Thursday, September 29, 2005

Microsoft's Deep Throat!

Check out this blog by a Microsoft employee. He is rather brutally frank, passionate about improving the company,pulls no punches and is not afraid to call a spade a spade! It has been a while since I was this entertained. One other thing I noticed was the whopping readership this guy has: 256 comments in one blog. Sure is getting some publicity. But I do shudder to think what'll happen if the Big B ever finds out his identity. But that's what makes being Deep Throat fun, ain't it? :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Empowerment of Women

Amit Varma had commented on this move by the Haryana government in this blog. Is this a case of disempowering women? I tend to disagree with him. I am all for women's empowerment and equality. I know many of my friends work night shifts in Bangalore and Chennai. But I've also heard stories of terror, fear and harassment at night. In one instance, a drunken taxi driver made an obscene comment to one of my friends because she worked nights. She made a complaint to the taxi company but it went on deaf ears. I wouldn't really trust the Police Force of our nation especially when it comes to women. When we hear stories of rape and harassment at police stations, what confidence would we have in the police?
Empowerment has some meaning only when backed up with proper measures for infringement of certain rights. If empowerment means, "Alright, you can do what you want. But you're also responsible for whatever happens to you", that makes me think twice. I don't think I'd want to work nights and then get harassed in return. I'd rather find a day job and be happy with it. Perhaps the Haryana government had in mind the inefficiency and corruption of the police force when they passed this?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Truth About Cleo

I, like many others, grew up hearing legends about Cleopatra's beauty. The Queen of Egypt was and is still held as the epitome of the "black, dusky beauty" paradigm. I happened to revisit my old copy of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar recently. I have been a fan of Mark Antony since reading the "Friends, romans, countrymen.." speech. I mean, any guy who can muster popular support in one speech must be worth something..:)
Anyways, I'm digressing. All this led me to look up Cleopatra in the wikipedia and suprise: I found Cleopatra was not the "black beauty" she was touted to be. In fact, she was a Greek who had settled in Egypt. Read about her here. Just goes to show how much spin people are capable of to suit their own ends!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

On a whim..

This song has been haunting me for the past few days. The beautiful lyrics kept growing on me till I had to make a pathetic attempt at translation...but at least, I got it off my mind..:)

Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai
Sometimes, the thought crosses my mind
Ki jaise tujhko banayaa gaya hai mere liye
That you've been made just for me..

Tu abse pehle sitaron main bas rahi thi kahin
You were a dweller of the stars before
Tujhe zameen pe bulaayaa gaya hai mere liye
You've been summoned to earth just for me

Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai
Sometimes the thought crosses my mind that
Ki yeh badan, yeh nigahen meri amaanat hai
This body and these eyes were preserved just for me
Yeh gesuon ki ghani chaav hai meri khaatir
That these dark tresses of your hair are for me alone..
Yeh hot aur yeh baahen meri amaanat hai
That these lips and these arms are solely in my care...

Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein, khayal aata hai
Sometimes the thought crosses my mind that
Ki jaise bajthi hai, shehnaaiyaan si raahon mein
Just as the shenaai strikes a tune somewhere
Suhaag raat hai ghuunghat uta rahaa hoon main
I am lifting your bridal veil on our wedding night
Simat rahi hai tuu sharmaake apni baahoon mein
And you are blushing shyly in my arms...

Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein, khayaal aata hai
Sometimes the thought crosses my mind
Ki jaise tu mujhe chaahegi umr bhar yoon hi
That you'll love me like this for life
Uthegi meri taraf pyaar kii nazar yoon hi
And caress me with a loving gaze always
Main jaanta hoon ki tu gair hai magar yoon hi
I know you're just a stranger, nevertheless
Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein, khayal aata hai
Sometimes the thought crosses my mind...
Agnibarathi had tagged me. So here it is....

Seven things you plan to do before you die:

- Go on a luxury cruise to the Mediterranean.
- Leisurely visit Europe and all its famous landmarks. Europe has always fascinated me with its history and fascinating personalities. I'd love to spend a lot of time in Rome visiting all the beautiful cathedrals and artworks that it houses!
- Bungee-jump!
- Donate money to temples and Veda Pata Shalas for the preservation of the tradition of Vedas.
- Own a Ming dynasty china masterpiece unparalleled for delicacy, artistic perfection and beauty!
- Go on a wild Safari in the African deserts!
- Be able to appreciate the music of different countries and traditions. I recently began listening to NPR and they play classics in the morning. I found I was rather ignorant of Western music traditions. I have listened to Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, Bach etc... but never with a trained eye. I hope I find the time to study and appreciate it.

Seven things you can do:

- Write. I never run out of interest in writing even if most of it turns out to be nonsense!
- Read books non-stop especially mysteries (Erle Stanley Gardner, Agatha Christie, Frederick Forsyth, A.J. Quinnell etc...)
- Mehndi: It has become an obsession for me to draw intricate designs!
- Sudoku: Have become completely addicted to this game and play it whenever I get free time.
- Sing moderately well and listen to diverse music.
- Talk with friends on the phone for a long time and not get bored!
- Watch 'Alaipayuthey..' for the umpteenth time and still be as hooked as I was the first time...

Seven things you say the most:

-"Freeeeya vidu"
-"Google it.."
-"I wanna go to India..."

