Saturday, September 26, 2009


How beautiful it will be if India has an online bookstore like Amazon. When you live in a suburbs of Chennai and it's a pain to commute to place where good bookstore is present. There are basically 2 mindsets when you visit a bookstore.

  1. You know what you want to buy
  2. You just want to browse around with an open mind and find a book

If you are in #1 category then how good it will be if you've an online bookstore! It should be ok even if we spent some rupees extra, if it saves our time and energy. There are a number of big chain of bootstores who've online presence like Landmark, there is a Hindu's online bookstore. There are also a few exclusive online bookstores, but none impressed me. Finally I bumped into Flipkart and I am pleasantly surprised. The search was good, almost all the books I was looking for was in there! They had a small discount and they ship it within 3 days… shipping charge. These ppl have no offline bookstore, read here their interview

When I browsed for reviews on Flipkart I found many positive and some negative reviews, but the best thing is most of the ppl who gave negative review said that they are happy now since Flipkart ppl had corrected the issue! This is really good, we cannot be perfect but if someone says something is wrong then if you are able to correct it, you are bound to succeed. I ordered a couple of books and it was in my doorstep in exactly 3 days!

I am very happy that I've discovered Flipkart.

Impress your Girlfriend .. not here!

I am kind of guy who wants to see a film fresh, without even seeing review! So I got disappointed a couple of times by ppl who are trying to impress their girlfriends in the theater. For these ppl impressing the girls simply means tell her what's going to happen in the next scene! First you are just irritating your girlfriend, you are not even stopping after her repeated plea to stop your nonsense.

Leave your girlfriend, she had chosen to hangout with you so let her suffer, what crime did I and all the ppl in the next 2 rows committed?

First I don't know what really is the manliness of that silly act. Is it true that girls wants boys to always play prank on them… irritate them… tease them?

I see these kinds of stuffs in movies and real life. In real life I dono many of the ppl who do this stuff, but the few ppl I know personally are living so incongruent with true love. If you really love your girl and you brought her to a film then you should just let her enjoy the movie. You shouldn't even say, "This is a good scene!"

Eventhough the focus in this article is about the irritating guys who come to the theater, you can expand this to so much area of your life. Do you know the guy who does this kind of stuff? Are you that guy? Why should you impress someone? Is it b'coz you are not really impressed with yourself?

Unnai Pol Oruvan

This is a remake of A Wednesday, I dint watch A Wednesday, so went to watch this film with no prejudice! Also I watch this film not b'coz it's a remake I watched it for Kamal Hassan and Mohanlal. Sometimes you need stars, if not for them who would've seen this offbeat film!

Intelligence! Intelligence everywhere in this story. Intelligence…. That's something that you don't usually see in a tamil film. But these kinds of films are not good for repeated viewing. I may not enjoy the film if I watch the second time.. I might not have enjoyed it if I watched the original. Also terrorism is still very alien to a tamilian(even the film points out this alienation), it makes you remember that it's a remake.

When I saw Lakshmi I thought she might've a solid role but I got disappointed. Mohanlal's character was confusing, why he called the Chief Secretary of TN for help and then at every drop of hat tried to tell her that he is the lame goat! In many scenes, Lakshmi's dialogue looked innocent, but Mohanlal's interpretation of what she said will make you realize how prejudice he was.

The 2 policemen especially Ganesh Venkataraman as Arif Khan, look very convincing. After a long time we are seeing sincere Policemen in films, sincere but not stereotyped as you see in mass police story movies. How many of us yell at our parents, spouse when we are stressed out in office. We all have to learn a thing or two about compartmentalization of life from the other policeman.

In a movie how many costumes ppl change, the hero and heroine change dozens of dress for a song, here its just same dress for the entire movie (just 2 hours), b'coz the movie is about the story in a day! The movie should've been made in a shoestring budget. It's a home production, so Kamal and Shruti Hasan's salary could've been discounted. No song no big action so should not have cost much.

Regarding Shruthi Hasan's music most of the songs were not in the movie, just heard a couple of songs in youtube. The music and the BGM is not really standing out, but its also not amateur. I believe perfecting an art needs practice and if you are given a big platform and support and if you are conscious enough you will create a great art!. Sachin was not bright when he started.

Lastly, we should thank Kamal for his courage to make this different film! What's not important is whether you made a different film, but can you bring in ppl who are so used to mass movies to watch your movie. Kamal could do it with his star power!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Medea and Its Double

I had an idea of what a Theater Drama is. Had seen soom S.Ve.Shekar, Crazy Mohan, Y.G Mahendran Dramas. Also many of the dramas of Podhigai in the 90s are technically 'stage drama kind'.

So when you ask me what is Theater. The answer is it's a stage drama, where they open and cloe the screen every 5 minutes and whenever the screen is down you will either hear a film song or a totally out of sync Harmonium sound. Also the stage background shows different locations, like Bus Stop, Temple, House etc.

An example a lady walking and we've a Temple background. An oldman was also walking in the opposite direction.

The Old man asks, "Ennamma Koil Poitu varaya?

Wow What a brilliant Dialogue!

She says Yes and then this old man continues, "Pavam Neeum Ennathan Saiva! Appa Uthavakara, Thambiyo Kudikaran, rendu Thankachiya Kara Sekanam. Hmm.. antha Perumalthan unna Kappathanam"

And then the old man walks away, you may ask why he uttered these words.. that's the introduction man! Can the director afford to take 5 scenes to give you full background or can he have an artificial dialogue to give you the crux?

So this is what I presume a drama should be. But everything changed when I saw Medea and Its Double

No Screen uping and downing, it was a drama with music and a little bit of acrobatics.

I saw it from the Balcony, so was not able to see the Surtitles. Its good that I dint see the Surtitles. It helped me to see the play with no distractions.

The Play started with some ppl coming out and lighting some candles in the pond and sitting on each side. Then all the lights were dimmed and the stage was lighted only by the candles and there was pin drop silence (as though we were watching a Meditation)

I was like, "C'mon! I've paid Rs 200, start the play!"

The Play started slowly, like a prayer song, which then slowly transformed to a kind of fun song and then the actors played games, they were acting as kids. All these things should've lasted about 15 minutes and I think that's the best moments of the play.

The story is similar to our Kannagi Story.

The thing about this particular play is it shows Medea and her double, 2 personalities one a loving mother and other a lady who wants revenge.

This is a play with minimum stage prop. It has beautiful songs and powerful live music!

Theater play is a kind of abstract platform for story telling.Medea and Its Double is an example of how best to use the stage platform!

Saturday, September 19, 2009


Happened to visit Courtallam previous week. Long long ago had spent 3 days in Courtallam, but this time went for just a half day visit.

If you are planning to spent a day in Courtallam, include Shenbagadevi Falls, which is little far away from the main falls, you've to hike inside a reserved forest, not a strenuous one. This reserved forest is open to public just for the sake of ppl visiting Shenbagadevi Temple. So we've free access to this falls thanks to Shenbagadevi! It's the best falls, its like a big cylinder of water coming and hitting you. Also you can chill out in the pond created by this falls. Shenbagadevi is a really beautiful fall!!

They say that Thenaruvi (Honey Fall) can be reached if you could hike a little more. But you are not allowed. It seems that around 80s a bridge towards Honey Falls was broken and it was never repaired.

If you speak with some locals, they will say that they had visited Honey Falls in their childhood. I think Honey Falls will be much better than the Shenbagadevi and it seems nature has decided to preserve it from Humans!

