Friday, December 28, 2007

Evano Oruvan: Film Review

Evano Oruvan is the story of a straight forward middle class man in our present day society. Madhavan plays Sridharan Vasudevan a bank officer going through his routine life as each mundane day fades into the other, his problem is that he is straight as a ruler and doesn't seem to fit in contemporary society. He seethes in anger at every injustice around him and is forced to control it by his family and society.

After a bad day confronting corruption at work, he goes overboard when a shop keeper fails to return Rs.2 charged over the maximum price. He goes on to indulge in various acts of righteous violence against corruption we see in every day life. Though you somehow understand his pent up emotions they can be only described as stupidity by a well educated man.

Unlike the various vigilante super hero movies and super cop movies we have got used to, this is movie is much different. Madhavan is never portrayed larger than life but just 'Evano Oruvan'. The ending is natural and heart breaking, how many times have you seen half the theatre breaking into a spontaneous applause?

Madhavan has come out with the best performance of his career. He carries the whole movie on his shoulders (literally, he's the producer too), his performance is so good that it over shadows two other great performances. Seeman as the pure Tamil speaking introspective cop and Sangeetha as Madhavan's nagging wife also bring out their best. Credit also for the Background Score by Sameer. After watching Evano Oruvan the Tamil remake of the multi award winning Marathi Movie by the same director Nishikanth Kamat you are left in no doubt as to why the original movie was such a success. The Movie easily gets four stars out of five

If you're someone who stops at an orange light only to watch several vehicles after you jump the red light, If you're someone who asks for a second time about that the one or two rupees that the shop keeper charges beyond the MRP, If you're someone who seethes in anger and hesitates to pay a bribe this is a movie you have to watch! It's about me, Is it about you?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Only in Chennai: Centres of Faith

We're so religious that we have pictures of god(s) all over our home, places of work and education also. Children and enterprises are named after god(s). We carry images in our vehicles, key tags, purses. Maybe this is why they say GOD IS EVERYWHERE!

Why leave out the roads somebody thought and now we've a roadside temple in every area. With progress and an ever increasing human and vehicular population these unapproved structures built on public roads invariably become hindrances to the free flow of traffic. By the time the government wakes up to the traffic snarls in the area someone or the other considers the deity 'powerful' and becomes attached to it and the invariable protest when removal of the illegal structures is ordered. With successive governments that have single mindedly pursued power and votes such temples have flourished for fear of antagonising those who are attached to the temple.

While most people are familiar with roundtanas / traffic parks in the middle of roads, but temples?! Only in Chennai do we find such centres of faith occupying not only the centre of our hearts but also the roads too! While visitors to Chennai gape in wonder, this is one of those things that sets Chennai apart from the rest of the world!.



East Coast Road, Thiruvanmiyur



Kotturpuram

As has been the trend recently, it's most often the judiciary that has come to the rescue of the harassed common man. Last year when the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court ordered the demolition of all structures (more than half were temples of course!) that interfered with flow of traffic, many had hoped for similar measures in Chennai, but the wish has remained unfulfilled. A glimmer of hope last week when the courts ordered the demolition of a temple in the middle of the road in Ashok Nagar, we hope for the sake of Chennai that there's many more such orders to come.

NOTE: If you don't understand my disgust of this Chennaiist, try living on a street with three road side temples and a Church!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Big Retail Experience @ Big Bazaar

Ever seen a queue outside a Shop, Complete with Pandhal & Barricades like in an Exhibition...? I guess that's what will happen when the prices are quite cheap. Chennaiist thinks, Big Bazaar is crowded and is the Indian version of WalMart, though the place is not quite as crowded as some shops in the City's Shopping Centre T.Nagar.

The Tag line goes 'Shop till you drop!' and that's what you will end up doing! The place seems to have everything you would normally need from cooking utensils to cameras, groceries to garments, furniture to fashion accessories, over a lakh different items they claim!

The prices of the unbranded items were quite cheap, quality only time will tell. Electronics, Gift articles, Children's games etc were all quite cheap too. Garments & Groceries (around 5-10% of the stuff) have some good offers too, but they keep changing. If you're lucky you will get a good deal on what you want.

A special feature like at Reliance Fresh, you don't see in your normal supermarket, is the special limited period offer that they announce over the public address system that gives a dirt cheap price on a few items for an hour.

It took almost 2 hours to navigate through the whole shop. The checkout counter in spite of the 17 counters took another half hour though! On the whole it was like 'Saravana Stores' spread out on one floor, the ambience better and the crowd more posh though!

Big Bazaar is part of the Pantaloons Retail group, you can check out some of the prices on their online portal Future Bazaar

The Big Bazaar outlet is located in Saligramam on Vadapalani High Road, Opposite Bharani Hospital, about a km away from Vijaya Hospital.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

One answer

Is being polite more important than being truthful?
Is lying to yourself less important than lying to others?
Is a friend's request more important than being truthful?
Is any price too much to pay for being and doing the right thing?

India in Isolation

The largest democracy in the World, surrounded by chaos. How long can we live in isolation as our neighbours continue to suffer?

Afghanistan, continues to reel under Talibanisation years after the Talibans were driven out of most of their land by the Americans. The Americans are fighting those they armed to drive out the Soviets.
Pakistan has spent more years under military rule than in Democracy, a heavy price to pay for maintaining a huge army to match India. Wouldn't peace between brothers have done a lot more good?
Nepal in Transition... Democracy without elections. Maoists in power. A king without a Kingdom.
Tibet where's that? Can China's importance and might make us forget the aspirations of this forgotten country and it's people?
Bhutan, peaceful, yet a blast from the past.
Burma under Military rule for Decades. How long will India take the side of the Military rulers? If peace loving monks can protest and die for democracy, can't India lift a finger to help?
Sri Lanka, the war wages on. Once bitten twice shy but can't we mediate peace?
Bangladesh, the only place where Military rule is probably doing some good... rooting out corrupt politicians. Why aren't we more friendly with these people? Why do they provide haven for terrorists who harm us?

Does a country of a Billion that ignores it's neighbours deserves a Permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council by right of it's size alone?
Is the American way of 'fighting' for Democracy wrong?
Is the Indian way of remaining a mute spectator right?

