Saturday, November 27, 2010

'Doubt' Play - A Review and My Experience

To watch a stage play has been long been on my to do list. Fulfilled it by seeing the play doubt yesterday evening. When I saw the ad for this play in 'The Hindu' I decided I would go for it, since I had already seen the movie and could relate to the play easily. I got my 'movie buff' younger bro for company. He also has never seen a play and was eager to.
I could not recognize the names of the 4 lead actors, as I was new to the theatre scenario. But I could identify P.C.Ramakrishna as I had seen him in TV and few movies. The performance of the lead actors were fantastic. Especially P.C.Ramakrishna and Indrani Krishnaier, who played Father Thomas and Sister Aloysius respectively. Indrani Krishnaier's body language was amazing. By researching a little bit in net afterwords, I found that these people were veteran actors in Chennai's theatre world. P.C.Ramakrishna aptly deserves the title 'The Voice Of Chennai'. The play ran for one hour and 45 minutes and we were totally engrossed the whole time. The dialogues were sharp and witty.
I was watching with interest, how the back stage crew changed the sets with minimal disturbance in between the acts. And how the actors managed when there was a power cut during the play. All in all it was a very satisfying experience and I would like to watch plays like this if I get a chance.
P.S. An observation - the majority of the audience belonged to elite upper class. My brother could identify some theater personalities who were starting to make their foray into movies. I guess the middle class people have their own pastimes such as watching TV and going to the movies :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My induction cooking experience

  I have been thinking about buying an induction cooktop for over a year, after I saw it at my friend's place.She is a non-chennaiite and didn't have any ration-card for applying to gas connection.She was not interested in going for a private gas connection either as it was very expensive.She opted for a induction cooktop instead.She told me it cooked very fast and the power consumption was not much.And I have seen her cooking in it and thought it was a good choice.

  Yesterday night I came back home at 9.15 pm. We had dose batter ready at home so I switched on the gas stove and placed the tawa and found that the stove went off immediately. I tried a second time with the same result.So I thought that the cylinder was empty and proceeded to change the cylinder.But I could not even open the new cylinder.So I waited for my hubby to return home to help me. He successfully helped me to change the cylinder. But alas, the stove went off again.We had a spare stove in the loft.We took it down and connected the tube to it and tried again and to my dismay, got negative results this time too. By now the time was 10.30 pm and we went to 'Sangeetha' for dinner.

  Next day morning I had bread for breakfast and left for job.My husband had a 'Sangeetha T20 breakfast' and registered a complaint with the local gas agency.They gave a prompt reply of "rendu naal aagum sir".( oru velai gas leak aagudhunu solli irundha udane vandhiruppangalo ennavo. Gas varave illaina avangalukku onnum emergency illaiye). We managed lunch in our respective canteens.After coming home I called the gas agency again. Since the call was attended by a female employee I tried the sympathy angle 'Madam nethu nightle irundhu veetule edhuvume samaikkalai.Please yaaravadhu mechanic udane anuppunga(sigh...)She promised me she will take lunch only after sending a mechanic to my home immediately. Namma aalunga promise pathi thaan theriyume.So we tried changing the tube ...and guess what? Bulbu than erinjudhu aanaa aduppu eriyalai.

  Naangalum salaikkalai...We went to purchase a new gas stove( long time pending), came home and connected it...the result was ZERO,ZILCH,NOTHING,NADA... onnume nadakkalai.We guessed that the problem might be with the regulator,adhu onnu thaan innum mathalai.

  Appo than enakku prakaasamana idea onnu vandadhu.Dear, why don't we get a induction cooktop? My friend has been using it for a long time and blah blah blah(read para one again).Thus we began our second shopping trip for the evening.We compared few models and settled on 'Preethi Trendy' model.I already knew that regular aluminium cookers can't be used with induction cooktops,so purchased a cooker compatible with induction cooktop.The brochure told only flat vessels should be used,so got a flat steel kadai also.By the the time we came home the time was 8.50 pm.I proceeded to read the instruction booklet and started making upma.I was a bit apprehensive working with this new gadget.Since I was not familiar with the settings the rava got slightly burnt.But the cooking was fast and the upma came out decently.Finally had dinner at 9.30 pm.(Success...success...).Till the mechanic from the gas agency comes tomorrow (hopefully)I have to do full-fledged cooking in this induction cooktop only.I hope I will get over the learning curve soon....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Gujju Experience

   We went for shopping today ...Dont ask me where. Ofcourse T.nagar- the mecca of shoppers...
We wanted to have lunch in a decent place without much crowd and the people waiting peeping over our plates.Since we wanted to taste something different from the usual southindian, we tried Mansukh's restaurant in ramasamy street.I had already read about this 'Gujju' restaurant in and found this had decent reviews.

