Friday, September 7, 2012

Mere 10 Anmol Ratan, Headlines for 2012

Yesterday my friend came online unexpected and she asks me “Karthik ke pachas bille, robin ke kanche and ravi ki video game... yaad hai?” For one moment, I had nothing to say and started searching the database as fast as possible. I had implemented a dual buffer in cache memory synchronization technique (good sleep with regular clean diet) few days ago and thus collecting data from my memory is faster. I could recollect that the lines were from a comment I posted on her blog a long time ago. We went through a few blog posts I wrote and I was able to understand how happy I was at that time when I used to write those posts. From my experience, I have indentified that it is not that a person is busy and so he cannot attend his activities. It is because a person has made new priorities in his life.

Who is this?

I have not registered any incidents that happened this year and that were important to me in my life. Thus providing headlines should serve the purpose to remember what had happened when I check this post many years later.

1. Hanish got a job: My friend Hanish got a job this year in USA. He was very close and one among them who I remember every moment. You can read more about Hanish in the post He was studying in USA for MS and got a job this year.

Photo credits: Hanish Patel

2. Atul blessed with a Baby: Atul is my schoolmate and a close friend. He lives in Pune and works on ‘memory calculations, interpreting unambiguous interchange of data back and forth a LIVE console exempted from the in humanitarian mechanism’(in simple words he is an engineer). He blessed with a baby this year is as happy as a clam. I promised him that I should be visiting him when I become a chacha and now I am tangled with my promise. You can read about Atul from the post

Photo Credits: Atul Sadhu

3. Vinay Nandanwar is married: My College mate, elder to me than 3 year, friend and ‘full time semi-cracked, full of foolish questions’, he is a gem among men. I remember him asking me once, a serious question which he thinks “Abhi, you know when we travel in train our visit to the toilet make things disappear on the tracks. I wonder what happens when people visit toilet in the plane. The plane often flies above my home”. :) He was married to a beautiful girl this year. I wonder how she shall handle his humorous questions.

Photo credits: Vinay Nandanwar

4. A handsome son to Vijo: Blessed with a beautiful child, Vijo is enjoying this season in Cochin. Vijo is a nice friend and a close ally. He was married to a woman he chose among many during a party. His fall in love sequence ended with a marriage in Delhi when both of them decided to go against their families and tie a bond. They often pay a close visit to their parents on weekends.

5. Sanjeev flew to Dubai: When I call him Sanjeev, don’t misunderstand him with my college mates. Living in the 50’s, Sanjeev Kumar Raja is still a young chap in his mind and attitude. A cool and simple person, adjusting to his friends and their interests; he was a loving and a caring person I had as a housemate. He went to Dubai this year further to a job he received that he could not refuse due to his interest in visiting Dubai. Gifted with a hefty package, he is enjoying the hot weather as chilled ice. He came to Tripunithura yesterday and I need to give him a visit.

At Alapuzha beach during a journey to Cochin
With Sanjeev and Vijo

6. Onam with Parents: This year, I celebrated my Onam with my parents. It has been long since we had an Onam together. They came to Kerala on 29 August and went on September 5. It was a short break but was energetic and enjoying. I drank a lot of Payasam last weekend with Amma accompanying me who loves sweets more than I do.

7. Athachamayam 2012 in Tripunithura: This year the Athachamayam was beautiful than the last year. The previous year, Athachamayam was in rains. Many tableus and dance forms filled the heart with colors.

A kathakali actor with Mustache

8. Akash back to Social networking: My friend Akash who was missing for many years came to the limelight this August. He was away from the Social networking websites and continued to be active this season. Hope he was able to surpass the sluggish IT life with exception. I remember he changed his name to AAkash further to some advice from a numerologist. He is back as Akash :)

Photo Credits: Aakash

9. Biga’s marriage: Our Harry Potter got married this year. Wondering why I referred him as Harry Potter, read this post After his travel to Singapore and Dubai, long lasting business ventures, he was back to Kerala to get married. He after his brothers referred as ‘B’. They form a sequence in their names A, B, C… Abga, Biga, Ciga. Wondering, why they have these names? I too was surprised. For a friend the name is not important, so I did not go deep finding the secrets behind the naming conventions.

