Brown Bread

They had just gone to get bread and tomatoes from the super market. He quickly went and picked up thick sliced white bread. She scowled at him, “do you want to hear a lecture again” she said. “why dont you keep it back and get brown bread instead”. He did the same quietly, and repeated in mind what would be her next statement, “Brown bread is much healthier than White Bread, you know”.

They walked back home after shopping. They both hadnt seen the car that was coming.

The forgotten spy

The story of a forgotten spy.

“As a boy, my name was Mani. We diligently listened to all the conversation the British officers had and later on, all five of us discussed the information we had collected, and then conveyed it to Netaji. Those were very exciting days,” said Rajamani, the excitement coming through even in her feeble voice.

The bloggers meet in London

Chakra was the person. He was the man in touch with most of the desi bloggers in UK. So no wonder we pushed him to organise a bloggers meet in London. The venue and the date was fixed quickly and the message was passed around. So came the date of the bloggers meet.

The blog meet was wonderful, it had to be because there were only two of us. Myself and my wife attending it. Or it seemed to be like that for the first 15-20 minutes of the meet. Chakra indeed had planned everything and Jag had booked the restaurant table for 12-16 people. The Blog meet was to start at 12.30 and we reached sharp on time to find all the tables empty. It was just us both and the restaurant staff.

Never to be let down, we both sat down and had a good chat for around 5 minutes, peering over to the entrance of the restaurant to see if anyone else was joining us or to go ahead with the main objective of the blog meet – ordering and eating the onion rava masala dosa. A sharp look from my ardhangini brought me back to the civilised world, and made me realize that it was not the main agenda. We had to wait for bloggers to arrive.

Another ten-fifteen minutes passed without the onion rava masala dosa, and suddenly there appeared a person with rucksack. Believe it or not, he was alive. Even after travellilng through the tube and running to catch the train, the police didnt shoot him! Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Jag was a really nice person. It was only later we found that his ruck-sack indeed contained some WMD’s (Wonderfully Made Delicacies).

But there we were, three of us chatting away half an hour into the scheduled blog meet starting time, when Renga made the appearance. Soon after, Neha came as well. My eyes and her eyes met, the time stood still, An old tamil 60’s song record started playing in the back-ground “vadanamo chandrabimbamoooo…. malarndha sarojamooooooo” (sorry jag.. the traslation follows – “is it a face or a sculpture made of moon – oooooooooooo or a blossommed lotuss – ooooooo, you get the drift). Then Neha spoke and the spell broke. A resolution was passed, which suggested that the last blogger to arrive will foot the bill of the day.

There was no sign of Chakra still, though 45 minutes had past since we have been ordering and drinking only water from the restaurant. Maybe none of the restaurant staff noticed that table for around 16 people had been booked and for 45 minutes the only orders they had was 2 bottles of water. Oblivious to all that we were chatting, though in between my attention briefly went to the dosa’s and vada’s going to other tables, except ours.

Eventually after a long wait the organiser of the meet and others turned up. Our tables became the centre of attraction in the restaurant then onwards. It was like a tamil sangam was happening (everyone except jag were tamilians or knew tamil). Renga was taking picture after picture, which convinced me that he didnt have any film-roll in the camera, and he was just doing “flash-photography”. Guru also took several snaps with his unique looking digital camera. Twin Gemini Anand was very quiet during the blog meet as well, maybe trying to figure out why he came all the way from US for this. Shubha spent majority of the time picking up the cutlery thrown into the floor at regular intervals by her son and the youngest blogger in the meet – sriram kutty.

Mdeii Anand had this mystic looks and his long hair just added to that appeal. His eyes were really dreamy and different and his discussions almost was about movie making and related topics. I have already asked him for a big role in his movie, so please do stand in the queue, yes, behind me please. I wouldnt write more about him, till I sign the contract.

Chakra was in the middle of all this, enjoying the cacophony, munching away at the snacks, trying to be invisible when twin gemini anand and jag were having a discussion (he being seated in between those two). The discussion ranged between stanley kubrick’s use of music in his films to deepak chopra’s quantum entanglement of human destiny. Meanwhile my main objective of the blog meet – Onion Rava Masala Dosa – arrived. Sorry, I love my food and I dont remember anything that happened till I finished it. The bill came soon after and Chakra was absconding.

Jag did some quick arithmetic and we all footed the bill. Neha departed quickly and the rest of us strolled to Ravenscourt park. Before we parted jag gave each of us a box of lovely WMD that he carried all along. The first indi-uk bloggers meet was completed thus.

ps: read chakra’s version of the event here.

Nuclear power

One of the careers that I thought of when I was growing up was becoming a scientist. My friend santosh at that time had a big trunk full of science books. For him it was a treasure box. Thats from where I first got to read Yakov Peralman’s “Physics can be fun”. It was a wonderful book indeed, the ideas and the way in which physics was explained did have a great influence on me.

Years have flown by and instead of becoming a scientist, I have been a typist, laborotary assistant, salesman, banker, software programmer and several things except becoming a scientist. The journey still goes on. But still whenever I call up santosh, we discuss several topics, and one of the topics always has been physics.

We had discussed the nuclear power and how it can be used to help India. It’s one of those discussions that we came up with this idea. As India is estimated to have several nuclear warheads, which over a period of time becomes useless – due to the decay of nuclear material – we thought of another method. It was making a design of nuclear warhead, so that while it will remain a warhead, it will be used to generate power when kept idle.

So it will have all the shebang for electricity genration at the base part which will be part of a power generation facility, and it will be ready to be deployed when needed, where the central part of the design will seperate and act as a missile when the need arises. In short it’s a sort of a missile design with the capabilities of generating electricity at its base and serves as a nuclear deterrent as well.

But I really find it pleasing that scientists in India are making real good progress, even without our “great” idea contribution ;-) [India unveils safest thorium reactor]

India on Thursday unveiled before the international community its revolutionary design of “A Thorium Breeder Reactor (ATBR)” that can produce 600 MW of electricity for two years “with no refuelling and practically no control manoeuvres.”

Designed by scientists of Mumbai-based Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), ATBR is claimed to be far more economical and safer than any power reactor in the world.

I wish we had these scientists as the poster boys than the bollywood heroes.

Mauli mama

I have heard several stories about mauli mama. During his youth he was involved in several adventures, was a constant companion to my grandfather during his Sabarimalai trips and maybe he was related to us in some way. When I was growing up I saw him drunk most of the time, but the awe and the character I had built around him didnt fade away. I had heard that he was into ganja and other stuff then. He was alone, staying with his mother.

He would disappear for months on end, only to be back again for a brief period of time. with the red eyes, an indicator of the alcohol in his veins and passing age showing. He took bath in a adventurous way, in their house well. He used to tie his legs to the rope that was used to draw water from the well, and jump into the well. After his bath, he would come up with the help of the rope.

One day the rope got stuck when he made the leap. He got smashed into the walls of the well headlong. Mauli mama’s mother still lives in that house alone now. Mauli mama no longer lives there.