Sunday, March 9, 2014


The transition from being a cricketer doing his engineering to a cricketer who has completed his engineering has been a tricky one. For one, the time that I spend on my cricket has increased manyfold but then, now that the college cricket tours have stopped, the blog posts have dried up too.

Not counting my lame ass attempts to get back to blogging via indiblogger contests and a movie review, I know its been more than a year (last post-dec 2012) since I actually wrote and posted something decent here. So yes, sorry for that and also, thank you to those who wanted me to get back to blogging. Means a lot to me when I know that there are people who read my posts. So again, thank you.

My club team practices at IIT-MADRAS; scenic ground and amazing facilities. The campus in itself is huge stretching from adyar/guindy to velachery and taramani on either side. The ground is closer to the velachery gate so let’s take starting point as velachery. Now, I live in sowcarpet- the mystical land of seth (sae-ttu) figures and murukku sandwiches. From sowcarpet to velachery is approximately 18 kms which in Chennai traffic is close to an hour’s travel. In the 2 years that I’ve been practicing here, I’ve tried out a few shops along my route that I could stop by now and then for a quick bite. It is by this trial and error method that I came across this shop in gandhinagar- AROMA CAKES N BAKES that serves the best tandoori chicken grill sandwiches at rs 37 that I’ve eaten.

So yes, there I was this Friday at AROMA, with my chicken sandwich as always when two other customers there, smartly dressed and fancy 30k phone in hand, started discussing about their mobile phones. One was the excessively-loud-know-it-all-chennai-bornandbrought-up-‘dude’ and the other was your technically-brilliant-socially-meek-suburban guy. 30 seconds into the conversation, I knew that ‘these’ two were ‘these’ two.
Deivame, neenga engayo poiteenga!

 For the sake of simplicity, let’s call the first guy DUDE MACHAN (DM) and the second one ROUTE THALA (RT). Excerpts from the conversation…

DM: machan, I have to go to blah blah in gummidipoondi, I’ll search on google maps tell me the spelling.

RT: K-H-U-M-…..

DM: ha ha ha, dai there is no ‘h’ in gummidipoondi. Its K-U-M-… ( followed by the most insane spelling of gummidipoondi ever)

I let this go on, because well, English and spelling isn’t especially everyone’s strong point and I hate judging people on that. The conversation had now gone from google maps and atrocious spellings to features on their phones. DM as expected was at his peak.

DM: dai machan, the Bluetooth in this phone is amazing. It has a good range.

RT: what’s the range?

DM: I don’t know, 8 metres perhaps.

RT: cha, 8m is very small. 850 atleast.

DM: dai! Do u know how much 850m is! No chance!

RT: no no, I meant feet.

The actual range is 10m on his v3.0 bluetooth phone. DM was close enough.

DM: blah blah

RT: blah blah

RT: dude machan(he didn’t obviously call him that, I just don’t remember the guy’s name), there is this thing called wifi hotspot in my phone. Do you know what it is?

DM: adhuvaa da? Very simple. It is the same as Bluetooth but it has greater range. If say Bluetooth has 8m, this has 50m. that’s all, nothing big da.

I had by now payed the bill and was about to leave but this definitely had me in splits. Tethering maybe, but wifi hotspot is definitely not that and I knew it. DM had now moved on to discussing world politics as I started my bike (fine, activa!) and rode away. But that is when I got thinking. That is the problem with the world we live in; the intelligent ones never open their mouths and its usually the dumb ones oozing with confidence that get through. I am not saying that DM is stupid, he could be a genius at his field for all I know, but there he was not knowing anything about wifi hotspot and discussing it as if he had co invented it. And then there’s me. I knew exactly what it was but I had to google it just in case before posting it here, TWICE.

Not just me, I know that there are a lot of people out there brimming with ideas but not having the confidence to put them into action. To all of those people, for once do a DM. Stop putting too much thought into what people would think about you ‘IF’ you went wrong and just go ahead with the damn idea! Trust me, life would be so much better then.

