03 November 2007

Ambivalent Hearts!

Is it staying for others or leaving for oneself?

Is it fear of change or search of dreams?

Is it killing a baby or Right to a woman’s body?

Is it killing for human crimes or crime on human life?

Is it technology for connecting people or tool for disconnecting society?

Is it acting on your instincts or denying with reason?

Is it Love marriage or arranged acceptance?

Is it happy ignorant people or smart unsatisfied Minds?

Is it exhilarating passion or calm daily existence?

Is it achieving a goal or enjoying each moment?

Is it Heart or Mind?

Is it Love or Sex?

Is it People or Money?

Is it Character or Skill?

Is it Past or Future?

Is it Questions or Decisions?

Is it right or wrong?

Is it me or you?

Perhaps, it is not supposed to be clear. Perhaps, the mystery is the ambivalence. Perhaps, life itself means existing in ambivalence, choosing a balance between choices; sometimes left extreme; sometimes right, and in the end, choosing a path which feels right in the moment without regrets.

28 July 2007

Tagged - 8 Random facts about me !

When the tagging-cycle continues and reaches you, you always wonder, how did they come up with the number ? 5 things you remember, last 7 times you messed up, 9 places you would visit if you had money. But with this one, i love the number 8. It's an even number. It somehow doesn't sound threatening, almost, takes a backseat. It sure sounds a lot but has a humbleness to it. So, before i digress more, and knowing atleast there is one person who will read this who tagged me (thanks Priya), let me jump into it.

Random Fact 1 - I talk the way i write. I write the way i think. I talk whatever i think which lot of folks around me don't appreciate much ;)

RF2 - I abbreviate wherever possible.
"How's ur day going buddy ?"
"Mine is MSSDD"
"Good for u..YMFTYT".
For notes, refer below.

Randon Fact 3 - I grew up without my dad and my wife grew up without her mom. That difference is glaring to our friends as they ask her about taxes, how to hook different cables behind the HDTV and directions while they come to me for "Why do u think Tamilians always talk in English with fellow Tamilian ? " kinda stuff.

Random Fact 4 - I have very less BS tolerance. Towards most things in life. Movies, People, and Procedures (except INS, you can't mess up there).

Random Fact 5 - I used to have huge authority problems and blamed it on my rebelliousness but it is slowly vanishing as I am the Boss now and have begun to appreciate even Bush ;)

Random Fact 6 - I hate others judging anybody and feel it is my responsibility to judge others :)
I blame such dichotomies on Linda Goodman's definition of Geminis.

Random Fact 7 - I don't do well with quiet people even though i am extremely attracted to their ability to be quiet which often times i have realized it is because they are stupid and dont have much to contribute(although the exceptions are of the "I am so full ..so i dont have to spill" kinds).

Random Fact 8 - I HATE those who don't laugh at my jokes and think i am not that funny. I can forgive them even if they hide my tv remote but not laughing at my jokes gets me really riled up ;)

Now, since I haven't blogged much this year and not sure who is reading this anymore,i propose the first 8 readers of this blog to continue the tag and not break the holy circle of Third Series Worshippers :)

Here is all the wonderful expansions:
SSDD - Same Shit Different Day
MSSDD - More of the Same Shit Different Day
YMFTYT - You're More Fucked Than You Think
BS - Bull Shit


12 June 2007

Sivaji - Catch Me If you can afford !

For all Rajni Fans in the US, the wait is finally over. It will truly be a worldwide release! Sivaji in India, June 15th. Sivaji in US of A, June 15th! Whoohoo! As a die-hard Rajni fan, I rushed to all the websites offering tickets for “Thalaivar” movie. The ticket prices made me jump out of my seat with joy. I was hoping the organizers would be stupid enough to raise the regular ticket price of 8$ by only 3 or 4 dollars. No. They have restored my faith by doubling it to $16. Whoohoo! Not only that, they have had the better sense to triple it on opening day. That Serves those movie-crazy-Tamilians right. Especially the Rajni Fans who would jump off a cliff for “Thalaivar” if they have to.

