Recordings in Chennai.

I already mentioned about my next music album H1BEES last month. During the past week I recorded a track for this album, lead vocals by Tippu and G.V.Prakash, yes the same little nephew of “my man” A. R. Rahman who sang the prelude “chikubuku chikubuku raile” in gentle man. He is a teen now and has great ideas within him.

Working with Tippu was fun. Tippu quickly picked the song in about 20 minutes and started to embellish the song right from the word go. G.V was keen and very technical in getting the proper notes for the song. As soon we played the instrumental track, GV was able to notate it and rendered the lines with perfection. Both the singers cooperated very well during the recordings and were ready to do more.
The track basically has a “Indianish techno+rock format”, or simply would call it “CurryRock”. The track is being balanced and mixed now. Sound engineer “Mujeeb Rahman” [same person who mixed my Mahakavi album 3 years ago], Mujeeb is the world fastest Nuendo user I know off. [Nuendo – is a pro multi-track audio software.] The way he manages the recording is totally amazing and matches not only my wavelength but also everyone’s. He knows every little short cut in the software, few of which only the developer would bother to remember. He puts them to use in full swing. My job became easy and it was reduced by about 70%, thanks to Mujeeb. This mix should sound totally new to many. I want to stay away from the regular cine music format. Hence I am trying out various new ideas. Hopefully everyone likes it. This song is about F1B grad students. My Director friend Sriram Ragavan wrote major portions of the Lyrics while I chipped in few lines. I also recorded a song with “Karthik“ In short Karthik is the coolest among the professional singer I have ever dealt with. It was really nice of him to complete my next track in a very short notice and time. I shall write more about this recording after the final mix down in my studio.

Finally, I think I should be among the first few composers to use the Teen G.V, mark it – this kid has a bright future ahead of him. I am a great fan of Tippu and Kartik, hence it was a great pleasure for me to have them sing my compositions.


Chennai - 2

9.30am, Tuesday, using his BSNL cell phone Srikanth calls a number
After 5 rings, very polite Lady Voice: Halo
Sriks: “Namskaram, en peru Srikanth, unga Son oda friend I am from Marlyland, I like to meet uncle and give my CD.”
Mami: “Konjam irungo.” [After 30 seconds]
Male Voice: “Halo , …… Here “
Srik: “Namsakaram sir, SRIKANTH from usa, I Like to meet you and give my Audio Cd. “
Voice: “Na vandhu evening 7.00pm aporam free, oru phone panitu vango sir. “
Srik: “sure sir, Romba thanks.”
6.30pm: one more call to the same number.
Srik: “Halo morning phone panene srikanth pesaren.”
Lady voice: “Avar walking poi irukar, neega vango. “

Avar= Sujatha
Very polite Lady Voice: Mrs. Sujatha

Meeting the Genius.

I walked into his house in Mylapore, a smiling Mrs. Sujatha welcomed me, and followed by the “Small” size “Daschund” who did the same by wagging his tail and barking using his XXL size voice.

In the living room couch Mr. Sujatha was seated in his usual posture. He welcomed me a smile. I introduced my self. However he seemed to know about me. His son, Keshava a good friend of mine had already updated him about my visit. He knew about my Thirupavai compositions and other musical ventures. He inquired about my job, and asked few questions about me.

While talking to him, One needs to really concentrate, because he talks about 20 things in about 5 minutes. The information that comes out is really hard for common man to digest. Within 10 minutes he took me around Tamil music, Alwar and Pasuram, Fusion music, Computers, music Studio etc. The words kept flowing and he even quoted Pasurams from Thirumangai Alwar. After this quick coaster ride, I gave him my CDs and told about my projects. I invited him my Studio in Maryland, he told me it would be too cold for him but did not give a Yes or a No. I congratulated him for Anniyan dialogues.

I asked him for guidance on my Thirupavai experimental compositions. For which he gave me various pointers and suggestions. How to strike a balance between [religious] literature and music? This is the million-dollar question. When it comes to music, he told me that lyrics are bound get compromised up to a certain percentage. This cannot be avoided. He quoted Madurai Mani Iyer and splitting of words. The music essence from him was so high in quality most never bothered about the words. The composer has to strike the right balance between displaying his musical skills and maintaining the essence or Sanctity in the lyrics. He gave me a good tip, he told me while working with religious works, it would better to if musical skills are kept to a minimum. He requested me to try and compose Thirumangai Alwar and Periya Alwar pasurams, It seems they display various kinds of emotions that no one has every tried. I asked about the grammar for such type of compositions, he gave me few ideas and slowly the conversation turned towards the Thiruvasagam Oratorio that is to be released in Chennai today.

