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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Supporting opposition

The petulant juvenile behavior of Indian politicians when things are not to their liking is disgusting
they behave like a sulking kid whose lollipop gets stolen
or monkeys in a cage after a banana
the monsoon session of the Parliament was washed out and crores from tax payers money wasted by a shallow opposition whose only knowledge is on their Italian honcho and the projected heir of a son whose histrionics demeaned parliamentary debating .
The state assembly worthies are no less in their behavior ,
from the secular spouting Yadavs who dance to the tunes of parochialism ,caste ism and communalism or the Bihari biggies who are dictated by the baddies of the hinterland ,the fiery Bengali CM or the Amma from the south who expects people to be prostrate to her plans and herself all the time .
Delhi of late is ruled by a set of broom armed wimps whose main hobby is to spar with its Lt Governor .
Of course one cant leave the most literate state Kerala which behaves diametrically opposite casting doubts on very Education itself ,
its opposition leaders are sincere to one thing they true to their name oppose everything !

And the puch statement that started this small piece was that of its opposition leader Atchuthananthan declaring that they supported Vizhinjam port project but would still oppose it !!!!
hope you could find some sense in that !
i couldnt
maybe they would discuss it in their study classes of how the left forces oppose while supporting

Friday, August 14, 2015

India the future

India has some of its best brains occupying senior positions and managing some of the best corp orates in the US .
From the latest sensation Sundar Pichai a humble Chennai lad who has become the top honcho of Google itself ,there are many examples in every sector .
Some of the best names known are Indira Nooyi of Pepsico,Vikram pandit of Citicorp,Shantanu Narayan of Adobe ,Rakesh Khurana Dean of harvard college ,Nitin Dean of harvard business school ,Rajiv Gupta GM of Hewlett packard ,
Satya Nadella CEO of Microsoft,Rajeev suri CEO of Nokia ,Sabeer Bhatia who invented Hotmail ,,Balamurali Ambattil youngest doctor in world at 17 yrs  and many doctors ,professors ,economists scientists and mathematicians of repute .

Really impressive 

If one see this as an example of Indian intelligence one would expect India to stand first among st developed nations right ?

wrong it isnt 

thats the  hard fact

is it because of all the brain being drained away ?
not so
 we still do have several men and women who are clever and enterprising in India too a lot 

more are coming our from our youngsters 
so itsnt the lack of  talent or intellect 

is it because of lack of opportunities for those who could have excelled ?

possibly true 
The reservations by caste has killed merit to a large extent and encouraged mediocrity especially in Government jobs where progress and development is caste driven .

Even the coveted civil service which needs intelligence to crack has the reservation pollutant spoiling its ranks .

Today we have Countries like Malaysia ,Taiwan ,Indonesia ,Thailand Vietnam are all thriving with modern infrastructure tourism and enterprises coming up at a remarkable pace ,

China's development is spell binding not to talk of the well known Singapore and Dubai ,

why is it India with its talents handling the best in industry arts science all over the world not able to reach that peak  ?
is it because many of the best are abroad ?

Will India become better if all these stars decide to come back ?

the answer is a vehement NO 

Because these men and women need freedom to work and to cut paths 
they are given that and encouraged in the country they have adopted for thier merit is the prime consideration there .

in our country their decisions will be constrained by the ultimate powers which are in the hands of our politicians who are the lowest in the spectrum .
The pyramid is reversed in India 

but that is not to say we have dumb politicians 

Our parliamentarians are not fools if that is is what all this makes you think 

they are very clever in a perverted sense 
they are clever to continue the mirage of doing good while looking after themselves at the cost of the nation
they are clever in corruption in back room wheeler dealing and conning the people 
they are clever in blocking progress if it benefits them 
they are clever in populist schemes and incinatory  divisive politics to assure their lasting share of power 
they are clever in never allowing the few sincere among st them to do good 

Bureaucrats are the smoothies who benefit from their political masters in sharing power and money 
they are part of the machinery that impedes India 
the democratic process of India is unfortunately ridden by caste an religious conglomerates and is neatly apportioned to power brokers for perpetuity

with the executive and to a certain extent the judiciary under its fold the politician is all powerful and able to change things to his convenience,  harm whistle blowers 
 Aided by a slanted media who profess Gospellian untruths the farce continues .

so one cant blame brain drain for India's state 
once cant blame lack of intelligence in its political class 

one can only point ones fingers at selfishness and cunningness of the political powerful and foolishness and helplessness of the average Indian .

is there a release from this catch  22 situation ?

i hope so but the horizon looks bleak with the likes of leaders bent to subvert parliament to their personal ends 

the horizon looks dreary with the family power mafias who pump money out of the country and are willing to ransom the nation only to come back to power by some means 
the future looks dark by the paucity of statesmen with vision 
the future is fearsome with the number of Indians who talk for terrorists rabid dogs and rapists 
the future does not hold good with communal casteist and dynastic forces usurping power to themselves 
the future does not look promising because good people are not listened to and they are prevented from doing good 
God save India 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Born with a golden chip

Onam is the harvest festival of Kerala and the Banana chips fried in coconut oil is almost its USB
 the other being Mahabali the erstwhile king who ruled Kerala
he is almost a mascot !
To me the banana chips has a special place not only for creating an indefatigable paunch but to all those endless hours of  pleasure when I have munched on them by tons over the years .
It was a fairly well known fact that Hari loved banana chips in the family friends circle from child hood so much so most of the presents people used to give us in Kerala used to be only the  chips to the disappointment of my sister who was not a chip addict !