Photo Credits: Biga

10. Ps3 and Gaming: I forget to mention that I purchased a PS3 last season. I was always a game freak from within and my hunt for an adventure within my so-called busy life ended with this console. The graphics are mind blowing and the time moves faster than it does when with this gadget. Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3 were the best games I like in my collection.

I believe that 10 should be an end to a blog count. I shall try to write to keep my dairy filling.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mundu for Onam, my D Day is today

Today is the Onam celebration and we are asked to wear traditional dress. In Kerala, the traditional dress for man is Mundu(dhoti) and shirt. My friend Hanish had a bad experience with Mundu on his visit to Kerala. He visited Padmanabhaswami temple in Trivandrum and was asked to wear a mundu that is mandatory, to enter the temple. My Guajarati friend did not try this Kerala dress before and decided to wear and see the 'lord sleeping on the lotus'. He managed to get someone help him wearing a mundu that was rented. He was happy to wear a mundu and with devotion and belief in god, he entered the temple.

It took no longer for the men and women to understand that he is wearing it for the first time.

Today is my 'D Day'.

I purchased a grey silk shirt with pattern of Khadi and a mundu with the border in light black and box pattern. The next task is to understand how wear it. I tried searching google for 'how to wear a mundu' and landed on The first video was on 'how to wear a mundu in Kerala style' which the creator has portrayed in a better way. The problem is he uses a single mundu for demonstration and I have a double mundu(long mundu which we wear with a fold that makes two layers).

I tried the next video 'How to wear a dhoti in Kshatriya style'. I understand that it is a good style to try for Tripunithura, being a land of Kings and queen. The man narrating it says that this style is used during fights and I am for no fight. He mentions further that this style has no chances of leaving the waist once it is tied. I am not sure if this can be used as a traditional dress, so I planned to skip.

The third video says, how to wear a mundu for Onam. Now that is interesting. The video was about two men who were trying to teach their friend wear a mundu. I watched the video carefully until the end which was around 5-6 minutes long. I thought I should now be ready for wearing a mundu. There were few seconds left for the video to complete and I decided to see it completely to witness the happiness in the face of the friend. It was about to end when a guy watching this said "eda ithu penungal settu saari udukunathu pole aayi poyada"(I think this looks like the pattern of settu sari worn by woman). "Happy Birthday", was that something an enthusiast should have heard at the end?

It is 7 Am in the morning and Lord Indra's son is pouring water in his water bottle on Cochin. It appears he did not drink the water at school and wants to escape the scolding from his father. The time difference between Devlok and India makes a lot of problems. The last time a cow suffering from wateromania in Indralok showered a lot of salty water to fill the holes in the roads built specifically by Kerala government to feed the animals. Not sure how I am going to wear a mundu in this climate.

Yesterday few people from the area where I stay came asking my whereabouts. They say it is some committee they work for in the locality and they have never seen anyone in the hose when they come. I said I leave the house by 8 and return by 6.30 and it isn't possible to find me on weekends which is time to travel. One from three asked me what I do when I am free, to which I replied, I watch movies or am on Internet. He says if I am interested I can join them in 'creative activities'. I decided to see what creative activities they do and nodded with acceptance. Let us hope that cleaning the garbage on the road sides or moving goods out of the truck isn't their creative activity.

I think I should ask my brush to clean my teeth and water to make me fresh, but I doubt they will listen to me. The last time the brush asked me for 'Colgate with active salts', I denied the request. I think he still has that in mind and it makes him not listen. You see... advertisements are creating all these issues. Provided they won't do their job, let me move ahead and do mine.

Wishing you all a Happy Onam.

Please pray that I do not come across the incident as Hanish.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Koooi! I am back to the rebellion with Rebel T2i

Hai Friends,

There is an 'a' extra in my 'hi' to make you remember that I have logged into this blog after a long time and I should be shouting to get your attention. When we need people to notice us within a crowd, we call them by their name or use different accent like "koooi", "shh", "oye!", "chetta", "aunty", "hello", "oh! Mr.,".

