Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Murugan's sigappu thundu

Murugan was dusting off the chair as fast as he could what with AD yelling and all that. Just then the director called for the shoot. In the whole hurrying up hungama, Murugan left the Red dusting towel on the chair. The shot went smoothly. The director did notice the Red towel during the editing session but he decided to retain since it had come out well.

Years later, Peter borings wrote a whole page about the significance of the red towel in the frame for the film, how it accentuates the fight that the couple were having about the missing bajji in the shot and ties the film up with hindu mythology, greek mythology.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Like Bharathiyaar said, " Nenju porukuthu illiye, entha nilaiketta manitharai ninaithu vittal"

Episode # 1: Almost a year ago, 10-25 people came in a boat from a neighboring country to randomly and also not so randomly shoot people. They also shot the Anti-terror squad chief. One of the questions then was how did the ATS chief die inspite of the bullet proof jacket. As the investigations started, the said jacket went missing. After a year today a hospital worker said "he had mistakenly put the jacket along with non-medical waste bags, which were later sent to the Deonar dumping ground."

That is all the news reports says. It sounds as if this is the end of the quest for missing jacket. Question is, why was the important object esp. from a high profile case lying around carelessly?

Episode #2: David headley is a pakistan-born american citizen who was caught recently by the FBI. As the details of his involvement in the last year's terror attacks unfolds, there were obv. questions about his indian visa. The problem was for couple of weeks, Indian government couldnt produce his visa papers. They said it took them that long to search.
Let me stop right here!

Episode #3 So, a man - a politician to keep himself in news esp. after his party lhad ost most of the seats and just retained 2 decides to fast demanding a separate state. As is the norm for politicians and actors in the country, he was planning a day of fast i.e a symbolic gesture towards the cause. Typically this would have ended with a kid feeding some orange juice at the end of the day. Unfortunately for him, the press wouldnt let go and caught him taking food secretly or some such hoopla and he was forced to continue the fast.

As days proceeded, the central government concerned with his health, decided what is one more state in front of a man's hunger strike and granted the new state.

Except now truly all hell broke loose and the state has been in a standstill position for the past 10 days in protest against the formation of the new state. 150 crores loss per day.

Now, listen carefully because i dont get this part very well, but the central government doesnt do anything. see, one filthy, not so popular politician's health is more important than the well being of a major state. as i said i dont get this. The logic or the lack of logic is of gigantic proportion that other qs like did the central govt really not anticipate this get buried.

In each of these episodes, we get only like tonne of questions. Most of you are already aware of these problems and 100 others equally silly cliched problems we get to read about in the papers and zillions other we are blissfully unaware. I dont believe in saying this is wrong these people are bad. That is fairly obvious. There is no use writing that. We have done that for what fifty years? one needs solutions except i dont have any.

What I want to know is, what does one do in such situations?
Option a) Rent the whole slew of Shankar's vigilante movies mentally imagining themselves to the protaganist and awarding all sorts of punishments from garuda puranam(if you are a guy you will be lucky enough to also sing duet songs with shreya and so on, if you are a girl no such luck as no girl would want to sing duet songs with any of those heroes).

Option b) say i dont like politics with a clueless face and proceed on to talk about how good one would look in the green scarf.

Option C) rest yourself at your favorite place in the world i,e your couch with a comforter hoping no one blows up your building and also the third floor moron doesnt set off the fire alarm again while trying to cook(that would be 3rd time this month).

Are there any other options, dear readers(yes, i am aware i used the plural form)?


I have often heard or read of atheists who became believers after seeing Himalayas or some such beauty, well i am not one of those people. Me, my belief comes from life, people - I am fascinated by the complexities of our emotions, the turns our lives take and so on. Which is why the whole range of visuals in Pandora doesn't strike me as much. The fact that in a movie that was 70% computer generated, I never thought about the computer animation part even for a moment is something that struck me only after leaving the theatres. I got thrilled with hair movement in shrek. And this movie is so much more in terms of animation but it is done so well and blends in that one hardly realizes it. You forget that navi people are all computer generated.

Yet that is not something that excites me as a viewer. We are talking about a whole new life form in a completely different planet and possibilities for every single aspect about them is endless. For God-sake, a sidney sheldon novel once had aliens who would communicate purely through thoughts without a need for words, language. That is just one aspect. Simply transporting the european invasion of americas into an alien world isnt enough. And I think i am fairly justified in expecting so much more.

Some of the elements like a random corporation with a oversimplified greedy motive and agressive military which wants to use force for force sake is quite laughable. But it is James Cameroon. He made us(atleast me) feel for an usual rich girl -poor boy love story and similarly he does make us root for the Navi people which is a great skill - to make us retain the emotional touch in the presence of all this hoopla and a cliche-ridden story which quite a few movies fail to do these days. But even he cant make you hate the military agressor or the evil corporation, heck he cant even make you laugh at them, you just tolerate it due to the rest of the movie.

Yes, there is this bit about the way they sync up with the animals or the way the trees are all supposed to be linked together similar to the synapse that our neurons form but that is just there for the sake of it. ( Remember matrix the whole image as an electrical signal to the brain manipulation, the whole illusion - maya concept, yes Matrix is leaps ahead of avatar in terms of script).

Similarly the whole save nature concept. It is there because you cant just spend 300 million dollars and not have some high brow concept. Having things for the sake of it is so blah - it is even getting tiring to say this.

Ps1: as some one from the group I went with mentioned when technology has improved so much why the hell do we still have to wear this sloping glasses? gave me a headache and made my eyes watery. On top of this, when outside temp in single digits the theatre was like a oven. I understood what cookies go through that day except cookies don't have feelings and I do. so:(

Ps2: Every guy in the group wondered why wasnt the mating ritual done through the neurons as well. Dont know why the James Cameroon guy thought differently!

Ps3: there was a trailer of movie with Cameron diaz and Tom cruise. Movie surely looks blah but the thought of these two beautiful people coming together excites me. like Ash and hrithik - not a big fan of either, neither do i like their acting but to see them together thrills me. i might even drag my posterior to the theatres drooling for this movie:)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ada, namma...

So, did you know who was on the hoarding at the junction of santana row and valley fair? namma Ash i.e Aishwarya endorsing the longines watch. felt nice.

Today was some chef competition cum potluck at work. Tomorrow, there is a breakfast party and next week there is a lunch party. I guess one should be happy about Jesus's birth.

Tomorrow might also turn out to be blue man's day for me. not too excited about that.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I want million dollars

So, I will fast. Please to note, my religion is hinduism and fasting will be done accordingly( a full meal in the afternoon, fruits and a tiffin in night - what? yes, if that fasting is ok for God, it is ok for the "The pus that infects the mucus that cruds up the fungus that feeds on the pond scum" i.e the politicians).

So, congress, with its usual backboneless atitude(how do they maintain it btw, i mean people change but these irresponsible decisions continue, some strong culture they have) has agreed to create a separate state called Telangana. Creating a separate state is not my problem. But the way it was decided is.

If it was done out of some sort of voting by the people on this regard then I would understand. I didnt know one could just fast. get admitted into the hospital with the best of the medical care, agree to the IV drips and then get a state for themselves. That is pure rowdyism.

Everyone of us should fast, I say. dont we all have demands?

the full bottle of nyquill

bought at the fag end of flu couple of years ago had bothered her. Full bottle, pretty much unused. Finally, two spoons consumed few days ago by her brother(#2). Now by her for the past two days.With the expiry date somewhere in next year, one can say it came pretty close.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Life is beautiful - 1

I just came back from a party where quite a few fathers went on to tend on to kids not of their own as if they would do to theirs. Almost as if they are used to being the father of little daughters that it didnt matter whose kid it was. You could say it could be because the fathers are college buddies. You know, long relationship. Or may be one of them first had a kid, I suppose I dont have to explain how special that must have been and when rest followed suit the older parents would have reciprocated and so on. It was beautiful when they all got together and cared like that. And especially when fathers cared as much for their kids/daughters.

Probably it touched a chord, because it is the way it should be. It wasnt what I saw from much older cousins/other relatives to other younger children while I was growing up. there was a bit of jealousy, competitiveness and uneven treatment.

When I came back from my errand, the little girls had started their own party. They apparently had asked if they could use the sweets on display for their party. They decided it is a birthday party for A not because A's birthday is anywhere close but because A was the youngest. Beat the logic, now people.

Five of us stood there 2 women and 3 men across age groups just enjoying their whole dialogue. When my brother went on to serve water, one kid who is extremely reserved and just stared at him for a good minute. Like you there, you talking to me? Like TALKING TO ME and still looked cute!

I dont think one ever needs to direct a movie with children. They just have to videotape these round table conferences. Some one once witnessed uncle's grandchildren(long story short - my mom and her eldest sibling have a 22 yr age gap) have this sort of round table conference. One vandu apparently said, "Did you know L atha(that would be my mom) is our grandpa's sister?". The other kid, " I thought she was grandpa's friend".(that's how they were explained). Other kids went on to add in their bits.

