Tag Archives: The Chennai Bloggers Club

How To Kill An Idea?

We are in a society that defies change and that includes you and me. Aren’t we all part of the same mass with a high inertia? Great ideas have always revolutionized our life and thoughts. Having said that, it wasn’t easy for any of the forerunners who conceptualized those ideas to do so. A few were made fun of, a few were heavily criticized, a few were imprisoned, a few were banished and a few were even killed.

Following are a few of my favorites.

William Henry Gates III

Though the name sounds like a medieval King, it’s none other than our Bill Gates. Though it might be purely for Microsoft’s business growth, his vision of “A computer in every home” has revolutionized the way we use the computer today. There were times when computers were used only for business, military and scientific operations. But, he is the forerunner who dreamed to bring the computer to the masses and created a huge PC ecosystem. Not just the brainy geeks, not just the elites who had tonnes of money, but for all. In spite of criticism, plagiarism allegation for copying mac, a few failed products and monopoly lawsuits, this man continued in pursuing his noble Idea. Maybe the kids these days who start using smartphones as soon as they are out of their mom’s womb might not realize the significance of this man’s Idea and his role in the evolution of computer technology. Being a late 80’s kid, his technologies made me dream big and played a crucial role in what I am today. You have always been my great role model.

The Real Iron Man

  • Bullied in his school.
  • Hosted house parties to fund his college education
  • Pushed to step down from the role of CTO of Zip 2, the company he co-founded with his brother
  • Forced to step down as CEO of PayPal, a popular e-payment company he co-founded.
  • Almost die from Cerebral Malaria.
  • Criticized for founding SpaceX an aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company, even by the aerospace legends such as Niel Armstrong
  • First 4 rockets launched by SpaceX ends up as a failure.
  • Automobile and oil giants trashed at Tesla, an Electric Vehicle company he invested and made himself the CEO
  • Both his SpaceX and Tesla almost bankrupted in 2008

If you haven’t guessed yet, I am talking about Elon Musk. In spite of these many failures, his ideas continue to revolutionize Space, Solar energy, Transportation and Artificial Intelligence. If you need to learn how to handle failures, then it must be from his life.

Malala Yousafzai

In 2008, she spoke against Taliban advocating for girl’s education in Pakistan. In 2009 she started to write blogs for the BBC on living under Taliban’s threats. In 2011, she was nominated for the In International Children’s Peace Prize and awarded Pakistan’s National Youth Peace Prize. When she was just 15 years old she was gunned down by a Taliban gunman while returning back from her school. Went through multiple surgeries including repair of a facial nerve to fix the paralyzed left side of her face. On her 16th birthday, this strong girl addressed the UN on girl education rights. In 2014 she became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Prize when she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. This little girl was almost killed for standing up for her Idea, but now she continues to inspire millions of girl children across the world to continue their education. Malala, once shot for going to a little school, now attends Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, one of the most competitive courses at the prestigious Oxford University.

The picture in the beginning of this blogpost is only one side of the story, let me tell you the what happens next. Out of the blue, a strong gust of wind named reality sweeps the place extinguishing the burning candles and spreading the light, bulb burns bright.

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on. Ideas have endurance without death. 

– John F. Kennedy

How to kill an idea?

As said in the above quote, actually you cant.

This blog post is part of The Chennai Bloggers Club #Picspire, a picture prompt initiative. Surprisingly I received an appreciation for my blog from a totally unexpected person which also motivated me to write this. Thank You.

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For The First Time – A Pantomime In Tamizh

Apart from R.S.Manohar’s drama at my school, Crazy Mohan and Kathadi Ramamoorthy drama at Raja Annamalai Mandram and Short & Sweet last year, I haven’t watched much of stage plays in my life. So, I was really excited when I was invited to watch “KoKo – A Pantomime in Tamil” a Tamizh play this weekend (12.03.2017). One of the perks of being a part of an awesome group like The Chennai Bloggers Club is that you get invited to such interesting events. Initially, I was quite confused about the term “Pantomime“. So, a little bit of Googling helped.

“Pantomime (informally panto), is a type of musical comedy stage production, designed for family entertainment. It was developed in England and is still performed throughout the United Kingdom, generally during the Christmas and New Year season”

koko

The play opened with a spectacular shadow show aided with computer animation projected on the screen. The story starts with Chicki (Vikas), a Hen running for life from a Butcher (Hemanth) and struggling hard to save her egg in spite of multiple mishaps. Her struggle reminded me of the “Oodinal Oodinal, Vazhkaiyin Oorathirkey Oodinal” dialogue from the movie Parasakthi. Later she meets 3 circus artists Joe (Sidarth), Joko (Naresh) and Raga (Sujay) who gives her shelter and protects the egg at the time of a natural calamity.

