Dec 28, 2008

The Best Mallu Wins !!!

Err.... apologies to everyone here, but a post in my mother tongue, written in English without the usage of any English words was one of my blog resolutions that I had taken somewhere in the beginning of this year. So for people who got me misunderstood (you know, with some one like Raj Thackeray) the reason behind such a resolution is that once upon a time (oh no! there I go!) this blog was read only by my family and the closest of friends and I wanted to dedicate a post to them. I never ever imagined having a friend circle through blogs and now that I have, it is selfish on my part to attempt one such post. If only I knew it before, this would not have happened. But guys, a resolution is a resolution, right?

Then again, whats the use of writing a post without receiving comments and having interaction? So people, I just devised a new game here, but only for the mallu readers. (Now before the others throw stones on me; guys, you might find some fun too, read on !)

The below post is the one that’s written entirely in Malayalam. All my mallu readers here, have to just come up with the literal translation of the same post, but in English; making it funny, weird or the tone in which the original post is written is all upto you and your imagination. The best translation would receive a gift from me and would be sent to the winner wherever he/she is. That’s right, I will make sure the gift reaches you even if you are on an expedition to Antartica! The non-mallus could have it written it through their mallu friends and still claim the prize. (Am I being a lot generous?). The last date to submit the entries is 25th of Jan’09 (For those who aren’t contended with 24hrs in a day) and the results would be announced on the 31st of Jan’09. You could either post your entry as a comment or mail it to me -

Hints : Pandaaradangaan could be deciphered as ‘settling in the past with six’ (pandu-aaru- adangaan), orakkey chirikunnu is the simplest which is Laugh Out Loud and lekhanam is nothing but ‘Post’ !

This, by all means, would be my last post for this year. Wish you all a very Happy 2009. And thanks a lot for suffering me and V-Lokam for one long year.

Ee lekhanam oru lekku ketta mattaaa !!!

Randaayirathi ezhu kazhinju kondirikkumbol, enikku oru cheriya budhi thonni. Randaayirathi ettilu ente ee kochu lokathilu ente maathrubaashayil oru lekhanam ezhudiyaalo ennu. Adum aangaleya vaakkugal ottum upayogikaande ! Kashtamaanennu enikku appazhey thonni, kaaranam njaan chindikkunnadum pravarthikkunnadum aangaleyathilaanu. Uttavaurde koode maathramaanu ente maathrubaashayude prayogam. Enikkaanengil swantham baashayil theerey ezhudaanum arinjooda. Ente orma sheriyaanengil, idinu munpe idu pole ezhudiyadu paththilu padikkumbozhaanennaa.

Anganey ikkollam kazhiyaaraayi, enaalum pandaaradangan oru vishayavum kittiyilla ezhudaan. Kashtam thane, alley? Pinnendinaa ee koppu aarambichennaavum palavarudeyum chodyam. Endaa cheyya, njaan onnilu irangi thirichaal, adu poorthiyaakkaande vidoola. Pinne vichaarichoo idippo ezhudiyaalum aaraa vaayikkyaa? Ente ee oru lokathilu, parichayam ullavaril malayaligal kammiya. Baakiyullavaru idu vaaayikkaan thuninjaal ente thalakku nalla asugam undennu karudum, allengil ente ee lokathil edo maaragamaaya krimi pettu kidappundennu vichaarikkum. Aaru endu vichaarichaalum pullaanennu karudaanum vayya. Ivide ippo enikkaayittu oru nilayum vilayum undu, adu kalanju kudikaan njaan thayyarumalla.

Njaan munbe soochipicha pole, endaa ezhudaa ennu aalochichu angudum ingudum nadannu. Oru ethum pidiyum kittunilla. Nammude naatile ippozhathey sthithiye kurichu ezhudaa ennu paranjaal, adum malayalathilu, bayankara budhimuttaa. Kore ere vishakalanathinu sheshamaanu ee oru kali kalikkaam ennu vichaarichey. Ivide ulla ellaa malayaligalkkum oru pani paninja maadiriyum aavum. Idokke idey pole, valli pulli vidaandey, vaakugalude artham vethyaasam varuthaadey tharjama cheyya ennu paranjaa chillarakaaryaaa?? Ee oru varsham inganey thanne avasaanikkanamennaavum avarude okke vidhi (orakkey chirikkunnu)!!!

