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m M , < c C v V I x X xs VOLUM E 1 | I S S U E N O . 3 9 | 1 6 P A G E S

- S M A R T S H O P P I N G S TA R T S H E R E -




Around the state


Meal on a leaf

A tasty encounter

Back to the past


Be the change


Drive with pride The Legend rides on



Tales of Tradition

Script of the Gods

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Our pride . Our legacy . Our soul 16

Page 8...

Beyond good and evil






ON SALE EXPRESS | JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010


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To Do List

p e o p l e . t r e n d s . e v e n t s

Traditional Fashion This wedding season, select from the new line of traditional silk sherwani, kurta sets and western-style designer wear. Lagan, No 66 City Centre Complex, Thirumallai Pillai Road, T Nagar. Phone: 28156462

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Live thy language It’s time to learn more about Tamizh. Get the classics of the language from these publications and let us bask in the glory of our rich literary tradition.

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JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010

Are you Game? Do you remember the days you played bambaram as a child or that Aadu puli aatam with your grandmother? Well, the time has come to resurrect those traditional games.


t a time when computer games have almost taken over board games and people are hardly innovating in terms of board games, if a company came in to innovate and bring a difference to the gaming scenario it is Kreeda. What started off as a writing assignment on traditional games for Vinita Siddhartha of Master page editorial agency has today transformed into a revolution in itself. As they delved deep into these traditional games, the requirement for the right equipment to play these games came up. Hence Kreeda was born. Kreeda in Sanskrit means play and the team is actively involved in reviving traditional games. The activities of the organisation are three fold and involve- research, revival and creating awareness. “ We started Kreeda eight years ago and our main aim was to revive old games because these old games were either not being played because the rules and the equipment was lost or because people had forgotten about them,” says Vinita Siddhartha . Kreeda believes that we have a rich culture of games and they don’t just revive the game but the spirit of the game in terms of materials and colours used. The specific focus of Kreeda has been to revive the spirit of tradition. Each game gives a feel of the

tradition from which it comes and Kreeda ensures it is made in the original way as far as possible. “Earlier people played games to pass time but now time is a big constraint so the question of why one should play a game and what its benefits are comes up,” says Vinita. Kreeda therefore researched into the benefits of these games. Each one of these games helps to develop skills, teaches values like team building, leadership development etc. Researching into the benefits has also helped to understand the relevance of the games. “Most games are intrinsic to culture. For example Pallankuzhi is a game played for

years together- in the coastal areas with shells and in the interiors with seeds or stones but somewhere when you play a game like pallanguzhi, you get the feel of the culture or for that a matter kattam vilayatu or bambaram,” says Vinita. A lot of these games are also

found in other parts of the world. These may have been part of the cultural exchanges but there is no proper evidence to this. Kreeda made a huge breakthrough in the field of board games by innovating a game called Vanavaas or a forest adventure based on the Ramayana. “The idea was to renew the interest in the Ramayana. This game begins with Rama and Lakshmana leaving Ayodhya and follows their adventures in the forest. The game takes you through the stay at Chitrakoot, Bharata meeting with Rama, the Shoorpanaka incident and the golden deer,” says Vinita. The search for Sita and Battle of Lanka are sequels to this game. The dice used are the traditional dice. Shells and colourful coins are also used. The other games that have been brought to life by Kreeda include Kattam Vilayattu - the fun version of knots and crosses . Chaturvimshati koshtaka (a battle field game), Chaupad, Aadu puli aatam (the tiger and goat game), Ashta Chemma - the game like ludo, Chinesepiel (the colour game), Dahdi (in a line game), Pallanguzhi (the cup and coin game), Gilli danda - the traditional equivalent of cricket, Bambaram (the spin top), five stones, marbles, the shell game, Parama pada sopanam - the traditional version of snakes and ladders, the hoop stick, Nungu vandi (palm fruit roll), Kalanay Belanay (black elephant and white elephant game) from Karnataka and Panchkone or the game of the five pointed stars.

games. After all playing a game of chaupad would remind you of the Mahabharata and playing the game of Parama pada Sopanam will make you feel you are playing something traditional and not a regular game of snakes and ladders. Kreeda doesn’t stop their activities with renewing games. They also organise events where people of different generations play games together. Grandfather, father and children play a game together and this way the generations are weaved together. Looking back into eight years of their existence, Kreeda has definitely made strides into reviving traditional games and give the children an opportunity to learn about their cultures and tradition as they play a game. - Shivani Arora

Kreeda Games 755, Anna Salai, Chennai - 600002 Phone: 28591791/2/3

Kreeda has definitely touched upon the culture aspect while renewing these

r : Nagoo Photos


Big Bazaar has opened its 4th and largest store in Chennai. Located at the newest mall in the city, Express Avenue, the new store occupies a space of 70,000 sq. ft. and is housed in a single floor. The customers are offered the wildest range of products from each section from food, fashion to electronics and groceries. The store is meant to be a mega savings destination with great deals and combo offers for the people. The shop also has separate space for Live Kitchen and Ready-to-eat take-away section and a dedicated customer service area. Adding to this, the store has 27 check-out counters and 6 Express counters.

