Sunday, November 14, 2010

Design


A Design so Vast

The Designer supreme!

His Designs varied!

Sometimes Serene

Frantic at times

Knowledge Management

Eating and Sleeping are the two common activities for human beings and animals. Food and Water at regular intervals will always be our basic need. It is only after food, we can think of anything else. Same is the case for animals and birds. Unlike us they don't spend their lives dressing, working, building homes, travelling  and the many of the other things we do. The only other activity we have in common  is sleeping.  

There is a story most of us know about the thirsty crow. I have known this story as a kid. This story is something I believe my dad loved telling all kids, so I have had a chance to it hear all the time.
Well, the story goes like this: There was  thirsty crow, flying desperately in search of water. Finally it found water in a pot. But to its disappointment, the water was at the bottom of the pot. 

The crow started thinking. Necessity is the mother of invention. Its continuous thinking finally worked. Idea!!!. 
It started getting pebbles, and putting them slowly into the pot. The water level rose gradually. Finally the water reached the brim of the pot. The crow drank the water and quenched its thirst. 

Sequel to the above story in the age of KM and IT and senseless application!

The above crow published it ideas and distributed it for future references. Just like we do. 
Some of the crows might have understood it right.

 I saw a crow the other day, I am sure he has read its lessons well, but did not understand the context. 

This crow was thirsty. There was no stagnant water anywhere around, because, stagnant water is a breeding place for mosquitoes. 
There was a river close by, but the crow did not know that(It might be a lazy crow and did not bother to scan the whole area by flying around). 

Finally it found a few droplets of water on the road, at the bus stop I was standing.These droplets were from the disposal tube as the bus was air conditioned. When the bus stopped for a while at the bus stop, enough water had dropped on the road. The road was slightly uneven at that area. Shallow enough to collect that little water, Surface tension helped the water molecules stick to each other without breaking of. 

The crow has some food in its beak. It drops the food aside and first tries to drink that water, but ends up unsuccessful. It bends its head so it can get its beak slanting into the water and tries to drink. I think, finally it got a drop of it, but its thirst was not yet quenched, and there was a little more water on the road.

The age old learning strikes its mind. But unfortunately, there are no stones around and it is too tired and lazy to fly and get some. So it picked its food(was a big piece) and gently dropped it in the water.The food particle soaked the water! :( 

Knowledge  management  done !  But zero result :( Poor crow. My sympathies.

The next bus came, I had to get into it. I wished this bus also would leave some water for the crow to drink.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Happy Birthday! My Girl There!


She is 45 years old. She only becomes youthful and vibrant with every passing year. She is a style statement. . She looks fashionably bright. She welcomes people of all countries, people of all ages and makes them all feel equally at home.She is an example of grit, determination and hard work. She has awe-inspiring surprises every now and then. She is ever beautiful making herself  better with every passing minute.
Her birthday celebrations are on the way, live performance at Theaters on the Bay. Quiz and music shows, fire crackers on the play. Apartments and Pavements beautified with Flags and lights, there is festive atmosphere around.

A piece of wonder and astonishment today, ever growing, ever charming, alluring....this beautiful girl!

Singapore celebrates its 45th National Day and the whole country is prepared with its best to wish her a Happy Birthday. Esplanade- Theaters on the  Bay have started with their various shows, along with the fire crackers display at the Marina Bay.


The newly opened Marina Bay Sands - Resorts&Casino in the three towers. The top of the three towers joined together in the form of a ship has an infinity pool and Restaurants. The laser beams  from the towers as part of the celebrations.
A performance at the Esplanade(designed in the form of Durian- National Fruit) had crowds pouring in to watch the performance show which ended  with the guitarist singing his composition for his first girlfriend, dedicated to Singapore on her birthday - My girl's the best!
The Singapore Flyer at a distance.

Happy Birthday Girl :) and many more beautiful days in the future .

Friday, April 16, 2010

Worthwhile thought

Look around.Our collective humanity is dying a little more every day. Technology is killing life on the street.Chat rooms, text messaging, IM are all, technically, forms of communication.But when they replace yakking over the back fence, or sitting huggermugger at the bar or simply walking with a friend -- as they have for an increasing number of people in "advanced" societies -- then meaningful human contact is lost. Ease of use is small compensation - Tony Long




Locked (Out) In

A busy day all of a sudden in the midst of  so many many crazily inactive ones is like being caught in a sudden downpour. 

