Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Easter 2008 - Day 1
In front of the Cottage


The Cottage - Rear View


The cottage we stayed was on top of a hill kinda area. It had 5 bedrooms - three in the first floor and 2 in the second floor (loft conversions). We stayed in one of the two rooms on the second floor.The ground floor has a patio and 2 reception rooms and a large kitchen and dining area. Outside the house, there was a large caravan permanently fixed.This was more or less not usable, but it gave us a chance to have a look at how a carvan would be from inside. The cottage had large space by the side and the backyard had a view of the entire town that was at the foot of the hill. It was a very calm area. Thank god there were no house nearby at all.We would otherwise have been served ASBO orders for being such a noisy neighbour.



Our Room




Inside the Caravan


Piano Inside the Cottage


The Kitchen

Dining Area


With just around 2-3 hrs of sleep, woke up and quickly gobbled the sandwich that Preethi had made and a fantastic tea.



With our initial plans going for a toss, we wanted to make sure the next one doesnt, so started our trip to the Skandavale temple in Carmarthen. It was a little more than an hour's drive from where we were. The ride passed through lots of villages and the last 5 miles was the most exciting as it was not a pukka road and it was a single track which we need to share with the on coming traffic also.

After a nice drive reached the temple on time for the pooja. The pooja was for a good 2 hr plus and we were in for a pleasent surprise as all the poojas were done by the locals (The welsh). It was so nice to hear them sing bhajans and they were taking intricate care in every aspect of the pooja. The different 'Abhishekams' and the 'Alangarams' were done to the tee. Naresh's cousin, Srikanth joined us here.The pooja got over around 12:00 we were told that the lunch would be served only after the Lord Murugan pooja at 1:30 PM. To kill time, we had some wonderful teplas that Hethal had brought for Montu as he had special dietary restrictions and we took a small trek to the Maha shakthi temple at the top. It was a good 20 mins climb and the passage was very scenic. On the top there were some animals that were brought up by the Ashram. We took some photos on the top and started the decent for us to attend the Murugan pooja. The Murugan pooja also was done by the monks. At the end of the pooja, we were given a fantastic lunch as prasadam. We had our stomach full of the lunch and shortly after, started our way back home.


Lord Ranganathan



Lord Shiva


Lord Murugan



Cows in the temple


After a drive home, we had a refreshing glass of cofee and to kill time till the other group come home, we saw the "Pink Panther". What a hillarious movie it was.. Once all the group was back, had a good round of fun and dance. After which, watched Oceans 11 on DVD. Kamal had made lovely Mutter paneer for dinner and we had it with a sumtuous quantity of Paratas.

Post Dinner had another round of dancing and off we were to the bedroom..
zzzzz....

 
posted by Santosh at 8:00 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Easter 2008 Weekend - Day 0
After my Easter trip to wales last year as a single, decided that this Easter, it has to be wales too..This time though was not single. I had my sweet wife with me..So its kinda special this time :-)

As the post lunch period..started feeling the excitement awake..Had Yash and Preethi come over to Staines to do some shopping. The plan was to pick them up on my way back from work. Ladies are ladies, they had done close to 2 hours of shopping and their shopping bags at the end was not very impressive enough to tell a tale of a mega shopping session.

A quick zip to home and found that a bit of packing was yet to be done. When the packing was all over, the clock was showing 07:10 PM. We were scheduled to meet up at Naresh's place at 07:30 and start off right away. Now i had two jobs yet to be done - Leave Yash back at the Hotel and buy some last minute groceries..Had Preethi to do the grocery and the me do the dropping job. So after the last minute tensions and screamings, reached Naresh's house only to see that things were no where near to hitting the road. The plans had changed by then and now we had a round of dinner and loading of the baggages before we hit the road at around 9:30 PM.

When we started, the news about the M4 was already haunting us. But we had no choice but to take it by the horns if it does..As we took the slip road into the motorway, things were looking alright. Our first sigh of relief..Was praying that this continues further..Our prayers were answered..Surprisingly, for the entire stretch till we hit our destination, queuing never affected us. We were zipping through the motorway without any problems.

