Monday, December 28, 2015

772. When lies become Moral lessons

Finally the truth is out. When my friend Bragadeesh clicked a picture of an old man, little did he know that a great truth will finally be revealed by that old man. The picture says it all

- Chronicwriter

771. Frooti and my childhood

The Frooti pack image that is added here is a new version of Frooti. When it hit the markeet inthe late 80s / early 90s, the drink came in a green pack.

The song "Mango Frooti! Fresh and Juicy" is still fresh in my memory. Watching that ad in the old Bush TV in our house in Doordarshan brings me some great memories of those days.

The Frooti pack was priced at Rs 3 at that time and it was a costly drink. My sister was a big fan of frooti. She would always buy frooti. Me, being a boy always opted for Gold spot.

I treated Frooti like a girls drink and I would consider that only boys were capable of drinking aerated drink. Yes I was against gender equality.

I would try to drink Gold spot in one gulp, but always failed to do that. Holding the goldspot bottle in one hand and drinking it was supposed to be a cool act back in the late 80s. Those who have done that will understand what I am talking about.

Though I did not like Frooti, I always collected the pack after my sister completed drinking it. I would then inflate the pack by blowing through the hole in the pack, keep the pack on the floor and jump on it and it would explode with a loud noise. How many of you have done this? The fun with frooti is not in drinking it; the actual fun lies in bursting the pack.

This morning I read the news about rebranding of Frooti. The news pulled me back to my childhood days. Do you have such memories with Frooti?

- Chronicwriter

Thursday, December 10, 2015

770. Throwback to examination hall

Ten things that happen in every exam halls

1) Exams make people get closer to God. The five minutes before receiving the question paper and the one minute after receiving the question paper in hand, is the period during which fervent prayers are offered to God. People who have not touched the book also become spiritual hoping God to do a miracle

2) If you write a lot of gas for Instrumentation papers (BE) you will get good marks. I am an Instrumentation engineer from Madras University (1999 batch)

3) If you happen to sit behind a studious student, you automatically get an inspiration.

4) The hand writing in the first two pages resembles a neatly written record book. I the last 30 minutes of the exam, everyone becomes a doctor. (My doctor friends all have bad hand writings. So I take the liberty to make this statement. Doctors, who have good handwriting, please excuse me. Don't file a defamation case against me. I have a weak body. Adi thaanga maatein)

5) A student who helps you during exam time by passing chits, showing you the right answer is a FRIEND

6) A student who does not help you during exam time is a terrorist and such a person should be immediately sent to Pakistan.

7) The first person to leave the hall after finishing the exam is seen as the hero of the class. When he goes out, he waits at the entrance and makes sure some body else joins him. So he encourages the others from outside showing hand gestures to come out soon.

8) People who teach us sure-shot questions right before we enter the exam hall are the spiritual gurujis of the class.

9) People who use scientific calculators in the exam are scientists. Most of the time, I just press random buttons on the scientific calculator (especially when the invigilator is in close proximity)

10) I forgot the 10th point. This always happens with me. For a ten point answer, I would always forget one point. But I would not just leave it blank. I would fill that point with some answer as I have done here.

Click this link [ Examination Blues - Those School days] to know about my school day exam time memories.


Monday, December 07, 2015

769. Amma saves Tamil Nadu from flood

The social media and anti Puratchi thalaivi gang is spreading false propoganda against our Puratchi Thalaivi Dr. Maanbumigu Amma J. Jayalalitha. It pains my heart to see people trying to defame our Amma. The opposition parties are in full swing trying to add a blackmark in the pure dove heart of our Chief minister.

I could not keep quiet any longer. This post is my defense with solid proofs on how Amma has single handedly saved TamilNadu from floods. Here are six reasons why Amma and no one else is responsible for rescuing, rehabilitating and providing safe environment for people who were affected by the flood.

Reason 1 : Amma brought unity in diversity by ordering rains to hit Tamil Nadu.

Salem Collector made an announcement that the rains hit Tamil Nadu because of Amma's orders. Going by his verified statement, it is very clear that because of the rains, the whole world turned its eyes towards TamilNadu. If Amma had not done this, lot of people would not have joined hands for the rescue effort. An RJ Balaji, actor Siddharth, TamilNadu weather man, Shailender Babu would have been just ordinary entertainers and civil servants if not for Amma's order.

Reason 2: Amma sticker fiasco

There were rumors that AIADMK party workers forced relief workers to affix Amma stickers on relief materials. These rumors were spread by opposition party members and their TV channels. The opposition party evil forces wore AIADMK party worker masks and tried to tarnish Amma's image. But truth cannot be hidden. Their evil deeds did not stand a chance against the true heart of Puratchi Thalaivi. Social media jokers even made fun of ADMK party workers by creating memes like the one below

Even if the AIADMK workers had behaved like that, what is wrong in that? Why should not Amma get the credit? If Amma gets the credit, why are social media hate groups not liking that? Isn't she our honorable CM?

Reason 3: Amma not utilizing the disaster relief money immediately

There were complaints in Amma not releasing the disaster relief money immediately. If Amma had released that money immediately, the whole of TamilNadu would not have come together to help the victims. Once people started helping the victims, Amma made the announcement of how she will use the money to help the people. This was in fact a strategic move by Amma in helping the people of the state. Party workers paid their respect by pouring milk on Amma's posters. Now critics will say that milk was wasted for this act. Such critics will keep on barking like that. I don't give a damn for them

She bore all the insults and still she came forward to help the people in distress. If she does not get Nobel Prize for this selfless deed, Mother Teresa's Nobel Prize should be revoked. 

