Under the sun

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Chennai's Chastity Belt

Human life is precious. It is an altruism. Freedom is no less precious. Civilization has always evolved towards independence and freedom. Man created devices like marriage, religion, law and what not to serve him in the path of evolution, not merely physical, but also mental and cultural. Whether all of these hold currency in the present times is debatable and might indeed be relative and best left to individual choice.
At this point in time, we would have thought good old Victorian Prudishness was history and belonged rightfully in museums. How wrong would we be to assume such things in wishful thinking. The Victorian Prudes are alive and kicking (ass) amongst us. Afghanistan? Saudi Arabia? Of course, that's been done to death but i'm talking about our own backyard. No, not my birthplace of Pudukkottai. Not any rural hamlet. I'm talking about Cosmopolitan Chennai. Singara Chennai.
I'm not a disco-going type but i have nothing against couples smooching away to dopamine gratification in a disco or a pub. If someone has a problem with that, he/she is either jealous or impotent. Wait a minute, I think i'm a pervert to think there's nothing wrong in THE ACT. Coming to think of it, he might be a moral, right-thinking, cultured and cosmopolitan Chennai Moral Police Officer. He might or might not be holding office in the police department. For all you know, "he" might actually be a SHE, belonging to some mAdhar sangam. Veerappan's can wait for decades. The armed robberies ravaging the suburbs can always be handled without any hurry. Traffic jams and accidents are no major problems. S.J Suryah's soft-porn candies can be watched with family (from infants to grampa). The pros and cons of Sethu Samuthiram is no proper fodder for our vernacular media. An average moral, chaste Thamizhan or Thamizhachi is a prototype of German-engineered fidelity with finesse. He/she leadeth the way by the light of their cultural elevation. Follow or fall aside. Cultural Chennai doesn't want you degenerates here, spoiling the toils of our ancestors who have talked the cultural talk and walked the moral walk. If you smooch (be it a dry one or a wet one) your spouse in a profane and impure place like a discotheque, you might in fact be sowing and spreading the seeds of a cultural virus threatening to blow the fabric of Thamizhar panbaadu away. The thamizhar panbaadu has been able to hold its own inspite of a procession of culturally and morally elevated directors showing thoroughbred Thamizh heroines gyrating their anteriors and posteriors, hardcore Thamizh heroes spinning tops in the heroines' soft and rounded bellies,imported heroines holding laddooos next to their boobies, unlucky C-grade heroines biting their lips in the torn screens in a "bit" reel in parangimalai Jyothi, the likes of which are patronized by culturally elevated men in lungis who use the theatres as their release-vents and culturally elevated schoolboys who are too smart to be attending classes.
Oh Lord of Conservation Of Thamizh Panbaadu, i pray to thee to come down heavily with vengeance on these immoral mortals who pollute our already elevated and time-tested culture with their independent behavior, their dances and their smooches!

And The Two Shall Live Happily Ever After

Remember how the stories in primary school English textbooks ended? "....and they lived happily ever after". It sounds so good we always wish real life was like that. We wish because we know life isn't like that. But hold on, our beloved and noble BCCI might just want us to believe that such an ending is indeed possible. I've never considered myself the most intelligent human being around and i can say i'm average or above average at best. However, that, i feel is sufficient to reason that one of them is right and the other is wrong. Or, at least, most of the things one of them said are true and most of the things the other said are false. simple. To help decide things, we have an investigating committee consisting of the mother lovers Mahendra, S.K Nair and "DadaMan" Dalmiya. It also had Ravi Shastri, Venkatraghavan and S.M Gavaskar but that is just an insignificant piece of trivia one may ask as a question in a sports quiz.

If somebody is investigating something, they would rely on witnesses' statements and some hard facts corroborating the statements, because statements of witnesses and the concerned parties seldom make hardcore evidence. Now, Chappel says his story and Ganguly says his and voila, The Committee announces that the accusations of Ganguly feigning illness "are far from truth..." and "are a result of miscommunication...".
Now, after reading the following excerpt from Chappel's email, can someone explain to me like i'm a six year-old, what bloody miscommunication is The Committee talking about? I mean, there are just two parties involved and they are in the same physical place of existence.

