This is just hilarious. I get a feeling they have edited the video lately though.

See the video here




Its a sad day in the life of a foodie like me. I had not had Mealmaker (Soya Chunks) for a long time now. Today being a sunday, my wife suggested that we make Fried Rice and Manchurian. We were not very keen on making it with cauliflower, so we said, why not try it with Mealmaker (aka) Soya Chunks. We searched for it in 4 shops and it was not available anywhere. When we asked the guy at the last shop, he said that there was not much of demand for the product and so they dont make it any more. Now thats really really sad.

When we were in Coimbatore, apart from Mealmaker we had some local guys make the equivalent of Soya Chunks and sell it. I need to find out if there are shops here who sell them. I hope for my sake, the get this back on the racks. Till then, "Mealmaker is Dead, Long Live Mealmaker"


Pradeep Square

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You have heard of Tinnamen Square and Red Square, there is something symmetrical and nice about the shape. So here are a few picture squares. These pictures were shot a couple of years back, and I am just seeing if these will inspire me to take some new pictures other than children.

and they said... let there be light

a rose is a rose is a rose

juicy

the power of networking

smokin faces

smokin nude Posted by Picasa



No this is not some Hindi word, its something to do with how people perceive you and how you perceive yourself and all that funda....so have a look

Arena

(known to self and others)

extroverted, mature

Blind Spot

(known only to others)

helpful, knowledgeable, responsive

Fa├žade

(known only to self)

adaptable, dependable, friendly, relaxed

Unknown

(known to nobody)

able, accepting, bold, brave, calm, caring, cheerful, clever, complex, confident, dignified, energetic, giving, happy, idealistic, independent, ingenious, intelligent, introverted, kind, logical, loving, modest, nervous, observant, organised, patient, powerful, proud, quiet, reflective, religious, searching, self-assertive, self-conscious, sensible, sentimental, shy, silly, spontaneous, sympathetic, tense, trustworthy, warm, wise, witty

Dominant Traits

100% of people agree that Pradeep Raghunathan is extroverted
100% of people think that Pradeep Raghunathan is helpful
100% of people think that Pradeep Raghunathan is knowledgeable
100% of people agree that Pradeep Raghunathan is mature
100% of people think that Pradeep Raghunathan is responsive

All Percentages

able (0%) accepting (0%) adaptable (0%) bold (0%) brave (0%) calm (0%) caring (0%) cheerful (0%) clever (0%) complex (0%) confident (0%) dependable (0%) dignified (0%) energetic (0%) extroverted (100%) friendly (0%) giving (0%) happy (0%) helpful (100%) idealistic (0%) independent (0%) ingenious (0%) intelligent (0%) introverted (0%) kind (0%) knowledgeable (100%) logical (0%) loving (0%) mature (100%) modest (0%) nervous (0%) observant (0%) organised (0%) patient (0%) powerful (0%) proud (0%) quiet (0%) reflective (0%) relaxed (0%) religious (0%) responsive (100%) searching (0%) self-assertive (0%) self-conscious (0%) sensible (0%) sentimental (0%) shy (0%) silly (0%) spontaneous (0%) sympathetic (0%) tense (0%) trustworthy (0%) warm (0%) wise (0%) witty (0%)

Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 25.2.2006, using data from 1 respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window, or view Pradeep Raghunathan's full data.



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This photo that i shot late in the evening from our apartment terrace, made me wonder. Are these 2 crows husband and wife, and did they have an argument earlier in the day? In Tamil, they would call it "Oodal". Posted by Picasa



Its been a couple of decades in this world, let me see if I can compile a list (certainly not comprehensive) of things that Life has taught me over these years. Here we go...

