Saturday, September 7, 2013

Virchand Raghavji Gandhi

“Swami Vivekananda!”
“Yep this is a  pic from the First World’s parliament of religion held in 1893 at Chicago. Identify ‘the other Indian’”
“Other Indian! It’s a news to me that there was another Indian representation. Let me see ….is that the person to the left of Swamu Vivekananda”
“That’s Anagarika Dharmapala aka Hewivitarne Dharmapala, a Sri Lankan who represented ‘Southern Buddhism’”
“Then it should the first left, the man with the turban”
“Yes, Virchand Raghavji Gandhi, he represented Jainism in the World’s Parliament of Religion”
“Tell me more about him”
“Virchand Raghavji Gandhi became honorary Secretary of the Jain Association of India, when he was just 21! But his knowledge was not restricted to Jainism. He was also a student of Bhuddism, Vedanta Philosophy, Christianity. He knew 14 languages! He also translated a French book to English, ‘An Unknown Life of Jesus Christ’”
“Looks to be a good scholar”
“Not only scholar, he was also a patriot.  During the 1897 Indian Famine,  Virchand Raghavji Gandhi was in US, he collected and send money and grains to India for famine relief. He also participated in Indian National Congress”
“V.R. Gandhi and Congress! Is there any connection between him and M.K. Gandhi”
“Virchand Raghavji Gandhi is a Barrister, so is M.K. Gandhi. They both were friends and it seems some US people mistook M.K.Gandhi as V.R. Gandhi. Here is a letter from M.K.Gandhi to Miss Emelia Mac Bean of Chicago dated June 13, 1931”
Madam, I have your letter for which I thank you. You are giving me credit of which I am wholly undeserving. You are thinking of another Mr. Gandhi my name-sake but in no way related to me. He and I were, however, friends and lived together for some time. You will be sorry to hear that he died many years ago, leaving an only son. It was he who visited America and made many friends. I have never had the privilege of visiting your continent.
“Hmm… interesting tell me about the friendship between Swami Vivekananda and V.R. Gandhi”
“They had good respect for each other. Remember that they travelled to US at a time when it was considered a taboo to sail in ocean. So there was some opposition to their US visit in India. Here is a 1894 letter by Swami Vivekananda to Haridas Viharidas Desai, Diwan of Junagadh”
Now here is Virchand Gandhi, the Jain whom you knew well in Bombay. This man never takes anything but mere vegetables even in this terribly cold climate and tooth and nail tries to defend his countrymen and the religion. The people of this country like him very well. But what are they doing who sent him over? They are trying to outcast him.
“Any other similarities”
“Like Swami Vivekananda, V.R.Gandhi also spent time in US and London and gave lectures, they both were very proud Indians and were patriotic. Both had a prophetic vision that India would attain Independence soon. V.R.Gandhi insisted that independence needs to be attained in peaceful non-violent ways and..”
“And what?”
“Like Vivekananda, V.R. Gandhi died young. He was just 37”

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Hidden Diamond - Blurb

“Death is easy, but to live….”, he mused as he looked through the door of his cell at the impending waves of Indian Ocean

It’s extremely unfortunate that he is referred as Bhagat Singh’s comrade and not the other way

An almost non-fictional account of a freedom fighter 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Joint Issue

“What’s the highest peak in Earth”
“Mount Everest”
“What’s the lowest point in Earth”
“Should be under some ocean”
“Dead Sea”
“How nice it will be to have both the highest and lowest point of earth in a stamp, But it’s not possible. Stamp is usually issued by a country and here we have geographies under 2 different counties”
“Joint Issue”
“So you are saying its possible”
“It’s not just possible. It had actually happened in 2012 itself. Israel and Nepal did a joint issue”

“Wow. Do we have these kind of joint issue stamps in India”
“Yes, we have several stamps. India has good relations with several countries. Here are some example of joint issue stamps (and Miniature Sheets) from India”

