Farewell Chennai

Eleven years (and then some) after I landed in Madras, a wide-eyed provincial keeping a wary yet naive eye out for people out to cheat me, I am leaving behind Chennai. I am no less wide-eyed or provincial than that day eleven years ago as I prepare to board a train, this time to the City of the Nizams. What wonderful happenstance that I am writing this from exactly the same place where I landed all those years ago – Chennai Central railway station!

Everything has undergone a world of change

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July 2003, Talacauvery

A cold and misty noon. Tiny needles of rain wetting the moss-covered rock. A slippery walk up a paved road. And then, rather suddenly, we came upon it – the source of the Kaveri, in a tiny spring beneath a small sanctum which held the River Goddess. That cold July noon found us shivering at the large pool into which the spring flowed, before making its way out to becoming one of the most important rivers in history. A thin, bespectacled priest clad in only a loincloth cheerfully told us

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Blogging from Bangkok!

Strange circumstances have brought me to Bangkok – where I’ve been for the past week without access to the internet. I expect to be back in action – and preparing for the BlogCamp – by Monday.

BlogCamp

Came across BlogCamp, and was wondering whether I should go. Then I discovered Syed, and then there was no choice, I simply had to be there!

BlogCamp.in bills itself as India’s Biggest and the most comprehensive blog event and is intended to be an unconference on all things blogging. What is really exciting is that this is going to be in

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Reading

After a long time, managed to squeeze in some reading time – albeit online.

So much has been written about blogs, bloggers and blogging that I no longer read such articles fully. However, it takes an Economist writer to do the impossible – write readably about blogging! Read it here.

Bob Metcalfe writes about the challenge to his law, and argues why it is not really productive to split hairs.

CNN Money has a detailed and interesting write-up

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The Price of Ignorance

… is fifty rupees, if you go by Magesh’s experience.

He was in his ancestral place – Mayiladuthurai – a couple of days ago, and was at a Sify I-way checking his email. Along comes a boy, and asks the person in charge of the center for a "Yahoo Messenger CD."

"Fifty rupees, and I have only the older version," says the cafe operator. The boy is not put off, and cheerfully pays the cash and takes the CD.

If the boy was going to install and use Yahoo Messenger

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Windows Live Writer

Finally, a blogging tool from Microsoft that promises a lot, and according to recent reviews, delivers too. Spellchecking seems to be working, though not as you type. What’s funny is that it doesn’t seem to recognize the word “blogging,” and I had to add it to the dictionary!

A really cool feature is that this is really WYSIWIG – it shows you what you type with the formatting from the theme currently enabled on your blog. Of course, I still haven’t published

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The Unknown Drummer

Last weekend, Ramesh, Durai, Joshua and a few others were at the Marina beach. There they came across a funeral drummer – one of those chaps who plays the parai at a blistering tempo in funeral processions. After giving him some money, they got him to play for a while, and recorded bits of it.

Here are two clips – the supporting whistling is by Joshua!

Clip 1

Clip 2

There is only one drum, even if it sounds like a lot more!

Unfortunately, none of them remembered the drummer’s name

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Run-up to the Hungaroring

Renault seemed all set to make a comeback at the Hungaroring – they were going to use their mass damping system and different tyres, and Alonso seemed to be hungry to get back at Schumacher. All that seems to be ruined now – they are not using the damping system and Alonso has earned himself two penalty seconds during practice. If this pushes him back on the starting grid, we may see Massa and Schumacher leading the pack like last week, with serious competition coming only from Raikkonnen

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