Friday, December 31, 2010

Bubye 2010, Bubye CMH!!!!

Saying a Bubye or a farewell never felt so bad. Maybe it’s the long 4 years in Columbus or about this lovely people around me. I cannot be thankful enough to many of them who in turn are like my own brother and sister for me now. I have enjoyed working here I really have. Though it has been demanding at times and especially at off hours. In general my work life has been fruitful and eventful.To all the wonderful people that work around me I am truly obliged to each of them. Some sarcastically mock me as a load of sentimental bullshit but seriously I guess they are right.
People move on in their lives for better or for worse they gotta make a move sometime. But as a person I take everything in the most passionate way, when there is a farewell period you gotta mourn. eh? Obviously am way happy here to start a new life with love of my life, "Dhee". But also last 4 years of friendship with multitude of personality could be weighed equally. Maybe am not hard cored enough to trample past these beautiful relationships I have here. The lady at the coffee shop ‘Nancy’ told me “you are gonna be an old married man now” though with her eyes glistened. Her hug and hand-shake had shaken me completely and as it was a holiday season my office was empty to witness this (a sad me). People ask a lot of question to pry my motive of going back. Whether is that a career change, life change, visa expiry all sorts. Each time everyone cared what’s gonna happen to this chap with loads and loads of humor in him. That is the beauty of such unexplained relationships.

One can never take out the Indian out of me. For all the fun and laughter we had teasing each other, somewhere inside i was a bit emotional. Am a person who cries in movie theatres so for me to hold on to my reins was a tough job. Each of those friendly hugs mean a lot to me. Sometimes i feel why the heck am i talking like this, as is not like the end of the world. But there is this feeling of end of an era. 4 years of college life was all spent like a jester in the crowd but these 4 years have had mix of everything a jester/ a loving son/ a caring friend/a leading captain/a uncle (naah ETTAN is fine)/an adoring brother/a complete kick ass wierdo the list goes on. I bet if you take my 10 friends from columbus all will have different things to speak about me(apart from my big TEETH), what i'm trying to say is the bandwidth of my persona i have exposed here. maybe due to my age or coming of age to put it that way.


As my grandmother says the more you thank god, the more he provides. It will be too greedy of me to ask more but am Thankful to god for this beautiful 4 years of Columbus. Am gonna return home with more friends, more experience, more love and just less hair :P
Thank you one and all!! See you sometime somewhere...meanwhile plan for a visit to PALAKKAD DOWNTOWN.

Happy New Year 2011 ladies and Gents..dont think much, dont worry its all for the better..unleash the good spirits around you!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All for a moment....

Vidya was amused that morning to see a flurry of emails in her inbox. With a warm cup of coffee she went through them one by one. Ashish her classmate and school jester of those days was cooking up an 'Alumnii meetup on Xmas Eve'. She hoped at least this one sees light in the end unlike prior plans. Though its practically impossible for her to attend being so far far in the US to be in Palakkad for Xmas. Moreover her husband Santhosh is planning a supposedly secret 'Hawaii' trip. Somewhere inside though she wanted to go to the school get together although she didn't want to disappoint herself later on. As always she closed her emails without replying and preferred to be the continued silent reader. Afternoon at work she got a call from Saritha. One of very few friends from school days with whom she is still in contact with. Infact it was at Saritha's marriage she saw Ranjith for the last time.

Ranjith?? He was her childhood crush. As they say first crush is the most remembered one so this one was that special for her. He was this cute brahmin boy with oil all over his head and a big tilak on his forehead. Brilliant at studies and he along with Amit used to be the live wire in her class. Mr.Prankster himself was a cult hero for the ladies in their class. Recently he sent Vidya a message in facebook asking 'Do you remember me?' and a friends request. Talk about Irony huh? Well Saritha's phone is still ringing. Vidya answered and the girl talk and gossips ran deep. Saritha and her husband Nithish were both Vidya's classmate and had decided to go to the get-together. Its their wedding anniversary as well, so how fun it would be to go. She pushes Vidya too to join them along with Santhosh. Vidya now is seduced to this idea of joining them and her immediate task is to brain wash her hubby. That night reluctantly she slipped in her idea to Santhosh and out of where no where he asked "When are we going?".
"What?? So what about Hawaaii?" Vidya asked.
"Hawaii is gonna be still there dearo!"
"Your classmate Ashish had called a while ago and he told me about your 'Alumnii meetup'. And moreover i have heard your school stories a million times from you let me find out the truths myself" Santhosh replied wittingly.
Vidya is virtually on cloud number 9. Wow!! least expected eh? As planned they were all to stay at Nithish's place and drive to the function that morning. Santhosh couldn't help watch these 3 grown ups behave like kids in front of him passing jokes and taunting each other. He preferred to lay back and let them immerse in their school stories and gossips.

Meanwhile Ashish somehow had convinced the lone bachelor in their class Ranjith to make it to the occasion. Life has changed heaps and bounds for him. He used to be in the Indian Army for sometime but after his fathers death he has owned up their small family business in their hometown. Saritha's wedding was the last function he ever made to. Things didnt just fall into place for stuffs after that. Ashish spoke about Amit flying all the way from Germany for the get together. But little did anyone knew Ranjith too came to meet his 'First love' Vidya. He has never told this to anyone and never gonna share as well. Behind those stonewalled army heart somewhere he cherishes his untold love like an ever blossomed rose.

And that day standing on the school corridoors he could see her walking across the gate towards the building. Same place though a less fashionable surrounding 12 years back went to his mind. Killer smile and those dreamy eyes, she has still got it to carry herself like an angel. Her omnipresent giggle with palms trying to cover them for no reason. Some things never change do they? Dodging bullets in kashmir valley was all making sense to him now. Lot of things running in his mind but he stood their like an ice sculpture. Vidya walked across him and glanced at him. She smiled and walked past him along with others. As they enter school, Lighting a cigarette Ranjith made his long walk out of school alone.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Bachelors Party!!!

1 case Heineken Beer
1 case Budweiser Beer
1 grey goose vodka
1 bacardi white rum
1 jack daniels whiskey
1 red label whiskey
2 case pepsi
Pizza's, Chicken Wings
loud Music
Party Co-host : Shabbu & TSB
Location : TSB's room.
Participants : TCS Chennai + Pokri (my beloved Cricket team)
8 pm to 3 am : Whohooooo...video/pic evidence available on request
That surmises my Bachelors Party :)
Though i have been bachelor for all my life, things are gonna change post Jan 2011. But i would say life after my college since when i started making money for myself virtually looting my own bank account as "Bachelor Life". Of which 4 effin years in Columbus, Ohio. These guys who are very close to my heart turned up major absentees being Sriram, Sundar, Brenesh, Dev, Sreejithettan, Vikki, Puthran etc. I am not a big fan of drinking though would advice anyone to try it out once in their life. Especially you gotta drink your heart out on your Bachelors night. I was flying yesterday night jumping and dancing around for close to 6 hours. Lost my voice in the morning, was sleepwalking almost till today evening. But you know what? it was all worth it when love of my life Dheee understood its a guys honorary thing to do.

Its a treat to my dearest friends who have been in a way suffering my innumerable taunts and philosophies. Playing Cricket/soccer/tennis, Gymming, those Long drives, Trips to Florida/Canada/LA/LV, Camping in West Virginia and many more things us bachelors explored. It was total kick ass and it was sheer pleasure to know these fine gentlemen (lol). Amongst all the hugging and sentimental overload i hopoe i'll be in touch with these people all along.
Adios Columbus!! Adios Bachelorhood!!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

BBye USA

America!!! Well its a dream destination of a millions of people around the world. This country has an inbred charisma about it in whatever it does and that keeps everyone hooked up. 4 years back in a cubicle in Chennai, when my project lead Yogesh asked me to travel I had my prejudices about this country. Prejudism on thoughts that media and some fables shovelled into my throat. I was kinda skeptical about making the 26 hour flight to USA. Having said this, but like every other middle class indian the seduction of dollar to rupee conversion is way too big for a little soul like ours.

This December 31st it will be 4 years in this country and almost same amount of time in Columbus, Ohio. I have sincerely liked it. Like my friend Jojy puts it, its a paavam(kind) city. Starting from innumerable friends i have gathered here, indoor soccer, midwest cricket, pubs in polaris, daily long drives to easton office with Jimmy & Jimmy blurting their vocal chords on morning radio@97.9 the list goes on. May be its just the small town feel of Columbus that keeps me rooted here much like my home town palakkad. Everyone has time for you no one is gonna miss a train or a bus. All live life at their own pace. Its fuckin beautiful i say.

But sticking to my early plans about my life, i gotta make a move. And this is the right time. I am gonna be in my motherland and there is nothing like it. I might not return like an American soldier from Iraq all chest puffed up. But am gonna return as a good friend, a good son and soon t be a good husband making my family proud in my tiny-winy way. Bringin my parents here was my best accomplishment of all sort as they could see USA in their own eyes rather than me explaining them over phone. And to my team i worked here both TCS and Chase they have been brilliant. Each and everyone of them making me feel comfortable and happy at every juncture. I am gonna miss a lot of good friends here but i know you guys will be there at an email or phoning distance and try maintaining the touch.

This December 29th i am gonna fly out and will be in India to celebrate a new year and a new beginnig of all sorts. Am all emotional last few weeks, sometimes i do feel sad. But i have no regrets on my decision to go back. My family, My country , My people need me and i am gonna go back HOME!!!

Thanks everyone here....will meet some day some where..
Adios Amigos!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Its been a decade...