As the time pass by, Chicki becomes an integral part of their lives while the embryo starts growing inside the shell. One thing that awestruck me was the projection of stages of embryo growth on the egg shell. Bravo, bravo guys. One fine day the egg hatches into a chick and they name her “KoKo”. She becomes the pivotal character of the story and rest revolves around her life, interests, friendship and her struggle to keep up with the expectations of her mom Chicki.

KoKo

Have never before reviewed a movie or a play and hope I will not in future. I am more of a common spectator than a critic, I neither know the standards of the art forms nor its nuances. In my view, it’s a mind-blowing play. I enjoyed every bit of it. Most of the time, I found myself laughing and clapping out of control. Kudos to Sravanth, the director for giving us an amazing play. Acting isn’t an easy job, that too acting in front of live audience. What can I say about these Incredible actors who acted this play? They could not only act, emote and bring the characters to life but also could dance, sing, juggle, do hula hoop, aerial silk and what not. It’s not just the acting, the dialogues and the music rocked too. The song “KoKo Kannama, Pogathey Chellamma” still resonates in my ears, wish I could listen to it again.

All these time I was ranting that we lost talent and creativity referring to the terribly boring TV soaps and movies. After watching the play, I realized that we aren’t deficient of creativity but the shortage of opportunity for the one who deserves. I really wish that the talented ones like MacTrics (the KoKo crew) gets more opportunity. I appreciate Shraddha Theatres and the producers who bought this play on the stage.

I highly recommend each and every parent to watch this play along with their kids. Though it’s highly entertaining, I assure you, there will be a lot to take back home and discuss. I wouldn’t mind watching this play again and give a standing applause at the end. All the very best team, Wish you more plays to come.

P.S: Joko, If you are reading this, You made me laugh the most. I became your fan.

P.P.S: Joe, you kinda look like Cricketer Ishant Sharma. 😀

P.P.P.S: Raga, Such a calm and wise appearance you have got.

P.P.P.P.S: Chicki, Next time when I see a Hen, I am gonna remember you only.

P.P.P.P.P.S: KoKo, You are adorable.

My Love Turns 50

When my beloved Chennai Bloggers Club (CBC) came up with this “love theme” contest for the Valentine’s Day, I was thinking of too many things to write. At a point even thought to drop out of it. But today, it hit my mind that there wouldn’t be a better moment than now to write about her. So, this contest is just a reason to write about her.

If someone asks me, what’s the best thing happened in my life so far, I would blindly point to her. I might be one of the worst things happened to her, I am such a disappointment as ever and she really deserves someone better. I have been troubling her for a few years now, 28 years and 6 months to be precise. I am 27 years and 8 months, have also added the 10 months that I troubled her in her womb. Yeah, this post is about my dear mom.

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#MomAndMe #Mom #Love #Smile #happyme

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Yaay, she is turning 50 today (20th Feb). It’s hard to believe she is 50, Afterall age is just a number. Haven’t planned any gift for her yet. Least I could do is write a blog post dedicated to her.

Probably she is the one with whom I had fought, argued, debated, disagreed and discussed the most. She had all the patience in the world to put up with a messy kind like me and yet be selfless and supportive. What really surprises me is her broadmindedness, which is a very rare trait from the people of a similar background of her generation. She would guess my mood even without me uttering a word and that’s a great instinct she’s got. She is very sweet. All my friends love her, not only for her yummy food but also her friendlier way of treating them. She has supported me in all my pursuits, she is the one who even insisted my dad to get me a computer. I can keep going on about her and exhaust the words. So, let me stop here.

If you are wondering what kinda guy write about his mother for Valentine’s day post, yes, you are right, the one who doesn’t have a girlfriend. Just wondering is Valentine’s Day is only meant for couples?. I think we should take a chance to celebrate numerous love and friendships in our life. For me, my mom’s love is the most selfless love that I have ever felt. She will be my valentine forever.

Wish her a great health and awesome years ahead. Love You Ma.

This post is written for the ‘love theme’ contest by The Chennai Bloggers Club in association with Woodooz and Indian Superheroes.