.............................................................................................. Contact us at 044-43590099 |


Raffles Millennium International, Asia-Pacific’s premium design centre, has launched its Chennai centre. The centre will offer training courses in Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Multimedia Design and Fashion Marketing. The admissions have already begun and the students will be eligible for credit transfers from RMI in their final year to any of their colleges in India and abroad. Situated in Kochar PSS Tower, Arcot Road, RMI boasts of state-of-the-are class rooms, design labs, international faculty and a choice of international internships. For applications and more information, logon to

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ON SALE EXPRESS | JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010

Pages of Tradition Friends for over a decade, Jigyasa Giri and Pratibha Jain began their publishing venture in 2005 with ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’. With this, they began Pritya, a space that brings back the wisdom of past and creates a space for it in today’s fast changing world.


our publishing house creates books on age old traditions and practices for the contemporary folk in a completely new avatar. What prompted you to choose this genre? Over a time, we realised that both of us have always been attracted to the beauty and wisdom of our tradition, be it learning and teaching the classical dance form of Kathak (by Jigyasa) or translation of spiritual discourses and folk tales (by Pratibha). So, it was but natural that we were drawn to the magnetic charisma of ‘Pedatha’ (the protagonist of our first book) and her culinary wisdom. The book happened along the way. We did not ever imagine that we would author and publish cookery books. But when we did, it was a retelling of culinary wisdom. Your books ‘Sukham Ayu’ and ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’ have both received raving reviews and are highly appreciated. What do you think is the secret to this success? Although we are from diverse fields, it is a common focus on perfection and aesthetic appreciation that has been the success of our joint venture as partners of Pritya - a space for tradition. During the making of our books, there were a few things that both of us had no disagreement on: - Just as food has

to taste and look good, our book/s have to look good, feel good and depict the recipes as they are - sans photographic frills.

So, what next? Is it all going to be cookery books? Besides food, which are your other areas of interest?

- We were both willing to try every recipe how many ever times necessary to understand it to perfection. You must remember, both our books required much research and an undoing of pre - suppositions, as they are both tribute cookbooks - one paying tribute to a grand old aunt and her culinary wisdom of a cuisine quite different from our own, and the other paying tribute to the very science of life, Ayurveda.

Pritya is a space for tradition which encompasses Devaniya, the school of kathak dance also. As far as books go, our next project is also a cookery book based on tradition.

- We were both clear that we would rather drop the project than compromise. Apart from the content of the books being accurate, we also wanted a well designed book with aesthetic appeal. For example, we rejected the entire first round of photographs of ‘Cooking at Home with Pedatha’ because we were not satisfied when we saw them in the layout stage. It meant much more expenses and much more time, but neither of us had an iota of doubt that we must get it right, whatever it takes.

Besides books, how else do you think we can create a space for tradition in today’s world? The primary objective of Devaniya is to teach the basics and the traditional nuances of the culturally rich dance form of Kathak to whoever wants to learn. So the age group of students ranges from 8 yrs to 60 yrs. Unless for lack of space, nobody is turned away and nobody has ever been asked to leave the classes so far. Focus is on discipline and holistic grooming of students as learners of a traditional art form, rather than on a hasty ‘completion’ of the course and entry on stage. There are many students at Devaniya who may never become ‘graceful dance performers’, but they are not given a backseat. Their learning is as important to us as that of those who ‘have it in them’. The primary requirement from a student is patience and a will to learn. Everything else is secondary. We hope that through Devaniya we can spread the true message of ‘going back to our roots’.

You are in a niche sector of publishing, do you have any challenges? Every project is a challenge, and as we always say, there are many good books and cookbooks out there, but there is also space for many more! The biggest challenge is of course marketing, since you can make a good book but if you sit back, you are lost. You have to remain visible, you have to constantly work at distribution and availability, and above all, you have to remain a learner always.

life is beautiful

p e o p l e . t r e n d s . e v e n t s

Finally, why did you settle on the name ‘Pritya’? Prabodh Jain has created the name for many brands and when he asked us what we wanted – we said something that reflects a partnership. So he came up with Dvitya and then its common sounding word Pritya. This made sense because ‘Pritya’ means ‘with love and affection.’ It is also a combination of both our names, Pratibha and Jigyasa. On Sale Express wishes Pritya success in her future ventures and let us hope to celebrate tradition with many such endeavours. -JS

Photo: Prathiba & Jigyasa



JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010


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The call of our soil This week, let’s celebrate the culture of the land by saluting the glorious icons of different cities in Tamil Nadu.

f a s h i o n . s t y l e . i c o n

Pristine beauty It is a pride to wear thee my woven dream! The sacred fire, the fresh kumkum on her forehead, the shy smile and there amidst it all is the bride’s sari, getting her the attention she deserves for her day. And no prizes for guessing where the silk sari was bought! Kanchivaram is almost synonymous with silk saris that you‘ll find every bride’s family booking tickets to this place as soon as the wedding is fixed. The traditional Kanchivaram silk saris are hand-woven in two parts; it is called the pitni technique. The pallu (outer end of the sari) and the border are woven in one colour and then attached to the body of the sari, which is woven separately and most likely in another colour. The sari is woven with dyed silk yarn which is then interleaved with design made with zari ( a silk thread twisted with a thin silver wire and then gilded with pure gold). Technically, the silk thread is made of three threads twisted together. Woven from pure mulberry silk, the Kanchivaram silk is well-known for its splendid texture, lustre, durability and finish. They are usually heavier and stronger than those woven elsewhere (of course, it comes with a price!). While 75 per cent of the zari comes from Gujarat, the rest comes from Tamil Nadu Zari, the government-owned factory. The silk comes primarily from Karnataka. For those who feel guilty of killing silk worms, a new variety called ahimsa silk saris has come up as a boon. So if you are the bride, make sure you don’t miss this six yard wonder!