Atheist/Godloving/Godfearing amongst us we can question the next persons belief and wisdom. But i always feel these 3 kind nod their head similarly when it comes to destiny. There is no explanation what so ever for this tiny miniscule occurence that keeps us in awe. I am big believer of destiny and how each person is destined to do or achieve something in their life time. And it was this destiny that made me and my friends to step into corridors of NSS Engineering College on November 20,2000. 10 years went like a whisper in thin air and many of us are still spellbound by those 4 years at this insane institution. The next 6 years after that has been exciting but obviously with less fun.

For a starter me and few of my schoolmates had almost decided in our minds to study here as its the same bus route that takes to both places. Placement or a Career was our least priority to be frank. All we heard about this college was the politics, fight, regular strikes, back papers, police cases..Wow!! it looked like a lazy bones paradise. And once in blue moon we hear about some one who made to the IIT/IIM or joined a blue-chip/green-card company. But really we had almost planned a 4 years fool around.

Every person adores and admires their college life and can go gaga over it for ages. But seldom i do see a BIG bunch of friends still maintaining the same relationships and friendships in the longer run like an NSS'ian04 can pull it off (even before facebook). Thanks to the 15+ love marriages in our batch that there is no specific introduction needed to a new Mr./Mrs X amongst us. In last 10 years of my life i have met some great people. Friends at work/non-work/family/party's/matches/pubs/card games/travels etc. Still the pick of the lot have been those wonderful creatures from NSS-04. I keep them very close to my heart and share a very special bond with them. And I can vouch for any of these NSS'ians that is irrespective of their party allegiance ;-)

Nov 20, also is the day i met Vijesh for the first time 10 years ago. A chubby sweet talking guy who wanted to cut classes and go for a Mohanlal movie the very first day. Though he is not with us anymore and so are a few more who were chosen by god too soon. Each such incidents have shocked us but on hindsight has brought us together. Like a few other I cannot fathom to believe still it's been effin 10 years since that life defining day and half of my buddies are thousands of miles away. The silver line being we all somehow with gods grace made it in the final chase and still hanging on tight. As i write this am still reliving those 4 beautiful years of my gifted life. Bolo NSS ki jaiii!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Rocketing Diwali Experience..

Happy Diwali to you all!!
Everytime i hear the word Diwali there is this big blast near my head. Though its a metaphor for most of you i had an out of life experience long back. Story goes like this.

As my Dad had some sorta training to attend he was not in town. Our family friend and my godsend that Diwali Nandan Uncle came home with a bag full of diwali crackers to celebrate with us. With strict supervision under my mom i carefully started celebration. One by one i was finishing up the crackers and kind heartedly sharing with other friends in 'mohalla'. Then i saw a rocket whuzzing up in the air and bursting aloud. Now thats what a diwali cracker i thought. In the bag there were 2 rockets or skuds as it was written on the label. Nandan uncle took the first rocket and showed me how to burst it..It went high into the atmosphere..KABOOOMM!! Wow!! It was like Bhagwaan Ram sent an Asthra similar to 'Ramayana' we see on television. I took the second one placed it upright in a 'Kissan Tomato Sauce' bottle. Nandan uncle used a ligter but i preferred the sparkler as he too felt that was safer. So like a gladiator into the arena i walk with nimble but bold steps towards the rocket. Bent down to set alight the trigger and as it gets fired up i unknowingly hit the bottle neck with the sparkler tip. Now the bottle is shaking sideways and the rocket is on fire. I ran yelling towards Amma but by then a burning Rocket is whurling and chasing me. In a matter of seconds its near my head and before any one could react its stuck on my head and my hair is on fire. I mean each and every word i say here...i was crying out loud and running havoc. Nandan uncle caught hold of me and Amma does some quick thinking to swat the rocket away from my head. WOAH!! just at 5 meter away the rocket bursts aloud. Yeah!! Yeah!! the same old KABOOOM!!!! But this time i could feel the heat and a deep shrilling noise in my ears and my eyes were open like those Ambassador Car headlights.

To tell you the truth i was shocked for next 2 weeks or so and would wake up in sleep with some kinda uneasiness. On the other hand Amma was scared like hell that night. She would scold me and then cry continously. Seeing her cry my almost 1 year old baby sister is inspired to cry as well. Nandan uncle was shocked, probably would have been cursing himself in mind. Though it was an accident this brought the celebration to a halt in the whole apartment. And in case you are wondering what happened to my hair, it was half burnt and had to be shave off completely the next day. A few neighbours had covered my head with a cloth to put of the small fire and then applied curd on it to cool it off. And yes the burnt mark is still on back of my head.

And there is not a year i dont think about it especially around every Diwali. Some people say Keralites dont celeberate Diwali. Probably some King long back had some similar bad experiences :) And even if i try to forget my Amma makes sure every Vishu, Diwali or a Temple celebration she narrates this story to a gazing crowd. Even after all this i have not stopped bursting crackers and especially Rockets are still my favourite as its very close to me (literally).

Monday, November 1, 2010

3 years of Blogging

What started off as a childhood hobby has grown along me and is being continued till date. Though the format is different and so is the context offlate but still the saga continues. I like to write, write about anything that comes to my mind and the topics vary across horizons as one could evidently see. I feel free when i write and preferably write all alone and at nights. Still reminisce those days when its pouring heavily outside of my palakkad home, i sit beneath a thick blanket besides the glow and heat of a table lamp. The idea was to sit and study when the whole world is sleeping. But certain times my mind would just wander away from all those textbooks. Certain thoughts rubbish and excellent about anything under the sun which would have caught my eye I would jot a few lines on them. And everytime i took extreme care to purge or hide those papers as i felt i would be the laughing stock if some one reads them by chance. A few times Amma got a glimpse on them and would start elobarating in her unique manner"You were a dreamer since the day you were born". But still i preferred not to show it to anyone, insecurity or the fear of unknown whatever we coin it.

But blogging is a different entity as these days i prefer to share my thoughts openly with others. And also is the convenience of placing it in a blog site like this one. Sometimes i amuse myself of my writings, but majority of times i end up writing crap. Though writing crap is eco-friendly as i dont throw away any piece of paper its just the 'delete' button that is overworked. But i continued it anyway as i felt its more of a self exploration than a self portrayal. For a guy who reads limited number of books writing is a big task as limitations in vocabulary and restriction to preferred thoughts take over. But on a hindside the advantage is being not influenced by some one else's idea. I basically write what i mend in my thoughts. Books make me sleepy maybe its the aroma when we open it that i sleep like a baby if i start to read a book. Where as I prefer reading my daily set of articles, news, short stories and other blogs. It is amazing to know the depth of certain thinkers and writers in our generation. And a big thanks to all those wonderful blogs i have been through, all of it has been a learning experience if nothing else.

Nov 1, 2007 i started this sincere earnestful blog of mine. November 1st is also an auspicious day for us Malayalees, as it is the 'Kerala-Piravi' day; the day my State of Kerala was formed. I waited almost 2 weeks to get the blog published online. A killing thought about my life's biggest crush and how bad i miss her is where it all started. I had put it down earlier in a 'notepad' in my personal laptop and decided i must publish it (obviously without a name) on November 1st. Once published sent a few mails to certain friends of mine and they still constitute the major readers of my blog and big critics as well. Since then it has been an exciting ride which i hope to continue for a very long time.

I get complains from a few quarters that certain blogs of mine have been too frank and blatant for one's liking and always liner in darker emotions that a joyous one. But these very people know thats the soul of me as a person. I express my very emotions and wont protect it behind a smiling hideous face. And i am a person who nourishes the darker sides of my personality as that questions everything around me inturn making me think about it. Having said all this, if at all you have been hurt directly, indirectly and a few times intentionally i seek your forgiveness. Maybe i will try not to publish such blogs in future, but as they say the roar cannot be ignored too long. Well it will be in my 'TODO' list of self improvement (huh?). Also i extend my immense happiness and regards to all those patient comment writers on my log. You guys keep me ON to this sweet venture.
Thanks and Rock ON!!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Shaadi Kaa Website

When my dad called up and asked me to create a 'wedding website' i couldn't help laughing. But immediately i did know about its advantages and in every sense beneficial for me as i am far away from home. My wedding is on Jan 9, 2011. But all the hard part of inviting,booking halls for reception, priniting invitation cards, informing our relatives/friends blah blah blah all completely taken up by my parents and my sister. So to invite my friends its impossible for me to walk into each and everyone's doorsteps provided they are scattered across the globe. So i decided to work on my wedding website. Looked up at a few readily available ones, where in we just have to manually enter our details and it would come up with a 'wedding invite suite'. But i felt its too cliched and over written. Every one of them had similar look and feel and their wasn't much i could do other than follow instructions. So i continued digging further.

Reshmi and Vinod, for their son Pranav's first birthday had created a cool website of their own. I had earlier checked out about it and found some cool GUI features in Adobe Flash setup. As i found out, it was quite easy to work on them but a tad time consuming with the look and feel. Also it is better to put some efffort on how the page would look across different web-browsers. Now that i have created the website i feel it was all worth the effort as its fully designed and developed by me. I mean no restrictions if i had to choose another client. So Thank You wix.com for providing this cool and free website creator. It some time hangs when i work on it, but i feel thats more of a Flash or Browser fallacy. Having said all these, i would love to see the website in places where Internet Speed is not so high and has connectivity limitations. Just because of all those animations and VideoFX that has been loaded in certain pages. So check out the website here it is, I am planning to use this to send it to Our (mine and Deepthi's) friends and a few net savvy relatives. And in case you are wondering which is the background score in the website. It is 'London' by James Newton Howard from the movie 'Blood Diamond'. It is my all time favourite music and it kinda rejuvenates me every time i hear it. So thought of sharing the music in the most unique way ( I hope Mr.Howard doesnt mind as i bought the iTunes of it and then converted it to an mp3).


