Friday, December 28, 2007

December 25 will always be remembered for two reasons: No prize for guessing the first one and second, it was on this day in the year 2007 Second (First in Kerala) official orkut Kshatriyam G2G happened at Thripunithura. Am I getting bit formal? Ok

This time everything related to G2G was special including my travel to Kerala from Chennai. Myself and my wife will go down in history as “first couple(most likely) to travel nearly 20 hours to reach North Paravur (Ernakulam dist) from Chennai. Don’t ask me how we accomplished this unique distinction, we are still clueless.
Then came Dec 25,my Mom, my wife and myself reached punithura by around was about to start at mind you) and there were already some 20 odd people. Met Girishettan (and few others)for the first time, Rajeevettan for 3rd time and Mohanammavan (K. L Mohanavarma)I have stopped counting the number of meetings with ammavan long time back.

So by around 11:30 function got kicked off. As i promised earlier, this is not a formal/official report.

Everybody except one, gave a self introduction. Mohanammavan, as usual was unique in that. He asked everybody to read his books and get to know about him better. He had a huge bunch of books written by him and everyone picked what they liked.

Various thoughts came up in the meeting.Kshatriya kshema sabha (atleast in Tripunithura) welcomes youth’s participation and elderly people are always there to guide/help. Jyothish put forth an idea of identifying various projects for the benefit of Kshatriya community and organize funds from NRI Kshatriyas

Mohanammavan’s message was simple!!!!! Try to create a good network, a well-knit community. As the stress levels of everybody is skyrocketing, try to find some good friends whom we can share our concerns, ideas and thoughts. When we have a good e community we can accomplish what all we want to. He said he had full faith in youth and all were capable of great things and he wished his age could be reduced by some 60 years so that he could become one among the audience!

Lunch was superb and sumptuous

That was my version of second formal Kshatriyam G2G and am waiting for Third one!!!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My adventures with ICICI Bank

My debit card expired and as everybody does I booked a new one. New card duly arrived. I went to nearby Bank branch for activation of Card (I did not want to try my luck in help lines) but there I was connected to helpline and the person asked me some 20 odd questions, right from My name, mother’s maiden name, nominee’s name, neighbor’s name and what more. At last the most trickiest question. He wanted my cheque number and I did not have the cheque book. So he politely asked me to have a cheque leaf with me next time I call ICICI bank. I was heartbroken and with no other choice left the bank.

Next day I was all geared up and well equipped . I took my cheque book, new ATM card and reached bank. Again I was connected to helpline. This time to my surprise the person asked just 4 questions, no need of cheque numbers and whole list of names.

I remembered their tag line “Hum hai na”(We are here) what for? To confuse the customer? or harass them?

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Art of Begging!!

We Indians lack creativity, or at least not at par with other countries for sure. Indian advertising is ranked 21 in the world. This applicable to desi beggars also. Have a look at this person and the reason for why he wants money.

After an year also he is consistent

After all why he wants his wife to come back????

Friday, October 05, 2007

Change is Good!!

Its heartbreaking to say goodbye to someone who was with you for past 23 years, that too when you were fully dependent on him. Sometimes you felt that he was part of you. Never, not even in your wildest, craziest dreams you thought that he would leave you.

At last that moment came, to say goodbye to dearest friend and as they say in one of the latest commercials, “Change is Good”

Last week I underwent LASIK, laser treatment for eyes!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kapil’s Devils Vs Dhoni’s Destroyers!!!

After a gap of 24 years Cricket world Cup is back in India. This time Dhoni’s destroyers brought the cup home without the burden errrr brains of Gods, Princes and Walls. Thanks to media, a news debate has already started, Who is The Greatest? Kapil’s Devils or Dhoni’s Destroyers? Forget the debate, I do see some comparisons. Both the team were under dogs in the beginning of the tournament, but at last because of sheer spirit they won. Kapil was a great Captain and Dhoni is in the making for sure. Anyway History is repeating, but time taken is the only worry! How long we should wait for the next Cup?


Indian Cricket team members are going to become millionaires after their T20 triumph and Indian Hockey team,(if u remember they recently won the Asia Cup) is planning to do a sathyagraha in front of Karnataka Chief Minister’s house. No prizes for guessing the motive behind this Sathyagraha.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


"India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most astrictive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only!"

Mark Twain

"If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India"

Max Mueller

Turning 60 is a social-religious event in India. When a man or woman turns 60, sacred Vedic ritual called Shashtiabdapoorthi is performed - 'shashti' meaning 60 years, 'abdam' the year and 'poorthi' completion of 60 years in a person’s lifetime. Numerous rituals are performed mainly to invoke peace, ensure good health, and longevity. India celebrating 60 years of Independence. When it comes to a nation, its the attitude and hard work of people that decide the progress and well being.

