Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How I got arrested and had to spend many minutes in Prison

I went to the fast conducted by Satta Panchayath Iyakkam (SPI), a remarkable NGO (no foreign funding, so relax). It was to submit 10 demands to the TN state, most important to remove the State Chief Information Commissioner, Mr.Sreepathi IAS from the commission. The TN state information commission is, in general, doing a really bad job.
Anyways, at the end of it the activists decided to proceed with a lock to symbolically "lock" the office of the Information Commission. Police were there in massive numbers.
I stood in a corner, gaping at the spectacle, while my head was swimming from the 8 hours fast. I have no idea how people do this for many days. I wanted, craved, sambar idli for some strange reason.
Suddenly the police came marching in our direction, asking all of us to get into the van. I stayed still, hoping they could not see me. But there was nothing to hide behind, and an Inspector who looked like a Software Project Manager came in my direction with a few constables.
He said, "Why are you standing here?"
I said, "I came here for the fast."
"Do you want to get arrested or leave?" he said, like Bruce Willis.
I said "Leave" without ANY hesitation.
"Then go," he said, as if a massacre was about to happen.
But as I ran to one side of the road, it was blocked! I run to the other side and that is blocked too! So I run from one to another like a caged rat, thinking, "That Inspector WAS a software PM, because he gave me a command and closed all ways of executing it."
By this time everyone was in the vans and they were all basically watching me go from one end to another. So, with as much dignity as I could muster, I went into the van.
We were taken to the Chepauk guest house through a circuitous route so that nobody could follow us. This place is like a open air jail. I think they call it "guest house" as a joke, because the MRTS train passes right above you every 20 minutes. No man could survive there.
We all sat in plastic chairs. There was a nice breeze.The walls were high and i thought my only chance of escape was to time the MRTS trains over the next 10 days and get on the last car somehow, like Papillon.
But then they asked us to sign something and leave. The signing sheet said "Arrest detail" so then I understood I was actually arrested.
My only advice to you is to get arrested with 60,70 people - that too pumped up activists, because then nobody cares about your sorry, timid self.

Monday, June 16, 2014

தந்திப் புரட்சி - ஒரு ரகசியப் போராட்டத்தின் சரித்திரம்

My Tamil short story in, தந்திப் புரட்சி  - ஒரு ரகசியப் போராட்டத்தின் சரித்திரம்
ஆறு மாதங்கள் முன்பு தான் திருநெல்வேலி கலெக்டர் ஆஷை வாஞ்சி ஐயர் துப்பாக்கியால் சுட்டுக் கொன்றிருந்தார். அதைத் தொடர்ந்து இன்ஸ்பெக்டர் வீரராகவன் தூத்துக்குடியில் நடத்திய அதிரடிப் புலனாய்வில் பதினாலு பேர் மாட்டியிருந்தார்கள். எல்லோருக்கும் பின்னால் சூத்ரதாரியான  நீலகண்ட ஐயர், ஒரு ரகசிய சதிக் கூட்டம் நடத்தியதாகக் கேள்வி. படிக்கப் படிக்க மர்மக் கதை போல இருந்த இந்த சதியைப் பற்றி நாலணா நாவல்கள் கூட வந்து விட்டன. கேஸ் முடியும் தருவாயில் இருந்தது. பதினாலு பேருக்கும் மொத்தமாகக் தூக்கு என்று என் அப்பா சொல்லிக் கொண்டிருந்தார். அவர் அவ்வப்போது பிரிட்டிஷ் விசுவாசி. ரிப்பன் கட்டிடத்தில் சில அறைகளுக்கு வயரிங் செய்ய காண்டிராக்ட் பிடித்து விட்டார்.
“ஆஷ் துரையை வாஞ்சி ஐயர் கொன்னதுக்கும் நமக்கும் என்ன சம்பந்தம்?” என்றான் ஆறுமுகம். நம்பியார் மேல்துண்டை வைத்து விசிறிக் கொண்டார்.
“சரியான கேள்வி அது இல்லை,” என்றார் வாசு. “துரை கொலைக்கும் காங்கிரஸ் கட்சிக்கும் என்ன சம்பந்தம் என்பது தான் கேள்வி.”
- See more at:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Exorcism of Sathish Kumar, MBA - my novel

My first novel, "The Exorcism of Sathish Kumar, MBA" has been published by Tata Westland publishers. The book came out in ebook format this week. The Print edition will be out next month.

Brief Introduction
The novel is a thriller/fantasy set in Chennai. The hero, Arjun Palani, is an young man, fired thrice from IT companies in a career of four years. He is asked to join a strange team of top managers as the IT company, BSD Technologies, is collapsing. A set of tasks are assigned to him (the first one is to get ganja, btw), while he starts suspecting that a crazy man is held in the top floor of the building. 
The novel takes us through Arjun's adventures, while unravelling a plot by the hedge fund company, PH Capital. It involves drones, Wikileaks, Anonymous India, a dangerous computer worm, sorcery and finally, to top it, a trip across the Vaitharani river to the world of the dead.

Links you can download the ebook from:
Google Play

My notes to publicist
The computer worm in the story, named "Blaze" is named after "Flame" an actual worm that infected Iranian computers. Most evidence points to the United States and Israel government as behind Stuxnet and Flame.
Link below is the Wired article on Stuxnet:
"How Digital Detectives Deciphered Stuxnet, the Most Menacing Malware
in History"
A normal virus affects computers and steals or destroys data. Stuxnet, on the other hand, tries to control physical machines, such as the huge centrifuges in nuclear reactors. These machines are controlled these days by software instructions. Stuxnet then messes up the instructions and causes them to malfunction. If these grow, then companies can use them against rivals for industrial sabotage. Similarly drones are controlled by an operator far away from the battle field. These are cheap and small - so they can be used by police forces and by companies to spy on a large number of people. The two more weapons not mentioned in the book are pervasive surveillance and fighting robots. Taken together these show a frightening future, which is countered by other technical successes such as the internet and community bonding in this age.