Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 10 'Where are They?'

Hemantha Kalam
Kalam - 10

'Where are they?'

The other day I was at this Medical shop / Pharmacy in Chennai. There were a couple of guys who were dressed shabbily and waiting outside the shop for their turn to speak to the Pharmacy management. Being friendly with the management I casually asked who they were and I was told that they were Medical Representatives and I was in for a rude shock.

My third maternal uncle Late J.S. R. Krishna was a Medical Representative. He represented Albert David Pharmaceuticals, a Multinational Pharmaceutical company, in India, for a long time.

Though just an ‘intermediate’ (less than a graduate) he could speak English quite well and always rode a motorcycle, initially a ‘Matchless’ and later a ‘Royal Enfield’. He was always dressed like a dude and being a good looking person he was the local idol to many and many pushed his bike when it did not start and pushed him to teach them bike riding when he did not start. It was not only my uncle but in those days almost all representatives were chosen to be like that, handsome, well dressed, well spoken and riding either the ‘Royal Enfield’ or ‘Jawa’ later ‘Yezdi’ motorcycles.

As long as he was a Medical Representative, I rarely saw him ill dressed and certainly never without his coat, ties and shoes, shined well. He was quite an emotional man and vacillated between being ‘unnecessarily kind’ and ‘unnecessarily cross’ with people.

The point I was trying to make was that we young guys just loved him for his attire and demeanour. Probably unknowingly that seed germinated in me and I always pitched in to be a marketing guy myself. Well, the long and short of it is that I like to dress well (I still do) and felt what other job could give me that luxury.

During the 1960s and the 1970s the job market in India was more for Bank Clerical positions and Sales Representative positions, especially for students, who were of economically in the middle and lower middle classes of families. They used to equip themselves with the stock needed for these jobs like a minimum graduate degree-B.Sc., Physics / Chemistry for Medical Representative positions and B. Com / B.A for Bank Clerical positions fortified by Typewriting and Shorthand.

Well I never really was good at anything and certainly not at Maths at all. So somehow, with my father’s support and the kindness of University of Madras, I managed to get a B. Com degree. But the hitch now is that guys who did were not eligible to be medical representatives. So my desires and dreams of becoming a medical representative were dashed.

I enrolled myself as a Ledger keeper, then a Depot Clerk and later just a Clerk though I was assisting in Marketing and Sales Administration positions with Godrej Soaps Limited. We did have many exceptionally well dressed and handsome guys who were representatives with Godrej Soaps Limited.

During this time, I realised my folly and enrolled for Evening Courses of Management from University of Madras and this time I excelled. When my guide Mr. James, Madura Coats Limited and the internal guide called over phone to congratulate me for my dissertation I was ecstatical – at last I qualified to be in Marketing.   
But the damage has been irreparably done. Like the Tamil Movie comedian Vadivelu says ‘my body was strong but the foundation remained to be weak’. It was only later that I could really become a Sales Manager, a Marketing Manager and finally a Managing Director.

Yes, I also realised my love for dressing well but again I used to vacillate between ‘dressing well’ and ‘dressing outlandishly’ depending on my moods and enjoyed both equally. In several organisations I have also been recognised as a ‘Well Dressed Male’ ‘Well Dressed Employee’ etc.

But coming back to the point, what happened to all those disciplined, well articulating, well dressed and handsome guys?

Today, the demand for software jobs is taking its toll and it is apparently becoming increasingly difficult to find ‘well qualified, well dressed, well articulating’ representatives-Medical or otherwise.

Without malice to anybody, I do have to observe that the present day’s representatives-especially the Medical Representatives cannot hold a candle to their predecessors.

I see people wearing, ill matching shirts and trousers, sandals in place of shoes, displaying unkempt / outlandish beards and stubbles, ties being tied without knowing how to knot. The personality is simply not there at all. Worst is that most of them do not know how to speak to Physicians, explain combinations, detail the medicines and potions even with the help of literature and detailing folders. I understand that pathetic though many 'graduates' cannot even read, write, speak English properly and more that they cannot even do simple arithmatic. 

The whole profession has apparently degenerated to just calculating on quantum than quality. What a pity? I do not envy the trainers of the Pharmaceuticals at all. And I do not envy the Physicians who now have to cope up with ill-informed, un professional 'detailing'.

