Archive for July 2010

Is that Suchi ??? என்ன கொடுமை சார் இது ??

OMG ??

Did I just see Suchi in a TV ad ??

34th Second of this video ...



Tch Tch Tch !!!

P.S:- Nothing male chauvinistic about this .. பட் nelamai அவ்ளோ மோசமாவா இறுக்கு ?

P.P.S:- இன்னொரு Adல ... அதாவது விவேல் சோப்பு அட்ல , ஏதோ பொண்ணுங்க அழகா இருந்தா தான் பசங்க சொல்ற பேச்செல்லாம் கேப்பாங்கன்னு பிட்டோட்ட்றாங்க .. டேய் ..என்னடா காமெடி கிமெடி பண்ணலியே ? எல்லா பசங்களும் உரிச்ச கொழீங்க பின்னாடி சுத்தர்த்தில்லபா...

எடிட்:-
இத போட்ட ஒரு சில வினாடிகளுக்கு குல்ல, இன்னொரு விளம்பரம் பார்த்தேன்... ஒருத்தன் வெளுப்ப இருகர்துனால, அவனோட தன்னம்பிக்கை அதிகமா இருக்காம், அதுனால அவனுக்கு அந்த வேலையே குடுதிடுவான்கலாம்.. டேய் .. என்னடா சொல்ல விரும்புறீங்க ?

Friday, July 30, 2010 by Hari
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Cairo Diaries - 21

கண்டேன் பிரமிட்ஸ் !!!



It's only an irony that I could visit the Pyramids only after being in Cairo for more than 4 and a half months!!! :(

Never got a chance you see.. :P

For general information about the Pyramids, you can do what other tourists do. Read Wiki. :D



For some travel tips, read on.



No matter from where in Cairo you go the Pyramids it must cost you around 30 Pounds only. The pyramids are in Giza. There are some cab drivers who try to sweet talk you into some other pyramids. They keep asking you if you would like to go to Saqqara Pyramids or to some hotel, before you would like to go to the Pyramids. They are quite clever, aren't they. When they try any of these tricks, be strict and firm with them. You have come all the way, round the world, to see a wonder of the world, not to be conned !!! Our taxi driver did try to sweet talk us into some hotel, and we played a comedy with him, finally he got so bloody pissed off that he took straight to the Pyramids. :P



The pyramids are also knows as Haraam. (ஹராம்). So in case some Taxi driver appear genuine (to you) and ask for which Pyramids, try to make sure u pronounce the word correctly. It will sound the same as the Islamic word for 'banned' or 'sinful' but yes, that is what Pyramids is in Arabic.



There is no perfect time to see the Pyramids. They 'open' at 10 in the morning. And it 'closes' at 5:30 PM. Do this on a Friday morning. Friday being a Prayer day, there will be lesser locals and in general lesser crowd. I suggest, get there early. It helps. The ticket to roam around the Pyramid complex, i.e to look at the Pyramids and the Sphinx is 60 Egyptian Pounds. If you would like to enter into a Pyramid, the ticket has to be purchased separately. For the Great Pyramid, its 100 Pounds and for the smaller pyramid it is 30 Pounds. We chose the smaller Pyramids.



Be very wary of touts. These are people who look like normal Egyptians but are actually 'fleece' agents. They keep telling you they are your friends, they will help you take photos etc, but are in fact looking for an opportunity to con you. So please be careful. I recommend that you get hold of a guide when you are coming. :P



After you enter, its a 100 metre walk to the great Pyramid. I had expected great crowds but actually the crowd was minimal. It was a floating population. That's all. I've already mentioned that there is no good time to see the Pyramid, because, no matter at what time of the day you go, it is going to be hot, very hot. So please come prepared. Come with two three water bottles - per person, if you really want to survive in that place. There are no shops inside. And I cannot assure you of the quality of water that you may find in 'Aquafina' bottles that are sold by the Camel Caretakers. Try to cover yourself as much as possible, as the sun can literally suck the water out of your body and to top it all, it becomes a bit dusty towards the afternoon.