I was playing with a close friend's almost five month baby. just pulling away the toy and observing how aggressively he tried grabbing it very time almost understanding the game I suppose, finding it more a fascinating exercise when the friend butted in and say give the toy to him- unable to bear the little baby being denied the toy. Difference between a mother and a mere guest:)

I love this life. The one with marriage, family, kids and so on. It is something I have always dreamt of. So I stand back and savour it sometimes like I did today. But part of me also looks at monotonous aspect of life. Yes, not all of them are like that. I have a friend who isnt like that . She completed a half marathan with a 1 year old kid at home and her partner in part-time B-school. But she was also the one who as soon as she was back from office would head to the kitchen, don the apron and cook a simple meal. She wouldnt spend more than 45 minutes there. I wanted to do that except I have missed it for the past 5*365 days!

But most of them dont. That is part of the reason why unofficial conversations at work tend to get boring.

For the first two years of my life in this place, a bunch of us got together played badminton, throw ball, tried my hand at tennis, put put golf, bowling, Hiked places I dont even remember now, made road trips, tried all the eateries and so on. Next couple of years, with a much smaller and closer group, we tried fine dining, movies, carnatic concerts... accompanied with endless reading albeit on the net but on topics of interest. this is fascinating fulfilling.

No, this isnt a debate(my vote is for the family) it just a record of piece of threads running in my head.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Movie dialogue quiz #3 - testing your peter and maryness

As usual identify the movies from the dialogue below.
1. "The pus that infects the mucus that cruds up the fungus that feeds on the pond scum."
- comes to rescue in channeling my angst

2. "This is an honorable proposal of marriage at what I consider a most opportune moment. I cant go all my life waiting to catch you between husbands."
- the bolded part is why it registered in my head. I could have given the other dialogue, probably the most famous dialogue of all times but that would just be too easy. such wit is almost impossible to find in the newer films.

3. "These fish have manners! They have manners. Infact, they are coming with me."
- the man again. I remember standing in the ticket line for this movie with L fantasizing that the man would come out shirtless. Apart from the four of us, there were only two more at Devi that day and they were mighty disappointed.

4."I know, I know. We are Your chosen people. But, once in a while, can't You choose someone else?"
- I watched the movie recently with some disinterest due to my disdain for most English musicals and realized why its a classic.

5. "You cant handle the truth"
- easy peasy jappansy, no? My all-time favorite movie with lead man however crazy he is now was so worth all the jollu in the world.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Aviyal stuff

From Byte world
The indie blogger award nominations are out and I find exactly two categories with blogs of interest but with quite a few choices to vote in. Who decided that we need to have a monogamous relationship with blogsites? Here I thought only three relationships in the world required monogamy. Also entertainment and humor are the only two categories that my fav. blogs come under. Unfair judgement on my choices me thinks:)

From Filmi World
P&P - the ladies from high heel confidential suspect Katrina Kaif was in "one of her ‘In Character’ appearances". tch.. tch.. such wild allegations, considering katrina is never 'In Character' in the movies what are the chances off the movies?

From Rahul Gandhi's world(umm.. that is a separate universe)
This blog will never run out of topic as long as Rahul Gandhi is in politics. There they go, the journalists asking out of syllabus questions again. Looks like neither of them are going to learn anything.
Have decided to be happy!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

removing the albatross

" Are you a Vegeterian?!"
"Why do people keep asking me that?!"
" because because i guess you are mingled up, i assumed you would have changed"!

- there there i shall remove the albatross across my neck. that and the fact that i added this one
(only non-indian) to my facebook(still a novice there), yes i am all mingled up!

Monday, November 23, 2009

To a dear old friend

I have had it with you. Its time for you to leave. You and me, we go back a long time. Why, Amma says it started right from my birth. By her calculation I was born a month later but even if you take the doctor's words, I was still born much after my expected date. When in a bit of teenage angst I screamed at Amma saying, " I am going to have a love marraige". She screamed right back,"you are too lazy to even do that"!.

During all those times, I never complained. Sometimes, I spelled you even with a bit of pride, teenage was a delight with you. You were the fad among my friends. Just feeling lazy, ya, we revelled on the phone.

But as an adult, you brought in much shame. Those derogatory looks were from others. But today, I dont want you.I dont aspire to be an Indira nooyi, but a normal life of cooking, cleaning, dragging one's posterior & placing it for 8 hours on a chair. That isnt too much to ask.

So here, we split our paths. not sure what the procedure is. Do I need to print it out on Gazette papers or file for a divorce? unfriend you?

I have mountains to hike and camp at, sky to dive from, rivers to raft through, languages to learn/kill, songs to bray through and so on. But all you want to do is drag the rear to the couch and stay put. So, please to leave. While you are at it, take the procrastination bum along with you.

And its not ME, its YOU!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Here a Kashmir, there a Kashmir

"The general told Rajapaksa, his commander-in-chief, that he won for him the war but the President failed to capitalise on it and win the peace."
- Rediff
because you know 'peace' is sold right next to 'winning war' at Murugan stores located at the corner of 2nd avenue and 12th main road, so hello, how could you miss it?:)

Just to give a bit of context(because that is all I know - a bit), the Srilankan General who lead the war against LTTE and their President are in a big power game enough for the General to send a retirement letter and the Governement to fear a military coup to alert and seek India's help. I think somewhere along there is a mention of development to win the hearts and that is what caught my attention.

By Kashmiri's own admission in their blogs India has done that in Kashmir. But their response is we would do even better on our own without these if we were independent. And that isnt true either, again from just reading their viewpoints because it would need India and Pakistan for business.

First they said military oppression and then they say we dont need your good work either. It looks like once the separatist sentiments are instigated there is not much one can do to win. War or money. Just saying.

Also, let me clarify, Kashmir and tamil problem are not the same. In Srilanka, the whole tamil problem began because of the secondary treatment given to tamils and doesnt look like that attitude has changed. Kashmir, on the other hand, just want to separate, period.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vengaya Sambar, cheppakezhangu roast and the RV with the boat

Mom and Dad visited us last year for the first time ever. Every weekend we were on the road. As soon as he encountered an RV or the harley davidson gumbal or a truck with a boat attached, he would sigh, "ochisinadu, bike ethunsi"(tamil: Vantutan, bike eduthundu, english: i wont attempt the translation).

This happened every weekend. At first I was laughing, okay, I was laughing till the third weekend and then it stuck me, he actually judged these people for spending their weekend outdoors. I asked him, so you think they should sit at home on a sunday, eat vengaya sambar and cheppakezhangu roast? Dad nodded. I didnt judge him.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Caught red handed

Why do people display 'Live Traffic feed'? I feel like I have been caught red handed trying to snoop!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A stage. Few people on it, lot of people before the stage. The ones on the ground complain about the ones on the stage. Crib Crib. dub dub. After much complaining, a man is elected and sent to the stage. With a lot of promises to be kept, the man stands out, but soon merges in.

The people on the ground go back to cribbing.

- whatever I could remember from a stage play I read in Kalki when I was in 6th std.

Update: The play reflected politics.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Racist, seriously?

** This was in the drafts folder for a long time MORE THAN 3 YEARS. **
There were way too many things going in my head that day. For starters, I was finally in a position where I was accepting resumes instead of doling out them. In an highly reputed institution, if I may add. Rest of group from my company were non-technical folks. Since most of the engineering students typically seek technical position(unaware of the real world company power structure which places the technical engineer at the lowest strata of power), they were all being referred to me.

Doctorates, students working with top of the line Professors were doling out their sales pitches while my awestruck eyeballs wouldn't even move out of their impressive resumes, wondering why they would want to join the positions we had. In short, I was relishing every moment.

And then there was this guy(Indian) standing in the stall opposite me. Initial I had thought he was good looking but on a little intense look, the rotund frame became obvious. Still, incidents in the opposite stall were interesting enough. There was another Indian girl in the stall. Every few moments, the girl would try striking a conversation with the guy. The guy would reply and return to continue his stare on the road.

The girl, not too charming, not too eager but from the distance I could still see the intentions. Except the guy was oblivious to all that.

With all this drama, the conversation that I was having with D, hardly made a impression.
" Oh Sorry S, we would have send all these technical resumes your way."
" I don't think I am qualified enough to evaluate some of these resumes."
"Oh, that's fine. I am sure you would know what we were looking for."
" Some of them even though highly qualified, are not good matches."
" Oh my girl friend should be here soon. I don't where she is..."
" She works for xxx. She just returned form yy today morning, haven't seen her in two weeks"
" You and A are close friends, right?"
" Are you dating him?"
This time, I got out of stupor, nodded my head in an Indian no way. I am such a schmuck, I couldn't even get to say, I don;t date.
" You don't like me"
"No, I like you, you ride a bike"
Uwww.. can I really get a lamer answer? If I rate all the lame answers, that would be the lamest but the truth is, I couldn't really think of anything else about him.

Then he said those words, " You are a racist S."
" I am just kidding."
Then the conversation drifted off to the something else.

Everything else blurred off after then.
It sounded absurd at first. Me, a racist? I wasn't harassing anybody due to their race. I wasn't harassing anybody period. But then all my friends are Indians ever since I moved to this place. I don't even find a necessity to talk to people from other countries.

