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Friday, April 26, 2013

Apple Armageddons

The Apple wars are not always held  in the silicon valley
It has entered my house too
After all Apples are supposed to keep doctors away but my wife never realises this lurking danger and has embraced the apple with her dear  heart
Me Iam wary and stick to my tried and tested Korean love Samsung
having graduated from Galaxy SII which accompanied me to the lofty heights of the Himalayas and even fell with me on the rocky banks of River Yamuna protecting my chest with its smart screen breaking into smithereens but  worked perfectly taking excellent photographs and sharing them in FB though it broke my heart to see its broken face till the day I made it whole back in the UAE ,
haing passed on this priceless heirloom to my doting daughter I opted for a Samsung note II which to me was big and warm and has continued to be so .
wife was in love with the bitten apple symbol and went on to get an I Phone 5 ,good for her
we always had arguments over the screen size user friendliness and i tune downloading which unlike in Android cost dollars !
Recently when there was an issue on the i phone browsing an online troubleshooting forum I was surprised to learn about the number of people who dropped thier i phones into toilet bowls ( dont blame them ),invariably most of them switch it on and its epitaph gets written

the common advice was never to switch on a wet mobile but to remove its battery quickly wipe dry with a soft cloth and put the mobile in uncooked rice for three days ! and then switch it on praying for the best !!!! uncooked rice !!!!

And then just before we left UAE to Brunie wife  insisted  that  I buy an IMAC  laptop with retina display and even managed to convince me to sell off my poor old loyal HP creator of many of my blogposts
Well I Mac with all its sophistication was never meant for me
no wonder it never needed an  antivirus
which machine that needs a password every time you pause to think requires
 Nothing was like the good old days ,
Steve jobs  was not only clever and creative he made something so different from anything !

I was repeatedly told to learn the macs  nuances and there is nothing to beat its sophistication or speed or safety somehow i never could and am back  to my wifes  HP with she  willingly taking over the Mac
and seemingly mastering it
Thus the apple wars go on day in and day out
Well people do mourn Steve Jobs .........RIP

Thursday, April 18, 2013

operation coconut ...Bond in Brunei

To the mallu ( malayalee of Kerala ) coconut is indispensable .
from the fronds ,the bark the husk the flowers the whiteflesh the tender sweet water the oil is used by him day in and day out for ages .
.kera means coconut and land of cocnuts is Kerala .
The mallu ladies need to see scraped coconuts in abundance in thier kitchen and coconut oil anointing thier skins and hair to be satisfied
So there was no surprise when my lady started showing signs of acute coconut deficiency syndrome which is a sort of withdrawal symptom when coconut is not available .
this is an impossiblity in India of course and for last many years when we were in the Gulf coconuts in all forms were available as the gulp is packed with mallus .
having landed in Brunei recently we were pleasantly surprised to see it dotted with coconut palms swaying gently in the breeze ,we knew we were in the right place with plenty of fresh coconuts but were we wrong !!
coconut milk and some coconut powedr were available in tins fromAustralia of all places and no fresh coconuts !!! sob sob
most of the groceries were owned by Tamils who like in nearby Malasyia were here in adequate numbers ,and they were not fastidious about coconut .
neither were the Bruneians themselves .
Wife started becoming panicky of how to live a life without coconuts ,
she explored and found out that there was one market called Senguran which was open till afternoon where one could get fresh coconut peeled into  bits by machine ,
so we drove the 10 km to this place only to find acute scarcity and was told the available ones had already been booked by others !!
well cinema /railway booking fine but first time iam hearing of coconut booking .

We were told if we could come on a weekday by 2pm we stood a chance .
so wife gave me a task to  go there during lunch hour  and get it  !
no arguments

i did that
I managed to reach the market
roads were excellent
 the sun suddenly disappeared into a cloud and rain fell in buckets as it often did in Brunei by the time I was in the market it was sunny again green and bright .
I walked through the open market full of vegetables fruits and fish and to the far corner where i saw a couple of shops with coconuts
now I dont know a word of Malaya and none there knew English which is generally well spoken in Brunei .
The amiable cheerful guy knew I wanted scraped coconuts ,so propmtyl started peeling a tender coconut !
 oh no no i dont want that i want a mature coconut
he just smiled and went about his task  ,
I caught his arm.... stop stop please i want a grown coconut and i started miming my best
dont know how to depict a mature cocnut do you ?
I felt like mohanlal did in movie  Thenmaavinkombathu when he was asking for valli ( vazhi ) in kannada speaking in a forest area and finally says disgustedly po veliyamme vazheelukuthirikkade (get lost) .