Today the ‘representatives’ use tiny mouse-like vehicles and get lost in the crowd. No comparison to the distinct representatives of yore who could be seen from afar and who always used to create an awe making their opening gambits easier.

Where are those well dressed men? Where are those bikes? And where is that elegance?

You tell me! :-)

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian), Kob Kun Krab (Thai) and Asante (Kiswahili).

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy

Chennai, India

Monday, 2 December 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 9 'Matter of Size'

Hemantha Kalam

Kalam - 9

'Matter of Size'

There has been an exchange of photographs over the e-mails the other day. Occasion- Group photograph of some of the former and current colleagues of Godrej Soaps Limited, assembled to participate in Gayatri's wedding - daughter of another former colleague.

Now, the honour of photographing the group, with a latest hi-tech mobile phone, was given to me. If the picture came out well, this 'Kalam' probably would be on some other subject. Yes, now predictably, it did not come out well. Certainly a little more focus could have been in order.

I think, before writing on why I feel let down, a little explanation on my photographic life may be worth mentioning.

Photography is the genetic 'disorder' handed over to me by me predecessor - my maternal grandfather whom I could, again, only see in photographs as he died even before I could be born. Apparently, before he called it a day, on his life, he had really experimented imagery of all imaginations.

I guess the first camera handled by me was a Twin Lens Reflex 'Yashica MAT' a 120 format camera (borrowed from my maternal uncle Mr. Jonnavithula Purnaiah Sastry who was my first and reluctant guru for photography), where you needed to look down onto the reflection of the subject in the camera, focus manually and click the image onto a 120 format film. You need to take the sun light into account and adjust the aperture and speed of the shutter accordingly. Till the picture came out it was like agonising to see a baby delivered. This was sometime in mid 1960s when I was about 8 or 9 years old.

And yes, you need to compose the picture too. I guess God has been kind to me in that that I could always mentally compose a picture on just seeing the locale and my compositions were normally good. 

Like my career, my photography also went on like a Morse code (only my photography was more constant and continuous than my ability in keeping my jobs and employment) and steadily I graduated to cameras like Rolleiflex and Rolleicard. 

My father could clearly smell and see the path I am likely to take, downward, and firmly refused to buy me a camera. So it was till I was 25 that I could not own a camera. When I had joined with Godrej Soaps Limited, I used to share my salary with my family but not the earnings from working overtime (that too was reluctantly-maybe another blog in future on this reluctance and the resultant adventures) which was reserved for buying a camera for my own. 

I had acquired a Yashica 35 mm which was not a SLR and thus restricted my 'creativity' and so later I had acquired a second hand / used 'Praktica', whose body alone weighed almost a 'ton' not to say of the Sigma, Vivitar lenses that I had steadily acquired. Interestingly I got used to such heavy stuff which I used to lug along with me on the innumerous trekkings I undertook. As a SLR and with an opportunity to change lenses, close up rings and add-ons I could really let my imagination go and again with the Morse code results. Fail, Succeed, Fail, Succeed and so on. but I was my own guru.

It went on till I started showing my photographs to Late Krothapalli Subrahmanyam, who was working as an artist with the United States Information Service (USIS), then Madras and now Chennai, who introduced me to the photography of stalwarts like Avinash Pasricha et al., and thus he became my second guru who really provoked my composition ability. Today, if some of my photographs are good, I owe them to him. 

Over a period this equipment became too old and I got rid of the same to get a real sexy Canon T-80 model which was a 'have all-do all' type of camera. Comparatively this was a light weight camera and was quite handy. I was a proud owner of the camera, but again there was very little I had to do as a photographer except aim, compose and shoot. 

So I did acquire another low cost SLR of Vivitar model and went happily clicking till my sister gifted me a Sony digital Camera around the turn of the millennium. It took me quite sometime to understand on how to work on this camera which was like a little mouse in comparison to the pachyderms that I have been taming and using earlier. I really could not get used to it and knew it fully till it died a natural death.

And now I use a real 'aim and shoot' Panasonic camera which by far has been the lightest I had ever used so far. That is till I had to use this mobile phone to take the group photograph at Gayatri's wedding. I was at all seas at the same time. And yes, I made a mess of it.

I guess I need the large looking, heavy weighing cameras after all. I was wondering whether it is only me who has been thinking like this. But, today, when I read that Balu Mahendra, one of the Indian Ace Cinematographers also has the size blues, I was vindicated. Want to read for yourself? Here's the link;

After all, Size Matters!

