Thursday, November 30, 2006


Quite often we speak about acceptance. This particular word is at high-risk of being cliched (in line with God, Life, Karma and other words) where the meaning behind the word is lost and the word becomes just a label.

A few days back, when travelling through Kotturpuram (near Adyar, Chennai), I noticed that many trees had been stumped out (meaning completely cut out but just the trunk of the tree stood out). The drive used to be beautiful with the roads lined with rain trees in a line. I am not very clear about the thought process about this decision, who authorized them and so on, because the road is not being expanded either.

It was raining at Chennai at that time. One startling sight was that many trees had started sprouting again. They had survived the cut and had started growing with the rain's support.
Think of the biggest disgrace you can go through. And accepting that as it is and starting from there - this one aspect touched such a deep chord within me, that I find it difficult to place in words. Of course, it looks like this aspect is provided by Nature to trees and animals because their's is an unconscious sort of acceptance, because they cannot be any other way. However, it is such a humbling experience to witness this, because I cannot but help correlating this with the fuss I and many people make during many occasions for trivial things. Some times, this might be associated with the pain body (courtesy: Eckhart Tolle / The Power of Now / The New Earth), but even otherwise, this is how the ego is is - 'endlessly grumbling on' :).

We humans could learn so much by witnessing Nature - plants and animals.

PS: It is not that I had to witness a tree being cut down to learn acceptance. The same lesson can as easily be seen by witnessing a flower dancing in the wind. What I saw was just an example of how unconscious and insensitive our day-to-day behavior in this world is.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Race among FM Stations...

Suddenly, from 107.1 only, there are already 5/6 FM stations just for Tamil folks.

Without exception, the driving force in airing content is TFM (tamil film music). That being the case, the differentiator would have to be the presentation (surrounding the content) and the quality of broadcast.

In terms of presentation, I think Mirchi (98.3) is a clear winner. They seem to keep coming up with innovative ways to present content. Their flagship RJ seems to be 'Suchi' (Hello Chennai). I've seen that Sun FM (93.5) Jockeys try to mimic the cool nature of the Mirchi RJ's in their presentation, but don't seem to quite pull it off :). Hello FM (106.4) has one RJ who even tries to modulate her voice to sound like Suchi (hope it's not Suchi freelancing!!).

In terms of quality of broadcast, 106.4 rocks. 98.3 is good as well. Don't know what sets the sound apart - the quality of broadcasting equipment?

It would take something radical to come out of the TFM mode, but I suspect nothing else keeps the audience glued to radio other than this. May be some time before that happens.

Sachin / Lara - An endless debate?

With Lara getting to his double ton, there is a fiery debate on our company bulletin board about who is the better player around (other being Sachin of course).

It turns out that a panel of “experts” in cricinfo debated on the same topic (Sanjay Manjrekar, Tony Greig, Ravi Shasthri, John Wright, Ian Chappell) and decided on Lara.

For nearly fifteen years, these two stalwarts have stood on solid ground with their greatness diminishing very little. So many players passed by them, Waugh twins, P A De Silva, Saeed Anwar, Jayasuriya – we can pile a longer list – these two players have stood steady. But if asked to pick the top two players (batsmen) from the modern cricket era, I am sure 98% of the people will pick these two, though the ordering within will change.

At 37, getting a double ton in such an authoritative fashion is astonishing. Says a lot about this man’s greatness.
At 33, with about four years to go I assume, a statistical record that makes you gasp in disbelief. Says a lot about this man’s greatness.

Why would one choose between the two, when collectively there is so much treasure to be savored?

Eventually, the conclusion of a Lara / Sachin debate is subjectively decided and I don’t think any single person can win this.

However, if you were to choose, whose side will you be in? I vote for Lara for the only reason that I think he handles on field pressure better than Sachin. The other (subjective) preference is that I feel there is a touch of arrogance about his on-field disposition that makes it very magnetic to watch. That single 153* against Australia will be a torch bearer to this capacity of his. Sachin still has a long career before him and has the talent to add more feathers to his cap. May be by the end of his career, he would have done enough to shut Lara idolizers up.

I would hate to choose between the two, but if you insist, my vote goes to Lara.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Lara Rocks!!!

Wow, his resilience is amazing. Already @ 196, hope he goes for a very big one. With Tendulkar, he would be remembered as a modern day cricket stalwart for a long time to come.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ban on non-Iodised Salt?

Click on the title link...

I wasn't aware of the ban either.

Basically, I too feel it doesn't make sense to impose a blanket ban on something especially when the ban is on something as basic as salt. A more sensible approach may be to clearly mark two kinds of salt packages indicating whether Iodine is included or not. I have seen this in the US. Salt containers without Iodine have the text 'This salt does not provide Iodine, a necessary ingredient'. It leaves the consumer to choose.

Our Government seems fond of making these kind of mass decisions without accounting for deeper repercussions - example, a blanket censor of blogs a few days back.

Monday, November 06, 2006

vattAram - வட்டாரம்

Since I watched the movie with very little expectations, was really surprised at the rock solid script. Personally for me, this movie marks the transition of Saran into the mainstream directors' list along with MR, Bala, Gowtham etc so I can look forward to his next movie.

The story really has only one thread - our hero rising to Don status in a gang starting from scratch. What really keeps you glued to the seat is the screenplay and some surprising twists in the plot. Saran is quite nonchalant in dishing out some heavy blows in the script without any build up - the murder of 'Ayira' for example.

As usual, since he has raised the bar by so much, I have to complain about needless usage of songs and using the herione (very pretty - I hear she's Lakme's brand ambassador) as a puppet. Her only job is running behind the hero in the hope of winning his heart.

The amount of research done on guns is commendable. Saran could have resisted the attempt to show off his research [:)]. Also commendable is Saran's decision to stick with Bharadwaj throughout most of his career. The chemistry seems to work out well. Some songs are quite evocative. BGM is not spectacular, but does the job.

It's pretty hard to beleive a drug dealer being shown as an idiot (falls for a simple trap of being told that the gun isnt loaded and shoots himself in jest).

Radha suggested that the title 'ariyAsanam' was better. It makes better sense when considering the story plot.

Overall, this movie is very close to being top-notch. I have to watch this again to get more of the nuances, I am sure I missed a lot. Dialogues for example. I am glad we decided to watch this movie over Vallavan and Varalaru.

To talk in Sun TV terms 'vattaram - ariyAsanam' :)
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