Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The mandatory year end post

Though titled mandatory, i actually didnt post one for past two years..hehe.

Now to what I kizhichified this year and what I plan to kizhichify next year.

This year was a year of change to say the least. Professionally and personally there were so many seeds of change that were sown which are eagerly awaited to bloom in coming years.

On the professional front, I often find myself to be at so much contradiction with my own self that I've accepted it as a personal norm. For a person who is super scared of the unforeseeable actions accompanying any change, I opt for it more than any regular person who speaks about accepting change whole heartedly. Blame it on the mind that gets bored quick. My love for routine is only rivaled by my dislike for the comfort it brings. In fact, doing routine stuff scares me to the extent that I keep jumping jobs frequently. Starting from scratch I come to a point where I can rest comfortably, only for the jump job construct to kick in. I don't want to get outdated and risk my profile every 4 years yet at the same time I long for consistency in what people do. Probably a corporate equivalent of "avangala nirutha sollu..naan nirutharen". The good woman Linda attributes this to my sun sign being Gemini. A psychological profile study criticizes it as a commitment phobic nature. A self study based on my own experience credits the inherent inferiority complex and yearning for acceptance by others as the reason. But one thing for sure I've come to recognize that, believe what I may want to, if one does it with all his heart, without a shred of doubt, its achievable. People with better command over the language can phrase it decently. But the gist I've learnt this year is, what looks like a huge leap on the positive side, warns not to look down to avoid vertigo. To climb any peak, rather than admiring the depth you've crossed, your only concentration should be on how far more you've to travel. The distance travelled doesn't matter when the summit is a for ever changing sign post. The place where we stamp the flag and decide that's it, is where it will be. As long as the mind wanders and heart yearns for more, the flag will never be set. Some time soon the rope called age will go taut and would start shooting warning signals. Till such time, hope the journey continues.

On the personal front, I've possibly the greatest responsibility a person can ever have in his lifetime. What am I going to teach my kid or learn from him. How will i secure his future and make his present enjoyable. What way I will repeat or repel the approach my parents had for me. I don't have any answers for any of these questions. I am sure they will be revealed when the time comes. I've a new circle of friends, who are selfless to say the least when it comes to helping the needy. Their vigour for doing things differently and going the extra mile without even a token sense of acknowledgement of any sort during the recent floods was an eye opener to say the least. Even if I imitate to an extent of all those good attributes it would be a wonderful start towards being a better person is what I believe. Hope it continues into the next year. The floods made many, including me, realize, the only thing that can survive any disaster of any form is humanity alone. No bridges, no money, no fame, no amount of wealth or power can save you. But if you extend your hand and allow it to reach the person in need, irrespective of the checklist mentioned above, you can play god for a while. The regularity with which roads cave in, land slides, un natural floods and ever severe droughts, scare the world I would be leaving and living in for my kid. Like always, hope the answers reaches before timeout.

To summarize, I want to be numerous person in a single frame, as always. Its not a resolution per se but an ever growing riddle called life which has answers only in hindsight.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Thanga Magan - review

On a blog posting roll this month. So making the most of it :)

Dhanush is silently and slowly stealing a march over copyright for his Mamanaar's movie titles, who thrived not just with his punch lines but also with catchy titles. The other similarity being, he either picks his FIL's leading lady or vice versa. Edho..nalla iruntha seri.

If our daily soap Opaari..err..Operas are edited to fit in an hour of a story, which in itself is a tedious task for none are having that much worth of a story line, you would get the movie script of Thangamagan. Especially the post interval portion. Pre interval is mostly a breeze with Dhanush lipping Amy Jackson only to end up marrying Samantha, who is a revelation in this movie. Her romantic segements with Dhanush are just..avvvvv...poetic. Andrea has dubbed for Amy and is pitch perfect as Anglo Indian tamizh ponnu with english accented tamil talk. And she looks bit fleshy too compared to her bonish thin feature in "I" movie. But its Samantha who takes the honours. Her act as a middle class house wife, her interactions with her hubby as a newly wed, the way she shows anxiety upon his late arrival from office, her body language upon seeing KS Ravikumar and her disappointment and how she goes bright on seeing Dhanush are simply awesome.I loved the scene for the way she responds to the first time Dhanush says "I love you"...chaancela. The best part being, majority of her scenes hardly have any dialogue. Its just her facial reactions and body language response to the situation and the amazing chemistry that she shares on screen with Dhanush carries the show. Radhika has a blink and miss role and doesnt even get time to spend the glycerine fully. KS Ravikumar as the absent minded dad has an equally absent minded presence. Somehow it feels justified as most of the middle class dad's are hardly conspicuous and their presence is more felt in their absence. Its a short story in itself. Dhanush as college guy is yuck. Be it is hairstyle or dialogue delivery is shoddy and reminds of his role in 3. Meesai Dhanush has little to do but romance wife and beatup few adiyaals. Satish as the meesai shaved kannadi poatta hero friend has nothing to do. The biggest let off for the movie is the lack of a strong negative character. The fact that the duration being an exact 2 hours doesnt help to establish any characters for that matter. Anirudh has a special corner in his musical heart for Dhanush is evident on the songs. "Enna solla" song plays forever in mind after first listen.

Gils verdict: Blame it on the lopsided script, which, to balance screen time for Amy as compared to Samatha, dwells forever in first half only to cut short the actual story which tries to take off very late. The hurried ending and lack of a convincing villain are the biggest negatives for the movie. Probably Pongaluku SunTVla podrachay paakalam.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Star Wars - Force awakens - review

If at all there are few phrases that define Hollywood -  May the force be with you - Star Wars, Live long and prosper - Star Trek, would be the two competing for the top slot. Both have their own legions of fanatics and are part of the American psyche and culture, which in turn have become the world's preferred one since the new millennium.

Of the two, the Star Wars franchise is probably one of the biggest in the world giving the James Bond series a run for its money. Considering that, it was a series built on the whims and fancies of George Lukas who in all his marketing wisdom did what Steve Jobs replicated with Apple way down the line -  creating an audience market rather than catering to existing. If one watches "New Hope" the supposedly 4th part of the series which was released first in the 70's, they would be stumped to understand head or tail of it and even more how the heck the director convinced the production house to fund the project leave alone managing to cast a crew into accepting the script. Probably his good luck or a way to get out of the great depression's fallout, something made the series click. He went on to produce two more and suddenly decided to stop. My second favourite of the lot was the 5th of the series "Empire strikes back" which had a semblance of a story line. The final part "Return of Jedi" was an atrocious mockery of people's patience with what wouldn't have fitted into an episode of sitcom including ad breaks was prolonged into a full fledged movie. One fine morning, the franchise decided to kick start again and decided to do the story in reverse and hence came the First part "Phantom Menace" followed by the much criticised "Clone wars" and finally my personal favourite "Revenge of Sith" which incidentally was the first one I watched in the series.

Coming to the recent release "Force awakens" which is touted as the 7th instalment of the series. To put it in a single statement, its nothing but a rehash of a politically correct/current version of the "New Hope".

On a person to plot comparison between the two -

Luke Skywalker of New Hope as a matching lady lead in this version - probably attributed to the success of Hunger games and rise of Jenifer Lawrence. Will this lady who plays the lead be able to carry the franchise in subsequent parts remains to be seen but she does more than a neat job. Be it action, sentiment she is amazing. Her accent is something I have become smitten with.

Despite Harrison "the original Han Solo" Ford being present, to keep the franchise alive, the movie has a black "Han Solo" equivalent. It doesn't help the fact that Ford eventually gets killed in the end. Since its a spoiler please don't read the above sentence.

Darth Vader has an equivalent in the guy (apparently his grandson) who for some reason roams around in similar getup as Vader. At least Vader had a reason to be in that costume for he got badly disfigured. Why the heck this guys wears that Malayur Mambutiyaan Shawl and visor less helmet is LOK (Lucas only knows) or AOK (Abrams only knows) or whoever.

R2D2 the rolly polly robot has a Wall-E equivalent. Millennium Falcon makes the mandatory appearance. The death star war machine which is fell in "New Hope" by blasting through a tunnel thing, is exactly replicated in this version as well. Rest of the similarities being, instead of the Skywalker family, being at war with itself, with Son going after father, its the Han Solo clan in this episode with father going after son only to be killed by him in the end. Again spoiler alert. So don't read the previous sentence. Unlike the incestual hara-kiri of the previous episodes with Princess Leia lipping the guy who was revealed to be her twin (yuck) this time only nethi mutha between the lady Rey (skywalker??) and the black Solo. So guessing they may not get married in the next part!!

Despite being made 4 decades back, the sci-fi and graphics scenes of the initial package is unmatched in any of the subsequent series is my peeve. One couldn't quite imagine the effort behind those immensely huge physical sets and the imagination behind those space war scenes which are merely replicated in the latter portions. To me the essence of this enterprise is in its ability to make people forget for the fact that none of the story happens on earth but in a galaxy far far away. With movies like Gravity and Interstellar pushing the boundaries of make believe space fiction stories, probably I expected more out of this episode of what was truly the mother of all sci-fi movie series, ever. To give them the benefit of doubt, I hope the makers want to do a recap/brush up the current generation on the franchise to kick start from the next episode.

Gils verdict - Force awakens is already the biggest money churner of the franchise breaking all previously set opening day collection records. If the upcoming episodes are again going to be rehash of the same old stuff, the magic might not long last. May the force be with the script writers for a more original story line. Sambradhayapadi, a movie made for the big screen.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Review time - Dilwale

When DDLJ released two decades back, the biggest challenge for any non hindi speaking tamilians was not understanding the movie but to ask for tickets naming the movie. Dilwale Dulhania le Jaayenge was more than a tongue twister for many of my school mates. Saaruk kaan became the new style icon. The thick browed heroines name was a debate topic for several folks - was it Kajol or Kaajal or Kaajol. From Sowcarpet to Saidapet amplifiers blasted "Mehandi laga ke rakhna" for every marriage function with bandmasters making it mandatory for all weddings. Saloons went out of patronage for several months with students aping for Saaruk's hairstyle. Railway stations suddenly became romantic hot spots courtesy the movie climax, despite many a Mani Ratnam inspired scenes prior. It took an Alaipayuthe to reclaim train station romance back to tamil  movie dom.