You can climb and take pictures only on one wall of the Great Pyramid. Other sides are fenced and closely watched by Guards. Climbing also is restricted upto a certain height only. After your photo shoot at the great pyramids is over, you can go visit the second pyramid. At this point of time, it is highly probable that you might be asked by more than a dozen people for renting out a camel or a horse (individual as well as for a couple) to look around the Pyramids. If you are smart enough to bargain, you can easily get a horse for 5 pounds an hour. That's goddamn cheap mind it. Not Euros or Dollars :P as the touts would ask for. Its 5 Egyptian Pounds. So if you hear someone bragging that they had a tour of the Giza complex for 15 Euros, you know, they got conned, Right Royally. :P

The second Pyramid actually is the one with a small cap on its head. Its equally majestic as the great Pyramid but somehow it appeals less to the eye. It was in this one that we decided to go into. The entry into the Pyramid immediately narrows down into a 4 feet something height passage with an almost 40 degree decline. If you are taller than 6 feet, you may have to go down on your knees into this one. This decline happens for some 30 feet. If you are claustrophobic or scared of breathing in closed places, this one is not for you. Definitely not. Breathing down there becomes slightly difficult as there is no way oxygen can actually come in. Once you get down the incline, you have to walk humped for another 20 feet, where you encounter another incline, again 30 feet. By this time, you are already huffing and puffing and throw in the fact that there is no oxygen :P, you really begin to get flustered. You walk straight down a passage for about another 50 feet when you enter a passage and there is one chamber there, with a coffin like structure that appears as if there was a mummy inside. That was all.

The third pyramid is a bit far away from the other two. Again, you will be accosted by a number of 'Camel-Hawkers'. It is your bargaining skills. They are actually quite desparate to get one or two camels off their heads, so don't be surprised if you really get a good bargain. The third pyramid is usually the least visited as most of the tourists are tired by the time they finish the first two pyramids.

After the three pyramids, its a long walk down the road to the Sphinx. Approximately half a kilometer. On this road, you will meet many youngsters trying to sell you Pyramids and Sphinx sets as souveniers. You can buy them, again, there is no guarantee that they will last your airplane journey :P.



As for the sphinx, there is actually no particular way to 'enter' the sphinx. Nobody guides you. You just have to learn to make your way inside. The hall inside is decorated with plain pillars. On one side is a small inclined, open passage, crossing which you will reach the Sphinx. Actually its a bit risky thing to let tourists onto that sandy cliff like portion, as one might trip and fall. The fall would be close to 10-12 feet atleast. The attractions at the sphinx are those photos that you see on Facebook, Picasa and Flickr, those kissing photos, holding sphinx in your palms. Towering over the Pyramids etc... Yeah, those gimmicks. :P

After that its time to get back home. Again, bargain very carefully with the taxi drivers as they know that you have to depend on them to get back home. So ensure that you are nice to them but be firm at the same time.




P.S:- As for the sound and light show, it is in the evening and starts from 6:30. English show is at 8:30 PM. Its ok. I wouldn't say it was too good and all. Average fare. Definitely not worth the 75 Pounds that you pay.

by Hari
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The Mango Season - Amulya Malladi - Reads Good !!!

After a long time I am doing a back-to-back. Mango Season is awesome !!! I am not hyping a bit. Its totally desi !!! You can even put a 100% desi tag on the book.

I just loved the prologue part, where Priya says,

Sucking on the sticky stone while holding it with bare hands was the most pleasurable thing one could do with a mango. Nate and I called the mango stone HAPPINESS.

The story is simple. The girl Priya goes to U.S to study. She gets a job, falls in love with an American and gets engaged. The time comes when her parents want to get her married off to an Indian guy and that is when Priya comes back home, alone, after seven years of stay in States. There is a maternal family ritual where all the brothers, sisters and their respective spouses come together for a couple of days in their ancestral home to make mango pickle !! :)

Sounds funny isn't it ? Sowmya is supposed to be her aunt (as she was Priya's mother's sister, but was only a couple of years older and hence they share a buddy relationship. Sowmya is 30 and is yet to be married. Anand is Priya's uncle, who eloped and married Neelima, who belongs to a different brahmin community and whom Anand's parents don't approve of. Lata is Priya's Mom's brother's wife :P (I am doing this on purpose :P) and who is now the villi of the lot, who is pregnant a third time, to beget a son so that she can be in the good books of the grandfather of the house. Nate, Priya's brother is in love with a North Indian and is yet to disclose this to his parents.