   They had a sunday special called 'majarajha thali' for 160 rupees. They serve you a welcome drink of guava juice, followed by a starter. I dont know the name of this item, because i am not much familiar with gujarathi food.It was some kofta in a khadi base, which was very good.After that they serve you dhokla and  paan leaf bajji with mint chutney.Then you can have poori/ phulka/paratha/white rice/curd rice served with dhal, pulses subji,green subji,aloo subji, a dahi based curry( which was sweet and spicy, do not know the name),salad,two sweets, pickle and buttermilk to drink.And you finish off with icecream and beeda.The rasamalai was excellent.My hubby, who is not much of a sweetlover,  polished it off.All the subjis were decent.The phulkas were soft and fluffy.The rotis are served hot from the kitchen.The mild flavour of gujju food was a welcome change from the regular spicy northindian food. Many of the dishes had some amount of sweetness in them.(We all know Gujju's love for sweets).My husband was joking that except for the pickle all dishes had a tinge of sweetness.The service is good.And the ambience is neat.

  Oh..How did I forget? The thali is UNLIMITED.....But trust me,you  might get a second helping of some items but not all. The meal is so heavy on your tummy, I didnt feel like having dinner at all.Next time I visit Mansukh's I will try to have their roti/rice subji combos, which might be a little bit lighter.

But ,go taste the Maharhaja thali once and have a royal experience.

P.S. I found it amusing that almost all of the waiters are tamilians, I expected to see some northindian faces.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

World classical Tamil Conference - consequences of consequences

     Well, may be its a bit late to write about WCTC (World classical Tamil Conference). But i just want to write about some of the consequences I have observed.
The instructions are not clear, whether the name boards should have only tamil letters of english names or tamil names per se.I dont know how many of the shopkeepers consulted the book  issued by the corporation or any other source. Majority of them had boards displaying only tamil letters of english names. They were keen that they didnot want their name boards to be removed or harmed in anyway.
I had gone to treat a patient with rootcanal in my friend's clinic. I found that my friend was apprehensive because the last date for tamil nameboards was approaching. She asked me what is the correct tamil equivalent for 'dental clinic'. I told her it must be 'pal maruthuvamanai'(பல் மருத்துவமனை  ). But another friend suggested that it is 'pal maruthuvagam'(பல் மருத்துவகம் ) because the former means hospital, and the latter clinic.Well that was news for me :).
I found the attempts by shopkeepers to have tamil nameboards very amusing.Some who could afford had changed their entire nameboards, while someothers had an additional small nameboard in tamil.A lot of shopkeepers had a new vinyl banner withtamil names hanging over their existing english boards(that must have been cheap i guess, not to mention good business for banner makers).A few small shops just had taken printouts in white paper and pasted it in their original board :).
But by observing all these I think I learnt some new tamil words.I just want to share some of the good and funny ones with you all...
Bakery - அடுமனை
Coffee house - குளம்பியகம்
Computer - கணிணி
Laptop - மடிணி
( I totally loved this one, saw this at the Lenovo service centre, Velachery)
Group - குழுமம்
Agency - முகவாண்மை
(This is also a good one...Poongundran agencies have been using this name for a long time even before the rules)
Photoframing - படச்சட்டம்
Cellphone - கைபேசி , அலைபேசி
Furniture - அறைகலன்
(Nice one)
Shop - அங்காடி
Centre - மையம்
Plaza - வளாகம்
Hardwares - வன் பொருளகம்
Electricals - மின் பொருளகம்
Now going to the fun part
Cellphone - செல்லிடைபேசி
(Where did the idai come from?)
 Avasarala Technologies Limited - அவசரலா தொழில்நுட்ப வரையறுக்கப்பட்டது
( Why varaiyarukkappattadhu?????)
Lamination - ஒளிச்சுடர்
( I guess the guy mistook it for lumination, saw this in 100 ft road, Velachery)
Levi Strauss - லீவைஸ் ஹட்ராஸ்,  லெவி ஸ்ட்ராஸ்
(Two different showrooms had two different tamil versions, may be decided by the franchisee)

If anyone has some nice / funny tamil translation seen in nameboards, please share.

