This blog is not going to analyse the various opportunities and speculate on who would be the next. But it is about a similar election a few years back...but with a marked difference. It was the elections in Tamil Nadu in 2001. At the time of the elections I was in Tokyo.

Not having a very great interest in the elections and just wondering who would have put my vote, I was going through the news without much interest. It was then, that one of my colleagues (a Japanese guy) showed me a Japanese newspaper which had JJ's photo in it. I was really excited. Here, in a far off land, I see an election result of a small state in India being published and talked about. If it had been the election for the head of the country it would have been understandable and accepted. But this was the elections of a state and one whose name was not known to many in Tokyo.

Until then I didn't have a very good opinion about JJ. She had been the one who had used her office unsculpturously and who had the guts to defy everyone. I was even a bit hurt that the TN people had elected her back with a huge majority. I was wondering how people could afford to forget everything and bring her back to power. So this photo along with the article had me re-adjusting my views.

It was then that another guy came along and asked us if we knew JJ...I immediately replied that we all knew about her and that she was going to be our next chief minister. It was then that he asked me a question...he wanted to know how she was elected with such a majority when there were still cases pending against her and there were clear evidences that she had misused her office. I didn't know what to reply...Infact I didn't give a reply!!! I'm yet to understand how she had managed the come back.

24 February 2005

SOS? Dial 112 on your mobile

Got this mail from a friend. Not sure how true it is, but if it really exists, then would be pretty useful. Try it for yourself!!!

Mobile users anywhere in India can reach the police by simply dialling 112 - even if they are in a non-coverage area.believe it or not, the service has been around for nearly a decade but few people are aware of the emergency access number that puts callers in touch with the nearest police station no matter where they are.

Even Delhi's police chief was blissfully unaware of the system."There is no separate number. We have only the 100 number that diverts calls to police control rooms," Delhi Police Commissioner K.K. Paul told IANS.

But an IANS correspondent quickly found out that the Delhi Police Control Room could indeed be reached by dialling 112.

A policewoman there admitted: "We have been receiving some calls to check whether the number actually works or not. But it is alright."

What is unique about the service is that the number can be dialled from any GSM (global system for mobile communications) phone, even if the user is out of coverage area.

One does not even need to have a SIM card in the phone to access the service. Only CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) phones cannot avail of this facility.

"It was introduced in 1995 when we launched our network," claimed Viraj Chauhan, deputy general manager (corporate communications) of Bharti Televenture Ltd, one of the companies that offer mobile services in India.

Dialling 112 connects the caller to the local emergency number, which in the case of India is the police control room that can also be accessed by dialling 100.

The 112 service is billed as the international standard emergency access number.

Chauhan said all GSM mobile users have access to the service from the minute their connection is activated. And it is toll free.

"I agree that there has not been much of publicity (for the service). But the number is mentioned in the starter kit provided to customers along with a new connection. Maybe, many overlook it," he said.

Besides Bharti's Airtel mobile service, India has a host of companies like Idea Cellular Ltd, Hutch, BPL Cellular Ltd and the state-owned BSNL that offer GSM services.

All digital GSM mobile phones are manufactured with this number programmed into them as a default. That's how a user can still dial the emergency number no matter where he is or even if he does not have a SIM card in the phone.

Incidentally, 112 is also the European Union's equivalent of the US 911 number. So the next time you face an emergency and have a GSM mobile, dial 112.

23 February 2005


Do you want to have a nice laugh before you start your work? Try this. Oh Gawd...its really funny. Especially the one about being the air-conditioner of Hema Malini. And the other one about having captured Delhi. hahaha.

On a somber note, are these the best leaders we can provide?

22 February 2005

Vazhai Pazha Kathai

Sometimes reality is funnier than films. Check this.

Background: There was one server whose size was increased by 50GB last week. Today, there had been space problems and on checking this guy found out that the 50GB was missing. So he called on support guy to enquire.

