Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Page from History

West Indies cricket team arrived in Bombay in November 1974. Captain was Clive Lloyd. Shortly after arrival, he was taken to the “ground” where the test match will be played. In this particular ground, this was to be the first test match. The Bombay test was scheduled on the last week of January 1975.

Lloyd was terribly disappointed. It was just a bare empty land with children playing cricket. No stadium. No construction activity. When he expressed his displeasure, he was assured everything will be done before the test match.

After playing other test matches, Lloyd and his team arrived in Bombay at the end of January. He was taken to the stadium to inspect. He was totally surprised. The once bare ground was covered with grass and the stadium had the seating capacity of 40,000. That too in just 3 months. (Please see the match score at the end.)

On one of the match days, the spectators became unruly and police had to use force to maintain law and order. There was considerable damage to the stadium. By next morning the whole stadium was repaired.

How they were able to build a nice stadium within 3 months and correct the damage overnight? The cricket in Maharashtra was run by a guy named S. K. Wankhede. Incidentally, he also happened to be Maharashtra’s Finance Minister. All he had to do was to contact a few builders and executives of some cement companies and tell them in no unmistakable terms what he wanted them to do. Can they refuse this man? Bingo. The job was done.

His name is immortalized in the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Why don’t they have people like Wankhede organizing the 2010 Commonwealth Games?

Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
West Indies won. Here is the final test score.

West Indies First Innings: 604 for 6 declared. (Lloyd not out 242, Fredericks 104, Gavri 4 wickets)
India First Innings: 406 all out (Solkar 102, Viswanath 95, Gavaskar 86, Gibbs 7 wickets)
West Indies Second Innings: 205 for 3 declared (Greenidge 54, Gavri 2 wickets)
India Second Innings: 202 all out (Patel 73 not out, Holder 6 wickets)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boss Engira Baskaran

Have you done anything on impulse? That is what we did today. We decided to go to a newly released Tamil movie, Boss Engira Baskaran. For no reason we decided to go for the 4:30 PM show. Today is Monday (working day) and how many Tamil speaking people you would expect for a 4:30 PM show? You are correct. We were the only two people in the whole theater. We were expecting at least a few others to show up. No way. When the movie started, we looked around. We were the only two people. Anyhow, we enjoyed it. Felt like watching a movie in our own huge private theater.

There was supposed to be a 15 minute interval. There was no line. We bought the soft drinks. Only 5 minutes were gone. Still 10 minutes left. The operator came to me and said if I wanted to, he could start the movie right now. I asked him to go ahead. We really felt like watching in our own huge private theater.

Bottom line is we liked the movie. It is a romantic comedy. Actors were Arya, Nayantara, and Santhanam. Rajesh is the Director. Yuvan Shankar Raja composed the musical score. Santhanam (the comedian) stole the entire movie. It is a regular Tamil movie masala. One thing I liked is there was no fight in the movie. I am tired of watching one guy fighting with bare hands 100 people with guns and knives.

The story is about an ever obliging guy Baskaran (Arya) who is always busy doing odd jobs for other people. In the process he misses a lot of his personal life and doesn’t seem to embark on a useful career. When things almost go out of hand, a no-nonsense young girl Chandrika (Nayantara) enters his life and puts him on right track. A middle class love also blooms on the way.

I enjoyed one conversation very much. Santhanam has a barbershop. The name is Thala Thalapathi Barbershop. {For non-Tamil readers: There is a rivalry going on between two Tamil actors. Ajit is nicknamed Thala (Leader) and Vijay is nicknamed Thalapathi (General)}. In a scene, supporters of these two actors wanted to know why Santhanam named his barbershop like this. Santhanam gave a long philosophical explanation. One guy told him: You are giving a long explanation which no one understands, just like the way Kamal Hasan speaks.

My opinion: Comedy is the boss. Perfect for a weekend in which you decide not to give your brain much work.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

For Animal Lovers

Please be patient. Few seconds of advertisement before the start of each video clip.

Excercise Anyone?

Dynamic Duo (Pig and Monkey)

Seal Steals

Dancing Parrots

Thursday, September 23, 2010

College Major

( (Courtesy: Yahoo)

Many readers of this blog have already completed their education and have started their career. But if any young student ask for advice, they can give something along the following lines.

They should not select a major in any subject that involves dealing with real facts. These include math, chemistry, physics or biology.

Let us say you choose math as a major. The professor may ask the following question: A goat is tied to the outside corner of 4 yards by 4 yards pen on a 16 yard leash. How many square yards of grass can he eat? If you do not come up with an answer that the professor has in his/her mind, he/she will flunk you.

Same goes for chemistry major. Calculate the pH of the solution that results from mixing the following four aqueous solutions together. You don’t come with a correct answer you fail.

Same is true for physics or biology major and subjects like that.

My advice is to select a major in subjects like English, psychology, philosophy or sociology. These are the subjects no one understands what others are talking about and there are no real facts.

