Archive for the ‘Soora Mokkai’ category

“May I take a photograph please??” – Encounters of a Photographer with a store manager and a few dozen cops!

May 28, 2014


Photography not allowed

Photography not allowed

“May I get an interest free loan for Rs.10,00,000?” is what I suspected the store manager heard me uttering, judging by his facial contortion that presented incredulity and insult mixed with an expression that I’m sure was last seen in the faces of French aristocracy before 1789.

“What in the god’s green earth did you ask then?”, you may wonder. Before I tell what I asked, I advise reader discretion. Kids below 8 yrs, pregnant ladies, people with heart conditions are advised to stop reading and go back to indulge in activities that are soothing to the senses, like viewing my photographs here.

So here is what happened. It was a lovely evening with the sun slowly retiring for the day in the areas that fall 5 and a half hours ahead of the Greenwich Mean Time, behind the towering east gopuram of Kapaleeshwarar temple in Mylapore. I couldn’t but resist exploring the multi-storey buildings for getting a better view of the sunset for the sole purpose of clicking pictures. After much analysis, I zeroed in on the top floor of a shop nearby the temple from where I could get a decent view of the entire temple complex with the setting sun behind. Being the “Rules Ramanujam” that I am, innocently stepped into the shop with a Camera in my hand to seek permission. Not less than 1/3rd of a second passed, I was surrounded by atleast 3 people throwing suspective glances. I’m sure the authoritative figure amongst them was wondering if he should call the cops. Better sense prevailed. But even then I saw no sign of his stiff facial expression easing out. He asked me ” What do you want?” in a tone that I’d rather preferred he called the cops. I gave him a quick background on my motive, presented my credentials and requested permission to shoot the temple from their premises. Being a supervisor with no prerogative to take independent deicisions apart from stopping random strangers entering the shop with a camera, he decided to check with his boss, the store manager. After multiple calls to multiple departments in multiple floors, the supervisor got hold of the manager and requested him to come down over.

I greeted the manager with a wide smile, shook hands and asked him “Can I take pictures of the temple from your premises?”.

What happened next is what is described in the first paragraph of this post.

After he comprehended that such a request could even come and after the initial pang of anger subsided, he regained his composure and said “No. No permission for such things will be given.”. Taken aback by the bluntness (idhu vera mokkai..not this), but happy that I didn’t get his palm and finger prints on my cheeks, I showed him my portfolio on temples and requested to re-consider. He proudly said, “We have never given permission for photography and we will not give in the future also.” in a manner that exceeded the stiff upper lip ‘begaviour’ of the British aristocracy. Persuasive pest that I am, I asked him “Is there any specific reason you don’t allow photography from your premises?”, for which he replied “There is no reason. We just won’t allow.”.

Considering the consideration that I’m a man of self respect, I turned around in slow motion and walked towards the exit while my mind played this music .

Angry Chennai thatha preventing photography

Angry Chennai thatha preventing photography

Doing a bit of Googling (I’m not one of those that use the fancy word “Research” as a substitute for Googling), I found that this is a common problem all over the world. Post 9/11 everyone is a bit jittery about being photographed. Especially the police.

Some Police Quotes I’ve personally heard:

You can’t take pictures after 10 PM

You can’t enter the beach after 10 PM

You can’t use a tripod

You can’t take pictures in the park

You can’t take pictures of people

You can’t take pictures of landmarks

You need permission to take pictures in public

What do you achieve by taking pictures?

But the following one takes the cake:

You can’t take pictures of the war memorial because if you publish this in the “computer”, the terrorists will note this down and bomb this

Idhukku mela naa enna solla!! But indeed there is a positive to this. If I roam around the city for one more year, with all the laws I hear from the Police, I may end up as a lawyer!

Disclaimer – This post is merely a sarcastic attempt in explaining the low tolerance levels in India for street photography. Although the events mentioned are as real the Chennai police’s lathi.

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Contextual Learning Series – Anniyan and the Wave Particle Duality!

July 9, 2013

There have been numerous debates through the centuries about the nature of this thing we call “Light”. Newton said light is made up of particles while the larger scientific community including Huygens and Maxwell argued with their tooth and nail for light to be considered to be composed of waves. That is, until a Swiss Patent Office clerk, came in and pacified the divided scientific community by saying that both the groups were right. If you think the clerk was just being politically correct to pacify the scientific community and resolve the issue amicably, then pray let me tell that he did so with experimental  proof called “photoelectric effect” that light is “also” a particle, depending on how we choose to look at it.

