Monday, December 24, 2012

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin officially retired today from ODIs. He will still continue to play in test games for India. And i am sure he will continue to play for Mumbai Indians for few more years. But this is such a monumental moment. End of an era. Kinda tells me i am getting old as well.

Sachin's international career experience  is almost the same as my age. I grew up watching and idolizing Sachin. When i was a kid, my mom wanted to get me a bat. And i chose the one with the MRF sticker just because it was used by Sachin back then. I had no idea what MRF was..But still wanted the same bat. I wore tshirts that had number 10 (Sachin's number on his tshirt) and had Sachin posters all over my room. End of an era. Truly.

I will never forget the 98 against Pak in 2003 world cup. That, to me is the best innings played by Sachin. I am not saying this just because Sachin told Cricinfo that the innings was his favorite too. There is so much heroism in that innings. I am glad i caught that game live on TV. I watched the entire Pak innings and was absolutely sure India was about to loose. When Waqar and Akram and Akhtar started bowling aggressively i knew India were finished. But then again, Sachin did this awesome upper cut off Akhtar, which just set the tone for the entire game. I remember sitting on the edge of the seat wondering how this is going to play out. That shot almost made me jump off my seats. For that second i thought my heart stopped..thought the third man would catch it. But again, the ball went for a beautiful six. I can still imagine that six as if it is happening now. I can still replay it in slow motion and occasionally feel happy remembering that moment. (starts at 00.29 in this video)

And that almost catch with Razzaq dropped when Akram was bowling was another heart stopper in this innings. I thought he was out. And then Razzaq dropped. he scored only 98. So if you compare all the other innings where he scored so much more runs than this and just look at this as a number, you wont know the significance. But this innings according to me is the best of Sachin.

People talk endlessly about the Sharjah innings. I was too young to remember that innings. But i do remember seeing Sachin coming all the way to the mid pitch and hitting Warne for a six. And Tony Greig yelling, "what a player. What a wonderful player" But i dont remember the entire innings.

I am not going to talk about how Sachin led a life without mistresses or drunken driving. Even if he did, i would have still liked him. Sachin has inspired an entire generation. He has single handedly made cricket the unofficial national sport of India and inspired a whole new group of people like Virat.

There is a famous saying in China. "May you live in interesting times" It was actually meant as a curse. But i dont think of it that way. All of us should live in interesting times. If not, what is the point in life? Thank you Sachin for making my child hood interesting. Thank you Sachin for making my childhood memorable. Thanks for making our lives interesting. Thanks for the endless hours of entertainment. It is not an easy job. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing the best player in his best form. Thanks for letting us witness that. You are and will always be a legend. The poster i have of you with the helmet on one hand and bat on your other hand looking up at the sky will remain in my wall forever. And i will be endlessly talking about all the amazing innings in dinner tables and in parties and continue to re-live my childhood by reminiscing the centuries and victories. A heartfelt thanks.

Cricket will never be the same. Indian cricket team will never be the same. There might be another new batsman who might surpass Sachin's records, but cricket will never be the same. Thank you Sachin. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Where are the good old times?

My article got published in Spark magazine. You can read it here. It also has some other really good articles. So also check them out. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nenjukulle umma mudinjirukka

It has been a while since ARR worked on a tamil movie. I was quite disappointed by that. Hindi songs translated to Tamil dont entice me. They dont have soul and have funny lyrics. (kattu sirukki song from Ravanan is an embarassing example. Kattu siruki? really? What were they thinking?)

Today, saw this new song. And i am just completely in love with it. Apparently this song is from Vairamuthu kavithaigal book. I have that book, yet dont remember this particular poem. That is when i realized, music can truly make lyrics come to life. An excellent poem went unnoticed and ARR music gave it life. Everyone in the video seem to be really enjoying creating something so divine.

I am truly blessed to be born in ARR era. People in my generation basically grew up listening to ARR songs. I still remember chinna chinna aasai.

It is so nice to have ARR and Maniratnam working on a tamil movie for tamils. Last one was kannathil muthamittal i think. Thank you ARR. Thank you Maniratnam. The market is small and more often that not, you dont get the money you guys deserve for your work when it is only Tamil. But you gotta do this once in a while for fans like us. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tamil writers

I love S.Ramakrishnan's writing. Easily one of the best contemporary Tamil writers around. I have read almost all of his books, except for few books including the one he wrote for kids, a fantasy titled "Eluthalai Nagaram".