 I walked off to a far off shop where a  young guy with some coconuts was sitting and managed to convey what i wanted he came back to the other shop owner and explained in the lingo .
 finally realisation dawned and with a wide grin he dehusked a couple of mature coconuts and scraped it for me in a jiffy
I returned victoriuosly back to hospital in time for work

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Mohanlal is one of the finest actors Indian cinema has produced .
when the combination of M.T.Vasudevan Nair the erudite writer and literary icon of malayalam and Hariharan the renowned Director create a film with this actor it has to be but memorable .
and it has been so for years now .
I saw Amritham Gamaya ages back and over the years many times but seeing it again in TV today it struck the same chords of angst which it did then .
The doctor with a guilt and how he lives with it and finally how he comes to term with it in his life is the gist of this wonderful story and powerful script of MT himself ,
Hariharans choice of characters to make this heart rending story into a visual epic is amazing ,
leaving alone Mohanlal who could   be the only choice for this role ,
 ,Babu nampothiri as a father living with the pain  of his dead son  , a poor  brahmin who does rites for the dead at  Tirunavaya Navamukunda temple  on the banks of river  Bharathpuzha
his turmoiled mind unceasingly questions whether his son is at peace and on the way he died and circumstances brings to him the very man who caused that death though unwittingly .
The emotion that rages in the faces of the two actors during that moment is unexplainable and the movie has to be seen  to know its depth .
the scene where Parvathi the young daughter cryptically asks her father what he would do if a man from a lower caste would ask for her hand in marriage he would answer like any father of his conservative upbringing that he would poke his eyes but then immediately he would say with tearful eyes but  would do nothing of that all he would think was  if his  beloved daughter could have a better life because of that  so be it he  would go ahead and bless them .
Mohanlal to the end is  single facing many odds while  he educates parvathi into a doctor an atonement he makes for taking the life of her brother who should have been one
Amritham gamaya is one movie I could see again and again 

Monday, April 08, 2013

Railway tales

I always had a fascination for  train travel ,

even travelling in a business class of a modern airline would not give one  that primordial thrill specially as I  remember my childhood days on a soot filled hooting steam engine driven behemoth .

My close friend and schoolmate Roneo Chako is today a senior railway officer ,

in school we often used to run off to the nearby Santhome beach in the afternoons with a couple of others to watch the sea and other lurid attractions on offer during the sunny lazy afternoons in a beach ,much more interesting than those deary classrooms !
once we saw a car parked in the beach road and a young couple inside talking they were some love birds parked for some privacy ,we were giggling as we crossed them at which they too were amused later reaching the sea we were full of geticulations and signs that they could have their fun ,
as we returned back again we crossed them ,the man asked so had your fun? and Roneo immediately said yes and did you have yours !!

I was just retelling this to Roneo whom I met after many years in Chennai
cant imagine the same imp of a   Roneo to be in a responsible position today and then he recited one of his many anecdotes ...
once as a train superintendent whose duty was to travel in the train he was somewhere in UP in a remote forested area ,it was night and the train stopped abruptly as someone had pulled the chain ,Roneo got down as did the engine driver and guard and found out an old man had pulled the chain as his teenage son had fallen overboard ,
As both were sitting on steps the boy would have fallen asleep with the cool wind in his face ,the father was wailing ,
telephonic contact was attempted with nearby stations but failed as those days there were no mobile phones ,the father said he would walk back but he did not know where and when the boy had fallen and even if he did trace the boy how could he ever take him to a  hospital if needed in that remote dark area ,
All eyes were on the suptd who was the senior most officer ,
it was against rules for asking a train to go back as accidents could happen with the nearby stations not being aware of the happenings yet Roneo asked driver to go back taking full responsibility of all outcomes ,driver was hesitant and tried to convince him the risk involved for everyone Roneo was firm .
the train slowly lumbered back while powerful torches were shone on side to trace the boy ,after more than 4 km they saw a gleam and when investigated it was the unconscious boy bleeding surely to his death but was saved in time ,then getting him to the next station and the hsopital was easily done and on return a tired worried superintendent was happy to know that the boy was saved and he was commeneded for his quick thinking
my Naughty Roneo

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