Archive > March 2007

Top 10 Tamil Songs - in no specific order

Ashwin » 29 March 2007 » In Uncategorized » Comments

The list and the comments are my own opinions.  Nowhere to compare them or hurt anyone’s sentiments.  Also this list only contains songs after the mid-80’s.

1. Kannae Kalaimane (Moondram Pirai) 
In this movie, Kamal sings this song as a lullaby to Sridevi.  Even in reality, the song is so mellifluous that it qualifies to be a lullaby of its own kind.  Ilayaraja at his best

2. Vannam Konda Vennilave (Sigaram)
This is a very beautiful song with wonderful lyrics and melodious score.  Surely a treat to your ears.

3. Kalyana Maalai (Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal)
Title song in the film Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal.  So meaningful and pleasing to the heart.  SPB and Ilayaraja make an evergreen combination.

4.  Kaadhal Rojave (Roja)
A beautiful composition by AR Rehman.  Just listening to this song, makes one feel the pain of a husband missing his wife.

5. Kadhalin Deepam Ondru (Thambikku Endha Ooru)
I especially like the pathos.  In similar lines to the Kaadhal Rojave song.

6.  Ennavale Adi Ennavale (Kaadhalan)
A masterpiece by AR Rehman wonderfully complemented by Unnikrishnan.

7.  Nee paartha (Hey Ram)
No comments are required for this pleasant number.

8. Sudum Nilavu (Thambi)
This is a song from the recently released film Thambi.  One of the very few songs that impressed me in the recent times.  Classical and Modern music mixed in the right proportion.

9. Kaadhal Kavithaigal Padithidum (Gopura Vasalile)
This is song which is very good - both for the way it is pictured and also for the liveliness of the song

10. Mandram Vandha Thendralukku (Mouna Ragam)
One of my all time favorites.  This is supposed to be a pathos but in now way makes you feel sad.  The sweetness of the song overcomes the pathos and it is a treat for everyone.

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Future of Indian Cricket

Ashwin » 29 March 2007 » In Uncategorized » Comments

Disappointing time for the Indian cricket fans - effigies of cricketers being burnt, youngsters cutting their hairs (Courtesy: Dhoni), cricketer look-alikes in hideouts… In a country like India where cricket is more than a game and cricketers are viewed as superficials, an oust from the World Cup in the preliminary round is definitely asking for trouble. And that is what is happening right now.

Cricket, as they say, is an unexpected game, at least as the results are concerned!! Win or loss mainly depends on the performance on a given day - no matter whether the team is a former world champion or a team unbeaten for ‘n’ consecutive ODIs. Though it is a shock to get eliminated before the Super 8’s, we must accept the reality and also understand that in its current form India would be a no-fighter against the likes of Australia and South Africa.

So what needs to be done? Should the coach be sacked? Should the captain be changed? Should the oldies be replaced with youngsters? These are some questions in the minds of the public, which can only be answered by proper analysis and logical thinking. I would like to provide some thoughts on how the condition could probably be improved.  a) Greg Chappell has failed in his mission. When he took over as the coach, his first assurance given was to prepare a team for the world cup. Though grooming and selecting the right players are not totally under his control, he must take responsibility for the poor show and must go down. A batting coach and bowling coach are obligatorily required. b) Dravid must retain as captain. He is a good thinker and a guy who keeps himself cool under pressure conditions. He must be given more chance c) All non-performing oldies excluding Dravid, Ganguly and Zaheer Khan must be sacked and fresh performing players must be brought into the team. These oldies must have options to either retire or prove in the domestic arena. d) Endorsements of Cricketers must be brought under the radar. Higher share of money must be spent by BCCI to improve conditions of the domestic grounds, providing quality training to young players, highlighting and marketing the domestic tournaments like Ranji Trophy etc. e) Hyping and revering the players must stop and people should understand that they are humans too. f) Team selection must be transparent and no step-motherly treatment must be meted out to some players. Selection must only be based on the current performance and not for any other reasons. If the captain or the coach wishes to have a player, they must be able to provide sufficient evidence to show that he is physically and mentally fit and is in good form.

Overall by spending more time, interest and money in grooming the younger players, appreciating the team when they do well, encouraging them at bad times and a good sporting spirit are the means by which the Indian cricket can survive. Otherwise, the demise of Indian Cricket is not far away.

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Tags: Cricket

Forced victory for Nandigram

Ashwin » 29 March 2007 » In Uncategorized » Comments

Relief finally for the Nandigram dwellers. Buddhadeb has finally made a formal announcement that the Chemical plant project in Nandigram will be scrapped (


But this victory did not come easily. Government was forced to withdraw from its mission due to pressure both internally & externally and also the mayhem created by the police firing. This is a major milestone and this decision could mean that various other SEZ proposals in the state would come under the radar. Though the Government in its statement informed that the project would be shifted elsewhere, I seriously doubt that it can run away from protests and controversies. At least this time, the Government must chalk out a formidable plan to make sure that fertile lands are not chosen for SEZ facilities and rehabilitation measures are finalized. Otherwise, we might witness yet another Nandigram.