How to reach Courtallam?

In Thirunelveli there are 2 bus Stands, if you want to go long distance you've to go to new bus stand, the old bus stand is near the Thirunelveli Junction. For going to Courtallam you've first catch a bus to Tenkasi. The Tenkasi bus starts at new bus stand, but also passes through the old bus stand. From Tenkasi you can catch the bus going to Senkottai and get down at Courtallam.


Happened to visit Pichavaram a couple of weeks ago, during my trip to Kumbakonam.

Catch a bus to Chidambaram from Kumbakonam, if you want you can bundle this trip with Vaitheeswaran and Chidambaram temples.

You will have bus once an hour to Pichavaram from Chidambaram Bus Stand. Pichavaram is the last stop.


Visited Karparakshambigai temple couple of weeks ago during my trip to Kumbakonam.

If you are traveling from Kumbakonam and would like to travel in the cheapest mode possible then take a bus to Pabanasam. From Pananasam take an auto to the bridge. Just say Karparakshambigai or Thirukarugavur, they will charge 40 Rs. Actually a main bridge used by vehicles is damaged and is being repaired, so you've another bridge used by pedestrians. Cross the bridge and you have to get another auto Rs 20 to reach the temple

Also one more thing, if you want to go to Kumbakonam by bus and dint find any bis then try for any bus that goes through Mayiladuthurai. Kumbakonam is just an hour drive from here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Happened to watch this film. Many new faces and an interesting start but at the time of intermission you know what is in store and finally when the story reveals the motive for the crime, you feel disappointed. The thing about the thriller is anybody can try it but can they glue the viewers till the end? Can the director show the viewer why something happens, which convinces the viewer or can he settle to shows scenes where everything fits in by weird coincidence. The beauty for any story is its natural flow. It seems the director started with a concept and tried to skew the story to fit in the concept. So many things looks out of place.

Why is it that the heroine is almost always a Brahmin girl and when you just look at the face of the heroine's father you know that a Cliché is just waiting to happen. The story is about ppl trying to do a character assassination of heroine and how the heroine gets justice finally. But why should the lady next door die? Did she commit such a stupendous crime?

Anyway its still a better effort, the film was different from other films and films like this should be encouraged.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A Doctor's War Memoir

In 1962 when India was waging war with China I was one of the doctors who were sent to the warfront. During the last leg of our journey to the battlefield in the truck, we group of doctors bid goodbye as one by one got down from the truck to their camps. We knew that we were seeing some ppl for the last time!
During the initial days of war, we had at least 2 doctors in a camp and our hospital was a make shift tent. Nepali Sherpa will bring us the injured soldiers in a stretcher and we give the soldiers first aids and other medical services as best as we could. Initial days were very tensed, We’ve to keep this man alive! We’ve to treat him as best we could so that he is battle fit soon! But you know whatever may be the situation, how stressful it is. You get used to it as time progresses. It becomes your routine. I initially came here b’coz I believed that I could make a difference, but as months go by I was just ‘in motion’ The amount of empathy that you’ve in your heart will be washed by the bloods you see and you remain dry in heart. You will be unmoved.
As you know in the Indo-Sino war India never had an upper hand, so the army slowly retreated and so did we the doctors. My fellow doctor died during a bomb explosion. During the next few weeks I was in many situations where I’ve to do a lot of mathematics. Should I save 3 mortally wounded soldiers or 7 soldiers with less severe wounds? Many a times I had to take the mortally wounded patients off the bed and place them in the sand and treat the other patients. Anyways the probability of a severely wounded patient surviving in that condition was minimal.
The days of tent had long gone away. Now my clinic was a shade of a tree. I would patiently wait for the Sherpas to come with the patients in stretchers and I would nurse the soldiers as best I could with the available resources. These Sherpas were paid some money by the military, they had to go to the warfront and collect the injured soldiers. We had just 4 Sherpas and they work in a pair. We knew that the Sherpas were dodging us. Sometimes they come once in the morning and only come back again late in the evening. But we had to ignore it, they are not part of the military and we’d many big problems to worry about. Sometimes I myself go to the warfront and with some help from the army men bring back the injured to the shades.
One day the 2 Sherpas came with an injured soldier’s body and placed the stretcher near me and started walking away from the warfront! As they walked they looked at me and giggled. This was too much! I don’t care if they cheat me in the back, but now they are just running away from the battlefield in front of my eyes. I shouted, “Come Back!” They dint! I got agitated. Its not patriotism, when you are in a battlefield where your country is beaten black and blue, and you just retreat and retreat and retreat you will not be patriotic. Its not about somebody stopping you from doing your job effectively. When you are seeing blood and blood and blood for such a long time and the number of soldiers surviving after treatment getting less, you will not be anxious about doing your job. But I felt let down. It’s been long time I showed any emotions. I got dehydrated in my heart, but now this small act of cheating triggered a lot of anguish in me. I took out my pistol, yes the army gave me one. I shouted, “Stop else I shoot you”. The Sherpas continued walking; they might’ve thought that a doctor can never kill anyone. I aimed at one of the Sherpa and pulled the trigger! What are you thinking? I did something wrong? May be I’d overreacted; you see I was not in a normal mental condition. Fortunately or unfortunately, that Sherpa got wounded in his left hand. I shouted, “Now come back I will save you!” The Sherpas looked at me with bewilderment. It was very strange that the wounded Sherpa was not screaming, may be he was dumb folded by the shock. They now started running away from me. I dono whether that guy survived.
As our battalion retreated and I went to many camps I realized that many doctors died! I was the one of the few doctors who were still surviving! I worked round the clock as the Indian army tumbled. One day when I was going to warfront for collecting the injured ones ..Yes I continued to go to the warfront every day I was literally summoning death but it was very elusive. I at least want to get hurt so I had a legal reason to get out of this mess. Ok lemme comeback to what I was narrating…. I treated a Chinese soldier! Just a first aid. He was crying with pain I gave a pain killer and did some bandages and said, “Now go to your place”. He dint understand my language but understood that he was not a prisoner and he could go back. Why I did that? I dono you see I see a patient as a patient that’s all. So you are thinking whether this is the same guy who allegedly killed a Sherpa for just cheating him. You see humans are irrational a prey for emotions.
Soon after that little act of sympathy the war ended and we returned home. Looking back to the many incidents that happened in those months in frontline. I was proud of what I did. If I can rewind back my life then if possible I would not have gone to the warfront. But if I did go then I would’ve done the same exact things. I would’ve stopped treating mortally wounded soldiers so I can treat more soldiers, I would’ve killed that Sherpa I would’ve treated that Chinese Soldier.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Driving Test

One Desi guy in US went for a Driving Test. When he was taking the road test, he reached a road junction and the signal was showing red, so he stopped the car. A few minutes later the signal turned green but this Desi was lost in thoughts and dint notice it. The Lady inspector who was sitting beside him asked, “When are you planning to go?”
He nonchalantly replied, “When my Visa expires”