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hari Singh Nalwa

Hari Singh Nalwa was mortally wounded, the medicine man was applying ointments but Hari Singh knew that his end was nearing. Hari Singh Nalwa was the commander-in-chief of Khalsa, his fierce campaign for over 30 years lead to the addition of Kasur, Sialkot, Multan, Kashmir, Attock, Peshawar and Jamrud to Sikh Empire. 
The majority of the Sikh Army was in Lahore to attend the marriage of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s grandson (1837).  Padshah Mohammad Khan took this opportunity to lay a siege on Jamud Fort, Hari Singh who was in Peshawar immediately rushed to Jamud Fort. During the ambush near Jamud Fort Hari Singh succumbed to  mortal woundS. This was not the first time that Hari Singh was near death, the wound inflicted during the Battle of Multan (1818) took almost an year to heal. But now Hari Singh was getting old, long War Campaigns had already taken a toll on his health.
He called his lieutenant, Mahan Singh and asked, “Is there any action outside?”
“No Sir! The Afghans are waiting. We have already sent messenger to Lahore. The king should dispatch army”, replied Mahan Singh
7,000 cavalry, 2,000 matchlock, 20,000 Khybers, 50 pieces artillery Afghan Army against just 800 garrison! But the Afghans were still waiting, because they knew that Hari Singh Nalwa was inside the Fort. The Afghans remembered Battle of Mangal (1821), Battle of Sirikot (1824) both won by Hari Singh Nalwa in spite of the fact that the Afghans outnumbered the Sikhs! They feared that Hari Singh Nalwa had some trick up his sleeve and waited for him to make the first move.
“When I die….”, began Hari Singh Nalwa
“No Sir! You are not dying!!”, interrupted Mahan Singh.
Mahan Singh wanted to continue with his reassurance but when he saw the calm face of Hari Singh Nalwa, he decided to be silent and waited for the instructions.
 “Let no one know about my death until our army reach here”
And so the Afghans waited outside the fort patiently for a week, unaware that Hari Singh Nalwa was dead and finally when the relief Sikh forces came, the Afghan army returned back to Kabul without offering any resistance.
Hari Singh Nalwa, even in his death saved the ‘strategic’ Jamrud and Peshawar!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Citadel – Review

I never knew about this author, I just picked up this book from my lending library, after reading the Blurb.
The story is the journey of a Doctor Andrew Mason from his first day in duty. His insecurities when he joins this profession, his friends and foes, his passion and convictions. How he slowly builds on his career.
This story covers almost all career options of a Doctor, starting from being an Assistant in a mining community and then becoming  a Doctor in another mining community. Doing his higher studies and then the research. Then an option to work in a research organization and then working as an independent medical practitioner. This completes the full cycle isn’t it!!
The first 2 jobs are dealing with the “card system” Medical Practice, wherein you are paid a fixed amount for the number of members in the community (who gives you their cards). I think this system  exists even today when each office has a visiting Doctor. This is technically the lower most line of work in Doctor Profession in terms of remuneration.
I sometimes felt stopping reading the novel, because it looks monotonous and predictable. The number of character appearing in one part will not appear in another as the characters move from one place to another. Also it’s a predictable story, the hero is always correct with respect to this diagnosis and is a highly principle man and doesn’t get well with the environment and then moves on.
But you have to wait till the last part to see the story actually picking up as it shows that the Hero has shades of negativity as well, as he pursuits money. Almost 70% of the story was to get to the point since it was essential to know where he came from.
One important character of this story is the Doctor’s wife Chris. She was always in his side supporting and comforting him. The relationship between the Doctor and his wife gets stained when he starts chasing money and the friction in their relationship is shown very naturally. The Doctor thinks that his wife wants him always to be poor and when he starts getting rich she is not appreciating it!
The last part of the story which deals with the money in the business and the network among the doctors who rotate the rich patients among themselves!! This is so relevant even today. The revelation happens to this Doctor only when he realizes that the “network of doctors” who chase money are not really skilled doctors. This is very dramatic and need not be the case in real life, there are doctors who chase money and are also very well skilled.
Also the last part of the story talks about the healers (with no formal degree) and should the doctors work with these unconventional healers.
Overall this is a story of a man who is searching for success fuelled by ambition and towards the end almost losses his way but he comes back strong with a new noble ambition!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Chepauk Stadium

I went to Chepauk stadium to see India vs Australia match. This was my first live match experience.  I was there for about 1:30 mins. I had a wish to see one four, one six and one wicket which was fulfilled.
Good to watch star cricketers playing live less than 1 km away.
Sachin was just a km away, Dhoni was 1 km away.
Cricket commentators who I adore, Harsha Boghle, Ravi Shashtri and many many more were just a km away.
Wow! What an experience! That too just for Rs 125 / day. Commuting was so very simple with MRTS.