Seven things that attract you to the opposite sex:

- A warm, open smile.
- Intelligence
- Expressive eyes
- The hint of a stubble - I've found it gives a rugged, handsome look. Never been a fan of chocolate-faced guys. Of course, doesn't suit everyone..:)
- Fierce loyalty and passion toward work, family, friends etc...
- Sense of humour
- Tenacity

Seven celebrity crushes:

- Saurav Ganguly
He fairly leapt out of my mind as soon as I started doing this tag. I have long been a fan of this Bengal tiger as much for his elegant batting as for his cute looks.
- Shoaib Akhtar
I have had a mad crush on this Rawalpindi express since I saw him debut. I love the passion and ferocity he brings to his art! I heard him sing "Roop Tera mastana.." in a Star Plus interview once and that made me an even crazier fan!
- Goran Ivanisevic
I've always liked this gentle giant with his tantrums, aces and all, perhaps because he was an underdog living in the shadow of The Great Pete Sampras. He wasn't the only one jumping with joy when he won the Wimbledon..:)
- Shahrukh Khan
Needless to say, he still makes my heart go "dhak dhak".
- Singer Karthik
I love his youthful voice and fresh rendering!
- Madhavan
I can't think of any girl who didn't fall for his smile in Alaipayuthey. He had me at 'hello'!
- Perry Mason
I daresay it is weird to have a crush on a fictional character. I've been a terrible fan of this lawyer-detective character creation of Erle Stanley Gardner and have read almost all his novels. Daring, living-on-the-edge, bold, strong, fiercely loyal and always on the side of truth and justice- he always seemed to be my ideal of a man!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

A few captured moments..

******UPDATED: A small correction- the last pic shot in night mode was shot with Venky's camera, not mine! ****************
I captured this on the go from our car. I might not have done justice to the beauty of the landscape but I simply loved the play of the light behind the clouds and the seeming convergence of land and sky...Reminded me of the line "uppu kadalodu maegam uRpathi aanaalum, uppu thaNNeerai megam oru poadhum sindhaadhu" in the song "Moongil kaadugale.." (Samurai).

Mighty Niagara captured on a beautiful, sunny summer day!

A head-on view of the Canadian Falls from the "Maid of the Mist" .

View of the American Falls..

Grand finale of the firework display..

The Canadian side at night..

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Post-vacation ruminations...

Many people would've seen the Niagara Falls. I am not going to do the stereotypical, descriptive post-vacation post about Niagara Falls. Instead, here are a few of my very own personal views/happenings on this trip.

-The amount of desis at Niagara Falls is simply incredible. Priya was shocked at seeing so many Indians around. What with the heat, we all felt like we were in Mumbai/Delhi with a few foreigners visiting. I've realized that one of the perks of talking a foreign language in the US is that usually, none around you will follow your language. I can feel free to talk whatever nonsense I choose without getting weird looks. So it was rather disconcerting to get a few inquiring stares when I was talking in Tamil with our gang. Oops.
-We ate at a Punjabi Dhaba. It was set up like a typical Indian roadside stall with the flies, uncleanliness and all. Indian roadside stalls usually offer amazing food but this one was a horror trip. I got Channa Batura with Batura that looked like half-fried pancakes. The only saver was the Masala Chai but even that was cold and I paid $1.95 for it! Net result: a half-eaten lunch.
-Pittsburgh Lord Venkateswara is truly a life-saver. I mean, literally. We got food from the temple on Saturday afternoon. And we hit the road almost immediately afterwards. After a long, tiring drive, a box of thayirsaadham, upma and boondhi really did me a world of good! We had so much left that the next morning, I had pulihara and thayirsaadham (again) for breakfast! :)
- We missed out on all the nice labor day sales at the stores...:( We saw a Kohl's near Buffalo and all us girls were real tempted to go in and shop for an hour or so. Alas, there was a spoilsport amongst us and we missed it!
- I was driving back on I-75S in the wee hours of the morning. Everyone else had gone to sleep in the car. Along with sunrise came the beautiful vista of the Bluegrass region: idyllic, sloping grasslands swathed in golden sunlight with cattle grazing peacefully. A beautiful, light breeze was blowing and suddenly Amitabh's baritone voice boomed out:

Magar yeh ho na saka, aur ab yeh aalam hai
Ki tu nahin, tera gham, teri justju bhi nahin.
Guzar rahi hai kuchh is tarah zindagi jaise
Ise kisi ke sahare ki aarzoo bhi nahin
Na koi raah, na manzil, na roshni ka suraag
Bhatak rahi hai andhere main zindagi meri
Inhi andhere main reh jaaonga main khokar
Main jaanta hoon meri hamnafas,
Magar Kabhi Kabhi mere dil mein khayal aata hai...

That ever-green voice, the beautiful lyrics and the song brought to life the allure of eternal love and romance....A drive to remember for me!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Niagara, here I come!

Well, I am going to be gone for the weekend to Pittsburgh and Niagara Falls. Looking forward to taking a break from Lexington. You see, I can blame this unceasing travel itch on my Dad...:)We moved around so often since I can remember that I get bored of places pretty easily. Anyways, hope it is going to be a good trip. Pics later. Have a good long weekend, people!