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INTERESTS
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Interests

Hello, friend,

Thanks for staying with me and I hope you find the journey worthwhile. Here I shall talk about my interests - Carnatic Music , Crosswords, Computers , Reading and Others .

Carnatic music

Carnatic musicI have always liked Carnatic music and have attended concerts in my boyhood at Kapali temple and have also listened to concerts when Music academy used to hold its 'Season' in the grounds of P.S.High School. But this interest became dormant during my years outside Chennai. For the last two years, I have rediscovered the beauty of Carnatic music and have become addicted to it. Since I derive enormous pleasure by listening to this beautiful music, I thought I must do something to make laymen appreciate its beauty. With over 1000 hours of effort, I have been able to write a book and compile a CD on Carnatic music. The book titled '108 Divya Ragams' was released on 11th September 2004 and has generated enthusiasm thanks to good reviews in The Hindu and Indian Express. You can read about the book in another section of this CD.

Cryptic Crosswords

Cryptic Crosswords I am not ashamed to say I am addicted to Cryptic Crosswords for over 35 years. If I am asked to thank the English race for just one invention, I shall unhesitatingly choose the Cryptic Crossword. It is a wonderful pastime and I thank God I fell into this habit. I cannot remember when I started solving crosswords. What I remember is that Santhanam ( now my brother-in-law) and I used to jointly solve Indian Express crossword in our college days. In my view, Economic Times has the best clues among the Indian newspapers. Statesman, Telegraph, Sunday Hindu and Sunday Times are also good. While in Mumbai, I used to solve the Jumbo Crossword (full page) in The Afternoon Despatch & Courier on Saturdays in which I have won prizes. I have developed Crossword Lessons for those interested to know about them. If you are interested,click on ‘Weep softly, twitch, and shake first for my favourite puzzles (8)’.

If you are already solving Crosswords, you can view the list of abbreviations commonly used by Crossword compilers by clicking here.

Or you may just want to see some interesting clues.

When Amritha and I were in California in 2008-09, we were pleasantly surprised to see Tamil cryptic crosswords in Thendral, a Tamil monthly published in USA. Mr.Vanchinathan, a professor of Maths in Madras Institute of Mathematics, is the pioneer of Tmil cryptic crosswords. After we returned to India, we met him. His encouragement has made us compile Tamil cryptic crossword which we publish on the 21st of every month. I also post the solutions to the Sunday Hindu crossword regularly. These can be seen by visiting CRYPTIC CROSSWORDS IN ENGLISH & TAMIL

Computer & Internet

My third interest (or obsession) is computer and internet. I had learnt FORTRAN in my college days. Indian Railways were pioneers in the use of computers in India, when they introduced IBM 1401 and IBM 1440 machines in 1966 for Electronic Data Processing. All IRAS officers were given training in Autocoder language. And as I said earlier, I was posted to the EDP Centre in Chittaranjan, where I wrote a number of programs in Autocoder.

When I was in BARC, I bought a SPECTRUM computer for Harish in 1988. My association with PCs also began at this period. When Harish joined his degree course in Computer Science, I bought a PC in 1994. I started sending e-mails from 1997 and started surfing the net from 1998. I bought a Pentium in 1998. My first Home Page was made in October 1998, when I did not know much about the Net. Later I learnt html and Javascript. You may have noticed that this site uses a lot of Javascripts. They say an average American needs 4000 calories, 2 litres of fluids and 10 Megabytes of data per day. I need far less calories and fluids, but perhaps the same daily dosage of data.

I have made three web-sites and run a monthly e-Newsletter for the family (which is also a large web site). These links are here.

Memorial Site for my nephews who died in 1999

A site on 108 Divya Desams sacred to Vaishnavites

The site made after our family celebrated the Birth Centenary of my father, Sri.C.Srinivasan in November 2008

Current issue of Family e-Newsletter

I also play some computer games. The games I like are all card games. The game most played by me (and Amritha) is Spider Solitaire in which Amritha and I hold the record at 1206 points. We also play Scarab solitaire and Three Towers Solitaire in Facebook.