Here is the Ticket Stats. It will cost you $21 per ticket on opening day in Atlanta. It would be $16 for rest of days. And I am even more thrilled that the organizers have found another venue to spread the wonderful class system based on your affordability. Here comes “VIP Tickets” for $26 and your kid sure deserves a “VIP Kids seat” for $13. I do not know if the VIP seats will be any different from “regular” seat, but the internal grapevine tells me, the VIP seat holders will be given special tissue paper to wipe their own seats, while the regulars, even if they bring their own tissues, will not be allowed to carry it inside. That’s the spirit!

I do see some of my friends whining and screaming about the atrocious prices for Sivaji and even threatening to boycott the movie. So long Suckers! I already see the first day booked fully in NJ. Who cares if you boycott? We can always count on Rajni fans to pay $26 per ticket when the cost of DVD will be only $20 when it comes out after two months. If we can’t milk an easily available, gullible, Rajnikanth fan (that’s 90% Tamil population in US), then, as businessmen, the organizers have no financial acumen. After all, in the world of fans, the Rajni Fan stands alone on top! So what if you pay $8 for a Spiderman movie that cost $300 million to make? This is a Shankar-Rajni-Rahman combo. Nothing but wind...errr...i mean…Nothing beats it!

The blame should go to the unappreciative Tamil audience in US. The folks who bring Tamil movies get burnt every time they try to show a decent movie (Paruthiveeran…hmm...can’t think of any other worthy candidate in recent times...but that’s not the point I am trying to make). While so many struggles go behind the scenes to bring a Tamil movie to US, ungrateful Tamilians don’t even bother to show up! They have the temerity to rent pirated DVD’s for $2 and worse, make copies of those pirated DVD’s and distribute to family and friends! I remember watching the movie “Kushi” where there were only 5 people in the whole wide theatre. Later, I realized I counted myself in 5 different seats. I do have the tendency to switch seats so I don’t feel haunted (and it was a time after Sixth Sense). So, I am very happy that finally the Tamil movie organizers have arrived at a moment in history where they can squeeze all those dollars that were cheated by these Tamil-movie-lovers-of-US. Perfect timing!

I say, let us raise the ticket amount to $40. After all a Rajni movie comes only once in 3years.And it doesn’t even require a story. So, it is a guaranteed success. Maybe after this, the Tamil-movie-going public in US will realize they need to patronize the hard working Tamil cinema organizers! Vazhga Tamil! Vazhga Rajni! Vazhga Sivaji thantha Koperumangal!

P.S: Are you asking what about me? Heee…Heee…I am going to wait for the original DVD and watch it in my big screen in basement. Admission to anyone who brings their own beer and doesn’t borrow mine!

03 April 2007


“Good is not good when better is expected”, said Thomas Fuller.

It is the curse of Heroes to rise up when the time demands. They became Heroes in the first place because they did so in uncompromising fashion when you were just a kid. They did it not once, but consistently over a period of time with unflinching integrity and panache. They made you feel proud. You related directly to their heart and the way they executed their skill with passion. They transported you into a whole new world, and made you notice the nuances.

And then, you grow older! Sometimes Wiser!

You see different people executing the same skill of your hero in a better fashion. But you still want your childhood heroes to rise up and match the rest you know from other parts of the world, so you can thump your chest to say “He is my childhood hero! I used to walk miles to see him display his skill! He was a part of my growing years!”

As you witness their current form, you realize, they have aged. Their perspectives have changed. Their execution leaves a lot to be desired. Their reflexes are not as sharp as they used to be. There are flashes of genius in their new avatar that reminds you of their peak, but then, it lacks consistency. It dawns on you that you were just trying to re-create nostalgia for a period of your own life that doesn’t exist anymore!

The failure and reaction to first round knockout in World cup cricket raises bigger questions about our inherent cultural deficiency, than the failure in a cricket game. It goes back to our resistance to change, in all walks of life. Lata Mangeshkar was singing until sixties. Azharuddin was forever the captain before being shown the door. Karunanidhi is still the chief minister and so was Jyoti Basu. It is the lack of breeding the next generation, worse, not wanting to let the next generation in which is the root cause of stagnant growth.

It showcases how tolerant we are towards performers who were once good but not anymore. We hope that Shah Rukh can act with same energy as in “DDLJ”. We wait in anticipation that Tendulkar will be playing the “Desert Storm” innings against Australia again. We pray for another “Nayagan” from Manirathnam. Every time they disappoint us with their performance, inconsistency, and lack of skill, we lack the most important quality to accept reality- Candor. The simple ability to, “tell as it is”. To be honest. To encourage dialogue. To accept responsibility.