Dec 26, 2008

Current Favs : Nov 1 - Dec 25

1 Oo Saaya from Slumdog Millionaire (English)
2 Kaise Mujhe Tum from Ghajini (Hindi)
3 Anal Mele from Vaaranam Aayiram (Tamil)
4 S.I.D.H.U. from Chandni Chowk to China (Hindi)
5 Vaigarai Nadiye from Mahesh, Saranya Matrum Palar (Tamil)
6 Aavaram Poo from Poo (Tamil)
7 Megam Pole from Aanandha Thaandavam (Tamil)
8 Machaan Machaan from Silambattam (Tamil)
9 Tum Ho from Rock On (Hindi)
10 Zhala menu zhala from Khalballi (Hindi)

Dec 25, 2008

It is never too late to react ! Part 2 : The Silent Protest

Continued from Part 1

It was Friday and each one of us involved was excited about the event next day. By afternoon, we got a call from the Commissioners office that shook us !!! All of us panicked and were in a state of confusion.

When we had sought permission from the Commissioner to conduct this event, we had mentioned that it would be a silent protest. And our letter also carried the same. Now, according to some new rule or act, due to security reasons, the word protest would anyone to conduct such activity only for an hour. Had we mentioned silent movement, silent prayer in our letter, we could’ve conducted the event as per the planned 4 hrs. A full day would have been allotted if it were even a fasting session. And to change the activity is next to impossible as the invites were already circulating among our contacts.

The event was supposed to be from 9am to 1pm and now we are supposed to wind up by 10.15am when most of the invitees had agreed to drop in only by 10-10.15. Damn !

The event kick started at exactly 9am with a welcome note by one of the volunteers. Initially, there were nearly 35 members excluding the 18 volunteers. By 9:10, we were 73, all together under the tent remaining silent. To our surprise, there were two elderly men sitting along with us. We were surrounded by police officials, the lady officials came in a little late, probably they did not expect the female crowd. We had a lot of onlookers whose questions were answered by the police. Though our banners explained our purpose, the passerby’s would have been surprised to see a couple of young people sitting silently in the heart of the city under a tent with police protection. During the event, RAW officials approached us to take snaps and for a brief write up. After an hour, we went up to the two elderly gentlemen to check their whereabouts, one person was an Ex- Airforce official and the other a retired Professor from Anna University. Both of them never knew each other but the reason for their presence along with us were the same. That’s were I guess, we succeeded; we had managed to bring in people from different age groups, from different cultures, from different states, but everyone had one thing in common- love for the nation. We asked if the two men could address the crowd and they agreed without hesitating. The Airforce official spoke about how the youngsters could contribute to the nations security while the retired Professor gave us a lot of insights on how to take this small group of ours to a bigger platform. After their inspiring speech, we had one of our volunteers recite our national anthem. This was the best part, all 73 of us and the entire police officials stood with our heads held high in unison. Never did I get such goose bumps thinking about our country and never before had I felt proud of myself. By 10.30 made a note of the registrations, wrapped up and retired.

We felt a little discouraged when the head count was less, but then, inspite of being a Saturday and also with the last minute changes, we shouldn’t expect more. One thing was sure, the next time we conduct a similar event, we already have 73 people confirmed. I must admit, it was such a riveting experience to be present with those like minded janta, to be just one among the crowd which believed in one common cause. It was our first event; we need to improve a lot more on the co-ordination and assigning work amongst ourselves. From mistakes we learn, and from what we learn, we act !

We are gathering soon to decide on whats next. This series would continue !

Jai Hind !

Dec 22, 2008

It is never too late to react ! Response to a comment

Before I write a post on how the event was, let me thank each one of you for your support and encouragement. The event didnt turn out to be as successful as we expected, but we are not in any way disappointed or discouraged; we had taken a vow to unite for more such activities. More details in the next post.

This is basically a response to one of the comments in my previous post. The person who commented is one of my best friend and the replies here are my personal views and so people, dont judge our relationship after this post, we are still going to be the best of friends. and I would request everyone to come out with their own views too.

“I might sound extremely critic on this aspect but I guess I have to. Main beacuse almost a month after that incident, I am one of those guys eagerly tracking the nation's progress on a daily basis.” --- Its great to know that you are keeping a track of whats happening in our country on a daily basis. Why is it that a nations progress is tracked ONLY after such disturbing incidents? Isnt it our duty to know whats happening around us well before that?