When Dilwale was being promoted, the erstwhile onscreen magic/chemistry of SRK/Kajol was touted as the movie's USP. The trailers had references to scenes from their blockbuster DDLJ and the title also was supposedly an inspiration from the same. If at all anything, this movie is nothing like DDLJ, to start with.

I often guess around what makes a hit movie on my reviews. Predominantly the lead pair chemistry takes the lion's share alongside good songs and comedy scenes. These three pretty much assure a sustained show post the big bang opening that is solely driven by the charishma and pull of the hero and the extent of hype and promotion. Bigger the buck bigger the bang. Add to the mix, few popular scenes with punch you are bound to have a decent hit formula. Despite ticking every single box above, Dilwale falls flat on its face. They've a near copy scene from Basha with SRK throwing in punch dialogue "King se bolo Kali aaya tha" which is nowhere in the same pincode as "oru thadava sonna". Nor is SRK the Rajini kind of actor. Salman would've suited better. But his last twenty movies are of same kind. So zero marks for this copy cat. There is another famous lift off scene from the romcom drama series "How I Met your Mother". Unfortunately for SRK and Rohit shetty, people nowadays are following English series on par with their desi counterparts. The famous date scene where Ted takes his doctor girlfriend for a ten minute lunch has been so shoddily shot, even SRK the supposedly mohabbat man, couldn't salvage it. There is one more lift off from the famous Love actually movie proposal scene which has been bestowed to Varun Dhawan to manage. The result is needless to be explained. The so called SRK-Kajol chemistry that sold the movies prior fails to take off with age having caught up with the lead pair. An age apt romantic storyline might've still worked wonders. But pushing them as twenty something killed the golden goose. Surprisingly for a SRK movie, this one has not a single hum worthy song!! Probably a first.

To me it felt like a tamil dubbed movie. Would be surprised if it clicked with Hindi audience. Had this been made in tamil, match for match, could've been Bhagavathy/Villu - erstwhile Vijay flopshow 's remake. Vijay and Nayanthara could've reprised the lead roles with Jai and some bakra hindi heroine filling up the rest.

Gils verdict: Dabba movie. Might be released in Colors channel for this Christmas. This Dilwale usiru le jaayega for sure.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

F.R.I.E.N.D.S - VI

For previous episodes click Part V

Chandler is busy chatting with his colleagues when his manager passes by. Worried whether he would've noticed him sitting idle, he tries to think of something meaningful of an activity. As expected the boss man calls Chandler to his room.


"Boss..before you ask me, I was brainstorming with the team, doing post-mortem on our failed project"

"Post-mortem...that's good. Make sure the report reaches me by today. Wait a minute!! Which project failed?"

" know right"

Sensing a trick question with a booby trap for a response, the boss decides to play it safe.

"Of course I know. So what was the reason for failure"

Caught unawares, Chandler hems and haws into a quick response "People"

"Oh. send me the list. Will fire them. Who are there in that."

"Well..err..there is this guy."

"What did he do"

"Almost every single decision of his was a link to Just for Laughs videos"

"What?!! how can one be so stupid. Who is he?"



At the coffee house:

Monica chimes in all happy and positive.

"heyyyy fellas...happy today to all of you"

"Some one sure had more than their share of coffee today!!" quips Phoebe

"Well..i have vowed to live by my motto LIVE FOR TODAY" exclaims Monica excitedly.

"Wow..little more of that and I've to live forever with broken ear drums"

" funny funny funny man" punches Monica

" funny bone just suffered an hairline fracture" cries Chandler

" are still jobless right" queries Chandler

"Yeah...but who cares...LIVE FOR TODAY" yells Monica beginning to sound slightly deflated

"How do you avoid starving tomorrow if you live only for today? living in the present is a huge responsibility. One single mistake and your entire life is ruined"

" should I live for the future?" asks a worried Monica

"No that would ruin your present..i recommend you live for the past" suggests Phoebe

"But I don't like my past"

" can pretend to be someone can think of yourself as a princess from a fairy land...I would share my pet name from the past to you if you are interested"

"What is it"

"Princess Consuela Banana Hammock"

A confused looking Monica slumps onto the sofa.

"What is Chandler doing here at this time?"

"Taking some time off with Phoebes"

Gunther stares at Chandler and calls him to his counter. "Few more minutes I am going to charge you for boarding"

A bewildered Phoebe and Monica asks "how long have you been here?"

"Well ever since my boss fired me today morning" says Chandler and briefs her about the incident.

"But you are..were.. the perfect employee" consoles Monica

"Duh.." groans Chandler and Phoebe. A confused looking Chandler glares and Phoebe who silently turns her head away.

"You've perfect attendance" justifies Monica

"If one subtracts the significant amount of time i spend in coffee house" grumbles Chandler.

"You've excellent technical skills"

"Yesterday I configured printer and my laptop crashed...but yeah..go ahead"

"You are too risk averse to start your own company with no social life and a constant need for approval for your work.." joins Phoebe

"Are we still on complimenting me topic?"

"Did I include all this being under paid? You were a perfect fit for that role like a foot in glove"

"STOP COMPLIMENTING ME" shouts Chandler and runs away from the Coffee house.

Ross and Rachel enters the shop.

"You take everything negatively" says Ross.

"What does that mean" counters Rachel angrily

"How did you react when i said you were photogenic"

"You meant that as if i don't look good in person"

"There it is people"

"There was what?"

"You turn even positive comments into negative"

"You mean to say i am a monster"

"YES" replies Phoebe,Monica and Ross in unison

"Good. That's the vibe i am going for. Got my appraisal discussion today. Bye Sweetie" rushes out Rachel.

"So Ross..whats up" queries Monica.

Ross starts listing down what he did from the time he woke up till the time he entered the shop.

"..and thus the key to success is having passion for what you do"

"You make a good point..I am outta here" starts Monica

"Me too" joins Phoebe

A bewildered looking Ross thinks "never knew they would listen"

"Caught me by surprise too" quips Gunther, who moves back to the counter after Ross frowns at him.

Joey enters the shop looking all rugged. People who sit near his chair starts moving away, unable to bear the stench.

"Hi Joe...WHOA...When did you last took bath" cries Ross

"Let me is was 10 days from 3rd onwards" smirks Joey

"10 days prior mean..oh..what the stink worse than a dead dinosaur" gives up Ross

"Its called fragrance..a cute concoction of pepper spray and beef sauce"

"Yuck...May i care to ask why pepper spray?"

"Pepper spray is for me to build up an immunity to it"

"Strangely that is logical"

"Beef sauce is to draw chicks to me..presto. Joey the chick magnet" Joey exclaims lifting his hands.

Gunther gurgles and rushes to the loo while Ross pukes unable to bear the stench.

"Hmm...probably i need to tone it down a bit may be" shrugs Joey smelling himself.

Ross raises Thumbs up lying down and faints.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Sikkitaanya segaru

"Bro..y so sad"
"Onnumilla Gils.."
"Appo sogama iruka vendi thaan"
"Yov..naanay phone pona dhukkathula irukken"
"Phonuna call thaan pogum..ithenna kaanama poguthu"
"Seri..aaruthala oru mokkai podalamaynu paathen...when it got lost?"
"Nethu busla officelenthu porachay pickpocket adichitanga..ithanaikum jeansoda front pocketla thaan phone vachirnthen"
"adapaavi...jeans front pocketna naamalay edukarathu kashtam..ithula epdi pickpocket!! apdi ennada yosanai"
"ila..thideernu goundamani senthil comedy nyabgam vanthichu..hawa hawa nu senthil thooku potukara mathiri emathara scene..was laughing thinking about that"
"aal nikkavay edam illatha busla Hawa hawa romba mukiyam..police complaint kuduthia"
"aamaa..avangalta kuduthutaalum..pona varam kaanama pona credit cardaiye inum kandupudicha paadilla"
"adaaapavi...ithu eppo!! card cancel pannia illaya"
"panrathukulla theichitaan"
"appo enganu kandupudichi track panidalamay.."
"neenga vera ji..avan panjathula adipatavana irupan pola..Andhra electricity boarduku antha maasa due kattirukan!!"
"adhu sari..romba nyaayamaana thirudan pola...unkitta thaan bike irukulla..nee en busla pona"
"adhuva..intha mazhai floodnaala porticolaam oray sagathiaya irukkaynu had parked the bike outside the compound. yaaro petrol mothathaiyum thiruditanga...ithula kodumai ennana enga tenant on first floor had seen that person stealing panna try pannapo..velila vantha aala gaali paniduvennu meratti kan munna thiruditu poirukanga"
"aaha...valaichi valaichi thirudikanunga...vadivelu comedyla vara mathiri nee pora edamlam aal set panitanga nenakren..inniki porachay paathu..yarachum autograph kekaranungalaynu sign potratha..sothaiye amukiduvanga"
"enakku phone ponathu kooda sogam ila ji...athula nethu thaan pudusa ear phone vaanginen..oru thadava paatu kekarathukulla thiruditanga..card block panna bank call panna OTP messagelam antha phoneku thaan poguthu..athaan kadupaaguthu"
"Inniki busla porachay evanachum unna paathu kumbitaanna udanay avana pudichi policela kuduthudu...nanri meendum varuganu veetu vaasalla welcome mat iruntha mudhalla atha mathra vazhia paaru..apdiye adutha phone Samsung Note vaangu"
"en ji"
"Enakku antha phone thaan pudikum"

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Vantage point

"arrghh...this stupid phone never stops ringing.damn u graham bell" cursed Ram as he went to pick the call.
" usual its for you" he shouted for his mother.
"A little louder and people on other side of the street will hear you clearly"
"Why your relatives are always calling on the landline when they know your cell number. Why are they so cheap that they cant even afford the call charges for landline to mobile is it"
"Shut up..if you cant get up to attend the call, leave it. I will handle it myself"
"Always shout at me..and not on those useless people who call and disturb your sleep"
"You should be thankful that there are people who think of us and call"
"Duh...leeches..they don't call you without reason. I am so sure they need some help and that's why they are calling you"
"So what? we should be thankful that god has given us strength to help others"
" and your crazy argument. Always allow yourself to be fooled by others"
Ram storms outside, which was nothing out of the usual as that is the standard end to such conversations almost always.

