Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BPO-Sutra with 150 such stories FREE CIRCULATION
Vol. 3 No. 132

» Page 08

Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, winners of the Million Dollar Arm contest, have had a rollicking start to their professional baseball league


ERGO Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Up to 60 % off
Reliance Footprint has started its end of season sale, where it is offering up to 60 per cent off on various brands. The sale is on till August 23 at its outlet opposite Breeze Hotel, Poonamalle High Road, Kilpauk.

Game for some

he third edition of the Corporate Sports Olympiad is back. Conducted for corporate teams in Chennai, the event aims to encourage companies to support employees’ pursuit of a more active and healthy lifestyle. The sporting action also aims to bring out the skill set of employees in various sports. The olympiad would cover events like cricket, football, volleyball, basketball, swimming, track and field, tennis, bowling, karting, snooker, table tennis, badminton, carrom, chess and darts. The competitions are open to both men and women. In 2008, around 40 corporate houses participated. This year the competitions will be spread across two months, starting from the end of August. Teams need to register before August 14 and there are no limitations on the number of teams that can represent a corporate. For further details contact 9840220110/ 93823 14839/9840273090


The Pupil with many followers

Sathish and Sathish run this joint in Besant Nagar that has been churning out affordable burgers for almost a decade

Sea, sand and burgers: At Tasty Jones PHOTO : R. RAVINDRAN.
AKSHATA G.J. came to Chennai with just Rs. 2,000 in hand,” says Sathish K., one of the owners of Pupil, a wellknown food joint in Besant Nagar. His partner, Sathish J., sits beside him with a pleasant smile on his face. Amongst the buzzing crowd of youngsters, the two young men can easily pass off as customers rather than the proud owners of the place. With dreams of making it big in the hotel industry, the 19-yearold graduates from a catering school in Trichy moved to Chennai to accomplish their mission. “We came to Besant Nagar by bicycles in search of a place to start our food joint. We were shooed away from the area when the owners heard of our budget. But within a month, we somehow managed to buy it,” says Sathish J. They started Veroonas in 2000, which was renamed Pupil in 2003, considering the large number of student customers. They claim to be the ones to introduce sub sandwiches in the city. Burgers were made available to customers at affordable rates, starting from Rs. 35. Pleased with the overwhelming response from Chennaiites, they started spreading their wings by opening up a few more outlets in the city. “Pupil is one of the best places for burgers in the city. The burgers here are both lip-smacking and affordable,” chimes in 18year-old Priyanka, hogging on her burger along with her gang of friends. Today, they have five outlets in the city – Eatalica (R.A. Puram and Nungambakkam), Tasty Jones (Besant Nagar, T. Nagar) and Pupil – which are brimming with customers. While Tasty Jones, which started more than a year ago, serves pastas, sizzlers and steaks, Eatalica specialises in a mix of Italian and American cuisine. “We are aiming at opening five more outlets by 2010. We also plan to reduce the size of the me-


nu and instead increase the quality of the food,” say the young and successful entrepreneurs. Pupil has a wide range of burgers, priced between Rs. 35 and 80. Located just a stone’s throw away from the beach on 4th Main Road, Besant Nagar, Pupil certainly captures the attention and taste of its regulars. ■
(Too Good for Critics is a weekly column that celebrates Namma Chennai’s ‘Kaiyendi Bhavans’ and small eateries. If you can think of a similar place, mail us at feedback@goergo.in)

Address: No. 11, 12, TNHB Complex, 4th Main Road, Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar, Chennai – 600 000 Ph: 45587848

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Celebrate Raksha Bandhan
TNT India has introduced a special service for Rakhi. The package comprises of teeka, akshat (holy rice) and a personalised message in a handmade scroll, all packed in a beautifully handcrafted box. Also, get 50 per cent discount on tariff. The offer is available from July 15 to 27. For details call 60009999 or toll free no 1800-425-9999.

Elegante Fashion Boutique has a galore of affordable designer wear chudidhar suits, kurtis and tunics.
DEEPA VENKATRAMAN n the serene bylane of Kasturba Nagar in Adayar is Elegante Fashion Boutique welcoming one to its wide range of exclusive chudidhar suits, kurtis and tunics. The place is owned by Suba Selvan, who opened the boutique this Women’s Day and has her flat and shop housed in the same apartment complex. The inter-lock patterns, styles, colour combinations of the readymade suits, kurtis and tunics arranged neatly in the red-painted wall are unique and a class apart.