I came to this country to earn money. I entered first for studying but let's face it, studies really didn't draw me. The fact that if I could find funding I would earn twice the money as a student than what the best jobs in India offered for a newbie like me did.

Of course, I fell in love with subject after I came here with all the opportunities, exposure to cutting edge technology, the fine professors, facilities, it was hard not to.

Again the first time I ever heard about coming to USA for the experiencing the multi-cultural environment was from the roommates. Before that it didnt cross my mind.

The place I went to grad school was 95% Caucasians. So, interactions were inevitable.

The place I have moved to after that has a minimum 30% Indians. A home away from home. Mini-India and so on. The necessity to develop friendships with Non-Indians just vanished. I always spoke to them. But never looked at them for long enduring friendships. Not that the incident changed my life or that I have removed the mental block from my head.

It still exists. I still don't consider my behavior racist. I talk to all my colleagues across races. I talk to anybody who talks with me. But deep friendships form on their own. Just to avoid a tag, you couldn't really develop fake friendships!

I am not discriminating, right?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Parrot beats Rahul Gandhi

In a study conducted by center for seemingly irrelevant but might be relevant or irrelevant topics, a Parrot trained along with Rahul Gandhi started making more intelligent conversation than Rahul Gandhi.

When contacted, Rahul Gandhi said this isnt his topic to comment on. Politics, Perhaps - suggested the helpful parrot from the non-Nehru family. Another reporter questioned Rahul on a topic on Kerala which Rahul said will be answered by the Kerala congress. When asked about naxals, he said it will be answered by the Government experts on naxalites.
*** What he is saying is these are out of syllabus questions, suggested the Parrot from the non-Nehru family.****

The reporter who was desparate for an answer, any answer, asked what he can answer on? At this point Rahul launched on some irrelevant and not even seemingly relevant topic called youth congress. He reported Tamil nadu has more than 1 million youth congress members. Reporter knew better than to point out that Tamil Nadu congress doesnt have that many members, heck it didnt even gather as many votes in the elections.

After 10 minutes, The Parrot from the Nehru family finished doling out its prepared speech. The video was uploaded in youtube, and 123abcd commented that Rahul Gandhi is a great thinker and should become the Prime Minister.

Parrot from non-Nehru family thinks it can become a Prime Minister too, guess it isnt that intelligent, huh?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Madras nalla Madras

Having heard it before from one too many people north of the Vindhyas who have stayed in Madras, I am pretty much used to the cribbing about how boring the city is.

The city is special to me(to be fair more like parts of it), but that doesn't mean others have to like it, isnt it? Thats a personal choice. or so I thought.

When you move into a place, it is up to you to adapt to the place. The Onus is on you. To understand the local culture, see the beauty and so on. Ofcourse, if the local culture is not fair, thats a problem. But dont ask for Snow in Madras nor parathas(parottos, you can). Nobody is asking for Marina beach in Dehradun - this is basic logic, no?

Cry babies, these ones! Also, this isnt specific to just the species up north. These ones exist everywhere like cribbing for idlis in Italy, steaks in sivasamundram.

* The above was a reaction to some of the comments in Krishashok's post on Lonely Planet page about Madras.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sibling rivalry

When Rakesh Mehra covered the sibling fight in his movie - Delhi 6, a movie that was supposed to focus(a more apt word 'mirror'!) on the problems facing India today, I laughed out. When did problems in personal domain become a national one.

But apparently I was wrong, here it is two brothers fighting out which has extended to cabinet ministers/ supreme court. Its what you hear from Parents with more than one kid all over the world or as mom would put it, evlow kuduthalum, ava kayalu enna erku than pakran.

You would think if your father gave each of you in billions of dollars you would atleast then stop fighting. no, sir, no.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cube on the corner

The cube on the corner of an aisle near the water cooler isnt a nice spot, sometimes. I want to stand up with a kuchi in hand and scream like Anna Poorni miss, this isnt a fish market because you know it isnt.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

show off

Fancy people this country has. As she peels the corns of the corn(food network), she does it with a knife. She says I like to hold the corn with a paper when I do this. Sounds silly, when they make a process for such trivial acts. but that is this country's/this civilization strength. We are not huge on processes back home. finding and setting up the right processes works like magic for non trivial acts. but doing it for trivial acts and proclaiming it as if it is next noble prizy thingy is silly, too much as we tamilians like to say. BS.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spider @ home

The boss went invisible whole of last week. We couldnt just see her, the email pestering came as they normally would. Bug bite, no lady bug or any such fancy ones, spider bite! Right the day I heard whole 15 minute story from the boss about her spider bite and the relevant stories(no, you dont become a spider woman but it does leave a permanent mark that scares the children away), I came home to the damn creature couple of feets above my couch, i mean couch, my dear couch. I shall one day write an ode to it, such is my love and this creature was threatening my position in that couch.

Now, it is just a spider, right? We all have grown up in lizard, spider infested homes. Ants, cockroach and Rats were fought against but dont particularly remember any war against spiders. The regular sunday cleaning included removal of cobwebs which means there must have spiders around, isnt it?

So, I decided to let the spider be and moved my rear to the dining table and continued to work. The spider is move likely by the time I finish work, I thought or so i thought. After couple of hours, the thing was still there. not a mm movement.

At this point, like any other dutiful responsible citizen of the 21st century world, I changed my gtalk message to indicate the spider @ home. Now, I dont logon to that thing often but i think i need to so that i can share with my grandkids about these things. A friend said that it is good protein and suggested I eat it(do i need to state sex of this said friend?). He also said they are mostly(80%) non-poisonous. Dear readers, tell me how is that of any comfort?

I did the thing that I have sworn around 100 times that I wont. I googled. When in distress never google. A mere common cold symptom is also a swine flu symptom is also some other near death symptom. There is a reason why physician spend 7 years studying, your google result of 7 second isnt a substitute. The poor substitute lead me to a set of 7 pictures of poisonous spiders found @ home. I dont know if you already know this, but spiders are insects.,they are tiny. All the 7 looked alike and this one looked like one of them. not a surprise, isnt it?

So I sprayed clorox(like the father in My big fat greek wedding, I am a big believer). After 2. 5 hrs of spending at the same spot, the spider finally fell on my couch. But thats about it. it wouldnt move an inch after that how much ever I tried. ok, may be it didnt move an inch but not more than that. Not certainly to the paper I was holding. Finally, I took the cushion outside and dumped the spider out.

Lesson learnt: Spiders are like sloth. If any one is waiting to be saved by spider man, they just have to wait for a week! And I am brave:)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Some people do make a difference

Ada is back in the car music system. The movie hasnt released yet. I dont know anything else about it apart from the music director. I bought the CD few months ago. It is an event, each of Rahman's release. There is Blue - do I really care about Akshay kumar and Sanjay dutt starrer? no. Yet,that was what DB, a friend who gives two hoots about Hindi movies and I spoke about last time we met.

I dont know of any other contemporary music director who can evoke something similar. SEL in Hindi, Harris in Tamil, why even Pritam who should be called a good arranger instead of music director are people I listen to. I am sure you have your share. But there is no comparison.

I wonder if there had been no Rahman or some other Genius like that would we have this sort of fervor for an audio release? Remove Rahman from the scene, what would we have?

In a way we are spoilt. We had an MSV, Illayaraja and Rahman. When journalists for the sake of an article called Harris the next Rahman, I would cringe. Listen to Annakili, you would straight way know Illayaraja arrived, Roja has Rahman written all over it. Geniuses have their stamps,. They set the trend, not merely reproduce another.

These people have brought in a heightened interest in film music. Without them, we would still listen and enjoy but not follow it with zeal we do. Now, thats what they call a true phenomena.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Friends film

How many of you are ready to watch the six of them once more on the screen? most probably, a botoxed, chemical peeled and god know, what other chemical/electrical anti-aging done faces which would still appear aged beyond their years.

I sheepishly agree, I want to. Infact, salivate at the thought.

We have already seen such chemical peeled..... faces for 6 seasons on SATC and a movie as well.
So, why not the friend's cast?

Just once more, for old time's sake.

Chandler and Monica would have to sell their house and move back due to the real estate crash. Ross and Rachel continue stay in the next building. Joey ofcourse in the good old apartment.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Middle class of india

I am always appalled when people dismiss off saying that is just the way middle class in india sees things, believes and so on, Poor is what we need to showcase, because they are the real india.

Middle class in India is 300 million, that is the population of america, it is still 1/3rd of the indian population.

How can you dismiss it off?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Books did runaway

One of the dreams during childhood was the image of a studio apartment* filled with music CDs, the state of the art music system and books . Except for the studio apartment nothing else got fulfilled. CDs became outdated with ipods. I remember the day the State of the art music system plan was dropped. We had all happily installed the onkyo receiver and the bose speakers after much thought and planning in a friend's place. As we all sat down to watch Lord of the rings, there was knock from the downstairs neighbour. He asked politely, "Sir, do you have this huge wattage sound system?". "Yes", replied my friend with a sense of pride and a bit of surprise as well. "Could you please turn it down?, it as if some one is hitting few hammers on my head", he requested. So that went off. Regarding books...