Monday, October 29, 2007

TR the Tiger!


TR talks about his abilities, guiness Records etc :P


In Veerasamy he was like a 20 yr old Hero he ssys!

If you can't laugh out for this...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Concise Adventures of the Man with the Electric Sword

It was 1 Am, (Is that Morning or Night?) He walked in with his his suit of armour, electric sword in hand. Within a few minutes he had chopped down several enemies. The shrieking enemies brought the friend who stood watching with a question...
I was sleepy, he said. I must have killed at least forty, he continued, still seeking out the enemies from every corner. Definitely fifty said the friend...
They both smiled and went back to their books throwing the Mosquito Bat in a corner.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

I'm a Believer

+I thought love was only true in fairy tales
Meant for someone else but not for me
Love was out to get me
Thats the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams

Then I saw her face
Now Im a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
Im in love
Im a believer
I coundnt leave her if I tried

I thought love was more or less a giving thing
Seems the more I gave the less I got
Whats the use in trying
All you get is pain
When I needed sunshine I got rain

Then I saw her face
Now Im a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
Im in love
Im a believer
I coundnt leave her if I tried

Written by: Neil Diamond

PS: Read Paragraphs 1 and 3 alone, I'm yet to see 'her' face :P

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Google Lunar X Prize: A race to the Moon!

The X PRIZE Foundation and Google Inc. (One more reaso to love Google!) today announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million prize purse. Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth.

The Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented international competition that will challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. The X PRIZE Foundation, best known for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private suborbital spaceflight, is an educational nonprofit prize organization whose goal is to bring about radical breakthroughs to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world today.

“The Google Lunar X PRIZE calls on entrepreneurs, engineers and visionaries from around the world to return us to the lunar surface and explore this environment for the benefit of all humanity,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. “We are confident that teams from around the world will help develop new robotic and virtual presence technology, which will dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration.”

“Having Google fund the purse and title the competition punctuates our desire for breakthrough approaches and global participation,” continued Diamandis. “By working with the Google team, we look forward to bringing this historic private space race into every home and classroom. We hope to ignite the imagination of children around the world.”

About Lunar Exploration:

In the 1960s, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a historic superpower Moon race, which culminated in 12 men exploring the surface of the Moon. The first era of lunar exploration reached a dramatic conclusion in December of 1972 as Apollo 17 Astronauts Captain Gene Cernan and Dr. Harrison Schmitt became the last men on the Moon.

Moon 2.0, the second era of lunar exploration, will not be a quest for “flags and footprints.” This time we will go to the Moon to stay. The Moon is a stepping stone to the rest of the solar system and a source of solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems that we face on Earth – energy independence and climate change. Already, governments from around the world recognize the importance of lunar exploration, and national space agencies from the United States, Russia, China, India, Japan, and the nations of Europe plan to send probes to the Moon in the coming decade.

Today, the frontier of private enterprise is the halo of communications satellites in geostationary orbit 24,000 miles above our planet. The Google Lunar X PRIZE now challenges private enterprise to reach 10 times beyond its present limits to participate in this great exploration adventure.

About the Prize Purse:

• The $30 million prize purse is segmented into a $20 million Grand Prize, a $5 million Second Prize and $5 million in bonus prizes. To win the Grand Prize, a team must successfully soft land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, rove on the lunar surface for a minimum of 500 meters, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to the Earth.

Why the Moon?

In a recent Gallup poll, more than two-thirds of Americans (68%) support a return to the Moon, and further missions to points beyond. Some practical benefits to lunar exploration include:

• Enabling exploration of the solar system and beyond. Space exploration is expensive because every ounce of propellant and spacecraft must be launched out of the Earth’s strong gravity field. A natural storehouse of materials, lunar soil is more than 40% oxygen by weight and oxygen makes up most of the mass of rocket propellant. Because of its shallower gravity well, the Moon is the stepping stone to the universe.

• The Moon can help save the Earth. For more than 30 years, NASA and the US Department of Energy have experimented with ways to capture abundant clean solar energy in space for use on Earth. Although the technology for doing this is well understood, the high cost of launching materials out of the Earth’s deep gravity well has prevented the implementation of these systems. However, if lunar material is used for space construction, clean energy could be supplied on a 24-hour basis without carbon dioxide or other hazards to the biosphere.

• We can learn about the Earth’s geologic past. Thanks to the Moon rocks and other information returned by Apollo astronauts, scientists now believe that the Moon was created by a collision between a planet-sized object and the early Earth. By exploring our nearest neighbor we are also exploring a remnant of ancient Earth.

• We can see more deeply into space. The Moon provides a large stable platform for astronomical observation unhindered by atmosphere. The far side of the Moon is the one “quiet” place in the Solar System that is shielded from the Earth’s cacophony of radio, television and data broadcasts. The body of the Moon itself provides this shielding, and a radio telescope on the lunar far side can detect energy from the beginning of the universe.

• Driving new technologies and devices. The Moon may be the most hostile environment we face in the near future. Surviving and exploring will require major advances in technology. Many of those technologies will also have practical use back home.

www.googlelunarxprize.org

Sunday, August 19, 2007

If you had only 'Four Hours In Chennai'

Newsweek, the second largest weekly in the USA, in it's International Edition has a section '4 hours in' featuring what not to miss in a city when a traveller is in Transit and has only a few hours to spare. The issue dated June 18 features, namma Chennai. Read through this interesting piece reproduced from the Newsweek which tells what a traveller can do to get the essence of Chennai. Do you think something important has been missed out? Do leave your comments.


Four Hours In Chennai - Jason Overdorf
Once known as Madras, India's fourth largest city is known as the unofficial capital of the jasmine-and-sandalwood-scented south.

VISIT the ancient Kapa-leeswarar temple, devoted to the Hindu god Shiva (Kutchery Road, Mylapore; 4 a.m.-noon and 4-8 p.m.).

EAT tiffin, the all-purpose south Indian meal of idlis (fluffy steamed rice cakes), dosas (slightly sour pancakes made from fermented rice and lentil flour) and vadas (tiny, spicy doughnuts) at Saravana Bhavan (77 Usman Road, T. Nagar; saravanabhavan.com).

