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Showing posts from 2018

Mandatory year end post

I always make a point to read the previous year ending post before posting the one for present year, just to get a kick of what was going on my mind at that time. Junior took to play school big time and had brought in a reform of sorts with his way of wishing. Whenever i go to pick him up from school it makes me feel so happy, to hear teachers from other sections as well, addressing him as the vanakkam kid. His tantrums at home are reaching critical mass and makes me worry about how we are going to handle him in coming years. Of the several things that i never understand, the foremost being, how my parents controlled me and my tantrums when i was a kid. My mom says (at least now) that i used to be very quiet and was never a mischievous as a kid. With each passing day, the way junior is shaping up, is a lesson for me on my own childhood and also on the cause and effect theory. From being the fun and cute part, the responsible portion of raising a kid begins with this year starting with

Picks of the year

Let me start off with this. I am not a big time reader. I barely average a book and half per MONTH!!! And my taste in reading is pretty straight jacketed around thrillers and commercial masala flavored scripts. But if I’ve to remember any standout story for this year, its neither of the 17 books that’ve read this year (excluding Sujatha’s short novels second part, that I am relishing at present). Both of my picks are from the weekly magazine Kumudham. The first one is a short story titled “Maanudam”. The old man from the story, picks a dog from the street, as a pup and rears it as his pet. It listens to everything the old man says and he boasts that the dog even understands his spoken tongue – tamil. The old man’s son lives in some foreign land and rarely visits him. One day while on his evening walk along with the dog, he catches up with his friend. The old man tells him about his situation that his son has been asking him to relocate to the foreign land, for which the friend wonder

Seedhakhadhi - movie review

It takes guts to have a guest appearance in your milestone movie or should it be called as craziness at its peak? In the entire runtime of 2 hours and 40plus minutes, Vijay Sethupathi, appears for the first 40 minutes and that's it. Ever since the movie got released, this has been the talking point. How can a man, be so casual about his milestone movie, promoting it as his own, when he hardly has any screen time. Some even felt cheated. But considering the way, he has shaped up his career around solid scripts and not on his own image, the movie is a tribute to his own self. During some of the promotional events, the director had openly stated that he would've wanted a much more older, well established actor, to play the role, finally donned by VS. The reason was very obvious on screen as it required someone with solid experience and unquestionable credentials to pull it off and the almost the entire running time of the movie, post the demise of the lead character is driven

Building your belief system

Of the handful of authors I follow, Sujatha is my favorite across languages. Though his books are only in tamil, his writing style is nonpareil, if one considers the timeline in which he published his stories. Being ahead of his time is something that sits lightly on him as his thought processes were always advanced. He is one of those authors who took to the concept of simplifying things and telling in a nutshell to a whole new level. He can talk about Chekov, Nabokov, Einstein , complex algorithms, tongue twister medicine, computers, hi-fi science fiction and human emotions everything at layman’s level and probably the frontrunner is bringing science fiction to tamil audience. In one of his advice/suggestions/recommendations, he has a ten point formula for leading life. The very first point is the basis behind this post. He states that, everyone should have a value system – an unshakable belief – something to hold on to. It can be god, your favorite hero/personality, nature, own s

The three secret cities by matthew reilley - book review

Not sure when was the last time I read a 400 page book in 5 hours’ time. This is one author, I couldn’t resist, just for the kind of locations and premises he comes up with in this series. What started as a casual airport read, when I stumbled on “Seven ancient wonders” had progressed onto “Six sacred stones”, “Five greatest warriors”, “Four legendary kingdoms” and has now settled onto this one. It’s not just with numerals on title, that this author carry the similarity with Chetan Baghat but also on the almost B-grade-ish way in which he lets his hero, Jack West solve the impossible problems. If the quest involves finding the lost tomb of Jesus, call up Jack. Is it related to identifying Atlantis- the lost city, El Dorado or Thule, call up Jack. He would even find all three of them in one shot on the same day itself. And even better, just give him a couple of ancient scrolls and books and some random imagery, he can save the earth from catastrophe, which the super villains in the

