Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Name is the game

What is common between Don Quixote, Euler and Fermat.

Apart from the fact that they are quite an unique set of names, another intriguing aspect would be their pronunciation. Till now i'vent heard 2 similar ways of pronouncing Mr. Quixote. Wonder what made Miguel de Cervantes choose that name. I used to read it as "quick zot". When i came across the story again in my college i was told it is "Kee oh tay".  I dont remember the story much except for his charge at the windmills. But the name i would never forget in a hurry. Same goes for Euler. Is it "you ler" or "Oi ler" is something i'vent figured out yet. Ditto for Fermat. All through the college i kept hearing it as "fer maa's theorem" and used to search for that spelling.

This name thing is not limited to people alone. When Keladi Kanmani was released they had the posters all over the town and the name was printed in tamil's equivalent font for comic san serif. I read it as "Kaudi Kanmani" and for long thought it was some kannada movie. When Bale Paandiya (not the sivaji one..the one starring pia bajpai and vishnu) got released had a really tough time to make out the name amidst the weird arrangement of letters. Padam pera padikavay ivlo kashtama irukkay..padam semma mokkai polanay neria per would've given it a skip.

Another movie name that stumped me was Aegan. With an almost Greek sounding spelling luckily they had the good sense to publish it in tamil as well. Aana anga thaan vambaadichi. The poster had picture of Ajith with a thiruvalluvar like thaadi pointing a gun. Underneath it was written "Aegan" in tamil, which actually had a space between the "Ae" part and the "gan" since the font was huge. Looking at the pose and the title i thought the movie name was "a gun" and immediately mind started guessing what could be the story behind the name "a gun". Needless to say majorly disappointed when the movie was released and  when i got to know the real name. Curiously the USP of the movie was not Ajith's Thaadi but Nayanthaara's body.

Naama thaan ipdi bulbu vaangara case paatha...my kannadiga friend, who very much likes to show off his tamil language skills, read "alai paayuthay" -as  "ezhai paayuthay" and wondered out aloud why they've kept the movie name as "poor people falling". Usually people pronounce anything with "zha" as "la". Nammaal konjam over enthula did the ulta. It was fun though :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Review time - Movies

2013 has been really amazing in the kind of movies i got to watch compared to 2012 which was an year of mokkais. Onnu kooda therala.

First one that comes to mind is Django unchained. Typical Quentin Tarantino movie where additionally he thumbs his nose on racism. The movie is a mass masala entertainer with splashes of senti scenes thrown in. A story ,which in the hands Spielberg, could've been an emotional tearjerker, Tarantino plays with fire and comes out trumps. Its the story set in a time when blacks where sold on auctions to the highest bidder as slaves and how badly they were treated by their white lords. Its a story of how one guy rises above these inhuman practices and takes revenge with the help of another white guy. Django gets freed by a white guy who is a bounty hunter. The scenes where they effortlessly shoot their way across the situations they find themselves in are so violent that its almost comical. The movie has so much blood splashing they might acutally post a warning sign for front benchers to watch out for all those blood and goo. Django wants to free his wife from the clutches of slavery and with the help of the white guy sets in search of "Candyland" where she is kept captive. DiCaprio is amazingly villainic on a cameo role. Samuel Jackson as DiCaprio's servant in chief is menacing. A very serious theme handled with utmost casualness. But albeit a very bold and brave attempt.

Next in line is Looper. Apdiye Terminator -2 Judgement day voda modern day remake. Supposedly a sci fi theme but filmed in a contemproray mode. The story takes place in future with the flashback sequences also happening in future. Its has some chillingly horror scenes where the thug trying to escape starts loosing/melting each parts of his body during time travel as his past self gets brutually beaten and smashed to death. Its the story of a contract killer, going back in time to kill the guy who tries to kill him in future. The contract killer tries to take out the bad guy when he is a kid so that the entire future will change. But in the climax realises that he is the one responsible for the kid to take up the path of violence and takes his own life. After Damien Omen, this is one kid that would sure send a chill down your spine. The concept of telekinetic power is handled eerily and the scifi angle never goes overboard but retains its casual touch. Overall a decent movie with a not so unique concept.

Apruma...Argo. It just grabs you by the eyeballs and makes you freeze in attention within the first half hour of the movie. It looks like candid camera of Iran hostage crisis and what happened within the consulate when the mob goes beserk and ransacks the office. Very realistically picturised and with all those grainy seedy films like erstwhile movies, it looks so realistic. A must watch movie with brilliant screenplay. So many novels have been written on the same theme and similar movies have also been made. But none so original and realistic. Ben Affleck is one highly underrated actor but seriously ignored director. With this one, he should stake his rightful place. Must watch movie.

Next in queue - Lincoln, Good day to Die hard - 5th in the Die hard series. Me a big time fan of Bruce Willis.Have seen most of  his movies and all of his die hard franchise. Die hard is one movie series that i never miss a chance to watch just for the sheer awesomeness of the characters. Hope the 5th lives up to its reputation. And for Lincoln, even if its a mokka movie, i will anyway watch. I love the character of Abbey Lincoln as a person. His struggles in real life, the number of times he lost and how he finally won the ultimate office post in US, his fight against slavery and above all his statue in Washington...simply in awe of this person. Of all the Americans, if there is one guy i really admire, that would be Lincoln and who better than the master director Spielberg to handle the movie. Hope the movie doesnt disappoint.

