Issue No. 40                  
February 2006


Hello everyone,

Your favourite (and only) family magazine completes five years. The 40th issue is here after more than five months. The issues for October 2005 and December 2005 were skipped as I was busy with writing and publishing my second book, retirement, Grihapravesam, new job, vacation of the railway house, music season, Chennai Open Tennis Tournament, sashtiabdhapurthi and so on. We also visited a lot of places - the major one being the one to Rashtrapati Bhawan.

This is a mega issue as it contains over 250 photographs and takes up about 50 MB of space. This has been hosted in my new website. Harish has got me this virtual palace with 5 GB space. I am in the process of shifting from free websites to this site. So far I've loaded my home pages and Deepu-Sriram memorial site (as it is. I'll be updating them later). Since it is a time-consuming affair, I may complete the job of shifting everything to the new address and updating them only by May 2006.

There are two articles by me - Kalam and Carnatic Music which is on the meeting my wife and I had with Dr. Kalam in September 2005 and Goodbye, dear friends an article written by me on the eve of my retirement. Both were first published in IRAS Times, which is the website of our service.

There are three contributions from relatives. Kausalya's article on the problems of construction wokers - A raw deal from The Hindu dated 19th January 2006 has been reproduced. Mukund has continued with the second part of Sub-Collector, Pollachi. Kannan has written an educative article on Principles of Management in Tirrukkural. Prasad, Harish and Sudarshan have not contributed this time. But I do hope they will start again from the next issue.

The usual features by the Editor, viz. My diary, Crossword Clues, Brain teasers and Cryptoquip. are all there.

ARRE O SAMBAR... I REGRET TO INFORM YOU THE MUSIC IS OVER (A.K.A. SORRY GA-MA) is a humorous article on the music season by Bharadwaj Rangan. This has been reproduced from Economic Times in the section FROM THE NET. This section also contains two interesting pieces - Papad prophecies by Puja Birla and an article on J.R.D.Tata by Sudha Murthy. The latter has been sent by Murali (Bombay Usha's husband).

Enjoy the Newsletter, but do write about it.

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Amritha and I were invited to Rashtrapati Bhawan to discuss my book 108 Divya Ragams. We made the trip in September 2005. We also visited Agra, Mathura and Gokul (which took our tally of Divyadesams to 101). You can read about the trip in my article.

I retired from Indian Railways on 8th December 2005. I had written an article covering my entire service as a farewell piece which is available elsewhere in this Newsletter. I joined Railway Claims Tribunal as Member (Technical). I am now a judge and am addressed as 'Your Honour' while sitting in court. To see me 'robed' as a judge, click on the following photgraph.

My second book on Carnatic music titled 108 Cine Ragams was ready in November 2005. The book and CD-ROM were released at a grand function in Chennai on 17th November 2005. We were lucky to get four eminent persons - Randor Guy, the famous film historian : Vidyasagar, well-known music Director : Unnikrishnan, Carnatic as well as film singer and Rajiv Menon, ace cinematographer and Director. The function went off smoothly and all the four spoke very well. Urmila compered very competently. There was a Carntic music recital by Kasturirangan and party. We held a pre-release press conference at TNCA Club in Chepauk cricket grounds on 16th November 2005. We gave a lunch on 28th November 2005 to everyone in my office who assisted us in making and releasing the book. Click here to know the details of 108 Cine Ragams and view the photos.

I occupied my first Railway house in May 1972 (as a bachelor) in Solapur. From that time till 15th December 2005, we have lived only in Railway/Government houses. In all we had occupied 14 houses in 8 cities (4 in Bombay, 2 each in Solapur, Secunderabad and Chittaranjan and 1 each in Vijayawada, Kota, Vadodara and Chennai. This excludes the Guest houses that we occupied. We also occupied two houses in Bombay on paper without even seeing them. These have also been excluded.) The best were Chennai and Kota. But everyone of them had its plus points. It was therefore with trepidation that we thought of the shift to our own house. Thankfully our present house is nice and we do not really miss Railway accommodation. We performed the grihapravesam on 27th November 2005 and vacated the Railway bungalow on 15th December 2005. Click here to view the photographs of Grihpravesam.

Keshav visited India to celebrate his first birthday according to the Tamil as well as English calendars. He visited many places in India which included Arumbakkam. He was accompanied by his parents - Mukund and Prema. Click here to see Keshav's photos

Sashtiabdhapoorthi or competion of 60 years is considered an important milestone. I reached that milestone on 27th January 2006. The function was celebrated on two days - vedaparayanam and Udhakasanthi on the evening of 26th January in our flat at Arumbakkam and the main function at Sastrinagar Welfare Association on 27th January. I have uploaded the photos with a wedding song for each page. Click here to view the photos of the Sashtiabdhapoorthi functions (with background music). However if you do not have a broadband connection, you can view the photos without the accompanying songs (which would take time to load). Click here to view the photos of the Sashtiabdhapoorthi functions (without music).

We have installed Dishnet (DTH Dish antenna of Zee TV) in our house. It's value was realised in January itself when we watched the Australian Open. All the matches were excellent. The shot of the match was perhaps the one by Leander in the Doubles' Final.

Because of my retirement, I heard only about a dozen concerts in the Music season of 2005. Amritha attended about 20. We attended the Chennai Open for five days. All the matches were very good. Bopanna and Prakash Amritaraj's Doubles semi final in which they came back from the brink of defeat was the best match.

Other news from here
- Santhanam is in USA on a short trip for aa week. Rahul is in India on leave.
- Aarthi is in Ahmedabad for her internshipp with an NGO. She will be there till mid-March.
- Aditya continues to win prizes in Karate<
- Ravi (Urmila's husband) has been transferrred to Jammu and has joined there.
- Srivatsan (my brother Raghu's eldest son)) was here on leave for a week from Jakarta.
- Srisudan (my brother Raghu's youngest sonn) has joined Infosys after his Engineering graduation. He is in Chennai now.

Bye till 15th April,

5th February 2006

Interesting family photographs (with captions)

Kalam and Carnatic music - An article written for IRAS Times on our meeting with the President in September 2005

Goodbye, dear friends - A farewell article on my career written for IRAS Times

Crossword Clues


Brain teasers

Principles of Management in Tirrukkural by Kannan (Narasimhan)

Sub-collector, Pollachi Part-II by Mukund

A raw deal by Kausalya


Papad prophecies

J.R.D.Tata (sent by Murali from Mumbai)

Click here for the previous issue (August 2005)

Click here for Monthwise, Authorwise and Subjectwise Archives of 28 issues from December 2000 to April 2003

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*Disclaimer *Some of the articles and images reproduced here have been taken from various sources and I am not aware of any copyright violations. If there are any such violations, please write to me and the concerned article will be promptly removed.