Mr. Sujatha had already heard the work. He was all praise for the Maestro. He told to me that every Tamil music lover should own one and should gift copies to their friends and relative living around the world. The work done by Ilayaraja is something phenomenal. It seems that, for this project Ilayaraja wrote scores by hand for more than 70 parts. Sujatha compared this achievement of Raja to that of Verdi, Mozart or Beethoven. He talked about a prelude function attended by all the music directors, film directors, Singers and lyric writers. He mentioned to me that A.R. Rahman‘s speech was the highlight of the evening, A.R. Rahman was in all praise for this musical work. Ilayaraja became very emotional while talking about this Oratorio.

Mr. Sujatha felt that few people in crowd did not know the actual value for Ilayaraja. Like every other film music album they still keep saying to him “this album would be a hit”. According to him this is one of the kind music albums that would change the interpretations of Tamil religious literature. And will give a new dimension to music composers. He did not prefer using cine terms for such art.

The CD has the Tamil and translated English verses from Thiruvasagam. The English translation just takes the essence of the verse. Reason being the translator felt this literature was too high in quality to be translated word to word. This is not as elaborate the G.U.Pope’s translation. However the English lines cover most of the points in a nutshell. Mr. Sujatha mentioned that this is not a fusion. According to him there is no clear definition yet for fusion music. What Raja has done is clear western classical music that renders Hindu verses using Oratorio concepts. Mr. Sujatha has already explained concepts of Oratorio in his weekly columns. He will be doing more columns on this in order to common folks to know about it. He says though will be pleasurable to listen to this in your Car, this CD requires a preset calm mood and some basic knowledge in Tamil literature. Once these 2 criteria are met, the album would take you to new listening pleasures. This would also encourage common man to read about Tamil Literature. I took me about 30 minutes to digest all this information.

Recently I had purchased a book on “how to write a screenplay” written by Sujatha; this book got promoted - it is now the official “autographed version”. When the conversation ended he asked me to call him tomorrow. He also quoted that “Ilayaraja is certainly a genius of our times” I walked out from his house thinking! “ A Genius could only spot an another Genius”
I was very happy that I had the great pleasure of talking to the greatest writer of my times.

Ps: I called him yesterday, and he told me to meet him sometime during this week. He liked my music and told me that “I have potpourri of musical ideas” within me and he likes to talk to me in this regard. As of now I am thrilled and in 7th Heaven.



Marina Beach

My Brother

It is about 2 weeks in Chennai now. My Brother and his family are here from Bangalore. Last weekend we went to the Marina Beach. The Tide seemed to be normal, few told me Tsunami had pushed the seashore by 20 feet or so. I spent some time in the water.

I also traveled to Kanchipuram temple and my Great Grandfather’s native village called Uzaiyur, very small hamlet that has 2 roads and about 20 houses. There was a cable TV dish Antennae, a water tank and our native Temple. Village People were very nice and treated us with great respect. There was a small function in the temple that was attended by various family members. Had a chance to meet various other siblings in the family tree.

Marina 2

Uzaiyur Village


Natwest One day Series Review.
Bangladesh Vs Australia

Bangladesh Back to Form.

**** T H E    E N D *****


A fiction which is also the fact

Last Sunday I managed to get tickets [at Subham] to watch the latest Tamil movie Anniyan. First impression, Shanker and Co have given a fantastic entertainment with wonderful social messages. Being an NRI for about a decade now, having seen various countries and been among societies, frankly this movie had a great impact on me. Shanker was able pinpoint each and every, I have no words in English – in Tamil “Athangam” I had while visiting and living in other countries. Why people in my country are socially irresponsible? This question pops in my head each time I witness such acts. I cannot rise up with a multiple personality to kick their ass out, most often the feeling gets subsided down with in myself. I am sure there are many out there with similar feelings.

The story is about a well-disciplined “Iyengar” boy who goes over board with civic rules and behavior. Meaning, he gets agitated even by a minor law violation. For example, If a bike driver cross the yellow line in a traffic light hero Ramanujam alias Ambi boldly requests them to be more disciplined. However people trash his deeds and tease him by calling names like Rules Ramanujam. They make fun of him, including the heroine.