Reason 4 : Amma brought Modi to TamilNadu

The Prime Minister of India who is made fun of as the NRI PM of India was brought to Chennai by Amma. He brought the centre's attention towards Tamil Nadu. On seeing Amma, Modi immediately allocated flood relief funds to Tamil Nadu.

Reason 5: Amma being the CM

If Amma had been in jail, she could not have done this amazing act of saving TamilNadu from the floods. She had to come out at the right time. Judge Kumarasamy's calculator did the trick at the right time. Kalaignar TV is using some broken violin to add BGM to their Anti-Amma campaign in their channels. Still nothing can deter our love and affection for our AMMA, because we know that she was the reason behind this unity in diversity.

Note : This is not a satire post. This is written with utmost respect for our PuratchiThalaivi Amma. 

Additional Note : If you are searching for the 6th reason, please remember that I used the same calculator used by Judge Kumarasamy.

- Chronicwriter

Sunday, December 06, 2015

768. Entrepreneurial tips from Minu Marie Mathew

Minu is the founder, owner and CEO of ART-ery. She has succeeded in taking the entrepreneurial plunge. There are thousands of souls who have the thirst to become entrepreneurs; but with a fear of taking the first step forward.

This post might be an inspiration for those who decide to follow their passion. I had a one on one chat time with Minu to understand her thought process for ART-ery. When I started having the one on one conversation with Minu, I had the option of donning the KRK mask/ Arnab mask and ask questions. Finally I settled for my own mask.

1) Why did you start ART-ery in the first place?

I wanted to do something on my own. I wanted the brand message to be clear. We do not do sizes. It should be "One size fits all" . Hence zeroed down on Fashion Accessories. Something before I turned 30 was also a secret motive

Mindvoice : Ahhh! She is not yet 30 ;)

2) As in Minu - How did u land up here in the first place?

I studied fashion for 5 years and worked in Various companies for 6 years.I felt restrictive working for someone. Here I could take a leap is what I felt

3) Growth plans?
I am a nomadic person. Never wanted to be in a store pinned to one place. So I would see myself only being places online.But expansion would be increasing categories. Home Decor is on my mind.I would like to create a Home decor line for ART-ery

3) Investment pattern ( I know this is a private question.)

Set up cost was close to Nil. I function out of a small studio in Trivandrum Just reworked to accommodate inventory, a small work station with a Laptop and good Internet was basically all my investment.Plus 70% of my investments are in Inventory and rest in Marketing as I do a lot of exhibitions

4) What has been your most memorable sale?

Memorable Sale is when celebrities buy something or else when kids cry outside your stall saying they want to buy it

 5) Which marketing channel best works for ART-ery ( so far) ?

Surprisingly Facebook. Spreads like wildfire [link]

6) Have you encountered any negative feedback on social media for ART-ery?

So far NO. Touch wood. Customer care has been taken care of as priority number one. I worked in Luxury Retail where we are trained to handle that very well

7) What was the first product you sold? Tell me about the experience!

My grandmother was the first one to buy. It was a headband and a scarf.

8) What was the product for which lot of time and energy was spent on?

Handcrafted range as always. They are necklaces. also best performing so no complaints. I source most of my collection from Wholesalers. I am more of a curator. It is handpicked in India and Internationally (most of it). We also get imported beads and other raw materials those are made in house by my mother. She is technically the master mind behind ART-ery's signature handcrafted range

9) Any movie star who has worn ARTery products?

Parvathy Menon. Check that ring :)

 10) Greatest lesson learnt in this ART-ery journey so far?

There are no timings when it is your own business. The more you do the more you get. One excuse I give;it reflects in my sale. Have to be at it all the time.. Helps me be more creative looking at new avenues to expand and be different. Hard work pays! This is the greatest lesson I have learnt.

- Chronicwriter

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

767. I think Zoya loves me

Right from my college days, I have mastered the art of window shopping. Back in the year 2001, making a visit to Chennai would always involve a Saturday spent in Spencer's Mall. I and my friends would roam around Spencers mall the whole day as though we were gonna buy the whole mall. We would have just Rs 50 bucks in our pockets.

Our usual stop would be  "Music World", where we will stop at the head phone station and listen to Mambo number 5 and It wasn't me.  We would try throwing attitude with our non sync moves. No one would notice us. After trying to garner attention for at least 30 minutes, we would finally move out of the shop when the store attendant starts noticing us.

We would then move to Landmark and spend some quality time there. Finally we would buy the Rs 5 cone ice cream from food world and sit at the entrance and lick the ice-cream and leave the place in the evening. I was the unofficial king of window shopping.

For many years, my prowess with window shopping made me an expert in the field. I exactly knew the product can be found in the third rack in any shop in a mall. My friends would ask my advice before they hit any store. This made me an instant hit among my lady friends because they were under the impression that I shop at expensive clothing and high end luxury brand outlets on a regular basis.

Little did they know that the various Ray Ban glasses that I wear every week were brought at the price "3 for Rs 100 from Burma Bazaar".

This year, NAC jewelry stores has launched their Online Jewelry shop " Stylori"[link]. Priya Anand and Parineeti Chopra launched the store and that's how I got to know about this shop. Little did Stylori realize that a master "window shopper" like me would eventually become an expert in "Online window shopping too".

I would visit the site and just spend hours and hour memorizing the ear rings and diamond studs in the pages. I have done this with many shopping sites. But with Stylori, I would be often tempted to buy because they provide amazing coupon codes. Their 1-day shipping strategy makes the customer to get their hands on the jewelry in just 24 hours.

