June 28, 2004

Adanga Maattiyaa nee?

I attempted writing crime thriller in my 8th standard summer holidays involving four characters teaming up to form a detective agency and solve a mystery. One of my friends, after reading the novel, stopped being friends with me. Most of my friends were part of detective agency, and me, ofcourse the chief of the agency in the novel. But I had him left out in the story. Torn between friendship and lierary skills, I made an emotional decision to uphold the strength of friendship over literary interest. Besides, I had to recover all the foreign stamps that I had given him (can you imgine losing a Ghana stamp or a Helvetia stamp?). Because he thereatened to burn them all, if I didnt stop writing that novel.

The writer's itch came again to me in my 11th standard, when my English teacher said, "Guru, you must write and give something for a school magazine". I asked her if it can be a novel or should it be a short story. She gave me a weird glance and said, "I want you to write an essay on Patriotism and it should not exceed 1000 words". Enraged by the creative block she put on me, I went ahead and copied an essay from 'Suras essay book' and gave it to her. It got rejected because one of my classmates had raced ahead of me in giving such an essay from same Suras book. And that was the second time, when my writer's itch was scratched badly.

Once in college, I was so amazed by a different world of literature altogether and realized I have a long way to go before embarking upon writng a novel. This time my attention was directed towards reporting. No, I don't mean the reports I gave about the person who snatched my paper away in an exam, so that I had to write the entire exam again within the stipulated time. But the kind of reports that is being written in magazines. There was no tamil magazine in ur college. So I started one. We had 3 issues coming up. Out of the 3 issues that came out, there were 3 issues(problems) in each. Because Chennai Corporate World did not braze itself for a wonderful opportunity of reaching to so many students through a Tamil magazine, the magazine had to be stopped.

Significant resumption of my writing skills came to the forefront again, when I was in the Pre-sales team of my company. While preparing proposals, corporate summary and PPT, I'd write rave things about my company and solutions. My boss called me once and said,"If you keep writing all the junk and grandiose sentences in the proposals, soon both of us would be sent home because of lack of business...", and he put a stop by asking me to do only market research.

And then, I found out about blogs and the hapless victims like you lurking around on the net, and I started this blogspot. And my wife told me this

June 25, 2004

Paattikal Munnetra Kazhagam

If you guys remember Appusami-Seethapaatti-Rasagundu-Beemarao-Rukmani combination, you would want to visit this site and also read lot more humorous articles.

An AUTOGRAPH session -- Ratnabala, Rani comics, Ungal Junior, Rani muthu...

Though I studied in an English-medium school, my English-read-and-understand skills hadn't grown up much. My intellectual feed used to come from a genre of tamil comics and tamil crime novels in my pre-teens.

Ratnabala, Gokulam and Ambulimama were a craze for me. I'd pester my dad to get them for me. So many interesting fantasy stories, mythological stories - Gokulam would never run out of stories from Mahabhrata and Ramayan - moral stories, and a lot of general facts. I was and am a great fan of Vandumama, who would churn out fantasy story after story in Ratnabala. Ratnabala would go out of print, on and off. Ambulimama was a storehouse of so many nice stories that would always a good ending and a moral to take home.

In my pre-teens, my scope included Rani comics, Archie (not of Riverdale), Muthu comics. I had a particular fascination for 'Irumbukai Mayavi' who could pass electricity into himself, become invisble, go and solve mysteries. Rani comics, when it started had James Bond investigating something in every issue. And it'd be accompanied by his romantic interludes. The caricatures of James Bond and his girl friend in skimpy outfits - sexy enough in those days, a lot graceful compared to cleavages and navel points in close-up on TV these days - would be exciting for pre-teeners.

By this time, I had entered high-school, and friends out there introduced me to Tintin, Tinkle and the likes. Suppandi was my favorite. Around the same time, Ananda vikatan started Mr. X type of jokes (how many of you remember them?)

Once into 9th standard, I thought it was high time. Started drifting towards long stories - mostly verbose, less pictorial. Rajeshkumar's novels used to so exciting. Till date, he has been writing in 'Crime' novel. Novel titles would be so innovative and creative - like ;'Phosphorus pookkal'. His novels would also be interspersed so many tidbit scientific facts. Vivek-Gokulakrishnan pair would resolve case-after-case. Vivek would know everything, such an alert personality. And his wife - Roopala, a courageous and supportive lady.

