March 30, 2004

What the heck...?

In my opinion, the Miss-India pageants are outrageous enough. But then this is just too much!

Miss India-World crown is embroiled in controversy that Ms. India might be a married lady, and married women are not supposed to be Ms. India...

Give me a break!

March 26, 2004


After watching Lord of the Rings, one nagging thought I had in mind - Why there had been no attempts to film 'Mahabharat - the great epic' completely?
And then I read this Pavithra's blog entry and comments made by visitors. That really sparked off this blog entry.

Mahabharat is a mythological story - an epic, that has all elements of an entertainer - human emotions, dynasties, kings, magic, spiritualism, deceit, thrill, adventure, war.

Mahabharat (MB for short) is ofcourse a story that cannot be contained in a single 3 hour movie. A trilogy is a great idea. It has all the elements to be presented in a nice visual medium. It was a good move to have it shot as a TV serial so as to not to miss any of the side stories. {MB is known for side stories}

But then, I felt TV serial killed the very crux of MB, and the spirit that can be brought in a trilogy. We have had so many side stories told and retold as individual movies, and people feel it is tough to film it as one single story.

We do have Peter Brook's rendering of MB. But it cannot count as one mythological story told in same fashion.

Rajaji's Vyasar Virunthu has a tight narrative line and takes it to a logical conslusion without missing the main theme of battle between Good and Evil - Good being symbolized by Pandavas and evil being symbolized by Kauravas. Vyasar Virunthu (VV) must provide for a good source of key story with some of main side stories covered.

The movie production to be viewed as a Mega-Project with a key director as Project Manager. Have a team of directors acting as consultants to various departments. The Project Manager must have the thought process and passion to not spoil original story.

Suresh Krishna can be that Project Manager who manages a tight display of scenes. Manirathnam can provide the screenplay - he is known for his screenplay - short scenes but profound impact. Barathiraja can consult on the rustic and folklore aspects, while Shankar can provide inputs on 'Grandiose' that needs to be handled. K. Balachander can add to the quick-witted and emotional scenes with his touch and dialog.

P.C.Sreeram, Jeeva and Thiru can provide their cameo works with camera. Songs can be rendered by A.R. Rehman, but it is Ilaiyaraja who should be handling the background score.

NTR's MB-related movies should be studied closely to extract the successful elements of mythology that can be retold in a simple fashion that will greatly appeal to the masses across the nation.

The entire trilogy can have sections like this

First one talks about history pertaining to pre Pandava-Kaurava story, and Pandava-Kaurava divide in their youthhood. And all other P-K fights upto their Agyaathavaasam can be captured here.

Part two to tell the story of how Pandava-Kaurava handle Agyaatha vaasam, and cover in major other side stories, and stop at pre-war era.

Part three - rest of the story.

Now coming to the cast:
Preferably not the popular actors. Movie must be devoid of individual glorifications or manners. But if absolutely needed, probably these people --
Karna - Sarathkumar
Arjun - Vikram
Srikrishna - NT Ramarao (Am sorry, cant think of anyone else...bring him in digitally)
Dharma - Sarathbabu
Bheema - Mohanbabu (telugu actor)
Bheeshma - Kamalhassan
Duryodhana - Nasser

It is high time the mythological story of Mahabharath is made into a movie.

March 24, 2004

Sundal Gumbal

This blog is dedicated to Marien Mathew.
[ Marien Mathew is the columnist in HINDU who gets to eat in restaurants/eat-outs all round in Chennai for her assignment. If someone gets paid for eating and writing columns, isn't that amazing? And what more, she writes good reviews with descriptive pieces about mouth-watering items from the respective eat-outs. She does not mince her words, nor naam-kay-vaasthey review. ]

Let me write such blogs on and off about good eat-outs in and around Chennai.
To start with Sundal.
'Thenga maanga pattani sundal' is the typical one that one gets in evenings at Marina beach. I am not even coming to that side. These sundals taste different. Neither is this sundal blog about the 'Maargazhi maasa' sundals.

