Monday, March 30, 2009

Why are movies important?

Actually, they are not ☺
But they are powerful! If you consider how our experiences happen, they happen through our senses.
Of these senses, the most powerful - or shall we say, those responsible for most of our inputs, are sight and hearing.

Movies feed both of them. If you eat during a movie screening, that makes it three! Besides, they are continuously improving
on what they offer.

Movies are also certainly endeavoring to get to all five!

The catch is that, these are happening without work on our part. In a real life situation, we would need to put in effort to satiate these senses. This inundation of senses without any work has a mind-numbing effect.

It is best to avoid movies altogether (may be with some exceptions). But I am certainly an incorrect choice to give this advise!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Yaaradi Nee Mogini - யாரடி நீ மோகினி

- Painfully lacking acting skills from Nayanthara

- Same - painfully lacking chemistry between Dhanush and Nayanthara. The scene where she gets overwhelmed and hugs Dhanush, contrast this with a similar scene between Prabhudeva and Kajol in minsara kanavu!

- Excellent portrayal of "nakkal" by Dhanush. It comes too naturally to him

- Excellent rapport between Raghuvaran and Dhanush. Their complexity of relationship was depicted wonderfully

It is a good mix of many things done well and not so well. Evokes the same kind of response!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lost songs!

As new songs keep coming up - there seems to be a classic distinction based on popularity of songs.

Contemporary songs - which hog the bandwidth limelight for a short duration and fade away.
Classics - those that stay in mind - even for a casual listener
Lost songs - those that fade away and are essentially buried

For a song to be a classic, the formula is very elusive. Even "hits", and so many of them, only last for a duration. Typically, melodies seem to become classics, but it need not be so. Consier "iLamai ithO ithO" (இளமை இதோ இதோ) or "rajA rAjAthi" (ராஜா, ராஜாதி...).

But "lost songs" are not necessarily inferior in quality. I know of several of them which are gems but never became popular. May be, radios and TV's need to focus on these songs in specific. Contemporary songs are anyway readily available. Classics are anyway well known. May be this exercise might movie a few deserving song to classic status!

Monday, March 23, 2009


Ever since Sadhguru explained about Leela and Krishna (or KrishnaLeela!), I have been fascinated with vrindavan.

So, we went to this restaurant called vrindavan in Chennai yesterday. It had paintings of Krishna during his time @ vrindavan all over. The ambience was excellent - and Rahman's songs in veena were being played. We were sitting right under a rasa leela painting - Krishna playing his flute under a row of trees with two peacocks with him. In a near distance, there were few gopis, apparently surprise-shocked with the flute melody and not knowing how to react.

May be it is all in the mind!

PS: Director Vasanth was also there with his family!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Cellphones and side effects

There have been several myths / experiments that have been going on about the harmful effects of cellphone radiation. The two most popular ones are

- Cooking an egg with cellphones
- Popping popcorn with cellphones
(the idea being, see what it can do to your brain if this is the case)

I am not embedding any videos here since none of them are conclusive. One of them is anyway proven to be an engineered video now. But you hit upon those videos through a simple YouTube search.

Essentially, the "scientific stand" is that these radiation myths are "inconclusive". May be, they are true in terms of what they would exactly like to see from the experiment.

My experience is that speaking directly through a cellphone (no bluetooth or wired headset) for more than five mins gives a bad headache that lasts for varying amounts of time - but at its worst it has lasted an entire day or so. Only sleep takes it away! Apparently (too apparently), it seems to be the case with only me. I've seen several people talk comfortably for as long as an hour without issues.

I no longer use cellphones without headsets, because I have an immediate and dramatic side effect. On inevitable situations where there is no headset, I put the person on speaker and keep the cellphone a feet away while talking :)

I think we need to wait for more precise and confirmed studies on this aspect. I hope there aren't any surprises there!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The joy of celebration

Movie: Nayagan
Singer: T.L Maharajan [need confirmation]
Composer: Ilaiyaraja [இளையராஜா]
Lyricist: Unknown [need inputs]

The song brings out the feeling of celebration in a raw, primal way. Especially the opening - the boy splashing color on Kamal, the silence, and the drums...
Another illustration of the power of music over the human mind. Add to it the truly colorful and glorious depiction of just enjoying a simple event together as a group.

Another point is that the charanams are happenning in a single take. I think it is a very difficult task with so many people in a rain atmosphere.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Devotion and Technology

Many months back, in a temple, I witnessed that, during the pooja, the drums and bells were automated. It was motorized and was activited upon pressing a switch. I recently saw this in another temple at Coimbatore. It definitely serves the purpose.