Isn't it? You tell me! :-)

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian) and Kob Kun Krab (Thai).

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Chennai, India

Monday, 18 November 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 8 'Relying on Google'

Hemantha Kalam

Relying on Google 

Sorry, I didn't keep my promise of writing every fortnight. But then did I make that promise? Memories, memories - unreliable.

Been to Thailand for a week and soon as I returned, I dived headlong into an assignment for UNDP. Now this requires me to delve frequently into the labyrinths of the internet to fish for information, tucked in some corner of the cosmos.

Way back, in the beginning 1980s, I did a couple of courses in Computer Programming. Basic and COBOL and yes, I have certificates to say that I, indeed, did those programmes. Probably the first to do it among my colleagues in Godrej Soaps. But I was so bad in programming that I was always ashamed of those certificates and again if my memory is not failing me I had never used those qualifications in any of my applications for jobs. For I could not programme even my residential address for a tuppence.

And in due course of time the 'Windows' opened and changed things. Allowed me to really explore and find out solutions for myself. Not that I am any great at that. But for sure, I am bit better than then.

In fact when I met Mrs. Melinda French Gates (November, 2005), I did want to convey my thanks to her husband for making computers that much easier. Well, when I actually met her  words failed and I could not convey. Sad. But who knows? If somebody is sneaking into this blog of mine, like some security agencies abroad, maybe they can carry my personal thanks too to Mr. Gates?

So where am I? Oh, yeah, at the windows. Well the windows opened, as my dear colleague Ashwin Kumar Rao always say, to the new God - Google. His logic is simple. We really do not know whether GOD is there or not. Whether GOD is a He or a She or an It. And we are never sure whether GOD listens to us and whether he will answer to our questions.

But, lo, the new God does. It listens, reads and answers back. I am yet to come across an instance when this new God has been silent or did not answer to any query of mine.

And there lies the problem. We all are slowly becoming the captive devotees (nay slaves) of this new God. Now close your eyes and think whether you can do without Google even for a day, today?  Sure, sure, the answers could be Yes and No but the Yes answers will be more and overwhelming, than the meager Nos, for sure.

That is the amount of relying we are indulging in Google. And now, for once, think what happens if this new God starts charging for its services?

Pray that such a day will not arrive, for if that does happen we, the "Googlies" may really have to face a Googly? Pray that this is one question that the new God need not hear or answer.

Isn't it? You tell me! :-)

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian) and Kob Kun Krab (Thai).

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Chennai, India

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 7 'Torino 2010'

Hemantha Kalam

Torino 2010 

July, 2010! We were attending the Micro Finance classes on “Housing for the Poor” project at the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation, in Turin, Italy.

It all started after the class for the day was over in the evening of the 28th July, 2008, when Franck Daphnis announced that there is a Football game in Torino (Turin) the next day and anybody interested to watch it “LIVE” may enlist. Needless to emphasise, yours faithfully was the first to raise the hand for the head count.

So, next day the 29th July, a bus was arranged to ferry 30 such football buffs, lovers, peripheral lovers and plain adventure lovers like me to the stadium. Time was ticking and there was a cocktail party going on in the cafeteria lounge of the hostel from 6-30 pm. At 7-25 pm there were only me and Franck to go, but the bus has to carry 30 for scale of economy.

Both of us went into the cocktail lounge and dragged in a couple of more “enthusiasts” and then the entourage began. It looked like as if a mini tornado hit the party and half of them left the place and followed Franck and myself as if influenced by the Pied Piper. The bus was filled and after a short journey we reached the “Stadio Olimpico” to watch the finals of “Trofeo TIM” to be settled between the legendary AC Milan, Juventus Football Club and Inter. Everywhere there were milling crowds of people and lots of shops on wheels selling sports paraphernalia-mostly the team T shirts or food items.

Only after reaching the Stadium did Franck reveal that Tickets have to be bought. By the time we reached the Stadium all the tickets were sold out. So a couple of us started hunting for “tickets” and found them. Only that a ticket of Euros 10 was offered for Euros 25 each. Well, that we were in frenzy, we lapped them up. I gave Euros 30 and for lack of proper change got only Euros 4 in return. Suddenly I found myself being tugged by somebody, who to me was speaking gibberish (He was speaking Italian though) and after quite a bit of scanning my scant knowledge of Latin and Spanish in my mind and a lot of gesticulations from the guy who owned the hand that tugged at me, I could make out that he wanted me to contribute to the cause of Drugs. Whether it was for buying Drugs or for making the youth shun the drugs I am not wiser. All I can say is that the Euros 4 changed hands.

