Saturday, June 6, 2009

Of Sentis, Chennai and Sameera Reddy..

It looks like I can't keep myself from writing on my personal posts. I always wanted to be a Shankar dishing granduer masala topics but I repeatedly end up being a mega serial director constantly churning out repetitive stuff. Well, Let me cut the crap and start the main course. I am keeping this short and simple.
After a relatively huge gap of six years, I am back to my hometown as a kid, as a native and most importantly, NOT as a guest. Last week, I left my job in Bangalore for my higher studies and I have a good, priceless two months before I embark on the journey of my life. Evidently, there are some never before seen changes. The necessity to come to Chennai with a return ticket in my bag is no longer required. I wouldnt be forced in any way to take the train, the very next day I arrived home. And the happiest news is that my dreaded alarm will not be the first thing I hear at 6.45 in the morning. I sincerely hope that I forget how to set an alarm in my mobile phone. Such has been my long drawn hatred against waking up early and catching return trains.
Coming to the chennai connection, I had been a guest to chennai right from the day I left to Coimbatore for my Engineering. I was a small boy when I left home and I still remain the same whenever I return. In a way, I am addicted to that feel. I like the way people in my apartment see me as the same old Raja (as they call me at home) who along with his group of friends absconded for many hours after breaking the apartment tubelights. I like the way I looked innocent even though the fruits of notoriety intermittently peeps almost unknowingly. Just realised that I have been living like an Anniyan with shades of Multiple Personality Disorder. I play a role of a responsible office-goer in Bangalore, while I remained the same old schoolboy in Chennai, atleast to myself. Infact, I may not be a technically qualified as a proper Chennaite as my home is in the suburbs, but I am one of those blessed souls to have ready access to our homegrown 'Madras' dialect. It never gave me a chance to feel alienated. I have always had the right to feel that I belong to the city. I read in one of my friend's blog that there is always something local about Chennai. Thats something I endorse.
All the above ramblings doesn't mean that I am in complete happiness of the situation of leaving Bangalore. There are things that I do miss and the most important one is my frequent travels in Bangalore-Chennai Trains. I am not aware of others, but whenever I travel alone, I had this weird and shameful habit of looking at people around me, guessing their backgrounds, cooking stories and building an imaginary map around them. All the people in my coach would become unfortunate, innocent victims of my imagination. There was an instance where I framed a complete story about a couple sitting right in front of me and was embarrased to know later that they were siblings. So, if there were any strangers reading this post, and if you had travelled from bangalore to chennai or vice versa during weekends over the past two years, you would have had the dubious distinction of being characters of my stories (Courtesy: My fateful imagination). Mokkais and confessions apart, the train experience let me see every possible situation from missing tickets to booking wrong train. Only thing I missed out was a Sameera Reddy as in Varanama Aayiram. 
While I rave about my association with my hometown, the bittersweet truth that this could be my last few months at my hometown in a long time to come is always on the back of my mind. The heat, sweat, sights and sounds of Chennai will definitely be missed. 

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I agree writing a new post eats up considerable amount of man-hours. When I entered the blogosphere, my all important goal was to write whatever that comes up in my mind, be it foolish or heavenly. The self proclaimed aim was to do three things. Write, write and WRITE. What followed wasn't as expected as it ought to be. For someone who prefers channel-browsing and PC-Gaming to Book-reading (I meant BOOKS ;)), writing is always like mountaineering. Well, I took the plunge but never stayed afloat. Just nine posts in as many months is a classic proof for the same.

I am being brutally honest here in confessing that I struggle to put to pen my thoughts. I should accept this as a harsh reality. I am not a natural writer, not a good reader, not inspirational and not easily inspired. These are my problems in a nutshell. All my above proud qualities have been successful enough to prevent from posting one wretched post. As a result, the previous posts were difficult and remarkable by-products of patience and painful perseverance.

