The Chamber – John Ghrisham. A Review.

Hello All,

I feel very surprising to write this. You know why? I never thought that i can write a review  of a novel, especially a 600 page one. This is a new thing that I have started after coming to my new room. The idea of reading  a novel started on a very ad-hoc basis just by vising a Higginbotham’s store at Chennai central railway station and suddenly buy a catchy book.

And that catchy book happened to be John Grisham’s “The Chamber”. I started reading this book with a very Little passion and believe me it dragged me to read it for three continuous day. I never know how did I do it.

The story starts with a flash back about a Gang of Klansman that involve in a serious bombing of the Law office of Kramers. This will be explained in much reality talking about the way the two kramer twins will be thrown to the Ceil’s of the office floor and all that. He also talks about the media buzz, FBI investigation etc etc.

Sam Cyhall, happened to be a part of this bombing, around whom the story revolves around until his end. He a kind of relatively innocent compared to others that are involved in the bombing. He will be caught by the police for this murder case. And after a long struggle by Kramer, he will be imposed with a death penalty.

The later few episodes, deals much about Cyhall’s struggle to get out of prison and the intervention of few famous Pro-Bono organizations to help him legally. They also flashes you back to the days when Sam was young and was involved in much brutal stuff as part of the Klan.Though it sounds brutal and heartless about Sam, the writer was very effective in create a Good/Decent impression about Sam at the end of the novel.

The writer explains very well much about the circumstances and the thing at Death Row/ MSU (Maximum Security Unit as they call it). It creates lot of interest about the surroundings and the situations inside the death row. He also explains about how they maintain the typical security in MSU. Later he gives much closer look at the Death row, talking about the daily habits of Death row inmates, Their mentalities, their timings, the details about their prison rooms, the way the security system works, the part times of the death row inmates.

The story continues, by explaining much about Sam in Death row. His relationship with the security people. His part time. His friends who only speaks but can not have a look at each other. His hobby of reading the Law books and using a small old type writer to put something on paper. His Habit of chain smoking. The goodies that he gets from his secret brother every month. His dressing in the prison and outside the prison. His mentality. His knowledge in law.

Then enters the hero this novel, Adam Hall.  A  young Law graduate, Just out of his college, approaches a famous law organization and makes a deal with them to represent / help Sam in the death row.Seeing his courage to take up such a tough assignment. The way the writer explains this character is mind blowing. This character shows up his dynamism, confidence, toughness, emotion, and sentiment.  Though he initially hesitates to reveal him as Sam’s grand son, he will be honest to accept it later before all those he had hided that.The initial states of his interaction with the prison personal’s and Sam are much interesting and fascinating.

Slowly, Sam and Adam gets in to business. Sam and his prison \mets always call him a kid (in Law). Probably, Sam know much better than Adam. Adam starts applying his Gang plank appeals to different courts in all the possible ways that he can. He faces many disappointments. He faces may hopeful moments. He also faces some frustrations as well.  This is the part where the author shows his knowledge in Law. This is where I came to know of new and interesting things about US law.

Adam keep getting closer his Grand Fa and their relation will keep on becoming stronger and affectionate. Author keeps track some of the Adam’s relations like Sam’s daughters. But, he is not so successful in using this particular character. This character come in to the picture like a Storm and suddenly goes off somewhere in the air until the climax of this novel. It is during the climax when Sam’s brother comes in to picture.

The Governor of the state, is another important character of this story. He is the only person that sam hated most and he had taken a written contract from Adam restricting Adam to speak to Governor. Governor plays most important role in deciding weather sam has to die or not. Towards the end of the story, author keeps you in the pace of sentiment and almost drags you in to tears in some situations. Especially, when the days are nearing to Sam and there are no much of surprises that Adam can make. He also keeps a the suspense of the story by always keeping a secret character that is assumed to have helped Sam in planing the bombs during the Kramer bombing.  Adam, tries a lot to find about that secret accomplice but Sam never reveals about it.

Towards the end, the story becomes more suspense with all the following questions….

1) Will Sam be Gassed ?

2) Will there be a surprise at the last minute ?

3) Will Governor grants freedom to Sam ?

4) What happens to Sam’s belongings ?

5) If Sam is gassed, where will be be buried ?

6) How are the last moments of sam ?

7) Who are all that witnessed Sam’s death ?

8) What is the Sam’s Last meal ?

etc etc etc…..

For more details, I suggest you guys to read the novel. Believe me, this very interesting at the end. ………. !

