Great Expectations

Almost all of us usher the New Year with great expectations and hope that good tidings will come by. Unlike many of us, I do not have the habit of making New Year resolutions, this is because constantly I keep targeting for things, get it and keep moving for the next. So making resolutions just because it is "new year" sounds like hype, which will be short lived.

Looking back at this year, I feel that it has been a good one, especially it had shown my way out of misery and chiseled the path to live ever after happily. Yeah, for more than a year I was not pleased in working where there is very little challenge clubbed with "stylish management" that encourages "fault finding" sprees. Well, now am free and pick assignments in my own terms. 

In the personal front, we have succeeded in our plans as well and are planning for the dates to move, which should be by end of Feb 2009:) Everything comes true if we believe in it strongly. Now, I remember my first year in college and in the first class, our lecturer asked us how long do you wish to live. Each student said something ranging from 60 to 100 years. I was the exception and told that I want to live until I die. At that time, I was not sure why I said it and my friends used to tease me for being crazy and I just used to say well, thatz me. Yup, this is my attitude, live life to the fullest without any hang-ups. Why should you even think how long should we live?

Good that we watched Bedtime Stories as it manifests the concept that whatever we believe comes true. Believe in happy endings, rather happenings and it will come true.

Happy New Year:)


Sparkling Fireflies

A friend told that Malaysia boasts one of the rare firefly colonies in the world. It is about an hours drive from Kuala Lumpur on the North-South Plus highway. We took the Sungai Buloh exit, went to Bukit Melawati and then headed for Kampung Kuantan and followed the signboard to the firefly park. It was a single track road like rural Indian roads and people were driving like crazy!

It was too early and even the ticket counter was not open. So, we had a chance to chat with the locals and boat men. Of course, took few snaps before dark.

This picture looks very romantic right? But, in reality the Selangor river at Kampung Kuantan is muddy and the boats tethered were too small. My first thoughts were, should I really go in that crazy boat?

When I asked about the depth of the river, first boat man said that it should be around 40 to 50 feet deep...scary, then another fellow contradicted by telling that it should be 20 to 25 feet deep. However, both of them told that it is very murky that is why the running river water looks so dirty.

At the ticket counter they assured me that there has never been a mishap since the boating service started 10 years ago. Further, they said that we will be provided with life jackets. To my dismay, all the life jackets had broken clips, which doesn't serve the purpose:( When questioned, the boat man simply came closer and tied the straps together like this ^^

With a short prayer I dared to climb the boat after it was completely dark. When we moved away from the boat club, the only artificial light faded off and I felt it like some adventure movie, as the silence was heavy and the weather sultry. Slowly the boatman steered the boat close to the berambang trees AND suddenly I noticed hundreds of sparkles dusted on the low bushes!

As we cruised, we noticed that all the flies in a tree were flickering in harmony like a controlled serial light:) The dark sky was studded with twinkling stars and were trying to compete with the fireflies in the river bank. What a sight, amazing! With all my fear gone, I started to chat with the boatman. He  said that the fireflies emit light as a signal to mate and commented that the fireflies were lesser on that night because of the bright sky. He added that it would be ideal to watch them on a no-moon night.

We spotted a couple of fireflies on the murky water and I thought that they had fallen off the branches and were dying, I felt sorry for them. But the boatman consoled me by telling that they were having a good time in the water, and I had to just blink hehehe... Later, I checked online and found that some of the fireflies are aquatic and they lay larve in the murky waters!

I wanted to take a snap of the glittering bushes but the visitors are prohibited to use flash, which would disturb the fireflies. Even with Night mode, I couldn't get a decent shot:( Though the painted banner does not do justice to reality, I took a snap as a keepsake:

A memorable experience, despite the odds:) Um, so happy that I recall the nursery rhyme:
Row row row a boat, Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream.