And amidst all this, happens the pickle making session. And a lot more happens, of course. Does Sowmya meet the boy of her dreams ? Does Anand realise that his wife is being treated like shit ? Does Lata realise that there is more to life ? Does Priya's mom realise that life is more than just parental ego ? Does Priya finally get to say that she loves Nate, an American and is engaged to him ? is the crux of the story. :)

It reads quite well. Typical Indian middle class story told with all the drama and politics that is prevalent even today. I could even relate to a number of characters in my close family circle :P

பக்கா தமிழ் படம் ஸ்கிரிப்ட் !!!
பாலசந்தர் கிட்ட குடுத்தா, பிரிச்சு மேஞ்சிடுவாறு !!!

Only KB can handle this script. Nobody else. The whole story happens over less than 48 hours and the setting is in one house. And the dialogues, are always a KB strong point. Hence it is bound to have some awesome dialogues which I would love to watch. I am not characterising here, as KB knows his actors.. :P



I found quite some lines endearing in this book. Some are highlighted below. :)

I explained to him that it was not quite that simple. I was buying my mother a bottle of perfume along with other assorted gifts. Ma had specifically asked me to get her some perfume and that was why I couldn’t buy Lata perfume, too. I had to buy her something that I hadn’t given my mother but it also should be something that my mother would not want.
“This doesn’t sound like buying gifts but more like a diplomatic mission to the Mideast. I’m very confused,” Nick confessed, and I agreed wholeheartedly with him.

THIS FEELS LIKE A BAD TELUGU MOVIE; ALL THE CHARACTERS ARE THERE IN DIFFERENT SHADES OF GRAY: THE INTRACTABLE MOTHER-IN-LAW, THE VILE SISTER-IN-LAWS, THE SPINELESS HUSBAND, THE PATRIARCHAL FATHER-IN-LAW, AND, OF COURSE, THE POOR DAUGHTER-IN-LAW FROM THE OTHER CASTE.

For the first time I realized that this mango pickle–making ritual like everything else was a power game. Ammamma had lost the battle a long time ago; my mother had been winning, but now Lata had thrown in a googlie—a cricket ball with a spin—by getting pregnant to please the old ones.

Lata and Ma were the contenders while Neelima, Sowmya, and I were spectators. Ammamma sometimes played a biased referee while other times she tried to recapture her days of glory.

My relationship with everyone in this room was in some way or the other fractured, but it was my relationship with my grandmother that was the most superficial. Ammamma was a feeling, a smell, a memory, not a real person. I knew little about her. I knew who her favorite film star was and which movie she watched repeatedly ever since Thatha bought a VCR, but I didn’t know how she felt one way or the other about her life, about having given birth to her first child when she was just fifteen years old.

I figured that way I would get more juice and I would not have to speculate where the ice came from. The rumor was that the vendor probably got the ice from a morgue.

“He’s a nice guy. I love him,” I said and it sounded like such a line, even to me. “I didn’t plan it.” Another line. “It just happened.” I felt like I was tripping over clichés, one after the other.

She was sleeping, but the minute she heard my voice she sounded wide awake. “They’re forcing you to marry some Indian man and you want me to say good-bye to Nick for you,” she said as soon as she heard my “Hello, Frances.”

India was not just a country you visited, it was a country that sank into your blood and stole a part of you. “I’ve seen five girls and I liked you the best, but I’m not in love with you,” Adarsh said.


P.S:- My rating - 7/10. Its good. But not racy enough, but I guess its because its a 'family' drama :P

P.P.S:- I particularly liked the part, where the recipes for the items mentioned in the story have been listed down. Avial and Avakka are some among those.. :) :P

Thursday, July 22, 2010 by Hari
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Cairo Diaries - 20

The room with the view !!!!










by Hari
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A Breath of Fresh Air - Amulya Malladi - AWESOME !!!

Its seriously been a long long time, since I've read good fiction, Indianwala... And Amulya Malladi does a fantastic job... Fantastic is an understatement...

I loved this book... !!! Right from the blurb till the last line... 'A breath of Fresh Air..'

What actually got me hooked was this blurb..



