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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vol. 3 No. 61

E-campaign 2.0
Read my political blog

A start-up entrepreneur and a IT professional have started an non-governmental organisation ‘Deepam’ to foster education for the under-privileged children
» PAGE 03


ERGO Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Throwing your weight around?
Heinz Nutrition Foundation India and the Indian Institute of Nutritional Sciences are jointly organising a free consultation camp to handle overweight and obesity problems at Nutrition Care Center, Ankur Manor, First Floor, 182 EVR Periyar High Road, (Poonamallee High Road), Kilpauk from March 30 to April 14. Call 28360766 to fix your appointment.

3 arrested for dowry harassment and abetting suicide
minjikarai police on Tuesday arrested a man, his mother and aunt on charges of dowry harassment and abetting suicide. The victim was Jayanti (28), who was married to the accused Sriram (32), an ironing man residing in Muthumariamman Colony, Aminjikarai. The couple had married on February 6, 2009. It was an arranged married and the victim’s family had already given gold and cash as dowry at the time of the wedding, said police. Kamalamma (60), Sriram’s mother, repeatedly tortured Jayanti, demanding more money as dowry. Kamalamma’s sister, Muniamma (55), also joined Sriram and his mother in physically and mentally torturing Jayanti. Meanwhile, on March 27, Jayanti’s body was found floating in a well close to her home. Sriram and his mother told police that she had committed suicide due to health issues. However, growing suspicious Jayanti’s father Shanmugam lodged a police complaint with the Aminjikarai police. Jayanti’s body was sent for an autopsy. The results that came on Monday confirmed that Jayanti had committed suicide by jumping into the well. The three were arrested for abetting suicide and on charges of harassment for dowry. They were remanded to custody and sent to Puzhal Prison on Tuesday.
Ergo Correspondent

Juice in time
For some fresh and healthy drink stop at Juice Tree
ucked in East Mada Street, Thiruvanmiyur is Juice Tree - an elixir of good health – which one could ignore as another juice shop. But it takes one a few minutes to explore the “wellness drinks” on the menu. From fruit nectars to carefully selected fresh juices and milkshakes, which are prepared as prescribed in the Ayurveda, a drink here promises many health benefits. Some of the interesting refreshers we spotted include Munna Bhai, Karma Tail and Threesome. Karma Tail, for example, is a cocktail of papaya and apple and is recommended for people with ulcers, intestinal disorders and anaemia, while Threesome is a cool blend of orange, sweet lime and honey. Pavan, one of the partners, says the use of refined sugar in fruit juices usually offsets the health benefits these drinks have to offer. So he recommends having them with honey and brown country sugar. “Almost all our


juices are pure nectar and if we do have to add water, it is always mineral water,” he says. My other picks Celestial Citrus and Lips Flare were equally amazing. While the former is a blend of orange, grape and pineapple, the later tasted like Virgin Mary with a twist. The chef wouldn’t tell us what that was

How to get there
The joint is behind the Marudeeswarar Temple in East Mada Street. Call: 65552656 (for home deliveries within 3 km in and around Thiruvanmiyur)

though! The milkshakes again have exotic names – Bazooka Blend, Pharoah’s Favorites and Disney Nut. These are made from a combination of exotic fruits and nuts in skimmed milk and honey. However, Nutty Professor, a blend of strawberry and nuts, is the hottest moving drink. Surprisingly, each of the drink has a secret ingredient that the chef wouldn’t reveal. The surprise package at Juice Tree, though, is their selection of vegetable juices. They are amazing healers, says Sridhar, who believes that this is his way of giving back to society. Try Juice Tree if you are a health freak moving towards natural wellness or just a plain juice aficionado like me looking for some great refreshment at an affordable price. ■
Too Good for Critics is a weekly column to celebrate Namma Chennai’s ‘Kaiyendi Bhavans’ and small eateries. If you can think of a similar place, mail us at

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Reaching Out
A start-up entrepreneur and an IT professional on their one year journey of Deepam – a group that fosters education amongst deserving children with volunteers from various IT companies
DEEPA VENKATRAMAN Karunakaran an aspiring pilot has learnt the skill in powerpoint. Muthulakshmi has now overcome the fear of speaking in English in front of people. hey neither have any educational background in social work nor are they teachers. But their urge to give back to the society, made twenty six-year-old Karthikeyan Vijaykumar, a startup owner of Excedos Market Services Pvt Ltd and his friend Ram Viswanathan, a distinguished technical engineer at IBM, to teach underprivileged kids under the banner of Deepam since last year. Ram, in his free time, who did some social work in USA for seventeen years says, “After coming to India, I wanted to continue the good work. When I got together with Karthikeyan, we thought of spreading our computer knowledge to deserving kids. We approached governmentrun schools and self help groups and then started to teach at Nalandama Community Centre at Besant Nagar, Pudhiyador center and Olcott high school on weekends. Karthikeyan adds: “In course of time, we learnt they have a spark and are intelligent and hence we also started to focus on three other areas – general awareness, English skills and personality development.” Over a period of one year with the help of dedicated volunteers – Archana Chauhan, Meera Sivakumar, Vijay Kaushik, Anbu, Balaji Raghavan, Shweta, S N Basu and Mohan, who teach between 2pm and 4pm, Deepam has managed to maintain a regular 20-week class every Saturday at Olcott and Nalandama and at Pudhiyador center on Sunday. They have about thirty children for one course. Meera, a marketing consultant, and Vijay, an investment banker who comes from Banglaore


