Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pronouncing zha, sha, lha

A pet peeve I have on native Tamizh speakers is their mispronunciation of 'zha' ழ. Along with 'sha' and 'lha', it is one of the things that riles me up when heard on a repeated basis (like in a movie, speech etc). My brain just ignores what the person is saying. I just keep their observing the speaker's (mis) pronunciation.

I remember my Tamizh teacher telling our class us how to pronounce 'zha'. "zha ucharippu-ku, naakai suzhata vendum. naakai madikaama vaai mozhi varuvadhu migha kadinam.". Point!

Today, I watched the trailer of Cheran's next movie Pokkisham. An interesting trailer. It looks to be another heartfelt love story from the Cheran factory. The trailer has Cheran reading out a letter sent to his lover. It's a beautiful narration, has good Thamizh, perfect selection of words & comparisons to convey the exact feeling/emotion...the only sour point being Cheran's pronunciation of the word azhagu as alagu. He goes,

"alagu ennum solluku ottu motra artham needhan Nadira!"

"mothathil nee thamilin alagu" (this was too much)

"sandhosamaai irukiradhu"

Other e.g. :

tamil valga
stiram valapalam saptaan.
summa palagunga, palagi paarunga
Amma kolambu vechirkaanga
kolandhaiku bajji romba pidikikum
magesum bathmaavum plight-la kamalagaasan pichhar paathanga

olunga ucharikira palakam ennaku illa

I am sure you can think of many.

I can understand when non-Tamil speakers like wrecker-in-chief Udit Narayan, Yesudas, Adnan Sami mispronounce (read kill) some or all Tamil words. When our own people can't get it right, it is sad.

This post can be best summarised by the famous Thillu mullu interview scene (of Subramania Bharathy) shown below. Thalaivar and Thengai at their best!

Yellaan eye wassss! :D

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twenty Five

A birthday poem by me.

*in the tune of the birthday song *

Happy Birthday to Sri
who lives in the Valley
he kinda feels lonely
cos of the birthday glee.

His Mother may shed a tear
that he's not very near
he will make a phone call
to get her blessings and all

The pub is beckoning
his mates are reckoning
he'll sure get smothered
but he's least bothered

His friends aren't many many
they are there for any
coupla them are techs
the rest are paramadicks

Sri is the Son of Gun
he'll have you on the run
he may show lil clement
if you leave a big comment

He's turning 25
His old man is 55
Sri may look cool blue
he really doesn't have a clue!

Whatever said and done
there is lots to be done
the joy is really rife
here's to a good life!


I was born on April 24th.

Yes, I share birthday with my Idol, Sachin Tendulkar. Happy Birthday Sachin!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Pranav Mistry's Sixth Sense

Pranav Mistry, from MIT, has developed a device named Sixth Sense. It is a wearable device that enables new interactions between the real world and the world of data.

Here is the demo video.

I first read about this here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Random thoughts

  • I saw these clips of a show by the great Kunnakudi Vaidhyanathan hosted by Vijay TV for Deepavali 200#. Sri Kunnakudi, wearing a coat-suit, plays popular movie songs to the delight of the audience. The ease and elan with which he plays the subtleties in the songs just left me spellbound. Legendary stuff! It's sad the Violin Maestro is not with us any more. His music will live with us forever.

Kaadhal Yaanai (Anniyan)

Mannil Indha Kadhal (don't miss the part where Sri Kunnakudi mimics SPB by playing the charanam without lifting the bow)

He also played: Devuda Devuda , Malarndhu malaradha, MKT's Manmadha leelai

  • Is he the Tamil Russell Peters? Badava Gopi! I hope they get rid of the annoying background music for every joke. Good laugh though!
  • Ross Taylor said in relief at IPL being shifted from India to SA "If you're dead you cant earn any money..." - *Tonge in cheek* Honest!
  • I went hiking this week at Kondalilla National Park. It rained the previous day, the circuit was damp as we walked through the cool, lush green surroundings. The vegetation was thick (as you would expect in a rainforest) and the croaks of frogs and chirps of birds and insects were soothing to the ears compared to the monotonous server hum. The hike was going smoothly until my friend (walking first in the pack) spotted this fella on the track.

We spotted him when he was approx 2-feet away from us. Since all of us were sh*t scared of anything belonging to his species, we stood there for a moment staring at him blankly and wondering what to do. We shooed and stomped our feet to make him move. To our horror, he initially moved towards us and slithered away to his left and just disappeared into the bush. Phew...all of us needed a new set of pants!