S ramakrishnan used to write a series for Ananda Vikatan, which i used to read every week without fail. Eventually i bought the collection when Ananda Vikatan published it. I honestly believe that if he had written all his books in English, he would have received all possible awards. Booker, name it.

I have been reading "Yamam" last few months(Tagore Literary award winner in India). Havent finished the book yet. Been quite busy at work. But i love the book as of now. Yamam keeps traversing between different timelines and is quite intense for a novel. His books are not for those people who want to finish it in one flight trip. these are not fast paced page turners. These are books that flow like a river. You have to read them patiently and understand them to like them. That is what makes his writing so special to me. My mom is a huge fan of Ramakrishnan. When i was in school, Ramakrishnan was writing "Thunai eluthu" in Vikatan. Then I left India and came to Singapore where i didnt have a chance to read thunai eluthu. So my mom used to save up all the ananda vikatan issues for me to read during my summer vacation which i spent in India. I must be thankful that i had almost 3 months of summer vacation during university days. Such an amazing writer, who not many people know of.

I dont think he is writing anything in Ananda Vikatan now, but he has been writing this series called "Enathu India" in Junior Vikatan. I have been reading it on and off. I will surely buy the compilation book once it is released. Enathu India, translates to 'My india', is not about the future of India or the present economic crisis or power crisis or communal crisi..(etc etc etc..we have lotta problems in india right now) This book is a compilation of India's forgotten past. The good, the bad and the ugly of India. It just doesnt talk about the glorious past and the story of kohinoor diamonds. It also talks about the brutality of sati and devadasis and talks about the history of ice cubes in India. (yup, you read it right. There is an entire chapter on Ice cube trade in india. Some ice cube salesman in the US got filthy rich by exporting ice cubes to India by ship)

I have always liked this kind of history books, irrespective of countries. I am always looking for books like this. another very interesting book on Indian history is "Vanthargal Vendrargal" by Madhan. This is another gem, which many people dont know of. The entire book is about the advent of mughals up until the time when the british crown officially took over the British East India company.

This is another fascinating read. Written like a novel with classic Madhan style humor. Worth a read. In my opinion this book should have been published and marketed as a fictional paperback with a historic background. Vikatan blew it by publishing an A4 book which is quite frankly difficult to read with one hand. I read this book when i was in 11th standard. This history of India is much more intriguing than the historical freedom struggle, in my opinion. School history books predominantly focus on freedom struggle..the likes of non-violence movement and non-cooperation movement, etc etc. So one must look at other avenues to learn this kind of forgotton history. I was in India on company business two years ago. Me and my singaporean colleagues travelled around in North India and visited so many new places and historical sites and i kept remembering this book everywhere we went.

Not so surprisingly, many tamilians dont read tamil books. Some say, they dont enjoy it. Some say, they cant recgonise tamil letters (what a shame right?). They have no idea what they are missing. And this comes from someone who has read a mere handful of books. I havent even scratched the surface yet.

I have read sujatha's novels and love sujatha's writing, which is still relevant. I read a sci-fi story that Sujata wrote in 1979 that talks about time travel and alternate reality. Mind blowing stuff. And Sujatha's "kolaiyuthir kalam" is easily one of the best thriller novels i have read (except for the cheesy title, everything else is good in the book). Un-put-downable. Same goes for all Ganesh-Vasanth stories, based on Sherlock-Watson theme, with a bit more funny version of Watson.

These days i have also been reading Sujatha's "401 Kadhal kavithaigal" (not the kind of book you think) This book is Sujatha's explanation of Tamil poems in Kurunthogai. And i must admit, i am not liking this book very much. Too much for my standard. Tough to understand the poems AND sujatha's explanation. This is how it basically works. I read the poem..dont understand a word. Read Sujatha's explanation..understand barely. Then ask myself, "okay, what does that have to do with anything?" So i dont recommend this book unless you are an "advanced" reader, so to speak.

Same goes for the Purananooru book by Sujatha. Too much for my standard. But i will return to these two books some day. Kurunthogai and Purananooru are the books which are constantly referred to when scholars talk about tamil history. So that is basically the reason why i want to read these two books. Reading themselves without explanations is like reading Urdu. Old tamil is just whole different language. While i dont have difficulty understanding contemporary Tamil poems, this is whole new level of difficulty.

