I am deeply hurt today. It hurts more because I was very close to this person. And whatever transpired came as a hard-hitting shock. It happened so quick that I had no time to react. Shamelessly I let out a cry not able to withstand the pain. If it meant pain, why did I have to get close to this person?

I was within the circle only to save the singles. He hit a powerful shot and I dropped the catch. The sheer force with which the ball was hit, hurt my fingers, deeply.

Note: This entire post was typed with just my left hand fingers. Two of my fingers in right hand have turned purple due to the above incident during a cricket match today. Have already taken the day off tomorrow.

Cartoon Courtesy : Greetingmania
Lunch at Dhabba Express with friends from office. Gossip, office humor, boss’s bossiness and many such things always satisfy our hunger for fun, laughter and entertainment. Spending time with friends I interact with daily is something I always look forward to.

I met up with Ravi for the second time and Prabhu, Harish for the first time. While discussing self service, AR Rehman, SJ Surya, Casinos, Bangkok and others, we got oblivious to time whisking past us. And finally we dispersed. This is just the beginning and I don’t know what would transpire in the days to come.

Late Evening
A surprise call from a college friend who is in town. I immediately demanded a get-together. And when we hit Fruit shop, there were two other pals from SVCE waiting. Do I need to say more? We got reminiscent. After a long drive I finally got dropped.

In just one day, I strived to sustain my existing relationships, build new bridges, and resurrect my lost affiliations. I call this day a RED LETTER DAY!

A token of appreciation was given to our Mumbai associates today for their valiant effort, in not just moving on with life after the disaster, but also in going out of their way to ensure there is no service impact.

“Sir, may I take the day off?”, an employee asks on a declared holiday. Why? Because his car is washed away in floods. Did he have to ask? Some twenty odd people, I was told, were stuck in the office premises. Some took the conscious decision to stay back. Why ? They put their profession ahead of everything else. I call all this the pinnacle of customer orientation.

Besides this, the entire city has rose to the occasion and has shown resilience under very difficult times. If such a calamity only brings out the best in us, I feel no amount of adversity can shake the spirit of this nation and it’s people.

While my heart goes out to the departed and the bereaved, my mark of admiration goes out to all the Mumbaikars. You are truly amazing.

Picture Courtesy : Hindu
I learnt to blog in Tamil today, hence this post.

Thanks to Narayanan for floating around a poetry contest and reviving my Kavidhai skills.

Thanks to Prabhu for giving me a pointer to "How to blog in Tamil"

I wrote this poem during my engineering days and it brings back fond memories of my time in SVCE. Needless to say, you may sing these lines to the tune of "Pachai Kiligal Tholodu" from Indian.

தந்தானானே தானானே ஆனந்தமே.........

பேனா பென்சில் கையோடு,
பாடப்புத்தகம் மடியோடு,
அம்மம்மா College என்றால் தொல்லை,
என் எண்ணத்தில் பாடம் மட்டும் இல்லை.

Engineering புத்தகத்தில் என்ன இருக்கு,
அட Mittal, Mathur, Millman எல்லாம்
அய்யோ சுத்த கிறுக்கு.

பட்டாம்பூச்சி கூட்டத்திற்க்கு பாடம் எதற்கு,
அட பாடித்திரியும் பறவைக்கிங்கே
பரிட்சையெல்லாம் என்னத்துக்கு.

பேனா பென்சில்...

தூக்கம் வந்தால் ஆனந்தம்,
கணவை தந்தால் ஆனந்தம்
ஈக்கள் மொய்த்து தூக்கம் கெட்டால்
இல்லை ஆனந்தம்.

Breakum Lunchum ஆனந்தம்,
கடைசி benchum ஆனந்தம்,
பாதி வகுப்பில் நழுவிச்செல்வது,
இன்னும் ஆனந்தம்.

தேர்வே ஓர் ஆனந்தம்,
தோல்வி பேர் ஆனந்தம்,
Arrearsல் குடியேரி
அதில் வாழ்வது ஆனந்தம் ஆனந்தம்.

பேனா பென்சில்...

