Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Monday, June 27, 2005

Geometric progression, late hours and mad ol' me

16 mails from ONE person that I have still not replied to..

8 books vying for my attentionJ D Salinger - Catcher in the Rye (presently re-reading)
David Davidar - The House of Blue Mangoes
Robert James Waller - The Bridges of Madison County (half way done)
Terry Pratchett - Truckers (staring at me from across my cubicle)
E M Forster - Howard's End
Toni Morrison - Jazz (now in Japan)
Lance Armstrong - Its not about the bike: My journey back to life
Chetan Bhagat - Five Point Someone

4 movies saved on my laptop that have still not seen Windows Media Player
Cinderella Man
THGTTG
Khamosh Paani
An affair to remember

2 weeks till the parachute comes back

1 more stupid post that makes no sense to anyone but me...hopefully...

:-(

I need a breakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk desperately.....

Why I loved Paheli....

Paheli is a poem about passion, pain and longing.
Paheli is a painting where every pixel on the canvas is filled with resplendent colours.
Paheli is as much about thoughts as it is about words and deeds.
Paheli is art at its best.

Before I get on with it, a big round of appluase is due to....the producer Shah Rukh Khan for believing in the story with all his heart and putting his money to back his heart

But yeah, I really wish....SRK the superstar had not interfered in the decision to finally convince SRK the producer to cast SRK the actor in the pivotal role of the husband and ghost. Not that the King Khan is really bad in his portrayal but well, the role could have been performed equally well by a lesser known name and thereby not deflected attention from the central character of the female protagonist. However, I think there is a reasonably good case for giving SRK the producer the benefit of doubt for I am sure he cast SRK the superstar with all honest intentions since none can deny that his very presence is bound to pull in more crowds and that is something that a good movie like Paheli deserves for it forebodes a very promising future for genuinely hatke ventures like this. Besides, there is also the small matter of recovering the Rs 20 odd crores invested, you see.

Based on Vijaydan Detha's classic novel Duvidha, Paheli is the story of Lachchi, a woman abandoned (in the pursuit of business) by her husband Kishen on her wedding night with the union yet to be consummated. Unknown to anyone, a ghost falls in love with Lachchi and fills the vacuum in her heart (and life) by taking on Kishen's form whilst duping the world by passing off as her husband all the time hoping and dreading the day when Kishen will return home after his trip. Life however does not spare this surreal couple of the problems of reality and fate intervenes to set up a showdown between the ghost and the husband with both of them laying claim to Lachchi and her love.

While Paheli can easily be slotted into the so-convenient genre of fantasy films, the real reason why it works is because it is an immensely engaging emotional saga of a woman and the choices she faces in life: of becoming a subservient daughter-in-law waiting for her turn for happiness or a passionate woman embracing love even if its from unacceptable sources. Scenes depicting the angst of unrequitted love, the volanic outburst of pent up emotions upon discovering a solace and the small pleasures of everyday life are so wonderfully depicted that you cannot but sing enough praises of the screenplay and narrative.

Playing the playful ghost, SRK is absolutely in his elements except for the odd moment when his 'Rahul act' raises its ugly hood but its in the dull husband role of Kishen that SRK falters by hamming excessively. Anupam Kher as the money minded father of Kishen adds yet another feather to his well adorned cap whilst Dilip Prabhavalkar as the drunk uncle of Kishen and Rajpal Yadav as the village messenger offer comic relief. Lending admirable support to all these actors are two wonderfully etched cameos by Amitabh Bachchan playing an eccentric shepherd who is finally called to solve the Paheli (riddle) and Juhi Chawla who plays the other daughter-in-law with such consummate ease and dignity that you forget that she is actually a star. If I have one complaint about the charctersiations in Paheli, then it is the fact that Juhi's charcater could have had much more impact if only it had been fleshed out a little more but then its a 13 reel movie and I must admit that I am being a little finicky. Yeah, I have reserved the best for the last. Rani Mukherjee delivers what is for me the performance of a lifetime, one that is subtler and therefore more difficult than her role in Black and one that is sure to fecth her all possible awards and accolades.

Ravi K Chandran..What does one say about his role in the movie...When rediff mentioned that 'Paheli is the best-looking Indian film in a very long time', I was half scared that every frame would look like a picture post card and realism would take a beating. Suffice to say that Ravi's camerawork is mindblowing, be it capturing the scenic beauty of Rajasthan or the colorful gagra cholis, without being excessively opulent on the eye a la Devdas and credit must also be given in part to Muneesh Sappal's art direction. Music by MM Kreem is one of the real high points of the movie and I could write pages just on Gulzar's Dheere Jalna. Finally, the real hero of the movie is the director Amol Palekar for having the guts to dream of recreating the magic of the book on celluloid and actually succeeding in it. After directing art house classics like Kairee and Anaahat, Amol sucessfully transcends into the commercial realm and does a brilliant job of treating the uncoventional and bold theme with liberal doses of cinematic entertainment. Kudos !

Final verdict: Must see - Go watch it in a movie hall.

I am de best

To be the smartest cop in the beat needs one to think exactly like the smartest criminal in the vicinity and more importantly, think two steps ahead.

Hey don't google....thats my own quote... So can I please gloat / showboat ? Pleaseeeeeeeeeee.

A couple of days back, I got to read this really interesting post in one of my friend's blog about how he'd 'Got lucky' and would be able to lay his hands on an e-copy of HP6 on the 18th of July. Never one to easily believe such stories (Ok ok, I was plain jealous that he was more resourceful than me) I did some quiet investigation and uncovered one of the biggest and cleverest scams in cyber space. It was all dead simple. The blog, by his own admission, was 'private' and read by only us, his close friends, so credibility for the average reader was never an issue. (Who doesn't like to believe that its only he/she who is getting this great deal?) Besides all he had asked us was to give him email ids (only personal ids) to which he would supposedly send us an e-copy so that we had a little bit of protection from any possible anti-piracy action in the future - ids so secret that not many in the world knew they existed. (Of course, don't we all have such ids jes to escape from scam and read our 'valuable mails' in privacy) And so in 48 hours, he had almost 36 comments in his post with email ids including those of our friends ka friends who did not want to lose out on a steal besides half a dozen doubting Thomases who did not comment in public but instead sent their mail id to his email account. So what happened next ?

Just like the recent BPO scam, my dear friend sent an email to all these people threatening to not only sell all these email ids to e-marketeers but also to send a mail on July 18th revealing the suspense in the plot of HP6 unless....yeah, the ransom...all the people contributed Rs 20 towards his fund for buying the book in hard copy. Of course I am sure you would have been tempted to indignantly dismiss him and his threat but then you don't know him. So almost 28 people paid up and with Rs 560 in hand and only Rs 60 (the price he prides himself of never exceeding for any book) to put in from his own side, my dear friend has pre-booked HP6 from Indiatimes. So was I one of the bakras ? You've got to be a kidding. I can smell a scam a mile away and when one knows him as well as I do, I would be suspicious even if he offered to let me take his latest hotttttt Punju girlfriend (season's flavour..hahaha) out on a date. TRUST. My foot :-)

Anyway, considering I uncovered his fancy scheme, why am I revealing it here ? Coz in return for my silence I asked to be the first to read the book after him (note: AFTER HIM..I AM considerate) but since he scoffed at my 'suggesttion' and offered to 'consider' it, I havta show him I mean business.

Dude, here's an offer you cannot refuse. Give me the book or my next step would be to reveal your URL and let the whole world know about you :-) Yeah, I am a mean bastard and yeahhhhhh, I do drive a hard bargain.

Friday, June 24, 2005

*deep sigh*

Well-behaved women
seldom make history


I always thought I was in love with her but now I KNOW.
Someone please help !!!!!

:-(((((((((((((((((((((((((

A family post: Gen Next

Watching TV these days plunges me into seemingly bottomless pits of depression. And the worst part is I am talking not of the soaps in Sun or Raj but of ESPN. Yeah, you heard me right and I am referring specifically to the Spelling Bees competition that recently concluded in the US. While it is one thing that I do not like the fact that such events have now become mass
carnivals televised live to global audiences which means kids go through so much of tension and anxiety but on the other hand, it amazes me that the kids of 'this generation' seem to be soooooo bloody smart. To be perfectly honest, this year's competition was really tough considering I knew only 30% of all the words that were mentioned leave alone their spellings...and yeah, though I am a former SB champ (cudn't resist gloating on the SOLE highpoint of my childhood exploits) I have to stand up and doff my hat to Anurag Kashyap and co:....