“Hi! I came to know that you’ve created a planet that’s sustaining for a long time”
“Yes! Its called Earth”
“I’ve been trying to produce a planet with living creatures and I tried 4-5 Proof of Concepts but everything failed. Its great to meet someone who has done a living organisms planet which is surviving for a long time. I’m planning to work on another Proof of Concept and this time want it to be stable. So I thought of interviewing you to get a better idea”
“Everything starts with a Proof of Concept. Initially Earth was also a Proof of Concept. I’m pleasantly surprised that its now stable and can be called a project”
“Can you explain me the concept used in Earth?”
“Every living organism needs to consume energy to do its activities. The Energy in Earth can be obtained by combinations of light, minerals, water and air. We’ve a group of species called plants which do the job of creating and storing the energy in a palatable format..”
“..and then the other organisms consume this energy and also form the secondary source of palatable energy”
“Its very easy to create this energy cycle. Lets talk about the consciousness of these living organism. Lets talk about the organism which has the highest conscious abilities”
“They are called Humans”
“What separates these species from the rest of the species?”
“This species can think, reason, imagine, visualize etc”
“How much are they creative? Do they analyze who created me? Why am I here?”
“Some humans think about this.. but you see I have created a lot of illusions. Also they had complicated their own life. They are very busy with their day to day mundane things so they have no time to research for the important questions”
“They perish rite?”
“Yes they perish. Its called death”
“So everyone is aware that they will perish. Do they kind of analyze where we come from, why we die, are we illusions”
“Everyone knows that they will die. But they act as though they live forever”
“So they think that they are real”
“Yes. Just like we think that we are real”
“Aren’t we real?”
"You know the answer”
“I would like to hear it from you”
“Ok understood. You’ll not answer questions which are not pertaining to your project. Tell me how they think of you”
“They call me God. Many humans have many different versions of God. But I just don’t care. I’m looking for humans, who can appreciate this earth project or humans who are curious to know me. But unfortunately the majority of them don’t do either of this”
“B’coz of the illusion”
“Yes you can say so”
“How does this illusion work?”
“Ok look I just killed 300,000 humans. This is totally irrational. But these humans call it Tsunami! They rationalized an irrational thing!! Look here I kill this guy…..see they are saying that he died of a disease”
“So whatever we do irrationally gets converted as rational”
“Its not converted its their perspective. Its in their mind”
“So this earth, do they co-create”
“Yes they do. Every organism co-creates. I delegated a lot of creation to the organisms and it gives me beautiful complex creation!”
“..but they are not aware of that b’coz of illusion?”
“No.. we can’t say like that at least humans in some deep level know they are creating. At least in a subtle level”
“Like they reproduce and create an offspring. They construct some physical structures, they dream..”
“Dream is a state of consciousness where you imagine things. You create your own world”
“So its not co-creating. Its just pure creation”
“Yes they create an illusion. The illusion is such that if you create a dream and also present in the dream and something is happening around you and you feel as though you are in there for real. This is called creating an illusion and getting lost in it”
“Very interesting! I think this species of high consciousness.. humans are very intricately developed. Tel me more about this dream state”
“For eg this human is dreaming about you and me discussing about earth”
“Wow…. Wait!! Are we seeing this human dreaming about us. Or are we just existing in his dream?”
“Pls tell me!!!!”

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Royal Astrologer

The King came to the Royal Astrologer and said, “Sir! The Queen is pregnant. Can you please tell me whether it will be a boy or girl?”

The Astrologer closed his eyes and murmured some mantras and then he looked at the king and said, “Oh King! I have the answer to your question”

The Astrologer grabbed a palm leaf and scribbled something and then tied the palm leaf and placed it in a small iron box and closed it. The Astrologer said, “Even though I know the answer the time is not ripe to tell it to you. O King! Pls come back later”

The King gave some gifts to the Astrologer and bid him goodbye. The King came back a few months later, the astrologer rolled some dice and looked very agitated. He looked at the King and said, “Your highness! I very well know whether we are going to have a prince or princess, and I know how anxious you are. But unfortunately the time is still not ripe for you to hear it”

The King went back disappointed. Few months later the Queen gave birth to a beautiful princess. The King was overjoyed with happiness, but all these months the King was getting increasingly agitated about the Royal Astrologer. The King thought, “Is this astrologer trying to trick me? Does this guy really know astrology?”

The King went back to the astrologer and said, “O Learned Astrologer! I’m now a father of a princess”

The Royal Astrologer nodded and said, “O King! Pls go to the room in the left side. In the middle of the room you will see a small iron box. Pls open it and read what is written on the palm leaf”

The King went to the room and opened the iron box and untied the palm leaf. ‘Girl’ was written in that leaf. The king came back to the astrologer and bowed before him and said, “O Learned One! Pls forgive me for doubting you; you’ve proved to this country how great your astrology is! I understand that you should’ve a compelling reason to abstain from telling me whether the country will be blessed with a Prince or Princess. Pls accept my gifts”

After the king left one of the Royal Astrologer’s disciples came towards the astrologer and bowed before him and said, “Master! Pls teach us the technique that you used to find out whether the King’s child is a boy or girl”

The Royal Astrologer said, “Go to the room in the right side and read what is written on the palm leaf inside the Iron Box”

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beef Curry

8 - year old Bob looked sternly towards his father Brian. His father was bringing the 'Beef Curry' for dinner from the kitchen.
Bob asked thumping his fists over the table, "Why do you make Beef Curry every week?"
Brian smiled as he placed the Curry in the dining table and said, "You know the answer"
Bob replied, "B'coz you like it.. ."
Brian started serving the Curry. Bob asked, "Dad! Why you like it?"
Brian said, "We mostly like a particular color.. a particular food b'coz we have an emotional attachment to it"
Bob looked at Brian attentively.
Brian said, "During my childhood my family was never well off financially"
Bob nodded. Brian continued, "When I was your age, I was usually alone in the apartment, Mom usually worked extra time so that we would have at least one proper meal a day. There were endless nights when I couldn’t sleep out of sheer hunger, so I learned to drink several glasses of tap water in an effort to fool my stomach into thinking it was full just so I could get a couple hours of sleep. There were endless days when I was so hungry that I couldn’t concentrate in school, envying my friends and classmates, wishing with all my heart and soul that I could trade lives with them just for one day to see how life would be like in their shoes.
"But 1 day things became worse, it got so bad that there wasn’t anything to eat over the weekend except some potatoes with spuds growing out of them. Food was minimal during the week. I lied on the floor, crying my eyes out, my tears soaking through the carpet and shouted out loud the words - 'I’m so hungry!', hoping that by some miracle, God would hear my cries of hunger and provide me with food to nourish my weak body like he did with manna for the Israelites. When nothing manifested, I cried even harder onto the carpet.
"Several minutes later, I heard a knock on my door. I obviously didn’t want to answer it, but the person kept on knocking and wouldn’t go away. I opened the door just a crack to see who it was. It was my friend John. He lived one floor beneath me.
"He invited me to his apartment for no apparent reason. I didn’t really have anything else going for me, but I didn’t want him to see that I was crying, so after some failed attempts to dissuade him in order to buy some time while I wiped the tears off my face, I accepted his out of the blue invitation and followed him. It was strange because I was pretty sure he knew something was wrong with me, and he would usually ask what was wrong, but he didn’t this time. No words were spoken between us as we climbed down the stairs to his apartment. I followed him one floor down to his apartment and when I went inside, a delicious aroma in the air pierced my stomach like a sharp spear."
Bob said, "It was the smell of curry!!"
Brian smiled, "Yes! There on the dinner table, was a steaming plate of curry on white rice, with chunks of beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, and peas embedded in it. John’s mother gestured to me to sit down and to eat. She poured a can of grape soda into a yellow plastic cup and placed it beside the plate. I couldn’t help myself. I started wolfing down the curry as if I were in a speed eating competition. I couldn’t get enough of it. The plate emptied quickly and she was quick to refill it and I wolfed it down once more despite the burning sensation of hot food in my mouth."
Brian looked at Bob and said, "Words cannot describe how great that curry and grape soda tasted that day and words cannot express the enormous gratitude I had for John and his mother at that moment in time."
Bob asked, "Dad! Did God answer your prayers? Or did John and his mom simply hear your cries of hunger through their ceiling of the apartment"
Brian thought for a moment and said, "I think it was a little bit of both... And to this day, this experience is the sole reason why I absolutely love Beef Curry so much. I absolutely love it. I can’t get enough of it. I associate this Curry with hope in the darkest of hours; of human kindness and goodness."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Naan Kadavul - Review