Sabarish-Deepthi Wedding Planner Website

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Endhiran's success and Thalaivars legacy

There was never a movie in near future that was so much publicized and marketed. The last one which had this frenziness was the Aamir Khan dud of a movie 'Mangal Pandey'. So being a Rajinikanth liker (not a fan) i was scared about all the craziness around. For any South Indian, one cannot ignore the 'RajiniKanth Phenomenon'. People look up to him as one in their family even after his superstar status. And personally i believe there is only one SuperStar in Indian Cinema and its him. He might not be the essential character actor or the most talented on around but he is a complete directors actor and gives an honest performance every time.

Having said all these about RajiniKanth, i still am not a big fan of him and not of anyone for that fact. Fanship in our country is a blind mans affair. We are so emotionally attached to our so called superstars that sometimes we overlook their shortcomings and put ourselves in a state of fallacy. And i love tamil folks for this simple reason, they are ultimately generous to their Stars. And RajiniKanth i feel is a harbinger in that regard.

'Endhiran' the robot movie was good but nothing exceptional as everyone claims. A humanoid gone bad and all its good and bad demonstrated in a melodrama with few songs stitched in them. The music aint that raunchy either but the videos were fantabolous. Shankar is at his creative best on picturising music videos and spends lavishly on them too. The final stunt with all those animations was simply superb and technology was completely used to exhaust the audience in appreciation. But the Story line was crappy and a timid screenplay. Apart from Rajinikanth's perfect exhibition of robo aka chitti. There wasn't much to munch upon.

But story doesnt end there, last week at a party i let know my views on this movie to a few of my dear friends. The smarter ones nodded silently and the crazy one almost killed me in their verbal diatribe. And thankful to god am back here in one piece such was the mutiny. From statements to 'you must be a kamal fan', 'mammotty & mohanlal can never be a robot with their lungis', 'who cares about you, movie is a hit', 'checkout the rajini-shankar combo its so effin awesome'. Not a single guy could come up with the strength in the script & screenplay, evidently which was not present. Saran even said 'people in village who cuts sugarcane, who works in those paddy fields even they are able to understand what robot is' and their lies the success of the movie. Not sure about
those but loved his high emotional quotient with regard to a movie. In facebook for one of my comments on irregular ticket pricing for the movie my college buddy Vinod almost sent a tirade against everyone on the chat. His reaction were as if him & rajinikanth on one side and whole world against them. And am not going to other few 'Thalaivar lovers', who would be wholeheartedly ready to tear a limb or two for their idol and living legend. May be i am too practical at life and its so called fan worshipping madness. But i still have no qualms in yelling it out Endhiran was an average movie. Only Rajinikanth and his superstardom can carry this movie to whichever extent it has gone. Movie has already made millions and still continue its good run, but silently
everyone knows there is nothing in the movie apart from Rajini, 3 songs and animation gimmicks in the climax.

And I know I am at serious risk after posting this with all endhiran dummies ready to pounce upon me. My home town Palakkad has its own chapter of Rajini Fans Association and i hope they dont read this and start burning effigies as we always do back at home. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

POKRI and My Self Actualisation..

Cricket was always a fun sport to me as i had always my inclination towards football or as they call soccer in this part of the world. My favourite cricketers used to be guys who come in and start bang-bang from the word go. I never really admired a solid defense or a cover drive. Sixes and Fours and plenty of them that is all i needed. In my locality most of the people who played with me remember for those heroics with the bat especially in the last 5 over where i bat and obviously fight. The thespian shabbu who details them the story of 'Shabbu hitting Kishore for 21 runs in the last over' is a folklore and a rather tale of boasting by myself. Add to that the last bill SIX against GooglyCC this Spring.

Having said all these being part of POKRI CC (Polaris Cricket Club) has flipped me a 180. For a person who feared playing leather ball all his school and college life (because of a well directed bouncer by Bakkan to my mouth and a yorker on my toes with chappals on...gosh it was a bloody day) i have come a long way. The first fielding practice session last year TSB sent me back with a swollen palm and black fingers. But one thing that kept me going was my dire interest and my friends who play here. Then came the matches where i saw some of my teammates and opponents play cricket they way i never saw. How does one build an innings to a century or a fifty? All these years i prefered watching the highlights to that of the actual test cricket. In columbus we play a 35 overs league and its the best times i had with cricket.I realised certain shots like a sweep or a straight drive is that difficult to play and requires lot of practice.

So after one year of newly found cricketing skills my club wanted me to be the captain. Obviously not for my cricketing skills but could be my communication and man-management skills. Personally i always look upto a leadership opportunity and make myself more responsible. But its not an easy task to be a captain in cricket team, lot of stuff while a field setup or even after a silly toss. Sometimes you gotta speak to your bowler that he is absolutely wrong. But also mind that we are playing for fun and not be afraid to try new things. Maybe our team had too much fun in that regard but there were always those big match jitters. Like this last semi-finals we lost, our best fielders were dropping catches and best bowlers had no idea where they were bowling. And overall i rate my captaincy pretty average as i didnt do anything overboard and am still on a big learning curve. But every experience you get in life is a virtue once you learn from it. In that sense POKRI has taught me a lot of stuff, first is to admire this game more and second is to have a pragmatic approach towards people and issues.

I am damn sure my life is ahead is not the same any more after my rendezvous with POKRI. And am very grateful to god for that.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Rare Photos are so not Rare anymore....

Those black and white dim coloured hard photographs on our albums and frames at home. All those pictures had a purpose like the annual class group photo, the fancy dress competition day, house warming, tour trip etc. Most of the tourist places we went in childhood we rarely had 10-12 pics of each place and most of them were group photos. That was the whole beauty about them when you look at them we cherish them even more.  These days with the advent of digital cameras we take pictures for every minute and for a very minute reason. Though it has this slight advantage that we have a lot of memories to fall back to and we wont miss anything .But well in that case you just have to switch to a video, wouldn't you? Also watching your digital pics in your cam or laptop or a TV for that matter has its own picturesque advantage nothing beats a hard copy album.

This also makes me think the photographers in us have no discipline as to speak of. As we can easily click away and delete them later on if we dont like them. So basically we just keep clicking until our creative mind aligns with the preferred output. Had their been a limitation of some sort would we still have chosen to click away in a merry? For an India visit last year i had around 500 pics from 3 camera sources, would it be possible say 10 years back. I hope not...thats where rare photos arise to the occassion. I am not against digital photography, in a way i use them as well and use it a lot. But i dont buy those people who claim themselves to be photographers just because they have been to a Goa or a Niagara or a Taj Mahal or some other beautiful place. These days anyone could click a could picture just by putting the 'auto' mode and clicking it. And then we draw a border around it use some tools we get along these DSLR biggies and voila here we are.

Photography is a deeper hobby than we all presume, people work on light boxes, wait on facial expressions, go on an expedition and try different colour combinations and lenses. More than anything else he is never happy with what he has. It is like a burning desire. For me a good photographer is anyone who can make a simple picture as aesthetic it can be. The idea is it never goes out of your mind. I had a desktop wallpaper for a long long time, nothing but a simple tree on a cliff. Standing alone and tall and a small path leading to it. For some reason it was well composed and mixtured with natural lighting and the theme it never goes out of my head. Having said all these sometimes even i think am good at photography. I too have made some plans into venturing into it, but till then i wanna understand this big myth. I have my whole life ahead of me to kick in.

I like digging into any kinda pictures kids, personal, natural, wild life..anything you send me. I try to enjoy it, its something like a craze. But offlate i see a lot of redundancy in sunshines and plateaus that its hitting a saturation level. So people out there use your resources and bring out the Santhosh Sivan inside you..Cheers.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ButterFly Effect

I was walking down the college verandah as usual bunking a class and on my way to the Mens Hostel. Thats where most of my lethargic friends would be lazying around and rediscovering themselves. On my way i stopped by the nearest waterhole or the so called 'water cooler' standing tall in light blue just below the staircases.The usual routine is to drink water from there, stop by the co-op store to buy a Munch (chocolate) and talk to another bunch of lost souls sitting in the college portico. A few hours at the portico is worth all the time because you get to see all the young ladies passing by and also the only spot not crowded by 'couples'. You know places where guys can be guys, yell around or whistle or holler and whatever no one asks. So pitstop watercooler and i see this beautiful girl drinking water. May be i saw her from behind that made her even more attractive (oops..i had to say it..). She turns at me and smiles, WOW where was she from??? I've never seen her before or may be i never noticed. She was not the super good looking types but the one you cannot ignore types (you know what i mean). And there i happen to catch our senior whom we all call him HOD ( i have no idea why we all him that?) and i enquire to him. "HOD, who is this girl?". HOD asks "which one??". I said " The one near the notice board". HOD replies "Oh she is Nisha your batch Civil Engineering". HOD kept pouring moe details about her but all i cared was to get a good look at her before she disappears. And then after some more time there we go back to our routine trip to hostel discussing politics and football.