Missed seeing the wonderful sight as we passed the tolled bridge into Wales. Decided that we should cross this bridge on our way back in broad daylight. At last got into Pembroke area, where our cottage was, around 03:00 AM. We were longing to have a quick sleep and start again to the temple for the early morning pooja. Finally our tom tom showed us the cottage based on the postcode. We were making huge noise as we were to start unloading the stuffs from the boot. A sleepy face appeared from one of the windows of the cottage. After a few minutes, a man opened the door of the cottage and only then did we realise that we had been taken for a ride (just less than 1/2 a mile extra) by tomtom. The cottage we were to stay was around less than 1/2 a mile away and since it was an area full of big farm houses, they all shared the same post code. What a learning at the wee hours of the day.

Took a left turn on the main road and now finally reached the right cottage. Now our next task was to find the key to the cottage. It was like a treasure hunt session at early morning time when all of us were already half asleep. After a good long time searching for the key using the hints given, we finally found it. The time was already close to 4 AM and we were not sure if we would be able to attend the early morning pooja on time. We decided that we shall take a quick nap and attend the 9 Am pooja instead. We had our round of pondering with the different equipments in the household. All was set except finding where the switch for the central heating was. After a good hour of experimenting with different possibilities, we decided that enough was enough and its high time we go to bed.

Moved our bags to our room and before i could realise, i had crashed in the bed and was straight to a tight sleep.

zzzzzzzz...
 
posted by Santosh at 7:45 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, November 30, 2007
My Big fat Wedding - Part 3
Grahapravesam

Preethi & me flew from Coimbatore to Chennai on the afternoon of 2nd Nov accompanied by my parents and her parents. Coimbatore airport was far smaller compared to the Chennai domestic terminal. But was maintained quite well. The flight was very comfortable. The journey was close to 1 hr. On reaching my home, we were taken aarthi again. Once taken inside the house, we were give milk & banana combination.


Aarthi on arrival @ Chennai

Paalum Pazhamum

Lighting of the lamp

Preethi was taken then to the pooja room and asked to light the lamp. We were then served lunch and we relaxed for sometime.

Chennai Reception


The reception in chennai was in the evening on the 3rd of November. Preethi had a bit of straightening done to her hair during the noon. Got dressed around 5ish in the evening and off we started to the Reception hall around 2 Miles away from our house. I was dressed in a rich looking Sherwani specially stitched for the occasion and Preethi was dresses in a gorgeous looking pink Lehenga to match it. We had a fantastic turnaround for the reception and hall was fully packed with people. That gave us virtually no time to sit for around 3-4 hrs. More of flashlights more greeting more smiling at cameras.

Ganesha made of Ice
We were dead tired in the night and all iredness just vanished when we entered our house. We then were chatting for another 2-3 hrs with our relatives who were in the house.Felt a sense of floating on thin air when we crashed.
 
posted by Santosh at 8:49 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
My Big fat Wedding - Part 2
After a tiring day full of events on the 31st Oct,wanted to just crash and sleep like a log.But before i could remember going to sleep i was woken up by the loud sound of people talking and my father was just about to wake me up. My wedding muhurtham was at 7
am in the morning. So was woken up at 4.30 AM to get ready for the rituals that need to be done before. Quickly took a shower (Mangala snanam) and i was helped by the priest to tie the traditional Panjakatcham.Its one of the most complicated piece of dressing perfected by very few.I was also told to change my sacred thread and this time given 2 sets to wear (usually brahmacahri wears 1 set and grahasta wears 2 sets) may be signifying i am all set to be a Grahasta??

Kasi Yatra

After getting dresses in panjakatcham and wearing an Angavastram (one to cover the top portion so that now you are now semi topless) got ready for the Kasi yatra ritual.This is just a small non vedic ritual.It often brings a sense of entertainment to the marriage process. I was given a bamboo fan to carry, an umbrella, a book (I think it was Gita) , wear new slippers and also a small bundle. I was garlanded by my Uncle. A heavy dose of Kajal was applied to my eyes and parts of my face (thanks to Preethi's mom).