Its very difficult to follow a six, before you see in the air its already in pavilion.

It was still winter in Chennai but how much hot it was! How the players stand this heat for a full day!

Have resolved to see every test cricket match which is played in Chennai.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Safal Niveshak's Art of Investing Workshop Chennai

I attended this session on March 3rd. I always told myself that I will definitely attend a session on share market investment , but was  looking out for the right opportunity.
I tried looking up  for classes and workshops  but in vain.
Sometime in Jan I came across the Safal Niveshak website and got hooked, then immediately came this opportunity and I took the plunge.
I like Vishal’s genuine passion for sharing knowledge. It’s a unique offer, he asks you to give any amount between 0 to Rs. 5000  for this training!
The following are the things that I learnt:
1.       How to read the Balance Sheet and look out for key numbers and ratios and using Screener
2.       Buy a share  which is much below its intrinsic value. You need not buy the best share, it’s enough to buy even an ordinary share at a discounted price. What you pay is very important.
3.       Do not buy Index Funds in India.The books that you have read which asks you to invest in Index Fund is written by western authors. The Index that they have here in India is not mature enough and it has frequent churning of stocks. 

4.     Do not sponsor the higher education of your child. Support till school and they can take educational loans
5.       Uncertainties and Risks are different. Risk can be calculated, uncertainty cannot be. Need to know Human Behavior so that we can respond rather than react to situation (one of the  materials for this training is “As A Man Thinketh”)

6.       Have journal to jot down your investment decisions(Better to have a journal for life as well). This will be helpful to reflect upon the decisions made and refining the investment style.

Here is the link to the blog regarding the workshop

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Ear phone

I need the ear phone. I hate exercise and I want to trick myself in hearing songs so I take my mind out of the body pain. But nowadays I’m into hearing discourse and podcast.
My previous company was in Siruseri and I used to commute for almost an hour to office, so that’s 2 hours a day. I’m not a guy who falls asleep as soon as I sit in my bus (this is an office bus). I’m not that  gifted! Also I cannot read in a moving bus, so I resorted to listening to radio and also sometimes to audio books.
Switching back to the present day, I’m hearing discourses in Tamil during my exercise. Right now its Velukkudi and Suki Sivam to be specific its Vidhura Needhi and Bhagavat Gita respectively.
All the audio books I heard previously were in English and this is the first time I’m into hearing a Tamil audio book (discourse).
Intellectually refreshing and physically beneficial (remember I’m exercising as I am hearing it)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Joy of cycling

I invested in a second hand cycle for around 2.5 k. The cycle is a Hercules TurboDrive. I initially thought of using the cycle to commute from my home to St. Thomas Mount Railway Station which is just 3 Km. But I had to drop it for 2 reasons.
1.       You will sweat profusely
2.       The Road is dominated by motor vehicle its getting very intimidating and risky
So I decided to use cycle only for exercise and for some light travelling.
It was very challenging to start cycling after almost a decade gap and it was very exhausting. But the joy of cycling is very exhilarating.  
After traveling in scooty all these years, travelling in cycle looks very less noisy and there is a sense of proud that I’m reducing my carbon foot print and also improving my fitness.
I have started a project called ‘know your neighborhood’. I have been in this place since childhood but had never explored all the pathways and also never registered the street name. So I have taken it upon myself to memorize the street name and also to explore some of the streets which I had never gone before.
The Ring road is nearby and  people go for walking and jogging early morning. I used to go to that place using scooty but now using my cycle. So my exercise is starting the time I leave home.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Exercise Literature

The one that I’d referred time and again is “Fusion Fitness”. In one of Hanselminutes, Hansleman interviewed a fitness guy, who suggested three main strength training. I read it again here (thanks to a link from Hanselminutes)
Here is my notes
Lift a weight so heavy you can lift it only once, you're building strength (and, oddly, not much mass); lift a weight you can move six to 12 times, you're building mass (and, oddly, a little less pure strength); ease up to a weight you can lift 50 times, and you're working muscular endurance (which is great for endurance sports but tends to undermine the first three, shrinking your strength, power, and muscle size).