Wishing India on her 'Shashtiabdapoorthi'!

Friday, August 03, 2007

An Auto adventure....

Hiring an auto is a challenge, especially in Chennai. One has to debate, argue and what not to hire an auto. Now Govt has come up with some changes to make sure that nobody is taken for a ride (no pun intended). Once you come out of Chennai Central railway station, you will see the prepaid auto office. Its hardly 25-30 meters from station and by the time you reach there, half a dozen auto drivers would have already enquired about where you want to go. If you are successful enough not to strike a deal with them, you reach the prepaid auto office. There you have to pay Rs 2 and tell where you want to go. They will give you a slip that contains the destination, approx kms and fare. One has to give the slip back to the auto driver with fare once he reaches his place. My place is around 10kms from Central station and the auto fare mentioned was Rs 93,(In Banglore, where Petrol price is more, we can travel twice a distance with same fare). Rs 93?!!, now this is tricky! Make sure that you have exact change. I did not have( I had Rs 100 note) and I started visualizing what all can happen once I reach home. It was morning and auto driver might say, Sir this is my first trip, its raining, the place is bit interior, so you have to pay Rs 100. I started thinking how to tackle him. By the time we reached the exit point of auto stand, one person was standing there who took the slip from me, entered the auto number and gave back the slip. Along with that he gave me this card and asked me to write the feedback about system and post it.

I found this a good system, oops, lets not jump into any conclusion, so far so good. While entering the main road, I heard auto driver telling “if it was like this everywhere, it would have been good”!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Kshatriyam gettogether, A fresh start!!!

Myself and my younger brother, Sabareesh reached Banglore Cantonment Station at 4:15a.m, by 4:35 Vijay Kerala Varma came to pick us.

I found Viju to be friendly and caring. There is a nice soul inside this Giant body for sure

Venue : A J International

Surprised to see this!!!

One thing I noticed in the meet was that from the very beginning, all behaved as if they know each other for a very long time.

As usual with any meeting, we started with a prayer!

Rajeev Kumar gave the agenda, Viju welcomed everyone and started the discussion, Vishnu Das added some more points.

We discussed about widening the scope of Kshatriyam community, i.e how to come out from games, polls and more games!!!!

Group photo!!

What next? This discussion is not about Kshatriyam, but about where to go?

It was a wonderful experience, meeting people with whom, for a long time you have been Scrapping, chatting and sometimes arguing.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

GANDHIGIRI at its best!

Dr. Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi and founder of the M.K.Gand hi Institute for Non-violence, in his June 9 lecture at the University of Puerto Rico, shared the following story:
I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations.
We were deep in the country and had no neighbours, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies.
One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town
My father asked me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced.
When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, "I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together."
After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest movie theatre. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double-feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.
He anxiously asked me, "Why were you late?"
I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, "The car wasn't ready, so I had to wait," not realizing that he had already called the garage.
When he caught me in the lie, he said: "There's something wrong in the way I brought you up that didn't give you the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I'm going to walk home 18 miles and think about it."
So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn't leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never going to lie again.
I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I don't think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing the same thing.
But this single non - violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday. That is the power of non-violence.

Thanks to Anandettan who shared this story

Monday, July 02, 2007

Lord Shiva and Kyoto protocol

Lord Shiva’s kailasam (where he stays) was bustling with activities from the very morning. The news came as an absolute shocker to everybody. The ice Shiva lingam at Amaranth cave has melted away completely on the very first day of pilgrimage!!!One of the Bhudhagana (his army) was frantically reading amendments made at Kyoto protocol convention. The question lingering in everybody’s mind was, has all the signatories started doing anything against climate change? It is said that Global warming caused Ice Shivalingam at Amarnath to melt away.
Thousand of devotees from different part of India visit Amarnath cave temple to have darshan of ice Shiva lingam. Lord Shiva was a worried God. I can’t even bless my devotees? What have I done? Or is it that my devotees don’t deserve this darshan? Yes, its all because of their mistakes, Lord thought. Humans have started destroying the nature for his selfish motives. They are not only making their lives miserable but mine also. Was this the beginning of the end? Lord was even more worried after thinking all this!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Plan for Hartal

How many time we have seen hapless people stranded at railway stations, airports and Bus stations. In kerala Hartals/strikes is as unpredictable as monsoon. Is not it a blessing if we have some Hartal calender or something where the forthcoming Hartals are all listed? A Ready Reckoner for Hartals. Now I am worried. Will any party come out with another Hartal against this Ready Reckoner?
Lets wait and see!!!!
So next time you travel, especially to Kerala, have a look at this website.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

