Happy at TAFE

Someone once said, “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” TAFE’s Corporate Communication Department in an attempt to test this theory made a small video titled “Happy at TAFE”. They spoke to TAFE employees across Chennai and asked them, “What makes you happy at TAFE?” The answers ranged from food to the wonderful colleagues to opportunities to transparency within functions. Click the link below and find out, what makes the people at TAFE tick!

Video link:
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Ooty – A haven in the Nilgiris

Ooty – nestled in the Nilgiris is a historically famous hill station town known for its natural beauty. A much loved getaway from the British era, Ooty provides a much needed respite even today to the people of Tamil Nadu. Here are a set of pictures captured in Ooty giving us a glimpse into its different moods.


Pre Assure – Pressure


Water from Tap, Waves from sea,
Seeds from sand, Words from mouth,
Thoughts from mind, Under normal circumstances
Flows with preassured flow.
That is 80 /120 reading.

When pressure increases,
Patience protest inside,
Blood boosts through veins,
Anger Accelerates,
And finally words explode as shell bombs.

What is pressure?
A mild sedation of unprovoked thoughts,
Sedates the neural system and leads to
Unwarranted and non-synchronised actions.
That is 180 /220 reading.

How to manage pressure?
Apply thought brakes,
Arrow your thoughts correctly,
Aim to be prepared for situations and
A pinch of common sense…..
Mind pressure decreases
Inner pleasure increases…


Trying to understand the phenomenon of Rajnikanth

In a very famous IT quiz held for school children one of the questions asked was: “There is a virus that multiplies by a hundred when it infiltrates a computer. What is the name of the virus?” You would have never guessed in a hundred years that this computer virus would be inspired by the punch line of yesteryear Kollywood box office hit “Baasha”. You read it right, the line, “Naan oru thadava sonna, nooru thadava sonna maadri!” translates to ‘If I’ve said it once, it’s as good as me saying it a hundred times!’ This particular form of tribute is something that not even the biggest film stars in the world can lay claim to. The computer virus may not have caught on and but the Rajni virus is definitely afflicting people again.

12th December, the birthday of the ‘Superstar’ is celebrated on the scale of a festival by fans across the world. To add to it, this year 12/12 saw the release of ‘Lingaa’ – the latest offering by Rajnikanth. This mix is as potent as it gets as the frequency of Rajni movies have reduced over the years and what better way to pay tribute to your beloved superstar than watch his movie. In Chennai, the city was plastered with posters and there was no surprise as history repeated itself in the form of house-full shows for the entire week after the movie release; even for shows as late as 03:00 AM in the morning. There were even fans that flew down from Japan to catch the show.

It was as if the city was celebrating another Diwali with crackers, music, colours and the works. The uninitiated would never have guessed that it is just a cinema star’s birthday. The fans typically celebrate this day by bathing huge cut-outs of Rajni in milk, symbolizing an ‘Abhisegam’ – a ritual traditionally reserved for gods on auspicious days. The entrances of cinema theatres resemble an entrance to a local fair. On social networking sites people from all over the nation and the world flood in their wishes to the ‘Thalaivar’. Tweets, statuses, pictures, posters, art, music, videos, mash ups and you name it, it’s all up and running. And no, there is absolutely no age-bar when it comes to adoring this man. Fans, old and new alike celebrate this day with much reverence.

There are some that don’t buy into the concept, some of the older people feel this fan-fair to be pseudo or humbug. There are many who go to the extent of saying that the Superstar funded the entire celebration. ‘Stars and actors better than him haven’t got such acclaim so why should he’, they ask! Despite all this one can’t deny the fact that there is something about ‘Thalaivar’ that draws such devotion. No one was ever able to pinpoint as to how this came to be. Even his fans are bewildered when asked what they like about him. And the fact remains, there are but a few Tamil movie fans who can say they didn’t feel a rush when they saw him onscreen delivering his punch lines, “malai da annamalai” from Annamalai or his highly emotional “Thodra paakalam” from Thalapathy. The aura, charisma and some magic is what makes Rajnikanth the ‘Superstar’ that he is. This fanatical craze and adoration can only be described as the Rajni Effect.


