November 25, 2010

True but Unbelievable! Flood in Vaigai River!

Hi Guys,

After my previous post, Indians at the Asian Games, the performance of Indians were much better. So, it won’t be proper if I leave it that way, but I’ll wait for the games to conclude and will write the remaining portion. Anyway now I’ll be writing about something unbelievable, but happening.

I have been living in Madurai from my childhood. Madurai, one of the ancient cities of the country is situated on the banks of Vaigai River. Looking back at history, we can end up with the fact that most of the ancient cities were constructed nearby rivers. The main reason behind this is the need of water for livelihood. So, whenever a king decides to settle down at a particular area, he will make sure that the area is rich with water sources. This is not only important for drinking and cooking, but also for agriculture.

Water touching both banks of the river
The history of how Madurai was formed is not so clear, but anyway some ruler (probably a Pandian king) must have chosen the place to settle in. The earlier city was located on the southern side of Vaigai River. The city must have taken a complete shape around 1400-1600 when Meenakshi Amman temple reached its ultimate architecture. The city is mainly based around the temple, basically square streets named after Tamil months. The city must have been such around late 1800s, when the city needed to be expanded.

Bridge connecting parts of the city

So, still the temple forms the centre point of the city, but the city has expanded dramatically. It has gone beyond the other side of the river too and I live on the Northern side of the river. So, basically Madurai was situated on the banks of Vaigai River and because of that, the river has had many historical incidences too. Many epics praise the river, portraying how water flows through the river beautifully.

But, right from my childhood I have rarely seen the River running beautifully. Rather, it would be filled by grass or wild shrubs and more than that it will have very little stagnant dirty water (my mother used to say that when she was a child, even if water doesn’t flow, it would be filled with sand. Thanks to sand quarrying, I didn’t get to see that too). In November, December when Tamil Nadu gets rains due to North East Monsoons (rest of India gets it from South East Monsoons), the river would be filled with water and it would be nice to see that.

But as time went along and I grew tall, the amount of water flowing through the river got reduced. It was as if my height and the amount of water were indirectly proportional. It reached a stage when each year, water would be flowing in the river in the river for some 10-15 days when there were heavy rains and it would flood very rarely. For the past years, water was not even flowing in those days. So, it became something like history saying, ‘Once, so long ago, water was flowing through this river’.

This year was dramatic. There were no rains, the water tables in the city were very low and everyone was praying for rains. Everyone was waiting for the North East monsoons. Finally November came and rains started and it hasn’t stopped until now. The water level in the Vaigai Dam (situated 70 kms away from Madurai) reached its maximum a few days ago and hence the water flowing through the Vaigai River was increasing each day.

Water flowing with great force!
A few days ago, water was flowing very heavily and flood warnings were issued. A few people who got inside the river ignoring the warning, never returned back. So, it’s something like sort of History restored. These days many people gather around the river to watch the water flowing. On my way to college, I have been able to see people standing on the bridges and watching the water. Particularly, many younger school children watch the River awestruck, as they have never seen this much water.

People watching water flow through the river
Due to this, many lakes and ponds around the city has got filled and even some has broken out. Most of the areas lying in the southern side of the city have been drowned with water. One of my classmates coming from that area told me, all the streets and low lying houses have been filled with water and it has become playtime for kids. They enjoy their time in water and many other boys, engage their time catching fishes. He said fishes up to a foot long were found in the water.

This has caused a lot of hardships to the people too, but generally people are enjoying it, as the city is receiving water after a long time. The atmosphere is great around here. Hope water flows for many more days.

Happy Reading!!!

P.S: Photographs taken by my friend Sundar. All pictures were taken today.

November 20, 2010

Indians at the Asian Games!

Hi Guys,

After a bright performance in Commonwealth games, Indians have so far disappointed in the Asian Games. Not even one month has passed by, but our performance has been so poor. There have been some really spectacular performances too. Let me analyse who has disappointed and who has created new hopes.

Poor performances
The poor performance started on the very first day itself. The strongest medal hope was our Shooting contingent. They have been on the high for the past few years. Gagan Narang was one of the biggest hopes as he had won 4 gold medals in the CWG. Abhinav Bindra, India’s only gold medallist was also a big hope. Gagan was able to manage a silver in 10m air pistol whereas Abhinav didn’t even qualify for the finals (he could have claimed for a wrong judgement, but he didn’t for team’s cause). They managed to win silver in team’s event. After that our shooting contingent delivered very poorly. No one won gold. There were a very few silver and bronze medals. Frustrated, our national shooting coach, Sunny Thomas has announced his retirement after the Asian Games. He has been our national coach for the past 17 years. I can’t believe that these people were very superb just a month ago. How could a whole bunch of shooters lose form?

My next biggest expectation was Badminton. I was hoping that Saina Nehwal would win at least silver, if not gold (I knew gold was difficult as our Asian players are very strong in Badminton). But it was such a shock when I heard that she lost in the quarter finals to a world number 12th player. The way she lost was worse 8-21, 21-8, 21-19. She was in tears after the match. Don’t know what happened.