News from GOD’S own country


On Vishu day, as always, devotees throng the Sabarimala temple for “Kanikanal” and to get “Vishukaineettam”, but this time a surprise (or shock) was in store for them. Its believed that Thanthri gave them foreign coins as ‘kaineettam’. Hope its not American Dollars. Dollar is doing very badly in international market (1US Dollar was 41 INR, lowest in last 9 years). Don’t get surprised if you see long queue in front of Foreign exchange counter of various banks in Pathanamthitta. Devotees are busy converting their “Vishukaineettams” into Indian Rupee.


Mr K. J Yesudas, well known playback singer wants to enter Guruvayur Sree Krishna Swamy temple, but technically he can not because only Hindus are allowed to enter the temple. He is an ardent devotee of Krishna and has sung so many devotional songs about him. But that’s not criteria for entering. Lets wait and see whether he will be able to open “Gopuravathil” and see “ Gopakumaran”.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Ad Club, Madras, Batch the 13th,
Nothing unlucky about it!!

Atlast the dream come true, I have been selected for the Post Graduate Program on Advertising Management ( PGDAM) course conducted by Ad club, Madras. I was thrilled, after a gap of 5 years I am back to college days. This time the difference was that this course is not a full time course unlike my MBA and when the classes started I came to know that I am one of the oldest (a Dino) in the batch, during my MBAi was one of the youngest.

13th batch had 21 students (nobody knows who was the 21st person) . We enjoyed most of the sessions , hated some and ignored a few. we had some wonderful characters. Anand,Soup kuttan (who always used to drink soup before coming to class), Balaji, who became less talkative as the course progressed (thanks to batchmates), Tanya, the party planner who tried hard not to miss the first and last sessions of the course. Aahaa girl was always smiling, Nithya was the most experienced 'adgirl'. Aswin asked for treat for strange reasons. Praveen was already a half baked film maker and TNEB Engineer was our big brother. Sanjeev developed relationships across borders. Eugene was as calm as Gauthama, the Buddha .Hari kept a LAWprofile. Shatru, arun and abhi kept the batch alive. Padma attended more classes towards end. Rekha got wedded in the midst. Guru wanted to be an actor. Suresh demanded special sessions on modelling (he did not attend half the course, mind you). JP and Viduthalai were silent spectators.

And the final written exam. Everybody had a doubt, what is a brand? Ha better late than never I thought. Neverthless I enjoyed the company of these wonderful bunch of people and batch the 13th was not at all an unlucky one, I added 19 more to my friendslist!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Three film makers from west

In wikicamp I met these three young guys; Nic, Adam and John. They are taking a documentary film (Underdog pictures) on Wikipedia and its founder Jimmy Wales . Main theme is how information technology is affecting the world. Now they are going all around the world with Jimmy Wales and shooting.
After the camp we went for Dinner with Jimmy and Adam was with us. Adam wanted to try chicken tikka.
On way back from our dinner, we were on ECR road, Adam was surprised to see no lights in the road…. suddenly Nic pointed to the ‘thing’ that was going in front of our car and said “Hey in Indonesia, I saw the same one but that was more decorated. The ‘thing’ he was referring to was our “Autorikshaw” and I read recently somewhere that in Sri Lanka “Auto” is called a “Ground Helicopter” Both Helicopter and an Auto sounds similar huh?
It was indeed great talking to these guys; we talked about issues on outsourcing, about various countries. After Chennai, they went to Varanasi and then to New Delhi. The movie is expected to be ready by Jan 2008.
All the best for your film guys!!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another way of opening Gmail account

My dad wanted me to write an article, and the deadline was nearing. He called the other day and reminded me about article. Now no escape from this, I thought and at last I finished the article. But now one problem!!! Dad wants the article in soft copy, in a CD. Quite a moderate demand but its too late. The CD won’t reach him, not even FedEx can do that.

I thought why complicate things? I shall send the article through mail. My Mom, who is more techno savvy than my Dad, used to Google for preparing her teaching notes, but she does not have an email id (forget about dad)

This was my plan of action

I call up Mom, give her my email id and password and ask her to take the article. But then I thought why don’t I create an ID for her? Its high time for her to use mail service. I created a Gmail account for her.

I called her. She is still there in school and asked me call after 20 minutes. I promptly called her (after getting an SMS from by brother asking to call her, why she contacted my brother? Let that remain a mystery).

All set for the big event!!!!