From my teenage years, the end of a exam series has been marked by a rush trip to the nearby library. I got so used to this that after a particularly gruelling mid-sem project and exam session during grad school, I rushed to the library and shut myself off from the rest of the world even though the school was very much in session. I was so tuned to the ritual. At home, I have tried sneaking in a book during academic year, but it was a pain when Parents constantly made me close the books/sometimes cruelly made me return it saying the books arent going to run anywhere while the exams are right here. You have all the time once the school was over to read books, they would add. Liars, they were. I will tell you why.

I graduated sometime back and have been working for some time now. No, now it isnt the parents who prevent me from reading. Infact, there is nothing that prevents me... or may be there is? something called Life? Weekdays with work and general life, it is tough to read anything other than books. Weekends are the only time to go out so cant read them. So how do others read? I am not one of those who can read a book before going to sleep and finish it over a week. Infact, I cant read piece-wise. Tried that couple of times, so Heathcliff and doestevesky's character are all waiting their respective fates in my head esp. Heathcliff of wuthering heights has been waiting for a year and a half. To me, reading a book means entering that world and I cant juggle between the reel and real. May be it is the time spent on blogs. May be it is the lack of real vacations which are just used up for the much needed trip to home. Infact the few I have read over the years has mostly been in the flights. Suspended in the air without internet access and only with few horrible movies for company seems to provide the right setting!

See, what I mean. Liars. Books have runaway for all practical purposes.

* I know that was all I dreamed of - a studio living space!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Moments from Movies

Initially, it appeared just a don story shot in a slightly quirkier and raw sense. It was much better than the other Rajat Kapoor movie "mixed doubles" which seemed like a stage drama. But five minutes post interval, the realization of what was happening struck me, such a wonderful addition to the don drama. The predicament in the original don drama itself is a fascinating one. This just pushed the envelope.

Vaaranam Aayiram
I know, i know, it wasnt a perfect movie. A movie doesnt become great because it takes it covers someone's life time. Nor does it have to be perfect but this one had way too many annoying things.

But there was a poetic moment. As Surya stands outside the hospital room where love of his life lies dead, the girl's father comes crying. Just couple of days before, Sameera tells him how she is going to introduce him to her father, how she is going to tell her father that she has found some one who loves her.... And here is the man, the daughter in the room. Sameera's father never gets to know.

Such irony isnt unusual but it still was taken well enough that I fell for it.

Pirivom Santhipom
For a movie where nothing dramatic happens and thing that they show as drama in the climax is quite laughable this movie was quite engaging. May be because I was getting to see families from a different part of tamilnadu and looked pretty realistic as well. (realism is even more fascinating than simpler, little less dimensional dramas that human minds conjure up).

But the movie worked for me. Especially scene where Jayaram stole the show. Jayaram, a doctor and his family are in Cheran and Sneha, a newly wed's house for lunch. As the conversation proceeds, Jayaram asks her what she does in spare time. She gives him a tape that she listens to.
It has all sorts of odd sounds from a cooker's whistle to a sound of seasoning during cooking to some birds chirping and thats what she listens to all day. Jayaram's expression in that one moment as he twists his mouth is all that was needed to reflect our thoughts. That moment just made me realize that other language actors will use all sorts of prosthetics, bulk up their body and shave their head off but all a malayalam movie actor need is their face without any extra prop. Their expressions will take care of the rest.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Thank you note

She said thank you. She wasnt sure who to thank - God or those supposedly higher powers or a person. Neither seemed to be the cause but surely such happiness has to be thanked for. So she said thank you.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bombay, Delhi and Calcutta

Chennai is Madras, Mumbai will be referred to as Bombay and Kolkatta will be calcutta in this blog. No MNS to attack the blogger, you see.

To be fair, I do understand the sentiments in changing the name back to their original ones. There is no necessity to call them with names that has been customized to the British tongue. But what MNS is doing is blatant terrorism. What happens if a film is set in the 80s, it will be madness to call in mumbai because the rechristening hadnt happened then.

But all this is a moo point, Raj Thackeray isnt really worried about the sentiments as much as the votes he thinks it garners. All this is getting to be boring. Same story different politicians, puh.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Judge me but these are the songs I grew up with

Just a trip down the memory lane.

I used to regularly take an oc ride in couple of friend's cars. A school friend L, first introduced me to MLTR during those rides. When I would complain I dont get the lyrics, she would make me listen closely miming along! We listened to all their songs. Just putting up two. A college friend and I wanted to go to their concert in bangalore. Even then I knew their popularity was restricted only to asia. But most of my friends and I owned a copy of their songs, mixed or otherwise.

I heard the cotton eye joe as cornado for whatever reason.

This world has lost its glory, lets make a brand new story..

Only time

Oh, there was 'I am a Barbie girl', Backstreet boys and Britney spears - but we shall not talk about them, ok? ok.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sarcasm becomes the savior

A spoof alteast is one good aspect of a bad product, some say. But it isnt just that, isnt it? To watch a spoof of a horrible movie, to see exactly all the points that made me cringe , made fun of provides me an immense relief. Almost a revenge for taking you on a ride. Thank god for some one else's sense of humor.

When I flipped the last page of Chetan Bhagat's Five point some one, a single word came to my mind a- Masala. I always have a sense of disbelief when a book/movie lets me down this badly, was that really true? can some one really take me for a ride this way? I mean,did i miss something or was that book/movie just that. Couple of years later, therapy came in the way of this link. Dont miss lol with this link if you havent read it earlier. IMHO, it would have been wiser on our part if we had some how passed the 2$s on this blog than Mr. Bhagat. Atleast you get a few laughs.

Look, I have always cribbed about how indian writing tends to be monotonous. It is almost as if there is unwritten rule that Indian authors should have a Pathos theme. Some light reading would do us good. I understand Chetan Bhagat comes in that space but I just hope it wasnt this cliched plot stitched together so hurriedly that it didnt provide any joy at all.

And when I read blogeswari's comment section for her Kandasamy review, I realized this feeling of relief through sarcasm isnt just mine. Some of the anon commentators over there sound like they have specifically logged in to read others thoughts and get an outlet to pour out their frustrations. See, what I mean?

** wee bit of digression, for once I didnt get conned by the tamil mega release wave. Unlike my last loosuthanam, I didnt catch Kanthasamy. In the process saved 16$, some headache. As an aside, a friend of mine who doesnt watch tamil cinema much decided to catch this specific movie - fate, isnt it?***

The last on this link list isnt a book or a movie, it is an annoying act. But it resulted in this honest rambling. One video that gave me relief from all the annoying acts of the jobless politicians with a notion of protecting our culture. This was apparently shot in the sets of Virumandi.

** a bit of background, Virumandi was initially called Sandiyaar, some political leader opposed as it was a caste name. These same politicians have been annoying the hell out of actors for one reason or the other. Cinema is one of most popular mediums in India esp. more so in Tamil nadu and the politicians get a free publicity by raising useless issues. ***

I know quite a few of you would be put off by Kamal's language here. But if you ignore that , he makes a lot of sense. Culture is indeed an evolving phenomena and people will be surprised if they knew the history of several elements that is considered sacred. The drunken speech is still funny. Atleast some one is mad in a sane sense!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Getting lemons

If some one gave amma lemons, she would make pickles. Mostly. If it is summer she might save some for lemon juice. She might make syrup and keep it in the fridge - that is something R uncle's family does. But mostly she will make pickles.

I would put them in the fridge, spend couple of hours, reading various recipes with lemons in indian food blogs, drooling over the pictures. At the end of it, I will be too tired and hungry and get take out. The lemons will eventually rot and be thrown into dustbin. I would feel very guilty about throwing them and promise myself I will never do that again.

Friday, September 25, 2009

About movies coming to a theatre near you

Spooky is the word that comes to my mind. To see Kareena Kapoor's expressions on Tamanna, her costumes, Shahid's Dialogue uttered by Bharath - seriously 'original piece' in tamil? get the madras tamil equivalent, please. And even the locations! 'E adichaan copy' is the ideal description. I know its an official remake. But I think the movie deserves to be internalized more. It can be done and will be such fun.

Sigh! I think of all the other times people throw words like copy casually like nayagan is a copy of godfather(inspiration would be a better choice), ET for Anjali and so on. Inspiration is fine when done well. I couldnt get Rashomon very well what with language and so on but loved Virumandi.

Hindi Cinema cant seem to make the distinction between Childish people and young people confused about their life Paths. Why else would Hrithik and Ranbir act all Juevinile. Hrithik looked like he was suffering with cognitive disabilities(I am PC, got it?). I think its unfair not just on viewers.

And Konkana is overrated. She acts well but considering she is portrayed in the space of Smita Patel(who I love), Tabu(Who I love again) and Shabana she is a letdown. She comes with similar expressions and I think that aspect isnt going to change. With Tabu, you would never feel it is the same, you will be too busy empathizing with the character. Just registering my lone voice of dissent.

I liked her in Mr and Mrs Iyer and that was that.

And seriously, one more south bombay boy confused about what he wants to do, I am not too amused. He has to be shipped out pronto with just a 1000$ in pocket without a return ticket at 20. He will learn.