STROLL through the botanical gardens of the Theosophical Society, which include a 400-year-old banyan tree once thought to be the largest in the world (Adyar Bridge Road; 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2-4 p.m., Monday-Saturday).

SHOP for silk saris at Sri Kumaran Stores (45 Usman Road, T. Nagar; srikumaransilk.com) or Nalli (100 Usman Road, T. Nagar; nallisilk.com).

Source NewsWeek
Photo: The Kapaleeshwar temple with it's pond in all it's splendor thanks to the recent spell of Rains and Rain-Water Harevsting!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Sivaji (சிவாஜி): Movie Review

The Movie opens with a masked man being taken through thousands of chest beating men and women and locked up in the central prison, when a co-prisoner asks him what crime he had committed, Super-Star turns around to say 'I tried to do good for the Country' and then Sivaji turns into flash back mode. Not a typical opening scene for a Rajnikanth film, but then this one's a Shankar film!



Without giving anything away, Sivaji, is about Software Engineer returning from the USA with 200 Crore Rupees to realise his dream of building engineering and medical colleges that provide free education on merit and how he has to endure bureaucratic red-tapism and corruption like the rest of us have to, when we go to any government office. Then there's the baddie Suman, who plays the quintessential businessman trying to undermine a potential competitor to his own engineering & medical college 'business' with every crooked method possible. In the meanwhile Sivaji manages to find a typical Tamil girl, Shriya, to fall in love with, woo her and dance around. When the twists and turns of the movie leave him penniless, how our Superstar fights back is the Second half. If you'll find Rajni as Sivaji rocking, just wait for climax when Rajni as MGR simply blows you away! MGR? Yup! that's suspense ;)

Rajni as Sivaji looks a good 25 years younger and pulls of another stellar performance in typical Rajni style, the chewing gum replaces Cigarette but the rest is pure Rajni formula. Shriya as the typical Tamil girl performs as much as her role allows her to, but is nothing more than a glam doll as in most Tamil movies. Vivek as Sivaji's side-kick seems a tad under utilised but then that's the way you feel about everyone else except Rajni in the film.

There are no mannerisms or punch lines to imitate, when Sivaji wants to deliver a punch line Vivek stops him and takes a dig at the rising stars of Cinema and walks away with all the claps! The Camera work and the sets deserve a mention, the music by A.R. Rahman are already topping the charts all around. The fight sequences give you a sense of déjà vu, there's nothing new but they're highly stylised. Like in any Shankar movie there's an over dose of computer generated effects and the songs are well shot in grand style, when you watch those you'll realise what went into the making of Indian Cinema's most expensive film ever.

The film delivers a social message against 'Black Money' and exhorts movie goers to 'realise the dream' of a developed India, but, falls terribly short on story and logic. Not a typical Shankar film, but then, this one's a Rajni film! Am I contradicting myself? No I'm not! There's something for the Rajni fan and something for those expecting another classy one from Shankar the perfectionist but if you go to the theatre looking for either alone you'll end up a bit disappointed after all the hype. Go watch the film for 3 hours of pure entertainment alone.

Release of a Rajni film is festve time for some people in Tamil Nadu: Images from the Sivaji Film Festival :P (from an EMail Forward)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A new Hippocratic Oath

All that may come to my knowledge in the exercise of my profession or in daily commerce with men, which ought not to spread abroad, I will keep secret and will never reveal.” Doctors have to take the Hippocratic Oath, named after Hippokrates of Kos (460-370 BCE). No one knows whether the Hippocratic Corpus of seventy medical works, which includes the Oath, was actually authored by Hippokrates or his students. Nor is the classic Oath, with references to Greek gods and goddesses like Apollo, Asclepius, Hygieia (from whom we get the word hygiene) and Panacea invoked now. Instead, we have modern versions based on a Geneva Declaration of 1948; references to spreading abroad have been excised. In aftermath of the attempted Glasgow bombing, doctors figure prominently among suspects; doctors from India.True, we have no more than the finger of suspicion now. But let’s not forget our Omar Khayyam. “The moving finger writes; and, having writ, moves on: nor all your piety nor wit shall lure it back to cancel half a line, nor all your tears wash a word out of it.” Proven or not, the finger of suspicion may land on several Indian self-perceptions.

One of them, of course, is about India and terror import-export. India imports terror, is a victim of it, has been the national perception. Will that change if global perceptions change. Related to that is a crucial economic question, which also engenders a self-perception, we are first rate pool for global skill migration. Every year, around 270,000 emigrants leave India. That is 3 per cent of global migrant population. In 2006, India’s migrants sent home an estimated $26.9 billion, 3.3 per cent of GDP; 15 million Indians live abroad.These emigrants are of different types and professional emigration to Britain, the US, Canada or Australia is not quite the same as relatively lower skilled emigration to the Middle East. Within the medical fraternity, 59,095 doctors work abroad, primarily in the four countries mentioned: 4.9 per cent of total doctors in the US are Indians, 10.9 per cent in Britain.

Migration, of course, is coterminus with the beginning of human evolution, people have always moved elsewhere in search of better resources and opportunities. There is push of lack of opportunities in the homeland and pull of better prospects in the new home. No one can object to doctors emigrating (only a few return), even if the desire for greater prosperity is sometimes cloaked as desire for specialised training. If supply-side adjustments in medical training occur (a big if), there is plenty more in the labour pool to compensate for the 1,500 or so who exit every year. But there is one caveat. Every doctor trained in India receives $40,000 in public subsidies. We should eliminate these. As long as subsidies remain, shouldn’t we insist on a payback before emigration?

There may be tighter controls on immigration post-Glasgow. But the West has no option. Net welfare gains from immigration are obvious. Add to that labour shortages and the ageing population in developed countries. The social security system remains financially viable only if a steady stream of relatively young and highly skilled workers (professional category) joins the labour force to pay premiums. If such populations are not available at home, they can only come from abroad. That is the general point.