The ritual goes like this - Better sense prevails and the the groom decides to give up all the earthly pleasures to go to Kasi in pursuit of more knowledge. The uncle of the groom holds the umbrella for him. The usual convention is that after a few yards of the walk, the bride's father meets him, gives him a coconut and tells him that he is knowledgeable enough and asks him to change his mind and give up his trip to Kasi (Kasi Yatra) and in return he promises to give his daughter in marriage to him. He accepts the same and is then brought back to the venue where the bride garlands him.

Maalai Mattal

Once the Kasi yatra is over, the bride and groom are bought into the mandapam campus and they are supposed to exchange garlands 3 times. Before commencement of this ritual it is noted that both the bride and groom wear 3 sets of special garland(called Mattu Malai) apart from the normal garlands. What is special in this is that the garland is not in the usual shape but in the form of an inverted "U" put around the neck.

This ritual is full of fun and frolic. During the exchange of the garland, the bride is lifted up by her maternal uncles and the groom by his maternal uncles and one after another the garlands are exchanged. When the bride tries to garland the groom either he is moved away or lifted much higher so as to make it difficult for her to garland him. The bride's party also tries to move the bride in critical time so that the groom has to try hard too to garland her. This ritual was done to relieve the tension surrounding the bride and the groom. Bride gets comfortable with the groom as she is entering a new life with a stranger.

It was of less relevance to us as we had known each other well before the wedding but yes,it did add fun to the wedding.

Oonjal and Patchai podi




This is another very interesting ritual.The bride keeps her fingers folded in to the palm in a conical form and the groom holds her hand.The groom leads the bride in front of the swing (Oonchal) and are made to sit in it. The swing represents the ups and downs of life. Then elderly women from both sides sprinkle milk on the feet of the groom and bride one by one and wipe their feet with the edges of their silk sari. They then wave coloured rice balls (red and yellow) all round them in a circular motion and throw them in different directions. This is meant to ward off evil from the groom and bride. After this they give a mixture of milk and banana to the bride and groom. I think the scientific reason for this is that the bride and groom are supposed to observe a fast on this important day until the solemnization of the wedding.This can be quite long (spanning many hours together).The milk and plantain combination has enough energy to keep them going without getting hungry.





Once this is over few elderly ladies of the household and the mothers of bride and groom with grooms paternal aunt and maternal uncle's wives of both bride and groom go around the swing with lamps.



The bride and the groom are then taken to the venue of the marriage.

All the above rituals are purely a entertainment aspect to get the tempo set for the vedic rituals that would be starting next. Neither of the above are part of the vedic rituals for the marriage. Now we get into the serious portion of the wedding proceedings.

Initiation of the Vedic Rituals

The vedic rituals are initiated with the "Vara Poojai".In this, the father of the bride welcomes the grooma and washes the feet of the groom.This is because, as per the vedic practices, the groom is presumed to be a swaroopa of the Lord Mahavishnu.Then is the Vigneshwara Poojai. This is to pray to lord Ganesha to help him finish all the rituals without any problems.


Kanya Dhanam

This is one of the significant rituals in the marriage. In this ritual the father of the bride gifts his daughter to the groom. The bride would be sitting on the lap of her father.The brides mother would be standing on his right side.The bride holds a coconut and betel leaves etc in her palm supported below by her father's palm. The groom stands facing her with joined palms ready to take possession of her palm (of course with the coconut..).While the bride's palms are being transferred, the bride's mother should keep on pouring water over her daughter's hand.This is called Dharai Varthu Kodukkal.Gently the bride's palms are transferred to the groom's hand. This ritual symbolizes the transfer of ownership (and all associated troubles) of the bride to the groom.



Please note, this is one point of high emotions and you may notice some bit of emotional crying. Was very surprised why Preethi did not weep(may did not realise the significance of this event).

After this ritual there are a host of other rituals that aims at complete transfer of power and in praying different gods for the purification of the bride before the marriage happens.

The bride is at this point gifted an Saree (called the koora podavai).She is to change into this for the next ritual.