Next few days of the week i make quite a few trips to the Civil Department. Wow some beautiful girls out there. How could i miss these unexplored and uncharted territories?? No wonder civil guys never cut classes. So basically my time table got fuller. I had to pay visit to my classes in the morning hours to visit ladies of my hood EEE. And then there is Electrical Seniors (some fine ladies including a movie stars daughter). Then there is library where all studious chicks arrive (you know what studious chicks have no idea how damn beautiful they can be if they could look above and smile) and then the big Banyan Tree where all couples roam around .  So now Civil Dept too, Man i am busy!! But then visiting these places alone has its own disadvantage, one doesnt get enough time to hang around unless we have some one inside. The guys i know there were like stuck to these girls like magents. No way they are gonna let me in and let me SHINE an dbask in my glory. Hmmm i needed an accomplice and who else than my dear friends Raghu and Unnikuttan. Unnikuttan was more than willing but in between his afternoon sleeps, dubai stories and his own struggle to find love life he had no time for my silly mouth watching affair. And more over he never trusted me any moment i would use him as a joker and make 100 jokes outta him to be star (In Tamil they say 'oorugaay'). So its pakka and finalized "Raghu is the Man". He was my class mate, always big hearted to bunk classes, has membership in college canteen, likes to admire beauty (like me) and he believes love is a crap and its for losers. It was a match made in heaven, so from next day onwards we made regular morning/afternoon/evening visits to civil verandah. The shoes i were lost more of its sole in those places than any other places in our college.

So one day raghu came up with plan 'B', it is to make friends with one of Nisha's friend circle and thats the way to get introduced to her or may be more. Mouthwatering aint it??? Yeah!! you betcha!! Out of Chitra, Anjana, Shireen and Smisha we had to pick one. And some expert advices from Sajit (apna inside man in Civil) the pick came to Anjana. Beautiful but Big Mouthed (lol) and very very hyperactive girl. Another point being the rest of the girl pack looked at us like we were hannibal lecter. She was the only with some sense of humour to keep up with us. So that moment is where this BUTTERFLY EFFECT started and now after around 7 years. Anjana is married to my accomplice Raghu and she gave birth to a beautiful baby boy "Sidharth" last week. And in case any of you were wondering "what happened to Nisha?", well thats the same question am asking you (rofl...where the hell is she??). And me, well i added her into my big "Crush list-level 3" and moved on with other crushes. The latest one being an Hispanic (mind it)..but i lack an accomplice here though. Oh in case i missed am engaged as well so i am in the process of deleting and forgetting all those crushes mandatorily. This blog might be my last piece of evidence about all those crushes... :)

So cheers and keep rocking.

NOTE: And one day Sidharth reads this blog he will understand the importance of a silly Water Cooler and the phenomenon called Butterfly Effect

Monday, August 9, 2010

Varkee and Necab...a tale of two lost lovers.

NSS Engineering College Alumni of Bangalore aka NECAB conducted this program called SAMAGAMAM (which means the mother of all get togethers). Well the only think that links me to this is my college NSS. And "Oh Yeah" a few close buddies of mine who are in Bangalore. But man i have been hearing "Samagamam" in and about it every 2 mins at my home. Its like a daily prayer of some sort. The refugee of my room aka room-mate cum ex-classmate and an idiotic friend of mine Jojy Varghese is a big time disciple of NECAB. Given a chance he would make it a religion with his favourite idols/gods Sudheeshettan, Prakash Bare (ettan), Balettan, Manojettan etc etc. He calls his wife Anu for 10 minutes a day and the rest of the people above + Nishant (NECAB conander for this year) like for 10 hours (wink). Now take up your imaginary powers and extrapolate to envision this : One Saturday night i was out as usual partying at my friends place came late to home. With lights switched off and darkness dooming i see a small light in the edge of the room. Thus the lights lead me there, I see Jojy sitting in the bed with his laptop and smiling. Now given the time and being his wife (Anu Sarah) back in India my Adoor Gopalakrishnan mind became an I.V.Sasi mind and felt pity for him. "Hell yeah, it must be porn". I went near him silently with a nimble toe and silence. And what do i see?? He was reading a mail from so called "Necab-Core" (some elite committee like the league of the nations). "Ahhh What a loser?" Hahaha i made the fun ass out of him for that...and he is been digging up revenge stories against me since then. Holy Moly...that was one good laugh. Next day, Sunday morning the selected day when i dont have any games to go then i sleep till 1 PM (yeah afternoon..any problem?), but unless our beloved friend decides to campaign/market for Samagamam to his friends in Bangalore. He was speaking so loud that, in my deep sleep i would have heard some "karma" we would achieve by attending the function. Many a times he wanders like a lost soul, tracking health of Venugopal the singer (who was performing at Samagamam), Bangalore weather on August 7th, My Sister Shyama and her friends travel routines (upcoming NECAB'ian as he believes), What coloured bindi his wifey Anu has to adorn for that particular day etc etc. On the big day had he been fukin rich he would have taken a flight just to attend that function. And had i been way more richer i would have stopped him anyhow(just kidding..think abt it which is way more fun??). That night he calls up another asshole of a friend Raghu(who i heard unskinned me at the function) and asks the where abouts of the 'boorshva'function. Next 30 mins people after people they kept yapping blah da blah da blah etc etc. Roberto Benigni in his oscar acceptance speech said "I want to jump naked into this crowd" out of sheer joy and ecstasy. Thank God, for not letting me and Ben (our other roomie) go through that. Because Boy wonder he was in that kinda joy. My sources back there say , Jojy has won MAYA(well not the girl but its Most Admirable Young Alumni" award). Now that Samagamam is over and a big success (as he says), he has started campaigning for Samagamam 2011. Oh boy!! miles to go before i sleep...I GUESS!!

NOTE : This is a totally fun intended backstabbing ball kicking act between me and my friend Jojy. He is doing his part verbally by tarnishing my image in Columbus. So this is my mean-lean way to get back at him. If i have hurt anyone's feeling here, please blame Jojy because he is an Ma..Ma..Ma..(athu venda) Mathanga Thalayan. Ciao..World Peace!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Confessions of a Born Leg-Puller

Many of you know already and many in the process of it. Folks i am getting engaged to Deepthi this September 5th and marriage some time in Jan 2011. As i share this good news the very first question that bounces to me is "Is it a love marriage?". The polite answer is 'No' and a funnier one is "Arranged CommBbbletely". I dont know if it's a trick question (to fool me somehow) or is it going by the trend these days. Anyhow i've met Deepthi only once (the official pennukaanal) and the next time i will meet her is for the engagement. Now try explaining this to my client Charles here, i did take the herculean effort and he kept coming back with more doubts. Its hillarious sometimes how our tradition works, we basically dont have a conceptual understanding all we do is follow the system of rules.
Last few years a few friends of mine got married and in their courting period were glued to their phones with their 'would-be' on the other end. I made a meal out of it, and would tirelessly make jokes on them. With a few nick names like 'wire-man', 'phone-mainac' attached to them. But now when it came to my turn i am in complete awe and respect to the above said people. I found out the hard earned truth that its easier to pull some one's leg rather than speak to a girl. Its more like where to start and what do i speak syndrome? After 5 mins i reach a topic on football or cricket and i can hear her yawning at the other end. Other truth being am a big bore over the phone than in real and i just cannot help picking on others, but here the theme being romance. Its more like a Charles Chaplin in a romantic movie i tend to be clumsy and sometimes hillarious. She surely is going to have some tough time ahead. :)

But to be frank our early apprhensions and prejudice about marriages are fading but they do reappear once a while. After a long bachelor life and a fullfilling one i think this is the right time and she is the right one. Luckily am surrounded by a like minded friend circle who have seen it all and sometimes talking to them is a big relief. I am eagerly looking forward for this and by gods grace hope it all goes well. Hope to see a few of you there at my marriage in Jan'011. I will post you the dates and venue once everything is finalized.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

together for the best and the worst....

There was a time when half the people i know in my nearest family and friends were in the armed forces. Starting from my dad, my grandfather etc. Those days unless one is a ranked officer its very difficult for him to take his family along with him. And some times the extreme conditions in which the military thrives, family is a luxury. But now the times have changed, world is getting into a peace zone and wars are limited to an extent. The new generation is usurped by the so called IT Boom. Youngsters like me are attached and addicted to this work culture. For all the onshore assignments and big clients in the service industry as such. Guys like me from small villages are travelling far away to make our livings.

But there is a hindside to it, which is very predominant these days. Its the way we are mis-aligned in society. A couple married nearly a year back now work at 2 different locations and 2 different time zones. They talk over the phone on a regular basis and basically looking for the 'the' day to meet in person. Then there are a few who take the alternative of resigning their job for the others sake (predominantly women who lose their job). After a few months of courting, we could generally feel the boredom getting the better of them. I repsect the very few souls who kick all this extravagant and quick money to dust and stay together at any cost. The service industry is so tightly bound with all those visa rules that one cannot the fathom the effort it takes to be together.

In my friend circle there are quite a few people who get mugged by their careers that its difficult to make a choice. For a country deeply rooted to its family values and cultures these changes in lifestyles are causing quite a havoc. Personally i would love to see these beautiful couples together and working (atleast busy). But for that companies and countries need to loosen their noose a bit. One must call for simpler visa rules and adaptable company policies. Till then i think its a long way to go for these and many more couples in line.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Joel Stein's "My Own Private India"

Well Well Well!!! This aint a book publishers forum or some other gala opening. This article by Joel Stein in Time My Own Private India caught my eye and i want my friends to knwo about it through ME. Now this article is sarcastically at its best and might be a bit too detailingly poking at the Indian Population. Joe here takes a dig at the huge Indian Population in the city of Edison in NewJersey.Read it for yourself you will like/dislike it more and more you read it such is the literature and knowledge (sarcastically). Cherry on the cake is the apology by Joe himself, its like if you want it to be an apology so be it 'I dont care'. Joe the master here. But i think Joe is lost a bit in time here too, he misses the whole point of Immigration and the added value we the so called outsider or minority provide to you all. Hell, we gave you your 44th President (lol). Though he ain't giving nothing back to us, thats a whole different story.