Friendly Silverleaf Monkeys at Bukit Melawati

In our quest to visit off-beat attractions in and around Kuala Lumpur, we heard about firefly watch at the Selangor river in Kampong Kuantan in Kuala Selangor. In this saga, we learnt that Bukit Melawati is on the way and is known for Silverleaf Monkeys and Lighthouse.

As I was not sure of the route, we took our regular cabbie and it was a pleasure to be driven like this. We started around 4.30 PM taking the North-South Plus
Highway, and took the Sungai Buloh exit. From there we followed Bukit Melawati signboard. Bukit means hill in Malay. We reached there by 5.30 PM. As we were winding up through the hills the short majestic lighthouse came into view.

This faces the straits of Melaka and is in use since 1907. Visitors are not allowed inside so we had to just click from outside. Before we could find a proper parking place we saw monkeys crowding the path and dared not to miss the scene so hurried to shoot even without unwinding the windows:)

The monkeys were not aggressive and to my surprise they were not even noisy. Unlike the monkeys that we commonly see, the adult silverleaf monkeys are dark grayish, where as their babies are golden brown.

In their natural habitat

On the fence

We met a local who comes to this place everyday to feed the monkeys. He was so close to them and had named 3 of them based on their nature! From him we came to know that the golden brown babies start changing color slowly and by 4 months they reach the same color as the mom and from then they start being independent.

There are petty vendors selling food that monkey likes. Though the monkeys are well behaved, at times they show their true color and grab the food packet if we hold it visibly. When I bought long-beans to feed the monkeys the vendor suggested that I hide the packet in the bag and show one piece at a time.

After taking few pieces from me, the bright chap identified the source of its treasure and lurched for my camera pouch and deftly took the remaining food!

On our way down, the panoramic view was breath taking. Below shot shows fishermen settlement. 

We came down around 6 PM and headed to Kampung Kuantan to watch the fireflies. Will rattle on that experience tomorrow:)


Organized Chaos

Last week we went to Museum Negara and did house spring cleaning. Two unrelated events? May be, but suddenly I was reminded of a dialogue from an Indian movie, where the mother complains that the son makes the house messy AND the son retaliates that house is meant to be messy (to get a cosy feel) and only museums are meant to be organized!

In reality the museum was equally messy, because they were doing a large scale house keeping! Nothing very interesting except these few shots (ahem, time to seriously upgrade my knowledge on anthropology/archeology, so that I can appreciate the collections).

The antique artifacts and the organization was equally primitive. 

For some there were English and Malay descriptions but for many there were only Malay descriptions. May be there is a dearth of translators:p

Coming back to my house cleaning. Every time I think of spring cleaning I just cant see from where to begin and then finally give up for another day:( Typical dis-organization syndrome^^. I can't run away for ever, so started on emptying wardrobes and to my disbelief, we had clothes that was not worn for years. Like treasure hunt, I found my old favorite baggy T-shirt. I had an urge to stop the laborious task and wash that first, so that I can use it, but refrained myself. After two hours, I seized my operation and I started to rattle, to unwind. 

Well, am reminded of a different kind of "spring cleaning/house keeping" that was scheduled so often, but with no use. Yes, there were endless hours of "planning" to clean up codes/contents. During this phase, the pointless meetings and discussions used to irk me. To throw away any unwanted stuff, you need prove that it is not needed and on top of it "convince" your boss. Phew!, that needed more time than to plan for the constructive stuff. So, I've even noticed some of them taking easy way out...

In a recent post Tom Johnson explains why and how Technical Writers (TW) can overcome the defects that arise from "trust". Well, I would say he is polite by using the term trust. I would say that TWs are totally ignored during the major stages of the software development cycle. This leads to major usability issues and low quality documentation. Most often TW thinks from user point of view where as the business and engineering team concentrates only in satisfying the so called requirements. But, towards the end of the project, they say that help is not helpful. An easy way out, right?



Until I came to know about remake of Hollywood science fiction The Day The Earth Stood Still, I taught that remake fever is high in Indian films but never expected that it has caught up in Hollywood as well. 

