Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Youngest Director for Guiness Book from India

Master Kishan Shrikanth is bringing more fame to India than any other youngster today. Born to the Shrikanth-Shylaja couple in Karnataka on January 6, 1996, this young chap is all set to enter the Guinness Book as the youngest film director at the age of 10.

Kishan is a well-known child actor in the Kannada film industry today. As of year 2006, he has a strong track record of having acted in 24 films and on a popular soap opera in Indian television.

This talented boy doesn't stop at acting and is pursuing a dream far and beyond his age, inspite of his next-door neighbor's kid looks.

He is all set to direct his first commercial film titled "C/o Footpath" (Care of Footpath). The story is about an orphaned boy who wants to go to school and make it big in life. Kishan's inspiration for this comes from wanting to do something for the orphan children he sees on the streets in Bangalore.

Besides, directing the project, Kishan is also playing the lead role. He has also written the story and is quite knowledgeable about calling shots from behind the camera. His cinematography and directional skills were acquired during his acting days from the age of 6.

C/o Footpath has Bollywood star Jackie Sheroff and a few other Kannada actors and is going to be shot in Kannada and will then be remade in Tamil and Hindi. This 135 minute film is being produced by Kishan's mother Shylaja who is a movie music director herself.

Kishan is planning an April 2006 summer holiday release and is busy juggling shooting schedules and issuing orders to the team as director.

As per current record, the youngest director of a professional film is Sydney Ling from Netherlans who directed the film "Lex the Wonderdog" at the age of 13.

If Kishan succeeds in his venture, he would break Sydney Ling's record and become the youngest director to direct a feature film.

Good Luck to Kishan for his directorial venture and in bringing glory to India!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Thiagaraja Aaradhana Day in Bay Area

South India Fine Arts (SIFA) is the premier organization in the San Francisco Bay Area dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and presentation of South Indian fine arts.

On a similar basis to the famous Thiagaraja Aaradhana in Thiruvaiyaru, SIFA- Bay Area is also hosting Thiagaraja Aaradhana Day - 2006 on Saturday Feb. 4, 2006 at the Center for Employment Training (CET in San Jose). Please look for more details at the SIFA website (www.southindiafinearts.org)
The whole function is a one day program starting with Pancharathna Keerthanaas rendering by singers and instrumentalists from 8-10.30 am, followed by rendering of Thiagaraja Keerthanaas by the South Indian community.

Who says that there is no T-day in the US? Indeed, living in the Bay Area caters to the needs of several communities of people, including lots of Carnatic music lovers.

Enjoy Bay Area Carnatic Music Lovers and Bloggers..................

Happy Friday and have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Perfect Woman

I was recently watching a commercial on TV, when guess who i saw grace the screens of Americal television? It was none other than the World's Most Beautiful Woman Aishwarya Rai, featuring in the L-oreal hair care product. She spoke with an American accent, though it was dubbed and she looks as smashing as always.

After a few days, i forgot about the whole thing. But, today, as i was reading an article on Woman's Roles and Images projected on media, this opened up a blog topic.
Mass Media advertising both here in the US and in India is always an artificial, dreamy world where no woman who looks ugly, obese, poor, or for that matter an average normal working woman who has kids, cleans, cooks and runs the family is ever portrayed truly.
All these so-called models and media women are used as a "tool" based on their gender to sell a product off the shelf. It is either the trim model showing off her good figure for an athletic equipment or a pale complexioned face for a fairness beauty cream.
Do these stuffed dolls ever portray a true picture of the everyday woman in real world?
Most of these commercials are taken from a male viewer's perspective, such as a man rescuing a woman who is suffering or a man who is stronger than a woman and so on.
Also, there are lots of real life women out there who feel constant pressure by being compared against these kind of paper-thin models who talk about beauty tips and creams, shampoos, diet regimen etc. One must remember that these women are standards for movie actresses and super models, not for an average looking woman.
It is a known fact that marketing will always involve showing off beautiful woman on their advts. as we all want to see some pretty images, but these characters need to be a true and practical representation of the common women.
Further, every woman has different appearance needs- a traditional homemaker who stays home and raises a family will have a different view on her appearance than a high flying top notch career woman who meets clients on a daily basis.
Finally, just want to end up quoting the article's conclusion that Women are still seeking answers to Freud's question- "What does a woman want"?
My take on that would be that All women irrespective of their nationality want to be loved, respected for their opinions and treated with dignity both at home and at work.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Coming up Saarang 2006 from IIT, Madras