Movie review avlo thaan..aduthathu books :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Chapter 9 - Stockholm syndrome

This is a chain love story as a part of CBC (Chennai Bloggers Club) chain story relay. 17 bloggers get to write a chapter each starting from 4th feb with the climax culminating on 20th March 2013. I took this kaathal jothi olympic torch from Deepa Iyer - a foodie, home chef, a voracious reader who can finish a book in a non-stop-one-night read and a die hard romantic) and romba mukkiyama proof reader. Aana Spelling mishtake (hehe) paatha netrikanna thoranthiduvanga.

To read the previous chapters inge clickavum

Now to Chapter 9.

(ManiRatnam padathula vara mathiri backgroundla the sound of typewriter typing)

5 weeks later :

Cafe Safari @ Kiruna, North Sweden.

"Of all the places..why did you select this dochu place for meeting" cribs Ahalaya to Guru
"Wait ..wait...always in a hurry..from driving car to driving people crazy"
"hahaha..you still remember the car incident..sorrypa"
"Incident!! could very well've been accident...you were driving mad not just the car but also my cab driver..if there is one thing that a male ego can't take is a gal over taking his vehicle"
"Amongst other things"
"Amongst what??"
"Illa..thats not the only thing a male ego can't takenu sonnen...take your case itself..theria thanama i promised to meet you when we are in sweden. Antha oru skype chat promisekaga you have made me travel all the way from Stockholm to this god forsaken ....." suddenly she looks into the sky as it turns from evening gray into a colorful mess.
"What the...how...oh my god...what is happening?"

                                           (pic courtesy Ahalya Guru)

As the evening merged into night, the sky burst into a greenish hue. It was Aurora Borealis, nature's own version of color lighting of the sky. Slowly it turned into a mix of flaming red spreading across the horizon, lighting up the night sky, bright enough to burn a paper. As she sat there awestruck, soaking in the beautiful color palette of nature, suddenly she heard a voice coming from few feet below.
"Err..its kind of freezing here..so if you dont mind can you look down for a minute"
She burst into laughing looking at Guru holding a ring stooping himself on a bent knee.
"Oh my god..got to give it to you man...you are romantic...did you bribe the sky to blush like this....get up first before someone mistakes you for a stranded stork" and lifted him to his feet.
"See..this is why i need you in my life"
"What for"
"For lifting me to stand on my feet when my knees go weak and making me feel like flying...for being with me to share the joys of life..for making me travel to an unknown land and still having a feeling of being at home...right now there is only one thing that is more beautiful than that colorful amalgamation in the sky and that is you..Ahalya Ramanathan...will you marry me nu questiona kekka maaten..please marry me"

(same typewriter..same sound )

Three weeks before:
@ABBA museum

Varun and Ahalya are stuck in an elevator inside the museum.
"aaarggghh...of all the people..and of all the places.." Ahalya was cursing herself silently.
Varun sat on the floor of the elevator with a sigh and starts humming an ABBA hit number..

"Knowing me, knowing you ..ahh-haa..
There is nothing we can do...
This time we're through, we're really through"

"Shut up"
"Breaking up is never easy, I know but I have to go "
"Will you please SHUT UP"
"Eva avo...ok...old one..shall i try a new mokkai joke"
"Dont you've any shame at all...with what face you are talking to me..."
"The same one that you fell in love with"
"For which not a single day pass that i dont curse myself"
"I for one couldnt be any happy..infact if i've a time machine i will travel back to those days and re-live them again and again..never allowing the future to destroy those pleasant memories"
"I will also wait for that machine..only to destroy those memories..huh....i dont know why i am even talking to you..ANY-GODDAMN-BODY THERE...you stupid swedes..how much time you need to start a broken elevator" and kicks the door.
"Yeah..call them stupid..it will quicken the process..so typical"
"What..what..typical..YOU of all the person dont have any rights to judge me..you were a stupid moron THEN for not understanding the feelings of a girl totally smitten in love...you are a moron NOW for not caring about me knowing my claustrophobia...YOU WILL ALWAYS BE A MORON VARUN"
She starts to kick the elevator door again, slips and falls down.
Varun remains rooted to his place and hides his head on his knees. A slight chuckle escapes from his throat and Ahalya throws her hand bag at him.
"What is so funny.."
He starts to laugh loudly.
Looking at him laughing makes her even more mad with anger and she starts to punch him.
"Ouch..that really hurts. You know..for a puny tiny little girl you ARE strong"
"Thanks to morons like you who taught me the lesson on not to be weak"
"Morons..plural?" he starts to grin and she punches him again and for a second she couldnt help smiling.
"Hey...you smiled...Hasi...toh Phasi... Hasi toh phasi" he goes on in a sing song voice.
"Oh..stop it..you and your juvenile jokes..you will never change"
He starts to laugh and looking at the tears on her face he restricts himself.
"I am sorry"
"For what"
"For everything"
"Its several years late Varun..its too late"
"Too late for what"
She kept quiet.
He smiles "so..whats new in your life..met anyone? boyfriend? married??"
"Why do you expect me to tell you?"
"Well..i thought you would jump on this chance to rub my nose on the feet of your glorious life post our break up"
"As a matter of fact..i do have a boyfriend and yes..my life has been pretty complete without you in it"
"Your lips are saying one thing and eyes something else"
"Shut up..i am happy without you..i am over you..there is nothing between us now..ever will be..you self centered pompous chauvinist ass"
"You've heard of Stockholm syndrome?"
"What crap is that"
"Iru..en phonela signal irukka paakren...well...you are lucky...as per wiki..
Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.”
"So ..enna solla vara..that i would be falling for you?"
"Well...study says there is a 27% chance"
"Yeah...As much as a snowball's chance in hell fire"
"Ok..tell me about this new guy in your life..Just out of curiosity to know the person who has replaced me - Mr.Perfect"