Saina Nehwal dejected after losing the match
Not just these, there has been much poor performances on all sides. Let’s get into the positives.

Incredible Performances
The two gold medallists Pankaj Advani (billiards) and Bajrang Lal (rowing) were brilliant in their respective games. Both of them have won before in top level games and they didn’t fail like our shooters. Instead they rose to the occasion and proved us what they were capable off. Hats off to them!

Bajrang Lal after winning the gold
The next astonishment was Ashish Kumar, winning India’s first ever bronze medal in Gymnastics. Indians were never capable of doing gymnastic actions and we never considered even our name in the gymnastic arena. But this 19 year old Ashish Kumar from Allahabad proved otherwise. After winning a silver and bronze in CWG, he has won this bronze in Asian games amidst stiff competition from Chinese, Japanese and Koreans.

Another scintillating performance came from the pool, when Virdhawal Khade won the bronze medal in 50m Butterfly event. It was also a rare medal. Similar to gymnastics, swimming has also been very poor in India. But this 19 year old Maharasthra boy has been India’s hope for some time now. He holds nearly all national records in swimming. After winning the medal, in the press conference he surprised everyone by saying he is better than the other 2 medal winning swimmers as he is younger. The next he was only able to be 13th in the 100m Freestyle event. He must learn to speak carefully further.

Virdhawal Khade after winning the bronze medal
Indians have also been able to perform well in rowing team event. Apart from Bajrang Lal our Indian team members have performed well to win some medals. I read a terrible thing in newspaper today. For rowing, our rowing committee (or some equivalent governing body) has imported 8 boats from Italy. Our customs officials have not allowed it inside saying some idiotic reasons. So our rowing team has been rowing with old boats (boats they used in 2002 Asian Games) and boats that our military has lend them. With a government like this, we can’t do much. Despite all these problems our rowers rock in the games.

Our Indians have also been performing well in many other games like Wushu. They are doing well in Tennis and Boxing. I hope we will get medals in them too. If our cricket board had sent a second class team to the games, we would have surely got 2 gold as all other teams are also engaged.

Let’s see how things go in the next few days. At least hope that India will break into the top 10 teams.

Happy Reading!!!

November 12, 2010

Things that crossed my way!

Hi Guys,

It has been long since I wrote my last post. It is also long since I wrote a post out of my heart. I was busy with works regarding my brother’s marriage (which ended successfully on October 27). After that I was busy setting things at home (as I was alone in home for 2 weeks, everything was shuffled) and of late, I’ve been getting ready for my practical exams, which are scheduled to start next week. Before that I thought of sharing a few things that came across my way in the recent days.

Security Levels

Let me say you about the security levels followed in our country. Recently I and my mother went to Railway Station to wave off my brother and sister in law. It was heavily raining and we went there after some delays. We went through the main entrance and we were asked to go through a metal detector. I had to come out again to get platform tickets and when I went in, I was enquired on why I was going in and out continuously. Impressed? Read the sequel.

Two days later (exactly on Diwali), I and parents were leaving to Chennai to send off my brother who was going back to US. That day it was raining even heavily. The roads were filled with knee height water and we were dropped some 1 km from Railway station. We managed to walk in the water logged road and after reaching railway station, we used the overhead bridge as the entrance was filled with water. We were not checked. After reaching inside, I came to the main lobby of the station, to check the platform number of our train. From there, I saw that the passengers who were entering through the main entrance were checked. So, what is the purpose of this security? Any terrorist or anti social person could easily come through the overhead bridge. Maybe we could easily say that in a country with so much population, we can’t check everyone. But then, at least all the ways should be blocked or checked.

Rains bringing back Water

Water flowing through Vaigai River
There were heavy rains here during the past week. At least, this year North East monsoons blossomed. This has increased water levels in all the places. In our home, we were facing water scarcity and after these rains, the condition seems to have improved. I heard from my mother that the lake nearby our home has been filled with water and this will improve the water table. Also, today when I went to college, I saw that water was flowing in the Vaigai River after very long time. It has been at least 2 years since water flowed through the famous river. It was a good scene, but the river is filled with weedy plants and scrubs and they hinder the water flow. Seeing from the bridge, it appears as if many tiny green islands have come into existence in the river.

Poor clumsy Water filled in Teppakulam

A photo of Teppakulam I captured during last Float Festival
Thepa Thiruvizha (Float festival) will be occurring somewhere in the February month and for that our officials have started filling water in the Teppakulam. The process started a few days back. Water is pumped from the Vaigai River and is flowed into the pond. When the process started the water in Vaigai River was dirty, stagnated and poor. With no worries about that, our officials started filling in. Though now good water flows through, nothing can be done to the polluted water. Each day I go to my college through that area and the stench it has created is unbearable. Today it was quite better as the good water must have diluted the effects. Why don’t our officials think before doing things? Last year the same problem occurred and after media focus, they removed the dirt using machines.