I open  all the doors and windows to let bright sunlight and fresh air inside. The doors are usually held to their positions with their holder, which I forget to place in their positions most of the times, except after it shuts BANG the first time. This time, as usual I open the door and windows and the bedroom door shuts.The door shuts and in the room, it holds the laptop, the land line and my mobile and the keys to open the front door. All forms of communication and me inside along with them and luckily a window accessible to the outside. What a blessed lock out! It has been a busy day being  locked out in my own room.  

Since I had access to phone I get busy making calls, about how I am locked and unable to come out. I then send messages to all my online friends about being locked out in a room and how I cannot even have my lunch or even drink water and how terribly hungry I am. I spend my 2-3 hours thus. With no one to get worried and come running to help me, I finally decide to search  for a locksmith's number and call him. He tells that the lock has been broken and hence the need to break it open. Then I realise I din't have enough money at home. Breaking a lock costs as much as fixing the lock, if we have purchased the lock. And the charges are fixed, so no bargaining. He hits the lock with a hammer. The door throws open, after my 3 hour ordeal inside. I end up thanking(paying) this kind hearted person an amount of  35 dollars to break the lock. If he had to fix a new one(70 dollars, 35 for a new lock and 35 to fix it). Total amount spent to pay for the door lock, which closed due to the strong wind: 105 dollars.

I am all plans to follow his footsteps! Sounds like a good option. 

But how much I missed the opportunity to become dramatic, about me getting locked out, not answering the phone and messages online, not being able to open the front door and creating a big ruckus and scaring others. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blanknoise!

I like these words "I THINK" so I  am a Woman!!!

A blog, to be  visited, for all....

http://blog.blanknoise.org/

New Look

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order. - Alfred North Whitehead
Change keeps our minds occupied. The process of change and the process after  change. The stage of liking and unliking it, reviewing it and modifying it for the better.
Change for progress or better is appreciable.

I love redesigning my home, to move the furniture and the small different artifacts around, the artifacts collected from different places at different timings, something which has a story to it, albeit a short one and  to myself. The story increases the importance of holding it. 

There are some spaces and colours which go well, with the overall ambience and design and the name.

Well same goes on with my blog.
I always wanted a black page for my blog. A black one, just like a Slate, as is the name of my Blog. The reason for the name " The Slate", is I am learning how to write. It was one of my interests and I never explored, but I love to write. So I have changed my blog's look, with plans to redesign it slowly. While  my inspiration, to create one was Ravi , to keep writing is Prabha, my friend whose writing style I admire and I am a fan of.

As with my blog, I have a new look too.

It is now tamed and left free. It obeys me now, unlike before when it decided where it had to see.

My hair is now straight !!! And it gives me great happiness to not meddle with the curls and frequent hair cuts all by myself. I always wanted straight long hair. Whenever I expressed this wish, my parents time and again, they told me how wonderful it is to have curly hair and how lucky I am to have curly hair. My dad specialises in making me feel good with what I have. He emphasizes on how necessary it is for a person to be good and beautiful at heart. He would praise me as "why does a golden doll need any makeup" , though not the exact translation. It definitely was an exaggeration, though. Times when I felt lonely as I was the only kid, he would say that I am lucky as I would get undivided attention and love from my parents, as I was their only kid. That part was fine but I was more worried about all the scoldings I would get for being mischievous, and no one else to be blamed except me. Anything wrong at home all fingers would point to me, so I had to be extra careful.

But the point is about my hair now, I continued to cut my hair, when ever I felt it had to be straight, since the curls at the bottom would be cut, the remaining hair would be straight for some time. I was not aware of the number of times I subject it to scissors all by myself, whenever I wanted. Due the torments it had continuously undergone from me time and again without any recourse to the suffering, it now stands short like a bonsai. But to my surprise when I finally  straightened my hair,  the length was quiet good and I was very happy about it. But the hair stylist , offered to trim my hair. I  politely refused. She insisted I trim my hair, I refused again. She offered to do it to for free. I resisted. But she insisted again, she promised to trim very little. I finally gave up. Before even I could tell her how much to trim, her instruments cruised through my hair and it was all over. She was happy and the length is small again.I only wish it grows fast and I be careful about not getting lured into temptations.