After a while, he cools down and returns.
"So, what is it this time"
"It was  your uncle. Your aunt is sick"
"When was she healthy!!! "
"Don't talk about your elders like that"
"Its the truth right..whenever there is a common occasion or function that involves physical work, they conveniently fall sick while you slog yourself down"
"You should be happy that god has given me the strength to perform such noble duties. Whatever I do, you people will reap its benefits"
"Like what? taking you to doctor from straining yourself? seeing your suffer while they enjoy happily? if this is the punya you are talking about, I hardly need it"
"Stop talking rubbish"
"Why cant their son come and take care of them"
"He is in can he"
"Why is he in US when his parents are so sick"
"His job is there and his wife is also working there right..why are raising this issue again"
"Issue!!! if their own son cant take time off for his own parents, why are you bothering is my question!!"
"Why have  you become like this!!  why are you competing with him"
"I am not competing with anyone. It is his responsibility towards his parents that he is ignoring. I don't even blame aunty and uncle for their situation. They are old and need to be taken care. But how can their only son be so selfish and ignore his parents. Is money the only thing that matters!! If he earns in crores abroad, will it bring back his parents when they are not there!!"
"Don't blame him. He is paying for all their expenses and last time when he spoke to me, he was so worried about them. He said he couldn't take them with him because of the climate there and also due to some visa problem it seems"
" will believe in anything"
"Why are you so concerned anyway its me who is doing these right? I will not ask you to do anything. Till the time I can I will do things on my own"
"What did I do!! Why are turning against me now!! I am angry about that selfish cousin of mine and these irritating relatives who think of you only in times of trouble and never both to help you. It worries me that you are straining yourself so much and you are getting angry on me!!"
He storms off again.

At Ram's uncle's house:

"What are you doing"
"Calling my sister"
"Why are you troubling her again"
"She is the only person near by right"
"She is as old as me shouldn't trouble her for every small thing"
"She wouldn't mind..and more over we don't really have a choice"
"Poor thing. If I was in her position I would be fighting with you for pestering with phone calls. We don't do anything for her"
"I know. everyone would be blaming our son"
"yes..but how many know about our debts and the fact that for his skill set he couldn't find a job here in India!! We cant go and show everyone our loan list right"
"But what will people think of us. Staying here, enjoying his money while he slogs away in far off land"
"At times I wish we shouldn't have allowed him to go abroad. Now even if we wish to, he cant come and meet us" She starts crying.
Ram enters at that very moment with lunch for them.

"Why is she crying..what happened"
"As sit down. You want anything to drink"
"No thanks. I need to leave early. Mom asked to give this to you"
He kept the lunch boxes on the table and was about to leave.
"Ram help. Can you fix the computer for me? The internet is not connecting"
Grumbling about getting delayed he set about working on the system.
"Are you in touch with Hari?"
"Not much..after he went to US, might have spoken to him a few times..thats it"
"He said he will come on Skype today. if you want you can wait and join the chat"
"hmm.will ping him later. convey my regards"
He came back home, wondering the whole way down about people working abroad and not taking care of their parents.

The next day morning Ram got a call from an unknown number that was not getting displayed. Wondering who could it be, calling so early in the morning he picked it.
"Ram...Hari da"
"yeah..I have to hurry...but who is this??"
"'ll never change. How are you?"
"I am is your research going on"
"Very hectic da..hardly get time. how is is her health"
"She is fine..when are you coming here"
"Will take a while before I come...I wanted to say thanks to you da..that's why I called"
"Thanks??...but Why?? what for?"
"For taking care of my parents when I am not there. Heard that yesterday you came and brought lunch for them"
"Don't be so formal."
"No irks me no end that I am not there with them and taking care of them. At times I wonder if I really did made the right decision with my career. I don't know when and how I will take them here with me. Not a day passes without me worrying about this. Work is my only solace. It pushes me harder to get things done and my only other comforting thought is that you people are there for support. Without your support it would be impossible for me to concentrate"

Unlike a wall hanging portrait that keeps looking at you from whichever part of the room you look at it, life throws up varied views of the same situation involving same people. More than the sixth sense its our perspective that sets us apart from our multi limbed fellow species I guess.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Kodumais thy name is gils

Intha kodumai kodumai solluvangalay...athukum namakkum thaan pathu jenma bandhamaachay..ennada konja naala onnum kaanumay paatheengala....avlo easya vitruma..

I had almost forgotten madame's birthday. Point to be noted is almost. Having realized that I still had sufficient time to escape capital punishment, I started thinking of a wonderful gift worth remembering for ages. Point to be noted is that I took quite a lot of effort in thinking. As they say, more than the gift, its the thought process that counts. Apdi thinki thinkiye oru vaaram odi poiruchi.

Suddenly the realization stuck that its just few more days left and I am yet to decide on it, subtle hints like "what are you going to get me for birthday" discounted. Ithuku melayum oru abarimithaamaana gift pathi yosichitruntha yosichitay irukka vendi thaannu, I decided on the rava upma of gifts - Teddy bear. Intha teddy bear giftla oru vasathi enna vendraal, pudikalinu kovathula mela veesi adichaalum valikaathu. Paya pullainga soft toysnu summava senjirukaanga. Adhaan gift decide pannidichay samatha..Inga enga kodumainu paakreengala. Decide pannalum vaanganumla. Ippo apponu again few more days went swaaaahaaa. Kaalangaathaala papera open panna 12 page ad kudukarranungalay, news section adsku nadula enga engannu thedara alavukku publicize panraanaynu NAMBI antha veena pona Snap Dealla order potten. Epdium delay aanalum 2-3 daysla anupiduvomnu sollirunthaanunga. Apdi paathaalum correcta vanthirumnu oru calculationoda placed the order. Needless to say the order didn't come.

First slighta kindala aarambichi, "enna edachum vaanginia illa innum yosikiria"nu start aanathu.."mavanay intha vaatiyum sothapina..nee gaali"nu chellama (!!) kolai merattal vara alavuku valanthuduchu. Armed with the knowledge that I've placed an advanced delivery date with buffer time that could well adjust for schedule over run, en veena pona project plans mathirye, got unduly delayed. The delivery came and slept in a warehouse 15km from her place that remained locked for a week. I begged, shouted, namasakaram pannified, kola merattal vittufied, uhumm..kovama ketathuko kenji ketathuko edhukumay snap deal masiayala. Vendamna order cancel paniko nu coola they told. 24 hoursla naanay flight pudichi ponalay ozhia there was no way I could courier the gift on time. Kudutha buildupku she kept running to the door, each time some courier came to her house. In the mean time she ordered some baby stuff to be delivered to Chennai. All four of them reached on time!! Naan order panna onnay onnu kannay kannu gift never reached!! Seri date of birth thana miss aachu star birthday kulla vanthirumnu saaku solalam paatha, that was already over.

After almost a week after her birthday, one day she casually told that the courier came in that morning and she liked it. Vera vazhi illaingarathu apart, I somehow was reminded of that Goundamani comedy "inimay nee vaysasukku vanthaa enna varaatii enna"!!! Avvvvvvvvvvvv...

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Tamasha - review

There comes a movie, once in a while, which is at odds with itself and us, like Tamasha- the latest Ranbir Deepika starrer. Definitely its not a repeat watch movie. Even for one time watch, its pretty tedious at best. Dialogues being heavy on Delhi accent and language, not your usual Bollywoodish hindish. Story is also nothing new and considering that every single movie of Deeps that involves a city setting, she more or less does the same role, its all the more stale. The director is very clear on what he wants from her. The first half where the story is set in Corsica, the long legged lass is at her own free will to dress anything and everything. The moment she steps into holier than thou our country, since she has to be all wrapped up, her portion also suffers the same fate.

So..very less Deeps, very long story, strictly one time watch with hard on ear accent and lot more of Ranbir. The last point might work in favour of the lady audience. So discounting it, is the movie worth it? Heard that its already heading towards being yet another flop for Ranbir this year. The reason being the obvious points mentioned above. But, if one has a patience for watching it, you would be able to relate to it so close to self. That might've infact worked against the movie is my guess.

When I saw their previous movie, the musical masti of Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani, the magic in the screen was infectious and was palpable on the young crowd that turned in repeatedly making it one of the biggest hit of the lead pairs career. Everyone who watched the movie, wanted to get a break out of their monotonous routine, let loose their hair and fall in love madly. The movie struck a chord at a level which was typical of commercial flicks and the reason why they click big time. Tamasha does manages to resonate, but at a whole lot deeper level.