A look at the time of the powerful

It is said that time is money. But time is power too. It can make or break a person. And given time, any person can do wonders. With time comes power and it with comes with the responsibility of handling it judiciously. And so on and so forth.

Given today’s world, it is no wonder how people view time as precious. Maybe that is why Swiss watchmakers probably take so much effort in assembling a masterpiece of time that adds the power of carrying it in ones hands. But has anyone wondered what the people of power wear on their wrists? Here are the timeless watches that the worlds most powerful wear to control time.

  1. Barack Obama, President – USA
    TAG Heuer: Aqua racer
    Price: $2600

‘Mr. President’ has been wearing this watch for over 15 years. It does make us wonder whether the watch is just for show or has utility for a man whose appointments go by the second. As for being the world’s most powerful man he sure does wear simplicity with class on his wrist.

  1. Vladimir Putin, President – Russia
    Lange and Sohne: Tourbograph
    Price: $600,000

Yes. You read it right and that’s what it will be if you read it a hundred times over. The Russian premier is known for his watch collection with this just being his favorite. The numbers reach a whopping 700 watches in his collection and the costs, a fortune.

  1. Angela Merkel, Chancellor – Germany
    Boccia Titanium
    Price: $150

We all remember the lady in a red coat who jumped up in joy as the German team lifted the 2014 FIFA World Cup earlier this year. This leader of Germany wears a watch worth a mere 150 dollars and carries it off without a flinch.
Mr. President you’ve got competition on the simplicity front.

  1. Nikolas Sarkozy, Former President – France
    Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar White Gold
    Price: $30,000

The former French premier is known for his style. And the reason for him to wear the watch is what the world knows the French for, Love. Model and partner of Mr. Sarkozy, Carla Bruni has planted this masterpiece on his wrist. Given her illustrious past, it comes as no surprise that she should gift such a beauty!

  1. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister – India
    Price: $2295

India’s premier and the most influential man in the Indian subcontinent, Narendra Modi is surely a person of good taste. The Prime Minister’s favorite watch comes from the workshops of Movado in Switzerland. It is not just style, it is class.



Interstellar Travel – Science fiction or mankind s future

Christopher Nolan’s space epic Interstellar hit cinemas a few weeks back and though the movie was well received,it left many confounded. The possibilities of extra terrestrial activity in our universe and the flawed physics of the movie occupied everyone’s thoughts. And if you could try to link the premise of the movie and a huge change in the spaceflight industry, then a question will rise in your mind. Space exploration and spaceflight is not NASA’S cup of tea anymore. They have competition coming their way.

The international space community has opened its arms to welcome private pioneers in the spaceflight and aerospace aviation sector. International players like Bigelow, SapceX to Richard Brandson’s Virgin Galactic have begun work both operational and in progress on spaceflight and missions. Companies have taken up projects as ambitious as sending space stations beyond the stratosphere. Bigelow Aerospace’s Genesis I and II are now operational and orbiting the earth in a Low earth Orbital. And SpaceX has five functional reusable spacecrafts that act as cargo variants and they were the first to be attached with the International Space Station. And the catch among every player’s operational race is the key idea of “Passenger Spaceflight” and “Space Colonization”. The idea of space colonization is still a small seed compared to the other aspects of private spaceflight; passenger spaceflight will soon be a living dream for many people. Virgin Galactic’s already functional, Whiteknight II and Spaceship II are running successful test runs, the first commercial runs will happen towards the end of this year. Yes! The VSS Enterprise flight ended in tragedy, but these things tend to happen during the development of an idea. But the crux of the entire idea is the fact that passenger spaceflight is the key to successful space colonization.

Now, we have got two interdependent ideas and a science fiction movie which puts a question in our head: Is Interstellar travel a reality or something that will stop with the imagination of film directors? The amount of physics that comes at us during the course of the film will throw us off our seats. Let us not delve into that aspect since the theories may or may not be correct. But like a seed to a plant, all the possibilities of human beings living on another planet or in outer space are slowly blooming to reality. The Mars One mission is at its early stages of astronaut assessment and testing. Very soon we might set foot on Mars. And No, this time Stanley Kubrick won’t be there to create exact sets. This time it is for real. At that moment we will have the chances of Miss Universe being the inhabitant of another planet.