Take for example Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. If you have to write an essay on Pip, you can write about Process Industry Practices. The professor who reads hundreds of similar boring papers on Pip will think you are very different and creative. He will also view you as an “out of the box” thinker.

It is easy to major in philosophy. All you have to do is sit in a room and do nothing all day. Wear a t-shirt that says “Sh*t Happens” and take some drugs like MDMA.

It is easy to major in psychology also. In later years, when you become a psychologist, all you have to say is only one sentence. For example:

Patient: I hate my mother
Psychologist: Thank you for sharing that with me

Patient: I am depressed
Psychologist: Thank you for sharing that with me

Patient: I want to kill you, you fat slob
Psychologist: Thank you for sharing that with me

Finally, seriously, nowadays they don’t want any “expert” as a CEO. The multi national corporations are looking for liberal arts majors to be their leaders. (I am talking about U.S. companies only.) They are considered “out of the box” thinkers and having leadership qualities. They will be supervising the “experts”.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Olympics in India?

Collapsed bridge near the Commonwealth Games

How about Olympics in India? A dream come true?

Statement by Randhir Singh, IOA General Secretary, on July 8, 2004:

“The infrastructure required for hosting the Games would almost be ready during the Commonwealth Games (in 2010) and it would be the right roadmap for holding the Olympic Games (in India) in 2016.”

Farsighted or Far-fetched?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Canadian Ingenuity

Authorities in West Vancouver, Canada, were concerned with drivers not slowing down for traditional speed bumps. They were particularly worried about speed bumps near schools. They immediately put the Canadian ingenuity to work. Bingo. The town unveiled a new way for drivers to slow down near an elementary school. It is a 2-D image of a child playing, creating the illusion that approaching driver will soon hit a child.

According to officials, the pavement painting appears to rise up as the driver gets closer to it, reaching full 3-D realism at around 100 feet.

I have the following thoughts:

The drivers may think it is actually a child and slow down one or two times. Once they are used to it, they won’t slow down because they know it is not a real child. What happens if a real child was crossing the street and a driver thought it is another 2-D image and hit the child?

Here are some comments from other readers:

That is the most DUMB idea us Canadians have had!!!!!!!

Yeah, great. I would see this, slam on my brakes, and possibly swerve. This will not end well.

Did Bush come up with this? I blame Bush.

Isn't it winter in Canada for part of the school year? How is it going to work if she is covered in snow or slush? Not to mention normal daily road grime.

I can see a drunk driver swerving to avoid this and running down the real people on the sidewalk after losing control of the vehicle.

What are you guys complaining about? I love this idea.

So that's a ball? I thought it was a skateboard. And really, who would think this was a real child with those huge feet?

This is remarkably creepy.

All governments are run by educated idiots without the education.

Why fix what ain't broken?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kids' Questions

Kids ask some of the cutest, toughest, and silliest questions that adults don’t have answer or unable to give a satisfactory answer. Here are some:

1. Where did I come from?

2. Why Do You and Mommy Fight?

3. What is God?

4. How Much Money Do We Have?

5. Why Do People Die?

6. Why are we moving?

7. Why wasn’t I invited to that party?

8. What is Heaven?

9. How does a man get inside a TV?

10. Can I marry mommy when I grow up?

11. If I am not tired, why should I go to sleep?

12. Will a shot hurt?

13. How do thunder and lightning work?

14. Is this a boy chicken or a girl chicken?

15. Why do we eat animals?

16. Why do I have to go to school?

17. Can I get a cell phone?

18. Who will take care of me if you die?

19. Why can’t I stay home alone?

20. Why do I have to say thank you?

If you know or heard of a “cute” or “tough” or “silly” question from a kid, please let me know. Thanks.

And, finally a cute question from a grown-up kid:

When a doctor doctors a doctor, does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor as the doctor being doctored wants to be doctored or does the doctor doing the doctoring doctor as he wants to doctor?

Answer: That’s a good question. (Translation: I don’t know the answer.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Alcatraz Island

Recently we took an out of town guest to visit Alcatraz Island. This is located in the San Francisco Bay. Until 1963, this island served as a Federal Prison. This was considered the maximum security prison. No one can escape from here because the prison is in the middle of the bay. If any one wants to escape, they have to swim about 2 miles to the shore. The water is very cold and there are sharks. You have to be a special person to be sent here. Please see this announcement.

Most notorious crooks in the country spent time in this prison. It has 336 main line cells and 42 solitary confinement rooms. Alcatraz tour is certainly one of the most famous. Whether you prefer to experience part of the history of the island or you just want to see one of the most well-known prisons on the earth, this is a getaway you will not forget.

The prison was in operation for 29 years and there were 14 escape attempts. There was only one successful escape. Remember the Clint Eastwood movie, Escape from Alcatraz.