We were late for the movie, so didn't understand how the mountaineer manages to break the luminous sphere in Karakoram range, in Himalayas and what happens to him.    

The alien is shot the minute he is out of the spaceship despite his attempt to make a friendly hand-shake to the lead character Dr Helen Benson. Umm, trying to show the unfriendly and destructive nature of humans. 

Later in the military hospital, Dr Benson comes to know that the alien is Klaatu. She sets to find out Klaatu's mission and understands that he is there to save Earth from humans:) Much sought after concept, especially for those who are eco friendly. To support his cause, Klaatu says "If the earth dies the humans die, if you die earth survives". This is no exaggeration, if fact we are the only species on earth who contribute to global warming and other destructive measures.

Dr Bensons' attempt to ask for a chance for human survival sounds pathetic. She does not have any valid grounds as to how can she guarantee that humans will stop from exploiting the planet and make peace. Later, another character tries to argue that only at the brink of extinction humans would try hard to preserve themselves and earth. What an argument?

Thanks that the alien seems to be in Human form and refuses to show up in its proverbial getup, as it would only scare the humans AND we are spared from watching one of those nasty inventions.


Enchanting Peacocks

Peacocks, especially their feathers are fascinating! When in school, we used to think that the feathers bring luck and keep a plume in our books so that we could score good marks, at least with good charm^^. Another bizarre belief was that the feathers kept in the books will double up!!!

Peacock is also the National bird of India. Further, according to Hindu belief peacock is the Vahana (transport) of lord Muruga and seen in Temples in front of the deity!

When someone looks down on others they say "he is as proud as a peacock...", may be look at this shot where he gives a haughty look with this head high, whereas other birds are busy with their tasks!

Generally they are all shy and never dare to date in front of human beings. But, at KL Birds Park, we saw this shameless fellow trying to show-off publicly and woo his girl friend by displaying his asset to his lady love in front of a crowd!

Yeah, in their world "beauty" is manly heheh. He is desperate in attracting his mate and keeps moving his feathers in a fan like movement and at the same time turns around and shows his back pose as well, like an experienced dancer!

Later we learned that the plain looking peahen falls for this kinda dance! Then, what next... romance AND here only the "man" is shy...

They roam all over the park (even outside the park) freely in groups but relax in solitude...


Caring Hornbills

It is a common knowledge that birds feed their young ones but hornbills are different!
At the feeding session in the KL Birds park we were excited to see the Great Hornbill perching on the tree top and catching the food thrown to him!

Then, to our amazement, it started feeding the bird which was inside the wooden box!
We thought it was feeding the young ones, because when the it gave the small piece of meat to the bird in the wooden box, it gave it back! But, the park incharge  told us that it was feeding his wife, and she is asking him to soften the meat before feeding her!

Later we managed to see the romantic couple:)
Presenting this post for World Bird Wednesday.

Snail Mails

I was rushing to the car park and suddenly I stopped in my tracks as I saw something after a very long time!

The motorcycle loaded with hard copy mails reminded me of the days when I was still in college and how we used snail mails to communicate during holidays! Those were the days we used to wait for the postman to deliver us the mails... and whenever we received mails, it felt great and used to read and re-read until we were thorough with the contents. I still have some of those mails as a token of remembrance and I get nostalgic when I browse them!

Now, with the fast paced emails, most often we get irritated because of innumerable junks that we receive everyday...

I just envy the lucky ones who still get postal mails, not bills though^^


Mumbai Menace

The recent Mumbai atrocity has shaken me. My parayers for the family of those who died in the tragedy. 

When similar things were happening in different countries, I felt sad, period, but was unable to grasp the seriousness. Now, when it has hit home (though none of my family and friends were directly affected by it) I cringe at this intolerable act and get nightmares.

Now, has listed India among 20 most dangerous places in the world, just after Mumbai massacre. May be, the list should be refined to indicate the dangerous places in the country, instead of listing the entire country.