Guy: Hi, on the server XXX we had added new space last week. I don't find it now. Any idea what happened?
Sys Guy: Let me check....(after some time) It is there
Guy: where is it?
SG: In the server only.
Guy: I don't see it.
SG: Click on C drive...blah, blah,blah
Guy: (Frustrated) We had 200GB and added 50GB Last week. So we should have 250GB in total. But if you check now, it is not so.
SG: Yea correct, you have used it
Guy: (has gone to a state like Govundamani)...fine, even if I have used it, the total size should show 250GB right? Where is it?
SG: You have used the new space. You should try deleting some of the unwanted files there!!! Then you would get the space back.

Guy has enough and goes off in a huff to smoke, asking me to handle this....now I'm trying to talk sense into this SG :))

Me: Now look here. We had 200GB initially. Added 50GB. So total is 250GB. We have used 190GB. So the remaining blah blah blah

Survival of the fittest

Children do learn the surviving tactics very early these days. My daughter keeps surprising me with her antics almost every other day. Take for example the other day when we had gone out to a friend's place. We were waiting near the pool and she was playing near the security officer's table. When we were planning to leave, we called her, but she refused to come. Seeing this, the security officer made sounds and threatened to catch her. So she ran to me. Her face clearly mirrored her frightened state. But once near me, she stopped right on her tracks and turned back and stared at the security guard. Once she was sure she had his attention, she started making sounds like scolding him...here was a survivor...she clearly knew when and where and how to take an opponent!!

Then, there was the other time when she knew that she wouldn't be able to get the cookie from her cousin's hand (who was bigger and stronger) and so went to her aunty and asked for the biscuit that is usually given to her. This she then gave to her cousin asking him to give the cookie in return. And when he refused, she went and complained to her aunty...no physical fighting when you are sure you cant be the winner!!!

PS: She is yet to graduate from knowing only a few words like "Amma", "Anna", "Thatha" and "Athai" and just about two and a half feet tall!!

18 February 2005

4 families and one house

We had been to a house yesterday. There were four families living in that house. None of them related nor friends. The owner of the house had rented out each room to a family!!! There were four rooms and hence four families living there, sharing the hall and kitchen. As is the habit of most people in Singapore, all the four families seldom cook and prefer having food outside. Hence the kitchen was practically empty. All the shelves were bare. Since the hall was also being shared, it was devoid of any personal touch. Just the bare necessities for a living room was present there.

I have come across a number of families who stay together, but usually there is some sort of a common bond...friends, relatives or same ethnic group. Sometimes, the owners just rent out a room or two in their house. But this was quite different. It was like 4 houses being rented out to different people.

Each of the families had their own land line, TV, computer and other things. All cluttered in that single room. They were all living in the same house and behaving as if the others were practically non-existent. Isles of their own!!! Having come from a place where neighbours almost become a part of the family, I used to find the aloofness among people in our apartments quite different. Infact our neighbours have just graduated to smiling and saying a hi when they meet us....all this after nearly 3 years!!

17 February 2005

So thoughtful

My office area and the surrounding location have quite a few trees. The suntec mall management has hung some bird cages with singing birds. Its a real pleasure to listen to these birds. Some of these birds are inside the mall. Since the mall is usually lit throughout the night, I used to wonder how these birds differentiate between day and night. The other day, I noticed that when the sun sets, the cages are covered with a cloth cap so that the light doesn't disturb the birds. I was pretty impressed by the thoughtfulness.

15 February 2005

I see, I want

Yesterday had an interesting experience. Had taken my 13 months old daughter to the mall. We were just window shopping, when I noticed a beautiful black snoopy sandals for her. Planning to get it, I tried it on her, but it was a bit small. When I tried removing it, my daughter wouldn't allow. She wanted to wear the new one!!! I slowly removed the new one and slipped on the old ones by distracting her. The moment I had slipped in the old one, she removed it and tossed it aside and started insisting that she have the new one. No amount of cajoling and distracting could pacify her. She wanted that particular sandals and nothing else!!!

This was really shocking for me since I hadn't expected a girl so small to know the difference between a new and old sandals and moreover insist on wearing the new one.

PS: Finally I had to carry her out of the shop, while she was making sure in a big voice that she was dissatisfied with the way I was dealing with her!!! :((

14 February 2005


What to blog? Nothing comes to the mind. So just say a Hi to all of you and wish you a very happy Valentine's Day!!!

