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.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Feel of earth

Fourteen year old Reese Witherspoon runs towards home after a swim on the TV screen. I suddenly notice the shoes. Did she have them before or was it her starry tantrums that refused to run bare foot? Too shy to feel the earth? Feel of earth, isnt there some sort of hype around that. To let go and feel in its bare form. Then I am reminded of the gravel, how it pokes your feet and the hurt. not so romantic then the feel of earth, I suppose.

Labels: utter rubbish!

God of small things - book report

Wrote this a long time ago

This was a re-read/re-visit or re-return. I must admit when I read the book earlier or rather flipped through it, I misunderstood the love laws she wanted to break. Naturally assumed that to be the reason for the book being best-seller. I was right & wrong.

The first few chapter have undeniable rushdie style - the gobblygib & dibblydobs, the story-telling through the eyes of children. Ofcourse, she does not do as good a job as Rushdie.The word plays just don't run as wild denying us the crazy world that rushdie lets us live in. (the man is truly crazy, this one is faking it). But she does manage to recreate the child's world perfectly well. In this regard, three of the famous Indian authors - Rushdie, Rk Narayanan and Roy are equally gifted. In one page she has the narrative of the incident from the seven-year old and recalls the same incident from the 31 -year old. The transformation is amazing.

I have read few interviews of her. And the similarities between her own life & Rahel's are easily noticeable. Roy's mom runs a school, rahel's mom wanted to run one. Roy a student of delhi school of architecture, had a failed marriage, bengali dad- syrian christain mom, ditto rahel.

Neverthless, eventually as characters begin to emerge I was a little disappointed with unipolar characterisations of the wilful baby kochamma, conniving pillai, victimized ammu. But what was more disappointing was not the last chapter but the last but one. Pardon me, to me incest chapter does not even seem to fit the flow, seemed unrequired. Infact, I had to google to understand what she was trying to do there.

Otherwise she pretty much uses the usual element for an international book-seller from india. The freudian connection to the motherly love of mammachi is totally unimaginative. Why exactly would mamamachi motherly love have to blemished and ammu's luv for her kid the usual holier kind? Is it because ammu is the one of the protoganist and roy decided she is good? God!

The book also has worst experience a child can have, robbing them of the their innocence of childhood. It was handled very well in the novel from the child's point of view. The confusion, the fear that the child undergoes captured very well.

Roy ensures that the "white" margarest kochamma the better person, while the "brown" baby kochamma has to be conniving one. How else can you sell the book for 1/2 a million dollar. By the by, Kochamma i think means aunt in malayalam, close to athai in tamil?

I wonder if I remove the last but one incest chapter of the book, would the book this successful? Wouldn't yet be another novel.

Once again, is the book-writing all about dark characters. Are all human beings that way?
I thought I was a minority.

Now, don't get me wrong. She is a gifted author.I did end up almost crying reading about Ammu & velutha. The sadness that the children had to live for the rest of it is too heart breaking. Roy's writing shines through most of the book. Wonderful writing again.

Loveable, pitiable ammu, velutha
detestable, conniving baby kochamma & pillai

If only were life was so straight-forward.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

This happened few years ago. One evening after coming back from college. My mom started, " Guess what happened today? Remember the India today subscription we had ordered? I forgot all about it. A parcel came today, I didnt recall the subscription gift. what with all the bomb scare going around, I got all scared."

"Then, what did you do?"

"I went outside the house and opened the parcel"

"How would have that helped, if there was a bomb, you would have anyway blown off"

"But the TV, fridge and computer wont be affected"


Yes, that is exactly what everyone would have felt, a mother was blown off but in a valiant effort saved TV, Fridge and the computer.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Different Worlds

Saturday evening, went out with S, her friend and his friends. We did dinner, a desi dance party(I can never never dance) and played carrom. Every word uttered was a double entendre. All of us in our late twenties and a girl who was in her 30s. Headed home at 4.30am. Typical day or night of youth.

Sunday evening DB, L and her parents came home. Typical family talks.

Then there is the blog world. I alternate in and out of. It is a diverse world, some closer home than others but for the most part an interesting world.

Past two days at work has been filled with meetings. An half hour meeting got extended to an hour and a half. The meeting group consisted of two indians, a vietanemese, an italian, an american, and a chinese. Jokes. Some lame. Some decent but almost every one of them requiring an explanation.

Today, dinner at L's house, again familial environment.

Then there has been yoga class for the past 2 days where i am constantly asked to feel the bad feelings and good feelings. Turns out I dont have any feelings, take that you morons.

Way too many worlds to traverse through in two days.