Also, another major reason for this non-involvement has been the dearth of topics. I have defined myself some set of stupid rules like no cliched topics, no cricket, no IPL and no politics in writing posts. That leaves only with my personal experiences and movies to frown about. I am just-another normal person in Bangalore whose experiences are not that noteworthy and comprises only traffic woes and high cost cries. I am myself fed up with posts on my past and it has already reached its threshold. Here on, If someone wants to recall my past, I can only write about my previous life.

While I am writing this post, I have made up my mind to come out of my shell in terms of topics. I didn't want my only creation thus far, this blog, to be history and hence this historic decision. Lets see how my patience stands the test.

PS: It took me little less than one hour to complete this post ;)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting older by the day..

At various instances in our life, we realize our growing-older hallucinations and that we are not kiddos anymore. This happens gradual, it is a transition we fail to comprehend and it happens to every one of us and its no holds barred.

My set of realizations dawned long time back, though it happened in an intermittent fashion but never thought of them as a wholesome package that would inspire me to write a blog on the same.

Below are few of them, some not so serious thoughts, that struck my mind showing that the clock is ticking fast.

-- It is the general mentality when you come out finishing studies at school and college to consider fellow guys as maamas and machis and the slightly younger ones as thambis (Disclaimer: This is not the case when we see girls). At least that is how our mind perceives. But suddenly out of the blue, one fine evening, when you are coming back from work tired, a boy in search of a cosco tennis ball comes out from nowhere just to hurt your ego and asks you, 'Uncle!! andha ball eduthu kodunga!!'. At the heat of the moment, your first reaction would be to snatch his bat and hit him on his head for uttering that fateful word 'Uncle'. But, one has to accept such straightforward, naive insults.

-- Cricket has always been a companion. I have been traveling with it for years where every World Cup marks a new era. Personally being a passionate fan of Sachin, following his scores and praying for a century every-time he comes out to bat was inevitable for quite a long time. I always considered him a young player who would play cricket till the next millennium. It is only when talks of his retirement surfaced few years back, the sense of mortality creeped into my mind. I started realizing the growing age of him and with him mine. The thought of me being a 12 year old and Sachin being a 25 year old vanished in thin air.

-- There were times when I practically tried every trick to increase weight and hip size (Yes!! I was once mercilessly thrown away from a shop for asking for a jean of size 26 not many years ago). Now, my rate of increase in kilos competes hard with the rate at which US Dollars shoots. Ironically, I touched my all time high recently on the same day when dollar rose to its highest against rupee. Such a meteoric rise was a perfect example of how things change quick and a stark reminder of the ticking clock.

-- Hair-fall. When this happened at my college, I brutally blamed my hostel's hard water for this and hoped things would get better at work. But, it failed to cease even after that and only went from bad to worse as days go by. My current situation is not intolerable, but I have nightmares of being a Cho-Ramasamy if things go this way. Classic example of increasing years and decreasing hair.

-- I am firm believer that one can be branded old when he/she regales a lot about the past with stories and mini-incidents. Unfortunately, this post and one of my older posts served as a fine example of my impending old age.

Well, I sound like a 35 year old moaning about old age. I am not that old too. I am just 23 now, but I considered myself a little boy until some of the above thoughts crossed. I believe there is no means of escape from this, either getting old or getting these thoughts.

I feel I should stop here, insomnia or sleeplessness is another symptom of the 'nasty word' a.k.a Old age we hate to associate ourselves with. That is something which made me write this post.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Aham Brahmaasmi!!

No prizes for guessing what this blog is all about. It is my take on Naan Kadavul which was in the pipelines for nearly two years and finally released last week amid huge expectations.

The expectations are justified to an extent where Bala takes us to a realm, the sphere of beggars which shows how they 'live' or rather how they 'survive'. They are a bunch of people whom we see quite often but never cared to delve deep. It is a brilliant portrayal of the deprived ones who have nothing to do in this materialistic world and how an eternally detached 'Aghori' from Kasi brings out the God in himself.

