Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When you meet a Legend!
What will you do when you meet a Legend that too if the meeting is quiet unexpected? I tell you, you go through (not necessary display) a series of emotions, Surprise, disbelief, shocked, thrilled to name a few. On June 29th eve, I went through most of these.
This Monday I was at Landmark book store @ Numgambakkom High Road, to buy A.R.Rahman’s biography “The Musical storm”. I picked the book and as usual going through various sections. Suddenly I saw a very familiar face standing very next to me. First I could not believe my eyes (My post Lasik annual eye check up is due this Sep). Within seconds I recognized him. There he was standing, a Legend, “Padma Shri Kamal Haasan ” in a yellow Tee shirt and long shorts. I called up my brother, who is a big fan of Kamal and told him the news. I heard a big scream from the other end. I wanted to get his autograph, so started searching for a suitable book. I could not find any book on Kamal, surprising. Then I thought why don’t buy Mahatmaji’s Autobiography? But I was not sure about how he will react.

Then I realized that in ARR’s bio there was a picture of him with Rahman, I found that page, took a deep breath and walked towards him. He looked at me, I said ‘Hi’ he acknowledged and smiled. I showed him the page and requested for an autograph. He looked at the picture, presumably surprised he turned the cover to see the book. Then he wrote 'Love' and signed. I thanked him, he smiled again. I headed towards Bill counter and paid the bill, but I knew by that time the book was priceless!

Photo of Kamal with Rahman,autographed by Kamal Hassan

Friday, June 26, 2009

Roadside art!
Rajiv Gandhi road (OMR-Old Mahabalipuram road) is an ever bustling 8 lane road,constructed for meeting the ever increasing traffic congestion on the IT corridor.In 2006 the road was opened for public to use. There were lots of 'firsts' credited to this road. Instead of cutting trees, the usual procedure, around 150 trees were uprooted from the side and replanted on the centre of the road. This was the first 8 lane road in Chennai.

But one feature that created much excitement and appreciation among the public was the various art forms commissioned on either side of the road. Paintings on either side of a Highway was never seen before and was happening first time in India.
Now, Three years after the inauguration, I happened to see some changes that’s happening for this road.
The art (all oil paintings) on the left side (From Madhya Kailash) are made on temporary walls made of sheets. Most of the paintings are in bad state and may disappear in near future

Am not able to get this one, probably a sky scrapper?

Fish's mid portion missing!

One difference I noticed while comparing the paintings on both sides of the road was lots of animals/insects are featured on the left side!

Half of the painting missing, deforestation in painting also?

Contrary to this the various arts on the right side are made on concrete walls. There are 12 such art forms

1. Peacock, temple gopuram, Ganapathi and Lotuses, made of glass chip on Tidel park’s wall

2. Oil painting on the wall of M.G.R film city

3. Art( a family flying kites) made of metal pieces

4. Oil painting on the walls of Raja Muthiayah reserve lab

5. Modern art with wires and steel pieces

6. Oil painting of a tree, nicely incorporated into the building of Central Polytechnic College, Artist P.Selvakumar.

7. Sculpture in memory of Tsunami, artist- Sailesh

8. Painting on either side of Central institute of technology foundation stupa with Ashoka Chakra on the top

9. Sculptor(mother and child) by Asma Menon

10. Oil painting and glass chip

11. Modern art by steel pieces and painting on the walls of M.A Chidambaram college of nursing

Next time you drive on OMR have a look, its worth seeing!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Image of the week

Is it a Statutory warning?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Wimbledon again!

It's been a year now, 2008 June we (myself,my wife and two cousins of ours) were at Wimbledon. It was a bright Sunday afternoon,calm and quite with greenery all around.

Never make this mistake; if you travel by train, to go to All England Tennis court, get down at Southfields station not Wimbledon. We went all the way to Wimbledon and came back.

A huge banner showing legendary Bjorn Borg’s historic moments at Wimbledon, Roger Federer was supposed to surpass him

Nice gesture, The All England Club welcoming players from all countries, felt happy to see India there

The Championships of the future, much awaited retractable roof for the centre court is already up, all will miss the famous Wimbledon showers for sure

All for this!