The collection is all designer wear sourced from Jaipur and Kolkata. For an evening social gathering or a corporate meeting, there are some ethnic kalamkari cotton and chanderi silk suits with elegant and classy brochette, brocade and appliqué work to choose from. The entrepreneur who was a fashion consultant in a high-end lifestyle store in California says, “Known clients and word-of-mouth publicity have kept my business going. Based on the built and look of my clients, I do suggest what suits them. Some times they request for different colour combinations, and

then in that case I give special instructions to my designers. The comfortable knee length multi-cotton kurtas are the fast-sellers.” Speaking about the USP, she says, “The intricate workmanship in the suits with dupattas having a blend of two or more fabrics – chiffon and net, crochet and chiffon and so on – are my specialty. The designer wear clothes are pretty affordable.” Just before Diwali, Suba plans to get festive suits and tunics. “Eventually, I plan to expand to a bigger place and also take my business overseas,” Suba signs off. ■

Elegante Fashion Boutique Address: New no 38, (old no 27), A/1, 2nd Main Road, Kasturba Nagar, Adyar, Chennai - 600 020 Ph: 9444058836 Store timings: 10.30 a.m. to 8 pm (Closed on Tuesdays)



ERGO Wednesday, July 15, 2009


inns are known to be quiet, reserved and taciturn but every July some 100,000 of them unleash their passion for the tango, singing and dancing under the Arctic midnight sun. For four days this past weekend, visitors to the annual Tangomarkkinat - or Tango Market - listened to old and new tango singers and strutted their stuff in a cordoned-off street in Seinaejoki, some 360 kilometres northwest of Helsinki. “I am here to listen to the music and to meet people,” Paeivi Kuntsi said, enjoying the sunshine at the market square. However the rise of rock ’n’ roll and pop music in the late 1960s and 1970s saw the tango’s popularity take a hit. But tango, which has its roots in Argentina, made a comeback in the 1980s with the first Tangomarkkinat being held in 1985. Arto Puisto, visiting the festival for the first time, said: “Tango is the best dance in the world. It is all about feeling and (how) you can be close to another person.” Baby-faced Amadeus Lundberg, 20, who won the tango signing contest final, in which he was pitted against five others, said: “All I can say (is) that this must be a dream. I am pinching myself.” The contest has provided many a big break for Finland’s young singers. Not all the festival-goers have mastered the tango’s tricky and twisting step and prefer to sing along to the music instead. Jouko Rauhko, a burly man in his 40s, sings in Finnish to his wife Nina Glasberg in one of the event’s many karaoke bars. “I always choose songs that I know by heart, otherwise I will just read out the lyrics and then I cannot put

After World War II, tango was the rage in Finland, sung and danced at thousands of outdoor dance halls on the shores of its picturesque lakes, peaking in the 1960s

my soul into the song,” Rauhko explained after his performance. But many young Finns do not share the same burning passion for tango as the older generations. “In 20 years tango will be fading away (in Finland). If there was no Tangomarkkinat, tango would have faded away completely 10 years ago,” said Pekka Gronow, an expert in the history of Finnish popular music. He said many Tangomarkkinat contest winners ditch the tango after just one album for a more radio-friendly, danceable brand of pop music. Compared to the Argentinian tango, the Finnish version is much slower and its lyrics often recount tales of Finland’s countryside and pristine nature. According to Pirjo Kukkonen, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, the Finns love for the tango stems from their melancholic nature. “They are fairytales for grown-ups, who want to hear the same stories over

and over again,” Kukkonen said. Many songs use the four seasons as an analogy for life: summer represents happiness and youth, which fades as autumn and winter sweep in. “Finnish tango’s power is that it is melancholic but has hope in it. Summer comes again every year,” Kukkonen summed up. Despite Gronow’s gloomy forecast about the future of tango in Finland, the organisers of the event are confident it will still be going strong for years to come. Pekka Leinonen, managing director of the Tangomarkkinat festival, said it successfully overcame the challenge from disco music in the early 1980s. “The beginning was difficult, but after a couple of years more people started to come to the festival,” she said. Leinonen said Tangomarkkinat would continue to champion tango music, but would try to lure a younger crowd by booking rock and pop bands. ■

Dancers performing during the tango festival. PHOTO: AFP

Finns find their feet at tango fest
Street View goes to Stonehenge


nternet road-mapping service Google Street View is now starting to cover areas like Stonehenge, which are far away from driving routes. Rickshaw-style tricycles, carrying 3-D cameras, will be used to film several popular off-road spots, including Loch Ness and the Angel of the North, reports the Telegraph. Street View allows web users to “walk” along streets, exploring

360-degree images recorded from eye level. People in 25 British towns and cities can access 360-degree views of roads and homes via this application. Street View also includes photographs of millions of residential addresses, people and cars. It has been hailed as a helpful tool for home hunters and wouldbe tourists. ■

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


One night in every call centre
Former VP of MphasiS, Sudhindra Mokhasi, chronicles his and many others lives spent working in India’s BPOs in his debut book


is intended readers have given the book a thumbs up, while a critic tweets ‘Go Read Die Laughing’. Sudhindra Mokhasi is riding a wave, a book wave that began with the launch of his debut title, BPO-Sutra, four months back in Bangalore and then in Mumbai. The fact that it is an industry-specific experimental genre and one of the first book of stories from India’s BPO and Call Centres only seems to have gotten it more spotlight. Over 10,000 copies of the book were sold in the first two months and it is now on its fifth reprint, which numbers to another 20,000. That’s quite a boost for a techie, with bits and pieces of writing experience confined to tech articles, travelogues and management gyan. Sudhindra is now getting ready to launch the book in the U.S. and the U.K. “Any subject which is a matter of debate…should click and offshoring is a topic with a lot of talk,” says an optimistic Sudhindra, who quit as vice-president MphasiS to turn entrepreneur as well as quench his love for writing. BPO-Sutra – True Stories from Inside India’s BPOs and Call Centres is a celebration of the BPO life, providing a “360 degree view of the BPO life, with hilarious, touching, thought provoking and stereotypical scandalous stories.” Like, ‘In the void of monotony’ talks about the depressing monotony of a call agent, ‘Living-in Peril’ narrates the misadventure of a live-in couple, ‘The moonlighter’ is the tale of a student who moonlights in a BPO to earn for his sister’s wedding…and another 150 stories, each promising to make even a nonreader run through these short and individual stories. Incidentally, the writer in Sud-