Meanwhile there were more revelations. As we could not choose to buy tickets, we could not get the tickets all in one place excepting four or five. Now all for one and one for all does not work and we had to be on our own. Franck told us to go on our own but at any cost to return to the bus by 11-00 pm.

And when I checked my “billet” (ticket) I found that it was in the name of ”Samantha” the name that I use normally to tell foreigners to rhyme my name (Hemantha) with. Then I found something like Nord (North) and stile and Porto mentioned on the ticket. I could make out that Porto means entrance and that my entrance would be in the North. Another interesting fact I found (to my horror) was that only I had drawn the ticket with the northern entrance. Now in that maddening crowd finding a gate became difficult and finding out the northern gate was becoming more difficult.

In the European countries, I observed, that normally the Sun sets around 9-30 pm or so and at least in summer it seems to be so. Since we were at the stadium by about 8-15 pm there was enough SUN for us to find our directions. But exactly masking the Sun was this mischievous cloud. So I thought I am the best boy scout and calculated and walked towards an entrance with a great sense of triumphing. Only when I neared could I make out that the entrance was not north but east. So keeping that in mind I almost circumambulated the stadium, when I found a cop relaxing near his van. I approached him and asked him directions. He showed me directions that I may have to walk another furlong or so. Meanwhile apparently the game started on the dot and there was a roar to be heard from within the stadium.

Walking a few steps away from the cop I found that I was actually standing in front of the Northern entrance and very near to the Porto and stile I had to get into. But the entrance was allowing only one person and there were no lesser than at least a hundred people all absolutely enthusiastic and raring to go. And then I found that I needed to produce an identity along with the ticket. I thought that tonight I am in trouble for the ticket was in a woman’s name and I left my Passport and other travel documents in my hostel room as I was advised that taking out any heavy money or wallet or passports can be pick-pocketed. Now I had only the photocopy of my Indian driving licence in my pocket.

I was wondering whether I should turn tail and walk back. But I found that that itself could be difficult, as behind me there were another two hundred or so people. So I thought let me see. I found that at the entrance there was a young man with a bored look and he simply waved me inside. Then after enquiring with a couple of guys I found a man who could speak some broken English and asked him where my Porto and stile would be. He said that I may not make it to the match searching for my row and seat and said that if I am wise I shall park myself in the first available seat wherever it is. True to his words, I found the stadium jam packed, uproarious and many fans were standing, yelling and jumping.

After searching a bit by moving my head in all directions I found myself a seat and sat in. By the time this happened, Juventus scored two goals and AC Milan one. From then onwards both the teams simply chased the ground. Somewhere around the 36th minute or so AC Milan matched Juventus by scoring another goal. By the time, the play time was nearing the end, there was a tie and penalties were awarded. Then the comedy of the day started. Both the teams started scoring goals and at one stage everybody got restless. 
Finally that game ended with AC Milan scoring 6 and Juventus 4 goals.

Next to me sat a boy and his middle aged mother. While the boy was engrossed in the game the mother started being friendlier with me than being motherly to her son. A couple of old Dodos (older than me-so Dodos) kept on smoking their cigarettes and were letting out the smoke like pressure cookers. The boy apparently was allergic to cigarettes and starting spitting and sneezing making the whole pathway wet and slippery with his spittle.

Somehow the first game was over and the second started. One should physically and in person be present at the football games in Europe or in Brazil to really savour in the frenzy. Each team will have an anthem and just before a game starts, the fans of the particular team start singing the anthem or the hymn in such unison that one wonders whether even the national anthem is sung with such devotion. Well, coming back, this game was between Juventus and Inter. The din and the roar in the stadium was a challenge to the strongest ears. The spectators were berserk and every time an opportunity to score a goal was lost, there were roars, shouts (I am sure that most of them would have been the choicest epithets that Italy is famous for). Children and elders were jumping alike. There was a rhythm in the cheering too.