Until next time,

Keep smiling,


Monday, December 30, 2013

#VOTEFORINDIA with social mobile apps

The following post is for a contest organized by WeChat and The topic- How would you inspire and mobilize India's youth to vote in the Indian General Elections 2014 using social mobile apps?

Before I start off, I’d like to take my hat off to WeChat, not only for organizing such a thought provoking contest but also for generalizing the implementation of these ideas into all social mobile apps and not WeChat alone. Truly deserves confidence in themselves to do that. As a mark of appreciation, I’d like to keep this post ‘WeChat specific’ even though I’ve started writing this much after the change of rules had been announced.

The elections, and politics in general, is a tricky thing. For one, taking up anything to do with politics is akin to walking a tightrope. Take news channels for example, try as they might, after a point of time even their news reports seem biased. So how do you call upon the general public to come forward and vote without falling into the bias trap.


The answer is actually quite simple. And no, it does not involve giving free video players and sunny leone DVDs. Statistics suggest that the national average voter turnout during the last general elections was roughly 60%. Assuming 5% of the population did not want to vote because they were fed up with the system, that still leaves a whooping 35%. So why do you think this many people don’t turn up to vote? My theory is that there wasn’t enough awareness created- awareness about the dates and the people contesting in each constituency in a particular area.

So here’s how WeChat can chip in; on the Home screen under Discover, WeChat can add something like this:

Clicking on the ‘Indian General Elections’ tab will take you to another screen which will give you information on the polling dates, the candidates in each constituency and a brief description about them and what they have achieved so far (as applicable). This information will change from state to state based on the number being used. The reason I am suggesting this approach rather than using ads is because seriously, no one likes ads running at the top of your screen shoving politics down your throat.

As far as elections are concerned, the most sensible way social mobile apps can contribute is by creating awareness. It is the most one can and one HAS to do. And if even this fails, well, Sunny Leone is always there.

Until next time,

Keep smiling,


Sunday, December 29, 2013


Released in October, 2013, this is yet another masterpiece from Devdutt Pattanaik. The illustrations are simple yet brilliant, the research is in depth and the narration is the most unbiased version of the epic to be told yet.

The author’s note- ‘WHAT SHIVA TOLD SHAKTI’ is an interesting start to the story but it is the prologue that sets up things brilliantly. The seven chapters and the epilogue are equally well written and moving through the pages doesn’t take too much effort.

But what really makes the book stand out from the rest is the snippets of information given in the gray box at the end of each sub-chapter. It takes a break from the story-like narrative, sometimes offering us variations of the same event as told in different geographic regions or as told by different authors and sometimes offering us an interpretation of the Ramayana from a point of view that is more intuitive than religious.

The Mahabharata and the Ramayana are supreme examples of the advanced Indic thought process. Some look at it as history, some consider it mythology. But ideally, it is a complexly layered masterpiece that is more about the nuances within rather than the characters themselves. Choose not to politicize it, seek instead to understand it. With this book, Devdutt Pattanaik has encouraged people to do just that. In one word, this book is:

Excerpts from the book. . .  
Shakti, who is Goddess, asks Shiva, who is God, to narrate a tale that will comfort all in turbulent times. Shiva narrates the Ramayana, the story of Sita and Ram. . . . . .

A curious crow called Kakabhusandi overhears this narration and shares what he can remember with Narada, the travelling sage who loves to gossip and exchange ideas between heaven and Earth. Narada narrates what he recollects to Valmiki who turns the story into a song and teaches it to the twins Luv and Kush.

Luv and Kush sing it before the king of Ayodhya, not realizing that he is the protagonist of the tale and their father. Ram does not recognize his sons either and finds it hard to believe that the song they sing so beautifully is all about him. The Ram they describe is so perfect. The Sita he remembers is even better. But the song is incomplete. There is more to the story.

The song of Luv and Kush is Purva-Ramayana, the early section. It ends happily after six chapters with the triumph of Ram over the rakshasa king Ravana and his eventual coronation as king of Ayodhya with his wife Sita by his side.