Update : Just put the thanglish version on comments for the benefit of people who are not able to read the font.
Ashish : Point noted. Click here for a literal translation.
Just a literal translation of this poem written in about 10 mins. So bear with me please.

In hand, pen and pencil,
on lap, my books,
college only spells disaster,
and in mind, everything but studies.

What’s there in Engineering books ?
Mittal, Mathur, Millman – crazy they are.

Do butterflies need to study?
Do songbirds have to write exams?

In class, if I can sleep, blissful.
If I can dream, heavenly.
But it can’t get any worse,
if flies buzz and
perturb my 40 winks.

Break and Lunch, relaxing.
Sitting in last bench, idyllic.
Walking out unnoticed,
while the class is on, divine.

Exams are enchanting.
Failures are delightful.
Living my life
in the house of arrears, perfect.
Date : 23rd July, 2005
Time : 00:30 hrs
Place : Fisherman’s Cove, Chennai
Situation : 6 guys, 2 cars and a flat tyre.

Rolling up their sleeves, two of them jump into action trying to change tyres. Two of them step back and wonder if the tyre from Ikon would fit into the City. While two of us (Akshay and I) slowly sneak into the hotel reception.

We demand the receptionist for a computer at 01:00 hrs with internet access and guess what we were planning to indulge in. BLOGGING.

If you think this is the extremes of addiction, it might interest you to know we were only trying to help the other 4 guys. After about 5 minutes of frantic search, we finally landed on what we were looking for - THIS.

If only Baasha had picked up my call, I would have become a hero amidst friends who think blogging is sheer waste of time.

Anyways, when some day they lose their car to a jerk who wanted a test drive, I can tell them how a blog could have come to their rescue.

Update: Posted a Kavidhai yesterday for a poetry competition that's been floating on the blogosphere. Just backdated it for unknown reasons.
The lights go down.
My secret romance begins.
My palms feel her.
Umm there is heat.
She gets turned on.

The night is young.
I change clothes.
I am now on my bed.
I move closer.
I gently take her on my lap.

My fingers play.
My mind wanders.
Exotic places.
Dreamy getaways.
Honeymoon spots.

It’s been an hour now.
And am not enjoying this.
My fingers continue to play,
with my laptop keyboard.
My mind continues to wander.
What do I post today?
Click here for the bloggers meet update

My night life has been active in the last fortnight. It has been movie time all along. In 15 days (or should I say nights) I have seen American Pie I, II and III, X-Men I and II, Gods must be crazy I and II, Euro Trip, Road Trip, Thenali, Padayappa, Look who is talking, and an entire season of Friends sitcom.

Yesterday (early in the morning today), it was Nayagan. From 0100 hrs till 0330 hrs, I was hooked onto the screen. And after some twisting and turning, I managed to sleep at 0500 hrs.

Quite naturally, I was late to work which has been a regular phenomenon due to my nocturnal life. Today, I was caught red-handed and have been issued a warning. Hmmm a real bad way to start my day and the blues only got bluer.

P.S. Been listening to Mayil iragey and Maramkothieyey (from Ah Aah) since morning when my friend pointed out they have the same tune. Am sure it would have been ARR’s idea. Simply superb.
** Be forewarned about the length **

6 guys at fisherman’s cove, 00:30 hrs, two cars, a flat tyre, 1 hr of struggling (I did not do much) and completely stranded. Luckily we could pump in enough air to take us till Ashok Nagar. So, that’s how the day started.

1700 hrs. I get an sms to be ready in 15 mins to head for the blogger’s meet. The 15 mins finally arrives at 1820 hrs. In the meantime, there was restless walking around the house, climbing up and down the stairs, questioning from my mom on what’s wrong, a frantic call to Kiruba and getting drenched in the rain. So, quite obviously, I missed the first two hours by which time all the mingling jingling had happened. What is unpardonable was my missing the snacks. Damn!!!

My first time, so did not know what to expect. And being not much of a socializer, my self-introductions did have their initial glitches. So, it started with knowing friend’s friend and so on. However, during the rest of the meet, I got pretty much comfortable meeting up with people.

