Wednesday, March 29, 2006

God's Own Country ---Kerala (Kumarakom)

These pictures were taken by my friends when we went to kumarakom way back in 2004

Monday, March 27, 2006

AGCD: America Gone Confused Desi- Back in India

Scare relatives by giving them frenzied electronic items like Electric Razor, Robot vacuum machine and scare the hell out of them explaining how it works.

Prefer tin coke instead of soda bottle coke and think tin coke is cool when you pay more for less quantity.

Call a friend and ask for appointment/expect the appointments for a casual visit.

Complain about not having lanes in road system to friend as if driven in laned roads.

Listen acknowledging with huhumm, hahhan instead of our traditional hmmm.

Carry a laptop to office without any use of it.

Have a flip type mobile with ringer tone of some unknown english song.

Stop and Wait for pedestrians to cross while driving car even in small Indian roads listening to the honks behind.

Donate at least 10 rs to a beggar.

Always say yup or yep instead of yes.

Cry wazzup buddy / baby when meeting friends.

Wear a thick half trouser tucking in T-shirt (with a small tummy) even
when going to meet relatives.

Play/watch tennis, basket ball, baseball, F1 race.

Always take cold Tropicana.

Say thank you to servant maid even for any small help.

Try saying Soccer when football (deep down the heart it is still football).

Tries to look out for Clorex in super market.

Just for the sake of it try entering car in right hand side and say "ooooh ..." as if u right from birth driven car in right hand side.

Tries to use credit card in road side hotel.

Drinks and carries mineral water and always speak of health conscious.

Sprays deo such so that he doesn't need to take bath.

Sneezes and says 'Excuse me' Says 'Bless you' when someone does.

Says "Hey" instead of "Hi"
Says "Yogurt" instead of saying "Curd"
Says "Cab" instead of "Taxi"
Says "Candy" instead of "Chocolate"
Says "Cookie" instead of "Biscuit"
Says "Free Way" instead of "Highway"
Says "got to go" instead of "Have to go"
Says "Oh" instead of "Zero", (for 704, says Seven Oh Four Instead of Seven Zero Four

Doesn't forget to crib about air pollution: Keeps cribbing every time he steps out.

Says all the distances in Miles (Not in Kilo Meters) and counts in Millions(Not in Lakhs)

Tries to figure all the prices in Dollars as far as possible
(but deep down the heart multiplies by 43 times).

Tries to see the % of fat on the cover of a milk pocket.

When need to say Z (zed, never says Z (Zed, repeats "Zee"
several times, if the other person unable to get, then says X, Y Zee(but never says Zed)

Writes date as MM/DD/YYYY, on watching traditional DD/MM/YYYY, says "Oh! British Style!!!!"

Makes fun of Indian Standard Time and Indian Road Conditions.

Even after 2 months, complaints about "Jet Lag".

Avoids eating more chili (hot stuff).

Tries to drink "Diet Coke", instead of Normal Coke.

Tries to complain about any thing in India as if he is experiencing it for the first time.

Pronounces "schedule" as "skejule", and "module" as "Mojule".

Looks speciously towards Hotel/Dhaba food.

From the luggage bag, does not remove the stickers of Airways by which he traveled back to India, even after 4 months of arrival.

Takes the cabin luggage bag to short visits in India, tries to roll the bag on Indian Roads and Railway platforms.

Ultimate one

Tries to begin conversation with "In US ...:" or "When I was in US..."

If you are an American....

You know how baseball, basketball, and American football are played. If you're male, you can argue intricate points about their rules.

You count yourself fortunate if you get three weeks of vacation a year.

If you died tonight... You're fairly likely to believe in God; if not, you've certainly been approached by people asking whether you know that you're going to Heaven.

You think of McDonald's, Burger King, KFC etc. as cheap food.

You probably own a telephone and a TV. Your place is heated in the winter and has its own bathroom. You do your laundry in a machine. You don't kill your own food.

You don't have a dirt floor. You eat at a table, sitting on chairs.

You don't consider insects, dogs, cats, monkeys, or guinea pigs to be food.

It seems natural to you that the telephone system, railroads, auto manufacturers, airlines, and power companies are privately run; indeed, you can hardly picture things working differently.

The train system, by contrast, isn't very good. Trains don't go any faster than cars; you're better off taking a plane.

You don't expect to hear socialism seriously defended.
Between "black" and "white" there are no other races. Someone with one black and one white parent looks black to you.

You think most problems could be solved if only people would put aside their prejudices and work together.

You take a strong court system for granted, even if you don't use it. You know that if you went into business and had problems with a customer, partner, or supplier, you could take them to court.

You'd respect someone who speaks French, German, or Japanese-- but you very likely don't yourself speak them well enough to communicate with a monolingual foreigner. You're a bit more ambivalent about Spanish; you think the schools should teach kids English.