But to tell you the truth, personally i went to Edison last year to visit my family friend (ya ya) over there. I was like "What the #^*%??" I can understand seeing a few Indians here and there but to see a flock of them chewing tobacco on the railway station. In the rainy spring's i saw an uncle with his 'lungi' and white shouldered banian (innerwear) under a banana leaf(now thats my masala) walking the length and breadth of the footpath. Its like your whole past shown in a quick flashback. Its not that i dont want her but i didnt miss her for so long to be reminded who we really are. And in a way it made me kinda ego-proud as well, atlast we Indians are making a mark in Land of Opportunities. But that ego crashed when i went into a Gujju Sweet Shop near Edison. They guy at the shop in his mid 40's spoke nothing but Gujarati. Language of signs and symbols helped us both me and him get out of this mess. Ohh so for the first time i realised, you really dont need know 'angrezi' to survive here. NewJersey is not far away from "Little Italy" or "ChinaTown" and it will take some time for Edison to become "IndiaLand" or "IndiaPradhesh" or some other crap name like who thought of "BollyWood". But i must tell you we are huge there.

Ain't that the beauty of this country. USA, first it belonged to a few forest thriving nomads of indigenious people. Europeans came here to swipe them off to start their own communities and flourish. Then gradually world participitated to fill in the gaps in population. Italians, Irish, Hispanics,Chineese all are here aplenty and more than us. Even the Russians (what the eff is Cold War?) and Japaneese too(Hiroshima/Nagasaki/Pearl Harbor..hello???). But the moment an Indian sets his foot here lots of questions arise. Will they outsource whatever is left? Will they do that, do this? Its not our fault we produce more Engineers(who work for other countries) when you produce Soldiers(who fight for other countries). Its not our fault Christopher Columbus set out to meet us, we are infact making his bucket list fullfilled by coming here. To tell you the truth, we are the actual Indians !!

I totally understand Joe's personal views, no man how large hearted he is can accept his backyard to be taken over by some one. Politicians in my country are making sure jobs are given to local people either by law or force or just killing the rest of them. America must be proud in itself when a South Indian like me feels more safer here than in streets of Mumbai. I have seen Non-Tamilians humiliated in Chennai and Tamilians kicked in Bangalore. When i have seen all this before, i dont really care about a sarcastical diatribe on my community by Joe, Jack or who ever. We dont jump fences and illegally immigrate ourselves, We dont explode ourselves with fertilizers, We dont start up Mafias. But...We do pay taxes, We do cheer US soccer team (which you dont), We do make sure your corporations get richer every year, We do make you lazier day by day. And these days We do create jobs for you here. What more do you want?? C'mon this is an offer you cant resist (Brando'ishh i must say)

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Feeling the Pride in yourself....

Have you ever felt proud about yourself?? It could be for anything could be for helping a stranger or for being there for a friend when he urgently needs us. I am my biggest critic, that keeps my insecurities at a safer place because no one can ridicule or criticize me as well as i do. So there have been a very few moments in my life where i have felt pride in what i did. Last 2 months have been one of the best days of my life. There are things which you dream as a kid and there are things which you want to do because you feel some positive energy from it. yeah the same positive energy the multi-million dollar industry of 'personality development' thrives on.
Since childhood i cannot remember amma-acha ever been on vacation. vacation is too big an ask for a deep rooted middle class family. A working mom and a tireless dad are the only assets me and shyama had. When many of our school friends went to 'home town' during vacations we were living at our hometown. Anytime we planned for a vacation the discussion ended with the topic of 'money', 'studies', 'travel' etc. And then either of me or shyama would go to 'Delhi' to visit our favourite aunt and rest of the patrol living in neighbourhoods of Delhi. And that's it the whole idea of vacation for my parents is to visit a hell lot of relatives and their houses and some 'sniff around' visit to all those places around the city. There were no relaxing breaks or anything like that all was crammed up into a jam pack session.
Its been 3 years since i have been in USA, with the very first year i engineered this mega plan of bringing my parents here for a visit. And expectedly my dad's first question was 'How much is the Ticket?' And my Mom's answer was 'Ammamma (grand mother) can't be left alone so count me out'. My never say die attitude and lot of brain washing resulted in them agreeing for the trip. And Valiyammma being a sweetheart came down from Delhi to be with Ammamma. Valiyachan had retired last year and even he needed a much needed break from busy-busy Delhi life. But boy did i enjoy this 2 months?? Hell yeah!! Behind all those delicious food from mom, and daily fights with Dad over football and what not? there was a little 'ME' jumping with joy. For the first time i had the reins in my hand and they just let it go on cruise control to relax and take a long break. So here comes the proud moment i was talking about earlier, all the plans well executed dad and mom happy back to their busy lives in palakkad. They made a good rapport with my friends here in Columbus too and guess what they too love them. If you too are planning something like this, well dont wait that is what i would say first. For all the sacrifices they make for us a good break is all we can do for them, many want to do this but give up at the last moment coz of personal overrides in life. Money, well it matters in our fast paced life but sometimes its all paper or some punching numbers on a screen.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Raavanaayana

Last Sunday i took my friends and family to the Tamil movie 'Ravanan'. One of my fav directors in Indian movies Mr.Manirathnam thought of remaking epic "Ramayana' in his own ideas. After he successfully remade 'Godfather' into 'Naayagan' this was a much more historical effort as we all knew the story of Ramayana sice childhood. Movie is a bore apart from the breathtaking visuals. And editing is a mess as the director tries to show Ramayana in a different flow with a bit of flashback. Castingis horrible as Aiswarya Rai was more of a liability to the movie trying very hard to keep up with some solid performance from Vikram (yet again). Prithviraj spoke about the movie in his interviews in the most confident manner but he could not reproduce the same in the screen. His pairing with Mz.Rai was awkward and looked 'cougar' to be true. But his general expressions were stale and cliched. If he wants to be the 'brand ambassador' of malayalam movies (which he claims to be), he is far far away from it. Mohanlal in the movie 'Company' enthralled the audiences with just a 'paper weight' revolving in his hand. As a fellow malayalee i sincerely hope Prithvi brings some substance apart from his handsome looks and those big biceps.

'Usire Poagathu' and 'Veera' these two songs are the highlight in the music dept, otherwise its a forgettable one from ARR. 'Kalvane' song picturization was a clear adaptaion from the 'Ay Hairathe' from Guru with Mz.Rai dragging her across the leading man. Support cast of Prabhu and Karthik were really above the mark and keeps the interest alive with some funny moments. Priyamani was good in her small role where her character is raped yet again. Last time her character was raped in 'ParuthiVeeran' landed her a National Award. Though here she has nothing substantial to do other than just let her 'shoorpanakha' role melt away into oblivion. Locations in this movie is its USP, its totally amazing and can't believe sometimes its near to our house. Gotta add it to our bucket list for sure.

Silver lining of the movie is Mr.ManiRathnam, who had a heart attack during the shoot. But he is back again healthy and fit hope he can forget this movie and try something new other than MeloDrama and IconoClasm. Personal Happiness is i have restrained myself from watching the hindi version. Cheers!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When a dream gets fulfilled..

Chennai for all the things i love about this city there is one thing i hate about. SET TOP BOX. Without this bitch one cannot watch his favourite channels. For me it was ESPN/STAR SPORTS. Missing premier league matches were a big NO for me over the weekends, but my roomies didnt approve of this device. So what do i do? i would visit my buddy and big-bro like Pratheshettan's place near Pondy Bazaar. Much like me he was a big football/movie fanatic and we would spend the weekend nights watching games or movies. And with Ani Chechi (Pratheeshettans wife) in kitchen bringing on some delicious savouries, liverpool beating the hell out of their opponents all iz well. One day after a match Pratheeshettan showed me some of his video and pics collection from his UK onsite tenure. Here he had taken his Dad and Mom for a vacation and with an ever present smile he told me "Once in your life you must take your parents outside the country not for a visit but more for a stay you are gonna love it" (ok this was in malayalam and not the exact words). Before this he would have given me a 100 different lessons for a big bro he is :P , but this one was too good to resist. Out of my curiosity i asked him a few questions about the trip and i had embraced this idea then and there. And once Sreejithettan had brought his parents here and them being near me for about 6 months i had no looking back. The only thing in my mind was that and i had to start with my mom applying for a passport :)

Almost 3 years later now i am lucky enough to bring my parents here during my onsite at Columbus. I must tell you it feels like one of the better things i'll ever do in my life. Everyday is a celeberation with trips and travel. Its more like they are discovering my bachelor life in a whole new dimension (yeah with some loop holes though). I would always thank Pratheeshettan for the Spark and Sreejithettan to make it a dream of sort. Its an overwhelming experience and i encourage you all to do it once in your life.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Holy Shit...thats a SIX

Cricket as we know runs through us Indian veins and hearts. And i must admit i have always given football a notch more importance in life than cricket. I've played a lot of sports and games in my life but this moment is gonna haunt me forever. Our cricket team POKRI  (not the Mahesh Babu movie) alias "POLARIS CRICKET" are a bunch of enthusiastic cricketers to say the least. We cannot boast of an exciting talent apart from a hand few but we are a very cohesive unit. Last year i started playing for Pokri and i have made some superb friends in and out of our team.  