The Flash - drama series

Latest addiction. Have long been wanting to check this drama series, specifically because of the kind of memes that were floating around, teasing the timeline concept. I started watching the current season, Season 5 and got immediately hooked to the series. The concept of time travel is pretty interestingly explained in the movie and you would never be able to use the word timeline in normal sense ever again once you start with these series. The titular character, The Flash, is played by a guy who will never age I guess. Reminds a bit of the fight club guy, Edward Norton and has a Matthew Mcconaughey-ish voice. Conceptually, I thought, Flash must be the weakest of heroes for his strength is nothing but run!! If in case of danger, he may probably be able to outrun the danger was what I felt while reading about his super powers. It’s the same, literally in the series and storyline as well. But how he develops on it and uses the same power to overcome different types of villains has bee

Life's lessons from Junior

When junior gets really cranky, the only option that would calm him down would be a walk down the road. I hardly go out and wifey is worse than me, which leaves junior frustrated like a caged animal. But when I do take him out, it’s me who enjoys the most, looking at his antics. Many times, I over think and over analyze and it is not off limits from junior as well. I’ve never been able to quite comprehend my childhood on how I turned up the way I am today and always try to watch him closely to see his reactions. It has helped me a lot in understanding my own psyche and some key reasons behind my personality. Having grown on a steady diet of Amarchitra katha and jataka tales, I try to infuse those stories and reading as an habit into him. At the moment it’s a grand failure with any book going into tatters within minutes. Padhichi kizhichathu is happening literally. On our late evening walks, he would exclaim with joy in identifying the name of gods he had seen on the videos and book c

2.0 movie review

Costliest movie ever made in India. First movie, out and out shot for 3D viewing. Biggest ever technical crew assembled on par with blockbuster Hollywood movies and longest ever wait for a tamil movie, with never decreasing hype. All these hyperboles sum up the desperation to ensure the movie somehow manages to break even the production cost of about 400 crore rupees. Funnily this number started from somewhere around 300 crores and has now crossed 500 crores. The fans just couldn’t let go of any opportunity to bring in the superlatives when their idol is concerned, but this might be a matter of different concern for the producer if the IT department starts noticing. Come to think of it, it’s a significant FDI on one particular venture and should probably have the blessings of the government from a “Make in India” scheme perspective!! With the Superstar being open about his political ambitions and transforming his fans club into party setup, every single movie release is treated as a pr

The Gilsbert way of How not to tell a joke

Gilsbert at onsite: “Hey I am Gilsbert” “I am Tan” “Is it so? Doesn’t look like it” “err..means?” Looking at his reaction, quickly back tracks into a different conversation. After sometime, while trying to resell the same joke. “So Tan..you sign by cause” “err..means” This time wanting to clear the point, Gilsbert puts in “extra” effort “Sin/Cos” “I didn’t get you” “Not a maths guy is it?” “What??” “Sorry..” muttering to himself walks away. While leaving for the day, “Ok Tan..catch you tomorrow” “Sure man” “What time you are planning to start?” “Not sure..will take a couple more hours” “Wow..you ARE a workaholic” sensing an opportunity “may your spirit never tan” “err…sorry. Couldn’t get the last part” Oh..Come onnnnnnnnnn

The girl in room 105 - book review

Yet another Chetan Bhagat book review. Despite all my raves and rants, i never miss reading a single novel of his. That says something about me?!! Anyways. As often i mention about his books, there is a template setting, that starts from the name itself. There should be some number associated with it, 5 point someone, one night @call center etc. It was at the risk of getting into rational number territory considering the title "half girlfriend". But since rational is something that is generally not associated with his books, probably he reverted to whole numbers with this one. There i go again. Why read the book if there is so much to complain, duh!!? But still i am not that suave a reader to feast only on classics. My rest of the reading list is not that fancy either. Coming back to the book, there are major changes for fellow readers of CB, who follow the template to rote. There do exist IITians and IIT as backdrop and guys entering forbidden territory of girl's hos

I yaam a rajini fan - book review

A little note about the author -Dev. He is my college mate and is very well known for his tamil poems and short stories that he carries out till date on his personal blog. Been associated with him for almost 2 decades now and his passion for reading books is never diminishing. Considering the amounts he spends every book fair, pretty sure, he could start one of his own. An avid movie enthusiast, its a no brainer on who his favorite hero is and how he feels about him, considering that THE MAN himself has posed with a copy of this book and for a change, the author got a signed copy. The book, as the title gives it away, is a proclamation of undying love for rajini. There is a slight twist as it also involves his first love, who is also named rajini. How the two rajinis travel along with him in his life's journey is vividly captured. The book is full of booby traps of nostalgia. Infact, the entire story is structured in such a way that, every single incident in the life of Arun (t