The Swiss Clerk

The Swiss Clerk

If you have studied in IIT Madras or belong to the group of people that say Wave particle duality is nothing but the age old hindu concept of Advaita, then this post may probably not be easy for you to digest. On the other hand, if you are anything like me, that is, slept during the physics classes in schools and just about passed the examinations by way of cramming up stuff, then behold, this post will enlighten you!

Indian movies, most people think, has done more to discredit scientific theories than all the flat earth enthusiasts and creationists put together! If you’re one among those, then I really don’t blame you. Infact I’ve heard many horror stories of kids who when they first step into IIT and learn universal laws such as gravity, they almost get a nervous breakdown since they have always believed nothing is impossible for their movie heroes who have moved trains or punch villains with a mere hand wave.

Science Killer 1

Science Killer – Watch the pic to see what I mean.

However, if you are an inquisitive mind, you would know that while a lot of our movies have always tried to disprove universal laws, there are certain movies that have tried to explain physical laws for the simple minded folks!

“Anniyan” for that matter contextually explains the Wave Particle Duality.

Anniyan and the Wave Particle Duality

Anniyan and the Wave Particle Duality – Click on the pic to enlarge.

Boot and Belly Inspection – The internal workings of India’s security apparatus!

July 2, 2013

“These IT companies and posh hotels in India crack me up!!” said my friend visiting from the states.
“Why?” I asked.
“The security checks man!! That’s some seriously funny stuff. Do these people really think a terrorist is going to carry his weapons under the car or in the boot if he plans to attack these companies?”
I could see his point. In India we have this security protocol for big IT companies, commercial complexes and posh hotels where the security guard inspects the boot of the car. Being the “proactive pulikesis” these people, they also check the belly of the car with an “under car inspection mirror “. (This is really the name of this mirror and is being sold retail).

Under Car Inspection

Under Car Inspection

Car Boot

Car Boot Inspection

So I decided to unveil the obviously obfuscated reality behind the “Boot and Belly Inspection” to my friend.Thus.

Challenge to Terrorists

Challenge to Terrorists

Looking at such a news, you and I may feel safe that the govt is doing something to tackle terror. But guess what happens at the terrorist camp?

Place: Terror Camp

Terror Project Leader : Guys lets meet up at the 3rd cave on the right wing for a 5 min meeting.

Place: 3rd Cave in Right Wing

Terror Project Leader : Guys…(showing the above newpaper!) This is a great opportunity for you all! This is a challenging opportunity with lots to learn and grow. You may also have to travel onsite for this project. Who can overcome this new technology within the next 6 months?

Terror Newbie 1: That’s fantastic!! I’m all ready for this assignment. I can already see the weightage my resume would carry 5 yrs down the line after working in this project.

Terror Newbie 2: Awesomatic aromale sir! I would definitely like to take this project. Thank you very much for providing such a challenging opportunity!

So you see, what might be a reassuring thing for the citizens is actually a challenge to the terrorists. It’s one step short of saying “Ippo enna pannuva? Ippo enna pannuva?”.

What people don’t understand is that by investing on new technology to snoop terror plots and to stop terror attacks, the world govts are providing a fantastic career opportunity laced with challenge, teamwork, leadership and ofcourse travel. These methods only encourage  people to take up terrorism as a profession.

Whereas in India, with our usage of simple technology like “under car inspection mirror “, we ensure that the terrorists are tackled psychologically. As you see…

Place: Terror Camp

Terror Project Leader : Guys lets meet up at the 3rd cave on the right wing for a 5 min meeting.

Place: 3rd Cave in Right Wing

Terror Project Leader : Guys we have orders to bomb places in India. Who is up for it?

Terror Newbie 1: Sorry boss. I’m not interested. They treat us with no respect. What do they think of us? Checking the boot and bellly of cars as if we are idiots and carry our weapons and bombs in those places! I don’d mind working for a tough project. But I can’t work in a place where there is no respect or fear. 

Terror Newbie 2: He is right boss. I started to develop low self esteem and had to undergo treatment for depression, seeing the way they treat us. Boot and Belly inspection. For god’s sake!! Are we so dumb? I thought this career will earn me respect and fear. This is plain insulting!

Terror Project Leader : (to himself) Kamal sonna madhiriye aagidumo?? Poyi pulla kuttingala padikka vekka vendiyathu thaan!