Dead lift, Bench Press, Squat - These are the best exercise

Taken from here

Should I invest in Barbell? Do I need a bench or can I Start with Floor Press

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Interpretation of Murder – Review

I read this book because it had Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung as one of the several characters. Yes there are just so many characters and Freud is not really central, but I’m happy with what little space this novel had kept for these 2 characters. The Dialogues especially of Freud are beautiful.
I read a book to understand culture and to understand a person’s feelings. I’m not good in visualizing scenes and I don’t really read a murder mystery. So even though the author had painstakingly painted a historical picture of New York, I was just indifferent towards it.
This is a historical psychological thriller with several characters and after you completed the book, even though you knew that you dint guess the ending, you will realize that it was good that you dint guess.
There are various twists and you know rationally that all these things are plain impossible, even though the author tries hard to give reason for everything. It’s too complicated and so very artificial. After two-thirds of the novel, the story becomes a plain thriller and you lose interest.
After the novel ended the author explains where he used his imagination and where he used the facts. Now that’s interesting, the author had painstaking researched a lot and that’s a lot of hard work. It’s a good commercial historical thriller worth reading.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Good bye Gym

Historically I had time and again enroll to gym, assuming that it was a good investment for health. And I try to go to gym regularly since I had paid a lot of money. I did not have good experience in gym, there are some tough guys showing off and you being a meek try to keep a low profile. Also the Gym instructor wants you to recruit him as a persontrainer and doesn’t care about you until you go in for a trainer package.
Enough is enough… I want to simplify life. I think we knew reasonably well about what is needed to be in shape and healthy. Fitness is important and the basic fitness can be achieved by any individual. Gym is just one of the many ways. I wanted to explore other ways.
  1.  Martial Arts – I did research on this too. Good instructor is very hard and the training cost is becoming very high. I decided to shelve this plan for now
  2. Sports – I would love to play, but with IT life and no vacant space and unavailability of people I will shelve this also for the time being
  3. Your own exercise regime

I’m going to try option #3. This will be the cheapest but requires a tremendous will.
The first step towards developing the will, using the public medium blog. Announcing the start of Fitness Diary.
I hope I see this blog several years later and feel happy on what I have achieved.
Wish me good luck!

Aim: My Pant Size is 34 I want to make it 32 by May (3 months timeframe)
Exercise Regime to start with
If in home – Push up, yoga exercise with focus on tummay reduction, Squats, Cobra Push up and some free kicks.
If outside its cycling and jogging

