Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Caught up with the full movie finally over this weekend and was pleasantly suprised that the film is actually good in parts. I'm still not convinced that Vijay is a top director and I am amazed he manages to get so many A-listers to work with him but to give him his due, he does get some things consistently right - has an ear for music, shoots songs imaginatively & makes some interesting heroine choices.

Kireedom was strictly average, Madarasapattinam didn't set my world on fire, Deiva Thirumagal was melodramatic drivel and so you could forgive me for expecting Thandaavam to be nothing more than a star vehicle hidden under meaningless layers of a disability turned & tuned into a strength.

Kenny (aka Vikram) has long been out of favor with me and when I heard some of his interviews about Daniel Kish and echolocation, I was petrified.  Thankfully, he is tolerable in the film and though he's visibly aged, Anushka looks a dream and is a sight for sore eyes. Amy Jackson can't act but who cares. The songs are melodious and Oru Paadhi in particular is haunting. There are genuinely magical moments of romance and the whole meeting-knowing-befriending-falling in love-marrying thread turned upside down is heartwarming. Take note self proclaimed king of romance GVM.

All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

Weekend F1 action

I love a German in any sport, more so a successful one and if it's someone with no scruples about winning, I dig them completely. Think Michael Schumacher...Hmmm...Much as I admire/respect Seb Vettel and his 3 championships, somehow his blantant violation of team orders just didn't feel right. Team orders by themselves are rubbish but this was one race Webber absolutely deserved to win. Some part of me tells me Vettel will pay for this and there will be consequences at the business end of the season.

Anyway, here is thalaivar also weighing in on the matter...Germans othanukku othan uttu kudukkave maatengalae :)

Loose Hamilton was comical diving into the McLaren pit-lane. PLONKER.

Friday, March 22, 2013

New age Tamil patriots and their politics

Attacking a Buddhist monk who has come on an educational/spiritual visit, boycotting Sri Lankan players with plans to disrupt IPL matches featuring them, attacking the Aurobindo Ashram just because another maverick in Bengal made a supposedly inflammatory comment disparaging Tamil Eelam sentiments – I can’t seem to recognize the new Tamil Nadu any more.

The State is fast getting radicalized – common sense politics has all but vanished and fringe elements have now come to occupy the center-stage. Students are now on the roads agitating for their brethren across the Palk Strait but considering these are all Art, Science and Law students, I am assuming college has become boring and they would like nothing more than to pick some loser-of-a-cause and get themselves on national media. The unemployed youth are angry – at anything and everything – and radical political outfits are using them smartly as vote banks to dictate their own divisive agenda and priorities.

Unless things have dramatically changed in the last 2 years, did the DMK not lose power in the state despite raking up the Tamil cause just before the last assembly elections? Can’t people see that a politician with a promising future like Vai Ko has been reduced to a rabble rousing, rhetoric spouting non entity?  Don’t people in the state care about the rising living costs, the lack of power – are they more concerned about the Sinhala government supposedly oppressing Tamils in far-away Kandy?  When we should be focusing on getting our act together in our home-ground, why do we care about the problems across the divide?

Madness, I say.

Media and Entertainment - 5 absolutely arbit comments

1.      I’ve gone full circle as far as newspapers go – I have tried them all from the masala Times of India, the boring and bland Deccan Herald, the sober/ serious and left-leaning Hindu, the young and wannabe Mint and that sorry toilet paper (which poses as a newspaper) called Indian express but nothing gives me any degree of satisfaction. The best I can say is that TOI is good value for money considering I get 70% of my money back through the old newspaper route. Serious news be damned, atleast can’t we have something trashy and fun like The Sun J
2.      Sports Podcasts and blogs are fast losing my attention and mindshare. I am 2 weeks behind on my Sunday Supplement quota and 3 episodes on Football Weekly with AC Jimbo. It’s been ages since I read Sid, Rafa or Paolo.
3.      Sequels just don’t work….definitely not the shameless commercial rip-offs like the Race, Jism, Murder, Jannat series but not even the ones with great potential like Don or Saheb, Biwi aur Gangster. GOW2 is the only honorable exception I can remember in recent times but then it was a 2 part movie and not necessarily a sequel.
4.      If movies like Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaiya (omigawd) and Onbadhulu Guru (which I’ve not seen) which have absolutely no plot and are a string of gags put together become decent hits, why aren’t the likes of SV Shekar and  Crazy Mohan not producing new plays. The concept is the same and the cost of producing and staging plays has to be cheaper and more profitable in the long run. Hmmmmm.
5.      Recently, someone who I’ll not name told me that Sivaji Ganesan and Kamal Haasan might be good actors but the finest actor he’s ever seen was Radhika.  As proof, he showcased Vani Rani, the mega serial currently running in Sun TV. I was speechless then and am still at a loss for words. Seriously.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Room for indulgence