Do you know what is shaking Chennaites now? Do you know what is the most popular and publisized culturals in Madras? Well, well.....Come Jan24-29th, IIT Madras is opening its gates for the biggest cultural fest that shakes the city- Saarang 2006.

More than a thousand students are involved in co-ordinating and perfecting their skills for this gala event. It is indeed a great show with a budget running close to a crore and the co-ordinators who put in their time, effort and energy into making this a grand time for all of the Chennai youth.

Indeed, everything is student managed and a lot of networking, making contacts with high level artists, community folks with amazing talents, finding sponsors, going after the advertisements etc all go into making this happen.

Just want to highlight this year's pro-show- Starting with the violin duo Ganesh-Kumaresh, and light music night featuring Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendosa, the ending event is going to be a rock show featuring Led Zepplica and Parikrama.

Apart from this, there will be the usual Speaking Events, Informals, Quizzes, Performances and Literary Events amidst several others.

I really had a good time enjoying SPB's light music performance at Saraang in 2000 when i was back in India. It was indeed a fun time with a bunch of us-college makkal, meeting fellow folks in the jam packed open air theatre and booing and screaming for SPB with our requests. The show lasted till 11 pm and SPB kept going on and on- Saarang is indeed a time for Chennai youths to have a bash of a time!!!

Finally, read that this year the IIT folks have decided to reach out to people all over the world by creating a blog dedicated to the making of Saarang, apart from the official site


For those of you in Chennai- Don't miss this event!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

From Chennai- Madhavan & his dosas

Picture from Hindu -Photo by N. Sridharan

Today's Hindu online's supplement section features an article on happening events in Chennai. Since, this event is popular because of my favorite hero-here goes today's blog on Maddie and his dosa making skills.

The Place: Planet Yumm in Ascendas Park, along the IT corridor, Chennai

The Occasion: Grand opening by Actor Madhavan and cricketers Balaji and Robin Singh

The Cause: Madhavan declaring that he would secure Rs. 2 lakhs out of his dosa making event to donate to The Banyan, a home run by actress Revathi as a non-profit institution for mentally ill and destitute women.

The Gala Event:

Madhavan draped in his Nala Damayanthi style chef apron plays the role of a Palimar dosa chef. He starts out by making one dosa, which he improvises to dosa 2, watched in eager anticipation by a crowd of his women fans. He keeps working on his dosas with rapt concentration, furrowed brows by adding ghee on the edges and tossing them deftly onto their crisp sides once they are done.

Then, the dosas are put up for auction. The pair of dosas opened for Rs.500 and while the crowd booed, Maddie yelled his price of Rs.2000. The auction kept mounting as women started to plunge in to overbid Maddie's price till it went upto Rs.12,000. Maddie who is now all rolled up into auctioning himself, quotes a firm Rs.20,000 for his hand made dosas. A bidder yelled Rs.25,000 and Maddie surprises everyone by announcing that he'd still add his 20,000 bucks.

Imagine- the price of 2 cold dosas now Rs.45,000 and sure Madhavan does melt hearts as well ashe makes melty dosas ends the applause.

The auction continued......Maddie then proceeded to make 2 cups of steaming mochas and sold it for Rs.25,000 to two girls who proudly told a stunned Maddie that they are the ones paying for this coffee.

Looks like the auction went on till a lot more money was collected and all credit goes to Madhavan.

