Goooooooooooogle ...

Google has been innovating and making us to think the way we used to look at web. They make web as a platfrom and create applications that are as useful as a desktop client. Gmail and Google reader are the classic ones! Now here comes Google Creator - a web based HTML editor and free hosting like geocities. Within two hours of opening, I tried to create a page, but the maximum number of uses has already reached :-/ Only a very limited users were allowed to use Google Creator. Guess what? One of them created a page against Google's censorship policy in China. Check this!

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One more thing !

Apple is famous for the marketing hype they create for the product launch. Steve Jobs Macworld keynote was observed thru live blogs by millions this year (including me). But the ‘Just one more thing’ was not that great surprise, as the intel based Macs and laptops were on highly expected list. Surprisingly enough, Apple has sent invitations to media persons for a launch of some “fun” product. Whats that? Just like everyone else, I am curious and waiting for Feb 28.

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Life after marriage

Now-a-days, many people started asking me, 'How is married life?’. The shortest answer I can give is: "Look at the change in my e-mail's signature". For those who didn't notice it yet, it has changed from "I drink, therefore I am" to "Talking between men and women never solves anything. Where we think, they feel".

Things are much different now. One classic example is the way I look at purchases. Earlier it used to be simple. All I have to do, is browse over the T Shirt section and find a nice looking one and try it. If it fits, buy, else reject it and keep searching. Same for a jean. Either blue or black ones which fits me. Now this simple algorithm is no more applicable. It’s become much more complex than the Google's page rank algorithm. I cannot explain it in a blog. Not because I'm going to submit a PhD paper on the subject to MIT or CMU, but because of the simple reason that I don't understand it.

I thought I'd write down the conversation between me and her during her saree purchase. But then real is just real and doesn't taste without any unreal added to it. So naduvula angangae maane, theane, ponmaane ellam pottu, I've spiced up the real conversation. It’s up to you to guess which part of the below is real and which is not. Since it’s a mixure of real and unreal, I'm borrowing Ferrari's He-She characters here. (Hope he won't mind!)

In a saree shop:
She: innaiku vanthu fulla unnoda choice than. seria?
He : kattayama. ennoda alagikku supera oru pudavai select pannaren par.
She: (konjam poi kovathoda) athu yaruda alagi? nee enaku than pudavai eduka vanthu irukennu nenachen?
He : hee, hee. nee than enaku alagi. unna thavira vera yaru?
She: athana parthen.
He : unaku blue, green ellam nalla irukathu, red illa orange colorla saree edukalam. ok va? (to the salesman) konjam red, orange color saree ellam eduthu kudunga.
She: aiyee. nee yum unnoda tastum. enaku red color pidikave pidikathu. (to the salesman) neenga purple bluela greeen kalanthamathiri shadela sarees eduthu podungalen.
[Note: Males are color blind. Of course with a little effort they can distinguish between dark blue and grey, but can't differentiate between greenish blue shaded purple and bluish green shaded purple. In fact they don't even know the names of more than 10 colors]
He : intha first pudavai nalla iruku illa?
She: ei. enna nee. first eduthu kaatura dressa yaravathu udane select pannuvangala? innum neraya pudavai parthutu than select pannave aarambikanum
He : hmmm. munna pinna pudavai eduthu iruntha ithu ellam theriyum
She: (to the salesman) kasa kasa innu design illama simple designa irukanum, kattuna nalla granda theriyanum. antha mathiri sarees eduthu podungalen.
He : (in a nakkal tone) simple and grand - rendum opposite illa?
She: aiyooo. looseada nee? design simplea irukanum. aana atha wear pannana, namma granda theriyanum.
He : ohh. appadiya. ippo puriyuthu.
[Note: Males are the most simplistic poor creatures you can ever meet. They are programmed to respond only to boolean values and this kind of fuzzy logic is really too much for them. If they immediately say that they understand, it means they would never get it. If they argue for a while and then say 'oooh! appadi solla variya? ippo than intha visayam en mara mandala eruthu', it means they realize that either they can't understand the logic or they can make you understand the reality]
(the search continues for more than an hour, and meanwhile someone else is looking at the saree, which is first saree He and She saw)
She: antha saree onnu mothalla eduthu vachen illa, atha edunga.
He : athu nalla illannu sonniye, reject pannineyema
She: illapa. appave naan select panniten. vera nalla design ethachum iruntha atha eduthukalamnu nenachen. but vera ethuvume nalla illapa. so athaye namma select pannikam. ok va?
He : enaku ennamo antha color pudikave illa theriyuma? antha pakkam light orange shadela oru ...
She: konjam summa iru. unaku saree parkave theriyathu. unna ellam naan saree vaanga kootitu vanthen paaru. neenga itha sareeya pack pannuga sir.
Salesman:intha blowse material cut panni eduthudilama madam?
She: illainga. vendam. naan tailor kitta kuduthu eduthukuren.
[Note: If He is lucky and has done some good things in his mundina piravi, the saree comes with an attached blowse. Else finding a perfect match for the saree is really hard. Sometimes the saree, which She would select after an through search of more than hour, will get rejected simply because there is no "perfect" matching blowse]