The problem with living in a 2BHK (and a compact one at that) is the fact that there is very little room in the house to indulge in your favorite hobbies.  As a result, I have completely filled up all the space in my bookshelf and my DVD collecting is bursting at the seams which means I am under strict orders to BUY ONE LET ONE GO.

Of course, having an iPad (I am gonna keep plugging this for the next 10 years so my loyal readership of 4 needn’t even bother to complain) which can house all the pirated eBooks really helps but there are still some books that you want to get your hands on, smell the paper, flip through the pages and savor for the future. Also, having original DVDs help since you get access to some lovely bonus content not to mention the interesting behind the scenes features and options of sub-titles J

Books I wish I could add to my library
1.       Narcopolis – Jeet Thayil
3.       *surprise surprise* Inferno - Dan Brown (come May 17th)

DVDs I’m trying to create space for
1.       Skyfall
2.       Looper
3.       Gangs of Wasseypur 1 and 2

Sigh. Sigh. Sigh

Technology is moving fast. Way too fast for my liking. I have an iPad 3 and just when I was thinking of also getting myself a 7” tablet, specifically the Nexus 7, the market is flooded with a million new products, each one better and cheaper than my previous choice… and add Phablets to the mix and throw in some really new Windows 8 smartphones and I am utterly and completely confused.  How I yearn for the days of my first Nokia which could just help me with calls and text - a nice n heavy copper sulphate blue phone. Sigh.

Just when you think that the Spuds will run away with 4th place and the Gunners will finally be out of Europe next year (which will hopefully prompt the exit of Wenger), our noisy neighbors go ahead and start on their usual, self destructive end of season form….and the Gunners also come away with 2 consecutive clean sheets.  The more things change, the more they stay the same. Looks like I will have to endure 1 more horrible season under Arsene Wenger. Sigh.

I like Jwala Gutta. I didn’t know why. I used to find her very cute. Even hottttt. Not like the over-hyped Sania Mirza or even the miss-goody-shoes Saina Nehwal but definitely worth a dekho. And then someone at work had to burst my bubble and shock me. He said I liked her only because I probably prayed at the altar of Namitha and all we Tamilians just like Size 16 as opposed to a Kareena Kapoor Size 0 in Tashan.  Let me clarify once and for all – I really like Kareena Kapoor too - but he might have actually been right about Jwala. Now, when I look at stills of her guest appearance as an item girl in a Telugu movie, all I can think about is Namitha. Sigh.

Another year at work and despite closing in on the green tag, March still gives me nightmares. It’s the time to fill in appraisals and as you get senior, there is lesser English and more hard, cold metrics that get into your performance review.  While FY 12-13 has been good to me, I still wish I could roll back the clock to 10 years ago when appraisal time was fun. Sigh.

Birthdays used to be fun in the past. It was all about wearing new clothes, eating sweets and savories and getting gifts from people. As you grow older, you realize that it’s time for you to start returning the good deeds and you end up spending weeks, if not months, thinking of what would be appropriate gifts to the awesome people around you. How you wish you could just get away with gift cheques but then, when you have a reputation like I do of being a thoughtful, warm, considerate person, then the pressure to come up with a wonderful gift is all the more nerve-wracking. Sigh.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Life is tough

Do you paint your 'old house' in one colour or do you use different colours for different rooms so much so that it looks like the sets for Shankar's fantasy songs like Aska Laska or Andankaaka Kondakaari?

Do you keep it plain & simple and use solids (or) do you experiment with CRINKLE, DAPPLE, CANVAS, COMBING, RAGGING, SPONGING or BRUSHING effect?

Whoever knew colors had so much personality - Is Pink too girly, is Blue too loud, is Yellow too dhinchak, is Orange too wannabe, is Green too you-know-what, is Grey too dull and is White just plan boring?

Whoever thought a simple painting job would involve a million tough choices? Why can't I just blink my eyes, open and voila - have a beautiful house like they show in the Asian Paints ads?