“What in the world are you achieving by shutting your mouth and sitting idle for hours together? There have been like 100s of them who have done that before - what have they achieved? You think the politicians will change? you think the terrorists will change? You think you will gain anything apart from some useless publicity?” ---- Our event was not targeted at any politician or terrorist. We want the general public to be aware of their basic responsibilities as a citizen. Infact, one of our main objective in the meeting was to make people aware that India is still a much safer and a united country to live in, its just that the we as citizens have to be a little more socially responsible. If something suspicious happens around you, its your duty to inform the concerned. The terrorists were in Mumbai for months, but our people had been very busy in their respective lives that they failed to see whats happening around them. Why blame the politicians alone everytime? We are equally responsible for this state of our country. If we wanted better leaders, we should have made sure of that while casting our votes. How many of the youngsters take initiative in voting? Many of us still consider taking a day off during the elections rather than exercising the right to vote. Speaking of useless publicity, if we really wanted the useless publicity that was mentioned, we would have called the media, considering the fact that my best friend is one of the best reporters here in Chennai with one of the leading TV news channel. I did speak to her, but only to understand how the legal formalities are. The press club of Chennai was adjacent to where we conducted the meeting, and for your information, none of us approached them for a 'useful' publicity. Moreoever, if you think I, personally, wanted some useless publicity, I would’ve published the below post on Dec 5th itself when we decided to go ahead with this project; publishing one day before the event wouldn’t make a difference at all. And now why silent? It is all about an initiative; all of us have spoken enough. We have had our share of blaming, pitting against each other, but what have we achieved? Nothing at all. Lets see if there is anything that could be achieved by remaining silent. Atleast that way, a protest would be different and not disturb the general public. What is one achieving by burning candles? It is an effort to raise your voice, that’s all. And we were symbolic in raising our voice by remaining silent. There might be even 1000’s who had done this before, its not about what they achieved, it is something beyond that; its more of satisfying our conscious.

“I'm sorry buddy but this is sheer waste of time. Instead what if you guys could silently collect some money and raise a fund for the poor who were dead? Those who didnt manage to get the govt aid? There aer people in Mumbai who raised money to buy good bullet proofs for police men. That is what I call ACTION!” --- Were you a contributor to any of those ACTIONs? Why didn’t YOU take an initiative to raise funds? Why do you expect others to start an event so that you can either follow or criticize? What have YOU done other than tracking and cribbing about the nations progress? How many events have YOU participated, how many common forums have YOU attended to voice your opinion? Ok, I agree, you neednt participate in any activity per se, but don’t you think you are responsible to the society too? If you want a change in your country, why isn’t there a contribution from your end other than paying your taxes ? Sheer waste of time, my friend, is sitting in your chair, tracking the nations progress on a daily basis, cribbing about the politicians and the system, doing absolutely nothing to contribute to the nations progress and venting out your frustrations to your near and dear ones. Collecting money and raising a fund wasn’t our objective. Money and aid isn’t everything; and like you said, there are people to do that. If people are willing to change their attitude towards our country, our government and our system, everything will happen on its own. Wouldn’t you repair your home if it is damaged, wouldn’t you take initiative to stop a similar disaster to happen to your home again? If you can pray for your home, why don’t you pray for the nation that has your home.

“While I apreciate the way you empatize the terror attack and victims, I must say you are doing nothing productive - instead you are being counter-productive!” --- Thanks for the appreciations. If there are 100 individuals to read about us and our objectives, and out of that 100, if there are 10 whom we made to think and if there is atleast one who is willing to change, I consider our mission accomplished or rather we consider it as a productive effort.

Wake up, its not too late yet !!!

Dec 19, 2008

It is never too late to react ! Part 1 : The Invite

How many of us still think about the 26th November incident these days? Its hardly a month now and it looks like it has faded out of peoples mind except for the ones who were directly affected. The patriotic sms’, blog entries, formal and informal debates, everything related to terrorism has taken a backstage now. Well, that’s human tendency, especially for us Indians, since we are slowly getting accustomed to being a victim of such injustice.

Whatever happened last month in Mumbai is something that still disturbs me. We have had similar attacks in our country, but I must admit none of them had affected me to this extent. It was more of a feeling of helplessness even though I had no friends or relatives who were directly involved. I was confused if it was out of patriotism or out of a fear to live in this country from now on. If it is the latter, how long is it going to continue? And isn’t it going to be even tougher for the future generations to survive in India ? But what I can do all alone ?

I should thank our Smita for it was this post of hers that inspired me. She had mentioned something very honestly, which made me realize- what are we bloggers doing other than ranting about such incidents in our blog? Nothing at all. What can I possibly do other than writing a post, receiving comments and replying for them?

