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Showing posts from 2017

Zubeida

For a series that I started with ARR, co-incidentally, ending with his album, Z la vera topic thedrathuku somberithanam apart. Somehow I felt, this is one album of ARR that never got its due. I don’t find people singing this movie songs on any reality show or even mentioning it in their favorites. May be because its not his best or may be not technically upto their mark, that I will never know. But I love all the songs in this movie. “Dheeme Dheeme” song might have been slightly lucky as compared to other songs from the movie as it got mentioned on top ten songs for a while. My favorite are “Meheki Meheki raahen” where Udit Narayan would’ve oodu katti adichified and “Dhoor kahin aam ki bagiyaan” which will literally lull you to sleep. Another chirpy song would be “Mehndi hai rachnewali” with Alka yagnik at her peak. I remember one FilmFare award when all five songs under nomination catergory where hers. “Sogaye hain dil ki afsaane” is all sad and melancholy while “Mein albeli” is what…

You’ve got mail

I am a big time Tom Hanks fan. I used to treasure a 7 DVD set of his top movies and would’ve watched all those movies till the CD’s being to glow in rainbow colors. It had Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve got mail, Castaway, Terminal, Saving Private Ryan, Catch me if you can and of course, Forrest Gump. I often compare how certain Hollywood actors resemble Indian actors. To me Tom Hanks and Aamir Khan, Cameron Diaz and Trisha, Drew Barrymore and Jothika (who I felt aped Meg Ryan a lot for her mannerisms) are dead ringers of each other. Coming back to the movie, the hit combo of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks would’ve spelled their charm in every single scene in the movie. Especially Meg with her cute mannerisms, jumping around like a kid in her pajamas, with her wrinkly cutish smile and boy cut, rolling her eyes at everything, sneaking away to check her mail.. you can wrap her on a cone and eat her yum. Even the name of Meg’s bookstore is cute “Shop around the corner”. Enter Tom Hanks as Mr.Fox a…

X and X0

What is the difference between X and X0.

Well, it could very well decide how many marks you will get for a 10 mark question on a theorem. The famed letter “X”. Without this letter, I guess Algebra wouldn’t be half as fun or even exist for that matter. There could be every single alphabet that can be used as an alternate variable representation. But none has that “X” factor as ..well x itself. Any polynomial equation of any degree, feels inadequate or incomplete without X in it. I for one is a socialist when it comes to literally anything. I often used to replace variables as per my whims and fancy and after a while would lose track of which is used for what and would end up scratching every line off and restarting from the top. It so happened during my UG days that on a complex analysis paper, my professor had put kozhi muttai for a theorem I had written. I was pretty much sure and over confident to say the least that mine was correct verbatim as published in original form from the bo…

William Shakespeare

Many things might come to mind for people. But to me his name would always be the name I missed. The very first time I heard about mister shake, was during that game I was playing with my cousin sister and her friend. I don’t exactly recollect the full rules but it was about naming personalities, places, animals or things starting with specific alphabet that was given to each. But I do recall that friend’s name for it was as unique as this Shake guy’s name that I wasn’t even sure if it was a name or my sister was making it up. Her name was Mathangi which I heard as Mullangi and that settled the deal for her to be permanently rechristened as Raddish. As for the game, I got stuck at W (curious similarity with this contest as well) and my sister helped me out with this name. First I thought she was pulling my leg as I was wondering how can someone be named like this – shakespear (aatu eeti in tamil). My sister was shocked and embarrassed at the same time that not only I didn’t knew about…

Very special person

“Write about the person who is very special to you” gave our English teacher, the assignment for that day. I wrote about Napoleon Bonaparte, for some reason I idolized him like anything once upon a time. Maybe because I read some war story where he defeated the British, who were my least favorites. I ranted my head off on how brave he was and about some battle and his courage, valor. It was more of a historical anecdote than a personal post. Some of my friends had written about Sachin, one guy wrote about Superman. But there was this guy, who made us all feel bad about ourselves by writing about his dad. “Adada..ithu namakku thonamaa poachay” was our honest feeling. “Ithulaam sellathu..of course, every parent would be special for everyone..you cheated” were the cries from other folks who felt bad for not thinking of their own while submitting their entry. This guy who wrote about his dad, was probably the shrewdest person I ever knew for his age. Even as a school kid, he was probably …