  1. Respect Old Age. If you find someone who is old, give them their due respect. Even if you are in a hurry, dont reach the place in time at the cost of giving an old man a heart attack. Tomorrow, we will reach that age too.
  2. Kids Are Good Teachers. Have you seen kids trying to crawl, walk, and just about do anything? They never ever give up. They might get hurt, trip and fall, but they never lose heart. They are just focused on what they have to do, and dont stop till they are done with what they started. I think, most of us elders, forget this as we age.
  3. Follow Traffic Rules. I have broken traffic rules couple of times in my life. Then I was younger and doing it just gave me the kicks. Today, I follow traffic rules to the "T". Why do I do it? I think, if each one of us try to do it, we would one day, make a difference.
  4. Respect Women. When I was young and growing up, I used to say things like "Wife is a Knife to Life", "Man goes through 3 rings in life... Engagement Ring, Wedding Ring and Suffering". Having said all that, I think Women are much much better than men in lots of ways. Yes, they cant drive, they dont understand technology, they dont know why guys get excited about Formula 1 cars, At the same time, they are the ones who virtually single handedly handle manage the family and household. They work more than men do at workplaces (No arguing that men stay back later at office than women, well they dont take smoking breaks, tea breaks and snack breaks like we do). Try going through pregnancy and labour, I dont think most men have the guts to go through the pain. We dont have PMS, so the next time your wife, sister or colleague seems snappy out of the blue, just be more understanding.
  5. Moneys Not Everything. Sounds cliche and very cinematic? Well, yes I agree, but reality of this statement hits you when you lose something really dear to you. I had never seen death at close quarters and it never hit me till my dad was no more. Thats when it hit me. Today when I see my daughter, I wish my dad would have been there, he would have loved to spend time with her. The other day, a friends pregnant wife was alone at home and her water sac broke. My wife and I rushed her to the hospital and she delivered a wonderful baby boy in an hour. We felt so good that we were there for them and could be of some help. The look on the parents face was worth living for :)
  6. You Need Money. Having said that Moneys Not Everything, most of the things in the world today, does not happen if you dont have money, you are going to get frustrated. You need to wear good clothes, you want to eat out once in a way, you need to buy a house (keep catching up on soaring real estate prices), give your son ./ daughter good education, get them married, go for long dreamt holidays, unexpected medical expenses, your dream car, white goods, gizmos... all these cost money. The only thing I would say is, dont go after money like there is no tomorrow, and dont earn it at any cost.
  7. There are lots more that I have learnt from life, I would keep updating this post from time to time, so watch this space.



I am not sure who wrote this article, but whoever did, has done a good job of it. If any of you know who wrote this, let me know so that I could mention it here. And now for the forward i got. I guess this is was written a long time back, but still holds good

For An Extra Bedroom - Written by an Indian Software Engineer- A Bitter Reality

As the dream of most parents I had acquired a degree in Software Engineer and joined a company based in USA, the land of braves and of Opportunities. When I arrived in the USA, it was as if a dream had come true.

Here at last I was in the place where I want to be. I decided I would be staying in this country for about Five years in which time I would have earned enough money to settle down in India.

My father was a government employee and after his retirement, the only asset he could acquire was a decent one bedroom flat. I wanted to do some thing more.

I started feeling homesick and lonely as the time passed. I used to call home and speak to my parents every week using cheap international phone cards. Two years passed, two years of Burgers at McDonald's and pizzas and discos and 2 years watching the foreign exchange rate getting happy whenever the Rupee value went down.

Finally I decided to get married. Told my parents that I have only 10 days of and a lot to do. I got my ticket booked in the cheapest flight. Was jubilant and was actually enjoying hopping for gifts for all my friends back home.?If I miss anyone then there will be talks. After reaching home I spent home one week going through all the photographs of girls and as the time was getting shorter I was forced to select one candidate.

In-laws told me, to my surprise, that I would have to get married in 2-3 days, as I will not get anymore holidays. After the marriage, it was time to return to USA, after giving some money to my parents and telling the neighbors to look after them, we returned to USA.

My wife enjoyed this country for about two months and then she started feeling lonely. The frequency of calling India increased to twice in a week sometimes 3 times a week. Our savings started diminishing.

After two more years we started to have kids. Two lovely kids, a boy and a girl, were gifted to us by the almighty. Every time I spoke to my parents, they asked me to come to India so that they can see their grand-children.

Every year I decide to go to India. But part work part monetary conditions prevented it. Years went by and visiting India was a distant dream. Then suddenly one day I got a message that my parents were seriously sick. I tried but I couldn't get any holidays and thus could not go to India. The next message I got was my parents had passed away and as there was no one to do the last rights the society members had done whatever they could. I was depressed. My parents had passed away without seeing their grand children.

After couple more years passed, much to my children's dislike and my wife's joy we returned to India to settle down. I started to look for a suitable property, but to my dismay my savings were short and the property prices had gone up during all these years. I had to return to the USA.

My wife refused to come back with me and my children refused to stay in India. My 2 children and I returned to USA after promising my wife I would be back for good after two years.
Time passed by, my daughter decided to get married to an American and my son was happy living in USA. I decided that had enough and wound-up everything and returned to India. I had just enough money to buy a decent 02 bedroom flat in a well-developed locality.