The movie begins with an interesting premise of a young kid rushing to hear stories from a ranting old man, paying him from his pocket money. The old man mixes up stories each time, some from Ramayana, some from famous love stories of the world. There are some really interesting conversation where he explains the universality of love and how stories are always the same across all continents and time. There is a jump to the Corsica section where two strangers decide to accompany each other without ever revealing their true identity. A bit far fetched even for the logicless moviedom. The duo manage to live on their wits and have a gala time in Corsica. Deeps being smitten with the carefree attitude of Ranbir, obviously, falls in love with him, despite their vows for no emotional involvement. Without expressing her love for him, she leaves him. With a clue that would put Sherlock to shame, she manages to trace him 4 years later in India. She meets Ranbir, the mature product manager, a far cry from the carefree ragamuffin of a lovely rogue she met and fell in love. The sober and closer to reality desi Ranbir falls in love with Deeps and on the day when he proposes to her, she rejects him saying he is false.

Now, this was the section that intrigued and was interesting in so many levels. Here is the guy who is sincere, sober and above all secure with a future and the girl has the gall to reject him. The reason for rejection being that he is fake to himself, makes him go mad and here is where Ranbir the actor scores heads, shoulders and heels over all his contemporaries. He is so good at ease with himself as a romantic lover boy in first half that, the fact that he is acting is hardly noticeable. But the difference in body language and persona that he brings in the second half makes one go WOW. Awesome performance once again from the superstar of this decade. This part of the storyline is what I mentioned as hits a lot deeper into many a broken psyche. There are scores of guys out there who put on a show in both virtual and real world. Totally different from their original self. It creates an mirage for those who fall for them and only to end up being disappointed. I know so many of my friends who are eligible every single letter of the word bachelors. I tried playing stupid cupid for some of them within our friend circle only to get a similar response as Deeps. Either they were too good to be truly believed by the gals or they simply wanted someone who was more mad than sane. Logic might argue that with maturity the realization would dawn on them. But the fact of the matter is, those guys and gals are still single to the wonderment of others. Not for a moment I am suggesting its a fault to remain single or they are losers. But, honest to god, each of them would've given a run for Deeps and Ranbir as a pair. I often used to wonder what is that X factor that blocks people from truly accepting each other or from falling in love. After watching the movie, it could be that dash of madness to the sobriety is my guess. The movie ends with Ranbir, screwing up his career and finds solace in his fantasy world of story telling. For want of a positive ending, he is shown to be successful in what he does as well and gets a spiderman like kiss from Deeps. (ithelaam cut panatheenga censor. James bond na mattum oravanjanai)

Gils verdict: I liked the movie. As evident from the BO news, the movie might've bombed already. But for those who can manage to scrape through it, they would sure find more than a thing or two to reminiscence.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Adai gils...

Mun kurippu: intha post padichi sirichi vairu punnn agalainalum paravala..adichi nekku punnn aaga panidapdaathu. Ithu oru mokkai postay andri verondrumillai. pizhaigalai porutharuluga.

EAM Stri checking FB. Suddenly her eyes spikes up looking at a distress status from Gils.
"EAM..a family in triplicane, near parthasarathy temple needs dry clothes and dosa batter. can you help"
Stri rushes to her house motta maadi plucks all the clothes hanging dry and runs to near by kadai to buy 2 liters dosa maavu and all this happens in stop block moment.
"Gils..i am ready. Entha area in triplicane?"
"err..unga veedu thaan EAM. Unkitta maadila thuni eduthundu vaa..maavu vaangittu vaa sonna seiya maatengaranu enkitta status update poattu tag
panna sonnanga"
"Adaii gilss...." EAM chases..gils races.

Surprise and Naughty Peroli on field work, drained of all energy sitting dead tired.
"hey...power couple"
"gils..odiru..semma tired"
"wait..let me put radio for u..songs kettu kushi aaiduveenga" and switches on radio.
"dai gils..thala valikuthu...seria tune pannia ilaya"
"ilapa..ithu shareda oda show..mothama censor panitanga nenakren..verum beep thaan kekuthu"
"machi..nee innum CBCla probationla thaan irukka...confirmation varathukulla kola casela maatipa polarukkay"
Gils hears a roar and turns around to see an red heartin emoticon explode to reveal Shareda..
"Adaii gilss..."

"mister mages..epdirukkel"
"Gils amaidhiya iru"
"amaidhiya iru.."
"naan onumay.."
"amaidhiya iru.."
"adminji...naan innum pesavay ilaye"
"pesarathuku munna thaan amaidhia irukalam..unna pesa vitta nekku no amaidhi..aana oona city city
solluviye ..intha mazhaila enga area affectay aagala theriyuma"
"vaasthavam thaan...MET dept Tamil nadula Chennai, Cuddalore matra areasla thaana mazhai peiyum sonaanga...adutha vaaram thaan Andhra pakkam shift neenga next week readya iruntha podhum"
"Adaiii gils..."

"Avvv....enga ponaalum veratraangapa...midila"
"elo..echooseme..padikka vidungappa...epo paru status poata examku epdi padikarathu"
"yenmaa shreya...text book syllabusa facebookla thedina epdi.."
"Amul baby.."
"Yaaru naana"
"dialog solrapo distrub pannatha. Kotra mazhaila riverku nadula katirukara engineering collegela syllabus mudikama examku araguraia paadam nadathi ozhunga nadathinalay paathi thaan puriyum athilayum konjama padichi bittu adika kooda chapter theriama thattu thadumaari kula saamilenthu
ellai kaaval deivam varai athanai kadavulaiyum vendikittu examku pona..mazhainala cancellednu news poduvan..aduthu epo vaipangalonu daily bayanthu bayanthu padikalama venamanu confuse aagi kozhambi relax panna FB vantha..ingayum adhey kelvia kettu kolluriye.."
"aama...ithelaam intha oorla thaana..unga oorla veyilnu thana sonanga..."
"engineer adhuvum building katra engineerna..intha mathiri VIP dialog solanum"
"raguvarana villainavo herovavo thana pathruka..comediana ilaye...inimay pappa"
"Grrrr... gils..."

"shabba...enga ponalum thorathrangalay.."
"hey gils"
"yaarupa ithu..kural ketta pola iruku..mugamay therila.."
Thupakkai bgm soundoda brags comes out from a cloud of smog.
"Un peru bragsku badila Nero nu vachiralam"
"y gils.."
"Kazhuthalavu thannilayum mookala pogai vittu dham adichu vidhhai kaatrathukaga..vaali padathula vara thaadi balaji mathiri all spare parts
adipattu irunthaalum nee adanga maatia"
"yov...enga pathalum thanni..current illa..relax panna lighta oru dhumm poatta..ivlo bitta adhuku..iru unna
poona kitta maati udren"
"adhu thaan sontha oor poirukay..and atha naan onnumay solaliye"
"sontha oora?"
"ithu podhum...anbe sivam kamal mathiri un moonjia adhu praandama vidathu"
"ada paavi..ithaan poaatu vangaratha...esscaapeeeee"

"pasi usiru poguthu..saapda edachum kedaikuma paapom"
"hey gils"
"yov surprise..enna pannitruka"
"actuala..oru meta physical observation pathi lateralla yosichitrunthen...hey..enga pora"
"venaam..pora usiru patniyalaye pogatum..ithelam purinjikara thraani ila..."
"you know..latesta noodles onnu try pannitruken.."
"ada pavi..momo dimsum nuggets..ipo noodlesa..adanga maatia nee"
"yov..nejmavay noodles thaanpa...pasikuthu sonniye koopta..odipo"
"avvvvv....noodles poche"

"yaarupa adhu"
"naan thaan...inga paaru"
"engentho kural mattum varuthu..aala kaanumay"
"adipada pora..oray areavachaynu paakren"
"nee paakrathu irukatum ma..naan paaka mudilaye..enga irukka"
"un nolla kanna thoranthu nalla paaru"
"hey mila kunis..epdirukka"
"inoru vaati mila kunis sonna moonjilaye kuthuven..pasikuthu soniye..seri..saapda biriyanio pakodavo tharalamnu koopta"
"amma puniavathi..kekarathukkay inimaiya irukku..oru parcel please.."
"veetuku vanthu vaangiko"
"veedu enga iruku?"
"nee nikkara edathula thaan"
"inga poora thannia irukkay..buildingay kaanum"
"ada...konjam water logging aaiduchpa..oru periscope teriutha..athu vazhia thaan pesitruken..apdiye atha pudichitu vanthiru"
"biryani saaptu usiru pona kooda paravala..saapda porathukullaye usir poidum polarukkay...area mate area mate sonnen...areavay yeria irukkayma...avvvvvvvv"
"adaii gils......"

"lighta sudra mathiri irukkay...kotra mazhiala enna fevernu therilaye"
"hey gils"
"vaanga doc sai..nalla vela..kadavulatam vantheenga...lighta juram mathiri iruku"
"adhulaam nee sollakoodathu..naan thaan solven...aama lighta juram mathiri iruku"
"itheye thana naanum sonen...marunthu edachum thaangalen"
"hydrochloric acidla rendu spoon liquid nitrogen kalanthu..."
"docu..stopu. medicine konjam heavy dosage polarukkay"
"oh..lighta podhuma...appo itha vaangi saapdu"
"ithenna rendu maathrai ezhuthirukeenga..onnumay purila"
"yov..mela irukarathu pen ezhuthalanu kirukinathu...rendavatha crocin nu ezhuthiruken paaru..athu vaangi saapdu"

Dedicated to all those wonderful people of CBC (Chennai Bloggers Club) who worked tirelessly in volunteering activities and were a beacon of hope amidst the gloomy rains. Oray edathula ivlo nallavanga onu koodirukarathu is an amazing sight to see. Selfless dedication to those in suffering, risking their own self, every single one of them is an example in being humane.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Review time

Rommmmba seriousa poitrukara postsku nadula, main purposea maranthida koodathu sollitu, kadamai ganniyam kattupaadoada here are the reviews for the deepavali block busters

Vedhalam - This movie and Puli before this one, introduced me to the world of troll memes on the lead actors. OMG!!! Shudders at the amount of venom spewed forth on those pages. I am not entirely convinced that its the blind fanatical support of the fans or just their hatred towards the other actor, but its definitely beyond any of these. Every single act of the actors are defamed in derogatory terms and are rejoiced madly!!! Hope their creative ire can be directed better.