While the whole world is pouring billions down the drain, Indians took a different approach that engages the problem at its root.

To the simple minded, our methods may seem simple. Sure. But after meditating for 6 hours on it, you will understand that Indian methods work at the metaphysical level as below and produce results.
1. Low self esteem
2. Depression
3. Any other psychological abnormalities on top of their existing ones.

So next time someone stops your car for Boot and Belly inspection, smile at the security guard and say thanks for keeping India safe.

Disclaimer: All characters referred here except me and my friend are fictitious (may be real too. How the hell would I know!).

Credits: “Awesomatic Aromale” – RJ Balaji; “Proactive Pulikesi” – your’s truly

Rate this  blog at the top if you like  or log a comment if you don’t like. Either way  provide your response so that if CBI or RAW or IB arrest me for investigation I have my friends around as well 🙂

Automania – Chennai Extreme

March 25, 2012
Automania - Chennai Extreme

Automania - Chennai Extreme

Game Synopsis

The city is Chennai & the year is 2012. Using fare meters in autorickshaws has been a history for over 20 years. It is a time when the city is outside the purview of limitations of physics. Autorickshaws could pass through cycle gaps. Autorickshaws increased in number exponentially every year and one could see a minimum of 5 autorickshaws simultaneously anytime they ventured out of their homes. But the fares only increased instead of reducing, converse to the universal law of supply and demand. It was a time when Autorickshaws ruled the roads and Autorickshaw drivers set the road rules.

Do you have it in you to assume the role of a road user in Chennai to curb the Autorickshaw menace from the city?

Real Chennai Map

Real Chennai Map

  • Play as a Pedestrian, Car driver, Bike rider, Cycle rider or even a Cop.
  • Adhere to the traffic laws and increase your ammunition.
  • Collect points by throwing hand-grenades at autorickshaws that cut you off or scrath your vehicle.
  • Deal with other traffic offenders in the sidelines.
  • Play with real Chennai street view.

Mission List:

1. The case of  Honk Arumugam

Eliminate the horn menace in the city by finding and tracking and eliminating compulsive honkers one by one until you meet Honk Arumugam for a final showdown.

2. Showdown with Lame Lane Lakshman

Enforce lane system in the Mount Road by assuming the role of a sniper and shooting down lane changes and frequent lane cutters without indicators. When Lame Lane Lakshman tracks you for revenge, finish him off to go to the next level.

3. Final Frontier with Noor-rooba Narayanasamy

After eliminating the Honking & Lane cutting menaces from the city, curb the overcharging problem by tracking, kidnapping & taking hostage of Noor-rooba Narayanasamy who charges nothing less than Rs.100 (Noor-rooba) for even a short distance like Gemini Flyover to Teynampet.

Bonus Games

As a bonus, the gamers can also enjoy a free hand in roaming about the city, tackling corrupt cops, kicking the speeding bikers, throwing hand grenades at travel cabs etc.

There is also a ‘”Time Run” bonus game where the objective is to reach Madhya Kailash from Siruseri within 20 minutes in peak traffic. The gamers can throw grenades, shoot bazookas and even fly for a short distance to travel faster. This game is believed to be a stress buster for a lot of commuters going in that stretch of Chennai.

User Review:

User Ramesh

User Ramesh

” I find this game fascinating. I loaded this into my PSP and I play this daily while I wait in my office bus in the OMR stretch for 2 hours on the way to office and 2 hours on the way back home. It feels real since the maps are also actual places in the Chennai city. I feel relieved when I can shoot bazookas at erring autorickshaw drivers. And the funny thing is, the Noor-rooba Narayanasamy character is someone we meet everyday in Chennai. I love this game!!

P.S. I wopuld like to see Chennai Lnaguage cursing in the next version of this game so I can vent out my frustrations in an even more realistic manner.”

– Ramesh (Software Engineer working in Kekkaran & Mekkaran Company in OMR)

Also watch out for our upcoming releases in the Chennai Extreme series – BikerBash, CabDriver Kill and Pedestrian Hunt.

All rights reserved.

Sollatta? Vendama? (Can I tell? or not?) A Sweat Short Story!!

March 29, 2011

Base on a True Story…well may be 95%

It was a struggle. Struggle within one-self. Events leading up to this struggle that Ashok faces right now may seem to be pretty simple for anyone. But not everyone can understand the inner conflict that’s been eating him from within.