Ranbir is cute.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


When people hated Kamal's work based on the fact that he was divorced, had a live-in relationship and was married twice, it was easy for me to say that was his personal life . No point in judging his professional work based on that. Years later, the same went for Aamir Khan as well.

But these days when I come across a name like Roman Polansky, I feel uneasy. I dont want to watch his works based on what I hear about his personal life, however great a filmmaker he is. Same goes for Woody Allen.

It appears to me that all along I might have always let personal life facts influence the professional work and in case of Kamal and Aamir, I didnt judge their choices. But with offense as severe as Roman Polansky's (one I hate the most), I cant bring myself to watch his movies.

The childhood idealism of evaluating a work just based on the work alone still makes sense. in theory At the same time, the hatred for a person, especially for some one like this guy, makes me feel it is almost criminal to even acknowledge his existence in any good way.

What are your thoughts?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

To be born as an Idiot

Dear Lord,
If anybody has to be born as an Idiot, let them born in the Nehru family(preferably of Sonia - Rajiv) lineage, that is the only way they can succeed.

Thanking you very much,
Yours sincerely,
'Politically ever correct' Sachu Kichu.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Maximum city by Suketu Mehta

For someone who within in a span of couple of years had met Ajay lal(the cop who solved the bombay blasts'93), bit of bollywood, a cross-dressing dancer, RSS local chief, Chota Shakeel, mumbai bar dancer so on and had detailed discussions with them, Suketu Mehta writes very little in terms of his own inferences or view points. But in the few instances he does, he sounds so juvenile against the mammoth of experiences he has just had, I was glad of all the other times he didnt.

Maximum city is pretty much a transcription(obviously selective) of his interactions with several personalities of Mumbai. Quite truthful, it is almost as if you meet these people. It isnt a well written book but is rich with details that is enough to keep you engrossed. He doesnt give you his conclusions. So you still have the wee bit of uneasiness about Ajay's relatively affluent life style on a government Salary. At the same time, you know Ajay is an efficient cop. It is upto the reader to draw their conclusions or not even draw one.

At the beginning of the book,when Suketu, an NRI talks of this experience as an exercise in finding his roots, I yelled BS in my head. I have always found this roots business quite pretentitious unless one is an Alex Hailey. In any case, this is hardly Suketu's roots. It is more of sure money making exercise. Nothing wrong in it if only he had been candid enough.

But he has done work that is worth the money. While trying to befriend an RSS small unit chief, they ask him along for nature's call. It is also a way for them to check out if he is truly a hindu. Suketu is one but that just describes how fanatical these people are and how close he has gone to the edge.

He was also a close confidante of Vidhu Vinod Chopra for those couple of years. The highlight of that episode was when Vidhu, sitting in Amitabh's house after a short interaction with Big B himself asks Suketu, "Do you think he wears a wig?". That was the same question Dad had asked me few years ago after watching Kaun Banega Crorepathi. Must be a men thing, atleast my Dad has enough hair and going by his family genetics will always have, still he observed the wig. I think Amitabh wears a wig except he doesnt wear the usual goundamani or the tamil actor's generic one. He goes in detail describing the nexus between the underworld and bollywood, the underworld in lot more detail, tracks in particular few people, quite a fascinating read.

I found the whole ending with the Jain Merchant renouncing the world, too cliched.

The parts he explored in the Mumbai are present everywhere from New york to even our own Madras except there is very little chance of us, the middle classy, suburbian people realizing it. Every city has a book like this.

Monday, September 14, 2009

A job is a job is a job

"It is not work when you enjoy it so much". "My work is my passion".
"I am lucky you know i am doing something that i love, so it doesnt even feel like work. " Often peope say it. I like my work, it is not a rocket scientist job but hey, i am not one either. it works for my pea-sized brains.

But it is work. As long as it comes along with strings called salary, deadlines, promotion, career it will always be work. It is work because if I dont do it, all these knifes hanging above my head will make my life miserable. I am perfectly capable of feeling miserable even otherwise, dont need an added misery.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A real coconut

It is strange when our age Indians refer to their Parent's Generation as the hippy generation of 70s. Unless you are Protima bedi's daughter, your Parent's memory of that era would have been more likely that of trying to make a living in difficult times, emergency, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan or their regional equivalents.

A month ago, during dinner at Santana Row, conversation with an acquaintance turned to share prices, the companies which we work for, rivals in our case and so on. A Phd working in the start-up of this decade mentioned how we have slipped into usual geek topics. Leaving aside the fact that table was filled with engineers half of them with master degrees and the other half had Phds(traditionally un kewl), I want to know what cool meant. were the girls in the show "The Hills", kewl? musing/questing for a boy friend constantly when most of the time there isnt one and if there is he is one hell of a psycho, using 'like' 1000 times in a conversation with cameras surrounding you and broadcasting your real life. that def. didnt look anything even remotely interesting.

I personally think being yourself is cool. But perceptions are different, quite a few people think doing certain things is cool. Those hills characters were definitely not cool. They were silly and insane. So now I just want to know what makes people cool in the popular perception sense.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Solution to worldly problems

women's liberation, world peace, poverty removal, food for all, roti kapda mak(k)aan, all diseases eradicated, no discrimination, no racism, equality.

- look guys i have said all the right things, problem solved.

I have got Vijay TV now. ** Yeah, removed star plus**
They have some kind of talk show, for women by women ofcourse.
Day before yesterday, it was about whether it is essential to have a male sibling.
Yesterday the debate was about giving loans - is it good or bad. (transliteration, people, adjust madi).
Today, it is about whether a woman needs to take care of her beauty after marriage.

When I conduct the show it will be about the whether to season or not to season Sambar, Rasam.
- my vote ofcourse is no.

You are welcome to contribute your choice of topic as well. I am no sexist, so...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

National geographic channel on expressways

Every single time I see the Black & white Cop car alternatively called Mama car in desi lingo, approaching an 'innocently' speeding car, I get reminded of the Tigress chasing the prey on national geographic channel. They ambush, these traffic cop cars, behind bushes, in parking lots and in all the places you cant guess and before you know there is the siren followed by a "License and registration, please"

These tickets seem to come in batches at least in south bay. I remember very well when a number of my friends got tickets within few weeks. I got lucky that time but not in the second wave.

After that there have been times when I thought if another traffic cop stops my car, I am going to hand him my keys and license and walk out. That would be better than insurance premium increase(first ticket in most states can be taken off the record by taking an exam).

What is more annoying is, once you get a ticket, while you will take all measures to keep your car within the speed limit, other cars will get annoyed with you(for sticking to the speed limit in the 3rd lane) and zip past you. Where is the mama then, is the million dollar question.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

PDA for population control

" Things change when we go to india. The whole urge just goes up", She said.

I nodded wondering whether it was sight of children bringing in the whole urge or some such roundabout psychological phenomena.

" You will understand when you get married, suddenly it is all so restrictive, you cant touch, hold hands and so on amidst all the people, so ..", she explained.

When another friend pitched in the same phenomenon, I wondered if this restriction of PDA is the root of population spiralling out of control.

If TV can be introduced for population control , why not PDA.

But then just late night TV can have different consequence, one couple's PDA can be..

Monday, August 31, 2009

Drugs can kill but..

Both Michael Jackson and Raghuvaran died at 50. News of Raghuvaran's drug problems were always floating around. The less said about Michael Jackson the better. A total freak show.
And they made it to half century. I mean can we walk up to a 20 year old and say beta, look at what happened to Michael Jackson and Raghuvaran, so dont use drugs. I mean, hello, 30 years filled with drugs?

In both the above news, I was surprised to find they lived as long as they did. Dont curse me, I actually like Raghuvaran and mourned his death. Yet the surprise at the fact they lived as long as they did in spite of their lifestyle was always there.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Second movie dialogue quiz

Four out of these dialogues I recall often with a smile. Fifth just breaks people's heart.

1." Latha Mangeshkar parupu podi araichi tharuvala..". Not sure if Latha Mangeshkar knows what Parupu podi is, but otherwise if you use more Parupu it becomes Parapu podi, more chilli, it becomes milagu podi. like that. simple.

2. "Enthiruda, Pathindu varathu..", if you dont know this movie thoroughly, i really pity your funny bone.

3. " Nenga pora route la ponga ammani, na vanthu join panikuren.." - the dialogue writer is my favorite and actually saw him upclose once in Bay area Parking lot in vella veshi vella shirt.

4. " Kelvi kekaratha romba sulabam maama, Pathil solli parungo... "

5. " Yenpa, enaku poi thangichiya porunthu eruku, vera yaar vitalayavathu porunthu erukalama ella, kila vitla porunthu erukalam ellana ethir vetla porunthu erukalam..." where did the girl go after this?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cost of a Plate of Idli,Vada

I always knew Bay area was expensive. But like everything else in my life, it strikes me a bit late now.

Some one who lives in Austin would probably buy a decent 5 Bedroom for 1/5th of the Price it costs in Bay area. They can afford to send their kid to Private School inspite of the mortgage. Here, after paying 750k, you wont be able to get a 3BR house in a good school district. Double income families, once into the mortgage mess, cant even afford to eat out. Heck, for the rent I paid for my studio apartment, you can rent a Posh double bedroom in Austin. No state tax in Texas while CA's governator is increasing taxes.