Is this Maddie Madness at its fullest?

Hmmm..(sighing..................wish i was there to watch my favourite hero at this event)

Have a nice evening!!!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Happy Pongal and Sankranthi

Wishing all Bloggers A Happy Pongal and Sankranthi......................................

Some websites that depict the spirit of Pongal and brings back memories of Pongal celebrated in India:




Pongalo Pongal................................Have a great Pongal weekend and Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day off for all those lucky folks out there who have a long weekend (like me).

Ensoy Makale!!!

Monday, January 09, 2006

From Work- Knowing our Personality Type

Cartoon Picture Illustration by Roger Armstrong (INFJ)

One of my colleagues who was out on vacation till the week after New Year came back to the office today. We went out for a cup of coffee and i was telling her about some of the candidates we've been interviewing for one of our job openings that has been posted for 4 months now. The interview process in our organization is pretty simple and straight forward- We have an Interview Committee of 3 people which comprises of 1 HR person and 2 technical folks(who aren't managers). After our HR person screens the resumes and schedules candidate interviews, the committee meets with the candidates and recommends them to meet with the Co-Directors (our bosses), if they are impressive.
Both are Co-Directors are wonderful bosses to work for; but their working styles and personalities are so different that its hard to reach a final decision. Before, i go off track, my colleague was saying that it would probably help me to brush my grad school books on Organizational Behavior and read about understanding different personality types in order to work with them in recruiting a candidate for that open position.
After going back to Myers-Briggs model and doing other reading, i finally decided to blog some of my understanding on the types of peronalities.
Usually, people come in various personality packages- some of the well known ones are the Type A and Type B personalities. Let me call my Co-Dircetors C and D.
Co-Director C is highly competitive and rushing. She likes to do several projects and tasks all at once. She is often hard pressed for time and watches her clock to make sure that things are done on time. Her schedule is often fixed and finding a meeting slot in her calendar is just crazy for her admin folks.
Her Interviewing Style: She makes sure her interview/meeting with a finalist candidate doesn't exceed an hour. She gets interrupted by the phone during her time with the candidate and often comes across as slightly intimidating to the candidate with her fast demeanor and pace.........................................She is my Type A personality.
By contrast, Co-Director D is less competitive, takes more time and is more flexible with her schedule.
Her Interviewing Style: She doesn't mind if the candidate talks for a longer time and is patient and thorough with her questioning. She doesn't answer her phone or appear impatient when she meets with the candidate. In fact, she talks to them a little bit about their previous job, commute etc before she starts the drill.................................She is my Type B personality.
So, then is Type A bad and B good? I don't think so. Both Co-Directors interview at the same time and there is a nice balance to the candidate. If Co-Director C is too busy on the phone, then Co-Director D makes the candidate feel comfortable and not neglected. Also, if Co-Director D is really taking a long time to warm up with her general talk, then Co-Director C plunges in and changes the pace of the interview. As long as the two of them can understand each other's perspective, they can compliment one another and provide a successful outcome.
Can the same theory be applied to our personal lives too. Is that why folks comment that when opposites often marry, they lead a very full life, since each partner makes up for the other's weaknesses and each brings important characteristics into the relationship.
Would be interested to see your comments......................................................

Friday, January 06, 2006

Mendocino- A Getaway Close to Home

During the XMas holidays, Special K and i took off to Mendocino, a coastal village that is nestled 4 hours north of San Francisco. Drving on Highway 1 along the coast is beautiful and scenic. We were lucky to have moderately good weather with the sun coming out on and off except on our way back when it started to pour.
There are several things about Mendocino that i like-