Photo Courtesy: Pothys

The scent of seduction Like a row of stars they adorn your black river Madurai is yet another town that is famous for her temples, but there is one more icon that has etched her in our minds – the lovely aroma of Madurai malli. Have you noticed that unlike our jasmine flowers, these look pretty big and well, the fragrance is something you’ll never get elsewhere. This variety belongs to Arabian Jasminium Sombac genre and the unique fragrance to this flower can be attributed to the combination of soil (it is grown in the foothills of Kodaikanal), the weather conditions and the cultivation methods for generations etc. And with flowers so closely strung, they look deliciously alluring that even foreigners can’t get enough of it. There is great demand for Madurai Jasmine in every major town in India and they are also exported to the Middle East and Singapore. Every day, there is an Indian Airlines flight to Mumbai, which leaves at 1.20 PM. It is called the ‘Malli Flight’ for obvious reasons; it carries tones of these jasmine flowers. These flowers are also known for the cultural significance whenever a married woman visits a home; the family blesses her by giving her strung jasmine and kumkum. So, next day Valentine’s Day, you know how to woo your girl, right?

The taste of Amrita It’s time to feel sugar-high! Now let’s talk of something sweet and yes, it is special to our Tamil cuisine. The chosen city is Tirunelveli and the sweet is of course its famous halwa. This sweet dish is made primarily from wheat and sugar. Tirunelveli halwa looks like a brownish jelly with the ghee coating its greasy structure. Tirunelveli halwa is said to have this rich taste due to a special recipe belonging to this region, and of course the sweetness of the Thamarabarani River adds to it. The halwa was originally made famous by an immigrant Marwari family settled here more than 300 years ago. The original shop started by them was called the Lakshmi Vilas. Over time, others borrowed the recipe and now the halwa is as famous as the city. The best places to buy Tirunelveli halwa are the Irutu Kadai Halwa kadai situated near the Nellaiyappar temple and another stall called Cchandra vilas. Many sweet stalls on the streets near the Nellaiyappar temple also sell this delectable local delicacy. So, if you want a taste of ambrosia just take bus to Tirunelveli.




JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010


Evoking the Divine

There is no one like thee my Lord and thy form shall be so


Swamimalai, near the temple town of Kumbakonam is renowned for its bronze statues. These statues to this day are sculpted using the ‘lost wax’ method. Unlike contemporary statues that are manufactured in lots, this method that evolved during the Chola period involves creating every icon individually with the attention it deserves. Known in the sirpa kalai scripts as Madhu Uchchishtta Vidhana, this method involves the mixing of beeswax and kungilium (a type of camphor) with a little oil, then the mixture is kneaded well. The figure is sculpted from this mixture and becomes the original wax model.

The entire figure is then coated with clay in the required thickness level. Then the entire cast is dried and heated in an oven with cow-dung cakes. The wax model then melts and flows out. Meanwhile, the metal alloy of bronze is melted and poured into the empty clay-mould. When the metal has settled and hardened, the mould is broken. The bronze figure thus obtained is then cleaned to add finer details. Finally, the statue is polished well. Since it involves creating the icon each time, each statue is unique and cannot be mass produced.

The canvas of my devotion When I behold thy picture I feel thy glory in its fullest. Thanjavur is a place that is rich in tradition and its cultural history dates back to 1600 AD when all forms of art – dance, music and literature flourished in this land. To this day, Thanjavur paintings are sought world over for their richness and beauty. Essentially seen as devotional icons, the themes normally revolve around Krishna and other Hindu Gods and Goddesses. These paintings are done by traditional artists who first make a preliminary sketch of the image on a cloth pasted over a wooden base. Then chalk powder is mixed with water-soluble adhesive and is applied on the base. After the drawing is made, the jewellery and the garments in the image are done with semi-precious stones. Sometimes, laces or threads are also used to decorate the art work . Then, high quality gold foils are pasted to ensure it lasts for generations. Finally, colours are added by using dyes. These paintings come in three finishes - Classic, Antique Style and Embossed. In the classic finish, bold and contrasting backgrounds are combined with glittery goldfoil. In the antique model, the colours are more subtly used. The paintings are also in classic style, super embossed to bring more depth.

The heroic idol His eyes waver not a minute when he guards our land You would have seen him as you travel through villages, with a ferocious expression on his face, a huge mustache and threatening look that says ‘dare not ruin my land’. Yes, the famous Ayyanar statues and his faithful horses have long been a tradition of Tamil Nadu. To this day, Pudukottai District is reknowned for making these huge clay Ayyanar idols along with his terracotta horses. Traditionally, each village is guarded at its entrance by an enormous terracotta horse, which is the horse of Ayyanaar, the protector of the village. The Ayyanaar statue stands at the entrance surrounded by his horses and his commanders. These Ayyanaar figures, which include the horses in the army, range in height from less than a metre to over 6 metres. They are some of the largest terracotta figures to be sculpted and are made by mixing the moist clay with straw and sand for proper consistency.

Tell me your dreams When I come to you with the burdens of the day, you set me free! Not many would know that Pattamadai in Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu is well-known for kora mats? This particular variety of mat is made from the ‘kora’ grass and yes, it is most likely that you are lying in a mat that is made here. The ‘kora’ grass grown in this region is said to be of finer quality as compared to other regions. The fineness can felt as you lie in these mats. The quality of the mat is measured in count of the grass used, which ranges from 100 to 140. The mat can also be folded to form a purse, depending on its fineness. For preparing these mats, first the grass is cut and dried for about nearly two weeks. To soften the grass, it is soaked in water. The grass is then split in to linear pieces and dyed in various shades. The mat is made by placing the strands lengthwise while cotton threads are woven across them.