More specifically, medical systems (like National Health Service or NHS in Britain) will simply collapse. Incidentally, this is the 60th anniversary of NHS and a complete review of NHS has just been announced, under the chairmanship of Sir Ara Darzi. One doubts that Darzi Committee will recommend the impossible, complete replacement of foreign doctors in NHS by the indigenous variety. Instead, because the West is now justifiably paranoid about security and terrorist threats, there will be tighter controls, not just on transit through airports, but also on relatively permanent immigration. And almost inevitably, this will involve stereotyping, labelling and generalisation, based on ethnicity and racial profiling. This already existed implicitly and de facto. Glasgow contributes towards making it explicit and de jure.

One wants to keep out the undesired and allow in the desired, reducing probability of risk to zero. But that is not how it works. Collateral damage will occur by keeping out some with no ulterior motives, simply because they fit stereotypes. There is nothing Indian government can do and perhaps this is a good thing, given subsidies on doctors and shortage in numbers. Simultaneously, entry barriers won’t necessarily keep out the undesired. The ones under suspicion now would probably have slipped through filters, because they are people like us. Before the event, who would have suspected doctors, of the medical or dissertation varieties?

That apart, there are instances of discontent within British and American nationals. It is not as if the indigenous population is risk-free. Where does that leave us? Perhaps one should go back to Hippokrates. At that time, the dominant Knidian school of medicine was based on diagnosis and because knowledge of human anatomy was imperfect, this was often wrong. The Hippocratic or Koan school turned out to be superior because it used prognosis. Knee-jerk reactions to terrorism, inevitable though they may be, hinge on diagnosis, not prognosis.

Perhaps, the new Middle Eastern Peace Envoy, who happened to be an ex-British prime minister, should find a solution. Palestine and India were divided along religious lines by the British almost 60 years ago, roughly when NHS was also set up.

From The Indian Express

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Which of these makes you proud that you're an Indian?

  • India has it's first women President in 6o years yet, India's first woman IPS officer with near impeccable credentials is pipped for the top job in Delhi Police by a male two years her junior. (Link)


  • The UPA government is planning to announce Sonia Gandhi's Birthday as Girl Child Day (Link) yet some women in a village in Rajasthan are not allowed out of their houses under threat of a Rs.10,000 because one woman married a man from another caste.


  • When even women IAS officers don't seem to be safe from molesters (Link), no wonder then children continue to be sexually abused all over India (Link, Link, Link)



  • While an innocent Indian Doctor labelled a terrorist languished in an Australian jail for a month the Indian government did only lip service (Link), But in the past even foreign nationals convicted for waging war against the nation were pardoned and released on diplomatic pressure from other nations. (Link) Colonial hangover? When our government does little for the millions in India, what's one life in a foreign nation?

  • 60 years after Independence, even though punishable under law, we still have child labourers and Manual scavengers (Link)


  • The Taj Mahal was selected by a private foundation as one of the new 7 wonders a reason to rejoice? The Taj is surrounded by filth and is dying (Link)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Does Google AdSense Pay?

This is a question quite a few of you have asked me, the answer is YES! Here below is the image of a cheque I received from GOOGLE ADSENSE recently as payment for the ads they display on my Blogs.
Google AdSense claims they display 'relevant Ads' on my blogs, though at times I wonder at times how Internet Security, Credit Cards, Loans or Job Search are relevant to my Blogs. I get paid for every Ad you the readers of my blog click, I also get paid for the Ads you click in the search results.

I won't claim to be an expert in milking Google AdSense but here are a few tips:
  • There are people who make a living on this, unless you do a great job like that, Google AdSense will be strictly only for pocket money.
  • It's not enough if you've a Blog, flaunt it!
  • There's no alternative to Good original content unless you've a niche subject.
  • Link freely to good blogs you know, you'll get more incoming links, that does a world of good.
  • If you throw crap in the air some of it is bound to get blown into your face. Don't abuse your blog's reader, Don't delete comments, it is quite a turn-off. Lots of comments is good.

This blog is now 100 posts old :) Happy earning!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

It doesn't matter if Prathiba becomes President, Make some Noise Women!

I travelled by bus after a long time, it was not by choice, the health camp I had to go was too far from the city and I was warned the roads were too bad to risk a bike ride. I got on one of those colourful buses with comfortable seats till Poonamalee. After observing several foot board-full buses from a distance I somehow managed to get into a bus to Sriperambudur where i actually got a seat. The bus was soon crowded, with all sorts of people, with many industries in that stretch, there were many office goers too.

I watched a fairly good looking young women get on the bus, she was wearing some sort of uniform with her company name stitched on her shalwar's arms. The conductor kept walking around the bus issuing tickets and asking people to move 'inside' the bus. A group of five young men came and stood next to me and the young woman, it was obvious those fellows were good for nothing. I could either look outside the window or watch just this crowd around me, which I did for a major part of the journey.

First, they started making indirect references to the girl in their loud conversation making jokes among themselves. I didn't know at that time if the girl didn't understand or if she was ignoring them. After a while as I gaped in surprise the bunch of perverts started started falling against her and brushing against her and groping her quite obviously. The woman would once in a while turn back and stare for a few seconds, I kept hoping she would do something, slap those guys maybe but she didn't even open her mouth. At least 3 from the group took turns in gaining some sort of perverted pleasure from the girl. I kept hoping that maybe she was some sort of plain clothes police woman who would have her gang of waiting cops when one of the the bus stop came...

Nothing of that sort happened... she just gave a silent stare once in a while. It seemed to me she was used to it but wasn't bold enough to react in public, the guys were obviously not newbies to this. I was frustrated hoping the woman would do something and hoped some sort of justice would be done on the spot. But nothing happened my thoughts started running like a train.

I wondered how Prathiba Patil becoming the President of India would not make a difference to this woman, yet all those politicians claimed that singular act was the crowning glory of women empowerment. She's just a symbol, she would make no difference, no one would look up to her, no one would be inspired by her, she would be confined to the history books and faded memories the moment she walks out office like the many before Dr. Abdul Kalam. The office of head of the state is only symbolic, yet the symbol seems to have so many skeletons in her cupboard that no non-political Indian citizen is ever going to look up to her... she's probably the most undeserving President of India ever, then what good is the symbol? What's the point?