Enough of rambling...what all this meant was that I was forced to sit back and think about our own family and the kiddies in it - the cousins (I have way too many in all directions but the ones I am closest to belong to my maternal grandma's side and they are the ones in question here) who belonged to the same generation as I did.....don't you dare smirk..and then I realised it wasn't fair on them since I am actually stuck between two generations - as old as my mom's youngest cousin and waaaaaay older than the latest arrival in our family - but allowing for such cheap pleasures, I've gotta admit that we've all turned out really well and I can't but help admiring all of us, including the best of the lot which is ME :-)

Now where do I start ? Okie, closest home is Chennai so I'll start with my second cousins, The sisters Rajagopal...or thats how I love calling them...The elder one, Lavanya, who I think is now in her final (Third??) yr of engineering comes across to me as someone who is extremely strong-willed and I am sure she will soon fly down to do her MS in the US and god only knows the peaks she is then gonna scale. The younger one, Sowmya, has just finished her std: 12 and is all set to join the Engineering brigade. In a lot of ways she is similar to her elder sis in that she is also unassuming yet warm but she is also dissimilar since she is more introverted and arguably the quietest of the entire lot. The best thing about The Sisters Rajagopal is that together they are the best singing pair in the entire family. Having been trained in Carnatic Music for almost 5-6 years now, the two are soon to be spoken of in the same breath as the Soolamangalam or Bombay sisters. My only grouse against them is that they are too much into classical and spiritual stuff and I really wish they would use their super talents to perform the odd cinematic number, like say Vaseegara, to please stupid cousins like me ;-)

Next are the other second cousins, the Sethuraman sisters but somehow calling them that way does not sound right...Sorry Chithappa :-) The elder one, Vardhini, now studying at ICFAI Hyderabad, is the most adorable sister one can ever have. Shy to the point of being reclusive, it takes her a month to think of a reply to my "Thanks for the raakhi. What do you want as a
gift ?" with a "Anything anna". However it would be stupid to mistake her gentle ways and make false assumptions because she is again a very resolute character with a mind of her own, one that knows what it wants and will work towards attaining them without being distracted. Janani, her younger sis now done with her Std 10, seems an out and out amma-gondu and is definitely more outgoing than her sis or atleast its the case with me. Janani is the only cousin I've seen grow up dramatically from a real baby to a cute teenager. It surely did not help that their family stayed in Calcutta and the only time I saw them was for 2 hours in a Railways station everytime they left after their annual vacations to the South but then to emphasise how much I adore these two, if there is one kid I want my own girl to turn out like, then it has to be Janani :-) Together Vardhini and Janani are probably the only people who make me feel miserable that I do not have siblings but then this feeling lasts just two weeks around Raksha Bandhan time so I guess I must confess that I am grateful for being the only child who gets to eat all the 'pandigai palagaram' made at home...well, make that 'almost' all the food...

A little farther up in the eastern part of India at a godforsaken place called Haldia are my two first cousins, Abhishek and Nandini. Abhishek, now in his Std 4, owes me one for giving him his identity - I decided on his name. That apart, there isn't anything that comes remotely close to connecting us. He is turning out to be everything I wished I had been but never was - left handed (hehe..I know I am crazy), very intelligent even at this age but more of the smart than the academic types (and that means second rank..will someone pls tell todays kids its ok to be second), awesome with computers - and hopefully will not get stereotyped into the engineer / doctor route and will become someone BIG in his chosen field. I won't waste more words on my ammanji since all that is reserved for his sister Nandini, all of 18 months who is, without any doubt, my princess. I have seen a lot of kids in these 27 years but none that can holler as much as her....and none that looked cuter when they holler...So cute that I am so tempted to kidnap her and bring her to Bangalore except that everyone in my family knows exactly where to look in case she ever went missing :-( Did i forget to mention that she can play golf ? Yeah !!!

Miles apart in a suburb in London stays my other second cousin Thejes. At the ripe old age of 8, Thejes is an avid F1-fan, supports India in every cricket match against Pakistan, is the resident Derek O' Brien of the family and if other people are to be believed, is the cousin who comes closest to who I was when I was young (read: chamathu, well behaved, academically inclined though with terrible eating habits). As if all that wasn't enough, he is also into Classical music and I just hope he becomes an Unnikrishnan and not a Balamurali Krishna...These days there is more dabbu in cinema than kutcheris...which brings us to the conclusion of my family's Gen Next...wait...how could I forget 2 month old Shreyas...Its still early days but if he has inherited the right combination from the gene pool, then we have yet another perfectly raised, super bright kid who will become a national rankholder in the near future...Baaah...Aren't we all scuh boring, stereotyped Tam Brahms ? I really wish one of my cousins would do something different - marry an Armenian or become a pop star or something whacky like it...

*sigh*

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Championship has begun

The Official site

The Live Blog

The favorites

KingFed

MaverickMarat

SweetSharaps

SuperSania

From Neone but A-Rod, its now Go Safin Go !!!

And who cares which of the lassies win as long as we get to see some really cute girls !!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Yaar Indha ANNIYAN ?

Dear Mr. Shankar,

Hello. How do you do ? Now that we are done with the needless pleasantries, let me get straight to the point. I sent you a letter 22 months back and I would have assumed that you had the good sense to read it. Unfortunately it does not appear so but here I am penning another...Why ? Because as a loyal card holding member of the gullible watch-Thamizh-movies-in-halls public, I feel disappointed and even cheated. Yes. I am talking AFTER I have seen your so-called masterpiece Anniyan. I know there was no gun put to my head but still, considering I paid through my nose to watch it on the First Day, I defintiely deserved better.

For starters, let me give the devil, that's you, its due. Anniyan is probably not your worst effort and that honour without any reservation belongs to your earlier venture, Boys. However gloat not that you have 'improved' since the above statement is as left handed as a compliment can get. I am not denying that Anniyan did not have its moments except that I feel extremely let down that a movie with so much hype riding alongwith it (and do not blame the media alone for this) failed to capitalise and make its mark. On the positive side, I do appreciate your attempts to make movies with a message and also commend the fact that you 'think big' but I also cannot seem to fathom why you grossly underestimate the paying public's ability to realise that style is all good but what works is substance.

As I sat through the 3+ hours of your cinematic fantasy, it was an emotional rollercoaster of a ride and I have tried to capture below whatever I felt in the process...

Vigilante themes with larger than life heroes have always been your trademark formula for success but haven't you heard that old adage which says that when you milk a cow beyond a certain point, you only get blood. Gentleman when it first came out tread new ground and broke existing mental barriers about right and wrong. Indian and Mudhalvan took slightly different routes but collectively shattered the myth that one man cannot make a difference in society. However one did get the feeling at the end of the third film that we had seen it all. (Not to mention other directors attempting similar themes - Samurai, Desiya Geetham being other lesser successful movies of the same genre) To have a fourth installment in the series of social-revolution flicks and offer nothing new is a crime and reeks of a talent succumbing to the necessities of commercial success.

I have always believed that its the story that makes a movie work and when you are backed with a tight, racy screenplay half the battle is won. What I have never understood with you is your almost maniacal obsession to dream in crores. To escape criticism by deflecting the blame on the paying public saying that it is we who expect nothing but big ventures from Shankar is balderdash. To add to this is the almost hypocritical stance of giving your assistant Balaji Sakthivel just 1.5 crores to make Kaadhal your first home production. And trust me, he did a much better job considering his movie was author backed and not clinging onto visual gimmicks. I would be a fool if I were to deny the fact that the first song in Anniyan picturised in Amsterdam was a visual extravaganza but I am yet to comprehend the financials behind such a splash. Are you telling me that you will get X no: of people into your hall just because of this one song ? And add to this is the obscene sum you must have spent to paint the entire village in the last song when the audience has by then completely lost its patience. There is something called as the Law of Dimininshing Marginal Utility in Economics that you would do well to read and grasp.