I was absolutely clueless until Dec 2nd when I casually mentioned my state of mind to Ram, a working colleague of mine. There was a spark in his eyes, which made me ask if both of us could conduct an event, some activity like a peace rally. The intuition didn’t go wrong as he was also in a similar confused state. He too wanted to do something to raise his voice against what is happening in our country today. Probably, it is not we alone; everyone else is going through a similar state of mind. It is just that more often than not, we hesitate to ask each other and most of our initiatives remain within ourselves. Ram immediately called another friend of his and the very next day, three of us had a brainstorming session. We had our focus on the objectives, but were confused on what to do. Three of us turned out to four in a day, four became ten by the next day and ten became eighteen by the end of the fourth day. All of us were like-minded working professionals and that’s the only common thing between us. We named ourselves ‘Lets Change’; the name might sound very ordinary because much of our time wasn’t spent on thinking on what to call us. After all, whats in a name !!!

Together we discussed on the feasibility of the project and finalized the objectives. We didn’t want to concentrate on the Mumbai terror attack. Of course, the attack was the reason, it ignited us to go ahead; but we wanted to voice our generalized concern on the present pathetic situation of our country, the change that everyone expects and the role that we could play in going about changing. The discussions then proceeded to what-to rather than how-to. A peace rally happens all the time, and moreover such rallies, especially in a sensitive city like Chennai, would eventually be politicized. The next option was to go through a fasting session on the decided day, but then again, fasting sounded too cliché for our cause. After a couple of options, we zeroed in on a silent protest. We decided to remain silent on a particular day to voice our opinion; enough of sitting back and cribbing about what has happened. As working professionals, we need to be socially responsible too and realize that a handsome salary or a property in the most happening area doesn’t actually mean success. Then again, the questions of why concentrate on the working community aroused. We aren’t; we would be happy if others joined too. It was easier for us to spread about the event among the corporate since most of us came from different organizations.

People, we are conducting the event on the 20th of this month in Chennai near the Chepauk cricket stadium. We had sent invitations through mailers and sms to almost everyone we knew. Rest is for the invitees to decide if they really want to join us. Even if are just five of us, we would sit with our mouth covered from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday and that’s certain. I am personally inviting my fellow Chennai bloggers and also extending this invite to anyone who accidently bumps into V-Lokam. If you cant make it up, please pass on this information to anyone whom you think are socially responsible. You might face a similar question that I was asked while inviting – “Don’t you think it is too late?” for which the reply from my end was – “Do you think so? How often have you promptly reacted to such incidents?”

Below is one of the invite that we sent across. Special thanks to Sangeetha for the content in the invite.

Next -- It is never too late to react! Part 2 : The silent protest

Dec 13, 2008

The Meanest Tag and the Coolest Award ever !!!

Guys, believe me, this is the meanest and the weirdest tag ever ! and of course, the most creative one that I have ever attempted too. Thank you, Pavan, for tagging me and I also thank Su for your joint efforts with Pavan in coming up with such a tag. This is my first battle with MS Paint and I hope I have lived upto the expectations of my tagger.

Here are the rules:
  1. You must use all the five words given to you by your tagger and draw pictures using paint or GIMP or any other photo editing tool.
  2. Each picture must be self explanatory when you relate it to the given word.
  3. Each word MUST have at least one picture attributed to it.
  4. You have to draw them yourself. No suggestions from a second person.
  5. You need to pass it on to other people with a fresh set of 5 words.

These are the 5 words assigned to me :

1. Mist

2. Teach

3. Umbrella

4. Dump
5. King

I tag the following people ( I pity you all, but I have no choice. Buhahahahahha) :

Your 5 words are : Music, Communication, Riot, Profession and Parents

Btw, I thank each one of you who had casted their valuable vote for me. I am referring to Poonams Avant Garde Bloggie Awards where in I was awarded the Most Responsive Blogger Award. Thanks a lot Poonam for creating such an opportunity for all of us. and btw, next year, I am going to nominate this post under the Best Tag Category.LOL.

Updated after publishing the post : Went to inform IHM on the tag and this is what I found :

Thankssss a lot IHM and thanks a lot people for all the love bestowed on me. This marks the 12th recognition for V-Lokam, all in a span of just 7 months.

Dec 9, 2008

Este Blog investe e acrediita na...Proximidade! (whatever that means)

Things are finally falling in place; going through the final phase of disaster management at home, my friendships back to normal and there are a couple of new initiatives that I am going to be a part of. Probably, my next post would be on that and I would want help and support from all of you.