Volunteers of Deepam at a classroom in progress. (Right) Deepam co-founder Ram Viwanathan.

every weekend say: “We feel satisfied and happy by spending our quality time teaching these kids. Our day is made when we can answer their questions which we ourselves didn’t know much about.” Basu recalls: “We were looking for a camera to take a photo of a session and we were amazed to note one kid’s presence of mind when he spotted a webcam. Apart from their economic conditions, they are no differ-

ent from the other kids.” One can see the children really actively participating and enjoying activities like quiz, debates and English word building activity. Fourteen-year-old P Prashant of Olcott Memorial High school says, “I got to know of Dhanraj Pillai and Abhinav Bindra during the GK session. The talk given by Sharath Babu at the first anniversary celebrations, was very inspiring and the sessions on public

speaking has boosted my confidence.” At the end of the course, the children are given certificates. Archana, the driving force of Deepam’s education curriculum, plans to focus a lot in e-learning, internet knowhow and flash communication in the next academic year. She says: “We want to teach lessons that would be of long term utility to the kids. Google browsing and E-learning is

very important where they can get any information and also be in touch with us through emails.” When we ask Karthikeyan how they managed to draw a systematic curriculum sans any guidance from educationists, he says: “We formed it on the basis of our childhood experiences during our school days. But we plan to partner with like-minded people this year for better results.” ■


ERGO Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Of Sprite purses, Volkswagen salt shakers and beetle bangles
The variety at Eternal Exotica is a result of extensive travelling and shopping in the bazaars of Thailand, Vietnam, Morocco, Egypt and Sri Lanka

reams Road has a few landmarks – Apollo Hospital, Fruit Shop on Greams Road and Gallopin’ Gooseberry, to name some. Take a turn off Greams Road to proceed to Apollo, cross the hospital and keep going straight. You’ll come across Eternal Exotica. The shop’s huge and prominent and you’re not likely to miss it. Go inside and you’ll come out with a long wish list. The store stocks an eclectic mix of things sourced from Thailand, Vietnam, Morocco, Egypt and Sri Lanka. The things vary from wall clocks to leather seaters to ashtrays, handbags, showpieces, leather jewellery and lampshades. Common stuff, you might think. But you couldn’t be further off. Each good is handpicked and not likely to be found elsewhere. We’re talking purses made of Coke and Sprite cans (Rs.1,200 each), incense-holders designed in a way to look as if an old man is having a puff when the incense is lighted, pretty horn combs (Rs. 200) and hairpins (Rs. 175) that look better in showcases than dressing tables, miniature Volkswagen T2 bus-like porcelain things that turn out to be salt and pepper shakers, and the like. Zulaiha Cader travels once every four months to pick the stuff, so four months is how long the things remain on the shelves. “It all started with holding exhibitions at Vominisha Gallery on Khader Nawaz Khan Road. We then decided to expand and set up our own store,” says Zulaiha. The four-year-old store has a steady clientele in the doctors at Apollo and interior designers. “Moreover, our vacuum-sealed fresh flowers are very popular among people visiting patients at the hospital as these flowers do not wilt in a day,” she adds. Coming to vacuum-sealed flowers, there are also table jars (in sets of four) with orchids inside transparent lids. “We try not to repeat stuff, unless someone places an order and demands more of the same piece. Everything here is unique, 99 per cent handmade and eco-friendly,” stresses Zulaiha. So you can find picnic baskets made with braided nylon ribbons normally used to pack goods, lampshades and wall pieces embedded with pressed flowers, wall clocks in frames that on closer inspection are revealed to be iron scrap, transparent plastic bangles with dead beetles inside them, bamboo roots curved into ashtrays, coconut shell lamps … Exotic! ■




Eternal Exotica 5/3, Wallace Garden 1st Street, Nungambakkam, Chennai – 600 006 Ph: 4202 1922/ 4211 1922 Store timings: 10 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. (Monday to Saturday)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009



Go with the flow
Varun L. recalls the rafting expedition in Atlanta, where he was armed with helmet, lifejacket and a paddle to row


have heard and seen leisure groups go on river rafting in the National Geographic Channel, but for the first time I got to experience rafting when I was in Atlanta. We reached Ocoee Rafting near Tennessee, a class III rafting. We were five of us who booked for the 9:45 a.m. expedition. The photographs on display were scary and we were also asked to sign that they are not responsible for any eventuality. We reserved for the middle river trip, which takes two hours. There were four other groups for the trip and they started by giving basic instructions on how to use the paddle and get back if we fall in the river. Our trainer was Liz. She taught us the forward, backward movement and other basics of rafting. We were all set and took our seats. I was sitting on the last row on the left side with Liz behind me. As soon as we got into the water, the boat hit the rock scaring us. Added to that our trainer started shouting that we were not rowing uniformly. After getting comfortable, we were doing good and one rapid after other we kept on navigating. Some boats got stuck and people fell into the water. Luckily, no one fell from our boat. We were having fun but at the same time were fully exhausted. ■
(Varun works with TCS)