I got very curious.. I just wanted to see the film. May be it was b'coz of my trip to Varnasi .. may be it was b'coz of my interests to know about Aghories. I got spellbound by the trailer. So I went to the theater and saw the film.
The story is about an Aghori and a beggar. Both their lives are narrated parallely and a couple of times their lives intersects. Illayaraja's music was scintillating! I just cannot imagine how this movie will be without "Om Sivoham". But I got disappointed when I realized Bala dint picturise 'Kannil Parvai' and 'Amma Un Pillai'. They were both very good songs.. my worry is not about the utilization of these songs in the film..its about reachability of these songs. How many ppl knew about this song now? How many ppl would've heard these songs if they were pictured!
Arya is an Aghori who was taken back to his home town(Malaikottai) by his father. But Arya shows no bondage to his family. He leads his Aghori life in the village. Actually in a couple of days he leaves home and lives with some monks in a rundown temple. Thandavan has a pool of beggars. Thandavan assigns some ppl to take care of the beggars. Taking care means managing the beggars and bringing back their money to Thandavan. Murugan is one of those 'managers', one day Murugan notices Puja, who is a blind beggar and takes her with him.
One of the best things about this film is showcasing of the plight of beggars. Beggars have no home and they live in inhospitable condition, but even then they have this home concept. Whenever they are displaced from one group to another they cry they feel home sick. Bala has done a good job in showcasing the various facets of these ppl life. He would've taken a lot of pain in selecting different physically and mentally challenged ppl for this film. There was this scene were a guy comes to Thandavan with a lot of physically and mentally challenged ppl. Thandavan looks at each person and finally says, "So I've no job now. Since these ppl are already handicapped I need not 'make' them handicapped"
Murugan knows that whatever he is doing is wrong and feels terribly guilt. He goes to the temple everyday and prays to 'Mangadu Samy'.
"Mangadu Samy' is a seer who has no limbs but this Samy never opens his eyes never also speaks. Also in one scene Murugan comes back to his den in a drunk state and apologizes to Puja for separating her from her group and then explain to every beggars about how he loves them and how he hates his job.
How is it that Arya just wakes up and beats bad men. The only explanation could be that Aghories intuitively knows who is bad and who is good by just seeing at ppl! Police remanding Arya for 1 week time is just a waste of time. Nothing significantly happens. Also towards the end the flow of the film was very abrupt. We see Puja in a Christian missionary and then in the next scene we see her back in Thandavan's place. How she went to the Christian missionary, how she came back.. also what happened to Murugan were never explained.
For any character to have a lasting impression we should empathize with that character. Unfortunately Arya's character has nothing to be emphatic about. Initial couple of scenes we may be shell-shocked seeing Arya but then it becomes a routine and we loose interest in that character. But Puja's character has some depth and we can empathize. Actually all the beggars characters were well etched. Example: the girl who has a soft corner to Murugan and her eventual fate!
In the final scene Pooja comes to Arya (her makeup looks very good) and says that she had given up on all the religions and all the Gods. She had finally come to him hoping that he could solve her problem, he could end her miseries and give her salvation. Arya helps her using Bala's own unique way!
Acting from both Arya and Pooja are just average. But credit must be given to Puja who had the courage to pledge 2 years of her acting career to a film, considering a female actor has a very short acting career.
The greatest issue with this film is all the scenes look good but they just don't make a complete film. Its like a collage whose bits doesn't show a coherent picture. Anyways its a different film which is worth watching.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Lunatic

He walked towards me and said, "You are not lunatic"
I showed him some funny faces. He shook his head. I know that he was not convinced, I made some noise and jumped a couple of times. He gently smiled and said, "I'm watching you for the past 1 week. I know very well that you are not lunatic. Don't worry I will not inform anyone. Even I'm not lunatic. I just need a company in this mad place. I'm happy to see a sane person here"
I nodded. The noise made by a couple of inmates were deafening our ears. We decided to go to the remote corner of our garden.
He asked me as we walked in the garden, "So why are you here?"
I said, "I killed my business partner.. not really a murder. We'd some difference in profit sharing and were having a heated conversation. I just pushed him and he fell down."
He asked, "Did he fell onto some sharp object or something..?"
I said, "No. He just fell from the 10th floor"
He nodded and said, "So you are faking it to escape prison"
"Yep that's the best way, my lawyer advised", I said.
We then sat in a bench. I asked, "So what crime you committed"
He said coldly, "No crime.. its all b'coz of those god worshippers"
I stared at him, he looked at me and said, "No I'm not an atheist. I worship God and that exactly brought me here".
I got a little curious. He continued, "If you just see how we worship. It looks very archaic. You know why they show aarthi".
He dint wait for my reply. He said, "B'coz during olden days there were no electricity. So it will be very dark inside the temple. Aarthi was to make the God visible."
I nodded, he continued, "Why do we wave God with hand fan"
I said, "B'coz in olden days there were no fans and AC"
His eyes became bright, he exclaimed, "Exactly! Do you know why we carry the idol in a chariot..b'coz in olden days King is supreme.. and Kings were carried in chariot. We dono who God is so we give Him the highest human status"
I said, "Now we don't have kings"
"Yes", he said, "So we need to change this worship. We need to make something that can give some sense to ppl"
There were a couple of minutes of silence. We both were in deep contemplation.
Finally he broke the silence. He said, "In this world, truth has no value. Whatever is the thing which is followed by more ppl.. 'popular belief' can be the right considered truth. Heard of the story of a man who said earth is round but he was ridiculed as mad man... why? b'coz the popular belief at that time was 'earth is flat'"
I asked, "So what you did?"
He said, "I changed the system. I changed the ritual of worship and those ppl labeled me as mad man"
"What exactly you did?"
He stood up, his eyes wide open, he said, "I changed everything. Instead of doing Milk and Honey abhishegam I bathed God with soap. Instead of decorating His head with a throne I gave Him cooling glass. I gave Him Pizza, Pasta. This worship was something which I can easily identify with.. which makes a lot of sense..Why are you looking at me like that.. I'm not Lunatic!"