Unknown

Fear of unknown – Possibly the most common and strongest of all phobias to conquer. It might be the single biggest factor for rising suicide rates, psychiatric centers raking money big time, depression being the most used word of the decade and potentially linked to many other terminal illness as well. All for what? That the victim may never know. It’s probably the single most severest reason, cutting across all eras and generations, that the eagerness or curiosity to know the future, that has set the case for soothsayers and prophecies to survive for so long. Even today there are so many lives sacrificed on special days based on some magician’s forecast that such a kill might earn them power or benefits. So many students who take rash decisions before even their exam results are confirmed. And god knows how many lives are lost for love. The unifying thread for all these have always been one single thing – fear of the unknown. Had people been positive enough to think of a good scenari…

The one that got away

Guest post by Raji who blogs at Arakatrika . To describe her would be very simple if you are a follower of the “minion” cartoons. Especially the double braided one :D A very sweet little friend blogger who pitches in regularly in this space. Thank u Buroos.

Nope. This is not a tribute to the famous Katy Perry song of the same title. Although it is of similar thought process. We all would have had this huge crush during school or college times. Depending upon what sort of school/college you studied in.
It greatly shapes up your perspective towards romance at a later stage.
Almost like how Premam unfolds. That movie was such a huge success because it did not make the hero a drunkard or anything after his failure (somehting most movies does) He just goes on with his life, exactly what all of us do.
I had one huge school crush. So much so that while the teachers restricted students from getting into relationships there were a couple of them who would even tease me about it, while I was s…

Some regrets live forever

How it would be to have a life of no regrets is something I may never ever experience. Having strongly rooted to my past there are many things that I miss experiencing while they just..happen.  The biggest single regret of my life would ever be those simple things that I could’ve done for my dad. He had a passion for trying new things and had enrolled himself to learn Tally software, even few months before he passed away. He was super fond of computers and wanted to explore them as much as he can. I didn’t had the maturity then to understand his passions, nor was I around that time to make it happen for him. For a person, who always put my interests over everything else, he never expressed his desire to me about these and I never bothered to push him to get a system at home or help him out with his aspirations either. I never really understood him till very late in life and he had passed away by, then to correct my mistakes on him. To me, however clichรฉd or easy-an-excuse it may soun…

Reminiscing Anbe Sivam

For a blog predominantly running on reviews, surprised to note that till date haven’t posted about Anbe sivam, one of my all-time favorites. There was a time when Kamal’s movies were fun to watch and of the lot Anbe Sivam was his crown jewel. Though director’s credit shows Sundar.C, not even he would believe it to be his movie. Though story and screenplay are the only items credited to Kamal, its widely known to be ghost directed by him. Dialogues are by Cartoonist Madhan of Aanandha Vikatan fame. They are not just witty but razor sharp and intellectually stimulating. Couldn’t miss out Kamal’s impression on this area as well. Most of the dialogues sound custom made or probably assisted by him for him. Its regarded as one of his best ever movies critically but his worst failure at box office as well. For a movie released almost a decade and half back, it has a score of 97% in rotten tomatoes. Have never seen such high a score for any tamil movie. Ever.
Though its Kamal everywhere and e…

Que sera sera

Do you ever wonder What would’ve been had it been the other choice
Do you ever feel If the choice you opted is the right one
Do you ever realize What you’ve was never yours for such a long time in past And would become such again In a short while soon
Do you ever think that you do it because you committed but not committed to do
Do you ever dream how different things might have been had it been the other way round
Do you ever smile think of the silliness called life
Do you ever cry realizing the reality called life

Que Sera sera – Whatever will be will be.