P.S. This is the first time I am using the transliteration feature in blogger and it is great to say the least. It made the tamil typing effortless.Try it to believe it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

varaan varaan poochandi

I first heard this song in a reality dance program when some boy danced to this tune. I liked it very much . I was wondering which movie it belonged to and googled it and got links to youtube videos. In youtube i found this song with video of cute animated animals dancing and found that the original english song was 'i like to move it' from the movie madagascar 2. Anybody know the origin of this tamil folk song - the singer, the album etc?
Anyway whether the song is in english or tamil, you will sure enjoy the animals' dancing :)

13 virtues of Benjamin Franklin

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, either write things worth reading, or do things worth the writing." ~ B. Franklin

Do you recognize the picture above? Most of us will recognize it as the US 100 $ bill.Well what about the man on the bill? He is Benjamin Franklin and the above quote was given by him. Well he was a man who did both.

I myself learnt some information on Benjamin Franklin only few weeks back...
He is one of the founding fathers of US of A. To say that he was a multi-talented person is an understatement.He was a leading author and printer, satirist,political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat.(courtesy -Wikipedia)

His success was due to his self-motivation.His father had seventeen children and he was the youngest.His school education was only till his tenth year.He was always interested in reading and taught himself to read .He worked as an apprentice to his brother in the printing press where he had access to many books. He taught himself to write prose by reading literature, assimilating the ideas and trying to express the idea in his own words.To make a long story short, he was a self made man.

When he was 20 years old, he decided that he has to achieve moral perfection.He wanted to improve his character by following thirteen virtues.He used to maintain a journal to perfect all these habits. He followed all these through out his life.

1. TEMPERANCE - never eat or drink to dullness
2. SILENCE - avoid unnecessary talking;speak only when it is useful to you or others
3. ORDER - your life should have an order, all things should have their place and all work should have their own time
4. RESOLUTION - have the resolution to do, what you have to and do that with out fail
5. FRUGALITY - do not make unnecessary expenses;whatever expense you do must do good to you or others
6. INDUSTRY - donot waste time;always be occupied with some work;cut off all unnecessary work
7. SINCERITY- donot deceive anyone;think and speak justly
8. JUSTICE - donot harm anyone by doing a bad deed or avoiding anything good happening to them
9. MODERATION - have patience to anything bad you encounter
10.CLEANLINESS - be clean in body, cloathing and your living place
11.TRANQUILLITY - donot get disturbed by trivial issues or any unavoidable incidents
12.CHASTITY - use sex only for proper health and offspring,never to dullness, weakness or to injure your/others peace of mind or reputation
13.HUMILITY - imitate Jesus and Socrates

He would work on one quality at a time and record his improvements in his journal.He feels that he may not have fully followed these 13 virtues, but they have contributed to his success and happiness.

He wrote that "I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit."

Ivar sonnadhile oru 10% kadaipidicha kooda podhum, namma ellam urupatturuvom :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

my 'starry' tales

i was driving back home in my two-wheeler from  my library at nanganallur. the sky was clear and it was a good evening for driving. it was the third moon day. i could see the thin curve of moon and just above it a single bright star. i was wondering which star was that. i remembered reading some where that stars are the holes in the bottom of heaven.

i was thinking of my school days. i think i was in 8th or 9th grade. we were living in a small house in nanganallur. infact it was one of the four small  portions downstairs. two portions had their doors opening out in the backyard. ours was one. the advantage was that we had a lot of open space. there was a big well and lot of wayward trees growing in the backyard. my favourite place was near the well.some evenings me and my dad will sit in creaking old chairs near that well. we will talk about many topics under the sun, or should i say the stars:-)...but at that age my worldly knowledge was limited.. i will tell him about my time at school, my tiffs with my friends and fights with my brother. mostly i will listen to his stories and anecdotes...of his young age , his time in ceylon etc.

my dad was a wonderful storyteller . he will narrate stories of english movies he had seen, to me and my brother. and we will sit open jawed listening . his flow was very good. i remember , sometimes that me and my bro will bug him for a story when we had nothing else to do. we will request him to retell some stories , which were our favourites. rambo, nakedprey, cat o nine tails, cliffhanger- these were some of my favourite stories. later in life when i had a chance to see few  these movies , they turned out to be average flicks. and i liked them more when my dad narrated  them.

and some evenings we will just sit and gaze at the stars. unlike now, i used to remember names of few stars and constellations, back in my schooltime. so i will try to locate those in the sky. later we shifted to a portion in first floor, which had a small balcony and my star spotting continued. my present house has very little space around. when i come out for some fresh air, what i get is the stench of urine from the neighbours yard. there is a terrace, but the air is full of chemicals from the surrounding  leather factories. sometimes  me and my brother go to the terrace at night. we talk and share thoughts. but i dont find myself looking for stars with the same fervour as in old times. and i miss the backyard, the chair near the well and star gazing with my dad...