Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Shifrah Jemima Stephen, my daughter. Born on the 6th of April.

New Look

So it's that time of the year when I start fiddling with the look of the blog. The picture on top was taken by my wife last July (22nd if my memory serves me right) during our honeymoon in a little village called Daintree in Queensland, Australia.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

How much is your blog worth?

I came across this site that calculates the commercial value of your blog. You haveta type in the url and wait for the result. I knew my words weren't worth a million bucks (yet) but nevertheless I was a little taken aback that it was worth all of $564.54.

Hmm. So that rules out an early retirement I guess.

p.s. the 54 cents part is midly irritating...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

2 AM in Chennai

We live on the floor of a 9 floor apartment complex and in Chennai, its' pretty much as high as it gets. From the two balconies and the terrace one can pretty much the city as far as one's vision would allow. Tonight, I was standing at one of those balconies, carrying my little daughter who happens to sleep through the day and hence is awake most of the night. We were there because she insists on a constant walking tour, whenever she sees me. I am amazed at what seems to be an endless enthusiasm in her for what lies around, she is always looking around, at pictures, lamp posts, cars, lights etc etc. We've done this quite a few nights now, she seemed to like it and well, it's our first dad-and-daughter thing and so I wasn't complaining about the loss of sleep.

So there we were in that balcony, with a small breeze blowing from somewhere and we gazed into the city lights. As we looked in silence, I couldn't help think how beautiful my city looked. I admit that most of the beauty in front of me can trace it's sources to fossil fuel yet it still was a pretty sight. There were lights strewn around everywhere we turned like a homely Christmas tree all lit up, a dog barked somewhere in a distance, a van with its horns blaring for no reason veered through the empty road, distant mobile telephone towers identifiable only by their deep red lights were standing tall amongst a rash of sodium vapour lamps , a silent jet plane made it's way towards the sea with it's lights flashing, probably headed for Colombo or farther than that. Everything fit like different parts of a symphony to us, the audience of two.

Its very hard to anything nice about the city during the day time with it's heat, humidity, dust, dirt and us the automatons running from one place to another seldom stopping to see the beauty of something let alone try and create it.

It wasn't always like this, certainly not in the 80's during my formative years, when people didn't have much, there weren't many cars, nor many big buildings but just a city that had empty roads, fewer lights, thousands upon thousands of trees and people who were a lot nicer to each other than they are now. The Chennai I know and the Chennai I knew are two vastly different things, even if you consider that nostalgia is always tinged with a bit of romance.

I'm sure when my daughter grows up, she too will see a city that grows and changes as she does. There would be more tall buildings, more cars, more lights and a lot more noise, within it all, there will be something romantic about it all, if she chooses to look for it.