This brings us back to Interstellar (the film). The protagonist’s sole fight was and is to save the people on earth and not start a colony in space with cryogenic wombs. He intends to save maximum number of people from earth and travel into outer space where planets with similar survival conditions exist. With the idea of the Mars colonization and the passenger spaceflight within human reach now, we wonder why these ideas came up in the first place. This is not the idea of some rich James Bond villain who wants universal dominion. This is more than just the whim of some business person or a scientist. This is imminent reality. We do not and cannot fathom the idea of the future of the human race now. We may be here, we may not. And Interstellar will not be a mere movie then.  “Maybe mankind wasn’t meant to save the earth. It was meant to leave it.” – Interstellar.


A visit to the Singapore Zoo

Singapore is often known as the garden city. On further research I found that this title was thanks to an initiative by Lee Kuan Yew way back in 1968. This was also around the time that Singapore had just got its independence. This plan was undertaken to balance the urban development while preserving nature in all the districts of Singapore. Today Singapore has earned the distinction of being one of the most eco-friendly places on earth and it has one of the longest running go-green campaigns on earth.

The Singapore Zoo was opened up as part of this initiative in 1973. It was initially called the Mandai Zoo and then later it was renamed as Singapore Zoological Gardens. The zoo aims to not only promote tourism but also raise awareness among people about endangered animals. The zoo is a living habitat to many animals from various corners of the earth.

A couple of attractions that really got the kid in me excited were the River Safari and Night Safari. The river safari also doubles as an aquarium which is also the first of its kind in Asia. The River Safari houses various species of fish, reptiles and amphibians. The Polar Bear, the Green Anaconda, the Gangetic Crocodile and the Pandas are also great attractions here. The animals are housed in enclosures that have optimum living conditions similar to their native habitat. The care with which the zoo is built is truly commendable; a safe haven for the animals and a green oasis for the people.


Playing It My Way Autobiography by Sachin Tendular

Playing It My Way, the autobiography of Indian cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar was launched on 05 November, 2014 in Mumbai. The book which is a memoir of sorts, relates tales from Tendulkar’s early days, his 24 years of international career and aspects of his life that have not been shared publicly. In a statement about the book, Sachin says, “I knew that if I agreed to write my story, I would have to be completely honest, as that’s the way I have always played the game and that would mean talking about a number of things I have not addressed in public before. So here I am, at the end of my final innings, having taken that last walk back to the pavilion, ready to recount as many incidents as I can remember since first picking up a cricket bat as a child in Mumbai thirty-five years ago.”

Sachin Tendulkar, considered as one of the greatest cricketers to have ever played the game is the highest run-scorer in the history of cricket. Retiring in 2013 after having played for 24 long years, Sachin made his debut for India at the age of 16 in 1989 in a Test against Pakistan. The most celebrated Indian cricketer, he received the Bharat Ratna – India’s highest civilian honour – on the day of his retirement. Having been the cornerstone of the Indian batting line-up, he was considered a God in this cricket-crazy nation.

What makes this book special is the fact that so little is known about this great man. This book is a peek into all those years of a cricketing legend’s life who is still worshipped by cricket fans the world over. The book launch itself consisted of three panel discussions involving Sachin’s former teammates and family. He presented the first copy of the book to his mother, Rajni Tendulkar. The first copy of the book at the event was presented by Sachin to his first coach and mentor, Ramakant Achrekar. This 496 pages book was launched by Sachin himself amidst much fanfare. The event was attended by the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, V. V. S. Laxman and Harsha Bhogle, who moderated the panel discussions. During the launch, talking about the book, Sachin said, “Playing It My Way’ is a different sort of innings for me, and was in the making for the last three years. I would like to thank those who helped me put this book together, it took three years and the last eight months were really taxing.”

The book has reportedly, already set the Indian record for the largest adult hardback orders on day of release with 100,000 copies being released by the publishers.

We invite all readers of the book to share their review of the book with us on TAFE Cafe.