The following day Sourav batted in the match against Zimbabwe 'A' team in the game in Mutare. I am not sure of the exact timing of events because I was in the nets with other players when Sourav went in to bat, but the new ball had either just been taken or was imminent when I saw Sourav walking from the field holding his right arm. I assumed he had been hit and made my way to the players' area where Sourav was receiving treatment from the team physiotherapist, John Gloster.
When I enquired as to what had happened Sourav said he had felt a click in his elbow as he played a ball through the leg side and that he thought he should have it investigated. Sourav had complained of pain to his elbow at various stages of the one-day series, but he had resisted having any comprehensive investigation done and, from my observation, had been spasmodic in his treatment habits, often not using ice-packs for the arm that had been prepared for him by John Gloster. I suggested, as had John Gloster, that we get some further tests done immediately. Sourav rejected these suggestions and said he would be 'fine'. When I queried what he meant by 'fine' he said he would be fit for the Test match. I then queried why then was it necessary to be off the field now. He said that he was just taking 'precautions'.
Rather than make a scene with other players and officials in the vicinity I decided to leave the matter and observe what Sourav would do from that point on. After the loss of Kaif, Yuvraj and Karthik to the new ball, Sourav returned to the crease with the ball now around 20 overs old. He struggled for runs against a modest attack and eventually threw his wicket away trying to hit one of the spinners over the leg side.
The next day I enquired with a number of the players as to what they had thought of Sourav's retirement. The universal response was that it was 'just Sourav' as they recounted a list of times when Sourav had suffered from mystery injuries that usually disappeared as quickly as they had come. This disturbed me because it confirmed for me that he was in a fragile state of mind and it was affecting the mental state of other members of the squad.
When we arrived in Bulawayo I decided I needed to ask Sourav if he had over-played the injury to avoid the danger period of the new ball as it had appeared to me and others within the touring party that he had protected himself at the expense of others. He denied the suggestion and asked why he would do that against such a modest attack. I said that he was the only one who could answer that question.

What about Saurav's paltry batting averages in both forms of the game after Jan 2004? What about the fitness report from the team physio that Ganguly's fitness falls well below the acceptible limits for any team member? Don't the viewers have a right to know what transpired in that great "investigation"? Of course, we don't!
If you say Ganguly can continue as captain, you are making Chappel eat his own words. You are implying that all Chappel had said about Ganguly was just good old bullshit. He is physically and mentally fit, he has the ability and the form to remain as a player and captain of both the test and ODI sides. The only mistake on his part is that he went public with his statement that Chappel asked him to step down. Now, coming to that statement, if the statement is true, then Chappel has lied in his report. If anyone says "the captain should be appointed/removed by the selection committe and Chappel has no say in talking about a captain's merits", i'll break that person's jaw and quickly retort with my counter question "In that case, why the fuck do you have all these reports from the coach? Are you short of toilet tissues?". If you think (maybe rightly, maybe not) that the selection committee [which, by the way allots seats like a party head allots seats to his/her candidates] has a bigger say than the coach, the captain is nowhere in the picture. Still, Ganguly has been known to pick and drop players at will on match-days without consulting the coach. It's just crazy......

A friend sugegsted that the best possible solution would be to let things cool down and wait for Ganguly to just underperform his way out of the captaincy and a place in the team in the coming series. That way, the case against him is water-tight, and it also averts any moronic public [read Bengali] backlash in the event of sacking Ganguly right now. I'm not very sure about that. As a believer of Murphy's laws, i'm tempted to think Ganguly might just strike some freak form and something radical happens and he retains his place in the team.

On the other hand, i think Chappel should now say "Fuck off!" to India and its sporting ethic (or the lack of it), put in his papers and leave with his head held high. That's not happening either.......

Monday, September 26, 2005

David vs Goliath

I've never hated Saurav Ganguly as i hate him now. Of course, the behaviour of those immoral unethical bunch of mother lovers surprises none these days. Dalmiya and Saurav da have together screwed Indian cricket beyond recognition. True, Dada was the one who built this team and acheived success in England, S.Africa and Pakistan and at home and moderate success down under. That doesn't give him the license to behave like a monarch. Startling revelations are making the headlines by the hour and we haven't heard the last of it yet. Tomorrow, we shall know. Sunil Gavaskar is not known for his love for Aussies and it is believed that he wasn't happy with Greg chappel's appointment as coach. Interesting to see whose side he takes.