Columbus, Ohio boasts a lot of cricket teams and the Indian community here plays 5-6 tournaments every year in Spring/Summer. This was a  T20 cricket ball tournament conducted by UCC and our opponent that day were Googly As the captain of our team i won the toss for the first time, ominous signs huh? We decided to bowl first and with some merciless hitting by Googly batsman Abhish and Mithun in the end overs they reached 140/5 in 20 overs. We had chased down a 130 in 18 overs in the same ground so we felt a bit confident that we could do it. Googly kept us on our toes and how about it when they got our opener Saran out in the first ball of the chase. Entrada Karthik aka TSB, he is simply the most talented batsman i know of after Ramakrishnan (my school buddy). There are people who can make batting look so easy (yeah like VVS) and these 2 come into that elite group. Karthik scored a breezy 60 with some short arm jab sixes and glorious pulls. Kamesh getting out and me entering the frame looked as if planned coz we needed 68 more in 6 overs. One six each by me and TSB brought us at a striking distance with number of balls and runs required. Next over we lost TSB and Abheesh (our current man in form), I was at the other end skeptical about our fortunes. Chaitu came in next and then the left-right combination started to click. Also some pressure might have caused the Googly bowlers to ball a lot of wides. Next over we lost Chaitu and Abhinav both getting run out, onus to some bad judgement from my side. Yeah, pressure can do that mother. 3 overs 29 required and Googly brought in their experienced bowlers. Let me tell you some sledging from their side pumped me up and I felt we gotta clinch this one. It all came down to last over with 13 required and Satya on strike. first 3 balls we ran 3 doubles. 3 balls 7 required i felt one four from somewhere and we are through. 4th ball of the over Satya tried to clear the long on but instead found his chest and he somehow the fielder managed to hold on to the catch.

We crossed over and brought made me to strike and it was 2 balls 7, Saran was our leg umpire that point of time and i remember saying to him 'it looks tight and might be unachievable'. Though somewhere inside an optimist sleeps inside us and pushes us 'we can nail it'. My dad was watching this match and i could see him yelling out instructions like 'Javed Miandad'. Sachin the bowler under pressure bowled a wide and now the equation was 6 required of 2 balls. You know what? a 7 required sounds unachievable in our mind but a 6 sounds way easier. Mathematically thats just 1 run but on a Psycholigical point of view it was totally 'get-able'. Last few overs i was beaten by twice by bouncing delivery outside offstump am sure the bowler noticed that. And expected him to bowl the next 2 balls there. I took my leg stump guard and stayed way ahead of my crease. The moment he reached the crease for the delivery i faked a walk across and 'Thank God' he bowled a good length delivery on to me. All i remember is a mighty swing, its more like a hybrid flick and 'Holy Shit thats a SIX'. Tony Greg would have been the right person to comment about it and i would have watched it a zillion times on youtube. But still what a feeling it was.

Next moment i was running across the pitch like a mad man, and Vas ran into me and was all over me. The whole team ran in from the boundary and we were rejoicing. Hugging each other and jumping around it was B-E-A-utiful. Yes!! this is once in a life time moments and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Mallik, Woah one had to look at him he was the most pumped up amongst us. Revan/Satya/Chidam the supposedly silent fellas were acting like total jerks and couldn't hide their happiness...we live for these moments dont we? And my Dad, Wow he was super excited. Him being there made this SIX so so so special not only for me but for whole of POKRI. End of the day we must not forget Googly too played some brilliant cricket for an entertaining match and we thank them for that.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The CRITIC inside you..yeah YOU

Criticism is a very common word these days and its in every ones dictionary or lingo. Critics are given godly status like Masand  or Manjrekar for example. But i have seen quite often there is a critic inside everyone throwing tantrums on others actions. The job of a critic is quite easy if you just sit and give negative comments about anything under the sun, but it gets that more difficult if you think of a solution or atleast put a motivating placard for the poor souls. FIlm, Politics, Sports any field you take there will be critics to bring a 'fresh' (lol) air of thoughts. But on a personal front am a NO-NO against criticism. Many of my friends who know me well would have noticed am not a big fan of criticism at a personal level. Though i keep myself away from criticizing anyone i would also not welcome from them as well. I believe i would rather motivate this 1 guy rather than criticizing another 100. Though all this i farely get my daily dose of criticism in many forms either as a comment or as an appraisal remark or as a feedback at work or even could be a banter with evil buried deep inside. I have noticed a few people enjoy this job of criticizing anyone just for the 'heck' of it. And there are no remorse in their action, all they want is their opinion blattered out loud. But i must also admit i am blessed with a closed circle of friends who not only criticize but take time in understanding why or what was behind my action or simply the way I am. Its overwheliming to see when someone suggests you a different way to look at stuff rather than pointing fingers. I must admit there were occassions in my life when a less adamant me could have done a better job rather than sticking my tongue out in the end. But as they say 'I am what Iam' coz end of the day it all matters to what you listen to the critic inside you than the one standing outside. There are a lot of places in life where you have to answer this question 'Whats the best trait in you?'. Offlate i think its me being a Self-Critic, yeah thats the one i am speaking of. The only one soul who is never happy, with the talent of Bhutia pushing myself to Maradona (metaphorically). Its not easy to answer him coz thats the only critic who wont buy your excuses and thats his beauty.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Paanch Saal ke Baadh : Vishu@Home

Waking up with mom's moist hands on my eyes making sure i wont open them until i reach the 'kani' set before our gods in the pooja room. Thick aroma of incense stick and fresh fruits all over the room. Ammamma as usual at her cheerful self munching a few 'mantras' and praying in her affectative ways. Meanwhile amma whispering 'open your eyes with prayers' on my ears. With a childish eager as i open my eye i see the 'vishukkani' set and decorated in the most subtle manner. Miles of Travel, Jetlag, eta's at work all these worldly headaches disappear for a few moments. We live for these small happinesses in life it could be a hug, a smile or even a beautiful sight such as this. I could not believe i have been escaping from this for last 5 years with an excuse tag 'busy at work'. 'VishuKaiNeettam' from elders at home, the only time the youngest in the family works as a boon for you. And the same line from acha after so many years 'spend it wisely'...lmao. Missed my sister 'Shyama' the only person i can give 'VishuKaiNeettam' in my family. After lighting a few pollution friendly crackers and gazing at those colours in the sky it was time to visit temples. Kalpathy also known as 'South Kasi' has more number of temples in a square kilometre than any other place in the world. With gods from each and every sect represented in the most ubiquitious ways. In my childhood i used to cycle from one temple to other for collecting 'prasadam' for my ammamma or for fake blessings while examinations. The ground infront of the temple is empty i wonder what these kids are upto these days? Moving like a battalion of ants from one temple to another in an ominous and pious atmosphere. No loudspeakers yelling out 'bhajans' and neither i see a big crowd pushing each other to reach to god first like a school race competition. All i see is a bunch of people with sandalwood pastes on their forehead and necks cladden on their new bright dresses. They are happy for what god has provided them today and it smelt like a visit and less of a ritual. Once back from temples, preparing coffee for everyone at home as a sign of my offering to all in our family and friends (9 to be intact). Visited my old buddies Raman and Shankars houses. If some one asks me who has been with you in your thick and thin's i would have a whole list of friends, but raman and shankar will be very close to my family's name. Their family is my extended family and am always welcome their at any times. Speaking long hours about 'Amerika', 'Obama' , 'Columbus Cricket', 'Alliances' time just whizzed by. On my way back visited Vijesh's house, my friend who will miss all the coming Vishu's and Onam's on earth. Dude must be watching us over from heaven and having a good time out there. Day was enlightened by 'gazzetted officer' friend Sreejith. He is an inspiration to us all for whatever he has achieved and still going great guns with it. Never seen a more thankful person in life, when we all thank those who have helped us in life in any small ways here is a person who thanks the each and every incidents and stays optimistic through out. Acha was cracking jokes about KSEB and the way they function, Sreejith made sure he complimented each of them with some deft examples. Mails, Phone calls from friends and that culminated my Vishu@home after 5 effin long years. Now i am preparing myself for Onam@home after 5 years. Will upload the pics soon and link it here...with them the whole blog will have more meaning to it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Its Raining Kids

Hahaha the thought of it makes me laugh. Takes me through all those funny days we all spent together and how fast life is changing. A big percentage of my friend circle are either married or engaged. So there was a time along last year or two when i would see a new wedding invitation in my inbox every week or so. It could be my school friends, college mate or a colleague. As true Indians not a single one of them is wasting no time what so ever. I mean literally these days i get informed of happy news from every nook and corner. 'Da i am gonna be a father','Mother of an Angel', 'Sowmya is pregnant', 'By september i will be blessed by a kid', 'August 13 is her due date', 'May end to June early plan to make a visit Uncle' and the best of the lot 'Yes it happened'. Lot of good news all around and in a way it puts added pressure on my bachelorhood. There is a saying in hindi 'Bhagwaan jab bhi deta hein Chappar phaad ke Dethaa hein' it means whenever God gives you something he basically tears down the roof and let it rain on you. And it will be a tough ask to get these fine gentlemen and women of the next generation to call me 'ettan' (bigbrother) and not 'ammavan' (uncle). You all know am still a kid at heart :)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Three idiots or We idiots?