I thought of Sonia Gandhi, arguably the most powerful person in this country, what has she done for this woman, what could she do this woman... I thought of Blank Noise, maybe a a group of elite women who don't get on a bus often... maybe not... but they couldn't help this woman today. So what difference does their existence make to her? It has been programmed into my mind that education and employment empower woman, all that crashed, it couldn't give the woman enough power to stand up... The bus stopped at the gates of some company, she got down, there were no policemen waiting, nothing happened, the guys vanished before I got down.
Should I've done something? I kept thinking, I knew what I wanted to do, I only waited for her to just utter one word in protest or a tight slap. Does a person who can't stand up for oneself deserve help from others around?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Battle at Kruger

A battle between a pride of lions, a herd of buffaloes, and 2 crocodiles at a watering hole in South Africa's Kruger National Park. Trust me you don't wana miss this!

Update: This Video has been viewed 8,500,000 times on You Tube!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Divide and Rule

The violence and all the politicking in Rajasthan in the beginning of this month is nothing but the ugly head of our country's skewed reservation policy showing itself. Our country's reservation policy may have begun with those who deserved to get a better chance after years of oppression and doing menial jobs, but now with everyone clamouring for a share of the reservation pie it's only about who has a larger share in the votes. The system is so big that there is more reservation than open competition in places like Tamil Nadu (the Backward State).

How can a country that is growing leaps and bounds in the world arena have it's people fighting to be called backward and most backward? People are actually willing to lay down their lives just to be tagged 'backward'! It's a wake-up call for any self-respecting person who loves this country even an iota, yet our politicians seem unperturbed in their quest to divide 'their' country into 'their' vote banks.

Ignoring the fundamental flaw in the concept of reservation in which the ends somehow seem to justify the means and which aims at redressing historic wrongs in a short term. When a portion of certain communities (definitely not communities as a whole) are getting a greater share of the power than they deserve it only leads to widespread discontentment among the rest.

Take Rajasthan for instance, everyone seems to be ignoring the fact that it's the act of the BJP government of including Jats into OBCs, which seems to have fanned the fire simmering inside. Now, Gujjars who are in the OBCs have the idea that their share of the pie has reduced, so, they now want to be included in the Scheduled Tribes. The Meenas who have been having a jolly good time think reservation is their birthright and are threatening to fight tooth and nail even with the slightest suggestion of giving up their exclusive access to the Scheduled Tribe 'Status' and reservation and all the trappings of 'power' that come with it.

Even though it's we the people who elect these bastards to power, even though it's the land of Gandhi, our politicians never rely on logic or reason when dealing with the people who elect them. Even most legitimate problems and issues are ignored by our politicians when presented to the government in a peaceful manner, the Gujjars seem to have understood this well and resorted to all those violence, and loss of lives, which they seem to feel is justified.

A warning to all those bastards ruling India, this is not the first, this won't be the last. Start using your heads, if you don't have a sane one start listening to those who have one before it becomes too late. You've succeeded in about 20 years, in what the Britishers failed for almost a century, You've mastered the art of 'Divide and Rule', it's not time to rejoice, it's time to introspect! Social Justice means eradicating even mention of the word caste not propagating it further by giving it more importance.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Sivaji (சிவாஜி): Movie Review

The Movie opens with a masked man being taken through thousands of chest beating men and women and locked up in the central prison, when a co-prisoner asks him what crime he had committed, Super-Star turns around to say 'I tried to do good for the Country' and then Sivaji turns into flash back mode. Not a typical opening scene for a Rajnikanth film, but then this one's a Shankar film!

Without giving anything away, Sivaji, is about Software Engineer returning from the USA with 200 Crore Rupees to realise his dream of building engineering and medical colleges that provide free education on merit and how he has to endure bureaucratic red-tapism and corruption like the rest of us have to, when we go to any government office. Then there's the baddie Suman, who plays the quintessential businessman trying to undermine a potential competitor to his own engineering & medical college 'business' with every crooked method possible. In the meanwhile Sivaji manages to find a typical Tamil girl, Shriya, to fall in love with, woo her and dance around. When the twists and turns of the movie leave him penniless, how our Superstar fights back is the Second half. If you'll find Rajni as Sivaji rocking, just wait for climax when Rajni as MGR simply blows you away! MGR? Yup! that's suspense ;)

Rajni as Sivaji looks a good 25 years younger and pulls of another stellar performance in typical Rajni style, the chewing gum replaces Cigarette but the rest is pure Rajni formula. Shriya as the typical Tamil girl performs as much as her role allows her to, but is nothing more than a glam doll as in most Tamil movies. Vivek as Sivaji's side-kick seems a tad under utilised but then that's the way you feel about everyone else except Rajni in the film.

There are no mannerisms or punch lines to imitate, when Sivaji wants to deliver a punch line Vivek stops him and takes a dig at the rising stars of Cinema and walks away with all the claps! The Camera work and the sets deserve a mention, the music by A.R. Rahman are already topping the charts all around. The fight sequences give you a sense of déjà vu (Matrix style is old stuff now), there's nothing new but they're highly stylised. Like in any Shankar movie there's an over dose of computer generated effects and the songs are well shot in grand style, when you watch those you'll realise what went into the making of Indian Cinema's most expensive film ever.

The film delivers a social message against 'Black Money' and exhorts movie goers to 'realise the dream' of a developed India, but, falls terribly short on story and logic. Not a typical Shankar film, but then, this one's a Rajni film! Am I contradicting myself? No I'm not! There's something for the Rajni fan and something for those expecting another classy one from Shankar the perfectionist but if you go to any of the 17 movie halls showing Sivaji in Chennai City looking for either alone you'll end up a bit disappointed after all the hype. Go watch it for 3 hours of pure entertainment.

Check out pics of the Sivaji (சிவாஜி): Film Festival on my Picture Blog

Friday, May 18, 2007

Boulevard of broken dreams

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone

I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk a...

My shadows the only one that walks beside me
My shallow hearts the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Til then I'll walk alone

Ah-Ah Ah-Ah Ah-Ah Ahhh
Ah-Ah Ah-Ah Ah-Ah Ahhh

I'm walking down the line
That divides me somewhere in my mind
On the border line of the edge
And where I walk alone

Read between the lines what's
Fucked up and every things all right
Check my vital signs to know I'm still alive
And I walk alone

I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk alone
I walk a...