I have been travelling in Chennai for about 2 weeks now. I have witnessed each and every careless traffic violations that is shown in Anniyan. People drive without disciple or care. Crossing the center yellow line happens on most roads of Chennai. Most never care about anything other than peeking their vehicle ahead of every one at every given chance. This is a fact. If they don’t find a way, they don’t bother to push their horn to the maximum and create a sound pollution. When it comes to Road rage, Banglore and Chennai compete quite well to prove the worst amongst them. Other day, I was returning from a studio I was on an Auto. The traffic was jammed packed on the light. However the care less auto driver kept nagging other drivers and suddenly drove on the pavement in order to get ahead of others. Anniyan clearly talks about such ruthless social behaviors. Wait! The story does not end with Traffic violations.

The hero tries to control various other kinds of social carelessness. For example the break cables on a bike. I am sure many would have gone through this agony. Ambi buys a cable by paying a price. But the manufactures do not offer a quality product for the money paid. He simply cheats. The cable on his moped snaps and he almost ends up being killed in the traffic. Let me tell you, being abroad for a decade, if you spend a dollar and buy a product, the quality of the product will be worth the money spent. There will no double standard. Consumers are automatically protected. Here Yesterday I went to one of the biggest shop in Chennai, where the other side of their bill reads “Good once sold cannot be taken back”, meaning, it is buyers responsibility to make sure you don’t get crap. The Seller has the right to sell you crap.

By using Ramanujam, Shanker clearly establishes the fact that we are an undisciplined society and we don’t care for people and quality of life. But this time Shankers script does not blame the politicians or civil servants. He simply says people are responsible for such social evils. It is the people who need to change and it is not worth any more blaming the politicians. He is dam correct. Muthalvan was about politicians who used the society for their political gains, in this movie we see how people themselves are responsible for the civic disobedience.

Let me give you some more on the story. Having been tormented by this undisciplined and careless society, timid Ramanujam suffers from a Multiple personality disorder. Vikram comes good in 2 roles. He simply rocks with his performance. The 3rd guy, Remo did not impress me, He was just created for romance. Rather than a “hep” model, the character looked as though he was struggling from “midlife crises”. The song “Kadal Yanai Remo” could have been done well. It was technically amazing but looked like an AVM song form the 80s that would be shot in a studio set. Same goes the another song by Remo. But the photography and locations were totally cool.

The best song for me was “Anadang kaka” the way it had been shot is simply amazing. Shanker’s “directorial touch” can be been seen all through the song. This song video is worth the money that I paid to watch the movie. The other 2 songs “Kumari” and “Iyengar vettu” were also done well. “Kumari” has an Amazing visual treat in a Tulip farm. Though Tulips looked digitally placed, the song will be treat to your eyes. FYI: The heroine Sadha fits in to the role. But her role was similar to the last item in the Saravana Bhavan menu. No one really cared.

Ramanujam, - Anniyan. He goes in the dark to execute people who does not care for the people and society, How does he know whom to kill, he runs a web site, where people can post their grievances. Yes kind of Indian + Muthalvan but this in a different form. Anniyan does not go after corrupt officials, He takes on people who really disobey laws and cheat people.

The way the story unfolds is crisp. Some felt the first half was slow though I did not feel so, the second half is really quick paced. Before you know the movie would conclude. Vivek with Vikram comes good. Each and every frame Vivek appears is a laugh riot. And best part was Vivek’s role does not super seed the main character. His character is well knit in the story. And the Police officer, PrakashRaj underplays his role well. His usual “chelaaam chelam” excess rush of blood is not found anywhere. Good work by the director to use this talented artist properly.

The Fight sequences were done with great care. Yes Matrix or what ever, I don’t care. Shanker, his crew and the producers have taken great pains to do these shots. The fight sequence in the dark alley was amazing, an overhead camera captures Anniyan , the shot is “ramped” quickly and the technique used seemed totally new to Tamil movies. There are also few fight movements new to Tamil movies. Fights will look real and you will never feel bored by them. You need to watch this to feel what I am talking about. Thanks to Shanker and DP for not over using the “Ramping” concept.

Finally, in a nutshell, this movie is worth watching and I am sure it will do well in the box office. The sound was too jarring and loud in “Subbham”. In fact the speaker was vibrating badly and could be heard for few songs. There is no need to raise the volume to get quality. Just proper sound balancing will do the needful. However theater owners think other wise. I wish the music director/sound engineers took care of the sound ergonomics in the theaters too.

When it comes to Social message and perfect entertainment, Shanker is the king and he retains his thrown and crown.

