Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It was few years ago when Jug head landed with a bunch of CDs at home saying he is moving out of pirated stuff and I can take his treasure trove if interested. At first, I dismissed this as one of his usual quirks. The more I thought about it over a period of time, Ayn rand came into picture.

The only thing that stayed with me after reading fountainhead is a Person's right to his work. So if I enjoy some one's work, the right thing to do would be to pay for the work?  Ofcourse, this only applies to genuine work like Rahman's.

When Deva's work itself is a copy without any  acknowledgment to the original composer, why should I pay for it or a Vijay's movies which when I fast forward the song and fight sequence, leaves me with 20 minutes of worthless cinema Or the hungama of one good song in a whole album of bullshit.  I decided for such sub-par, I dont care. As it turned out I never had any urge to listen/watch any of these works.

Of course, there are couple of other factors. In case of films, there is no gurnatee of the product  - are we going to enjoy it or not and there is no return policy. Added to this the atrocious price. When legal tamil DVDs and CDs are 1/3 or sometime 1/10th the price of hindi DVDs, that bogs you down as well. i.e I dont have any control on the pricing. 

Also, given where I live and also my interest in older movies, getting movies was tough. Mostly, I went by case by case. When I enjoyed watching a movie, like Mozhi, I ensured I bought the DVD on my next visit.

Enthiran was the first time, I felt very uncomfortable giving in to the coffers of Kalanidhi maran. After dillydallying for a huge while(I mean as hard as it is to believe this isnt my life you know, movies are only at the periphery of life and there are other hazaar things to worry abt anyway!), when I finally decided to head there, they had taken the movie out of theaters. With all the corruption rubbish that is going on in karunanidhi family and most of the tamil films produced by his family, I have decided that if at all I watch movies(they do make good movies, though from what I see) associated with this family, it will be only through the route of piracy!

Monday, November 22, 2010

When Nira Radia spoke on the phone

Various telephonic conversations between a lobbyist, who represented Tata, mukesh and some journalists suddenly made news in few sites - just couple as far as I know - 'open the magazine' and outlook.

Few of the transcripts I read were about DMK-congress cabinet ministry arrangement in 2009 and one about Mukesh's interview set up with Vir Sanghvi.

Few observations from my side.
1. I am not too surprised by the close nexus between politicians and journalists. It is not the first time I am hearing of it either. Movies have portrayed so have fictional stories. And also, when one thinks about it iit s inevitable. People who work that closely will form a nexus. It is only human.
Infact the Vir Sanghvi tape where the lobbyist dictates how the piece is to be written is quite expected. Journalists need these interviewees and you could say the interviewees require the journalist but that forms a separate post.The journalist often make a hue and cry about how the questions are vetted/ dictated. So, it isnt new.

2. But I didnt think that it would be to an extent where Journalist would act as messengers in crisis time. Messengers might seem like a simple job. As the tapes indicate, the messengers(Dayanidhi maran portrayed himself to be one and tried tilting things on his side is what the tape says) can create havoc if they want. That puts them in a state of power!

3. This also explains why the majority of the media, esp. the likes of Barkha dutt and others have always been pro-congress because that is where their close connection lies. On the other hand, did they become close to congress leaders because they were ideologically aligned (bet the term ideology in these times in this sphere is pure bullshit!) or because that is where they were being favored, I am not sure.

4. Who would have released the tape? the one who was targetted to be affected by these conversations, right?

5. Every one knows Mukesh Ambani is doing much better than Anil after the split. I had wrongly attributed that to Mukesh's better skills of administration. Apparently it is just better Politician pocketing skill - the only skill an Indian businessman needs. 

Peripheral question"
1. With all these scandals that are breaking out, it is hard to believe Sonia/Rahul arent getting anything out of it. Rajeev Gandhi used to say the example of  passing a 'kuchi ice' through 100 people equating the amount of ice that last of the 100 gets to the government spending that reaches the comman man. Applying it in reverse, if this is what Suresh Kalmadi got out of CWG and Raja got out of spectrum scandal, one can imagine what the ones at top would have got. Why should Rahul/Sonia tolerate the corruption allegations esp. like the CWG if they arent part of it, right?

Congress has found an easy way out of the allegation by making a habit of sacrificing the prominent head.

Notes from traveller's notebook

No one asked me to write a comparison list between India and USA but that is precisely what  I did for the first few days. Before you jump in, it wasn't dirt/lack of cleanliness/ stench of you know what that hits you the moment you land in Madras(only madras airport has this distinction neither Bangalore nor Mumbai). The only time I ever felt that was on my first ever trip back home.

But there were various things, mostly I kept missing my home(not the country USA) just my home, my dirty home! Ofcourse, that changed. When I left India, I didnt want to leave.

One of the items that shocked me which I find silly now was when I showed a printer model on Amazon to the dealer he said you cant expect what is in  'some'(!) US website here. Thing is, you get so many things in India that sometimes when they aren't  the same across the border it shocks me.

The whole printer episode makes me wonder how my friends whose morning cup of filter coffee is edealinfo/fatwallet will survive if they head back!

Since every one kept asking us if we have gone to Express mall, we went there only to find the same brands that you get in US at much higher price on much older items. It makes no sense. Now, why would I want to shop there?

This is only a note for me, but remember there is never a need to step out of that area that my parent's reside right now. Every damn shop has a branch there.

Pavbhaji from where I enjoy it the most, cutlet from where I like it the most, food at annalakshmi, sangeetha's parotta with side dish have all been had.

This surprised me and might sound 'pethal' to most people but I found the madras traffic much better than 2 years ago. Ofcourse with no U's in most places it makes sense.

Obama mania was on when I was there, the last time I heard his name so much was during the election time in US and that was lot more balanced than the uniform praise/fanfare Indian media piled on a man who took away 10billion dollars from a developing country and gave nothing in return. As my brother wondered why would any body from India support a Democrat.

My dad kept switching to news channels and after few days I agreed that it was the most interesting set of channels with far better drama.

A.Raja looked like a joker but ofcourse the joke is on us.

It takes hardly 10 mins to get out of the airport from the time you get out of the plane both in India and USA - this is when you enter a country - immigration and custom check included. But it takes minimum an hour or 2 get into a plane!