Now I am 60 years old and the only time I go out of the flat is for the routine visit to the nearby temple. My faithful wife has also left me and gone to the holy abode. Sometimes I wondered was it worth all this? My father, even after staying in India, had a house to his name and I too have the same ..... nothing more.

I lost my parents and children for just ONE EXTRA BEDROOM.

Looking out from the window I see a lot of children dancing.
This damned cable TV has spoiled our new generation and these children are losing their values and culture because of it. I get occasional cards from my children asking I am alright. Well at least they remember me.

Now perhaps after I die it will be the neighbors again who will be performing my last rights, God Bless them. But the question still remains 'was all this worth it?'

I am still searching for an answer................!!!!



Canon unveiled the EOS 30D today. Read more about it here...

Canon Unveils the EOS 30D


b l a n k

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Nothing to write about, my mind is blank :(
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Our Photo in The Hindu

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This is our 15 seconds of fame. We had been to the Adyar branch of Menaka Cards last week to select the invite for Manya's Ayush Homam. We were the only customers in the shop, when the guys from The Hindu came there. We were asked to sit at a table full of cards and look at cards we wouldnt touch with a barge pole. Anyways, that apart, the point is, we are in the papers today :). By the way, Ram wanted to hide from the camera, and it so happened that he sat at a place where he is the one in focus.

Offline, you can find the picture in the Adyar edition of Downtown. On the net, you can find it on the site The Hindu Images here.
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This photograph has just been sharpened slightly using Picasa. No Photoshop used here. A photograph need not be technically correct to be good. What works for this photo is Manya's expression. Let me show you what happens to this photograph when I run it through Photoshop. Some of you might like it, some of you might not, thats perception in any case. Wait on...

After Photoshop Treatment


Here is what I promised. After being treated with various things on Photoshop, the photograph now has transformed to what you see above. Let me know what you think.

Photoshop Treatment Enhanced


I just love the Internet. Its the best thing that has happened to Mankind. I published these pictures on my blog this morning, and I have had so many feedbacks from all of you. Most of you were right, and I would like to thank you. I have made some changes to my Photoshop treatment, and here is the result. Let me know what you feel about this version.
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Arthi on Canvas

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The person in the pictures is my wife's colleague and she quit work recently to take care of her sweet little daughter. When we met recently, I got a good photogarph of Arthi, and I felt it would look good as a painting. So I set out to work with the picture in Photoshop, and here is the result. Hope you like it.
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Get up from your desk, walk a couple of feet back and see the picture above. Get a good look, now get back to your desk and see each of those pictures. If you havent figured it out yet, the whole picture is made out of various individual pictures of Manya. Hope you like it.
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commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.




I was playing with my daughter in the morning near the balcony. I gave her a cd to play with and I was amused with the colors they reflected all around. I let her be herself, grabbed my camera and took this shot. I am very pleased with this shot, and the minute i saw the photo in the LCD, the caption for this photograph came to my mind. Hope you like it. Happy Shooting!!
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I dont know why I have this obsession with reflections. Pondering about it, I guess it could have its roots in the following...

Crosswords - Cryptic Crossword grids are usually symmetrical, I like solving crosswords (dont do it mich these days though)

Beauty - Its said that if one has a symmetrical face, you are attractive.

Split Personality? - Now this is like treading on dangerous territory. Maybe, just maybe, I have a split personality and I am looking for the other side of the mirror?

Well whatever it is, I hope I dont have a Compulsive, Obsessive Disorder.





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Dreamy Effect

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I usually have my flash set at a fixed 1/200 seconds, but for this shot i set it at auto in the P mode on my camera, and this is the result you see, dreamy soft focus kind of effect. Looks like a very diffused light was used, as they do in dream sequences in the movies.
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Kids are adorable. They bring back such nice times in your life. Having said that, sometimes they get so adamant and naughty that it gets to you and you want to say... enough manya, stop it now. I guess, parents (esp. single child parents), need to learn to put their foot down at times. If they start giving in to the kids every whim and fancy, you will land up with a super brat.



This is our 15 seconds of fame. It feels nice to see our names look like the Google logo. If you want to try this go to www.logogle.com

Update : 17th Feb 2006 - Looks like they closed down the site.



"Kids make the best props" - This may seem like I am seeing kids as "objects", but no, thats not what i mean. Kids add a lot of character and meaning to a photograph. I think there are two kinds of portrait subjects who are the best and fun to shoot, one are kids and the other, really old people.