It was a Sunday so no matches,we could only see the famous courts from outside

The Wimbledon shop

Tennis Museum

2009 Championships starting from today, lovers of the game will miss Rafa!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The power of 140
Some of the latest developments happening around the world prove the power of social networking sites. Whether its the news of how twitter helped in bringing the true picture in Iran, or how a central minister tweet his day to day activities. How one find the humour side of any events.
Tweeter also known as micro blogging (You can have only 140 characters per tweet) has become such a powerful tool for networking that US asked tweeter to delay scheduled maintenance so that without a break Iranians can tweet their protest over the presidential election. Read here

Latest is something called tweetpsych where they will analyse one's last 1000 tweets and gives a psychological profile of the person. This is my tweetpsych

Now some interesting Tweeple

ShashiTharoor : author, columnist, former UN Under-Secretary General, now Minister of State for External Affairs, Govt of India
Follow Shashi Tharoor
Tharoor's tweet is fun to read. His tweets include the various types of garlands he receive during his Constituency visit, how many mangoes he eat in a day, the number of forms one need to fill after becoming an MP (Member of Parliament). Through his tweets one a clear understand how demanding a minister’s life is.

Kiruba Shankar: CEO of Business Blogging, Social Media Enthusiast, Podcaster, Teacher, Columnist, Wikipedian,
Follow Kiruba He tweets about his various online activities on Knowledge foundation, Blogcamp etc. His recent issue with ClearTrip.com has become a case study on social networking .

Ramesh gives a humour touch to various news, its fun to follow this guy
Follow Ramesh

Am busy tweeting so are others
Sathya's world!

We have one person in our office who comes out with useful and decorative things from so called useless (read used less) things. His name is Sathya and he is always busy doing something or other.

Here i feature some of the creations of Sathya
Its summer at its peak in Chennai, so to get some cool breeze, Sathya's Fan, Sathya's desk lamp

Table Titanic that will never sink!

Public Transport, Chennai's Volvo A/c buses are a big hit!

Public Telephone

Once we pitched for a DTH company,Sathya got inspired from this and made one dish out of Coconut shell!

Decorative item

Sathya with his creations

And his journey continues!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Brand power
Brands control most of our lives. We can not imagine a moment (forget about a day) without Brands. Right from toothpaste to brush to soaps to breakfast to travel to work, we have lots of Brands with us. Now let me share some theory, Brand equity is the sum total of its assets and liabilities. Some Brands’ equity is even larger than GDP of nations. Now the product, logo, even colours used, fonts all plays a vital role in deciding the Brand equity. Now see this, will it come under asset or liability?

A finale
There was one person in Kerala (he is still there) named UNNI. Remember the small cute two wheeler “SUNNY” that hit the road in 90s? Now this UNNI had one SUNNY. In order to customize his vehicle he did something, with great difficulty he changed the ‘S’ in SUNNY to ‘U’ in UNNI. Now there are two UNNIs, our hero and his two wheeler. One day UNNI gave his SUNNY (read UNNY) for servicing. The mechanic did a good job and he found out there is something wrong with the name. Now you can guess what he did, he changed (difficulty level remains the same) the ‘U’ and brought back the ‘S’.I leave it to the imagination of the reader the facial expression UNNI had while collecting the vehicle
Brands some times really touch our lives!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

How to take care of customer

“Customer service” is a clich├ęd word nowadays, right from multi billion brands to corner tea shop, everybody use, misuse and abuse this word. Now when you are in a service industry” customer care” must be in the blood and sweat. And when the industry you are in is something like Aviation you better take care of your customer.
Find below is the mail one of the Managers had sent to his peer enlightening about the details of a customer expected to fly with them. For obvious reasons I have changed only the names of all the characters and message is exactly the same
From: Shankar, Manager

Dear David,

Mr R Natraj - Managing Director of the DXBT Inc along with his family have booked on Mumbai - Delhi flight X3528
His PRN IS 53CZDF4. Seats blocked for them are 3B, 4D, 4G, 4F

Now please provide them a car for them to be taken to the aircraft??(Here I think what he meant was to Airport) and provide them assistance. Please instruct the crew to pamper them” (excuse me????)

Mr Natraj is travelling for the first time and we need to get them to come back to again (am sure he is confused and determined to make others also)

Please meet and see that they are taken care off.



Now what do I say when customer care is of Paramount importance? I am sure you will also send an instruction like this

Monday, June 01, 2009

Lost images- The beginning!
I love traveling and the fun is more when I travel to remote villages and towns. The reason is there is always a ‘coming home’ feeling, the narrow and dusty roads, lots of greenery around, fresh air and innocent people. You never come across these images in any cities for sure.

Headless village God, name I don’t know

Ice cream vendor’s cycle, I saw a bunch of kids happily enjoying the ice sticks and my “hygiene conscious” mind did not allow me to try the ice sticks