Friday, February 8, 2013

The greatest Pain

When you love someone, you will be happy when they reciprocate it. Do you feel sad when they hate you? Or is there another act which that person can do for you, which will inflict pain.
Lets take an example, say you show your report card to your father. If he is happy for you - good, if he gets sad and worried about you then it’s kind of ok. What if he doesn’t even care he just signs it and gives it back to you.
Indifference is the greatest pain! It’s the huge insult which can be given by a person to another. We can all talk about doing an act which will make you happy.  Even if you are doing an act socially you are doing it to make yourself happy. So we may say that it doesn’t matter if someone is indifferent.
But it’s not really practical! We may be happy doing the act but when we learn about the indifference of the consumer of the act are we still happy?
But doesn’t a loving mother do a lot of selfless acts for her child, even if that child is indifferent.
Yes, but its an exception because the mother is seeing the child ‘as a part of’ her.
Act of love doesn’t really mean your act towards someone. Act of love also means doing something that you love. It can even be a piece of art; it can be your everyday job. Whatever you do, you touch other’s life and if you put your heart into it and still you get indifference from the other side. Then?
You end up doing nothing at all. If you open your heart into something (or someone), there is a chance that it will be broken, broken by an act of indifference.
How do we handle this?
 First things first, we should not stop our acts. Because if you stop doing what you love, then you don’t exist. Second, we should accept that external things will not change- people may continue to be indifferent. Third, become a karma yogi.
Karma Yogi could be a high concept. But nothing wrong in working towards that if it guarantees less pain.
We should dedicate our work to God, believing that He loves and cares for us. He takes time to see what we have been doing.
 But how could He have time?
 Because He is timeless.
But how can I dedicate an act of love to somebody to God?
It’s basically still karma, still some action. Even if you are thinking about someone now, it’s technically an act, a mental act
It still doesn’t make sense I do something for someone or on something. This is totally unrelated to God?
Everything is God. Both you and that someone and that something ‘is part of’ Him. If you take out God nothing remains.
Does God really exist?
That’s out of topic, we are talking about belief which doesn’t require proof.
If a belief makes you happy, it’s good enough. If you can continue your act of love and can still smile on the face of indifference, then it’s good.
And one more thing act like God.
Be sensitive. When you suspect someone doing something: an act of love, a piece of act, a mundane work which he thinks he has done well. Acknowledge it, tell him.
Now take a moment and reflect on this. God has created this wonderful universe, this is a piece of art from him. It’s so magnificent that we may never able to fathom it. But we are indifferent! Isn’t it? 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Actors Physical suffering - The Sorry state of Tamil Cinema

Wow Suryva developed Six Pack for '7am Arivu'

Vishal displays squint eyes in 'Avan Ivan'

My name is Shaam and I did not sleep for 6 days so that I get a puffy eyes, why 6 days. Hey the movies name is 6!

My name is Arya I did not comb my hair for 6 months. I did the Sirasasanam, which a yoga instructor said that it will take 2 years, but I did in 3 months.

"I mean look how dedicated I'm", the actors shout at you, "See how I suffer and how much I am committed"

It seems Bala had said, "See Arya suffered a lot. I think he needs to be awarded"

This is defeatism., you have technology in place to do a lot of things for you.Why you suffer, is it really justified that a person should go through a hell lot of physical suffering to do the act? All these sufferings are market gimmicks.

Did Shivaji Ganesan took any physical suffering. Did he said that I will do a six pack for Raja Raja Cholan?
Shivaji is considered a master actor, he put his heart and soul into acting.
He would have done his home work on the characters that he need to portray  But I dont think he altered himself physically.
Inspite of him not physically representing the character, he still made us feel that he is the Character. Thats acting!

You can always buy some accessories in those days and can use technology now to get the physical appearance of that character but please don't focus on the physical strain of the actor as the selling  point! This is outright silly!

If A.R Murugadoss made some effort in putting a decent story in 7am Arivu instead of asking Surya to develop six pack. It would have been good for Tamil Cinema.
7am Arivu ended as an one dimensional Tamil Patriotic movie. I am a Tamilian and I was not at all proud watching this movie. I was worried if Chinese sees this movie and declare a war on us!

Focus on the content and on acting and don't make people alter their physique, ask them to work on their diction, mannerism that's acting.

If you want a person with some physique go and look for him,don't ask an actor to alter himself.
If you want a person to play handicap in a movie, will you make him handicap!

It seemed Vikram worked hard for the Blind character in Kasi, but unfortunately it boomed in the Box office.
What was more unfortunate was Vikram's eyes became weak and he had to wear spectacles!

The Actor's life is extremely fragile. Cinema is an extremely unreliable field. He can be a star today and then he is part of several movies which becomes flop and then no one gives him even a guest role and he need to maintain his status. He cannot just come back to the streets.

Lets use the Actors wisely and lets put content first and do meaningful movie. Let the movie speak for itself don't promote it on an actors suffering. Use technology and accessories wisely.

