Monthly Archives: February 2014

Bar One, Smiles Two

It’s a customary in my family to wake up early in the morning and have tea together. We used to discus, debate lots of things over that cup of tea even fight. Today is no just another day, It’s birthday of my beloved mom, so we all wished her while she was serving us hot ginger tea. My dad suddenly went into a room and came out with something packed in glossy wrappers. He gave them to my mom wishing her, It’s mom’s favorite “Bar One” chocolates. I asked my dad why he got just 3 pieces when there are 4 of us at home. First he smiled, then winking at my mom he said “We both will share one”. Those utterly timed words bought priceless, super cute and charming smile in both their faces, so cute that it made me to write this post. I think its true that love grows more on sharing. I wondered when I am going to love some one so much that I share my favorite chocolate happily ūüôā

Bar One

Bar One Chocolates

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It’s All Taxes ? – A Guest Post

Recently I received an message with an attachment in my Facebook inbox from my close friend Rahul. He asked me weather I could share the content of the attached document in my blog so that it might bring in some awareness. I too felt the same after reading it, As sharing it in my blog is some thing which I could do (etho nambalala mudinjathu). It’s all about conversation between Rahul’s friend Tejas and few ladies in the train, Following is the unaltered content.

A ” Free ” Chat with Tamil Nadu in Chennai – Mangalore train taught me more than what i could ever get in books,blogs etc.

They started “Indha dhadave amma kuduththa selay avlo nalla illa, pona dhadava amma kuduththa synthetic sela idha vida nalla irundhuchu” ( the saree given by AMMA this time isnt good, last time she gave synthetic one, that was better)

Thinking its just normal ladies talk, i just climbed up to upper berth and was browsing through my phone.

The saree discussion went on for a while , and there was total silence for sometime. Then one lady started “indha dhadava yaruku vote podradhu ?” (whom shall we vote this time ?)

Its my favourite subject. Just kept my phone aside and started listening to them keenly. I learnt lot from them, you too will.

Lady : Kalaignar (Karunanidhi) oru roobaaikku arisium,TV-um thandhaaru ,Jayalalitha Amma Grinder,Mixie,Cycle nu ennanavo freeya thandhaanga…. (Karunanidhi gave TV , 1Re Rice & Jayalalitha gave cycle,Mixie ,Grinder etc)

All other ladies :aama aama (yes,yes)

Then they discussed about who got and who dint get, how delayed they got etc..

Later, they started discussing about their requirements at home, finally they concluded ” indha dhadava yaaru Washing Machine ,Fridge la tharaangalo, avarukku namba vote podalaam”

(This time we shall vote to the party which promises washing machine and fridge )

It was shock of my life , i was dumbstruck. I decided to join their conversation.

I asked those ladies ” who gives money for saree,tv,cycle,grinder,mixie and all that you get free”

All replied ” AMMA aatchila, amma-oda panam, kalaignar aatchila irundha avaroda panaththula erundhu kudukkaraanga ” ( when Amma is CM she spends her money, when kalaignar is CM he spends his own money for us)

I asked ” appo idhellam neenga tax kattura panaththula inrundhu kudukkaradhu illaya?”

( so, its not given from the money you paid as tax ? )

One voice & one tone reply from all ladies ” naanga tax la katradhe illa thambi “( We never pay tax brother )

I asked : appo neengala kaalaila kulikka maatingla?

(So you ppl dont take bath in the morning ?)

Ladies : kaalile seekarama endhirichu kulichiruvom.

(We have bath early in the morning )

Another lady : adhukkum idhukkum enna sammandham ? ( How is bath related to tax ?)

I : soap use panna maatingla ? (So you wont use soap while having bath )

bit irritated by the Qs, yet they answered ” ippolaam ellarume soap pottu kulikkaraanga ” (Nowadays everyone use soap )

I : Soap la tax irukku. (you pay tax for soap )

Ladies got shock of their life, and said : Soap la tax aah ? ( Tax in soap ? )

I : aama (yes )

One brilliant lady in the group : aanaa adha kadaikaaran kitta dhaane katrom appo avan kitta dhaane Ella panamum poi serudhu . (but then we pay it to the shopkeeper so finally he is the one who gets all the money not the government )

I : illa illa, unga kitta panaththa vaangi avan government-ukku katturaan. Tax neenga vaangura porulukku kudukkara panaththulaye sendhu erukku !