Scene 1 – Office Cafeteria

Ashok: “What do you say??”

Ramesh: “You don’t seem to be the same happy-go-lucky Ashok that I know ever since “X” joined your team.. When exactly did  it start?”

Ashok: “Right when “X” walked in to sit near my cubicle. It was “X”’s first day at work. I knew then and there it has to be “X””.

Ramesh: “How do you feel about it?”

Ashok: “I can’t eat. I can’t work. It’s killing me. I need to let “X” know about how I feel. But we’ve been in good terms in the past couple of days and I don’t want to spoil it.”

Ramesh: “I say go for it! Not everyone gets an opportunity like this and not everyone would have the courage to go and tell it. Damn I can’t even think of going and telling this to someone without my legs giving away.”

Ashok: “But we work in the same office and in the same floor and sit next to each other. What am I supposed to do in case it doesn’t go well?? We still need to see each others’ faces and that would be awkward.”

Ramesh: “Dude you got to think positive! Nowadays people are mature enough to understand others’ feelings. You got to let it out. “

Ok. Let me put it this way! Would you be able to bear it for the rest of your life if you miss this opportunity to let “X” know your feelings??”

Ashok: “I don’t think I will be able to forgive myself.”

Ramesh: “So go then..”

Ashok: “Alright. We’ll party tonight if “X” accepts…”

Ramesh: “You go get “X”…”

Scene – 2 : Ashok’s Work Area

Ashok: “Hey “X”

X: “Hi..”

Ashok: “How you doing?”

X: “Fine. How about you?”

Ashok: “Fine..Fine…so….”

X: “So…”

Ashok: “umm…”

X: “What is it?”

Ashok: “Can we go to the cafeteria? I need to talk something personal with you..”

X: “hmm. Ok.”

Scene 3 – Office Cafeteria

X: “Now tell me..”

Ashok: “I don’t know how to start…”

X: “oh come on…just feel free”


(Click and select to see Ashok’s response)

“ok. DUDE you just need to use a deodorant. I can’t stand your body odor sitting next to you. It’s killing me. I can’t work..I can’t breathe….You just got to do something about it..”

Now read again from the beginning.

Oru Kuzhandai Career Select Seigiradhu!!!!!(A baby selects a career)

December 6, 2010

Circa – 1989

Relative: Achokee (ashok)…what are you planning to become when you grow up??

Me: hmmm……

5 minutes passed

Me: hmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

5 yrs passed

Me: hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Its quite common amongst Indian parents to decide the career path of their kid even when the kid is a foetus. I’m lucky that my parents never forced me into anything.  However, that did’nt prevent my relatives and friends from asking me at every possible instance of what I’m planning to become. That wouldn’t have bothered me if I weren’t 5 yrs old that time. I’d heard words such as doctor, engineer, pilot etc. But never once was I confused about the list of professions that I indeed should consider for being confused.

You see…following were the career options available to a 5 yr old me. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Career Path of a 5 Yr Old

Career Path of a 5 Yr Old

Superman: Man of Steel – There is no other character in history that could do justice to the word “SuperHero’ as much as Superman does. His ability to fly and his strength were enough for me to be totally wanting to become a Superman. And I loved the cape. I felt a superhero wouldn’t be complete without a cape. However, i realized I had to wear my underwear on top of my pants when I go out for work which was the big deal breaker.

Batman: A self made superhero.I could own the coolest car(Bat Mobile) if I became a batman. But the disadvantage is that he can’t really be called a superhero since whatever he does is based on science. Without the extra fittings, I’m just an ordinary man and its not easy to change into BatMan attire like Superman. Theres the deal breaker for batman.

Capt.Marvel Jr. – Now thats a cool way to become a superhero. You say Shazaam and you become a mini version of Superman. The advantage is the whole family of Capt. Marvel are superheroes so I imagined flying with my whole family and escape the Chennai traffic. But then Capt. Marvel isn’t as strong as Superman. (I remember saying Shazaam for a whole night but could never take off from the bed.)

StreetHawk: While Batman had the coolest car, there is no second thoughts about the coolest bike ever. It’s got to be Street Hawk. The bike goes 300 mph, can fly and shoot bullets. Thats enough for a 10 yr old to select it as a career option. I made my father to call me Rex Smith for a while so that I grow up to be the one riding the street hawk. That was supposed to be my first bike and that was one reason I wanted to go to US.

