October 26, 2006


  • La Marina - New foodcourt opened in Chennai City Center. A welcome addition, and a good choice of cuisines.
  • To buy tamil books in Chennai, I found a few shops - Higginbothams (Mount road), Vidloka (Mylapore Bheemasena Garden Road), Bharathi Puthagalayam (Bang opposite a lane leading from Anna Arivalayam's side entrance - near Eldams Road), Manimegalai Pathipagam (TNagar), Kannadasan pathipagam (TNagar), Landmark (Nungambakkam, Spencer Plaza and City Center), Odyssey, A book shop on South Usman Road (opp Chennai Silks)
  • A decent 2 Bedroom flat for rent in Triplicane - supposedly center of Chennai - is available for well under Rs 7500, while at places like Velacherry, Thuraipakkam, Sholinganallur, Perungudi - some of the fag-ends of Chennai -, you get decent 2 Bedroom houses for minimum Rs 8000. (Those who argue in favour of these fag-ends, please visit areas like Triplicane,Mylapore to see stuffs like water-not-getting-logged, full voltage at all times, reachability, accessibility to many amenities, multiple facilities)
  • Radhakrishnan Salai alone gets a facelift - all platforms are being re-laid again with newer type of pavement stones. (Just a year back the pavements were laid with high cost aesthetic stones)
  • Chennai Police gets 100 NYPD style cars to be stopped at traffic intersections and cause further chaos
  • A rough guesstimate of high-class luxury buses running on dilapidated Chennai roads - TCS-100, Infosys - 20, Satyam-19, CTS-70, Polaris - 20, Xansa-10, Wipro-40...key IT companies themselves contribute around 500 buses. Add another 500 or so of school/college bus fleet. Come on, guys! Have you heard of collaboration? Our Chennai roads cant handle this kind of heavy weight traffic. Try something innovative, and help ease burden on our roads.
  • All the new roads being laid - like IT highway or bye-pass roads do not have provision at all for something called pavement or platform.
  • So-called Spencer Plaza needs to be renamed ChickunGunya Plaza. Try coming out via Phase-2 gate, you will know what I mean
  • Guindy Industrial Estate - all those IT Companies complaining of poor roads and infrastrucuture...have you ever heard of something called self-sufficiency and community sponsor development.
  • Welcome news! CITU starting Workers Associations/Unions for IT employees in some of the Indian States. High time, one is needed. I imagined starting one 7 years back. Atleast at a level in one company. All the tall-talkers disappeared, when I tried to moot the idea through signature campaign. Such is IT industry courage.


  • Vijayakanth's DMDK garnered 3% of votes this local body elections. Amma says "what is so great in 3%? Even MDMK got so much votes."
  • Amma says DMDK is as worthless as MDMK? VaiKo - Please note. Time to do a Thirumavalavan?
  • Being in an alliance with a larger party doesnt necessarily mean advantage. DMDK stood alone and got 3%; while MDMK also got 3% only, even after aligning with a bigger party like ADMK. Was there any point in either the DPI or MDMK to side with larger parties?
  • ADMK says DMK unleashed violence in local polls. DMK says didnt ADMK do it in 2001. The level of violence/abuse is not as sporadic as in 2001.
  • And for you and me, we listen to both these statements as mute spectators completely impotent and incapable to do anything at all.
  • "I wont vote then" attitude doesnt help too, because someone will cast the vote anyway.
  • Democracy in Tamilnadu sucks

October 15, 2006

Random midnight channel surfing

(written on Friday but posted only today)

I happened to be awake yesterday night – Thursday night – without the pressure of having to wake up early on Next Day morning. No MCity – courtesy Local Body Polls!