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Multiplication Factor

During one TV Interview the interviewer asked Music Director Ramesh Vinayagam, "I heard that you are a perfectionist. You will make sure that the singer has sung the song correctly."
Ramesh Vinayagam replied, "Its not about being perfectionist. Its about the fear of 'The multiplication factor'"
The interviewer asked, "What's that?"
The Music Director replied, "See.. I just sung a song during this interview. I know that in some places I dint sing correctly. This interview will be broad-casted and lets say 1000 ppl are watching it.. then the mistake done by me is seen by 1000 ppl. That is my mistake got multiplied"
The Interviewer nodded.
Ramesh Vinayagam continued, "What I'm trying to make sure is whether the singer has sung the song correctly without changing the raagam and thaalam. B'coz just imagine how much time it will be multiplied. Lets say we've a film song in which the singer has not sung according to the meter.. lets say they release 5000 CDs. Also they broadcast in the TVs and Radios 10 times a week and they will also run shows in theaters. Also there will be stage singers who will sing the song as it is.....The mistake will be multiplied a million fold. This is what I'm trying to avoid."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Conductor's Conscience

A beautiful college girl entered the bus and stood near a seat, the bus was a little crowded. The Conductor came near her, she showed a 50 rupee note and said, "2 Tambaram Ticket".
The Conductor sternly asked, "change?"
She shook her head, the conductor's face turned red and he shouted, "How do you expect me to give you change for 50 Rupees! Do you've any sense!"
The driver turned back for a second and the whole crowd looked at them and the girl's eyes became moist with tears.
The Conductor continued, "You college girls have all the time to make up and do fashion stuffs but don't have a couple of ten rupee note?"
Couple of guys who were near giggled, the girl hung her head down in embarrassment. The conductor said taking away the 50 rupee note, "Here take this change", he gave back 4 10 rs note and 2 tickets and proceeded to the next passenger. He looked back at the girl and murmured, "These ppl are coming just to irritate me!"
45 mins later the bus was going towards Guduwancheri and the bus was almost empty and the Conductor came near the Driver and sat in a seat near him.
The Driver said without taking his eyes off the road, "You picked on her rite?"
The Conductor asked, "What?"
"That college girl"
"She dint give me the change so I shouted back at her"
"You picked on her"
"What do you mean?", the conductor asked, "Do you mean to say that I deliberately.."
The Driver nodded, he was still seeing the road.
The Conductor asked, "How could you.."
"She looked beautiful and you wanted to embarrass her. Just to make you feel good"
The Conductor remained silent, his face red with anger he wanted to tear the driver to pieces, but he was just waiting for the right words to show his offense.
The Driver said, "Yesterday morning a girl came and showed you a 100 rupee note and asked for a single ticket and you gave it to her without telling a single word"
The Conductor said, "Yep.. I was in a good mood at that time."
"Its not about mood", the driver quipped, "I know how she looked. She looked very ordinary, so you identified her as someone as you, but this girl looks beautiful so you thought that she is superior. And you want to crush her.. so that ppl will know .. that you are great. You embarrassed her b'coz you had inferiority complex"
"You are building castles in air", chuckled the conductor, "You can write stories"
The Driver laughed, the conductor thought that the Driver will do a reply, but the Driver immediately changed his topic.
The Next Day, at almost the same time that girl entered the bus and she nervously looked around and saw the Conductor and immediately buried her face in her friend's shoulder.
The Conductor came near the girl and looked at the men sitting in the ladies seats and said, "Ladies Seat!".
The men stood up and gave way to the 2 college girls. The Conductor took the rupee note from her friend and gave back the change and ticket and looked at the Driver, who was watching this scene through the rear view mirror. The Driver looked at the mirror and smiled, the conductor smiled back.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Am I having another one?

Richard woke up in the morning feeling grumpy. Richard thought, "Another working day! Have to submit the proposal today else the manager would tear me off. Appraisal around the corner! Got to go to office before the traffic picks up! Life Sucks!!". He sheepishly moved around doing his morning chores. His wife asked him to check if their 7 year old daughter, Jessica had woken up.
Richard went to Jessica's bedroom and saw her sleeping and he woke her up. Jessica smiled as she woke up and asked, "Dad! Am I having another one?"
Richard dint get it, he looked curiously at her. Jessica exclaimed, "Yes! I'm having another one! I will be having more fun today", she kissed her father and jumped out of her bed.
Richard smiled and murmured, "Yes! I'm having another one as well!"

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Tribute to Randy Pausch

If you’ve a massive heart attack, you know that you may not live long. But you dono whether you will die in a month or will you go on for another 5 years.
But there are deceases where doctors give you a date!!
Pancreatic Cancer is one of them.
Randy Pausch was a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer on August, 2006 and on August, 2007 he was given a date by his Doctors. He died on July 25, 2008.
He gave a couple of lectures after knowing that he would die soon, one was ‘Last Lecture’ that made him an accidental celebrity! Let’s take some time and try to absorb his Lesson’s Learnt and Philosophies. Ppl say that when a person is dying he will say the truth, the guy who died was a highly qualified Professor and we should definitely have something to learn from his life.
In “Time Management” – Lecture in University of Virginia on November, 27, 2007:
He said (on Doctors giving him a date), “I like the way they say, 'you've 3-6 mnths of good health left’, optimism in the way they say it. Its like going to Disney world and asking, 'When will it close' and they say, 'its open till 8 P.M'”
He noted that if a student comes to his office and asks, “I dono whether I spending $60K for this course was a correct decision?”, then he will just throw the student out of his office, but he says that if the same student comes and asks, “I dono whether I spending my 2 years in this University was a correct decision?”, then he will speak with the student for hours, b’coz that was the right question.
Randy observes that we all have finite time, money can be earned but Time which we spent cannot be brought back. He ends the lecture by saying, “Time is all we've and you may find one day you've less than you think”
In “Last Lecture - Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” - Carnegie Mellon University – September 18, 2007:
Before speaking, Randy received a long standing ovation from a large crowd of over 400 colleagues and students. When he motioned them to sit down, saying, "Make me earn it," some in the audience shouted back, "You did!"
He knew everybody will be shocked seeing his upbeat mood. He said, “I’m not in self-denial”
He added, “We can't change the cards we're dealt, just how we play the hand”
One of his advice, “you might've to wait for a long time but sometimes even years but ppl will show their good face, just keep on waiting. Nobody is all evil everybody has a good side.”
He believes in enjoying what you do or putting it the other way doing what you enjoy, he said, “Never underestimate the importance of having fun. I'm dying and I'm having fun. And I'm going to keep having fun every day because there's no other way to play it (the game of life)”
On Road blocks (Brick Walls) that stops us from achieving the Goals, he said, “Brick walls let us show our determination, how badly we want it (the goal). They are there to separate us from ppl who do not want to achieve it”
What was very romantic was he saying that yesterday was his wife’s birthday and bringing a cake to the stage and asking his wife to blow the candle!
What shall I say about his wife’s reaction, I can see joy and grief in her face and she was laughing and crying at the same time!!
He ends his session by asking, “Have you figured out the head fake?”
Then he said, “Its not about achieving your childhood dreams it’s about how to lead your life. If you lead your life well the Karma will take care of itself…. the dreams will come to you.”
Convocation Address - Carnegie Mellon University – May 18, 2008:
Randy was in the 9th month after the Doctors gave him the date, so he was living more than expected (3 months extra).
He noted, “We don’t beat the Grim Reaper by living longer. The Reaper will come to all of us. We beat the Reaper by living well and fully.”
He said on regrets when looking at life from his death bed, “it is not the thing we did which we regret in our deathbed it’s the things that we did not.
I've done many stupid things and had many embarrassments but that dint bothers me now.”
He ended his talk by talking about Passion and Love, “you'll need to find your passion, I've learned that you will not find the passion in things and money. When you use things and money as a metric you will always find ppl who've more of them. Passion is something which should come from inside. Whatever the work you do the Passion will be grounded in ppl and what they think of you when your time comes. I had waited for 39 years for my marriage, b’coz it took me that much time to find someone where her happiness is more important than mine. I hope you find that kind of passion and that kind of love“
In Time Magazine Interview:
He was asked whether he thinks that he was a messenger sent to earth for delivering the message of hope.
He said, “Gosh!! I've never really thought about that. I attribute to bad luck (cancer) and nothing else. If I had the choice I give it all back(celebrity status) if I can give cancer along with it. I know that I'm doing the best use of my bad situation but I would not have been in bad situation in first place.”