Your comments and criticism are most well come. I strognly recommond this book and I took 10 days to complete this 600 page book. 🙂

Regards,

Durga Prasad Tamirisa

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A Quick recap on Apr-May 2009

Hello Folks,

Its become a good practice for me to disappear from the blogosphere for a month or two and coming up with a post that starts with an apology for the disappearance. 🙂 Believe me you would have seen such apologies 3 or 4 times in my posts. Well…!!! Let me start this post as well with such an apology, but in a different way. :-). I will talk “why am i busy” in this post.

My past one month has been great and I have undergone so many changes personally and professionally. After my sister’s marriage, I started feeling that I am quite capable of coping up with such a big responsibilities in my life (Believe me, I mean it/ felt it).  My sis is doing good now and may fly in few weeks. 🙂 .

My bike……!! This is big story. No accidents/scratches as of now fortunately. Driving safely with an average speed of 60- 70 on the high way  and finally crossed the mark of 1500 KM. The first service is done and it running pretty satisfactory. I thought of writing a review on it if time permits. But again, I am afraid to write a review because of a bitter comment from an anonymous in the past. Remember the review on HP series…?? Some body named Alex has written a comment back to me scolding me in Greek and Latin, giving me left and right, posting hella lot of links that contradicts my words in that post. 😦

New room……!! This also happened in Apr-May 2009.  It all started when TCS had increased the Travelling Bus charges from 1000/- to 2500/- suddenly. I felt it rude and thought of this idea. Ofcourse, My new bike is a result of this (Thanks to TCS). Taken the bike and shifted my room near office (18 KM) from the office. The room is exactly as I expected, with all the furniture and with the cooking facility. I didn’t care even the rent is quite high compared to my previous room. It happened later that A/C if fit in my room and that solved the issue of this typical summer heat. Arranged a home theatre with my sexy Creative speakers and using my IPOD to play songs in it. 🙂 No compromise in music at all…..

My office work. I got a top rating this time in my profession and special thanks to the management for recognizing me well. This also opens another gate of hard work. Since I got A grade, The expectations increase and eventually the work increases and so the responsibilities. One way its good to me that I am still learning a lot day by day. These days I am learning much on “How to manage”. I got a VISA in  my hand and now the next question is “When will I fly?”. I am waiting for the answer from my manager and hope they will respond soon.

Friends…!!!!! These two months are been the months where in I didn’t get much time to interact with my Friends personally. However, I have spent lot of my time with one of my best friends (The two Kutty kids and their family). Roamed around the city on bike.

Shopping….!!! Though, I have done lot of shopping during my sisters marriage, I din’t stop to buy stuff. Recently, brought, 3 Pairs of formals and 3 Tee’s in Pantaloons. Bought a new pair of Woodlands rock shoes.

Outing …!!! All my office friendly gang went for a treak to the hills of death which you would have seen in one of my previous post. It was an damn complex and wonderful trek. I always admire CTC for giving such a wonderfull weekend in my life. I made very good use of my Woodland shoes in this trek.

Other than the trek I visited some places in Chennai on my bike which are worth visiting. One of them is the Music Academy to watch the Maya bazaar drama Sponsered by EVAM and played by Surabhi Group. It feels very good to see such a great art from all the members of the same family.

CSR….! There is absolutely nothing that i have done in this front. And for this i got lot of scoldings from my boss Mukund. I hope i will try to make it atleast this sunday. 😦

Well….! This summarizes my life in last two months. 🙂 So….Now does it summarize that I am busy ? 😉

Cheers !!!!!

Have a great weekend.

Durga Prasad.

In search of a root tip of “corruption”.

Hello Dear Readers,

Today I was recalling one of the discussions that I had with the son(Rahul) of a very famous general stores in my home town. This is a very busy store which always has at least 20-30 customers standing in line to get the stuff from the shopkeeper. 

The discussion was basically about the corruption. Well… I mean, the shopkeeper not giving the bills to the customers, thereby not paying the tax to government (Which he is suppose to pay). The shopkeepers son is a  B.Tech Graduate from a famous college in AP. He was asking me the details of a software that he can buy for the use in his shop to minimize the paper work that they are doing currently. Currently, there is no automatic billing system and they give the handwritten bills to the customers which are not accountable and so the money going in to the Black Account.

The discussion went as below.  (Being a techie software professional, I started with first step in SDLC.)

Me: So… What kind of software you are looking for and what are your requirements ?

Rahul: Well…! Not much expensive. It should just be replacing the manual work which we are doing in our shop.

Me:So…. You are gonna give computerized bills to the customers is it ? Does that mean you are staring to pay the tax correctly.

Rahul:Excuse me !!! That’s not possible.  (Hesitated to speak much here).