Yet another award for V-Lokam and this time its from Gods female yo-yo, Smita. Thanks a lot Smita ji, keep spoiling me by giving away these kind of recognitions. LOL. Well, I could’ve easily got away by pasting the image on my sidebar, but there’s also this responsibility to transfer this coveted award to some of the bloggers I know. So here goes :
This award is given to a blog that invests and believes in PROXIMITY – nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.

(and i must admit, that text is indeed cleverly written :D )

I chose :
Oxy, Sangeetha, Pavan, Rakesh, Nimmy, Nikhil, IHM, Priya

All eyes are on Poonams Avant Garde Bloggie Awards now. Getting nominated itself was a big thing for me and even if I dont win, atleast theres an opportunity to come up with statements like "Damn ! just missed !!!"

Dec 6, 2008

Couldnt come up with a title !!!

People, I sincerely apologize for disappearing from the blogosphere for a couple of days. My mind was all messed up and couldn’t focus on any anything. But being away doesn’t mean that I wasn’t updated with any of your recent posts, its just that I refrained myself from any sort of commenting. I am yet to even reply to the comments that I received for my earlier posts. For the last few weeks, I hadn’t written anything worthwhile and even Children of God, my previous post, was merely a cut copy paste work; help extended to one of my friend. I understand that a blogger is entrusted with certain responsibilities once he/she enters the blogosphere, and I feel disgusted to have been away from you all. I hereby pledge to perform my duties as a blogger from now on without fail.

Inspite of being silent, V- Lokam still managed to receive two more recognition – Butterfly award for the Coolest Blog from Verbivorehere and a Trophy from Rakesh Vanamaali. Thanks guys, it really means a lot to me. I am hereby passing over these awards to everyone in my blogroll. (Please get the picture from here and paste it in your blogs)

With all the horrible things that had been happening around us, I don’t know if I should really embark on celebrating this particular post. This is the 100th post of V-Lokam and I thank each and everyone who has made this journey a memorable one. It took me one year and 3 months (Oct 22nd) to reach 5k visitors and I am proud to inform you all that in less than 3 months, the counter is about to touch another 5k. Thanks once again.

At this juncture, I thought I would mention some of my best posts here, some of them recognized well enough and others that were written during my early days of blogging, which went unnoticed. A widget with a list of my fav posts is already up in the sidebar.

Most commented post:
Sorry my Lord, I didn’t mean to harass her !!!
The 5k milestone

Most visited post:
An incident of Web abuse

(There is a visit to this post everyday, obviously for wrong reasons. There is a mention of a porn site, which I believe is driving visitors to this post)

Posts that I wished had more visitors/comments:
I killed him !!!
Start..action..cut (Bollywood)
Vilm-Fair awards 2007
When did..??
Why..why..but why ??
The Expansionist Meme
Being weird is fun, especially at the movies

I, now realize why the last two posts weren’t noticed, tags are supposed to be passed on !!!
The whole concept of tagging was new to me back then and moreover, whom do I tag, all I knew in the blogosphere during those days was Poonam.

Better (very) late than never, I hereby tag :

Expansionist Meme : Aaarti, Apar, Archana, Pradeep, Rakesh, Rads, Vinod and Whacky

Tag on Movie quirks : Smita, Oxy, Su, Reema, Aparna, Bhargavi, Nikhil and Verbivorehere

Now, time for some updates. The tab ‘This is how I heard them’ which had my songs will now be known as ‘My version’. I have included two more tabs under the header - one for Tags (inspired from Su) and another on the Raagamalika show (would feature the entire ‘They shot me !!!’ series and the videos of all the 8 episodes). Also planning to include a ‘Next on V-Lokam’ widget to the side bar. As the name suggests, that would indicate the next post in the blog. I really don’t know how feasible this is because certain posts are updated all of a sudden and this widget would not make any sense then.

There is a post that I am yet to work on and I can’t avoid it, as it was a part of my blog resolution. I had mentioned it here long ago. It’s a Malayalam post written in English without the usage of any English words. I know it sounds silly especially when most of my readers are not going to make out anything from that post. Havent even thought about a topic yet, but a resolution is a resolution and I have to keep it up.

I am ending this post here, quite abruptly; my little brain is preoccupied with a lot of things. The attacks in Mumbai, a rain that destroyed my home and the properties inside, a good friendship that is on the verge of breaking up because of misunderstandings, and a few more important decisions that I need to take. As mentioned before, my mind is messed up, big time; it’s craving for peace!