May 30, 2009


A very interesting interview with the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. He talks candidly about the war, his views on Indian Government's stance towards the conflict, politics etc. I don't claim I understand fully the conflict but I like Rajapakse. In an era of weak kneed and corrupt politicians in India, he seems to be a determined and iron willed man. Some one fit to be a president during tough times. Will his achievements be more than any of his contemporaries including Obama? Time will tell.


May 29, 2009

Fall of the Goliath

The Giant gets humbled on Monday :(

When it was healthy and standing tall, people were proud and content to prance around it in its shadows. Now when it falls on them, everybody says, 'I told you so'.


May 24, 2009

The beginning of the summer movies marathon

I saw three movies in the last few days and completely enjoyed only one. I have this craze for seeing it on the big screen with real surround effect so much so that sometimes I see even dumb movies and animation movies in theaters. So I am not the one to miss out on good action movies. 

X-Men: Wolverine shows the travails of Logan as he starts off as a mutant with self healing powers and ends up with his bones being supplanted with an 'indestructible' metal. The movie keeps losing direction as it follows Logan chasing down Victor, his brother, for killing his girlfriend. Except for Hugh Jackman's acting and few special effects packed scenes, the movie fails to pack a punch unlike its predecessors. Cinematography looked good on the big screen with nice touches of CG.

Terminator: Salvation (4th in the Terminator series) is the story of John Connor who leads the resistance against Robots controlled by the Skynet. Originally started as a Defense program, Skynet becomes sentient and starts to control all robots (or cyborgs). The movie was as cliched as it could get. It stooped down to the levels of being a run-of-the mill hollywood action flick that packs all the stuff from mind blowing (and mind numbing) action sequences to a love between a robot and human. Some scenes were so cliched that I thought that the director actually saw some Indian films for inspiration. This was particularly dissapointing for some one like me who is a die hard fan of the Terminator movies (esp. Judgement Day). And I thought what lacked sorely in the movie was none other than Arnold himself. Maybe, he could have made even this poor plot interesting. Also the soundtrack was nowhere near T2. Though the famous track gets played here and there, the BGM never sticks in the mind. Christian Bale could have hardly done anything better with such a plot. After all, what else could you expect from a Director whose previous ventures include Charlie's Angels.

Angels & Demons was the best of the lot. I thought it was even better than Da Vinci Code (the movie). Again, the movie couldn't help but fall short of the book in some aspects. The beauty of the two books being that the plot is merely a vehicle used to deliver the rich information gathered by the author: the truth and fictious part of it. So there is no way anybody can make a movie that can have the appeal of the book in its purest sense. But what the movie did achieve was to hold the audience enthralled with some nice cinematography, taut plot, enough information about the Vatican and some suspense at the end. I read somewhere that Ron Howard is thinking about a trilogy for Robert Langdon's adventures. I am not sure if Dan Brown is writing another book on those lines, but if he does it sure does promise to be a good one.


May 18, 2009

When past meets present

I slowed down the car near a stop sign before turning right to see if any vehicle is coming from the left. Instinctively, I looked to the right to see if there was a policeman standing. For a second I was confused as I know policemen don't stand in the middle of the roads here. Still something familiar was flashing before my eyes and superimposing itself on what I was seeing at that moment.

It was the junction right outside the present location of Pothys. When going to school, I used to pedal along Duraiswamy road and turn right onto S.Usman Road. Those were days when such earthly things were still possible in T.Nagar. There was absolutely no traffic at 8.15AM those days. A no right-turn rule was formed only a few months back but as usual rules don't apply to cyclists. Still that policeman used to give me a stare but never stopped me from turning right.

But the 'vision' didn't stop there. As I turned the car and went a few meters, immediately I thought I saw the wide and empty Usman road with the platform shops still covered with tarpaulin sheets and tied with nylon ropes to the right, and some over eager shoppers sitting outside Kumaran Silks before they open at 8.30AM. 

It took me a few minutes to erase those images and concentrate back on the driving and think about the day's work in office. It was eerie and nostalgic at the same time. But nostalgia is always depressing.


May 16, 2009

Election times are good

We shifted residence some time back and did not find our names in the local poll booth. Apparently, the names were struck off promptly from the area we moved out from but the supplemental list that was supposed to have the names in the new area did not have them. Now, my Naina is furious because he cannot get that 200 rupees that the thaatha's katchi paid everyone in our area to vote for them.

My Aatha is ruing differently. She wishes she had been in Madurai. Apparently, our relatives in Madurai got a nice saree in addition to variable payments of Rs.200 and above. They were compelled to swear on their kids' heads (தலை மேல கை வெச்சு சத்தியம்) that they will vote for thaatha's katchi only. But that is ok.