What could be the reason behind the attack? Is it against the Jews? This is a very minor community in India! or Is it against the economic growth that India has been seeing thorough, recently? This is not convincing as well, because of the current global economic recession! Then, is it really against the intolerance for another religion? At any cost, this kind of barbaric acts should be erased. May be, like in since fictions, the scientists should come up with devices to alter the deadly thoughts of terrorism.

See, my rattles are wayward and jumping at different angles! I still can't see how the authorities were ignorant of such a sophisticated attack. The key persons have come forward and resigned from their posts, am not too sure of what to think of this act? Is it an act of taking up the responsibility? In that case, is this a reasonable decision at the hour of crisis? If they just resign, it might make the situation even difficult as the new person who take over might not know the history and the intricacies of the responsibilities of that position. May be the best way would be to keep the outgoing person as an aide to the newly appointed person. And, this should be done with complete cooperation and with sole aim of getting at the root cause of the menace. 


Visit to KL Bird's park

Right in the heart of KL, the colorful jungle which hosts Birds Park, Orchid Gardens, Lake Gardens is a feast to the eyes that are sore with the constant view of concrete jungle...

Entrance tickets for foreigners are exorbitant (RM39 for adults and RM29 for children). Luckily, as I still hold Malysian work permit , I got to enjoy highly subsidized rates meant for the locals (RM15 for adults and RM6 for children)!

You need to spend a day there if you wish to catch the scheduled activities as per the information board. It includes bird feeding (various schedules for each species) and the bird show. We managed to see bird feeding session for Hornbills! I will cover this in a different post.

An artist from Beijing had a stall and she was bringing life to names with deft strokes!

Her hands are so sure that just with single gracious stroke she can draw! Attracted by this, I had a short chat with her and found that her brush was made of animal hair tied in bamboo and wrapped in tapes!

She draws alphabets in the form of flowers/birds for girls names, animals/birds for boys names:) See my daughter's name:

This cost me only RM 20!

Watch for more posts to come on Peacock, Hornbills, Freshwater birds, etc.,...


Decorated Cloud!

While waiting at a traffic light, I was gazing up to watch if I can catch a glimpse of my friends. I did catch them in a different attire:

You would have seen thunder clouds, but see this "serial light cloud"! Wish I had a good camera to capture the KL Tower and Twin Towers from this my Motorolo HP I could only catch them as a distant background:(


Rocket Science

Beware, do not get carried away by the title of this post! Sure, am not rattling on rocket science because that is a not a domain where am familiar with...but, for sure I can talk about dosai. Dosai is an Indian food, which is meant for breakfast or dinner. This is made from a combination of rice and dhal batter.

Now, lets see the connection between rocket and dosai.

Yes, this is a ROCKET DOSAI. It is a challenging task to make the dosai so crispy and that too in a conical shape vaguely resembling a rocket!!

To do this, the chef has to spread the batter in a circular shape on a pre-heated pan and then precisely cut a radius when the batter is still soft, then let it turn crispy under right temperature just enough to make it in a cone shape. Look at the complicated steps involved, in fact, it is rocket dosai science^^:)


Predictors in Demand!

It is a human tendency to start looking for relief and change when distress sets in. Especially, during recessions like now, astrologers are often sought after to hear good words and make right decisions! Now, the question is not on the validity of their predictions... but, is about the belief of the industry giants who seek astrological predictions.

If everyone starts relying so heavily on astrology, then what happens to the so called "managers" who are supposed to handle critical situations and come up with solutions to manage the problems? Wha, world becomes so rosy, just with the predictions and counseling of an astrologer the decision makers financial troubles can be blown away.

Excerpts from an article that came out in Times of India shows the current market demand for astrologers:

Hired as vedic consultants, financial astrologers and vaasthu experts both in India and abroad, they'll be required to make predictions on the stock market, the success of business ventures and offer astro-tips on financial management. Students specializing in financial and vedic astrology are being lapped up by websites looking for such certified professionals, according to university officials. The packages being offered range from Rs 8.5 lakh to Rs 18 lakh per annum.