- Catherine Gilon .............................................................................................. Contact us at 044-43590099 |


m W

ith the world Tamil conference at Coimbatore in full swing, let us all take an inward look at the glory of the language then, its status today and how it will be tomorrow. If you are a Tamizhan, you always get a natural pride in the language, and any school child in TN would know the legacy and classicism of the language. For a change , this article brings into focus the roots of the language and the directions that its branches have spread onto. We can date Tamizh to be at least ten thousand years old. An initial class in written Tamizh would teach you 12 vowels and 18 consonants, and the wide junctions, dots and symbols that come with it. It is distinctly different from the northern languages (read Devnagari based) and has evolved on its own. Due to Tamils’ trade links with the whole of India, we find an admixture of many words from other languages in the Tamizh that is spoken now. Today, Tamizh is clearly distinguishable as two versions: one, classical print language which is pure, grammatical and chaste. The other one is the spoken language that has borrowed amply from Sanskrit, Urdu, Hindi, English and even French and Danish! So, this leaves us with a mindset that learning just the street language can help you survive and prosper in Chennai. But alas, if you think so, think again! Tamizh in its written form has such poetic beauty of gushing rivers and flexibility that could even better Nadia Comaneci, if you know in what way I mean! Perfection has been achieved in the script that we see today on roadsides and newspapers in Tamizh script around the 1700s


Saluting thy S It is an honour to belong to thee my beloved Tamizh!

Belonging to the southern branch of Dravidian languages, earlier Tamizh in the Grantham script belonged to Tamizh brahmi script that existed before the period of Pallavas. The magnificent kings of the Pallava dynasty who ruled from Kanchipuram introduced new script forms in the seventh century. Constanzo Beschi, the brilliant missionary and educationist who travelled to Madurai during British times in the eighteenth century, composed a compendium for Tamizh literary grammar. Hailed as the father of Tamizh prose, he was the first to put to print, long existing palm leaflets on paper! When doing so, he encountered lots of technical challenges, and for a solution, he simplified the characters to easily fall in print. He is fondly known as Veeramamunivar (chivalrous hermit). Those of you taking a stroll on the Beach road of Chennai must stop a while to read the letters below his statue on the Marina. Lots of others chipped in to reform the script . What Tamizh do you speak?

Moving on to cultural and geographical reach of Tamizh, the language takes on different avatars in its dialect and way of speech and slangs. Madras Bashai (considered to be inferior by the elite but has its beauty in a different way) , Madurai Tamizh ( Madurai, the capital of the great Pandya kings), Kovai Kongu Tamizh (Kongu literally means ‘honey’ or ‘nectar’) and Kovai aka Coimbatore is where the World Classical Tamizh Meet is happening now! Tamizh kings who were seafaring fearless traders went on to conquer lands in South East Asia. When it reached its height

of glory , the great Chola Empire extended up to Cambodia. Sri Lanka has been the abode of the Tamils since many centuries and the unique flavour of Eezha Tamizh impresses one and all . Talking of culture, you cannot leave out cinema and its influence on the language. Major stars have thundered lengthy Tamizh dialogues in the wake of the Tamizh movement that swept over the whole of the erstwhile Madras state since the forties. Penned by great writers of modern times, cinema along with contemporary literature has melted it all into a heady mix that is ironically shaping up to be a language that everyone understands in the state. Talking about computing and Tamizh, pioneers as ‘Sujatha’ Rangarajan (writer) since the seventies understood the importance of bringing the language to the chip, and the success has been immense. Tamizh blogging has reached great heights and depths. You can text in Tamizh in a jiffy from any of the current mobile phones, and since everyone of you might have a Gmail id, try pressing control with ‘g’ and voila, you have a dropdown Indian languages list that includes tamizh transliteration. You can read novels in Tamizh online, and type effortlessly in typewriter format if you can have a few software installed.

‘Unique’, ‘Classical’, ‘I oped’, ‘culturally and m most superior language many of the phrases you heard about Tamizh. Bu ing is the influence Tami neighbouring states . M means the language tha Malai (mountain for tam in Tamizh) and Keram m Kerala is called so only them! Malayalam is uni with a rich literary trad a heady mix of tamizh a pronunciations and scri style of Sanskrit. While a good share of inherita Telugu is more independ longing to central Drav One of the main aims th Tamizh Meet in Kovai a the language and the pr tradition, literature and state. If your child is in her choose Tamizh as on is one of the easiest lang

ON SALE EXPRESS | JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010




c x

The literary journey of Tamizh!

Independently develmorally among the es of the world’ are u often would have ut what is interestizh has made in the Malayalam literally at is spoken between mizh) and Aazhi (sea means coconut and y because it is full of ique in certain ways dition on its own. It is and Sanskrit with all ipts adhering to the it is so, Kannada has ance from Tamizh too. dent of Tamizh, bevidian classification. he World Classical aspires for is to revive ride that exists in our d expressions in our n school, make him or ne of the subjects .. it guages to learn. ­- Ram Kumar R

In the midst of the much awaited and celebrated World Classical Tamil Conference, let us take some time to discover how our rich and vibrant Semmozhiyaana Thamizh Mozhi has survived it all Some of us might be surprised to know that the first Tamil book was published in 1554 in Lisbon. Another interesting fact is that Tamil is the first non-European language to be printed in a modern press. Also among the Indian languages, Tamil is the only language to have seamless continuity between the classical and modern literature. The literary journey begins with beautiful compositions detailing the culture, war, people and love of the Sangam era. The five great Epics being Silappatikaram, Manimegalai, Civaka Cintamani, Valayapathi and Kundalakesi. Tolkaappiyam elaborately describes grammar, phonology, semantics, poetics and conventions of Tamil literary composition. It continues with prominent works of devotional literature by Saiva and Vaishnava poets. Contemporary Tamil literature starts in the early 1900s. Fueled by publishing pioneers like Arumuga Navalar, U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer, C.W. Thamotharampillai and many others, Tamil literature was revived. Some of the major Tamil publishing firms today are Manimekalai Prasuram, Kannadhasan Pathippagam, Alliance Company, Bharathi pathippaham, Kizhakku Pathipagam,

Christian Literature Society, Chinmaya Mission and Sri Ramakrishna Mutt. International publishers like Random House and Tata McGrawHill are also active players in this