On the night of December 3, 1984, Anjali waits for her army officer husband to pick her up at the train station in Bhopal, India. In an instant, her world changes forever. Her anger at his being late turns to horror when a catastrophic gas leak poisons the city air. Anjali miraculously survives. Her marriage does not.

A smart, successful schoolteacher, Anjali is now remarried to Sandeep, a loving and stable professor. Their lives would be nearly perfect, if not for their young son's declining health. But when Anjali's first husband suddenly reappears in her life, she is thrown back to the troubling days of their marriage with a force that impacts everyone around her.

Rich in insight into Indian culture and psychology, A Breath of Fresh Air resonates with meaning and the abiding power of love. In a landscape as intriguing as it is unfamiliar, Anjali's struggles to reconcile the roles of wife and ex-wife, working woman and mother, illuminate both the fascinating duality of the modern Indian woman and the difficult choices all women must make.


If you ask me to summarise, Its the simple story of a girl transforming into a woman, a wife and a mother, all at her own pace and coming to terms with her fate and the reality. I loved the way the characters were framed. Each and every character was justified.No extra fittings. Just right. One of those rare cups of tea on rainy days that taste just right.

I loved Sandeep's character and of course, Anjali too. I truly despised Prakash's character. I could picturise the people in my minds. They were in fact easy to imagine !!! Just like people next door. Handling two sensitive issues, like the 1984 Riots and the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, requires a lot of skill, though personally I felt there was less of the Riots and more of tragedy.
My personal favorites are chapter 21 and 22. And of course the point where Sandeep says that he will accept any favor as long it saves his son. Awesome !!!

The narrative is simple and clean. No glitches. But sometimes the people are too nice. I sometimes wonder, if that is the case always. :) I actually feel ashamed that I am reading this after 8 years. Should have read this long ago. Am planning to do a back-to-back. Let me see, if time will permit me.. :) :D

I got a strange thought when I was reading this. This story had all that was required to be made into a movie, definitely a Tamizh movie. (We like sad stories.. :P) I was just thinking about the cast.

As Anjali - No doubt - Revathy. Nobody else can come close to her atleast for a mile.
As Sandeep -I would choose, Vikram. But am not sure if he would be willing to do it. :P
As Indira - Definitely Ramya Krishnan !!!
As Prakash - If he was alive, Raghuvaran. But since he is not, undoubtedly, Prakashraj.

Direction - Vasanth. I personally feel, he shows emotions better. It can be easily be taken as a two hour movie. With some really lilting background score. No songs please. There will be enough drama in the movie !!!


Here are 'some' of my favorite quotes.. :P

It was startling to know that the society I lived in was so fragile and my place in it was contingent on innumerable things.

“Before you say anything . . .”
I held up my hand as soon as Sandeep stepped into the kitchen.

“Prakash came to see you in school,” he supplied warmly, and kissed me just as warmly on the mouth.

“I didn’t invite him,” I told him belligerently.
“It wouldn’t matter even if you did,” he said, sitting down on the kitchen chair. “He is from your past and . . . you can’t just ignore how you feel about him.”
I flew into a rage.
“I feel nothing for him but distaste and I told him that. How dare you suggest—”
“I suggest nothing,” he interrupted smoothly, his eyes alight with amusement. “Why are you so defensive? He came to meet you. I don’t care, so why do you?”

Where was the romance I was promised in the Mills & Boon novels? I wanted an explanation!

“Or we could get married,” I blurted out. She looked like I had slammed a fist into her solar plexus

Again, I wondered about Prakash. Had he been this incandescently happy when he had married my Anjali?

This was not living—this was the purest kind of hell. My sick baby had to comfort me.

But in an arranged marriage where love is not important—it is actually a guarantee. The husband will love the wife in some shape or form and the wife will love her husband because he provides for her.

The hero was always cruel and insensitive to the heroine in the beginning, and in the end he was nice to her and in love with her. I had the cruel and insensitive hero; I was waiting for him to become nice and fall in love with me.

There was no traditional precedent regarding how to treat an ex-son-in-law

I loved her very much and I was afraid she didn’t love me as much. I had never thought that I was the kind of man who measured love.

She had lost her innocence and that angered me, not because I didn’t get an innocent wife, but because something so bad had happened that Anjali’s innocence was replaced with cynicism. I wish she hadn’t lost so much.