Now is Sri Rama Navami time, and we have this Hanumar Koil in Triplicane. This temple is more than 200 years old, and they have been celebrating Rama Navami as a 10-day festival for past 60 years. On all these ten days, there will be evening some kutchery, followed by Religious discourse. There is a small tea break after the discourse.

And then, around 9 pm, bhajanai will start. Some five retired office cases will be singing lots of Bhajan songs for an hour. Basically the time, when others at home will not let them watch any TV News (Ever wondered why all these retired padu kizhams want to watch News on TV right from 7:30pm DD news to 11pm Star Vijay news, and then read newspaper also in the morning?). Until their dinner gets digested, they will sing bhajan songs. There will be an audience of 4-10 people.

They end the bhajan, and start ringing the bell for Harathi. No one knows where all these people were, when Bhajans were being sung. This bell will be like a signal bell. And suddenly, you will see some 30 people gathered with newspaper bits in hand. One retired maama will come with sundal and start distributing the sundal. All of these people shamelessly eat the first round there itself (hee..hee..needless to say, me too), and get another round.

Everyday, a new variety of sundal will be there - adequately laden with 'Thenga, maanga, kadugu, paruppu, kaaram' and all. Sometime, the sundal is overly cooked - esp paruppu, payiru types, and we get the sundals in a paste forms...Sundal kodukkum maamavai kindal adichittu saapduvom!

The Rama Navami Sundal started this sunday.
The menu so far:
Sunday - Pattaani
Monday - Paasipayaru
Tuesday - Kadalai
Wednesday - Most likely kaaramani...

Wednesday - Kaaramani
Thursday - Kondai kadalai

slurp...slurp slurp...

Some facts:
* Maarghazhi maasa sundals are not distributed at night normally.
* Beach sundals are not freshly made everyday...mostly they are slightly 'needle-gone' (athaanga, oosi pochi...) , but are cleverly disguised with generous dosage of Mango slices
* Sundals eaten by Diabetics do not count on these lines of sundal. They are mostly not-fried, and some varieties are totally banned.

I like Raama Navami.
Jai Sri Ram! Jai Hanuman!

March 22, 2004

Kasturi Srinivasan Library

Are you an avid reader of books - especially Tamil books? And offlate, you don't have access to lot of Tamizh books apart from what's being sold? Like some of the books, you might want to read but not prefer to buy? Or some books that may be out of print?

Are you in Chennai?

If yes, if you are familiar with Triplicane, come and ask for a membership at "Sri Kasturi Srinivasan Library"

This library is situated on Besant Road - commonly known ICE HOUSE Bus Stand road. There is an SBI ATM and Aavin Milk Parlour. In between the two, there will be a staircase. Climb up. The library is housed in an old house - not dingy - mind you! Very interesting architecture...

This library is very very old and has got fantastic collection of books - old and new - English and Tamil. The library is supported and maintained by a trust which is related to the THE HINDU.

This is NOT a lending library. (More about library in later half of this article)

The library timings are 7:30am-9:00am and 6:30pm-8:00pm.

It is worth becoming a member here. The membership fee is Rs 25 per month. This was hiked recently. When I was a 6th std kid, the membership fee was Rs 10 per month.

You just wont believe the kind of books you will be able to grab here. You get both English and Tamil books. You get lots of Sanskrit books too.

This is a library in a typical Triplicane intellectual time warp.

A visit to library is worth the experience. The library staff are very helpful and there is an elderly person who has keen interest in books and you would be amazed by the collection he has stacked up in the library as an office bearers.

Some of my recent finds -
Ian Fleming's 'Man with a golden gun' - donated by TT Vasu
All of Sujatha's books that have been printed
All of Balakumaran's novels
All Kalki's novels

Be warned : They will ask for reference for membership.

March 18, 2004

Channel Chips

Nickleodeon - a channel akin to Pogo - to launch three new shows with Whoopi Goldberg in one, Jamie Spears (sister of clothing-challenged diva Britney Spears - Thanks Adrants) in one and Emma Roberts (Julia Roberts cousin)

Gyan Darshan -- a DD channel. All day long, someone or other keeps solving some maths problem or doing a differential/integral or explains chemical reactions. No intermissions, no breaks. One of the few real potential of a medium like TV.