The place was good, the view was amazing, and the ambience was just right for a gathering like this. I really cannot talk about the proceedings of the meet, as I was not there for most part of it. However, my experience during the whatever little time I was there was very interesting. I managed to group hop once in a while and shake hands with everyone in sight. The conversations turned to diverse topics. So it gave me opportunity to contribute as well as concentrate (well, that’s just a cover up for my ignorance on the subject).

It would be unfair to list down the bloggers I met, as it’s quite natural for me to miss out few names. But, as we all understand that the meeting was short (and remember? I was late), memories are short-lived, and the turnout was very good, am sure I would be forgiven for that.

** I arrived at the venue with Akshay. The guy behind my restless walks.
** Vinod was the first one I got introduced to. And a journalist from his quiz studs gang.
** Shyam has promised to let me know of a weekend getaway near Bangalore. Luckily there was no gajabuja funda.
** Satish was there to aid me with it. Apparently he is Shyam’s brother.
** Vijay became my stub pal (if there is anything like that)
** Chandrachoodan was telling us about the new job offer he got. Amnesia set in and he forgot what it was all about.
** There was Archana, Ravi, Karthik (One guy who was all praise for Sify's broadband service) from Saksoft.
** Chenthil and his job hopping experiences were really nice to listen to. He is from Tuticorin which is a stone’s throw away from my native place. I ask him why his name is spelt with a “C” and he says his dad didn’t know English.
** Sudhir had a lot to talk about finance from the time we left till he dropped me at home.
** Had a brief introduction to Chinmayi.
** And saving the best for the last, met Kiruba (Do I need to hyperlink?) and his family. Am sure you can very soon find the attendence list in his blog.

And everyone else, I can place the face, but the name’s lost. Am terribly sorry. I shall make it up to all of you somehow.

The meet for me ended the way it started. Am talking about getting drenched. Was caught in a downpour with Sudhir while returning. While we did try to get under trees for cover, we thought “What the heck” and let ourselves be hit by the droplets. And the best part, I come home, change, open my laptop and write this whole thing. Just wanted to capture it while it’s still fresh in mind.

Am now awaiting the next meet, the subsequent meet, the third meet, the following meet, the succeeding meet…

P.S. I normally restrict my posts to under 200 words. But once in a while, it’s ok for it to get lengthy, right? Infact wanted to write about my blogging experience while my friends were busy changing tyres early in the morning today. I shall save it for another day :o)

** Chandrachoodan has few pics posted
** Satish has something to say too
** Chenthil seems to have a good memory
** Archana covers the bloggers meet is her own short way
** Chinmayi has few updates
Submitted for the poetry competition announced here

Note to the judges : If not more than 1 entry is allowed, kindly consider the first one. I am yet to learn blogging in tamil and hence a jpeg file. Hope that is not an issue.
Every time I come out of a meeting or a presentation, I feel I could have done better. If I had this information, I could have responded to this query, if I had this data, I could have elaborated on this point, if only I had done some groundwork, I wouldn’t have messed up this part… and many such thoughts linger. Trust on memory, last minute analysis or even any ad hoc information miserably fails.

Today was one such day. “Revamping the HR structure in my organization” was the project presentation I had to make for this semester. 2 long Months is what I had. However, I spent 2 hours today trying to understand the entire subject, the existing structure, and made my recommendations. There were 5 teams and personally I feel our’s was only the second best.

Given just one more day, I could have done really well.
If only… hmm When it’s too late I can only wish. After all I had two long months.

Preparation is the key and I only seem to repent in hindsight.

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It's my life
It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just want to live while I'm alive

Not that my poem was inspired by the above lines... But then thought it would be a good introduction to the lines that follow.

I am more into free verse and don't bother much about patterns. This is one of my few attempts at rhythm and one of my favorites from my priced possession.

No one knows the future,
life’s just a maze,
despite all the mystery,
I love my upcoming days.

Senility I can’t dodge,
I’d someday die old,
despite being a mortal,
I love my youthful world.