The plot unfolds in Kasi where a father comes back in search of his outcast son and much to his shock finds him as an Aghori who gives out blessings to the dead ones. He takes him back to his hometown in Tamil Nadu where he refuses to move around in the society. The premise of the movie sets here. The small village is a host to a unruly beggar kingdom of Thandavan where he exploits the deformities of lesser mortals and makes a living out of it. The sequence introducing his urupidis is particularly intriguing and the worth of a Ilayaraja background score is realised. On the other side, Arya finds a place for his asanams in the hills of the temple where he crosses path with the urupidis' lives. He remains non-committed to their sufferings and finally unleashes his gore when disturbed. The plot is ably supported by small characters and their humourous chit-chats. Music forms the essential part in realising the weight of the situation and who other than the Maestro to do it the best. Pooja as a helpless blind girl gives out a good performance, probably her best till date. Arya's performance deserves special mention. He has put in a lot of homework for his appearance and it has paid off. He surely has a long way to go when compared to the likes of previous Bala's other heroes, Vikram and Surya. This might come as a big break in his fledgling career. This is basically a director's movie and Bala takes cinema to a different level. You cannot compare this with his previous works, but deserves a special place.

I always had the notion that Bala never knows the meaning of commercial cinema and this movie upholds my view. There are no duets, no good looking leads running aroung trees with hundreds of dancers behind them, no crass double entendres and no mindless bashing up of villain's men. In fact, Arya, the movie's protagonist is seen in the movie for only around 40-45 minutes. We know the director is known to break sterotypes, E.g, Pithamagan's first scene was based in a graveyard breaking all industry conventions to start in a temple/something auspicious, and this movie follows suit. There were instances in the movie where the characters badmouthing the God.

The movie falls under the 'rarest of the rare' category of 'stunning yet not watchable even once'. The Kollywood concept of repeat audience may never work for this flick where watching the complete movie once stirs out the butterflies in your stomach. It is advisable to walk into the movie hall with a bottle of water in your bag. This is definitely not the one for those feel good movie lovers and it could turn out to be a horrific experience and may disturb your sleep. The movie has its downside as well. Some parts of the movie is never explained like how the father identifies Arya in Kasi and how he gets to kill Thandavan. Editing is a letdown where some scenes show abrupt ending.

My rating would be 3.5/5. It is a classic of its own kind and minus the gore and filth could have brought more people to the theaters.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mozart of Madras

Rahman roars!!

Be it a movie starring a superstar or newbie, Rahman sprays
magic on it with his sheer diversity and freshness. Right from the Roja days, the aura of freshness has been prevalent in almost all of his albums. His righteous mix of instruments, flair for innovation and creativity makes me feel that he is among the best ever.

To say that his recent compositions (Ghajini, Yuvraaj, Jaanu Tu) were good would be a gross understatement, I can only see his music getting better with fresh voices.
His handling of budding singers is commendable and he brings the best out of them. Karthik and Benny to name a few. While we don't often get to see his magic in Tamil nowadays, one has to accept the fact that this man's powers is not confined or to be enjoyed in one particular part of the country restricted by language. Of late, he has been spreading his wings across the world, and with another feather in the cap, this one being the biggest so far, A Golden Globe nomination for his work in 'Slumdog Millionaire', he is at an all-time high. Awards have not eluded him since Roja (Winning a National Award in his first ever movie itself proves his class) but this one if he wins could see a huge celebration back home. While we wait for the results to be announced for this, the Oscar dream is not far-fetched. He may soon conquer that as well and we simply hope for that to happen.

And coming a little off-track, the last thing we would like from him is to see his songs being mouthed in some
sunnambu clad heroes' movies. The sight of SJ Surya dancing to his tunes was so painful and a glorious heartbreak. Believe me, there are thousands of folks who stopped watching the 'Mayilirage' song where Mr.X dances in the backdrop of Thiruvalluvar Statue. God, I had my heart in my mouth. Rahman has some history of movies where the songs vanished into thin air as the movies turn damp squibs. We hope that doesnt happen often from now on. Let the man of class be associated with something he deserves to.