Finally one day, I decided to buy one ear ring from the "Grand" collection at Stylori. So I finally settled for these three. But all three ear rings were more than Rs 40,000/- I checked my online bank account and found out that I needed Rs 30,000/- more to buy these ear rings.

Then I took my daughter's piggy bank and without her knowledge broke it and found Rs 245/- in it. I still fell short of around 30 grand. I was almost in tears. I did not know what to do. That is when I decided to initiate a conversation with Zoya. Zoya is the customer care expert at Stylori.

I told her that I liked their website and she said Thank you for that. I was not sure if I could ask her to reduce the price by 30000 bucks. When I was still contemplating, Zoya said " If you need any assistance please feel free to contact".

I am still unclear why she would make that offer to me. I am a complete stranger to her. Why did she make an offer like that to me? Does she know that I am already married? If so, why would she tell me that she can give any assistance? Does that mean, that she is in love with me?

Should I ask her to give me that ear ring for Rs 10,000 bucks? I am confused. I don't want to give her any hopes. At the same time, my blogger friends from Chennai Blogger Club have offered to help me by giving me Rs 30000 to buy an ear ring from the Grand collection. So even if Zoya does not help me, my friends from CBC would help me. 
Zoya! If you are reading this, please forget me. I am married. I know it will be tough for you; but you have to forget me and move on in life.

- Chronicwriter

Friday, November 06, 2015

766. The heartbreaking story behind my nail biting habit

Image source
Last weekend I met my college friends for coffee. We were meeting after a long time. They were both into nail art. They were proudly displaying their nails and their neat fingers and they were lovely. I had my hands in my pocket all the time. That meet was a reminder for me not to bite my nails.

Some habits never die. My granny would say "Chriz! Don't bite your nails". My mom would say the same thing. My class teachers in primary school has hit be on my knuckles with a wooden ruler for biting my nails. Nothing stopped me from biting my nails.

When my girlfriend Renu turned down my love proposal when we were in 8th standard, the reason she threw at my face was "Chriz, you bite your nails. A person who bites his nails will not be committed in life". She had one reason or the other that she slapped me with, every year I proposed my love to her. The reason she gave when we were in class 8 is still fresh in my memory.

None of these stopped me from biting my nails. Yes, I have a fancy nail cutter. I use that once in a while. But I do not know how my hand finds its way into my mouth and even before I could notice, the teeth would have bitten off the nails from all my fingers.

There have been times when my teeth have bitten some portion of the skin on my fingers. They are painful times of my life. If people ask me "Have you experienced pain in life? I could of course give that as an answer". That answer cost me a job in one of the job interviews. (Namakku naakkula sani)

All bad habits have a dark reason hidden in some part of history. My nail biting habit also has a historical reason for its intrusion into my life. The incident happened in the year 1988. I was 6 years old ans was studying in 2nd standard. Renu was my bench mate and I was in love with her. My childhood nemesis Shabir who was also in love with Renu was also my bench mate. We would do different antiques to win Renu's attention.

Renu loved people who could play the drums. During school days, our wooden benches were the drums and our fingers were the drum sticks. Shabir and I were good in making rhythm sounds on the wooden desks and we would imagine ourselves to be Tabla exponents when we make sound on the benches. In order to add tone to our rhythmic patterns, we grew our finger nails. 

I had long nails, which I concealed from the teachers with great difficulty. You can't conceal long nails and pregnancy for a long time. But I was successful in concealing my long nails for around 3 months. One day when the class teacher told all of us to lie down on our desks and sleep, we all obeyed her. I could not sleep. The rest of them slept off. Suddenly I heard a snoring sound.

I looked around to see my friend Sunitha snoring big time. To stop her from snoring, I pinched her nose. I did not realize that I had long nails. she started to bleed and she woke up with wailing noise. I immediately put my head on my desk and pretended to sleep. Sunitha did not know who pinched her nose. Her crying sound woke up everyone. I was still lying down on my desk. To delete all evidences, I immediately bit my nails in my fingers.

The teacher came rushing to Sunitha who was bleeding from her nose. Immediately the furious teacher shouted "WHO DID THIS?". We were all silent. Then the teacher took a close look at Sunitha's nose and saw a cut and she exclaimed "AH! SOME ONE HAS PINCHED HER. ALL OF YOU SHOW YOUR HANDS". We all extended our hands and the only person who had long nails was Shabir. He was immediately punished with some caning. Renu also gave him a very bad look. This is how my nail biting started.

The very next day, Renu came to me and accepted my love proposal because she felt that Shabir was not worth it.. I was so happy and as I was a gentleman for a 6 year old, I decided not to hide the incident from Renu. So I immediately told the truth to Renu that I was the actual culprit. I thought that when I told the truth, Renu would feel happy and have more trust on me. But it backfired. She immediately screamed at me and said  "I HATE YOU" and ran up to Shabir and hugged him. That is how their love life bloomed. Yet another heart break for me at that young age; but I was game for it as I had suffered many heart breaks before that.

Today as I type this post, I am typing this with pride that I have not bitten my nails for the last three days. It is a record of sorts for a person like me who bites his nails all the time. But I am finding it difficult to type these words with my little grown nails. So I am going to BITE MY NAILS.

- Chronicwriter

Thursday, October 22, 2015

765. Sehwag the dark knight of the 2011 world cup

Sachin Tendulkar is my favorite cricketer of all time. Sehwag is my second favorite cricketer. I have dedicated two blog posts for Sachin in this blog. When I came to know of Sehwag's retirement, I felt sad because I personally feel that this mad hitting opener still has lot of batting fuel left in him.