On saturday afternoon, I spent half an hour with doestevesky's white night. That 26 year old young man who calls himself a character, nothing more, is the last world I seemed to have related to.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Confession time

It was one of those regular calls to the cable company. You know how they give you time-bound offers lowering the price, then they hike the price after the time period, at which point you call them again discussing with them your financial plans like dropping some features(to savethe price) or move to the rival brands and then they put you on some other offer and ... life's endless cycles.

I made that call. Except this time the permutation and combination ended up in such a way that I had to take a Hindi channel to get the best deal(dont ask, apparently that is consumer market). Chose the cheapest Channel. Star plus.

I have two friends addicted to the Serial thingy, so should have seen it coming. One watches the episodes missed on google video the very next day. The other refuses to step out of the house during the time inspite of a DVR. They work and live in Silicon valley.

At my own house, I can see the ghost nearing me. At first I couldnt believe the mind-numbing episodes reminding you once again of the moniker idiot box. But slowly i can see the convenience factor kicking in. You dont need to know the origins. cant really differentiate between preview and the actual episode. One night, I couldnt even notice that they had moved on to a different serial. The previous serial had this letter lying under a bed. I was listening to something on youtube so had muted the tv. When I watched it again, there was money lying under the bed but it apparently was a different serial. One can never tell.

I had alteast hoped for some film based programs. During the early days of cable TV, the print media wrote all sorts of articles about how the cable TV was filled with programs based on movie without any original products. Sometimes people dont count their blessings and are plain greedy, result, you get the atrocity that is mega-serial tv with exactly one movie per week.

If I probably go missing from blogosphere I am most likely watching the Star plus re-runs or catching up on the whole bank of episodes.Do inform the office of the same.

PSA: Say no to mega-serials.

Friday, June 12, 2009

i havent grown up yet....

I carefully inspected the chair for any thorns, needles or any thing that can prick. Couldn't find anything. Then why exactly, my dear readers, do i have this urge to get out of the chair at the slightest possible excuse? Go look at the snack corner. Get some water. Head downstairs to make yourself some chai or get some diet coke. Visit the loo as a consequence. Head down for lunch. Head up for a light banter with D. Go for a walk.

But the moment there is a deadline that is realized well after it is definitely going to be missed, all these urges disappear. Key board becomes the weapon, cursing for stupid mistakes another. why? why? why god why me?

ushhhh.... dont tell any one now. .. not my boss.

Ps: I wrote this long time ago, as of today we are working not just sitting on the chair but even sitting on the couch at home. That is how it looks for couple of months.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Movie dialogue quiz

Often, some random dialogues from movies would get registered in my head. Some good but mostly cheesy ones. To the extent, that i hate them but yet remember them. Here are few of the dialogues and guess the movie if you can.

1. " Patha hi nahi chala maa ki kaab pyaar ho gaya, pathi hi nahi chala maa".
- The wierd thing is for a long time all I could remember was the dialogue, not the movie, not the scene, not the actress. And then I read it in another blog and figured the movie. It wasnt a 80s movies as I thought.

2. " yenna, en mansu enkita ella.."
- err.. from my favorite director and favorite director, you can take the dialogue and make a grilled cheese sandwich out of it!

3. " Shaadi Karne ke liye, kisise pyaar karna bahut zaroori hai "

4. " En brother, cobarathan quarry-la kal odaikarar"

5. "Ethni saari kushiyan kahi ghum agle mod pe tho nahi?"
- C'mon this was a good one.

Updated with answers
1. Hum dil de chuke sanam
Check out 0.47 of this video:

2. Every one guessed it right. Mouna raagam from my favorite director and favorite actor.

3. Dil chahta hai
Check out at 0.40 secs of this trailer

4. It is our cult movie, ella?

5. Kal ho na ho. Yes, I watched it, i think except for last half hour and shahrukh, the movie was tolerable. nope i am still sane coz i dont like other karan johar movies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


When will I learn that I dont need to answer every word I see.
When will I learn that I do need to react certain words when directed towards me. not fews hours or day later. that too in my head. No, even if I do it 100 times in my head, it doesnt count.


"saaththiram paesugiraay kannammaa saaththiram aedhukkadi
aaththiram kondavarkkae kannammaa saaththiram undoadi"

- asks Bharathiyaar, presuming the anger as a resultant of immaturity. But wont there be more reasons for some one who follows the rule book of life to get angry and upset in this world? The same anger that lingered in all his works.

or was he just referring to the Indian traditional rules?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


"Muruga muruga sollu, current vanthadum."
There, that's probably one of earlier instances of instilling the faith in me. If you think it through, it is a total win-win situation for God. If one didnt repeat god's name till the power came back, the prayer wasnt sincere, if you did continue to chant his name, at the end God helped in bringing the power back.