First, of all, it is close enough to Bay Area and we drive away on a Friday evening and come back on Sunday evening after spending two nights and a little more than a day there.
Second, we enjoyed our stay at the Blackberry Inn, a semi bed and breakfast place that had good views of the ocean from our room. We were surprised to meet the inn manager, a white guy, who introduced himself as Janaka. His wife's name was Bhavani and his son's name was Karthikeyan. His daughter-in-law is a telugu girl named Geetha. This is a white family and when asked about their names, he gave us a brief history of how they converted themselves back in years to Hindu-Shaivism and worship Lord Ganesha and other Indian dieties. Their puja room was filled with Indian Gods and sloka books. They have a Guruji who was born in Oakland, CA and now has his own temple in Kaui, Hawaii. Oh Man, these folks were celebrating Shasti and not XMas. When we were leaving, we were given incense sticks, a Chandrika soap and some Indian curry powder.
Finally, the area- This North Coast region of Mendocino is wonderously beautiful, quiet and relaxing with three state parks nearby, long breathtaking paths along the rugged coastline that lead to magnificant beaches that have no people. This is a place where one can totally unwind and blend in with the ocean and admire the views with a loved one beside you.
The village of Mendocino also offers some exquisite massage and spa houses which offer solace to the stressed out folks who come there just to rest. There are stores that sell local arts and crafts stuff for the tourists. Other attractions closeby are the Botanical Gardens and Skunk Train rides to and from Fort Bragg.
A definite place to visit if you live on the west coast..................
Have a restful weekend.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Boooooooooyah Jim- Let's Make Mad Money!

Pictures taken from Business Week online.

Come, 9 pm every night and its Cramer Time at our place, yes, Mad Money is what i am talking about. One of the most popular guys on TV today is Jim Cramer. Kids, old people and youngsters who are all into stocks love this man and his show. Cramer is the definition of top spirited vigor and this red-faced character depicts obsessive behavior on news reports yelling and banging his fists off. His show starts with hsi favourite one liner that He wants to make you a lot of money and not friends. The man has a $450 million hedge fund and still prowls the floors of TheStreet.com Inc's headquarters on Wall Street.

His show runs for an hour with Jim revealing a hot stock to buy or about owning an unknown company stock tip during the first quarter of his show. Then, the calls start to come in from all over the country-Its Booyah Jimmy all the way and folks ask him a question and off he goes with his hand gestures and expressions, throwing around stuff and banging the chair while he attacks every question thrown at him with his spontaneous animated talks.

I wonder how his voice doesn't crack or how he manages to sustain such a hyper level of energy throughout. Articles say that Jim Cramer is the same kinda person off the screen, even at work and a most shrewd and articulate "Stock Guru" who is all for popularity and limelight. Jim gives his wife due credit for bringing him to this level by motivating him into stocks.

Finally, his new book Cramer's Real Money: Sane Investing in an Insane World is selling like crazy on amazon and shows that Cramer has brought a new meaning and hope to sensible investing for common folks who are actively trading.

Booyah Folks!!!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I am back in the New Year!!!

Happy New Year to all

Here's me back into the blogging world after a break. It feels different coming back to this login and sitting down to voice my thoughts again. Some of you may have wondered about why the sudden getaway from this arena- Well, hmmm...............................ahhh.....let me just say that i was waiting for 2005 to end and start afresh in 2006 with renewed vigour and enthusiasm to blog.

New Year Resolutions- A Date to Remember

Many of us out there think of New Year resolutions as a means to give up some bad habits and acquire some better ones. The deadline helps us to bear in mind that we made this decision on a special day and must try our best to keep it going throughout the year.
When we talk about resolutions, several folks make personal resolutions about quitting a bad habit or following a diet restriction to lose weight etc. Its only a handful of folks that make selfless resolutions that involve doing something for the community, charity etc other than just for themselves and their families.
Lastly, there are a category of folks out there who don't believe in making a New Year resolution. These are people who think that every day is a new beginning and with some maturity and discipline we can continue to adhere to good practices and not choose a new year day to make a lofty resolution and end up breaking it after a month.
Would be interested to see some of your opinions......................
Once again, Happy New Year and its good to be back to blog again....