Coming out of the shop...
He : parava illa. oru valiya two hourslaye shopping mudinchuthu. oru nalla hotel ikku poi supera oru chicken briyani onnu vettitu, padathuku ethachum polama?
She: ennathu shopping mudinchutha? enna vilayaduriya? innum sareeiku matcha in-skirt vaanganum. apuram valayal, kammal, hair band, nail polish ellam vanganum. athu poga intha saree design ikku etha mathiri enkitta chappala illada. athuvum onnu vaanganum. enna nee ippave saapida polamnu sollara?
He : huh? ithana iruka? (thinking for a while and finds there is no other go) seri. ithula enna iruku. vaa. nee solli naan vaangi tharama poyiduvena. poi purchase pannalam. movie innoru naal parthu kitta poochu.

After all the purchases are over & back home, He is exhausted and sitting in the sofa.
She: intha saree color paren. enaku nalla iruka enna?
He : supera iruku pa. naan kuda unaku blue shade ellam suit aagathunnu nenachen.
She: illa da. ithu suit aaguthu, but enaku ennamo nee sonna mathri red illa orange innum nalla suite aaguminnu nenaikaren
He : aama. athula nee innum romba alaga iruapa theriyuma?
She: enaku ennamo nee sonna antha light orange shadela iruntha sareeya vaangi irukalamo innu thonuthuda. thappu panniteno?
He : (in a consoling voice) illa di. parava illa vidu. antha kadaila iruntha lighting unna confuse panniduchu. ippo vaangiyachu. enna panna mudiyum?
She: aama da. nee sollarathu than correct. antha kadai lighting than confuse pannidichu. naalaiku namma poi intha sareeya kuduthutu atha edukukalam. nee sonna correcta than irukum
He : (little confused and giving a pathetic look) illama, kadaila appadi ellam thirupi vaangika maatan
She: aiyooo, loosu. naan unna mathiri illa. vivarama, blowse cut pannave illaye. sareela blowse cut pannita than avan return eduthuka maatan. naan than atha cut pannamaye vaangitu vanthutene. so naalaiku return kuduthitu vera vaangikalam
[Note: Guys, if you are smart enough, now you know what to do when you buy a saree...]
He : (in a low voice) seri antha chappal, nail polish, kammal etc ellam enna panna? athellam return eduthuka maatane
She: unaku ethuvume theriya maatenguthuda. athellam yarachum return pannuvangala? athu ellam irukatum da. naan eppovavathu use pannikuven. naalaiku eduka pora saree ikku matcha ellam innoru set vaangikitta poochu.
He : (wanted to shout, but, in a feeble voice) seri di. nee sonna ok than. naalaiku poi sareeya mathikalam
She: innaiku than naan select panniten. naalaiku vanthu fulla unnoda choice than. seria?
[Note: now read the very first line of this conversation]
He : (with no other words to say) hmmmmmm.

thodarum ...

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Home sweet home

Last night I was sitting and thinking about the houses I've stayed in. Partly because it’s a new house I moved in and partly because of a mail from Kicha to the TechnoHut members with the thoughts of the good old days in Technohut.

My first house I don't even remember. It was in Kottur, a small town near the famous Aliyar Dam. My parents moved to a village (officially called as Cyber Palayam in my friends circle) between Pollachi and Udumalpet when I was 8 months old. We stayed in a rented house for almost 10 years before my dad bought a house. The rented house is in a big compound. It had very good neighbors - Subramani mama, Lakshmi akka, Panju mama and others. The rent was Rs. 40/- (Yes, you read it right. It’s Rupees Forty only) our house was so big. The hall alone would be the size of a decent two bed room house in Chennai. We had a separate "room" for kitchen, which is situated away from the house, and then we had one store room and two bed rooms. My dad was using one of the bedrooms as a dark room. As a small boy, I'll love to peep into the room. All lights would be turned off and a small red lamp will be on. Push the negative holder into the projector; keep the photo paper; focus the image and switch on the project; wait for a minute and then take the photo paper and keep into the solution. I would be waiting for this moment. Once the paper is in the solution, the image will slowly appear in the photo paper. 2 more minutes the image will completely appear in the paper. My dad will take it and hang it to dry. My dad has trained me with the rest of the work. Once it’s half-dried, I would take it out and put them on a shiny metal and use a roller to dry the rest. I'll keep it in the sun light. The shiny metal would give it a glossy finish. Once it’s dried completely, I will correct the borders using a cutter and stack them in order. My dad would then take them and stick it in an album. My dad has promised me that once I grow up he will teach me how to use the camera and how to prepare the solutions in the dark room. Technology grew faster than me. Something called colour photographs were getting more popular and a laboratory was opened in Chennai for processing colour photographs. My dad bought a camera for taking colour photos. He would parcel the negatives and the DD to Chennai. After a week or 10 days they will parcel back the negatives and photographs. This pretty much affected me. People preferred colour photographs over black and white for occasions and black and white was restricted only for passport photos to stick in some forms. My dad's promise of teaching me about the darkroom stuff and camera has gone in the wind. May be I'd have learnt photography quicker and better if he had taught me.