11 February 2005


Blogging does bring out the different facets of a human. Just because it gives you the advantage of posting as anonymous, it doesn't mean that you can type whatever you want. Was going through the comments for Mark Jen's post. Some were really disgusting. Ok, you find a loser here who goofed up a good job by letting out a few sensitive info. So what is there to jeer about? Don't know how some people are able to find happiness in other people's downfall. Getting fired is something that would surely hurt personally and rubbing salt on the wound is not the right thing to do. Shame on those who hide behind anonymity and throw slush.

3 films

Had seen three films during the week and had been wanting to write about those. The films and the rating:

1. Kaadal -- *****
2. Viswa Thulasi -- ***
3. Bose -- ***

Kaadal was a good film. Although the story is an old one, the screenplay and dialogues were good, which made the movie an enjoyable one. The success of the film is that when you watch it, you get the feeling that its a story of the next door girl and mechanic boy. Someone whom you knew personally. All the cast in the film have done a good job.

Viswa Thulasi -- you might wonder why I saw this film. No other reason other than getting an OC CD :)) When you watch it, you get the feeling of watching a typical Mammuti movie that was dubbed from Malayalam. Its ok. Too many song snippets thou.

Bose -- Had no other films and this was the best in the available CDs. So watched this. Its also ok. Consider it as a commercial movie with all the masala elements in it and it would be bearable. This movie is far better than some of the recent ones I saw which were more oriented towards hero building. Sneha is as beautiful as ever and Srikanth has put on weight.

10 February 2005

Lion Dance

Today we had a lion dance in our office..that too on the trading floor!!! It was fun to watch. Personally I like the lion dances very much. Have seen quite a few dances and am pretty impressed with the steps.

This dance consists of two dancers acting like a lion, a few flag bearers and some drummers. Of the two dancers, one holds the head and the other bends down to form the body and is covered by the cloth designed with small pieces of cloth & fur. The drummer and the lion coordinate to form a musical that matches the dance.

The lion dance brings to memory the poi kaal kuthirai and mattu dance (the dummy horse and ox dance) that forms a part of the temple festivals in South India.

09 February 2005

Gong Xi Fai Cai

Its the Chinese New Year today. Based on the Chinese Lunar Calendar, it is the year of the Rooster.

Its an official holiday in Singapore and most of the offices, shops and malls are closed during the first two days of the lunar calendar. Our office is working with partial strength and I have to come on both the days as the other guy with me is a Chinese. I would be getting a comp off for this. So, whats the problem? Its the food. With no food court and resturants open near our office, I would have to go to Little India or bring my lunch from home... :(

08 February 2005

Police and 7th Feb

Yesterday was an eventful day...mostly involving the law!! We woke up to the sound of arguments... Our neighbour was shouting at his maid and refusing to accept her apologies. There was a man squatting near the lift with two security guards asking questions. Later the police were bought in. We came to know that the maid had got her boy friend into the house at around 12.30 in the night and was with him until the granny in the house went to the room in the morning looking for a blanket. Since this was not the first time, the owners decided to take severe action and called in the police.

It is really shocking to see something of this type happening in a condominium as there are adequate security guards always on rounds. Also don't know what the maid was thinking when she brought in her friend when the whole household (a granny, three children and their parents!!!) were there. This seems to be the limit.

When we were musing about this during dinner, we got a call from one of our friends. He wanted help as his wife's sister had been arrested. It was a shock. She had been arrested along with her 3 year old kid for shop lifting.

The story is this. This lady had come to Singapore on transit from US on the way to India. She was visiting her sister. She, her sister and their kids had all been to a nearby shopping mall to get a few things for friends in India. They were all busy shopping for nearly 2 hours and had got different items at different floors and had paid the bill as and when they saw a counter. Finally when they left, they had a whole cart of things and this one item got missed and was in the shopping cart. None of them noticed it when they left. It was a small piece of cloth and lost among the items. After they had left, one of the shop's assistant ran to them claiming they had not paid for all the items. So they had to empty all the contents and check it against the bill and finally they noted the unpaid item. They apologized to the sales assistant and offered to pay. But it was not accepted and the lady along with her kid was shut in a room. Later she was handed to the police. No explanation was accepted.