But the tale continues into Uttara-Ramayana, the latter section, with the seventh chapter describing the separation of Sita and Ram, the fight between father and sons, the reconciliation ending with her disappearing into the earth and with him walking into the river Sarayu, never to rise again.

So where does the Ramayana actually end, with the happy sixth or the unhappy seventh?

Neither says the sage Vyasa for after shedding the the body that was Ram, Vishnu ascends to Vaikuntha and then returns as Krishna who is very different from Ram. His story is told in the Mahabharata. That makes the Mahabharata an extension of the Ramayana.

Does the Mahabharata thus mark the end of the story that begins as Ramayana?

Not quite. In the chronicles known as the Puranas, we are informed that after Krishna, Vishnu takes many more forms before descending as Kalki, who herals Pralaya, the end of society as we know it.

Is Pralaya the end of the Ramayana?

 No, for just when the sea is about to rise and submerge all the lands, Vishnu takes the form of a small fish and begs humanity to save him from bigger fish. The man who responds to his cries becomes Manu, the founder of a new social order, for he demonstrates the uniquely human potential to help the helpless, defying nature.
Vishnu then turns into a turtle and helps churn Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth, out of the ocean of milk. He then turns into a boar and raises the earth from under the sea upon which humans can establish society.

As Vamana and Parashurama he supports the yagna, as Ram and Krishna he questions the yagna, as Buddha and Kalki he withdraws from the yagna.  .  . This Vishnu does again and again, in era after era, from pralaya to pralaya, in a cycle of life that knows neither beginning nor end.

Thus the Ramayana is a segment of a vast cyclical tale, one piece of a complex jigsaw puzzle. Events in the tale are a consequence of the past and the cause of the future. It cannot be seen in isolation. To do so is to see the stars and miss the sky.

Until next time

Keep smiling,


Sunday, December 22, 2013


He asked for a toy airplane this birthday, but will it take him to Stanford for higher education? She wishes for a princess doll, but have you done enough to ensure she looks like one on her wedding day? Your child may be 6 now, but time will drift by and he/she will be 16 soon! So, how do you fulfill their wish-lists that grow as quickly as them?

This post is a part of the 1001 Gifts Activity by HDFC Life in association with BlogAdda..  The rules are pretty simple; blog about the 5 things you would want to gift your child for their secure future and why.

Growing up, the most important thing my parents taught me was the importance of love over material comfort. Yes, money is important but sometimes we get too caught up in the process of making money that we forget the true purpose of earning it- to live a peaceful life. I am 23 and single now but when I do have kids, this is what I would like to gift them:

The gift of the joy of sharing
One common mistake parents make these days is to not cultivate in their kids the habit of sharing. When I say sharing, I don’t just to refer to kids sharing their food with their class mates (that is important too) but sharing with the society. Simply put, imbibe in your kid the habit of giving back to the society through charity. On their birthdays, motivate them to donate a portion of their birthday money to an organization. Even better, take them to one of the old age homes or home for the underprivileged and pay for the inmates’ lunch that day under your child’s name. The blessings and the joy received there is genuine and unmatched. To all the parents reading this post, if you haven’t already been doing this, start doing it from this year. It is but a small investment in moulding your child into an exceptional human being.

The gift of unmatched compassion and responsibility
Gift your child a pet! I’ve always been a dog person and trust me a dog is a friend for life, their compassion unmatched. If your child is old enough, make the pet your kid’s responsibility. Raising a pet will make them mature, instilling in them the qualities of love, affection, responsibility and friendship. And through everything, the good and the tough times, the dog will always be there by their side. And a sincere request from my side, if you are planning to get a dog please, please, please adopt an Indian dog. They are intelligent, adorable, less prone to sickness and badly in need of our support.

The gift of family and relations
Nuclear families have become the norm now so kids these days are forced to grow up sans their grandma’s food or their grandpa’s stories. As much as possible, don’t leave your parents or if completely unavoidable, make sure you meet them from time to time. For the sake of your children. Do not deprive them of these treasures.