The 2011 world cup is known for Sachin's farewell gift by the Indian team, Guru Gary's love affair with the India, Dhoni's last ball six, Yuvraj's man of the series award. Among all the great performances there was this one guy who was silently responsible for India becoming a power machine in that tournament and that one man is none other than the Nawab of Najafgarh -Virender Sehwag.

I watched all the matches India played in that tournament; all the matches are still fresh in my memory. Sehwag sent chills down the spines of all the teams with the manner in which he unsettled the opposition bowlers. This blog post captures India's performance against all the teams in that world cup and also the reason why I feel that Sehwag made a huge contribution for India's world cup win.

Sehwag raises his bat after
scoring a century against Bangladesh
Match 1: India vs Bangladesh

The first match of the 2011 world cup was played between India and Bangladesh. The match was played in Dhaka. The Bangladesh team had the crowd backing them. The Bangladeshi captain won the toss and elected to field. Sachin and Sehwag walked in and as usual Sehwag took the strike.

Shafiul Islam ran up to bowl the first ball. The crowd backed him with a thunderous roar. In came the ball at 145 kmph. Sehwag moved back and slapped the ball through the cover. The first ball of the world cup was dispatched to the boundary in no time; there was pin drop silence in the ground. That was Sehwag's way of silencing the crowd.

He reached his 50 with a towering six down long on and reached his 100 of 94 balls. Then the butcher used his bat as a butcher knife and ravaged the Bangla bowlers and reached 175 of 140 balls. He equaled Kapil Dev's score of 175 in that match.

He singlehandedly delivered a death blow to the Bangladeshis and India moved on to play the remaining matches riding on the thunderous opening provided by Sehwag in the very first match

Match 2: India vs England

India faced England in their second league match. It was a high scoring match which ended in a tie. Both the teams scored 338. India was lucky not to lose that match. Strauss literally took the match away from the Indians with a calculated chase. India batted first and with a magnificent century by Sachin, posted 338 on the board.
Sehwag unleashing a cover drive against England
But that huge total was possible because of the launchpad provided by Sehwag in the first 8 overs. When Sehwag got out in the 8th over of the Indian innings, Indian scoreboard read 46 for 1. Sachin was batting at 10 of 21 balls. Sehwag hit 6 bullet fours to reach 35 of 26 balls. The match is now known for the centuries and the manner in which it ended. Very few realize that such a huge score was possible because of the tempo set by the Delhi Dynamite-  Viru.

Match 3: India vs Ireland

India's score in the first two matches were 370 and 338. The rest of the teams plotted plans to slow down India in the first few overs. In the third match, India faced Ireland.

Sehwag gets out against Ireland

Ireland elected to bat first and scored just 207 runs on the board. When India came to bat, Sehwag hit the first ball he faced for a four. In all the matches in the tournament, he opened his account with a four.

He was out in the very next over for a paltry score of 5. India finally huffed and puffed and crawled over 207 with much difficulty.

Match 4 : India vs Holland

India played Holland in their 4th match of the tournament. With two better oppositions (Bangladesh and England) India had the opportunity to bat first and put huge scores on the board. But with teams like Ireland and Holland, India had to chase. The Dutch were bowled out for 189. The Indian's chased this total with ease.

Sehwag in a murderous mood against the Dutch
Sehwag got India off to yet another flyer by hitting the first ball for a four. He scored a breezy 39 of 26 balls that included 5 fours and two towering sixes. By this time the Indian fans started to believe that Sehwag will score the first ball he faces for a four.

Match 5: India vs South Africa

Sehwag Slaps Steyn for a four
Then India played against the South Africans. India scored 296 and the South Africans chased down the total in the last over.

The Indians could have put a total of 400 plus on the board after a 142 run opening stand by Sehwag and Sachin.

Sachin went on to score a century with Sehwag thrashing a 66 ball 73. From 267 for 2, India just collapsed to 296 all out.

For the fifth match in a row, Sehwag opened his account with a 4; that too of the best bowler in the world Steyn.

Steyn took 5 wickets in that match; but Sehwag toyed with him in the first few overs.

India's opening wicket partnership in that tournament was one of the last 100 plus opening wicket partnership between Sehwag and Sachin.

Match 6: India vs West Indies

India defeated the West Indians in their last league encounter. Sehwag did not play that match because of a knee injury. India had three more matches in the tournament.

Quarter finals: India vs Australia
A cross over picture of Sachin and Sehwag!

In the quarterfinals India played against the mighty Australians. The Aussies scored 260 batting first with Punter scoring a hundred. Bret Lee ran up to bowl the first over when Indians began the chase. Lee bowled a couple of 145 kmph deliveries and beat Sehwag. The tension built around the stadium and when Lee bowled the 3rd ball of that over at around 150 kmph, little did he think that it would be bludgeoned to the boundary with the ball reaching the fence in less than 2 seconds. The cameras could not capture the speed at which Sehwag hit that ball. He did not score much in that match; but for the 6th time in a row, Sehwag had opened his account with a boundary.

Semi finals: India vs Pakistan

No foot movement; but ball goes for 4
That brings us to the much awaited match of the tournament; the semi finals against the Pakistanis. India batted first. Umar Gul bowled the first over with Sehwag on strike. The first two balls were a little wider and Sehwag let go of one of those balls.

The third ball was bowled at a faster pace and Sehwag stayed like a statue with no foot movement;brought his bat down like Thor wielding his hammer and connected the ball. The ball raced to the boundary like a bullet. He scored 38 runs from 25 balls that included 9 fours. In other words 36 of those 38 runs were through 4s.