My shadows the only one that walks beside me
My shallow hearts the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Til then I'll walk alone

Ah-Ah Ah-Ah Ah-Ah Ahhh
Ah-Ah Ah-Ah Ah-Ah Ahhh

I walk this empty street
On the Blvd. of broken dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one and I walk a..

My shadows the only one that walks beside me
My shallow hearts the only thing that's beating
Sometimes I wish someone out there will find me
Til then I'll walk alone!

Green Day - American Idiot

Monday, April 23, 2007

Simha, Simha, Narashima!

When he becomes Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu....


There won't be need for power plants...


He won't need body guards or protection...


He'll handle the goons like this...

Vote for Captain Vijayakanth!

Monday, April 16, 2007

300 - Movie Review

The Spartans discard imperfect babies, so that their armies are the strongest
The Spartans are born to be soldiers
The Spartans are taught never to retreat, never to surrender
The Spartans don't take Prisoners
The Spartans have descended from Hercules himself
The Spartans are taught that death in the battlefield is the greatest glory they could achieve in their life.
The Spartans are the finest soldiers this world has ever seen!

Zack Snyder's true to Comic book adaptation of Frank Miller's 300 is like a history lesson in an expensive Video game. It's a Cornucopia of highly stylised Computer generated vivid scenery, wild creatures and Battle scenes that's bound to excite you beyond compare. It is based on the historic battle of Thermopylae when King Leonidas of Sparta, led his badly outnumbered contingent to battle with the Persian juggernaut led by 'God-king' Xerxes in 480 BC. Snyder's devotion to the Frank Miller's (of Sin City fame) Comic Book has brought out a visually stunning rendition of the epic unlike anything we've ever seen before in this genre.


300 is true to it's Comic roots: A scene from the Comic & Movie, This is Madness, This is SPARTA!

It was 300 against a Million, yet another David vs Goliath story, a story of the underdog, but it's the treatment that's makes it such a delight to watch, it's like a poetry on a painting. There's plenty of blood and gore, plenty of killing and body parts being chopped off, but it's all stylised using stop-motion, bringing out some of the best choreographed fight scenes ever on film! This mesmerising Testosterone feast is sure to set your adrenaline pumping and bring out the video game playing adolescent out of you.

If this awe inspiring, passionate tale of freedom and honour is not reason enough to go watch this work of art at least go watch it for the Spartans who look like He-Man and walk around with chiselled features and 6 pack Abs. When the enemies' arrows blot out the sun, these Spartans fight from the shade! I can't wait to watch it again!

Check out the Comic, you'll start loving Frank Miller! Frank Miller who like with Sin City won Comic world's top Honour, 3 Eisner Awards in 1999 for 300 along with artist Lynn Varley.

300 the Movie Image: Wikipedia

PS: 300 has been dubbed into Tamil too, Guess what it's called...
'300 Paruthiveerargal'!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Solidarity against the Supreme Court!

As I blog this, I am expressing my solidarity against the Supreme Court order staying the OBC reservations. The Court has been so stupid that it's asking the UPA government at the centre to substantiate the reasons behind the OBC Quota.

To protest against this anti-people judgement our CM announced Tamil Nadu Bandh today. After anticipating legal problems, he went a step ahead and declared a Public Holiday. So the whole of Tamil Nadu ganged up against the Supreme Court and stayed at home.

Businesses will remain shut, they are showing their solidarity by their non-productivity which is expect to dent the state's GDP by Rs.750 Crores! People travelling by flights/trains from Chennai are showing thier solidarity by throwing their travel plans into haywire and staying at home. People travelling into Chennai by train will show their solidarity by walking the rest of the way from TN border! People flying into Chennai from national and international destinations will show their solidarity by landing in cities outside Tamil Nadu.

I'm a traitor, I tried to go to my University's library which works like 363 days a year (except Deepavali & Convocation day) to study! Library was closed, so now I'm also showing solidarity!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Illogical Cricket Fan

I'm not the usual cricket fan, Tendulkar is not my god, I don't deify the Indian cricket team. I never thought India would win the world cup, I think only the most consistent team deserves to win it (Aussies or the South Africans), In any case 2nd place 3rd place etc will be forgotten so how does it matter, whether India reached the Semi-finals or not? Obviously I'm not upset about what happened last night, there was some hope in the back of the mind, so, there's some disappointment in the back of my mind too :'( that's all.

Look at these illogical arguments floating around... look at all this below in my perspective with only Logic and fact in mind...
  • Srikanth/Sidhu say "Cricket is an unpredictable game"

Is Football, basketball, or baseball more predictable? How predictable is life itself?

  • Srikanth/Sidhu say "Cricket is a funny game"

Isn't life itself how you take it?

  • Dravid made the wrong choices after winning the toss against Bangladesh and the Lankans

Do you really think Dravid made the decision by himself? Do you really think there was no team meeting to decide about the toss after seeing the conditions?

What if the opponents had won the toss? Does the better team deserve to win or the team that takes the right decision after winning the toss? Should we blame luck for lack of performance?

  • Greg Chappel has ruined the Indian team

Pre-West Indies series didn't we create a world record in chasing? And Sachin Tendulkar (the best batsman in the world...) got out for a DUCK, Coaching can make a difference to a newbie like Pathan or Dhoni But Sachin? What prevented him from staying on?

Chappel is (in)famous for his spirit 'win at any cost' (the under arm ball incident) why would he do anything to make the Indians loose?

Didn't the BCCI look at his presentation before choosing him? So if he's the wrong man who's responsible for that mistake? Why is Dravid being accused of making wrong decisions but why is no one pointing fingers at the politicians ruining cricket?

  • Ganguly should be made Captain again, If he had been captain India would have won - Kolkattans & Fanatics outside (Most Kolkattans, at least those shown on TV or send text messages are fanatical about Ganguly anyway)

Ganguly scored in all three matches I agree, But look at his strike rate. His game was scratchy even against Bermuda... If we wannabe a winning team, a one day strike rate should be in the nineties not in the seventies especially for an opener. Ganguly might have started scoring and gained a bit more confidence after his forced sabbatical, but he remains as selfish as ever when he plays.