Considering I am done with my critcism of your movies from a height of 20000 ft above the ground, lets get down to the bare bones.

a. Can you please tell me the reason for the almost comical portrayal of Prakash Raj and why he had to make a real fool of himself using various disguises under the pretense of conducting investigations ? Cinematic liberty is all good but again the pre-climax at Nehru stadium is one of the most howlarious scenes in the entire movie. My sympathies lie firmly with the Police Department.

b. Can you please throw some light on the needless use of graphics in most of your films, more so in this one to depict the so-called hell ? Can you, by any remote possibility, justify the investment in CGI considering each second costs Rs 3 lacs and they do not add real value to the story ?

c. I am definitely not being CASTEIST or CLANNISH but is there any specific reason why you seem to love picking on the Iyer and Iyengar community for all your protagonists ? And even if you insist, can you do some REAL research and try to avoid age-old stereotypes vis a vis language and lifestyle. I KNOW you are one of the directors who does a lot of homework and have an acute sense of ground reality but maybe you are unaware that even the Brahmin community has embraced wholeheartedly the change in societal trends. Your depiction of Ambi with a kudumi is akin to saying every Muslim has 6 wives. Pardon me but the intention is not to raise communal sentiments, rather to prove the absurdity of your portrayals.

d. I never knew you were in awe of yourself so much that you needed to have so many pieces of self-reference in your movie. Or wait...Is this a desi homage to Tarantino ? Looking at the clearly 'inspired' martial arts stunt scene (Kill Bill neone), I would think so.

e. MPD as a subject is as beaten to death in movies as reincarnation. Maybe not in Kollywood but for Christs sake, we live in the age of the Internet so do not insult the intelligence of the audience with your lengthy science discourses and your over-simplistic rationale for such behavior (I almost thought you'd get Nasser to produce Sidney Sheldon in court as proof). And considering so many of your scenes were 'inspired' you might have as well copied Primal Fear straight - atleast it was more logical and realistic there.

f. He who comes from hell is not afraid of hot ashes ! Now wth is that ? It sounds so much like those stupid taglines from the Arjun stable.

g. On the flip side, yes, I have to confess that you have a pulse of the audience and can make us relate to ordinary, every day incidents in a way that no one else has managed to and the flashbacks in all your movies especially in this one pack some real punch but can you please also rein in on the sermonising part of the dialogues. I have tremendous respect for you and Sujata but why do I always get the feeling that you say one word too much.

h. Technically the film rides high on the some impressive camerawork by your team of Ravivarman and Manikandan and the stunts by Peter Heynes are awesome but re-recording by Harris Jeyaraj is loud and editing lacks sharpness since the film could easily do away with 15 minutes. Lyrics are nonsensical, music is average and choreography is below par with the much touted Remo Remo number nowhere a patch on God's Yakkai Thiri. On the acting front, Sada sleepwalks through her role, Nedumudi Venu is efficient (not as good as his Indian portrayal), Prakash Raj is passable and Vikram is good but nothing great. Vivek's comedy is a real highlight of the movie and many a scene gets that much needed uplift thanks to his impeccable timing.

I know you are sitting at your home basking in the praise being showered whilst your producer is busy raking in the moolah thanks to the phenomenal opening that the movie has got but Anniyan will not become a landmark movie in the chapters of Thamizh cinema. For that to happen what is needed is a little bit of magic, something that can be best explained by one small incident which happened in the movie hall where I saw it...Towards the climax when Vikram's MPD is explained, someone in the audience broke into an impromptu "LAKALAKALAKALAKALAKALAKALAKALAKALAKA" and the entire hall erupted in cheers followed by noisy hoots of "Chandramukhi padam podu". Doesn't that say it all ?

ps: Maybe that someone was ME ;-)

Friday, June 17, 2005

Movie Meme

Its the home stretch so without throwing any tantrums, here is yet another feeble attempt from my side to reward a loyal reader of the blog by playing along with another of this stupid tagging business...I saw something similar @ Pri's a couple of days back but then memes seem to travel faster than light/sound so here I go...This time its on movies and so havta confess that it wasn't as cumbersome as the others...

I guess the answers to the first two questions below are known since I write my short weekly movie reviews so I am answering those two based on future possibilities

The last movie I borrowed:
A Very Long Engagement (will rent it out pretty soon considering I have been hearing so many good things abt this flick)

The last film I watched in the theatre:
Anniyan (will watch it tonite)

Which five fictional characters in Hollywood have you had a crush on, in pecking order?
Kate Beckinsale as Sara Thomas in Serendipity...I'd give an entire lifetime to spend the rest of the 6 (its totally 7 right ?) with her...
Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail...I always dream of aging with her reading me books at our parlor

and the rest of the three follow a mile or so behind but still...

Audrey Tautou as Amélie Poulain in Amélie (pls note: the apostrophe over the E)...quintessential quirky do-gooder...I love such mad women...
Meg Ryan as Sally Albright in When Harry met Sally...Need I say anything ?
Julia Roberts as Anna Scott in Notting Hill..She's terribly flawed but thats the beauty of the character...

Which five fictional characters in B/Kollywood have you had a crush on?
Amala in any goddamn movie, more so as Anjali in Agni Natchathiram...Oru eli, rendu eli.....ooohlala....
Shaila Banu in Bombay played by Manisha Koirala....she looked ethereal and yeah, I was stupid to believe in love at first sight....
Divya in Mouna Ragam played by Revathi...Ditto the reasons for Anna Scott
Gita in Gitanjali / Idhayathai Thirudathe played by Girija...dunno why but I was 10 or 11 and the girl was soooo cute that I fell madly in love with her...I still am ;-)
Jenny in Jogger's Park played by Perizaad Zorabian...strong woman who knows what she wants in life...

(Shucks...4 of my 5 choices are characters created by The God...I bow my head to Thee...)

Five Hollywood films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:
Considering I already have my favorites listed under my blogspot profile, I'll go for others not listed there..

Serendipity (12 times ??)
When Harry met Sally
ET
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest
As Good As It Gets

Five K/Bollywood films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:
Again this list is over and above what's already there in the profile...

Saajan
Andaaz Apna Apna
Nayakan
Vedham Pudhidhu
En Uyir Thozhan

Five Hollywood/Bollywood types that I can't stop slurping over
This list will be way too long so let me jes give you the top-of-my-mind recalls

Jolie...The Angelina Jolie (Thisucks, u can go take a walk in the park)
Bridget Moynahan
Kareena Kapoor (drooooooooool)
Sameera Reddy (dusky is IN)
Mallika 'errr-sorry-my-eyes-are-distracted' Sherawat ;-)

Dudes I think have no right to be this cool / hunky:
Brad Pitt
Richard Gere
George Clooney
Nagarjuna
Abhishek 'when-not-clean-shaven' Bachchan

Five H/B/Kollywood people I'm supposed to be impressed by, but am not:
Amitabh Bachchan (Baaaaaaaaaaaah)
Aishwarya Rai (Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah)
Shah Rukh 'Chimpanzee' Khan
George Lucas (*running for cover*)
Shankar

Five people whom I would like to pass on the torch to:
Anu - Never knew ppl would actually 'want' to be tagged ;-)
G
OK - Yeah, lets hear it again...
Dumbs - Hows that for revenge !!
Ri - NOW you cannot escape :-p

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

The story of a Tam Brahm - written by a Tam Brahm - for the benefit of Tam Brahms

Hello $$$$, eppdi irukka ?
Dei ngomma...engada irundha all these days ?
*whispers* I am fine..Just came back from the US last week
I can't hear u loosu...besides ennada orey Petera irukku ?
I am with someone here and she doesn't know Thamizh very well so can we please continue in English
Of course.. So wassup dude ?
The rest of the story later... but this is an emergency...I need you to come to The Forum immedietly...
I just came back from shopping for clothes there....Besides its Saturday evening and it will be terribly crowded dude...Plssssssssssss.....
Its important asshole
Great...so you've brought me oranges from Florida ? Give me 30 mts and I will be there..
It can't wait that long...Its urgent.. grab some clothes, catch an auto and come here soon...and don't ask questions

CLICK

Dei, you've really put on weight...
Later...Later....
Why are you so tense ?
Do not interrrupt. Hear me out. OK ?
Thats sounds so mysterious... All ears now...sollu...
You know my dad, right ? Been after my goat to get married for the last 18 months...well, I could not resist any longer...So as things stand, I am here today as part of the 'ponnu paarthufying' procedure...
WTF...
Sssssssh..not so loud..she's looking at us...
who ? where ?
Don't turn now... there towards the left corner behind the escalator...
Gimme in degrees of the clock, baadu
8 o clock...
Tall, fair lady...Red salwar ? Waittt...haven't I seen her somewhere..and who is the other chick ?
Dunno.. but yes, she is Vandana... remember my Dad's best friend Mohan Uncle.. you've seen him in our house... fat man with a loud laugh...she's his daughter....ennavo jaadagum ellam serndhaachaam.. of course, they say I am under no pressure to agree and I can say Yes only if I like her but u know how this thing works, right... all of them want me to marry her
...so wots ur problem ? If she is cool, agree nuh...
wait... she's a very modern, progressive girl....she wants to have a chat with me..and she has brought along a friend too... so I thought I would also have one for moral support..
why me ?
C'mon you are the God of all such things..Besides you talk so much and get along with everyone so well that even if I get nervous or goof up, you can cover for me...
Sod off mate...
See, there is stuff I need to clarify with her too from my side....she's spent all her life in Delhi and visited Chennai only for her holidays.. so am not sure she knows our kalachaaram well.....and I would like to chk it very casually...and it helps when I can be with someone with whom I am relaxed... and you fit the bill dude... pls...
Kalachaarma ? Appdinna ? Are you crazy ? Besides what makes you think I wont get nervous and screw up.. and I surely don't want to be held responsible if this thing fails coz of sthg stupid I did...How about uncle and Aunty ? They are OK with this thing ?
They suggested you. They seem to think you are mature and sensible.
Shittttttttt..
Lets go.. Just play it by ear, will you..


