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Monday, October 04, 2010

Verdict

The Ayodhya verdict is out. Though I was not in India to feel the outcome of the verdict, it looked peaceful than what was expected of an old and on-going issue, blown out of proportions over the years. Or has the time healed the wounds? Or is the current generation really not interested?
The only news about the verdict I could find were mostly the thoughts of different leaders on the verdict. As expected, Advani had written a post in his blog citing the verdict aligned with the thoughts he had posted in his autobiography “My Country, My Life”.
Reading articles about this verdict took be back to my college days, when I had spent more than two weeks researching on POTA. I was writing an article for one of the competition thrown in by a popular magazine (I do not recollect its name now). With no internet access, I had to browse dozens of magazines in our college library to study about the law before putting my thoughts about it. I was missing the CTRL + F functionality very badly. I had to go through a number of magazines, different issues, one by one to see if there was an article on POTA. But I can swear that, if I had written the same article now, that would not have been better, even though I am armed with more resources now.
I still the remember the day, when I was sitting in the last row of the library and trying to take some notes from one of the magazines on POTA. Thanks to the sunlight from the translucent window, I was not straining my eyes fighting with the dimly lit tube-light. I think we were not supposed to lend the magazines from library and I was trying to save 50 paise on photocopying, so that I could go to dinner to one of the five restaurants in that village or for the morning Poha or evening Kachoris at More Bhau’s shop. It was around 3:30 PM and I had bunked the class as usual. Given the time, students were either at class or sleeping in hostel, the library was almost empty.
My research was suddenly broken by a swarm of students entering the library. I have never seen so much except for the days when we used to get 5 books for that annual year for our course of study. And to my surprise, all the students found a desk to sit. Within minutes, the library was silent and it looked like everybody had found a place and a book. It took some time for me to really understand what was going on. When our college photographer (I think it was Mr. Pise) entered the library with his big camera and a big flash accessory plugged in, I knew it was for the annual college magazine. Two shots from the lower level and two shots from the upper level (the upper level was more of a mezzanine level with view of the lower level), his job was almost complete for that year. He rubbed his shining bald head (Good that they go behind the flash all the time) and indicated that he was done. There were noises in the library once again, as all of the students left.
I knew I was the only one left apart from the library staff as I continued my research on POTA.

PS: I did send a wonderful essay to the magazine, but it was never published or awarded. I think I have a copy of the essay hidden somewhere in the shelves of my home in Chennai. I will publish it whenever I get a hold of it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

.....

Whenever I start writing, there is some mysterious force that stops me. I am not able to define it.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

MMX

End of one thing is the beginning of the other. 2009 was better than previous year for me (aka kuppathotti). A little magic was weaved. Will it grow, or continue to be the same, or decay. Need to wait and see.

A closing note for a great year and a beginning note to make 2010 a wonderful year.

Wishing you all a very happy, peaceful and prosperous MMX

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ash

Ash generally marks the end of something and nothing after that. Sometimes, even it can mark a beginning for something.

I think I stared at the sky too long that I almost forgot blogging. Days came and went by. Nobel prize winners have been announced, a big earthquake shook Indonesia, a storm in Philippines and in my own country India created a widespread disaster. The station fire in Los Angeles county, one of the biggest in the county's history was contained fully (there is another one going on now).
Even weeks after the fire died, I could see ashes in my house balcony/patio.
It kept reminding me of the blog i was planning to right about the fire. The ash had just settled down like the sitemeter for my blog.
A light breeze blew (it is cooler in Glendale nowadays) and lifted the ash. It lifted my spirit too, for starting on my blog again and hopefully my blog's sitemeter too rises with this.

As the ash flew in the breeze, I thought it has done its duty here and it is on its way to lift somebody else's spirit.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Its raining meteors!!

When was the last time, you just stared at the sky continuously for five minutes? I bet it would have been years ago, when we were kids, when we felt that the sky had a lot of hidden treasures. It was the time when we dreamed of becoming a pilot to go near the sky or fly in a rocket into the outer space. Those days when we badly wanted to become a rocket scientist or an astronomer.

Yesterday was different. I did stare at the sky for almost 20 minutes just to catch a glimpse of the pereseid meteor shower. After spending 20 minutes on August 11, 2009 in vain just staring at the fog covered black sky, I was very skeptical on catching a glimpse of the same yesterday.