The police were sympathetic towards this person, but couldn't do much as they had received a complaint and had to follow the procedures. Finally the lady and the kid were released around 3.30 in the night after two people had signed and vouched for them.

Two incidents...both involving the police...but what a difference! But both served as an eye opener. I really feel sorry about the second incident. Was the sales assistant so naive that she couldn't identify a genuine error when she sees one? Why was there no manager who intervened? Why was it that there were no one ready to listen to this women's explanation? This item that was forgotten was not even worth two pence of the total items that the lady had bought. So wouldn't a sane person atleast stop to think, why this had happened and if the person had really hidden the item with the purpose of shop lifting. Overall it was so sad.

Update on the above:

The police have cleared the lady of any offence and have released her. They accepted her explanation.

04 February 2005

Oh...how I miss u

I do miss the Streats. It was a tabloid that was my companion every morning. It was what a person like me needed...having no time to go through whole chunks of news, this paper was the sole window to the world for me. The forum page was my most favourite one as it gave an insight into the society and the people. I came to understand more about Singapore and its people from these forums. Also this page had mails and discussions on anything important happening around the world. One can be assured of a heated debate on any issue or law that affects the general public. It was also pleasant to note that the government and other organisations, companies, shops, etc paid attention to this column and would take immediate action to the grievances addressed here.

There have been quite a few things that took a turn once it was reported on this paper, like the intended sale of Robinsons. From the day it made Front page news on Streats, there were huge protests against the sale, such that the sale was dropped. Then, there's the incident of shops throwing away unsold breads...after the news was reported, an organisation was formed where by the unsold bread was collected and delivered to hospice and Old Age homes and other such needy places... These are but a few of the incidents that proved the power of this paper...

Now, the streats is no more and I do find it difficult to go through Straits Times in the evening. Also the online papers are not as handy and easy to access as the Streats....

I do hope they bring back the Streats!!!

02 February 2005

60 years

My father turns 60 today! Happy Birthday Daddy!!!

Looking back, we couldnt have had a better father. While other kids in our neighborhood and among are relatives found my father intimidating., for us, he was a friend. During those days we used to think that our father could do anything. The standard dialogue used to be "Wait till my daddy comes..." Be it either to threaten someone or get something done. I remember those days when we used to sit at the dining table and listen to his stories... stories like "Jack and the bean stalk", "Golden goose" was first heard from him.

One incident that my parents never cease to highlight is the time when I forced my mother to note down cigarette as one of the items to get during the monthly grocery shopping. I had wanted my father to smoke while driving, just like an uncle we knew. I had insisted that it looked cool!!!

Then, there was the time when I broke my hands when playing kabadi with him. The second time I broke my hands was when playing hide and seek with him :) Oh...Those were wonderful days. We used to look forward to the "Banth's"...since that was the time when all would be at home with no appointments. We used to play and go on long walks. There were times when we used to sit down for a game of cards and forget the time, until someone reminded us :)

Mentioning about time, reminds me of the high school and college days. My father was our alarm clock. He used to wake us correctly at whatever time we had asked him to. Even now, we all rely on him to wake us when we have to get up early for an appointment.

He has been around when we needed him, be it to reprimand or congratulate or enjoy an evening. It is not a surprise that both his grandchildren prefer him to anyone else now!!!

01 February 2005

Street Directory

Street Directory is a useful tool when in Singapore. Information about the place, its adjoining locality, bus routes, the distance from a particular place and the car route are provided here. It comes quite handy when a person has to drive to a new place or check out the bus/mrt (train) routes to a place. Also this is pretty useful to know about a place, the amenities nearby and the general info.

Something that has fascinated me in Singapore is the Pin Code. A pin code in Singapore not only refers to the place, but also to a particular building!!! So essentially each building has a unique pincode. This is possible only because Singapore is a small country.

We are frequent users of the street directory and it is specifically useful now that we are looking for a new house.

26 January 2005

Can Lah!

X: makkan?
Y: can
X: Orchard Road can?
Y: can lah!