Mangalya Dharanam

This again is a ritual that is of paramount importance. This where the sacred yellow string that binds the groom and bride is tied to the bride.The sacred string has 2 pieces of gold arranged in it called as Thirumangalyam. One of it would have been given to her by her father and the other from the grooms side. The shape and the characters etched on it (like Shiva lingam or Goddess Meenakshi) differs from family to family. For this reason the gold to be melted for making the mangalya is done on an auspicious day well before the marriage by the goldsmith. Before being tied it is circulated among the audience for their blessing and good wishes. The bride is made to sit on the lap of her father with her mother by his side.The groom ties the mangalyam round the neck of the bride. What is to be noted is that he ties only the first knot. Rest of the two knots are put by his sister.Don't know the reason behind.


At this point the groom is supposed to recite a prayer as he is tying the knot.This is quite famous and has been shown in different tunes in almost all the Indian movies (including the westernized version by A.R.Rehman). The meaning of the prayer is:
"This string is holy and giver of good things in life. It also is going to elevate my life. Hey, beautiful maiden, I am tying this around your neck and pray that you would live for hundred years."


Preethi did not dissapoint me here. She made a very prominent crying that spread to all her family members on and off the stage. I think the only person in her family who did not weep at this point was my FIL. He was rather very happy about which is the way it should be.

After the Mangalya Dharanam is over, the elders shower flowers and yellow coloured rice on the groom and bride. It is also common nowadays to congratulate the bride's parents and groom's parents after this ritual.

For the general public at the mandapam. This marks the end of the marriage rituals. You will find people moving out of the hall (mostly towards the dining hall). But for the bride and groom,its just the start and there are many more rituals before they are formally declared man and wife.

The new sister in law of the bride (Nisha in our case) puts on 2 toe ring each on the left and right leg.This is one more important ornament a married girl is said to wear apart from her mangalyam.



Pani Grihanam

In this ritual, the groom hold the hand of the bride and goes round the fire. Normally the bride folds fingers her right hand fingers into a conical form upwards and the groom holds it in his hand folded downwards by surrounding all her fingers.This is similar to the way they hold hands during the oonjal ritual.



Saptha Padhi

This is again is a very important ritual. According to Vedas, once this is over the bride and groom become wife and husband. This ritual consists of the groom taking the right foot of the bride in his left hand and making her take seven steps.

The following prayers are recited: -
First Step:
Let God MahaVishnu who is spread through out the world, Give you food in plenty
Second step:
Let Him come with you for a second step and give you sufficient strength
Third step:
Let Him come with you for a third step to make you observe all religious rituals.
Fourth step:
Let Him come along with you for the fourth step to give you pleasures
Fifth step:
Let Him be with you when you take the fifth step to give you lot of wealth (cow)
Sixth step:
Let Him lead you the six stages of life with happiness and welfare
Seventh step:
Let him help you in performing Soma Yaga and other prayers when you take the seventh step

Ammi Midhikkal & Pori Poodal

After the above the husband and wife go around the fire and go to a Ammi kal (a flat stone).The husband holds the thumb of the right leg of the wife by his left hand and places it on a stone and recites some prayer. Then they go back to the place they were seated before and take their seat.

The husband and wife then offer a handful of puffed rice(pori) with the help of the brother of the wife (Rajesh in my case) to the fire (Agni). Then they circle the fire and repeat this ritual 3 times.

There are a host of other smaller rituals which i don't remember. But what i remember was that my eyes were full of tears - not because i was emotional like Preethi but because of the smoke.You will need to put up with close proximity of smoke for around 2-3 hrs.

Aseervadam

This ritual is to get the blessings of all the elders present.The groom spreads his Uttariyam (Angavastaram) over his shoulders and his wife stands by his side. The elders in the gathering throw Akshathai(yellow coloured rice) at the couple with Vedic chanting asking the almighty to give the newly wed good things in life. All these would be collected in the Uttariyam. Once this is over the husband and wife do namaskarams to all the elders who stand together (During older ages it used to be one by one).


This is the stage when the newly wed are allowed to shake hands and accept gifts from friends and relatives.

After this an Arathi is taken. Arathi is nothing but water with turmeric and chunnanbu (lime) mixed in a plate and waved in a circular fashion by one female representative of the groom's side and the other from the brides side, along with a suitable song. The groom puts two coins as gift to these relatives.