Mom sitting in front of the computer, I too
I ask her to connect Internet, she agrees
While connecting the net , she tells me about a couple of forthcoming weddings!!!
Net is on, she ask me “shall I go to Google?”

Hey Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Co-founders- Google), Are u listening? Where can you find such a Google loyalist?

I said NO, type , she types

I :- Do you see user id and password
Mom:- Yes
I tell her the user id and password

Now she is a bit bewildered…. Hey Sandu in password everything is coming as dots, any thing wrong? Genuine question from a novice.

She logs in and sees the article. Yeah I got it!!! She yells!!!!
I ask her to click that, she obliges and saves the article.

She asks me whether she can close the mail, I said OK. She wants to try the process again and goes through all the steps once more. At last she ask me

So is this my email address? Yes Mom I say

My Mom’s first email account. I say to myself, Mom welcome to the world of Gmail!!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Veni vidi wiki………
Jimmy “jimbo” Wales, founder of wikipedia,10th largest site in the world was in Chennai for the wikicamp , India’s first wiki unconference.
25 FEB 2007, 7:10 a.m
9:15 a.m 300+ participants. Kiruba Shankar, a well known Indian blogger, podcaster and one of the main brains behind the event kick started the camp. There were famous wikipedians from U.S, Banglore and Chennai.
Then came Jimmy and talked about wikipedia, search engine project... There were workshops for wiki beginners, about media wiki and whole lots of topic related to wikis.
This is what Jimmy learnt from wikipedia project
A priori thinking is bad
Community is good
People are basically good
Guided chaos is unstoppable
A simple vision is good
Thats Jimmy, edit this page!!!!!!
No prizes for guessing who's laptop is this. Jimbo!!!!!
Everybody who attended the camp was supposed to sign the huge backdrop, Jimmy is doing his part
Jimmy loves WIKI
I also did my part
Me, myself and Jimmy!!!!
Thats Kiruba Shankar and Atul Chitnis
Lets see who is going to take the foto first, Me or Jimmy?
Team having dinner with Jimmy, Atul
Don't tell me you can not locate me, I am behind Jimmy, on his right side!!

The hero was, as expected by all, Jimmy Wales. He talked to almost all the guys present, posed for fotos, and gave autographs

And in the end, Jimmy Wales came, saw and conquered everybody's Hearts.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

It’s believed that all the Vedas, Upanishads, Aranyakas and all other great works of ancient world were result of collective effort and consciousness. The power of coming together and knowledge sharing was always relevant.

Something similar to this is going to happen in Chennai, on 25th of February, at Tidel Park.

Wikicamp!!!! It’s about knowledge sharing, Check for details

History is being repeated, Come, let's learn together.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gandhi is suddenly remembered everywhere. Desmond Tutu receiving Gandhi peace prize, books are being published by Bapu’s kin, Satyagrahas are enacted, Corporate Congress men in Khadi silk are professing by the name of the man who shook the conscience of the Empire with a simple stick, is out of the blue a hot favourite.

As a student of Advertising, I would but like to be in awe of the "Mahatma" from another point of view. "The best communication GURU" ever walked on this planet. Even above management gurus like Peter Drucker or Philip Kotler, communications experts like Bill Bern Bach and David Ogilvy.

One of the finest examples showing the management skill of "Bapu" was the "Dandi" march organized by him. Instead of taking an easy route he preferred to walk and there by communicated all the way the message…. he started from his Ashram with a handful of his followers, handpicked and marched all the way to Dandi, halting in various villages, giving speech and mobilizing people.

By the time he reached the sea shore, half the world was waiting there. The rest half came with him of course….

Simple, yet so very effective…..

Shouldn't the loud marketing communicators of today learn a lesson or two from this man..?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Hungry Kya?

Sunday morning: News paper arrives; we see an attractive “special offer” for Pizza from a well known brand.

Evening: We decide to order some Pizza
We dial up, order, time is 7:30 P.M; we are ready for the feast
We are still waiting……. My little friend says how he would have flown like “Krissh” and brought the Pizza and we still waiting….

We call up the restaurant, the guy says Pizza is on the way………

We are watching 8:30 news……. Pizza yet to come.......

At last Pizza arrives……

We question the delivery boy for coming late, he is speechless.
We open the box, gets a shock!!!!!!!!!

We see a hapless Pizza,

Looked as if somebody manhandled, assaulted and abused……

We are speechless……..

Thursday, January 25, 2007

How to live a life without Internet????

Here are SEVEN ways……..