Aamir Khan, RajKumar Hirani and VidhuVinod Chopra garnered all the praise and accolades for the hit movie of 2009 '3 Idiots'. A movie made with a lot of heart and as any other movie from Mr.Hirani a lot of melodrama and a genuine social message. Well the social message part is where i am getting into. Movie basically says one must follow his/her heart and set goals which would keep him happy forever rather than seeking goals set by your parents and the society in general. Also it takes a dig at our educational system where we create a lot of 'blind followers' where in we must create 'free thinkers'. Thats when i gave a hard thought on why the heck am I a Software Engineer. Where in i should have followed my heart to become a '????????' Well i have no idea what i could have become not that still i can't. Time for a flash back.

In my childhood i wanted to become a pilot as i used to look at my dad in Airforce uniform and felt very proud about it. Though i later realised he was a field officer and never flew a jet. Someday i heard my grandfather boasting about Rajiv Gandhi to his drinking mates. Being a pakka congresswaalah he spoke in great regards about our then Prime Minister. That year in my class i proclaimed 'I wanna be the PM of my country' in some 'What do you want to be ??(timepass session)' conducted by our Princepal. Years went by and my love to sports kept increasing by leaps and bounds which made me think 'i should be a football player like Baggio or a cricketer like Cairns'. I thought for a few months 'this is it' a few heroics at local matches made me think am the king at sports. But once i started playing at different places around school and district tournaments common sense prevailed. And a one on one discussion wit my good friend Ramakrishnan cleared my head. His analogy was that 'You need a lot of contacts and hold to excel in sports or you need genuine talent unluckily we dont have both and we cant risk our lives for a non-existing future'. We were just 16 or 17 but i was amazed by his incisive lecture. So then again here we go back to square one.

After being rejected by National Defense Academy i have no other options left other than becoming an Engineer. Luckily all my friends were good at Science and Maths so i kinda studied with them moreover i couldn't have asked for a better group of teachers who taught me in Class XI and XII. Somehow i scraped through engineering entrance and thought of engineering as a backup plan. After 1 more year i'll give another try to NDA or will prepare for  IAS (lol). But the moment i set foot on NSS College of Engineering i was owned by it. There are some places you fall in love with the moment you set foot there, well my college was that for me. And then i had to do something with my life after engineering. I was good at computers (not very good) and a bit more at writing. I gave a few tries to write a book on something but lack of ideas and drive purged that vision as well. So computers it is and here i am with leading software company of India.

Moral of my idiotic story and many others who dont belong to the '3 idiots' category is that though we see a 1000 options at various moments of our life we cannot help ourselves by not taking the easy escape route and its funny many call it 'fate'. To become a 3 idiot one needs a lot of attitude, courage, foresight and a bit of luck. Not to forget the risk of ending up empty handed after all this. But the route which we take is a safe play, minimal-risk-maximum-fortune-wala one. And above all it fits like a 'T' into our Middle Class existence. So to all the 'We' idiots please do not have qualms on what ever you do and who ever you are today. Bolo 'All iz Well'.

'Give me some sunshine
Give me some rain,
Give me another chance,
I wanna grow up once again..(yea!! probably to take the same turns yet again in life)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Perfect Gift

Binu is lying prostrate on his sofa in his apartment in Dubai. As always fiddling with the mobile phone and clearly depicts something is running in his mind vigorously. Some times he just loses it all thinking all over the problem to miss the soul of it.

May 19, 2009 :
Two days to go for my mom’s 50th birthday and I can’t think of any good gifts for her. As always I tried using my triumph card which is my sister Sajju’s brain. But even she couldn’t think of anything good and refreshingly new. This year it’s very important for 2 reasons, one being it’s mama’s 50th birthday and two being the reason I forgot wish her last year the same day. Well being drunk and high fever aren’t the exact excuse for such an important day being missed. And that too for my Mama, as she is above average on a melodrama scale. But yes that’s the best part in her we all totally agree and nod in unison. So me over the phone with Sajju planning this big time with cake and party etc. But somewhere our minds knew, for all she has been for us it’s not good enough given we both are at distant places from our parents. Mama is our best friend, our teacher and the least demanding wife. Yeah then it strikes for us, Why don’t we check with Dad? Papa as every other father in the world was strict and sometimes a tad abrasive. And asking him about any gift is a lose-lose case as it always has been that way. Either he is gonna dismiss the whole idea of gift or else he will strike his best shot ‘ a Sari’. Yeah that’s absolutely true he either gifts a Sari which my mom would have wished to exchange but she won’t. Or else he will find a cheap excuse to forget it. Maybe that’s why I am always excuse driven as it runs in the blood. Anyway I assigned Sajju the task of talking to Papa as she has better patience to speak to him. I am going to bed now with only one thing in mind. Gift for Mama, Gift, Gift…..

May 20, 2009 :
The day before and early morning I get this SMS from Sajju. ‘Call me. Pronto’…I was like Duh?? Pronto?? Anyway I call her immediately to find that Papa has promised Sajju that Gift to Mama is all taken care of. What?? Of all people my dad has planned my mom’s birthday already?? The 28 years I know him of he was always been failing in that department. He was always there for us whenever we needed him though in a silent mode. But towards Mama I had this notion that he took her for granted. Well Well times do have to change I wondered. “Way to go Papa I love you” my mind said.

May 21, 2009 : ‘D’ day

Papa walks up to Mama and asks her “Ammu get ready , oh also pack up a few stuff for 2 days” . She asks “Where are we going, Nandetta?”. He replies “Chennai” . She queries back “Chennai?? You mean our Madras?”. With a smile he says “Yes Ammu!”. As always with too many questions in her mind but none to ask she gets herself busy packing her and Nandettan’s clothes. “Train is at 3 pm and we reach Chennai tomorrow morning 6 am there” he yells out from the verandah. Which in turn is a warning for her and which exactly means ‘we don’t have all day! speed up will you?’. Imitating him mockingly with a chuckle she continues her packing. At the Railway Platform waiting for the train she asks “Is Baby Ettan alrite? Was that the phone call in the morning?”. And he replies dismissively ‘No’ to continue reading his Newspaper. So sitting next to him she picks up her favorite magazine ‘Vanitha’ and glances for some article. But somewhere its bothering her big time ‘What the heck is going on?’. Poor thing has forgotten tomorrow is her birthday. She is now more worried about her apparent cousin brother ‘Baby Ettan’ who is in Chennai since ages and had a kidney failure last year. Morning 6 am train reached Chennai Station. As they get out to a huge crowd and finding a way through it Mama’s eyes were scourging for some familiar face to receive them. As they walked out of the station Papa called for a taxi. He asked the driver "Thambaram pokuma?". Mama was still in awe and had no clue what is in Thambaram? One good thing is, it has nothing to do with Baby Ettan as he is in Anna Nagar. Thank God he is healthy muttered Mama. As the Taxi sped past the city lanes Mama wondered how the city has changed. 30 years ago when she was here this city was entirely different. Madras those days was the dream city in all her college going days. After she got married to Nandettan it’s the first city they came to. This is much much before Binu and Sajju were born. My newly married city has changed drastically she continued wondering. As she continued reminiscing those days they reached the destination. Some 3 star lodging with smell of incense stick all over the reception lounge. Papa got the keys from the reception and they walked to their room. Papa said “C’mon get ready fast. We need to go somewhere from here”. Mama’s impatience grew over her “Can you tell me at least now what is going on?” . he smiled and replied “ You have waited for so long can’t you wait for some more time?” “Just trust me it’s going to be fine”. After some assuring words Papa gifted her yet another Sari and wished “Happy Birthday Ammu”. Mama meanwhile somehow maintains the same child like enthusiasm after all those Saris. She opened the cover and took the Sari out to checked herself out in front of the mirror. “Suits me” she said with a giggle. As soon as they got themselves ready they went to the restaurant located opposite to the lodge. Summoning for the waiter he ordered “2 Upma and 2 bru coffee’s please”. Mama was taken aback “Upma and you?” she laughed. He replied “You like Upma don’t you? And I thought I will give you a company” . “Ohh is that it??” Mama continued laughing. In her 30 years with this man of the many things he hates ‘Upma’ must come somewhere in Top 5. After breakfast they walked out and Papa fared another Taxi and this time he asked “Mahabalipuram pokuma?”. Mahabalipuram temple, first place they went out as couples together. That’s way back August of 1980. Wow!!! Then she got it, Mama just came to know the fact that all along her loving husband was planning the perfect gift on her Birthday. Yes, not those diamond earrings Binu sent late last year and not those paintings Sajju sent. But her husband nailed it this time with some quality time to spend with her. With the reminiscent thoughts and memories to flavor it this was the best birthday gift she could ever ask for. On the back seat of the taxi with moist eyes and a glistened tear drop she said “Thank you Nandetta”.

As this memorable journey continues in Chennai meanwhile Binu and Sajju are checking out all those gift to India websites for their dead brain cells to invoke some ideas for their loving Mama.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sachin Tendulkar

Well the name says it all...doesnt it? He is the god himself of Cricket. Anywhere in the world where they follow cricket must have gazed in awe at this brilliant creation. Today as i blog Tendulkar has surpassed another milestone - First ODI double hundred by a batsman. Many reached close to it but destiny was written it to be him. 20 years of international cricket and still nothing can stop his child like enthusiasm to the game. Sometimes my mind gets cluttered with too many words to write about something, today is one of those days. Every word i write i feel i wont be paying full justice to the sheer talent, hardwork,perseverance and hell other qualities embedded in this gods gift to us. Adjectives well they are hard to come by when we think about him. One thing am sure of, still many more kids will take their cricket bats with Sachin's sticker on it playing on the streets of chennai, melbourne,karachi or london. I salute you Sir...with all respects.