Tears come and go,
grief plays its part,
despite all the pain,
I love my resilient heart.

Errors find their place,
innocence extends no help,
despite all the blunders,
I love my perfect self.

Failure there is everyday,
no shortage for strife,
despite all the shortcomings,
I love my precious life.
When the first blogger’s meet happened, I didn’t even know what a blog was.

When the bloggers met a second time, I had not started blogging.

When they got together subsequently, I had started my blog, but never bloghopped to read about a blogger’s meet.

Today, I blog, I bloghop, and I know of a blogger’s meet in Chennai this weekend. But I am traveling to Mumbai.

Free food, memorabilia, and a trip to the Bullet factory… Damn ! Why do I have to miss all this?
Oops… I forgot to mention the bloggers I would get to meet ;o)

Can it get any worse?

Read more about the meet at Kiruba’s blog.
“He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches.” Am not sure if I need to take this Chinese proverb in the negative or otherwise, because, my assignment for the next 6 months is just that – Training, or should I say mentoring.

17 just-out-of-college engineers and a whole range of technologies. This is not anything new, however, this time around the challenge is to make them productive quickly.

“If you would thoroughly know anything, teach it to others.” And so,I am starting my preparation today to bridge the gap between my knowledge level and these technologies. Anyone who is in the teaching profession, would tell you how tough a job it is. After all, “For every person who wants to teach there are approximately thirty people who don't want to learn--much.”

The challenge begins and it’s going to be amazing.

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“Ovvoru pookalumey Solgirathey,
Vaazhlvendraal poraadum porkalamey”

That’s how the song begins. And the rest of it goes on to enthrall every listener. Truly an inspirational piece. The music (Bharadwaj), lyrics (P Vijay), and Chitra’s voice elevate this song to a totally different level. It should be quite obvious why am talking about it here. National award for the best singer and lyricist went for this song.

At the juncture when the protagonist loses everything in life, these words motivate him. Watching the band of physically challenged giving life to this music is definitely a moving experience. Cheran was close to bankruptcy when he started off with this venture. And in a way the song reflects what went through his mind during the making of this movie. Definitely one of my favorites.

“Oru kanavu kandaal,
athai thinam muyandraal,
oru naalil nijamaagum”

The success of this movie is a living example of the lines above. The movie eventually went on to become one of the biggest hits ever.

Most popular movie (shared with Veer Zaara), best singer, and best lyricist – This is a truly deserving victory for the team.

P.S. One day, I would like to translate this song in English in my own sweet way.

Update : Click here for the translation

Picture Courtesy : Indiaglitz

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A true friend is someone I have always longed for. And it was during one of those lonely moments, I found solace in poetry.

I take immense pleasure in letting my emotions out through words that find a secret, sacred place in my poetry notebook. I dream my dreams here, I vent my anger here, I shed my tears here, I smile my smiles here, and I pen down my words of wisdom here.

As I flip through it’s pages, I realize how much I have endured in life and how much I have enjoyed. The stained memories of failures and successes have been captured here for eternity.

To me, it is more than just a bunch of papers. It has taught me to be my own friend, it has helped me explore my inner self,and it has enabled me to make a verse out of every worse situation.

So it remains, till date, to be my most priced possession.
“You are never there for me”
“You are so selfish”
“You hardly ever understand me”
He has heard this umpteen number of times from her.

“I am sorry”
“I apologize”
“It will never happen again”
She has heard this umpteen number of times from him.

Today, he really wants to be there for her, really wants to understand her, and really wants to be selfless.

But all that she wants from him now, is to hold on to his courage as she hands him over her marriage invitation.

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Way back in 98-99, I was drawn towards the concept of pen pals. Tried making friends, got to know few people, about their country, their culture and what not. The geographical diffusion normally does not allow for sustenance of such relationships.

Nevertheless, I managed to make friends with Lisa Milburn. We have had about 80 odd e-mail exchanges and countless messenger sessions. After all that, when it came to the point of wanting to attach a face behind the mails / messages, the above picture is what I received from her.