It's not all that necessary to learn foreign languages anyway. You can travel the continent using nothing but English-- and get by pretty well in the rest of the world, too.

You think a tax level of 30% is scandalously high.

School is free through high school (at least, it's an option, even if you went to private school); college isn't, unless you get a scholarship.
College is (normally, and excluding graduate study) four years long.

Everybody knows that

Mustard comes in jars. Shaving cream comes in cans. Milk comes in plastic jugs or cardboard boxes, and occasionally in bottles.

The date comes second: 11/22/06. (And you know what happened on that date.)
The decimal point is a dot. Certainly not a comma.

A billion is a thousand times a million.

World War II was a just war, and (granted all the suffering of course) ended all right. It was a time when the country came together and did what was right. And instead of insisting on vengeance, the US very generously rebuilt Europe instead, with the Marshall Plan.

You expect marriages to be made for love, not arranged by third parties. Getting married by a judge is an option, but not a requirement; most marriages happen in church. You have a best man and a maid or matron of honor at the wedding-- a friend or a sibling. And, naturally, a man gets only one wife at a time.

Once you're introduced to someone (well, besides the President and other lofty figures), you can call them by their first name.

You'd rather a film be subtitled than dubbed (if you go to foreign films at all).
You seriously expect to be able to transact business, or deal with the government, without paying bribes.

If a politican has been cheating on his wife, you would question his ability to govern.

Just about any store will take your credit card.

A company can fire just about anybody it wants, unless it discriminates by doing so.

You like your bacon crisp (unless it's Canadian bacon, of course).

You talk more about cookies than eating them.

Contributions to world civilization

You've probably seen Star Wars, ET, Home Alone, Casablanca, and Snow White. If you're under forty, add Blazing Saddles, Terminator, Jaws, and 2001; otherwise, add Gone with the Wind, A Night at the Opera, Psycho, and Citizen Kane.

You count on excellent medical treatment. You know you're not going to die of cholera or other Third World diseases. You expect very strong measures to be taken to save very ill babies or people in their eighties. You think dying at 65 would be a tragedy.

You went over US history, and some European, in school, Not much Russian, Chinese, or Latin American. You couldn't name ten US interventions in Latin America.
You expect the military to fight wars, not get involved in politics. You may not be able to name the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Your country has never been conquered by a foreign nation.

You're used to a wide variety of choices for almost anything you buy.

You consider your car as your wife and wife as car. you wont allow anyone to drive your own car...not even touch it.

You still measure things in feet, pounds, and gallons.

You are not a farmer.

The people who appear on the most popular talk shows are mostly entertainers, politicians, or rather strange individuals. Certainly not, say, authors.

You drive on the right side of the road. You stop at red lights even if nobody's around. If you're a pedestrian and cars are stopped at a red light, you will fearlessly cross the street in front of them. You never honk unless someone makes a shit.

You consider the Volkswagen Beetle to be a small car.

The police are armed, but not with submachine guns.

The biggest meal of the day is in the evening.

There's parts of the city you definitely want to avoid at night.

You feel that your kind of people aren't being listened to enough in Washington.
You wouldn't expect both inflation and unemployment to be very high (say, over 15%) at the same time.

The normal thing, when a couple dies, is for their estate to be divided equally between their children.

You think of opera and ballet as rather elite entertainments. It's likely you don't see that many plays, either.

Christmas is in the winter. Unless you're Jewish, you spend it with your family, give presents, and put up a tree.

You may think the church is too powerful, or the state is; but you are used to not having a state church and don't think that it would be a good idea.

You'd be hard pressed to name the capitals or the leaders of all the nations of Europe.

You've left a message at the beep.

Taxis are generally operated by foreigners, who are often deplorably ignorant about the city.

You are distrustful of welfare and unemployment payments-- you think people should earn a living and not take handouts. But you would not be in favor of eliminating Social Security and Medicare.

If you want to be a doctor, you need to get a bachelor's first.

Space and time
If you have an appointment, you'll mutter an excuse if you're five minutes late, and apologize profusely if it's ten minutes. An hour late is almost inexcusable.

If you're talking to someone, you get uncomfortable if they approach closer than about two feet.

About the only things you expect to bargain for are houses, cars, and antiques.

Once you're past college, you very rarely simply show up at someone's place. People have to invite each other over-- especially if a meal is involved.

When you negotiate, you are polite, of course, but it's only good business to 'play hardball'.

If you have a business appointment or interview with someone, you expect to have that person to yourself, and the business shouldn't take more than an hour or so.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Cinema, Fries, Latte ---- Instant Reviews

Mercury Pookal : Adviced for Aspiring Bachelors. Good One.

Jasmine another beautiful flower.