The Passion of Christ is considered to be an authentic portrait of the last days of Jesus Christ. The Lead actor who played Jesus was not asked to grow a beard!
The makeup man did the job!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Share Auto

Once I was travelling in a share auto from Saidapet to Ullagaram, it was around 8 P.M. I was sitting in the back seat, two passengers were on the either side of me. The auto was full: meaning the driver seat is also shared by a fellow passenger.
A middle aged woman who was seated in the corner asked the Auto sto stop when we were between NGO Colony and Mount. That was a place wherein you will not get bus at this time of night and the possibility to get a space in auto is also remote.
The woman said, “Look there is standing a girl. How can she get an auto at this point of time! Let her come on this auto.”, she called the girl and said, “come and sit in my lap.”
The girl was in her late teens and she initially was reluctant but on the persistence of this woman sat in her lap. She got down at Mount.
The auto stated moving but it stopped on seeing another girl (of about the same age). The girl looked inside the auto and noticed that it was full and doubtfully looked at the driver for asking her to get in.
“Sit in the woman’s lap”, said the auto driver.
“How dare you say this”, remarked the woman, “I let that girl sit on my lap because the place where she was waiting, she will never get an auto and she looked like my child. And now you are asking this girl to sit in my lap so that you get extra person and extra money? What kind of man are you?”
The girl did not enter the auto and the auto started moving. The girl would have definitely got another share auto in less than a minute. The rest of the journey the woman near me was talking to me about the behavior of this auto driver.
I did not look at the driver’s face but I presume it would have had a smug smile when he had asked the girl from Mount to sit on this woman’s lap.
Let’s take another look at this incident.
This is a share auto driven by a selfish, sarcastic, uncivilized man. There was this woman who opened her heart for a girl (may be because she identified the girl as her child) and did a (small) sacrifice by asking her to sit on her lap. The woman had to pay the price immediately because the selfish driver wanted to take advantage of the situation.
There was also I, one of the passenger, a mere spectator, but had already internalized the belief that your heart should be stone. I had seen several incidents from which I inferred that it makes no sense to be kind and should not do any selfless acts, because there are vultures wandering around just to prey on you.
Looking back at the incident after several years, I’ve come to realize ‘at least in paper’, that it makes sense to do selfless act and suffer rather than acting smart by being a stone. Because, if you do a selfless act and suffer you are at least alive, but if you are tricking yourself to be an insulator then you are just existing. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Margazhi Project 2012-13

Come Marghazhi, Amma will draw beautiful, big rangoli.
This year its decided to document it digitally.
Here is the link for this years Rangoli for the Marghazhi season. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Srivilliputhur- Travelogue

Srivilliputhur is a small town between Madurai and Thirunelveli. Its famous for the Andal Temple.
Usually people may plan for a pilgrimage in Madurai and may come up to Srivilliputhur as a side track.

But if you have a plan to concentrate just on Srivilliputhur, then here are some details.

The Only train which has a stop on Srivilliputhur is Podhigai (from Chennai), but if you have no tickets in Podhigai, you can try for taking a train up to Virudunagar. (Note: There is no decent Veg Hotel in Virudunagar). Bus journey from Virudunagar to Srivilliputhur takes around an hour. The Bus that I went cost Rs 27.
You need an auto from Virudunagar Jn to the Bus Stand it will cost you Rs 40

There are a couple of lodges in Srivilliputhur, the one that I stayed was Hotel Sashitharan, you can search this up in the web. The other I saw was Hotel Ram.
There is a decent Veg Hotel by name Kathiravan in the main road, 5 mins walk from Hotel Sashitharan (and on the way to Andal Temple) This is an AC Hotel which serves only lunch (Rs 75) and there is a mess near by the same name which serves the breakfast and dinner.
If you want to board a bus to Rajapalayam then stand right outside Kathiravan Hotel. If you want to go to Madurai stand in the opposite direction. There is no need to go to the Bus Stand, which will require a walk for 15 mins from Kathiravan.

Srivilliputhur is famous for its pal pannai. Its a beautiful sight to see milk vendor coming in cycle or bike with a big container behind. This was how it was everywhere many decades ago, then we converted to the plastic bag pasteurized milk. Since we are  in the topic have you heard about the raw milk movement.