Hail the 'Mozart of Madras' and wish him more success!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Filter kaapi..

It got me six years to realise the importance of a cup of 'filter kaapi'!!!

Yes. My definition of 'filter kaapi' is not about its taste. Its underlying significance lies in the perception.
Till when I was in school, a cup of coffee mom gives me was just another energy drink. The importance I gave to coffee was minimal, considering it was the only drink I had known and held monopoly for many years. I am pretty sure it is the same in many of the 'Tam Brahm' families. I have even seen people who welcome their guests with a cup pf 'kaapi' even if they bang the door at midnight. Thats how it was. It was a life saver and mandatory elixir more than water.

And when I descended to hostel, where only twenty minutes is left between your wake-up and
startup (I meant the classes start time), the last thing you do is your breakfast. Still, kaapi remained my soul saver. But it lay somewhere between the truth of hot water and lies of milk, biased towards the former. This also marked the sad demise of the beverage's existence in my taste buds. Though it resurfaced whenever I go home, the delicacy was short-lived and I had to live with it. Nothing much changed after college for one and half years. Until I packed my Mom with me to Bengaluru. The place she lived for sometime before getting married.

True. I am a Day Scholar(???) now. After six years. After years of unorganised lifestyle and filthy clothing. Mellifluous tunes of the milk cooker coupled with my mom's wise trick of luring me with the same old 'filter kaapi' wakes me up as early as 6.30 in the morning. And then on, the day starts real soon where you have everything ready from hot water to well pressed clothes. And importantly, I reach office in time. Many people in my team believe that the magic is because of my mom.. In a way, thats true. The secret behind that is the filter coffee with its tempting aroma and undying taste made by her. It has rehabilitated and recharged my senses. I realize its importance now after these years of ignorance.

I still have no idea on how long this revitalized lifestyle would stay. But, last two weeks felt good than the past few years in many aspects. And one of them is 'filter kaapi'.
And I now believe Cafe coffee day's slogan "A Lot can happen over a coffee".

P.S: I hope that 'kaapi' lovers can relate well to this blog..

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Alma mater.. Few nibbles..

46 days 23 hours 33 minutes..
Number of days since i had posted.. well.. i am not getting bored of blogging (That still has some time left).. There were a combination of factors that prevented me from donning the blogger's cap ( work commitments, frequent hometown visits, My ISP Tata Indicom's generosity and atlast somberithanam to top it all..)

15 months 6 days..
Number of days since i had been to coimbatore last.. Last time i was in CBE, i was a just now certified engineer.. eager to join corporate world and earn money.. and most importantly had more hair and some brain in my head.. (Ok.. Let me stop my andha naal nyabagam..)
I happened to be at Coimbatore to visit my college PSG Tech last weekend.. Infact 8 of us went for a jaunt (GRE!$!%%@^(@), which was good and a welcome relief for all of us.. We roamed around and managed to take a peek at all places we spent most of our times.. Aryaas, Arunachalas, Cinemaplexes (?!!!), IM, Hostel, Snack bar, NM Bakery.. Darshan remained the same old dhum kadai.. Nothing has changed much except for the prices in all the eateries.. Imagine 10 rupess for a coffee in Aryaas.. Is IT virus slowly catching up with Coimbatore??

The bridge constructed to connect college and hostel campus was infact the high point.. It is a true marvel and nice place for photo freaks.. You could very well see lot of PSGians have their orkut profile pics clicked on the bridge..

And one more glaring difference is the absence of trees along the Avinashi Road stretch.. the roads were naked without those breezer trees.. The coconut shop near sarvajana school too has gone missing..

Apart from this, the department looked the same.. The assembly hall building is now five storeys big.. All the grasses were shaved off the Quadrangle auditorium.. PSG university has now become a commercial hub with lots of companies coming up in the E block..

Well.. At the outset, Coimbatore is still the same old serene atmosphere kinda place which may shed that image anytime.. Coimbatore still rocks.. (Non-PSGians.. kindly Excuse.. This blog may sound a bit irrelevant..)