Mandela’s house in Soweto reopens

Trekking along Austrian Alps
East Tirol in Austria is to get a new tourist attraction when a trekking path opens in July. The route is 360 kilometres long and stretches from the Lienzer Dolomites to the Hohe Tauern National Park. The path has been named Osttirol 360 Grad and is the longest circuit tour in the Alps, according to the local tourist office in Lienz. The new route integrates older paths and 35 kilometres of new paths have been laid down, according to a spokesperson for Lienz’ tourist office. There are 40 places to stay overnight along the path which takes about 14 days to complete.

End of the great divide!
Maldives has initiated a new tourism policy aimed at increasing contact between visitors and inhabitants of the island chain in the Indian Ocean, the country’s tourism minister said. Speaking recently to the German weekly newspaper, Die Zeit, the minister, Ahmed Ali Sawad, said there would no longer be a “parallel world” of resort islands kept separate from the islands inhabited by Maldivians. “We’re pleased about every guest who seeks the seclusion of a resort island,” Sawad remarked, adding, “But we also want to invite tourists to visit our communities.” Sawad said a first step would be a ferry network linking the some 300 inhabited islands, enabling tourists to “island-hop” and boosting exchanges among the islanders themselves.


The house in which former South African President Nelson Mandela lived in the Johannesburg township of Soweto has re-opened to the public after renovation. Mandela moved into the building with his first wife, Evelyn, in 1946. After his arrest in 1962, his second wife, Winnie, continued living there. The house is part of the Township Tourism programme and is visited by tens of thousands of people every year. Internet:


ERGO Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wife warfare
A Romanian man has tried to kill his mother-in-law with an anti-tank missile launcher - insisting she’d turned his wife against him.

Online piracy irks Rowling
Harry Potter author JK Rowling is fighting to have her wizard novels removed from a website, which posted them online without her permission. Rowling’s legal team are battling to get the digital versions of her beloved books taken down from California site, which claims to be the most popular literary site worldwide, the reported. A spokesperson for the website said it operates a “notice and takedown system” where it will remove books if publishers demand the action.

Pamela to launch new clothing line
Actress Pamela Anderson has teamed up with fashion designer Richie Rich to launch an eco-friendly clothing line. The former Baywatch babe, is working with Rich to design a line of leather-free shoes and casual clothes, including hooded tops, skirts and swimwear for the new Muse brand. “I really don’t like to wear clothes. I would rather go naked. But I love Richie’s designs, so I agreed to be part of Muse,” Contactmusic quoted her as saying. The fashion line is scheduled to debut this summer.

MP fails drink-driving test due to apples
A Polish lawmaker who failed a drink-driving test said he had eaten too many apples, the website of daily Gazeta Wyborcza reported. Asked why a traffic police check showed he had 0.7 units of alcohol in his blood, Marek Latas denied having drunk alcohol that day. “I am diabetic, I ate a few apples before driving. “I have been involved in no accident; I underwent a routine roadside check. I was confident there was no chance I had alcohol in my blood,” said Latas. The prosecutor’s office is investigating his case, the website said.

Traffic warden does a pole dance
Ever seen a traffic warden doing a pole dance on duty? Excited over that she and her colleague have got another parking violator, an enforcement officer got too excited and started doing the pole dance, that too for not less than 1 minute and 12 seconds, resembling a victory celebration. As her colleague filled out the necessary paperwork, the unidentified warden raised her arms in the air and danced. She then chose to ditch the rumba - for her pole work, the Daily Mail reported.

Singapore wants a kinder nation
The city-state often launches campaigns to instil proper social behaviour


ingapore has launched campaigns to promote everything from more romance to better English. Now, the city-state wants its citizens to just be... nicer. “Kindness. Bring It On!” - to be launched this weekend -- is a government-backed initiative aimed at encouraging Singaporeans to be openly gracious to their relatives, colleagues, classmates and neighbours. The Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM), a partly governmentfunded charity, plans to recruit

“kindness troopers” to deliver its message, and draft movie stars to do public appearances. Teachers will give lessons about graciousness. A recent survey commissioned by the SKM showed that less than half of Singaporeans were pleased with the overall graciousness of their compatriots. “We are actually quite a kind, gracious society... (but) there are Singaporeans who feel shy about showing spontaneous consideration and acts of kindness,” SKM chairman Koh

Poh Tiong said. “I want Singaporeans to, one day, be like the Japanese -- very gracious, very polite, very friendly.” Teh Thien Yew, an SKM official, said: “In these trying times, we need to be kinder than necessary because everyone is struggling.” Education campaigns have promoted everything from speaking better English to flushing public toilets to smiling more often. A Romancing Singapore drive is held annually to encourage romance among couples. A few years ago, SKM even launched a drive to improve punctuality at wedding dinners following an outcry about tardy guests. ■