I purchased a SLR last week, Canon EOS 550D(Rebel T2i). It has always been a dream to have a camera and learn the skills that photographers use to capture stunning moments in life. I was not interested in the photographs with water falling from mountains or the people jumping in the sky; all that interests me were the colors and their representation. Believe me! when you shift from a mobile camera to a DSLR, you can realize how real the photographs can appear.

The advantage you get using a DSLR is that

1. The people assume you might be a press photographer.

2. People pose more seriously than they did for a mobile camera or a digital point and shoot Camera.

3. Carrying an extra 500 gms on your neck makes it stronger over a period.

4. You can also capture the girl in the background who earlier appeared blurred, when zoom. ;)

5. You can be back to blogging and write a post.

I was reading a photography blog few days ago, where the author asks to move around with the camera and shoot whatever you can. He says this will enable to explore the different modes and unlimited features your DSLR has in its assembly.

I went to visit my grandparents last weekend. Soon after the breakfast, I took the camera out of its bag and started searching for possible subjects(as they refer in photography). A cat appeared near the swimming pool and I ran to capture its details. Oh my!, it ran faster than I approached...making me understand that I have to be calm and quiet while approaching a subject. I managed with the ant's, butterflies, flowers and the fruits in the garden. The camera offers a lot of options for your photography, all you have to understand is some 'aperture', 'shutter speed', 'exposure' etc. that the handbook explains while you read through. My grandmother and the kids at home were really impressed by the output of the camera; might be they have not seen any photographer in the past or the DSLR output.

{ In the center is my Father's mother(Ammumma), to her left is my sister(uncle's daughter), to Grandmothers right is my brother(uncle's son)}

Today I and some friends decided to try the DSLR inside the temple and its surroundings in Tripunithura ( a place in Cochin where I stay). We understood how not to capture some specific shots and who should not be handling camera for capturing the photographs in the days to come. Unlike a normal camera, the DSLR functions different when out of the Automatic mode. You need to be well verse with the functions and its uses if you have to shoot using the camera capabilities.

Arun was more interested in understanding the camera and I tried explaining him with my experience gathered during the week. We were speaking about the close-up shots where an object that is out of focus can blur to enhance the projection of the object in focus. To demonstrate its effect, I searched and found a road-side footwear counter with the footwear collection spread on the floor. I bent and zoomed the camera on a group of footwear.

Within seconds we saw the shopkeeper running out of his seat and shouting "Onnu paranjittu edukende"(You could have asked before taking a photograph). He thought we were taking a photograph to display in the newspaper and his appearance at that moment would be boring. Ah! he was more beauty conscious than the women staring on the footpath.

Was this a review for canon or DSLR manufacturers?; I hope no. Feel free to drop in any suggestions you may have to help me learn this gear fast.

That's all for this day. Wishing you all a great day ahead!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Men transformed to Woman in Kollam, Kerala – Operation a Miracle!

It is raining heavily outside. I have closed the doors through which the dry leaves were trying to intrude into my privacy. It appeared as if they were finding a place to hide until rain stops. I picked the leaves and threw them to where they came from before shutting the door against them. The electricity department behaved as cowards, fearing the lighting and rain, and stopping the function of fan and tube lights. Sitting in the room writing this post and having no supply of cool air forced me to open the doors. I had accepted the risk of allowing the leaves into my home that was clean since the morning. This made me think,not torestrict the flow of ideas and to let them flow.

It has been a long time since I wrote and the incidents accumulated in the corner of my mind have filled the space throwing the vacuum that was occupying their territory.

It was the month of March, marking its end when my friends asked me to visit Kollam. They said I have to attend a celebration that I have not witnessed in my life, man transformed to woman. It would indeed be a miracle to witness the operation making this possible. Life is short and you cannot be sure of your lifeline. I thus decided to witness it.

Sanjeev and I travelled on a bike to Kollam as per the guidelines from my friend Sreekumar. Following the information, the celebration would commence in a temple named kottankulangara Devi temple that was on the left side of the highway. We could see woman dressed with beautiful dress and jewellery on bike and inside the car. It resembles a good celebration I said and even women are going to see this with new attire. Sreekumar joined us at the temple and was the narrator of the show ahead. He resides near Kollam and is well verse with the places and celebrations.

