Sunday, 21 May 2006

Mousetrap - 54

Car Seva
Wrecked Exotics
Awright, car fans, you’re not going to like this one. Or maybe you are. One’s readership is, um, diverse. You know all those sleek, sexy vehicles with many, many horses under the hood and the price tags so astronomical that you’d have to sell several houses before you could make the EMIs? You’ll see them all here, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bugattis, Porsches, Mercs, a few F1 cars, even some Hummers, over 6,000 reader-submitted pictures. And here’s the best part: they’re trashed. Totalled. Ruined. Utterly wrecked. The site says it’s all about showing you “the real consequences of reckless driving.” But, methinks, there’s a certain amount of schadenfreude here. For instance: “..almost a quarter of a Billion Dollars worth of damage within this car crash collection.” I found this site by accident. Heh.

Take two links and call me in the morning
Health Library
“Information therapy,” the site’s founders call it. They’re a doctor couple, Aniruddha and Anjali Malpani, and the site is the online face of the non-profit they run, the Health Education Library for People (HELP), which is a health education resource centre in Bombay. The real world centre and the web site are truly old-fashioned labours of love. The site features a searchable catalogue of the HELP’s books and pamphlets, book reviews, links to other sites, and much more. The good doctor also runs a blog, which you can visit at

Duelling keyboards
The Flame Warriors
If you’re a member of an online community of any kind (who isn’t, these days), which includes the informal networks that build up around blogs, this is a must-see site. Wicked caricatures by a very talented illustrator, who happens to be a gifted observer of human foibles, with text descriptions, send up the various kinds of personalities you will have encountered online. If you spend even a tenth the time I do online, you’ll be chuckling away in seconds, as you forward descriptions to your online buddies. (And beware of the ones they send back to you. Your view of your self may not be quite what others see!) There’s also a message board, where suggestions for new Warrior types are welcome, aside from other fun stuff.


This week’s blog

A profile of courage
Cancer, Baby
A young woman discovered she had ovarian cancer. With surgery and chemo, the cancer went into remission. Then, a little over a year ago, it came back. Cancerbaby (as she referred to herself) blogged her story, through treatment, through highs and lows, with generous doses of wit and humour, reaching out to others who were going through or had gone through the same experience. In January this year, another voice came in, a friend who was posting for cancerbaby. She had bad news: Cancerbaby was not doing too well, but was cheerful and still fighting. It didn’t sound good over the next few posts either. And then, last week, the saddest post of all. Jessica, to give her her real name, finally lost her battle. [Link via Uma Mahadevan-Dasgupta.]

Reader suggestions welcome, and will be acknowledged. Go to for past columns, and to comment, or mail The writer blogs at

Published in the Times of India, Mumbai edition, 21st May, 2006.

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