Hi Vandana, this is the ##### I was telling you about.. We used to call him $$$$ at college
Hi #####...Btw, this is my friend Aarthi...She caught you stealing glances when you were talking with Satish and she wants to ask you something....
*bloody embarassed* Vandanaaaaaaaa...
*embarassed* So Vandana, how do you find Bangalore ?
Its nice and pleasant
and how about Satish ?
*blushing like crazy* Machaan, not fair da
Ha Ha..He's nice and he doesn't have an accent which does say a lot.
Hahahahaha...
So Vandana, you were saying that there were a couple of things that you wanted to clarify..
Yeah...See Satish, I have learnt Classical Music for almost 11 years now and I so dearly want to continue. If at all we get married, I hope you won't mind that.
Of course not
....and there is this car, a Hyundai Accent, that I have gifted my Dad on his 60th Birthday for which I had taken a loan...I am repaying that with my salary and it should be over in another 11 months so if we do get married, I wish to continue that. You have any objections ?
*embarassed* Maybe Aarthi and I will just wander around near Cookie Man... You guys want anything ?
Sit down #####. No need to be embarassed. You will have to go through all this sometime soon.
No objections.
Great. I am done. I am sure you have something to ask of me.
Hmmmm.. no...nothing much...
Come on...Be honest...
Ok... I know this sounds stupid but do you watch movies ?
Yes, I do
....and do you like Shah Rukh Khan ?
No..
Thank God. Coz I hate him.
In fact i can't stand him too.. But seriously was that an eliminating condition ?
*embarassed* Not at all
*smiles* What else ?
I know this sounds horribly sexist but can you cook? I am not saying you should be a housewife and all but honestly I am such a foodie...
He is, trust me
.....and even if you can't cook, if you like good food then it will help...its easier you see.. shucks, this is coming out all wrong...
I understand. and fyi, I cook pretty well.
That is the understatement of the year. She cooks wonderfully well.
Anything else ?
Hmmm...Noo...
I think there is something else...
How did you know ? Am i that predictable ?
*smiles* go ahead
I do hope you don't think I am crazy but since u were brought up in Delhi, I was just wondering if you know how we folks down South celebrate Gokulashtami...do you also draw Krishnar's paadhums all over the house ? and stuff like that....
Fyi, Amma and I wear madisaars...and we draw the kolams..and btw, I can even prepare uppu cheedai and vella cheedai all by myself..
Reallllllllllly ?
Yeah
Oh boyyyyyyyyyyyy
So anything else ?
No
So can we break the good news to our folks ?
*embarassed* are you always so open ?
Arre, kalyanum ellarum pannanum..I am happy its atleast with someone I have heard so much about from my childhood. I am not going to blush or do girly stuff now.
Hahahahahaha
Why are you laughing ?
Your Thamizh is so Delhiish
*feigns a kick* Don't you ever say that again. Why don't you join us for dinner ?
Nopes.. Havta go home..besides I don't want to be kabaab mein haddi ;-)

Thank You Lord for reinforcing my faith in our Tam Brahm tribe. To hell with love marriages if arranged marriages can be so absofreakalutely lovely :-)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Anbukku Naan Adimai...Neenga ?

Total Number of Books I Own:
This is gonna be a tough one...My private library in Trichy which includes my mom's books and my own collection in Bangalore together must be around 350 books besides which I guess are the ones that I've given away to my ammaanji...Not bad but still way short of my dream...

Last Book I bought:
Playing with Fire by Nasser Hussain...and the loosu to whom I gifted it is yet to return it back to me to read :-(

Last Book I was gifted:
Jazz by Toni Morrison. Thankoo lady :-)

Last Book I read:
Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (re-reading)
The Bridges of Madison County by Robery James Waller (unfinished)

Five Books that mean a lot to me:
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Class - Erich Segal
The Godfather - Mario Puzo
All Frederick Forsyth novels

Filling the last slot is always tough...so depending on my mood - whether I am in self-pity, cheerful, contemplative, pseudo-intellectual mode..blah blah blah - it could be be anything from A Tale of Two Cities, The Three Investigators series, Wisden Cricket Almanac, Surely You're joking Mr Feynman, Diaries of Franz Kafka (translated) or any book by Plum.....

Btw, when you said books I took 'em in the classic, literal sense but if I could include comics and fun stuff, then I love Asterix / Archies / C&H.

Yes, No Douglas Adams, Tolkien or Rand pls :-p

Tag five people and have them do this on their blogs:
1across (atleast over email pls)
Seshvenk
Pri
C-K-K
Thisucks (and no, I don't want to see CITR, AS, F, FPS....*evil grin*)

Monday, June 13, 2005

Quik Quik Round-up

Kung Fu Hustle
Yet another in the long line of action movies that seem to come out from the Far east based on martial arts ? Yeah, to an extent, but where this movie differs from the rest is in its outrageous screenplay. Its wild, its whacky and it definitely needs supsension of belief but the bad guys are so cool, the stunts so astonishing on the eye and the dubbing so horribly funny that the 2 hours are one heckuva joy ride.
3.5/5

Kinsey
2004 was the year of bio-pics in Hollywood and though The Aviator and Finding Neverland won more critical acclaim and awards, IMHO, I think the best effort of the year would undoubtedly have to be Kinsey. Written and directed by Bill Condon, the movie explores the life of Albert Kinsey, the man responsible for single handedly ushering in the sexual revolution of the 50s through his controversial books 'Sexual Behavior In The Human Male' and 'Sexual Behavior in the Human Female'. Though the subject in question is very touchy even in the present times, why the movie scores high in my opinion is in the sensitive way it has been handled with the focus being clearly on exposing the motivations of the man than in sensationalising his ways and methods.
4/5

Arindhum Ariyamalum
Low key banners producing medium budget clean entertainers for family audiences by investing in the talents of new comers rather than established stars is a trend that is fast becoming prevalent in Kollywood. Another trend that is gaining rapid ground is the re-emergence of a well etched out, multilayered villain character(s), started ironically by Prakash Raj in Ghilli who here plays a different kinda baddie in this movie. The strengths of this movie are its simple naration, excellent performances by Arya and Prakash Raj and some cool music by Yuvan Shankar Raja.
3.5/5

D - The Company
Another gangsta saga...Another gritty, racy thriller from RGVs Factory...The movie does not break new ground and is maybe not as good as Satya or probably even Company but is worth a dekho if not for anything but Randeep Hooda (which again reinforces my tremendous respect for Sush). Hooda as Deshu the silent yet menacing baddie delivers what is one of the finely nuanced performances I've seen, one that illustrates that lesser is better. Hooda is one of those guys who is blessed with rugged, unconventional good looks (with that stubble and those shades he is much better than Vivek Oberoi on the eye) and what gives him that extra edge is the fact that he can realy emote when called for. A born-again Chunky Pandey and razor sharp editing which ensures that the runnning time of the movie is less than 2 hrs are added bonuses whilst a jarring background score and some loud caricatures tend to bog the film down. Still worth a dekho.
3.5/5