Rajinikanth: What can I say!!! Lotsa heroes in Tamil Cinema. But no one made an impact like Rajini. There is nothing that Rajini couldn’t do. And he was stylish. His cigarette trick and the coolers trick are something that are going to stay for eternity. Every kid wanted to be Rajini. Who wouldn’t want to be a kickass hero who can fight, is funny and strong.

Spiderman: Though not so strong as Superman, the thrill of jumping from building to building was exciting enough to select this as a career option. Covering the face fully added a little mystery to it.

Though I gave a lot of thought I was never able to decide one among these career options.

Cut to 1999 – 11th std admission

Dad: Hello principal he’d like to take Commerce and Economics for his 11th grade.

Principal: Oh..we haven’t got anyone else choose Commerce and Economics combination. So we can’t have just one person take Economics. But he can study Commerce with Computer Science.

Dad to me: How does that sound? Do you want to try another school?

Me: No thats fine. I’ll take Computer Science, Physics and Chemistry.

Dad: But you wanted Commerce!!!!

Me: ennnh….doesn’t matter what i take…for I’m going to become a Cricket player…

Crouching Tiger and Hidden Meaning

October 5, 2010
Master and Me

Master and Me

Once upon a time, there lived a wise Zen master in the Japanese town of Suzuki. He was revered for his knowledge on everything between the sky and the soil. His fame grew far….even to a land near the equator called Chennai. Cheeni Wasan, intrigued by ironies of life, was searching for answers when he heard about the Zen master and set off to meet the master in person and get all his questions answered.

After experiencing much travel hardships like Karthi in the film Aayirathil Oruvan, Cheeni from Chennai reached the town of Suzuki.

What follows are the exchanges between the master and the student on ironies of life that are presented as they are for the enlightenment of all humans.

Cheeni: Master I have come in search of the truth..

Master: First please have some tea.

The master started pouring the tea until the cup filled. But then he did not stop. He continued to pour it and the tea was overflowing from the cup.

Cheeni: Master please cut the crap. I have read this teaching in So please cut to the chase.

Master: Oh..didnt know my site is that popular. Ok you clever grasshopper, shoot away your questions

Cheeni: That’s more like it. The reason for my mental unrest is because I have been seeing a lot of banners, TV Ads, Tweets, FB status updates regarding Saving our Tigers. Seems like we have only 1411 tigers left in India.

Q1. Why is there so much enthusiasm in saving tigers now?

Response: To spread awareness and collect donation

Q2. But spreading awareness and giving donation to save tigers are good things aren’t they?

Response: Tigers don’t need money. What are they going to do with all the money? Feed those 1411 tigers? Or Build a zoo and accommodate all of them? Or make them breed more?

Don’t even get me started on spreading awareness.

Q3. But Master, I don’t see any wrong in spreading awareness.

Response: What awareness will you spread?

Q4. That, the tigers are becoming extinct and we should save them.

Response: But how will you save them?

Q5. Err…

Response: By feeding Chicken and Fish, since you guys dont eat red meat, to a tiger that strays into Mount Road? Or by calling the tiger helpline when you see a tiger in Besant Nagar Beach?

Q6. Or even by rescuing tigers that stray into Sathyam theater when a Vijay movie is being played. Good one isn’t it?

Response: Only I get to do the wise-cracks. But yes, that too.

Q7. So what you’re saying basically is these tiger awareness messages are useless for people that live in the cities and towns?

Response: Precisely.

Q8. But there has to be a way to save tigers.

Response: Before I answer that, let me ask you this. Why are tigers becoming extinct?

Q9. Because of human greed and destruction of wildlife?

Response: Very true. That’s one of the key reasons. But why do tigers go extinct instead of adapting to new conditions and environments?

Q10. That’s a stupid question. They can’t adapt. They are wild animals.

Response: That’s why they have been naturally selected for extinction. Because when human population grows, the environment is drastically altered and Humans and Tigers cannot co-exist.

Q11. That’s enlightening. But we will loose a majestic animal species.

Response: They are not the first and will not be the last.

Q12. Master, now I understand why you are revered. You should come to Chennai for a few days. Lot of people will get enlightened.

Response: Will do. But for now, you may take leave. Since you have become enlightened, you may from now be called Cheeni 2.0.

With my bows and my offerings of Enthiran – The Robot in Japanese evening show tickets for 1 in a theater in Osaka, I took my leave.

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