The ex-wife and the wife were having a polite conversation—I had never heard of anything so ludicrous.

No, I didn’t want her life. I hadn’t wanted her life even when I had had it. I didn’t want to be with a man I needed to apologize for.

Her stoic calm eroded. She burst into tears then and we mourned a child that was not ours, but who still was a part of us. For twelve years of his life, neither of us knew Amar existed. Now we did and we wept for his short life and we wept because I was to blame.

P.S:- Bottomline.. Truly a breath of Fresh Air.. !! Must Read !!! - 8.5/10

Saturday, July 17, 2010 by Hari
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'I am Nujood ....' - Book Review - OK OK Types

'I Am Nujood - Age 10 and Divorced' - Delphine Minoui



When I read the blurb, I thought this would be like one of those novels where the protagonist takes on the government and then pushes them. Unfortunately the I guess I judged the book by its cover. It is an OK - OK types book.

It recalls the story of Nujood, a thirteen year old girl, in her own words. She is leading the life of a normal village girl in Yemen, when suddenly, her family circumstances lead to her getting married to a guy. The guy promises not to physically have a relationship with her, till she is fit enough. And on that pretext she is married off. Unfortunately that is not the case. And she is tortured by her husband and taunted by her in-laws. What follows next is that one day she decides to develop the courage (actually her step-mom gives it to her) to go to the court and appeal. There a lawyer called Shada decides to take up her case and fight for her. Soon support pours for the girl from all over the globe and she gets her Divorce. In the process her family get together again, with her brother Fares, who ran away when he was a kid in search of a better lifestyle, only to return back as the Prodigal son. The lives of her two sisters are all messed up with the little daughter of one of her sister being used for begging on the streets. The story ends with Nujood finally going to school and having a happy life, or atleast beginning to have a happy life.

"One cold and gray February evening in 2008, however, that appealing and mischievous grin suddenly melted into bitter tears when her father told her that she was going to wed a man three times her age. It was as if the whole world had landed on her shoulders. Hastily married off a few days later, the little girl resolved to gather all her strength and try to escape her miserable fate. ..."

I feel that this story was written keeping in mind 14-15 year olds. The language is too juvenile. The incidents are not in much detail, as if the writer herself does not want to reveal more. Nothing majorly 'path-breaking' or 'amazing' or 'owsome' about it. Good Read.

Verdict :- 5/10. Reads slightly feminist. But readable.

by Hari
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Singam !!! - Sooper !!!

Watched Singam last night...
Semma Semma Semma..

I just loved the movie...
This is exactly the genre that I like.. Typical masala movie... little bit of humor (from the lead pair),plenty of good dialogues... Lots of fights... Couple of good songs... Anushka... What else can you ask for...

I like these kind of aggressive movies... They get me all charged up.
ஒரு சாதாரண எஸ் ஐ , ரெண்டே மாசத்துல எ சீ பீ ஆயிடுவாராம்... அவரோட அப்போயன்ட்மென்ட் ஆர்டெர எம் எல் எ குடுப்பாராம்.. டேய் டேய்.. இதெல்லாம் கொஞ்சம் ஓவரா தெரியல ? நடுநடுல வர அந்த பேஷன் படத்தோட 'ஜல்வா' பாட்டோட மியூசிக் ஒரு பெரிய பிளஸ்...

மத்தபடி..படம் நல்லா இருந்தது .. !!! :)
8.5/10 ... Wholesome Entertainment... !!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010 by Hari
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Hear !! Hear !!

Heard that someone mentioned in this blog, n number of times, is going to 'Arya Desh' for higher studies, probably next week, same time..

Best of Luck, and all the best..

Heard that all the shit in his life has finally cleared up.
Not sure if the rumour about his newly found love is true or not..
But if it is ... Bery Bery Happy for you man.

So finally things are falling in place for him !! Good for you !!
Hope things are even better when you return after completing your studies.

P.S:- என்ன தான் நீயும் நானும் பெசிக்காமல் இருந்தாலும், என்னோட ஆரம்ப கால பள்ளி வாழ்க்கையில நீ எனக்கு நிறைய உதவி செஞ்சிருக்க ... அத நான் என்னிக்கும் மறக்க மாட்டேன் ... !!!