Samskar -- Most of the times, one mama with a lengthy tilak on forehead and clad in a Banian, keeps preaching something or there. One white Krishna Idol with a frozen smile at the end of a flute keeps staring at you. Have you ever noticed?

God -- Christian version of Samskar

March 17, 2004

C & H

I go to school, but I never learn what I want to know.

As far as I'm concerned, if something is so complicated that you can't explain it in 10
seconds, then it's probably not worth knowing anyway.

Childhood is short, maturity is forever.

It seems like once people grow up, they have no idea what's cool.

Why waste time learning, when ignorance is instantaneous?

Things are never quite as scary when you've got a best friend.

Life's a lot more fun when you're not responsible for your actions.

Weekends don't count unless you spend them doing something completely pointless.

If you do the job badly enough, sometimes you don't get asked to do it again.


You can take the tiger out of the jungle, but you can't take the jungle out of the tiger!

Calvin's Dad

The secret to enjoying your job is to have a hobby that is even worse.

Thanks to CAS

POGO - How many have caught up with this new Kids channel? Adults also will enjoy this feel-good channel. Fantastic, entertaining.

Don't miss the 'Just for laughs - gags' show on every night at 11:00pm. MTV Bakra is a big bore and a non-compete against this original simple gags.

One of the gags - One guy is sitting inside a post box. Whenever someone posts a letter into the box, this guy reaches out from the box and grabs the letter. Hilarious! Few gags - very poetic.

Harry Potter is being telecast in May.

SPLASH needs to learn a lot from POGO about programming and a host of lot of other stuff!

Child labour

Lots have been said and written aboout child labour. Many movements in Sivakasi to prevent child labour in match industries. So many CRY road shows, posters.
Just go to Saravana Stores or Rathna Stores in TNagar - prime stores in heart of a Metro - Chennai. No IAS officer or any other Minister or their relatives have ever been there or what? So many kids toiling hard there...anti-child labour movements, activists, boycotting crackers for Diwali...bah Humbug!

March 16, 2004

Spine, Guts, Will, Commitment, Care, Hope, Help...what else is missing??

Today I took a right turn near Besant Nagar-Indira Nagar signal on my green signal. Despite the fact the vehicles were moving on the green, a bus (Route No: 19) was coolly coming from opposite side (He had 'Red').

I stopped my moped right in front of his bus, and started shouting at him. I noticed a traffic cop controlling the signals watching this entire incident. I went up to him, and complained. He asked me to mind my own business and stop complaining, and if I didn't, I had to show all my license, RC book, Tax papers etc. I was totally taken aback as to WHY I HAD TO SHOW MY PAPERS, when I complained that a bus is violating the traffic rule.

With pain, I see that an article I wrote a year back still holds good.

It was the signal near Beijing Blues yesterday.

No free left at that point! Traffic signals didn't work either.

A 29C bus turned with lots of speed and took a deep curve. "Well, when a 29C can turn, why not this Scooty?", thought the gentleman in executive dressing and turned along, but ofcourse slowly. One of the White-Khaki brigade came towrds him as soon as he turned flapping his arms, as though taking a flight. The Scooty stops.

"Yenna Sir, there is no free left, can't you see?" - Police

"But no sign, signal also blank" - Scooty

"What blank? Turn and see the green"

The Green indeed was on. When the Green is not on, it is upto you to assume, understand and abide that it is Red.

"Paathachilla, show me all papers..." - Police

"I have"

"Ok, all papers are up for not obeying Red" - Police

"Sir, there is no Red, the bus turned, so I also turned"

"Oh you are one of those kinds..." - Police calls up another colleague who is lazily watching 27D do a signal hopping. The signal on this side is working and is glowing Red. A young girl is taking a right turn in her Sunny. All this hardly mattered to 27D, came afst, sedning shivers down to riders on the road. "He is like the when-others-do-why-not-I-kinds" Both of them are amused.