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Tags: Politics

Ugly side of cricket

Ashwin » 23 March 2007 » In Uncategorized » Comments

It all started with Azhar and Cronje.  At least, to the outside world!!  Cricket is considered to be the “Gentlemen” game.  People were playing cricket out of their passion for the game and that induced the passion among the viewers.

But at this instance of time, cricket is no longer seen as a game.  It is considered a business.  Leave the endorsements for sports related stuff.  Due to the sheer popularity and reach of the game in the Indian subcontinent, cricketers are chosen to endorse cars, bikes, banks, biscuits, shaving razors (!!) and the list goes on… If addition to these endorsements, there is another side of this business!! Match fixing and betting… And the recent incident involving Bob Woolmer suggests the extreme to which these can go.

Though the official investigation is on, the circumstances under which Bob was found dead raises many questions.  If Bob died of cardiac arrest, what could be the explanation for the discovery of poison in his room?  How can one explain the blood stains and injuries on his body?  This incident comes a little later (less than 24 hrs) Pakistan’s awful loss to Ireland.  Could there be any relation or is it just a coincidence?  Answers to many of these questions  might come after the investigation.  If Bob’s death was indeed a murder, what frightens me is the dangerous path that the game is taking!!

With all these match fixing allegations, I sometimes wonder if it is worthy to be awake all night to watch a cricket match.  Are we doing justice to ourselves to unequivocally support and follow the game, when somebody is sitting at the back and controlling the game?

Players must realize that cricket is so much revered by the fans and should not defame the game just for some extra bucks.  As far as the Indian players are concerned, the money they make from the endorsements and the popularity they gain from the game, are much higher than an IAS officer serving the country.  So there is no reason to take the ugly path and disappoint the people, for whom they are more than just players.  We consider them the brand ambassadors of our country and they must do justice to our country.  Hope there are no match fixes as far as India is considered and we move ahead in the World cup just by mere talent and effort.

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Tags: Cricket

Welcome win for India

Ashwin » 20 March 2007 » In Uncategorized » Comments


After the upset loss against Bangladesh a couple of days back, supporters of the Indian team must be happy with a victory by huge margin

Setting the world record score (World Cup) of 413, India almost walked away with the match at the end of first innings. Virendar Sehwag, under tremendous pressure, produced an innings of substance. He struggled early on but capitalized on opportunities provided to him. Robin Uthappa missed a wonderful opportunity and disappointed the selectors. War gun Ganguly provided an excellent support to Sehwag, who was firing all cylinders. More than run a ball century was much needed for Sehwag, atleast to justify Dravid’s decision to have him for the World Cup and to appease fans back home in India. Yuvraj, Tendulkar and Dhoni gave a good finishing touch and India reached a formidable total.

Though the Bermuda batsmen were able to score runs against the Indian pace attack, regular fall of wickets proved to be a speed breaker. Lack of technique and exposure to international cricket was clearly shown in the way the Bermuda batsmen played. Zaheer and Kumble bowled well and ensured that the effort of the Indian batsmen were not wasted. Another positive point is that the NRR for India (+2.5) is positive!! They are good 2 points above Bangladesh in the NRR and have a nice chance to move to the Super 8’s with a win against Sri Lanka.

Let us keep our fingers crossed for the decider on 23rd. It is disheartening to see that India is playing a decider to qualify from the prelims. Nevertheless, India has risen back strongly after the defeat and we hope that this win provide the required confidence for the Indian players against the formidable Sri Lankan team!!

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Tags: Cricket

Economics in layman (a.k.a myself) terms

Ashwin » 16 March 2007 » In Uncategorized » Comments

Nowadays the buzzwords in IT are paving way to the ones in economics. Terms like inflation, CRR etc. are becoming more common. With no formal economics knowledge, I found it pretty difficult to correlate these terms and understand them. The objective of this post is to give my understanding of some buzzwords in common man terms. Pardon and correct me if I am wrong in certain cases.

Inflation: Today I go out with 100 Rupees. I first head to my favorite restaurant, have wonderful dishes, pick up a couple of magazines on the way and come back home. I find a balance of 30 Rupees in my pocket. After 3 years, when I go out with 100 Rupees and have the same dishes (of course in the same restaurant), I find that I have no money left to get the magazines (same magazines…). This is called inflation. Reason is that the dishes cost more now, because of the increased prices of raw materials for cooking, which in turn is due to lack of supply.

CRR: Popularly known as Cash Reserve Ratio!! My father gives me a pocket money of 100 Rupees every month. I can comfortably meet all my expenses with 80 Rupees. So I have a surplus of 20 Rupees every month. My friend Suresh gets a pocket money of only 50 Rupees and he needs 10 more Rupees to meet his expenses. So I used to give him 10 Rupees as a loan every month, which he promises to repay after a particular period of time. My father (a.k.a RBI) came to know about this and did not like this agreement. He does not want me to lend 10 Rupees to Suresh. So he cut my pocket money by 10 Rupees (he also promised me that he will keep it with him under my name and give it to me when I need) and now I get only 90 Rupees. So after meeting my expenses, if I give Suresh all the remaining 10 Rupees, I have no savings left. So the maximum I can lend him is only 5 Rupees. This 10 Rupees which my father is withholding on my sake is called Cash Reserve Ratio.