Ps: Few people might not like it, because it pinpoints their fault. :)


“Nemesis” - The Greek Goddess.

I was unable to find words today to explain the misery faced by Ponting and his “baggy green” pals. England won the 3rd match in the NatWest one-day series Aussies are 0/4. I do remember mentioning about England. It will be team to watch this season. Yes they are proving to be good. After the 20/20 loss, Ponting laughed it out and told that he did not take the game seriously. He went further to comment “it is not real Cricket”. What ever, today he finds himself in a stinking duck pond. The game is laughing at him.

During past 3 games, it was quite clear that team batting second had a better chance to win the game and having lost 3 matches in a row I thought if Ponting wins the toss he would be more prudent to opt for bowling first. But he looked as though he had no clue about the conditions. He pushed his out of form batsmen to play first. Gill Christ is out of form, yesterday he was struggling to strike the ball. He has to play well so that rest of the Aussies can piggyback on his initial slaughter. Hayden also looked dull and tentative but the opening pair managed to launch few sixers. However the run rate was well within 5.00 an over. Hamirson stuck, Gill Christ finally gave up when the score was 57.

Ponting walks in; even average cricket fanatics like my brother and me were discussing about his shuffling weakness. Ponting shuffles too much in first 10 overs at least, 5 out 10 times he gets good help from the umpire for LBWS. However we were discussing that a ball that moves in at a good speed will rattle Ponting down. This is exactly what Hamirson did, a ball that came at about 90 miles stunned shuffling Ponting. He was caught plumb in the middle. It was a definition LBW. Ponting out in the first ball he faced! He walked along with the Cartoon duck on ESPN. The best part was just about 24 hrs ago he was out in the similar fashion against Bangladesh. My first Ponting joke; It would better for Ponting to face few trails before “all-Reals” After all he does not take the game seriously.

Martin walked in to save a Hat trick. He did save the hat trick but was out in the next ball trying to play over 3rd Man. One more duck for the supper.

The best part was yet to come, Collinwood took a catch to get rid of Hayden. This can be termed as the best catch in last few years. The ball flew about 5-6 feet over his head, he timed his jump perfectly and got the hold of the ball. Hayden had to go. Catches win matches but for this catch, England can win the ashes. Get this Ricky, “When bad luck strikes it really strikes you hard”.

The Australian middle order once again saved some pride. Michele Clarke looked really comfortable. He seems to have the qualifications to be next captain. It is just matter of time. The crude truth for me is - when every one is in form captaining a powerful team is no big deal. Today, Ponting’s capacity as the captain is being tested. Frankly, I really don’t see him coming out in flying colors in this acid test. However Aussies are fanatic bunch of professionals, they have the power to come back at the right time. But it has to happen soon if not all of their great performances will be simply forgotten by the people. It is high time for them pull up their socks, shoestrings or what ever. If not floods gates will be opened and people like me will supply free Archana tickets for Greek goddess “Nemesis”, who is in charge of retributive justice or vengeance.


Just Blame “the Jet lag” . Trust me it works

Yesterday, I had a mild stomach upset, thanks to the 2 XXL size mangoes I gobbled. But local medicines cured me in about 20 minutes Forget my stomach upset, but the upset Ricky Ponting and his men faced yesterday has no words to explain. There is no drug in the world that is going to fix their upset for quite a while. The world number one lost to the weakest team in the world with about 4 balls to spare. Bangladesh after their poor performances for about “n” number of years finally saw light. They managed to do something that no one on could have predicted. Even the experts in Vijay TV would have struggled to predict this one. [Star Vijay TV devotes about 40hrs a week to lucky stones, numerology, Vasthu shstram, stove Josiyam etc,]

I was watching this game on ESPN. When you get your basics right, the percentage of success increases drastically. Bangladesh team got their basics right, while Aussies are yet to know what hit them. Ricky Ponting did not have any answers to offer for their pathetic display. Australia started really bad by loosing 2 quick wickets. However Clarke and Martin managed to lubricate the rusty Australian Batting lineup. But Bangladesh bowled some tight line to restrict Aussies for about 247. Ponting made One – he danced and moved across the line for about 16 balls, it was matter of time for a leg before. The devastating “Gilly” was sent back in the second ball. May be it is too early to say but still I want say like Sachin or Sehwag for India, it is Gill Christ who carries the Aussies. He has to score big for them to get a big total.