Note: Originally written a week after Randy Paush's death

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


She heard the calling bell, she looked at the clock and it was showing 4:15. She knew that it would be her son. She was a little worried a minute ago, because her son would usually return home from school at 3:50. She opened the door and saw both her son and her husband. She looked at her husband and exclaimed, "You are very early today!!".
Her husband smiled gently, but she could see something very different in his face. His face showed pain! She asked, "What's wrong?". Her son went inside the house and sat on the sofa and placed his school bag in his lap and he bend over his bag and stared at the floor. She looked at her son and asked, "Why are you looking very gloomy? What's wrong?". Her son dint answer, he kept on staring at the floor.
Her husband walked a couple steps in and looked at her and said, "I very well know that today is your birthday". She blushed; she also knew that he cannot forget her birthday.
He continued, "I thought I could give you a surprise". She raised her eyebrows.
He said, "You were asking me for a cycle. I thought I could buy you a scooty"
She smiled and looked at her husband affectionately. He continued, "So I put a couple of hours permission today and I thought of buying the Scooty in the showroom which was opposite to our son's school"
She immediately rushed to the window and peeped outside, she was neither able to see his bike nor a scooty. She asked, "Where is it?"
Her husband replied, "I wanted to make your birthday memorable. I know I made this birthday memorable.. but not in the way I wanted"
She exclaimed, "What happened? Why are you looking sad? Why is he staring at the floor? What happened?"
He said, "I was on my way to the showroom. I was just 5 mins away I took the turn to the school road when a lorry which was coming in wrong direction hit me!"
She exclaimed, "What happened!! You look alright..Did the Bike got any damage"
He remained silent. She said, "I'm happy that you are ok. I want nothing.. tell me what happened.. why are you looking sad...."
Her son replied without taking his eyes off the floor, "Dad died!!"
She wanted to rebuke her son for talking rubbish but she was not able to speak, she felt heaviness in her heart, tears were rolling down from her eyes, she don't know why!
She looked back at her husband, and saw in his face the pain.. the pain of bidding farewell to loved ones. He smiled and disappeared.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Varnasi - Travelogue

Cow shits all around, narrow streets, dirt unhygienic all around that's Varnasi.
Its an Old City which has very huge buildings. Buildings very narrow and tall and seems to be unapproved.
The streets are a maze, it will take a couple of days to really understand the route to your hotel. But after that the fun begins, you seem to have unlocked the matrix and wherever you go.. you know how to explore and how to come back safely. You see shiva lingas everywhere in varnasi. Not to mention the teas served in mud cups and also the jalebis served in the road side.
The Ganges:
They have this Ghats which it seems are some 100 in number. A Ghat is nothing but a set of staircase leading to Ganga and all streets have a Ghat.
The most famous are Harischandra Ghat and Ganga Ghat which is where the corpse pyres are burnt!! I heard they burn some 400 corpse per day.
If you are in the street you will see many corpse taken away every hour and they cover the corpse with a beautiful shawl.
In Ganges bank you see everything.. corpse pyre, ppl bathing, Children playing cricket in the ghats, boats with the travellers, Some ppl performing rituals, Buffallo bathing ..
I was in Varnasi during Muharram time and Varnasi has a high Muslim population. The Muslims constructed a structure with wood and some decorative clothes.. it looked like a tomb. They took a procession of that structure in all the streets finally they came to a Ghat and took a boat and dumped that structure in Ganga.
There I saw Her!! Saw Ganga embracing everything.... right from the Muslim's tomb model structure to buffaloes excrete to ashes from human pyre and also the small boat with a diya offered as prayers from Hindu. She embraces all!! and She is the epitome of patience!!
Clapping Hand:
In one of the Ghats I saw one guy clapping his hands left hand over right.. I thought this was some kind of prayer. Then I heard some more claps when I was walking in the street.. I thought someone was calling me ...and then I realize this clapping was to powder a material which they will put in their mouth. These ppl always have paan in their mouth!! I think everyone will die of throat cancer!!
The Vishwananthar and Annapoorni temple had a lot of security.. mobile, camera and pen were not allowed. You will be physically checked at least a couple of times (in addition to passing through the scanning gate) before going inside the temple. I later came to know there was couple of blasts in Varnasi in recent years.
The Vishwanathar temple has a Saptharishi Pooja and you can get a ticket for 50Rs. If you ever go to Varnasi get a ticket and watch this pooja which happens at 7 P.M everyday. A very interesting ritual. 7 ppl first do abishega and decorations to Shiva linga and they sing a song in between , this song I can compare only to the scenes in Mongol, in that movie the soldiers after every victory gleefully hum with their jarring voice.
My parents say that it was Sama Veda which these ppl were uttering. Towards the end of the ritual there was a Deepa Arthi were the 7 ppl move arthi to the linga and ring their bells, the ringing of the bells were well supported by a percussion instrument and they sang a song.. should be Sama Veda. It was a scintillating experience. If you are in Varnasi don't miss this Saptharishi Pooja.
After visiting Vishwanathar and Annapoorni we were taken to a small temple, they said it was Vishalakshi temple. I just can't believe it. Such a small temple!! A far cry from Madurai Meenakshi and Kanchi Kamakshi temple...but what to do as the saying goes, "Moorthy siridheninum Keerthi Perithu".
Varnasi temples art seems to be very rudimentary.. the Ganesha and Hanuman idols in the temple were usually done in a red stone and they seemed out of shape. In other temples the Idol is just a brass mask!
The Rickshawala:
Cycle Rickshaw is still the main mode of transport and they don't have motors in it. Runs just by human power. On Makarsankranti I decided to go to BHU (Banaras Hindu University) Birla temple. I was told by my hotel caretaker that it would cost Rs 15 for 1 way trip to the Birla Temple. I went to the Rickshaw stand and they said Rs30 I bargained for Rs20 and sat on the rickshaw and then I realized.. the Birla temple was more than 4 km. It took about 15 mins to reach the destination. I knew Rs20 is not the correct amount but my ego prevented me from giving the rickshawala extra amount. In Chennai auto driver will start murmuring during the last mile usually to get more money but this guy dint!! Finally I got down from the Riskshaw and gave him 20 Rs and I looked at his face and I see contentedness.. peace in it. He took the money and made a namaste and told something in Hindi which I infer to be, "Have a good day".
I roamed around BHU for sometime and I saw Art everywhere. There were some students in Birla temple who were practicing some songs may be some event is coming up. Some more ppl doing a skit. I came out of the temple and walked around BHU campus and saw 1 person sculpting a statue another girl having a big chart were she is drawing a picture. Art.. art everywhere
The Kite Runners:
Children were flying Kites all the time, but it peaked on Makarsankranti. Do these children have any other option other than With narrow roads and tall buildings, this seems to be the only sport to pursue. I gleefully saw the Kite festival scene from the kite runner little did I realize the inconvenience. When I walked in the street my slippers were usually pulled by the kite thread and also the threads kept falling from sky all over the streets.
Some more places:
If you are in Varnasi try visiting Sarnath, the place where Buddha started his teaching. Also Choli Amman, Kalabayravar (the place where you get Kasi Kayiru). Also take some time to roam around the Ghats and if you are there in the evening have a look at Ganga Arthi.
The Tail Piece:
Remember you can never get Bangalore Thakkali in Bangalore. I went to a big sweet stall in Varnasi and asked for 'Kasi Halwa'. The merchant replied, "We don't sell Kasi Halwa". I pointed to a sweet which looked like Kasi Halwa and asked what it was. He replied, "Karachi Halwa"