How and when they got stuck on the elevator..what happened before Ahalya started from Germany..why is Varun in Sweden...answer for these would be on subsequent chapters :)

Next chapter would be taken over by Prashanth Ashok on 24/02 @ http://prashanthashok1.blogspot.sg/ who in his own words is an NRI whose heart is still stuck in the roots of his legacy. Over to you fella.

P.S: ithuvaraikkum they are known just by their names...why not a face for the names. So....Introducing...Guru, Ahalya and Varun


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Wooohooo :))

I was feeling slightly sad that i am leaving this place without seeing snow. On one hand was happy that the winter in this city was not as killingly cold as its neighbouring cities. It was relatively warm and at its coldest it was like pretty chill but bearable with proper clothes. There are few mountain ranges near by to Charlotte which were supposed to be snow covered. But i visited those places during Fall season and missed snow by few days. Inniki afternoon suddenly it started snowing :) It was the first ever time i am witnessing snowfall and it felt...awesome :) To hold the little snowflakes flowing around like thermocol and seeing them melt on your fingertips..it felt so happy. I am sure everyone would've had a first snow experience. I thought i might never have one, having chased snow all these years only to miss them by couple of hours. Finally..finally there it was :) blizzarding away in all its glory :)) Thank you god for creating the wonderful variety that is nature and giving me a chance to enjoy it. Had super fun throwing snowballs with colleagues and their kids. Probably the best day of the year so far :) Here is the view from my room :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review time - TV series

Silapala naalavay reviews podaama neria senthu poachu. So posting everything in one shot :)

Have been watching way too many drama series off late and after coming here the list has only increased. The enemy who hooked me onto most of those series have got me addicted to one more - Grey's anatomy.
I've seen some series involving medicine and doctors before. House M.D being the stand out one amongst them. Have seen Scrubs in bits and pieces. But neither of them were the typical hospital based stories that are bread and butter theme on Sidney sheldon or Arthur Hailey novels. Grey's anatomy fills that void. Its almost a chick flick series if you remove the portions involving the patients. Into the second season now and the story line is pretty much similar to "Nothing lasts forever" by Sheldon and "Doctors" by Hailey. My favourite so far is Katherine Heigl, probably her break through series. En enemy is drooling over Patrick Dempsey. She has gone conkers over him :) A totally different series from the usual adventure/comedy themes i prefer.

Next on line is Everybody loves Raymond. I've grown so fond of this series that given a choice i would love to make it in tamil :) Its a wonderful feel good amazingly relevant and relatable drama series. The best part being, be it US or India you can relate to the story and setup. Raymond is a sports writer on a popular newspaper and lives with his wife Debra and 3 kids. His parents Frank and Marie Barone stay right oppostite to their house and their eldest son Robert often stays with them. The typical MIL vs DIL fights that they flog to death on our tear jerker tamil serials are handled so funnily and cleverly that it they are fun to watch  The bachelor who is struggling for survival inside every married man will be able to relate to Raymond. Raymond is a sum total of all guys, married or single. His life is the dream of every guy in the planet. His whims, his liking for sports, the things that he do to avoid household chores, his ever running competition with his brother on kiddish things, his relations with his ever pampering mom  and wickedly funny dad and in falky laws and finally his equation with Debra (the episode where he proposes to her is a hoot ...so very original), every single thing is so very ...real, for want of better word and easily relatable. Infact every single character is so realistic and likeable that you are bound to fall for them. I read that most of the episodes are based on real life incidents of the cast and crew. No wonder. A genuinely gentle and funny comedy. Would recommend this alongside with FRIENDS.

Third one in the list is an animation series - Avatar. Sometime back a mokka movie came "The last airbender" by Shyamalan of Sixth sense fame. Seems, he got inspiration to make the movie when his daughter asked him to dress her like "Katara" for her school costume party. This one is nothing like the usual cartoons that you get to watch on Nikkelodeon. The storyline is gripping and rivetting and is an edge of the seat thriller. The balance of earthly nations of Fire, Water, Earth and Air and how it gets disrupted with the hegemonic intentions of the Fire lord and how the avatar, the sole person to have mastery over all 4 element bendings resist and finally bring balance back to the world forms the crux of the story. The concept of bending is quite interesting. The way they hook up civilisations from across the continents is also pretty clever. Right from Artic to anatartic to the marshlands to mountains and volcanoes and windy places, the artists who have drawn the animations bring a sense of authenticity to the setup, right from the costumes to the locations and even the fight steps that they perform differ according to the place where they are from. There has been so much research that had gone into the making that its evident on each episode. A real treat for mythology lovers. The story also has lot of depth and like any kids tales there is lot of morals and hidden meanings in each episode which leads to a thrilling climax. Never felt like watching animation at all. The humour is also amazing and the imagination of the artists and especially the voice overs are awesome. An amazing series which anyone from any age group can enjoy. Wish the movie was made better. It could've been a thrilling franchise rivalling the Potter series.