Stop! Haven't you seen this scene daily on the roads?

What do the Police lack when they watch the Bus, MetroWater lorries, the Autos, vehicles with a "G" and those who have "Press" imprinted on their windows hop the traffic signals, flout traffic norms, lose complete discipline and care a damn for their fellow travellers? How come the Police are behind mostly the two-wheelers? Do they think that the two-wheelers are the only cause for complete indiscipline on roads?

When Mr. Sastry or Mr. Rajagopalan make a statement in the press about various traffic rules flouters, how come they lose sight of other than common-man driven vehicles?

Is it because the Police lacks guts,let alone the Will to take them to task?

Following is an everyday sight on the Anna Salai Gemini Flyover and on Beach Road.

The so-called Judges who upkeep legal high command in the road, the vehicles on a G string have as drivers the visually impaired and mentally less-endowed.

Then how else can one explain the driving by these drivers?

They can't see the yellow line, they can't spot the traffic lights, and they will aggressively show obscene gestures. If possible, open the door (right in the middle of the road) and hurl abuse at the vehicle rider who is actually driving right.

The best part is that the bureaucrats inside the vehicle seem completely thick-skinned and blind-eyed to all these. Kudos to such bureaucrats for employing similar physically challenged people.

Eganthamaana iravukku

Esp what not to miss in these songs ---
Brahmamokate -- Kadri Gopalnath (thanthanaana beat)
Amma endrazhaikkadha -- K.J.Yesudas (second stanza few lines, Yesudas voice will become 'karakarappu' with emotions)
Avaravar vaaizhkaiyil aayiram aayiram maatrangal -- Barathwaaj (yekkam, thukkam, ninaivu tharum aandham)
Alai Paayuthey Kanna -- Maharajapuram Santhanam (kannanidam muraiyidum poi kobam athanudan kalantha thaabam)
Taahye Yasodha undhan -- Maharajapuram Santhanam (thaaimaiyin urugal)
Kaadhothuthaan naan paaduvaen -- L.R.Eshwari (sensuousness)
Nee partha paarvaikkoru nandri -- Lata Mangeshkar -- Hey Ram (fulfilment that remains after...)

Even if all these songs are not available, all I need is

"Kurai Ondrum Illai" by MS. Pure plain touching.

(Con)Fusion Music

Recently I got an audio CD of Kadri Gopalnath. It had beautiful songs like 'Alai paayuthey', 'Ethanai Kodi Inbam' and 'Kurai Ondrum Illai'.
The songs had been rendered very well by Kadri Gopalnath. But it was a fusion album.
That is, the carnatic songs were mixed like some light music.

Here is my question paper on today's blog -

Isn't Sax - an western instrument - rendering carnatic music itself is enough 'Fusion'? Why does one needs to mix the light drum beats, and meaningless guitar pieces?
What is 'Fusion' music actually?

The sad fact is that it took the life out of Kadri's rendering.

March 10, 2004

Sila character-galil, Sila Manidhargal

It was a real shock to see some characters enacted by some people in some TV serials. It was very hard to bear...

Mu. Ka. Stalin as Aravindhan in Naa.Paa.'s 'Kurinji Malargal'...yeeecchh!

And then, 'Barath-Sushila'...Pattukottai Prabhakar's marakka mudiyaatha characters...picture-la two songi somberinga in that character...too much.

Ganesh-Vasanth was another let down...that too Y.G.Mahendiran as Vasanth was like Castor Oil mixed with Neem leaves powder (athaanga Vilakkannaila Veppamkozhunthu)

Can you forget 'Thuppariyum Saambhu'? If I am not wrong, it was done by Poornam. Am I correct?

To top it all, YGM and Revathy Krishna as JKB and Sindhu in Sahana!