Booked!: Sudhindra Mokhasi

hindra was born long time back. But his commitments at a senior management position left him with little time to pursue his aspiration. “I quit my job in 2007 for a short break to jump start the book before I started my own company, e-Sutra Chronicles.” The book has been in the making for around 30 months where the writer met up with different people from the industry to recount their stories, and a large part gathered from his wide experience in the industry. So, was it a cakewalk finding a publisher? “Kind of! I went to Rupa & Co with 30 per cent of my completed work. That helped as they had a concrete idea on the genre and my style,” he says how the publisher reverted in five days time. Besides his full-time profession as CEO of e-Sutra, the author is an avid traveller and photographer. “It’s necessary to have a creative passion to destress while writing helps me maintain good mental health and equilibrium.” ■
The book is published by Rupa & Co. and is priced at Rs. 95.

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Smooth touch

ERGO Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A moisturiser is going down a storm at Belfast Zoo - it’s helping keeps elephants’ bottoms smooth.

Microsoft touts feedback on Bing
Microsoft praised its freshly-launched Bing online search engine and said it is taking a long-term approach in its quest to break from third place behind Yahoo! and Google. The number of people that used Bing in June for online searches was eight percent higher than the number that used its predecessor, MSN Live, in the same month last year, according to Microsoft. Meanwhile, figures released in recent weeks by industry analytics firms reveal mixed data, leaving it unclear whether Bing is doing much to close the gaps with Yahoo! and Internet search king Google.

Now, a novel in SMS format
Tired of reading content in a book format? Now, mobile phones can be an alternative as a leading publisher has come up with, what it claims to be the first work of fiction in the Indian subcontinent in SMS format. According to HarperCollins India, Pinki Virani’s Deaf Heaven is the first literary cell-novel and an adult audiomobile book in the subcontinent. The literary cell-novel will be made available in 90 SMSes and the adult audio-mobile book in two short-duration downloads by Reliance Mobile. “Our cell phone novel will introduce an interesting element to how novels are read; readers will get the entire book condensed into a few SMSes. The concept that a novel can also be ‘read’ via SMS and ‘heard’ at any time via voice portals is itself an unique and innovative idea,” says Krishna Durbha, head (VAS) of Reliance Communications.

Coming soon: Talking cars that avoid crashes
Talking cars aren’t science fiction anymore - thanks to scientists who have developed a set of algorithms that will allow robotic cars of the future to communicate with each other to help avoid collisions. An international team, led by Indian-origin scientists Dr Bhibhya Sharma and Dr Utesh Chand of the University of the South Pacific, has developed the mathematical equations, which would also instruct robotic cars how to change lanes safely. According to Dr Sharma, the series of mathematical equations would instruct robotic cars when and how to merge lanes, which could lead to less accidents and ease traffic congestions. “Flocking is a biologically inspired technique and a strategy commonly used in robotics. One of the advantages of flocking is that robots can work together and achieve what would take individuals far longer,” he said.

Woman escapes wrong turn into croc-filled river
An Australian woman had a lucky escape after making a wrong turn into a crocodile-infested river in the country’s remote north, police said. The woman mistook a boat ramp for a road crossing the East Alligator River, about 300 kilometres east of Darwin, police said. Officers who retrieved the vehicle after the accident found it surrounded by deadly saltwater crocodiles. Police said the woman, from New South Wales state, had to scramble through the water as her four-wheel drive sank into the river near the world heritage-listed Kakadu National Park.

Beckham slams rumours of steamy ad with Jolie


ootball star David Beckham has slammed rumours that he is set to strip for a raunchy poster ad with Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie, saying he is married and can’t take up such assignments. After Beckham unveiled his new steamy advertisement for Emporio Armani, it was rumoured that officials at the fashion firm wanted him to team up with Jolie for a traffic-stopping billboard campaign. The footballer admits he’s a Jolie fan, but insists the news isn’t true, reported contactmusic.com. “I definitely don’t think that’s true. She’s an amazing person and so is Brad Pitt. They’re an incredible couple... got an amazing family. You know she wouldn’t do it and I wouldn’t do it. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t do it because I’m married,” he said. ■


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Alternative games
More than 10,000 competitors have been competing in events from watermelon-seed-spitting to armpit-squelching at this year’s Redneck Games in Georgia.