We kept the bike at a place few meters away from the temple entrance and started walking. While we were in front of the entrance, we could see many boys gathered around a girl taking photos with her. I enquired the reason and Sreekumar said that it was a boy and not a girl. It was hard to believe that it was a boy. Go through the image below and let me know if you believe it would be a boy (I am sure the photograph won’t give a real look)

Now see this one… She seems to be in love with me. LOL

We went further and met a group of umm… let us call them y-woman. So these Y-women were dressed stylish but some had looks of a mixed variation of man and woman. I managed to capture a few shots but somehow was in a feeling that they are woman :)

See the girl in the white saree, doesn't she looks cute ?

I took a closeup photograph with the girl ;)

It appears they are the celebrities this day.

Near the temple, we met the boy who Sreekumar says was Mr. Kollam. It appeared as if he had all the veins pasted to his body using a Fevi quick. He was more masculine than feminine. One of my friends asked how this guy managed to wear the blouse, he could have stitched it over his arms.

We moved towards a house where Sreekumar’s brother was dressed as woman. He did not have a clean makeup or appearance as the other men in the queue. Sreekumar participated last year in this celebration as a woman and he says the appreciation was good. He says his wifetook almost 3-4 hours to select a salwar that he wore during that time.

We marched back and met two Y categories who were almost cute women dressed in Saree. Gash! We need to make a check before getting married. It is indeed hard to determine the difference. ;)

Near the banyan tree stood another group who appeared as the figures in the movies when I was in 5th standard.

Sreekumar says that at the end of the session, belief is that Devi comes, blesses all the men who are dressed as woman, and makes their wish real. For more information on this celebration, you can go through the detailed post written by Anu from Sincerely yours.

Thanks friends!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Falling as high from the tenth floor - Happy?

Am I doing well?

Ah! Argh! No, I am not doing well.

This is the second day of this week and now is the time, I think sitting idle in the dark, with no light even emitting from the candle; “what I have been doing all these months is not good.” Is that a question when starting with a what? No, that is a statement made by me against my false beliefs of I being stable and happy.

•    You can avoid the people who love you or whom you love, but you can never forget them.
•    Do not do anything that you are uncomfortable or where you feel losing your confidence
•    Don’t change your habits because someone thinks they are obscure
•    Always love your friends
•    Try to be little online and more offline

The statements mentioned above were not commands but mere thoughts from empty mind; or rather mind full of unwanted thoughts.

•    It is not often you see me writing rubbish. I do not take drugs nor am I used to alcohol.

When you dream that, you are going to fail in the exams because you did not study when you had ample time with you. Does that mean you are not happy, or that you have something unaccomplished haunting you? I am not sure but one of my close colleagues made a “wise quote” that I had no pen to register for generations to read and remember.

You are alone and thus you are not happy; you need to get married said a rubbish philosopher to me. He wears no faul smelling kurta and neither is he a gem in a 1000 stones in front of my house. A cute looking, civilized, beautiful and highly regarded woman said I should never be marrying as I would be wasting my precious life, finding locations to hide. They did not address the cause neither the solution but made their statements.

•    “Be ready as the winter is coming,” says game of thrones, a TV series on HBO. Living in Kerala I doubt whether it is coming here.

My friend called me last week for his marriage and that he says planned all of a sudden; As if the couples met during their shopping in the super market, one buying cigarette destroying lungs and other buying lighter. They fell in love watching the not so unique buying decision and finally planned marriage. “Chal aaj biriyani khane jaana hain” says my friend on 20 August 2009 when we planned to have lunch. This could be planned suddenly, I agree

•    I did not go for my friend’s wedding and I did it right? Idiotic it was! My decision

Do you see dinosaurs walking on the streets? Do not imagine that, as the grounds in India during their existence were better than what they are today. They are not going to come again and not at least to experience this.

•    You do not need ample money to make you feel happy. The need of the hour is you believing and experiencing you are happy.

