Archive for the ‘World’ 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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Suppandi’zation of the Indian sub-continent!

September 23, 2013

 “People build homes on the slopes of beautiful Mount Kilauea and then they wonder why they have lava in their living-room.” —George Carlin

The etymology of the word Suppandization (Copyrighted) lies in one of the most popular Indian comic icon Suppandi. For those who haven’t ventured into the Indian comics world, Suppandi is a village simpleton who follows orders literally with little or no application of mind to weigh the cause and effect of his actions. The process of Suppandization is to condition mentally fit kids into submission and rid of their critical thinking abilities as they grow. This is a long process that takes about 20 years of a person’s life time. But the results are quite staggering.

The Cause:

The Process of Suppandization

The Process of Suppandization

If you took your time to go through the Suppandization process listed above, you will see that the process is achieved through the following.

1. Compulsion to conform

2. Systematic threats of punishment (especially violence)

And this process is aided by parents, teachers, professors, and pretty much the society as a whole.

The Effect:

The effect of Suppandization is there for everyone to see:

1.  Number of Suppandis in a country is inversely proportional to the number of patents filed.

Patents in Force

Patents in Force

2. More the companies that sell readymade projects to college students, more effective is the suppandization process.

(Just google final year project and check out the number of companies that sell projects. )

3. After such a mental conditioning all through his/her life, when the newly appointed Director in a corporate company asks for monthly innovations from his employees, the poor suppandi kids can say only “verum kaathu thaan varudhu”. (Pinna avan kitta enna adutha industry changing idea’va varum?). As a quick tip, please dont ride your employees hard for innovation. It takes a while to De-suppandify the 20 odd years of Suppandization.

That being said, here is a quick questionnaire for you to check if you are a Suppandi.

1. You purchased/googled/piggybacked your engineering project in college.

2. The best practice for which you got an award at work was obtained from Google.

3. You remain silent in meetings without voicing your opinions even though you know the meeting is a criminal waste of time.

If Yes is the answer for atleast two of the above questions, then you too are a SUPPANDI!!

Here is a quick demo of Suppandization from the popular Tamil movie “Chinna Gounder”!

Disclaimer – This post is merely a sarcastic attempt in explaining the low innovation levels in India’s colleges and offices. I don’t condone or condemn the Suppandization process.

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Taxation for dummies – A comparative study on government taxes and gang protection money!

August 9, 2013

Few days ago, an article in “The Hindu” read as follows –

“Extortion gangs have been forcing hawkers to shell out money on a weekly basis

Certain groups are partly redefining the dynamics of commerce on the Marina. These are extortion gangs that demand money from vendors for letting them ply their trade. These groups – which call themselves sangams – have put a payment system in place. Every week, a vendor has to part with Rs. 30 as protection money.

Sometimes, vendors end up paying this pre-set weekly amount to more than one extortion group. “When I set up shop five years ago, I paid Rs. 5,000 to a person who designated the spot where I could set up shop. Today, there are many more gangs. They have divided the beach among themselves and each gang exercises control over shops in their section,” said a sandwich maker.  “…continue reading the article here.

If your blood temperature shoots up to 212 degrees fahrenheit or if your blood pressure skyrockets to 180 systolic / 110 diastolic and you get an insatiable itch to take a pen and paper to write to “The Hindu” or to Mr.Saidai Duraisamy or to Mr.S.George,  condemning the extortion and giving them a piece of your mind, hold on.

Please put down that pen and have a glass of cold water. Take a few deep breaths.

Now, you need to understand a few basic things about the principle of taxation before you start wasting ink and paper to put down your strong condemnations and keeping the Postal Department going. (By the way, a condemnation is the easiest way to protest against an atrocity. It gives you the satisfaction that you too have done something against an injustice while sitting in the comfort of your home. Just like this.)

Local Dada - Gang Representative

Local Dada – Gang Representative

Prime Minister - Representative of the Govt.

Prime Minister – Representative of the Govt.

As defined in a “Tax” is

“a sum of money demanded by a government for its support 

or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, 

sales, etc.”

Breaking it down,

  • pay the government for protection to do business
  • provide the govt. a cut from your income for protection
  • pay the govt. for using the roads
  • pay the govt. for buying a house
  • pay the govt. for eating out

Compare this to the gangs and their demands of protection money. Just changing one word, ‘Government’ to ‘Gang’, the framework applies like a shoe in cinderella’s feet.

“a sum of money demanded by a gang for its support or for

specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.”

The  only notable differences between taxes and protection money are that

  • Taxes are approved by the legislature while protection money is not
  • Men in suits demand taxes with a smile while protection money is demanded by men in local attire with a frown!

And the key similarity between the government and the gangs is that neither of them protect and help the people when they need it.

Disclaimer – This post is merely a sarcastic attempt in comparing and presenting facts. I don’t condone or condemn the gangs or the governments, for the fear of being punished by either or both of them (hey..thats one more similarity between the gangs and the government!!)

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Why does Brazil need Rajesh Khanna?

July 3, 2010
Isn’t it about time that the Govt. legalize the limits on stupidity? I mean, we all enjoy a little stupidity here and there but to have a whole bunch of people getting specialized in it and trying to break the glass ceiling of stupidity, its just plain stupid.

After doing some research, it’s been found that nutjobs can be categorized into 4 broad areas.

Religious nutjobs

Pseudo-Driver nutjobs

General nutjobs

Online nutjobs

Out of these 4 nutjob categories, except for the Online nutjobs, the rest all seem to have stagnated at some level.

Religious nutjobs stagnated at blowing themselves up. Don’t seem to find any improvement in their standards after that.

Pseudo-Driver nutjobs stagnated at driving on red signals & on wrong side of the road. That’s pretty much for them. Nothing dramatic to talk about after that.

General nutjobs stagnated at being general nutjobs. They did not even evolve into a separate category here like the other three categories. So their evolution is very primate. Nothing interesting to talk about them either.

Online nutjobs – Now this is where some real progress is going on. Online nutjobs always almost exceed expectations in displaying their stupidity.

Evolution of Online NutJobs

Evolution of Online NutJobs

Growth of Online NutJobs

Growth of Online NutJobs

Internet fora are all bustling with these nutjobs. Spending 30 minutes a day at any internet forum will be a life altering experience for any person. Seeing all the different ways of their thinking and the stupidity thresholds being crossed, it is an experience in itself.

And about the need for Brazil to have Rajesh Khanna….I have no idea. See below and let me know if anyone got any ideas.

Brazil & Rajesh Khanna

Brazil & Rajesh Khanna

Another sample of stupidity in a Cricket forum…

In a Cricket Forum

In a Cricket Forum

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