Websites of the day
All you ever needed to know about handbags: www.armcandygirl.com Enjoy the wisdom of the world’s most famous and least popular pop princess http://www.britneyspears.com

Girl recovers fully after donor heart removed
Couples living in sin more likely to split later


British girl who was given an extra heart as a toddler has become the world’s first heart transplant patient to make a full recovery after having her donor organ removed and function restored to her original heart. Hannah Clark, now 16, had a “piggyback” transplant operation in 1995 aged two, when a new heart was inserted in parallel to her own failing one. The donor organ had to be removed 3-1/2 years ago because the immunosuppressant drugs she was taking to avoid organ rejection caused cancer - but by then her own heart had recovered sufficiently to work on its own. Since the surgery, which took place in 2006, Clark has made a full recovery from the cancer and has a normal cardiac function, her doctors said. “Now we are a lot more confident (about this procedure),” said Magdi Yacoub from Imperial College London, who co-led the surgery team. “The heart muscle itself, which was not doing anything at all, has recovered.” He added cardiomyopathy, or the deterioration of the function

of the heart muscle, was relatively common in children in the first year of their life. Victor Tsang from Great Ormond Street Hospital, who was the other surgery team leader, said Clarke’s case offered hope for other patients with heart failure. “Hannah’s case highlights that in cases of cardiomyopathy such as hers, it is possible for the patient’s own heart to make a full recovery if it is given adequate support to do so,” Tsang told reporters. Her case study was reported in the Lancet medical journal. Clark, who was forced to take 16 different drugs at one stage to control her illness, burst into tears when a journalist asked her to relate how her life has changed with the surgery. She said she was cherishing every moment and now has a Saturday job working with animals. “Thanks to this operation, I’ve now got a normal life just like all of my friends.” Her mother Elizabeth Clark said: “She doesn’t think about tomorrow, she thinks about today. She wakes up smiling every day.” ■

A British girl who had a donor heart grafted onto her own after suffering cardiac failure as a baby has had the transplant removed and is living a healthy life with her own heart, doctors said. The case of Hannah Clark is thought to be the only one in the world where a child’s failing heart recovered enough for the donor organ to be removed


ouples living together before their engagement are more likely to split than those who wait until their wedding, or at least wait until they are engaged, according to a recent study. Besides, couples who cohabit before their engagement and then get married reported a lower satisfaction in their marriages. The research was conducted by University of Denver (DU) researchers Galena Rhoades, Scott Stanley and Howard Markman. “We think that some couples who move in together without a clear commitment to marriage may wind up sliding into marriage partly because they are already cohabiting,” Rhoades said. “It seems wise to talk about

commitment and what living together might mean for the future of the relationship before moving in together, especially because cohabiting makes it harder to break up compared to dating,” Stanley added. The three researchers also found why couples decide to live together. They want to spend more time together. The second most popular reason is convenience, followed by testing the relationship. “Cohabiting to test a relationship turns out to be associated with the most problems in relationships,” Rhoades said. These findings appeared in the Journal of Family Psychology. ■

Hannah Clark.


Grand plans

ERGO Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will hold lectures for national players to help them deal with the constant pressure from media and passionate fans. "We’re planning a series of sessions on personality development, dealing with pressure and other things, where we’ll bring in experts to talk to the players and help them," BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said.

Bangladesh celebrate rare Test victory
Bangladesh savoured only their second victory in 60 Tests on Tuesday after their team overcame a makeshift West Indies in the first test in Kingstown, St Vincent. However, the celebrations were restrained as West Indies were forced to field seven debutants in a hastily-assembled squad after a boycott by leading players due to contractual and payment issues. The only previous win for Bangladesh, granted test status in 2000, had come against the visiting Zimbabwe in 2005. Victory was still uncertain when Bangladesh fans went to bed as the team had only 80 overs to bowl out West Indies after setting a fourth-innings target of 277 runs on the final day. Bangladesh wrapped up a 95-run win, taking the lead in the two-test series. In 2003, Bangladesh lost to Pakistan by one wicket and also had Australia and New Zealand reeling in 2006 and 2008 respectively, only to let them escape and clinch identical three-wicket wins. Bangladesh spin bowlers Mohammed Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasan shared eight wickets in the second innings to dismiss West Indies for 181 runs with just over 40 minutes of play left. Sweets were distributed at the Bangladesh Cricket Board headquarters and board president Sina Ibn Jamali congratulated the team.

Brothe in arms
Dinesh Patel (left) and Rinku Singh (second left), winners of a nationwide baseball pitching contest, watch as U.S. ambassador to India David C. Mulford (right) speaks after handing them visas in New Delhi. PHOTO: AFP

Aiming ahead
Blindness has not been able to diminish his thirst for life and 15-year-old Ankur Dhama is out to win the world when he takes part in the IBSA World Youth and Student Championships, beginning in Colorado Springs from Wednesday. Dhama is the only one who is totally blind in a group of eight visually challenged athletes who will represent India in the world meet. He clinched gold in both 400 and 800m at the 16th National Sports Meet for the Blind in Ludhiana that fetched him a spot in the national team. “I had some good practice seasons in Delhi in the lead-up to the tournament. Now I am looking forward to perform well and make my country proud,” said Dhama, who will compete in the 400m and 800 metres race. “I will try my best to fetch medals in the six-day event although I don’t want to promise anything right now as I am concentrating on my events starting from July 17,” added the class IX student from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh.