Me: Sorry….! I didn’t get you. (Trying to be smart to get more info).

Rahul: Well..! Frankly, My intention of this software is not to pay taxes, but just to remove one more worker from my shop (who is working on accounting now), and get more profit thereby.

Me:(Smiling) Ok Ok. I know this is all very common everywhere. But can I ask you one realistic question? (Discussion slowly deviating from Software to corruption).

Rahul: Why not ? Go ahead.

Me: Why don’t you start paying the tax correctly to Government ? What is dragging you back from paying it ?

Rahul: (With a smile and a hesitation on his face). Well..! The answer is the Profit. 🙂

And yes ! We can really start paying the tax to the Govt. But, let me explain this to you with a simple example. 

We get a load of 20 Boxes (Each Box contains 100 pieces) of XYZ detergent soap 20 times a month. XYZ is the fastest selling detergent and most of the supplies in our home town goes from our shop as it is 50 PS less than all other shops. But, XYZ gives the bill only once (for 20 Boxes) in three months.

Suppose if we have to start paying tax, We have to ask all our suppliers to do the same. This is not so easy as they are all the big heads under the shadows of political cover.

Moreover, If I pay tax, I should defnitely increase the rates of all the items accordingly. At the same time, the customers will be reduced because of the increase in rates.

If I still have to over come this, I have ask all my co-shoppers to start paying tax as well. For which they will say “Get Lost”.

On top of all this, Paying tax will not let me get rid of paying the monthly bribe to the local tax officer.

So, now you tell me..?? Should I pay tax or not?

Me: —————– (JUST A BLANK FACE)——————–

 

So, Folks………. Think about this. Where is the root of this problem ? Where can I start, If i have to eradicate corruption ?  Can I be safe/successful in doing this?

I don’t have any answer for all the above questions. Do you ?

If you have have any ideas, Do let me know by commenting on this post.

Regards,

Mood: Very serious – Thinking Deep about corruption

Durga Prasad

Jai Ho !!! The review.

Hello All,

“Slumdog Millionire” finally is ready to hit the screens of Chennai in two of its current versions (English/Hindi). Some time back when I heard about the Golden Globe to AR Rehman, I was very curious to know/hear the songs in that movie. I finally happened to hear em yesterday, especially the song “Jai Ho”.

“Jai Ho” is definitely a breakthrough for AR Rehman from the Indian music in to international Music. Looking at the history of AR as a music director, his interest has been slowly moving from his mother tounge (Tamil) to Hindi and then to English.

“I can’t believe, I got golden award for this song.” —A. R. Rehaman.

Yeah..!! He can not believe it, because it is like any other Hindi song that he does. Ofcourse, all of his songs are different, Unique, and Excellent.  This song was composed by AR featuring Sukhwinder singh, Tanvi Shah, and Mahalakshmi Iyer.

Highlights:

1) AR’s High Pitch chorus (saying Jay Ho…….!!), eventhough it is just for few seconds, is an excellent garland for this song.  When I heard it for the first time, this two bit chorus drove me through the clouds of pleasure and satisfaction.

2) Drum’s (Probably given by Sivamani) are very good and suits the song correctly.

3) Sukhi, Ofcourse  sung it with his unique and own style. I observe lot of patriotism in Sukhi’s songs (Like the one Chak De India).

So My dear readers, Don’t miss this song. I am yet to see the movie. The review will follow..

Have a Nice Day!!!!

With love,

Durga Prasad

Ghajini – A review

Hello All,

The much awaiting Ghajini, a hindi remake of telugu/tamil Gajani had hit the screens of bollywood and moving forward with a good speed. Everybody had lot of expectation on this movie being starred by Aamir khan. I happened to see this movie last night and now I feel I am eligible to write a post giving my feedback on this movie. So, Here we go….

Aamir’s Performance:

You would have seen that few of my previous posts are about Aamir, which means that I admir Aamir and his hard work towards achieving what he wants. I could see the same clearly in this movie. Aamir is absolutely superb in this movie. This hard work for 9 months towards shaping this body to a Hard Gym body had shown up crystal clear on the screen. Ofcourse this acting… I have nothing new to talk about his acting. He is known for this creativity and acting skills. However, He didn’t put much of his creativity in this movie as it is a remake.

Aamir’s Getup:

Aamir’s get up was pretty much the same as Surya’s in tamil Gajini, ie., trimmed head with a gap starting from the forehead to the back of the head indicating an injury on the head. He comes on the screen with two different getup’s. One with the injury on the head and another a dynamic business man. The Business man get up was better than what surya had in the old gajini. Aamir looked really good in that get up. Apart of these two getups, Aamir comes on the screen often with a bare top. This getup mainly showcases Aamir’s body full of muscles and lots of information written on his body.