Bunty Aur Babli
Warning: Leave your brains back home, ignore the lack of logic, come in with minimum expectations and you can have a blast. BaB borrows liberally from a lot of Hollywood movies most notable of which is that memorable flick Bonnie and Clyde and as it happens in most such cases the desi adaptation simply flatters to deceive. Though many of the cons border on the absurd, you cannot but delight at the odd moments of sheer mirth. Though a lot has been written about AB(sr)'s performance being the saving grace in what hard-nosed critics claim is a sorry excuse for a madcap entertainer, I strongly differ. Blame it on the lack of depth in the writing or whatever but AB(Sr)'s Dasrath Singh just does not impress except in a few sequences where he is saved by some really witty lines. The real strength of the movie is the amazing chemistry that Ab baby and Rani share which leads me to believe that we might have the next big star jodi after SRK-Kajol. I am a huge fan of SELs brand of music and anything I say about BaBs music might sound biased but suffice to say that the songs are top-class with a good mix of melody and foot tapping folksy tunes which are brilliantly picturised esp the Chup Chupke number....which brings us to a couple of other things I have to say abt this song..The locales are zimbly awesome and the costumes of both the leads mindblowing...not to mention the sensuous smooch they share to kickstart the song...smackkkk....one of the best I have seen in a looong loooong time. Hindi cinema is indeed coming of age :-)

ps: Someone kill Aishwarya Rai pls
3.5/5

Coming soon:
Mr and Mrs Smith
Batman begins
Parineeta
Anniyan

Friday, June 10, 2005

Meme Time

There are all kinds of memes floating around in the blogging world - books, movies and what not - and I 'almost' got 'tagged' at a couple of places a week back ('almost' coz none of the really close buggers dared to do it without seeking prior permission and as usual, I would have none of it..muaaaahahahaha...evil laugh) but finally couldn't resist joining this particular bandwagon. Of course, incorrigible me had to flout/modify some rule so pls find below a slight variation of whats floating around in blogosphere....The best part of this meme is that it does not 'necessarily' have to be passed around to everyone and its wickedly naughty.

ps: I have not had the time to ask each and everyone of you listed below permission to add the URL alongwith the name but am still going ahead with the same - however if you have any issues, jes tinkle me ;-)

Before you look under the cut, fill out a numbered list of 20 with people you know from Blogspot/LJ/Rediffblogs in no particular order. If you don't know that many, fill in the gaps with any virtual acquaintances. Then click the cut and answer the questions in a post in your blog/journal.

1. OK
2. Johnny
3. Seshvenk
4. Thisucks (:-P)
5. L&M
6. Sud
7. Ri
8. Pri
9. Anu
10. Negaah
11. Ekta
12. Koncentricity
13. Megs
14. The brat
15. GWBE
16. Susie
17. Zed
18. 1across
19. Viggie
20. Hoodibabaa

1. Is #9 a boy or a girl?
Hahahahahaha...Not very sure...Its a virtual world we met in, you see ;-)

2. Would #11 and #2 make a cute couple?
Its one thing that 11 has actually managed to find a 'bakra' already but if I'd been asked this a year ago, then I'd say that there could not be a better recipe for complete disaster.

3. #18 and #4?
A pig and my sex(y) buddy... wot a combo !!!! roflllllllllllll !!!

4. When was the last time you talked to #12?
Last Monday - yet another missed call that I had to respond to....*smile*

5. What's #6's favourite band?
Rubberband ? Actually methinks its The Beatles...

6. Does #1 have any siblings?
Thankfully no...The world could not have taken another of her kind.

7. Would you ever date #3?
*sigh* If only I were a girl :-(

8. Would you ever date #7?
Hullooo...this meme is 'fixed'..I know that makes no sense but...

9. Is #16 single?
Till July 4th. Right ?

10. What's #15's last name?
Sivaraman at last hear but with her, you can never tell ;-)

11. What's #10's middle name?
Maami ?

12. What's #5's favorite thing to do?
Wooohooo..I love doing this..Where do i start now ?
a. Torturing people with her incessant chatter.
b. Torturing more people with her incessant banter.
I am bored of typing the same thing over and over again so go back to point a.

13. Is #13 hot?
Yeah... considering how sweetly she ticked off that anon blogstalker... wait.. u meant 'hot' as in chilli....red...anger...right ?

14. #14 and #19 make a good couple?
That would be one heckuva riot though I am sure to be killed by someone for even imagining this....so the official answer is NO NO NO

15. What school does #20 go to?
..Make that 'did'...It must have been a nice tiled hut in some obscure village in Tirunelveli

16. Tell me a random fact about #11:
I can't stop with 1...She drools over Fardeen Khan, actually enjoys cricket and is one heckuva pal....pssst: The last thing was my feeble attempt at being nice...

17. And #1:
oh, the GirlFriend...wot can I say abt her ? she's mad but then aren't most of my good buddies like that...

18. And #3:
cracks fundooo jokes that have me absolutely splitting my sides to death...brings us back to q7...*sigh*

19. Where does #9 live?
Chennai

20. How did you meet #17?
Thats a very very long story...but i think it was a cricket match and how I hit him for a huge six... rofllllllllllll....

21. What's #4's favourite colour?
Black. definitely black.

22. Would you make out with #14?
Are you crazy ? She's one third my age and she's my grandchild.

23. #5 and #6 best friends?
Bingo. This meme is definitely fuckin' fixed.

24. Does #7 like #20?
hehehe...I hope the twain never meet ;-)

25. Does #8 like #19?
They would if they knew each other considering they both write really witty stuff...hey wait...when u say LIKE u jes mean like right ?

26. How did you meet #2?
@work...

27. How did you meet #18?
At college and I'm delighted I didn't let my biases interfere with common sense :-)

28. Does #10 have any pets?
I am so tempted to say sthg but then Maami will kill me so lets jes say PASS

29. Random fact about #10?
she writes aaahsum poetry.. arre, I mean it

30. Is #12 older than you?
Hahahahaa...I cna hear her screaming at such a stupid Q...

31. Is #17 the sexiest person alive, or what?
Rofllllllllmao... Yes yes yes... women swoon when they hear his name...

32. Who on the list have you known the longest?
#17

You know something is wrong when you...

...start typing a post on Day 1 and its about the events of Day 1 and then finish it but don't want to post it.. and it all appears meaningless on Day 2 but still you want sthg to show for the efforts of the previous day and so you decide that you might as well post it since its your damn blog and you are the one setting the rules...So here I go...

Today has been a very strange day so far. For starters, I woke up before the alarm rang which was a first in my new house but maybe it was because there was Argentina vs Brazil on Ten Sports. 40 minutes and two Hernan Crespo goals later, I found myself just in time to catch EC-16N which again was strange considering I was 10 minutes late. Being in no mood to start off a new book, I re-opened GGMs LITTOC and read 30 pages of the lives of Ariza and Urbinal before I realised I was in office. Kicked off the workday with an awesome breakfast with a really dear friend but somehow, even though the canteen offered more eye-candy than usual, my unusually dressed down friend seemed to be the most attractive one around. A few casual compliments and harmless eye flirting happened and then it was time for mails. So many of them considering I had left office really late yesterday night. The official mails all had some 'quality' work (read: no dumb XL and PPT) for me to do - which was really strange considering we were nearing the end of the week (shit happens on Friday, they say) - and the personal ones were the types that made me go *smile*. So far so good.

Ran through the usual dose of 15 odd blogs sipping hot, piping coffee.. Yeah, I have cut it down to 15. Read the comments on my blog and also some really interesting posts at the usual hangouts but links to most of them and a couple of others will follow later in the post. So what do I write about now ? I just don't know. Now that I am this far, I feel very very empty and though I hate fitting into stereotypes, I havta agree that it just struck me that maybe I am one of those typical bloggers who is going through this lifecyle. Of course, the order is all screwed up in my case but yes, I think at some point or the other I have been through all of this except 9

Neway reading all this has kinda made my mind that today will be the day I post sthg on blogs....So here I go...


13 things concerning my blog / other blogs/ bloggers that bug the hell out of me...

Anonymous smart alec commenters who leave no clue as to who they are

Tonnes and tonnes of advertisements

6 digit sitemeters

A right pane with links to 'Blogs I frequent' that is longer than Hanuman's tail

Bloggers who keep crying foul that someone flicked their story light years after they wrote it

Silent readers who will read no matter what you write but will never care to give feedback

"Hey, these Malls have a Malayalam Blogroll, how about a Tamil one" kind of morons - Dude, get a life...Don't bring your parochial sentiments to even this blogging world

Blogs which keep referring back to their old posts in every new post

"Oh, you write so well. Btw, do read my blog too" kind of comments

Blogs that never fail to remind you that you are at a 'best of Indiblogs' location

Condescending posts that teach you how to improve traffic : wth, I hate visitors, how about teaching me how to stop ppl from droppin by

Tracking tools that seem to give away the fact that u silently visit some blogs ;-)

Okie, I don't like this post much now....So let me end it by giving links to some of the 'more interesting' posts I have read offlate

The Compulsive Confessor

The world's best blogger speaks

sat·is·fac·tion

Sidinspeak

....damn, there were lots more but its becoming a pain remembering 'em so wth, go find it out yourself.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Countdown Begins.....