As I see IT - 3

EGO. My class teacher once explained that Ego means “Edging God Out”. Even after decades, that expansion is still stuck in memory, not just because I am a sucker for abbreviations, but more so on the meaning it conveyed. In the journey so far in IT industry, one thing that I could find omnipresent is nothing but overinflated megalomania level egos of individuals, that screws up the peace of many. I’ve been at both sides of the table and have not so memorable experiences. Compared to any other industry, IT is the youngest and most evolving of all. In fact, with so much of process being shoved year after year in the form of maturity models, business driven changes, best practices, lessons learnt et al, it should be the most conformist of all industries. At the same time, its most prone to disruptive changes as well, that shakes the very foundations of established norms. The industry renews itself every decade and the lead time between the shredding of old tech to new is forever under

Junior's jestcapades

At times, makes me wonder, while rest of the time I am absolutely unsure, that, how the hell he manages to do what he does. Ever since he noticed the Big Boss promo, the part where Kamal introduces the show, before and after the ad break, as “Vanakkam... Ithu Vivo v9 vazhangum Big Boss”, it had caught his fancy and he rephrased it as “Veena vaana big boss” with the traditional way of telling “Vanakkam” with folded hands. Gradually, the rest of the sentences went out of his mind but the “vanakkam” part remained and somehow he linked it to the fact that, it’s a way of greeting. One day, when the apartment driver had come to our house, junior greeted him with folded hands and said “vanakkam”. The driver was stunned and he was so happy. He immediately responded back with joy and repeatedly they said Vanakkam to each other. Ever since, it has been the way of greeting for junior and wherever he meets anyone new, he would immediately say “vanakkam” to them. More than “hi” or “morning/evenin

96 - movie review

Very few movies live up to the hype. In this age of fake news, fake media and fake..everything, it is becoming very hard to trust anything, be it mainstream news or even movie review for that matter. When the songs for this movie got released, it literally set the social media on fire. Facebook was agog with status messages dripping in the saccharine sweetness of the songs and everyone who listened to those songs were getting nostalgic about their past love(s). The songs were really good and much different from what were being bandied about as chartbusters by the erstwhile puyal. When the movie got released, there were unanimous acclaim and every review was positive. Having already received bulbu over "Chekka chivantha vaanam" I was very much apprehensive. But was counting majorly on Vijay Sethupathi. That guy has the midas touch for movie scripts and majority of his movies are watchable, credit to his realistic performances. And another intriguing factor was his pairing with

Kolai Kolaiya munthirikka - 2

Time: 1.30 AM Venue: Vasantham apartments “intha dead body a Ippo ennada panrathu” asked Ram “panrathelam pannitu enna kelu” snapped Anil “Ennada ennamo naanay kola panna mathiri pesara” “Pinna antha aalay kazhutha nerichikitu suicide panitara” “Enna ketta” “Konnuduven..cha..paaru un kuda irunthu unna polavay en thoughtsum maaruthu..inniyoda un sagavasam cut” “Dei…please da..nambuda..sathiyama naan kola pannalada” “Appo intha dead body epdi inga vanthuchu” “Vanthapo uyir irunthirukum..apruma mandaiya potrupaan” “Mandaiya potana illa nee mandaila poatu anthaala poatu thallitia” “Ennada logic ay ilama pesara..naan edhuku intha aala kola pananum” “Enna ketta..nee edhukaga inga vanthio..enna vera ithula korthu vitruka..naan paatuku sivanaynu irunthen. Vandi repair nu solli bikela lift kudutha kuthathukaga..ipo oru kolai kutravaaliyoda naanum santhega casela maatika poren” “Ennada romba baya muruthara..naan kollalada” “Pinna enna thaan achu inga..” “Naama rendu perum bikela