Plot/Story:

The plot was same as the Tamil gajini. The story goes on a concept of “hero taking revenge against a person that killed his fiance”. However, the movie was a biggest hit because of the twist that hero is a temporary memory loss patient who can only remember the happenings in last 15 minutes. The story flies around “how hero manages to keep track of the person’s whom he has to take the revenge on?”.At many places, Villon and other characters takes this as an advantage to escape from hero. Besides all this, the story keeps on touching the decent flash back of the hero. The flash back showcases his lovely relationship with a sweet lady called kalpana with whom he happened to fall in love.

Direction:

Though the same director has remade this movie in to Hindi, The story had been changed a bit by Aamir (Especially the climax). Director Murugadoss had succeeded to re-produce all the scenes same as in Tamil movie. But, as usual he was not able to get rid of those poor dumb flying shots. This is some thing which i really don’t like in this guy. He tries change the hero in to a superman, in which the Villon flies off when he just punches him. Otherwise his direction was pretty nice and especially the climax in Hindi Ghajini was really good. Unlike the climax in the Tamil gajini, this is directed in a better way showing his love towards Kalpana and the angry on the Villon at the same time.

Heroine:

Asin starred as the main heroine in this movie and she will be murdered by the Villon by hitting hardly on her head with an iron rod. Asin’s role is funny, active, caring and centimental. She cares much about the society. Her helping nature attracts the hero to fall in love with her.  Otherwise, there was no much change in Asin’s role compared to Tamil Gajini.

Music:

The music in Ghajini is supposed to be a talent fight between A R Rehman and Harris. But, practically I am not sure if it makes some sense. It is like a competition between a legend and an emerging music director. In my view, no one is less talented. They have their own ways of producing music and they can not be compared to each other. Of course, being a hard core fan of A R Rehman, my feet will tap alot for whatever AR makes. Overall, the songs are so nice in this. My favorites would be Behka and Guzarish.

What do I like most in this movie:

1). The first and foremost is Aamir. I like the serious looks of aamir which I often see in this movie.

2). Music By AR. Behka is an excellent song with lot of difficult nodes in it. Especially the phrases when 6 Aamir’s come together to sing. (Don’t remember the exact lyrics). Guzarish starts with a nice humming which, I am sure, will lost for atleast 1-2 years in the industry. It had already become the ringtone of my N73. I am not talking much about other song’s as these two always dominates all others.

3) I liked the climax scene very much. Aamir khan acted very well with his mixed emotions in this scene combining his  immense love towards heroine and the angry towards the villon.

Overall rating:

Overall, the movie was good. Its  no where boring. It has a very good music. Every body’s acting was good. Direction was good.

With all the above, I would give this movie 3.5/5.

So my dear readers,

this is my recommondation to every body to watch this excellent movie.

With Lots of love,

Durga Prasad (Siging off at 11.44 PM. Very sleepy).

Shopping Bonanza at chennai/Kanchipuram.

Hello All,

I would like to start this post with a note that it is very tough to go for a marriage shopping with all the ladies. I am telling this upon my experience when my parents and relatives came down to chennai for my sister’s marriage shopping.

Traveling half a day in a train, all my relatives along with my parents reached Chennai at 1.30PM on Sunday Evening (28th December 2008). We went to my room and had lunch self cooked by me. There started the local shopping in Saravana Stores. Since it is called as the best suited shop for the middle class items, we chose to go there first to have a look at the stuff  in side. They are all very stunned to see the crowd at Ranganadhan Street and Saravana Stores.

Phase I of the shopping started at the ground floor of Saravana stores which has all the saries and chudidars for ladies. My relatives from both the sides (Bride’s and Bride Groom’s) have started exploring the saries in their own way depending upon their tastes and needs. I was so bored after some time, as I was sick of hearing different types of ladies redymades like Salwar Kameez, Chudidar, Short Top, Long Top, Patiyala, Anarkali Dress etc etc.

Whew…!!!! Oh My god. How many models for Ladies. Are all these things really needed for them? Why are these many models not there for Gents? All these thoughts are roaming around my mind. It is not that easy to enjoy shopping in Saravana Stores because the shopping there is literally like a village festival (Called as Tirunall in telugu, Tiruvizha in tamil) with an exceptionally large crowd. I was not even able to move around becasue of the huge crowd standing every where with out even giving a way to  those who want to pass by. Half of the time I spent in supplying water to my relatives and searching for all of them and unite them at one place. 😦 This way, the Phase I of the shopping ended in Saravana Stores at 11.30PM starting form 4.10PM. However, we reached home very late by 12.50AM because of the remaining shopping in T-Nagar.