In terms of compensation, Salary, if you are lucky enough, you probably get 10% higher in CA which cant even cover rent. Competition at work is crazy. Weather is cool but I hear austin isnt bad either. Austin is just an example, I am sure there are equally good cities across.

It beats me why any one would choose to live in Bay area. Is this for the plate of Idli, Vada, dosa?

Label: has to go under moo point as I dont plan to buy a house in USA in the near future nor do I have a kid(unless immaculate conception is an option) or have found a father for that kid so most of the above points are irrelevant to me.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Democracy isn't foolproof rather fool-friendly but a fair one at that.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This is your goverment.

I did write too soon on 'Shahrukh security check' issue. News reports later have shown this wasnt a routine religious profile harrasment case as I had quickly assumed. His baggage didnt arrive in the same plane so he was made to go through secondary check. Makes sense. Shahrukh has complained how he has was asked to state a contact person. The question is routine procedure which makes sense to me.

What doesnt make sense is every one from Ambika to Chidambram from the Indian government expressing their anger against the perceived harrasment of Shahrukh.

I know I sound like a broken record touching the same issue repeatedly. I realize the futility of my anger, this post. I am old enough to realize that. But is it hard to see what I can see? Today a shahrukh is too special for security, then a minister, then a minister's relative who is most likely a goonda. Security check isnt an insult. If it is too hard try not stepping on their soil.

This is the same government which was caught clueless as the business capital went under siege by 25 terrorists less than a year ago. They have the nerve to speak against the security check of a country that has successfully protected its citizens for past 8 years(yeah i know they have their own issues but you have to admit the clean record post 9/11). The internal affairs minister of India, a country which has witnessed multitude of bomb blasts ever year for the past two decades has the nerve to complain about the security check.

May be the elegant looking man should shut up and learn a thing or two from US. That never happens, does it?

Broken record update: it feels nice pretty much most of the indians are raising the questions, atleast from the online world. When even Rajdeep Sardesai seems to makes sense, you know shahrukh's ego mania has gone too far.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Zabaan sambhal ke

Some months ago I was describing the savouries mom had made. I mentioned "Chakkilam".
JA and his wife(both tamil) gave me a puzzled look.

Surely they must know chakkilam? Every Marriage thamboolam includes it. We order it during Diwali from Grand sweets, those ones just melt in your mouth once you crack it with your teeth. We make it for Krishna Jayanthi. How could they not know it? I tell them it is a kind of Muruku , describe its twisty marks a little more. Oh,kai muruku? yeah, Chakkilam. JA says he doesn't know a Chakkilam. It is Kai muruku. In all these years, I never knew Chakkilam is a Telugu word.(I still have my doubts!)

For the first two years and nine months of my life, Telugu was the only language I knew. A Telugu that had evolved with 200 and some odd years of living in TamilNadu. There was a higher chance of a Tamilian understanding what I spoke than some one from Andhra.

On entering School, English got added as the medium of instruction. Hindi got added as the second language as dad worked for a bank and transfers could take us anywhere. School made i t compulsory to learn Tamil and sanskrit as second languages i.e with the same emphasis as hindi. Sanskrit, I dont remember much of it. We probably had only 3 classes per week. I couldnt escape hindi. I learnt it for ten years of my life. The national TV with its Circus, Fauji and Surabhi. Then there was also Aamir Khan and Shahrukh Khan. Sometimes Shashi kapoor, well quite a bit of good looking heroes. If you are staring at them on screen, you are bound to pick up the language at some point. I picked up Hindi more from these movies than from School.

Today, I can understand malayalam a little. I think I can pick up the basic words required for most of the Indian langauges. Two weeks in Bangalore I picked up a very basic Kannada.

But I am not sure I can call a language my own. Tamil, probably(Telugu doesnt stand a chance,though there was a point I thought that language sounded sweet). But inspite of 8 years of learning Tamil, I can read well but was pretty happy when I didnt have to write it anymore. I am not sure if I can write a blog in tamil(isnt going to reach the standards of this blog which isnt saying much).

After all this, does it sound bizarre that I end up thinking in few different languages. The other day as I was swirling in S's computer chair, I tell her, "I think R is lambi race ka goda". S asks," What?". oh may be it is Godi? I wonder. Till then we have been conversing in Tamil. Why the hell would I think of Hindi Phrase esp. when I am not sure of what ling to put? That's how the phrases come about in my mind. Some in hindi, Tamil and English.

I speak Hindi regularly at work with the friend from Delhi. Even though my first instinct is tell every one I dont know the language,, I can speak. Though I dont know when and why I switched to Hindi with her. It cant be secrecy, because that has to be English. Atleast then there is a chance that few Chinese and Spanish people might not understand. But we do converse in Hindi!

On the other hand, sometimes it is irrelevant the language I choose. Every one in my family speaks at a rate that is twice the speed of the general population. Our tongue is the concorde to your Boeing! My manager repeats what I say after I have uttered the exact same sentence.

After couple of our Initial meetings, P, my friend mentioned that he cannot follow what I just said. S butts in," Athu mudala apdi than da erukum, aprum poga poga seri poidum". (translation: Thats how you would feel initially but down the lane you would start understanding her). I am speaking in Tamil. They are tamilians. What the hell is there to pick up?

Couple of years ago, P mentioned, "eppo la nee solrathu ellam puriyathu,man. Munnadi puriyeve puriyathu, man". I should probably award him a graduation certificate. (P ends every sentence with man, I do it right back to him:))

Ofcourse I am not the reticent kind either. I have to speak and I will. Typically, an Indian is exposed to atleast two languages and sometimes three. I am sure I am a little odd but not the odd one out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some first

"Do you have radio at home?"
"Tape recorder"
" I have a fridge at home. Do you?"
" Godrej, yours?"
"We have BPL TV, you?"
" that is no good"

Come back home, check with Dad who says it is the most reliable brand, BPL is just more looks. Why do my parents do this always? Go for boring looking brands in the name of longevity!

Next day again,
" Do you have generator?"

Oh my god, defeat. that was the end of the world. I spoke to my dad about it, when are you going to get generator? Why do we need one? Vijay has one. That mus be for their fields, is his Dad a farmer? Next day in school, confirmed with him his father was a farmer. Your dad, he questioned. He is a Bank officer. Suffice to say that sealed the argument. (in truth, his father was likely to be more rich).

During 4th or 5th, towards the end of the academic year, class teacher had come up with a novel idea. Put a good student in charge of two bad students(academically speaking). Seat them together. Somehow, this arrangement resulted in a girl seated with a boy on either side. Vijay and Karthik. Vijay was the one with whom I had the earlier conversation.

In general, I was quite meek. But give me power, it would raise to my head and to another ten floors above it. So there the two boys had hell. Not that they didnt return back. At least Vijay was sweet and was just victim of my harshness. Karthik and me just didnt see eye to eye.

Pinch, hit - quite a violent bunch. I would struggle between my nice tag going away, to my desire to absolutely control and the irritation with guys simply not listening to me. I doubt they improved even a wee bit in their academics.

In the midst of all this, I will feel a tap on my shoulder. Jay from behind. Jay was one of the unusally good boy student which resulted in him being seated between two boys. Jay with Pearly white teeth, shiny black skin(regardless of colour rarely do skins shine like that), silky hair. He had just moved that year. Consistently scored second rank or something like that.

He would tell me some nice jokes. That was his speciality. Unlike the boys I was made to handle, the boys he was handling always laughed. they seemed a happy bunch.

I dont remember his jokes. But remember laughing a lot and looking forward to them.

One day while coming to school in the school bus, I saw him walking towards School with his little sister. I was about to scream his name across because that is what you do as a child on spotting any classmate. Suddenly, something in me held back.

The realization people might tease me.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I am king Khan, above security checks

So Shahrukh Khan was detained at the US airport for couple of hours for secondary immigration check.

This in his own words has apparently made him feel bad, angry.

There are two angles to the story, you know.

One, the whole Indian mentality of someone who is a celebrity/powerful/rich is above the law. There is no reason why a Shahrukh Khan or any politician from the country should not be subjected to a secondary security check on a principal level. Someone's celebrity status doesnt gurantee his non-criminal inclinations. Past examples indicate even otherwise, considering some actors and actresses from Hindi film industry have hobnobbed with gangsters who have turned terrorists. Same with Politicians. There is a strong Politician to criminal nexus in our country. There is no proof that just because some one is loved for their on screen performance is good in real life. From hollywood to bollywood, there are only reports that says otherwise that stars are as untrustable as the common man.

So, if Indian government and all others make a big fuss out of this when you havent really stood for other Indians in a similar manner, it is bullshit. There are people dying in Australia due to racism, compared to that Shahrukh getting gruelled for two hours isnt a big deal. Shame on media/ Politicians and celebrities who think otherwise.

On the other hand, I am against religious profiling. What US does today to Muslims is in principle the same as what jews were handed out by europeans for centuries. The intensities are obviously different but simply suspecting some one as terrorist because of a name, a muslim name is the same.

