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ICICI ATM, Thrippunithara

Caption inspired by Vadakkunokki Yanthram, a Srinivasan classic

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Turn right under the Caltex hoarding to reach my office (see the board?)

Madras pic circa 1962 from The Hindu archives


Not airborne


Andrew Wyeth, Painter, Dies at 91
NYT Obit          Christina’s World          Online Gallery

300% more Oxygen. H2O4??

I already have an a/c with zero balance, want an a/c with some balance.

Monthakku thuppalle, vadakka!

In a world where Satyam stands for anything but, I found an antique shop on MG Road, Kochi, with absolutely the right name. AAKRI-ti.


And a designer boutique on Marine Lines, Mumbai, with…absolutely the right name.


Names fascinate me. During the long Friday evening bus rides from REC to Cochin, when too dark to read, too bumpy to sleep, I used to play a game…I would select a random letter, say G, and in my mind compile an alphabetic list of celebrities whose surnames starts with that letter…Art Garfunkel, Ben Gazzara, Clark Gable, Danny Glover, Elliot Gould,…all the way up to Zsa Zsa Gabor. Then to the next letter…

I knew it could be developed into a parlour game…participants picking up random letters from two bins…I got a J and a C…umm…Johnny Cash, yippy…but taime kittiyilla.

Sangham had a name game inspired by Malayala Manorama’s ‘everybody who is somebody is a malayali’ theory – Arnold Shivasankaran, Manisha Kuruvilla, Pete Sambashivan, Boris Bharathan, Sunil G. Bhaskar, Kapil Devassy, Anil Kumbalam, Margaret Thachil, Al Kora. To the list my wife recently contributed Rya Nair.


Sajeev and I took this art form to a higher level in Chennai, awarding all our fav colleagues mallu names: Gupta – Guptan, Aggrawal – Abraham, Popat – Pappachan. And once Sajeev was transferred to Baroda, while talking to him from office, invention of nicknames for colleagues became a necessity. Our friend from Packaging was kuppi, his assistant was dappi; the heir apparent was Yuvraj, the also-ran was Kaif…I can’t reveal more, I happen to like my job.

While in Rajagiri, Biju was Chavali and TV was Thanivali…thankfully the names never stuck. Osa was Achayan and Bob was Cristo for a brief period. Diji, son of Rajappan – RA Japan – couldn’t escape being called Japan. We could never have called Varghese anything other than Mookkan, or Pattar anything other than Pattar. Philip, the only guy who could hit high notes, had to be Top.

While the most bizarre nickname of our generation was Chaly’s – KM-squared KKC (don’t ask) – the most appropriate one was reserved for Varkey’s friend Babu…a very unique character, an absolutely one-in-a-million guy…The Babu.

Friends of Rojo (son of ROsily and JOhn) always had colourful nicknames – Wheeler Pappan, Drummer Babu, Bolt Murali – but the award for the most colourful name would forever belong to Prof. Balasubramaniam from Chrompet…Chrome Balls (Honourable mention – a skinny lady lecturer in REC who was tagged Manchester).

Sona Chandy was my aunt’s student – in Hindi, sona means gold and chandi means silver. I haven’t come across another name that works so beautifully as a translingual pun – except, of course, Rosemary PO (roze meri piyo in Hindi means drink mine everyday). BHH.

Vaal Kashnam 1. 1988. Cricket-Bonji season. Mayan was Suni’s neighbour then. The cricket kit was kept at Mayan’s place and whoever reached the ground first would collect it from the house. One day Mibu was the early bird. By mistake he walked up to Suni’s house and rang the bell. 5.30 am, Suni’s father opened the door.

Mibu: Mayane vilikkamo?
Suni’s father: Enthina
Mibu: Kalikkana
Suni’s father: !@#$%^&*

Suni’s sister’s name is Maya.

Vaal Kashnam 2. A few after graduation, Pattar’s Manipal gang got together at a friend’s house. While they were watching old college/hostel videos on the living room TV, the host’s sis walked up to the TV-stand, bend down to pick up a book…and at exactly the same moment on the screen appeared the image of an old friend, and the entire room erupted…Kundi, Kundi, Kundi

The girl underwent therapy for many years…

The first thing that crossed my mind when I heard about the 26/11 witness who was whisked off to USA for questioning was how closely it resembled the alien abduction stories…you know, the kind that goes, I was kidnapped by little green men in a flying saucer…


According to Thomas E. Bullard, folklorist and UFO researcher, most abduction experiences follow a fairly consistent sequence…


Green text from Wiki, Blue text from NDTV


1. Capture. The abductee is forcibly taken from terrestrial surroundings to an apparent alien spacecraft.

5 AM…Uddaiya went to toilet from where she was whisked away by the investigators…“I could not eat in the flight properly as they were serving chocolates, sandwiches and some other stuff”.


2. Examination. Invasive medical or scientific procedures are performed on the abductee.

“First, I was taken to St George Hospital….”


3. Conference. The abductors speak to the abductee.

“After I landed in America…I was asked several questions about the terrorists and Mumbai attacks


4. Tour. The abductees are given a tour of their captors’ vessel.

Uddaiya…spent 17-18 hours in her flight to the US, said she was told “we were heading to America”.


5. Loss of Time. Abductees rapidly forget the majority of their experience.

“Everything was over in two to three hours”…she said she was confused and surprised at what was happening around her. “I told the police that I had been to Satara”


6. Return. 
Uddaiya went missing on Sunday morning and returned to Mumbai on Wednesday at around 1.30 AM to her home.


7. Aftermath. The abductee must cope with the psychological, physical, and social effects of the experience.

She was taken to Cuffe Parade police station for recording her statement.


Wiki   NDTV

Perumbalam, Kochi.


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