The second game was livelier and a lot of action with some slick dribbling of the ball, the headers and other action could be seen. The advantage of watching this type of games from the comfort of one’s home is that you do not need to support any team and enjoy whichever team scores. But in the stadium I realised that I had lost that luxury. I did not know which team my neighbours were cheering for. If I cheer when one team is scoring I might be virtually trodding on a claymore. So though I thoroughly enjoyed this second game, I could not openly cheer for the fear of my dear life. The second game ended with Juventus scoring one goal and Inter scoring none.

By the time the crucial and the decisive third game started, it was nearing 10-45 and the prospect of the bus leaving without me, leaving me to the mercy of the so called pickpocket predators in the middle of the night and the prospect of having to walk a long distance in an unfamiliar city and direction prodded me and I started leaving the stadium much to the disappointment of the mother of the boy.

Once out of the stadium there was an old man who had a glint of happiness in his eyes on seeing me and who rushed to me asking me whether I can spare him the billet so that he can see the unfinished third match. Maybe he did not know that the ticket had already been validated by the computer at the entrance or maybe he could have managed jut by showing the ticket. However, I wished to retain the ticket as a souvenir and so I pretended as if I did not understand him and kept on walking. There were many restaurants on wheels but I could not get a caffe’ (Coffee) or a latte (Milk) or even a cappuccino. Finally I could see an empty vehicle where by showing the items in the display could get a Vegetable sandwich which was my dinner for the night.

As I neared the bus I saw that there were many other afraid souls as most of the fans had already boarded the bus except for Franck and a couple of others. We got a message that Franck would make his own arrangements to arrive at the hostel and that we could proceed in the bus. At last we reached the hostel, albeit safely at about 11-45 pm.

Next day morning when Franck came in to take our class, we found that he and his other companions could not even enter the stadium till almost the first game ended, as their names did not match those on the tickets. So at the end of the first game the gate authorities apparently relented and allowed them inside. So Franck made it a point to sit through the whole game.

Despite all the anxiety and adrenalin, and quite a bill at Rs.2010 (Euros 30 x Rs.67), is a life time experience.

Isn't it? You tell me! :-)

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu, Nanri, Dhanyavaadagalu, Nanni, Dhanyavaad, Thanks, Dhonyabaad, Gracias, Grazie, Danke Schon, Merci, Obrigado, Shukraan, Shukriya, Aw-koon, Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai.

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Chennai, India

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 6 'Delivering-Safety'

Hemantha Kalam



Recently my daughter got me an old copy of "The Straits Times" (of the Singapore Press Holdings or simply SPH) issue dated the 22nd July, 2013. 

Well, we have this practice in our family that whichever state in India we may visit or whichever country in the world we visit, we do bring a copy of the local newspapers, essentially with the aim of the whole family taking a look at them to understand the format of news dissemination, the layouts, the presentation of news and so on as more of an academic interest.

Coming back to "The Straits Times", I found two news items quite interesting.

The first news is from the neighbouring country Malaysia (page A-10 Section Asia-The Straight Times, 22nd July, 2013) which says "KL postmen caught dumping bags of mail"

Clearly intrigued, I went through the whole, amusing if not annoying, news item to realise that about three postmen virtually dumped all the mail to be delivered to intended recipients, at a desolate area near Kuala Lumpur's posh housing estate in the Ukay Heights district.

The dumped mail apparently contained cheques, bills, bank statements, correspondence, letter and many others. Several residents have not been receiving their mails for almost over six months and they appear to be quite relieved, now.

Here is the link for this news.

Shouldn't we be thankful that our mail delivery is safe and though might be delayed, is not being denied despite all the junk that is being mailed to us by so many promoting organisations? :-) 

In fact, people such as me belonging to the yore understand and deeply appreciate the role of the Post and Post Wo/men who were literally messiahs bearing important news-be it a child birth or a birth of a new job or plain love/affectionate letters, returned contributions to newspapers, journals and magazines and those rare times of bringing in complimentary issues of printed matter.

I, for one, always cherish the times I had spent waiting for the post day in and day out as Post in those days was synonymous to hope. And Hope need to be safely delivered.

Now that so much has been said about 'delivery' let me now proceed to the second and headline news item on the same issue of "The Straits Times" which screams "Passenger killed after SMRT bus overturns"

There is a reason for this news item hitting the headlines. As per the tail piece of the report, the last such "Catastrophic" accident took place was apparently in 2005. 