Interestingly, those who took this evening course have a finance background, with some bank employees and chartered accountants switching gears to fulltime stargazing. Engineers in the course are also changing streams. For many of these students, the course working out as a fulltime career option, at a time when the job market is shrinking.

It is clear that job market for astrologers is in great shape! Well, am not totally against astrological predictions or astrologers. There are limitations in astrology and to its predictions. If one starts relying on it heavily, then that person might be led into believing something that might be incorrect and phew! the negative influence itself is enough to kill the chances of a positive outcome...


Sequel to my first post "Why do I Blog?"

From the beginning, I have always been curious to learn the reasons behind blogging and in my first post I had mentioned a list of items that I could think of. 

A couple of days ago I came across  a list of responses gathered by ProBlogger. Here am running through few that intrigued me, and my comments.

Because no one at home listens to me so when I blog I can pretend like someone cares what I think...

well said, because not only at home, even at work most of us don't have the luxury of "being listened to"!

I always like to have the last word...

Sounds like those typical bosses in their high pedestal^^

Because my voice is unique...

Yeah, "My baby is the best", typical writer:)


Scintillating Twinkle stars!

Often we discuss about different dialects or accents in a language. Here is a Youtube clipping that shows a lady singing English nursery rhyme, in different Indian music styles. You should watch it to enjoy the creativity!

If am not mistaken this is taken from a Tamil serial that was popular few years ago. For those who don't understand the Tamil dialogues that come in the video, here is the translation:

At the end of first style the lady says: note that I have not made any mistakes in musical pitch! Then the man asks her to sing in another language, she continues to sing with Telugu style, followed by Kerala style and Punjabi style.

Then the last part of the video is from a Hindi movie (dunno the name!).

On the whole I had a good laugh and wanted to share:)


Rosy Outlook

Last night when we were having usual bedtime chit-chat, my kid was curious to know, why medicine, especially tonics and syrups were colorful. I started to explain that various combination of chemicals bring color blah blah blah

And the response was "ah I thought that they were color colorful because we like it that way!" What an  attitude, I think that is why we should take all things in life from a child's perceptive, then everything will be rosy:)


Fire on Plus Highway

Thick dark smoke was reaching the skies and my initial thoughts were, arg! what a way to dispose dry and other garbage...but then, when I was nearing UPM exit on the Plus Highway, unusually traffic was slowing down and then only I realized that there was fire on a mini lorry, which was parked on the emergency lane, on the opposite direction.

I thought of calling 999, but then I saw fire engine approaching the site. Just wondering, if it is some malicious act...


Juicy tool and user expectations

When we do research, we start searching for something online, then get diverted if we stumble upon something interesting. Sometimes we even forget what we were looking for originally! How nice it would be if we can track what we started to look up. You might think that History would show you the sites that we were surfing, even in that you need to do spring-cleaning to find out what we were looking for, right?

Today, I was looking up for something I can't recall what, but ended up in discovering Juice, a plug-in meant for Firefox browser! Here, they claim that searching and keeping track of research is very simplified. As usual, I didn't bother to watch their demo, straight away I installed. Then dragged my name from my profile and dropped it in Juice, see what it brought up^^

First I thought that this will sort of help me to keep track of the original research. Then realized that if I keep dragging what ever I fancy, I can't keep track of the original item that I started with. Well, they claim it is in BETA. Sounds familiar? You are right, first we get excited with something, then we realize that it is still after all, in theory only...what else can we expect? Are the users exceeding the expectations of the creators? or may be "usability" is the last thing under the sun???


Slangs - Ever Expanding Lexicon

Like fast food, even language has become "instant"! Whenever I come across new contractions in day-to-day communication, I mutter, here is another word/term that I need to catch up with, thanks to the advent of electronic mail/chat systems^^.

A couple of classic terms that defied my common sense, when I came across it for the first time are:

  • wc: NOT toilet or water closet, it is WELCOME!
  • r u t: definitely not a hole, it is are you there!  
At times, I doubt if am a cryptologist trying to decipher a set of classified secrets.