Problem's (favorite) child

From Time immemorial, from the times when giants ruled earth, when titans waged war with gods, when pangaea was world map, when stone formed and sand was yet to (kal thondri mann thondraa time u see )gils and kodumais have an ongoing tussle, across generations, rebirths and locations. Especially with the concept of transport and any mode associated with it. My chronicles of kodumai at airports across the globe has been polambified and documented to the extent possible in this space. Recent addition is road transport. Akin to the relation between transfer and honest IAS officers, I get shunted to all buildings across Chennai to Pondicherry in the name of Project ODC’s. This time it’s the turn of Perumbakkam which is right in the middle of all long traffic signals and bottleneck junction capital of the world. Since I am pretty much new to any place outside of my doorstep, I took googlaandavar’s advice and boarded the bus, which was one of the many I need to take, in the break journey …

One single word ๐Ÿ˜œ

Technically this is a report abuse post. More like reporting about abuse literally rather anything else. If one translates the title in tamil or refer to Vivek comedy in “Roja Koottam” movie involving seth ji, you would know what is being referred here. Somehow this single word has taken role multiplier access and forms the default delimiter or conversation initiator or even the occasional cuss form, the original intended purpose. It has become so casual and common that even school kids these days address each other with the “singularly single” cuss word. It’s no longer a cool quotient to swear in public but has become the way of addressing. When it was depicted exactly in the same manner in the movie “Maanagaram” it felt insulting as it generalized Chennai tongue of tamil as inseparable from this cuss word. But on any given day, I find more people using this swear word more and more and those who don’t the minority. Though it does raise an occasional chuckle to hear those guys pronou…

Nostalgia

Whenever I walk by the street of my old school, “Ship of Theseus” paradox only comes to mind. With almost every single brick of the old one being replaced, right from the name board to the color and design of uniform, except for the location, nothing else is same. The place or whatever little area inside the campus that was our playground has been used for ramping up the building count. The small garden kind of a place with its plantain trees dotted by mushrooms is probably buried deep under the basement of the new building. That red oxide painted sarukku maram has been long demolished to make way for extending the KG classes. That thatched roof hut, where the aaya stayed with her daughter, the cross poles, minus the swing, where she had tied her dogs, has been replaced with canteen block. The toilet, how can I not remember them!! There were just two..no actually there were three. But one of them was always dumped with some rubbish or other. Of the two Indian style toilets, with class…

900. Milestone post

11 years and counting!!! 900th post.

Sathiyama namba mudiala. When I started to blog, never thought it would survive more than a month max. Slowly it became a routine and with luck has been continuing across places and proxies. There was a time when I wanted to treat this like a magazine with a post every 5th or 6th day. I would even schedule some in succession based on available time. Most interesting part of this whole blogging experience is, in many stories and posts, I've included real life happenings with altered names of the individuals, decipherable only to me. But so much water has flown through that I've forgotten most of the stories themselves that are posted here. Would randomly click on some month and when I read those posts, I've no recollection of ever writing them, only to be disproved by the comment section.

Most of the stories were near perfect replica of real life incidents and with such a colorful bunch of characters, with whom I got to spend time with, …

Lessons for life

There are people who always give advice. Yet only a very few stick on and stay for a really long time, if not forever. In my recollections, there were few that were really mindset altering.

 First one, about which I had mentioned it previously as well, was the comment of my manager. It was such a slap on the face - shake you out of reverie - top of the mountain sermon kind of a scene that makes me pause for a quick breath. I am not sure, if he ever realized the impact it had on me, but that again was never the point. Probably it was one of the few times that I actually listened rather than just hear maybe.  Ivlo buildup kuduthutu apdi ennathaanya sonnaru nu kekaravaganlukaaga, "Had you been on the other side of the table, would you've tolerated this?". The scene was my interview with an account manager and my manager had accompanied me. I had worn a V-neck full hand tee shirt and dirty white cargoes. The moment my manager saw me, he was giving bad words by his looks itse…