  • Cricketers spend too much time on endorsements

It takes half a day to can an ad shoot. Even if a person like Sachin who endorses 15-20 products spends say 15 days in all that... How does it affect his performance?

Just because an ad is shown with a cricketer every five minutes does it mean a cricketer spends one in five minutes of his life shooting ads?

It's because you're dumb enough to deify the cricketer and buy whatever he sells he's selling more of it. If you started using your brains maybe the cricketer would endorse two products lesser, and practice an extra day. That will win us the next world cup of course!

  • Scrap the entire cricket team!

Why is no one speaking of scrapping BCCI? Why are the thieving politicians taking up posts in state and national councils. Cricket in India has prospered unlike other sports because the government or bureaucracy didn't control it. But the politicians will drag it down!

  • People who damage property, burn effigy of cricketers when they loose

If you Morons weren't losers yourself, you would've been doing something better on those days instead of such crap. Get a life!

So what next? If I knew that I would be the next coach of the Indian team (Obviously all the morons will heap the blame on Chappel and pack him off)

Time to Introspect, Tendulkar should think of a sabbatical / retirement. Others just need confidence, practice and more commitment.

If small countries have so many good players, statistically a country of a billion should have 100 good teams of their class. Where are all these players? Obviously a flawed way of grooming young players... Obviously much of the talent is going untapped. Only the BCCI is to blame!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Reliance Fresh in Chennai

Reliance opened the first 12 of the proposed 100 Reliance Retail stores across Chennai a month ago. All the stores are Reliance Fresh outlets which will sell only food items like Fruits, Vegetables, Dairy products, Grains and Processed Food.

I visited the Reliance Fresh outlet on the very first day, the stores were crowded even then. The stores lived up to the hype and expectation, while most vegetables were priced Rs 2-5 per kg less than the neighbourhood vegetable vendor, there was little difference in the prices of packaged foods and imported fruits. As the days passed and word of mouth spread the stores have become only more crowded as people deserted the neighbourhood vendors for a Fresh retail Experience. The outlets were over-staffed with helpful, smiling and uniformed employees who offered a full 'Vanakkam' at the check-out counter. The stores even have a customer service desk! These are things you don't see at your neighbourhood vegetable vendor or for that matter even up-market supermarkets.

As if the cheaper price and the ambiance were not enough to hold on to the customers Reliance even has a loyalty programme to make sure people keep thronging it's stores. Also, you may have to pay for the Coriander and Curry Leaves that came free at your neighbourhood vegetable vendor, but then, nothing in life is free is it?

Last week, traders of Kotthaval Chavadi Vegetable Market protested that since the opening of Reliance Fresh outlets (about 5 weeks) their business was down by 40%! I guess that's a testimony to the prices at the outlets. Of course there's a downside, traders and middle men will get affected, but, I don't believe in Communism.

If someone is suffering can opportunistic Politicians be far behind? Now the PMK has started making loud noises, PMK is asking Reliance to quit TN and the vegetable market itself!

Remember the Rs.8 phone calls on your Mobile phone? Most of us never even had a Mobile phone then... And then, out of the blue came Reliance offering calls for as low as 40p, ushering in the Mobile phone revolution. Let's hope Mr.Ambani and Reliance do to the Retail market what they did to the Mobile phone market!

If you're looking for the addresses of the all the Reliance Fresh outlets in Chennai City, check out the post I made @ Chennaiist.

Addresses of Reliance Fresh Outlets in Chennai.

And, for all those people who are leaving comments on Chennaiist about supplying vegetables and becoming franchisees even after I've posted their contact info:

  • I'm in no way connected to reliance, so gimme a break.
  • Unlike in Chennaiist: Don't expect me to publish your comments or be polite.
  • In my opinion, It's unlikely that Reliance will select Morons like you, who can't even read a page of English and pick out their contact info given in bold letters.

Also Published in Nandanam News

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Who will Purify this filth?

Last week food cooked for around 7000 devotees of the Puri Jagannath Temple was dumped to waste. While people continue to suffer and die of hunger in various parts of the country we've these priests acting irresponsibly.

The temple like many others, bars the entry of foreigners into it's premises. An American entered the temple with the help of a priest and two friends, all hell broke loose when someone high and mighty spotted this 'filthy being' who consumes 'objectionable food'. After hours of debate, nonsense prevailed and the food, all of 3 lakhs worth of it was dumped. The temple was then 'purified' by performing some rituals.

Just because these people get enough money off the temple how can these supposed men of god ignore the thousands of hungry beings that live around them?

Also, is this not Racism? How are we behaving differently from Jade Goody? Religious beliefs are not an excuse for this purely racist behaviour of the temple priests. The same group of people who barred certain other groups of Indians from entering the temple are now doing the same to foreigners.

The Temple is pure now, But who will purify the filth inside?

Thursday, February 08, 2007

When Hutch Pulled the plug on me

Day Before yesterday evening, suddenly calls wouldn't go through, messages failed. Thinking something was wrong with my phone I dozed off, but the problem remained in the morning. No amount of re-inserting the SIM or fiddling with my phone had any effect. Even though I knew I had a balance of over Rs.700 and at least 5 months of validity I couldn't check that either. Calls to Customer Care wouldn't go through either. Convinced that something was wrong with my phone, I called Hutch care from my land line just to check.

Hutch Care (Automated Voice): Hi Welcome to Hutch Care, English/ Tamil, Enter your Mobile phone Number
Me: Beep Beep Beep Beep
Hutch Care Call Centre Operator (HC): My name is Y..., May I have your name & Telephone number please
Me: I just entered it... What was the point of all that
HC: Hmm... May I have your name & Telephone number please...
Me (Reluctantly): Dr.Prahalathan, 9884188018

HC: Yes Mr.Prahalathan, what's your problem?
Me: Call / Msg not goin
HC: Did you submit Photo identification
Me: Yeah, last week at Hutch Shop
HC: Your details are incomplete
Me: What? I submitted Copies of Driver's License & Medical Council Registration
HC: You have to re-submit Photo Identification
Me: What?
HC: It has Chennai-18, but no Teynampet
Me: Both Driver's License & Medical Council Registration mention Teynampet, Chennai - 18
HC: No sir, there is no Teynampet
Me: How can that be missing in copies of both documents?
HC: You have to re-submit Photo Identification
Me: Chennai- 18 is Teynampet, What seems to be your problem?
HC: Sir, You've to re-submit...