Kannadhasan Pathippagam was started in 1977 to promote Tamil literature by the eminent poet and writer Kavingar Kannadhasan. It has a strong hold on many self-improvement books. Their other areas of expertise are computer books, cookery books and in fact books by Osho, autobiographies of leading personalities like Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (Former President of India), Mr. Akio Morita (Sony Corporation), Mr. Hendry Ford (Ford Motor Company) etc. have all been translated to Tamil. The Alliance Company was started in 1901 by V Kuppaswami Iyer in Mylapore. They publish writings of Cho Ramaswamy, Devan, Anuthma, Javer Seetharaman, Sivakumar and many other prolific writers. Kizhakku Pathipagam which was started in 2004 focuses on non-fiction books. They also publish e-books and audio books! Manimekalai Prasuram is another well-noted publisher which specialises in ‘how to do’ and self-help books. Christian Literature Society, Chinmaya Mission and Sri Ramakrishna Mutt are other noted publishers who deal with books on self -development, spiritual growth, biographies and art of living books.



advancements like use of computer and barcoding has helped improve the quality of the entire package. Old publications of yesteryear stalwarts like Subramania Bharathi are reprinted to suit the new audience. Book fairs organized by the Publishers’ Association of South India (BAPASI) help bridge the gap between the readers, authors and publications. With all these improvements, the Tamil Publishing scene is looking towards a splendid future where events like the World Tamil Classical Conference and the Chennai book Fair are creating renewed interest in the language and a delightful experience for its readers. - Sajini Ramanan


Today, Tamil books are on a par with other international publications. Lot of effort and time is devoted to content, design, layout, cover page and marketing. Technology


ON SALE EXPRESS | JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010

Back to the Basics! Can living in the past save our future?


o sit and rant about anything and everything has become such a universal attitude that nobody wants to do anything to see the state of ideal existence. Over a time, we have managed to consistently and successfully destroy all our resources, that a good idea to make up for it would be to walk down from where we are. Well, you might probably be puzzled at what you are reading, but take it all in the context of the environment. Thanks to careless and indifferent habits and mindsets, we are doing nothing but jeopardising what we once respected and looked up to. From good, it is just moving to becoming bad and will soon become ugly too.

through and a good amount of contribution too.

With every other person down the road talking about the environment and how to protect it, and every other forum of people trying to preach but not practise, with associations trying to make it mandatory to drive home the importance of going on an eco spree and with every other newspaper and magazine trying to advocate to people about this well enclosed matter, absolutely nothing is possible, if we do not want to make it possible.

That no-gadget mania

A fruitful way to make a beginning is to take a fun and interesting first step. To march into the shoes of people back then, a few decades ago; just for a day will not just give you a fabulous chance to do something, but a good experience as well. And what can be better, if you can do it with a group of your friends; it will be fun all


Pedal Power! The first thing that pops up in the mind about an eco friendly day is to capitalise on the pedal power. Of course, in those days, this was the most used means of transport and to slide down to doing just that will be simply amazing. Well, if you are no good with the pedal, then it is time to set foot and make that bit of a difference. This is what people precisely did for transport and believe it or not, they still managed a great deal of activity all through. You can do so too, so get going.

Very difficult, we all agree; but this can definitely make our lives all the more exciting and greatly beneficial to the present state of affairs too. Of course an everyday thing of this sort will be maddening, but once in a while, this will certainly work. A few gadgets and electronics you could do away with and have a fabulous life include the AC; you can take a nice nap under a huge tree to enjoy the same comfort or better yet, more comfort. Another idea would be to write off the refrigerator and store what you want to be cool in natural earthen pots. Another one would be to write off those mundane machines and try your muscle power; it works wonders and to tap it once in a while, will keep you going for long. This you can do to put in your bit and enjoy a different experience

yourself. This mania is a hard for gadget fetish people like us, but is good fun to sink in, once in a while. A green backdrop We all know for a fact that the main occupation for people in the yester years has been adding more green in the world; perhaps for their own livelihood; it did make a difference in the end. The day you decide to trip back to the past, you have got to add to the green cover of the world. This is crucial and will enhance the experience you are collecting on that marvellous day. Plant as many as you can and keep them intact, that will do good in a big way somewhere down the line. Remember, this ought to be your main activity on the day you choose to go back to the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;past-perfectâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;. By following these three important pointers itself, you will sure feel accomplished and yes, you would have done your bit, apart from just talking. So bundle your backpack with all that you will need on this actionpacked trip back to the past. Sometimes, it is a good idea to brush up on basics before we decide to move on. I have planned my visit to the past this weekend; when are you stopping over? - Puja Prakash


JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010

Served with



he banana leaf beats them all – plastic, paper, metal, styrofoam – all of it! Being environmentally-friendly, serving everyday meals on this leaf is still a common practice in rural Tamil Nadu. However, in the city, banana leaves are used only during weddings and festive days at home. Research has proved that the leaf has medicinal value and that was why it was used a serving option. Also, many believe that it enhances the taste and flavour of the dishes. A full banana leaf can be as long as twelve feet by three feet in width and the shape and size of the cut leaf

can determine which meal it should be used for. A big double sided leaf ( usually Thalai vazhai ilai ) with a thick rib running through it is used for serving lunch. For breakfast and dinner, a smaller sized and sometimes even a single-sided leaf is used. In fact, many have even forgotten the value and the science of dining on a banana leaf. So, let’s rewind and refresh your memory.


