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.