It was a match in which he cemented his feet and smashed the balls to all corners of the ground. Commentators always criticized his lack of foot movement and his poor technique. But Sehwag always silenced them by letting his bat do the talking. It was always a joy to watch him bat. The confidence he gave to the entire country when he was at the crease is something that only an Indian fan can relate to.

The finals: India vs SriLanka

That is some sort of record for opening the score with a four for 7 consecutive times in any tournament, which was never ever set by any other batsman in the world. I don't think someone will ever beat that record in future. Sehwag fell for a duck in the finals against SriLankans; but who cares!!! Because the rest of the team mates did the trick in that final and won the world cup for India. The tournament was opened by Sehwag with a four and closed by Dhoni with a six.

If we think about that world cup, people talk about Yuvraj Singh's man of the series performance, Sachin's centuries and Dhoni's captaincy and his last ball six to finish the tournament in style. We would not be talking about any of these things, if Sehwag had not given them an opportunity like that with a blistering opening act he gave them throughout the tournament.

We all remember this picture. Did you notice the dark knight taking the victory lap in one corner? He was also playing in his last world cup. He was never the center of attraction; but he was the corner stone and the greatest entertainer India has ever produced in cricket
He demoralized the opposition bowlers, emotionally toyed with the fielders by beating them with fours, totally unsettling their strategy and gave a wonderful cushion for the rest of the Indian batsmen to play on. In any street fight or even in wars between countries, the side that delivers the first blow has a high chance of winning the fight/ war, because if that blow is a powerful one, it will totally unsettle the opposition and the remaining blows are just customary ones to finish them off. Team India had one such soldier who always delivered the first blow. Now that person has retired from the game.

Today we have talented openers like Rohit Sharma, Rahane, Dhawan who can score big hundreds; but I have not seen anyone who can stand like a rock and totally unsettle the opposition with his bat like the Nawab of Najafgarh - Viru "Sehwag".

A note to Sehwag:

I will miss you Sehwag and I am sure the entire Indian fans and cricket lovers around the world will miss your simple and stupid batting.

- Chronicwriter

Images collection :
Research collection : From World cup memories of watching it on TV,  Score confirmation from Cricinfo

Friday, October 16, 2015

764. Maggi Noodles is an Engineer

Maggi Version 2.0 is entering the market again. This is like Rajini's re-entry as MGR in the movie Sivaji with the motta boss look. Hostel girls and bachelor girls are going to go crazy again with this news.

- Chronicwriter.

The Maggi version 2.0 story from ET

Nestle India, maker of Maggi noodles, on Friday said it has received test results from all three laboratories mandated by the Bombay High Court to test Maggi noodles samples. "All the 90 samples, covering 6 variants, tested by these laboratories are clear with lead much below the permissible limits," the company said in a statement.

""In compliance with the orders of the Hon'ble Bombay High Court, we will now commence manufacture and will start selling only after the newly manufactured products are also cleared by the designated three laboratories," it said. 

The maker of Maggi instant noodles said it has conducted over 3500 tests representing over 200 million packs in both national as well as international accredited laboratories and all reports are clear. In addition to these, various countries including USA, UK, Singapore, Australia and others have found MAGGI Noodles manufactured in India safe for consumption.

"Nestle will continue to collaborate with the FSSAI, the apex food regulator and other stakeholders. 

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had banned sale of Maggi noodles nationally citing excessive lead levels more than the permissible quantity of 2.5 parts per million, mislabelling on packs which declared 'no added MSG', and selling Maggi oats masala noodles without product approval in June this year.

A Rs 2,000 crore before the ban, the recall exercise of Maggi noodles has cost Nestle Rs 320 crore and another Rs 1,270 crore in brand loss according to global valuation consultancy Brand Finance. 

Source for the Maggi version 2.0 story : [ ET - newslink ]

763. The Ervamatin secret

Have you seen the Ervamatin ad on TV?

The ad claims that you can stop hair fall in 2 weeks of usage and you can also grow new hair within 2 months of using it. In 6 months time, you will have like Bob Marley it seems. They also show client testimonials with photo proofs.

Ervamatin manufacturers claim that they produce the medicine from one of the finest and rarest herbs which are only found in the Amazon forests. 

I did a google search and found to find how the hair of the people in Amazon forest look like? I got this picture which I have posted here. People in Amazon forests in deed have thick and long hair.

I am balding and hence I am thinking of buying this product. As a matter of fact, I have been telling for the last 8 years that I am balding; but I am not.

My friend Robert used to pour Ervamatin oil on his palms, rub them and then apply it on his hair. As a result , hair grew on his palms. That was indeed a scary sight.

If I ever buy this oil, I will use gloves on my hands. I don't want to look like Anil Kapoor. One question that I have after watching this ad is "Why don't they reveal the name of that rare Amazon herb?" Are they scared that I will go all the way from Chennai to the Amazon forests, pluck the herb and apply it on my head?

Note: The robert story is not true.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

762. Tamilnadu Government buses

A month ago, a Tamilnadu state Government bus made it to the headlines in Kerala, when a woman who was sitting inside the bus fell on the road through the bottom of the bus. Luckily she escaped from being run over by the bus. 

Critics claim that the condition of the Tamilnadu government buses are pathetic. But Chronicwriter and his team did a top secret survey on the buses and came up with an amazing discovery. The buses are in good condition. 

