Monday, January 25, 2010

Padithathil pidithathu

Few authors thrill us to read more of their creations. At times its sheer luck that we might end up with the worse of their lot and might give up on them only to find many other good ones which we would've ignored based on first impression. James Rollins is one such author. My friend's sister introduced me to "Map of Bones" and told me that its in the same genre of "Davinci Code" and since i am a sucker for adventure series she recommended this one to me, with a warning that, at times this guy goes over the board like Ludlum in describing situations. With that warning in mind i began the book. I took my own sweet time to finish it but the book kept me interested. However many times i kept it down i always went for it again to know what happened next. In the end, i pretty much liked the story, though it was totally unbelievable.

The story is about the bones of the Three wise men or Magi who visited Jesus when he was a kid. Their bones held a clue to a vast source of power which will bring an end to humanity if it falls on wrong hands. The SIGMA team (hero team) vs the DRAGON team (villain team). Sigma team wins in the end..while destroying many a previously unidentified wonders of the erstwhile world which includes Alexander's tomb. Story kaathula poo kathainaalum..the way the author conjurs up images of some places like hanging gardens, Alexanders tomb etc about which lot has been spoken about but no one would have seen. It keeps an even pace throughout and makes a nice read overall.

Next i went for "Judas Strain" by the same author. This time i was better prepared and the reviews spiked the interest. The theme was based on the "Koormavatar" (YES. Atlast some author found our Indian mythology worthy enough to make a plot out of it) especially the scene where "Vasuki" the snake is used as rope and Mandra mountain is used as the "Mathu" with Lord Vishnu taking the shape of turtle to hold the mountain on the Ocean of Milk. The author got almost all the details correct except that he confused Lord Shiva's role of drinking the Aalahala also into Vishnu. The very mention of this in the review made me so curious that i immediately went for that book. And WOW. The book was such a roller coaster ride from page one that it was a relish. Loved it till the end. The style was a mix of Dan Brown, Robin cook and Robert ludlum :) all my fav authors put together. I can easily say this is one of THE best adventure thrillers in recent times.

The third one and my current read is "Last Oracle" by the same author. This time, i blindly bought the book. No review. Nothing. I had beginning to trust this guy to pay 300 bucks for his book :) And i am more than glad i bought the book. WOW. This one is even more amazing and lightening fast than "Judas strain". It starts with the Oracle at Delhpi (Nothing to do with softwares my friends :D ) and the story shifts to the Russian URAL mountains with kids with special mental powers..and it moves on at lightening fast..again to INDIA :) this time its the Taj mahal. I'vent read it fully but with whatever i've read so far i can safely say this one is even better than the previous one :) Loving every bit of it :)

Next one i am waiting to read is the "Black Order". Again by Rollins. This book i couldnt get in stores or in Net also. Review paatha its related to some Nazi machine called Bell..also related to time travel or something like that. World war 2 saw so many weapons of mass destruction being invented the credit for many being attributed to the Nazi scientists..who were absorbed by US after the war. This book again has some reference to India and Nepal. I think Rollins must've read quite a bit about our mythology and must've travelled well. One main reason why i was so impressed with this author is mainly because of the Indian references he brings in his stories. Semma thrilling to read.

Try one of the four and let me know how u folks feel about it :)

avvvvvvvvv...jus noted...25k hits!!! :D :D avvvvvvvvvvvvvv....

Friday, January 22, 2010

Phonetically speaking

My sister studied in a Christian missionary school. Somehow there is a notion that, such type of schools pay more attention to English and students from those schools have less or weak knowledge in Tamil (I am trying to be "politically correct" here..if u still find it offensive..don't sue me :D ). Once she had misspelled "Veera Paandiya Kattabomman" as "Kettabomman" (which literally translates to spoilt Bomman) :D It was so funny that her teacher still remembers her for that spello (had she typed we cud've called it Typo :D) and i never miss a chance to pull her leg with that ( aabveyesly u c :D )

I read an article about Dyslexic people, who spell words differently. Take the movie "Taare Zameen par" for that matter. There is a scene where the teacher gets irritated with Ishan for making so many spelling mistakes. Was wondering why people go crazy over misspelled words. What was "Colour" few years back is "Color" now. Even Blogspot is highlighting the first version as wrong spelling. My classmate once read "Island" as "Isssland". All of us laughed. Few days back in News i saw one French minister pronouncing the same front of media. No one bothered!! what was "Schedule" is being called as "Skedule". Who decides which spelling or pronunciation is correct? No word is going to sue you for spelling it wrong :D So what the heck?? So Why all this hungama??

Right from childhood..we have all been brought up as conformists. Do this, as its the way everyone does. If someone does something different, its screamed at or scorned.
But one thing is..if everyone decides to have their own way and say over things, it would be total chaos. I am not calling for a rebellion here. But these are small things, i feel, which doesn't warrant such strong reactions. End of the day its the communication which matters.