I was curious to know what was running in the multiple channels at this point of time…interesting mix in  this random midnight channel surf


Vijay TV -- Pandit Guruprasad was explaining multiple doshas and the pariharams for the same…of course, he wasn’t covering “jaladosha”

Raj TV – a hip in tight close-up filled with all sweats; no it wasn’t midnight masala hot songs, but Teleshopping network’s “sauna belt” ad feature

A serial – yes a Mega serial right in the middle of night on Sun TV, and DD national giving them a company with another Mega Serial

A telugu/kannada dubbing movie with Saranraj as the perennial policeman – KTV

Jeyalalitha rebuking the entire Karunaidhi clan – Needless-to-say-where

FTV - A good coverage of a lingerie show (no pun intended)

Jeyyam Ravi expressing his “something, something”  for Trisha on Sun Music

Some real people issue was being discussed in Makkal TV (am pretty much impressed with quality of programs on this Channel…but that’s a difft post altogether)

Mohanlal, in a veshti, chasing a Mundu girl, while singing from his nose…that’s Kiran TV for you

While Chandrababugaaru trying to garner some glory on Teja News, someone trying to kill someone on Ushe TV, while in realit, actually killing us – the viewers

Abhishek bachan wooing Rani Mukherjee, while Susmita Sen looks on in one of those numerous pulp fictions from Hindi moviedom on Sahara One

While NDTV was sensationalizing a Gibbs’s Inquiry, CNN-IBN was busy sensationalizing cricketer Gibbs’s questioning, and the flash news on both channels were the same stuff in active and passive voices

And Headlines Today was provided a coverage of  Gibbs involvement being queried by Delphi Police. Not to be left behind was the Times Now

It was an old hindi movie on SAB T.V.

And POGO was busy showing for the nth time, the mth fall of some “chappai-mookku” chinky on Takeshi’s castle

On Raj Digital Plus, namma Super Thatha Rajinikanth was torturing his grand daughter Nayanthara, over a song sequence in the snow covered peaks, where only thing that wasn’t covered was Nayanthara’s hip and leg region…elsewhere she was wrapped in a sari – thankfully for her

A Julia Roberts classic on Sony PIX, and a Godman reading something from a some religious gospel on Daystar.

SS Music had switched on their regular English collection – repeat play. The GOD channel had a similar sounding choir.

Good old Donald Duck providing some laughter on Toon Disney, while a bald man was recommending “buy and hold” on Satyam shares

DD Sapthagiri had a rerun of a rerun of a rerun; closely followed by a Mallu feeding a gold fish on DD Malayalam

A herbal cure fellow was marketing a nothing-less-than-a-desi-viagra with Ajanta-Ellora cave painting backdrop on Tamizhan TV

And that banian mama was giving a discourse on Samskar channel; Aaj Tak had a reality dance show; it was good to see Shilpa Shetty after a long long time

I didn’t expect Shbha Mudgal’s wonderful song on Zoom TV…I was expecting more raunchy stuff – something like page 3 and a half!

Nothing lot to cover on Telugu channels – most of them were either someone slandering someone, and blood splashing all over the screen – some movie trailer! Or some other trailer, where screen looked like Adobe Photoshop’s color palette – a song and dance sequence where the hero, heroine and supporting cast dancers with their multi-color clothes






October 14, 2006

Dvaitam and tamilnadu

The great Pagutharivu (rationalism) corner of the Indian nation, is today propogating the Dvaita Philosophy vigorously: Courtesy : Kalagangal...oops...kazhakangal!

Here are the prominent Dvaita principles in vogue today:
  • Jeya or Mu.Ka.
  • Local Election Violence: Sun TV News version of ADMK inciting violence or Jaya TV news version of DMK arajakam
  • Namitha in a club dance for Karunanidhi on Sun TV or Mumtaj in a cutpiece dance for Jayalalitha on Jaya TV. (seriously, I can emphathise Namitha dance for a 80+ year old male, but a Mumtaj cabaret for a lady...)
  • Its Thirumavalavan in DMK or ADMK alliance
  • Anbumani Ramadoss always meddling AIIMS or JIPMER
  • Dead people in Tamilnadu are either Death due to mosquito illnss (according to JJ) or death due to natural causes (according to Kalaignar) like mosquito illness
  • Its either Chikungunya or Dengue (but the great advaita point here is both are cause by Kosu)
  • Namitha in Kumudam or Vikatan (again advaita: sometimes in both)
  • Its either O. Paneerselvam or Vai. Ko. for JJ
  • M.K. Stalin or Dayanidhi Maran for MK
  • Thatha Rajinikanth always has as heroine: an ilamchittu or a puthumottu
  • and forever, it is MGR or Sivaji, Rajini or Kamal, Ajith or Vijay, Vikram or Suriya, Simbu or vambu, Bharat or Arya....

