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.