The reasons one finds Chappel's arguments and statements more founded than Ganguly and his cohorts' are
1) The fact that he made a written report complaining about what he perceived as inefficiencies and short-comings of some players in the team, least of all the captain. That takes balls, aussie balls...
2) He doesn't stand to gain in any way by doing this, as far as i can see.
3) He has never indicated in anyway that he doesn't value or recognize Ganguly's contributions in the past. He was not the coach then and he is in no way concerned about the past, and rightly so. He has made his assesments based on the present scenario
4) A typical aussie would call a spade a fucking spade, and if Mr.Ganguly and his supporters don't like it, kiss Aussie ass.
5) How the hell did the EMail leak? Dalmiya, can you please fuckin explain?
6) Ganguly sure buried his face in shit by righteously and indignantly claiming he was asked to step down (which chappel denies in his EMail), right after scoring a 260-odd ball century against an attack only marginally superior to a school side. I bow down to thee, you piece of scum
7) Harbhajan's outburst virtually proves one of chappel's allegations that Ganguly "divides and rules".
8) Ganguly's "affinity and love" for fielding and practice sessions is so well known that it is a legend.
9) Just ask V.V.S Laxman, Hemang Badhani, Sridharan Sriram, Lakshmipathi Balaji, Murali Karthik and quite a few others about their "treatment" under Dada's "captaincy"
10) Rajsingh Dungapur has alleged that John Wright had said that he couldn't continue with "those two" (Dada and Dalmiya) around.
11) His high-handedness is pretty much spoken about and from time to time manifests with decisions like sending Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar down the order inorder to usurp the opening position for himself
12) Last but not the least, his form in batting, bowling and fielding.

What the hell, isn't it obvious??

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Sinking

History repeats itself. That genocidal pioneer Christopher Columbus and his European-cronies-followers-turned-Americans, The East India Company, and now Uncle Sam headed by Cowboy Bushie..... Its all the same.

Thanks to Sambhar Mafia, i checked out this interview of Aamir Khan in Time magazine. The interview is about Mangal Pandey - The Rising. Here's a sample

TIME: As for the international reaction, you seem to be drawing parallels between the East India Company and the US.
Khan: When I read the script, I was reminded strongly of what is happening in Iraq today, or Afghanistan. The film questions the right of any superpower to move into another country and start telling them what to do. I find some of [U.S. President George W.] Bush's speeches so funny, because the parallels to 1857 are so plain. At the beginning of the film, the governor makes a speech in which he says 'We shoulder the burden of the white man without complaint.' That's exactly what Bush said after the attacks on London. And what difference is there between a terrorist who kills innocent people, and someone who kills innocent people, and many times the number killed by terrorists, while saying they are trying to promote freedom?

Well, Aamir Khan and I seem to agree strongly on 3 things:
1. Pink Floyd are the Gods of rock
2. The Hindu is India's best (perhaps the only readable?) newspaper
3. American Foreign Policy = Weapons Of Mass Destruction


Everbody's been talkin about the film Crash these days. I'd seen these two blogs also on this film. Well, it was in great demand in the DVD library last night but i did manage to rent it. I don't have much to add to what's already been said in those blogs. Movies talking about different seemingly unrelated characters crossing paths have been made before, but this one has racism as its underlying leitmotif. So much so that at times it goes into the "Oh no, not again!" world of cliches and stereotypes. I guess an important thing you'll find in many great works of art is subtlety. Here, its replaced by that almost "feel-good" American movie feel.
Silence would have been a better and more powerful choice where BGM is used in a few scenes in the movie. The music doesn't gel with what's unfolding on-screen.
A couple of scenes stand out in the movie for their irony. The young idealistic cop, bewildered by his own murder due to a "mistake" of his, and his senior officer's character showing both sides of the human behavior spectrum. The film-maker's point seems to be that even racial discrimination can't be slotted into clear shades of black and white.
All in all, a movie worth watching.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Klonin Kurosawa

Was chatting with a friend who is an assistant director this weekend. He was telling me about an incident he read somewhere about Kurosawa. Kurosawa was shooting for a film in a monastery located in a forest. He was not happy with a particular shot because a tree was blocking or spoiling the view. He then told his crew to the cut the tree of and needless to say, this annoyed the monks living there, but they remained silent. After the shooting was over and on the day Kurosawa was leaving the location, a monk came up to him and said "You cut the tree, but i know you are creating something". Now, the director under whom my friend works claims to be a Kurosawa fan.
Last week they had this shooting outside Qaid-E-Millat college and our director was not happy with a particular shot and the reasons were the same as the aforementioned, the view blocked by a post or trunk. He shouted for the crew to cut it and theobject was quickly cut. The next day the shooting was cancelled by the authorities because it had some historical significance and was a kind of relic at the ground! Ellathukkum oru idam porul eval thevai. Copy adichaalum ippadiya?