Kolai Kolaiya munthirikka - 1

Time:10.30PM Venue: police station “Hello..E2 stationa?” “Aama..” “Sir..enga apartmentla oru kola nadanthiruku sir..” “Oh.. ..neenga yaaru?..hello..hello” irritated that the call got cut, head constable Vasanth, banged the phone back to its cradle. “Ennaya..romba chellama phone vaikara..naalikum ithula thaan pesanum..nenavula vachukka” entered Sub-Inspector Ganesh,watching with amusement at the reaction of Vasanth. “Pinna enna sir..murder pathi solitu detail kekarathukulla line cut panitanga” “Murder a!! Yov..yenga ..ennachu” “Ithe thaan naanum keten..cut panitaanga” “Ennathaan sonanga call la..detaila sollu” “Voice keta lady voice pola irunthuchu..high pitch..full tension..” “pinna murder pathi inform panravanga softa husky voicelaya pesuvanga” “ada..neenga vera..kozhapaama kelunga..mylapore jain temple pakkathu flatla..yaaraio murder panitanga udanay vaangannu solitu cut panidichi” “Innum enna wait panittu..athaan address irukulla..kelambunga..” “Sir..neenga intha are

As I see IT -2

It’s been such a long while since I posted that I had almost forgot about this space!! There were many incomplete posts in draft status and while checking on something else, stumbled on them. So… here we go again. I’ve been all of admiration and astonishment about IT industry for, basically, this is the only industry my career has been associated with all throughout and secondly, the rapidness with which it changes. Probably the one industry that boasts of so many process changes and revisions and upgrades which it recommends for every other domain and yet, is woefully short when it comes to its own self. We have service providers who delivers the world for decent compensation, for their clientele having lot less employees than their own, but when it comes to in house projects, tighten their purse strings. Some of the biggest service providers, themselves have employee headcount over min.150K. One look at their internal service setup would make you wonder how much do they really gras

Movie watch

Mission impossible – Fallout Somehow, unlike any other franchise movie, I always manage to turn up for a MI release, on theater. The latest installment, MI 6 – Fallout, is very special for it’s the first and only movie that I’ve seen on IMAX, accompanied by the gang of usual suspects, at Forum Mall. The most ground breaking, earth shattering thing that happened even before the movie started was, I was the first one to make it to the venue!!!! Punctuality and me are two sides of two different coins. Probably the Ethan Hunt spirit (!!!) in me pushed myself to take up this impossible activity. Story wise its nothing new. There are some nuke warheads on loose and MI team has to disarm them and save the world. Stunt wise also its nothing new. Tom Cruise, seems to be on repeat mode when it comes to MI movies. He dangles from famous high rises, runaway planes, mountain tops on every single one of them. There would be an jaw dropping bike chase scene and whether his movies run or not, he wou

Life and times

At times junior makes a mockery of the proud parent in us. I have been through many such scenes when my over eager newly became parent friends, would show case their kids talent, making them say the alphabets or rhymes. At times it would annoy the kid and most of the times they would go silent and shy. I am one among those annoying parents club parading their kids talent with pride. But junior has his own way of getting out of such situations. Once while going on a walk,  was word coaching him as usual, telling him new words about those things that we saw on the way. When we came near a Sabha there were few people standing outside who were watching junior identify things near that place. There was a huge statue of goddess saraswati in all her splendor and junior immediately called out her name which drew the attention of that group. Needless to say I was beaming with pride. I pointed to her hand and asked him what was she holding. He named it as book and chain much to my own am