Maybe we can blame the 24hr news network or worse, multitude of 24hr television stations who are forced to feed the public with sensationalism. But, when you throw the 4th estate also into it, we end up being not only hypocritical society but hype-o-critical. Hype the news. Be vociferous in your criticism but do not commit the sin of “telling as it is” because that would make people be reasonable.

Candor has never been a part of our culture. We have been raised with the notion of not raising our voice in front of elders. As students, we have been asked to sit quietly instead of pestering with questions in classes. Deep down, the message is hammered into our psyche that, if you question, you disrespect. If you speak your mind then you are committing the sin of offending someone. More so, if we offend our past heroes, for their present performance.

Unless we change this basic paradigm, we will remain in mediocrity for years to come. The real journey to be a civilized nation begins only when we take responsibility and accept the truth. By denial, by elevating personalities and performances where it doesn’t exist, we fool ourselves in the long run. If we don't learn soon, we, as a nation will be forever living in delusions of grandeur, vacillating between adulation and mob-behaviour.

17 March 2007

C & C Indian!

It is not difficult to find a C&C Indian. One out of every 3 Indians belong to that category. And the remaining two, have no choice but to be part of that club lest they decide to be a wannabe with some other culture. The reason is simple. The psyche of India is very much intertwined with C&C.

Cinema! Cricket!

It is the mirror of our culture. It is the mirror of our identity. It is a part of our joys. It is a part of our frustrations. We adore film stars. We admire film directors. We worship cricketers. We criticize our stars. We ridicule our directors. We hurl stones at our cricketer’s homes. We are emotionally invested in them without objectivity because they are a part of our psyche growing up.

Perhaps it has something to do with the kind of existence a C&C Indian has had.

He is usually born in to a Middle-class family. They struggle to pay the bills during month-end. He belongs to an education system that is based on rote and marks obtained. Added to that, he has to contend with a reservation system in college Admissions. He can’t pursue higher education until he earns enough to feed his family. He can’t be cavalier with anything in his life UNTIL he finds out he is free in the three hours spent in a dark theatre. He identifies himself in a character shown in big wide white screen--Bollywood! Not to be left behind, there is also Tollywood, Kollywood and other woods that I am not aware of. But the important point is, he is FREE! He has escaped and found himself in a visceral medium. He has had found hope. He has experienced freedom through a character that gives him company during his survival days long after the movie is over. He celebrates his victories by going to a movie with his family. He escapes with his broken heart in a lonely theatre. He bonds with his friends playing Antakshiri (Movie Songs game). The Cinema, just became a part of his life.

On the other side of the spectrum, the only “freedom” he has experienced is with a cricket bat or tennis ball. Buzzling streets, screaming auntie’s whose glass window just got broken, rival street teams, records in pitches, an open field where all his survival-existence is forgotten, living in the moment, for the moment. And when he watches his national team play and win, it is not a victory for 11 players being controlled by BCCI (Board of Control of Cricket in India) but, it is a victory for him to move on with his life for few more months with hope and joy in the happiness of that victorious moment.

NOW, you know, why it is so important that the Indian Cricket Team Wins or India produces movies that make us escape/experience the moment for years to come! Most importantly, why the Indian Cricket Team should not LOSE without a fight or we do not produce movies that absolutely suck. They give us Hope. And, not just to the survival mode middle class indians. But to the entire haves and have-nots of the billion people whose main source of identity is still generated by these mass mediums.

That’s why a Tendulkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Dravid, Manirathnam, Ganguly, AR Rahman and World Cups are very important.

The Indian cricket team just lost against Bangladesh in World Cup. The right word would be “SUCKED BEYOND BELIEF”. But then, it is not new to C&C Indians. We are "OPTIMISTS BEYOND BELIEF"! We will take sick leaves to watch you-AGAIN. We are disappointed by GURU not being another Nayagan. We are not so thrilled with Rahman music anymore.But then, we will not stop supporting you or losing faith in your abilities.We will read every word with intent in Cricinfo about you tomorrow. We will wait for deleted scenes in GURU to justify your lapses in screenplay. We will order the next cricket package in pay per view sacrificing the remodelling of kitchen in our homes. You are a part of our Operating System. We can't help it. We just hope the next generation of C&C will be too. But please, DELIVER!