Rinku Singh a winners of th Arm contest, h rollicking star professional b


Mixed day for Indians
Indian recurve archers finished second in the qualification round of the 11th Youth World Championship at Ogden, Utah, on Monday. Korea and hosts United States took the Day One honours. According to information received, Bengal’s Atanu Das, who is with Tata Archery Academy, stood fifth overall in individual qualification with a total of 1294 points. Pawan Xalxo of Jharkhand was 10th overall with 1279 while the third Indian, Hemanta Basumatary of Assam, was 28th with 1249. The three combined to give India a total of 3822 points that fetched the country a creditable second place behind Korea (4018) in the team qualification. India will take on 15th ranked Khazakstan in the first round of team elimination. It was a disappointing day for the junior women trio of Balemai Hansda (1224), Seema Verma (1210) and Sumita Kumari (1187) who ended 38th, 44th and 53rd, respectively.

farmhand a year back, Rinku Singh on Monday tasted his first professional victory on a baseball field far away at the Gold Coast in the U.S. Believed to have a fast throw, the lad from Uttar Pradesh stuck down the only batter he faced, handing his minor league team, Bradenton Pirates a comfortable 10-5 win over Lakeland Tigers in a Gulf Coast League doubleheader. “It’ll still take some time to sink in. But it’s a huge step forward. In our first game, I was a bit overawed,” Rinku, who had occasionally dabbled in javelin throwing back in India, said from Bradenton, Florida. “But now everything is good. It’s a very big opportunity and we have to make India look better.” Winning an unheard television reality show ‘Million Dollar Arm’ back in India, Rinku along with Gujarat’s Dinesh Patel had travelled to the U.S. and trained un-

der professional coach Tom House before being signed by Major League Baseball side Pittsburgh Pirates during the yearly players’ draft. Earlier last week the pair had each threw an inning in relief in a game against the Gulf Coast League Yankees. “It’s very tough and hard. Everything follows like a clock and people are very particular. We wake up at 7 am, stretch and condition. All day long we’re just working out,” Dinesh said about their “changed” daily routine. “Back home we just used to wander around and maybe help my brothers in the field after breakfast.” They are slowly getting imbibed to the American way of life and both Rinku and Dinesh have their favourites. “Shopping malls. I like American music too ... Rap, Eminem,” Dinesh blurts it all out in one breath. A more sedate Rinku though chooses to be a bit more diplomatic: “First is baseball. I like American music and American food. I listen to everything.”

But they have also made sure that few of their American team mates to get a taste of our desi beats. “In their (dorm) room they play their traditional Indian music. It’s catchy,” second baseman Gift Ngoepe said. “It’s good to have them around. They are on either side (of my locker) and are constantly chattering in Hindi. I don’t understand a thing but they are very committed and dedicated.” Feeling homesick at times, the pitchers are in constant touch with their home and Dinesh boasts here too. “I talk a lot, four times a week. One or two hours is minimum, at times it goes till four. You can’t live without talking to friends and family,” he says. “All of them are excited to know how things are different here.” Both dream of making it to the highest level – the MLB – and Rinku says: “Our main focus is baseball. We are getting nice training facilities and we need to make the most of it. Learning English is also important because

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

‘‘ ers

Mike Atherton

Whisper it...but the injury to Andrew Flintoff is not necessarily bad news for England. That is no longer the kind of heretical statement that would, once upon a time, have brought upon the perpetrator the Inquisition. There is now a general realisation that the talismanic all-rounder of four years ago is not as central to England’s success as before. Like a second-hand car with plenty of miles on the clock, Flintoff’s body has become unreliable. It is a truism that when you set off on a long journey, you are just not quite sure whether you will reach the destination.


and Dinesh Patel, e Million Dollar have had a t to their baseball league

communication is vital in baseball. We need to keep on working hard and hope for the best.” The more talkative, Dinesh has already set a timeframe of five years for the final pitch. “It will take time. We don’t have experience. I don’t know the future but I can make it there in four or five years maybe.” Other players too agree. “I do, I really do, after this year they’ll get a better feel,” says rehab pitcher Justin Vaclavik. “They haven’t got a break from throwing. Being the first year they’re doing really well ... it will take a couple of years.” A rank higher, Bradenton Pirates first team pitcher, Brent Klinger adds: “Right now, no, but over the period of a few years maybe. They have the potential, they have to just apply themselves. I’ve been playing since I was eight, they have just started playing.” Meanwhile, the two are making the most of the opportunity and also dream of making it to the Olympics with the Indian baseball team. ■

Rinku Singh pitches during a professional baseball game in the Gulf Coast League in Bradenton, Florida. PHOTO: AFP


ERGO Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Emma Watson to play princess
After playing a witch in the Harry Potter series, British actress Emma Watson will be seen as a princess in a musical in which she teams up with rocker Marilyn Manson.

