November 05, 2006

Crossword @ T Nagar

Two new book shops have come up in chennai in last month. Oxford @ Haddows road and Crossword @ Panagal park. Had been wanting to check them out ever since they opened. Chanced upon an ad for Crossword today in Hindu announcing RKN's MyDays book reading event. That gave a perfect excuse to visit Crossword first.

Like they have advertised, there were lots of cozy chairs where one can leisurely sit and browse through books. Also, there is a full blown cafe named Brio. Wow !! Books and Coffee...such a heady combo! Reminded me of Border's bookstore chain in California with its Seattle cafe inside. Didn't think such a shop would open so soon in Chennai.

Though this seems to be a nice place to spend time alone or with company , the collection of books is very meager when compared to the likes of Landmark and Higginbothams. Another quaint thing about this Shop is that they let you return the books you had purchased within 15 days. I wonder how they do that!!

PS: The Hindu has covered the book reading event here. Hmm..they missed out the free cappuccino distributed. Such a nice gesture from Crossword.

October 30, 2006


Slide lets you create some stunning effects with ur photos. Some eye candy to keep ur visitors interested.

a quick sample with my photos in flickr..........

September 29, 2006


It must have been in the reviews of kamal hassan's "virumandi" that i first stumbled upon this movie name. Eversince i have been wondering how an obsure , old japanese movie can kindle so much interest worldwide. Naturally i wanted to watch it for a long time now. I could lay my hands on the DVD only y'day. Since then i have watched it twice in the span of 8 hours.

The plot is similar to a typical whodunit mystery movie but the treatment is what makes it so different. A samurai escorts his beautiful wife through a jungle. A bandit enamored by her beauty rapes her. Later a woodcutter finds the dead body of the samurai. The woodcutter , a priest , the bandit , the beautiful wife , the dead samurai recount the events in their perspective. All their views are in contradiction with each other leaving the audience to find their own explanation for the murder.

The movie so much reminded me of Agatha christie's "Murder of Roger Ackroyd" novel. But unlike the author of that novel who stresses on logical congruity of the plot , here the director wants us to appreciate the emotional aspects of the plot. The director also intentionally hides some of the vital clues which would pin point the murderer. Only the mystery of the missing dagger is explained by the shocked reaction of the woodcutter when the spirit of the dead samurai recounts its story in front of the magistrate. Apart from that , the movie mainly focuses on the ambivalence of a situation and relative nature of reality as seen as different persons.

The movie also displays excellent cinematography for its age and some amazing cross cuts. It is said that the film employs a great deal of symbolism for expressing itself . Rain symbolizing the murky nature of ways of humans is a good example. Seems that Kurosawa tinted the rain by pouring black ink into the tank of the rain machine to get the desired effect with his cameras. Many such interesting trivias about the movie are listed here .

The film is based on two short stories by Akutagawa Ryunosuke. The translation for those stories can be found here. Have earmarked it for leisure reading. Suddenly i want to see more Rashomon effect movies like Antha naal , Basic etc.

August 04, 2006

CEO blogs

Stumbled upon yet another CEO blog today . These days i read quite a bit about CEOs and their workstyles and how they manage themselves and their pack . But more often than not CEO blogs are too heavy a material for me to digest. Until i read this one....i thought i was reading a blog of a person like Steve. But no the blog was one that of a CEO of SYNNEX Canada which sell about a Billion $ in computer products in Canada.

It has a heady dose of self development articles and peppered with lot of good quotes. Coming from a successful CEO makes it all the more meaningful. I'm gonna loiter around here more often.

July 16, 2006

Taiwan diary

Tired from an uncomfortable 10 hr transit in Kulalampur and a 2 hour drive from Taipei to taichung , i was totally exhausted . I checked into Splendor hotel around midnight and one look at the king size bed , i immediately fell asleep.

Everything looked good after a good night's sleep. To say that my room reeks with opulence would be an understatement. To top it , it has got a lovely view . Lazily lying on the couch , sipping hot coffe taking in the nightscape of taiwan skyline is a gr8 way to end a hard day at the office. The complimentary buffet breakfast is very good . It has a fair share of veggie dishes along with oriental delicacies.

Solitude and loneliness are separated by a very fine thin line. Time drew out like a blade this weekend. Decided to take a stroll in the streets nearby and also check out the Sogo departmental stores. The streets reminded me so much of korea . Garish signboards screaming for attention , quaint little eateries , 7-11's at every other corner and so many tea shops . Tried a tea nicknamed Pearl harbor. Itz a milk tea served chilled with lot of black pearl like objects at the bottom. Surprised to find three indian food joints around my hotel.Traffic rules are not so strict here and ppl park their vehicles wherever they feel like. Jay walking is also much common. And there are so many motorcycles almost equalling the number of cars.

Currently hunting for a package tour which would take me to the must see places around here. Till then , this is the only view of taichung i get to see.

July 09, 2006

from a transit lounge....

I am travelling to taipei , Taiwan for a 3 week trip. The transit at Kulalampur is 10 hrs. So decided to check out what an airport lounge has got to offer me. Paid 24 USD for a 5 hr stay here. Already made the mistake of not asking whether they provide a cot to sleep in. There is none. This seems to be a "sitting lounge". More to my dismay i dont find any lockers to secure my cabin baggage. Got to lug it even to the rest rooms. Restrooms are also not good either . Itz wet and dingy.

But the buffet seems to be gud and i am helping myself to it. The ambience is warm and quiet with the specatular view of the runway. Cappucino was gr8 and it is still lingering in my mouth as i write these words.

Dont ask me y i am writing such crap ..... itz so boring here.

June 19, 2006

Takeaways from TechEd

Just returned from TechEd 2006. It not only served a refreshing break from the mundane work but also gave a good insight into the latest offerings of MS.

Some takeaways.....

>> WinFX is renamed as .NET 3.0 . So no more confusion as to MS promoting yet another framework.

>> Windows Vista will have .net 3.0 pre installed. No more hassles with packaging runtime dlls.

>> Buzzwords glossary:
Avalon -> Windows Presentation foundation (WPF)
Indigo -> Windows Commn Framework (WCF)
LINQ -> C# 3.0

>> WPF makes UI programming a mockery of sorts. If it is gonna be as easy as it sounds , companies can hire school students for UI work.

>> WCF strongly discourages using .net remoting framework as it would lead to rework of code while migrating to Indigo.

>> CLR 2.0 can be hosted in a customized way in a Win32 process using COM. We can programmatically control the way CLR allocates memory , does GC , executes managed code etc.

>> WinFS is not a new file system like NTFS or FAT . Itz just a layer over NTFS and SQL. SQL ships with WinFS and it stores the metadata of files put into WinFS folder , making it searchable in umpteen ways.

So much is happening with MS and i am reminding myself to read more on these as i sign off.