Anybody can watch Kurosawa's films and love them. The trouble is that not every watcher is a Mani Ratnam, you also get dudes like our director here.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Corporate Crap

Being a big fan of Scott Adams' Dilbert, i've always marveled at the striking real-life examples of "The Boss" behavior in the crappy corporate management world. I've also seen Dilbertesque jokes like the following doing the rounds..

Do you want to impress or confuse clients or Boss...use Techno vocabulary...
It can be called the "Buzzword" writing method. It is simple. There are three columns of words involved, as follows:

0. Balanced 0. Management 0. contingency

1. total 1. Organization 1.Hardware (or software)

2. integrated 2. reciprocal 2. projection

3. compatible 3. monitored 3. time-frame

4. synchronized 4. digital 4. concept

5. optimal 5. modular 5. programming

6. responsive 6. transitional 6. mobility

7. functional 7. Incremental 7. capability

8. parallel 8. third-generation 8. flexibility

9. systemized 9. policy 9. options

Just select any three-digit number; then use the corresponding Buzzwords from the above grid, e.g., 257: "integrated modular capability". Don't worry if it doesn't make sense to you; it won't mean anything to anyone else either, but they'll think you're just smarter than they are so they won't say anything!! ..

You can propose "systemized reciprocal options" (929) to achieve "optimal transitional flexibility" (568), so that we can think of an "integrated monitored projection" ..............and your boss will probably promote

However, today my colleague showed me this gem. Its a classic. Actually its the Program Objective of one of the projects in the company where i work. Didn't make an iota of sense to me.....

Program Objective

Through the coordinated strategic sourcing and centralization of operations/support* (in the SMO function) deliver on a set of value capture goals to enable IPG IT’s strategic value-creation initiatives.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Coming Soon...

Ghajini is coming soon......

"Thambi" Saravanan aka Surya mirattum Ghajini, viraivil!

The Tarannum Twist

Watched the news in NDTV last night about the alleged involvement of two Sri Lankan cricketers, a "flop" Bollywood actor and a bar dancer(!!!) Tarannum in a betting scandal.
Slimes Of India has this story and NDTV has this.
Muralidharan, of all people! One of my favorite cricketers, hope he doesn't have anything to do with this.

BTW, machakkALai, if you're reading this, promise me you won't get lured by any dance bar girl :)

Raving about Raaja

College kids these days say "Ilaiyaraaja may be a genius but his music is passe. You guys are too old and that's why you are stuck up with his music. Change with the times, man..". Bullshit.
Other music directors might be in tune with the changing times, ARR maybe a genius who is even ahead of his times, but Raaja is beyond time, his music is timeless.

And presenting to the college kids, the September edition of Rave magazine. Eat this!

In Tamil Nadu Ilaiyaraja is God. When you tell people you are on your way to meet him, complete strangers will be gripped by religious fervor and will beg to tag along. In a two-hour chat with the deity, Samantha Iyer discusses his latest creation, Thiruvasagam in Symphony, Oratorio and the price of fame.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Vetti Jaya

Before watching "Thotti Jaya", i was fairly certain i'd be getting a rehash of Dhool+Gilli. After watching it, there was more to it: Dhool+Gilli+Thirupaachi.
I'll put my neck on the line and predict 2-3 State awards for 2005

Worst Villain : (Dunno his name) "Seena Thaana" in the movie. Somebody woke him up just when this guy was having a nightmare and filmed his antics. What was he mouthing, by the way? Definitely not Thamizh

Worst Background Score: Did Harris Jayaraj outsource this one or is it a sign of things to come?

Voice(s) Of The Year: The sound of metal hitting human skull & the "Aaeey" shouts of every sidekick of the villain

The theatre was incredibly full and the "opening" Simbhu received was amazing. Star power, man! These days, things are changing...