Like Sujatha often writes, the directors who chose the above people in above serials must have their 'Luulla' cut

Star Nite - 2004

Election 2004 = Star Nite 2004
Key Sponsors: BJP, Congress
Co- sponsors in TN: AIADMK, DMK, PMK, MDMK
Event Organizers: CEC, India

Election flu officially caught on yesterday in TN with JJ starting her campaign from our street end. Really! From Ice House in Chennai. The way she introduced ADMK candidates, she looked all set for Mahabharat fact, the formation of candidates resembled one of Arrow formation!
We have lots of glamor and glitz in this election. From Yuktha Mookhee to Navajot Sidhu, and their unparalleled nuggets of wisdom is going to be showered on us whether we like it or not.
Sidhu already in his elements in the interview here in rediff.
All walls in Chennai taken over already by Kalaignar, Puratchi Tahalivi, Super Star, Ayya, Puratchi Puyal, Annai(that's Sonia Gandhi for you).
Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Navjot Singh Sidhu to campaign for BJP
Zeenat Aman campaign for Congress

Ada paavigala...

March 07, 2004

Would you have invested in Infosys or Microsoft?

Nerdy geeky Bill Gates and unassuming, Govt office clerk - N.R. Narayanmurthy - in their early days here

Local Mandira Bedi

Wonder why they do this on Star Vijay on a serious political analysis show?
One completely ignorant, irritating character from one of the megs-serials is sitting with Political observers on election analysis show. Her manners is all the more irksome.

The show borders on being frivolous!

Vaiko, PC and Cho

Last week saw interviews with Cho Ramaswamy - Editor Thuglaq and VaiKo - leader MDMK Party.
Very profound thoughts from both these politicians. They were not uttering non-sense. The will and confidence and knowledge reflected in every statement they made during the interview.
Cho, Vaiko and P. Chidambaram are my favorite politicians. Cho is more of a political observer and journo than a politician.
But P. C and VaiKo are two important political leaders whom we are yet to experience their potential completely. Good statesmen, profound thoughts, no petty mud-slanging, honest, accept weaknesses, no blow-trumpet types, and above all well-educated and well-informed.
Dr. Subramanian Swamy is another man who catches my fancy. But he is a Madman

Water, water everywhere...

Offlate, you must have heard the news that NASA reported the geological patterns of Mars is being verified for presence of water. Well, not that there is water now on Mars, but water indeed was available in Mars during some aadhikaalam. They are only trying to prove, not proven yet. Mind you.
Will we soon have a Chennai-Mars water Authority formed?

Read this blog written by Mars Rover - the spacecraft that landed at Mars.

March 03, 2004

Sahana - Sindhu Bhairavi -- Part 2

Good entertaining serial. Sahana is thuru-thuru. Though the character started off as one of those usual K.Balachander characters - over smart, extra hype. But character has shaped up well now.
Serial is also good with KB introducing his usual sikkal in story - Sahana in love with Surya. But Surya is son of JKB and Sindhu, while Sahana is valarppu ponn of Sindhu.
But some of the problems with the serial
* 'Malachikkal Maama' - YG Mahendra as JKB. JKB grunts atleast twice for every sentence. Looks like he is having constipation
* 'Antha kaalathu aatha' - Sindhu aka Indhu. Her dialogue delivery reminds me of those old Ranjan movie heroines. Like someone is pulling her mouth when she speaks.
* ALso the general rule of serial seems to be 35+ people falling in love

March 02, 2004

Lord of the Rings

It is the trend now...gushing about Lord of the Rings...naan samathu paiyanakkum - Blog-la yenna hot topic-o naanum go with the flow...
Saw Lord of the Rings - part 1 and part 2 - last saturday and sunday special screening at Sree theater. Went home and tried reading the bulkier book. Yet to get a hang of characters and associate them to silver screen version. Of course, no issues in straight away associating Frodo, Bilbo, Sam, Smeadle, Gandalf, Aregorn, Legolas, Saruman....
AM waiting for part 3.
Movies like LOTR, Harry Potter, for that matter, Karnan, Kuruthi punal - ought to be seen only in theaters. All are Brahmaandam kee bacha...
For the differences between the movie and the book, see this Nitpicker's site of Lord of the Rings