Reading

I was a voracious reader right from the age of five. I have been reading Tamil magazines and books for over fifty years. My favourite authors in Tamil are Jayakanthan, Sujatha, Balakumaran, Vasanthy, Indumathy, Subramanya Raju, Kalki , Cho and many more. I started reading English books only from the age of fifteen, as I started learning English only from High school, i.e., from the age of ten. My first books were of Leo Tolstoy ( who I consider the greatest short story writer ) and O'Henry. Then I moved to classics by Dickens, Hardy , Conan Doyle as well as Three Musketeers and Count of Monte Cristo. Conan Doyle and P.G.Wodehouse ( who can make me smile any time ) have been my perennial favourites. Though I have not read any work of Alan Drury for over thirty years, his books impressed me greatly. Like everyone else, I moved to modern fiction by Leon Uris, Frederick Forsythe, Alistair MacLean, Arthur Hailey, Robert Ludlum, Jeffery Archer, Desmond Bagley , Robin Cook, Erich Segal etc. Nevil Shute and A.J.Cronin were my favourites for a long time. I consider Cronin's Adventures In Two Worlds as the best autobiographical work by anybody and strongly recommend its reading by everyone , especially Doctors. The Three Men in a Boat best humourous book I have ever read is not by P.G.Wodehouse , but Three Men In a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. I have recently read books of Dick Francis and Sue Grafton and liked them a lot. Though I haven't read much of non-fiction, I am a great admirer of the works of Bertrand Russell and G.K.Chesterton. I have also liked stories and articles by R.K.Narayan. Preparation for IAS made me read Arnold Toynbee and I was thankful I chose British History as a subject. I started reading comics only when I bought them for my son and daughter. But I took instant liking for Tintin, Asterix and Phantom. Right now, my reading is limited to newspapers and magazines (and of course the computer monitor). We used to buy six newspapers in Mumbai and still my daughter was complaining that she didn't find anything to read. In Chennai we buy only three Newspapers- Economic Times (mainly for Crossword), Hindu and Express. We also read about 10 Tamil magazines and 7 English magazines which keeps us busy.

Others

I watch all sports, particularly cricket, tennis and Formula-I racing. Other than sports, my TV watching is mainly confined to quiz programs and song-based programs. Amritha and I enjoy listening to old songs, both in Tamil and Hindi. In fact I wrote an article 'Bookmarking memory with songs', an article inspired by Prasad, my nephew in which I have disussed songs that are etched in my memory for various reasons. I also dabble in writing, mainly for the family Newsletter. I have given the links to my articles at different places. I am again giving them here.

Click on each title to read the article

Farewell To Steam Locos (February 1997)

Bookmarking Memory With Songs (August 2002)

I Was Not Bored (September 2002)

An Irreverent Look at IRAS Retreat (October 2002)

When My Mother Sang.... (December 2002)

'Nirvana In God's Own Country' or 'A Brief Outing In Kerala'(August 2004)

Goodbye - Remembering Gopalan, my brother (October 2004)

While in Mumbai, I have won prizes in the Caption Contest conducted in Sunday Midday Newspaper of Mumbai. I am also interested in Tamil poetry and am an admirer of Subramanya Bharathi , Kannadasan and many others. I get up at 5.10 every day and start the day with walking and stationary jogging for 45 minutes. Amritha and I used to play shuttle in our house when we were staying in the railway bungalow (but alas those days have gone). I enjoyed playing Bridge when I was in Vadodara. Amritha and I like to see films in theatres, concerts, plays etc. We used to play cards (a game called Mail,which is now the family game) whenever we have five people (four of us along with another relative) in the house.

Hope you enjoy your stay.

Thanks & Regards,


S. Parthasarathy

Did you know ...
*** The only unsolvable deal in FREECELL is 11982. Among the solvable, 1941 is perhaps the hardest. Other possible candidates are 10692 and 617.

*** There are 10 ways in which a batsman can get out in cricket:

1. Caught
2. Bowled
3. Leg Before Wicket
4. Run Out
5. Stumped
6. Handling the ball
7. Obstructing the field
8. Hit the ball twice
9. Hit Wicket
10. Timed out



Copyright © 2003 S.Parthasarathy. All rights reserved.

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