“I’m blown away by Shah Rukh”
e had written reams of notes on how he wanted to interpret his character (in My Name Is Khan). And to him it was no big deal. He’s ready to direct a film any time. He will be outstanding at it,” Karan, whose last directorial venture Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna fell flat at the box office, told. For My Name Is Khan, Karan is bringing Shah Rukh and Kajol together on screen after a long time and he says they bring out the best in him. “I’m blessed to have them in my film. I don’t know what it is about them. It’s just magic. They build an inexplicable energy on screen. When I direct a scene with Shah Rukh and Kajol, I know I’m doing my best work,” he said. My Name Is Khan is about a Muslim who suffers from the Asperger syndrome, a form of autism that impacts social interaction abilities, and he is arrested as a suspected terrorist in post-9/ 11 Los Angeles after authorities mistake his disability for suspicious behaviour. Excerpts from the interview: My Name Is Khan has no lip-sync songs? No, none. The songs are all in the background. In LA, we had fans coming to us to ask if there was any track like “Suraj hua madham” in “My Name Is Khan”. This time there’s no “It’s the time to disco” and “Where’s the party tonight”. But there’s guts, soul and heart in the music. I’ve a huge comfort zone with my composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. That’s the only way good work can be done. Apparently, Javed Akhtar refused to share lyrical credits with Niranjan Iyer? Javed-saab is a father figure and our rapport goes way beyond work. Niranjan has written the dialogues and two songs in My Name Is Khan. Javed-saab was gracious enough to let Nirajan write the rest of the songs. And when I insisted, Javed-saab had to write one song that only he could and he very kindly agreed. He’s also written the lyrics of my production “Wake Up, Sid”. How was it directing Shah Rukh and Kajol again? I am blessed to have them in my film. I don’t know what it is about them. It’s just magic. They build an inexplicable energy on screen. They instinctively understand each other’s acting. When I direct a scene with Shah Rukh and Kajol, I know I’m doing my best work. These two characters in My Name Is Khan had to be Shah Rukh and Kajol. You almost didn’t get Kajol? She had to read the script. That was it. She said yes. I wouldn’t want any actor to say yes to my film just because he or she is a friend. I want my actors to really do the role. I’ve great friendships, but I don’t want any actor to compromise on his or her basic tenets on cinema. Was Kajol weighed down on location by her motherly duties? Not at all. I’ve worked with Kajol in various stages of her life. I’m working with her again eight years later. When we worked the last time, she didn’t have a daughter. So, of course, she’s a different person. Today, I find her calmer more focused on her work than ever before. Kajol manages to be fantastic wife-mother and actress. I find Shah Rukh and Kajol alike in their attitude to work and family. They’re both so much into their spouses and kids. When the shot is over, they rush to their respective family. On location in LA between shots they spoke to each other about their respective families. How was Shah Rukh? Time and again I’m blown away by Shah Rukh. How can he think of so many things about his character when he has so much on his plate? He has done monumental research on his autistic character. I was zapped by how much he knew on the subject. And he brought all the knowledge on the sets. He had written reams of notes on how he wanted to interpret his character. And to him it was no big deal. He’s ready to direct a film any time. He will be outstanding at it. His understanding of human nature and emotions can never be matched by me. ■

Their last outing together was a damp squib, but Karan Johar hasn’t lost his faith in Shah Rukh Khan. He has once again teamed up with him and Kajol for My Name Is Khan and says the superstar is not only good at emoting but is capable of directing a film too.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Spears under pressure to lose weight
Pop star Britney Spears has gained 14 pounds in just one month following a break in her world tour and is now under pressure to lose it. “She was in tears saying they’re calling her fat again,” contactmusic.com quoted a source as saying.

MJ’s coffin moved
To basement of Forest Lawn Memorial Park

Cine City


ate Michael Jackson’s coffin has been secretly moved in Motown founder Berry Gordy’s private crypt at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, according to the sources. The Jackson family decided to move the casket after the Thriller hitmaker’s fans started gathering try and get a look at the coffin. “The Jackson family was not pleased and ordered the casket to be placed in the basement for security reasons,” the Sun quoted a source as saying. The source also revealed that Michael’s sister LaToya, in charge of her brother’s body, picked out everything he wore in the viewing casket. The 50-year-old singer, who apparently died of the cardiac arrest, was wearing two black gloves, black trousers studded with black beads, a pearlbeaded white jacket he wore to the Grammys, and an over-sized gold belt that resembled a championship boxing belt. Michael’s signature white glove has also been placed in the casket. ■

There has been delay in the making of Mani Ratnam’s star-studded movie Ravana and the reasons were always kept under the wrap. We now hear the movie is almost complete but yet there has been a halt. If the grapevine is to be believed, Mani seems to be unhappy with the outcome and has decided to reshoot a few scenes of the film. It is believed that he has requested the star couple Aishwarya and Abhishek to block some dates for the reshoot. Best of luck Mani Ratnam.