Book and Movie review in next post :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A time to play

Everytime i read about schools or watch a mushy movie on school days and how kids enjoy their school life, i feel myself shivering for a second. Its no secret on how i view my schooldays. So i cant take mine as a case in study. As i look at how it had shaped my fellow mates, i couldnt help but wonder...is it really worth the struggle??!!

Everyone says marks don't make or break a kid, each parent being an example themselves. Almost all of my friends vow never to allow their kids go through the same struggle that they went through as kids and promise themselves to allow the kids to choose their own path. But the March month madness makes the slave driver in them to triumph over the parent self. It will be ages before a viable alternative is found and accepted. I guess, inherently it has been branded into all of us that, unless you sweat it out the results wouldnt be worth it. It is definitely true but can't working hard and concentrating go hand in hand with peace and happiness?

More than schools, i think playgrounds teach kids a lot. I have hardly seen any kid smile before their exams. But how much ever tired they may be, they never stop smiling on a playground. Even if they fall down and get hurt, they dust themselves off and get ready for the next round - the single most valuable lesson for life that no book can teach. They find innovative ways to keep themselves busy and invent new games. They form teams and without any one teaching realise the joy of sharing and power that is team work. Results are left behind on the play area itself and in the end no one worries about the statistics. Its almost always the fun that mattered.

Sadly schools nowadays hardly have any space for playgrounds. That includes the one i studied too. We had to walk all the way to the ymca ground from gaudia mutt road. Considering that the road was stuck with traffic even before the invention of locomotives, you can imagine how many PT periods we would've had. The rare ones were like so surprising and swift, even before you could realise it would be over. Considering my bulky size, never been a big fan of playgrounds for i always used to falldown and get hurt. And playgrounds being the favorite haunt for picking on students like me, it was kind of terror spot too. But what is school life if not for those fights and incidents that scar you for life :) Its kind of fun in its own way too.

There should be a school just for playing. A sports school, where the subjects are all sports and physical activities..something like the shaolin temple they show in movies. The kids who pass out of those schools should be considered for olympics and state meets and stuff like that. Not academies. But schools. Recognised, fully approved and run like a school with proper teachers. As vocational groups they can also include some science and maths and subjects that the kids can choose on their breaks between the games and stuff. Atleast the setup should change into something like half day in playground and half day in classes kind of model. It would be really nice if one can derive such a system, that balances out studies and play. Afterall, the kids need some strength to lift those bulky school bags all the way from home to school and back. What better way than making them sweat a little on the ground :)

P.S: Valentines day ku Children's day post nu paakreengala :D Athaan oor poora pink paint adichi celebrate panraangalla..varietyla vidhyasama irunthutu pogatumay :D