Biting the forbidden fruit

The best thing about a bachelor life is the total freedom. I mean nothing can be compared to it. Its like those immeasurable stuffs we studied in 9th standard physics. Freedom here is not the one Gandhiji fought against the British Raj for but its more like the lazying and fooling around the marquee one. Basically you aren't answerable to anyone but to yourself which makes us this unknown mammothial entity. Last week a few friends and me went out for a movie, dinner at some indian restaurant and bowling after that. Well you could do all 3 of the above with a women in your arm, but i cant say that they would feel like same and latter would be better. Even with my friends who are girls (not the other way around) i personally aren't that comfortable and some words ought to be gobbled up, its like the name 'Voldemont'. You gotta act unnatural or else no one is comfortable. May be the difference in emotional quotients and understandings, there still lies a brief hiatus. And its not like we can negate a girl and completely ignore them, obviously we need them but for some reasons there lies an iota of seriousness and 'plastic face' that comes with it. My friends who are hooked up will definitely know better.

There was this cliched moment when we all were sitting in a row and in the row ahead of us were this couple. So one of us picks out this line "What the f* am i doing with you guys? See that guy is enjoying with her." We all had a good laugh about it, but inside us we all are scared about the 'x' number of  packages that arrive with it. My friend says its the fear of commitment, whatever it is it sounded crazy. Most of the guys in our gang never had any girlfriends to speak of and the word 'date' still lies in those chick movies for us. But if we were playing 'Deal or No Deal' i personally wont exchange the time out with our gang for a date. Whether it was in college or at work or still now i have a personal liking for those times with guys. Whether its at the pub, watching cricket matches, playing football,  late night ventures to restaurants, playing cards...each has its own flavour of time pass.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Reading a bud 'thro and thro'

Varun sits all alone in a pompous starbucks coffee shop in busy streets of Chicago. Sipping hot mocha he remembers his days as a student with the sweetest ever cutting chai at the nair tea stall. Walking in the cold breeze with a slight snow and a smoke in his hand he disappears into the oblivion. Times have changed he muses and truly it has, way past the cliches. Philosopher in him sinking in front of his eyes turning out to be mere statements in ego. Its like the story of a kid hanuman who jumped to grab Sun thinking it as a fruit. Something similar in many ways, the fruit he went for was bigger than he expected for. Ideologies he picked up from various stratas of life. Ideologies he believed and virtually trusted to die for but now he feels like in front of a huge wall with darkness behind and steepness ahead. Sometimes its easier to speak than rather to do it in action. Why was being common so disliking, so cursed for him? Anything but generic was his code word but still unanswered as they lie in front of him. He needs the courage to pick up those shattered pieces and go ahead. Is that a lack of impetus or just loss of sheer determination, well only time can tell. He misses his love the very shoulder he could cry upon without any shame and admit his fallacies. Even she has moved on and thrives in those vague emails and emoticons in yahoo messenger. Friends missing brithdays, new years and gradually forgetting the very existence of him.  Some think of him as a nerd playing six strings at middle of night and blurting out cobain. Pressures at work, politcs amongst colleagues, endless deadlines synch in harmony to squeeze every drop out of him. Folks now want him to get settled with a complete stranger and keep on amassing wealth for no reasons other than theirs. Agendas of life as he sees them, he continues walking the path everyone follows though deep inside he wants to answer the call of those wild dreams. Snickeringly he remembers his friend Mental's words "Path aint matter if you keep on Walking Tall".

Friday, January 29, 2010

Mein Priyanka Chopra Banna Chaahthi Hoon?

Well dont get puzzled? I am more of embezzled after the news reached me. Priyanka Chopra plays a model (which she was earlier) and won a National Award for her services. A filmfare award would have been fair enough as she hardly finds a competition with a leggy-least-acting-oriented Deepika, or a gori memsaab Katrina, a lost Lara, Zero sized Kareena (aren't there any actresses am amused or maybe i cant think of any on top of my head). Kangana Ranaut is type cast and can deliver the 'bitch' role like no one else. Need to see what she can do in other roles, well cant blame her completely as these days scripts are written for the scantly dressed gals and lots of oomph factor. Kareena sometime shows a glitter of hope but well again she is nothing but an overhyped kapoor-khandaan-actress. Then there are a bunch of other actresses about whom we come to know only when a movie releases (basically their acting wont stay in our minds that long enough).

Who am i to say all this? Well a big movie fanatic like many amongst us lost in those Madhuri Dixit nakhre's or a Sreedevi screen presence or a Shobana's grace. These days Rajiv Masand decides who has screen presence and who hasn't :). Ram Gopal Varma made a movie 'Mein Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahthi Hoon' ; infact a true title depicting the pulse of those millions of girls who were charmed by 'Madhuri'. Though the movie was a dud with Antara Mali playing the dreamy girl but the title was good enough. Then there was a tomboyish karizma about Kajol and her sheer talent. Though she reappears now and then but its hard to see her outside Karan Johars Scripts or a Khan movie. Aiswarya Rai is in Mid-Air neither in Hollywood nor in Bollywood. More over the script must have Bachhan pariwaat involved in some way so thats an added hurdle. Vidya Balan is a good actress but haven't seen a movie where she can shake a leg or two.

Priyanka Chopra was good in fashion but awarding her country's top acting award in a way blemished the aura associated with National Awards. In one interview Mammootty had said about the globalising BOLLYWOOD which 'swallowed' the Cannes film festival. Bollywood actors romping and ravaging world film festivals just for the Red Carpets. Something similar to National Awards as well?? We see a lot of bollywood actors winning it. In Priyanka's defense she was way better than Saif Ali Khan in HumTum for which he won a National Award a few years back. A country which produced talented actresses like Madhuri, Shobhana, Nandita Das , Shabana Azmee or Smita Patil has thrusted the whole weight on poor Priyanka Chopras. She has the next door girl face and good looks to match that, but acting bole tho she has to go a long long way.

The genuine problem lies in the way stories are written. Directors bank on the 'Khans and a  Kumar' that they just need a pretty face for their heroine. And if she is more than willing to jump into the sea in a bikini ..PERFECTO!!! Every director comes up with a cliched statement 'my heroine is a simple girl from a small town...' .When did simple girls started drinking, pole dancing, sleeping with strangers and bikini clad? As always common sense is out of the story line as far as a heroine is considered. Saddening part is the screen time for most heroines. Production houses market movie with a heroine in the cast, Director and Writer give big statement on these 'gifted actress who immerses herself in the role'. But truly they know movie will go forward even if she is not there. We have seen end credits in alphabetical order and in order of appearances but i guess now they should start in order of screen time. Well that will be an 'Eye  Opener' eh?

In these observations there might be an Exception but it generally can be taken up as a Rule until something melodramatic happens to Hindi Movies.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Plugged in...

Music, well i would say it keeps me fresh all day long. Whether am at work or at gym or drive back home am always plugged in to ipod/iphone whatever i get. Much more like the agents in Matrix movies. This time after vacation i have brought back some old collections i had since college days and the time in chennai. MP3 collected from all over and not to miss my sisters unique collection. And also a big big A R Rahman collection (how can i even think about music without Rahman). Though i dont have a special adherence to a particular type of music as i prefer not to be stuck on one floor. Basically i like the radio/fm culture its the best place where you can explore all the latest and greatest music. Then we have the abudance of youtube music, any song you name it some how you can grab hold of it from youtube. As every one of you i prefer songs that suit my mood or songs that could elevate me to a better mood. Like there is no point in listening to an Yesudas classic in gym basically when you are pumping your bice and trice. Then there is this beautiful aspect of certain songs that remind us of someone. Like one of my dearest friend liked the song "White Flag" by 'Dido'. Its been ages since i met her but for some reason this song just keeps those memory cells alive. And there is "Maaeri" by 'Euphoria' which is the bread and butter song of my guitarist bro. "Zara Zara" from RHTDM which shyama karaoked at Kumarakom Chennai. Then there are those handful of songs we mouth in the classroom desk with Sankar on beats which even Sivamani could be proud of. If  i just start listing, well it could go on forever. But i guess thats how each song structures or weaves a person/face around it. I am not sure if you guys also feel the same, but well i have yelled my thoughts about it.

CIAO

Monday, January 11, 2010

iPhone Blues!!!

Last time i was so effin happy was when my dad gifted me a bicycle in 8th standard. These days i sit, stand ,sleep and even shi* (sorry abt the language ladies) with the new iPhone in hand. Well i have been planning to buy it forever, its just that i had a contract with my previous carrier that stopped me from owning it. One must or will get floored away by this pretty device and its really kick ass in every way. Its the whole 'touch screen' imagery that is so enthralling. I am not here to give the tech spec about the device as you can find 'n' number of expert opinions on it. As an end user i will be a little biased not just because i own it also for the fact that i have been waiting eagerly to own one. 3G experience on a mobile is an entirely new experience as such. Given the fact that we are so adhered to the cyber world these days. Access of youtube, facebook, yahoo and orkut in your palm what more do you want to keep in touch with your loved ones. I take random pic of a snow, or some amazing christmas lights or a beautiful car or anything for that matter and send it to my sister in India. And not to forget those thousands of apps flooding in the market just to make the iPhone expereince an awesome one. Next time you think about a gift for your loved ones, well dont think twice, just go for an iPhone . That is if you are able to grab one hassle free(contract less). It comes to 650$ which is quite costly for an average 'go getter'. But for somethings in life Max. Retail Price doesnt matter. Does it????

http://www.att.com/wireless/iphone//?WT.srch=1