New avatar of Spinister - Freemale!

I was working on  my research paper (not related to the title of this post), and I came across a new term FREEMALE. First, I thought they must be referring to bachelors. But, this was not in context with the sentence in which this term appeared! Typical of me, started to find out the correct meaning and learned that, it means:

manless females who are too busy living life to the full to make space for a second tooth brush by the bathroom sink

Whenever I meet unattached ladies, who are well into their thirties I wonder if they hate families so fiercely or a loner or fed up with relationships, or just can't compromise with anything! My imagination runs loose...and this could be due to my conservative background, where anyone who is unmarried above 25 yrs are pitied^^.

Though curious to know their reasons for being single, I have never dared to ask them out of decency - fancy name for hesitation :p.


Weight Equal in Fruits!

As per Hindu belief, some of the families make vows to their favorite Gods to present fruits or shillings, equivalent to their weight. For this ritual they use extra large balance. See this picture where a boy is being weighed against banana clusters!


Decisions to make - a matter of choice!

A linkedIn question triggered me to write this post!
How often do you change your decisions, be it personal or work related? Changing is different from backing off with the decision when things start to fall apart! Most commonly heard excuses when a decision goes wrong:
  • Am NOT responsible..(white lie)
  • I was not around:p
  • Actually, I was forced to decide!
  • Nobody followed my decision:D
  • My hands were tied:(
  • I dint know "enough" when I decided^^
  • Am sorry - escapism!!
Instead, how about shouldering the responsibility with grace and find a level headed solution?


Hollywood getting inspirations from Bollywood

Recently there was a comment in Facebook comparing Highschool Musicals with those typical Bollywood movies where dance numbers appear along the plot.

Well, until I watched (courtesy to my daughter) Highschool Musicals 3 Senior Year, I dint think much about the similarity.

After watching the movie, I have no words to describe...dunno whether to laugh or cry at such attempts!?

At the drop of the hat the lead characters start singing and drift off to extravagant dream sequences as well...does it mean that the Gen Nexters are led to appreciate Bollywood culture of dramatic dance numbers as part of a movie?


Happy Diwali

Diwali brings fond memories and I can always connect it several things, to name a few:

  • Shopping and mehandi 
  • Story of naraksura the demon who is associated to the very existence of Diwali 
  • Oil bath before dwan break - it is believed that MahaLakshmi Godess of wealth resides in seseame oil at that time and hence considerd as auspecious:) 
  • Hearty breakfast filled with sinful goodies! 
  • Firecrackers and related excitement..
  • Visits to seek blessings from family elders and get "Diwali kaas" similar to Ampau...
Here in KL we miss last 2 items in the list^^


Endless possiblities

Aim high and shoot low is something we hear often. Personally I detest this saying because if you can't even aim your target, you will NEVER succeed!

In Hindu epic Mahabharatha, the guru Dhrona sets out to test the archery skills of the princes by tying up a stuffed bird on a tree. Then each of the princes were asked to aim at the bird. To test their aiming skills each were asked what they see. The answers ranged from, "I see beautiful sky, birds flying, fruits on the tree, the stuffed bird and you". Hearing these answers Dhrona was unsatisfied and disqualified the princes. When Arjuna's turn came, his answer was "I see the stuffed bird", pleased with the answer guru commands, "aim at the birds eye and tell me what do you see now". Arjuna says "I see only the center of the bird's eye". Then guru says "shoot" AND Arjuna succeeds!

In stark contrast to this story lets see a contemporary guru/followers scenario. The guru says "close your eyes" done. Satisfied guru asks "what do you see?" and there is no response. Again guru says, "there is something moving, do you agree with me?", "YES". Then the command comes "Now start shooting, till you kill the moving object". Here we go, our good Samaritans keep shooting until they drop!!!