. . . ..

a d fin n er fte orn so tc isp ef cr er l nd ow sa l m he la n t pa e o ap c e pla


Let’s start serving Serving on a banana leaf also is a ‘systematic art’. There is an order and there is a reason behind every spoonful heaped on the leaf. Here’s what you need to do: - Place the banana leaf , a glass of water and a mat on the floor for the guest to sit and dine. - Invite your guest for taking food. (Only once the guest is seated should you start serving. Today, it is common to see in weddings an array of dishes served on your leaf even before you enter the dining area. This is a contemporary practice done to speed up the process ). - Allow the guest to sprinkle some water and wipe clean the leaf. - A traditional meal starts off by serving banana, sugar, a sweet, a pinch of salt, vegetables ( which take the

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The broader side of the leaf should be placed to the right of the diner. Most of us are right-handed and also because the rice ( carbohydrates) is the main meal and hence gets more space.

....... .......



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Vegeta bles c should be pla ooked in dif fe ced o n the u rent forms a pper s egme nd styles nt of th e leaf

Photos: Nagoor J

The ric e shou ld to the right, m be served in a sp aking ot th sure mix the rice an there is eno at is closer d with u other d gh room to ishes.

upper portion of the leaf and are high in nutrients, fibre and vitamins), an appalam and other crispies like vadai ( which take the left corner of the leaf) and finally the rice is served (on the right portion of the leaf). - Once this main category is served, the meal begins with a serving of paruppu (lentil) and nei ( clarified butter). This is your source of protein and fat. Usually the guest is expected to take a small portion of rice for this course. - This is followed with a pouring of sambhar (lentil vegetable gravy). This is also a source of protein and the mor kuzhambu (buttermilk gravy) and vatral kuzhambu (dry vegetable gravy) also follow in some households. - Too much of protein can be too heavy on the stomach and hence rasam (lentil and tamarind are main ingredients with tomato ) is served. This comes in variations which include pepper rasam, garlic rasam and the likes,

all of which make one feel light and help digestion. - The tamarind gravy is acidic and to neutalise it , the meal is ended with curd rice or curd served on rice. - Before curd rice, the guest is served a ladleful of payasam (liquid dessert) . One cannot avoid the fingers getting messy, but it is to be noted that payasam served directly on the leaf is much tastier, than that in plastic cups and tumblers. - The banana is to be taken last to aid digestion. After hand wash, a pinch of betel nuts wrapped in betel leaves completes a typical South Indian meal. The next time you plan out a party at home, use banana leaf and venture on a king-sized meal. -JS


ON SALE EXPRESS | JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010

Reverse Mortgage Scheme in new format

Some retired persons get reasonable pension and are able to carry on on their own without depending on others. There are others who do not have any such monthly income and the apartment or individual house that they have acquired over the years from out of their earnings is their only possession. Even if they do not have any regular income, they abhor the idea of selling it. Now, due to medical advances there is a significant increase in longevity and the cost of health care has gone through the roof. Senior citizens need money to meet their day- to-day expenses and as a support mechanism, the Union Government announced a reverse mortgage scheme in Budget 2007. What is Reverse mortgage loan (RML) ? This RML scheme was introduced by the National Housing Bank (NHB) to help the needy house owner above the age of 60 years to avail of periodical payments from a lending institution against the mortgage of his/her house and continue to remain as the owner and occupant of the house. The borrowers are not required to service the loan during their lifetime and, therefore, do not make monthly repayments of principal and interest to the lender. RMLs are extended by Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs), such as Scheduled Banks and Housing Finance Companies (HFCs).

Bank of India. On the death of the borrower and spouse, the bank will first give an opportunity to the legal heir to repay the loan. Otherwise, it will sell the property to recover the money. Regular payments on leased houses would be determined on a case-bycase basis.

When the scheme was first introduced, it was a non-starter because of the cap of 20 years fixed for monthly payments. No wonder, whoever showed interest had one question uppermost in mind: what will happen if the owner lives beyond the 20 years and how will he be able to either repay the loan and close the mortgage or else agree to sale of the property and reconcile to living elsewhere. Another reason was unlike in the US, the Government would not bear the insurance risk or the property fluctuation risk.

Mr Verma said talks were on to bring major banks and insurance players into the scheme. NHB was seeking tax exemption for annuities provided to senior citizens under its RMLeA scheme with the Central Board of Direct Taxes. To popularise the scheme and dispel doubts, NHB has set up counselling centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and important towns.

The usual mortgage loans will not be offered to anyone above 60 since repayment will be difficult. This is where the revised reverse mortgage scheme helps. It pays a sizable sum every month, allows a borrower or the surviving spouse to continue to live in that house as long as he or she lives. If both die, the bank will give their heirs two options - settle the overall outstanding loan and retain the house, or the bank will sell the house, use the proceeds to settle the outstanding loan and give the balance amount to the heirs.

Life Insurance Corporation of India, the country’s largest insurer plans to enter the reverse mortgage segment. LIC is in initial discussion with NHB. LIC’s real estate finance arm, LIC Housing Finance, is already offering the reverse mortgage scheme. “We can explore the linkages between the two companies. Since LICHF already has the product, there is existing synergy,” a LICHF official said.

Mr RV Verma, Executive Director, NHB, feels RML in the new format would be more attractive to borrowers in terms of higher payments and better risk mitigation than the original one. As of March 31, 2010, around 7,000 RMLs of Rs 1,400 crore have been sanctioned. Around 23 banks took up the RML scheme, which include State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Bank of India and Indian Bank. The RMLeA scheme has been launched by Central Bank of India in collaboration with Star Union Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. Under this scheme, it is compulsory for the borrower to stay in the house, according to Mr S Sridhar, chairman and managing director, Central

- Correspondent

Speak Out! Readers are invited to share with us their grievances about products or the outcome of any complaint taken to a retailer or service provider, for publication. E-mail us at