In conclusion there is still so much left to explore in Tamil. One of my uncles is a retired Tamil professor in Karaikudi, who has been the one suggesting me good tamil books. And he has a mini library at home. I will surely catch up with him this time i go to India. And what is taking Amazon so long to support other languages in Kindle?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Steve jobs

Just completed the book on Steve jobs by Walter Issacson. Felt very emotional after reading the book and envy the life that Steve managed to live. He wasn't necessarily as smart as Einstein. He didn't have the product knowledge, which bill gates did. Bill has always been an excellent programmer. Steve knew nothing about programming. (One reason why bill believed he was better than Steve jobs.)

It is a very moving, touching book. I started off the book by saying that i knew everything that happened in his life. We knew he was ousted from apple; we knew of the miraculous comeback to apple; we knew about the gem he unearthed called pixar, and we all knew about the iPod, iPhone, iPad and a myriad of idevices, which ended up deciding what we do with our life and which ended up changing our life.

But reading the book is a whole new experience even if you knew all the above. It talks so much about how he worked and what he believed and what went through his mind. It explains his thought process...That is the only reason i read biographies. It explains a great man's thought process. And the hope that i might improve mine. Even one in hundredth of that skill will make me a better person. And this book is no exception.

Moving on the book itself, i found it un-put-downable. I was awake until 6am reading the book. Author talks about the early life and pixar days a lot, which was fine with me. But i expected similar depth for the later life too with the iPad and iPhone. But i find the later part is missing the depth. Probably author decided to cut them down given the much publicized product launches and the numerous stories. The book is like a novel. It talks about what happened in Steve's life in chronological order. But the author is clever enough to build the expectation a bit by saying how much every incident will impact the future. One other thing i liked about the book is, the author has managed to bust all myths about Steve. If there were actually any rumor he confronts Steve directly. He confronts all sorts of people will all these interesting questions, including people like Bill gates.

One other revelation in the book is that bill gates is not such a bad man after all. And he has an amazing sense of humour. I must add one instance in the book.

It is the all things D event. Jobs and Gates are supposed to be on stage at the same time, fielding questions. This was during the peak of the Mac V PC war. (After iPhone success and all that) The talk was scheduled for evening. Steve had given a presentation few hours, before the big Jobs-Gates talk, and while fielding questions, someone highlighted that iTunes was the most downloaded software for windows PC. Steve gives his trademark smirk and says, "of course. iTunes is like giving a glass of cold water to someone in hell" The whole auditorium erupts in laughter. But the organisers were not. They were worried that Bill might react to this comment badly during the meeting later where he has to come face to face with Steve. Anyways, it is evening and the meeting is about to begin. Bill Gates is aware of Steve's comment earlier in the day. But he simply walks to the stadium shakes hand with the organisers. Steve is already on stage, waiting for the presentation to begin. Bill comes close to Steve, closes the mic with his hand and asks him, "So i am the representative from hell, huh?" Steve is taken back a bit at that comment. But manages to laugh a bit. Bill laughs and the incident is forgotten. Steve remembers this incident in one of his interviews with the author.

There was another incident. This is when Steve is extremely sick and is in his third medical leave. This time everyone is aware that he wont make it back to apple campus. This is when Steve's pictures got released in the internet, where he looks terribly thin and broken. Bill sees this photo and calls Steve and asks to meet him. Steve agrees, but then cancels the event in the last minute. Bill doesn't give up. He goes to Steve's house and walks over to the backyard and sees his daughter playing. He quietly asks her if her father is awake. And when the daughter says yes, co-incidentally Steve walks out to the garden and is surprised to see bill. They end up spending the whole day talking about their past, and about Microsoft and apple and about their families. Steve later recalls this incident in the book and speaks highly of Bill and his charity. I recently learnt that bill gates gave away half of his wealth and saved 6 million lives so far. 6 million. New found respect for Bill Gates.

One thing that struck me was how difficult it is for a honest person with honest taste to survive in the world. How much purity and openness are under valued. Though his Mac failed, i am glad iPhone got its due respect. "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" says Steve in the book. How true right? Though it is a cliche, to be simple is not simple at all. It is a conscious choice in life and precisely why it is difficult. If you read the book, you would be amazed at the detail in every product that apple made (i still wont convert to an iphone though) and how much Steve cared about his products, even when his company was in a dis-array. Only a maniac would not compromise in that situation.  Maybe that is why Steve was so successful. He was such a maniac, when it came to his products. The brilliant apple ad says, "Only people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do" And Steve was certainly in that group of misfits.

They are going to make a movie out of Steve's life. I think the movie should start when Steve was ousted from Apple and it should show the less-talked about, but the most wonderful time in his life, when he starts pixar and next and how he gets accustomed to normal life. The movie should focus on this part of life and should end with him becoming the iCEO of apple and connect the dots in his past. I think that part of his life is truly worthy of a movie. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The city dark

I love trailers. I think i love trailers more than movies. That would be my ideal career option. Give me a movie. Let me watch the movie three times and i will give you the best possible trailer you can have.