All these buses have a reason for being pathetic. They are made to look pathetic; but all these buses are in a disguise and they serve a purpose. Look at the following six buses

1) Drunk bus: If you travel in this bus, it will give you the same feeling that only a drunkard experiences. If you do not have enough money to buy alcohol and drink, all you have to do is travel in this bus. You will have feel giddy.

2) The side stand: Why should only bicycles,scooters and motor bikes have side stands? Why should the two wheelers have all the fun? The buses should also have a whale of a time

3) The Piles seat: This is a CSR activity by the government. It is specially designed for those who have piles. If you don't have piles, if you sit on it, you will get piles. If you already have piles, eat pilex. That is what my friend Robert eats.

4) The ladies gym: This special ladies bus is designed in such a way that it starts only when the ladies give it a push. It strengthens the arms of the girls which in turn helps them to protect themselves from rapists

5) The submarine: We won't tell you the technology used by our buses. All our buses are submarines

6) Mountaineer: You want to become a mountaineer? Just travel in our buses. You can even conquer the everest easily.

If you think that the Government has only the above 6 varieties of buses, you are in for a big surprise because there are many more types of theme buses that the Government has released. 9 of them are displayed in the below picture.

1) Rain theme bus : If we rain theme hotels and discothes, why not a rain theme bus?
2) The burning bus : If the people of my state get angry, they burn buses and our buses serve that purpose too
3) No footboard travel : To avoid people from travelling by footboard, we have introduced the bus without footboard
4) Emergency exit : In case of emergency, just jump out. This is for extra safety
5) Easy chair: This is different from the push back seats. The easy chair seats automatically dislocates your spine and enables you to utilize your medical insurance for some ortho surgery
6) Fresh air for legs : Why should your face alone get fresh air? Your legs are also a part of the body and they need fresh air too.
7) The rain theme bus DJ : This is the guy who makes all the music
8) Sunny Leone bus : This is a glamour bus. It has a covering that does not cover anything
9) Hitting the sack : The sack seat helps you to understand the poverty in our Nation.

- Chronicwriter

761. Narendra Modi and his Nelson Mandela Joke

Tamil film audiences would be familiar with the joke associated withe picture displayed here. It is a scene from the Tamil movie thottaal poo malarum. A blind car driver says to Vadivel that he looks like MGR. This comedy scene became a cult sensation. Dialogues from this movie are still being used to tease and make fun of people. "Thambi, You look like MGR" is a popular meme in social media.

A few months ago, Kalyan jewelers expanded their operations in Chennai. The Sivaji Ganesan family and Big B were roped in to act in their promotional ads. In one of the advertisements, actor Vikram Prabhu says to big B that he looks like his grand dad "Sivaji thaathaa". This again became fodder for social media enthusiasts as they linked this with the Vadivel comedy.

Recently Prime Minister Modiji referred to Parkash Singh Badal as the Nelson Mandela of India. When I first saw that tweet from the PMO twitter handle, I thought it was a joke. But later I realized that Prime Minister Modi was indeed being serious in his claims. Social media satire artists got busy and started making memes out of the statement. Susuji used this to roast our dear Prime minister. I got reminded of the Vadivel joke and the Vikram Prabhu joke.

I tried to under stand if there is any similarity between Badal and Nelson Mandela. So I looked up his name and started reading about Mr. Badal. Just like Nelson Mandela, Mr Badal has also been in jail; but unlike Nelson Mandela, Mr Badal spent his time in prison for some other reason ;)

What ever be the reason, our prime minister is the best prime minister in the world and he knows what is best. If he says that Rakhi Sawant is mother Teresa, I would still believe it. Morgan Freedman is happy in some part of the globe


Thursday, October 08, 2015

760. A candle becomes a time machine

I was driving back from work when my mobile phone rang. I pulled the car to the corner of the road, picked the phone and it was my Dad.

"Hi Prason! (He calls me Prason. My friends call me Chriz) There is no power at home. Buy some candles when you come home"

"But Pappa! We have the invertor"

" I know! But there is a power lay off at our place because of some problem with the transformer and the electricity guys are at work. The power will be restored only tomorrow"

That made me realize that we do not have even a candle or a matchbox at our house. I rushed to the near by store and bought a pack of candles and a box of matchsticks. With sophistication creeping in, little did I realize that basic amenities like a candle and a match box have slowly faded away from my life, except when I have to buy them to celebrate someone's birthday.

When I reached home, it was already dark. My 3 year old daughter greeted me like she always does. She did not understand why all the lights were off. She was like "Its not time to sleep, but why all the lights are off?". It was difficult for my little daughter to even fathom the thought that the Government could pull off a trick like this once in a while.

So we all sat in the drawing room and lit a candle. My daughter immediately asked whose birthday it was. I had to tell her that it was no one's birthday ; but we had to light the candle because of lack of light. It was amusing for her because according to her candles means birthdays.

She was even more amused to see the hand shadows that were done on the wall. With hands, we started creating shadow images of bird, dog, a man with the hat. This game took me back to my childhood days when my sister and I would create shadow images with our hands on the walls. Back then, the power cuts were an every day incident and we had only petromax lights or the candle lights to give us lights in the evenings.

We have learnt for exams in candle light. The greatest romantic dinners back then happened in candle light. Today this has become a concept and people pay a huge sum of money to have a candle lit dinner in a restaurant. But during those days, we had candle light dinners everyday.

All it took was a candle to transport me back to my childhood days and the fun we had during those days. Now when I look at the molten candle in my drawing room, I have that smile because it gave me back some of my greatest childhood memories.

Do you remember your childhood candle light days?