Friday, February 6, 2009

Shivaji – The Real Boss

One day in the court of Chhatrapati Shivaji a messenger came in and said, “Your Majesty! We’ve a war booty as a present for you from one of our Marathi Commanders”
Shivaji said, “Show me that”
Four people carried a big box and placed it near the centre of the Court and one guy opened the box.
From the box came out a very beautiful young Muslim lady!!!
Shivaji stood up from his throne and came near the lady and said, “I’m completely mesmerized by your beauty!!”
The lady knows about the fate of women who are in the loosing side of the battle. But she does not know about Shivaji!!
Shivaji continued, “I see Mother Kali in you!! Please tell me who you are?”
The lady said, “I’m the daughter-in-law of the ex-ruler of Kalyan. Your army annexed Kalyan 2 days ago!”
Shivaji turned towards the messenger and thundered, “How dare you call a woman as a War Booty!!! And how dare you to say this in front of me!!!!”
The Messenger droop his head in shame.
Shivaji continued, “Tell your commander that I severely condemn his act!!!”
Shivaji then turned back to the lady and spoke softy,” I apologize for the inconvenience caused by my fellow men. Oh Mother!! Please tell me what I can do for you”
The Lady asked with tears in her eyes, “Can I please go back to my home?”
Shivaji said, “Of course!! My army will protect you in your journey to your home!”
Back home when ppl ask the lady about Shivaji, she always says, “Shivaji……he is the real boss!!”

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Almost two years ago, I accompanied my mother to a clinic.
We went inside the clinic and reserved our name with the nurse and sat in the reception area.
The Clinic was pretty crowded with patients, there were some 25 chairs and almost 20 were occupied.
After some 5 minutes of our arrival a young girl in her late teens came in and occupied one seat. She seemed to be an Anglo-Indian, she seemed to be kind of any normal girl in her age, but something was fishy!!! I dono what it was…..but I know something was wrong with this young girl!!!
She was having a bag in her right shoulder, she took the bag in her hand and opened it and scanned all the ppl in the reception area. There was a kind of naughtiness when she saw all the ppl.
There was a table near her chair, she took each items from her bag and placed it in the table. All the items were snacks!
Then in came her grandmother rushing towards the girl, grandma said, “No you should not take everything. You can take only one at the time”
“No Grandma!!”, the girl cried as a 3 year old!!!
Then I noticed her face once again and understood!!!!!
Her face was so different from other ppl’s face….she was mentally retarded!!!
I cannot imagine how charming she might look if she was a normal girl!!!!
I think this is what they call “Face is the index of mind”
Can you just look at yourself in a mirror right now?
Can you see how beautiful you are?
Just imagine how your face will look if you are mentally challenged!!
So it seems beautiful face is just a reflection of beautiful mind!!!
OK back to the event, this girl was speaking fluent English. Whenever the nurse called the name of a patient, she echoed the same name and then she would laugh out loud.
The Nurse called my mother’s name “Sita”
The girl echoed “Sita…. Go inside”
My mother and I started walking towards the Doctor’s room and we’ve to cross the girl. I always have a great amount of fear towards mentally challenged ppl. So I took the longest de-tour!!
My mother followed the correct path and she was about to cross the girl. The girl suddenly snatched my mother’s hand and said, “I’m the doctor”
The girl looked at my mother’s hand for some seconds and said, “You are ok. You can go”
We both went into the Doctor’s room…… my heart started beating normally only after coming out of the clinic.
I asked my mother, “Why you went close to her? What would’ve happened if she did something?”
She said, “Poor girl! Why should we apathy her!”
Looking back the incident now, it seems that my mother was able to connect to the girl and I was not able to!!!
That’s the reason the girl snatched my mother’s hand!! She was able to feel the connection!!!!!
It was really foolish on my part to fear mentally retarded ppl!!!
I cannot forget the face of the girl I saw in the clinic!!!
I personally think that she was a divine angel!! She came to the clinic just to bless my Mother (“You are ok. You can go”)
Oh girl!! I apologize for being apathetic towards you! I’m sorry I was not able to understand you!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

We need an outlet

One of the basic issues with Indian Culture is submissiveness. We neither show our happiness nor our anger, sadness etc. We keep these things to ourselves and become more depressed.
Today morning we had a chat in our car about Women’s Parliamentary Reservation Bill.
One girl said that it was tried in the assembly but failed and another guy said it dint. He asked her whether she had proof for it. He is a kind of guy who needs proof for every information, b’coz as Senthil says in Boys ‘Information is Wealth’.
He also doesn’t believe in scolding Karunanidhi and Jayalalitha b’coz we don’t have solution, we are not jumping into politics we are not supporting new people coming to politics and hence we don’t have rights to talk about it.
Nothing wrong with his attitude but it seems he is punishing himself too much.
Then once we reached the office the girl emailed her proof and this is what I replied:

Kaasa panama….
Everybody is free to share their views.
I want everybody to open their mouth and shout on top of each other, b’coz this is going to be the outlet for them.
Eneme daily bayangaramana controversial topic eduthuntu kathalam.
Who really cares whether one is right or wrong we all need an outlet that’s all and I hope we don’t have ego within us.
So ethavathu thappa sonnalum thodachunu poyinde irukala.
Daily Carla silenta varathuku ethu saiyalam.
What you say?

We all need an outlet we cannot shout at our colleague, our friends and relatives directly. We are not free to laugh, cry or exhibit anger, only a 3 year old child can do it…. not us.
So we keep things to ourselves, why can’t we go ahead and shout at some public notaries?
Or speak up some controversial topic which never had a solution like “Gents are Superior to Ladies”
Just do this experiment with ppl close to you and make sure you don’t have any ego issue with them. Just have some heated conversation about some stupid topic and then forget it after sometime.
Tell me how you feel……. do you feel light, rejuvenated?
You should be b’coz you got an outlet to pull off your emotions.
Many ppl will say go for exercise… pray to god .. do some gardening .. etc
Yes they are good outlet but is it really possible to do that everyday?
How many people jog everyday?
There is nothing wrong in doing this above stupid exercise, we will shout at karunanidhi Jayalalitha etc etc
We will continue to vote for them nothing really will change but the end of day you will be very lite.
The only thing to consider is you have the right people with you for this experiment.
You may consider doing this experiment alone in a bed room but your room mate may call Mental Hospital ;)
So just be beware :D
Osho once said in a book that people in a country are generally active and happy when there is a war, this is b’coz they have an outlet they can finally show off their anger. They read the newspaper daily and shout on top of their voices for sometime and go ahead dong their job, but they will feel lite.
In my previous project we’d a small third party vendor in France .
One day some developers from our project went to France to meet them. This company is a small team of 14 people and their office was very innovative.
In one place they had the “boxing bag”.
One guy asked why they had this here, the French developer replied "everyday after the conference call I will be here hitting you people here" :)
Also when they have a bug which they don’t know how to solve they go over to the boxing bag and spent some good time :) and then come back!!
I had totally cut down myself from news from India and for that matter any news at all.
I’m just thinking of going back and reading some news so that I can shout at some of them :)

Note: Originally return during my stay in US

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Crime and Punishment - Review

We all believe that we are not ordinary. We’re unique. We’ve something special in us.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky is a story about a guy who thinks that he is extraordinary…

This is a Russian Novel published on 1866 and recommended by one of my reader.