I was smarter. I got involved 'voluntarily' in the katchi's local sangam and allowed my auto be used for katchi service. Got paid handsomely for that and also a few TV sets that was supposed to be distributed through ration shops. I can sell them each for a few thousands. Moreover, I got to vote multiple times in different booths.


May 15, 2009

The race to 7, Race Course Road

The marathon voting process ended (May 13) in India with Tamil Nadu, one of the decisive swing states. With the magic number of 272 only a dream for both Congress and BJP led UPA and NDA respectively, a lot of shift in the political alliances are to be expected once the results are declared a few hours from now.

DMK raked up the Tamils issue, quite some time before the election was in the horizon, to use it as a political agenda (The Tamils in Sri Lanka have been suffering for years now. But their sufferings have opened the party's vista only now). It is going to be there for the next state elections too and for the Assembly elections after that and so on. It is like Pakistan dealing with Al-Qaeda. Everybody knows its a problem but nobody will want to do anything about it. But what really sent me hopping with rage was the sycophantic acts of the tamil film industry. Lead by minions like Bharati Raja and Sathyaraj who tow the lines of KK (K.Karunanidhi) shamelessly, the entire industry were arm twisted to take part in the fasts and protests to end the atrocities in Sri Lanka (Yeah right. The minute they protest, Rajapakse would be cowed into submission). And people like Vadivelu groveled behind.

The Third Front's fragility is as obvious as the lack of a common ideology for the 'alliance'. Continuous assertions notwithstanding, I really expect the alliance to shatter as offers are made by both UPA and NDA to woo the individual parties, and the star of the show would definitely be Jayalalitha.

Seriously, I do wish AIADMK wins though, not because I think JJ is good but because she is better (I know this is not state elections but its been sickening seeing Dayanidhi Maran's face in the TV). Even as I am typing this, NDTV is predicting 20 for DMK, 18 for AIADMK and 1 for Vijayakanth's DMDK. I hope JJ gets much more than 18 AND choses to go with BJP. Another, 5 years of weak-kneed UPA is something India can do without.

If for some reason UPA wins more than NDA, I still sincerely hope that AIADMK wins more than DMK. This way, Congress will try to take JJ under their wings (who cares if JJ called Sonia an Eunuch a few years back?). Why this would be significant is, JJ's only main, if not the only condition, for proferring support to UPA is the withdrawal of support for the DMK alliance in TN. This would mean the collapse of the state government and new state elections for TN. Woohoo.

P.S.: Just for the kick of it, I would like to see Modi become the PM. It will be fun to see US Consulate to try and refuse a VISA for him again.


Should'nt it be named 'CTV HINDU'?


May 14, 2009

Time Pass....

Its going to be a great summer as far as movie releases go. Angels and Demons has been released. I am yet to see that. Terminator Salvation with Christian Bale as the new John Connor is releasing on May 21.Christian also has another coming up with Public Enemies (along with Johnny Depp!!!). Then Ice Age 3 on July 1. And this sequel to Night at the Museum (Oh well. No harm in just sitting in the theater for a hour and a half for this I guess).
Then Selvaraghavan's Aayirathil Oruvan. The T20 World Cup begins in England on June 5. Kamal's Unnai Pol Oruvan is expected to release in July too. Phew..At least somethings to look forward to till the end of July.


May 12, 2009

A write-up on the Chennai constituencies based on the electoral 'distribution' for the upcoming elections. 


May 6, 2009

ஊருக்கு மட்டும் உபதேசம்..

Rick Wagoner, the CEO of a company, flies in corporate jet spending $20,000 and gets fired. Then the Obama headed Government authorizes a photo-shoot flight of Air Force One costing $328,835.
I wonder why they needed a photo shoot for the plane anyway. Planning to sell it on ebay? Hmm.

On an entirely unrelated note, Bristol Palin is now advocating that abstinence is the best form of birth control.


May 2, 2009

TIME has come out with its list of most influential people for the year 2009. Like any other lists and awards (including the Oscars) it is contentious. I have no idea why some people are even there, because as far as I know they did nothing notable in the recent past. But then again, all lists are subjective. Some notable inclusions are Nandan Nilekeni, AR Rahman and Maya Arulpragasam aka M.I.A.

P.S.: I am personally peeved at the fact that Dada fails to get a mention (yet again). These amrigans....what do they know?


Say Hi, but how?

My Doctor in Chennai used to say, that we (Indians) had one of the healthiest cultural practices but it was ruined by the Britishers under the name of modernization. "For example", he says, "we used to greet people by saying Namaste (or Vanakkam) with our hands, people cannot enter the house without washing their feet etc., to name a few. But what did the Britishers (Vellai Kaarans) teach us? Handshakes, paper towels, Toilet seats etc. The worst cases of direct and indirect physical contacts that spread unwanted germs."


May 1, 2009

Hi Whitehouse. Can I be your fraansip? pls pls pls dont say no. ur luking very gud.


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