Palgoa and Pal Alwa are very famous in Srivilliputhur

The walk from Hotel to temple will take 10 minutes, if you cannot walk get an auto for 20 Rs. Cabs are not available in Srivilliputhur.
There is a Vaitheeswaran temple (not to be confused with the Vaitheeswaran temple near Mayiladuthurai) which is  supposed to be 1000 years old. The Vaitheeswaran temple is in the direction towards Rajapalayam and it will be a walk for 20 mins from Hotel. The Vaitheeswaran temple looked majestic with a beautiful lake.

I also visited Thurvannamalai (again not to be confused with the famous Thirvannamalai and Ramana Maharishi)
This is a Vishnu temple, where the Lord had waited before marrying Andal. There are minibuses from the Srivilliputhur Bus Stand to this temple. The Bus stand is a 10 minutes walk from the Andal Temple.The Fare costs 5 Rs in Minibus and 80 Rs in Auto. The Auto they have here is the Diesel Share Auto and it is very uncomfortable riding in it. The Minubus's last stop is Thiruvannamali, so no need to worry about missing your stop!

Thirvannamalai steps are very steep and when you go up, you will have a beautiful aerial view of Srivilliputhur.

There is another temple in Tiruttangal (very near to Virudunagar) but I did not go there. Buses should be available to get to that place.
If you want to travel towards Madurai then you can hop to Tiruttangal

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Friend Sacho - Review

Amit Varma published the first chapter of this novel in his site. I read it and got hooked!
I want to read the novel, my lending library did not had it so I bought it.
One of the first fiction books that I bought.

First of all why create a commercial scenario where a girl stays with a boy, who she had acquainted  just a few days ago. This girl has been born and brought up in Mumbai and you are saying that she is in a situation that she has to stay in this guy's room.
I can handle this in a commercial movie but not a novel. I expect some substance in a novel.
Why publicize your blog in the novel. I consider that very cheap. There was no valid reason to mention the blog at all in that novel. Nowadays some prominent directors come in one of the scenes in a movie, just to show their face. Has novels degraded so mush so that you have commercial break once in a while like we have in TV!

The story was like The Old Man and the Sea, in the end the net result is zero.
But The Old Man and the Sea is a good example of back to square one genre, because we empathize with the character.
I consider A Farewell to Arms to be one of the worst "Back to Square One" genre (interestingly the author of this novel later went on to write the best back to square one in a short story "The Old Man and the Sea"!)

It was fun to read and has big fonts easy on eyes when you travel in train. Towards the end the protagonist's monologue gets interesting and has substance. But other than that its A Total Disappointment!

But I still have confidence that Amit Varma will delivery next time. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Litigators - Review

This is the second novel by John Grisam that I'm reading (the first book that I read was The Runaway Jury)  and I'm really liking this author.
Legal is a genre which I like, that too I did not want a murder mystery, I want something different, like a litigation case against a big pharma!
Street lawyers trying their hands against a big pharma company without doing much research fueled only by their greed.
The story is essentially about David Zinc who one day quit his high paying and boring job and lands up in a boutique law firm run by Oscar and Wally.
The greedy and overambitious Wally tries to file a litigation case against a Pharma company with the hope that there will be a settlement reached by the Pharma company before the Trial begins.
The Pharma company which had faced several litigation cases before for other drugs believes that the  drug in question was good and  it decides to go to trial to show to the world that the drug is not harmful.

All hell breaks loose for the boutique firm and the situation changes and David has to represent the case single-handedly.
David Zinc was now in a situation, a financial crunch, facing experienced lawyer in the court, who were determined to torn the trial into pieces.He was working for $500/ hour underwriting some bonds. He ran way from that job and now he is in a dramatic situation.
Will David regret his decision of having quit from a top notch firm and ending in a small firm, hurting his pocket and dignity.

The story also shows that if you have a passion to serve for society you may be rewarded, but your aim is just being greedy and lazy then you have to face the consequence.

I learnt something about the US law from both my novels.
Good Edutainment.