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


e-campaign 2.0
Vexed at all the political coverage seen in the Indian media? You can’t protest much this time of the year, so the best you do is start your own blog and rant to your heart’s content or join these bloggers as they show how feverish the pitch is

“I am not going to leave Lucknow. Lucknow is my home whether I fight this election or not.”
Sanjay Dutt after SC had barred him from contesting LS polls

Case1: Sonia Gandhi: Her only interest is to save the gaddi for her son. Let the country be damned, let the people be damned....but her son should be the PM. So she installs a number of puppets. But before telling about her puppets, let us look at the achievements of Rahul baba… Case2: Congress can not pinpoint even one seat as its sure shot. If Congress gets a seat or two in Chattisgarh, it will not be because of its hard work or will of the public, but due to stupidity of BJP. Mind you we in Ergo are not bashing any individual/political party or doing any pre-poll predictions in the run-up to the elections. These are what some of our netizens are posting online, stealing some moments from their daily chores. The above were excerpts from titled ‘UPA Hall of Shame: The puppeteer and her puppets’ and Chakresh Mishra’s post ‘Chattisgarh pre-poll prediction: BJP bastion, Congress might get consolation prize’. The big, fat Indian election hungama has rolled out and if political parties are going all out to woo voters, net-savvy people are making more than a point by

debating political issues, following campaign trails and posting interesting nuggets – some of which you don’t read or hear from the print and electronic media. “Watch out there is more to come,” says Mishra, an M.Tech student from IIT-Delhi. “Prepoll prediction of every state, 10/ 12 major issues that concern Indians and interview with politicians.” The UP youngster started blogging about politics a year ago and today he has a healthy viewership – around 5,000 hits a day. “I have set a target of 25,000 for the next month,” says Mishra, who is preparing for Civil Service and devotes weekends to compile five reports and post them every day of the week. Join Mishra at The mechanical engineer is joined by many such enthusiastic from different regions and geographies. According to five per cent of the Indian blogosphere blogs about politics at any given time. While some are cashing on the season by showing support to a political party, others are posting on issues to sensitise voters. “There have been many issues

pertaining to social and national interest but we forget after a few months,” says 20-year-old Arpit Parihar who blogs at “I think blogs can clean the dust from the minds of people and make them assess the performance of a particular party in the previous years.” But are blogs going to play a crucial factor in influencing the voters? Parihar says how Adva-

Some of the read political blogs:
~ category/politics ~ ~ ~ ~ http:// ~ http://

ni’s posts on why Muslims should vote for BJP changed some impressions about the party. “Through very well integrated facts, figures and different view points he has written what the BJP thinks about the Muslim voters. Now, this can really influence the thinking of a particular community.” Sample – a group formed to encourage Hindus to voice their opinion against pseudo-secular politicians and media. The blog sees the NDA as its alliance and has traffic increase considerably since the last month. “Politics affects our lives. Politicians frame policies that affect the country and its people, from national security to education. So, it is important for people to know what they are doing or what they are not doing,” says Meenakshi, one of the bloggers of Swabhimaan. ■

send your views to


Tuesday’s question
■ Please ignore this man. He has got more attention than he needed. His act was cowardly and quite funny like “Thenali” Kamal: “Naan vaai asaikka aaro dubbing kodukkiraargal”. In the morning he says “The CD is doctored.” In the afternoon he says, “The comments were not on the whole community, but only on the terrorists.” In the evening he says, “What I said was right and I stand by it.” ■ We need to defeat Varun.
Gokul Panneerselvam, HCL Ziaulhaq Soofi, TCS

■ Varun’s speech had intentions to create communal tensions. Any government should not encourage this and need to put a ban on Varun from contesting elections. If Varun wins elections India would not sound secular. ■ I don’t think it is ethical to ban him from contesting the elections. Even the current legal proceedings are not in any way ethically driven but just a result of
Varun L, TCS

political vendetta and the sheer immaturity of the UPA. But do check the following URL http:// USBrahmins/message/8138, which provides a comprehensive and in depth scrutiny of the message and meaning of the Varun speech.
Deepak Kumar Vasudevan

Today’s question:
Should Manmohan Singh take up Advani’s call for a televised debate?
Send us your views to Please limit your remarks to 50 words

Lee set for pay cut

ERGO Wednesday, April 1, 2009

In-form pacer Mitchell Johnson is all set to become the second highest paid player in the 25-man contract list of Cricket Australia, which might hand out pay cuts to injury-ravaged bowling spearhead Brett Lee and struggling batsman Mike Hussey. “Mitchell Johnson will be the big mover in Australia’s new contract rankings and is closing in on the cherished mantle of the nation’s highest-paid player,” reported The Courier Mail.

Oram considering IPL pull-out
New Zealand all-rounder Jacob Oram says he will pull out of the Indian Premier League if a nagging Achilles tendon strain prevents him from playing the domestic State Championship final on April 6. Oram, who represents Chennai Super Kings in the cashrich league, denied suggestions that he was trying to save himself for the Twenty20 event by not playing in the ongoing Test series against India which the Kiwis trail 0-1. “I can understand people thinking I’m cotton-wooling myself but I’ll definitely take myself out (of the IPL) if I don’t get through the final,” Oram told The Dominion Post.