Think the representative list is enough in itself. Thamizhanukku soranaiyay kedaiyaathu!!!

October 08, 2006

FM Formula 2.0

‘Till sometime, we had to be content with Radio Mirchi and Suriyan FM doling out “Oru maalai”, “Manjal Veyyil”, and “Namma kaatula” at least 3 times a day. Now 3 more have got added – Big FM, BBC + someone else JV FM and Radio City, which means we get to hear the same songs atleast more times in a day. Oh gosh! My life has been touched upon benevolently by the angels of entertainment media….

That’s exactly the outcome of these FM channels. No real difference in the content, no big difference in the presentation format.

Same dial-in :

“hello sollunga…unga radio volume konjam kammi pannuga” (Eng: hello, speak…reduce your radio volume)

“ethanai pasanga” – for elderly sounding people (Eng: how many kids?)

“enna padikireenga?” – for younger voices (Eng: what are you studying?)

“innikki enna samayal?” (Eng: what has been cooked today?) – wonder why they want to know?

“yaarukku intha paattu dedicate panreenga?” (Eng: whom do you want to dedicate this song to?)

And then the caller will basically pick his/her telephone book and start reading out the names.

A little variation to this dial-in is the caller’s entire family or friends circle will say “hello, very happy to have got through to the call”

Today FM Channel is like the archaic formula-based Tamil Masala Movie (5-songs, 2 fights, 1-dance and a Dhadha)…

Evolving a formula to help future FM Channels :

  1. throw in a few dial-ins, some really stale jokes,
  2. must have a signature line for the channel name like “sema hottu machi”, “aadalam paadalaam odalaam”
  3. a standard signature tune, announce again and again the name of the FM Channel – as if it matters
  4. choose a frequency like some2/3digit number point some 1-digit number
  5. RJ guys have to necessarily talk in Madras Bashai, act completely stupid. However, if you are presenting a prog in the late night, you should talk absolutely slow and as much as possible in “thoo….ya tamil”, and play the standard “Mike Mohan” songs, along with worses…sorry…verses composed by breaking a sentence (mavanay, unnai maathiri aalukku death sentence kodukkanumda…)
  6. RJ Girls should speak Tamil in the ratio of 5:1 – 1 Tamil word for every 5 English words, should have an artificial elevated enthusiasm in the voice, get excited for every word uttered by the caller, and of course, must ask irrelevant questions to callers in a dial-in program.
  7. traffic updates(like at 9am announcing, it is crowded near Kathipara – well, what else did one expect), weather updates
  8. run only mostly latest songs – doesn’t matter they sound good or bad
  9. home kurippugal (homemaker tips) like mix hot water and cold water to bring down temperature of the water, the RJ must definitely gush and say “haiyo…romba super”
  10. every one who has shown their face or any other part (like the actor who showed his hand, in left top corner of the screen with a monkey god makeup, who starred in the Ramayan serial) will participate in special “Live show” (now now…don’t get ideas…this is after all an audio medium)
  11. for every 15 mins, stalwarts of Tamil filmdo(o)m like Jeyam Ravi, Silambarasan, Jeeva, Devyani, Namitha (hee hee hee) will have to say “neengal kettu kuttichuvarai poikondiruppathu”…oops…I meant ”neengal kaettu kondiruppathu <fmchannelname><fmchannelfrequencynumber><fmchanneltagline>” (Eng: you are listening to…..)
  12. SMS based voting competition

There you have a FM Radio 2.0 formula! Have fun, go start a new channel.

PS: I have always wondered why is Suriyan FM is popular than other FM channels (proof: all Autos, Travels Cars and even few city Buses), even though there is absolutely no difference in songs or programmes. When I started traveling from MCity to MCity, and started using a FM radio for company, I knew what makes Suriyan FM tick! This is the only FM Channel that comes without any intermittent noise even at MCity.

Maarana, kokka?