The complainant lost confidence and requested for a replacement of the phone. But when the dealer did not respond to it, he preferred a complaint with the Secretary of Coimbatore Consumer Cause. On behalf of the complainant, Coimbatore Consumer Cause filed a complaint with the District Consumer Redressal Forum. The dealer contended that since it was a case of manufacturing defect the complainant had to approach only the manufacturer. The Forum concluded that a responsible vendor has to redress the grievance of the complainant when the instrument sold by him was defective. It seemed that the dealer had not taken steps to rectify the defects and the Forum concluded that it was serious deficiency in service on the part of the dealer. The forum ordered the dealer to supply a new defect-free mobile phone for the price of Rs.3,800 and to pay within two months Rs.5000 as compensation for the mental agony caused to the complainant and also a sum of Rs.2000 towards cost of the proceedings

GE Coffee maker

Children's Bracelets

Some nine lakh General Electric-branded 12-cup digital coffee makers have been recalled in view of the risk of overheat, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers. The digital coffee maker has programmable functions and plastic housing. Walmart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Ark., the distributor, has sold them nationwide from March 2008 through January 2010. Consumers have been advised to return the product to any Walmart for a full refund.

About 19,000 pieces of ‘Best Friends’ charm bracelet sets imported from China by Claire’s Boutiques Inc. of Hoffman Estates, Ill., have been recalled since the heart lock charms attached to the bracelets contain high levels of cadmium. Cadmium is toxic if ingested by children and can cause adverse health effects. The ‘Best Friends’ bracelet sets are silver-coloured chains with metal pendants containing one of the words ‘Best’, ‘Friends’ or ‘Forever’ and heart lock and key charms with coloured stones.

product recalls


It is saddening, but true that today five out of ten senior citizens are entirely dependent on their sons or daughters for food and other daily requirements. Indeed, many parents are fortunate to have dutiful sons, daughters-in-law and daughters who leave no room for any complaint, but what is discussed here is about the finances of the neglected ones.

These tax-free payments which include interest on the loan, are made after assessing the value of the property. The value of the property is assessed at 60% for a 60-year-old building and rises up to 75%. Thus a property worth Rs.50 lakh can fetch a senior citizen anywhere between Rs34,000 and Rs50,000 a month, depending on the option availed. .

The Coimbatore District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum (CDCRF) recently directed a mobile phone dealer to replace a defective mobile phone with a new problem-free phone along with compensation and cost to an aggrieved customer. A resident of Rathinapuri, Coimbatore purchased a mobile phone for Rs.3,800 on May 30, 2009 from a dealer at Gandhipuram in Coimbatore. Within a few days the audio and speaker of the phone did not function properly. On June 8, the buyer handed over the phone to the dealer who supplied an old mobile for his temporary use. The new phone was repaired and handed back by the dealer on June 14. However, the very next day, the old problems recurred and even the battery charge did not last even for one hour. The phone was again given for repair on June 16 and the dealer gave a standby mobile which was also not working and hence it was returned. Subsequently another standby mobile was given by the dealer.

legal jottings

k n o w . s p e a k . a c t

few days ago most Chennai newspapers had carried prominently a report about the elderly, from which a couple of sentences are reproduced here: “ In a survey conducted across the country, Chennai has emerged as the city in which senior citizens are most abused after Bhopal. About 58.9 per cent of the respondents from Chennai for a survey by HelpAge India on Elder Abuse have revealed that they have faced some form of abuse, mainly economic abuse.”



Dealer told to replace cell phone.


JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010

The Royal Ride Journey of a motorcycle that is made like a gun and goes like a bullet.


ts thump makes a way of its own. Its name commands respect. The sight of it on the road attracts everyone. Thus is the pride of owning a Royal Enfield. Right from its inception as a cycle company in the late 19th century, it has come a long way. It is amongst the world’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers that are still in business. The motorcycles were very much popular with the military and police before being lapped up by the fully-white-clad politicians. Royal Enfield motorcycles gave them a macho image. But gone are the days where only the whites and khakis were the ones to own a Royal Enfield. Today you can own a Royal Enfield and all you got to have is the right attitude and of course, money. Before completely shifting its operations to India , Royal Enfield motorcycles were made in England and sold in India from 1949. On 21st November 1955, Royal Enfield was incorporated as Enfield India Limited becoming the country’s first 4-stroke motorcycle manufacturer. The year 1956 saw the company set up its plant in Thiruvottiyur that rolled out 163 Bullets the same year. At first the machines were assembled entirely from components shipped from England. In 1957, the tooling was sold to Enfield India so that they could manufacture components and the entire bike was manufactured in India. In 1973, Enfield India launched 173 cc Villiers-powered Crusader. The model was launched to follow the company’s successful Sherpa, a small motorcycle that was developed for those who find handling the Bullet difficult. The Crusader was followed by the Mini Bullet which was a

200 cc two stroke bike to provide a reliable and more economical ride. The 80’s saw the company tying up with German group Zundapp to put up a plant at Ranipet. With this collaboration, Enfield India launched a slew of light weight motorcycles. The 50 cc Silver Plus, Explorer and the Fury 175 bikes were introduced and they redefined the entry-level segment. The Fury, which came with a five-speed gearbox, became with the country’s first to sport a hydraulic disc brake. In early nineties, the revolutionary Taurus Diesel was introduced becoming the first production diesel motorcycle in the world. After acquiring Enfield India in 1994, the Eicher Group acquired the rights to the name Royal Enfield and changed Enfield India to Royal Enfield Motors Limited. Royal Enfield became a household name with its iconic bike, the Bullet. The Royal Enfield Bullet is the longest running motorcycle in the world, having remained in the production continuously since 1932. The Bullet 500 launched in 1993, has become the most coveted model of the brand. There was no stopping the Bullet in the 90s. It was called the King of Bikes or Raja Gaadi, as it outpowered all the bikes on the Indian roads. Even though other bikes are there, owning and riding a Bullet is a statement of power and prestige to this day. Only the Yamaha RD350 and the Yezdi bikes were considered as equivalents and had a cult position, but both the bikes went out of production. Though the Bullet had buyers from