Easy day for seeds
Venus, Nadal move up

The Hindu wins
The Hindu humbled Delphi TVS by 41 runs to win the T20 Vestas Cricket Cup 2009 in Chennai on Tuesday. Madhan led The Hindu’s charge in the final with a quick fire 27 from 18 balls as the winners posted 159/8 in their 20 overs. Tight bowling from Ragavan who ended with figures of 4/2 saw Delphi crumble to 11/8 in 20 overs. Over 50 corporate houses took part in the tournament.

Venus Williams in action against Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Centre in Florida ON MONDAY. PHOTO: AFP

Sania-Chuang in quarters
Sania Mirza and her partner Chuang Chiajung of Taiwan rallied to stun eighth seeds Maria Kirilenko and Flavia Pennetta in a gruelling three-setter for a place in the women’s doubles quarterfinal of the US$ 4.5 million Miami Masters in Miami. Sania and Chuang shocked the fancied Russian-Italian pair 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 10-4 to enter the last-eight stage. The unseeded Indo-Taiwanese duo will next take on the winners of the match between the Argentine-Israeli team of Gisela Dulko and Shahar Peer and the Spanish combine of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Ruano Pascual. The other Indian in fray at the event is Leander Paes, who, partnering Czech Lukas Dlouhy, has reached the pre-quarters of men’s doubles. Mahesh Bhupathi, who teamed up with Bahamian Mark Knowles, crashed out after losing in the first round itself.


afael Nadal advanced to the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open by beating qualifier Frederico Gil 7-5, 6-3. The top-ranked Nadal struggled with his second serve and was broken twice Monday but gradually wore down Gil, who is ranked a career-best 74th. The top men have avoided the wave of upsets that has marked the women’s draw. The latest surprise was 18-year-old Caroline Wozniacki’s victory over fourthseeded Elena Dementieva 7-5, 6-4. Wozniacki, who last week was selected WTA Tour newcomer of the year for 2008, advanced to the quarterfinals. She took advantage of 45 unforced errors by Dementieva. Wozniacki is the first Danish woman to crack the top 20, reaching a career-high 12th in the rankings while benefiting from recent workouts in Las Vegas with Andre Agassi’s former trainer, Gil Reyes.

“It feels amazing to me that I’m the No. 12 in the world,” Wozniacki said. Despite a sluggish start and wobbly finish, Venus Williams defeated No. 10-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. “Fortunately I’ve had experiences like that before,” Williams said. “I know how to get through it.” Williams was playing for the third day in a row, and she looked weary in the warm, sunny weather. After dropping the first set, she began to move better and won 11 of the next 13 games. “I was hitting really well in the practice,” she said. “I came out and things weren’t going the way I imagined they would. But that’s tennis. I feel good. I feel confident. I’ve been playing very well in the last few months.” Radwanska nearly overcame a 5-1 deficit in the final set, but she failed to convert three break points that would have made the score 5-all. “Oh, that’s always

fun,” Williams said. “Every now and then, everybody has those kinds of matches. ... I just had a lot of errors. Just errors, errors!” Williams finished with 40 unforced errors but also had 43 winners, hitting 11 aces. She’s seeking her first Key Biscayne title since 2001. Her quarterfinal opponent will be No. 26-seeded Iveta Benesova, who swept No. 19 Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-4, 6-1. Williams, seeded fifth, avoided the wave of upsets that has eliminated six of the top 10 women. She and her sister, top-ranked Serena Williams, are the lone remaining players in the top seven. The sisters could renew their rivalry in the semi-finals on Thursday. Two-time Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo was eliminated by unseeded Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-4. No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova beat Alisa Kleybanova 6-2, 6-1. ■

Wednesday, April 1, 2009



I’m a fighter, I’ve never given up at any stage of my motorsport career – both on and off the track – and last weekend was the same. I pushed like crazy on every single lap of the race, always looked for the gap and worked with the team over the radio to find every possible way of making us go quicker.
World champion Lewis Hamilton on his drive from 18th on the grid in Melbourne to a third place finish

Good sense prevails?
Kolkata Knight Riders may have at last set their house in order and will take the field under Dada’s leadership in IPL II
one person. Twenty20 is a new format and new things are being tried. Too much has been said, we are not having four captains in one match. It’s going to be one captain in one match. We may have some standbys in case of emergencies.” Australian World Cup-winning coach Buchannan had advocated a theory that the Kolkata side will play under multiple captains – Ganguly, the West Indian Chris Gayle, Aussie Brad Hodge and Kiwi wicketkeeper Brendon McCullum. When Ergo contacted him over the phone, Ganguly preferred to remain non-committal. “I would not like to comment on the issue but yes, I’ve spoken to him (Shah Rukh Khan) earlier,” Ganguly said. “Let’s see. I’m hoping for the best.” The first batch of KKR players, which has been rechristened as just Knight Riders, will leave for Bloemfontein on Wednesday morning from Mumbai, while Ganguly will leave on Sunday. Twenty seven players are expected to make it to the conditioning camp in South Africa and Debabrata Das and Mohnish Parmar will be left out of the 28member players’ list announced earlier. As of now, former India all-rounder Sanjay Bangar is the only player outside the initial list who is expected to travel to South Africa. However, even a day before the departure, CEO, Joy Bhattacharya refused to divulge the name of the selected players and said: “I don’t want to disclose the names of the players who would be going to South Africa now as we want to keep all options open. The whole team may go there and after having a look at all the players we can take a call.” The team is expected to practice at their base in Bloemfontein and play a few practice games till April 15, before moving down to Cape Town where the final 22 for the competition will be picked. ■