Rattles on defining success

An age old question: How do you define success? Here letz see how different people would react:
  • A family oriented person: Lots of family time
  • A business man: Win big business deals and beat the competitor
  • A professional: Gain reputation in his field
  • A creative artist: Get reorganization
A laborer, beggar, etc., etc., I can keep rattling endlessly. See there is no firm definition. It depends on what you are looking for^^ 

Suddenly do I sound too philosophical? It is because of a short story The Grass is Always Greener by Jeffery Archer. 

In this story the plot opens with a beggar who spends every night in front of a bank. He thinks the bank's security guard has a secured life. The security guard in turn has an eye on the his boss position. The plot keeps unfolding by expressing how each person (up to bank chairman) in the bank envies and longs to be in his boss' position! Success is such an illusion and only measured by people one level down the rat race!!    

Communicating through images - a fact finding journey

Though my profession is communicating mainly through words, I strongly believe in saying:
A Picture is worth thousand words!
Pictures can speak for itself and you can use words frugally to enhance the visual representation. In fact success of any project depends heavily on usability, be it a software hi-tech industrial equipment or any house-hold gadgets.

In the past several times I've been asked not to use screen shots and some of the lame excuses given were:
  • maintenance is high
  • what if there is no time to update screen changes in documentation?
  • screen change is done with short notice, what if the writer dint learn about the changes or what if an update is missed out?
When you redesign or modify the screens, you do it for a particular purpose. Won't there be an equivalent task to update documentation as well? There could be errors or miss-outs, but not on a wholesale! In this case I can see issues in the work process that too at the decision making points rather than finding reasons for avoiding screen shots!

Well, I don't say or recommend capturing each and every screen for technical documentation. But for screens where user action is the deciding factor and the outcome is irreversible, I'd say visual presentation would be easier to understand.

When it comes to Technical Writing, target audience is the king and must assist him in every possible way to ease off his job in using or learning a product! Now, as I don't have to abide by any dogmatic rules, I've set out on a fact finding spree from professionals in the writing industry as well as "real" end users of various applications! Yes, I've started interviewing and plan to continue until the end of this month. Just within 24 hours, I've started getting amazing responses and I plan to use the findings in my upcoming project for a reputed international client, who appreciates my contribution!

Probably I would share the findings with groups that can make a difference in the arena of technical communication.


Getting localized

When I was still new in KL, I had difficulties even in understanding local Tamil dialect! Once I happened to ask my friend /colleague on which computer was a particular software loaded, and I was asked to go to the "thongal PC"!!!

Back home, the meaning for that word was "hang/hanging". Now, i was perplexed and wondered if my friend was sarcastically referring to the PC that hangs often^^. Looking at my puzzled look, she understood that something was wrong. Then after a hearty laugh, she clarified that she was referring to the PC at the end of the row!!!

So in Malaysian Tamil dialect, thongal = last:)

Some other terms that I've caught up are:

English Chennai Tamil Malaysian Tamil
Footwear Seruppu Chappate
Kitchen Samayalarai Cusini
Is that so Apdiya Aamava
Had your breakfast? Kaale tiffen aacha? Pasiyariyacha?
Slacks Pants Seluvaaru


Chocolate Fountain

Though it was my umpteenth trip to Mid Valley, today I came across something new or I'd noticed it just this time! A chocolate fountain!

First I thought it must be some deco item in the Belgian Chocolate counter at the Center Court. But a closer look and finally buying Marshmallow dipped in that sinful delight proved that it is, indeed a REAL fountain of rich warm chocolate!


Create awareness through blogging - Blog Action Day 2008

Late by a day, but still spreading something towards a good cause is "better late than never", is my attitude.

Many of us would have been chided by elders/parents "don't waste your food, people suffer in Somalia". By then, without realizing full implication of this how often we would have commented that if I finish this food will it stop hunger pangs there? Well, much later in life did I realize the full impact of saving our portion and donating the equivalent to the needy.

