Ananthoo's updates

When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Joke of the year!!

What creativity..of all the ones I rcvd/read, this is on the top..

An Indian boy on his first day at a US school.

It was the first day of school and a new student named ChandrasekharSubramanian entered the fourth grade.The teacher said, "Let's begin by reviewing some American History.Who said "Give me Liberty, or give me Death"?
She saw a sea of blank faces, except for Chandrasekhar, who had hishand up:"Patrick Henry, 1775" he said.
"Very good!" Who said "Government of the People, by the People, for thePeople, shall not perish from the Earth?"
Again, no response except from Chandrasekhar. "Abraham Lincoln, 1863"said Chandrasekhar.

The teacher snapped at the class, "Class, you should be ashamed.Chandrasekhar, who is new to our country, knows more! About its historythan you do."
She heard a loud whisper: "F**k the Indians,"
"Who said that?" she demanded.
Chandrasekhar put his hand up. "General Custer, 1862."
At that point, a student in the back said, "I'm gonna puke."
The teacher glares around and asks "All right! Now, who said that?"Again, Chandrasekhar says, "George Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister,1991."
Now furious, another student yells, "Oh yeah? S*ck this!"
Chandrasekhar jumps out of his chair waving his hand and shouts to theteacher, "Bill Clinton, to Monica Lewinsky, 1997!"
Now with near mob hysteria someone said "You little shit. If you sayanything else, I'll kill you." Chandrasekhar frantically yells at the top of his voice, "Gary Condit to Chandra Levy, 2001."
The teacher fainted. And as the class gathered around the teacher onthe floor, someone said, "Oh shit, we're f**ked!"
Chandrasekhar said quietly, "George Bush, Iraq, 2005"

Friday, December 22, 2006

Satisfying weeks..

Last 2 weeks have been hectic nevertheless very satisfying..had many concerts (kutcheries) to attend to and met quite a few interesting outstanding people performing community service..more on them in the next days..
Oh! What abundant talent in the karnatic many youngsters- freaking this is a real to-be-season in many many many canteens;-) its real refreshing and filling to our ears, eyes and stomach..
It’s a very nice part of culture and tradition to carry must not forget the NRIs/ desis part in this..there r so many of them here to perform or participate just as good talk of performers : OS Arun freaked out with his typical Hindustani influ carnatic and his bhava, speed and flow is very impressive..lotsa halls like the DR.Nalli hall for Krishna gana sabha or the great narada gana sabha or evn the recent kamaraj aranagam are great..Vijay siva was conventional, no gimmicks, smooth and fantastic..more new ofcourse the old stalwarts are marching in style..
Anuradha srirama and her hubby sriram were such a nice couple on the dias..both had such a good command of Hindustani and carnatic and freaked out in that jugalbandhi treat..the ease with which she goes on highhhhhh pitches, amazing swaras..really great..
We made it a point to visit most newbies and recent talents and had great really fulfilling times..even more amazing than these performers was the enthu of old (really old rasikas) and the youth who throng venue after venue..i have been longing to be part of a ‘season’ once..atleast am happy I cud partly satiate that dream..yeah, with my long impending blore trip, I need to be satisfied with this part(ial) partake..add to that some very fulfilling visits to places of extraordinary community services..oh! 2 well spent weeks..
One thing to note- don’t select sabhas which have some school/college audi as its, the crowd wil be good, organizers will be good too, but the sound system will really put u off..

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

M B Nirmal

Heard of exnora? Heard of Mr.Nirmal?? heard of garbage???
Oh synonymous words aren’t they??
I happened to meet M.B.Nirmal, the founder of exnora couple of days back..a man I had met more than a decade back when too the thought of garbage, its clearance, reuse brought his name to ur mind..but now I find him having grown in stature, changed 1000s more minds, identified and guided hundreds of actvists, ploughed so many tuff govt areas, saved many lakes and what not…
It was such a pleasant thing to happen and ask my friend ravi who came along to describe the night that follows after such great meets- so refreshing, filled with hope and optimism..bubbling with positive its no wonder he has reformed many rowdy sheeters and jailed notorious characters in to social activists/volunteers, infact even many politicians- yes! Politicians too, that’s not a typo! so u can imagine..
We spoke of so many things in a short time..(how lucky shud I be to walk in with 30 mins in mind and we happen to spend 3 hours together)..i did have a guilty feeling that prolly I stole good amount of his valuable time..but u know iam selfish!
Touching so many topics, recollecting various of his achievements without an ounce of bragging, some of the interesting characters he encountered, the best of his volunteers, some of his next moves..the nonchalant way in which he wud state some of his achievements were impressive. Its really great what he and his team are doing to the mother earth- not only help in clearing and processing garbage but educating scores of people to cut down on our waste, manage our waste to a great extent (infact working towards zero waste from homes thru ‘home exnora’) and a host of other socially useful and motivating service. People like him have a very contagious enthusiasm and don’t be surprised if u see me with hyper energy and optimism next timeJ
one of his next initiatives will be a drive on the net :e-volunteer, a new offshoot where people (desis) can register, get to know what is exnora and what u can do for the environment/(o)ur future gens, preservation, conservation and even start off an activity at ur village (or any place of choice) thru net. If u get such an email do read and try reducing the garbage pile on this planet..meanwhile I wud recommend u to spare sometime and peruse those links above on exonora and Nirmal for an idea of his monumental efforts.
He referred some names and asked us to meet them and see the great community service they are doing..I have noted them ritually and wud meet as many of them as possible soon. So u may get to know of more such interesting social engineers and their amazing feats.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Season starts..