Monday, March 15, 2010

nǐ hǎo! Xiànzài wǒ zài xué Zhōngwén.




The trial to learning French has been decently successful however Mandarin  ended unsuccessfully; thanks to my indiscipline, I kept learning Lesson No.1 for an year which was only the numbers.

French, I wanted to learn, as I regretted  on missing out the opportunity to learn it during the college days.I am done with  learning and unlearning French now. :)

I felt alien, if I was unable to talk the local language. Being a Malayalee( a native of Kerala in India), my summer vacation of 2 months at Kerala, was not delightful at times, as I could not read the language.I had to be dependent on my parents or cousins or fellow passengers, for, while travelling specially, knowledge of  Malayalam alphabetic script was essential. Indian languages though look different and sound different, are more similar and standardized in a specific manner. Learning a new one is hence easier and successfully learnt Malayalam(Reading). I have started reading(lower beginner class) and speaking (upper beginner class) Tamil. Thanks to multi lingual Singapore.

But, when it comes to international languages, a basic course helps, to understand the building blocks and build on from there on through need based communication.

I have now enrolled myself at an Adult Mandarin Class in the Community Club, close to my house, so I don't take the trouble of travelling and miss my class quoting it as a reason. The teacher has been very kind and patient to the amusing noises we make as we try to get the right tone of the word. This language deals with the 4 tones. The right tone would signify the right meaning. The Chinese characters  do not show how the words need to sound and since Chinese is a tonal language, Pinyin (phonetic romanized form of Chinese) form was developed which helps write the tone and understand them. The Pinyin uses English alphabets in conjunction with diacritical marks over the syllables to convey the tone. However, the alphabets are not pronounced as in English. The sound is different for different alphabets.

For example b is not b, but is pronounced p as in spin, q is ch.

The four tones: 
First Tone: : High and Level - Meaning of the word is "eight"
Second Tone: bá : Starts at Medium and rises to the top  
Third Tone: : Starts low, dips to the bottom and rises to the top.
Fourth Tone:  : Starts at the top and falls sharp to the bottom- Meaning of the word is "Father"


The last one, a toneless tone or a neutral tone: ba :  Flat with no emphasis.

It has been an interesting journey so far and feels very easy :)

Finally for the question

What I am up to?

Well, I am a student! .:)

To summerize, 

I can perfectly count 1-10 in 4 local Indian languages : Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Hindi and 3 international languages : English., French, Mandarin! 

and a  little more too, in few of the above mentioned languages !

The title means: Hello! I am learning Chinese! 
I am sure of the first part, the second part was picked from the search results, so please correct me if I am wrong.


For those who are wondering if I will be able to read and write Mandarin/Chinese, for now, I am learning only the spoken Mandarin and trying to read at least a few simple words. Hope I will  successfully read Mandarin fluently some day.


The following lines were taken from the net about Chinese Language " Altogether, there are about 50,000 characters, known as pictographs. In 1950s and 60s, China went through the language reform movement and 2000 characters were simplified. You need around 2000 characters to be able to read and write."


So 2000 characters is the target!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lost and Found

It was 8.00 pm. We decided to go to Little India for shopping.

We got ready by 8.15 p.m and left home.
I was dressed in my jeans and  kurti. One pocket in my jeans had my mobile and the other my wallet.
The walk from my house to the bus stop takes about 5 minutes through a walkway with grass, trees and small plants on either side. A walk through a lovely garden.. It being a Saturday, we planned a temple visit as well . The temple was beside the bus stop. The moment I reached the temple, my hand reached the pocket.

The wallet was missing! I did not even know about it. It had fallen off. The first time in my life I lost something in a matter of 5 minutes. I tried to recollect. I definitely put it in my pocket. I was not walking in a hurry. The wallet was thick enough and had a few cards and still it did not make a sound when it fell down. I am a very conscious person when it comes to my belongings and keep them carefully at all times, but still... I am lost. Where has it gone?

Harish and I walked back and forth, searching for it all over the place 2 times.I thought it might have fallen into the grass and hence there was no sound.But it was no where to be seen.

Gave up the search! Came home and started calling the respective card companies/banks.