This is one of the typical conversations that you would hear in Singapore. "Can" is a very popular word in Singapore and freely used for any affirmation. It would mean "yes", "ok", "will do" and of course "can". You can survive with just these two words. The "Can Lah" makes you a local :)

It props up in almost all the conversations that you have. There have been quite a few incidents when I've been totally confused with what the others were replying. I used to wonder why they don't reply with a straight forward "yes" or "no". It was only much later that I came to know that sometimes they used to be confused with my straightforward "yes" and "no". It was much easier to use "can".

You can see the difference in me when you look at one of my conversations with a taxi driver:

Me: Suntec can?
TD: can
(I get in)
TD: AYE can?
Me: can

This gets translated to
Me: Would the taxi come to Suntec?
TD: yes, get in
TD: Can we go via the AYE?
Me: yes we can.

So if your are planning to come to Singapore learn the art of using "Can Lah".

PS: Lah can be used at the end of any statement!!

25 January 2005


Today is Thaipusam. A festival of great importance for hindus in Singapore and Malaysia...note I've not mentioned India. Yes, until I came to Singapore, I had not known much about Thaipusam. We didn't have any special pooja's or fasting on this day back home. Infact most of the time this day would just be another day on the calendar.

But in Singapore its quite different. Thaipusam is an important festival for the Hindus here. On this day, people carry kavadi and karagam attached to their body, while some have the Vel pierced through their tongue and cheeks. The procession is 4 kms long, stretching from Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple in Serangoon Road to the Sri Thandayuthapani temple in Tank Road. This festival might seem strange to Westeners and other communities and so manages to be a crowd puller. Large number of tourists border the road where the procession is held trying to catch the various forms of worship in their camera.

Now coming to some details on what is Thaipusam.
Thaipusam is celebrated on the full moon day of the 10th month (thai) of the Tamil Calendar. It is celebrated in the honor of Lord Muruga the second son of Lord Shiva. Devotees maintain month long fast to get ready for the penance. On the day of thaipusam, the devotees fast and get ready for the Kavadi and the piercing. This is done to fulfill a vow for a granted favour or as part of the eradication of sins done before.

PS: We too have started having a special pooja on the Thaipusam day nowadays.

24 January 2005

The trip this year

We had a very hectic trip this year to India. Thinking back to what we actually did,

31st Dec. Daughter Samyu's birthday -- reached Trichy on 31st morning and went straight to our village after picking up my parents...Samyu was excited on seeing us and wouldn't go to anyone else. We went to a nearby temple and there was a special pooja. Then it was time to decorate the house and slowly people started coming...my God..Think my MIL thought this was some type of a family function....She had invited so many relatives (some second and third cousins) Finally it was so crowded that the men had to stay out and the ladies in the house. To top it all the current failed twice during the party and each time for nearly 30 mins!!! But overall Samyu was a very good girl and cut the cake. She also accepted the gifts eagerly (more like grabbing)...it was fun to watch.

1st Jan, was just another day since they don't celebrate it in my MIL's place.

2nd Jan, we started in the morning and went to a temple in the middle of paddy fields...Had a nice experience...More like a picnic. Then went to Samyapuram temple for my nephew's mottai (shearing of the hair). Samyu started moving freely with everyone after this trip.

3rd Jan we went to our kuzha theivam temple to put mottai for Samyu...Everyone was stunned to see Samyu sitting silently during the mottai..infact she was turning her head as per the instructions of the barber...we were all expecting her to bawl.

5. 4th Jan there was a special viratham (fast) in my MIL's house as part of the mottai.

6. 5th Jan, came to my mom's house. My close friend D visited me in the morning with her son. Kid looks big and so cute. He literally runs everywhere as he has just learnt to walk!! He and Samyu didn't play with each other...they were more concerned with doing things alone...think they are too small to know how to play together. D's son came to all of us, but Samyu went only to D's father and hubby. She's already favoring guys!! Had a nice time and took lots of video and photos.

6th Jan, went on a visiting spree to my cousin, sister and aunt's house.

7th Jan, went to hubby's aunt's house which is also in Trichy. BIL and his family joined us there. We had dinner there and returned home.