P.P.S:- நான் எதுவுமே மறக்கல, மனிக்கவும் இல்ல.. Life has to go on.. !!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010 by Hari
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Of Life, Xerox and Mundane things...

This one is going to be labelled as a bizarre post. Among all the things I can (and have to) write, this one is going to be a strangely crazy yet one that is going to be close to my heart, for a long time.

I've always had an attraction to Xerox shops. I heard the term Xerox for the first time in 1996. That was when, my sister, while doing a project, told my father, that one person in her class had xeroxed the map present in the history book and blown it up neatly to make it fit for a project report and that she wanted to do the same. Though I never could make head or tail of the conversation, but I was very much captivated by the word 'X E R O X'.

So I went with them to the Xerox shop to see what was this thing called Xerox, and what I saw, impressed me big time. I was like, 'Oh My God.. !! Is this actually possible..?? How come I never came to know that this sort of a machine existed.' I was fascinated with the moving light and 'whirr-whirr' of the machine, together with the scent of that carbon ink on paper.

Would you believe it, If I were to say, that I went back home, took up the two encyclopedias that I had at home back then, and looked up this term and found out all about its workings ? Yes, I did !! And only when I got convinced that this was no magic but simple science did I rest !! :) :P

For my next assignment in 1997- It was a class project. A project on Australia. And as usual the megalomaniac in me, wanted to outshine every bugger in class. :P
And I guess I was first person to have a project with xeroxed maps. (zoomed 2X :) )

All that said and done, I did not have any limits to getting things xeroxed. As long as you could spread the book along its spine and keep it facedown on the xerox scanner, chalega.. !!! :P

If you ever wanted to know, what sort of books I have xeroxed, here goes :-
One library book - (I know, that it is quite common, but a book, that was entirely irrelevant to my stream of study, in fact, it was a semi-novel !!! :P Wanna know the title of the book ? 'Flying machines of the Ancients' and no, it was not some aeronautical related book, but a book on conspiracy theories :P. This book costs approximately some $100 on Amazon. )
A whole set of Entrance exam materials !!! (I didn't buy them, got them xeroxed. Feel very silly today, but then I felt quite justified.. :P)
One Book on Numerology. :P
Another Library book on the 48 Laws of Power [This happens to be one of my most favorite and the best Self-Help (or is it Non-Fiction) book that I have EVER read !!!]
Once a Kumudam cutting
Once a Tughlaq article !!


During my college days, I remember very clearly, I was literally the xerox champion. I never had to beg anyone for books, I already had their xerox. :P. Most of the time, I overworked on these things. I would always know, which books are being referred, look them up in the college library and then get them xeroxed, and return the books back. (So that somebody else could use it, as I did... Ah.. what noble thoughts I had back then.. !!!) To be frank, In all my 4 years of college life, whatever money that I must have spent, about 85% would have gone under xerox column. But looking back, it was worth it !!! :) :D

by Hari
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Cairo Diaries - 19

Lots of complaints that I haven't been posting quite regularly. :( I know.. I am very sorry. Seriously very limited inclination to blog all of a sudden. But I am trying my best.

We went on a trip to Sharm-El-Sheikh. It was one of those trips that you plan all of a sudden... I had absolutely no indication that morning, that in the evening I would be travelling to Sharm El Sheikh.

And so it happened that Sharm el Shaikh was planned and the bus departed at 2:30 in the morning. Yes, you read that right. 2:30 in the morning. We reached the place at about 10 in the morning. The journey was a bit ok for me. Not much disturbances and all. Atleast for me, coz I managed to get the last row of seats all for myself. :P

The distance between Sharm and Cairo is about 500 kms. For the uninitiated, Sharm is on the Sinai Peninsula. It's literally a different geographic mass. :)The last three hours of our journey was with the virgin beaches on one side and rocks and mountains on the other.

The hotel where we stayed was Naama Inn. Pretty decent. I specially loved the size of my room. Huge, compared to the 'dingy' rooms which we stayed in during our Aswan and Luxor trips. (NOM to the organisers of that trip, if they are reading this.. :P)








Naama Inn has a wonderful swimming pool, which again, as Murphy's law would put it, was not in operation. This inn was situated right 'on' the road. Opposite this place were places like KFC,TGIF,HardRock etc.