OK, getting back to the movie, like i said if you've watched Dhool and/or Gilli, don't worry about the story of this film. The director (V.Z Dhorai) has introduced some differences here
a) Spends more time in the 'love' angle.
b) The villains are dumb and dumber
c) Simbhu is the saving grace in the film....[does not necessarily mean his acting was good. I'm speaking relatively, compared to the other aspects of this film]
d) The lead character at many points gives up his ego and offers the white kercheif to the villain
Simbhu is "Thotti Jaya" (real screen name Jayachandran), a child labourer who has a bad childhood and joins a gang of goons headed by the dreaded "Seena Thaana". Our man is as rough as they get, doesn't know any emotion, hits anybody for money etc. In a series of events meets and falls in love with Gopika, who happens to be Seena Thaana's daughter. The rest can be predicted without difficulty. Gopika cries throughout the film. The BGM is an uninvited intruder in many scenes and the songs make you search for those damned ear-plugs.
The villains in this movie must be made of steel. Even after being beaten to pulp with all kinds of metallic objects, they just bounce back and ready to take him on. Real baddies, huh? The 172 villains in the movie comes close to Thirupachi's record of 212.
And here's a trivia you wouldn't have read in any of the Thamizh magazines. The audio failed when the film was shown to the censor board and the members could only see the film without the audio track. As a result, this movie (dialogues) is not censored and you can hear the villains mouthing words like "dicky", "otha", "baadu", "pudunga mudiyadhu" etc. On being contacted, a spokesperson for the censor board said on conditions of anonymity that the audio track was indeed mucked up, but they didn't care because it was not a Kamal Haasan film and moreover, "otha" is any day better than "vakkali" and especially if its in a Kamal film for "obvious" reasons.

There are some scenes shot in Kanyakumari/Nagercoil, but for some strange reason, the people there speak with the "Thirunelveli" accent. There's nothing else to write about, except the fact that the fights are really long and happen very frequently. Violence? What violence? Of course, this movie's a family entertainer and kids will be delighted to see the violence on screen. Why not? If Simbhu beats the villain to smithereens and the villain still comes back to get hit yet again, which kid wouldn't love it? The rule of the Kollywood thumb is this: Sex-up the violence and they'll love it! Stylize and glamourize it with stacatto shots and some sleek avid editing and see what happens...

Dunno if the fantastic weekend opening or the amazing response in the theatre is anything to go by but if it is, we've got another hit here....

Friday, September 09, 2005

Missing Mumbai

Ganesh Chathurthi or simply Ganpati if you're in Mumbai just went by. As it came and went, it triggered off some nostalgia about The Great City. Putting aside the sqalor, the congestion and the stink for the moment, there are plenty of reasons to fall in love with the city.

1.Anti-depressant: No matter how low you're feeling, you might even contemplate suicide or worse, homicide but the moment you step out on the street, you don't feel it anymore - a momentary lapse of depression, if you will.
2. Energy(?): I've heard people rave on about the Bombay buzz and the notion that you can't be idle in Mumbai - bullshit. Depending on the distance between your residence and workplace/school/college, you can still manage to be the laziest bum around this part of the world (like me). The point is, it can acommodate everybody
3. Infrastructure: Rock solid. Don't mention the havoc caused by the recent rains. Anyother city would have been history under such an onslaught. UPS is unheard of in this city. Water (unlike for a lot of those poor folks living in slums or in peripheral areas) is very much available and sweet. The trains are legends by themselves and everyone who has travelled by a Mumbai EMU (and lived the 'ride') would have a tale to tell. I've managed to take a few rides and come out unscathed or thrown out. Never mind the outright stupid way of not numbering the buses in English, the bus network compliments the railways quite efficiently.
4. Auto-rickshaws: THE BEST. These guys not only give a free ride for "delivery" cases like our Manick Baasha, they are also honest to the H (A recent study by the Gartner group shows that 93.47% of the auto-drivers are honest and don't cheat). Let me squeeze in a little incident here. I was returning home from an office party late one night from Andheri to my house in Chembur, in a typical "post-party" state. I struck up a conversation with the driver who was actually from U.P. I told him to stop by a "petty" shop on the way so that i could buy a pack of ciggies. Destination reached and he had forgotten to remind me of my smokes. I gave him a good piece of my mind for failing to do his "duty"! He duly apologized and took me to the nearest shop to get my cigarettes and dropped me back home. He took Rs.15 less for failing in his "duty". Had this been singara Chennai, i would be writing this piece from the "oil wells" of hell!
In Mumbai, an auto driver is a man's best friend. Dogs come second.
5. Cosmopolitan: All kinds of people live here but all speak with the same beautiful accent. The only grouse i have is with Tambrahms brought up in Mumbai. They would put an ABCD to shame!
6. Safety for women: By far, the safest city in India for women.
7. You-mind-your-business-i'll-mind-mine attitude: Neighbours don't unduly bother you
8. Night Life: If you haven't seen it in Mumbai, you ain't seen nothin yet. I've left office with my team during "releases" at 4:30 AM and still managed to find a decent place to drink.
9. Size: It goes on an on and on.....
10. Ganpati: Where else would you find such an inspiring Ganpati "drum roll"? Where else would you see a Muslim brother show the aarti to Mr.Ganesh?

