Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thank you for not smoking

Finally, its done. From 1st July 2007, no smoking will be permitted in closed public premises. Phew. It's a wonder that it has taken the UK government so long to come to this conclusion. To be fair to them, smoking policy is a contentious issue and most governments are struggling with it. Though the harmful effects of smoking are documented pretty well and the negative impact it has on the health of the individual, it's also true that selleing cigarrettes generates huge revenues for the government and also hotels, pub, clubs and entertainment facilities.

When I visited California in 2004, the first thing that I noticed was the lack of smoke stench in public places. California has been sticking to the "No smoking" policy for more then 15 years now. Though there were murmurs when the law was introduced and some short-term financial setbacks, in the long run, the state has recovered and is doing exceedingly well. I guess it will be the same in the UK as well.

Every time, I used to visit a pub, I used to hate the smoke filled environment and the extent to which my clothes used to stink of smoke. I normally made it a point not to go to restaurants that allowed smoking but after a while it becomes hard as there are very few non-smoking restaurants in the UK. I dont have a problem with people smoking per se and hurting themselves, but I wouldn't want to be a casualty of their habit. I can see their argument coming. That non-smokers shoudln't be visiting places that allow smoking. But I do know of a lot of smokers who themselves wouldn't enjoy sitting in a smoke filled room.

Now, I dont care. The government has stepped in and there will be no smoking allowed. Good news for non smokers.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Have you missed me?

It's been a long time since I posted anything on my blog. I was in India for a month and just got back last week. A lot of things happened while I was in India and it kept me busy and away from the blog. It was a welcome distraction and now it feels to good to be back posting something.

During my stay in India, we spent a week in Kodaikkanal which provided a welcome respite from the Chennai heat. Immediately after our stay at the hill station, we chose to make amends and visit places like Madurai, Tuticorin and Kerala to get our bodies warmed up. So, spent a day with my uncle and aunt, grandfather and also visiting our family deity in Kottarakara. It was a special visit this time to the temple as there was a festival taking place and we reached on time for the concluding ceremony. It's a small temple and it was filled with people dressed prettily, majestic elephants, mucic band playing classical music and lots of atmosphere. There were firecrackers going off in the background and music blaring through the loudspeakers.

Once back in Chennai, it was back to more mundane stuff. I also kept myself busy by attending my dad's music school and refreshed my musical skills. Met up with a few relatives and friends. Here are some snaphots from my recent trip to India.




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