When I moved to 5th or 6th in school, my dad purchased a house. It was not so big as the rented one, although it was priced around Rs. 35k. It had only one bedroom, kitchen and a bathroom. The rest of the 10 cents was used for gardening. The darkroom was no more. When the time we moved into this house, a lab was opened in Asoka plaza, Coimbatore and they had one of their collection centers in Pollachi. If we give it today, they will take it to coimbatore in the evening, process it overnight and give it the next day. My dad has to push the photos in the album (no more sticking!) and the album will be delivered in one working day after the occasion. Now my interests turned into gardening. I tried creating a small farm in my house. From corn to bidder guard, I was planting and growing vegetables. No need to mention about flowers - I had from jasmine to table rose. I would use any small thing to grow plants. Even fused bulbs and egg shells were used to grow Table rose. This was till my +1. After that for +2 I moved to Udumalpet. Thats a small house - which compares to the size of the kitchen in my home. Was living there for a year. Then after +2, I was in my grandma's house at Satyamangalam for an year. Nothing great to mention about these.

Then for 6 years, I lived in PSG hostels. Though they claim to be a 'Home away from Home' - I never felt that way. But it was really enjoying and learning lot of things both in academic and life. Before entering Bharathi Hostel in PSG CAS, I can't speak English. Till then I was in a Tamil medium school and never had a need to speak. Now things were different. Classes were in English; neighbors in hostel speak in English; all of my friends speak English. I had no choice other than to start talking and writing in English. When I came out of PSG CAS, I changed, I learnt English more in these 3 years than the rest of the 12 years of my school life. Then PSG Tech. Though both colleges come under the same PSG umbrella, they were in different extreme. At CAS, you have the freedom to do anything you want. Walk out of the class if you don't like it, you can kick a prof; slap the security guy, jump over the walls & peep into one of the gal’s hostel room at midnight to say 'Happy Birthday', and what not! Things were different in PSG Tech. Forget about kicking the prof; you can't even raise your voice against the security. There are rules and they are meant to be followed. For at least first one month, it was so hard to get adjusted with the classrooms, where the lectures will there for one full hour. Eventually got used to it and found ways to overcome the rules by proxy attendance, chit passing in the class and copying the assignments & lab programs. Yeah! We broke the rule.

After PSG Tech, I moved to Bangalore. Hughes turned down their offer letter and few including me were left jobless. Few others still had valid offer letters but the joining date was kept on postponed. We decided to rent a house, stay there and find a job. Thanks to Sakthi, we didn't have to search a house. As he was staying in Bangalore for his project, he searched and found a house for us. It was named as the "House of PSG". (No nothing related to the college, its because the people who were paying the rent were me, Sakthi and Ganesh). I would try out my skills in cooking there. Morning breakfast would be simple - a bun and a cup (or two cups) of tea. For lunch, we would prefer buying at Mayuri Hotel. For Rs. 50/-, the parcel meal would serve for 3-4 guys. I also cook occasionally. Dinner is where I would take in charge completely. Will try out some kind of variety rice. Dosa and chappathi are also not so uncommon. Although it was the darkest days in our lifes, fun was always guarenteed. Its where we learnt how to face a real world problem with confidence and with a little bit of sense of humors. Whenever I had some free time (which means 24 hrs a day) and right mood, I would start writing some inspirational quote and draw a related picture in a chart paper and stick it in the wall. I bought a Guitar and started to go to guitar classes. Well before the walls were filled with posters and well before I started learning the basics of guitar, I got a job in Chennai. Infact most of us got jobs in Chennai. So a big full stop to the posters and guitar learning.