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Home alone

"Oppppaaa Gagnam style...Heyyyyyyyyy Sexyy laayyyddyyyy"
With the ringtone increasing in decibels with each passing second, he made a frantic search for it amidst the chaos of pillows, bedspread, pizza boxes and books.
"Fone edukka ivlo nerama"
"Sorryda chellam...enga vachennu thedi edukarathukulla ..lighta late aidichi..heheh"
"Sirikkaatha..thoongitu thaana iruntha"
"hey..athepdi theriyum unakku"
"red stripe poatta antha t shirta innum maathalaiya"
"adipaavi...camera ethachum set pannirukia?? enga irukka nee"
"unna pathi teriaaathu..nee oru onnaam number somberi..naan kelambina anniki enna shirt potrunthio athu kudavay live in relationship nadathitrupannu...kadisia ennkiu kulicha...iPhonelaye gabbu adikuthu"
"ithelaam too muchaakum...naan nee kelambina annikay kulichiten"
"adapavi...4 daysa bathroom pakkam etti kooda pakalaiya"
"nee kelambinaprum subbu vanthirunthaan...apdiye mani, hari ellaarum meet pannom..long weekendgarathaala..inga thaan stay"
"naasamaa poachu...nee oruthan thania irunthaalay veeda clean panna oru vaaram aagum....aio...veedu entha nelamaila irukungaratha nenachaalay thala suthuthu...cleaninglaam velaikaagati idichi thaan kattanum"
"hello..ithelaam overu...etho nee aasaiya clean panriye unaku surprise kudukalaamnu veeda konjamay konjama dirty panni vachirukom"
"maganay..naan anga vanthen..sethadi nee"
"abasagunama pesaatha..aprum unaku thaali bagyam ilaanu solvaanga ellarum"
"saniyanay...vaaya phenol vittu clean pannu..."
"neeyum athaana sonna"
"naan solalam...un naaku karu naaku.."
"balichitu poguthu...unakku jolly thaana..innoru kalyaanam pannikitu gujaals thaan...enakum un thollailenthu viduthalai...win-win situation u see..."
"apdilaam escape aaidlamnu nenaikaatha maganay...aaviya vanthu pei adi adippen...adutha 6 jenmam un kuda thaaan kuppa kotaanumnu vithi..enna panrathu..love panni tholaichitene..adjust pannikaren"
"hahaha...ivlo romantica yaaralaiyum love panna mudiathu....love you chellam"
"aama..manasula prakash raj nu nenapu..erumai...naan varapo azhukku pandaarama ninna adi pinniduven...un vaanara padaiya veeta vittu thorathara vazhiya paaru"
"nee innniki vara therinju avangalam decenta nethay poitaanga"
"hey..naan enga inniki varen..naaliku thaana varen"
"ennathuuu??? naaliku varia??? inniki night thaana sonne? unna pick panna thaan koyembedu vanthitruken"
"solrathu ethaiyaachum kaathula vaangikitaa thaana..solrapo mandaiya mandaiya aatta vendiyathu...apruma atheye thirumba keka vendiyathu...unna vachikitu naan ennathaan panna poreno" and having known that the archanai will continue for next few minutes he kept the phone down and went to brush his teeth.
"heyyy...hellloooooo....fone vachitu enga poitaan ivan"
"*gurgle gurgle* yeahhhsshh"
"hey..koyembedu vanthitruken sonna...tapla thanni kotra sound kekuthu...poi thaana sonna...ipo thaan ezhuthiaa...athepdida..mathiyaanathula thoonga mudiuthu unnala"
"jet lag kannu...it is called jet lag"
"adapaavi...oru maasama iruntha athu jet lag illa...rombavay lag...night fone pannapo korattai soundku nadula pesiniaye athu enna kanakku"
"hello..night naa thoongaama enna pannuvaanga pinna"
"unalaam...thiruthavay mudiathu....seri..naaliku marakkama bus stand vanthu pick pannu...morning 7 AM bus vanthirum...pona thadava mathiri wait panna vacha..aprum pesavay maaten aama"
"enga innoru thadava sollu..nejamavay pesa maatiaya"
"naan fonea vaikaren..bye"
"heeyyyyyy" solli mudikarathukulla the call gets disconnected.
He smiles at the phone and continues continues to brush his teeth.
"Ting ting...ting ting"
One message received got plastered on the screen.
"Morning 7AM..5th platform..oasis travels...epdiyum maranthiruva theriyum athaan sms paniruken...erumai..panni...P.S: epdiyum latea thaan varapora ..so advancea ippovay thitidren..nonsense..stupid...i love you..ta ta"
He laughed reading the message and re read it many times. Finally he kissed the fone and tossed it over the bed. Suddenly he realised.
"aahaa...appo inniki night veetla yaarumilla..full veedum namakku thaana....heyyyyyy...yipppeeee" he jumps over the bed in joy.
"janagaraj sir, neenga pondaati ooruku poitaanu bus standla katharatha padathula paathapo i was in school..ippo thaan realise panren antha santhoshatha....aaaha..veetla yaarumilama enna oru amaithi...aiaio..enna thanakku thaanay pesikaren...paravalla..ithuvum oru sugam thaan...shorts potukitu sofala ukkanthu tv paakra sugam irukaay..adaddadaadadaaaaa..tv kandupudichathu manushanna...remote kandupidichavan kadavulpa....hmm...enna channel paakalaam"
Right at that moment the calling bell starts ringing.
"Aiaio..athukulla vanthutala?? oru vela vaasallenthu thaan phone pannirupalo??" he rushes to open the door only to find a small kid standing.
"Dei..ennada venum"
"Amma illa?"
"Ammalaam illa..enna venum"
"Laundryku thuni edukka vanthen sir..amma thaan vara sollirunthaanga"
"Avanga veetla illa.naaliku vaa.."
"Naalikulaam mudiathu sir...iniki vitta adutha vaaram thaan varuven"
"Appo aduthavaram pathukalam...ipo kelambu" he tri to close the door.
"Helloo..enna sir...ennamo pichakaarana thorathara mathiri thalreenga...amma kitta sollidunga vera kadai paathuka solli..."
"Serithaan poda...ennamo ulagathulaye ivan oruthan thaan isthiri kadai vachirukara mathiri....oh..my dear sofa..here i come" He comfortably settles on the sofa and starts channel surfing and settles for a channel airing rerun of his fav sitcom.
As he was settling on to the sofa there was a knock on the door.
"uggh...seri..sounda kammi pannitu veetla yaarumillatha mathiri buildup kudutha avangalay poiduvaangala paakalam"
Still the knocking continues.
"aaaghh...ipo yaaru"
This time it was a middle aged lady.."sir..monkey brand agarbathis vaangareengala..veedu poora gama gamakkum."
"Vendam madam"
"..ungala paathalay bakthimaana teriuthu."
He looks at his 4 day unwashed t shirt and shorts self and wonders from which angle he looks like that
"..nichayama daily poojai athelaam panuveengala irukum"
"ilaama athelam panrathilla..agarbathilaam venaam..kelambunga"
"sir...onnay onnu vaangikunga sir...ithula engaluku vara anju pathu commissionla thaan enga pozhappay oduthu..please sir"
"ada..sonna kekamaateengala..kelambungamma"
She starts crying..."en paiyanuku school fees kattanum...innikinu paathu onnum sales agala...enna panna porennu therila..please sir"
Apponu paathu apartment secretary comes out of the lift and enters into his own apartment, giving a weird look at the crying lady.
"Aiaiaoo..amma thaaaye..azhugaiya niruthu...unakenna ...agarbathi thaana vaanganum...oru rendu packet kudu"
"sir..moonu vaangina rendu free sir..."
"emma...5 packet vachitu naan enna....seri..seri..azhatheenga...inthaanga..kelambunga"
"Thanks sir..neenga romba nallavaru..amma eppovum romba karaara pesuvanga..."
Than muyarchiyil satrum manam thalaraatha vikramaathithan mathiri he trudges back to the sofa.
He lets out a long sigh and is about to sit when the calling bell starts ringing.
"Cmonnnnn....ipoo yaarupa ithu"
He only half opens the door, its pushed wide open and in rushes a bunch of kids running all over him.
"Heyy..sorry sir?"
"huh..yaar sir neenga"
"Naan inga thaan pakkathu blockla iruken...every monday en pasangaluku unga wife thaan sloka class edupaanga.."
"Ohh..avanga ooruku poirukaanga sir..naaliku thaan varaanga"
"Theriyum sir..last weekay sonnanga...veetla oru chinna emergency..athaan pasangala thaniya vida mudiama inga kootitu vanthen..if you dont mind oru one hour paathuk mudiyuma"
Kita thatta kenjara voicela oru aal kekarapo epdi mudialanu solrathunu manasa thethikittay he says yes.
"Ennaaachu sir..yaarukachum udambu sari ilaya"
"aamam sir..wifeku ithu second trimester...konjam nausea jaasthia iruku sonna..athaan doctor kitta kootitu poren"
"oh..congrats..ungaluku evlo pasanga"
"ithelam en pasanga thaan sir"
He counted one standing on the sofa, the two fighting over the remote, the third meddling on his iphone and some voices echoing from bedroom.
"If god doesnt stop him from making more kids atleast the government should" he wonders.
"Thanks for the timely help sir. Seekrama vanthidrom..pasangalaa..unclea romba trouble pannatheenga..chamatha iruaknum"
"Romba troublea!!" nu yosichitrukarapovay the father figure vanishes from the door step.
He surveys the room. It was already like a war zone with things scattered everywhere. He felt the kids couldnt make it any more dirty than him and went to make coffee.
By the time the parents came and picked them up, he was proved wrong.
"Antha kutti pisaasuku ketchepla meesa poatu vitathu thappa poachu..CSI : Miami crime scenela kooda ivlo damage aagirukara rooma paaka mudiathu...naaliku ava vantha paatha badhra kaali aiduvaalay...intha karumam saapdrachay nalla iruku..etha poatu thudaiachalum poga maatenguthay...epdi thaan ithelaam clean panra iva!!??"
He tries to clean the room and becomes so tired in the process that he falls asleep on the floor itself.
He wakes up suddenly only to realise the room is pitch dark. It was way past midnight. He had slept the entire evening and having not eaten anything was feeling terribly hungry.
"Aahaa...aathira avasarathuku saapdlaamna onnum ilaye...intha nerathuku oru pizzza kooda order panna mudiathay.." and starts rummaging through the snack boxes.
He finally settles for half packet of biscuits and sees that mornings newspaper lying untouched on the table.
"Cha...newspaper padika kooda time illa..apdi enna thaan pannen inniki poora" nu yosichikitay he browses through the previous days news.

