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.