Time for a sleep.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Saint Kabir and the cooking designations in Ernakulam hostel – Cochin mass cooking Video

Sant Kabir says “Sai itna dejiye, ja mein kutumbh samaye. Mein bhi bhooka na rahu, sadhu na bhooka jaye.”( Lord kindly ensure that I receive sufficient food to feed my family. Neither should I be starving and nor should be the priest who came for food).

I am not a literature student. These were lines from “Kabir ke dohe”(Kabir’s contemplations) in the eight standard hindi text book. To mention about “dohe” and not to introduce Anitha Philips madam would be like enjoying a tea without “aalo ke pakode”.

 Anitha Philips madam was our hindi teacher and fifth standard class teacher. She used to praise me in front of the other students about the fluency in the hindi language I possess and that I being a malayalee does things better than the hindi speaking students. One of the important point that she did not notice was that I being a malayalee was born and brought up in North India. “Ab nepali munna nepali nahi to kaa chaineej bolega?”

I shall discuss about my class teacher in another post. She isnt a “figure” to quote in one or two paragraphs, a complete article is needed to accommodate her. “Guruve Namah”.

So kabir’s specific doha was to insist on the concept of sufficient food aka mass cooking. Let me take you to the days of our hostel life in Ernakulam during 2010. I was staying with Arun, Joy, Melvin, Anup and Sibin. We used to cook together where each member was assigned duties as per their experience level in the kitchen and the designations specific to kitchen.

Entry level candidates were called “paiyans” and they were assigned with the job of cleaning utencils and washing vegetables. As the population consisted of 6 peope, the one assigned with cleaning was provided maximum freedom to burn fat.

Candidates who excel in cleaning utencils within their tenure of 2 months were promoted and given training to cut vegetables. The person at this post had to go through procedures and specifications relevant to each recipe. Size of the cutting, time taken for cutting and cleanliness were the criterion for consideration to move next level.

Only experienced people who understand the difference between salt and sugar were assigned tasks of cooking food. They had to follow the guidelines specified by the chef and act accordingly. As they were the victims for crimes related to stomach explosions, they had to be tough to handle punches and kicks that would be the sideeffects from people consuming food.

I was until then promoted to the post of Chef and was leading the team. Monitoring the perfection of the recipe and taste was part of my job. As I was handling management, consuming a chappati or two while cooking was considered an act of appreciating the cook and lower levels of the food chain rather than showcasing hunger. As paan Singh Thomar says in his movie “ Hamari toh khurak hi jyaada hain… hum kaa kare”.

You believe or not, being a chef was the best means to enjoy food without extra kichen exercises. Now I am alone and cook rarely, however those memories are still there to cherish.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Meeting Daniel Craig and back to the college days of Movie maniacs

Daniel craig saw a creature irritating a boy, trying to tear him apart and he throws a small stone on it to distract it from the boy. He then switches on his iron wrist gadget and shoots a ray towards the creature that is as big as an undertaker and as fat as the sumo wrestler. The creature escapes the ray leading itself to a window above the members in the room. When Daniel started walking towards the boy, my mobile rang “maha ganapathim manasa...” and I took the call with a motionless “hi” that were due to anxiety in the movie Cowboys and Aliens.

If I remember, I said to some of you that I am a big movie maniac. Having a large DVD collection of movies, I try watching one everyday if possible. This started with the desire to watch the movie named Pokkiri starring Vijay whose fan was I once before he gave some flops including Sura. My roommates were happy to see a small theater set up in the house with initial collections we thought would be the best to watch. Even though it started initially to kill our time was later converted into an addiction. We purchased a LCD TV and later a speaker system with the sounds forcing objects in its nearest reach to move by the vibration it creates.