The beach was just a 5 minute walk from the hotel. Hardly 200 steps. :)
We reached the beach. Gaped and Stared for about 20 minutes. Then got used to it. :) :P




Then of course, we were floating in the water for about an hour or so. We had time till noon. After which we were supposed to have lunch and leave for the desert biking. Lunch was not on the menu on our trip. So we had to fend for ourselves. I had lunch at the India house. We ordered Veg Pulao and Aloo Tamatar Sabzi. One of the best simple lunches I've had till date, after my landing in Cairo.

For folks who have ridden on Desert Bikes and who wish to come to Sharm-El-Sheikh and try Desert Biking, you will be in for a big disappointment here. It is not actually a desert !!!. It is just a plain that is surrounded by the hills and looks like a Desert !!!! And trust me when I say it, Its simply not worth it.


The Desert Biking here is run by touts. And trust me its effing disgusting. Not a single thing is organised !!! Before you start for your desert biking trip, ideally I would expect my tour organiser, I mean, my agent, to tell me, that I need to carry water (for drinking) and a handtowel for covering my face so that the dust will not affect me. But this guy, did not mention it to us. We reached there, and we find that the touts are ruling the roost here. You do get the water, but it costs 6 pounds. (The average price is 2.5 to 3).You do get the hand towel, but it costs 25 pounds. Again, these folks do not know, how to bargain. So you cannot bargain on the price. Half these guys do not talk English. So it is highly probable that you might be taken for a ride. These guys follow one crazy rule. They tell you, that all of you are supposed to maintain a distance of 10m between each other and that you are not supposed to overtake.

Now let me tell you something. If you do not overtake in Desert Biking, there is no fun !!! Absolutely no fun !!! There are no sand dunes here dude !! WTF ? Its just one straight road. What are they going to do now ? Put speed limits on Desert Biking ??

To top it all, the guy who was leading us, was riding such a pathetic bike, that I at once felt pity and anger on him. Pity that he was stuck with me, and Angry that the amount of money he is fleecing from his customers, he would be better off driving a BMW. And the bike's chain kept slipping every 40 metres or so, and again, like a set of cycles, we all had to stop, abruptly. At one point of time, I felt so pissed off, that I felt I should run the man over with my Desert Bike. And of course, you have the option of about 3 hours of bike racing. These guys know how to waste time. So what they do, is to take you to some idiotic place in the middle of the plains, calling it the echo point, and then ask you to shout so that you can hear the echo. Bleddy Childish !!!! I felt like tearing out the lungs of the man. Then they took us to a bedouin camp in the middle of the Desert, for refreshments. Nothing comes free. Here also, the water is at cost, so are the other refreshments. As for me, I had a good photo session. !! :)

After this, we had to get back. Nothing was planned for the evening. So everybody was having their own plans. I reached the beach. Took some beautiful snaps of the moon. And the beach, and some of my colleagues. Went back. Had a decent dinner. Came back to the beach and then spent an hour or so, idling in the sand, listening to the waves coming in. After that, we came back to the streets, only to find it jostling with people. People of different nationalities, all come, for a good time. We then located a couple of our colleagues at sheesha counter and settled there. Spent some two hours in that atmosphere. It was fun !!! :)





After that it was time to retire to our rooms. Next day, breakfast and then 9AM we were due for the Cruise. It was a day long cruise. We reached the Jetty. Again Touts.. !!!

Now they were haggling with us for the life jackets and the face masks. Everything was on rent. And they were quite good salesmen too. The actual cost of a lifejacket is about 30-35 pounds. They were renting it to us at 20 pounds. Assuming atleast 2 people had used that life jacket before me, it was still a return over investment. And going by the condition of these lifejackets, it was quite apparent, that the investment was atleast an year old.




Anyway, the ship (o.k. the boat.. இவன் ஏதோ டைட்டானிக்க்ள போனா மாதிரி பிட்ட போடறான்னு நினைக்கவேண்டாம்.,,)came. It was called 'Dar-Es-Salaam'. Cute boat. So were a couple of passengers.. :) :D

Anyway, again, a whole set of photos. We dropped anchor a couple of kilometers off the coast of an island. This was for deep sea diving and snorkelling. I was actually not inclined for this at all, but later on the bug bit me, and I wanted to do it badly. Snorkelling was fun. So was deep sea diving. We would have gone down some 20-25 metres in the water. I did get to touch some corals :) and the seabed as well.