That was that. During middle school, I got bored of getting the same rank for 2 consecutive years and decided to ask god something. Mom says she never asks God anything. She just prays. Used to believe her then and followed it to the T. But when my rank at class went up that year and that changed things.

Years later, God has become a wish granting ATM machine (doesnt work all the time). Why, if more wishes were granted by another God, the author of the blog might even be willing to switch(she will switch). Though, I feel God should be approached only for 911 sort of emergencies,for other things, I really wish I would get rid of the clutch.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Actors in ads

Has anybody ever studied the link between using celebrities to advertise for a product and their impact on the sales?

Here in US, I don't see celebrities endorsing as much but in India everything from Toilet brush to ear buds to sanitary napkins is advertised using an Actor. You might watch an ad for the actor but would you even remember the brand? I wouldn't have noticed the Loreal ads if not for ash. But that was the novelty factor of watching an Indian actor in an ad here. Beyond that I don't remember the brand brooke shields endorses., sometimes even the product Even in relevant ads where they make an impact like the one with Julia Dreyfus(of seinfeld fame) I am not going to start using it even though i do want to lose weight and i do like Julia Dreyfus. Amitabh endorsing a retirement saving plan or shahrukh endorsing LIC are huge jokes because these are people who absolutely dont have the worries the a typical user of this product has.

Cosmetics is the one thing that actors could have an influence if you were a teenager. Now with google, i am an intelligent buyer(umm... ok, i used intelligence and me in the same sentence and not in a negative way). Amazon's user review might influence me lot more than my favoritie celebrity on buying a product. So, for me , a celebrity endorsement has no effect whatsoever.

Which is why ads that appeal to children makes a lot of sense. Children arent intelligent buyers(!). They are adamant and can be made to influence family decisions. Indian ads tap a lot into the phenomena. But even they arent going to urge their parents to buy something because kareena Kapoor endorses it. So why the hell do the companies prefer stars? do you really think they make an impact? would you buy something because your fav. star endorsed it?

-'Totally jealous of all the money stars make'

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Personal genetics

In the opening scene of a tamil movie called Karuthamma, a teacher who has just been transferred to a village school would meet a farmer. After some initial conversation, the school teacher would ask the farmer about his schooling .
Farmer: oh, I didnt go to school.
Teacher: Why didnt you?
F: Why should I?
T: If you had studied in school, you could have gone to college.
F: so?
T: If you had gone to college, you could have got a govt job.
F: so?
T: If you had a govt job, you will be able to save enough money to buy a house and be happy.
F: Who says I am not happy now!

Something similar took place at seminar at work the other day. VP from a personal genetics company did a good sell on us explaining how we could look at our genes to discover ancestry, at this point she took a moment to mention to the other VP how they are both completely european. Seriously, how boring is that.(and a bit racist too) My Indian genes on the other hand, would be a rainbow.

But the main purpose of this individualized genetic study would be to customize the healthcare to your body . We could also figure out what diseases we are more susceptible so that we can take preventive actions. That was exactly the point on which someone questioned her.
"What can I do anyway just by knowing I am more likely to get Parkinson, Alzhemiers.. "
" Well, you can exercise, watch your diet and reduce your chance of getting the disease."
"But I already know I need to exercise, watch my diet for one disease or the other!".

Seriously, we will be susceptible to one of the hundred diseases anyway. Even otherwise, with the high fat, high stress, low exercise lifestyle of the 20th century would mean I am susceptible disease anyway. The elixir of life seems to be exercise, diet control and so on. So, why bother?

On the other hand, I sound like the IBM chairman who said the world doesnt need more than 5 computers.

Ps: A white american ofcourse raised the question about privacy and wondered who owns the gene map, the company or the individual. They said our genes by themselves arent useful to anybody and only when they collect 100000 gene maps, can they make any conclusions out of it.

Almighthy is the accused on this case

"It should be the other way around, you know. Chocolates, ice cream and chips should be healthy and things we dont like to eat should be unhealthy", said my ex-roommate in what has become an epiphanic moment to me . It isnt my fault as I let my tongue taste every chocolate that meets my eye without worrying about the sweet's clinging abilities to various parts of my body. It isnt my fault that even though I start off with a limit of 7 potato chips, I end up finishing a packet in couple of days.

It is the creator's fault.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Humor and me

I am funny and not humorous. I wish it was the other way around.