Never mind the absolutely horrible Mangalorean or Udipi food, Maumbai's DA BEST (after Singara Chennai, of course)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Katrina - The Hows, Whys and What-might-have-beens

Some points to ponder in the aftermath of the havoc caused by Katrina, adding to Senthil's post....

  • As if the rain brought by Hurricane Katrina did not do enough, the dykes and levees built to keep the sea out of the city of New Orleans collapsed for lengths of hundreds of metres. Some experts have said the forensic task of identifying the dead will be far harder than that which followed the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as the bodies in Louisiana are decomposing very quickly in temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius
  • The hurricane warnings predicted an even stronger storm than Katrina turned out to be. Although the effects of such a storm and of a breach in the levees were modelled by officials a year or two ago, the federal government said there was no money to implement a practice response to such an emergency. Further, in 2004 the federal government in Washington stopped funding for maintenance and fortification work on the levees, which were therefore neglected for the first time in nearly 40 years. Environment protection is an easy target for the budget cuts central to neoliberal economics and politics
  • It took the President two days to curtail his holiday and make a flight over New Orleans in his official jet, and when he did make a ground visit he kept well away from the worst-hit areas
  • Vice-President Dick Cheney is still on holiday in Wyoming, and as the disaster took place Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was publicly seen in Manhattan shopping for shoes at $7,000 a pair
  • Even the initial relief effort, slow as it was, was hampered by the fact that some 10,000 of the Louisiana State Guard are in Iraq, pursuing a war which very large numbers of Americans are now questioning very deeply
  • Politicians in the State of Texas, to which about 100,000 refugees have fled from Louisiana, are saying they cannot take any more and that they need federal government help from Washington DC. They openly cite the fact that Texas, one of the most extreme Republican States, has no public services worth the name. Texas is most of the size of Europe, is soaking rich with oil money, and has a population of 22 million. It is not known if the Texan exchequer has offered any aid
  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist, has offered $1 million as aid via the Red Cross, and Cuban President Fidel Castro, a communist, has offered 1100 doctors and 26 tonnes of medicines
  • Maintaining the levees of New Orleans would have cost a few tens of millions of dollars, loose change for a country that has already spent $170 billion on its war in Iraq and is subsidising private agribusiness corporations to the tune of $180 billion
  • For centuries they (blacks in the southern states) have had next to no voice in the politics of the U.S., and it has even been said that, since the start of the Reagan presidency in 1980, significant Supreme Court rulings and federal tax cuts (such as the impending abolition of death duties on estates) have been intended to harm them and to favour the rich, who are overwhelmingly white
  • Byzantine voter-registration procedures, many of which in the southern States were designed to make it as hard as possible for black voters to register, mean that African-Americans are hugely underrepresented on the States' electoral rolls
  • When a black man takes a can of food or a soda from a store, its looting but when a white couple does it, "they're finding food"
Source: This article in The Hindu

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Idhu Cinema Vaaram

Fuck the goddamned DVD player. To hell with NTSC/PAL differences. I got sick of it and bought a DVD ROM for my comp and thanks to that, my DVD player can be sent into the depths of oblivion.
Got a membership at Ric video, Nungambakkam and as they say in Sun TV, "idhu cinema vaaram"...
Feel like a little kid in a chocolate store........

