• The Missing Smile in Thailand's Hospitality Industry!
    Travel Review

    The Missing Smile in Thailand’s Hospitality Industry!

    For the last few days, I was in Thailand along with friends to celebrate the Thai Songkran Water Festival. Spraying water on passersby and being poured with ice-cold water was super fun – the gamers (a large part were tourists) were all happy playing. Unfortunately, I couldn’t say the same about Thailand’s tourism industry. Right from the Airport (DMK), the Hotels we stayed and the shops we visited, we could clearly see the absence of a “warmth”. Even when you thanked the shopkeeper, in some shops the return smile was missing. It was absent! Initially, I thought it was the standard apathy towards Indian Citizens, who in general are not…

  • TV Show Review

    Michael Palin in North Korea

    In today’s connected era, if there is one country that is the least connected and known to the outside world it will be North Korea (DPRK). Till last year, when Mr Trump and Mr Kim Jong-un met in Singapore, the world especially Japan and South Korea were on the fear of a nuclear war in the Korean peninsula. When we hear the country’s name we see an image of a country that is tightly run, food being scarce, and the colossal military drills, gigantic misses and tanks that parade in the city square. Other than these, we knew nothing about the country. In the past I have travelled to South…

  • Economy

    What makes Singapore different?

    Whenever I visit Singapore, where I have relatives and many friends, I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I am amazed by the growth, advancement and the hygiene that this tiny nation-state has achieved; yet on the other hand, it makes me think how long can this wonder last, when will the other nations copy what they do? Asking this question to himself, the Singapore Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong in this interview for National Geographic Magazine (08.18 issue) answers it eloquently as below: There are any number of cities in Asia which have three or four million people in them; probably dozens, many dozens. Why are we different? It’s…

  • Movie Review

    Sand Storm (2016)

    We are in the deserts of southern Israel, a father and daughter are travelling in an SUV after what’s probably a shopping trip, the girl “Layla” is driving and the father “Suliman” is attentively asking about her studies and the need to study well. As we think what a progressive father he is, the car enters their Bedouin village, which is getting ready for a wedding – for the second marriage of the father to a younger bride. Layla’s mother (Suliman’s first wife) “Jalila” is busy making the arrangements for the wedding party, while concealing her disappointment and betrayal of her husband. As the wedding progresses Jalila discovers that Layla may…

  • Book Review,  தமிழ்

    Vadampidikka vaanga japanukku by Thiru Saavi

    என் சமீபத்திய பயணத்தில் திரு சாவி அவர்களின் “வடம்பிடிக்க வாங்க ஜப்பானுக்கு” கையில் இருந்ததால் பயணக்களைப்பே தெரியவில்லை. ஜப்பான் டோக்கியோ நகரத்தில், அரசர் மாளிகையின் முன்னால் திருவாரூர் தேரை ஓடச் செய்வது (கற்பனையில் தான்) என்றால் சும்மாவா? “வாஷிங்டனில் திருமணம்” மூலமாக பல லட்சம் தமிழர்களை அமெரிக்காவிற்கு கூட்டிச் சென்ற திரு சாவி அவர்கள், இந்த முறை நம்மை அழைத்துச் செல்வது – பாசக்கார ஜப்பானியர்களின் நாட்டிற்கு. நான் ஜப்பான் சென்றிருக்கிறேன், என் சொந்த நாட்டை அடுத்து நான் வாழ விரும்பும் நாடு என்றால் அது ஜப்பான் தான். என் பார்வையில் ஜப்பான் என்பது, அன்பான மக்கள் + ஒழுக்கமான சமுதாயம் + கடின உழைப்பாளர்கள், இருக்கும் நாடு. கதையில் நிஜ இடங்களையும், உண்மை மனிதர்களையும், கற்பனை பாத்திரங்களையும் நேர்த்தியாகச் சேர்த்துள்ளார் சாவி. உதாரணம் பாருங்கள் – ஜப்பான் சக்கரவர்த்தியின் அழைப்பில், அப்பொழுது இருந்த இந்தியா வங்கி தலைவர் திரு கோபாலகிருஷ்ணன் தலைமையில் ஒரு குழு செல்கிறது – யார் யார் தெரியுமா – திருமதி…

  • Movie Review

    Tulpan (2008)

    Tulpan (2008),  a film from Kazakhstan that won international accolades when it came out. The whole film happens inside two nomadic tents called Yurts, and the outside barren land surrounding them. The story is of a young man, Asa, a recently discharged Russian sailor who lives with his sister Samal and her family. Ondas, is the husband of Samal, a local herdsman, he manages a herd of sheeps for an owner. Ondas and Samal have 3 children, and life in the small yurt and hosting Asa, who has little experience as a herdsman doesn’t make it any easy. Asa dreams of owning his own ranch, but for him to get a flock…

  • Chennai,  Restaurant Review

    Chin Chin – The Residency, Chennai

    The Residency Hotel, G.N.Chetty Road, T.Nagar houses one of the best restaurants serving Chinese Cuisine, called “Chin Chin”. My good friend, Mr Muthu Nedumaran from Malaysia invited me and few other friends with common interests in Tamil Computing, to the restaurant today. I expected a treat for my brain, which was certainly there – along with it I got to eat a tasty lunch that I enjoyed thoroughly. The Head Chef – Mr Shanmugam from Malaysia, who had worked in Hong Kong and other South East Asian countries, presented us with a vegetarian gastronomic delight. We got to eat over half-a-dozen dishes, that included: Vegetable Lhothe (Steamed), Yiek Seek (Vegetable) Spring…

  • Lounge,  Restaurant Review

    Old Town White Coffee

    Tired after travelling for six hours from Seoul by Air Asia we landed in KLIA 2 (Kuala Lumpur’s Budget Airlines terminal). After collecting our bags, a friend travelling along recommended we go for a coffee and snack to an outlet opposite the baggage claim area before we travel to our Hotel. The restaurant we went was Old Town White Coffee, looking at the name I presumed it’s a US brand so I was surprised when my friend told me it’s a local Malaysian firm. He recommended I try their Kaya & Butter Toast and top it with a HazelNut Coffee. Kaya Butter is a coconut jam popular in Singapore &…