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.