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Just Shoot Me

Bala, 28, Gordon Gekko in the making, pseudo-intellectual, cynic, bibliophile, obsessive compulsive ranter...

why monopoly rocks

November 28, 2007

Monopoly Rocks:

Example 1 :

The chennai MTC has this breed of buses called blue line or something like that. They charge like 15 Rs for a trip from T nagar to Tambaram (5A). And during night time they ensure only such routes are available. All other vellai board, manjaL board, veLLaiyila pacha ezhuthu board are off the road. And commuters dish out 15 Rs for the trip in a bus as crowded as a white board. And adding to the misery, some genius has decided these buses will have closing doors, which effectively rob hanging room for at least 15 people at each entrance. This way they can claim they never raised bus fares all the while increasing revenues. Who said bureaucrats are dumb?

Example 2:

There is this entity called windows vista. Its all shiny and paLa paLA but doesnt seem to have anything more than windows XP except the stupid Aero look. It hogs RAM like a hostel dude eating home food during semester holidays. I think Microsoft cut a deal with RAM manufacturers - they will ensure all PCs running windows would have a minimum of 2 Gig ram. I am in half mind to do a format and jump to ubuntu

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posted by Bala, 9:36 PM | link | 0 comments |

my own kunta kinte

November 20, 2007

A couple of months ago, i discovered the World War II discharge certificate of my maternal grandfather. For a smelly tattered document, it holds a treasure trove of information for the wannabe amateur military historian. My grandfather was a mechanic in the Indian army in the closing stages of the second world war. The Burmese or the south east asian theater of war was and has been the forgotten theater of the world war II. While the war in Europe, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Pacific and the Russian fronts has been written about over and over, the battles in the jungles of Burma remain in the background. The discharge book made me re read about the forgotten front.



My grandfather was a mechanic in the IEME - the corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. The IEME was formed in 1943 and his regiment - the 551st - must have been amongst the very first to be raised / attached to the new corps. He was posted in the Burmese theater between january 1945 and June 1946. By Jan 1945, the Japanese had been beaten back and the allied 14th corps was on launching offensives retaking wide swaths of Burma. For having served in a combat theater of operations he was entitled to wear the Star of Burma. Since no one in the family has seen such a medal, i assume he sold it as soon as he got out of the Army. He has always bragged to me about cowering in the trenches in thigh high water facing the Japanese (i was the only one who would listen to his stories) and now i find he was a REMF posted in the front when the Japs were being driven back. And he told everyone who would listen that he came back from the army because his mother wanted him back. Sucker was being discharged because of demobilisation and he had everyone believe that he returned due to thaai paasam.


Funny thing is it was listening to his stories about the war , that made me start reading history seriously. For a ex jeep mechanic behind the frontlines he had a lot to say about the war - how mountbatten was a better general than macarthur, how the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was such a bad idea (the armies were far ahead of the railroads), How the INA were idiots to have believed the Japs and so on. Those conversations were the beginning of the road to a MA in History. ;-)

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posted by Bala, 12:45 PM | link | 1 comments |

The Gods hate lungis

November 19, 2007

Last week, i went inside the Meenakshi Sundareswarar Temple after 17 years. I was showing my friend V around Madurai and what is a visit to Madurai without a visit to the temple?. The temple as i remember from my previous visit 17 years ago is really pretty. The interesting thing that prompted this post happened when we tried to enter the inner pragaram (or whatever the term). There was this board hanging in front of the entrance which had 3 lines on it. Line one said - Video cameras not allowed - Fine enough, we hadnt brought one, so it didnt bother me. Line 2 said - non-hindus not allowed . Ok, i have no problem with this, since they didnt want me inside, i stayed outside while my friend went on to have his darshan. Line 3 was the one that made me angry it said No lungis allowed . Now what do the Gods have against Lungis?. The Lungi (or kaili or saaram as you prefer) is THE most widespread male bottompiece attire in Tamil Nadu and they dont want the Gods to see Lungis!!. This is highly discriminatory - they are fine with vetti which is nothing but a lungi split sideways and they are not ok with the lungis. There are some who might say a lungi is disrespectful since people tend to madichu kattify, but the same thing can be said about vetti too. Highly discriminatory indeed. But again we are talking about the place that woudnt let dalits in till 1939.

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posted by Bala, 10:29 AM | link | 9 comments |

paranoia is a virtue

November 14, 2007

I have been noticing that there is a steady trickle of visitors from coimbatore to this blog. i have may be 9 or 10 hits on a good day and i think about the same number of regular readers. While i am happy to see people from my hometown here, i suspect some old enemy of mine has found my semi anonymous blog and is forwarding the URL to his cohorts. yaara irukkum?

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posted by Bala, 12:00 AM | link | 0 comments |

Orkut Trolling

November 12, 2007

I have acquired a new low level addiction - orkut trolling (trawling?). It is slightly more amusing than wikipedia trolling and i am always rewarded with some startling new facts. Today i found out that my locality/bus stop has a community for itself with around 100 members and at least 10 of them live within a 100 meter radius of me. And these people are arguing which is the best among the 3 "thagara dappa" tea stalls that dot our bus stop. Enna kodumai sir idhu?.

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posted by Bala, 11:57 PM | link | 0 comments |

Azhagarkoil to Pazhamudhircholai

November 09, 2007

(Scenes on the road from Azhagarkoil to Pazhamudhircholai. Photos by my friend V)



The entrance to Azhagarkovil. Garudan on the left and Hanuman on the Right



Simian Disagreement



Parts of azhagarkovil are in ruins



No pun intended..



Did you see the previous photo?



We lost a couple of corn ears to these highwaymen



Vaishnavite evangelism



Herbal tea for the trekker's soul



Who said having only one arm is a disadvantage



Refreshments



Reads like my 12th standard botany text book



Where Murugan messed with avvaiyar's head



Pazhamudhircholai at last...
posted by Bala, 10:40 PM | link | 1 comments |