(No no,shop person only collects tax from you and pays it to government. The price you pay is inclusive of all taxes)

Full silence, all ladies started thinking, they went to deep thinking mode.

One lady : tax soap la mattum aa ? ( So tax is only in soap ?)

I : neenga vaangura thee petty la kooda tax erukku. (Even for the match box you buy, you pay tax )

Meanwhile a lady got a call from her son , after she kept the call i said ” ippo vandha phone callkum unga paiyyan tax katturaanga ” (even for the call you recieved, your son has paid tax)

All got another shock of life, silence repositioned itself.

A lady in low voice “message kum tax irukka? ( My son messages a lot to his friends ,are messages taxed ?)

I : aama (yes )

Later i asked about their children, education, toilets at their houses, schools at their places etc..

One among the ladies was not having toilets in their vicinity. Few said about inability to pay fee, medical exp etc..

I said ” change your demands, demand for Schools, Roads, Toilets, Hospitals, good doctors etc.. Instead of cycle,Tv,Washing Machine ,Fridge…”

The stop came and they got down, and were discussing about hiring an auto, immediately i peeped through my window and said ” adhukkum tax katturinga, rikshakaaren petrol ,diesel vaangum bodhu katraan” ( for that too you pay tax, auto rikshaw driver pays it with petrol, diesel price)

Finally they waved their hands and said among themselves : indha paiyyan neraya therinju vechchirukkan ” ( this guy knows a lot )

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

To the extent i recall the conversation , i have put it here. You ppl too can ask your friends , family, relatives about the taxes they pay.

Transliteration courtesy : Sharmilah (Civil Service aspirant ) & Satchidanandam Sekar ( CA aspirant )

Meeting Dr.Vishwas Gaitonde

First let me tell what I know about Dr.Vishwas R Gaitonde, He is a doctor and medical writer based on California, He is also author of the books “Treatment Guidelines : HIV Disease In India” and “A Thief in the Night ; Understanding AIDS”. He reads and writes a lot, you can find his articles published in a literary journal HERE

We get to know each other through twitter and my blog. He is one of the few avid readers of my blog and he constantly share his views on my blog posts. Then and there we used to exchange tweets and mails. In one such mail, he said he will be visiting Chennai from mid Jan to mid Feb and we decided to meet when he is here.¬†On Thursday (06.02.2014) evening i got a call, and the person on the other end introduced himself “Hi, I am Vishwas, Your twitter friend”, yes its him. We spoke for a while over the phone and planned to meet the next day eve in¬†Connemara Public Library. I was really happy that he called.

On Friday (07.02.2014) I reached Connemara Library unusually late by 15 mins, He was there on time and I saw him patiently waiting for me. Once again we introduced ourselves and decided to reach a nearby cafe so that we can comfortably sit down and talk. We went to the Cafe Coffee Day in Alsa Mall opposite to the library and ordered ourselves coffee.

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Me with Dr.Vishwas R Gaitonde

The conversation over the coffee turned out to be really good. We spoke about our professions, spoke about Chennai, spoke about food, etc. I felt elated when he quoted things from my blog then and there. He is a nice and silent person who talks few words unlike me who is a chatter box, I was rambling on and he patiently listened to all of them. He also mentioned that what I speak is interesting, It made me feel astonished, I don’t ¬†remember when is the last time I heard those words. When we are about to part he took something from his bag and gave me saying “I think you will like it”, I was surprised and really loved it. what he gifted to me was a big bar of Belgian Dark Chocolate and a pack of Tootsie candies, cant ask for more.