FIFA World Cup Russia 2018 emblem unveiled

In an out-of-the-world event, the emblem for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia was revealed yesterday by the FIFA President, Sepp Blatter in Moscow. Appearing on a Russian state TV talk show, Mr. Blatter unveiled the logo with the help of Russian cosmonauts – Elena Serova, Alexander Sovokutyaev and Maxim Suraevers, aboard the International Space Station through video link. Although, the trio were in space, the reveal was anything but space-age as they gave a quick countdown before holding up the logo on a piece of paper. Coinciding with the logo appearing on TV, it was also projected on the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow as part of a light show, revealing the emblem to the world.

The logo depicts the World Cup trophy in the Red and Blue colors of the Russian flag, along with gold trim. Talking about the logo, Mr. Blatter said, “The emblem blends unique attributes of the FIFA World Cup and of Russia as host nation. It unites magic and dreams, as the FIFA World Cup will do for millions of fans in 2018.” The emblem is said to have drawn inspiration from both Russia’s rich artistic tradition and its history of achievement and innovation – with the Sputnik satellite and Imperial Fabergé Eggs suggested in the design, that’s supported with a bespoke font.

The elements in the logo according to FIFA include the following:

Magic Windows:
Rounded windows invite you to participate in the new FIFA World Cup discovery as well as reinforcing the shape of the magic football.

The symbolism of the dynamic proposition of the spaceship as it lifts off, becomes a metaphor for the anticipation of an intense and magical tournament.

The rising movement is reminiscent of lifting the FIFA World Cup Trophy in celebration.

Magic Ball:
A magic football that focuses attention on the world’s love of football and pays homage to Sputnik.

Human Dream:
The element represents the exuberance of football players and excitement of fans as well as mankind’s ambition to reach for the stars.

Bright Stars:
Depicting football stars as well as stars in the sky, along with the fairy-tale glitter and sparkles that creates a magical FIFA World Cup experience for players and fans alike.

The latest emblem for the 21st edition of the football world cup has received mixed responses worldwide. FIFA has also produced 11 official posters for all the cities hosting the matches.

Courtesy: Internet


PCs Mary Kom – Real to Reel

Last week, I watched the new release Mary Kom in Pune. Initially, I went to watch it because I had no option and as it turns out, the film was really good. Let me share something about the film. The film starts with mob attacking a village in Manipur. It reminded me of Dil Se. And then the film rewinds to the childhood of Mary Kom. Her desire for boxing starts as early when she is just 7 – 8 years old. She then matures, gets involved in street fights with boys who make fun of her and then one day, she goes to a boxing coaching class. The song which plays in the background when she first enters the boxing school is so good that it feels one with sequence. Screenplay is excellent and the way she gets into junior championships and amateur championships in neatly shot. After getting out of a couple of world championships, she falls in love. The fiery reaction of the boxing coach on hearing about her marriage is excellently portrayed.


After marriage, she has twins. Her husband supports her to get back into boxing and that’s the second half of the film. This is where we really start liking PC. At the same time, to be clear, in a scene she acts as a fiery boxer and a caring mother sublimely. Then she again wins World Championship titles. Amidst all this, a quarrel arises between her and Indian Boxing Association President – obviously, mistake is not on her side but however she is forced to submit written apology to revoke the ban on her. Her rigorous training for the Fifth World Championship is well shot, of course with certain camera tricks, but still serves the audience with a good visual experience.


The last 15mins of the film is the most gripping. She clashes with German Boxer Sasha (whom she has already defeated in first half of the film in earlier World Championships) and PC has pulled some good stunts. At that point, she is under mental agony that one of her child is in a life-threatening operation at Gurgaon. She manages to win the Championship and by the time, she wins, her child is also saved.


Ultimate highlight of the film is when she lifts the final trophy and then comes our Indian National Anthem. On hearing the music, I stood up in the theatre and to my surprise, everybody (from small children to old citizens) in the theatre stood up for our National Anthem. That was when I felt how hard the film has made impact on the people.


To be precise, Mary Kom is a well portrayed biography of living Indian boxing legend who is a Five Time World Champion – Mc Mary Kom. This film is a tribute to her. Not many such champions are known to everyone and Priyanka Chopra has done her part to make Mary Kom known to all of India.