Palum Pazhamum

After the above ritual, the wife and husband visit first the husband's house and then the wife's house.In these houses the female relatives gather and give the husband and wife a spoon each of banana pieces put in milk (The energy food). If the husband is from another town (as in my case) the newly wed are taken to one of the rooms allotted to the groom's party and the husband's relatives give Palum pazhamum there. Then they are taken to the room alloted to the bride's party or the bride's house.

Both of us were already feeling hungry and we were looking for the first chance to hog some food.
 
posted by Santosh at 8:48 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
My Big fat Wedding - Part 1
For those who know and don't know the fact.. I am please to announce that i am married to Preethi.

A typical Hindu-Palghat Iyer wedding last around 2-3 days depending on how detailed you want to have it. I was told that in the olden days, it used to be a 4 day affair. Mine thankfully was just 2 days.

Thought i would use this as an excuse to ponder over those "gruelling-but-yet-full-of-fun" days. Would double up for the readers to get an insight into the Hindu-Palghat Iyer wedding. I've titled each ritual for a better understanding.

Yatra Dhanam

Our Marriages always take place in the bride's place of residence. In my case, I live in a city called Chennai and Preethi's hometown was Coimbatore and so there is a need for me and my family members (inclusive of Uncles,Aunts,Cousins etc) to travel to the bride's place. This being the case, a customary ritual called Vigneswara Pooja (Prayer done to Lord Ganesha) is performed and dhanam (Gift) is given to priest to ward of evils. Apart from this it is also customary to break a coconut enroute at the start of the journey at a nearby temple to ward of evil eye. Also a small pack containing some rice and dal is given to the groom to symbolise means to eat enroute the travel.

The priest arrived spot on time at 5 PM and the ritual got over by 5.30 PM. That gave us the time required to do a final check of our luggages.

The start of the journey

Off we start on the train to Coimbatore (CBE) from Chennai Central station, a party of 40 odd people. The train started on time. Being at the recieving end this time, i wasn't spared a bit and was subject to in-human verbal torture (read as pulling legs and cracking jokes on me) by the party (Varsha & Yash in particular). Since most of the compartment was filled with our people, fun and frolic were at the peak and we would have had hardly around 2-3 hrs of sleep at the maximum.

Train reached CBE in the early hours of the morning and we were received by Preethi's Uncles and off we went to the wedding hall.

Receiving of the groom's party

In the past this used to be an important custom (well it used to be receiving the groom's party at the village boundary those times..Mine was done at the entrace of the Wedding hall where we were to stay for rest of the 2 days of marraige). Preethi's parents received us with Coconuts and Nadaswaram. Arthi was taken for me and i was garlanded by Rajesh, Preethi's brother. Looked like a goat ready for sacrificial slaughter ;-). We were then lead to our respective rooms in the Mandapam.


Receiving the groom..

In any palghat Iyer wedding, apart from the bride and the groom and their respective parents, the bride’s brother and bridegroom’s sister (Nathanar) play an important role as also the paternal aunts (Athai) and the maternal uncles (Maama) and their wives (Maami).

Oh i missed the object of interest (ok i am not talking about those coconut, flowers and Thamboolam)- the two conical structures called " Paruppu Thengai Kutty". These have a kind of sweet made of Paruppu(dal),Thengai(Coconut) & jaggery (u thought i would say kutty). Well, These nowadays need not be strictly made of dal.Dal nowadays can be replaced by Cashew and other similar things.


The Paruppu Thengai Kutty..

One good thing about the Paruppu Thangai Kutty is that these are offered not just once but many a times during the course of the wedding.

Similarly, the Nadaswaram (kinda wind instrument) is played throughout the wedding with short breaks. Heard somewhere that the purpose of this is to prevent ill words from being heard in the hall. Wedding hall is one place where so many people meet each other and this offers a very fertile grounds for gossips and bad mouthing ;-).One thing you observe in any south Indian wedding is the showcasing of rich brocaded silk sarees and elaborate jewelery worn by the womenfolk.The latest designs both in sarees and jewellery are on show there.