Dark Belgian Chocolate and Tootsie Candies

Dark Belgian Chocolate and Tootsie Candies

I parted by saying lots of thanks for taking pain to meet me.  It was a great pleasure meeting him and the least thing I could do is to dedicate this blog post to him. Hoping to meet him some time soon.

Running Auroville Marathon 2014 – An Amazing Experience

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I had registered myself for my 5th Half Marathon and 2nd Auroville Marathon long back, And the time has come to Run it. I joined with an awesome group consisting of my HR coach Hari , my CEO Venkat Rangan, their friends Sivaram Kannan and Senthil Kumar with whom I went for the marathon last year also, my colleagues Kundan, Arshiya and Vasanth, and Kavitha for the trip.

We started on Saturday (08.02.2014) morning from Chennai and reached Pondicherry around afternoon. After finishing our lunch we headed straight to Auroville to collect our marathon BIB. Then from there we reached our hotel and checked in to freshen up and for some rest. After some rest we went to GRT to have our dinner which was really good. And I loaded myself with carbs as much as possible which¬†undoubtedly induced sleep. So after going back to hotel I crashed onto my bed after keeping my running gears ready and setting up the alarm to wake up early for the next day.¬†As usual I didn’t have any difficulty in waking up before my alarm and slowly realized that It’s Sunday (09.02.2014), The marathon day. We got ready on time and reached Auroville around 6.00 AM. As they followed wave start for the half marathon based on the BIB numbers, I have been put on the last group which will start at 6.30 AM. I did some stretches and calmed myself before the start. At last the count down went on.

As usual I start my run slow, in order to keep a constant phase through out the run. It was such a wonderful climate and the experience was awesome to run in trail, with fog and trees all around you, It just felt like a dream for me. The trail route is mix of variety of surfaces like gravel, red mud, loose sand and rocky at few places. One thing I cant forget is non Indian (might be Italian or French) ¬†volunteers at aid station cheering up the runners by shouting “Bravo, Bravo” which motivated me.¬†The run was very smooth till the 15th km and I enjoyed each an every step, but I got cramps after that. I was slowly jogging and walking till 18th km. When I was trying to apply some pain relief spray, a doctor in the aid station advised me to take in more electrolyte drink, salt and lime. It really worked well and eased of my cramp a bit. While I was approaching 21st km, I realized that I will be completing the run before 3 Hrs if I could complete the last 1.1 km in less than 9 mins. I had no idea what i did, I ran as fast as possible and reached the finish point with 4 mins to spare. Felt overjoyed to complete it before 3 Hrs, my first sub 3 half marathon and my personal best. As usual medal presented by Auroville was different, last time it was made of¬†porcelain and this time its made of dry pressed flowers and leaves. What more than a good portion of tasty Pongal with Vada and Sambar could be an an apt breakfast after an long run. After getting done with our breakfast we all returned back to our hotel.

We got freshened up and spent some time chatting. Senthil sir did a great job by finding a good restaurant near by through his friends. So after checking out we landed up at hotel Kamatchi around 3 pm, luckily the hotel was open till 4.30 pm for lunch. The food was really nice there, It’s a nice South Indian non-veg restaurant, I should say it’s the best in the whole trip. If you are going there don’t fail to try their Rasam. We also had ice-cream from a shop down the¬†restaurant and I opted for Kulfi which was presented in a small earthen pot. After telling bye bye, see you soon to Pondicherry we started back and reached Chennai around 8 pm. This one is definitely A TRIP TO REMEMBER.

Few Little Dew Drops – Pics and Poem

What inspired me to write the following poem is my usual running route near my home and the following pics which I clicked there. Initially just wanted to post the pics, later came up with a small poem. Whether its rain drop or dew drops, they always do excite me.

It’s a lonely country road,
On a lovely winter morning.
It’s a scene diffused with fog,
When and where I love to jog.

Precipitation of nature masks,
Perspiration of my body.
Chillness Pierce my skin,
Passing deep, frosting my soul.

Those Few Little Dew Drops,
Spread all over the crops.
Gracefully gleam like a gem,
When sun glaze upon them.