Inspite of a much higher number of bomb attacks, this sort of religious profiling in such a brazen manner cannot happen in India, simply because Muslims form a significant part of the part in elections.

In case of US, their population isn't significant. On the other hand, the population which would feel safe by such measures is significant enough in terms of election votes. No wonder, US government has been able to carry this on.

Hollywood has released what 100s of holocaust movies? Each one of them winning an award, yet we will never learn from them. Again I repeat, the intensities might not be same. But the idea is the same. And if people dont oppose this, we all know the famous poem, isnt it? "First they came for .."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Going all the way back to 5th grade

As I step out of the elevator, S quickly says, "My Manager is prettier than your manager."

Yes, today we work in this mothership company in a completely different corner of the world. But that moment made me smile bringing back our 5th standard silly moments.

S is a friend I have known from 5th standard. Known her for much longer than I have not known her. It is probably written. Because we somehow managed to land up in the same places inspite of our father's transferable jobs, us moving to states for higher education to different states and more importantly us. We don't even get along in paper.

Between, my manager is the pretty one. Got her to agree later on.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Show must go on

I cant quit blogging. Having quit everything else in life, frog jump at first standard after coming second in a competition, bharatanatayam at 3rd standard after few months of learning, Pattu at several stages of my life and so many other things.

Just to avoid the quitter tag, I shall blog on. Even though I might not even achieve the tag of a mediocre blogger(yep, that's all i aim for). Besides, blogging is also good for health:)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Boring... is the word

For the first two decades of my life, I tried to live according to other's likes. Now, this decade, I am feeding my inner self. Latter is turning out to be as boring as the former.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Cochin to Mumbai - ek film ki kahani

Before "Muthu", thalaivar's movie, there was thenmavin kombathu. Shot around a farm house, everything looked scaled down from Muthu. When the story travelled to Madras for Thalaivar, it was shot in a Palace. Atleast the story was still set in a village. The same story if it had dared to travel north west to Mumbai would have been set in London and shot in Buckingham Palace.

That's all I am saying.

And also the fact that in a way this reflects these three film industries.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer, some years ago

recyling from the old blog because recycling is good.

"Happy birth day", said S.
"Many more happy returns of the day", said P.
The watch showed 12.00 and moon was very much in sight. We were crossing the road, me with a laundry basket in hand.
That's how I greeted my 22nd birthday, on the roads of the grad school town with a laundry basket in tow.

Events leading to that particular incident had been truly amusing.

In the mountain-side university town, getting an accomodation especially with the building rules that the city had was expensive. Apparently, you can't build more than one floor else the view of the mountains will be blocked. For the whole of first year, we had to live in a well-maintained but beyond our means apartment. Rent was a whooping $1600(imagine grad. school ) for 4 people in 2 BR, a handerkerchief sized kitchen-cum hall apartment. Come summer, M kept reminding us that we had to look for an apartment. Ofcourse, We would have loved to move into the one building which was apparently every desi's address. I think engineering department didn't need to look for the address of a desi student. If the secretary spotted a desi sounding name, she just had to send the letter to the crack-side apartment. Even if the student did not live in that apartment they would still receive the mail. But the apartment manager wasnt sure of availability.

During casual walk, an encounter with 'I' gave us the ideal solution. 'I', one of the enterprising gals I had ever met, had suggested a 2 BR apartment, 3 mins away from the engineering building that too for a paltry sum of 1050$. The words sounded like god's own words. She also sooped it up by saying khoola khoola place. I had mentally imagined an 'alaipayuthey style' building with no walls(didn't she say khula khula!).

In the euphoria of this new found wonderland, we signed the lease. Ofcourse, facts like our current lease ended 20 days before the new lease looked too trivial to be considered. In true desi style, we asked(M and me would be the culprits) the current japanese resident of the house if she could put up with our stuff for 20 days which she agreed.

This was also the season when you receive random emails asking for accommodation, There would be emails asking if milk was available in US(if the answer was no, would you bring it?), Teaching assistants would be addressed as Faculty and would be asked about funding and so on M and me started receiving emails asking for accommodation.

Now, I have to tell you, things were not the same in the land of lilliputans.
From days of food festival with food from all across india(Marathi, Konakani, tamil and north indian was the mix) we had come to days of top-ramen noodle boxes.
Days of pillow fights went through the door and the days of in-fighting had arrived.
Somedays the dishes were abundant, some days the sink was abundant with the dishes.
Cooking turn had become a joke.
Days of groceries trip by the 4 promptly followed by M's splitting of bills were folklores.
The bill book from pune lay on the dining table gathering dust.

With the kargil scenario at home, I thought a new addition would bring the much needed relief to the scene. So, when Thalaivar(the name is a big story) asked us if we could accomodate a girl I had with all foresight of the pea-brain said yes. He had driven us all the way to utah in the midst of snow-storm gave us one of the best trips we had till date. The four seniors guys had been our saviours in several regards and indebtedness came into picture.

M had also agreed to accomodate another girl whose brother had called up from CA to ensure his kid sister's smooth arrival.

So, 6 girls.
12 India trip suitcases.
Enough vessels to make up for golt kalayanam.
And no place to stay in the midst of the scorching summer!

What happens next? Did we really end up living khulla khulla on the street.
Stay tuned....

Friday, July 31, 2009

To whomsoever it may concern

Its not Vada, its Vadai.
Its not Dosa, its Dosai. The 'D' really pronounced as in 'D' of "Dhun".

What are people eating these i's for?

Its not macha, its machan. Pronouncing the 'n' with the subtlety it requires is an art form, learn it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sonia Gandhi != Annie Besant

I really cringe when people make this Annie Besant and Sonia Gandhi comparison. We accepted Annie Besant so why not Sonia Gandhi. Do I have to really spell it out? The major difference between them?

A Person moves to a country drawn by its culture, rich philosophy it offers. Starts fighting for their right of self-rule when the natives hadnt started it.

Another one falls in love and gets married into the first family of the world's largest democracy(yes, d-y-n-a-s-t-y before d-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y ). Inspite of this doesnt become a citizen for 16 years till the husband becomes a people's representative clearly spelling out that it was necessity than act of volition. Then joins political party just before her son's entry into politics. Has never really shown any Political acumen or for that matter any sort of acumen.

To compare both is stupidity.

If there are some of you who are cooing, "oh but they both moved for love, one love for country and another for the man". That is stupidity too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oh my Country, thy image

A year or so ago, I read Kite runner. Like every other person who had read the book, I loved it. Particularly liked the way the Khalid painted his country without selling out to the typical western audience. I told myself this is how an Indian author should write about India. Real scenario, real problems.

On finishing the book, I did what any respectable internetaholic would do. Googled* the author's name, reached his website, read his interviews. And there I found him explaining how Afghans actually hated the way the country was painted in the book. That things werent as gloomy there and so on. They thought he had sold out to the west.

So Children, what do you learn from this episode?

*(blogger doesn't recognize that as a verb, wth)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Achumundu Achumundu

At the end of the movie, a bunch of newspaper clippings are shown which ends up bringing forth the issue much more than movie ever did. Infact, nothing ever happens in the movie. A friend wondered if the director couldnt come up with a story/plot to last more than 10 minutes because he was a short-film maker. We discussed alternate climaxes to make it worth atleast an episode in TV series(half an hr).

Atleast the portrayal of a desi life in USA is accurate. When Sneha asks the overtly friendy Indian woman she bumps into in a grocery shop if she belongs to Amway, it brings a smile. Sneha's overt suspicion at everything unusual at her house or surrounding annoyed me but apparently that isnt unusual for people living in suburbs. It is quite scary, I am told to live in suburbs.

But the main issue that the director wanted to focus on, atleast as I gathered from the newspaper snips might not get its due. By making the villian, a caucasian, people who dont know about this already arent going to understand it can happen in their homes, to their children, by someone much closer to them.

Monsoon wedding portrayed this much better in a lot more relatable scenario to the Indian audience. Ironically, Monsoon wedding was made and shown primarily for non-Indian audience. Non-Indian audience will add this as one more to the list of horrible things that happens in all the Indian homes, look at all the Indians they meet with a little more pity.Tamils watching AA would discuss about the horror that can happen in USA.

Both these movies, by setting the scenario in an alien country has lost the true impact they could have had. Not as much a loss to the north american/western audience who are adequately exposed to this issue but for us it is.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dream Job

I am a fraud engineer, you know. The one who would like to shake her head against six sigma model* and draw comfort at chaos theory**. My true passion would have been in one of those government offices, behind the wire mesh counters, as hordes of people wait in line for my attention, i shall take a sip of the coffee that the peon just delivered in a stainless davara tumbler, turn to pakathu seat pankajam and ask her, "aparumm, enna achu?". :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nange Paaon Chaand Aayegaa

Pon maalai pozhuthu

"Pot adichutu padran", my brother mentioned. He could be right, I dont recall much of the movie. Vaguely remember it as story about 3 guys and a girl . No, it is not the Bhagyaraj movie that gave us famous "ek gaon mein ek kisan raguthatha".

But this song has been cheering me up from the time I was born. Starting from the initial guitar note, the camera capturing sun glistening in the background, Vairumuthu's lyrics referring to the sky as the bodhi tree, the lilt in SPB's singing, texture of his voice and more than anything, illayaraja's music just makes it divine.

