Monday, November 27, 2006


I was returning home from work. Its a good 30 minute walk. I was enjoying it fine until I ran into a bunch of teenagers just 5 minutes from home. You could clearly sense that they were a troublesome gang from the way they walked, talked and dressed. They were strolling alongside me when one of them tugged the umbrella I was carrying. I just turned around, ignored it as a harmless prank and just kept walking. After a minute, something round and hard smashed into my shoulder and I realised they were now throwing apples at me. I turned around and growled (not literally) and they seemed to back off a little. That was only temporary. They started throwing stones after that. I guess they were careful enough not to hurt me as the stones kept flying either side of me. I was in a fix. They were a group of kids (about 5). I didnt know who was responsible for this and hence couldnt act on it. I couldnt target any single person and I would be foolish enough to take on the whole group. My instant reaction was to give that person a nice smack but I just realised the problem of being the only puny guy on that road. All those tenagers were taller and strongly built than me. They may not be brave enough to come one-on-one but even a partially aimed kick/punch in self defence will do me more harm than good. Taking the insult in stride, I just disappeared into a grocery shop nearby and did some shopping. By the time, I got out, the gang had moved on. May be they found another easy victim. I am now sitting at home nursing a bruised shoulder and ego with a hot steaming cup of tea and yummy bar of chocolate. What would you do if you were in my place?

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Successful transition to beta blogger

Finally managed to update my template html code from blogger classic to XML code for blogger beta while retaining the same look as before. There are small noticeable changes that do bug me but hopefully I should be able to make them go away. There are definitely advantages to using beta blogger. It lets you customise your template easily. Each addition is called a widget and you can define what needs to be in a widget (say picture, text, list, scripts etc..). I do realise the advantage now. Its nice to notice the way earlier posts are listed by month. I hope the change in template also brings about a change in how frequently I post to the blog.

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Monday, November 13, 2006

Cool site for displaying pictures

Recently came across this site for posting pictures in a blog or website in a fancy way and it definitely is cool. Here is a sample:

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Problems with beta blogger

I recently migrated my blog from original blogger version to beta blogger.   The migration itself was a smooth process and now my blog account is integrated with my google account.  So, thats really nice.  There is one problem though with the way previous posts are being displayed.  In original blogger, when the link for a previous post was clicked, it would display a certain number of previous posts from that point in time.  But with beta blogger, its only the 'x' most recents posts thats displayed on any previous posts's  page.  Guess this is something that blogger would need to look into and fix at the earliest.  So, I would recommend people wishing to look at earlier posts use the archive section where the earlier posts are filed on a monthly basis.  Cheers.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Flowers in Belfast

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Las Vegas at Night

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Friday, November 03, 2006

Festive Trip

I recently visited India for a month and my visit was book ended by 2 festivals, Navarathri and Diwali. It's been a long time since I spent any festivals with my family and this trip made for a wonderful experience. We also managed to squeeze in a week's worth of stay in Ooty. This was my first visit to the hill station and I must say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Escaping the humid weather in Chennai, the cooler climes of Ooty suited me perfectly fine. The mornings were crisp and as the day wore on, it got slightly warmer (just enough to get the body juices flowing) and return and back to a cool pleasant evening.

We did visit all the usual places in Ooty & Kunnur like the Botanical gardens, Lake, Sims Park but the place that I really enjoyed most was the Tea factory in Kunnur. Situated next to vast rolling tea fields, the tea factory had guides to take you around the factory and explain how tea is prepared from the leaves.

Initially, tea leaves are placed on huge trays whose temperature is maintained at a steady 60 degrees Celsius to remove any trace of moisture. Once that’s done, the leaves are manually sorted and fed into a grinding machine which breaks the dried leaves into granules or various proportions. After that, the granules are laid out on a tray whose temperature is maintained at 120 degree Celsius which helps in enhancing the natural flavours that the tea leaves possess.

We were told that the tea produced at this place is export quality and not available in local stores. They had a small shop which made these tea granules available in sample sizes and you could even taste the various flavoured teas before you buy them. We spent around 90 minutes at this place and it was totally worth it.

Once we returned to Chennai, I was helping out my dad doing some admin work at the music school run by him. I also got to brush up on my music skills (namely vocal and veena). I also got around to visiting some of the newly opened restaurants in Chennai with family and friends. One friend in particular was kind enough to drag me to around to some really nice places that had a wonderful ambience and served some delicious food. I would recommend Kabul restaurant on T.T.K Road in Chennai to anyone who has a taste for nice spicy food. Some other restaurants that I visited include Kumarakom (Kerala food), entire food court in spencers, Punjabi dhaba and a host of coffee shops.

My last day in India happened to be Diwali day and I had fun visiting all the relatives, eating loads of tasty sweets and savouries. During my stay, I also managed to drag my parents to a couple of Tamil movies, which is a minor achievement considering how busy they are. In between, I managed to attend a series of concerts organised to popularise my grand aunt's (Mangalam Ganapthi) compositions in classical carnatic music.

Well, to sum up, I had a very eventful and wholesome trip to India

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