As per Indian standards, the news in itself is very simple, the bus veered and turned over and a passenger was crushed between seats in the impact and expired-and that's it.

But this item apparently deserved front-page headline space on "The Straits Times"  as such accidents in Singapore are rarest of the rare?

It might be unfair to compare this isolated incident to those that happen in India everywhere and on a daily basis, keeping the population of both people and vehicles in both countries in mind.

But there is a lesson or two for us here.

1. The government of Singapore appears to be more sincere in ensuring such mishaps not happening and

2. The person who is striving for the Traffic Security in Singapore, interestingly, is a person of Indian Origin (should I be saying 'naturally' here?) dubbed 'The Tireless road safety warrior' Mr. Gopinath Menon.

The 69 year old Mr. Menon has spent more than three decades making roads in Singapore less dangerous.

Here are the links pertaining to this news

Isn't it time we really start thinking about our own traffic and safety more seriously?

You tell me! :-)

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu, Nanri, Dhanyavaadagalu, Nanni, Dhanyavaad, Thanks, Dhonyabaad, Gracias, Grazie, Danke Schon, Merci, Obrigado, Shukraan, Shukriya, Aw-koon, Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai.

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Chennai, India

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 5 'Miss'es who did not Miss / Mess!

Hemantha Kalam

'Miss'es who did not Miss / Mess!

While going through the Telugu Newspaper "Eenaadu" during the last one week, among the daily burning issue of "Should Andhra Pradesh Split or Not", and the 50 odd day old spontaneous campaigns from all 13 districts of Andhra Seema or Seemandhra, tucked in into the centre pages were two cool and interesting news items that could not be 'Miss'ed as they 'naturally' attracted attention.

The news pertained to announcements of Miss America and Miss District of Columbia for 2013.

So how is it a great news in India and especially to you, when you are a man nearing the Indian line of re-birth (60 years of age)? 

Well, for one thing, both the contestants poised to win (bout a week ago) were Indian and the second was that they are Andhra Originating Americans. But adding more interest is that one 'Miss' shares her surname (though spelled slightly differently) with yours faithfully.

By the time I am writing this blog, both of them have won their respective titles. Ms. Nina Davuluri, 24, the Miss New York 2013, hailing from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh origins, as Miss America 2014 and Ms. Bindu Pamarthi, 23, the Miss District of Columbia 2013 also a competent in the Miss America Pageant.

Seeing Nina dance to a Bollywood fusion number, one could also see the audience going into raptures-beauty or no beauty :-) 

Congratulations and Best wishes to both of them!

While it, indeed, is an interesting news, it is not all that strange or surprising as the Andhra Pradesh women are known for their beauty and for a very long time have been ruling the Indian filmdom till a bevy of beauties from all over the country and especially from Northern India marched over and took fort.

But what was interesting is the two Indian origin-Andhra Pradesh origin beauties being crowned around the same time of the year and that too in America! Of course the pageant was also followed by racist tweeting and apparent nasty comments over other social media channels. 

But that the judges could decide 'beyond', gives hope, with caution, for future such activities.

So until again, 

Krutagjnatalu, Nanri, Dhanyavaadagalu, Nanni, Dhanyavaad, Thanks, Dhonyabaad, Gracias, Grazie, Danke Schon, Merci, Obrigado, Shukraan, Shukriya, Aw-koon, Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai.

Hemantha Kumar PamarthyChennai, India

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 4 Designs de fault

Hemantha Kalam -4

Designs de fault

My nephew shared a quick video on facebook and intrigued, I watched the video of a car that can move any which way-forward, backward, sideways, U turns-you name it except fly. Amazing, and much wanted too in the current scenario.

So much money and time is spent regularly on research but how come none could finally do what the Chinese seem to be able to?

While they are at it, I do hope that a special signalling system / indicator, for making U turns also (presently only right and left are made available) is provided in vehicles as this can indeed be a real pain.

That made me think on what is happening to designs in the name of evolution. The more and more nice ones are giving way to Loud, Gaudy and Monstrous designs - be it in vehicles or watches, especially. Today's generation seems to revel in such disastrous designs which for old school thinkers like me are terrible to put it very mildly.

I wonder how many of the designers know and if at all understand the word "aesthetics" and whether it is time to re-introduce a sense of 'aesthetics' right from primary schooling?

