Friday, May 29, 2009

What's hot and what's not!

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not into fashion. For instance, among other garments, I have 3 light blue shirts and three black trousers in my wardrobe - often cause for confusion in situations I ask my wife “can you iron my light-blue shirt for tomorrow dear?”. I am someone who likes to stick with what I know and rarely experiment or try out the “in-thing”. But I believe that even I know a fashion-disaster when I see one. Now you may or may not agree with me, but I would like to put it out there and see what others think. So here is a list of what I think are fashion “no-nos” just like what Hulk-Hogan is to WWF.

Brown shoes or belt with black or blue dress pants
White shoes with dark pants (unless you are umpiring a day-night cricket match)
White socks with dark pants (unless your name happens to be Michael Jackson – even then it is not fashionable anymore)
T-shirt with dress pants
White pants or white dress shoes (unless you are a pimp)
Wireless mobile headsets worn in public – especially when not on a call (So far I haven’t seen women indulging in this)
Loosened neckties (I see this often at after-office gatherings - why not remove it altogether?)

Too much makeup
Ridiculously high heels
Tiger/leopard skin look-alike designs on garments
Straitened hair (still passable but might no longer be by the time I push the “post” button)

Shades worn on the forehead
Shades worn indoors (unless you have a medical condition)

I am certain I have missed out some. So have a go at it….

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Elephants, Trishaws and the Tropics

What I love about this part of the world is that you witness something different every time you step on to the road. It is never boring. Of course you have some people who always complain about the traffic situation, indiscipline on the road and such. I too occasionally have been guilty of doing it. But those come as part and parcel of living in this part of the world.

Take yesterday morning for instance; I was driving to work as usual when I happened to see a huge elephant - a magnificent tusker at that - calmly strolling down the main road. A couple of keepers (AKA mahouts) were walking along with the huge mammal. Trishaw drivers were weaving around them like it was just another 'private bus' cruising slowly looking to pickup that extra passenger. I noticed a few school children pointing at the animal and talking to each other in a rather excited manner. And of course a couple of stray dogs barking at the top of their voices protesting this gross violation of their territory.

I pulled to the side briefly and captured the moment on my phone cam. The entourage passed me by on the other side of the road within the next few seconds. I put my car in gear and headed back into a light traffic. In the background something was being discussed about the IPL on my favorite morning show over the car radio.

Yes, a typical Monday morning on Colombo roads.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Entrepreneurship... Or is it?

Much has been written about this over the years in Sri Lanka. So called ‘International’ schools that are popping up faster than you could say 'sahodaraya' at a JVP rally. Are there any standards? Can any Tom, Dick or Perera open up a tuition class and call it an International school? Surely not? You would think so wouldn’t you?

Well, the truth is they can. And that is exactly what they do. We Sri Lankans are experts in copying. If they guy next door opens a little grocery store, it is guaranteed that another moron will do the same a few houses down the street very soon.

Last Wednesday morning I was driving along the narrow back lane off Kotta road (in Borella) – I think it was called Gothami Road. By the time I travelled from the Kotta road turn-off to the P.Sara stadium (maybe a maximum of 300 meters in distance), I came across 4 fishmongers (y’know the guys who sell fish from a box on the back of their bicycles?) – do they ever have enough sales to go around? I wonder…

Why is this so?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mobile phone

I need want to replace my well used Sony-Ericssons P1i. I have no clue as to what make/model to go for. But I know I need following functionality...

1) Reliable (bug free) features (clear phone calls, one touch speaker phone, keypad lock, calendar/scheduling and phonebook with outlook sync, alarm, 3MP or greater camera, radio)
2) Light-weight and perhaps not too large either; need to fit into a trouser pocket fairly discretely.
3) Preferable if touch screen (but then it must reliable and accurate)
4) Long battery life.
5) Good for heavy use.
6) Not insanely expensive.

Other ideal features to have would be the ability to repel water, resistant to people sitting on it and voice recognition software where I can compose and send sms purely via voice (without having to touch the keypad).