This weekend (10/11 June)
Parineeta
Bunty Aur Babli (*fingers crossed*)
Mario Vargas Llosa
Meeting friends
Kapde shopping
Cycling expedition

Next weekend (17/18 June)
Christopher Nolan's Batman Begins
Anniyan
Meeting the 'Chennaiwaasis'
Theatre workshop
Elephant Safari at Bannerghata National Park


Am I dreaming ? Someone pinch me please.

(or rather)

If this is a dream, don't you dare wake me up.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Another quick story :-)

Friday, October 1, 2004

Persistance pays

I was walking towards the canteen when I saw her passing by on her way back from lunch. Our eyes clashed for a fraction of a second before gazing elsewhere. Summoning up my guts, I turned around, strode quickly and caught up with her.

"Can I ask you out for a cup of coffee ?"
"Yes you can"
"Wowww..that was easy"
"So ask ?"
"Excuse me ?"
"I just gave you permission to ask"
"Fine. Will you have coffee with me ?"
"No. I am busy"

...and she coolly walked away.

The next day I was ambling back from the canteen when our paths crossed near the lawn leading to the Floating learning centre

"Will you have coffee with me ?"
"So the kid has learnt his lesson in English"
"Will you have coffee with me ?"
"Go climb a tree"
*pointing to a tree nearby* "And you promise to give me the answer I want to hear if I ask you the same from up there ?"
*smiles* "Yes"
"Give me a minute"
"No No.. I said Yes to the coffee"

Dad, I'm reading this blog post dated October 1, 2004 but I am not very sure it is a story. The guy in it sounds too much like you
Which one ?
The one where the guy almost climbs a tree to get his gal to agree to go on a date with him
So whats wrong with that ?
Geeez...you guys used to do such creepy stuff to actually jes have coffee...and this woman sure seems to enjoy playing-hard-to-get.
Don't you dare talk about your mom like that !! Now get back to your homework.

These 7 year olds can be such a pain !!

Monday, June 06, 2005

B-Skool Survey time

Heraclitus once said "There is nothing permanent except change"

BS...as in... Bull shit ! 10 months back, I wrote this. Now don't you follow that link coz I will be repeating some of those points here again - you can do that later in the post after you've read what I have to say in the next few paragraphs. At that time, the core issues facing Indian society as revealed by some of the most talked about surveys conducted by newspapers and magazines were

a. Promiscuity in Bangalore
b. Best workplace in India
c. Sex habits of Chinese women
d. Hottest British male

Cut to the present and in the last two weeks if one were to believe TOI and other magazines the core issues are

a. Date rape and BPOs
b. Best technical institues of India
c. Dress code for women in colleges - havta make special mention here of a Tee I saw recently - If u DARE to BARE, why do you CARE that I STARE ? Aahsum :-)
d. The world's top 10 beautiful women (No Mallika ???? *too shocked to speak*)

So what do you say ? Have things changed much ? Or rather, have things changed at all ? Nay. So why am I here with yet another commentary on the latest Top 10 B-school survey, you may ask ? To which my reply would be "My poor dahlings, simply because every good article becomes a classic only when it is followed by a poorly written sequel which gives people that much needed perspective when judging the initial effort. OK ? Now go and read my old story.

Done ? Great. Read on.

The biggest difference that has been observed in the B-school landscape from the time I did a survey the last time around has been the emergence of brands that seem to have taken 'the retail mall' approach to business education. Just look at ICFAI. They are there everywhere - in every city that sells more than 10000 CAT forms - bringing MBA education to the doorstep and people actually think they are awesome. And in most cases, perception IS reality so maybe they are awesome. I digress. My own survey this year is fool-proof simply because it works on two rules that have withstood the test of time.

Rule 1: Debunk competition and cast aspersions without attracting legal notice

One of the hazards of commissioning a detailed study involving 2 months of data collection using 4 reputed MR agents armed with a 20 lac budget is that of needlessly complicating a simple 2 day affair and that is precisely what the latest BT survey is guilty of. For that matter, my own survey last year used scientific segmentation as a guiding tenet in deciding sample size and was therefore guilty of flouting accepted and established rules of surveying. My humble apologies. This year BT takes it three steps too further by actually segmenting the respondents into classes like recruiters, wannabe MBAs, MBA students, functional heads and young executives. The first few questions that spring to my mind are

1. Who are these young executives ? Define 'young'. Why do their opinions matter so much that they are a separate class by themselves ?
2. Why are functional heads so important ? If you are gonna interview 5 respondents of this category in each company, the odds are that one of them is an HR head (a function head) and then he/she is gonna plump for XLRI or TISS only. So doesnt such a system give HR specialising B-schools an unfair advantage ? And to add to this, the 'recruiters perspective' is again from the 'head of HR'.
3. The sample size might have been great but looking at the final results, here are my views on the 'quality of the sample'

A scene in a local pub

Guy1: My dad is becoming a real pain in the arse
Guy2: Why ?
Guy1: He wants me to get married
Guy2: Whats wrong with that ?
Guy1: Are you crazy ? I am just 23 and I want to drink and while away more years of my youth
Guy2: So ?
Guy1: I am going to do my MBA. It will give me 2 more years of freedom.
Guy2: So are you preparing hard for CAT ?
Guy1: Are you mad ? I dont want to go to IIMs, someone will steal my girlfriend in my absence. I have to stay in Pune. Give me a name of a mast college here, man !
Guy2; Symbiosis
Guy1: Good, I like that name. That is my first choice.

Wannabe MBAs perspective.

A scene inside a posh Mumbai office

Manager: ....I think B schools in India have evolved. Even the Tier 2 ones are getting better by the day.
Interviewer: So which are the campuses XXX plans to visit this year ?
Manager: The usual...A/B/C and KJ Somaiya
Interviewer: A/B/C ? Wow...How many did you get from these top B schools last year ?
Manager: Actually by the time we finished formulating our policy, placements were almost done Interviewer: So you are telling me there weren't any students left ?
Manager: Not exactly but none from the Dean's top 20
Interviewer: and how about KJ ?
Manager: Oh, that is an awesome college
Interviewer: Really ? Why ?
Manager: Coz we managed to get 5 of the 6 toppers to join us
Interviewer: And were they any good ?
Manager: Of course. The best and the brightest that India has to offer.
Interviewer: So you are an MBA urself right ? Where did you pass out from ?
Manager: Lets have this off the record. I passed out from KJ but trust me, thats got nothing to do with our policy. The students are really good. Besides I don't have to fly to another city to take interviews and I get to spend time with my family. Would you like to have some coffee ?

Recruiters perspective

To read more of Rule 1, check online version.

Rule 2: Expound on the virtues of your rigorous methodology (or the lack of it)

If there is one good thing that an MBA education teaches you (yes I said one and meant one {and yes, its all they teach in 2 yrs for 4 lacs}) then it is to KISS - Keep things short n simple. So bearing that principle firmly in mind, my methodology was to meet arbit people (the fewer the better but still balancing the constraint of having to produce fake bills and claim obscene reimbursements from my sponsor) and catch them off guard with questions that can never be answered with well coached and rehearsed lines taught at Career Forum or IMS. And if you thought, the methodology was simple, then the findings are even better - none of them will be presented in charts and graphs and brand scores and complex parameters which are just tools and opprtunties for fudging. My results will be in a simple ranking based on nos like 1,2 3 to 10. Hows that for simplicity. And last but not the least, I am NOT the wine and dine kind of guy and so my survey and the resultant findings are backed by dollops of honesty that come associated with my fair name.

The results are

1. IIM-A
The name says it all - A stands for adult or men (not being sexist here) or the big league. Without any question, the boss of all B schools.

2. IIM-C
Again the name says it all - See (C), we are up there with the best.

3. IIM-B
Yet again the name says it all. I want to BE (B) there but am not there yet.

4. IIML / XLRI
L rocks coz it offers something different. People who believe A is hot and comunally sensitive, B is too congested and polluted and C is full of Bongs like to study here. And trust me, they seem to be wise folks coz the intellectual capital at L has improved by leaps and bounds in the last couple of years.