To clarify the doubts, I am not the guy that is shown in the Sony max ad’s or the Zee Cinema advertisements who lives to watch movies and imitate and iterate dialogues of the movies they watch. I am a grown-up “kid” who watches movies as a source of entertainment to forget his tiredness for the 1.5 to 3 hours duration a movie lasts.
I would like to mention the sister of my grandfather in this topic who involves deeply into a topic while watching the television. I once happened to see her watching a tele serial where a lead role vanishes from the screen to the background when another enters the screen; she went close to the television moving her head around the screen to find where he has gone. I understand she is old but funny right! :)

A popular dialogue during my childhood was “rishtey mein to hum tumhare baap lagte hain par naam hain shahenshah” by Amitabh bacchan from the movie shahenshah. My parents say I used to call myself Abhilash Pillai Mithun Chakraborthy when I was asked my name during my childhood. I do not remember what they say I did but I used to like Mithun very much. Mayank patel, my friend had a dialogue when someone says that he likes Mithun... He used to say ”Mithun nahi Mithun da bolne ka”.

My father often watch the old movies again and again as if he is studying for a semester exam the winter. My sisters say that they remember every dialogue from the old movies with father watching them again and again. They use to laugh saying that father watched a Malayalam movie with actor Jayan brushing his teeth and had to pause the scene until two weeks when he switched it on again; they said he resumed it from the brushing scene and that jayan had to wait long two weeks to have his teeth whitened.

We watched the tamil movie Rajapattai starring Vikram day before yesterday and it would not be asking something big if I say the we should be given a Bharat award. We managed to watch it until the end when someone from the crowd said, “Who the hell made this movie”. Real steel, the movie that I saw three days ago was one of the good movies I saw this year.

I used to get 40 rupees from Amma for a single movie and that was what I was allowed to watch in the college days. Engineers are believed to be doing more with limited resources and thus we decided to watch five movies with the money I had for one movie a year. We made a pact that each one of us should sponsor 4 movie tickets an year with total 4 movies. Vinay was the first one in the list and we chose the front most seats in the theater that costs 10 rupees per person. We watched “league of extraordinary gentleman” with 40 rupees from Vinay. I was the second and I sponsored “Vin diesels Triple x”. We were sitting in the front seats and each movie we watched that year gave a 5D experience. The seats would shiver and jump when Vin diesel escapes a bomb attack or when an actor throws a missile. Those are memorable.

Hanish Prakash Patel was my closest friend and he was the one who sponsored most of my lunch, dinner, travel and some movies the final year. I was not any celebrity that he wasted money on but for him I was someone close for not to worry spending money. I bet you do not get such friends often. You can read about Hanish here.
Some of the movies I loved to watch were Chitram, Yodha, Akkare akkare, Big B, Summer in Bethlehem, HUM, Sholay, DDLJ, Don with Amitabh, Pokkiri, Vaaranam aayiram, Mozhi, The Patriot, apocalypto and a lot more in the never ending list.

You agree or not, movies are the best means to spend time and forget your worries, provided you do not choose movies like Rajapattai or Sura.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Mayank getting married in Nagpur with Bhakti kalyani

Mayank is getting married on 16th. He is one of my closest friends and with whom I share most memorable moments in my life. I had mentioned about him before in my blog, and you could refer this link for more details. I am not sure whether I would be able to witness his marriage, as my leave is not sanctioned. Hope he will not be angry and would share at least the photos to see it virtually.

I met Atul Sadhu last month and we went for the movie, mission impossible – ghost protocol. Tom cruise walked out of the tall building and then an explosion was heard from the speakers mounted around the theatre, when Atul’s phone started ringing and to the surprise, it was Mayank. It appeared he was busy and was at Nagpur for a marriage of their friend Saurabh. Though I was not able to meet him during his visit, thought would do so during the time visit again for his marriage.

Mayank Patel, full name Mayank Prakash Patel is going to marry Bhakti kalyani says the card he sent through email. He was one who involves with families easily and creates a close relationship through his behaviour. Scholar by his character, he always imitates the behaviour of a not so complete person, always worried about his future and people surrounding him; unlike me who is never worried about anything in life.

Amma says it is not a good time for me and that I should be visiting the temples. Getting up at 8 Am in the mornings when the god’s have left their bed and are ready for a breakfast isn’t a right time to disturb them, right?

I am going to see my grandparents today, a long time and they are complaining of me not seen. I would be joining the gym on Monday and hope it would be tiresome losing the extra amount of fat accumulated by the last visit at home. Appearing as the best transformation of the year on isnt my ambition ;)
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