Oh, not talking of the disastrous cricket..
but the sangeetha (music) season here in madras..thats really a pleasant time in madras with even the weather being very kind except for the odd low pressures ( & cyclones that might end up in Nellore finally;-))
Coming back to the mellifluous season, its already in full swing right away and to imagine how it shall be in the next few weeks when it attains crescendo is any body’s guess..
The first one I attended was a carnatic symphony by ensemble of 21 violins and a few! amazing it was..
the ease with which she conducted it, the instructions thru “eyes” for the “next” to start/stop and the calm composed manner in which she handled the string being cut in her violin, the classic manner in which she just took the neighbour's violin and continued that swara and then switched to another violin (man talk of tuning and time here)..the effortless way in which Embar kannan, her able right, adjusted the violin string for one of the kiddos behind..not to forget the way in which each of those 21 (apart from the established kanyakumari and kannan) played was we have another bunch (or 19??) expert violinists set to occupy the stages in the coming season(s)..a great symphony..novel one and a fantastic acheivement..great start to the season!
Remember Shakti??
Hey, remember ‘Shakti’ the old troop of john Mclaughlin (best and fastest jazz guitarist on this planet), vikku vinayakram, inimitable zakir, L subbu (oh man, can any group have a better collection of resume?) few decades back?? And their great run of success in the west and its revival (now called ‘Remember Shakti’) with mandolin srinivas,selvaganesh (vikkus son) and zakir with their play of world music continues effortlessly..and in Chennai shankar mahadevan was ‘the voice’ as zakir announced and vikku joined for 1 number (olt time sakes??)..
The whole crowd was thrilled by each of the numbers..i wud rate the ‘swara raga sudha’ where Shankar joined this band and freaked out along with them in their pace and rhythmic style..i had apperhensions about shankar maha fitting in this group, but he did it excellently- this number (swara raga..) alone is hazaar times greater than 'breathless'. Then zakir as always freaked out, only that he had a whole range of paraphernalia of drums, symbols,what not (siavamani Influ?)- but the same 2 hands..which only those who saw cud make out.. for if one just happened to hear he wud be forced to think a whole group is playing..and selva as usual had his fav Kanjira and at times on mridangam and play percussion sharing the stage with zakir shud be the toughest in the music arena and to choose such a instrument like kanjira and show such a variety of sound (oh that sterofonic retorts to zakir’s challenges and that single handed plays when all the 4 went berserk) along with control speaks of his talent..
The whole crowd applauded for so long (I was reminded of the days we at CH used to applaud all the way for the encore- kudutha kaasukku oru encore atleast;-)). Most of us came out like drunks, if the madras traffic police had their men in the neighbourhoods of kamaraj arangam, they wud have had a field day, for we all drunks wud have meandered on our way after that concert..
Folks- if u happen to visit this city in this season, make it a point to select a couple of good concerts and attend- it shud be a boon for ur kids and tell u of the energy that surrounds u in words is tuff..go, get a 1st hand exp.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

back here after another trip..

I know, it has been quite sometime since me scribbled something here..I will not give that busy story yet again..sort of, still..
Had some domestic issues keeping me busy plus some old unfinished agendas and many domestic visits..
talking of visit, one such was to one of our relative's place in sort-of-mid east (shall I say- for the madras trained eyes even places like thiruvarur wud be way south!) TN.
It was a small village called ettukudi (called yettivanam or karunjchirumkaadu till 14th century!) the closest neighbour to the village of the present CM of TN called Thirukuvalai.Though it satisfied all my interests of a typical village that I wanted to visit and spend some time, it’s a sad thing that the CM and a long standing politico of our nation has done hardly anything to his own birth place! So many things to do for himself right? Forget that diversion.
That village ettukudi was very interesting place with the people there being very warm and friendly- typical of Indian villages and their innocent nosy behaviour (which is never irritating but funny at best!) The whole route was eye refreshing green allover..what a variety of green all along..the beauty really can’t be expressed in words easily..esp at this time of the year, that too after excessive rains, green stretches for kilometers with the odd big attractive trees catching ur eyes..the green stretch right from the edge of the road till ur eye's horizon end was a times I felt this one beat the sight one used to get in swiss in spring (ofcourse minus the spread of colorful flowers). So a great experience incl the drive..
When I spoke to some of the agrarians (small time farmers, big land lords, medium ones too) I got a good insight of the present agri scenario..its of them said he wud be happy if the CM (to live up to his poll promise of free land for all folks below poverty line) bought his land for a good price to use up for that free schme. He wud be too happy to part with his land but did not know what to do next! All of them cried of severe rains and said it wud be terrible loss for was visible for us as the paddy grains were all blackened due to the untime severe rains..some serious talks with specific figures gave me startling truth about the pathetic situation of agri dependent citizens. What wud happen if many were forced to move out of agri, with 40% people employed by agri and 25% revenue still coming from agri!
I think it can have serious fall out..crime rates can soar..and here every other day we citi fellas are pumped with unsolicited sms/call/mails about interest free loan for high end cars or personal loans..I shudder to think further..
for those of u interested in the rough economics:
1 acre (44000 sq ft) can fetch close to 20-30 gunny bags of paddy and so can fetch 9k(at 300 per gb) to the farmer. This is in a good yield and when sold at good rate. And all those efforts are for this meager then changes 5 hands before it comes to u and me when the price is bloated and in effect profiting many hands other than the farmer!
A person(labor) is given 110-130Rs a day..i was happy to note that..(last I knew some 15 years back was 30-40 RS!)..still looking from the farmer’s angle an unviable business proposition..

So it was a mixed feeling after that trip, still an enjoyable drive..