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Mani Ratnam January 29, 2006

Posted by gantech in Movies.
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A Gem of Director.. A got a penchant for watching more Tamil movies (esp. romantic ones) last december.. and thats' when I saw Alaipayuthae for the first time.. I just fell in love with that movie. I watched Ayutha Ezhuthu again.. and then many other movies…

I recently saw Iruvar and Mouna Ragam again.. and was wondering why I like all these movies.. But it was only recently (today) that I realised that all these movies were made by the same director.. MANI RATNAM I really feel ashamed to know this so so.. early.. but I guess it's OK. And Agni Natchathiram .. another movie that I liked very much… again.. Mani Ratnam.. Hats Off to this Director.. whose Nayagan got listed among the top 100 movies of the century by the TIME Magazine..no wonder..

Saarang – Day 2 January 26, 2006

Posted by gantech in Saarang.
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Saarang Day 2 was great..
The morning events passed by without much notice.. (Sadly.. no participation.) I watched the Light Music Solo event for some time.. My friend Kumar was participating and sang the song “Ae Ajnabee” from Dil Se. One girl sang “Suttum Vizhi Chudar thaan.. Kannamma..” from Kandukondaen.. that was brilliant. Even Kumar appreciated it. Then I visited the Classical Music Instrumental.. Most of them played the Violin.. Then ofcourse “Jam”.. it was fun at the beginning but became boring later on.. it’s called Jam… but junta don’t allow others to talk even for 10s continuously.. Then I went to watch the extempore finals in the evening.. I still can’t stop laughing..
But the Shankar Ehsaan Loy show more than made up for all these.. It was partying all the way.. I still feel dizzy an hour after the show.. We hardly sat on the ground.. He made us rock till the end.. Mahalakshmi Iyer dazzled us (atleast me) with her voice.. Amazing.. the way she took her voice to very high levels.. Shrinivas came in for a cameo.. Overall as I said.. I still feel dizzy..

Saarang – 2006 January 25, 2006

Posted by gantech in Saarang.
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I was very much against Saarang at the same time last year.. But now my views seem to have changed quite a bit.. Of course I wouldn’t spend all my time.. arrange stuff and get Saarang going. (shame on me to say this staying in IIT Madras) Instead this year I have decided to enjoy it just as any guy with a 4 day holiday break.. Now that is great isn’t it..

The first day in Saarang..

  • I participated in Creative writing thanks to Kumar
  • I visited debate prelims.. nothing much.. just saw the topics..
  • Stayed in the Classical Music Vocal Solo area for the rest of the time.. Listened to many of my own friends for the first time.. My already existing interest (or rather wish I should say) in learning the Mirudangam was strengthened..
  • Chalked out the plan for the next couple of days.. (Photography workshop esp..)

Mahab’s Visit January 21, 2006

Posted by gantech in Personal Experiences.
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Yesterday I had gone to Mahabalipuram along with my friends Aswin, Arun and Dr.Suresh. The purpose of the visit was simple, to go to darker skies for Astonomy observations. Dr.Suresh had a 10" Meade Schmidt Cassegraine Telescope and a 8MPX Digi Canon SLR, a Philips ToUcam (webcam) and a laptop… and more important of all.. a resort in Mahabalipuram (one of his relatives owns it)..


We went in a Tata Estate from here. Reached there by around 9.30 pm after having dinner. On the way we could see more and more stars (i.e the sky getting better) as we travelled every km. The Orion – Sirius region looked brilliant even through the car window. Then it took us around one and a half hours to get the scope in action (Aligning the telesope became a problem). We started off at 11.00 pm thinking we have atleast 2 full hours before the moon rises. Unfortunately it was not to be so and the FOG played spoilsport. The corrector plate of the Telescope was full of dew in less than 30 minutes. And then Arun came with the idea of using the powerful lamp that Dr.Suresh had to heat up the dew.

We had partial success in that. Then Dr.Suresh got some tissue paper and cleaned the plate. But it was never at it's best. A lesson to learn I guess…


Then we tried many objects. We tried seeing arbitrary open clusters using the scope's goto and both Aswin and Arun got a taste of what I got the other day at Dr.Suresh's home (7-8 clusters in less than 4 minutes.. impossible by any means in a telescope without a goto). We tried a lot to catch atleast one globular, but in vain (hey.. the sky was so brilliant that the Orion Nebula looked like a very Dense Globular through the "30 x 60" Bino that we had). Coming to galaxies.. we tried the Leo Triplet in vain. The best (and the only one) that we saw was M81 (a galaxy that we put a lot of fight to see through our telescopes but in vain) But the dew settled again. Now we were sort of starting to give up.


Time was already 1.30 am. The moon was well up and DSO's (Deep Sky Objects) were out of the question. Dr.Suresh said we'll give a try at Webcam imaging of Saturn. So we tried. And we did get a good image (stacked later).


Time was around 2.15 am now. Then in about five minutes the FOG became very intense. The visibility came down to less than about 10m very fast. We decided "THAT'S IT". We could have come prepared for the dew, but defy not for this kind of fog. This was way beyond any precautions that could have been taken. (My 5MPX Nikon Digicam couldn't take pics properly because the lens was getting covered with water). We had to give up our dream of a solo pic of each of us with the scope. We packed up and went to our room.

After going to the room we decided to stack up the images and see how our only good work of the night looked like. The comp was hanging hajaar and after some time of fundaes putting by Arun and Dr.Suresh we gave up on that too.


Leaving Dr.Suresh in the room we decided to pay a visit to the beach. The resort was on the shore. After about 30 minutes of Photo session (I would rate it amongst the best of the times that I spent there.. We really got some good pics) amongst us we came back and slept at around 4.30 am.


We got up in the morning at about 9.00 am. It was good to see the resort in daylight. A complete contrast. It looked really beautiful.


We had our breakfast by the shore (first time experience for me).


Then we packed our bags and left for Chennai. Overall it was a very memorable experience. But I would like to go there again some time with better preparation against this damned dew and do some good astrophotography.