Here are some pictures:

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We all want to treat our houseguests as best as possible. Sometimes, we overlook small things and it will create discomfort to our guests. But they will never tell us because they don’t want to embarrass us. Here is a list of items our houseguests will never tell us:

(Later addition: I am not saying the guests are demanding and finding so many faults with the hosts. In fact, it is opposite. They don't want to hurt the hosts. Therefore, if there is something lacking, they will not tell us. It is for the hosts to make sure the guests have a nice stay. This is my personal opinion.)

Our houseguests will NOT tell us the following:

I'm hungry. (Leave some fruits and cookies in the bedroom.)

After turning out the lights, I bruised my knee climbing into bed. (Place a bedside lamp or make sure the bed’s edges are not sharp.)

I woke up at the crack of dawn. (Blackout shades should be considered.)

I am really cold or uncomfortably hot. (Make sure the room has the right temperature according to the guest’s liking.)

I can’t find a place to charge my cell phone. (Point out where the power outlet is, if not easily visible.)

I find the bedroom is not clean. (Make sure the guest room is clean and spotlessly clean bathroom.)

I don’t like this food or I have this food allergy. (Ask them in advance what food they like and if they have any food allergy.)

I cannot have internet access. (Volunteer to provide them with your wireless network security key code.)

I find the bathroom inadequate. (Make sure to have enough towels, shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a nice clean shower curtain.)

Your car is dirty. (Keep your car clean in and out and do not have any “garbage” in the car.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Please be patient and read the entire post. Please do not jump to the last line immediately. Thanks.

What am I going to write about? Is it about:

CL - Internet country code top-level domain for Chile. No.

CL - New York Stock Exchange symbol for Colgate-Palmolive. No.

CL - The Champagne Lodge. No.

CL - French Company specializes in corporate multilingual publishing. No.

CL - Chronic Liar. No.

CL - Chat Life. No.

CL - Casual Leave. No.

CL - Center for Limnology. No

CL - Central Luzon, Philippines. No.

CL - Cathedral of Learning at University of Pittsburg. No.

CL – Cecile Licad, a classical pianist. No.

CL – Clear Lake, California. No.

CL – Combinator Logic. No.

CL – Current Loop. No.

CL – Roman numeral for 150. Yes.

This is my 150th post. Thanks for all your support.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My New Template


The loveliness of Paris seems somehow sadly gay
The glory that was Rome is of another day
I've been terribly alone and forgotten in Manhattan
I'm going home to my city by the Bay

I left my heart in San Francisco
High on a hill, it calls to me
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
The morning fog may chill the air, I don't care

My love waits there in San Francisco
Above the blue and windy sea
When I come home to you, San Francisco
Your golden sun will shine for me

Monday, September 6, 2010

Shrek the Fish?

We always thought that Shrek, the green ogre, lived peacefully in a swamp. No way. He is adventurous.

Now he has gone swimming off the coast of Japan. This particular fish, almost 30 years old, bears a remarkable resemblance to Shrek. The head, the chin, the beady eyes — it's all there. Were they separated at birth?

But no sign of Donkey or Fiona.

Did I misspell? Is it Fiorina?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

College Football Season Begins

Today, in USA, football season in all the universities begins. That is American College Football Season. There are lot of interests and enthusiasm with the Americans on College football games. Sometimes more than the professional games.

(Blue Uniform is Berkeley and White Uniform is Stanford)

I have already written that professional football in USA requires people to graduate from college before they are eligible to become professional. Therefore people start to watch college players with keen interest. Also, there are many die hard college alumni.

Tickets for these college games are not cheap. The stadiums can accommodate anywhere between 40,000 to 100,000 people. The average cost of a ticket is $80. They play 12 games. 6 at home and 6 away from home.

There is always the big rivalry between two teams. I will mention a few of them:

University of California, Berkeley vs Stanford University

Army (United States Military Academy at West Point) vs Navy (United States Naval Academy at Annapolis)

University of Texas at Austin vs University of Oklahoma

University of Alabama vs Auburn University

University of Michigan vs The Ohio State University

What do these universities do with the huge amount of money collected from football games? They use this money to award scholarship (full and partial) to deserving other students.

Next time, you or your relative or a friend get a scholarship at a U.S. university, please remember these college football players.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Day At The Movie

A popular movie theater in Chennai. Famous movie. House Full. Ashok and his wife Akila had already purchased a first class ticket at a cost of Rs.300 each. Saket Raman and his wife Sangeetha stood in the long line and purchased lower level tickets at Rs.70 each.

Intermission. These two couples meet in the coffee counter. Akila and Sangeetha were college mates. They introduced their husbands. Ashok bought the coffee for all four. They go back to their seats.

Movie ends. The couples say good bye to each other with a promise of meeting for lunch sometime.

Ashok and Akila are walking towards the bus stop. Akila tells Ashok: At last we were able to save some money and see a movie just like rich people. I am so happy today.

Saket and Sangeetha are walking towards their Mercedes Benz. Their driver was waiting to open the car door. Sangeetha tells Saket: At last we were able to see a movie just like ordinary folks. I am tired of this high society rich people stuff. I am so happy today.