Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday morning

7.47AM. Monday morning. Physically awake - but mentally asleep - I stroll into a cafe near my work place for the much needed dose of caffeine. It was an unusually long queue. Waiting in the tail of the queue, I hear this. It looks like some people did not have a pleasant weekend after all!

Attendant: Who's waiting?
Mr Happy: We all are!
The attendant frowns.
A: Can I take your order?
MH: What's the muffin of the day?
A: Fruits of the forest.
MH: *sniggers* Which forest?
A gives him a cold look. MH likes trouble more than Muffins I think. :)
A: Sorry?
MH: *smiles* Ah..dont worry about it. Any others?
A: We have Choc chip cookie.
MH: *with a smirk on his face* Can I have a lookiee?
A: *frowns again. with a cold look on the face, she points at the muffin basket* it's in there.
MH: um hmm. I'll grab that.
A: Anything else?
MH: Cappucino, to go please.
after 2 seconds
MH: Oh. Can I have an extra shot with that please?
after 3 seconds
MH: Can you please use extra hot milk as well, please?
MH: If you can, please use less fat milk.
after 2 seconds
MH: Can you double cup it. Sorry miss. *gives a big smile*
* Attendant steps back. Puts her hands on her hips. Takes a deep breath*
A: * in a flat and raised tone* anything else?
MH: No. *pauses. looks her in the eye* Thank you.
MH: *quietly muttering* Thanks for being snappy.
A: *in a flat out intimidating tone* I beg your PARDON!
MH: I said thaanks for doing my co-f-f-eee! *sporting a plastic smile*
A: Is that right?
MH: yeah...

MH's Cappucino may have tasted like cardboard. It was high voltage start to a Monday morning. I was fully awake by the time I arrived to the counter. Screw the caffeine!

Here's to an exciting- but, trouble free - week! :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP: Micheal Jackson

MJ will be sorely missed.
An icon of our generation. His music influenced and brought together people all over the world. MJ's music, style, dance was an identity to a generation of children and adults. He was part of the fabric of life for anyone who grew in the last 20 (?) years.
A music genius, his beats will groove us for years to come. MJ raised the bar and through his music & image he seeked peace and understanding. Most people mis-understood him, some realised his value. He treaded a path which many could've never imagined possible. But, he did it with grace and style. Love him or loathe him. Call him a victim or a paedophile. Make of the butt of countless stupid jokes. Nothing will never ever remove the musical genius that was Micheal Jackson.
This is a sad day. It's a huge loss to music, pop culture and humankind. He left us too soon.

MJ - the King of Pop. The one, the one there will ever be. RIP.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Foreigndesi and Wits 'n' Nuts gave me the above awards. It was a pleasant surprise and I was really happy see my name on their list. So, thanks guys! The rules state that I have to list seven loves and pass it on to seven bloggers. So here I go,

7 Loves:

(I'll leave the family out of this)

Best friends - Without ma bros & niggas, life aint much fun.


Sunshine - Light. Warmth. Vibrance. I love spring/summer! It is good to like sunshine when you are Vitamin-D deficient.

Photography - It's a great joy when you've clicked the perfect photograph capturing the right moment. It is an art to observe and capture something special out of something which many may see as ordinary. I've been clicking here and there. Some good ones, some OK ones. I am looking to attend a few classes to get the basics right and to polish off a few rough edges.

Cricket - It's in the blood. From Book Cricket, to playing Street cricket, to opening the innings for Woodleigh CC at New Plymouth Boys High, nowadays Indoor Cricket...I cant get enough of it. Cricket, sometimes, is my opium.

Blogging - My new lauve since last November...

Work - Some aspects of it. :D

I'd like to pass this award to seven bloggers below:

Praveen's Prav Unplugged

Viji's Paper n Pencil

Sujatha's Blogpourri

Nirmal's C' EST MA VIE

Dot Says

Coconut Chutney

Anjana's The Impossible Joy of Suspended Leap

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I like pets.

