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The Art of Self-promotion

Insurance agents truly redraw the boundaries of entrepreneurship. A case in point is the image you see here. Vidya forwarded it to me, and I guess it was sent to her by someone to whom an insurance agent sent it. I have, of course, removed any personally identifiable information before posting it here, lest the agent be subjected to random acts of anger.

I myself am unsure of my reaction to this. On the one hand, it is easy to instantly lament the poor taste and opportunism exhibited by the agent. Recognizing this reaction for the knee-jerk it is, I am forced to think of another way of looking at it. I tried to imagine how this would have happened. For narrative convenience, I am positing a male agent.

Insurance agent is sleepily browsing his morning paper, perhaps accompanied by a cup of strong coffee. He reads “Notes and Tips from a Survivor” (which is actually excerpted from HLL GM Rahul Welde’s email – about which people Read More

Temple of the Pig

When we were in Coimbatore recently, we drove past where the Pannikoil, or the Temple of the Pig, flourished for a brief period. Here is the story of the unlikely prophetess.

This happened sometime between 1982 and 1986 – these were the years we spent in a house on VNK Thevar Street in the Ramanathapuram area in Coimbatore. If you come down Nanjundapuram Road from the Ramanathapuram junction, just after you pass Amsa the fishmonger’s shop, a left turn takes you past a Murugan temple to a Mariamma temple. This is our setting.

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Artist’s Impression

These words have always held a certain fascination for me – the first I remember seeing this was in an encyclopedia for children at my maternal grandparents’ home. It was something like “An Artist’s Impression of a Space City” or some such. Over the years, I’ve come across quite a few examples – from celestial events to futuristic dreams to historical happenings. What has always struck me in all these is the kind of freedom enjoyed by an artist, and the kind of strait-jacket imposed by her (or his) ‘impression’. The two present a complex interplay, the manifestation of which is wide-ranging in its aesthetics as well as its representation of something. However, the final result is always fascinating when viewed in terms of the process that brought it forth.

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This is what happens when I take a lazy stroll through my blogroll and stumble across Vijay’s posts – he seems to have a predeliction for taking all kinds of tests and putting up the results on his blog!

Well, not that I am any more resistant to the idea of having a Peculiar Aristocratic Title! Here is what I got:

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Lord Navin the Philomath of Old Throcking in the Hole
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

I looked up what philomath means, and was rather pleased to find out that apart from a city in Oregon, it also means “a lover of learning; a scholar” or “a seeker of knowledge and facts” depending on which source you want to trust. read more

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Definitely not something I should be proud of, but I am quite tickled by this!

I got home early one evening and spotted this from my balcony. The voyeur in me could not resist, and I ran for my camera. The rest, as it is said, is celluloid history! Music, editing, and all the interesting mixed martial arts inserts are Dhruv’s.

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Return of the Kadi

When we were in school, and later when we were in college, a genre of humour, heavily dependent on puns, homophones, and lateral thinking, flourished. These were the ‘kadi’ (tamil for bite) jokes. A few of us were accomplished masters, while everyone took a stab at it. At its peak, all popular magazines ran ‘kadi’ jokes, with Ananda Vikatan’s Mr. X jokes leading the way. Then slowly, the popularity of kadi jokes waned, and it went into a decline. Of course, die-hard afficionados kept the genre alive, punning away in like-minded company. Today, it seems to be making a comeback, taking the form of ‘Thathuvams,’ forwarded by email and text messages.

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That Black Dog – Again!

Okay, this is getting serious. There is this black dog that lives somewhere on the one-way street that I take everyday to get on to Mount Road (Anna Salai to the purists, or not!) from Usman Road.

I did write a post about him a few days ago, and here I am, doing it again! This guy is getting to be one celebrity of a dog!

Yesterday morning, I was passing by his street when I spotted him, sitting upright on the extreme left of the road, watching the traffic lazily. At this point, a (typical Chennai) cyclist, blissfully ignoring the trouble he was causing by his actions, was slowly cycling down the road, against the flow of traffic, on his extreme right. Now, our hero, the black dog, was sitting well off the road, presenting no obstacle to any one. Seeing the offending cyclist, he decided to teach him a lesson, and slowly got up, stepped out in front of the cyclist, and stretched. The cyclist, suddenly finding his way blocked by a dog, and having no space to manoeuvre, braked sharply. This threw him off balance, and he flailed wildly for a moment before jumping off his bicycle in order to save himself from the ignominy of falling off. By this time, our hero had finished his stretching and had returned to his former position. The cyclist, looking stupid and defeated, went on his way. The dog, secure in the knowledge that he had struck one for law and order, sat looking at his street. I came away with another story – straight from the dog! read more

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