Calicut or Kozhikode is the holy place of chips ,
the puritans will never agree to any other ,
the Calicut chips was something different and could be recognized by the connoisseur in  any place
 he  would snort when faced with paler imitations .
Of course the Malabar chips outlet near Ernakulum Railway station was grudgingly accepted as near perfect as the owners and fryers hailed for Amchi Calicut ,
at any time of day or night a few cars would be parked in front of the shop as shoppers would order large quantities of the yellow stuff  before they boarded a train or flew away from Cochin airport ,
the cochin airport could do well with a branch of this chips making shop in its duty free area
 in fact much better than the dreary things it holds  now .

The other outlet for good chips in Kerala which actually has millions of banana chips places is the famed SNR chips of Alathur ,Palghat which the purists have acknowledged as good too .

the line of shops selling chips in the National highway at Wadakancherry looks attractive but it is for the hurried travelers by road to Tamilnadu more than for  those who have whetted their tongues and tastes to Calicut chips .

Born with a golden spoon is a common epitome but I was born with a golden banana chip in my mouth as from childhood during holidays my grandmother would see that I get my unlimited supply of our Calicut chips when I was around .

even to this date I ask people coming from Kerala for only one thing

Get me that chip buddy !


Tuesday, August 04, 2015


From childhood i used to love to watch Krishnanattam kalli in Guruvayoor temple
As we knew one of the chutti students or make up students ( at that time he was my age now hes the senior most asaan or master )
He hailed from my village and it was my grandfather P.C. Manavedan Raja who put him there
We had a ring side view hence

We could see the peacock feather on krishnas crown said to be the real thing as once the samoodhiri or king dreamt on krishna and when he tried to hug him the playful child krishna slipped away leaving the feather with him 
The dancers would sleep on the laps of the make up artistes as they meticulously added layers of arimaavu or rice flour for the lower face mask they painted the eyes with khol and colored the face finally the dancer would lumber up to wear the billowing costumes and the towering crowns instantly transforming into alien Gods and out of this world forms
They would stand behind the curtains as the thayambakka rolled into a peak and pay thier obsequies to the singer and drummer
Sanskrit slogas would fill the air and the huge lamp would glow bright while the curtains caught by two people would part
Starting at around 11pm it would go on till dawn by 1am many children would be asleep suddenly waking up when the superhuman demons came with the drums and cymbals rising to a cresecendo
The burning wicks of the huge lamp would cast a surreal look in the dancers face as his red eyes would roll into the sky
The night and sleep would transform one to the fairy tale of the mythological story and the soothing sanskrit intones would lulabby one to sleep
The graceful dance of Krishna with his benign smile and crinkling kind eyes and the peacock feather in his crown would look so real
The thayambaka drums would richocet the empty temple walls and would rise into the rising dawn as the town and the temple woke to another day
What nostalgia of my krishnattam days

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Marvelous Melbourne

Melbourne would be the last leg of our Australian travel 
 one of the most beautiful cities I have visited
Specially during Christmas  season
strangely  its summer in Australia !
But Its pleasant around 17 degrees  with cool winds 

Melbourne is the capital of the State of Victoria 

We flew in from Cairns in a Quantas flight it took around 2.5 hours
landing at Tulamarine airport the second largest in Australia 
We were booked in the old Vic a heritage hotel right in the middle of town in  Collins street named after an early founder of the city 
in 1836 Batman was the person who entered into an agreement with the native aborigines to develop a village and the treaty was called Batman's Treaty !
most of the aborigines lost thier land and were later moved into settlements 
the Victorian Gold rush settlers from china formed a huge china town 
Irish and German settlers started inhabting the city 
when the Australian federation came into being Melbourne was the capital with the first Australian parliament held in 1901 it was only in 1927 did the capital move to Canberra 
post second world war brought many European settlers and the city developed a Parisian chic look 
the Victoria hotel was homely and  cosy and had had a vintage air to it ,we went through its history of how it developed over the last century on whom it hosted and how it evolved through demolishing its older buildings attaching itself to neighboring ones
the old Vic Bar itself was a sight to see at the top of an ornate staircase which could be seen from the lobby ,the free WIFI was available only in the lobby for restricted times !Australia was a bit stingy when it came to WIFI !

the Flinders Railway station is a real heritage building 

The  Flinders railway station occupies a grand stand location facing the Town hall and the main square ,the station is one of the busiest even today and has been over the years connecting Melbourne to other parts of Victoria and other Australian cities .