I prefer dogs. I am okay with cats. I can accept rabbits, parrots, budgies, goldfish etc. I'll reserve #sneeze# my comments on #cough#sneeze#... pigs. Having worms, mouse, snakes, other members of the cat family as pets always draw a blank look from me. I guess it all boils down to (weird) personal liking/preference.

My friend has two dogs - a German shepherd (Bruno) and a Fox terrier (Pinto). Of the two, Bruno is my fav. He is, to put in typical Aussie way, a "naughty bastard". My friend tells me having pet(s) is not cheap. From vaccinations, flea powders, tick preventatives, supplements, electrolytes(!), leashes, collars, brushes, combs, and yeah pet makes a dent in the purse. Some people would consider pet related expenses a waste of money, whereas some wouldn't mind. I believe with pets, it's horses for courses (echoos me for the pun!). It boils down to a matter of priority.

One fine day, my friend woke up to find Pinto limping. The vet pronounced Pinto needs surgery on two of his legs, followed by few weeks (if not months) of physiotherapy. Even though Pinto is not my fav pet, it's still a dog. A pet. It's not mine, but no one is/will be happy to see him suffer and limp for rest of his life. The medical costs rack up to a gruesome four figure amount. My mate was in a real predicament.

Medical costs could easily spiral if Pinto doesn't respond well to surgery or after care. But, it was an easy decision to make. The constant wailing and sheer tear power from his little daughters made him put his hand up and say "DO IT". The kids absolutely love Pinto. There is no choice but to see Pinto right. If not for Pinto, atleast for his daughters. In the end, all went well. Pinto is back. Pinto still hobbles a bit. We are told he'll be normal in time. It's funny the way he runs. He runs like chappaani from the Tamil movie 'at the age of 16'. The daughters are happy. So my friend is happy.

The Pinto episode was an eye-opener into how big a business the Pet industry was. Pinto had a MRI scan, a specialist vet examined Pinto, an extensive physiotherapy...the saying "naai paadu patten (like a dog, I struggled)" sounded ironic. My friend exclaimed even he hadnt had a MRI scan yet. Ofcourse, he touched wood straightaway! It's a world of dog whispereres and horse whisperers. As Bill Lawry often says, "its all happening out there". By the end of it, he and Pinto had had enough!

Prior to Pinto episode, my perception of a vet was not entirely correct. To me, a Vet was a random-hard-to-find doctor who usually attends to cows, horses...basically all farm animals. For a change, he treats cats, dogs of rich people. The more accomplished vet is in the zoo treating an injured Gibbon, or monitoring the birth of a Giraffe or shooting at a sleeping lion from a distance with an anaesthetising gun. By listing out my prior perception of vets, I obviously don't mean any disrespect. I admire these people for their career choice. Not everyone can do their job or can have the undying passion for animals. They are doctors for animals.

The Pinto saga reminded me of the good old days. My grandparents had a dog - Johnny. I cant recall what breed it was. She was black scrawny little thing. Please don't ask me why she was given a male name - I don't know! :) Johnny had a proud history being the most harmless dog in our colony. Johnny never bite anyone. She never really showed much aggression. The sight of a stranger scared her. You can see it in her eyes. The tail would between her rear legs. She'd run to the corner and bark. And bark she did. She compensated the lack of aggression by barking her lungs out. This managed to keep burglers' at bay. Johhny's world was circumscribed by the boundaries of our house. She wasn't really brave to venture out. She slept in the veranda, milled around in the big backyard, ate from the black plate near the small corner beside the well. As simple as that.

I don't think Johnny cost my grandparents anything. She wasn't fed anything special. Johhny ate the food that was cooked in the house. There was one difference though. In a big household like ours, there's always leftovers (pazham pathu) from the previous day. Johhny always had pazham pathu. Johhny may have Dosa with Rasam today; the next day it'll be Adai or Idli with sambhar; on a good day, rice with hot milk. Johhny had good dining habits too. She'll lick the plate clean till she sees her reflection on the black plate. Being a TamBram family, we were - still are - strict vegetarians. Johhny, I believe, was one too.