The first call started.

Time: 8.45 p.m

 I got a call on my phone. It was from the Police station. Some good Samaritan had already taken it and handed it over to the police. The purse was intact, with all the cards and the cash. I want to thank him/her, but I don't know who it was. I could not get any details from the police. Who ever you are, thank you so much. Thank you Singapore, for having imbibed in all your citizens excellent principles.

Thank you Almighty.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

in love, I am, with you...

every time I see you, I smile,  my best smiles are reserved for you.
you have seen me grow, you have been with me, helped me through

life's beautiful memories you have presented me with,  treasure them, I can for eternity
my beauty and my flaws, undiscriminated you have showed me,  closed eyes I can rely on you

when ever you are around, I beam
when others see you with me, I glow
when I see myself in you, I  cheer up



 its a love attack, with you,




my Kodak!

Cute?



Friday, February 5, 2010

Sweet Somethings!

The Gulab Jamun mix has been an idle visitor at home for long. Atlast its wish came true when the yummy gulab jamuns were prepared. 
Jamuns were made exactly the way as described on the packaging.The syrup went wrong since I thought I knew better. It crystallised and I had to add water and boil it all over again for the syrupy form.




That's the Snow Gulab Jamun, Christmas and New Year Special. :D


Well, Mouth Watering !!! right? Mail me if anyone wants some, they are yummy, I have tasted and I have taken many pictures :D, I can mail u the pictures right away!!! :P

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hoopla @ HongKong

Hongkong, Live It, Love It.


One year of our wedding and along with it 2009 - roller coaster year was  wrapped up with a vacation to this beautiful island of Hong Kong. The entire place was beautifully decorated with lights, flowers, Christmas Trees and what not! The pleasant climate added to the  pleasure. 




Own the Octopus. It spreads its tentacles to let you in the trains(MTR), buses, trams and ferry. Pull the dollars in your pocket while in a taxi. :). Octopus is a pre paid card used to make payment for all modes of public transport in Hong Kong.


The vast rail network  connects the islands and major places.The bus, tram and taxi service will help you move along further to reach your destinations. The ferry however is mostly between  the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong kong Mainland. The other major island being Lantau. 


Before we left Singapore, we(Harish) googled to narrow down on a few destinations, charted out an itinerary, booked the tickets and the rooms for stay.


After a  hassle free 4 hour travel we reached the Hong Kong International airport, one of the biggest and busiest on the Lantau Island.
Our first stop was the Disneyland




Disneyland has every possible space interspersed with Mickey. Its Mickey Everywhere.Be it chairs, the arm rest of the chairs, tables or towels. 






Micky is in the air at Disneyland Resort.  A  Mickey dancing on a water fountain welcomed us.At midday, a parade comes along, where all the Disney characters come to life, dance along during the parade. Beautiful music and an artificial snowfall adds to the magic.A day full of  lovely attractions closes with the grand display of  fireworks. And in between all these, we get to see more of the Disney cartoons in life moving freely, cheering our moods and spirits.



The worlds tallest outdoor seated bronze Buddha, is to be reached by an awe-inspiring 25 minute cable car ride the Ngong Ping 360 cable car. Panoramic views of the island, the airport and the trekking path during the journey was a refreshing sight while moving from Tung Chung Town Centre to the Tian Tan Buddha Statue. The Giant Buddha gazes serenly on the Po Lin Monastery  close by, which offers a tasty Chinese style vegetarian meal at a very reasonable price.






While the northern side of Hong Kong Island has the shopping, entertainment and commercial districts, the southern side has a collection of beaches, cafes and markets. Repulse Bay, Deep Water Bay, Stanley Market and Ocean Park are few of the attractions. Ocean Park which has a three storey aquarium(underwater world) is by far the biggest in the world. Panda habitat and the jelly fish spectacular are the other two places one must visit. A lot of fun rides and games cheers up the spirit of the visitors.For the foodies, there are restaurants serving you delicious dishes.


Spot the Panda below!


The Peak Tram is a major attraction and The Peak offers one of the best night views in the night, the amazing view of the Hong Kong skyline brightened up with the lights. 
Madamme Tussads wax museum is the other attraction for visitors to the Peak.