You tell me!

Krutagjnatalu, Nanri, Dhanyavaadagalu, Nanni, Dhanyavaad, Thanks, Dhonyabaad, Gracias, Grazie, Danke Schon, Obrigado, Shukraan, Shukriya, Aw-koon, Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai.

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy

Chennai, India 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 3 Partition & Procrastination

My native state of Andhra Pradesh, in the southern portion of India, was established, with a capital city - Hyderabad, in the same year I was born. The state is 102 days younger than me, so to say! :-)

Though blessed with a mix of cultural variety, forests, flora and fauna, and many heritage interests for tourists, the state of Andhra Pradesh remained to be enigmatic to many.

For long, till late N. T. Rama Rao established his rule with 'Self Respect' in the state, all Andhraites were referred to as Madrasis in the northern portion of India which was blissfully unaware or did not bother to know or identify the South Indians otherwise.

Andhra Pradesh is one of the larger states of the country, comprising of 23 districts with a long and enviable sea coast, off Bay of Bengal, on the East also called the Coromandel coast. The state is the formation of three broad regions of "Kosta Andhra" (Coastal Andhra) with 9 districts, the "Rayala Seema" (Area of Rayala - ruled by the most respected Sri Krishna Deva Raya of the Vijayanagara empire) with 4 districts and the 'Telangana' (Place of evidence of Telugu - to say in free translation) with 10 districts.

The Telangana portion of Andhra Pradesh bordering the southern part of the Dandakaranya Forests, forms mostly of the Deccan Plateau which was under the rule of Nizam before being 'annexed' into India after the independence of the country. Ever since this portion was made part of Andhra Pradesh, there has been frequent bickering on its annexure. During the mid '70s there were agitations for a separate 'Telangana' as well as a separate 'Andhra' under the banners 'Jai Andhra' and 'Jai Telangana' which became quite violent and somehow quelled with a firm hand.

Every time this problem kept raising its head, the decision for separating the state was postponed, nay procrastinated. Now, the demand for a separate 'Telangana' has come to a head and it appears that the powers be felt the time as ripe (for whom really, is very evident - to the ruling party at the centre) for another partition.

And the Andhra side is now protesting as, much investment by all people in the state has been done in Hyderabad, the capital city which is now in the eye of the storm of the separation as Hyderabad is in the Telangana region.

Every day there are endless protests - some in serious and some in novel and hilarious forms - demanding for a 'United Districts of Andhra Pradesh' or 'Unified Andhra' ('Samaikyandhra' in Telugu, the language of the state).

Meantime, the Rayalaseema part is agitating with a motive of either a United Andhra Pradesh or if partition is inevitable, Rayalaseema also should be partitioned off as a separate state.

The governments both at the Centre and at the State are in a predicament that arose due to this long procrastination.

But my predicament is due to my own procrastination. 

Though Andhra Pradesh is my native state, ever since I was a toddler, I have domiciled in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, with occasional visits to Andhra Pradesh during vacations to visit friends and relatives over there. 

As I wished to learn more deeply about my native state, I had spent the best part of my age, energies and time and most part of my earnings on re-discovering Andhra Pradesh, especially the lesser known places. I, probably, am one of the very few who had single-handedly collected such a wealth of content supported by photographs shot by me (on film and by prints), books and other related paraphernalia.

Interested in making this knowledge available to others through a web-portal I had registered a website (have been paying the annual domain retaining fee too) and wished to launch the same on my 50th birthday - almost 8 years ago.

As I had spent all my earnings and savings on these exciting visits and photography, I could not do it immediately as I needed seed money. later I needed to continue working to have money. So the real predicament was when I had some money I did not have time and today when I am jobless and have time, I have no money.

Thus the effect of procrastination of my not launching the website in time, is looming large on my head. If I now launch the website it may be just a few months before I need to re-design it if the state is partitioned. If I procrastinate and wait for some more time till a decision on the state/s is taken, I may again not have so much time.

So what should be done? :-)

Has it been good that I waited all these years? Or is it time that I should pull my act together fast and pronto?

You tell me!

Krutagjnatalu, Nanri, Dhanyavaadagalu, Nanni, Dhanyavaad, Thanks, Dhonyabaad, Gracias, Grazie, Danke Schon, Obrigado, Shukraan, Shukriya, Aw-koon, Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai.

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Chennai, India