So we were finally put into our respective rooms. They would not let the groom stay alone lest better sense prevails and he decides at the last moment to run away from the life long prison he is about to enter :-).So was put up in a very big room with 3 others.

The mandapam where our wedding took place was quite a spacious and famous one in Coimbatore.

Nandhi

Was asked to quickly take a shower and come to the main hall in building (where all rituals are done).So here i was wearing the traditional Veshti (its kinda topless for starters). Well wasnt much embarassed as i have got used to this for quite sometime and moreover i am not alone on the stage (got my father for company dressed the same way)
Nandhi is a ritual performed to get the blessings of the forefathers before any important ritual like wedding.


Pleasing in progress..

Nandhi in Sanskrit means the beginning, so with Nandhi begins the actual rituals for the functions. Usually during the Nandhi before the marriage, priests are given rice and vegetables and dakshina. In our wedding a series of plantain leaves containing rice, thamboolam, dals, pazham etc were kept and priests were seated opposite each plantain leaf. Each priest was then offered the contents of the leaf along with dakshina.

Vritham & Kappu Kettal.


Folowing the Nandhi, the Vritham ritual was initiated. The background for this ritual is that the groom takes the permission from his Guru (his father) to end his life as a bramachari (bachelor) and take up a new life as Grahasta (married man).As per the ancient literature, a Brahmachari is supposed to life a ascetic life. The groom is made to do all the essential duties of a brahmachari (so as to give a crash course on these kind of stuff).


My side of the Vritham

A similar kind of thing happens at the bride side too. But this is not as elaborate as the one done at the groom's side. At the end of this a Rakshai or Kappu in the form of a sacred string is tied in the wrist of the bride and groom after reciting Vedic manthras to protect them from all evil spirits. After trying the Kaapu, we are no allowed to move out of the wedding hall.


Preethi's side of Vritham

Paaligai

This ritual consists of sowing germinated seeds of nine kinds of pre-soaked cereals in 5 small mud pots by married women (called Sumangalis) relatives of the groom and the bride. They first sow the germinated seeds and pour milk with water over it and pray for long happy married life for the couple as well as several children to brighten their homes (now you know why India is densely populated).These pots are watered for 3 days by which it would have sprouted, which indicates good progeny for the family.These sprouts are later immersed in well.


Seeding the growth of the family

That was the end of the ceremonies for the morning.

We had our breakfast (a pretty late one as we are not supposed to eat anything till this ritual gets over) after the Vritham and had a short break during the noon. Was busy co-ordinating the transportation for receiving other relatives and friends arriving for the occasion.


During the break in between

Nischayathartham

Was again hurried at around 4 PM to get ready for the Nischayathartham.Its the final sealing of MOU between both the parties that all is set for the wedding. The ritual starts with a preliminary Ganapathi Pooja followed by Preethi's parents inviting my parents and announcing the final agreement that they are willing to give their daughter in marriage to me. Me and my parents are left with the only option of accepting the proposal :-).

It is customary for the bride to receive a silk Saree from the groom's parent and to change into that saree. It is also customary for the groom's sister to gift the bride some articles for washing and make up, a saree as well as two dolls during this occasion. This called Vilaiyadal things. Similarly, the groom is gifted a suit.In this function elders from both families meet each other and bless the groom and the bride for a happy future.


MOU signed..

Reception

With a short break. Had to again get ready for the reception for the guests in the evening . Preethi and me were on stage by 6 PM when the guests were slowly beginning to arrive. It is customary that you have a reception either in the evening prior to marriage or the evening after the marriage. Though some old timers would prefer the latter, the former arrangement is what is practiced more in the recent times to save on the time. This is more to do with the
current social trend as some of the friends and relatives may not be able to attend the muhurtham time on the day of the marriage.It gives them a chance to meet the bride and groom in leisure and handover their wedding gifts if any.The mood is a bit casual too.
Dressed to kill??

I was dressed in a western outfit in a bluish-black suit with very thin stripes on it and a cream coloured formal shirt. Preethi was dressed in Indian attire on a stylish looking red saree with some minor curls done to her hair.