My school buddy kurinjinathan plays a role in the movie as a friend to srikanth and makes some mimicry-comedy in the movie.

Chithiram Pesuthadi : Charithiram Pesuthadi. Good one.

Pattiyal : Pithamagan part 2. But vikram and surya were way ahead.

Thambi : Maddy wears a rahman hair style. Good action movie.

Maddy acting not that good.

One Dialogue --> Maanai sutta jail la poduranga , Manusanai sutta bail la viduranga .

Kalaba Kathalan : First half not adviced for bachelors. Second half---A bad message.

Kalvanin Kathali : Another crap movie from SJ Surya.
Who told him that he is acting good. Nayan Tara , A dream wife

Kovai Brothers : Thanks to my american life.Ithellam parka vendiyiruku.

Madarasi : Another action movie

Kodambakkam : A senti movie. but ok to watch once.

Idhaya Thirudan : Time waste

Saravana : Mokkai poduran simbu

Local News

Sk Srinivasan left to India March 24th

My College Buddy Vinoth raj got married on Mar 2nd

My Anni gave birth to a baby girl on Feb 26

My Hexaware Buddy Hema gave birth to a baby girl.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yen Ayal Desa Vazhkai-----Chennai To Newark

Started from India in the midnight through Lufthansa aircraft, soma, bai, kk, hari, kosu, subbu, yoge, dinesh, anni‘s amma appa came to the airport. Went in early as kk was pinging me that I’ll be catching the flight in the runway. Checked in the baggage and it was 6kgs less than permissible limit. Waited in the lounge before boarding and hence called up home and kk and spoke with them for sometime. Then took a costly coffee in Chennai airport, the last essence of the drink from my Thai mannu.

Boarded the flight and sat in a place where the next seat was free. There was a partial I would say a racial treatment in the Lufthansa flight because they didn’t ask me whether I’ll drink any liquor. I was taking orange juice and apple juice with the cuisines the classic way as the hostess was calling it. Then went to the rest room and found it difficult the madhaavan way , used the tissue papers. There was a painful 5 hrs transit in the Frankfurt airport. Was scolding kk since he didn’t give me the contact list printed which I sent him thru email. Hence I couldn’t call bala, my school friend who is in Germany during the transit time. Was roaming around the airport lounge and shopping malls, Had coffee in the lounge coffee bar with whoever Indians I met there. I disturbed a couple who are about to get married in India on their way from Ger. They were talking in Tamil and took the rights to disturb them, the guy is a scientist in a German university and the girl is pursuing studies there. He should be proud to introduce himself as a scientist. I would have. Then had a coffee latte which is like the Indian coffee with another Indian who is on his way towards India and he was in US for 8 yrs. Was telling me that the pay packs in India have raised and nowadays he cud see only less no of Indians coming on H1. Then was talking with another Indian who is on his way to Texas Austin and hence we had another coffee latte. All these coffees are in a span of 5 hrs. But the real wonder is, I didn’t pay for any of these coffees. I don’t know how to pay even if they ask me to pay. I had $200 as two $100 dollar bills. Then i became tired and hence sat on the floor like our central railway station and was reading a sujatha’s book for sometime.

Then boarded the connecting flight to Newark, some call it nay wark or some as new wark, some how landed in the privileged country. My taxi guy made me wait in the airport for 30 mins. I was looking for name boards carrying my name as in movies…but I was made to call him to the airport, hence bought a coffee in the Newark airport to get some change. For making a call it is 1 dollar as four quarters, but I had only 2. Hence seeing my situation, another taxi driver gave me another 2 quarters to complete the call. Before I started from Chennai that evening it was raining and after I reached Newark, it was raining again. At last started from the airport and cab driver whose name is Joe (he‘s an Egyptian) stopped in a house (oru kaatu bangala), I thought he is going to check for the directions. But he said this is your guest house and asked me to take my baggage in. one guy was there in the guest house and he introduced himself as Mahesh(manavadu). I kept the baggage inside and got introduced to him. Will continue....

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My German Experiences

About the Nation:
The Country is rich because they invaded other nations and war was their only business.
Only after World War II, they started developing in all technologies and they way they built their nation is well planned. This country cannot be compared with Japan, as they are rich enough through invasion when they started building their nation while Japan rose from ashes.

About Racism and Nazism:
Its not here anymore and people are very friendly and helpful and they never discriminate people from their skin color. May be previous generations would have been as I thought. I heard that it is still there in some eastern parts of Germany. Nazism and Hitler’s thoughts are no more here and people here hate talking about that.

About the Climate:
The climate is very cool here when I landed there, was about –7 C and luckily I escaped from the winter when it went to the extreme about –18 C. Mostly north east and south west German cities experience heavy cold and snow and Frankfurt is in the central Germany which is a bit moderate. I was staying in Bad Homburg, some half n hr from Frankfurt and was a good place.

