Sunday, July 23, 2006

A new look!!!

A change of template to reflect my present mood! The bench above is the place I'd like to be right now! Solitude is what i need.....won't be too greedy and ask for Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 years of solitude but a year of solitude will be more than welcome!

Being technically challenged, the change of template was made possible thanks to the expertise of Susmita!!! Much obliged Ma'am :-)

P.S: You can scroll down for the usual crib of the week!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Of statues and our obsession with them!

We seem to have an overwhelming obsession with erecting statues, be it Kannagi or Sivaji Ganesan. The entire length of the Marina is dotted with statues (not to mention the ones at various road junctions) though most of us don’t even know who they are! The statue of Mahatma Gandhi gets a wash once a year on 2nd October and that of Bharathiyar on his birth anniversary! The rest of them are not so fortunate though. They had their one moment in the limelight on the day when they were unveiled (with much pomp and fanfare, I’m sure) and have been forgotten ever since.

An 8-foot bronze statue of Sivaji Ganesan was unveiled on his 5th death anniversary yesterday in the middle of the busy Beach Road (Kamarajar Salai, to be precise) opposite Queen Mary’s College and just before Radhakrishnan Salai junction! The statue has been mired in controversy with a case being filed in the Madras High Court objecting to the place of its erection. The High Court did not grant an injunction but asked the State to approach the Supreme Court and seek a clarification as to whether the State was violating an earlier undertaking given to the apex court that no permanent or temporary structure would be put up on any main road. As usual, the state government pointed out that the undertaking was given by the previous regime (who had obviously not taken the present regime into confidence) and have now approached the Supreme Court for clarification.

Unlike our earlier obsession with the Kannagi statue, the truth behind which was revealed here, I do think that our Chief Minister’s interest in unveiling the statue of Sivaji is quite genuine! It is an admitted fact that they have been the thickest of friends and Sivaji had given life to the fiery dialogues penned by the Chief Minister. And Sivaji certainly deserves to have a statue. But what miffs me is the fact that the entire statue unveiling was turned into one huge party affair with the entire road dotted with party flags, posters and cutouts, showcasing the strength of the party. What more, the function was organized in the peak hour at 6.30pm resulting in heavy traffic snarls! Though we are all for erecting more statues and functions for unveiling them, the government would do well to remember not to put the general public to hardship as they are in power today, only because of us.

But I should not be so critical of these minor things….Who knows, they may even erect a statue for me in the near future ;-)

Monday, July 17, 2006

End of Supreme Court adventure!

A trip to Delhi last week turned out a lot better than I had expected it to be. It was for the same case before the Supreme Court for which I had been going there since April. The trip, however, began as usual with a delayed flight on Tuesday afternoon. This left me rather fuming and fretting since I was quite hungry. The flight finally took off around 2.20 and landed around 5.

The weather was quite wonderful and there was a light drizzle when we landed which continued throughout the night and the next morning. This was quite a contrast to my earlier visits when it was blazing hot! The evening saw us drive a long way to Noida for a meeting with a senior counsel to brief him about the case. The drive was quite scary really. While I’m quite amazed each time I land up in this city to see such wide and smooth roads, it also seems to encourage very rash and reckless driving. Even for a person like me who generally drives very fast, it was quite unnerving. There are so many cars on the road and each seems to compete with one another in weaving through traffic. One particular Santro next to our car was driven by a young girl who seemed to have a firm belief that she was Michael Schumacher’s sister!! And if her car had a voice, it would certainly have cried out loud, as there were dents on almost every possible place on the car!! The only place free from any dents appeared to be the roof!

The next day at the Supreme Court turned out really well for us. We had gone there with the sole intention of getting an adjournment but the Court had other ideas and they actually decided the case in our favour! Yes, these judges at the Supreme Court actually seem to frown at adjournments, which every lawyer assumes is his birthright! Now before you start congratulating me on the success in the case, I must admit that I had nothing to do with the result and if any credit should be given, it must go to the judges for disposing off the case speedily. Walked around the Supreme Court a bit and ventured into court halls at random as this could very well turn out my last trip there…

Managed to meet another online friend of mine for the first time and she was nice enough to spare more than two hours for me in her busy schedule!