hat one Aussie coach failed to do, a second might soon experience first hand, or should we say second hand. Greg Chappell could not keep Sourav ‘Dada’ Ganguly away from glory and had to eat humble pie. Now it seems John Buchanan is headed Chappellsville. The Australian coach had only recently suggested that Kolkata Knight Riders would have multiple captains for the coming season. But that theory evaporated at the joint press conference that he addressed with the man he himself called ‘Prince of Kolkata’. It is reliably learnt that the top brass of KKR – team owner Shah Rukh Khan, director John Buchanan and the man himself Sourav Ganguly – will come up with a compromise formula (read reinstating Sourav as the singular captain). Co-owners Jay Mehta and Juhi Chawla are also expected to attend the meeting at the actor’s Mumbai residence. If sources are to be believed, KKR will take the field under Ganguly for their first match against Deccan Chargers on April 19. He will be evaluated on his performance for the first few games before a call is made on the future captaincy issue. Trying to clear the air, Khan, on the sidelines of the Lakme Indian Fashion Week, told reporters: “Let me tell you, there is no Kolkata Knight Riders without Dada. We love him.” Reasoning out Buchanan’s “four captain” theory, the KKR boss added: “We are a team and no decision is taken by




ERGO Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Hendrix’s ‘softer’ side on tape
A home recording by Jimi Hendrix, which its owners said showed the 1960s rock icon’s softer side, will be auctioned next month and is expected to fetch between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds ($70-140,000). According to co-owner Mark Sutherland, the tape was recorded by Hendrix in New York in 1968 and then taken to Britain.


ctor Rhys Ifans is all set to cast his magic in the forthcoming Harry Potter flick, as he has landed the role of a wizard. The Notting Hill actor will play kooky wizard Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, reports Contactmusic. Ifans has joined the league of Brit actors Helena Bonham Carter, Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ralph Fiennes, who have all featured in the Harry Potter flicks. Meanwhile, Ifans will also be featuring in the forthcoming flick Mr. Nobody. ■

‘I love long-distance relationships’


inger Katy Perry has revealed that she loves to be involved in long-distance relationships, as they give her the opportunity to have her own space. The ‘I Kissed A Girl’ hit-maker says she likes the idea of having her own time, and the feeling of longing to meet her lover, reports China Daily. “I love longdistance relationships. I love my space and that feeling of not being able to see someone and then seeing them again for a week,” she said. “You really appreciate that moment, turning the phone off and cuddling in bed and ordering in food. That’s fun to me,” she added. As regards her marriage plans, Katy said, “When the time is right, I will get married, yes.” Meanwhile, after splitting from Travis, Katy has been romantically linked to a series of musicians, including Paris Hilton’s ex-boyfriend Benji Madden and 28-year-old singer Josh Groban. ■

ook L o’s wh ing play od! ego Lov

The story of not-sosimple Simon


imon Cowell has revealed that he felt an immediate bonding with Girls Aloud member Cheryl Cole when she joined The X Factor show as a judge last year. Cowell (49) said he got on very well with Cole (25) the moment he met her. “We instantly became friends – we really, really got on well,” the Sun quoted him as saying. “Cheryl likes hanging out with me in the dressing rooms,” he said. He also revealed that Aussie singer Dannii Minogue “likes to keep more to herself”, and as to reports that she was cold-shouldered last year, he said she had been working hard. “She kind of got lost a little bit along the way, but I think she does a good job, I really do,” he said. “There was a lot of focus on Cheryl but Dannii works harder than all of us. She’s so obsessive about winning and I like that,” he added. ■

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Russell Crowe in talks to do a musical
Russell Crowe could soon be showcasing his musical talents, for the actor is in talks to do a film where he might be required to hit the high notes. The Gladiator star has revealed that he’s currently looking at a script for a new musical in which he may have to belt out a tune, just like fellow Aussie stars, Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman.

Cine City
Anushka to do more Tamil films
Though Anushka did not show interest in doing any Tamil movie after Rendu with Madhavan, the actress now says that she wants to make a mark in Kollywood. Apparently, she has also bagged three roles with big heroes – Vijay, Suriya and Karthi. She is pairing up with Vijay in his upcoming flick, Vettaikaran. She has been roped in to play a village belle in Hari’s Singam, in which she pairs up with Suriya, and has also signed a film with Karthi titled Siruthai.