P.S: En neram, before i could publish this post, a mail came from one of my colleague with so many spelling mistakes that i couldnt understand what he was trying to convey..had to call him up and confirm :D Oru vela en posta hack panni publish panrathuku munna padichitaro?? :D

Friday, January 15, 2010

Aayirathil oruvan

Long awaited movie. The expectations went up manifold after watching the trailors. Selvaraghavan is one of the few directors whose movies people flock to see just for his skill alone. This movie was no less. Right from the title, it sounded a magnum opus.

Five minutes into the movie, you can feel that.."wow..this looks different". One thing, it didnt seem your normal tamil movie at all. More like an Indiana jones movie. I can boldly put my neck on the block and say that the first half of the movie, is something you would've never seen in entire tamil cinema history. It has THE BEST adventure sequence to have been visualised EVER in a tamil movie. I was simply amazed at that stone henge sequence and the nataraja shadow. It was simply..WOW. That one single scene has so many inbuilt sequences and logic that it was awesome. The cholas creating the hurdle in such a way that you've to be in the shadow of God (Nataraja, Chola's favourite deity) else get swallowed by bottomless pit (quick sand). Simply awesome. Oray hitch enanna..the first half supposedly happens on an island..anga engenthu desert vanthchi?? seri..athu konjam peria island na kooda..they say its in Vietnam. Vietnamla ethunga desertu?? oru vela Selvaragavanum enna mathiri History fan but not so keen with geography nenakren :D

The story is quite interesting and new. Chola dynasty is in shambles..under attack from the Pandyas on the rise. The last heir to the Chola throne,the crown prince, is sent to a far off island (in Vietnam) along with the heirloom of the Pandiya kingdom. To prevent the Pandiyas from following the prince and to safeguard his life, the cholas set, seven deadly traps on the way to the island. There goes a team, headed by Reema sen with Andrea and Karthi and a whole lot of helpers to trace back the lost trail which was originally discovered by Prathap pothen (Andrea's dad) who goes missing on the process. What happens to them? Did they actually found the prince is told with lot of twists and turns.

Karthi, as the coolie, is a delight to watch. He is so original that, for a minute you forget this is only his second movie. He rocks big time. But i feel the title is not quite right. It should've been "Aayirathil oruthi". Yes. The movie belongs to Reema Sen. She is in complete control of the movie and the entire second half belongs to her. Reema sen is so sensuous,erotic and sexy in the movie and is almost like desi Lara croft :) In a movie which is touted as an archeological adventure and she playing that role, Andrea hardly has any scope in the scenes. She looks cute though :) Partiban vara portions where hyped to the core but falls dud.

The movie looses its sheen from few minutes before the interval. The trio of Reema, Karthi and Andrea go mad hearing some high pitched noise and then the story goes a steady downhill, culminating in the stupidest war sequence you would ever imagine. The second half of the movie, i felt, is Selva's tribute to "Ponniyin Selvan". Neria similarities. Reema sen's character suddenly transforms to Nandini from PS and Karthi becomes Vanthiya thevan. The tamil which is being used is a confused mix of chaste and colloquial and half the words you just pick the meaning from context rather than actual meaning. The war crime atrocities and foreign hand being brought in to fight the natives all have an unmistakable Lanka-LTTE backdrop. I think there is too much of a confusion towards the end.

If the first half of the movie is toast of tamil cinema, second half lets one down. But its sheerly for the class audience. Not sure how many can appreciate that kind of story telling. The worst scene was the war portions. Gun totting Indian army men..that too in Vietnam??!!! when did India begin to have an army base in that country? Ila..avangalaam mercenaries..koolipadai..apdina kooda..playing "Apdi podu" song and making the queen dance for that was heights. Partiban has bouts of "kudaikul mazhai" in between and screws up big time. His character, though, is neatly defined. Climaxla when Karthi escapes with the Chola crown prince, Andrea gives one sad look. I think, that mirrors what many felt after seeing the movie. Such a glorious first half and half baked second one.

Inoru kaamedi ennana..first half went for close to 2 hours..second one got over in one hour plus itself!! And looking at the ending..i felt..Selva must've thought, enuff with this movie. Edutha varaikum lets release sort of desperation must have crept in. The ending is so abrupt. Unless there is a sequel in the making (which i really doubt) seems unjustified. It looks as if first half was done by a different director and second half by another (probably azhagan perumal..who comes as an army general). The movie has some very gory and violent scenes, reminiscent of 300 and Apocalypto. It rightly deserves an "A" certificate. Extreme violence in some scenes.

Music pathi solliye aaganum. GV, take a bow. Nejamavay he proves to be one jeevi. Second halfla, its his BGM, which keeps you interested in many a place. My favourite song, "maalai neram", has not been included :((( "un mela aasa thaan" song chaancela :) Reema and Andrea..thuli kooda vekka padama nadichirukanga. And karthi also shows no inhibition :) Most of the second half is shot in some cave like place. Athu set peicea..real locationa..kanday pudika mudila. So authentic it looks. Ennathaan pudu pudu song vanthalaum..Vaathiyaaroda "Adho antha paravai" ku thaan major applause.