Aussies bowling was near pathetic while the eastern Tigers played some sensible batting. Mohammad Ashraful's the twenty-year-old player scored a brilliant 100 that laid the foundation for the win. Ashraful was particularly harsh on Glenn McGrath, spanking him for two massive fours over extra cover in one over and Australia wilted along with his captain he added 130 in about 23 overs. The pace at which they planned their innings was brilliant. May be this many losses have taught them a good lesson.

Though Ashraful was out at the crucial point of time, the following two batsmen managed to complete the task. Bangladesh had to score 7 runs in the final over bowled by Jason Gillespie. Ricky “the nail biting” Ponting spent an extended amount of time with his bowler and fielders in planning the final over. [Ps: If it had been Gangully, match referee would have forfeited his earnings and his 401K pension for this delay.] But as anticlimax Aftab simply lunched Gillespie for a massive six that sealed the game for Bangladesh. Aussies walked out with a dazzed look, while most of them were unable to hide their expressions. Yes! it was a crude pleasure not to be missed.

I have never seen a Bangladeshi simile after a game. Their captain during the awards ceremony will play a recorded message in broken English stating “we need to improve”. But today these guys and their loyal fans were seen rejoicing and dancing. Frankly beating Australia is a task and they have every right to celebrate. There will be elite’s who doubt this as “match fixing”. Yes it does look doubtful on a team that has never won but suddenly out of the blues manage beat the world champs.

But in my opinion, I watched the entire action unfold live on ESPN. I don’t want to take anything away from the Bangladesi’s. The golden rule is “When you get your basis right, there is very minimal room for pathetic failures”. They bowled, fielded and batted with some sense, while the mighty Aussies looked pathetic all through. Congratulations to Bangaladesh. Hope this victory boosts their over all confidence.

Today the “0/3” Aussies take on the pumped up home team. [War of the worlds Episode 1]

Just one more loss for the Aussies, then it would be matter of time before Ponting starts to crib about the pitch or light or the travel schedule. Ricky, [wink wink] you can blame “the Jet lag” for now. Trust me it works.


Ricky Ponting & co - whats up dude.

Australia lost again this time to a county team. May be Ricky pointing would say this does not “count”. He would comment “we are bored by winning hence for a change we tried to feel loss”.

Australia made about 342, a score that assures victory in general. Hayden trashed a 50 in about 39 balls, while Ponting’s graphite bat managed to pick about 80 after his pathetic duck in the first 20/20 game. However for Somerset, Jayasuriya the most unpredictable batsmen of my times along with South African captain Graeme Smith took the game away from the Australians. They took their bowling right on from the first ball and directed the home side to a fantastic win. Karprowicz was the prominent donor while the mighty [K] D. Mcgrath went for about 5 runs an over. Bret Lee was hit for about 26 runs in first 4 over resulting in a shoulder injury, may be he chucked too many balls in the course of action.

Aussies have not tasted twin losses in long time. Insult to the injury was loosing to a 2 level county team. Congratulations to Somerset. May be who knows this would be a part of a strategy that coverts English confidence to a huge over confidence. [Wink Wink]. Mr. Poiting get this - if you treat the game lightly [like the 20/20], the game will not treat you in the same manner, rather it will be treat you badly. Hope for Aussies recovery soon.

Today England takes on Bangladesh, instead of wasting time, they can settle scores with a game of Book cricket [Using the new Harry potter book] this would save some pride for Bangladesh and more promotion for the book. I am just wondering what a bookie with think if I check the odds for a Bangladesh win. Harry Potter’s magic wand would be handy.

The hunter is now being hunted. For past 5 days in Chennai the entire news network keeps talking about the Pataudi case, He is supposed to have hunted rare species of animals for recreation. Courts have issued arrest warrant on him but police are yet to track him down. Pataudi has become a rare species for the police. Many political parties have screamed out saying he is been given special treatment. He is still on run, he is now hunted by the police. summava sonnaga - pirarku innA murpagal sei in thamaku inna thAmE varum

Yesterday heat was devastating in Chennai. It was humid even at 11.30pm. I went a restaurant called Cornucopia near Nandanam for dinner, they had varieties of Italian and other types of food in their menu. Tried the Indian edition of Lasagna, did seem ok to me. Average price per item ranged from Rs.70 to Rs.250. Four of us eat for about $20.

Good day;


Various Ramblings.

Sweet news, England hands over the first blow, though a 20/20 game, the mighty Australia had to taste loss. Yes I hear they will bounce back with vengeance yada yada yada, until then the renovated English team has every right to celebrate the victory. Michael Vaughan, the English captain played down this win and called it a lottery. While his counter part Ricky “the graphite bat” pointing commented that this was a fun sort of game and it does not count [Oh Yeh]. FYI: ICC calls it an international.