The biggest mover in this year's list XL, despite the numerous doomsday predictions, continues to prove its critics wrong. In the last year they have made tremendous strides in improving the quality of their intake (Not to be read as: My girlfriend got in when none of the other B schools accepted her) and made corrections in their course curriculum which now gives them a more professional image than one of a college run by saintly people dressed in robes. Verdict: They live to survive another year.

6. FMS / SP Jain / NITIE / IIFT
The first 3 are all same wine in same old bottle.

Niche is in but not niches like Amity. With India becoming a global superpower, the need of the hour is to have more managers with a global perspective who can give real 'global gyaan' hence the rise in IIFTs stature.

10. IIMI / IIMK

Indore is supposedly one of the fastest growing cities attracting the nouveau rich and the accompanying lifestyle. A B-school in such a place sounds just right.

Kozhikode or Kunnamangalam has the unique distinction of being the only place to feature in three of my Top 10 surveys - Top 10 B-schools, Top 10 holiday spots and Top 10 publicity mongers ;-) So you know what you're getting into.

So there it is, my common sensical survey cum poor man's (yeah, this abridged version is free and the detailed one is only 16$ per online copy) guide to Indian B-schools.

Disclaimer: The views expressed are MY own and in case someone took serious offence, I am prepared to apologise as long as you can produce a receipt indicating that you bought the online version.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The End...or is it The Beginning (Concluding Part)

Hullo....I thought we were on for tomorrow night but the SMS scared the daylights out of me
How come you are here so quickly ? Hanging around at MG with 'your women' ?
Nopes...I'll tell you later
No No..Its Saturday and you dont usually come here. Tell us who it is ? If not, I am gonna rat on you to your girl
Ufffff... I was with her only machaan...
Ooops. We are sorry...Didn't I tell you not to call him
Its okie Preeti...Ramya is totally chill..Wassup ? Why the sudden SOS Sudhir ?
You're meeting her for the third time, right ? So is she our 'manni' ?
Shut up Sudhir. And Preeti, whats wrong with you ? You look sloshed. Don't tell me you've been drinking all evening
Man....he is actually blushing...
If there is nothing serious here, then maybe I should go back...
I tried calling you yesterday night and the day before and the phoneline is always busy...Looks like you've finally found the one...
WTF...I am leaving...Bye guys...
Please Mahesh
Then tell me whats wrong Preeti ? You look godawful
So do you like Ramya ?
Dammmit..Now you've started it too..Yeah, I like Ramya...Now will someone please tell me whats wrong here
She broke up with Vikram
Whattttttttttttt ? Preeti, is that true ?
Yeah
Godddamn......Why ? What happened ?
Nothing
Sudhir, solli thola da ?
His life is in a mess too
Now what wrong with him ? Why isn't anyone telling me anything ?
Mahesh, relax...
Onnum illa...Supriya is back from UK...
So ? I thought you were over her...Aren't you ?
Hmmm
Dude, get a grip. Move on. Do not hold on to the past
Why don't you listen to him, Mahesh ?
Sorry
She came back and asked if there was a chance that we could possibly see each other
Whattttttttttttt ? No kidding
I swear
Am I misssing something here ? This is the same girl you wooed for months only for her to finally turn you down saying she's been seeing someone steady for 3 years ?
Yeah
So how have things changed now ? She dumped the other guy ?
It seems there never was anyone else
Excuse me ?
Yeah..that was just a story she cooked up to shoo me away
......and why would she do it ? She didn't want to hurt you ?
Illapa...It was never a No...It seems she needed time to think it over
She could have told you that !!
She says keeping me in limbo would have been more torturous
Bullshitttttt...sorry
Hmmmm
So what did you do ?
What am i supposed to do ? I said No...
Oh god...and may I ask why ?
What would you have done if you were in my position ?
Thats an absurd question...Is it ego ?
No
So, do you still care for that girl ?
I don't know. This whole thing is so unsettling. I hate people who lie
I know I know...But if you still care for her the way you did, you should jes forgive her for it...To err is human dude...
Hmmm
..and what are the chances that you will find someone whom you like and more importantly, someone who can actually like a moron like you...zilch....trust me...Your problem is non existent so we'll talk about it later but whats wrong with her ? Why is she so glum ? Preeti, you aren't coming clean with me...
Chuck it nuh
Is Vikram cheating on you ? If so, screw him...He doesnt know how lucky he is to get a girl like you... He doesn't deserve you..
Reallly ?
C'mon, I've known you for donkeys years...Trust me..
Its not him
You ? You like someone else ? Jesus Christ, why isn't anyone telling me anything....Sudhir, surely you know...Who is this guy ? Preeti, is it Raghu ? You want to get back with him ?
No
Then ? Who the hell is this super guy ? Does he atleast know how you feel about him ?
No
You are mad ? Machaan, she left Vikram without even knowing if this other guy would accept her or not ? She is truly mad...I think I'll have a whisky....Hullo....
Maama, I thought u were trying to stay off drinks
You guys are surely not helping...
See, I tried talking her out of this but when I heard her point of view, I am inclined to agree with her
So who the hell is this friggin guy ?
Chuck it nuh
Fine fine. So I am now infringing on your space ? Great. I will shut up
So, when do we get to meet Ramya ?
Dunno
Don't sulk bugger... Shitttt, a very cute chick jes entered... Don't turn now...aaraam se...11 o clock...
Whatever
Sudhir, when are you gonna grow up ?
Who wants to ? Mahesh, here's a dare. 500 bucks if you can get that chick's phone no.
Not intesrested dude..
You chicken, atleast give it a try nuh
Who is this girl ?
The one there in the far left corner with that bespectacled guy
Why that one ?
The guy looks like her boyfriend and you've always made tall claims that you could score goals even when the goalkeeper is around, remember ?
The short girl with those Preity Zinta glasses ? Can we make it a 100 bucks ?
Why ?
She doesn't seem to be my kinds
Ok
Hmmm....Fair enough...jes wait...


Here it is...9880191197...
You must be kidding
Why don't you just call and check ?
Of course I will..Nobody wins a bet that easily...
Ha Ha... On the contrary, a fool and hsi money are easily parted

TUN TA TUN TA TUN TA TUN

shittt..It is her phone no...How on earth did you get it ?
My 100 bucks pls
Here...Now tell me..
Thats Ramya
Bastarddddddddddddddd
Let me just call her over

Ramya, this is the Preeti I've told you about..and this is Sudhir...Guys, this is Ramya
Hi guys..Preeti, its a pleasure meeting you in person after all the anecdotes I've heard about you..
You speak about me ?
Ha Ha Ha...Only nice things...dont worry...
Mahesh, my Dad called...Obviously everyone at home is anxious.. I think we need to leave...
We are sorry we disturbed your evening
Please. No need to apologise.
Preeti, we'll talk tomorrow ok ? Bye guys
Bye Mahesh and sorry Ramya...


I am sorry. I forgot that I was to meet you in 10 minutes.
Mahesh, its ok. Maybe we can have dinner some other time ?
Ooops. I forgot dinner too.
Chill pa
Was just wondering...So we meet some other time ?
Err...I mean...If we have to...or rather, if we want to...
So did uncle ask you about me?
Yes. He did
And what did you tell him ?
I didn't say anything
You realise that people are waiting for our answers, don't you ?
Of course
Fine...I know its tough for you esp since you are a girl to say it first..But it was a Yes for me even after our first meeting...
Are you serious ?
Do I sound like I am joking ?
Omigawddddd
Why ?
Then why didn't you tell me ?
Coz I thought you needed more time to decide...And I will definitely understand if its a No from your side...This is not the occasion to think of niceties..Its your life that is under question...
You dumbo
Excuse me ?
It was a Yes for me too from the first day we met...
How come ?
You remember how it rained that evening when we went to Casa Picola ?
Yeah
..and do you remember how much you tipped the waiter that night ?
No..this is crazy...
You really don't remember, do you ?
No
Okie...We were dripping wet when we got in and the waiter was so nice to us...He brought me a towel to dry off and warm water and generally was very nice to us
Was he cute ? You seem to have noticed so much about him
Shut up. Why do I get the feeling you know exactly what i am talking about but just prefer to play dumb
Go on
Neway I think you observed all that and finally tipped him an obscene amount
So ?
Its these random acts of kindness that speak about one's character Mahesh...Nothing else does...
You're flattering me too much now
I am not..
So ?
Why do you keep saying So ? This is not a story. Anyway, I like you and I am telling my folks the same.
Hmmmmm

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Can you please check that message for me on my cell ?
I should't Mahesh. It could be something personal.
Please.....Besides, I am driving and you don't want us to crash, do you ?
Ok..Wait...
Its from Sudhir and the message says " The other guy is YOU "
Whattttttttttttttttttt ? Damn

TRING TRING TRING

Its Appa... Double damn....