Now to the movie. Even before i could watch it, as like for any major release, social media is abuzz with reviews and majority of them had written off the movie. So my expectation levels were sub zero when i started watching it. I felt it to be a typical masala entertainer which could have been better cooked for a bigger result. Ajith is one of those lucky actor blessed with a larger than life charisma and an army of fans to ensure bonanza of a box office opening. He was the front runner in choosing different scripts from new comer directors and never hesitated to take up challenging roles in the past. But in his last half a dozen movies he alternates between being a don or a policeman with almost same mannerisms and style which has become an overkill several movies back itself. High time he starts to choose his scripts wisely. He looks bloated in the movie and a good workout wouldnt go waste before his next attempt. In this movie, he shows glimpses of what a wicked villain he could be and he is there in almost every single scene. Lakshmi menon, for a sister role, surprisingly has a meaty presence and has gelled well. For a lead actress, she appears to have no inhibitions in taking up this role which could be a potential career changer for her. Shruthi hasan can boast of having been paired with both Vijay and Ajith back to back. But her screen presence is a sum total of ten minutes, both movies put together, doesnt augur well for her. Soori achieves new level of mediocrity in comic timing with each passing movie. Anirudhku Ajith mela enna kovam therila. Marana mokka songs. Uyir nadhi kalanguthay was ok. Aaluma doluma is the worst he has composed ever, considering he has just started his career.

Storywise, its outdated even for MGR era movies. Rowdy has a change of heart, being sentimentally mobbed by Lakshmi menon's family and avenges for the death of her parents. Ashtey story.

Gils verdict: Passable watch for Ajith fans sollalam. Aana ithey thaan last pathu padathukum sollitrukarathala, relegated to mokkai this time.

Thoongavanam - Usuala Kamal copy adichifies english padams and passes them by as his own brilliance. Inthavaati copy adicha kathaiya rights vaangirukomnu he announced before hand. Yet pazhakka doshathula he has put his name as incharge for storyline. Poguthu. Story has a strong base as it revolves around what happens in one night at a single place. Usually, movies made from books, especially fantasises survive solely on the creative inputs of the director and art department, good examples being the Potter series and LOTR. They made full use of their liberty to create a world from words. Probably the only cases where the movies were one up on the books. Thoongavanam, to me, sounds more like a movie that craves to be a novel. The theatrical version seems to be bound by constraints on characterisation and like many other previous Kamal movies like Hey Ram, Mumbai Express, Anbe Sivam and Uthama villain being the latest addition, which would've made excellent paper backs, this movie could well have been that. Not sure if the original French version was adapted from any book though.

Now to the story. An undercover narcotic cop, tries to steal a drug delivery, to trap his colleague, only to end up having his son kidnapped by the supposedly recipient of that drug delivery. How he saves his kid, brings to book the wrong doers on both sides of the law, overnight forms the story. Kamal has one fight, one song (in the end), screen share throughout the movie run time and two lip lock scenes with a lady lead brought in for that purpose alone. Trisha beats Kamal, gets beaten by Kamal, chases Kamal, gets chased by villain and finally becomes his partner in solving crime. Prakash Raj dons both the comic hat on top of being villain and excels in both. Sampath, supposedly the main villain has a sum total of ten seconds of screen space. Yugi sethu dies before he could count the number of scenes involving him in one hand. Papanasam villi inspector comes as Kamal's wife and stakes claim for having the shortest scene space. The boy who acts as Kamal's kid has the second biggest scene space and reminds of Nayagan junior Kamal. Connexion's Jegan's pure unadulterated villain character is the only role without multiple shades.

Maybe to synch with the theme, the entire setup is shot in dark and it starts to pain the eye towards closure. There is no edge of seat thrill scenes to hook the viewer to the story. There are no twists or turns to engage the audience as the story moves on expected lines. Considering that the trailer was so interestingly edited, sad that the movie doesnt do justice to the expectation.

Gils verdict : My bet is this movie may not work out for tv watch. One ad break is all it takes to shift attention. A very ordinary work from a man who used to have a penchant for picking the right scripts from Hollywood. Maybe the lack of effort in tweaking the storyline with thrills shows and has taken its toll.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

From Third world's war to World war III - final part

Any or all of these questions can form a nice movie script for conspiracy buffs. But this is the very sad fact that is going to lead us to war.This apathy towards whatever that happens in Kashmir, stays in Kashmir is what, that has the potential to severe the very thread that unites this great country. Else news channels wouldnt be covering Sheena Bora's death when millions are stranded on the southern end due to never before seen floods. Its this apathy towards major happenings on anything remotely south or north east that is going to bring down the concept of one nation. Its this seriousness with which they enquire every single sneeze or fart of a person sitting on parliament and the callousness towards farmers committing suicide, without bothering to understand how come so many kill themselves despite the world's biggest write off on farmer's loans is going to bring the downfall. Its this silly attitude of asking for the caste and religion of a victim before deciding on the amount of coverage that is going to divide the nation. Its this sheer criminalization of news media, that completely ignores corporations covertly exploiting natural resources from coal to water, just for the sake of patronage while appreciating the same as a movie scene is what is going to lead this country into dark ages.

Replace India and respective places with any country or place across the globe under going war on terror, you will have your answer. End of the day, there is only one agenda for terrorists. Its to spread terror. Whether to promote their religion or propagate their culture or to conquer more areas or towards global supremacy and be it via bombing holy places, shooting innocent civilians, building artificial islands or cultural inquisition via media, whatever the classification may be, whatever their mode and means may be, its all one and the same. Maybe some countries and localities are ill suited for democracy. Democracy is not the one solution that fits all, China being a glorified example for that. (It might be proven even more forcibly when communism makes way for democracy in China and when it splits the nation into numerous factions.) Growth and development are those changes that spares none. No country can remain in isolation in the globalization era. The pain or joy suffered by one will obviously be felt across and it would be that one domino which would be having never ending effect on us all.

What is chronologically going to be the third is going to be the first war of the worlds. But unlike the previous two, this one would fought over nothing. There wouldn't be any justification, for that matter no war is justifiable, as to the exact trigger for it, for the root cause of it lies in the silent minds and grey hearts of all of us, who despite having the power, chose to remain silent to the sufferings of fellow beings. For we are those who fail to understand our next door neighbour, leave alone sparing effort to understand fellow human being suffering on a far off country.

Can it be avoided? YES. A resounding YES.
How to avoid it? Very simple. The answer has been revealed ages before. Do unto others as others would do unto you. Love thy neighbour. Lets rejoice the happiness of every human as ourselves. Lets rejoice the records of every human as ourselves. Lets shed tears for the sadness of every human as ourselves. We get thrilled watching a Jamaican blast off the track, we celebrate an Australian rule the pool, we adore a South African master the bowlers world over, we applaud an American movie for their craft, we are avowed by the scientific acumen of an European, we get awestruck by the tenacity of Indian. Never doing any of these occasions do we query about their religion or color or caste or nationality. The pride of them being a fellow human who have achieved a bit more of their potential in their field is the single uniting reason that binds all. If we can take part in their happiness, why not their sorrow. Lets condole, condemn and cry for every single human life. Bullets are mere balls of lead which doesn't differentiate. But the finger that presses the trigger is tied to a human heart which surely can.

From a newbie dad who is scared for the world his son going to face.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

From Third world's war to World war III - part 2

It all traces back to the myth that having scrapped the rest of the world off their resources and pride, the western world has created an image of a safe haven about themselves where roads are paved with gold and peace and prosperity is birth right of its citizens. That they care so much about their citizens that every single loss of life is condoled world wide, raises goosebumps and becomes symbol of something to follow world over is something that restores faith in humanity time and again. But why such price tag of protection applies only to its own citizens and not to humans in general? why is that every single life of a being born on their land is much superior than one born else where? Its the answers to these questions that are growing in to the Hydra of terrorism which is raising its wicked heads back at its creators spewing venom. Again the victims are no one else but common men who have no say over the policy decision on their law makers. Surprisingly neither the elected governments that declare war nor the terrorists swipe at each other. They are united in their approach of targeting civilians who have to bore the brunt of the misdeeds of their makers.

Wonder if the classification of Asian and African continent as third world had anything to do with these wars. Western world being so  self centred, no wonder they considered these two continents as "third" world, for these were the very people who once thought sun revolved round the earth, when the so called third world-ers were busy calculating the weight of earth to speed of light. If one has to explain the two world wars in 7 words it would be Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Lust for new lands, Envy over other sects prosperity, Pride over one's superiority, Greed for more wealth and Wrath of regional fiefdoms were major contributors for both the wars combined. If at all the 3rd one happens, which many have been predicting for lot many years in all "earnest", it could be due to the 8th deadly and deadliest of sins - Apathy.

The biggest weapon Americans and Europeans hold are not the sum total of all their nukes and cruise missiles, but their vice like grip on international media. Whether one has to know what happens in their nation or any country on the planet, we have to depend on them as the only source. I fail to imagine how in the world they convince social media, which i believe will be the true representative of facts based on merciless dissection of the very same facts, to dance to their tunes!! While any attacks on the western world are protested with memes and toons and comments ranging from caustic to sarcastic to outright hyper being posted to discoloring of profiles in support, several times severe atrocities elsewhere are received without even a bate of an eyelid. What have all those sanctions achieved that the very government has decided to enter into a new deal with the same people who were painted villains. Have those people who were stoned to death for wearing modern clothes stopped complaining or the pelter's have run short of stones? Have those who are hanged without trial been given their justice or has the laws changed? Have all those hatred spewing venomous group that pour rockets on their neighours been clamped tight or have they turned a new leaf? NEITHER is the answer. No one actually understands why so many refugees are staking their life in scrambling towards an unknown nation while some of their own countrymen are up in arms against their very government.