The gift of confidence
Talk a lot to your kids, encourage them to participate in all activities in school. And whatever they do, always have positive things to say about it. Teach them the importance of looking at the brighter side of every effort. As far as I am concerned, it is the effort that matters and not the result. If you’ve done all the hard work and still faltered, there is very little you can do about it. Kids who are brought up in a positive atmosphere will grow up into confident individuals who will prosper in life. This to me is the best gift you can give your kid.

The gift of a secure future
As much as character is important, there isn’t much you can do with just character alone. Give your child the gift of a secure future, invest in a HDFC SL YoungStar Super II, a unit-linked child insurance plan (ULIP) designed to accumulate wealth for your child's future. With the assurance of money in their account, your children can pursue their dreams with that much more confidence.

These are my choices of gifts to give a child, if there is anything more feel free to add them in the comments section.
If you are a member of blogadda and would like to blog on this topic, check out this link here.

Keep smiling.

Until next time,


Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Getting through engineering college is tough. It involves hard work, skill and a LOT of last minute exam preparations. Ask any engineer when he studies the most and the reply would surely be the half hour before the start of the exam. At India’s No 1 Private University, things are no different. The morning of the exam, the canteen and the stairs are filled with people trying to memorise that one extra formula or that one particular diagram that is sure to come. Or like in my case sometimes, try and squeeze in one whole chapter!

The memorizing part is comparatively easy; it is getting those particular notes during that half hour that is tough. At SRM most of the notes were digitized. Sometimes it would be powerpoint slides but most of the time it would just be snapshots of the books. No we weren’t essentially technologically advanced, we were just too lazy to do any actual studying during class. Laptops, I realized from personal use, was a good option but not essentially the best. Yes, you could read comfortably if you got a good seat but most of the time you wouldn’t and then it would be like one of these game shows here. That is when I realized the importance of a tab. Slender, sleek, easy to hold and everything else an ideal laptop would wish to be.

Thinking back, I guess the Lenovo yoga tab could have come in handy during my four years now. To all the engineers out there, especially the ones at SRM who have to deal with digital notes every now and then, here’s some free advice- Go for a tab+basic phone combo instead of a smart phone; same price, better efficiency.

Ideally, I would have recommended the more famous Apple iPads or the Samsung Galaxy tabs but one look at the features of the Lenovo yoga tab and I was blown away. Equipped with top of the group technology at such a price makes this tab impressive but what makes it really stand out are the three modes of use. *author recommendation: click on the link and prepare to have your minds blown off!*

For all you selfie addicts on Facebook and Instagram, presenting to you the HOLD MODE. The hinge design enables you to flip open the side bar and snap away to your heart’s content. Never will you have to waste time mastering the art of selfies, Lenovo just made it easier for you.

Now for the STAND MODE. On a long duration video call with your loved ones? Hands cramp up after the first 10 mins? Never fear because the yoga tab is here, flip open the side bar, place the tab on a table and chat away for 18 hrs straight. Yes, you heard that right, 18 hrs is how long this tab can last. Phenomenal right!

And for all those addictive gamers or book lovers, there’s the TILT MODE. Flip the side bar to 45 degrees, place the tab on a table (for gamers) or a bed/sofa( for people like me who prefer lying down to read) and let time fly by! As for things to improve on this already phenomenal design, it would be to perhaps add a remote( something like a laser pen, sleek like a stylus) to say flip between pages or activate the play/pause options in the video player when the tab is in STAND MODE and you are at a distance. But even that is asking too much from an already game changing model!

If you have any more suggestions, feel free to contribute in the comments section; the people at Lenovo will be looking into it. If you are on facebook (stupid question,who isn’t!)  like the Lenovo page to send your suggestions. And if you are a fellow blogger, send in your entries here. Contest closes on 18th December 2013 so hurry up!

Until next time, hopefully from my new yoga tab,

Keep smiling and