Kind worth killing - book review- part 1

How easy is it to kill someone and get off. If you are a fan of DEXTER drama series, you would know the intricacies of the above sentence. In that series, the lead character is a serial killer, who goes after repeat offenders who escape the strong arm of law through various loop holes. He sedates them, prepares the kill room fully covered in plastic sheets, strips the victim and binds them to the kill bed/slab/table, once they are awake he shows them photos, evidences of those who have been wronged by the now captive offender and goes on to butcher them into pieces. He then neatly ties the pieces onto plastic carry bags and dumps them into the bay. It even earns him the monicker, Bay area Butcher but despite so many close calls and some identifying him as the killer, he manages to escape. Though it appears to be so gory on words, once you start watching the series, you would get hooked to it, despite the fact that no episode goes without a killing. After a while watching that series, …

Jealousy

The moment junior wakes up, even with half opened eyes, so full of sleep, the first word he utters would be "Ma". I would be there right next to him, same half sleep, of course (who wakes up at 8 in the morning..so early!!) and would be trying to pat him to sleep (with a selfless intention to be on bed on that pretext for some more time). He would still be calling out for his mom. The first thing he would do, after being helped down from bed would be to run across the rooms and kitchen to check for her. Had she already left for office, he would feel sad and have a dejected almost cry like look on his face, that would break any heart. He would then see that there is another living being that was right next to him and recognize it as me and would come running to me to lift him. He would refuse to let me go and would be sticking like a glue, till he see his mom after which I again go invisible.

 Logically and for all practical purposes, even if one can make out the bond kids sh…

Ignorance is bliss

March being the month of appraisals and ratings and hikes and bonuses, its always a tense month with each day carrying electrifying atmosphere ala Ravi shastri quote. Again, the month varies as per the cycle of each org but since majority follow March as THE month to release THE information, I've taken that as example.

There used to be a time, when postman was delivering class results and it was not even in an INLAND letter, but open post card (pakki school management) that if left unnoticed, one may end being be the talk of the apartment for any negative results. More than the exams, however confident one may be while submitting the answer sheet, as the day of results approach, it always sent a tingle down the spine. And depending on how far or close you are from school, your friends may end up receiving their letter and any call from them on the same would up the anxiety quotient. What if, despite our best efforts, the results came negative? Or delivered wrongly by mistake? the …

How not to review Kaatru veliyidai movie

Hope the title of the post is sufficient heads up on what not to expect from this post, if at all there were any, to start with. Off late any opinion on public forum is decried, defended, denounced, demolished and lot many other "d" words that I am unaware of. Probably the MSM has been right in labeling us all as intolerant. Gone are the days, when you can trash a movie and give no two hoots about it or praise one for that matter. Whatever the position one takes, its trashed to the extent possible and often finds support gangs for their view point as well. Probably, we are all segregating fast into online equivalent of "varna" with like minded people ganging up over the opposite view gangs. If you had a chance to go through any of the 100 plus reviews that are posted in this space, my view point has always been black and white. My tastes are pretty simple and I don't invest too much time to think through shades and levels of any movie character like any dissect…

God's own ooru

Bharathiyar quoted "Yaam arintha mozhigalile tamizh pola inithu engum kaanum". Major Sundarrajan stylela solanumna "Of all the languages I know, tamil is the sweetest" (imagine doing attention pose like body jerk, with both legs firmly on ground to complete the scene). Of course, anyone can alter the quote to suit their tongue, but what makes Bharathiyar's one special is the fact that he was well versed in so many languages. After going through the rigors of each of them, he made that quote as a fact statement and not a hyperbole. Even though my level of knowledge is nowhere in the same league as him nor have I travelled to that many cities and places, considering utmost prejudice and bias that I carry, I would safely say that "Yaam arintha (ariyatha) anaithu oorgalilum Mylapore pola sirappanathu engum kaanom". If Kerala is God's own country, Mylapore would very well be his most favorite ooru, for HE himself would be spoilt for choices here.