About the Population:
The population is very less and it is in the decreasing curve. People here don’t want any commitment in their life; hence no concept of marriage and everyone live with their friend. In all the public transport vehicles, the group ticket for 5 is cheaper that buying tickets for 2 individuals. The govt. is happy to see groups of people in trains and buses than individuals, giving good tax concessions for people who have 2 or more children.

About the People:
Old Aryans came from Germany, this is mythology. These people are really western and they look completely different. I can accept people from Spain, Hungary and Netherlands to look like Aryans i.e. our typical north Indians. Here female ratio is more than male and Indian girls who have settled here look pretty. People very rarely use two wheelers and mostly you can find some modified version of Scooty. All others use only cars here and they religiously follow the traffic rules. Pedestrians have more respect than car drivers in the road and the cars will stop till you cross the road. -Now only I started feeling the advantage of less population and cool weather to make you wait in traffic signals and people here never use horns and will scold you if you use. Most of the Taxi drivers here are from other nations esp. Pakistan, turkey and Afghanistan .All of them drive very decently and we get the Quittung (receipt) for claiming after paying them. Typical Germans really look like steffi graf and Boris Becker as I have heard. People here are very much frugal spending money. They spend money only for food, car, petrol (called a benzin here) and wine. Cost of petrol is 1 Euro per litre and the bus ticket is 1.25 Euro, hence car is affordable and cost only 1000 Euro when you go for second hand. People here are very sturdy and walk very fast as if they are going to catch the next bus. But even though sometimes it’s true, people walk to home very swiftly. It was impossible for me to walk in the pace of an old man in the Frankfurt station. They keep up the time like anything. Even the professors are punctual and will start classes as perfect like trains. People here are very helpful and even the old aged try to understand English and help me. But one day I put my tongue out like a dog to ask for a tongue cleaner in a shopping plaza. People here will become very happy once they see the sun. Everyone come out of the houses during the weekends, go for walking with their pets.

About the Language:
Language is a great barrier here and people become very happy when you speak their language instead of English. If you really want to get along with people, you have to know the deutsche language.

About the food:
People here either eat cow or what the cow eats (I mean raw vegetables in the name of salads). Beef and Pork are their favorites and Pizza, burger of course. I ate beef once and most of the times took chicken and fish. Here no Indian restaurants and survival is a bit tough if you are a pure vegetarian and don’t know cooking. Only one jaipur restaurant was there nearby but not so good it seems. People here take spiceless food. When I tried some vegetarisch (vegetarian) dishes, all of them were some modified versions of Pastas and Pizzas. Some sandwiches had raw sliced meat inside.
The fruits and vegetables come from Turkey, as Germany is a cold country and not a good place for vegetation.

About Education and Industries:
Here education is excellent and free. But immigration and Job opportunities are closed for overseas students. Automobile and Electronics engineering are worthwhile studies and world best manufacturers are here. BMW, Mercedes Benz, Siemens and Opel speak proud of Germany.
Siemens employers in Germany are treated with high respect. Some twenty years back, people after finishing their schooling have to go either to social service or Army and have to serve the nation at least for 2 years. Only then they can for any other job. Almost all the professions are treated equally and almost all of them get the same salary on average. Hence even a garbage collector owns a car.

About the Public Transport:
Here trains and buses are timed as 9.09 or 10.37, which they maintain very perfectly. I was really wondering only about the bus timings if it has to wait in traffic signals and bus stops. If you didn’t see a 10.37 bus not coming at the same time, you can simply look for the next bus time as it could’ve been cancelled for the entire day. A single firm operates all the public transport vehicles and the tickets issue is automated hence no separate ticket for train/bus, you can use it for anything. Only few take tickets from the driver of the bus. Unlike americans , these people are real stylish. You can see a typical FTV costume modeling when any train comes to the station and people will be walking like that. Buses, Trams and trains can be distinguished by their lengths only. Here ICE trains are the ones, which look different and will travel across around Europe.

Christmas is the foremost festival for Germany. Then when we were there, 27th of Feb was celebrated as Carnival day where women have all the rights to do anything on guys. Here we used to harass girls during holi, the opposite way it happens there.

Hauptwache pronounced, as “hauptwaha” is the shopping area near Frankfurt. Then there’s a place where a shop called media mart, an electronic goods shopping plaza.

Sight Seeing:
Here you can find only museums and Castles. The Romans build most of them when they captured Europe at one point of time. Hiedelberg is a place one and half-hours from which has an old castle and which is not destroyed by the world war. Then there a hill over there, on top we went by a winch, on the top of which was like Swiss. Snow covered roads and they were very slippery. Rudesheim is another place for Vineyards. Bonn is the city built in the style of Russian architecture and looks a bit different.