King Khan walks King Khan walks ramp at Lakme ramp at Lakme Fashion Week Fashion Week
ollywood actor Shahrukh Khan sashayed down the ramp for fashion designer Manish Malhotra’s collection at Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) in Mumbai on Monday. Malhotra showcases another set of collections on the fourth day of LFW by using colour of Kolkata Knight Riders, Khan’s team of Indian Premier League. The collection was primarily in golden and black colour with hints of deep red deep


blue and deep green. Khan dressed in the colours of Knight Riders, wore black harem pants, a black blazer with golden buttons and a gold-and-black. Bollywood actors namely Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, Hrithik Roshan, Amisha Patel, Tusshar Kapoor, Genelia D’ Souza, Arjun Rampal and wife Meher, Sridevi and Boney Kapoor were seen sitting in the first row. Talking to reporters after the show, Kajol said, “The show was superb and it was

really-really an amazing collection.” Malhotra’s collection was comprised of elegant line of eveningwear with an urban Chic line of casuals weave. The collection also highlighted a new dimension if clubbing sports wear mixed with elegant eveningwear. Lakme Fashion Week has received in all 189 applications - 88 for Gen Next and 44 for Emerging Fashion Designers from 20 cities across the country. ■

Shaam goes to Bollywood
Actor Shaam, who made his debut in Tamil with director Jeeva’s 12 B, has been roped in to play the lead role in a Bollywood flick. The film to be directed by Faizal will be a bilingual in Tamil and Hindi. The film also has actor Jackie Shroff playing a prominent role. Shaam is currently working on two films – Agam Puram (Tamil) and Kick (Telugu).


ERGO Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tuesday’s Query: Did you ever have an unusual habit as a kid? What was it?
■When I open my book all of a sudden I’ll start sleeping like a kid
Hashim, Allsec

■I always cry for something so tat I can easily get it
Hariharan R, Infoview Technology

■When studying in 1st std. I used to adjust / straighten the uniform of my fellow students, especially girls
Arunee, Infosys

■Used to call my mom and dad by their names
Senthil, Wipro

■My mom always used to feed me the food in my mouth till date
N.Deepan, TCS

Priya of Sify has nominated her friends as Partners in Crime.

■If I’m at home, my mom has to feed me else I won’t eat
Revathy Rajalingam, TCS-eserve

■I will become a kid, when playing with the kids
Balamurugan, RRD

■I used to sing and dance myself also watching Chutti TV at this age
Lexsminarayanan, TCS-eserve

Murugan from Wipro has nominated his friends as Partners in Crime. This picture was clicked in Ooty.

■I love to have chocolates especially Diarymilk. I can’t give it off for anything
Dhananjayan, Scope International

■I’ll lift both my legs in the air while sleeping
Lokeshwaran, Karthik Allsec

■I always get thengai(coconut) when my mom asks me to get mangai(raw mango) and get bashed up. And even now the habit continues
Lalitha Rajendran, TCS

Gopi from Perotsystems has nominated his Network Team as Partners in crime. This pic was clicked at ECR.

■Still buying kamarcut n murukku from petti kadai
Deena, Wipro

Today’s Query: If you could only have one food item for every meal for the next month, what would it be?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


■Dearest Chotu (Abhishek Dwivedi), This is our responsibility to tell everybody that you are not making APRIL FOOL to anybody and it’s really your birthday today. Everybody please take it seriously and come up with all the deadly weapons that you need to celebrate a violent Birthday.
Best wishes Rishabh, Ranjoy, Karthik Medcharla, Indranil, Ashish, Vaibhav, Sibayan, Shaloo & Debjit Excelacom Technologies Pvt. Ltd

■Dear Subhashiri, I’m wishing you another year Of laughter, joy and fun, Surprises, love and happiness, And when your birthday’s done, I hope you feel deep in your heart, As your birthdays come and go, How very much you mean to me, More than you can know…. Wish u a very happy b’day!!!
Forever urs Saranya, Priya, Revathi, Nithya, Sowdha HCL Technologies

Vimalnath, Project Leader, Calsoft has been nominated as Office Angel by Subramanian.
He is man with multiple talents. Any doubts, he is there to clarify. Humble and affectionate.

■Dear Siva, Wishing you a very happy birthday. Have a wonderful and peaceful year ahead.
Regards, Shwetha, Oracle

Art featured in this column will receive gift coupons from Fruit Shop on Greams Road. Send in your addresses so that we can post the coupons.

■Hi Mridu and Abi, As you complete another 365 days of your ‘happy together’, here’s wishing you lots of joy, happiness, success and peace on all the days to come. Happy anniversary, perfect duo!
Regards, Ambica, Brindha, Pavithra, Sangeetha, Subasree, Suganthavalli

■Hi Venkat Murugan (Venky), Many more happy returns of the day. You deserve the best in life. Let your life be full filled with joy and happiness and all you need. I wish you for your great birthday. May God Bless.
Deepa Mirpuri Ishwar, IBM India private Ltd.

■Dear Shob, Moon smiling for U Trees dancing for U Birds singing for U To wish U Happy B’day
Regards, Shanmugam B. HCL Technologies-CISCO

Sanchari Pal from Cognizant Technology Solutions has doodled this.