Fiscal Deficit: I get a salary of 10000 Rupees every month. My basic expenditures like rent, electricity, house hold articles etc. amounts to 6000 Rupees every month. I constantly find that the other expenses exceed the balance 4000 Rupees. I have to use my Credit card for about 2000 Rupees on average, every month. Now the fiscal deficit in this case is 2000 Rupees. Simply put “Fiscal Deficit = 2000 - (10000-6000-4000) or Borrowing - (Earning - Fixed expenditure - Variable expenditure)”. Whenever this formula gives a positive number, it means that there is fiscal deficit. It can be overcome only by increasing the earning or decreasing the variable expenditure.

Prime Lending Rate (PLR) - You are into credit business. You lend money to people, in small scale and nominal interest rates. You have a very well known circle of people, who borrow money from you regularly. Assume that the rate at which you lend them is 7%. A less known person comes to you asking for a loan. His financial history is not known to you and for that matter not to anybody in the lending business, in your locality. To be on safer side, you ask for guarantees and also for higher interest rate at 9%. He has no option to agree to your condition, as he has no others who can lend him at a lower rate. Here the 7% is called PLR. When PLR moves up (that is you charge more interest even for your trustworthy customers), the normal lending rate moves up too.

More buzzwords when I add them to my kitty!!

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Nandigram and Chattisgarh

Ashwin » 16 March 2007 » In Social » Comments

Whenever I read in the read newspapers on human massacres, I feel an acute pain somewhere deep in my heart. In my opinion, human life is the the precious of all in this universe - for a very simple reason that once destroyed there are no ways found yet to get them back. Today is yet another one to pain my heart.

Back to back news on human massacres in Nandigram and Chattisgarh. While the former reflects an ineffective governance, the latter is utter atrocity.

West Bengal Government has been under clutches for quite sometime now. Singur and Nandigram are proving to be bottlenecks for the Government, which is looking to join the rest of India in their economic boom. The major factor here is the fear of land owners and local dwellers about their future and survival in their homeland. This is a more of a psychological issue, rather than a political one. The only way out of this is for the Government to assure the landlords of inclusive growth. Inclusive growth in this context means that the setting up of industrial units and SEZ must also contribute to the improvement in the livelihoods of the locals. Though Government promises that these industries would reduce the unemployment, claiming lands from the locals for these purposes will not do any good. As pointed out by Mr. Swaminathan. S in one of his articles, lands must be leased from the landlords and not taken away from them. This would go a long way to provide inclusive growth. Presence of police force is inevitable in case of mob violence; but gunning down protestants would do the Government no good. Rather it agonizes the protestants and also affects the popularity of the Government. Government would look into different ways to achieve their goal - like consulting nation’s top economists & politicians on the course of action, holding mutual dialogs with the representatives of the protestants etc. Patience and prudence are the only means left for the WB Government.

Chattisgarh tragedy is more worse - both in its volume and in its effect. When the lives of policemen are not safe in their sleep, pity the civilians!! From the reports, it appears that the attack by the Maoists were very well planned. They had cut down trees and laid them on the connecting roads to delay help. Also the local villagers were of no help to a tragedy that lasted for about 2.5 hours. Many policemen were killed in their sleep and it is highly disheartening. Many of us gets absolutely frightened when we get unusual dreams in our sleep; could not just imagine the bloody death when the mind is in deep slumber!! Heartfelt condolences to the kin and kith of one and all who lost their life in this inhuman activity. Even worse is that the Maoists stole away some high end rifles and shells.

Both these massacres might be very different in their context. But what matters in both these cases, is the human lives. In a country very well known for its humility and hospitality, it is really unfortunate to deal with these instances. On the index of Terrorism & Massacres, India might very well be contending with the likes of Iraq. Though the inflation and economy are of utmost importance, the Central Government must assign top priority to the security of the nation as well. Without people what is the economy, that we are talking about?

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WC 2k7 - Good Start for the Windies!!

Ashwin » 14 March 2007 » In Uncategorized » Comments

Windies must have gone into the world cup opener with a lot of pressure after their humiliating defeat to India in the warm up matches. Also the natural pressure of playing in their home country against the only other non-minnow in the group, cannot be denied. Given the circumstances, Lara’s men have risen, strongly enough, for the occasion.

The start was not very favorable for the Windies, but as they say, finishing touch matters a lot in ODIs. In form Chris Gayle returned early and the top order batsmen were sensible enough to avoid a collapse. Lara and Samuels steadied the ship and the much required cameo innings was played by Dwayne Smith. But for his quick fire 32, the target might just be over 200 for Pakistan and there was a possibility that the psychological advantage might have done the trick. Target of around 250 in West Indian pitches are competitive and we might see most of the tournament scores in this region.

Windies continued their good work with the ball. Yousuf and Inzamam played well. Shoaib Malik ended up being a lone warrior, with his well deserved 50 going out in vain. Thus it is a good steady start for the West Indies. They might very well have sealed a place for them in the next round. Hopefully!!

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Tags: Cricket