Fox’s phobia
odel-turned-actress Megan Fox says that she is not very fond of watching herself on screen. The Transformers star avoids checking out her own performance, reported thesun.co.uk. “I usually don’t watch myself. I don’t watch playback. I don’t look at still photos. I have a phobia of it,” she said. “But I forced myself to sit down for Transformers 2,” she added. ■


Prithvi tied up with work
With a line of projects in Malayalam and Tamil in his kitty, actor Prithviraj’s schedule is busy till the end of 2010. Prithvi is also making his foray in Telugu with Police Police. He will be seen in Ninaithale Inikkum and Mani Ratnam’s Ravana this year. Industry sources say that he is the most sought after actor in South Indian film industry. Way to go Prithvi!


ERGO Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shiron from Allsec Technologies has nominated his Batch 315 as Partners in Crime. This picture was clicked during their VGP trip.

Mohandass from Technocrat Automation Limited has nominated his team as Partners in Crime. This photo was taken at Siruvani, Coimbatore.

Pallavi K. from Accenture India has nominated her friends Vijji, Ancy, Saras and Pallavi as Partners in Crime. This photo taken in Besant Nagar Beach.

Sunandan K. from HCL Technologies has nominated his team as Partners in Crime. This photo was clicked at Manjolai.

Venkatesh from Sify Technologies has nominated his friends as Partners in Crime. This picture was clicked at Calicut near Reji’s home.

Kumar from Cognizant Technology Solution, ASV Sun Tech Park, Thoraipakkam has nominated Team GENESIS as Partners in Crime. This photo was taken during thier Graduation Day 2009.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Prithvi from Cognizant Technologies Solutions has been nominated Office Angel by her friends Arthi and Savitha.
Popularly known as ‘Bells Prithvi’, is very famous in our team for dedication and sincerity. She will make sure that whatever work she takes up is perfect and flawless. On the other side, she is completely enjoy-everymoment gal with the friends around. She is very well known as a silent person in the team but she is completely the other way around.

■ Hi Vipin, On ur birthday I wish u much pleasure and joy; I hope all of ur wishes come true. May each hour and minute be filled with delight, and ur birthday be perfect for u! "May God bless u today and forever"
with cheerz, Sanju, Prashant, Ram, Jebarson, Shiv, Mayuri, Shivani, Milee, TCS

shower his blessing on u always & keep u safe in his hands & till I leave this world I will u love u madly, deeply, truly from my bottom of my heart. U make my life so beautiful with that simple rare smile of urs.
with love ur fuffy (manu) RR Donnelley

■ Hi Akila, May god smile upon ur face and gift u with everything that ur heart desires now and always! Happy Birthday Akila.
By, Your loving friends BVJ, Janaki, Jeysri and Kosalai.

■ Dear Ritu, Wish you a very happy birthday my dear friend. May all your wishes come true. You are among the ones who are sent to earth to make others smile. May God continue to give you reasons to smile forever as you deserve to do so.
Rohit Singh Jadaun, Tata Consultancy Services

■ Hi Kavitha, Many more happy returns of ur sweet birthday.
Regards Senthilkumar S., TCS

■ Dear Naveen, Once a year I get the chance to wish u birthday cheer. It pleases me no end to say, I wish u another great year. So happy birthday to u Naveen, from the bottom of my heart. And may your good times multiply, till they’re flying off the chart!
Lakshman, Makesh & Vijay Barclays, Steria

■ Hey Sandy, A smile is a curve that sets everything straight and wipes wrinkle away hope u share a lots and receive a lots 4 days 2 come happy birthday...
With Love, Vijaya :)

Belated Wishes
■ Dear Thalai (Rathinavel), We wish u a wonderful life filed with luv and happiness. UR birthday makes the day all the more spl and beautiful. Happy Birthday
With Best Wishes, CITI-GTS, Polaris

■ Dear P. Minnezhil (AKKA), On this special day, we wish u many years of laughter and life’s best treasures. May this year be filled with sweet memories and happy hours. Wishing u all the fun and excitement that only birthday’s can bring!!! Have a wonderful and a Blast year ahead...
Regards, dotOPal Team, Scope International

■ Dear Suchitra, A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the journey. A special person like u deserves the best that each day can bring. Manymore happy returns of the day
Regards CITI-GTS, Polaris

Mahesh Rajamani of Perot Systems doodled this.

■ Hi Singapore Sarada, Its a nice feeling when u know that some one likes u, some one thinks about u, some one needs u; but it feels much better when u know that someone never ever forgets ur birthday. Happy Birthday.
With luv, CODC Bench, HCL Technologies, ETA1, Navalur.