  • I found a way to make Rasam taste even better. Instead of mashing the paruppu (lentils) with karandi (spatula), mash it with your hands. Paruppu mixes well as a result Rasam tastes better. Previously, paruppu used to stand out like a distant cousin. Now it is a part of the Rasam family. If you are saying "Jee...what a genius Sriram. Tell me something new!" Well, using hands to mash the paruppu may be the proper, regular way. But that doesn't matter!. For a guy who ventured into making Rasam just few months back, this is a big leap. I can never forget my first attempt at making Rasam. I ended up making what looked like a glorified manja thanni than Rasam. I've come a long way from that.
  • IPL: I am from Chennai. I support Mumbai Indians. Why? Here is the answer in the first few paras of this post.
  • I watched Sigappu Rojakkal yesterday. A typical 70s movie. Kudos on Bharathiraja for making a psycho thriller in that era. Kamal, as usual, acted well. I wonder how this movie will be if Kamal and Bharathiraja remake this movie today. Sigappu Rojakkal II. That'll be good!
  • Saw Ayan. A decent masala movie. Unlike other masala movie directors, I appreciate K V Anand for making the assumption the Tamil Cinema viewers have some IQ in them. You can watch the movie once in theatre for two reasons: one, picturisation of Nenje Nenje song; two, (for chics) after hearing the oohs and aahs in the theatre - Surya and his abs, (for guys) Tamanna.
  • A question from my friend. What is the Tamil word for 'swipe'? (as in, swipe your credit card).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Passion, profession, both or neither?

A wise man once said "Make your profession your passion. Half your time in this planet will be spent at the workplace". When I first heard this, I felt it was an obvious statement to make. You work in a field that you are passionate about. Otherwise, what's the point in working? Right? Is it not important, at least for everyday contentment that you work in a field you are passionate about?

Before I decided to wear the garb of an Electrical Engineer, I was told by many to “Pursue your passion”, “Follow your passion and get paid for it”, “Turn your passion into profession” etc. Before I started BE, I was not completely sure whether EEE was my passion. I certainly did like EEE. While at Uni, the mere act of engineering something and seeing it work excited me. ‘Liking’ started to develop into passion. When I entered the workforce, the dynamics changed. The bird that was free, independent, doing all acrobatics in the academic world was now caged as it entered the big bad professional/corporate world - the real world. Hold that thought~

It is interesting the wise man (quoted in 1st para) did not say “Make your passion your profession…” This leads to the inevitable question. I ask you, dear reader, have you made your passion your profession? If you ask, “Well have you?” – I have observed most passions follow the theory of natural frequency and damping. They start out with a big surge, slowly dwindle and eventually die out over time. Some passions (e.g. cricket, violin) are reignited occasionally, but they are merely bright flashes than raging flames. I am slowly realising the damping theory seems to apply with my ‘passion’ for my current specific field of work (not Electrical Engineering as a whole, please. I don’t want that to happen!). The passion is ‘damped’ because of some reasons which I don't want go into. ~The bird wants to fly again. I like Obama’s campaign tag line (with a minor modification): The change that I need.

I’ll cut the crap and go to my questions:

Profession is to make a living. Why is that when you turn or attempt to turn, your passion into profession you don’t seem to enjoy it anymore?

Is it because - Passion is synonymous to art. Art doesn't come out well when forced. Art, like passion, comes from ones heart. Passion/Art does not flow if you force or pressurise (due to professional needs)? (What about pro artists then? Oh God. LOL). Profession is like science. Science adheres to logic. Science, like profession, whether forced/unforced can be done regardless. Passion/Art almost always can only take its natural course. When you force it, you lose it. Do you agree?

So, does it mean that passion can remain ONLY as passion and not as profession?

If you say “NO. Passion can also be as profession. I see a Tendulkar, a Rahman, a Jordan follow their passion. Don’t you think they are enjoying their profession...sorry passion? Both?” Tendulkar, ARR, Jordan et al are geniuses. They are products of Providence to show Man how good he can be. They can not be used as examples. They are glorious exceptions. To put it rudely, they are freaks. I am just an extraordinarily ordinary person. I am neither a genius nor a freak. There are many people like me. This thought/question is ubiquitous in our minds.


Feel free to post your thoughts, opinion, questions, kindal, nakkal, thuppal...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

FW: How to be creative

I got this as a forward yesterday. Thanks Vandana!

Lots of wisdom in this. Very insightful. We know most of this, but we have this need to be reminded of life's lessons and have some facts reconfirmed. I wonder who compiled this list.