Nasser Hussain, the Chennai born Ex-English Captain and the man responsible for a revamp in the English side was commentating in high sprits for sky sports. He had nice little comments to offer at the pathetic batting display by the yapping Aussies. English made 179 in 20 while the mighty “baggy green” squad were bundled out for 79, The English won by 100 Runs. It might be a 20/20 game but I feel the so-called Australian invincibility has been questioned for the first time in past few years. Why?, the English took 7 wickets in about 20 balls giving away just eight runs. Frankly, It will be a pleasure to ridicule the Aussies until they make a “come back”.

The match fixing scandal is again on the Air, The same Indian players are in the news again. There was new name mentioned in the scandal - “Mark Waugh”. However today he denied any links.

Jackson was let go free from all 10 counts. Jury vindicated him for all the 10 cases filed against him. It seems he has a debt of about 3 million dollars for this case. The pop star responsible for changing music in the 80’s finally gets to breathe of fresh air and if he comes out with a new album for XMAS 2005, I am sure he would get back the lost money and fame. He is also expected to make a life style change. Some speculate that his never land ranch might be converted to a Senior citizen home. Meanwhile the jobless media in the US has to find some other scandal for their live feeds. I was wondering about the actor who played Jackson in the E-Channel would do now. Poor guy lost his job today.

I have plans to collect various types of hand drums and percussion used in various world genres. Just few days before I left for Chennai, I purchased an African hand drum from Guitar center. The one that you hear in the prelude of “Andangkaka from Anniyan.” I really want to carry a Thavil and a Dhol from India, they are too big though. Need to figure out a way to carry them. The afternoon temperature is too hot to venture out. But Yesterday I went to various music stores in search of instruments, my favorite “udukai” tops the list.

Good Day.



a Broad band connection was installed in my house few days ago; to my surprise, during installation no software was used. On the first go I had no clue about this process, a person walks in and connects a modem to your computer [windows 98], and it starts to work. I asked him about it but failed to get an answer, I let it go.

However it was matter of time for me to explore the logistics behind this plug and play modem [HUAWEI] miracle. This has a firmware that can be updated directly. A qualified person will preprogram the firmware on the modem at the BSNL office. The installer plugs it in and wishes good luck. The DSL connection by BSNL was peculiar. In US, a direct phone line can be plugged into the modem while the every phone in the house gets a DSL filter. The order in which the modem is connected is not important. Here things are different. The DSL modem connection has to be the first connection before connecting to a phone or a fax. Meaning the modem has the filter installed which split the phone calls and Internet data. The positive side, No filters needed for every phone however the negative side wiring changes have to be done to make the DSL modem the first connection. But you are rescued by the BSNL lines-men. They will do this for a small fee. It is worth the money.

Support documents/software: BSNL did not provide any software, technical support or a one-page document. In fact there was no documentation to find the email account. We might have to call them to get the account id, and password. Once this was obtained, I was able to configure [POP] via outlook in few minutes. Thanks to little help that I found in DataOne.in web site. Help found there clearly gives you easy steps to configure the email. A simple 1-page document is all that takes to explain this, Why can’t they bundle this in the installation kit?

Next step was to explore the modem miracle. Frankly it was not that hard to explore. This modem has a web based client that can be reached by typing on your browser. The browser will then ask for a login and password. [Admin and admin respectively]. From here you can have access to various modem functions, that includes a firewall. You can enable the firewall to protect your computer from attackers. This control page also has a rest set function that comes handy during abrupt power failures. Also here is where the expert at the BSNL office uploads the pre-programmed firmware with your account details engraved.

Service Speed: Technically it is called broad band, but speed during office hours is pathetic. From morning 6.00am to 8.00am, the bandwidth is good [sagikkable] [150kbs-200kbs]. As heat increases outside, the bandwidth falls down to 40, at times slower than a dial up. Frankly browsing during these hours is annoying. When asked about this to BSNL, I was asked to clean the IE browser Cache to improve speeds. Duh!.

Bottom line, being a computer nerd it was not that bad for me to get things going, however people who have no clue about the modem, networks etc would have a hard time. The general DSL speed is about 500. Though Broadband here is only 256 and today the speed never seem to go any where near 250, I am sure it will get streamlined. It is definitely a welcome start from Dialup users, however only a good customer service along with promised bandwidth makes it count. I have no documentation for DSL being installed in my place. I never signed a document to accepting the service. BSNL needs to get some kind of process in place to streamline broad band. I wish, soon they will have an installation kit on a CD-ROM that contains help and FAQ to make the Broad band experience a pleasure rather than a pressure.