Claps To UrbanClap

Unfortunately, not all of us are super skilled like my dad. He is someone who can fix electrical, plumbing and carpentry issues to an extent all by himself. At times he even mocks me by saying “You are an engineer just for namesake, you don’t know how to fix this simple thing”. All they thought me in the engineering was how to fix a bug in the code and arrest memory leak but not how to fix a fused bulb and stop the water leak. Fixing these small household issues becomes a big headache for the current generation who doesn’t want to move their a** to get things done and somehow never gets time for anything in life. The problem lies in finding skillful workers to do the job, even if we find one, they are never ready to do petty jobs.

Nowadays we got apps for almost anything and everything from booking movie tickets to ordering food home. Luckily there are a few service aggregators who can help with the above problems, but unfortunately, all of them are not trustworthy. Then there is UrbanClap (UC) which is successfully providing services since 2014. It’s been one of the trusted marketplaces to hire 80,000+ professionals for 80+ home services such as Beauty, Photography, Electricians, Plumbers and Fitness . Though I have a Rs. 200 credit to try their service, I didn’t have any requirement for the same. So, as far now, I decided to review their app.

Before jumping to their app, I played around their website for a while. The website is simple, modern and straightforward with a big services search right in the middle of their home page. The site also lists the most trending services and service listed category wise.

Home Page

Home Page

Trending Services

Trending Services

Now coming to the mobile app, the app is available for both iPhone and Android platforms. I tried the app on my android phone and it worked without any issues. The signup process was fairly simple, the users can also signup with their Google+ or Facebook too. The services can be searched directly or browsed based on the categories. The best thing is it suggests the services and professionals based on the proximity and the ratings. The app also allows the user to chat directly with the professionals for clarification and request a quote from them. The app is simple, user-friendly and provides a better experience.

I would definitely try using this app when the need arises.

This blog post is a part of the Chennai Bloggers Club campaign in association with UrbanClap.

Walking Down The OMR Food Street

One awesome thing being part of an awesome group like The Chennai Bloggers Club is you get invited to interesting events. This time, it’s a food tasting event at OMR Food Street. Situated near Thoraipakkam, OMR Food Street is the Chennai’s first organized food street. This place not only hosts a variety of eateries but also gives you a unique experience apart from the typical food court and street food. One could see this place buzzing with people even by 5 in the eve. Though I have been here before, being with blogging buddies is yet another different experience. I am not a food critic and reviewer and all, I am a simple foodie who enjoys food like any other. So, all I am gonna share about is what I had there in chronological order.

That 6pm crowd @ OMR Food Street

That 6pm crowd @ OMR Food Street

With Blogging Buddies PC: Mahesh Lakshmanan

With Blogging Buddies PC: Mahesh Lakshmanan

  1. Paniyaram
    It was Sindhu’s idea to start with Paniyaram first. There was a small shop named C-Tasty which sells a variety of Paniyarams such as Cheese, Mushroom, Paneer and Carrot Paniyarams. But we decided to go for the classic plain Paniyaram. It was soft and tasted good. The chutneys they gave accompanied the dish well, especially the Kara (Spicy) Chutney.

    Paniyaram

    Paniyaram

  2. Atho
    Being brought up in North Chennai, Atho needs no introduction to me. Actually, I was very surprised to see Burma Square, an Atho joint there. I am happy that this Burmese dish which is quite prominent in Noth Chennai areas has spread to other parts of the city. This is one of the things that I really missed after moving to South Chennai. Not only Atho, they also sell other Burmese food such as Sejo, Mohinga, Bejo Soup, Etc. The Atho was good but little spicier than authentic ones. The soup was good too but was slightly on the thinner side than the usual.

     

  3. Thattu Vadai
    I was really surprised to see one of Salem’s signature food being sold here. Once I enjoyed having it in Salem itself and thanks to Thattu Vadai Touch shop for bringing similar experience back. We ordered Thattu Vadai Set, Norukku Mix, and Panagam. Thattu Vadai was really awesome, Norukku was bit mushy and the Panagam  was perfect. It’s been years since I had Panagam, it used to be one of my favorite drink during my school days and remember preparing it even during one of my work experience cooking classes.

     

  4. Adai
    There is a shop here, that sells traditional Millet based food, the same way they do it in good old times even before rice and wheat were cultivated in large scale. So, to go with the kind of food they serve, they must have named it Ki Mu 200 (200 BC). We had Thinai Adai with Aviyal and Thinai Sweet Pongal. The Adai tasted a bit different, but the Sweet Pongal tasted
    quite typical.