Anil and Apple confusions

This is a message I received in my phone some time back

3 apples were in front of an anil (anil means squirrel in Tamil). Anil ate 2 apples, didn’t eat one. Reason? The apple was plastic.
Now, again 3 apples in front of an anil and anil didn’t eat any. Reason? Anil was plastic.
One original apple in front of an original anil. But, still anil didn’t eat. Reason? Anil was on Discovery Channel and apple was on front of the TV.
Now, anil and apple are on TV, but anil didn’t eat. Reason? Both were on different channels.
I know you are angry, but you have to read this too...
Anil and apple are on same TV channel, even then anil didn’t eat. Reason? TV was off.

After reading this message, I was blank and was not able to do anything for some time.

That’s it for now guys see you later!

Happy Reading!!!

November 3, 2010

Awesome Alfred Hitchcock Movies

Hi Guys,

In this post I’m going to write about three movies I watched recently. I had heard of Alfred Hitchcock and wanted to watch at least a few of his movies. The dream became true and I watched three of his movies including Psycho (1960), Rear Window (1954) and Vertigo (1958). Each movie was a masterpiece.


It is said to be Alfred Hitchcock’s best one and one of the greatest movies ever released. It is a 1960 Black and White movie. Though color movies were quite common at that time, I think Alfred Hitchcock wanted to take this movie in this BW.

It’s a psychological thriller movie. Janet Leigh steals $40000 from her boss in order to marry her boyfriend John Gavin and flees Phoenix. On the way she is followed by a policeman who suspects her. After getting free from the cop, she stops in a motel, due to rain. The motel is run by Norman Bates, who stays in his home nearby along with his mother. There is no one in the motel, as it far away from Fairvale. She dines with Norman and his mother is unhappy with her arrival. That night, we are shown Janet being murdered by a woman like structure, who probably must be his mother.

Norman fights with his mother for her murdering act and starts to clean the room. Meanwhile Janet’s boss sends her sister to find her and his money. She along with John Gavin sends a detective to the motel. He is also murdered by the same woman like structure. Then both of them come to the motel and finds that Norman’s mother is dead and her decayed body is kept in his home. So, who killed both the people and whose voice did we hear when Norman spoke to his mother? Watch movie to know the climax.

Alfred Hitchcock has used many of his peculiar film making techniques in this movie. First is his Mcguffin technique. Mcguffin is a film making technique in which the story revolves around a particular object or thing. In this story $40000 tends to be Mcguffin, but in the end we even forget there was money involved in the story. The best scene in the movie is the murder scene of Janet Leigh. The director has used a lot of close up cameras and different angles to make it terrific. It is said that after watching this movie, many people were horror filled to take a bath.

Rear Window

The next movie I watched was Rear Window. The suspense movie was released in 1954 and stars James Stewart, Grace Kelly and Thelma Ritter. The whole movie has been shot in one location, an apartment and most of the movie has been shot from a single room.

James Stewart is a professional photographer and breaks his leg in a dangerous assignment. He is confined to a wheelchair in his house. His daily visitors are an elderly nurse Thelma Ritter and his girlfriend Grace Kelly. Due to summer heat wave, the occupants leave their window open and James passes his day by watching people through the window. He becomes suspicious of a businessman as his ill wife gets disappeared all of a sudden. He tells the things to his girlfriend and nurse and with the help of them, he finds out things. Was the businessman a murderer? Watch the movie.

Actually I started watching this movie by 11 pm. I thought of seeing some of the movie and then to continue it the next day. But the movie was so interesting and I finished the movie in a stretch. I can’t imagine today’s directors to stick with just a home and finish of a movie.


I watched this thriller yesterday. It was released in 1958 and stars James Stewart and Kim Novak. Again, it was a different story and a superb movie.

James Stewart is a detective in the police force who develops Acrophobia (fear of heights) as he sees a police officer fall down from a roof, despite his efforts to save him. He retires from the police force. One of his school friend requests James to decode his wife’s suspicious behaviour. As per his request, James follows Kim Novak and finds her to be peculiar. Her great grandmother committed suicide and she pretends to have all her behaviours. James saves her from committing suicide in California bay. After that he falls in love with her and she tells him about a peculiar dream.

In an effort to find out the solution, he takes her to a Spanish colony some 100 miles apart. There she says James is too late and starts climbing the church’s tower. James follows her, but because of his acrophobia he is not able to climb and sees Kim falling through a window. He is shocked and he is unable to talk for some days. After recovery, he wanders through and finds a girl much similar to Kim. He meets her awkwardly in her room and later they fall in love.

James requests her to dress similarly to the old Kim and finally he sees that she has the same necklace as that of old Kim. That raises suspicion and he takes to the same church to wrangle out the truth. What happens next is the climax. Were they the same? Or were they different people? Why was James used in all these things? Watch the movie to find out the answers.

Hope you enjoyed the post. I’m going to continue watching Alfred Hitchcock’s movies and write about them.

continued in  Awesome Alfred Hitchcock Movies - Part 2

Happy Reading!!!