If yo…

Fantastic stories and where to find them

For someone who grew on steady diet of comics and storybooks, I never quite had any imagination for how those mythical palaces and kingdoms and their inhabitants would look like, for I was pretty sure about them!! The limited sketches on Ambulimama were enough for me to convince on the curvature of the swords carried by the princes, there cut-shoes topped with upward pointing arcs, their mini frock like dress which every character wore which weird yet consistent across all stories, their looks more or less same with milky white complexioned princess and prince and dark dreadful looking villains, be it witch/wizard or the cunning mantri's. Their quests/challenges were always befuddling as to why would anyone travel across so many seas and oceans and mountain just to save a king or princess in distress. Most of the time either they would hit a curse or some situation where in, as luck would have it, they would be saved just in the nick of time by some dwarf or bird or some weird ani…

Eccentricity > 1

If people want to stop superstitions, they would do well to start at school level. I have witnessed and practiced some really weird eccentric things, which felt like norm then. I would never arrange my books in standing order, with the spine showing the name, like how they keep in libraries and they would always be on stack mode with one on top of other. How much ever difficult it was to pull the book at the base and be it may crumble the book tower while pulling it out, the format stayed for a really long while, for the belief was that, if they were arranged in any other way, I performed badly in studies that year. Pretty soon my marks proved that apart from arranging, it requires reading and understanding the books as well. After a while, with varying sizes of books, the format went for a toss anyway and it all became a cluster taking dynamic shape, depending on the volume of scolding from mom. Similarly, the label on the book should always be at the exact center and not on right to…

Domesticated wilderness

Name 5 wild animals and 5 domestic animals is the default question that I remember from in my preschool entrance exam time which has survived into the second millennium. S.Ve Sekar comedies of "Anju singam Anju Naai" apart, it was from an era when I know answers for questions only at end of the chapter and anything else in exam was considered as incorrect question. The end of chapter questions would be segregated into two sections - one set straight forward questions for which I would put open bracket and close bracket on matching sentences from the lesson as answer and dabba adichify and second set would be those questions which begin with "discuss" and "justify" which were usually omitted. I remember asking this to my teacher in one of the exams that she had "incorrectly" included a "justify" question on the paper. She was perplexed as to what was wrong with the question and sushed me saying everything was correct. I again asked her …

Celebrating ARR-Ratnam magic

I am a big fan of partnerships. Be it whichever field - sports, politics or movies for that matter, would always root for my favorites. Ratnam/Raja musicals would be on everyone's play list as their combination resulted in some of the best melodies ever, cutting across all languages. With Roja, Ratnam did the music world a big favor in unearthing the raw talent that went on to win Oscars. Of all their albums, Roja is always my firm favorite. The very first time I heard that jing-chuk tingle sound at the start of "chinna chinna aasai" song, i was reminded of the ad jingles where that instrument was pretty prominent that time. No point for guessing who composed those jingles. ARR always has a soft spot for that tiny jing-chuk instrument which is used as substance abuse to target people who bend over backwards to please others. The otherwise casual and small instrument becomes a magic wand in ARR's composition. That initial chime at the beginning of the song, has become…

Bombay and lot many memories

With ARR-Ratnam combo celebrating their 25th year of partnership being the flavor of the season, thought will pitch in with my memories linked with their creative outputs.

Though Roja was their first and possibly the best ever wholesome album in their combination, it was Bombay that I could recollect more about. Most vivid of the lot being, the Friday edition of newspapers carrying the first poster/look of Bombay a month prior to its release. It was that of Manisha Koirala wearing a white veil/head scarf/duappatta(!!??) with her back posing for the pic, her head tilted to look at the camera, with only one half of her alabaster white face being visible from whatever precious little gap allowed by the cloth over her head. We used to buy HINDU paper and on that day it was Indian Express that carried this picture. The petty shop which was right at the door step of our house had kept the newspapers on our verandah to dry as it was pouring heavily that day. I had an insatiable appetite for …

A movie within movie - Kavan

There was one intriguing thought that ran throughout while watching Kavan - first release of 2017 for Vijay Sethupathi, that, which TV channel has bought its telecast rights. Considering the extent of media bashing and the level to which behind scene activities of famous reality shows have been revealed, wonder would the channels consider it as a self goal to show this movie. But nevertheless a topic and theme that I could relate to and is pretty close to heart - credibility of mainstream media, especially television and news channels.