1. Ignore Everybody!

2. The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours.

3. Put the hours in.

4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.

5. You are responsible for your own experience.

6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

7. Keep your day job.

8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.

9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.

10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.

11. Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.

12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.

13. Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside.

14. Dying young is overrated.

15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.

16. The world is changing.

17. Merit can be bought. Passion can't.

18. Avoid the Watercooler Gang.

19. Sing in your own voice.

20. The choice of media is irrelevant.

21. Selling out is harder than it looks.

22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.

23. Worrying about "Commercial vs. Artistic" is a complete waste of time.

24. Don't worry about finding inspiration. It comes eventually.

25. You have to find your own schtick.

26. Write from the heart.

27. The best way to get approval is not to need it.

28. Power is never given. Power is taken.

29. Whatever choice you make, The Devil gets his due eventually.

30. The hardest part of being creative is getting used to it.

31. Remain frugal.

32. Allow your work to age with you.

33. Being Poor Sucks.

34. Beware of turning hobbies into jobs.

35. Savor obscurity while it lasts.

36. Start blogging.

37. Meaning Scales, People Don't.

37. When your dreams become reality, they are no longer your dreams.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


For the past few days, I've been wondering what to write about. I didn't experience or couldn't come up with anything interesting or worthy enough to write here. I faced a blogging block which made me wonder the reason why I blog. This post examines that.

Some of my friends and relatives have asked me for the reason behind blogging. A few of them can't understand how people can post such personal thoughts in a public domain. My neighbour, known for his outspokenness, has revulsion towards blogging. He told me "You are wasting time writing these blogs mate. You blogging buggers better off doing something else. You guys write and read rubbish". I retorted "well it is very easy to rubbish other's opinion and thoughts. Sometimes, you are what you think of other people". It was pointless talk and we couldn't disagree with each other enough.

So, why do I/people blog?

People write blogs because something has affected them. The effect of it is a post in their blog. The post is result of the emotion (good or bad) which they feel compelled to let out.

They experience/meet/see an event, person, place, thing - get terribly excited by it and share their $0.02 thoughts for the few dedicated readers who skim through the blog during their coffee break at work and hope for the (non)pointless comment(s) if they care to write one.

I started to blog after moving to Australia. I am still developing my friends' network here. I have made numerous acquaintances ranging from hi-bye friends to few persons I consider to be genuine friends. I miss my social circle back home. Blogging fills the void created by the absence of my family & friends. I find blogging an ideal way to let out. When you lose/miss something, you attempt to replace it with something else. I blog.

When I blog, the content of the post - to a certain extent - is determined by the state of my mind. The way I write reflects a part of me at the particular moment of time. Being an introvert, I particularly enjoy blogging since I feel I, sometimes, express myself better through writing. Blog is a place where I collect and focus my mind, rather than a plea for attention.

Writing, I believe, enlarges the perception of oneself (self perception - the way we see ourselves). The more I write (remembering it is the quality of writing not quantity), the more I learn about me. The more you know/learn about yourself, the way your see yourself gradually changes. Knowing thy self is a deep concept. You can only, ever, know about yourself from your own perspective. It is packed with profound insights and understanding no person will be privy to, or even comprehend. But, it is important that we study ourselves. Even though understanding oneself is only a part of our being, it is important that we make that pursuit within us.

Writing, I believe, is one of the tools for that pursuit. Blogging is the vehicle I use for it.


On further thought, why do I consider 'knowing yourself' a big deal after all?

I believe most people don't know themselves enough. If you self examine or observe people - people think of themselves in a certain way, but behave in certain way, as a result things take shape in certain way. Sometimes people act in ways that are unbeknownst to us. You see what I mean? I initially found this quite puzzling. It appeared as if they seemed to be confused and quite vague about what they think/feel about themselves. If you extrapolate this 'confusion' and 'vagueness' to a larger level, it doesn't give you a good picture. To me, it presents a picture of the world we live in. If we look at ourselves - humans, we are constantly confronting and fighting with each other across racial, ethnic, political divisions. We are hardly ever at peace. Collectively we are always at unrest. Peace and happiness doesn't seem to be omnipresent. Global peace, so far, seems to be a fictitious idea. The real conflict is actually within us - with our soul and spirit. Unless we know who we really are and we take the journey within ourselves, it is impossible to resolve this conflict. Writing/blogging may not solve world's problems and bring peace around you; it might create peace within you. Enough rambling I guess. :D