Chumma oru try - 6

Previously சகுந்தலை- காமம் ஈன்ற குழந்தை அவள் வாழ்விலோ பல விந்தை விஸ்வாமித்திரன் அவள் தந்தை ஆனால் அப்பிள்ளையின் மேல் இல்லை அவன் சிந்தை மேனகை அவள் அன்னை தன் சேய் மறந்து அடைந்தாள் விண்ணை உறவுகள் மறந்த உத்தம உள்ளம் செவ்வனே வளர்ந்தாள் கன்வரின் இல்லம் காலம் வரைந்த அற்புத கோலம் அவள் அழகை போல் முன் கண்டதில்லை இஞ்ஞாலம் மானும் மயிலும் மரமும் மண்ணும் பூவும் வண்டும் புல்லும் செடியும் போற்றி வளர்த்த பெண்டு அவள் பெருமை கூற வார்த்தை தேடியது நிகண்டு எதிர்பார்த்து நிகழ்ந்து இறந்து சுழன்றது காலம் ஒரு நாள் – நிசப்தம் நிரவி நிதம் நித்திரையில் இருக்கும் அவ் வனம் முரசு கொட்டும் சத்தத்தில் முழித்து எழுந்தது அவ்வொலியின் அதிர்வில் பூக்கள் பல உதிர்ந்தது வேட்டை ஆரம்பம் என மிருகங்கள் உணர்ந்தன உயிர் பிழைக்க மறைவிடம் நோக்கி விரைந்தன அலைபாயும் மனதை விட வேகமாய் விரைந்து வந்த தேரில் வலைந்த வில்லும் வலையாத நோக்குமாய் குறிபார்த்து அம்பு எரிந்தான் நந்தன் அவனே துஷ்யந்தன் சூறாவலியாய்  சுழலும் தேரில் சுற்றி வந்தோர் வழி மறைய தன்னன்தனியே தொடர்ந்தான் வேட்டையை காலம்

As i see IT - 1

Few years back, I had pondered in a post, on how my batch had never seen anyone retiring from IT and would probably be the first to witness it. The reason being, even a decade back, there was so much of chopping and churning happening, with companies big time into consolidation mode and new software were blooming in every single day. To put it in context, the software that was hot cake in the market, which was the product of my very first project, became obsolete within an year, to such an extent that, those developers almost became redundant, with their skillset amounting to nothing. Technically, It didn’t entirely go waste as the coding skills got remapped to another product but they did have to put in effort to learn the semantics and syntax. Those who were senior managers at that time, had worked on Pascal and Cobol and punch card related systems that were long obsolete. I often used to wonder, would the managers be continuously learning new products, for a) their skill set were lo

Life of a song

I’ve long been wondering about the, choice of songs on super singer competitions, that are being conducted across any TV channel worth its salt. Season after season, be it junior, senior or super senior category, any contestant who participates, never ever chooses any song that are recent and even possible chartbusters. Only logical reason could be the proprietary rights issue. Else, not sure whether it’s a rule or choice, but invariably, majority of the contestants stick to songs that are from movies which are minimum 50 years old. Across all channels, when it comes to season finale, the contestants while choosing songs that exhibits their skill, always chooses song from either MS Visvanathan or KV Mahadevan. Very rarely do we get to witness even an Ilayaraja musical winning the title and till now I’vent seen an ARR song rendition winning one. The reasons could be multifold. Probably those songs are avoided because of the orchestra limitations, rights issue, due to scoring suggestio

Of rhymes and reasons

The fact, that Junior had taken to rhymes in a big way, dawned on me close to midnight, when he was chanting “Johnny Johnny yes papa” in his sleep. I was so surprised that he had picked up his first rhyme I woke up wifey immediately so that she doesn’t miss out on that momentous occasion. She looked at me with eyes full of sleep and anger and said that he has been singing that rhyme for almost a week and went back to sleep!!! Nevertheless it was exciting that he had picked his first rhyme and I was so happy. Nowadays, it is his signature call for addressing anyone and everyone. One day when I was reading something he came to me and called “Appa Appa” “Ennapa” “uhumm..Yes Johnny sollu” “er…yes Johnny?” “reading paper?” “yes” “uhumm..Yes johnny sollu” “Yes Johnny” (I got the drift only now) “telling lies” “no johnny” “Open your mouth” I actually did open my mouth and got corrected again that I should say “ha ha ha” instead (apparently the drift drifted over) The other favor

Thamizhachi Aandaal

If anyone can read the title correctly at first go, well, you do know your way around tanglish for sure. When the Aandal controversy, kindled by the pompous and arrogant ass of the movie song lyricist Vairamuthu, was at its peak, probably that was the trigger point for this series or maybe it was initially on the pipeline and its release was a mere co-incidence, I would never know. But this story about Aandal starting from the time of her birth and events preceding it has been progressing beautifully in the tamil weekly magazine Kumudham. Every week, I eagerly watch out for this particular piece, written by Priya Kalyanaraman, on that magazine. I’ve been a big time fan of this author for his previous work about temples and stories associated with them. Not sure if it had come out in book format, but it would serve as a fantastic guide to know about south Indian, especially Temples of TamilNadu, for any casual tourist, or those on pilgrimage, as it tells the story of origin for each of