Morning 7 AM Koyembedu bus stand.

She gets down from the bus only to find him missing in the bus stand. Cursing him she takes an auto and reaches home. She starts knocking the door only to find it unanswered.
"Bus standum varala..oru fone kooda pannala..innum thoongitu kathava kooda thirakaama irukia....kaathala vantha papera kooda innum edukala..somberi..iru unnna enna panren paaru" nu garuvikittay she opens the door with her spare key.
She finds him lying on the floor, all rolled in news paper and starts laughing.
"Hey..enna ithu...rathna cafela idli parcel panra potalam mathiri kedakka...ezhunthirudaa". She sits near him and starts to wake him up.
"err..huh...hey...vanthutia...thoongitena..laundry..room clean...agarbathi..pasanga..ketchup...tireddd" and again tries to fall back asleep on her lap.
"Aio paavamay..oru naal veetu velai paathathukkay ipdi aaiduthay...poor baby...iru naan coffee poatu tharen..nee chamatha ezhunthu poi pall theichitu varuviam".
He mumbles on his sleep "Uma"
Avan thalaiya kothi vittukittay "Enna Ram"
"Enna thania vitutu engayum poidaatha"
"Sure chellam...ok..now get up and go...sir inniki office pora idea illaya"
"uhumm....long weekend vettiya irunthu semma tired aaiduthu..athulenthu recover aga oru naal leave venum"
"nee enna kozhanthaiya..poda..po get ready..paaru..pasangallam schooluku kelambuthu..nee innum thoongitruka"
The kid who was rushing downstairs, retreats and runs into their apartment.
"Aunty..nethu maranthu poi uncle fonea veetuku eduthutu poiten..sorry..inthaanga...good morning uncle"
"Hey..intha pasangallam nethu vanthaangala..class illa sollirunthene..." and then only notices the ketchup stain on sofa cover.."ithula yaaru ketchup..." and before she could finish the sentence notices the agarbathi packets on table.."antha sales lady un thalaila kattitalaa athaaniyum...enna emaathinathu porathunu..."
Right at that instant the laundy boy comes out of the opposite apartment.
"Hey..thambi...nethu thuni edukka vanthiapaa"
"Sir kitta ketukungamma.." sollitu he walks away without waiting for a response.
"I love you chellaammm..." he runs into the bathroom and locks the door.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Destiny's child