Kowloon area, is famous for its shopping, eating and cultural attractions highly comparable to the Hong Kong Island Indian restaurants, Bombay Dreams and Gaylord restaurant. The food is tasty and reasonably priced, but the expensive real estate makes the place look a little overpacked. 
Hong Kong also has the world's largest rail and road suspension bridge- Tsing Ma Suspension bridge.
Below is an apartment building in front of Repulse Bay constructed in the form of a wave, with anaperture, probably with respect to some reference of feng shui.


Major brands have set up shops there making it a shoppers paradise. A Hong Kong night starts with Symphony of lights. A sound and light laser show explained well at the link provided.


The Hong Kong Experiece. Live It. Love It. Relish it.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Bitter gourd Salad

As time passes by, I realise, I do not have varying seasons here. 
I cant talk of fall and spring and autumn like my friends in US. I cant think of wearing different clothes for winter and summer. 
Moreover I cannot write here, that it was bright and sunny last month, and snowy and cold now. I cannot take pictures to show of my stylish sweaters and jackets, tall boots and long coats.
But who said, it is the same always. We are also blessed with sun, rain and no show snow!
I looove the idea of playing in snow and I am jealous, when my friends mail me the pictures of the snowfall in their respective countries.

Since I have limited seasons I cook snacks for the rain and the shine.
Rain would let you have crunchy food, while what with shine?

The amateur cook is exploring various taste-bud-tickling dishes in this wonderful journey of culinary experience.
The dishes described here are learnt by me from my mom, mom-in-law, family and friends. Some of them happen to be accidents at work. The recipe would at times change its course, as per our instincts to suit our palate.

Below is MIL's  Bitter gourd Salad Snack for your taste buds when the sun is bright, son's favourite.

Clean bitter gourd.
Slice the bitter gourd as thin as possible.
Have oil ready to fry in a pan.
Deep fry the slices.

Cut onions and tomato, green chilli as required. Put salt. 

Mix the fried bitter gourd, onion, tomato, chilli and salt.

Simple and Quick.That's for the hot and bright evening.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Rejoice with ROYCE











Introducing the Rolls-Royce of Chocolates!!!


Forget love-- I'd rather fall in chocolate-- I wouldn't mind drowning either!!!

Am I in love in chocolates? No, not until I ate the heavily dusted with cocoa powder, smooth to touch and tongue,NAMA chocolate from ROYCE, Hokkaido, Japanese chocolatier.

An epitome of chocolate-ness.



If chocolates, then this is the one. The best of the rest. It is so creamy and soft in your mouth and it melts and slides down your throat. Its all over in a minute and you wouldnt even know. It is as if a dream, you pine for more.

Just right in the sweetness, subtle in the mouth, yet bountiful is the bliss.

My friend ate an icecream " Devil's Delight" and said " You can die after eating it"

I would say " You can die after eating this chocolate" . Its just too relishious.

The chocolate comes in a packaging of 5 layers apart from  a small packet of cooling gel, to ensure it stays strong until it makes way to your mouth, through a tiny plastic fork.

Thank you so much Kanika and Abhijeet for the delicious dinner and delectable chocolate!


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Tears!

I was in the MRT.  The car was almost empty. I stood on one side of the door. My eyes were browsing through the whole of the car for a seat to sit. Suddenly I see a lady holding a pram, tears rolling down her eyes. I suppose she was a maid, since there was a family sitting with an year old baby diagonally opposite to her. There were a lot of people around the kid, and were clicking pictures and playing with the kid. She finally got out along with them at the next station.

I went through a tremendous amount of discomfort. Neither do I know the reason behind her tears, nor would I be able to do anything for her, to assuage her.

I was always at discomfort to see, tears in the eyes of the maids. Probably, the reason was their master. Maybe she was hurt.

Don't they have the right to work (here work is to take care of their precious children throughout, until they actually grow; almost being a mother) in  a harmonious environment. How can people who employ maids to take care of their kids let them cry and not even bother.

It pains, to see women , who have given up their home to settle some other homes  treated with pain. Money /Wages do not make everything. I am completely clueless if there were any reasons or were repurcussions. She might have been wrong, or it might have been the employer's mistake.

Someone, deserted, in a foreign land, with tears rolling down their cheeks, whimpering helplessly, silently - An agonizing sight!