Chennai Week #1

For the past week, the entire city of Chennai was talking about the conclusion of a Tele-serial Meti oli. While shopping in land-mark or walking in the Natesan park T.Nagar, I heard many people discussing about this drag. It has not been my cup of “Chaya”, hence I really don’t care. Been to land-mark yesterday to buy Audio CDs. Price for Audio CDs range from Rs.65 to Rs.250 [old songs from HMV with UPC [Ultra poor recording]. Sa re ga ma is the only company that dumps something from a spool tape directly on to a CD without any kind of CD digital re-mastering. The quality sucks right royally, however the song are worth to be in any collection. Had to buy it.

Yesterday went to a Food joint in Besent Nagar called Eden. [yeh! I made sure I got the name this time]. A small place but filled with people. By 8.00pm it was full and I saw people waiting for their turn. The menu apart from regular tandoor types included various Irish, Italian cuisine like Pasta, Lasagna etc. I had the Chef ‘s baked bowl, which was something similar to the Shepherds pie in Irish Restaurants. A baked bowl of Mushrooms and Vegetables dipped in white Pasta sauces and herbs. Cost was around Rs.90 but the cholesterol in it was kind of alarming. However after 12 hours, My stomach seems to be in its home base, hence the food can be certified as “good“.

Where there is a will there is a way – for autos in Chennai, where there is little room for the front wheel, there is a runway. These guys ply anywhere in any direction at will. Thank god - autos don’t have wings. For local commute Rs.20 is the minimum auto fare. Most accept it with a smile. Best was, standing in my street corner, I waved at an auto, he was travelling at a good speed but screeched and stopped for me, never cared about other vehicles behind him. I jumped in and to my surprise he asked me “when did I come from US”. I was surprised, it seems last time when I was here he drove me couple of times to Rajive menon studios. He is from the local auto stand in the street corner and knew my house quite well. These days there are no big arguments for the fare because there are more number of autos than mosquitoes in Chennai. Both parties accept terms and conditions ahead of time, an agreement is signed at the origin. The auto meter is just a showpiece has no real purpose. I am planning to get one for the Smithsonian in DC.

One more things I noted - I have not seen any stray animals on main roads. The roads are always kept clean. The only bad factor in Chennai is the “driver’s discipline”. None seem to have any. The excellent reflexes of the drivers and some luck are the two main factors that keep the traffic up and running in the safe mode.

Finally, Ganguly scored a century for his county team Glamorgan. He took time to settle down however he never looked pathetic anywhere in the innings. Few more innings like this will get back his lost form.

Good Day.


Visting Home!

After about 9 years I felt the 100 Degree mark; no not my cricket scores or CD sales [You day dreamer]; Flying about 37,000 feet above Mumbai the display on the 747-400 read “-50”. As the altitude decreased the temperature was climbing. The reading was about 87F after the plan had landed in Chennai. As I walked out of the airplane along with other 399 fellow passengers, I felt the heat. Yes, the experience of meeting Dr. Heat is something. The outside temperature was about F-93-F. Welcome to Chennai.

I ignored the heat, the greatest pleasure for me is visiting my native town – C H E N N A I . My previous trip to Chennai was about 3 years ago. The first glance at Chennai airport, I felt it was just the same. The immigration officers worked at the same speed. Baggage claim was just as messy as the previous time. But nothing can take away my “Sprit of Chennai”. I love this dam city.

Just about 500 yards outside the airport the city was already active; as we exited the airport with family members, it was around 6.30am, and the traffic was quite heavy. It was Sunday, still many were travelling early in the morning. The first big change I noticed was fleets of little Korean cars plying around the narrow streets of Chennai at will. Colorful 99.99999999 CC bikes were the next big change. Finally, almost every one regardless of age had a cell phone.

First day in Chennai, I managed it and took the heat by its horns, heat index had already reached triple figure by 8.00am. To keep myself hydrated I drank cold Bisleri water at regular intervals [Totaled about 10-12], I had no clue about its consequences Yes! It did hydrate me quite well but it gave a serious infection. I ended up with a throat infection, which was upgraded to a fever that competed with the local heat [aka weather] report. Scored a brilliant 102 on the first day; after a span of about 9 years I was forced to gobble various kind antibiotics in different colors, shapes and sizes.

