Wednesday, May 27, 2009

naming cyclones

ever wondered how they come up with these names for the cyclones and typhoons that hit coasts across the globe? (and ever wondered why most of them are named after women? aptly so, some might say!:P )

most of you would know that the latest cyclone which hit the coast of india and bangladesh was called 'aila' (no, its not a marathi word :P ) and it means fire in the dhivehi language of the maldives.

ok, now check this out... let me mess with your minds a little bit! i can predict what the next three big storms which hit this part of the world are going to be called! hold your breath... they will be called - phyan, ward and laila! got you there, didn't i? i love this! :)

well, this is the point where i let you into a little-known secret... cyclone names across the world are fixed in advance! this is apparently done by the WMO (world meterological organisation) which is an inter-governmental body that collaborates on everything to do with weather... they also make a list of names for storms & cyclones!

in the us (trust them!) they apparently used to use only women's names for the devastating cyclones they are regularly plagued by... until 1979... feminie protests made them amend their ways and so now they name them with male and demale names alternately! that's like sharing the blame equally for all the mess we create in the world! :P

read all about the naming of cyclones on livemint here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

how to make your blog a comment magnet!

most bloggers have this secret fantasy about their blog hitting it big-time in terms of popularity and getting hundreds of comments for the posts that you write about...

there are some blogs which are in that league... but most blogs, like the one you are reading, do not boast of a huge fan following ...

so here's my own list of things you can do to make your blog a super-hit and attract more visitors than flies to a piece of jaggery! :)

1. write a daily blog on food and recipes and everything to do with food... this one can't fail... food is the universal solution for peace... i never fight with big boss (or vice-versa) when i am well-fed :P

2. write a blog with daily posts on lascivious gossip on celebrities... again a sure-fire winner... especially if you can include some steamy pictures!

3. write a blog with daily posts (preferably many updates during the day) on stock market activity with stock tips and all the associated rumors... there are thousands of wanna-be millionaires out there who will lap it up!

4. the most reliable and the oldest and tried & tested way of getting people flocking to your blog is to make it a classy porn blog with pictures and stories and advice and tips and all the paraphernalia thrown... you not only get a lot of visitors but you also have a good chance of making your millions faster than through the stock markets!

5. or else you do what i did... put up a greenpeace mailer on your blog (, thanks to some misplaced enthusiasm... and suddenly you have tons of people commenting everyday... in the beginning i noticed there were a lot of people from one side of the divide writing in like there was no tomorrow... and now there's deathly silence from that side... now it is the other side which has suddenly woken up... and every day i get about a couple of mails without fail... (after some time i stopped publishing the comments)

initially i thought that my blog was becoming the chosen battle-field for all these environmentally conscious citizens from around the globe... but after some time i realised that maybe i was slightly off the mark here (ok, way off the mark actually.. so don't rub it in, ok!)... my blog was just becoming a platform for both the sides to take pot-shots at each other through some people who plant these comments using various fake names...

i guess both sides in such episodes have a lot to lose with millions at stake... and their reputations as well... but i wonder how it helps their cause by bombarding hundreds of comments on blogs such as this one?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

reaching out

the leaves whispered urgently
as the wind came visiting
with news about you and
a message just for me.

across the distance you reached out
and touched me and smiled
as i started and looked around
wondering if you could see me.

the river gurgled past
and carried my thoughts
across the eddies and currents
and wound its way to you.

and as you drank deeply
of the cool water in your cupped palms
you could hear my response
echoing within the deepest part of you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

birthday celebrations and a movie

i know, no long time no post... but fret and fume not, i'm still here! :)

this one is actually two posts in one!

i just got back from a fun-filled day... i had gone with my kids to attend a kid's birthday bash... and i thoroughly enjoyed myself...

now children's birthday parties are not exactly my cup of tea, those of my own kids included... and spending a full sunday attending a birthday bash is definitely not my idea of a sunday well spent... the lord had asked us to rest on this day and i prefer to take that word quite seriously... so what if i am not of the same religious leaning, or if i don't exactly follow most of the other commandments as seriously! :P

in this case the kid's parents had organised a day of adventure for the kids at an adventure camp at rivertrail (ecomantra) at kolad. its about a 2.5 hour drive from mumbai on the mumbai-goa route and is located next to the river kundalika. the kids had a whale of a time canoeing, kayaking, and playing in the river. and the parents too couldn't keep away for too long and we all joined in the fun. nothing like a dip in the cool river on a hot summer day!

the brochure of the camp tells us there are many more activities available at this place and it is ideally located for a group of families to spend a fun-filled adventure weekend.

i am sure i am going to wake up feeling sore all over tomorrow, but it was worth it!


the second part of this post is about a movie a friend and i wanted to see for a long time which we finally managed a couple of days back...

we wanted to watch train-spotting long before slumdog millionaire was released but we finally managed to watch it only now... this was the movie which had accorded danny boyle with a cult status long before most of us heard about him after his latest offering...

train-spotting is definitely not for the weak-hearted... but if you like gritty edgy films, this one would get slotted right up there! it gives you a peep into the dark world of heroin addiction and the youth sub-culture in the early 1990s. (the film is set in edinburgh). the film is graphically violent, morbid in parts and dark in the true sense of the word. it follows a group of youngsters who choose to opt out of a regular career-based life that society expects everyone to follow for a messy drug-driven chaotic existence. and it then traces the steady deterioration of their lives.

in the end the main character played by ewan mcgregor decides to clean himself up, but you are left wondering whether he's just jumped from the frying pan into the fire!

if you are into films and especially the hard gritty ones, which don't necessarily end happily and giving you hope, then don't miss this. the others can give it a very wide berth!