■Hi Abilash, Many more happy returns of the day. - Rio Tinto security team Dear Abhirami & Co, Rainbow doesn’t come without rain, Success never come without pain, Don’t let life to Challenge you, You Challenge the Life!!! “All The Very Best” for your upcoming project.
Good Morning. Have a Nice Day. Best Wishes From, N. Deepan, LTSB, TCS

Man:What are u doing? Sardar:Painting. Man:Ok! Why are u wearing two coats while painting. Saradr:Hmm...see instructions on the tin, "For Best Results put on Two Coats"
Saravanan, HCL

■Hey Shahin baby, We have enjoyed a lot from the time we mingled. Every minute and every moment we spent together will be memorable in our hearts. We are glad to celebrate your birthday. I wish you many more happy returns of the day. May Allah bless you with all you wish. May all your dreams come true. Have a rocking and fun filled birthday my dear sweetheart.
Love, Sameer

■Today, is April Fool’s Day, many people will be joking, playing games, having fun being tricksters, and others will be sulking. If you were born on April Fool’s Day, then happy birthday to you, may I say? You know who you are; you’re a winner and a star, and may god bless you, in life also, I hope you go very far! Acting silly on April Fool’s Day, makes some people happy, few people sad, some people don’t care either way, and some people get really mad. So enjoy April Fool’s Day any way you can, by spreading love, joy, and peace throughout the land. Especially, always remember it’s just an ordinary day, and remember each day you’re getting older any way. So, accept it by bearing with it, and stay in good cheer, cause April Fool’s Day only comes not twice, but once a year!
Regards, Ponniah

Camel chaos

ERGO Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Residents in bone-dry central Australia have put up an anti-camel boundary around their communities - after twohundred of the thirsty creatures turned on taps and wasted much-needed water supplies.


Mahesh Rajamani of Perot Systems clicked this picture at Guindy Children’s Park. Hobbies: Making models with thermocol, wildlife photography

So you think you would make a terrific photographer but never really had the platform? Mail us your best work and we’ll publish it in this space, with credit. E-mail:


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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Word’s worth
“Neoteny” (nee-ah-tuh-nee) the preservation of juvenile characteristics well into maturity, especially where these characteristics are attractive. This word comes from Greek roots meaning ‘extend’ and ‘young.’

Welsh woe
A young job hunter has failed to land a job at the National Botanic Garden of Wales - after he sent his application from his email address ’atleastimnotwelsh’.

Fortune is favouring you, so it’s going to be a fun day! Ganesha finds you taking active and zealous participations in the meetings at office. You will receive applauds from colleagues. The evening is surely going to be romantic so let the Cupid strike!

The day will take off beautifully! You will be trying to boss around at office but be cautious not to do that while boss is around. You will be finishing off all the pending emails or tasks so that can be free by evening and spread your arms for the beloved.



It’s a slightly difficult day for you as per Ganesha’s view so you are advised to proceed with caution at work. You will need to be very careful while writing emails or even while talking to someone over the phone. There are chances of misfires or misgivings.

It’s a day to spare time for the activities that you love the most, like doing research on the subject of interest. You will be pretty busy with routine workload at office. Keep a corner of your mind empty for the beloved.

LEO JULY 21 - AUG 20
Lots of new ideas may be shimmering on the back of your mind today. You will want to succeed in everything that you deal with but avoid rush else things may go haywire. You may try to be more dramatic to express your love in front your beloved.




The day may begin with some sort of dilemma regarding something. Around or after the lunch time, you will be clearer about the course of action and the issue will be sorted out. News from foreign land is in the offing.

It’s a day of collective efforts or team work. Today, joint efforts may succeed so if you are trying to achieve a particular target, have an equally efficient colleague with you. At the love front, everything will be hunky-dory.

You may go slow but steady with work at office. There will be fresh and creative ideas coming to your mind which may require a vent so you might share it with your superior. When you return home from office, expect some guests at home.

You will be looking forward to do something new today. There may be success in everything that you undertake. You will have sense of fulfilment as far as office work is concerned. In the second half of the day, romance will flair up.

You are advised to watch your vitality today. Don’t stretch yourself beyond certain limits if you just can’t handle all the pending work at once. If you can delegate some work to colleagues, it will be a great relief.


You may be fully focussed on work today. The day favours research related activity. Whether your computer is malfunctioning or not, it is advisable to take or keep backup of your work today as there are chances of some technical problems.

You are advised to avoid being overemotional at the beginning of the day. There may be something that could upset you so you are suggested to remain composed today. In the second half of the day you may feel a bit confused.
Predictions by Bhavesh N. Pattni

16 !

ERGO Wednesday, April 1, 2009

COMIC TIMING: Actors Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan before receiving the Padma Shri at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi. PHOTO:

SISTER ACT: Actor Kajol and sister Tanisha attend the Manish Malhotra show at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai on Monday. PHOTO: PTI THREE IS COMPANY: (From left) Gauri Khan, Preity Zinta and Suzanne Roshan at the Lakme Fashion Week. PHOTO: PTI