So as you can imagine, apple trailers webpage, is one of the top 10 webpages i frequent. On my chrome, that is usually third or second most visited webpage, after facebook and gmail and possibly engadget.

I saw this beautiful trailer few days back. And immediately understood the movie and felt it is worthwhile to share it. I have attached the youtube video below, since i am yet to figure out how to embed quicktime videos. Apple runs a very tight ship.

I have not seen the movie yet. I havent read any reviews yet. But i must agree with what is said in this trailer. Some of the most beautiful moments in life are when you realize your life is immaterial. That is what always strikes me, every time i am confronted with nature. The 2 or 3% return on your investment or the bonus that you are missing out on or the promotion which you didnt get are all so immaterial. Every single time, i stand before an ocean, i am confronted with the depth and the secrets it holds. The vast nothingness hits you in the face every time. Maybe it is just a pessimistic view on life. We do lead a rather immaterial life. Little murmer from nature can simply wipe us out. But all that matters to us are the simple silly things.

It is astonishing how much people forget their place in life. It is astonishing to me how useless we have been and how short sighted we have been and still are. This movie to some extent reminds me of that. This trailer reminds me that people have forgotten what their place is. Us not seeing the sky at night does have a subtle effect in our thinking.

Leaving all the psychology, sky watching is just an amazing experience. I had a friend in school. We both loved astronomy. He once told me, all he wanted in life was the hubble telescope and he would happily spend the rest of his life watching stars. That sounded a bit far-fetched for me. But i admired his passion. My friend could plot the constellations and he could always differentiate the stars from the planets. To me it looked the same. There is no way of knowing if he was actually right, but i admired his conviction and his enthusiasm rubbed off a little bit on me. That is how i got interested in star gazing.

I rarely see stars in singapore. This place is easily one of the most-lit places in the world. I did an internship in an engineering company and was incharge of circuitry for an oil plant. As part of the job, i was asked to read through so many industry regulations. One thing that struck me is the lumen requirement in singapore standards. The govt here actually specifies how well-lit a place should be. There are minimum standards. A place has to have so much lumens of light. There are so many rules on avoiding and overcoming shadows and so many rules on the type and colour of lights to be used in public places. It is just overwhelming. Dont get me wrong here. These rules exist in every country. But singapore govt rules sounded a bit over the top. But in their defense, they are trying to be more secure and create a safe country.

My point is, i rarely see stars in singapore. That is one of the things i miss here in singapore. It is not just the inability to see due to light pollution, but also the lack of time and the hardships of a urban life. It is probably not worthwhile lamenting about this now. We cannot give up the busy lifestyle that we lead. We cannot just switch off the lights during nights. In places like india, entire country would be robbed if we live in darkness.

But one consolation is, there are still few places in the world, where you can still be lost in nature. There are few places in the world, which are still offline, so to speak. Laos is one of them. One reason why i love the country and why i keep going back there, even after facing life threatening problems.

My Laos experience was amazing. That is for some other time.



Thursday, December 8, 2011

என்ன வேண்டும்?

Sometimes books and poems make more sense when you read them again. This one by Vairamuthu. Thought it is worth sharing. If only we had all this in life. 

வண்ணங்கள் தெரியாத பார்வை வேண்டும் 
வயதுக்கு சரியான வாழ்க்கை வேண்டும் 
கண்ணீரில் சுகம் காணும் ஞானம் வேண்டும் 
காமத்தை கடந்தேறும் யோகம் வேண்டும் 
சொன்னபடி கேட்கின்ற உள்ளம் வேண்டும் 
சொன்னால்தான் சாகின்ற தேகம் வேண்டும் 
நன்மைகளை சுரண்டாத நட்பு வேண்டும் 
நாளைக்கு கலங்காத செல்வம் வேண்டும் 
வேகாத உணவுண்ண பழக வேண்டும் 
வெறுந்தரையில் படுத்தாலும் உறக்கம் வேண்டும் 
தெய்வத்தை தேடாத ஞானம் வேண்டும் 
தெய்வங்கள் நாம் என்று தெளிய வேண்டும் 
மெய் இந்த வாழ்வென்று நம்ப வேண்டும் 
மேகம் போல் பொழிந்துவிட்டு கலைய வேண்டும்  

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Book review

Read some really good books recently.