So whom do you support in this case - the tyrant who gives his ascent towards killing his own citizens or the stray groups who take up arms against him? Surprisingly both have their backers. For every bullet fired, every bomb that burst, every mask that they wear, where do those militants get the money to buy them? Its so simple a strategy that if you stop the hand that feeds the devil and you need not worry about prayer. Yet its not as simple as it sounds. I, for one, feel home sick, if i stay long in office in my own city!! Imagine the plight of those millions who have to leave behind their life's possessions and scramble for safety in unknown lands only to be branded as refugees and treated like stray animals. Why are they there in first place? why the major nations are falling over themselves in accepting more of the displaced people? is it to wash away the very sin that they were responsible for the plight?

When i read the above para again, i myself realize that my mind has been polarized into trivializing such activities on the other side of the hemisphere, which is the very reason i want to protest in this post. When will the all encompassing media start to project their ire against perpetrators of terror without assigning any tag - be it in the form of religion or region. Again i revert to India for example as this great country can be that sample set for any situation for the entire world to observe and follow. If i consider Kashmir as the case point from media perspective, unless they have no other news to cover which can either trivialize the government or be a blatant violation of privacy of any public individual or any sports related controversy, very rarely does the real picture of the happenings on the valley are shared to the general public. Not a day passes where our jawans loose their limbs or life and the occurrences are so regular that they don't even merit a sidebar along side the numerous ads that cover the tv news screen. Why are they getting killed? for whom are they dying? who are they fighting? what are those guys against whom they fight, fight for? what is their real struggle? are they seditionists as portrayed by government after government? are they invaders in proxy from across the border? are they disgruntled civilian vigilantes who over grew their role? are they part of some devious design to contain our country? from where do they get funds? who is the sponsor? why can't those accounts be frozen? why no one paints their profile for every single life that is lost there? why no one bombs any hideouts or targets and flush out the killers? why do those killers are given glorified coverage and all legal rights reserved for civilians even after capture? why does the media project them as heroes in the name of alternate view point ? is it because they are part of a mother organization/nation that strives to see us down?

Rants still more to come..

Saturday, November 21, 2015

From Third world's war to World war III - part 1

My prediction is, WW III will be more like a rehash of WW I.

Imperialists brought in mirrors and Bible in exchange for gold and land and that triggered the dog fight of WW I. Replace that with Democracy and we've the recipe for WW III ready. The sequence of any recent war goes like this - There will be a corrupt democratic government, ruling over a land flush with oil, with the people of those countries who couldn't care less for who ruled them as long as they don't get into their rulers blacklist. The government would soon be over thrown by a military coup or an army strongman with western backing. He would get all support to let leash his tyranny on his own folks with the blessings of the biggies.  By the time the people of the country come to terms with the new order, one fine day, the tyrant would wake up to mess up with the business leaders from the biggies which would cause them to suddenly realize the absence of the very same democracy that they over threw. Since the puppet tries to do its own choreo they would want to cut strings and stitch a new doll. And more importantly their defence sector would be itching for a real time scenario to show case their new weaponry. Mix it all and presto.. you got your own custom made invasion. Once their mission of doll replacement is accomplished, the biggies unanimously confer that the livelihood of those very people whom they bombed to death have been liberated and would claim victory for democracy and more self pats and hi-fi's. All the while the poor country men, who would've been royally pissed off would decide to avenge and would fall into the trap of the second set of tyrants awaiting to overthrow the new puppet government. Replace with appropriate country name at the right places, you would cover all the wars fought in last 8 decades.

Wonder if the classification of Asian and African continent as third world had anything to do with these wars. Western world being so  self centred, no wonder they considered these two continents as "third" world, for these were the very people who once thought sun revolved round the earth, when the so called third world-ers were busy calculating the weight of earth to speed of light. If one has to explain the two world wars in 7 words it would be Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy, Pride. Lust for new lands, Envy over other sects prosperity, Pride over one's superiority, Greed for more wealth and Wrath of regional fiefdoms were major contributors for both the wars combined. If at all the 3rd one happens, which many have been predicting for lot many years in all "earnest", it could be due to the 8th deadly and deadliest of sins - Apathy.

The biggest weapon Americans and Europeans hold are not the sum total of all their nukes and cruise missiles, but their vice like grip on international media. Whether one has to know what happens in their nation or any country on the planet, we have to depend on them as the only source. I fail to imagine how in the world they convince social media, which i believe will be the true representative of facts based on merciless dissection of the very same facts, to dance to their tunes!! While any attacks on the western world are protested with memes and toons and comments ranging from caustic to sarcastic to outright hyper being posted to discoloring of profiles in support, several times severe atrocities elsewhere are received without even a bate of an eyelid. What have all those sanctions achieved that the very government has decided to enter into a new deal with the same people who were painted villains. Have those people who were stoned to death for wearing modern clothes stopped complaining or the pelter's have run short of stones? Have those who are hanged without trial been given their justice or has the laws changed? Have all those hatred spewing venomous group that pour rockets on their neighours been clamped tight or have they turned a new leaf? NEITHER is the answer. No one actually understands why so many refugees are staking their life in scrambling towards an unknown nation while some of their own countrymen are up in arms against their very government.

So whom do you support in this case - the tyrant who gives his ascent towards killing his own citizens or the stray groups who take up arms against him? Surprisingly both have their backers. For every bullet fired, every bomb that burst, every mask that they wear, where do those militants get the money to buy them? Its so simple a strategy that if you stop the hand that feeds the devil and you need not worry about prayer. Yet its not as simple as it sounds. I, for one, feel home sick, if i stay long in office in my own city!! Imagine the plight of those millions who have to leave behind their life's possessions and scramble for safety in unknown lands only to be branded as refugees and treated like stray animals. Why are they there in first place? why the major nations are falling over themselves in accepting more of the displaced people? is it to wash away the very sin that they were responsible for the plight? Is it to cover the fact that the very evil that they vow to defeat are funded and armed by them? Are the very explosives that they threw and grew which led to citizens becoming refugees any way saintly than the very same that the terrorists threw back at them? Why the disparity in killings? why the partiality towards human life? Why don't people world over condemn any and every single death that is due to needless causes like these?

Rants to be continued..

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tracking a leader

A recent hot topic of a debate that raged in one of the FB pages that i follow is the seed for this post.
There were serious arguments supporting and opposing our first prime minister, who to me has always been a riddle wrapped in a mystery incensed with enigma. Majority of his political decisions are baffling at best with obvious help of hindsight. His decision on Kashmir and dealing with China are still haunting the nation and are Yet, that he was accepted as one of the leading statesman of the world at his prime and time was unquestionable. The NAM movement pioneered by him resulted in dictatorship in almost every major country that participated. Even he for one never relinquished his post till his death bed and sowed the seeds of dynastic politics in Post Independence Indian politics. The fore mentioned deed probably attributed to his own heritage having been connected to the throne of Delhi that stretches back to his grandfather's time. Him along with Gandhi muddled the concept of secularism to such extent that its claiming thousands of life every passing year. His scandalous affairs were an open secret and his efforts to get his son-in-law's name changed to reflect the popular surname of the nation have all been well documented. His efforts to sideline Patel and Netaji are known by heart by the right wing parties and all those spy files would've added much more fuel to this conspiracy in two months time.

Nehru has been truly revered by many as the one who laid the foundation for infrastructure in India. Arguably the forefather of "Make in India" initiatives with foreign collaborations on major dams, steel plants and many other industries. How much ever one argues against the vile definition of it, the much refined template of Indian secularism is here to stay and would probably set the tone for a representative democracy to the entire world in coming years. More than anything, an appreciative and co-operative media where his biggest strengths. A country just coming to terms with its independence, having already suffered numerous bloodshed, needed positivity and probably that may be the core reason why people were blind sided. He also enjoyed immense popularity as the designated second in command to Gandhi and had a charisma to die for. Being a superb orator he held his sway over the masses who weren't yet be polluted by the information bombardment of the current era.

Was Nehru a leader - without a doubt. Was he a good leader? That has been the raging debate off late. How do you define a person as good when he was an alleged womaniser, chain smoker, alcoholic, self centred, greedy for power yet successfully lead a new born nation in its tumultuous times through its troubled teens to his extent possible and carved a name for himself in the world arena as a leader and statesman. Where would had we been had we had Patel instead of Nehru? or Netaji for that matter? Why should the personal life and preferences of a person cause a hindrance to him being a leader? If Kennedy and Clinton can lead America to a new era despite their personal flaws why can't Nehru be given that slack? Again if one had to really opt for a personally flawless person as a replacement for Nehru then Vinoba Bhave would've been the only other choice. Personally and spiritually he would've worked wonders. But would he have had the political acumen to represent India?

We've this long standing habit of assuming super human powers for whoever we choose as our icons. We expect Sachin to become a superstar politician just because he is good in cricker. We expect Rajini to save the state just like how he does in his movies just because his movies are blockbusters.

We expect our politicos to be expert on everything under the sky and wish for interesting (read controversial) sound bites every time a mike is thrown in front of them. There is no harm or foul in the design to become a leader. The fault is in our expectations.