As a small contribution we donate rice bags to the poor through the nearby temple, during our wedding anniversary and all of our birth days. At times, we also eat at Annalakshmi, run by a charity organization. This is a vegetarian eatery and the concept "Eat as you want and pay as you like" gives us a satisfaction not only to our taste buds but also to our conscious as all the proceeds go for several noble causes towards social upliftment!

Some of the photos that show poor living conditions in rural Indian villages are here:

Thatched hut in which more than 5 people live!
Unsanitary condition prevailing in slums.

Poor old man walking on the highway.


Great way to start a day!

It has been two weeks since I clicked any "clouds", and today when I was having morning tea in my balcony around 7 AM, they were trying to catch my attention by showing their colors:) Here we go:

After clicking this, I started whistling softly. Suddenly I stopped in my tracks mid way AND realized I've done something that I'd almost forgotten for more than a year:) Yup, I think am getting back my "colors" as well!


Yet another leap

Some said it was too sudden, though they knew it could happen anytime. As I kept about rattling about it for more than a year! But, I did it!

For the past couple of months I was like a zombie undecided, confused and not willing to listen to my husband or anybody, for that matter. Finally, circumstances changed and the right choice presented itself so that I could let go of something that I was hopelessly clinging to!

It is one of the unforgettable moments, as I felt a sudden gush of relief just like how legendary Atlas would feel when he unloads the Celestial bodies from his shoulders! And, a well-wisher commented that I was glowing:)

Now, I sense that I've broken the barrier and marching forward with a smug satisfaction, like how I used to feel several years ago:)


Virtual presence

Like regular friends circle who meet face to face often, it has become a habit to visit selective blogs/sites at regular intervals. 

If there is no new content in a location, it kinda gives a "miss you" feeling! Is this a sign of becoming a net junkie???


Changing landscape in education and career

Recently read about how Indian industry is trying to train their resource pool right from the college. This sounds cool and I can't stop from thinking about the days when I opted to do English Literature. By then, my only aim was to have fun for 3 years, before getting married:)

Partially this was because of my conservative family background, the rest, due to the lack of awareness! In those days, I used to wonder why the heck should I study Biology, History & Geography as it has got nothing to do with me. This was because, I was not able to see a connection between the theory and its practical application!

Though the organizations' motive is to train human talent to be employable, I think would
lead to tying up education with real life needs, which in turn would empower the Gen Nexters to make informed decisions!


On an indian Highway

The snaps used in this article are taken on the same day, and it spans roughly 300km (Madurai - Tutuicorin > Thiruchendur > Thirunelvelly >Courtallam > Rajapalayam > Madurai)

Traveling on an Indian highway is an unique experience. Wait a minute, don't imagine 4 or 6 track roads that we are used to in Malaysia. Here the roads are just two tracks (in fact no tracks at all in many roads) in most of the locations and at times it even narrows down to a single track.

You would get to see cattle coming from the other side, like I've caught in this picture:

Or see the man kudurai Iyyanar (God of protection, who is usually depicted on a horse):

Most of the Indian highways pass through agricultural lands, farming villages, and you get to see the colorful countryside and its life:) I tried to drive between my home town Madurai to Tuticorin (a port city). Within minutes, a van from the other side of the traffic was trying to overtake a container and came directly in front of my car, just few feet away. I braked hard and shrieked, for a moment I thought that am gone! but the van just slowed a bit and flew away!!! From there I decided to sit back, enjoy and take pictures that we can never see in this part of the world.

Lorries and trailers filled with sugarcane, probably going to the sugar factory
Peasant taking hay stack at the end of the day.

Rotora aala maram (Road side banyan tree), which is oft shown in Indian movies

The salt mines in around the
villages are a site to look at. Salt is mined by stagnating sea water and letting it dry out in the hot sun. Once dried, they are swept aside in small mounds. Yes, the small mounds of whitish substance is the table salt in its raw form!

In the route between Courtallam to Rajapalayam lies the windy side of Western Ghats, so you get to see lot of wind mills!

My favorite clouds and the Western Ghats range in the background.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...