Pick up a phone. Put a voice to the names of business contacts you have known for years but never met or spoken to by phoning instead of emailing. Alternatively arrange a meeting over coffee. Hearing a voice or seeing a face is a far better way to build confidence, which can only benefit your career.

Use your legs. The world of instant messaging and e-mail has created workplaces in which no one speaks to each other - where orders, reports, requests are sent via the Internet. This may save you time but the consequences can also be bad for your health. Try instead using your legs - get up from your chair, take a walk around the office and talk to your colleagues.
In addition to building relationships, those extra steps and rest periods away from your desk will burn calories, rest tired eyes, stretch muscles and avoid strain which in the long term can result in bad backs and eye strain.

Go to the library. An online search may be fast and effortless, but there is nothing like a reference library to make you really appreciate the world of knowledge. Surround yourself in books and get a taste of what it was like to engross yourself in research before the Internet. The process is far more challenging and rewarding.

Write a letter. If you want to say something and can't do it in person, there is no better way than a letter. A good letter will be kept for years. Lisa Matthewman, a psychologist at the University of Westminster, says many people find it easier to express their emotions on paper. This form of communication is more appreciated by the person on the receiving end. "It is a very warm gesture and women in particular appreciate them," she said.
Rediscover the art of conversation. Use the time away from chat rooms and game sites to talk and play with your children, or just to have a family meal together. Resurrect board games, go for a movie, a walk - enjoy some quality time with your family.

Go shopping. With Internet shopping becoming more popular, there may come a day when it's not the done thing to go to the mall. Make the most of window shopping rather than browsing, go try on clothes, flick through and feel the weight of a book before buying, handle real cash or simply wander around one of the markets and take in the sights, sounds and smells.
Enjoy the freedom. A survey commissioned by Hewlett Packard last year claimed office workers spent more time - an average of four hours a day - talking to friends online and messaging than they did actually working.

Are we Machines ?????

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Let's make a dent in the Universe....
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple
And he really made it. Jobs unveiled the next generation phone, “iphone”. They don’t want to name this equipment as mere a phone, but much more than that!!!!

Are you ready for this? Have a look at this!!!!

Am started saving money for this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


so when are you getting one???

Monday, January 15, 2007

K.P. Namboodiri’s “Dantadhavanachoornam”

In one of my previous post, about my childhood memories, I did mentioned about my grandfather. He was affected by Parkinson’s disease. His disease left a strong image in me that even after years, when I saw the opening ceremony of Atlanta Olympics, the image of Mohammad Ali, affected by the same disease, struggling to light the games torch, brought back memories of my grandpa.

Another strong association of my memories of grandpa is rather unusual one, K.P. Namboodiri’s “Dantadhavanachoornam”, in modest terms, a brand of Tooth powder. It was my grandpa who introduced me to K.P. Namboodiri’s brand and he was a strong advocate of this brand. I should admit that I stopped using the product long back and conveniently switched to Tooth paste.Years passed and I almost forgot K.P. Namboodiri’s.

Now my younger brother, who is with me, uses the same K.P. Namboodiri’s Tooth powder. I don’t know how he switched over from toothpaste to toothpowder. During my last trip to Kerala, he asked me to buy one tin of same brand. Seeing me buying “Dantadhavanachoornam”, my friend also bought one tin of this brand. He said that he was a regular user of this brand and some how lost in touch with this product.

Now this brand has undergone a lot of changes in packaging. The old sober and not so attractive look has gone. Present packaging is more stylish, trendy and handy also.

K.P. Namboodiri’s “Dantadhavanachoornam”

I am convinced that at least some section of younger generation likes to use age-old brands that too when lots of substitutes are available in the market

As Old habits die hard, can we say old brands die hard?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

If Cricket is Religion, Sachin is ……….

‘TIME’ Magazine on its special issue,“60 years of Asian heroes”, featured Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. As per Time, he is “the greatest living exponent of his craft”. I have my own doubts. The magazine went on saying how Don Bradman, the legendary Australian cricketer, saw similarities in his and Sachin’s play.

Now the issue is not how great is (read was) Sachin but his relevance in the present Indian Cricket team.

The ICC World cup is round the corner and a billion hearts beating hard, is Sachin capable of bringing back the World Cup? Or audience in West Indies will get a chance to emulate the Mumbai crowd and boo him?

What’s his role in the Team?

A senior player who set stds for others to follow?
A moral supporter?
Or just one among 11?

When Andre Agassi, American Tennis Player, retired from professional Tennis media went on asking

Whether Sachin will do what Agassi did?

God only knows……. It’s not all over yet……

Saturday, January 06, 2007

TreeGoats or Goatrees.......?
Have a look!

Goats must be crazy!!!!!!!