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Aaron Sorkin is G-O-D (Part 2)

Is it possible to have a rant better than this?

Kai Po Che

I've read almost all of Chetan Bhagat's books (cudn't really bring myself to call them novels) but the fact of the matter is that I hardly remember any of them. They're all what you'd call time-pass books, good to read on a boring flight or train journey but nothing deep, personal, or meaningful, nothing that stands the test of time. So, when Kai Po Che was released last week amidst lot of expectations, being naturally wary of the source material, I waited till I had checked out multiple review ratings before I dared to venture to the cinema hall...and boy, was I in for a treat !!!!

The movie is very very good. Period.

KPC is a director's film first and foremost. Abhishek Kapoor rocks and I must admit that I am really surprised - I, for one, never truly believed he directed Rock On. In my eyes, it was Faran Akhtar ghost directing a film to give his buddy a break...and you wouldn't fault me for having this idea if you'd seen Aryan. What a godawful movie that was - Sohail Khan, Sneha Ullal - need I say more. KPC scores big since it mixes humor, seriousness, drama, sentimentality in the right proportions without lurching dangerously from one extreme to the other. The pace neither seems rushed nor does it slacken at regular intervals. KPC uses the Godhra riots as the setting but does not preach about religious tolerance. It is a deep and moving story of duty, friendship, love, misunderstanding - its about 3 kids who man up together.

The last debutant I raved about was Ranveer Singh in BBB but the 3 lads in KPC are even better. I do realise that the film marks the debut of only Sushant Singh Rajput and both Amit Sadh and Raj Yadav have acted in a few films before but this was a story dying to have fresh, new faces who could act and the 3 delivered. The quiet but fiercely determined Govind, the vulnerable and sensitive Omi & the brash but angel-at-heart Ishaan are brilliantly brought to life by these 3 amazing actors.

Manja left me exhilarated. The song is magical and its picturisation and placement in the movie are purrrrfect. Suneeta Rao's lilting melody Pari Hoon Main was thrillingly picturised and brought back wonderful memories of an awesome past. Btw, is this how Garba dances happen? What the heck is "Dhandiya attamum aada" from Kadalar Dhinam all about then? Kunaaaaaaaaaaal.... eeeeeeeeeeeks...

The camera-work is  the best I have seen for a long long time....and yes, it trumps Kadal which I again raved about. So earthy, so natural - I almost felt transported to the location.

...and I guess, that says it all... End of.

Naming conventions

Offlate, a lot of people have been asking me for 'tips' on how to name their kids or even suggestions for names so I thought I'd do a post about naming conventions. Never buy people fish, teach them fishing. Here I go with my gyaan on what one could possibly do
  • Take the non controversial route and name the kid after the paternal grandfather or grandmother. If its the second issue, the maternal side might also be fine. Yeah, the name might sound old fashioned but you WILL win brownie points.... and you can cash them in too.
  • You might not be practising religion but there is nothing like falling back to Shlokas and the Scriptures for the more fancy names of Gods and Goddesses. That way, all the elders in the family are onboard but you will also get credit for being both traditional and progressive.
  • Be practical - Avoid names that start between A & E and again from S to Z....Makes the student life of your kid so much more easier....If you've ever had a name that starts with anything from A to E, you will know that you are always first in line for tests, viva voces, lab practicals etc... and EVERYONE knows teachers are in the foulest moods when they start correcting papers. As they get into the 6th or 7th answer sheet, they tend to relax and read less and give marks more generously. As it gets towards the end, they are in a rush to get it all over with so names starting from S onwards run the risk of not being taken seriously.
  • The more flippant can also name their kids after their favorites heros/heroines or even the characters that they have played. Gabbar would go well with Singh as would Vijay Dinanath esp if you are already a Chauhan. For the Southies, take a leaf out of the latest movie star making waves in the film industry - she is Sainthara and she loves Sania Mirza and Nayanthara. Might also be a good choice for a kid born to parents from different religions.
  • A more dangerous but thrilling option is to name the kid after an ex or a former crush. Sigh.
  • For the bookish, nerdy kinds, look up the multiple websites that offer you a million choices for your darling's name...
  • ...and lastly, for the truly adventurous, locate this wonderful namescrabble site, type in your favourite combination of alphabets and it will throw up a truly unique name - one you can safely claim no one else on earth has chosen already. Believe me, this site exists.
Best of luck !!!