The movie has a running time of over 150 minutes and is literally a non-stop run to finish. Right from the time the name credits role, there are already scenes happening in background when the name scrolls, till the end credits, where there are scenes happening again, the movie is a non-stop express from start to finish. Like all KV Anand movies, the climax portion is super rushed up where a supposedly half an hour of screen time is cramped into minutes…

Poll for polis and nation's shame

So many elections have come and gone but none have witnessed such a bat-shit crazy set of candidates like the current by-election. The prime contender (avary sollikiraaru) is the sole claimant (alongside three others) of the legacy of the deceased incumbent and his claim to fame is achieving notoriety and lawsuits for illegal land grabbing and disproportionate assets other than being the nephew of the friend of the deceased. And funnily this kettle, calls, the husband of the niece of the deceased who has started his own party, as black. The other contender in fray is the person whose conscience woke up from its Samadhi after his well publicised visit to one. The main opposition has decided to land a candidate whose face can't be recollected despite him standing next to his own poster.

This is one election that everyone wants to win but no one is worthy of contesting, that considering the credence of the deceased incumbent is quite something. As wondered several years back, India …

Scion of Ishvaku - review

I don’t remember the last time I read a novel and got angry. Well, there is always a first for everything and “Scion of Ishvaku” by Amish takes the credit. This is the same guy who came up with the “Meluha” trilogy, loosely based on Shiva Puranam and specifically around how Shiva avenges the death of Sati his wife. Though he can claim literary license, he had simply re-written the puranam in local tongue, making Lord Ganesh and Kali look like mutants and Lord Karthikeya as a battle hardened boy. Though it was a rehashed version of the purana there was a sense of respect for the underlying characters as they are all worshipped as gods in real time. That respect is the single biggest victim in this book.

The series was touted as upgraded version of Ramayana. The very first chapter of the book demolishes any notions on any similarity it may carry to the “Meluhan” series. The story varies 180 degress from Ramayana at times, probably borrowing heavily from every folk form of the epic avail…

Abstract of absurdity

The recent IP issue between IR and SPB, is one of the many flashpoints on social media, which has its own share of “breaking news” aplenty. What it brings to light is the amount of awareness and the lack of it amongst our audience who never shy away from taking sides with not even “nuni-pul” amount of knowledge. Everyone has their own two cents worth of information and want to wage a war against others who go against their word. In one way, its good as the awareness about Intellectual property may show a slight increase and might even be the top trending topic till someone digs up a long post on what is it and what are its loop holes. Generally, these flash points have a quick life and they grow exponential in their reach till the time someone actually takes pain to explain the topic and puts forth a lengthy article on the merits and demerits of the point of contention. Till the time the pro and anti group of the topic, grind each other to dust with all choice of abuses possible and p…

Culture vultures

With any and every news creating uproar these days, it was hardly surprising that the news of Karnataka CM passing law to make Kannada mandatory creating the furore that was almost on expected lines. To me what was intriguing was the very fact that our states have all been linguistically divided and that was done almost more than half a century ago. Yet, if a CM of a state has to pass a bill to make the local language mandatory, it raises serious questions. Agreed that such a law would create chaos for government staff on transfer and especially their kids, who would’ve to pick up  a new language for every transfer of their parents and also serious stress for them to administer their tasks parallel learning a language afresh just for their official purpose.

The situation has been brought upon us by our own folks. There was literally no planning or long term thinking and now with hindsight its pretty clear that none of the erstwhile leaders had any clue how the linguistic segregation w…