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

759. Stay silly! Stay smart!!

I met this girl Sharanya a week ago. She was my classmate in school. While having coffee, she told that she runs a startup and she employs 50 people. I was astonished to hear that. She also told that she graduated from IIM Bangalore and had her own stint in the Wall street. I had my jaw open when she narrated her story.

You might think that getting an MBA from IIM is no big deal anymore because of the fact that some IIM pass outs end up writing books and judging dance shows. But her case is different.

Sharanya was the most irritating and dumbest girl in my class. She would sit in the first row and raise her hand every minute to ask the most silly questions. She did not ask these questions to show off; but she asked them because she really was dumb and she did not know the answers to those questions.

At times, the whole class would groan and frown at her when she puts her hand up to ask one of those silly questions. The class teachers were always patient with her. But she would even irritate some of them by asking the dumbest of dumb doubts.

We studied Chemistry tuition together. She would ask doubts like "Why is Oxygen represented by the letter "O" and why not "OX". There were times when our friends and I have called her up on her home phone and told her that the classes are cancelled, just to make her stay away from tuition.

We would tease her; call her a dumb blond. None of our taunting deterred her. She was the teachers pet because she was always attentive in class and her class participation quotient was always high. She was never bothered to admit that she was dumb and that her questions were silly. But by raising her hand and asking those silly questions, she made sure that she climbed up the stairs in a steady manner; where as all those who stood around her and taunted her never realized the efforts she was putting in to climb the ladder.

Coming back to the present day, she said "Chriz! you know! I never knew that you guys were making fun of me back then. If I had known, may be I would have felt ashamed and would have kept quiet. But I was not ashamed of my weakness and my learning challenges". It was a slap on my face.

Have we sarcastically nipped some one in the bud by putting them down when they tried to come up in life? If we are still doing it, let us stop it. Let us allow people to be silly and smart.


Friday, September 25, 2015

758. Open Mic stand up comedy by Chriz

For those who know that I do standup comedy, this is a gentle reminder that I am back in the business of standing up and cracking stuff that I call jokes.

I tried my hand in the art of standup comedy after a gap of 5 years. Standup comedy is picking up its pace in Chennai. The humor quotient is going high

I was searching for some spots to launch myself in the standup zone in Chennai and I realized that unless you are a part of a theater group it is not that easy to become a standup comedian. So I opted for plan B to enter this art form.

I chose Open Mic forums. To my happiness I found that the Chennai comedy circuit gave platforms for open mic-ers like me to crack our so called jokes.

Here I was at Llyods tea house with my first set piece on the art of farting. It did not come out well. I wrote my own jokes and shared some incidents from my life. Check the video here.

After my first attempt, I pulled my socks to work on my strong points. I knew my strong point was with the guitar and with songs. So I chose to sing one of my favorite sing along songs adding my own twist to it. To my happiness, it worked. Check the second act here.

Thanks to my friends Prasanna and Kavipriya for capturing the videos in their mobile phones. Thanks for Sharada for partnering along with her standup acts. She is a wonderful standup comedy artists. Thanks for the Chennai Blogger Club family for turning up in big numbers and clapping to glory.

I am writing more songs and all those "so called humour songs" will be unleashed soon. I still dream of a the day when I will be doing my own standup comedy acts. When that day comes, I will come back to this blog post and read this line again and leave with a smile on my face.

Aasai yaarathaan vittu vachudhu


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

757. I won't eat at Mexico City's Pop-Up Restaurant

A friend of mine shared this picture on Facebook.

In Mexico, there is a particular food chain that serves food to people in the air.

Most of my friends were commenting that they would love to have food from this place.

The moment I saw the picture, I decided not to have food at this place, even if someone pays for me and treats me free of cost.

I would never ever have a peaceful meal if I eat at this place.

What if I drop my phone from there? It is a possibility. All of us use phone when we eat. We use it to take selfies while eating. If we are in such a place, we would surely click pictures to post on facebook and I am sure to drop my phone. The guy in this photo has used a selfie stick and he is lucky not to drop his phone. But I will.

What if the food falls down? What if the spoon and the fork falls down and injures someone down below? We will be charged for murder.Who would want to be imprisoned for eating out?

What if I suddenly have to pee. They won't allow me to just walk to the rest room. I can only pee from mid air. What if I have to poop? Will they provide me with diapers?

In a normal hotel, I can at least run away if I do not have money to pay. But in this case, if the bill is not paid, I will have to hang there for ever. I am seriously not going there.

I am also acrophobic. When I even talk with tall people, I would feel like throwing up.So if I have to sit in mid air and eat, I will end up throwing up and it will be a paint bath for people below.

I am not going there. You may say " Chriz! No one invited you nor will anyone invite you". I know no one will invite me; but who cares, at least I have a blog post on this topic

Monday, September 21, 2015

756. Cousins and Carrom board.

The game of carrom board was introduced to me by my grand mother. She had an antique carrom board in her house. My cousins Robby , Seelan and I were taught to play this game by our grand mother. She used to play with an ivory striker. Now a days Ivory strikers are banned and we have only plastic strikers.

Before playing the game, we would sprinkle boric powder on the board and make it suitable for playing. My grand mother was unbeatable in this game and we have tried many a time to beat her; but failed all the time.

The only trick that I adopted to win the game was to steal the coins when no one was looking. That trick does not work when I do not pocket even a single coin. But it works if you can convince your cousins that you did indeed pocket a coin.

Time flew by. My cousins and I got married and our wives became more responsible. We met over the weekend and we decided to play a couple of games of carrom board.