all over society, to preserve the bike’s reputation as a classic and to attract younger generation, it was split into two designs. The Bullet Standard 350 had all the quality features and the reliability and was available in just black colour. The other version had the same engine and gearbox but with a facelift of features and in more refreshing colours and chrome. It was called Bullet Electra 350 and became the best selling model of Royal Enfield. Bullet was enlisted in the Indian Automobile “Hall of Pride” for defining the motorcycles in the Indian perspective. In 1998, Royal Enfield developed a new platform of products with a lean burn engine. This new engine met the strict emission norms and also offered better power and fuel economy. Bullet Machismo was the first motorcycle to feature this engine. Later, Royal Enfield launched its first cruiser bike, Thunderbird, to attract urban customers. The bike was an instant success bagging several awards and honours. Recently, Thunderbird and Bullet Electra have been launched with the revolutionary Unit Construction Engine and the twin spark technology. The latest in the line-up of motorcycles from the Royal Enfield stable is the Royal Enfield Classic. The bike has its styling from the simplicity of the original 1950’s machine and combines the technological innovations of today. The authentic vintage styling and the World War II inspired design set this bike apart from others. Royal Enfield Classic comes in two models, Classic 500 and Classic 350. Royal Enfield exports its bikes to over 25 countries that include USA, Japan, UK and several European countries. In the last five years, the company has made significant strides in the global market and has a pride of place across the globe. Royal Enfield has become India’s flagship brand in motorcycles, holding the national colours of tradition and integrity high. - Balasubramaniam N

Royal Enfield New No.9, Old No.3 Besant Avenue Road ,Adyar Chennai - 600020 Phone: 42607555/7777

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JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010

Cool Calls n the mobile world, getting calls all day long can get you heated up and extreme pressure may lead you to insanity. And you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t tend to avoid the calls. Cooling off is the alternative solution and Fanphone provides just that. Three powerful fans attached to the mobile turn on as you attend a call and cool you off as you continue with the arguments.

mad lab


Color Craze Dear Kids, Go on for a walk with Donald Duck and sing along with the sailor.

Colour this picture and mail your artwork to (or) to the address below within the next ten days (by June 21, 2010) to win exciting prizes!


Did you know? Elephants spend 16-18 hours in a day eating and during that time they consume anywhere between 100 to 1000 pounds of food.

Winner for 37th Issue: Sashikala S Besant Nagar.

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RNI No. : TNENG/2009/30433

ON SALE EXPRESS | JUN 25 - JUL 1, 2010

… inside everyone l i g h t . c a m e r a . a c t i o n

The battle between good and evil gets murkier even as the line that delineates the two disappears...


fter an impressive show with Guru, Mani Ratnam is back again with Raavanan, the so-called adaptation of Ramayanam. Yes, the characters and the story of the movie can be linked to that of the epic to some extent, but the difference exists quite prominently. The movie has all the typical Ratnam’s trademarks (thankfully). Direction, cinematography, music and performances score big time. The movie is great and there is no second thought about it. However, there is nothing new in the story. It’s the usual revenge drama that has been filmed over many decades. Veera (Vikram) is a character that is on the lines with Robinhood, helping the tribal people and getting on the bad side of the authorities. The movie starts with his attacks on some policemen and the abduction of Ragini (Aishwarya Rai Bachan), wife of SP, Dev (Prithviraj). And then starts the game of hide and seek between Veera and Dev, playing against each other, destroying each other’s sources. The circumstance that leads Veera to do these things is revealed by a flashback, upon which Ragini takes pity and a liking for Veera. Then follows the climax that most of us would have guessed by the time it arrives. Vikram as Veera is the life of the movie. His expressions and body language is at its best. The potential of bringing out a character like Veera has been handled well by both the director and the actor. Both of them have proved why they are the best when it comes to bringing the screen alive with an explosion of emotions. Aishwarya has come up with a performance rivaling that of Vikram. Be it speaking against him or fighting, she has managed to perform emotionally and physically on par with him. Prithviraj as a police officer is brimming with confidence and is able to give credibility to the part that he’s been provided with. The on-screen chemistry of Prithvi and Aishwarya is refreshing. Karthik is witty and dynamic and has done his act at ease. Prabhu and Munna as Vikram’s brothers are suitable and have given memorable performances. Priyamani impresses in her short role. Kudos to the director for keeping the cast and their roles clear and apt. Suhasini’s dialogues too are crisp and add charm to the performances. Right from the start to the finish of the movie, one of the things you take note of

and appreciate would be the cinematography of Santosh Sivan. The locations of the movie be it the jungles, waterfalls, the marriage and everything, has been captured so aesthetically that you feel like being in the film. The next thing that gets our attention is the music. Songs by A.R.Rahman, that are already chartbusters, are a revelation to see in the movie. The background score has been fused to the scenes like a second skin. At a running time of just over 2 hours, Editor Srikar Prasad has kept it slick and interesting. Though everything is good and going for Raavanan, there still seems to be a vacant feeling after the movie. After all, it’s a Mani Ratnam movie and expectations are tough even for the master to meet. Other than that, Mani has given an engrossing drama of love and revenge. As one of the most awaited movies of the year, Raavanan is sure to satiate the appetite for a good movie. So go, get engrossed in the webs of Raavanan. - Balasubramaniam N


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Published and Owned by Girish Nara and published from Flat-B, Plot-3, Nahar Garden Apts, Kannappa Nagar, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai - 41. and printed by Girish Nara at Vasan Print Products Pvt. Ltd., No.72, North Phase, SIDCO Industrial Estate, Ambattur, Chennai - 98. Editor: Girish Nara

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