Banged the phone and started off to the Hutch Shop

The place had just opened, only one Hutch Care Executive was there, yet there were at least 10 irate customers before me. I joined the queue and added my number to the growing list. The executive (HCE) couldn't handle the numbers, she called a Manager (HCM)
HCE: All these people have submitted forms, yet got disconnected
HCM: We have lakhs of customers, they may have missed a few forms
Crowd: If you cant handle, then why do you get new customers? We can always go to some other company...
HCM: hmm... Not like that, We tried calling your numbers must have been unreachable
Crowd: We get Spammed with Caller Tune and other messages and calls from Hutch
HCM: Calm down, We tried calling your numbers must have been unreachable
Me: So you're implying your network is bad, mobiles are unreachable within city
HCM: hmm...
Me: When u can send us all the crap as Spam Messages, can't you message us that you will be disconnecting?
HCM: We tried calling your numbers must have been unreachable
Me: £$%^, When are you gonna re-connect
Crowd: Almost 15 now, all yelling
HCE: Now, I'm releasing all lines...

Note how the Hutch Care Call Centre Operator and the manager kept repeating their lines... Do they teach these people to mug up standard lines?
My phone started ringing, I walked out without bothering to thank them, as more people joined the crowd...

Saracasm is my Mother Tongue

Sarcasm is my Mother Tongue,
Tamil is my mother tongue too,
So what, do I always have to speak in my Mother Tongue?

Relevant Web Link
Understanding sarcasm is a complex business, different parts of the brain must work together, decision making, emotional processing, empathy, and theory of mind all appear to be involved in understanding sarcasm.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Why not Reservations in the Armed Forces and Sports?

There is and can be only one answer to India's Cricketing worries, No it's not Dada or Dhoni, nor does it involve chucking out Greg Chappel! With the election of Sharad Pawar, Laloo Prasad, Arun Jaitley and co. to various cricketing offices, we're only one step closer to the Ultimate Solution - Reservation!

Some wise Parliamentarians wisely pointed out this need, a little while back, I wonder why none of the country's hundreds of caste-based parties are taking up this issue. After all, if the government can go to the extent it did to create the reservation in elite institutions, just to add a few hundred elite individuals from backward castes into the creamy layer. Why not add a bring in a few cricketers and add them to the list of the super-rich?

If the erstwhile No.2 Team in World Cricket, South Africa (Yeah, the same people who lost a test to India on home soil for the first time) can have reservations... Why not India?

If reservation is the solution to under-representation of certain castes in Education... why not in Cricket and the Armed Forces too? When so many people were complaining about the over-representation of certain castes in positions of power, with utter disregard to their merit... Why is the over-representation of certain castes in the Armed Forces not a problem to anyone? Why are people who pass all tests not excluded from the army just because their castes are over-represnted?

NOTE: The title says Sports... I'm speaking only of Cricket... Is there any other Sport in India?
NOTE2: I give a damn for the so called Forward / Backward Caste classification anywhere... So keep casteist Crap out of my Blog... If you have a sensible opinion leave a comment.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Vintage Car Rally @ Chennai

The largest collection of Cool Cars that belong to a generation gone by. Austins, Fiats, Fords, Morris, Volkswagens... Some as old as 1929. I snapped a whole lot of Pictures at the Vintage Car Rally that took place on January 7 from Beasant Nagar Beach to Anna Nagar Club.

Pictures posted @ my new photo blog

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Indian Railways, the Army and my first experience at Bribery!

Me and my friend K were returning from New Delhi to Chennai after our exams at Chandigarh. After a looong bus ride to New Delhi we found ourselves standing at the end of a short queue at the current booking counter of the New Delhi Railway station.

Standing in the queue was quite uneventful except for a guy or two who tried to jump the queue inviting abusive language from the others. Then there were the women who refused to stand in a queue and considered themselves too big for such formalities. The guy at the counter was fair he sent back every one of those women. Standing in the queue was so uneventful, that even after an hour we found our queue was shorter by just 6-7!

While inside the counter there was so much activity that it could have been easily mistaken for a tout's office, but for the location. There were people walking in at frequent intervals, slips of 'paper' were passed around and the guy sitting behind the counter had booked around 15 - 20 tickets in the same time we had been standing!

As we got closer to the counter we learnt that we had to cough up a few extra notes to get the tickets. Those who did not utter the magic password were told that the chart has not arrived, and to come later! K asked me if I had any 'experience' at bribing, though both had none we were emboldened by those around us and we decided to go ahead.

By the time our turn came someone senior had come into the counter and was watching over things with hawk eyes. So when our turn came we uttered 'Sir urgent, we're ready to pay extra' The counter guy still told us to wait. An hour later when the 'hawk eye' left suddenly the chart appeared by magic and we were all given tickets after paying him some bribe.

Our bribing didn't end there, when we rushed to the train, We found, there were many like us who had obtained current tickets by bribing the counter people but through the back entrance. The TTE came a little while later, we had to then pay a bribe to get a berth to sleep! We shared the cabin with a few army men who were returning home for their holidays which was already delayed by the snow fall in Kashmir causing them to forfeit their previously reserved tickets. We learnt, that even they, had to bribe their way to get into the train and then also to get a berth!

It's bad that our country's government officials are neck deep into bribery and corruption that they're bold enough to accept bribes over the counter in full public view. It's even worse that most departments of our government have powerless vigilance departments.

It's bad that we don't remember or respect the men who brave rough weather and the enemy to protect us with their lives. It's shameful, that our government officials who lead cosy lives, have to suck bribes out of these poor army men also.

So at the end of the day, even before I have earned enough to become a tax paying citizen, I have already bribed twice and become a bribe paying Indian citizen!