Friday, November 13, 2015

From Imperfect past to I'm perfect present

Not a day passes by without any uproar over some or other controversy stirred by the right wingers and the far left. The latest fad being "Tipu sultan". People who cry foul over the state government's patronage towards pushing Tipu centenary to the very day when he massacred an entire village over suspected attempts to overthrow his government must voice out the reason why they were silent all this while? Or had they been regularly vociferous but the media is selectively highlighting the issue now to stir the country against the elected government? In either case, its a blatant abuse of playing with people's emotions.

Coming back to the Tipu issue.

Not just Tipu, any Indian king for that matter, have always been painted as a picture of benevolence. As much as their arts and cultural deeds were glossed over and their victories cherished, their war acts were mere one liners which never spoke of the cruelties inflicted on the opposing forces and the struggles faced by the losers. Especially when it comes to Mughals, our historians or custodians of school syllabus, conveniently hide the atrocities committed by them on Hindus and skip the acts of forcible conversions and genocides committed in the name of religion. I would definitely not want to scar the minds of kids with gore and barbaric deeds of erstwhile kingdoms. At the same time, the current crop of politicos, who cunningly choose to give a secular paint to such despots in the name of appeasing minorities, are those who scare me and the future of this country. Tipu might've really killed all those people on the day of Deepavali which those villagers, even after so many generations are still observing as a day of immense sadness. (Someone had interestingly linked the current CM as one amongst the descendants at the hope of pouring more fuel to the raging fire. It's definitely not the best of times for CM's and other leaders belonging to majority class for every single step of their life is under immense scrutiny) If i am not wrong, so did he kill a church full of christians in Mangalore (?) including so many women that it finally led to his defeat at the hands of British.

Few things about all these issues stump me.

- As much as Mughals are tagged as muslims, i've never heard anyone tagging Britishers as Christians!! May be its just brewing steady and is awaiting an outbreak or since the vast majority of Americas and Europe, who control what the world needs to trade, fight,read and understand follow Christianity, its under wraps to prevent their wrath?

- If Tipu can be vilified for  his act of violence, how about the Chalukyas who destroyed Pallava monuments? Cholas who killed Cheras and Pandyas who lead proxy war against Cholas? So each descendant of every clan can claim apology from other?

- Forget about the religions that entered India via invasions. What about the scores of people who were killed over war between our own gods. Those numerous battles fought in the name of spreading Saiva, Vaishnava and converting-re converting emperors from Baudhdham and Jainism, if we track back every single instance in history favouring one king, there is always a case of extremist action by the very same against our very own.

This phenomena of tracing back historical events and claiming refuge over foul play to our ancestors by someone's forefathers is not restricted to India alone. Imagine the poor native Americans who once were spread all over the continent and are now relegated to few square miles of confined settlements. Imagine the response from current creed of Americans over any outcry by the natives over atrocities committed during Trail of tears and other cruel acts which are not just well documented but are the very definition of genocide, going by the standards of any era. Imagine the outcry by the natives over Universities decision to swap mascots that represent their heritage. The situation is still the same. Can the present be held accountable for the deeds/misdeeds of their fore fathers? Logic might favour in concurrence for if they can enjoy the benefits from the past why not the burden of their sins?

World over, the concept of policing has taken a huge beating and has come under such immense scrutiny like never before. Even drug lords and murderous Mafia are spared and are some time even deified by the media, but not the law enforcers. If in India, a cop has to decide on the news of arrest based on the religion of the suspect and at times on the locality, its the colour and race, for an American cop that forms the crucial determinant. In its TRP frenzy, the media has created an environ where cops are afraid to arrest, criminals are not afraid of committing crimes, while the general public are afraid of both the police and the rowdies, with media holding sway over everyone.
History has always and will continue to remain the version of the victors with good media clout. Those kings who had talented artisans who can write good literature had the benefit of their valour spread across eras as against those whoever bereft of such talents. Replace those poets and sculptors with present day media the situation remains the same. But the winners change and keep changing. If there is one thing that is forever prone to change that would be history, as no winner survive forever. But the via media survives. Its that snake which keeps pushing the forbidden fruit to people, tricking them into make believes.

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. The greatest evil that we would let upon us would be convincing ourselves that our version of history will stand the test of time and its worth to spill innocent blood over it.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

To meet and part - the "HP" way of life

They've done it again. The high lords of HP have decided to split the company in two and the divorce has reached an amicable(??) situation. I've most of my fondest memories of my career and personal life in HP, a place where I've spent more than half of my small career. From what I've observed the company as an employee and also as an eager follower, the management, irrespective of the so many chopping and changing at the top level, always favour the "7 stones" games approach, when it comes to structuring the company. They go on a shopping spree of purchasing every company in their sight only to de-cluster based on the whims and fancy of the Lordship (wo)manning the board.

When i joined, they were on the cusp of completing probably the most controversial and criticized deal of the industry - the ill famed HP-COMPAQ merger. Co-incidentally my first project was around the AGILENT spin off from HP. I've no inputs to offer on debate of whether it was a success are not. But what was fascinating was that, at the time of merger, COMPAQ was already pregnant with so many other buy-outs. They had acquired Digital Corp.. and were a sizeable population to say the least. Since our (HP) applications had to be overhauled to accommodate erstwhile COMPAQians, all those projects that swarmed over us where the corporate equivalent of the happenings post the fall of Berlin wall. Such was the appetite for acquisition that they went on to buy 3COM, Palm and 3PAR all three in a relatively short span. The running joke was except for IBM, everything else would be @HP (@HP being the name of the HP intranet). While the hullabaloo over the merger was subsiding, came the next big thing - EDS acquisition. Needless to say, EDS had its harem full at the time of merger with Mphasis (who will go on to have a forever on-off relation with the parent company) which had already acquired TATA AIG for a princely deal. Within matter of two mergers the employee population swelled to an all time high of 300 K people!!!

Now that the Good Meg is steering the ship, HP is trying to rewind the clock with its recent split into HP enterprises and HP inc. The 100 billion dollar behemoth is "mitosis"ing into two entities and should hopefully stop at that. In all probability, they are setting the deck up for grabs by some money bags who are out to reset the corporate monopoly (if you read Larry in between the words your Oracle couldn't be far from truth).

What does all this buying and selling does for an end customer? Does his printer still works decently? does the tech support and post sales support fix all the product glitches on time? does the news of new product features and benefits of any discount reach them early? does the pre-sales team of the combined erstwhile competitors work well in unison? Will they manage synergy, having been at each others throat for better part of their careers, shouting hoarse about how one product is better over the other? End of it all, as a customer do they really have a choice? Do companies innovate more when independent ? Can a really good merger be that one balm that soothes all by incorporating the best of both features and still be a reliable product? Almost no merger starts green on the balance sheet and takes time to shed red. After scrapping all those hundreds and thousands of man hours spent on data conversions and business process re-engineering's and corporate system make overs and implementing zillions of solutions, to think that its all nothing more than a mere change in number on the share value, can't help but wonder if its all really worth moving the company out from the garage at all.

From "Management by Objectives" to "Management by wandering around" the HP way has seen it all. It may not have been an express way to super profitdom. But sure has won the hearts of many an employee who are still proud to have been associated with that great company.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Destiny's child

As the phone kept ringing again, without any answer, i was praying for two things - firstly for someone to pick the phone and second for that person to be her.

As i was about to cut the call, it got picked and to my joy it was her.

"Heyyy..finally you lazy bones managed to attend the call"

"Lazy bones who? one who hasn't called for months or the one who have to eat extra course of medicines just to boost up her energy for this useless phone talk"

"Ok..i am hanging up. bye"

"Stop your nautanki...ok. whats are things your end"

"Nothing much..but for...yeah..we had a baby boy"

"Aahaa..ok mister modest..just because i can't kill you dont take that as an advantage. I am halfway through to the process of ghosthood and you are right on top of the "to be haunted list"..hahaha"

After listening to my troubled silence..she continued "you are still so dumb when it comes to celebrations, arent you?  Better take a course on how to celebrate happiness. Congratulations by the way. When was he born. Whom does he resemble? Should i word out the questions or will your royal highness answer on your own?"

I quickly filled her with the details amidst her constant interruptions and giggling at the antics of the new born and at the troubles faced by us, the new parents. She then started her version of  "parenthood 101" for beginners.

"Ok..enough gyan for me..tell me how is you" i asked.

"What about me..i am fine..can't you make out from my voice. For a person who underwent chemo last week, my voice is still stronger than you...hahaha"

"Right..we should nominate you for Miss Loud mouth contest. Chemo is no match for all those kheemas you have devoured. I guess after Mohanjodaro and Harappa..your head must've been the most dugged up site in the sub continent. What are those docs saying? where they able to unearth anything at all?"

"Nope..guess the tumour is stuck with FeviQuick. Its not budging for all their cutting and chopping"

"Probably you should be shifted from hospital to Archaeology. Those guys are good at excavating age old stuff and considering that dinosaurs where your classmates, to them you would be golden"

"Shut are several millennia elder to me. I consider my treatment as my contribution to medicine field"

"To me it looks more like contribution to that hospital. Apparently they opened a new block after you started going there"

"Nonsense. Every time they operate, the chief doctor brings in a room full of interns and teach them. Unlike some worthless people who but blade over phone, i am even valuable while being sick"

"Probably its your pea sized brain that they are thinking as tumour? Maybe that's why its not budging out i guess"

"Very funny. Tell me, when i didn't pick the call last time, what were you thinking. Where you thinking i was dead? I wish i could see your face then..hahaha. Don't worry..before dying i would definitely inform you or at least update my status in Face Book. But i should appreciate you for one thing. Despite that lingering still call. Pretty brave i should say. Almost all of my friends have stopped calling me. Probably they too, like my doctors, dint expect me to survive this long. Or maybe they simply forgot. When i fail to recognize people at least i've a reason. With so much digging around at times these idiots cut off some memory cables. Wonder what would their reasons be?"

