The miles to go before I sleep...

  • Start teaching science at school and incorporate demo
  • Research, design, implement comprehensive teaching module on science, civic sense
  • Interview social change agents working @ ground level
  • Pilot peer-to-peer teaching programme

Saturday, October 14, 2006

What a Tamilan won't admit to a northie..

Tulip Manohar Hotel, Hyderabad
There was an employees party in our company within weeks of my joining the company. A group of us, all non-Tamil speaking were chatting in Hindi as a few of us waited for our cab to arrive. Another Tamil speaking colleague of mine came over to me with something in mind that clearly bother him. He asked,

"What were you doing before taking up this job?"
"Studying...", I said.
"How did you know Hindi then?" was his immediate reaction.
I said, " I studied Hindi at school and I have a handful of Hindi-speaking friends from my Master's"

Satyam Theatre Complex, Chennai
I was standing in queue to buy tickets for Mask of Zorro II talking with my friend Srivatsan . Two Hindi-speaking guys behind us were hurriedly discussing on deciding a movie.

"Garam Masaala ka ticket miltha hai kya?" said one.
"Patha nahi..age poocho!" said the other.
He patted my shoulder and asked "Bhai saab....Garam Masala they issuing tickets for Garam masala in the counter?"
I scaned the counter for sometime and said "Abhi jo ticket Kharid ke gaya tha, woh wohi tickets kharid raha tha. Tho...shaayad tickets hai" and gave him a smile.
Even as he looked at me as though he just witnessed a day-light murder, the guy in the next queue (with tamilian written all over his face with vibooti) quickly flashed an instinctive surprised look at me before he turned away pretending not to have heard me speak Hindi.

My own close friend says "Hey cool man, you speak such a fluent Hindi though I studied Hindi for longer than you did"

These are just a few of the numerous instances of what tamilians truly feel at the bottom of their heart about Hindi as a language.

A Tamilian envies another Tamilian who can speak fluent Hindi.

A Tamilan has a bad opinion about the Hindi-speaking community. But given a choice (not a compulsion), he is more likely to learn Hindi than not.

These are two facts that no tamilian will admit to during a war-for-self-respect against a hostile hindi-speaking foe.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Innovation in cellular phone

I used to have a classmate at college from the middle-east whose name goes like this...Abdullah-bin-juma-bin-ali-al-mashrufi! Phewwwww (Now I don't know about the spelling, but that is phonetically correct!). Now it is implied that he is one filthy rich fellow. He was the only guy to flaunt a cellular phone. It was way back in the previous century you see..(1999). (God know how many girls he pocketed with that glittering useless piece!).

I still remmeber that day when my professor, in his resplendent oiled, bald head and three parallel lines of vibooti across his fore-head was going about his mathematics like a bullet train speeding towards Tokyo, when all of a sudden there was a deafening "HELLO" from the back of the room brought him to a screeching halt. The whole class skipped a heart-beat on what it saw next. Abdullah walked right across the class towards the exit, one hand holding the cellphone to his ear and the other hand showing a "excuse-me" to my professor without even waiting for his permission.

Its not secret that, since then the growth of cellular phone has been phenomenal! I can only imagine what my poor professor would have gone through after that. If he has not yet retired, I am sure this is a very good reason to hang is old, worn-out boots!

Features like FM radios and built-in cameras are pointed for the increased the price (over those that don't have them). But they are classic examples of nuisance value (thanks to Sadhu Agashe (Ab Tak Chappan). One pays at least a Rs1000 extra to get a built-in camera that takes very low quality pictures that she can't really transfer if she doesn't buy a transfer cable for another thousand and odd rupees. FM radios are not as bad, but pose a serious traffic hazard.

Ask anybody who has headed a meeting or delivered a presentation before "What irritates you the most while you are yelling at the top of your lungs", the answer will be "cell phones". Isn't it time for the cell phone makers to do something about this? Well, cell phones have built in calendars and I am sure people set meeting reminders about 10-15 minutes before the start right. So, it can't be that hard to set an auto-vibrate mode. Isn't it a good marketable feature, and unlike the earlier additional feature, useful?