9. 8th Jan, morning had been window shopping and got some items from Poompuhar (the govt handicraft shop). then in the evening went to RockFort temple. After which we went out for dinner with my SIL and her extended family. Returned home pretty late.

9th Jan, went to some temples in Kumbakonam (oh my God....was this a pilgrimage trip?) and on the return visited one of my Aunties.

10th Jan, my hubby had to take his mother to Salem for some treatment...my MIL has become the abode of all known problems....we tease her saying that she partonizes all the illnesses like she patronizes us!!! So me and Samyu were free to do whatever we wanted. I left Samyu with my mom and went shopping with my sis.

11th Jan, again shopping.

12th Jan, h was back and so we went to get the tickets. They told that the rates would come down the next day and asked us to buy the tickets the next day. So, we gave the details to my sister and asked her to collect the tickets and we left for our village.

13th Jan, It was Boggi Pongal and so all of us had got up early and there was a small prayer at home. My parents came around 11.30 with the pongal seer for Samyu (it is customary to give pongal pot for baby's first pongal, where by they prepare pongal in that pot and the granny's feed the baby the first pongal). Think my MIL was in an entertaining mood this time as she had again invited the whole crowd for pongal. Luckily since all of them had to keep pongal in their respective homes, they just visited us as and when they had time and left immediately. Hence it was not crowded at any particular time.

14th Jan, on pongal day, nothing special except that pongal was prepared and everyone fed Samyu her first pongal (actually she had eaten sakarai pongal n number of times before and she likes it very much :) so its not her first pongal!!)

15th Jan, mattu pongal was fantastic here. We all got into two cars and went to the fields since the cows were there. While my mom and my co-sister's mom were busy keeping pongal (it was kept in the typical pongal fashion, in front of the mattu patti, in a vengala paanai kept on top of three stones that served as the stove!) we were busy decorating the cows...Samyu wanted to ride the cows while nephew was frightened even to touch the ones without horns. Then all of us went around the fields and then had coconut water (elaneer). By that time the pongal was ready and FIL and my father had made all the pooja things ready. The pooja was completed and the cows feed with pongal. Then we all returned home....some went in the car, while we walked back...the sun had gone down and it was fun walking, chatting with cousins while eating sugarcane.

16th Jan, busy with packing and then left for Singapore...

Now back in Singapore :((

oh..for those hectic but wonderful days in Trichy

all in all I didnt have time to sit and talk with my mom and sis even for a day :(( My mil and mom were complaining that we were returning back just when didn'ttt had started playing with them :((

21 January 2005

Too busy

Guess what? I've been extremely busy the past two days reading new blogs...I'm almost addicted to blogs. Its so interesting to read than write :))

Most of the posts bought back found memories of my childhood, my friends and families. There is this urge in me now to write about my childhood days...hopefully I get down to blogging about it in the next few days :))

20 January 2005

Tsunami brings ...

The first time I heard about Tsunami's I was awed. When I saw it, I was horrified. When I saw the destructions, I was shocked. Then I was angry with God for doing this. Followed by joy when I saw the number of kind hearted people ready to help in whatever way they could. It was pride that filled me when I noted that our Government was one of the first to send help to other affected countries.

Over the days when I read about the relief work and how it was not organized and many getting surplus while others starved. Was ashamed when I read about greedy politicians and others trying to gain from the relief work. So it was a bit of surprise when I noted in Rediff about the relief work done by the TamilNadu CM, Miss.Jayalalitha. Check this

18 January 2005


Its pretty late to be wishing all a Happy New Year, but I had been on a vacation the past few weeks and couldn't blog.

Had been to India the past 2 weeks. But somehow this visit was laced with sorrow...althou hundreds of feet inland and no known person directly impacted, the tsunami has certainly left its mark. almost all whom I met and spoke to were moved by the plight of the survivors. The New year celebrations were muted and there was talk about the aids for affected people everywhere. A small consolation.

Then, coming to our whirlwind trip, we had our daughter's first birthday celebrations, followed by visits to quite a few temples. Was able to do a bit of shopping and then celebrated pongal at my in-laws place. Samyu enjoyed the mattu pongal as she got to see cows at close and able to touch them too!!!

Now we are back to routine...sigh!!