When she pinged last week, i responded with mixed feelings of joy in connecting with her again and incoming sense of bad news. Sadly, my hunch turned out to be true. There are topics that makes me queasy and the best i would be able to offer would be a silent and patient listen in such conversations. When she told the news of her mom's demise, i thought that would be the final straw that broke the camel's back.

"B" ,as i know her, has been destiny's infamous child. I used to tease her that worse case, she can sell her life story as a script to Sun TV and they would get the ultimate tear jerker mega serial ever. Jokes and kiddings apart, hers is nothing but a life of struggle. I strongly believe that, when god gives you suffering, it would be directly proportional to the impending happiness. It would help my mind to wander away beyond the issue into the future of peace and happiness. It gave a sense that the issue on hand will end soon and there will be light at the tunnel's end, always. But in her case, it only seemed to be a precursor wave of sadness to the following bigger one. Some of her issues, one wouldnt even have imagined possible in such a short span of lifetime. And having forced into a situation where she had to stay away from family, she had to face through all the issues alone. Its a major achievement that she had maintained her sanity amidst all the chaos, that goes by the term life and that she was able to swim through the never ending tides with a smiley face makes her eligible for a Nobel for human endurance. She has always been my favorite tease buddy for she is always a great sport and anyone who talks to her couldnt even believe the sadness behind all those cheer.

An amazingly independent person who not only self sponsored her studies but almost always saved some money to send for her parents, all this in a salary that would make meagre sound plentiful. I always keep telling after every major breakdown that finally it has turned the corner and couldnt go any worse from here, she will only smile and tell "lets wait and see". Pessimistic as it might sound, life has always proved her right by throwing in one challenge after another. Any adult, having to face similar situations, would've either ended their life or gone insane. But this kid, she dealt with each and every adverse situation with aplomb and continues to fight with every single cell in her. Her pillows might never have been dry from her tears, but to the outer world, she is always this cheery kid. Some might even consider her haughty for she never gives up. For all my petty cribbing's and cravings, i just think of her and the things that she face day in and day out. It reiterates the zillion things that i take for granted and makes me wonder what she wouldnt give just for a day's break from her life.

Even the news of her mom's demise, the way she broke the news to the world is a lesson in personal diplomacy. She was elegant as always and calm. I could sense the inner storms raging inside her which she would've got used to after all these years. But her outside facade is always that of calm and serene, never betraying the real emotions. For all i know, she would come out of this irreplaceable loss even more stronger and if life has every taught her anything, it maynot let up on her any sooner. But, i am sure as the sun rising tomorrow, this kid will fight. Oh yes. She is a fighter to the core and would give it back to life as much as it throws problems at her. Blessed are her parents for having given birth to such a wonderful person. I always use her as the example to motivate my friends and they at times have tough time to believe if such a person really exist in flesh and blood!! And the kind of things that she has to face at such an young age, all alone, staying far away from home, is material enough for any inspirational block buster. I kid her that, if at all she decides to make a book out of her life, the distribution rights should be given to me. It would put any best seller a run for its money.

Dear B, It has always been a pleasure and a privilege to have known you all these years. I know you are too proud to reject any help. Its high time life gave you your long pending share of joy and happiness. You will always be on my prayers, on those that are for you - to give you more strength and on those that are for me - to make me atleast half as strong as you. Proud of you B.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Viswaroopam - review

By the time this post sees the light of the day or browser, there would be a million reviews floating around :) The controversy about the movie have brought out the writer in all. Either they want to register their protest against those opposing the release by watching it or want to show off saying that they've seen the movie when others couldnt. Than muyarchiyil satrum manam thalaratha vikramaathithan mathiri..mokka padamnalaum nalla padamnaalum sambrathaaya padi naanga review potruvomla.

Last saturday went to watch the movie, that had released without much ado in US. I've been to almost ten movies in the past ten months in 5 different theaters. Even after the movie theater massacre on the release of the 3rd Batman movie, i never saw policemen on the theater premises. But for this movie, there was a cop who was standing along with the ticket checker at the very entrance to the theater!!

First few minutes into the movie, i was wondering whether the wrong organisation was protesting. It had the usual barb's against Brahmin's that has become typical of any Kamal movie and it continued till the time the action sequences began. Infact, the only instances of comic interlude in the movie, which were barely a handful of minutes in close to 2.5 hours of running time, almost all of those scenes were aimed at mocking them. It sounds funny once a while. But repeating the same thing again and again gets on your nerves and is irritating at best. Is mocking one particular sect of people time and again is the new definition of being secular?? And for all his shenanigans on the way he played around with Hindu belief's and custom in Dasavatharam, wonder if the government would've been so prompt and swift in its response as it had done now. A different topic to be discussed at a different time.