Chennai. Now TCS guys and Jaiku took onus and did the searching. I joined them a week after they moved into the house (This time it was tough to find a name for the house with the initials of its 6 members. So we named it as 'TechnoHut'). As all of us have joined a week back, we had a little work, if not no work. So we would go early by 9 AM and come by 5 PM. After that we would play cards. On weekends we will be trying out different items for cooking. Santy would call his mom and get the recipe over the phone, while is he cooking. Viv would buy fruits everyday and cook chappathies. Although now Technohut is equipped with a 600 Watts Onkyo home theatre, in the original days all we had was a walkman with a pair of PC speakers. Las Ketchup, Kadhal Virus and another cassette with a collection of Golti songs were the only proud possessions. Whenever we hear "aserej" or "hey hey enna aachu unaku", we would be reminded of those days. Now we all are geographically distributed across the globe. I'm in Bangalore, Kicha in UK, Santy & Jaiku in US, Ravi & Sree in Chennai, Golti in Japan, Harikiran in Hyderabad and Viv in Canada! Kicha heard the Las Ketchup song and sent the aforementioned mail with the sweet memories of those days.

Two years later, when the house owner raised the rent and 3 of the 6 members has gone onsite, we have to search for a new house. When Jaiku was surfing in his intranet, he found a "To Let" one. It in an apartment, very near to Velachery bus stand. The apartment had facilities like kids play area, wonderful gardening, 24 hrs water, good security, gym, etc, Jaiku was very interested in moving to the apartment. It was surprise that the description is about our own apartment, where we staying for the past 2 years. Poor Jaiku. He is so occupied with work that he has never thought about the facilities available in our apartment. So we shifted 'TechnoHut' two floors down in the same apartment. From here Jaiku, Kicha, Ravi and Viv (for the second time) went to onsite. I think this is the place where I'd consumed lots and lots of whisky and vodka. After all veggies left the house, here is where I learnt non-veg cooking. Poor Vens and Lekshmi. They were my fist victims. I was told that Lekshmi stopped eating non-veg after that. May be because she cudn't find such a tasty chicken briyani anywhere else!

Then came the all-of-the-sudden-marriage. I need to search for a house to stay with her. Then TechnoHut had only three members - me, Ravi and Sree. Good to me, that Ravi's bro shifted his house from Salem to Chennai that time and so Ravi would move there and Sree rented a new house as he is also getting married soon. So now also, I dont have to search for a house! The one where I was already staying is mine. A month later, its been decided to join a company in Bangalore. Leaving her in Chennai, I stayed in Sakthi's house for 2 weeks and started searching for a house. The very first house I saw was a perfect fit for me. Its an independent house and the house owner stays in the ground floor. The house owner had lots of interest in gardening and the result is a small orchid around the house (maa, vazlai, nellikkai, sappotta, theaku, koyya etc). No need to say it had lot of flowers too (You can even find pepper too!) I've lot of interest in gardening so I liked the house very much. Above all, there is lot of space so my gal can bring her dog or get one here. All thru her life, she has been living in her farm house and she didn't like the apartment life. This house would give her the same ambience. But Sakthi was not so interested in this house, as the last one km road is so bad. Commuting will be a problem. We tried to see other 2 houses scheduled that evening in the same area. But we cudn't find one and the other one was locked. I didn't continue my search. Two days later, I fixed the house and gave the token advance. (hmmmm, yet to name it. Someone suggest me a good name). After my description about the reachability of the house, she was little afraid. But she started liking it once she saw the house - I knew she would!. As Sakthi said "ivan intha veedu parthathu rendu reason ikku. onnu veetula oru naai valathalam, innonu velia irunthu entha naayum varathu" :-)

Each one of the places where I've stayed taught me their own things. Now whats this new house is going to teach me? Lets see...

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indraya thathuvam

konja naalave smsla intha "indraya thathuvam" alumbu thaanga mudiyala. itha forward pannaravanga vida, itha yosichu create pannaravangala uthaikanum. (hee hee hee, vera onnum illa, intha thathuvangala naanum konjam forward pannuven…) enaku ninaivil irukum sila thathuvangal:

     (*) kaluthaiku naalu kaal irunthalum athala kal mela kal pottu ukkara mudiyuma?
     (*) train evalavu vegama ponalum, kadasi petti kadaseela than pogum
     (*) thalagaanila thalaya vecha thookam varum, thandavaalathula thalaya vecha thooka aal varum
     (*) naai evalo nandri ullatha irunthalum, athala “thank u” solla mudiyuma?
     (*) bus pona bus stand angaye irukum, aana cycle pona cycle stand kudave varum
     (*) pongalukku govt leave viduthu, aana idli, dosai, uppama ikku ellam gove leave vidutha?
     (*) passportla passport size photo irukum, aana stampla stamp size photo irukuma?
     (*) south indiala naarthangai kidaikum, aana north indiala southanga kidaikuma?
     (*) engineering collegela padicha engineer agalam, presidency collegela padicha president aaga mudiyuma?
     (*) yaanai mela namma ukkantha athu safari. athu namma mela ukkantha athu oppari

Last but not the least, dedicated to the great kudimakkal of India:

     (*) bus stop kitta wait pannina bus varum, full stop kitta wait pannina FULL varuma?

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