Pattukottai Prabhakar's 'Bharath-Susila' on 'Ungal Junior' novels. Such a naughty pair. Susila's T-shirt slogans and painter 'Jay' would draw her. And then, Atma's bathilgal on various reader's questions. In those time, the Q&A sections in Tamil mags were very famous - Kumudam's Arasu, Kalki's Tharasu, Ithayam Pesukirathu's Maniyan bathigal, Thughlaq's Cho, Baagya's Bhagyaraj bathilgal. And most of them would be intellectual, atleast one social issue answered, some serious and some humourous. Atma's Q&A was outright cranky and nutty, and most importantly had the flavor of kadalai, jollu - common college terminologies.

Subha - two gentlemen, friends for life - Suresh and Balakrishnan, wrote under pseudonym Suba. It was an amazing feat according to me. Two people - how would they put their thoughts together, handle their egos, and that too write crime thrillers? With an awe, I'd read their novels. He had a detective pair too - Narendiran and Vaijayanthi - Naren-Vaij for short. They were a naughty pair too. And their boss - Ramadoss (not Dr. Anbumani's appa), and his colleague - Johnsundar. Subha's crimenovels would involve good description of physical fight and invariably, less clue-finding-case solving and more enemy-fighting-case-solving unlike Pattukottai Prabhakar's novels.

Not to forget, Rani Muthu and Kurumbur Kuppusami.

These writings made me get interested in reading as an activity and hobby.

Once into college - Loyola college - I was exposed to a different world of literature altogether.

June 24, 2004

Baby's day out

Too much Blogstipation now-a-days...
Here is one of the methods...talk about personal life! Be forewarned though, you need to ensure you are talking nice things. Then, you will feel nice about yourselves too!!!

Here let me talk about my kuttypayal Sriram. He is now 3 months old, but his leelaigal...as parents, me and my wife go ga-ga-goo....She has gushed a lot about his skills and abilities. Let me bring up another humourous aspect of Sriram and the entertainment he keeps giving us.

Sriram is a big nature-lover. Why else would he attend to nature's call in successive frequent timing? We would be tying the nappy. In the cycle gap of nappy tying and adjusting the little gap in nappy, he'd gleefully empty his bladder again through the narrow exit...mostly in our hands.

A hilarious incident, we had been to Paediatrician for regular check-up. There were other babies too. My Mother-in-law was having him with her seated next to another lady with a kid. Our kutti fellow just cant resist, he aims the neighbouring kid and starts the ceremony. My MIL frantically kept her hand on the flow to avoid him hitting the kid, immdtly kutty fellow changes direction to position everything on himself. She immdtly shifts position, not giving up, Sriram - enraged htis time because his attempts foiled twice - directs himself at my MIL. Everyone in the clinic were laughing their hearts out.

Sriram is bound to grow up into a good music critic - maybe like Subbudu.
Sriram is a great lover of music - in any form. Even my musical form that hovers anywhere between anywhere between a cat's whining and an afternoon's post-lunch status meetings.
Sriram wants to be sung a song to calm down, and at times, to sleep. My sister who is a trained singer, sings nice songs for him. He'd be just listening to the songs, and suddenly try to modulate his voice in a musical fashion. But he wont sleep then, because he'll listen to them.
Well, we need to sleep too. So I'd start singing. Guaranteed sleep for Sriram in 10-15 minutes. Actually, he needs monotonous noise to put him to sleep. One of my friends remarked, he will become a good music critic listening to all my songs. He can thus differentiate good singing, bad singing and my-type-of-singing. So when I start singing for him, and before my neighbours start to think am torturing a poor cat a lot, and ask me to release the cat, I need to put an end to my musical career. The world would then feel that they have killed great musical genius of a budding artist (thats - just to re-confirm - me!!) with its cynicism...hhhmmmphhh...who cares, as long as Sriram doesnt cry listening to my singing!

June 17, 2004

Cell phones

Yes definitely I have been having blogstipation. So no blogs for a week. I was prompted by a friend of mine who bought a Nokia mobile for some 6000+ bucks. Nothing major in it, features are almost like Nokia 1100, 3350 or all those low-end mobiles.
Then why is this cost?
Its because it has FM radio. Give me a break. You pay 1000Rs extra because the phone has FM radio, and no other extra feature???
Walk down TNagar, there are numerous FM radios - small, pocketable, compact, runs on a single eveready battery non-stop for a week - just for Rs 30/-...
My God, people!!!

June 04, 2004

Bloggorhea and blogstipation

A new type of psychological (dis)order has been observed in world of blogs. Blogomanic hysteria - experiencing bouts of alternate high-energy levels (of blog posting, taking comments section into a complete bulletin board types) - Bloggorhea - and low-energy level manic depressions (close to a week not posted anything, hitting F5 continuously to see if someone is leaving atleast a comment for some old post) - Blogstipation.