■ Hi Murali, Wish u Happy married life
rgds, Ashok Kumar, Prakash Hexaware, Senthil Kumar Wipro, Vijai Aand CTS, Ganesan Mettur

■ Dear Addy, On your birthday, special one, We wish that all ur dreams come true. May ur day be filled with joy, Wonderful gifts and goodies, too. On this day we wish for u Favourite people to embrace, Loving smiles and caring looks That earthly gifts cannot replace. We wish u fine and simple pleasures. We wish u many years of laughter. We wish u all of life’s best treasures. We wish u happily ever after! Happy Birthday!
With loads of love, Asky, Gireesh, Shiva, Vinoth, Philip, Sabari, Vasanth, Anirudh, Mukilan, Andy, Anitha, Moksh, Akshay, Pradeep, TCS

■ Dear Yuva, On this special day, We wish u many years of laughter and life’s best treasures. May this year be filled with sweet memories and happy hours. Wishing u all the fun and excitement that only birthday’s can bring!!! Have a wonderful and a Blast year ahead… Happy First Birthday Mrs. Yuvarani Rajaraman!!!
Regards, Route # 4 friends, Scope International

1. Typewriting institute pona ’Typewriting’ varum Cancer institute pona ’Cancer’ varuma. 2. Oru payyan roadla nadandhu poitay irukkum podhu thumbitay poraan... En? because avan oru podi payyan...
Priyadarshini Gunasekaran Ford Technology Services India.

■ Dear Pappu, (Pradeep) I am the happiest person today pappu cos it is ur birthday I know u were born for me just for me. Happy birthday my love. I don’t find words to describe how much u mean to me .I pray may God

■ Dear Muthu (Mutta kanna), Wish you a very Happy Birthday wishes da. Yes, iniya pirandha naal vaazhthukkal da. Keep smiling always like this da but make sure no one sees it. May all your dreams come true in the upcoming year. Now coming to the important section- Alreef/Basera/ residency/Kebab court???!!!
ippadikku anbulla tholarpadai, Prasad, Venkatesh (^2), Ravi, BowBow, RjPal, Siva, Laavanyaaaa(DM), Saravanan, Senthil, Karthi, Kiran, Gayathri, Pradeep, Suresh Wipro.

Swearing reduces pain

ERGO Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Scientists at England’s Keele University say people swear when they hurt themselves because it actually reduces the pain.


Rajesh CP from HCL Technologies has shot this picture in Kerala using Sony camera. Hobbies : Travelling and watching movies

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Genie in a court room
A family in Saudi Arabia is taking a genie to court - for throwing stones at them and stealing their mobile phones.

Word’s worth
Winx (wingks) an obsolete word meaning ‘to bray like an ass.’ If you’d rather sound like the other laughing animal, the hyena, the word for making that sound is hau-hau.

An average day on the professional front, says Ganesha. Mundane tasks may consume a lot of time and energy, despite that your concern for quality work will remain high. Later in the day, you may be worried about pending work.

The day will start chaotically. You will have a lot of work piled up on your desk and you will have to sweat it out at work, irrespective of the temperature outside. As the day progresses, you may feel worked out and tired.



You will get a couple of lessons in doing well in the professional world during the first half of the day. The second half will be about implementing the lessons learned. The day will demand maximum use of your brains.

Ganesha predicts you will enjoy your time at work today. The day at office will be all about you flaunting your skills. Time is good for working on new assignments. You may be able to strike a better level of understanding with your sweetheart.

LEO JULY 21 - AUG 20
Ceaseless thinking may keep you preoccupied the entire day. Be it home or office, you will be contemplating something or the other. All this thinking will be mostly about matters related to your personal life, especially your love life.




In the first half of the day, you will talk more and work less. But things will dramatically turn around in the latter part of the day. Here you will hardly have time to talk or even think. A nice romantic dinner is on the cards, says Ganesha.

At the beginning of the day, you will focus on yourself but as the day progresses, you may start thinking about money matters, job responsibilities and job security. Your relation with your loved one may strengthen up because of a positive event.

The day may not begin with any good news. But don’t worry. The latter part of the day is entirely in your favour. You will be duly recognised by your peers and superiors for your decision-making skills and ability to read a situation well.

Ganesha predicts that you will be very busy with a wide range of activities at the office. Your colleagues will constantly seek your guidance and suggestions. The latter part of the day is slightly unfavourable for important professional decisions.

You may be brimming with energy during the first part of the day but lack of favourable results will eventually lead to a burnout. You may want to get a little more organised and disciplined at work. Your loved one may demand a lot of attention.


You will share your views and plans with your team members and even your superiors. It might get slightly difficult to convince all of them on every issue, but will eventually succeed if you persevere hard enough.

Ganesha confers you as the Sultan of mood swings today. In the beginning, you will be bored, lax and lethargic. The work will be routine and boring. But in second half, you will take up the mantle of motivating others.
Predictions by Bhavesh N. Pattni

16 !

ERGO Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A dancer with the group Pilobolus performs a scene from "Dog-Id" during a dress rehearsal before the opening night at the Joyce Theatre in New York. PHOTO: AFP

Nine Alphajets from the French Air Force’s Patrouille de France, or French Acrobatic Patrol, fly in their arrow formation over the Arc de Triomphe monument during the Bastille Day military parade on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris. PHOTO: AFP

A bee drinks nectar from a flower in the eastern German town of Hohen Neuendorf. PHOTO: AFP

An athlete is seen in silhouette as she competes in the women’s triple jump during the IAAF Athens Grand Prix Tsiklitiria 2009 at the Athens Olympic stadium. PHOTO: AFP