Carrying in the same spirit, not in the same league ofcourse, here is another.

"Shaam Ko Khidikee Se Choree Choree Nange Paaon Chaand Aayegaa" - need I say more?
So how is your friday, folks?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Red alert America

Remember the seinfeld episode where Kramer gets to be a Santa, he says something to the kid and the kid screams, he is a commie, he is a commie.

It puzzles me, this knee jerk reaction of the country to communism. As if its a despicable thing. How can a country that accepts the different races, cultures, a country that is open to all sorts of idealogies, all sorts of wierd religions, can act as if this is the one evil one needs to oppose. Hard for me to comprehend growing up in a socialist country.

I am not even a supporter of communism, the way it suppresses individual identity, it doesn't even work. has never worked. Enough people have said about it. Equal opportunities, yes, equally bad opportunity, no. But the intention of equal opportunity isnt bad in itself, isnt it?

Was it the cold war?

When O'Reily was interviewing Obama, O'Reily the fox sneaked in the phrase, "redistribution of wealth". No said OBama immediately. There again the knee jerk reaction.

My opposition to commnuism is it doesnt work. The way I see it, the knee jerk reaction seems to be more from the perspective of the loss of wealth of the rich. As if the people are screaming, " oh my god, are you going to take away all this wealth from all these rich people". It isnt fair, I agree, but it isnt the end of the world. We are always struggling with different ideologies, hoping for a perfect world. One of it happened to be communism, it didn't work and a lot of other things we have tried. So why is communism an anathema to america?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Really, we are a wild bunch

" Join us for Wild Wednesday
Enjoy music and free icecream
(while supplies last)"

- a notice found, where else, at the office. Can I get transferred to Steve Carrel's office at a higher salary, please?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


it doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure out. guilt will be my undoing. quite a few times guilt over a perceived wrong doing. often it turns out the perceived receiver didnt even bother to remember the incident. but i live with the wierd feeling in my stomach. trying at every available opportunity after the incident to make amends for my perceived mistakes. atleast i am extra nice then. friends have tried telling me that the world doesnt revolve around my words. good or bad:) A, a friend used to say that is my mainstay emotion. guilt, he would laugh over it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Watch out, the Competition starts in the womb?

'A' took a deep look at my face for few seconds and suddenly just like that he burst out a smile. He was five months old then. I had gone to his house for a navarathiri visit. Just as I was sinking in this moment with him, came a voice.

"Has he started making pa, na sounds , yet? ", asked another guest at the house.
(what a five month old baby does that?)

"No", answered my friend, A's mom.

"Oh, my Nithya has already started doing it. She is a month older than him. But she had already started saying pa a month ago."

"This one doesnt appear to say anything yet."

"Even my elder daughter had started saying few letters by 5 months. I think girls start so early."

oh man, isnt it bit early and quite ugly to start comparison now. A five month old baby for god's sake. He crawls around fine, is sitting on my lap right now. I have seen my share of babies with loads of cousins, nephews and nieces around to say this child was just doing fine. The whole life is ahead for this sort of competition. On the other hand, arent educated masses like us sitting in US with our Master degrees not believe in this sort of competition any more. I know, S and K(A's parents) dont want him to be in any sort of desi stereotypes of doctor, engineer. They really hope he is into sports one day, so knock out lady, his parents arent into the race.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Mouna Raagam - Title visuals

Have these visuals in the title song ever puzzled you with respect to the movie? It isnt hard to guess these are the childhood pictures of one of most adored,loved and celebrated tamil actress Revathi(who was totally worth all the that, btw).

A mix of Back ground music used in the film plays along as the title credits roll on. Illayaraja's bgm was undisputably one of the four stars of the movie, the other three being Maniratnam, Revathi and Karthik. Mike Mohan without the Mike comes somewhere in the movie but doesnt make the cut though is immensely tolerable for once.

But the music isnt what puzzles me, it is the pictures. Mani is known for his screen aesthetics but doesnt use them for the sake of it. So, they couldnt have been there just because they were better than black background or were they?

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Tried killing several times, but didnt work!
- me, at Work in an email reply. needless to say I was talking about processes.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Article 377 and landmark judgement

Indian society is hardly fair and free, but for the most part, the laws and constitution are. That is one bit of nice thing about India. This portion of article 377 that criminalises homosexuality stands against that bit of sanity. Treat people equally atleast in Paper, give them rights atleast in Paper. I hope atleast the gets corrected. Atleast one step.

Also, ever since the issue of gay rights and case against article 377 started in India, I have been curious about the reaction of the hindu extreme group. Islam and Christainity have specific instances in their respective books that condemn homosexuality. Hinduism has 1000 books probably, but I dont think any of them condemns homosexuality, if anything it is the reverse is what I hear.

So, if Hindu groups are condemning it, arent they just aping the religious conservatives of the rest of the world, even though it is the belief of completely different religion(their supposed enemies)? or did they suddenly wake up to the notion of diverse religions and tolerance to their beliefs? Just shows how brainless the fundamentalists are, I suppose.

Ps: honestly, before reading some of the blogs written by gay indians, I wouldnt have understood their plight or gave it a thought. my previous post on this

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

rang ranga pani peke

" Rang ranga pani peke, Seedhi sadhi ladki bhigad gayi",* goes a line in this current favorite of mine. It has been playing non-stop in my car. The song has a peppy tune. And yeah, insane lyrics. Series of line found somewhere in the middle of the song goes
"tareef teri karna hai,
tujhe khone se ab darna hai,
haan, bul gaya ab tujpe din me
chaar dafa marna hai"
- in one shot, a mockery of most hindi songs we know. I love that.

The minute of visuals i have watched has Deepika padukone showing some expression on the face. This is akin to my high school friend getting a 1/50 in one of the tests at the IIT coaching center. The Prof. told her that she might feel she has improved infinitely considering her previous her score was 0 but sadly that isnt true . That is exactly what I would say for Deepika as well.

*Pardon my indi, it comes some where after english, tamil, telugu for me.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mature audience

In 8th standard, during a tamil lesson on a poem about love(the detol kind), the giggles of the girls just wouldnt stop. The tamil teacher was irritated at how the guys our age had gone through the lesson without any hiccups, while us girls were stretching it for two classes simply because we couldnt stop laughing. That was understandable as the girls were just stepping into their teens especially in India.

It is slightly irritating though that after many years later, a much older bunch(ranging from 20 to 60), a supposedly matured audience laughed everytime sex just loomed somewhere in the corner of the conversation. That too in play about a woman's sexual emanicipation.

Surya ki antim kiran se surya ki pehli kiran thak, is a hindi drama about a queen who is made to participate in a ritual where in she seeks a surrogate husband for one night from the residents of the state due to the king's inability in providing her a heir. The play had its share of laughable moments and some dialogues were intended to be funny. But the audience were laughing even at serious moments. Like when the Raaja expresses his frustrations about the experience he could never have/had.

Otherwise, the performance and staging was very professional(after all we did pay money that too without even a charitable cause associated with the name). Amol palekar has made a marathi movie called Anahat starring Sonali bendre based on this drama few years ago. I havent watched the movie, but the drama/movie/ just the script is a must for every woman, probably men too.

Ps: Next time, I plan to go on the stage and say, "she and he.. umm..". I am sure that would be enough to make the crowds burst out with laughter. should be easy being a stand up comedian for this crowd.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Shiney Ahuja - the current news obsession

Shiney Ahuja, is all over the papers, so I assume you already know the deal. His wife kind of had a parade of all neighbours, friends and so on, in short, people who were ready to give their good behavior certificate for Shiney. But the truth is, there is noway of Judging a man's behavior in this regard based on your all other interactions.(may be true for a woman too , but i have no actual experience there). Yes, even his wife could be unaware about his intentions in this regard. That is just the way it is. Unfortunate.

On the other hand, the case isnt in trial as yet. We dont know whether he is guilty or not. We all know we should wait till the judgement. But we are all in a rush to make our own judgement. News agencies want too as well. They know even as alarming news as this can only be carried on for couple of weeks. So, they need to cash in, stretch it as much as possible. Quick snap judgements sell better. Ethics be damned.

Eventually when judgement comes, probably one newspaper will report it somewhere. People wont read or remember. Years later, we would still be delivering our judgements than the one based on a trial. That is just the way the world is.

Examples for the point, Few months ago, a 12-year old boy from England made news for becoming a father. A lot of debate went on the internet after the news. People obviously spent days and nights discussing it. Panelists were called to discuss the dangerous situations, the repercussions and all other bull shit. Later on, couple of boys also claimed paternity of the child. Eventually, a Paternity test was done and it was proved that the boy was not the father. How many people do you think are aware of the last piece of info? 1 or 2% of the population that read the initial news.

A first year student, Navarasu's murder rocked tamil nadu. John david, his Senior's name came up in the investigation. Eons and eons of articles written about him. Gruesome story. How many people are aware that he has been released on appeal because the evidence(found sufficient for a life time in the lower court) was found insufficient. Needless to say, no one I spoke to knows about the last sentence.