Customer Is The King

Customer IS the king, no doubts but thats in a planet called Zimbola, not in our blessed earth.
"Express Yourfelf" is Airtel's pet caption. I did just that last week.
I received an SMS from a friend and since it was rather important i had to reply to it immediately but i found that i couldn't. Next thing i realize is that the fuckers had barred outgoing calls and SMS-es in my mobile. I'd paid my bills promptly and saw no reason why this should happen. This was on Wednessday evening. I later came to know that i had exceeded my credit limit for the month. How stupid of me not to know this 10 months in advance and plan accordingly. Since customer is a king, no some people say customer is GOD, and since we're at least one of the two, it was stupid of me not to have used my extraordinary powers and realize that i'd exceeded my allowed usage. Never mind Airtel didn't send an SMS warning me of that, nor the fact that they send 6 IMPORTANT messages like "find your dream partner" or "Download the latest caller tunes" everyday on an average. Of course, they aren't to be blamed.
Damage control, next. I made a cash payment and foolishly hoped that they would restore my "outgoing privileges" in 30 minutes, like the guy at the counter had promised. Even after 4 calls to 121 and by 9:30 in the night my phone was grounded. That's when i experienced what Airtel meant by their caption. And express myself i did. A few persons who took my calls would have enriched their vocabulary, thanks to me. Still, the result was zilch. I had to tell the executive i wasn't going to hang-up unless they reactivated my connection, and that finally did the freakin trick.

Friday, September 02, 2005

When The Music's Over Turn Out The Lights

The electric poet Jim Morrison wrote
Yeah, c'mon
When the music's over
When the music's over, yeah
When the music's over
Turn out the lights
Turn out the lights
Turn out the lights, yeah

When the music's over
When the music's over
When the music's over
Turn out the lights
Turn out the lights
Turn out the lights

For the music is your special friend
Dance on fire as it intends
Music is your only friend
Until the end
Until the end
Until the end

Sometimes you feel alone even when you're with a dozen of your known people, lost in loneliness which is hard to describe. Sometimes you feel as if you're surrounded by "togetherness" even while there's noone with you. Spacial paradox!

Whoever asked "thanimayile inimai kAna mudiyumA?..." obviously hasn't listened to The Doors

Thursday, September 01, 2005

kanda nAL mudhal

Been listening to "kanda nAL mudhal" songs today, maybe 2-3 listenings of each song.
Now, what makes one like a song, whether its right after the first hearing or after a few runs? To me, it can be anything from depth, melody, novelty, punch, rhythm but most importantly moments of surprise, of which IR and ARR are masters. Yuvan Shankar Raja disappoints, especially after reading a lot of positive things being written in the blogosphere about its music. The saving grace is that you can't find the mandatory "kuthu" songs mandatory in Vidhyasagar's albums.
A word about the singers' pronunciations in YSR's albums. The hard 'L', 'N', 'zh' are strictly no-no. Add an anglo tinge to the rough edges that makes Thamizh unique and beautiful. YSR is damn strict with these rules and will brook no exception to these. However, its pleasantly surprising to hear more words being pronounced as they ought to be in this album than in any of his other albums.

The songs...

"mErkE mErkE" - Shankar Mahadevan & Sadhana Sargam(why?). This song is a melody. Even YSR couldn't get Shankar Mahadevan and even Sadhana(!) to get his pronunciation wrong. And BTW, the "lai lai" thing became passe after Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel (who's again being charged with possession of marijuana) sang "The Boxer"

"pani thuLi" - KK & Shreya Ghosal. Another melody, this one set to a hip-hop rhythm. Hip-hop seems to be YSR's obsession lately, nothing wrong in that though. This being a romantic song, KK & Shreya have modulated their voices very well.

"erimalai nAnE" - Shankar Mahadevan && Vasundhara Das. The pick of the album. Sounds like a situational song to me which can be appreciated better when watched in the movie. Contains shreds of sounds resembling a very diluted cross between a rhapsody and an opera, i should say.

"kanda nAL mudhalAi" - Subiksha & Pooja. Yet another drum-pad "fusion" song. Maybe we should blame IR for setting the bar so high its difficult for others to reach it. Maybe i'm just cribbing too much here. YSR didn't claim anything and its i who's assuming and expecting things. Dharmavathi on drums.

"koo koovena" - Mahalakshmi, Harish Raghavendra & Karthik. A fast-paced number. Doesn't stick to you. Nothing much to write home about. Another situational songs. In fact, remember seeing in a show that all the songs are theme-based and have a theme.

"Pushing It Hard" - Clinton & YSR. YSR got his chocolate finally. Here's another of his hip-hop which is more hip-hop than any of his hip-hop numbers (whew!). J-Lo kind of hip-hop to be precise. Wish he does a 50-cent or an Eminem type number one of these days. How many times can Thamizh be murdered? Here they are at it again. The song has English lyrics for good measure but even if it was English all the way, noone would have noticed. Maybe the picturization makes this song interesting to watch. I thought "Thee pidikka" from arindhum ariyAmalum was much better.

Hope the movie is better than the songs.