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The End....Or is it The Beginning

...but Appa, I have already spoken to her and fixed it up.........Yeah, I know it is our third meeting but its a lifetime we are talking about spending together and I don't want either of us to rush into this.........No, its not about me......I think she is a great girl.....Ayyyo, height is no longer an issue, Appa........And its ALSO not the specs...Why don't you just try and understand...... Now how do I put this ?.....I am clear but I really think she deserves more time........I promise this will be the last......Yes, I will tell you my final decision tonight though I think you already know it....No, you don't call......I will....Promise......Cmon, I agreed to this whole circus only to please you now just let me have my way on this one thing....Bye...Pass on my love to Amma and Paatti....

I silently recollect the telephonic conversation that had taken place just an hour ago. How time flies....And here I am sitting at our table, waiting for her to come back from the restroom wondering yet again why she'd rushed off there for the third time in the evening. I am sure it isn't the call of nature nor could it be for reapplying her make-up since she seldom wore any, maybe it is just cold feet over the impending big decision or is she calling a girlfriend for advice ? Damn. Why do I even think so much ?

Sorry to have kept you waiting Mahesh
Thats okie
So where were we ?
I am not so sure I want to continue that debate
Yeah, I was asking you what is it with you post-grads and the paranoia for an arranged marriage ?
I don't think its fair to specifically target ur guns only on us poor post-grads...and honestly, paranoia would be an overstatement
To answer your first point, I have not seen a single guy in my batch worry about finding his intellectually compatible soulmate...To respond to your second, if its not paranoia then how would you put it ?
Hmmm.. How about anxiety ?
Ha Ha Ha...
Oh yeah, you can laugh as much as you want but all your IITians can think of is going abroad and earning in $, so all these guys want is a nice, domesticated girl who can cook, clean and bear their children
Now you're being unfair...
See, lets just give this a skip...How about returning to the topic we were discussing before you so smartly turned the tables on me...
You ar every persistent, aren't you ?
Of course esp since you've stirred my curiosity and left me mid-stream..
Okie, what do you want to know ?
What was your impression after our initial exchange of emails ?
I thought I had already answered that. You came across as weird - like i said - very direct - as in - straightforward to the point of being crude...
That part I know.. Go on...
I thought you were trying too hard to scare me away
Thats not true
....I know, but that was how it appeared to me.. And then those awful jokes...
C'mon, you loved them. You told me yourself when we first met.
You believed everything I said the first time around ?
Hey bhagwaan...okie, if I was sending so many not-so-positive vibes, then how come you didn't stop it there...
Thank Vidya akka for that. Remember, you came with wonderful credentials and a reputation of being warm and affable and sensible and a lot of such crap
Hmmmmm
Your turn now...
Hold your horses. I am not done with all my questions yet
Go ahead
Did you discuss me with any of your close confidantes ? I just want to know how women react in these situations
Hahaha...You remember my friend Susan...I did show some of your emails to her...
Are you crazy ? You showed her those exchanges ? Why ?
C'mon, I've known Susan much longer than I've known you and what was the harm in asking for a second opinion...

Buzzzzzzz

Excuse me, Can i just check this one message ?
Of course

Preeti and I are here at Pecos. Terribly down. Rush asap.

Errr...Is everything fine ?
Not exactly !! Seems like a couple of my friends are in some trouble. Would you mind if we make a small detour till Pecos ? I just want to check if they are ok...Can we ?
Of course.
We can continue for dinner from there
Harsh must be getting bored at Music World....Can I just drop in on him and meet after you're done with your friends. Why don't you gimme a buzz on my cell ?
Perfect. See ya in 10 minutes
(To be continued)

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A quick story :-)

Circa 2001
I stand in the queue watching a pretty girl, just ahead of me, struggle to handle the huge pile of books thrust onto her from across the window. Chivalrous me offers to help her carry the stuff till the hostel only to be rudely cut off in mid-sentence. The next day she apologises and blames her grouchiness on PMS. My poor Tam Brahm soul cringes with embarassment.

Circa 2005
A mutual friend is getting married and we are hunting for an appropriate gift when I have yet another of my brainwaves. The guy is 29 and a virgin, so what better gift than an illustrated version of the Kamasutra is my argument. She cringes with embarassment.

How life has come full circle !

More poetry

Ahaaaaaaaaaa...Thamizh maindhanukku Hindi padal endral ishtama ? Vekkum, Vedhanai, Avamaanum...

To set right a wrong and thanks to Lazy, here is another song thats been bugging me all morning. Is it the awesome flute-violin combo (show me a better IR song for this combo and I'll treat you anywhere) or the mindblowing lyrics ? Or maybe its just the super cinematography of PC or the romance of the setting (Karthik is so freggin awesome) ...All said and done, Kaadhal Kavidhaigal is a classic. End of topic.

YES! I LOVE THIS IDIOT! I LOVE THIS LOVEABLE IDIOT!

kaadhal kavidhaigal padiththidum naeram idhazhoaram
kaaman kalaigalil pirandhidum raagam oru moagam
idhayam idam maarum ilamai parimaarum
amudhum vazhindhoadum azhagil kalandhaadum
idham tharum

(kaadhal)

kaiveesidum thenral kan moodidum minnal
idhu kaniyoa kaviyoa amudhoa silaiyazhagoa
pan paadidum sandham un naavinil sindhum
idhu mazhaiyoa punaloa nadhiyoa kalaiyazhagoa
maegamonru naerilingu vaazhththa vandhadhadi
dhaagam konda bhoomi nenjil saerththuk kondadhadhi
idhu thodarum malarum valarum
inik kanavum ninaivum unaiyae thodarndhidum

(kaadhal)

poomaalaigal konjum paamaalaigal kenjum
unai manadhaal ninaiththaal anaiththaal adhu inimai
thoal saerndhidum gangai sevvaazhaiyin thangai
enai orunaal palanaal thodarndhaal adhu pudhumai
koavilukkul aetri vaiththa dheepamallavaa
kaadhalukkuk kaaththirundhu kaatchi thandhadhoa
ini varuvaay tharuvaay malarvaay
enai uyiraay uravaayth thodarvaay dhinamdhinam
(kaadhal)

My Kinda Poetry

Getting an education in a Christian missionary school was probably one of the best things to happen to me but if there is one aspect that I can find fault with, then its the fact that I was led to believe that good poetry always came from the Brits - be it Shelley, Keats, Byron or Wordsworth. And everytime I listen to the verses of Javed Akhtar, I realise how wrong I was and cannot but marvel at how Javed sa'ab works magic with the simplest of themes.

The song below is another of my all time favorites, a song I listen to whenever I feel nostalgic about a non-existent past (yeah)

Door kahin ek aam ki bagiya
Bagiya mein hai thandi chhaaon
Chhaaon mein ek kachcha rasta
Raste mein pyaara sa gaaon
Gaaon mein ek chhota sa ghar
Ghar mein ek ujla sa aangan
Aangan mein chandan ka palna
Palne mein chanda sa munna
Munne ki aankhon mein nindiya
Door kahin ek aam ki bagiya
Bagiya mein hai thandi chhaaon
Chhaaon mein ek kachcha rasta
Raste mein pyaara sa gaaon

Neele neele aasmaan mein taaron ka hai ek nagar
Jagmag jagmag ek taare par ek shehzaadi ka hai ghar
Chupke chupke raat ko uthke dhyaan se dekhe koi agar
Jhilmil jhilmil hai taarein mein us shehzaadi ke zevar
Shehzaadi ithlaaye, shehzaadi yeh gaaye
Door kahin ek aam ki bagiya

Aadhi raat jab ho jaati hai, jab duniya so jaati hai
Taaron se shehzaadi utarke munne ke ghar aati hai
Meethe meethe saare sapne apne saath voh laati hai
Sote munne ki palkon pe yeh sapne voh sajaati hai
Sirhaane voh aaye, haule se voh gaaye
Door kahin ek aam ki bagiya

Javed Akhtar / Zubeidaa

What visual imagery !!! Waaah !!!

ps: In case you did not get all the lyrics, here is a translation which gets the essence of it more or less.