Laughter before the wedding

First time with so much of flash lights on you fired continuously for 3-4 hrs..Standing for long hours and sticking a permanent smile on your face..God..It can make you feel very tired...

Thats exactly what happened when i crashed on the bed that night.
 
posted by Santosh at 6:45 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Postal Strike..The Havoc
What a week it was with the postal strike on. I am not going into any details if the demands of the Royal Mail postal employees are valid or not. But what the union leaders out there don’t know is how much of an impact this causes to the people out there (which might include the families of the striking employees too). The employees of the CMU union constitute a whopping 2/3rd of the Royal mail work force i am told. So the strike in turn puts additional load on the other 1/3rd of their colleagues.

The strike though against the management of Royal mail affects people no where in their Radar. There are so many people out there relying on their monthly pension cheques. Appointments with the GPs and PCTs for critical tests are affected, as the appointment letter is not going to come on time. The Prescriptions posted to elderly are gonna be lying in the mail center. These are the people who are going to affect not necessarily the Royal Mail bosses or the government. A day of token strike is understandable. But a series of strikes concurrently is atrocious.

Now, the big question. How has the strike helped the workers? In the end, they have lost a few days’ pay. They now have a large backlog that they need to clear once they resume work. Royal mail has lost millions in revenue, which is going to affect the bottom-line making the job cuts all the more inevitable. Now that its hit hard on the face, small businesses are going to seek alternative mailing routes there by causing more danger to the postal workers.

Moreover, people have started considering the electronic options all the more as there is no strikes to fear and its cheaper.
 
posted by Santosh at 9:06 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Shot On N95
It was time for me to go for a new mobile and being a bit of a gizmo freak, could not settle for an IPhone :-). So got hold of an N95. Anyday N95 was a better phone compared to the iPhone.

One of the important parameter that drifted the N95 far better than the iPhone was the 5 MP camera. So decided to put it to test on low light and some on a dawn lighting.

See below some of the shots taken on a casual walk to work. As the saying goes.. A picture is worth a 1000 words...


Sainsbury's Petrol Station on dim light


River Thames



River Thames

Town Hall


High Street

 
posted by Santosh at 6:49 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, October 01, 2007
Farewell.Miss Moneypenny
Saddened to know that actress Lois Maxwell, who played the original Miss.Moneypenny character in most of the 007 series died of Cancer in Australia.

She was 80 when she died. Though not a lead role, she was definitely an asset to all of the 007 movies she acted.

Her stinct with the bond movies (14 of them) started alongside Sir Sean Connery in 1962's Dr. No and continued in the part through 1985's A View To a Kill, the last with Sir Roger Moore.

The other character i adore is the Mr Q, who invents the gizmos for James Bond.

More can be seen here
 
posted by Santosh at 7:32 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Friday, September 28, 2007
IPhone in UK - Steve Jobs laughs aloud
So finally the cat is out of the bag. The deal for releasing iPhone in the UK is won by 02 (http://www.o2.co.uk/iphone).They seem to be all gaga over it.
End of this deal..its steve jobs who is laughing his way to the bank. As per the arraingements between Apple and 02, Apple is to be provided apart from the phone cost, a revenue sharing of 10% when a o2 contarct is taken with iPhone and a whopping 40% when a customer switches to o2 from other operators for iphone.
What is to be noted in the case of UK,all operators use GSM unlike the US.Hence once unlocked, the iPhone can be popped with sim of any of the operators.iPhone Unlocking tricks are quite open on the internet.Hence its no big deal that people are going to be locked with o2.

For the bloke who goes and buys an iPhone its a huge rip off..bcoz its going to be £279 for the phone + a minimum of 35*18 quid (200 mins plan which is the minimal). That comes to a little over 900 quid.
If it was me, I would rather get myself a Nokia N95 which has almost technically what ever an iPhone has and host of more features (MMS,3G etc) on a 12 months contract with more than double the included minutes and unlimited webaccess (using T-mobile for example).
With the difference, i can buy myself an iPod video and still have more cash in my account than going for the iPhone option.

It takes a Steve Jobs to create this illutionary marketing magic around..Hats off to him.
 
posted by Santosh at 7:28 PM | Permalink | 0 comments