"hmmm..honestly i don't think you are going to liberate us that easily. I am waiting for that day when you come up in all white to office, stand before our Boss, with one hand extended and asking in gravelly voice "give me my job back..give me my job back"..probably your normal voice and attire would do..that would be as deadly.. no special effects needed. I am sure he would faint"

"hahaha..shut up. my voice is not that bad ok"

"Sure..second only to clawing on glasses"

"I am hanging up now"

" do you kill time otherwise?"

"I read classic novels and watch drama series....i mean..if i am not puking or falling unconscious or not getting operated or under chemo..yadda yadda yadda"

"So Seinfeld is there in the list is it..niceeee"

"Of all the things that i heard only that Yadda of selective hearing..duh.."

"hehehe....see if one gets operated for first would be scary and second time people might fret ..but for you its as frequent as India Srilanka ODI's. By now those docs must be knowing the terrain of your head blindfolded. Hey..send me pics of your head..Head shots literally..i want to compare it with the contours of the moon"

" just moved to the top slot on haunted list"

"Who were there before me?"

"Those idiots who are trying to cure me of course. They are learning medicine on my money and on me.."

There was a strained silence for some seconds.

"You know..i often want to thank you for calling and for all your stupid jokes. Though they are not funny at all..considering the alternatives in an-ever-crying mom out-crying mega serial heroines and never speaking dad with a forever sad looking face.. and for the main fact that to encourage you to try harder and do better i do manage a laugh..hehehe"

"Great..with your sense of should probably audition to replace comedy nights show"

"Thank you"

"Shut up"

" i've a found a way to irritate you. Thank you..Thank you..Thank you.."

" are a pest know"

"Of course i know..and thank you once again for managing to try to keep up with me"

"So when are you sending me the pics"

"What pics"

"Your head shots"

"Forget it..send me your baby's snaps na..please"

"I already Whatsapped you lazybones. Check it"

"hmm...ok..time for meds..been such a long time since i anyone for that matter..."

"why..why dont u come online"

" dad cut the internet connection after he found me googling about tumours and getting depressed"

"Dont ever try that..even for me who is fit as a bull..if i read about any disease and its symptoms..everything seems to fit ..all the time for all the diseases!!"

"They may actually be true..hehee"

"Verryy funny"

"Ok..before people pluck the phone from me i better hang up. Got another round of interesting chemo sessions coming up next week" Suddenly in a serious tone she asked "You will pray for me..right"

"What nons..of course. You know"

" you"


" dont get all senti on me..hey..whether u like it or not do call once in a while..its something that i feel worth looking forward too, at times when i feel like giving dont start your baashan and screw up my mood. Go do some work now..bye bye"


For one who wanted to bring smile to her, i hung up the phone with a smile. That was her speciality. As always.

"BEEP" cried the phone highlighting "1 Message" received as status.

It was from her. "Check your mail"

On my Inbox was a mail carrying a surprise gift from
Stylori , the latest fad on designer jewellery. While we were talking she had silently selected a gift for my child. It was a beautiful  Flaming Flower pendant. She had signed off with a caption " From one Flaming flower to another".

Whenever the call to her goes unanswered, an unwelcome dread makes a repeat visit all over me. Even when she musters strength to answer the call, i feel sorry for troubling her, yet with that being the only source to communicate, i have no other option. Sometime, when i muster enough courage, i do hope i can meet her in person. And as much as i procrastinate on the journey, i just pray that there is still more time available with her, for her.

Dedicated to that brave little girl who has been fighting it out against all odds and prophecies by the learned medical masters of Neurology. The iron willed girl she is, I know for sure that someday she would be back on her feet and at her sprightly ambitious best. Pretty soon, if not any early. And my prayers for that.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

To skill a mocking bird

"Ars longa, Vita brevis" could soon be replaced by "Project longa, Tech brevis"!! for the rate at which newer techs are identified, they far out speed the life span of existing trends. With the IT industry in itself being autosarcophagic in nature, it forces the issue rather than wait for action to be taken. Due to this fickle nature of the industry, re-skilling resources, becomes a necessary evil which has to be given its due. Necessary - to meet the need of the hour. Evil - will try to explain why.

Unlike educational institutions that have the luxury of a specified syllabus, which probably could be the root cause of the issue faced by the industry, learning programs in corporate organizations are more driven by market strategies, need of the hour requirements and at the core of all - Budget.

Every year sectoral giants strengthen their employee base by recruiting entire batches of final year college students. The reasoning could be manifold from staffing for upcoming projects to marginal optimization. And obviously such precious "raw materials" need proper polishing before they can shine in their career. Its been a pretty long pipe dream that the college syllabus has to prepare industry specific and readily deployable resources and that might help them to kick start their career being productive from day one. I often wonder, when its been decided that a particular company wants to recruit students in droves, why not them decide what they need to study which could save so much cost for the company at the same time, assuring job for the students. Understand this is a controversial thought process. But guess couldnt be far off from reality.

As much as one can understand their drive behind skilling fresh resources, a not so fastidious approach towards mid level experienced employees is the concern behind this post. Every organization worth its salt, has a training program, lump sum amount as training budget and even boasts about the same in their RFP's and sales pitches. Yet, the ground reality couldn't be far different. The two basic questions of "when" to train and on "what" to train are often in conflict with each other. With targets of 100% utilization and 100% billability becoming industry norms, how does one scope in time for training? Valid to question, why to pick a person already employed on a project to be trained. "Strategic reserves", "Resource pool" or simply put as "bench", whichever way it was, the concept of having trained back fills have long disappeared. People are expected to be utilized 100%, be billable (read profitable to company) 100% yet still have to get trained on technology and trends that can't be coached outside but only available as on the job training.

Wonder what would be the level of motivation or interest for a resource for taking up a new trend, under threat of being billable. It impacts not just the quality of their  deliverables but also restricts them to the specifics of the project. Very rarely do people get to explore at least 10% of all the options available on a product completely, before jumping onto a new one.
With product companies forever under pressure, in their race against time to deliver newer versions to outdo their nearest rival, their clients having been made to toe the line due to lack of tech support or to avoid legal wrangles, more often than not, a good stable product which could've very well sustained their business model go waste unused.

Few suggestions to mend this bend -

Corporates can look for tie-ups with universities for teaching specific courses that would prepare their resource pool even before them joining the company, without the concept of having multi year bonds. Ethical torch bearers, please bear with my suggestion. As much as you hate to believe it, education has long become the mode for earning money than for imparting knowledge. Those hand few who want to push their learning beyond monetary means are anyway still going to do it and with a monetary incentive it could be a win-win.

Trainings to be conducted ONLY by those having hands-on experience so that the discussions could be centred around what works for them and what doesnt. Any major product company worth its salt, from Oracle to IBM to new entrants like WORKDAY, they've a standard set of course syllabus which is bland to put it least. With their vast database of product fixes and bugs, they may want to try to use their training sessions to breed new suggestions. It provides a whole new direction to their RnD.

We've more than 7 billion people on this planet. And in this so called internet age, more than half that population havent even come across a computer, leave alone the internet. Rather than spending billions in cramming up more into the chips and releasing "for-the-sake" versions replacing start buttons, may be the software giants can think of making their product reachable to the masses in their native languages. Multi language capability just doesnt stop with translating buttons and labels alone. It needs a cultural background approach and that might probably make the product more usable and comprehensive.

Every organization must've a humanities training/course in their learning calendar. Majority of the user issues and queries can be addressed better if the support personnel understand the background and reason behind the query and empathize with the client rather than treating it as a puzzle to crack. Understanding and accepting the cultural differences could help this in a big way is my belief.

To summarize, i feel we are repainting the same wall in the name of new technologies and newer products. Its high time we took stock of what we've and how to put it to better use.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The startup conundrum

I firmly believe that, for a stable, simple and strong process, which can easily reach people and be used by them, mobile or the digital version is the only way. For we have proof of more than half a century of  "manual" governance that has failed to live up to the expectation of empowering the masses. The real empowering people can only happen with knowledge about their rights and simpler processes to safeguard and utilize the same. What better way than making use of the current start-up boom alongside the push for digital drive and smarter cities.

With so many start-ups shooting up every single day, one would be tempted to wonder that the above thought process would become a reality pretty soon. But a quick look at the list of start-ups registered till date for this year at least throws a totally different picture. Of about 59 of them listed in  retail shopping, paying utility bills and loans are the only areas which are targeted. Obviously success stories like snap deal, flip kart have clearly set the tone for other ideas mushrooming around the same concept. This post is not an attempt at ridiculing these attempts. Entrepreneurship at any level or domain should be respected and encouraged unabashedly. But with a whole ocean of areas lying untouched neither by digital options nor otherwise, it makes an even more better business opportunity to move away from the crowded retail and payment scape.

With several 100,000 cases pending in our courts, any solution towards fast tracking the legal system could prove to be a boon for everyone. Civil law structure, trapped in complex language which can be understood and handled only by lawyers of eminence, if it can be broken down into simple language and made easily available in app format, it could kick start turn around time in our legal system.
Saw an episode on a talk show on the plight of women workers in unorganized sectors. It was a tear jerker to say the least. As compared against the never satisfying amount of salary that the lucky few chase , it was startling and shameful at the same time as to how much each of those women earn and still manage to have an honest to god livelihood in the very own "it has become so costly nowadays" metro just like others. Surprisingly there are schemes and scores of benefits for the upliftment of such women work force which not so surprisingly even the social activist who was called upon as a chief guest was not completely aware of. If there is a mechanism, an app or call it whatever, by which these info can be at their finger tips, well..we dont have to raise our finger for their support. With that knowledge those iron ladies will take care of themselves.

Will there, ever be a start up, solely for the purpose of empowering people? Funding it will be the truest of angel funding and we can then really call ourselves grown-up from that point onwards.