Whatever said and how much ever one can get critical, one aspect of Kamal always stands out even on a mediocre movie - his performance. Be it the kathak song sequence or his feminine nuances while rushing to switch off the oven or while running on the streets of NYC, its cute to say the least. All three songs of the movie come in the first half itself with the title song picturisation and the situation where it occurs taking the honors. That scene almost reminds of Basha - the Rajni starrer minus the "enakku innoru peru iruku" dialog :)
From then on the story takes wings and its flies all around Afgan. Right from the first frame, pigeons are shown repeatedly to the point of raising the question on everyone's mind - why the hell? Which is satisfactorily explained in the end.

The story is something that had been done to death in Hollywood and by our own folks from Ajay devgn to Vijay kanth. Al kaida theeviravaathees (if you imagine thaadi vacha muslims saying prayer and udambula bomb vachitu trying to blast americans to simtherness that means you wouldnt be bothered about the content of this movie) try to trigger dirty bomb in NYC. Namma aalu infiltrate that organisation, get trained by them and infact even manages to see Osama. Ada..George Bush, Dasavatharamla tamizh thaai vaazhthu paadalam, Bin Laden kamal paaka varakoodatha. The much talked about portions shot on Jordan/Afghan  situations are so old and predictable that, i guess they scenes would've written themselves. Just like any spy movie kamal carries a transmitter to thuppu kuduthufy theeviravaathis edam and manages to survive all the bombing attempts which kills only the theeviravaathis and leaves kamal without any harm. With the help of Andrea, Shekar Kapur, one vellakaaran whose name i couldnt get and Pooja kumar -who plays his wife, he manages to save NYC. Seri padam mudinjidichi paatha ennada "the end" podama ennamo pesitay irukaanga and  sambandha sambandham ilama scenes varuthay paatha..inoru part irukaamam padathuku. And its supposedly set in India.

Padathula Kamal is portrayed as a Indian jihadi from Kashmir, who doesnt speak afghan. Athukaga subtitle kooda podama savadicihruka venam. Middle portions of the movie were full of Afghan dialect and Kamal polavay naamalum thiru thiru nu muzhichitruka vendi iruku till the time someone translates. Oru varusham TNla suthina theeviravaathiye avlo nalla tamizh pesaraan. Varusha kanakka kooda irukara Kamal kadisi varaikum afghan kathuka matengarar. Tamizh kathukarathu easya ila afghan kathukarathu kashtama therila. Kamala thaan kekanum.

Pooja kumar has a meaty role and has done well for a first comer. Her tamil accent is worse than any dirty bomb that kamal can diffuse. Zarina wahab plays the psychiatrist and has a blink and miss role. That brings the point of Kamal's fetish to involve hindi makkal in his movies. I often fail to understand the reason. Tamizh tamizhnu sutha tamizhla pesi saavadikara manushan, why the hell always employs hindikaranga in his movies? Zarina wahab and shekar kapur panna roles anyone could've done. Not that they bring in any star power to those roles so that padam could have a decent run in hindiland or a sense of authenticity. Infact, with their tamil, it makes the movie look more goofier. Rahul Bose plays the villain to perfection. He almost looks like MN Nambiar in some scenes. Andrea chellathuku roley illa :( i strongly condemn this. Ozhungu mariyathaiya second partlayachum nalla role kuduka solanum. She hardly has any dialog in the movie and only notable scene being removing kamals trousers. Well, ithu kooda illati kamal padathula nadichi enna prayojanamnu maybe she might've accepted i guess. The movie has a hollywoodish look and feel. But screenplay is still typically tamil.

I never missed item song on a movie so much!!! I often used to wonder why the heck they've such stupid songs which hinder the flow of a movie and craved for movies sans songs. But this one was bit too much to chew i felt. There was never any change in tone and like our bowlers who start as medium pacers and slowly become line and length'ers loosing all their pace, the movie starts with a bang and comes to a crawl in the later stages. With bare little comedy and no songs, there is literally no relief. That the movie drags towards the climax doesnt help either. And towards the end, namma MMS..athaanga mr.manmohan singh, avar defaulta oru phonea poatu kamala paaraatidraaru. Ithanaikum appo domb diffuse kooda panala. Irunthaalum MMS'a ivlo peria kaamedi piece aakiruka venam tamizh cinema. Maatran Suryalenthu Tamizh padam Siva varaikum elaarum kalaikaraangapa. Paavam manushan.

Gils verdict - I felt the story was nothing new and same old aracha maavu. But from the shoes of a muslim, it does get a bit difficult to digest. People might argue that, whatever shown is true and is actual facts happening in those places. But having never bothered to highlight the positives or the sufferings of the victims, it only stands out as another lame attempt to make a quick buck on a dead horse story flogged already a zillion times. Ivlo selavu panni padam edutha manushan kathaiya konjam kavanichirukalam. Athey gundu athey theeviravaathi. Idam porul mattum vera. DTHla poatta pazhakka doshathula channela mathiruvanga nenakren.