Monday, October 21, 2013

What to name it

The one show that I watch with all eagerness would be "Tamizh Paechu engal moochu" on Vijay. For the very simple reason that, I totally and completely adore the concept. Today's topic was pretty interesting. A topic that is taboo even in present day society - Relationship without any name between men and women. It was quite an interesting topic and challenging one for the speakers and they spoke quite eloquently without majorly dabbling on the point for want of time. The society we live in has names for all relations. Father, son, brother, uncle, grandfather, lover, boyfriend, husband and even if there is a loss in the relation there are names for them as well- widower, divorcee, orphan(!!) And equivalent ones for women as well. In between this maze of names blooms in a friendship or two.

Man - woman relationship which falls under the last category are often looked upon with suspect. A friend of mine once told me, there can be only 3  kinds of relation possible between a guy and a gal. Either they can be siblings or husband and wives or lovers. Friendship is just a stop gap stage in this relationship triad, where it either transforms into platonic form of a brother sister one or as lovers. To say I was quite taken aback by this was an understatement. If there is something that I can feel really really proud of in my otherwise inconsequential life, its my friends and specially the girls. They share a very special space in my life and some of them, I believe, are friends for life. I take as much liberty with them as I do with my boys. I am sure it would be the same from their end too. All this coming from a person who had tough time even to look at girls in school, leave alone talking with them (sic).

Some of my closest friends are girls and I consider myself lucky that they think of me on similar scale too. I feel really humbled when they call me up to share their joy,sorrow,issues and victories and rejoice and remorse for me as well. To me a friend is a friend, be it a guy or gal. But not many in my own circle share this view. One look at my friend's list, the first comment that I get is "Machaan...ivlo ponnunga frienda unakku!!". I used to be like " what??" But nowadays I don't strain even that much into thinking :) There is another group of excuse seekers who promptly declare all these friendships are possible only till marriage and post which poorikattai on respective households will take over. Most of my close friends are married and not just them, post marriage even their spouses have become friends. So rather than losing on their relation, I've happily gained more. Some of us have so much in common that, people often mistake us to be siblings.

I personally believe, any relation is based on frequency of the people and not on their gender. I don't want to compare it with any incident or issue to empathize the reason, for its too pure and genuine. At times its better not try to classify everything. There are certain things that are beyond explanation. Rather than wagging tongue let the hearts lead the conversation.

Monday, October 14, 2013

The fake realities

For a while I used to be a big time fan of Super Singer's and Jodi number One's. The very reason that, I got to hear classics without their awful picturisation and some really amazing talents set the tone for the whole show. But over period of time, they've grown to be awful and more couldn't be more fake with the concept of reality being only on name. Forget the kind of nonsense they churn up in the name of TRP's but the damage they are doing to kids and art in general is becoming irreparable.

They've become that virus that've begun to feed on the very essence of art form. Music classes have started advertising coaching for reality shows. Cine dance forms have replaced traditional variants and with hardly any patronage they are at the risk of not surviving into the next decade. I've quite a lot of sabha's near my area. But for December, where people throng to see the famous personalities lining up for a handful of concerts, who otherwise spend the rest of the year doing the same kind of shows all over the world, I hardly see any posters for music concerts. Its been quite a while since I saw dance shows being performed on those sabhas. There is one tailor shop called, Shanti's that used to be jam packed with eager parents, ordering for dance costumes months in advance for their kids arangetram. Nowadays, that place is being used for its parking space.

As much as the threat to arts, I am really scared for the life of kids participating on those shows. The kind of songs that they are asked to sing and those weird ugly and nasty things that are made to do in the name of performing on stage is borderline outrageous. In the name of emoting the kind of things that toddlers do on stage are nothing short of child abuse. Less said about dance shows the better. Some are so vulgar, wonder if there is really a censor present for television channels!!

Some of my colleagues openly talk of enrolling their kids for music or dance, just for the sheer amount of money they can encash on post appearance on such shows. And kids these days to take up to hip hop or some western dance or other, that they can make a mish mash with our traditional art forms, in the name of fusion crap and all for that one glimpse on the idiot box which will set them on course for big bucks. Nowadays music and dance have become synonymous with cine music and cine dance.

With one new singer/composer and dancer/master appearing per movie, wonder when the bubble will burst!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Farewell my friends

Thondrin pugazhodu thondruga..agthilaar
Thondralin Thondraaamai nandru

The "Thirukkural" mentioned above means -
If you are born in this world, be with the qualities conductive to fame. For those who can't, better not be born.

Last week was full of farewells of people I am very fond of. First came the news of Phani, my toastmaster mentor of one speech (not sure if his decision to quit the job was due to that), then it was Sachin's retirement news followed by my good friend Mahesh's last day in office. You couldn't pick a more diverse bunch if you ever want to choose one. But they have one common aspect - being famous.

The Phani-funny cliché has been too clichéd even for a cliché. Still its not without reason. I often used to wonder how can a person be so dedicated to a cause, in which he gets to be the backstager rather than on stage most of the time. The way he used to show to time out for over eager speakers from the last row even when he wasn't playing any roles for that particular session or the sincerity with which he used to pass notes with feedback and more importantly the respect with which he addressed people while talking, even when not in his mother tongue was simply amazing. It was little surprise that he had such a fabulous send off at the toastmaster club and the best part of it all was that, he was an individual contributor without a team for all of the years that he was in office. Meaning, the only way he could've impacted and impressed so many people was with his only window of meeting them, which is the once a week toastmaster session. Think Phani, think of a smiley face and curly mop hair and a strong confident yet polite voice.

The other guy I mentioned also has a curly mop of a hair and probably little taller than Phani. But his deeds are something that would remain forever unless book cricket becomes the fourth official form of cricket after T20, ODI's and test matches. I skip most of the matches for I always had this superstition that if I watch India will lose the match. So the next morning newspaper of any cricket match day was always special for me. I would open the paper right from the last page with trembling hands in excitement to have a peek at the headlines. If they read an Indian victory, my day would be made and if it says Sachin hundred underneath, more often than not, it would be the best possible start for that day. I am sure this would be the case to billion other theists for whom god wears number ten jersey and opens the batting for India in ODI's. He was no comedian, but he was that special Indian who made a billion Indians smile.

The other person on my list, doesn't possess a curly mop hairstyle to start with. He came for one session to toastmasters and never plays cricket. What makes him special is his attitude. He can say the foulest of abuses with a smiley face. You can blast him left right and center with stinker mails, still he would read them like love letters from his lady love. You ask him to take up ERP one day Web technology the next day and into Mainframes after that, he would still be on all the three teams, learning from freshers to seniors with same dedication and would eventually grow to lead the same people who taught him the tricks. He is one walking talking network and has contacts for every single company in every single industry you can think of. He has studied catering technology, been an sales executive for a leading insurance company, headed a team in an MNC bank's back office operations and been a business analyst in PeopleSoft moving on to a different role in a totally new ERP in few days time.

Phani may not have won many ribbons in the club. Sachin may not have won as many tournaments as Ponting did as a captain. Mahesh may have his own handicaps. But there is one thing common in all of them. Each of these people are not famous because they did what they had to do or the way they did it. But how they made others feel, while they were at it.

You need not necessarily be famous to be nice. But its always nice to be famous ;)