Let us probe further...but before that, a Warning!
Statutory Notice: If you find any inadvertent or overt references (read that as 'digs at you') to you, pls note that I am adopting famous style of writer Sujatha - mixing up incidents from many characters under one concept. It may not be completely you! Even after this warning, if you felt, some points were specific pun on you, Bingo! You are right. They are on you...pls take it lightly.

Bloggorhea : Some incidents/events trigger this in some bloggers. For instance, we had a blogger posting 22 posts in a single day when 2004-election results were out. Another blogger had this running in last week, when he wanted to post continuously for a week. In fact, the 7th day when he didn't have anything to post, he posted his desire to post on all 7 days, and even posted one of his perennial philosophical ponderings. And we have Dubukku posts - travails of his past experiences.

This is not a serious condition. But Blogstipation is.

Blogstipation (TAMIL: Valaichikkal): Some call this blogger's block, some call it creativity exhaustion, some term this as burn-out on writing topics...but a serious condition though. Normally the symptoms are
a. not posting anything for sometime and cheking if site meter still increases
b. Hit F5 continuously to see if COMMENTS section is updated
c. and well, the point is - you know when you have a Blogstipation.

Following best practices have been observed by me to overcome Blogstipation
Super Hit Muqabla: This will ease out Blogstipation. If you have doubt, just go on to some blogs and carefully scrutinize. You might observe that some bloggers who suddenly do not post regularly, would have churned Top 10 lists. Some examples : 'Best tamil comedy movies collection', 'Ten things to do in my life', 'Ten worst books I have read'
Gyabagam varuthe, gyabagam varuthe: From the time, you got yourself your first email-id, you must have received several forwards. Pick out one of them and post it, with your own little twist in it.
Summer of '69: 'Those were the best days of my life2 - so goes the famous song by Bryan Adams which reminisces all that happened long back. Similarly, many bloggers start writing their yesteryears. Even more specifically about their young age experience in some specific place. You can easily say you were inspired by Sujatha's "Srirangathu Thevathaigal"
Philosophic ramblings: This is another common technique/ploy used by experienced bloggers. Asking philosophical questions, writing abstract statements.
Hee hee hee...Writing a post like this

Oh yuva yoovaa, oh yooovaaa....

It was sad to see unkind commentaries bashed out on Yuva/Aitha Ezuthu in many movie review sites. And many seemed to reflect the thought character of Michael - the brilliant student protagnist - is out of touch with reality.
Ajay Devgan(Surya in Tamil)'s character, Maniratnam quoted in a TV interview in a Tamil channel, was inspired by an Osmania University student character who was so brilliant, and at the same time aggressive, knowing nuances of politics, patriotic that he didnt want to leave his country etc. He was done to death by political activists. Maniratnam said this character was an extension of wishful thinking what if this person survived and made it into real politics.
Not a hard to believe story line.
IN TN, we already have instances of people like C.N.Annadurai who were great orators in college, quite studious who took to student movements, drifted into Dravidian politics and made it to CM post of Tamilnadu.
Perhaps the reason why Aitha ezuthu - Tamil version of Yuva - is doing good rounds out here in TN and Yuva posting a good show in AP. People are relate to what is being said because these things 'happened' in reality. Nothing wrong in mixing a dose of wishful thinking.
From that perspective, AE/Yuva is indeed a good movie with a positive outlook from Maniratnam. He has also brought in a different kind of narrative technique to the story - the point of views and their convergence and a conclusion of the convergence.
Yuva had xxxx Puri (I dont remember which Puri...very very sorry) in Politician role which was stereotypical according to many. Perhaps true. Maniratnam again in the above-mentioned TV interview quoted, he wanted a fresh face that did not reflect villain as typical-movie-politician-villain...he had ace director Bharathiraja acting in Tamil version. But with choice of Mr. Puri in 'Yuva', it is Mr. Puri who stands out and not the politician. Perhaps, Maniratnam could have countered this with a different person in that cast.
There are also accusations music is not good. Well, the CDs are selling well, gone down well with A.R.Rehman's music-loving-genre. Ok, forget sales. The variety in the songs offered by A.R.Rehman is laudable - trance, hard rock, rock and roll, jazz, folk - all type of songs are there. Background score - this is never ARR's forte. Let us not expect much and then blame the background score.
So, in all, what I want to say, don't be too unfair to Maniratnam!