This novel was not a easy read b’coz it was more than a century old and it was a translated one. When you read a Novel, it should be impossible for you to keep it down. You usually read many many chunks of pages at a stretch and you just cannot keep the book down. But I dint face that issue at all!! In fact many a times I thought of just stop reading the book! May be I am not tuned to reading Novel.

Crime and Punishment is about Raskolnikoff, a college drop out who saw an old money lender lady as a weed in the society. He thought, “What would Napolean do if he was in my shoes… He would’ve killed her”. He believed that the world consists of a large chunk of ordinary men and a few extraordinary men. These extraordinary men can change the face of the world. These extraordinary men are here to break laws if it is good for the community. Remember Nayagan dialogue, “Naalu Beruku Nallathu Senja Ethuvum Thappila”. So Raskolnikoff thought why can’t I kill this money lender and take her money and change the world for good! He kills her but as they say crime is followed by guilt and he cannot live peacefully. There is always a suspicion that police may capture him and he behaves crazily. I initially thought that I was missing something.. I thought why should this guy behave so foolishly may be its some Russian culture which I dint understand.. but later I realize that when you are overcome by guilt you mess up things. Also is it guilt or is it revelation to Raskolnikoff that he is just an ordinary guy?

Anyway the book actually turns very interesting in the last chapters with many nail biting events.

Some of the scenes in the Novel which are worth mentioning

Pulcheria's(Raskolnikoff ‘smother) mail to Raskolnikoff and then his own interpretation of the mail.
Marneladoff's narration of his life in the bar
Razumikhin.. Raskolnikoff’s friend who has a very sharp intellect
Svidrigailoff's talking about apparition and also his character, especially his interview with Donia.
Conversation between Loushin and Lebeziatnikoff followed by the drama that unfolded in Catherine Ivano's house.
Also the climax was very crisp.
Not to forget the murder of the money lender and the incidents immediately afterwards.
Also the intelligent detective Porfiry Petrovich’s character, especially his meetings with Roskolnikoff.
But what is unique is the narration in various parts where the author talks in past tense and then looks a little forward and narrates that as well.


"He was in full possession of his intellect; he felt neither giddy nor dazed, but his hands continued to shake. Later on, he recollected that he had been very prudent, very attentive, that he had taken every care not to soil himself"

It was like showing an incident and zooming out and saying that this was what this guy felt about this incident after x days.

We read classic novels from other countries to know their culture rite?

So after reading this novel my observations are

Russian culture is so very similar to our culture at least during the 19th century (I felt the same after seeing The Kite Runner. I was like, “ Afghan culture is so similar to our culture”)
They drink Tea
The Family bonding is very strong
A 50 year old guy can marry a 16 year girl that too immediately after his wife’s death (used to be the case in India in 19th Century as well!)
The Epilogue makes you breathe easy it shows how ppls life pans out but it was a let down. The pace of the epilogue was very ordinary and the theme very different that it seemed totally disconnected from the rest of the novel.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Allahabad - Travelogue

I got down at Allahabad from the Ganga – Cauvery Express @ 4:20 A.M. My Brother and I were accompanying my parents on a pilgrimage. We were taken to ‘Siva Madam’, a Madam constructed by Singeri ppl. Madam’s have common Rest rooms and bathroom and the Siva Madam looked very unclean. When you are in Allahabad you have a feeling that the city is 20-30 years behind times.. With monkeys roaming everywhere and narrow and unhygienic roads. The tea stall opens only @ 6:30. The place near Siva Madam looked like a village …… it’s indeed village.

There was this small shop a kind of canteen. My Brother and I went to this shop initially for tea. Tea was just 3 Rs!!! Later we went there for having our breakfast. We asked for Poori. There was this old lady, who wears a spectacle and her hairs were still black in color. When we asked for Poori, she gave us this, ‘varum ana varathu’ look. She slowly mixed some powders and made a dough. She was taking her own time. There seems to be no sense of urgency in this village. It took some 20 minutes to make the Poori. We ordered for 2 plates of Poori. We soon realized that a plate of Poori here means 10 Pooris. We asked her to stop Poori making when she was making Poori number 17. She asked with a puzzled look, “Kya yeh kafi hai?”, We said , “Yes”. But she insisted to have one more Poori. The Poori costed 18 Rs. 18 Rs for 18 Pooris!!

When we were taking some pictures around the Siva Madam, there were few children playing near by. They ran to us and said, “Photo Kicho”, and we did. They struck very stylish poses and after each photo they would come near and see our camera and break into a dance. Such an innocence ..such a bubbling of energy .. I’ve never seen in my life.

Triveni Sangam.. What a sight to watch Ganga coming and embracing Yamuna (these ppl call Jamuna). This boatman knows that we dono Hindi but still talks to us non-stop in Hindi. He is trying to be a guide and was telling us how privileged we were to come to Triveni Sangam. He says that all the boatmen don’t talk about the significance of this place but he had taken upon himself the duty to speak about it.

In all Share Autos you see advt of IIT JEE Coaching. This place looked so backward and not many Engg Colleges but is still bustling with IIT Coaching classes. No wonder North Indians always have upper hand in securing into IIT.

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Bag

Raghu was sight seeing Toronto with his colleagues on a Sunday. They were walking in a park in the evening when one of Raghu’s colleagues, Sekar started to move his hands animatedly. They all stopped and looked at Sekar. Sekar’s eyes became wide open and he murmured something.

Raghu asked, “What’s the problem?”

Sekar exclaimed as he placed his hands over his head, “Gone!! All gone. I lost my bag. It had everything in it.. my camera.. my passport. We’ve been roaming Toronto all day.. I don’t know where I lost.. How am I to find it.”

All colleagues laughed at Sekar. Sekar shouted, “You ppl making fun of me!! You never know what I’m undergoing now!!”

Raghu smiled and said, “What is it… in your back?”

Sekar placed his hand over his back and felt his bag!! He was actually carrying his bag all day long but he forgot about it. Now Sekar was feeling very relieved and he quickly opened his bag and checked his passport and camera. He then sat in a chair in the park and smiled and said, “Now I’m happy!!”

Raghu came near Sekar and said, “You were carrying this bag all along. You cried b’coz you lost and now you are happy since you got it back. But it was always with you.”

Sekar took a couple of deep breathes and stood up and the group started walking to their hotels.

After thinking for sometime Sekar said, “Isn’t it very easy to make a person happy. .. You rob him of an object and he grieves and you give it back to him and he will be very happy. He would not have been happy if that object was with his always, but a delta.. just a change… a moment of loss followed by a moment of finding makes him happy.”

Raghu quipped, “So you are saying that in order to make a man happy, you’ve to make him sad first.”

“Exactly!”, exclaimed Sekar, “This Sad and happiness is kind of a sine wave. You need the dip of sadness and the altitude between the sadness and happiness to get the euphoria.”