So the brothers (Robby and Seelan) joined hands and formed a formidable team. They called themselves " Lodukku Pandis". They were up against Blessy and me. Blessy is Robby's wife. We called ourselves "Good People".

In the first game Blessy and I decided to let Robby and Seelan win the game because we were the good people. So the lodukku pandis won the first game.

In the second game, the good people decided to play to our strength and ended up blanking the lodukku pandis.

In the third and deciding game, Blessy and I started thumping the brothers; but suddenly the Lodukku Pandis won. I think they flicked the coins when we were not seeing them. As we were the good souls, we did not create big fuss over this incident.

Robby is wearing Blue t shirt; Seelan has 1952 on his shirt.This picture was taken during the third game and this is when the lodukku pandis flicked the coins and won the game.

- Chronicwriter

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

755. The Facebook dislike button

Marke Zuckerberg finally made the much awaited announcement that facebook will soon be adding the dislike button. The purpose of the button is not to downvote a particular content or photo; but to use it to empathize with someone. 

For example, if someone posts a status stating that someone close to them has died, the dislike button can be used to empathize with the person. Similarly for news on cruelty and terrorism,this button will come handy. This is the real reason for Zuckerberg to add this button.

This button has some hidden strategy too. This will indirectly segregate people based on common likes and dislikes, because the facebook world will eventually use the dislike button to downvote the posts of someone they hate.

In Youtube, if someone dislikes your video, you will not be able to see the person who disliked your video. This allows youtube users to post positive comment and at the same time backstab you by discretely disliking your video. But in facebook, this is not going to be the case.

In the beginning, people will not immediately jump and dislike a post, for fear of being kicked out from the friends circle. But as time goes by, the egos will kick in and they will start using this button mercilessly. This will force people to unfriend each other.

There fore in another year, people will have less number of people in friends list. This will give more opportunities to marketers to conduct focused marketing for their target group. The fans of film stars will soon fight, rip each other apart and rest in separate walls. This might lead to political parties intervening to stop their war. 

More people will be blocked in the future. This will also result in people getting psychologically affected and psychiatrists will have more clients in the coming days. BP problems and Heart problems also will go high. The FB dislike button insurance will soon be availed by everyone in the society.

It will also be used to corner some people and rag them. Girls will think twice before uploading their pictures because there will always the "sour grape foxes" who will dislike their picture. This will in turn create psychological problems for girls.

Mother in law - daughter in law fights will take a whole different route. This dislike button may actually trigger world war 3. Media channels will start posting more nonsense news stating that actor X had a break up with Actress Y because he disliked her picture. There will be media fights on Newshour and Arnab Gowsami will bark as usual.

Mark will not introduce the anonymous dislike feature. We have to go through this phase because facebook literally rule our lives as it is no more seen as a social networking medium. It is much more than that. Facebook has become a part of us.

This is a brilliant marketing move for segmentation, targeting and positioning; but it will have its impact on the emotional health of facebook users. Get ready to get hurt.

- Chronicwriter

Thursday, September 10, 2015

754. Similarities between Manmohan singh and Dhoni

These are the similarities between Man Mohan Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni

1. They both have the name Singh in their names

2. They both have led India

3. They both did not have proper control of their team. Srini mama and Sonia mami had the remote in their hands

4. They both kept their cool when everyone else in their team went bonkers. See the above picture and see the proof

5. They both were loved by the people in the country, even though their team mates were not really in the good books of other men.

6. Both had a great role in boosting the country's pride. One financially and the other in terms of runs.

7. Both had to take care of a team which had people who were involved in scams and fixing matches.

8. They both were called as dummies by those who hated them ( Refer point 3). But that's not true too.

9. Both had a black sheep in their team. Raja and Sreesanth come to the front please

10. Both were succeeded by leaders who have used the comfort level created by these two leaders.

Yes! I am a fan of both these people. Haters can start abusing me. I know that's what we are so good at. I can already hear a bhakth screaming "Go to Porkistan"

- Chronicwriter

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

753. A minute to death by Ganga Bharani - Book review

If you are planning to read a suspense thriller in a short time, this is the book for you. You can complete this book in 2 hours. That’s the time I took to complete this book. A minute to death is a crime thriller that is written by my good friend Ganga. In the literary world she is called GeeBee. She has already published two books.

When I got the book, I looked at the cover and tried to imagine the story. The cover had a clock. The time on the clock showed 5. The two hands of the clock was represented by two keys and there was blood on the words. The first imagery I had was that it should be a murder mystery which involves a specific time and I also imagined that two keys might play a role in the book.

There I was lying down on my couch reading this book, with my daughter playing with her kitchen set. The story starts at a nominal place. A cop who investigates the suspicious death of a girl. He starts suspecting her friends when his girlfriend who accompanies him to the death spot says it may not be a suicide.

The cop starts the investigation and his girlfriend starts using the investigation in her novel. Yes she is a writer. After the first 15 minutes, the reader will join with the cop and his girlfriend and wear the detective hat trying to find who the killer is. I did that. The story was indeed gripping and only in the last chapter, did I connect some clues to find who the culprit is.

Ganga has done a great job in this book. If I have to wear a critical hat to analyse this book, I would have to say that the editing could have been tight. I have seen people giving marks for movies and books. I am not eligible to give ratings for this book. I would say that it is a good read and a great book to read when you travel. 

I like a book if it makes me read it without putting it down. A minute to death did that trick. This can actually be made into a movie. I would like to see some Malayalam movie directors handling this subject as I strongly feel that they are the ones who can handle this plot in the right way at this juncture.

You go girl! Ganga!

If you want to buy this book, click here [link]