Kaala - movie review

By now the verdict on the movie is already out and what would be spoilers in this post are common knowledge. Still, for the benefit of those who are yet to watch the movie, watch out for spoilers, which I would rather want to call as highlighters for the reason why the movie is disappointing. Oops. For those who have seen Kabali – the previous venture between Ranjith and Rajini, The first half of the Kaala would feel like scenes that are Kabali discards. The story simply refuses to take off and keeps roaming on the runway. Even from the few cuts in trailer, it was very clear that this is going to be a fight between Dharavi Rajini against political bigwig Nana Patekar over the land where the chawl is setup. With the basic premise set clearly on the two minute trailer itself, the movie takes almost a whole hour to reach to that confrontation point. Ranjith, to give him the benefit of doubt, is just 5 movies old and 2 of them are with Rajini. For a commercial star of Rajini’s caliber, i

1001

As the title states, this is a major milestone post in this space – having completed 1000 blog posts. What started as a whim, 12 and a half years back, when many of my peers where posting things left right and center, had outlived most of them, shows much about my producti”vetti”. Many a times in between, I had thought, this would be the end of this blog space. It has overcome restrictions in the form of proxy servers, mind blocks, lack of time and simply being lazy most of the times. All through, one person who has stood by through thick and thin and has commented on almost every single post of mine, ever since he started visiting this space. He is truly “aayirathil oruvar” and deserves special mention. I make it a point to mention him on every milestone post, to not just put “maska” for getting comments (aaiaioa unmaiya sollitene) but also as the only way to express my gratitude. He is like Sadayappa vallal to Kambar for me. When Kambar was writing his Ramayanam, he made it a point

To new beginnings

It was junior’s first day at play school. ( Play school - An oxymoron of an institution, made necessary by our current life style. They claim to teach the kids to have fun and interact. In the age of “made to order” even innocence comes with a price) All the while, during the commute, he was repeating that he is going to school to learn ABCD, thanks to his Paati who had told him that. She was the most vigorous and vociferous opponent to the idea of putting the kid in playschool. But with no kids to play in our apartment and junior crossing the 2.5 age mark, we felt it was the right time to introduce him to the concept of school. The moment he stepped out of the auto, he took both our hands into his tiny ones and started leading us inside the campus. There were already lot other parents and kids who had formed mini groups and while the parents were chatting, the kids were running around on the play area. I was closely watching junior to see his reactions, for he doesn’t like the u

Cockroaches by Jo Nesbo - book review

Considering that this was the second in the list of 11 (till now), I guess, probably this is the book that formed the strong template for the other novels in the Harry hole series. It has everything that the rest of the series borrows into, probably the only few of the lot with actual deduction scope for Harry, the repeated twists towards the end which hurriedly try to hoodwink the reader and rest of the characters to believe that they’ve found the villain only to be fooled further and the James Bond like womanizing character of Harry, only change being, he really falls in love with the lady characters who only end up getting murdered, fueling his alcoholic rage. There is a racist undertone as well, which propagates across his other novels too, especially when it comes to referencing the only muslim character from Pakistan or the way the detailing about Thailand and Thai people being addressed in this novel. It may not be intentional and those characters could originally be factual rep

Nadigaiyar Thilagam - Movie review

The movie based on the life story of yesteryear super star actress Savitri, is already making waves in both Kollywood and Tollywood. First thought that came to mind while watching was, though touted as a bi-lingual, it felt more like a telugu movie dubbed in Tamil. Some of the dialogues from Savitri’s initial years were purely in telugu. Though not difficult to follow, the cast and the conversations, give it more of a telugu movie feel, which would’ve been intended I guess, considering that she came to Chennai and then only picked up the language. The story begins with the death of the Superstar and traces back her origins as a bubbly little girl and how fate took her all the way only to be bashed down to earth on a gloriously tragic fall. The narration grows as analyzed by Samantha, the reporter and through her conversations with her journalist colleague. The movie runs the risk of being a documentary and is saved by the screenplay. Coming to the characterizations, the biggest let d