As soon as we settled down in the hotel we got out 
 ,it was easy as all the tourist section was right in front of us ,the roads were festooned and colorful with Christmas decorations
we walked into the main road saw the municipal building the huge Flinders  railway station and then on to the flowing Yarra river banks which were full of small food joints and big cruising boats ,one could view the city scape and the Manhattan style buildings towering behind the broad river .
the water was pure neat and the banks had well laid jogging and cycling tracks.
I read later Yarra river was not always like this it was a putrefacting mass of sludge once upon a time and it took thirty long years to create as it is today

The square itself has bustling colourful sleek smooth trams gliding in and out with  tingling bells as pedestrians scurried out of its path ,while the rumble of hard carriage wheels driven by muscular and gallant white horses carrying tourists and driven by ornate horsemen give a Victorian tinge to the modernity around 

The Town hall gaily painted and festooned for Christmas becomes a visual delight after dusk settles in and the 15 minute light show begins  
I was mesmerised by the beauty of the show as Santa clauses tumbled out of reindeer sledges and china men carrying overladen gifts for the coming season
people went on filming and taking phtographs while they were not hunting for souvenuniers or tucking into hot sandwishces aor creamy ice creams as dusk brought its chill and grazxing winds 

The horse carriages ,the trams ,the cycles,the  flowing yarra river with cruises and the black swans,the  high rises the hindreds  of shops ,food joints ,live music santa post boxes 

Marvelous Melbourne was defintiely European in its profile 
Be it in the haute courte brand houses.the art galleries .green parks flowing Yarra river way side musicians flowing Australian wines gourmet continental food courts English cottages magnificient churches easy people and all
The next morning we were to start the city tour
All tours are well organised with the pick up buses from hotels taking us to a centralised stand where we are split into respective tours ,we get into our buses and the driver cum manager cum guide who are trained with excellent diction and public speaking 
While Sydney has its showpiece opera house and memorial bridge to be known all over its left to sport to do that to Melbourne
Melbourne was the sport capital of Australia  with the famed Melbourne cricket ground Australian open event is conducted here football matches and long winding bicycle tracks which are full of helmeted riders
 the climate is mediterannean and there is chill in the air the midsummer and  its sunny at 7pm and the crowds fill the place near federation sqaure with xmas lightings refugee rights meets parks with children frolicking an air of geniality and cheer that comes out of comfort no competition and relaxation permeates the air of this wonderful place
The  luxurious volvo bus fitted with a toilet ,free wifi which was inconsistent and ,a driver who could deliver a TED speech with ease as we went around the sights of this city

The driver elaborated his views on city planning concepts and how Melbourne was made.
Wish he was the Mayor of Cochin for he would definietely done better than the present incumbents !
The vision .the clarity the sense of purpose the dedication the energy that has made such cities what it is is what is lacking in ours which could be made equally if not better
Iam sure there would be comments that it is easy to comment in fb but then city planning or politics is not my profession in which I do my best and expect others to do the same .
Iam just pointing out not pointing fingers out of sadness for my state
At least there is hope in our PM today .
Lunch at a Punjabi dhaba was elegant excisite and coffee with doughnuts was sweet 
Yarra river cruise was a bit hot in afternoon 
The river itself needed 3 decades of cleaning to remove its slime and sludge and make it as what it is today .sparkling clean blue water flowing sedately with built neat banks with bycycle tracks 
on return we walked to the town hall and watched the light show again beofre retirng into the old vic 

that was a good un indeed mate I liked it
Finally the 12 apostles standing against the might of the crashing waves with biblical solemnity



Final day in Australia was spent in the Great ocean tour
This starts from Melbourne and winds around 250 km into Victoria state on a road built mostly on the sea coast it climbs verdant hills with green canopies plush lawns with plumpy cows and wooly sheep grazing with no care in the world it passes qauint. Villages like Port Campbell and lovely beaches steep gorges that look into turquoise seas winfing paths that lead to the glistening waters stacked and rolled hay in vast fields
One thing missing other than in beaches and towns which were full of gawking tourists and seminude locals out to catch the sun was lack of people in the fields
Thee cows went in line to be milked we saw them but by whom
According to John our verbiose driver cum manager cum crisis officer cum principal the milked ones have a smile on thier face unlike the unmilked cows with heavy udders ..


London arch this is a natural rock formation was called London bridge in Great ocean road off Melbourne in late nineties an arch broke off and 2 tourists were stranded in middle a man and woman both married to different people ! Finally rescued by helicopter 
Since then its called London Arch

The twelve apostles is a natural rock formation in the port campbell National park and depicts the twelve disciples of Jesus christ

Reached back tired but happy

dusk saw us do some last minute shopping and the next day morning we felw back to Brunei in the Royal Brunei airlines  

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