The return flight was in Indian Airlines and as usual the dreaded air hostess mamis were in-charge. The flight scheduled for 8pm took off promptly at 9! The flight proved quite eventful as there was a heated exchange between some passengers and the cabin crew in the Executive Class!! While most of us were craning our necks to see what the commotion was all about, some of those in front ventured into the executive class to mediate!!! I actually wanted to go up and pat those fellows who had the courage to give those air hostess mamis a mouthful but was restrained firmly by my boss!! Finally landed up in Madras at half past 11 and was surprised to find it drizzling here as well!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Breaking News!!

I’m out of the yellow room for good!!! Those of you who are aware of how a so-called vaastu expert had made life miserable for me at office would be happy to read this news. And those of you who are wondering what this hype of yellow room and vaastu expert is all about, can get the details here. I have now moved into a room which can be described as a quarter-pink room!! It simply means that only one of the walls is pink and the rest are all white! But what’s important is the fact that I won’t feel I have jaundice all the time!

And to celebrate this new found liberty, I went off on a mini vacation last week! I set out to attend a friend’s wedding in Dindigul and landed up in Ooty after the wedding!! What followed was two and a half days of absolute bliss. The weather was just awesome and I returned back rather reluctantly on Sunday.

It appears that nobody except a moron like me goes to these hill stations all alone! People were either coming in with their entire family or they were there as couples, most probably on their honeymoon. Everyone, right from my cab driver to the hotel receptionist to the guide I hired, was surprised that I was all alone. Coming to the guide, he was a fellow who kept showing me the same places where everyone were going. Being an avid reader of the “Road less travelled” column of the Hindu travel supplement every week, I wanted to see some of those places. But this idiot refused to take me to any of those places saying those were not places visited by people! But that was precisely my point. After half an hour of futile arguments with him, I dropped him and decided to be my own guide. Turned out really good as I ended up seeing some lovely places without any of those crowds! And of course, I finally got to see a sparrow after a very long time! I don’t remember seeing it in Madras after my school days and that was a long time ago. Now you know that I did a lot of bird-watching too ;-)

Decided to board the toy train from Ooty to Coonoor and got myself a second class ticket. The only difference between the second class and first class was that the second class seating comprised of wooden benches and in the first class, they had cushions! And the fare was Rs.6/- for second class and Rs.63/- for first class!! It appears that the honeymooning couples were not aware of this secret and most of them got themselves first class tickets. They had probably expected a separate coupe for each of them, like in the regular trains, so they can get a bit cosy! They were in for quite a shock when they found other couples in the compartment and what more, the second class compartments were rather empty!! Disappointment was writ large on their faces. The train journey itself was really wonderful! Of course, you do feel slightly uneasy initially when you peep outside and look at the train while on the move because each compartment is swaying in opposite directions and is likely to topple off any moment! But then again, you take strength from the fact that the Nilgiris Mountain Railway has been running for more than 110 years and they have had very few mishaps!

Two incidents really stand out in my mind as far as this train journey goes. The first incident was when the train came to an abrupt halt in the middle of nowhere after honking the horn consistently for sometime. The reason for this was revealed after two minutes when the train started moving again. On the side of the track were two little kids waving at us with a wide grin on their faces! It appears they had crossed the track suddenly. This was the first time I have seen a train stop for pedestrians without a signal! The second incident happened at the Coonoor railway station. When we reached Coonoor there was already a train waiting on the platform which was on its way from Mettupalayam to Ooty. Our train kept going past the station and stopped near the level crossing. When we were wondering where we were supposed to get down, the train started moving backwards! Yes!!! The train actually went on reverse gear and stopped next to the waiting train. We were made to get down (or rather jump down) and then get on to the platform by walking across the waiting train! On a closer inspection I realised that these trains have engines at both ends. But I can never forget the initial shock of seeing a train going on reverse gear!

Finally, I got back to Madras on Sunday only to find it blazing hot. Worse still, I’m now nursing a miscellaneous number of aches and pains in various joints and muscles thanks to the exertions of the past week! I am now in the process of trying out the efficacy of the nilgiri oil that I had bought in Ooty :-)

And I’m off to Delhi again on Tuesday!!

P.S: There may be no relation to the title of this post and the contents inside. But that’s precisely what you can expect in this blog…..random and disjointed scribbles of a disgruntled and demented vakil :-)