After that lunch on board. Nothing special for vegetarians. So it was kind of half stomach. Finally we reached the beach at about 5 PM.

After that, a group amongst us, wanted to try the banana ride. This photo may well have been my last photo ever, if it wasn't for the life jacket that I was wearing. :)


Quite into the water, the boat/ride turned upside down, in water. This was totally unanticipated. As that was not what we were told. Of the six people, 5 did not know swimming. Of course, Myself and another colleague, we knew how to keep afloat and move about here and there in the water. And then finally, after the 'rescue' mission, we did complete the ride. :) :D




Our guide had planned for a bedouin dinner for the night. We had tried to talk him out of it, but he did not agree. So finally we had to go to the Dinner.. Waste of time and money. (Apparently that dinner alone was 100 pounds.) The food was pathetic. There were some three group dances and one solo dance.




The event started at 8:30 only, though our guide hurriedly sent us at 7:30 itself. The highlight of the day was supposed to be the Belly dancing, which of course turned out to be the dampest squib of the evening and a big comedy at that.

After that, we spent some time idling around, then back to the hotel rooms, packed our bags, and left Sharm at 1:30 AM. We reached Cairo around 8:30 AM on Sunday.

It was a great weekend.. :) :D

Saturday, July 3, 2010 by Hari
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Knight and Day... @$$%^&**^(%&^*%

Crappy, Shabby, Pathetic.

குப்ப படம்... ஏன்டா பார்தோம்னு இறுக்கு. தமிழ் படங்களே பரவா இல்ல போலிருக்கே என்ற பீலிங் வருதுனா அந்த படம் எப்டி இருந்திருக்கும்னு நீங்களே யுகிச்சிகொங்க ...

டொம்மைய்யா (அதாங்க.. நம்ம பாலைய்யா ஓட ஹாலிவுட் அவதார் :) ) ஒரு துப்பறியும் ஏஜென்ட். மொதல் சீன்ல ஹீரோவும் ஹீரோயினும் ஏர்போர்ட்டுல மீட் பண்றாங்க. டொம்மைய்யா நம்ம கார்மேகம் (அதாங்க.. காமேரோன் தீயேஸ்) பையில ஒரு பாட்டரிய வெச்சிடுவாரு. அது சாதரணமான பாட்டரி இல்ல.. அது ஒரு ஊருக்கே கரண்ட் குடுக்குற அளவுக்கு சக்தி வாய்ந்த பாட்டரி.

டொம்மைய்யா நம்ம கார்மேகத்த கூட்டிகிட்டு ஊரு சுத்தராறு ... அந்த பாட்டரிய கண்டுபிடிச்சவனும் அவங்க கூட தான் ஊரு சுத்தறான்.. இந்த கேப்ல சி ஐ எ அவங்கள தேடிகிட்டு இறுக்கு. யாரு நல்லவன், யாரு கெட்டவன்,கதை எப்டி முடியறது தான் கிளைமாக்ஸ். டொம்மைய்யா , நம்ம விஜயகாந்த், பாலைய்யா எல்லாரையும் மிஞ்சிடாறு. அவர் பைக் ஒட்டறதும், சூட் பண்றதும்... அட அட அட... கவுன்ட்டர் ஸ்ட்ரைக்ல கூட இப்டி எல்லாம் சண்டை போட்டு இருக்க மாட்டாங்க...

படம் செம்ம மொக்க... டொம்மைய்யா இந்த மாதிரி எல்லாம் படம் குடுபாருன்னு நான் எதிர்பார்கல. அதுலயும், கார்மேகம் டயலாக் எல்லாம் அப்டியே, ஏதோ தெலுங்கு படத்திலிருந்து சுட்ட மாதிரியே தான் இருந்தது.

சண்டை எல்லாம் கூட ஒன்னும் அட்டகாசமா எல்லாம் இல்ல.. ஏதோ..
மொத்ததுல, என்னோட முப்பது பவுண்ட் தண்டம்... !!!!!

Friday, July 2, 2010 by Hari
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