     

  5. Paratha
    After munching South Indian dishes, it’s time for some North Indian ones. “Stuf-fed” sells all kinda stuffed parathas here. Out of all their options, we opted for Pyas Paratha. You know why? according to Sindhu, that’s the one which sounded cool 😀 . The Parata was typical, but the accompaniments pickle and mint chutney took it to the next level.

    Pyas Ka Paratha

    Pyas Ka Paratha

  6. Crepe
    Friend: Bro, what’s Crepe?
    Me: It’s a thin dessert masala Dosa, where they stuff in fruits and ice cream instead of mashed potato, they also top it with maple syrup, honey, chocolate sauce etc.
    This conversation might not sound funny now, but it sounded then. We ordered Crepe Classic at Zuki&Co. Though it was delivered late, it’s worth the wait. The Crepe was soft, thin and had yummy fresh strawberry fillings. They also sell Nanari sarbat which is a must try.

    Crepe Classic

    Crepe Classic

  7. Ice cream Fruit Salad
    All I thought of was having some juice before entering “Oasis” the juice shop there, but I quickly made up my mind when I saw few others having Icecream Fruit Salad. It was not only eye-catching but tasted yummy too. Their selection of fruits in the salad was good and the syrup over the ice cream elevated its taste.

    Ice cream fruit salad

    Ice cream fruit salad

Just like the way I did If you also like to taste a variety of food under your budget, OMR Food Street is the place.

Look what a good food can do to me, it puts a big smile on my face. Awesome candid click my Mahesh Anna

Look what a good food can do to me, it puts a big smile on my face. Awesome candid click.  PC: Mahesh Lakshmanan

My sincere thanks to CBC for organizing and OMR Food Street for hosting us. It was a great experience to indulge in a variety of food and will definitely visit again.

Featured banner image courtesy Vinod Velayudhan.

Spirituality & The Spirit’s Duality

I am a person who lives on simple ideas about life and SPIRITUALITY is a sophisticated concept for my lean and mean brain to comprehend. So, after some Googling and Wikipediaing, I just realized one thing. For all these time we have been mixing up Spirituality and Religious Devotionality. But, I am not here to tell the difference, hope you can figure that out just like I did.

When I hear people talk about spirituality, they talk about the meaning, purpose of life and all. I tell them, I would better live mine and learn its meaning on the go, rather than just waste time thinking about the same. For me, spirituality is simple, it’s understanding and balancing the duality of the soul. By soul, I mean one’s spirit, one’s character and by duality I mean the coexistence of extremes.

This reminds me of Yin and Yang, one of my favourite symbols. It symbolizes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another (courtesy: Wikipedia). I feel the very first step in spirituality is to understand oneself in depth. Like the Yin and Yang, there is always a co-existence of good & bad and strengths & weaknesses in us. So, it’s highly critical to have a self-appraisal to figure these things out. The next step is learning to balance them, yes as you think it’s easier said than done. The art of channelizing one’s energy is a tough art to master and that’s where techniques like meditation help. If you ask me what’s the end result? It’s the feeling content, fulfillment, and peace within oneself. Those are the most valuable intangible asset one can gift himself.

My Yin Yang Pendant

My Yin Yang Pendant

If even the above feels bit complex and philosophical thing to you, I will try decoding it much further.

  • Be happy
  • Live and let live
  • Try to understand and be true to yourself
  • What you seed is what you reap and the rest you don’t get to keep.

This entry is a part of the Songs of the Mist contest run by The Chennai Bloggers Club and The Monk Key

Enga Ooru Madrasu

Madras or Chennai or However you name it, It’s more than just a city for me. Not just me, I believe it’s the same with most of the Chennaites here. Beyond its history and rich culture, it’s its people that make this city a loving one. The People of Chennai stood strong and united against the worst floods and that portrayed the humble yet mighty spirit of the city. There are million more reasons to take pride in this city. I am a proud Chennaite. This is a prompted post written with Chennai Bloggers Club for the campaign #WhatIsYourPincode. This post is all about PinCodes that were/are not only part of my address, but also part of my life.

600081 – Tondiarpet

This place owns lots of my early childhood memories as we stayed there till my 5th grade. It’s where my dad grew up and it’s where my grandma home is.  This place earlier called as “Lebbai Kaadu” got its name cos of a Muslim saint named Kunangudi Masthan Sahib. He was called Thondiar as he hailed from Thondi in Ramanathapuram District. As he meditated in this place it came to be known as Tondiarpet.