1. Undercover Economist:

A very good book. It is more of an extension to Freakanomics (One of my favorite books). It talks more in detail about an economists views on day to day life, like traffic in the roads or medical care or insurance for example. It does have a chapter on How China is going to be the future of the world. It seems like these days, you cannot finish a single newspaper without stories about China's rise to power.

I liked his views on reducing traffic in the road. Singapore is exactly following his idea. The whole ERP grantry thing is exactly what is being suggested in the book. (ERP was desinged before the book was released. This goes to say Singapore is run by smart people)

Also I liked his views on medicare. Singapore implemented his idea long before the book was released. As I said, a very good book. If you have interest in economics, i would strongly suggest this.

2. Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri:

One of my favorite authors. She is definitely an amazing writer. I have read interpreter of maladies and Namesake by her. So decided to read this and absolutely loved it. If you are a foreigner reading this blogpost, do read this book to understand Indians living abroad. It is a collection of short stories just like Interpreter of Maladies.

Hema and Kaushik was my favorite of all the short stories. I rarely read novels. (I prefer watching them in movies) But i actually can read this book again.

3. The Alchemist by Paul Coelho:

I know this is a famous book that has already crossed like 20 editions. It has been translated into 67 languages. Sold 65 million copies. But i read this only now. And really liked it. As people say, it is truly a modern classic. If i were to gift someone a book, i would definitely choose this. Anyone who reads this book will find it useful in their life. This is like "Who moved my Cheese".

4. Tipping point by Malcolm Gladwell:

Another good book i read recently. People say this is better than Outliers. But i kinda liked Outliers more than this one. But still it is worth reading. A very interesting idea. I wanna read Blink next.

5. The White Tiger:

It is a famous book, but few of my friends didnt like it. But i found the book interesting. It has a wierd sense of humour. The author writes about his life to Wen Jiaboa. So the entire book is in a letter format. He explains the wierd caste system and so many other things to the chinese premier. The story ends with the author murdering his boss. The whole book is the reasoning for why he did it. Pretty interesting book.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Kindle 2

Kindle 2

I recently bought the Kindle 2. I have been waiting for a long time to buy this. Sure, if i had waited a bit longer, could have gotten a more advanced and better performing device. But I got a good deal and so couldnt pass it on. I did so much research on all the ebook readers available in the market, before i decided to buy the Kindle. At the end of my research i actually wanted the Nook. But as i said, i got a good deal on this Kindle.

It is such an amazing technology. It looks exactly like paper. There is no back-light involved. And hence less strain on your eyes. No glare whatsoever. So amazing to read using the device even in sunlight. If you ask me, the entire amount we pay for ebook readers is basically for this technology. The Kindle or the Nook doesnt really have a spectacular processor or any other expensive parts in it. The price you pay for the device is simply for the e-ink. Check out some videos and you will know what i am talking about. I have shown the device to so many people. Friends, colleagues, etc. And every single one seem to react the same way when they look at the screen. "Is that a screen? It looks like paper" is the response i get all the time. So money worth spending on this.

But the biggest minus is the refresh rate. It is pathetic. If you understand how the technology works you might not feel so bad. But for someone who is looking at it for the first time, the refresh rate is such a big annoying thing. The entire screen turns black and then you get to see your new page. Actually the refresh rate is better in Kindle compared to other devices in the market. It is actual hydrocarbons that are behind this e-ink technology. That is the reason.

Free 3G:

This is an excellent add-on in Kindle. Not available in any other device right now. You get free 3G (Surprisingly not wifi. Just 3G. Ya i know. That is wierd). It doesnt work in Singapore though. But it works even in India. So Kindle is an amazing device if you travel .

Pdf support:

They recently added pdf support to Kindle. But the device shrinks the entire a4 pdf into a 6" screen. Hence the readability is poor. You can convert the pdf to any kindle recognised formats and it works fine for pdfs with mostly text. If you want to read pdfs with images or charts in it, forget Kindle (or Nook for that matter). I would suggest wait for a better device or just buy the damn ipad.

Battery life:
Now that is a good selling point. A single charge lasts for more than a week. If you find that strange, read up on e-ink. The technology uses battery power only to refresh the page, and hence when you are reading, it is not consuming power at all.