With a great view of the Verdugo mountains (The same view as you see in the photo in my blog header.) from my balcony or patio at the third floor of an old 70s wooden apartment, me and my wife almost had one-fourth of the sky under our view. With lots of fog (might be smog given that we are in Los Angeles county) and the temperature low, it was a mixed chance of seeing the meteor. Being close (almost 30 miles) to LAX, we had lots of airplanes flying by and the city lights from Burbank towards the West made us more doubtful.

Then suddenly we saw it. It was a quick streak of white light, bright at the front and fading away forming a long tail. It was really an exhilarating experience (I haven’t seen one before). I had missed the Comet Hale-Bopp, which was visible from India at some point of time. We waited for some more time and we ended up seeing 10 of them. It was really worth the wait.

The only sad part of this entire story is that I could not catch it in my camera. A very sad thing for me, given my liking to photography.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Postcard

Postcards have been an integral part of the Old Indian Postal Service.

I still remember the days when my grandfather would write letters to my father in those light brownish postcards with the dark brown Lion Capital of Ashoka printed on the back side top right corner. My grandfather with his English knowledge gained by reading "The Hindu" newspaper regularly for more than 6 decades (I am sure it will be more than that) would write his blue Chinese "Hero" pen, making a dark imprint on the post card with little smudging wherever the post card's top layer was not well formed. It carried along with it a smell so specific to the postcards, a mixture of paper and the old print houses where they were printed.

In those days, Inland Cover and the Office cover (I am not sure how to phrase it) were my favorite than the postcards. Inland Cover, with the small font letters telling where to fold first and where to fold second was my all time favorite. The Office cover and the greeting card cover were special because of the postage stamps they carried. Most of the Indian postage stamps that I had collected and which are lying somewhere safe in the newly built shelves at my father's home in Chennai have been sourced by those covers. Most of the foreign stamps were bought by me, when I used to vacation in my Grand Parent's house in Coimbatore and some came from those relatives staying abroad who still remembered to drop a card during the Indian festival season or the English New Year. Some of them still remember, but have switched to those fast and easy ways of communication known popularly as the Internet. Maybe DARPA never thought that the Internet will revolutionize the world to such an extent.

When I started studying French, I came to know about the art of sending post cards.
The French whenever they travelled or visited some new places, they never forgot to buy some postcards of that place. They then sent it to their friends or relatives back home with a very short description of the spot they visited and the weather at that place. If anybody is planning to take a French course, be assured that one question will be based on these post cards. At that point, it made little sense to me about the cards like the light decorated Golden Gate Bridge that we used to receive as a young student.

Why this sudden post about a post card? Has the Indian Postal Service woken up suddenly and started to commemorate the post cards or have they introduced something like the Post Card day. Well, I am not aware of them even if they existed, thanks to the marketing strategy of the Indian Postal Service. I got inspired from a post card image I saw in the Internet which I took and added it to this blog on the top right hand corner, with a small note about me :).

Sunday, July 19, 2009

El Sur Grande

It is a place where height meets depth. It is a place where Cliffs meet the Ocean. It is a place where land meets water (in a unusual way). It is place where terrestrial wildlife meets marine wildlife. It is a place where a Waterfall meets the ocean. It is a place where the undisturbed beauty attracts a lay man while the forbidding wilderness makes it ideal for an adventurist. It is actually a place where Man meets Nature. It is Big Sur (Spanish-language "el sur grande", meaning "the big south", or from "el país grande del sur", "the big country of the south") on the coast of California.

Perched on the volcanic mountains on one side and the mighty Pacific ocean immediately on the other side, it is a place for hikers, trekkers, swimmers all
alike. Explore the redwood forest and at the end of it you can go for a swim in the ocean. "You must see it to believe it" surely applies for this place, for one cannot describe it in words.

Fractal is the word that comes to my mind immediately. It looks very irregular and it still looks perfect. Not a strange thing for Nature.

The CA1 neatly blends with the terrain and keeps the place as is, while making the journey a smooth one. The Bixby bridge is awesome, connecting two slopes of the cliff, and looks like a man made wonder embedded naturally. The fog in the mountains add to the beauty of the drive. The wild flowers blossom along the slope down to the blue waters.

I have heard that the coast along Oregon leading to Canada through Washington is also a wonderful experience.A drive down this coastal highway is surely a time to be remembered.