The next day started very early in the morning. We started to kanchipuram in MTC bus from CMBT. I was damn sleepy because of the least sleep last night and as soon as i got in to the bus, I slept off. By the time I woke up (After 1 1/2 hour) I realized that we reached Kanchipuram already. Kanchipuram is known for its ancient temples and the original hand woven mulberry silk saries. Even though this is my second visit to Kanchipuram, I explored much of it this time than the last time. The temples of Kanchipuram shows up the spirituality and they were built with the perfect Hindu Temple Architecture with multiple number of prakaras (Bounderies).

Ekamabaranath Temple At Kanchipuram.

Ekamabaranath Temple At Kanchipuram.

Sculpture At Kanchipuram

Sculpture At Kanchipuram

As soon as we got down at Kanchipuram, I called up one of my cousin studying there. His name is vinay, and he is been a very good guide the whole day. Since we reached early (at 7.00AM), we started with the Temple darshan’s. We visited Kamakshi Temple and then to Ekambarana Nath Temple. Both of them are known for their glowry and ancient ness. Kanchi Kamakshi temple is one of the very few Shakthi Peetha’s in India.  My sister started singing a krithi during the darshan and I was very much involved and enjoyed it. The darshan was very good at both the places.

We then quickly had breakfast and hired two auto’s for the entire day. Now starts the actual shopping bonanza. Since Kanchi is famous for the silk saries, there is always a scope for getting betrayed by the shopkeepers if the customer is innocent. As per the local people, there are few places called “Pattu Societies” which are trustable, as they have been given a certificate of trust from the central government of India. This seal is only for the Quality of the silk in those saries, But the rate may always vary accordingly.

We directly striked to a famous society called KK Society in Kanchipuram. When we are entering it, we have seen the many people making Pattu (silk) Saries using the corresponding machinery (Called Maggam in telugu). We were surprised to see their efforts to make a single sarie. It really take a very long time to come up with a beautiful Kanchi Pattu Sarie. Inside the society, we were been treated very well like their own relatives. One special thing about them is that they know many Indian languages and they are fluent enough to tackle the customers in these languages. The saries in these shops cost from 3000/- to 90,000/-. The shopkeeper will show you different varieties in your expected range and once the selections in differents varieties are decided you can bargain on the price. Every customer will be attended in a seperate room by a dedicated attendee who will be sitting with a blanket before him and an assistant of him will get all the sarries as per his order.

A scene inside the society shop.

A scene inside the society shop.

Our people started in the range of 9,000/- to 13,000/- and selected few saries that are very good looking and damn shining. It took them almost 3 hours to finish this selection and now comes the actual part of the purchase, ie, rate. We were not able to compromise on the rates that the attendee is telling. So, we dropped to purchase there after a very long selection of 3 hours. 😦 Hmm…..! What to do? Its my sister’s marriage. I need to have lot of patience in every activity.

After this we proceeded to another famous society called Kumaran Society, where we spend again a long time. Eventhough we left KK Society, everybody were thinking to go back to it to buy that beautiful sarie which we never came across in any other shop. Kumaran Society is pretty good and the shopkeeper is bargain able. More than half the shopping is been completed over there. We couldn’t stop ourselves to go back to K.K. Society to purchase that sarie which had stolen the hearts of every body in our group. We finally got that sarie for 8,500 /-which was initially told to be 12,000/-

During our last visit to Kanchipuram, we went to a shop called Babu Shah. The rates in this shop are fixed, but they are very reasonable unlike any other society. Even though we came across many other societies, our efforts ended in vain because of the bad varieties and high costs. We finally ended up at our favorite shop Babu Shah, which is as usual very good. All our people were utmost satisfied with the rates and varieties in this shop. We spent another 4hours here and ended out day’s shopping with this.

Nobody had eaten anything right from the morning. We paid 150/- to two auto’s as they have spent with us the complete day and went to a hotel “Sangeetha” near the Bus-stand. Every body ate what ever they want, and we started back to chennai by catching a heavy rush bus. Safely got down at Tambaram Railway station, and reached home by 11.50PM.

My advice to those who go to shop at Kanchipuram:

If you are an expert in finding the quality of the silk and if you are an expert in bargaining, go ahead with different societies. If not, Babu Shah is the best place for you to buy.

I hope i didn’t bore you much with this experience.

Lots of Love,

Durga Prasad.