Current situation on the 4th day, a 12+ hour Jet lag, “The heat is sweet” and the truth is I could not take it, my Agony is I could not convey this to anyone. Reason being I could be treated for ORS – “Over Reacting Syndrome” because most seem to think being a Chennai native my body should handle the heat automatically, The temperature was about 55F-60F when I left DC, its been like this from early march. But for the past 4 days it was about 95F-100F, It is amazing that people don’t seem to believe that a 40-degree raise in temperature could cook variety of food, including me.

I completed a 3day PGDIPLOMA course on various Antibiotic meals. Yesterday Gods went crazy! Yep, it rained in Chennai and cooled a bit. Evening I ventured out to a Restaurant in Besent Nagar area, I did not get the name, my cousins [I have about 10 of them] just drove me around, Yes these kids are driving now and have their own cars too. The joint had a projector and a 5.1 bose audio system that was blasting music videos of Will Smith and my favorite Eagles. I managed to find a Mexican material on the menu card. “Enchilada”, though not 100% authentic mexi stuff, it was the Mexi breed from “Chennai”, glazed with Indian spices, managed to eat the entire portion. My cousin drove me back home, a fun filled evening that I have been missing for about 5 years now! Dam! How can I afford it miss it? Today planning to invade another joint, and this time my Amex Blue will take the load.

Today I would be getting DSL at home, this should help me to boost my enthu to browse the internet. In fact I don’t mind trading this 0.556565 kbs dial up browse to watch Dravid and VVS play for a draw against South Africa.


The new term in Cricket that denotes mediocrity

What is the new term in cricket that denotes mediocrity? - “Bangladesh”, they simply don’t want learn or at the least improve. Ranking them along with other international test playing teams mocks genuine cricket. They have played about 37 tests and have won only one. They managed to draw 4 while losing the rest [32] The Dubious distinction of losing to Bangladesh goes to Zimbabwe.

Bangladesh lost 80% of time they played international games. They have tried about 42 players. The only notable or commendable player Habibul Bashar who has about 2500 runs [with an average of 34.09] to his account. The only victory came under his captaincy. Their team scoring rate has never touched 3 runs an over. It is been always in lower 2.x, they had an average of 2.83 per over in the past decade. They are now in England on tour; The English whacked them by 261 runs in the first test, I did hear the commentary on BBC. The batting display was totally useless and not worth to be an international game. The good part in this, after this loss many cricketers like Richie Benaud Shane Warne and Javed Miandad have come forward and voiced out their opinions. “It is time to demote Bangladesh from the test playing status.” For many present day cricketers, playing against Bangladesh helps boosts their statistics and their batting form to record setting heights. This does not stop with the top level players, for international batsmen regardless of their batting position playing against Bangladesh is mere net practice or an extended stay at the batting cage.

It is rumored Mr. Jagmohan Dalmia the king [push] pin of Indian cricket got them in first place to increase his number of votes in ICC meetings. What ever, I don’t really care, but the truth is I am kind of sure that Tamil Nadu or Bombay Rajinee team will whack Bangladesh. Think about the spectators, it would be a real embarrassment for them to sit for such games. It is time for ICC to suspend them from Test playing status. We should not allow hacks to reduce the quality of the game. Dav Whatmore, the Australian coach might be confident but he has been given enough time. looks like they have no hopes; The best bet for Bangladesh would be to play 2nd tier cricket for next couple of years before taking on the 1st tier. As of now it is embarrassing and bad for the game of cricket. I would want Bangladesh to prove themselves against 2nd or 3rd tier teams from 8 test playing nations.

BCCI is meeting this week and the main matter would be how to deal TNCA. It seems Tamil Nadu Cricket Association allowed local clubs to file case against BCCI and TNCA; it is believed that BCCI would take action, how? Simply reduce or completely remove funding to TNCA. The point is Chennai has a great cricket ground that often favors the home team. MAC cricket ground is popular around the world. But it looks like Chennai people will not get any international game in near future. Already their cable TV system is screwed up by the set [top-box] theory, most places in the country gets live cricket on regular cable TV while people in Chennai were forced to play book cricket instead, this move by BCCI will add to their agony.

Finally, the joke of the week, A Pakistani Astrologer has predicted that Sachin will never be in the lime light again. It is a real shame and pity that he was not able to predict recent “the brawl”, if he had done so friendship between Inzi, Afridi and Yunis Khan would have stayed intact.

Good day folks.