Jun 29, 2006

Few coins everyday !

One strange act I keep observing among the bus conductors these days is adding a few coins everyday to their pockets (Yes, I mean it). My home is very close to my office and I use the public transportation to travel this short distance. Many a times, the bus conductor asks for 3 or 4 rupees and never gives a ticket. When I ask him/her (there is no gender bias here !) to give me a ticket, they claim that the ticket price is 6 rupees. Initially I didn't understand this (I'm a tuby, isn't it?). Then when I thought about it for a while, I understood what was happening.

If you are going to get down within a couple of bus stops, there is no need of a ticket and the conductor pockets the few coins. That's what he claims. Given the crowd of local bus transportation in Bangalore and the absence of ticket checkers (I haven't seen one in the past four years here ! I had seen many ticket checkers in metro trains in Chennai) , I wonder what would be the total amount these conductors would be making per day, per month. It should be huge definitely.

I'm not referring to bus conductors as a whole here but to the few who are spoiling the reputation of a conductor's job. I have respect for their hard work; Standing the whole day on the bus, penetrating the thickest crowds to reach the other end - not an easy job at all. I have seen few dedicated conductors and have admired their quick act of giving tickets.

I urge all of you who are travelling by public buses to ensure that you get a ticket even if it is going to cost you two or three rupees more. Our money should go to the concerned transportation office and not to the greedy conductors.

Jun 27, 2006

Unexpectedly good

There are many movies where you expect good songs but they turn out to be disappointed (Did I mention about God Father before?). There are few movies where you don't expect anything (you are not even aware such movies actually got released) but the songs turn out to be mind blowing. Few such songs from the new Tamil releases below. Let me know if you agree (or disagree) :-)

Unnai Kandene in Paarijaatham is such a beautiful song. There is a breeze of freshness in the female singer's voice. Such a romantic song it is ! The beats are amazing. I heard that the music director Tarun is a new face. Very good debut, Tarun. I have no words to appreciate the lyrics.

Ragasiyamanadhu Kaadhal in Kodambakkam is another master piece of melody. Thanks to Sun Music, I get to hear this song almost everyday. I don't have any idea about when this movie got released and who are those actors. I couldn't recognize the male singer but I know for sure that the female singer is Harini, one of my favourites. Again the lyrics are superb here.

Sudum Nilavu in Thambi brings together Unni Krishnan and Harini , one of the best pair of singers. I didn't expect good songs in an action movie like Thambi. But I was wrong. This is such a cute song, both the music and picturization are good. Isn't Pooja looking stunning these days? The white salwar she wears for this song suits her very well.

Poi Solla poren in Thiruttu Payale is a peppy number and is very unique with the lyrics sung by the hero and the one-liners spoken by the heroine. The locations are very nice and the dance movements are good as well. A feel good song this is !

To add to this list, there is this new movie where I expected the songs to be good and actually they are excellent :-) Can you guess which movie is that ! If you guess it is "Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyadu" , you are 100% right. Harris and Gowtham combination always works ! Out of the five songs, I love four of them.

The lyricist Thamarai deserves a big round of applause to cater to the taste of youth with making use of only Tamil words (Yes, you read it right. She never uses any English words in her lyrics).

Bombay Jayashree has sung a beautiful song yet again, this time with Unni Menon (remember him!). She prefers quality more than quantity.

Listen to this album and I'm sure you are gonna love it !

Jun 26, 2006

The first difficult step !

A huge verandah it was, open to the sky ! Green grass was spread on the floor like a bed. Little Tinu had come home early from school. The headmaster had agreed to let the kinder garden kids leave soon, fearing it might rain heavily. Tinu was pretty excited to see the dark clouds, threatening to pour down.

He sat on the grass bed, observing them. He could recognize the different faces the clouds depicted. He could make out a lion's head, a goat's horns and a crow's beak. He didn't mind the fact that his house doors were locked and no one was there at home. He was enjoying the weather, the looming clouds and the cool breeze.

He felt the first drop of the rain on his cheek. His joy knew no bounds. He was about to experience the first rain in his four years of life. His mom had never allowed him to play in the rains, fearing he might catch cold.

He started counting the droplets - oneeeee, twoooo, threee, four, five....He couldn't catch up with the speed of the rain drops. It was pouring heavily and Tinu was getting drenched. But Tinu didn't bother about his dresses and shoes getting wet. He was dancing and running merrily. At one point, he slipped over the slimy mud and fell down. Instead of crying as he used to, he was laughing happily. The mud didn't hurt him. After raining continuously for 30 minutes, it stopped all of a sudden. Tinu looked up towards the clouds but they were gone. He could see the clear blue sky.

Tinu's mother had not yet come from her office. He started feeling hungry. By then, his aunt who stays in the neighbourhood saw him drenched. She took him to her house, changed his clothes and offered him sandwiches. Tinu switched on the TV, selecting his favourite cartoon channel. Tom and Jerry were there to give him company. Watching Tom dancing in the rain, he gave a smile "Tom, I got drenched today for the first time. Isn't it so wonderful?". At that time, he didn't even give a thought about his mom's reactions when she comes to know about it.

Jun 14, 2006

A 'sweet' restart

Gulab Jamuns, Rasgullas, Soan Papdis, Gajar Ka Halwa - Is your mouth watering reading these delicious desserts? I got this craving for Indian desserts. Craving might be a lighter word, perhaps. I love them and I simply adore these delicacies. Whoever invented these, God bless their souls.

From my childhood, I always preferred Indian sweets to any other kind of desserts. Even now, when I had to choose between the two cuisines served during lunch at office, I always choose the one which has a better dessert; And if there is gulab jamun in one of the menus, I don't even take a look at the other menu. I still remember those rasgulla tins my dad used to buy during Diwali. I never eat jamuns or rasgullas in one go , rather I relish them bite by bite, slowly as the piece melts down in my tongue. Hmm....heaven !

Donuts, pies, pastries and puddings can never even come close to what the Indian sweets offer to our taste buds. Even the simplest sweet of all, Payasam (Kheer) - doesn't it taste so great? How many of you agree that icecream when tasted with hot jamuns or gajar halwa is amazing compared to eating icecreams alone? I love the rasmalais served in KC Das outlets and the melting "Mysore Pak" of Shri Krishna sweets.

In terms of South Indian sweets, I like all varieties of payasams, especially like the ones made using jaggery. The festival specialities are superb. I miss the vella cheedais (small balls made using jaggery and flour) and adhirasams my grandma used to make during Krishna Jayanti. And all the pori urundais made during Karthigai Deepam!!! Lovely.....The bad news is that they are made only once a year. Is there anything to beat our very own sweet pongal?

I plan to buy a recipe book dedicated to Indian sweets and become an expert in preparing them so I can try out the traditional sweets menu during the festival season.

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