The picture on the left was taken a couple of years back. I had to keep the camera on a tripod, face the window to get enough light coming in and then trigger the shutter with the remote.

The picture on the right, on the other hand was taken a couple of months back. This photograph incidentally was taken by my Mother. I had to teach her how to compose the shot and press the shutter. I must say, she has done a wonderful job, This also highlights another point, my Mother is a better photographer than I am.

A kid in the family makes so much of a difference to your life, and how you look in photographs too :).




This is not a before losing weight / after losing weight ad. These 2 pictures are of Kavya, before her ear got pierced and after her ear was pierced.




I was breaking my head on how to design the first birthday invite for Kavya kutti. This is what i designed in the end. Have a look. Thanks to all of you who gave suggestions.
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Retro Style

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a retro effect, shot at ISO 3200, f2.8 in Av Mode. Used Noise Ninja to reduce the noise a bit. this was shot under a yellow bulb, i desaturated it a bit to remove the yellow cast and give it a retro effect.
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Modern Meerabai

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This picture was not posed for. She was standing near the staircase, holding the wooden pole, and it was so much like Meerabai, that I took a picture right away. I wonder if it would have been the same, had I asked her to pose for it.




Can you see the figure of a Dragon in this fire? Posted by Picasa



Update - 7th Feb 2006 - Just saw this news that Apple has launced a 1GB version of the iPod Nano, and would retail at 149$. Meanwhile the Shuffle would be sold at 69$ for the 512MB and 99$ for the 1GB version.

Have you gifted an iPod Nano to someone lately? Has someone gifted you an iPod Nano recently? Do you know someone who has gifted someone special an iPod Nano? I dont know whether you answered a YES to any of the questions above, but I personally know atleast 10 people who have either gifted or recieved an iPod Nano as a gift in the last couple of months. What is it that works for the Nano...

  • Size does matter - Its by far the best looking and smallest mp3 player out there in the market. Apple has really scored on this aspect, kudos Steve.
  • User Friendly - All you need to operate the iPod is with your thumb. The Nano might be smaller than the earlier iPods but the ease of breezing through menus is unique to the iPods.
  • Price - I know some of my friends must be cursing me now. Are you telling me that the iPod Nano is cheap? Give me a break dude. Ok if you are done with what you wanted to say, here is my take. The 2GB version sells for around 180$, street price now. A CF / XD card with a 2GB capacity today costs around 120$ or thereabouts. If you add another 60 bucks, you get a sexy, sleek and an mp3 player with a wonderful sound quality. That in my opinion is pretty reasonable. Having said that, if they could over the next couple of years get the price down to around 100$, it would really take the market by storm (not that it has not done so already).
  • Far Better - Its far far better than that stupid iPod called the Shuffle. The 1GB version of the shuffle sells for around 130$, I think thats absurd pricing for an mp3 player with no LCD screen, leave alone color or non-color screen,
  • Battery Life - Yes, it is supposed to last longer than the previous iPods, but when other mp3 players run for around 30 hours on a single AA battery, I think Apple should start working on their battery and battery life for their future iPods.
  • Charging through USB - I have seen many people see this as an advantage, but somehow I am not very comfortable nor am I convinced. I would like to charge through my AC power source and not connect my iPod to the computer, Apple could have atleast added a charger with the Nano.
  • Accessories Kill You - Where Apple really kills you and your wallet are the accessories. Lets take stock... you want a charger which works on the mains, add another 40$. want a good silicone or leather protection to avoid scratches to your fragile Nano... add another 30-40$. Need better earphones, which would make the music sweeter to listen to? add another 30-40$ atleast for a decent set of earphones. Apart from these there are speakers...docks (dont ever buy this its just money down the drain for no use). The alternative is to get third party accessories, because Apple's pricing is atrocious.
  • Screen Size & AV Output - The screen size is pretty small, but I guess thats the biggest they could muster in a player so small. The Photos feature in the nano is just a nice addition, yoy typically would not like to strain your eye too much to see your photographs. One thing that I wish that Apple had added to its Nano is an AV output, where you could play music / show photographs on your TV or Music System.
Verdict - Well, there are a couple of things which bothers you about the Nano, but overall, I guess Apple is moving in the right direction. Couple of years down the line, Apple I guess would still have the sexiest mp3 player in the market and we would not be cribbing about what was mentioned above. Happy Listening!!


Pleasant

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Nature is so wonderful. Posted by Picasa




This is Priya's eye, pretty decent macro i must say. Posted by Picasa