Like many other areas in the north Chennai, this one is an unsung hero too. It houses many manufacturing units, oil refineries, warehouses and export houses. The most famous Metal Box Factory which manufactured iconic ponds powder tins and Indian Oil cans used to operate there. The factory got closed as plastic became more popular and affordable, now only the ruins of the factory remain and sparingly used for film shootings.

How many of you know that one hospital here played a major role in eradicating SmallPox. Yes, it’s Chennai Corporation’s Communicable Diseases Hospital, which is dearly called as Cholera Hospital by the locals. All credits go to Dr. Ayyagari Ramachandra Rao a.k.a Slayer of SmallPox, who was its first Superintendent between 1959 and 1964. He set up a smallpox virus laboratory there and assisted Dr. Henry Kempe of the University of California in developing a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The improved vaccine saved millions of lives and Dr. Kempe was nominated for the Nobel Prize for the same. Now it’s a Three hundred and fifty bedded hospital with a full-fledged laboratory facility for diagnosis and treatment of all communicable diseases also and serving as a teaching institution.

600019 – Thiruvottiyur

This is one place which my heart misses so much now, I miss its people, beach, crowd and the chaos. It was my home for 13 years since we moved out of Tondairpet and majority of my life was built around it. The name of this place originated from the Tamil infinitive ‘orutral’ which means ‘to exempt’. As two stories centered around the origin of this place and both the stories were exempted in naming this place which is special. Anything that’s special gets a prefix “Thiru” in Tamil, so the name “Thiru Orutriya Oor” which means the specially exempted town. Later got its colloquial name “Thiruvottiyur“, the name which is used at present. Very interesting entomology isn’t it.

It’s mostly a residential place. It is surrounded by industrial areas such as Ennore and Manali, so most of its residents were the ones who work in factories and the fishermen who fish by the coast. Talking about factories, it used to be the only place where the Royal Enfield bullets were manufactured until an additional unit was opened near Oragadam.

Thirovittuyur Periya Kovil (Big Temple) a.k.a Thyagaraja Swamy & Vadivudai Amman Temple here is one of the oldest temple complexes in Chennai, which is said to exist since 7th Century. This temple was said to be expanded by Rajendra Chola I son of  Raja Raja Chola. Unlike my dad and my friends who are regulars to this temple, I rarely visit during festivals and uzhavarapani (temple cleaning). Very near to the coast, lies the resting place of the famous Tamil saint Pattinathar.

600013 – Royapuram

Royapuram, that’s where my aunt’s (my mom’s sister) house is. I used to spend weekends and school vacations there along with my cousins as it wasn’t that far from Thiruvottiyur. I would sit up on its terrace for hours and curiously look into the huge heap of iron ore being transferred into bulk carriers and containers being loaded onto the ships by cranes. This place got its name from the famous St Peter’s Church located there. As St Peter is called Rayappar in Tamil, the Rayappar Puram got colloquially transformed into its current name “Royapuram“.

This place is yet another unsung hero of North Chennai. Royapuram railway station which was built on 1856 is the oldest railway station in south India and oldest surviving railway station in the Indian subcontinent. This area is also famous for the Parsi Fire Temple which was built during 1910 and its the only one of its kind in Chennai. It is a major seafood export hub too, The famous Kasimedu fishing harbor which is  one of the 6 major fishing harbors in India in terms of volume belongs here. N4 bridge, my favorite peace spot is an integral part of this harbor. This might surprise you, this area also houses a museum specially dedicated to India’s greatest mathematical genius Srinivasa Ramanujam. One thing that’s must try in this area is C.Kunhiraman & Sons mango ice cream. This small provision store has been selling their signature mango ice cream for more than 70 years for a reasonable prize.

600126 – Madambakkam

This is where I am now, writing this blog post. We moved here from Thiruvottiyur as we got our first and only own home here. It’s  calm and purely residential neighborhood. “Madam” means multi-storied residents. As this place used to abound of such buildings, it got its name “Madambakkam”.

This place is well known for its Dhenupureeswarar Temple. This 1000+ years old temple is said to be built by Chola king, Parantaka Chola II, father of Raja Raja Chola. This old temple was restored and currently been conserved by  Archaeological Survey of India and has been declared a monument of national importance under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains 2010 Act.

My sincere thanks to CBC for the prompt and giving me an opportunity to write about areas that are close to my heart. I felt really good and nostalgic while writing this post. Chennai I love.