This is an amazing piece of software. If you use ebook readers, you need this software. It is open source and free to download. Simply put, it is the iTunes of ebooks. You can select your ebook reader when you configure the software and whenever you add a book, it will automatically convert the book to your format and when you connect your device to the computer, it will automatically synchronize everything. The best part about this software is, you can specify your RSS feeds and it will convert them into ereader format. So schedule a download for all NYT business articles at 8 am in the morning and connect your device to get today's NYT in your device. I have been using this for over 2 months now and trust me when i say this. Calibre is amazing.

Nook vs Kindle:

Nook is more open. It recognises all kinds of formats compared to Kindle. It runs based on Android. People keep telling me the bottom color screen with touch capability is an impressive thing. But i find it to be extremely annoying. Nook has wifi in it. And it looks a bit more cooler. But as i said, i got a good deal in this Kindle.

Kindle is not a bad device either. It has text to speech which is absolutely useless, if you ask me. It has global 3g support which is pretty impressive. It is just a matter of time before they bring 3g support to Singapore. Then it is an amazing device.

Kindle Vs iPad:
It is pretty difficult to explain this. First of all, i have a decent laptop and buying the iPad doesnt make sense. In my view, you need a device like ipad when you have a desktop, which doesnt offer much mobility. But when you have a laptop, i am pretty comfortable in watching movies or browsing in it. My laptop allows me to run background tasks. Dont get me wrong here. I am not comparing a tablet computer to a laptop. I am just discussing the usability. So when i wanted to buy a kindle, my main aim was to read books and newspapers in it. That is it. Nothing more. Nothing less. And i think if you are this kind of person, go ahead and buy the ebook reader. If you want more than books and newspapers in a device, then ebook reader is simply not your device. To me, it doesnt make sense when someone complains that they cant watch video in Kindle. Frankly it is not made for watching videos. It is made for reading and it does an excellent job at it.

Sure, iPad is not what we all thought it would be. But it is only a matter of time before we see loads of other competitors coming up with similar, probably better devices. 100,000 apps in a computer is not a big selling point according to me. I dont need an app for Citibank in my tablet computer. I might as well go to their website to make a funds transfer. The main reason apps became a hit is because the browser in the phones are too crappy and slow to do anything. So people came up with ideas for apps and it is a huge hit in phones. When it comes to computers, please dont say apps are a big plus point. They are useless. But iPad is a tremendous hit. They sold 300,000 devices on the first day alone. By now they would have sold a million devices. By few measures it is selling faster than the iPhone. (FYI, there are close to 18 million iPhones in the market right now)

I realized the true potential of Kindle during my recent trip to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Sure, the free 3g doesnt work in the three countries. But i had few good books in the device and it was so useful in all our long bus journeys.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Book Reviews

'2 states' by Chetan Bhagat:
Obviously the book is not as good as the first one. But i feel it is better than Chetan Bhagat's second one, "One night at a call center" (It was crap!). You have to give full marks for his sarcasm and good narrative style. The story is a bit boring. I mean, we have seen million movies with the same story. That is exactly why this novel by Chetan Bhagat can never become a movie, unlike his previous novels.

He has made some really bold observations about Tamils and Chennai. Sadly most of them is true. Inspite of being a Tamilian, I kind of enjoyed the mockery. Not too bad. It was actually only 95 INR, which is pretty cheap and I finished the book in 3 days. So no complaints.

'Outliers' by Malcolm Gladwell:
Brilliant book. When I first heard about the concept of the book, I immediately decided I should read the book. It is an analysis on why some people in the world are way too successful than others. What apart from talent, distinguishes success? Why some smart people can never reach the top? How much can the cultural legacy of your ancestors affect your success? The book is an answer to all these questions. A must read for people who love non-fiction.

Thesanthiri by S.Ramakrishnan:

I love S.Ramakrishnan's writing. It is more natural and it makes you ask questions. His writing takes you back to the beautiful days of your life. I have read Thunai Eluthu. I wanted to read Kathavilasam next. But my mom highly recommended Thesanthiri. She is an avid reader of Tamil books. So I bought this one. And it is a very good book, if you like travel writers and memoirs.

There are so many places, within India which are completely forgotten by people. This is a compilation of his experience when he travelled to these places. There is a part about pudukkottai and a place called "Nartha malai" in pudukkottai. I have lived in pudukkottai for about 7 years now and I had no idea about this place. It made me feel, how much I have missed in life in the last 21 years, given the fact I am an Indian. Reading the book, I swore to myself, one day I will take a month long trip from Kanya kumari to Kashmir.

The book is not just about the different experiences but also about the good people he meets along the way and interesting realizations about life. I simply loved the book. And have decided to read all of S.Ramakrishnan's work. (After I finish all of Malcolm Gladwell's books).