A few months back in Trichy, for a procession, a band from Kerala was enlisted. They were playing full swing, and I was able to look at the faces of the instrumentalists. Mostly, they were oblivious to the surroundings - especially, the jalra (it was huge, about 10-15 times the regular one used in kachcheris). Every time it made a sound, it was reverberating within me. I did not want to move away from the place. It was mainly the way they were playing together in a way they gave themselves to it.

Contrasting both of the approaches, I feel there is no substitute for the conscious presence of a human being in an activity. I am a gadget freak (sort of) myself and I pay attention to tools, automation wherever feasible. But when it comes to devotion, I think we are hitting the border of something else and we need human involvement here.

Another example of the second category is of course the Nadha Aradhana in Dhyanalinga.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Politics today!

As a citizen of the city/state/country, the scariest thing that can happen to you is looking at the statements our politicians are making along with their day to day activities. As election time approaches and mulling over alliances happens, it makes you wonder if the ally is the same person they spit venom on not very far behind.

Add to it, the thought that these are the people you send 30% of your money on a monthly basis.

A few days back, I saw some one standing beside a tiger on the poster. Give me a break!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

How to use movies?

What to use movies for
As reflection of current state [Warning!]
As reflection of what we wish to create
As a creation of absolute fantasy
As a tribute/reminder to some past event/person

What not to use movies for
Venting out inner trash (mindless violence, sex)
Selling instant gratification (violence, sleaze)
(both categories overlap to an extent)

Warning: This can be misused under either category of "what not to use movies for". Honest attempts can be easily seen for what they are.

1) It should be quite easy to see which category a movie fits into.
2) Computer games, to an extent also follow this pattern

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Of certain logstical situations, I don't have access to "news". Internet is always there, but I can control its usage. So, no TV, no paper and hence no clue about whats happenning outside my office and home.

It feels great :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Soy Milk!

I recently got soy milk. This was pure unadulterated soymilk – the product Vegan's swear by as lactose substitute.
I did not buy the flavored version because it had added sugar.

So, how was it? Very hard to comment. You get very few food products that are absolutely tasteless. I am not complaining, but that was how this was. Protein rich, obviously healthy, but very difficult to consume in its pure form ☺

Work around, drink this in combination with another juice. Still, even in a 25-75 combination, soy milk is powerful to neutralize the taste of the other juice. May be you cannot avoid the flavored version!

It is difficult for me to avoid dairy!

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Is dusty, sultry and as expensive as Chennai!

Is struggling with growth - not enough infrastructure to support.

Is really beautiful.

Is stone's throw away from major getaways, primarily Velliangari :)

Is home to a sweet cooperative culture. CBE folks will definitely be shocked if they come to Chennai!

Is slowly picking up in IT. Growth will be stagnant now because of recession.

Is gearing up to major expansion in real estate growth - again on pause mode because of recession.

Is rooted heavily in divisions. People are not at all hesitant to ask about your religon / caste!

Is as indisciplined in traffic as Chennai (and ROI, I presume)!

Is cutting edge and primitive at the same time!

Is overall sweetly different and similar!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

The movie screenplay rips on like a juggernaut. I didn't understand Ebert when he said the story tells itself. Only when you watch the movie you understand. Multiple tracks criss cross along a central thread and despite this maintains clarity. No wonder it received an Oscar for editing.

A sad point - the India depicted here is real. So the "Slumdog debate" is not valid. The only thing that irks people here is that it portrays India in bad light to the western world. Fix your own house instead of fixing your prestige. However, where the movie strikes a discordant note is that not one aspect of India is shown in +ve light. That again is a distorted view. Arindam has a point. The movie has however made history, so this argument will stay on record for long.

Something that the oscars did:

1) Not one soul got up from the theatre when the titles started playing after the movie
2) Ovation when Rahman's name came up!

Slumdog Millionaire - controversial popularity forever!

Sunday, March 01, 2009


1) Online ticket booking
2) Customer Lounge with restrooms
3) Boarding Pass
4) Complimentary water bottle
5) Shawl for in vehicle use
6) Eye mask for sleeping
7) Travel sickness bag
8) Power socket for charging purposes

BTW, I am not writing about any flight - this is a bus service called ABTX Travels. Some one in the bus was actually joking, "will it take off as well?"

They also have a scheduled stop - one stop only for people who need a rest room break in between. I think this is the solution that directly addresses a problem mostly faced by ladies when traveling by bus.

From a marketing perspective: This is the only reliable way to market something. To get other people to talk about your product/service through sheer excellence in quality.

Consistent performance on the same lines is bound to raise the bar of other providers as well.

But beyond that, after others are caught up, innovation is the way to excel. When demand dips for any reason, these providers will be the sought after option.

The status quo for such a long time reminds of the apathy of the quality for this duration.
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