Comparing Johnny and Pinto, I don't think back in the days a dog could survive or have hope for a free feed without making itself useful - let alone a surgery on its legs. Pets had a utility value. If it's no use, it'll be gotten rid off. There was no secret or shame in it because it was the common approach. Does this mean people didn't love pets? Probably not. They did love their pets. But, there seemed to a weird detachment in love which made this approach a fact of life.

Pinto can thank his lucky stars now!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Liz's Birthday

I love long weekends. Who doesn't? A glorious Monday here capped off a nice Queen's birthday weekend. The Queen's actual birthday is April 21st. But no one gives a hoot. We seem to celebrate it in June. Another reason to take a day off from work I guess. The strange thing is England doesn't have a holiday for Queen's birthday. I wonder why.

It was a incredible winter day today. I woke up and felt like a long run. I ran, jogged, then ambled - all in equal proportions. I took a few pictures on the way.

Admiring the Story Bridge from coffee table point of view. Sorry about the sun, Canon!

Yea...that's mine.

Good cafe this

Just married!
A spur of the moment thing. The photographer told the couple to get on the road quickly before the traffic came in. If you remove the dudes in front, I think I took a perfect shot :D

A walkway to the Botanical Gardens.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The pursuit

A poem by me.
in the dawn
in the dusk,
in the light
in the shade,
in the quick laugh
in the careless snigger,
in the utopian dream
in the pang of reality,
in the extended silence
in the fleeting rhapsody,
in the vivacious adventure
in the hollowness of loneliness,
in the understanding smile
in the quiet tear,
in the quick blink of eye
in the meaning of untold words,
in every big leap
in every missed beat,
in every glowing success
in every stumble,
with the radiance of hope
and with faith,
I am searching,
but where?
in society, in people,
in culture, in traditions,
in us, in it,
in here, in there,
in you, in me!
Will I find it?
Have you found it?
I don't know.
I am searching,
I will keep searching,
for this pursuit never ends!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Ilaiyaraja

Ilaiyaraja turns 66 today. When I learnt it was his birthday, I felt compelled to write something about him. It is impossible to write a post which does justice to his contribution to music. So I wont even go there.

IR has been composing since '70s. He would've done almost every genre of music that can be applied to Indian Cinema. Picking best of his works would be like trying to pick rain drops from the ocean.

I play Violin and I am very fond of my mother tongue, Thamizh. Violin and Thamizh form an integral part in most of IR works. From my collection of IR's work, these are the instrumental scores where IR mesmerizes me with the use of Violin. These three albums are very special to me.
  • Thiruvasagam - Thiruvasagathuku urugaar, oru vasagathukum orugaar (one who does not get moved by Thiruvasagam will not be moved by anything else)

...the plethora of BGMs like this, this, this, this, this and interludes.


Picked up a tag from Mahesh's blog.

a. The moment you got introduced to IR's music?

"Raja...rajadhi rajan indha raja" from Agni Nakshathram. I was probably 5 -6 year old then. I was hooked to that song.

b. Name one occasion where IR music directly/indirectly influenced your life.

IR's scores made me realise the power of music. There is a saying 'Music is the food for the soul'. I firmly believe in that.

c. Name 4 fav tamil songs that immediately comes to your mind

Andhi mazhai from Raja Paarvai
Poongathave from Nizhalghal
Thendral Vandhu from Avatharam
Rakamma from Dhalapathi

d. One song of IR that you consider rare and think a song many people should have known but don't.

I don't see many people talking about Paravayin kootil from Katradhu Thamizh. This song is sung by IR, the music is by Yuvan. Along with the great lyrics by Thamarai, the way IR renders this song makes it quite special.

e. IR's number you are hearing now or recently heard?

Listening to En Iniya pon nilave from Moodupani.

Raja rules! Happy birthday Isaignaani!