It is not an ordinary passport size photograph, nor is she posing at the camera meaninglessly the way I am doing here. Going the extra mile for someone whom she has never met and will never meet was a gesture that completely floored me.

We have lost touch, but Lisa (the one holding “S”), I hope you get to read this.

P.S. Mind you, the picture is no trick and is not a prank like the one I played here.
For those who read this, it might seem like just blah blah blah blah blah blah, but there is more to it than just blah blah blah blah blah. When am all confused or excited, I go blah blah blah blah blah, and people wonder what’s with my blah blah blah blah blah. They don’t realize there is a reason behind my blah blah blah blah blah and even if they ask me what, I would only say,”blah blah blah blah blah”. The last time I started with my blah blah blah blah blah, couple of my friends kept as much away from my blah blah blah blah blah as possible. So I decided never to blah blah blah blah blah, and I have stuck to my blah blah blah blah blah decision till date.

And that’s the end of the story of a man who knew not what to post in his blog today.

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Disappointments may come and disappointments may go, but life goes on forever. So, I guess I have quickly bounced back from my feeling low. Thanks to all your comments.

Now, coming to what this post is all about. PICTURES.

I am always against taking pictures of buildings, nature, sun rise, sun set, blah blah blah. One reason is that am really not good at capturing their beauty in its pristine state. And the other being, I get really bored of it over a period of time. So, I always make it a point to ensure someone is in the foreground.

In this case, that someone is ME !!! Finally managed to have most of the pictures I took in Las Vegas uploaded. The rest got spoilt due to the photographer shaking the camera.

Click here for the pictures.
Am engulfed in darkness,
the bright lights seeming like a distant haze.

Silence is all that I hear,
the surrounding noises becoming mute spectators.

My world comes to a shocking halt,
oblivious to the movements around.

Am drowning in tears,
my smile giving me a deceptive outlook.

My heart grows heavy,
paying no attention to the lighter side of life.

The friend I had in my solitude,
turns evil, disguised as loneliness,
the people around fading into insignificance.

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Buying a pack of cigarette
Buying a can of beer
Gambling in a casino
Visiting a night club

All the above have something in common. They are banned for anyone below 18 as per the federal law of US. I indulged in almost all of them.

In most cases, there were at least 2-3 guys with me. Surprisingly, I was the only one who was requested to produce a photo id. The first few times, I was ok with showing them my passport but it went to the point of getting on my nerves.

So, on one instance I refused to show my id and the lady said, “ Son, I am sorry, you cannot enter unless you produce your id coz you don’t look like above 18 at all”. She was probably in her mid 30s and she calls me son. Phew !!! I happily showed her my id coz it seemed more like a compliment to me.

It’s probably because of my teeny tiny frame. Nevertheless, if anyone of you needs free tips on everlasting youth, just leave a comment. I shall be more than happy to advise.

P.S. The photo was taken in Hotel Venetian, Las Vegas.
P.P.S. For those who are relating Somu to self flattery, hmmm like I care ;o)
This post was never intended and is prompted more by the comments in my earlier post

Whenever I travel to a Hindi speaking state, I take utmost care not to expose my ignorance of the language. I either switch on the walkman to avoid any conversation or hum few Hindi tunes to just preempt any situation. So, when I had to move from the Pune bus stop to MG road in an auto, I was caught unawares by the big conversation that the driver was trying to engage me in, in Hindi. This is how it all went !!

AD : * The conversation opened in Hindi *
ME : Aahaan
AD : * It continued non-stop in the same language *
ME : Bilkul
AD : * More of Hindi was thrown at me *
ME : Acha
AD : * Hindi Hindi and Hindi was all I was hearing *
ME : Sahi sahi
AD : * Few more sentences were spoken *
ME : * Managed a nod as he was looking at me now *

And this continued for a while before he turned back and…
AD : Boliyey saar
ME : * Silence *
AD : Arey saar, boliyey
ME : Bhai saab, mujey Hindi nahin Aathi
AD : * Silence *
AD : * More silence *

Till date I have no clue as to what he was saying and was not even sure if my responses were right. And that was just to make known my experience with a talking talking cabbie.