Thursday, June 25, 2009

The King of POP!

Needless to say that the news came as a shock to me! I am one of the many who started listening to english numbers through MJ. Putting aside all the controversies surrounding him, if the whole world is shocked and is mourning the death of "one man" its enough proof to what he has contributed to humanity. Though he is dead, he will live on forever with so much music around. May his soul rest in peace.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Its cricket time.

With IPL followed by T20 world cup, its cricket all over and how can I be not blogging about it :) I am not going to write a match review btw, but just going to jot down couple of cricket related points..

1. Was listening to a discussion in AIR (you read it write, its All India Radio, its still on air) about IPL and T20. Now that kumble has also proved his captaincy by inspiring and leading BRC to the IPL finals, there was question about the difference between Kumble and Dhoni from a captaincy perspective. Spat came the answer, "Kumble leads from the heart and Dhoni leads from his mind. Both are great leaders and know how to get things done, but the primary difference is how they go about it". The 'mind vs heart' comparision was very different and seems to be perfect observation after seeing both of them captain their respective sides.

2. Team India crashed out of the ongoing T20 world cup shattering the hopes of millions of crazy cricket fans. Team India actually won just two matches in this tournament and they were against 'Scotland and Bangladesh'. With due respects to these teams, its fair enough to say that Team India has actually lost in all the really competitive games it has played in this tournament. Time for the players to face the reality and pull up their socks for the upcoming games.

3. Ganguly was seen commenting in the T20 match between SL and WI. Not sure if its an one day affair or if he's really looking into being a commentator! 'All the very best' to dada if he's attempting a new innings.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Education - Childs play!!

Came across this article. Came as a rude shock to me! IIT coaching from class VII? They must be joking. Education has been increasing the pressure on children, (and parents, ofcourse!) but this one, undoubtedly takes the cake. Parents now a days expect a lot from their children and want them to become all-that-they-could-not-become. IIT ofcourse has a prestige and it does make a life-changing-impact on its students, but then, people have been joining IIT for all these years with about two years of coaching. But parents now want more(!) and are rightly answered by these kind of institutions. Its all premium now and the rate of increase in the number of premium schools (read fees above 40K per year and the need to book your seat the moment you realize you are pregnant) is faster than the rate of increase in Indian population. Imagine a school with a fees of 40K in a small town called Aarani in tamil nadu. Parents are only too much willing to admit their children to such schools. But then, the institution think-tanks should be given their due credit, for who else can coin creative terms like "competitive psychology and scientific temperament". Now you know that you can trust them for sure with your childs education.

God save our children. Let them have their childhood!

Monday, December 15, 2008

December Music Festival 2008 - Chennai

Come December and there is a great amount of buzz in Chennai Shabas. It is that time of the year when music flows non-stop in the city. The December Festival is truly a piece of tradition that still has strong roots in the city. Started by The Music Academy in chennai way back in 1929, it has indeed come a long way. For the informed, there are carnatic concerts all through the month till early January.

If you are into carnatic music (or even Bharatnatyam for that matter) then this is one festival that you cannot afford to miss. This is simply the best time to catch the who-is-who of the carnatic music in the city. People from all over the world travel to Chennai at this time of the year to get their share of carnatic music. The festival has a following and people even plan their personal trips to the city to coincide with the music festival.

If you need more information about the festival and the schedules, you can find them here. The following sites have a good compilation of all the concerts in the various sabhas.

KutcheriBuzz provides Sabha wise and artist wise categorization along with search.
This blog provides date wise information.

Information about the sabhas can be found here.

With lot of sabhas getting converted to marriage halls and cinema halls due to lack of patronage and with the rapid westernization that is going on, it is heartening to see that this music festival is still going on. I only hope that this festival and the tradition associated with it grows stronger in the years to come.

Let the "Kutcheri's" begin.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Ultimate Olympics!

Discovery channel is running a series called "Ultimate Olympics" every Monday at 9 PM IST. The program tells about the Beijing 2008 olympics and the preparations that are being done in Beijing for the games. Dubbed as the greatest sporting event in the planet, China has literally over-hauled Beijing for the games and its leaving no stones unturned to make the games a grand success. For the games, Beijing has got a new state of the art airport, an underground railway system that is one of the fastest in the world, art-inspired stadiums, sophisticated face-recognition systems for security and the much required greenery. The full city is under CCTV surveillance and lakhs of plants/trees are grown to control pollution in the city. There are tourist guide volunteers almost every where in the city and the Chinese govt has even arranged special English classes for them. The tourist guides say they chose to be volunteers as they are proud to be part of the games. With almost everything ready, China is now facing the last major obstacle in the form of pollution. The pollution in Beijing has come under severe criticism and the authorities are doing all they can to bring down the pollution level. All the industries in and around Beijing have scaled down their operations and there is also a temporary closure for 2 months for many of the industries. The vehicular pollution in Beijing is being drastically reduced for the games. China has reported, 'blue-sky' days of late, but we will have to wait and see if the pollution has actually come down to acceptable limits as the games begin.

The program also takes us into the training-centers in China, US, Australia etc. For the first time, we get to see how the athletes are preparing and getting ready for what is undoubtedly the-event-of-their-life. The preparation done by these athletes for the games is simply stunning. They have given their life for the games and use latest medical and computer technologies to improvise. Their preparation for the games is actually being called a "Science". Seeing the way they prepare for the games, it feels like our sportsmen are decades behind.

China as a country has been making rapid progress in all fields, and hosting the games seems like their way of saying to the world that "they have arrived".

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Taare Zameen Par!!

No! I am not going to write another review on "Taare Zameen Par". There are enough written already and it has become a well established fact that Aamir has come out with of an excellent movie. Watched the movie in the cinemas and I have now become one among the 'many' who had moist eyes after the climax. I was literally crying when the boy got the prize. There are very few movies which have evoked such an emotional response from me and this one has a very special place among them.

Stories of men/women rising to their peak have always been inspirational. But what moved me most about the movie was not just how the boy rose from shambles, it was 'what an understanding teacher/parent could do to a child'. They can literally turn around the life of a child. In the current days where schooling has become very commercial, and the pressure on students to perform is very high, a film like this should definitely send a valuable point. Hope the parents and teachers take a lesson out of this movie and turn around the life of many children for the better! Let us not lose many such genius's due to lack of understanding.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Take the 25!

Take the 25! - Chances are you have come across this phrase already!! This is a pretty popular phrase that was used by the Comedian "Goundamani" in a tamil movie. Goundamani plays the role of a "strict" traffic constable in the movie. He is SO strict that he always gets "only" Rs 25/- as bribe..nothing more..nothing less! just Rs 25.

Not sure what he did with all the money he collected! but a group of us in my office think that we ve put Rs 25 to better use. Ya, we are trying in our own little way to make the world a better place to live. Now, that sounds like boasting too much about ourselves, but come on, we need some motivation to go on..right.

So what do we exactly do?! We got ceramic cups for Rs 25 and we use those cups to drink coffee in our office!! Whats the big deal you ask..Imagine an office of 1000 employees with a coffee vending machine available. That amounts to approx 2000 paper/disposable cups (assuming people drink coffee two times a day) a day. If ceramic cups are used instead of all these paper/disposable cups, just imagine the amount of cups that will be saved every month in an office. Now that makes a good amount of paper saving which goes on to save trees.

So the next time, you use paper cup in your office, just remember to "Take the 25, save trees and go green". Make the world a better place to live.