Overaala solanumna..first 25 oversla 250 for no loss adichitu 300ku all out agara Indian ODI team mathiri iruku. First half mattum pathu thadava paakalam. Skip the latter part. But a brave and glorious effort nevertheless. I wish this movie comes as a novel.

avvvvvvvvv...padatha vida review perusa poochay :D solpa adjust maadi

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Swaram's tag

The Rules:

1.I must thank the person who gave me the award and list their blog and link it

Thanks Swaram ( the chirpiest and the most bubbly blogger i ever knew) :)

2.I must list 10 honest things about myself
3.I must put a copy of Honest Scrap logo on my blog
4.I must select atleast 7 8 other worthy bloggers and list their links
5.I must notify the bloggers of the award and hopefully they will follow the above three requirements also.

WOW...this is the longest time i've taken for a tag :D I almost decided to skip it..but couldnt think of any other topic to post. So here goes another tag for 2010 :)

1) People are almost always branded by the majority of the emotions they display. You are either witty,angry,arrogant,shy,reserved,talkative or whatever. But no person is actually this way all throughout (enna oru kandupudipu!!). Everyone undergoes all these emotions but what rules them for the majority of the time, earns the tag for them. I always strive to be an equal mix of all of these short NORMAL :) Once an interviewer asked me what sort of a person am i, as a warm up question. I replied like this. He left the room and another person came in and started directly with the tech round :D He told me i cleared round one..till date i am not sure if i cleared the round or the interviewer :D

2) I always...ALWAYS take the opposing stand to the popular belief...however stupid the cause maybe. Not to get the limelight. Just to ensure that all the options are thought of and sorted out, however silly they might be, before a decision is taken. Many a times i get branded as the nay sayer because of this. But at times, it does help and there have been incidents when stuff was not exactly the same how it was thought to be.

3) In my office there is an indoor shuttle court. There were many dozen people who got interested in shuttle after seeing me play. I was the worst shuttler the game wud've ever seen :D "If THIS person can so shamelessly come and occupy the court why can't I" was the motivation behind many who came to play in the evenings and soon we had enough crowd to organize a separate event for shuttlers :D so i can proudly say i was a crowd puller..though not exactly in the right way :D

4) I love my city of birth. However bad or ugly or uninhabitable it is..i never give up on it. Many a times i've been into arguments over this issue. I am adamantly in love with my city and is totally blinded with passion to even consider the apprehensions one might have over it. My city right or wrong :)

5) To me relations are like elliptically orbiting planets. I believe there is an apogee and perigee for every relation. Point is to keep the orbit in motion :) (ethachum purinjitha? :D)

6) I am borderline eccentric..with eccentricity >1 (hyperbola??) in some aspects :D

7) I shop like crazy. Be it books or clothes or shoes or almost works like a therapy to have something new around. Keeps me interested :)

8) I am an impatient reader. If i find a suspense book interesting..after initial few pages i go to the last page and find the ending :D after that wl try to run ahead of the author to imagine how he would've arrived at that ending :D

still 2 more..avvvvvvvvv...this seems never ending

9) Just like people who are born photogenic..i am born camera conscious :D All my facial muscles go freeze the moment i face a it 2 pixel or 200..i simply cannot smile at a camera :d

10) Writing has always been a passion. But never in English..a subject i detested and feared so much during my school days. I wish i could write fully in tamil and i am so jealous of people who manages ream after ream of posts in tamil. Me very lazy to sit and type and the transliterator softwares make more spelling mistakes than my own typing. Will one day open a blog specfically for tamil posts :)

There should be someone to korthu uttufy in the end right :D let me pick out the usual suspects...





Ajcl (neenga kandipa intha taga podanumaakum :D)

Vidya (maatinia :D)

Aarti (intha vaati ungala miss panala :D)


Carpe diem


Lollu karthi



Ramesh (Thalaivary..unga eco blogla ilati...vera blogla poduveengala?)

Uncanny ( more eager to read :D esp with ur friend lakshmi around..there shd as much "honesty" in comments than in post :D)

Lost world


Anu :) and

Zany child

Guess i have covered all those who'vent been tagged yet.

A rollicking post :))

An amazingly humorous take on recent Indo-Lanka cricket scenario :) Since Cricinfo is blocked in many offices, here is an exact reproduction of the same.

Stop the madness
India v Sri Lanka? Lord have mercy
Sidharth Monga
January 13, 2010

One of these days the crowds will throw up in stadiums. On purpose. In synchrony. Mass streaking will happen.

They will put up tents in the heat and dust of Dubai, outside the ICC's headquarters, and smoke hash and play rebel songs until they get a written assurance that India and Sri Lanka won't play each other for the next five years. Not in Tests. Not in ODIs. Not in Twenty20. Not in women's cricket. Not in carrom. Not in women's carrom.

The written assurance will also have to guarantee that if India and Sri Lanka happen to reach the final of the 2011 World Cup, that match will be abandoned - dangerous pitch or not - and that the losing semi-finalists will play for the World Cup.

I have no doubt that Vijay Bahadur Mishra and Daljit Singh grew sick of it all, and took the only route left for men of honour and dignity. They rolled out a monster of a pitch at the Feroz Shah Kotla, making sure at least one of these matches was called off. Or that enough players got injured, just in case the BCCI arm-twisted the SLC to keep playing. So what if they lost their jobs? It was a small sacrifice made for the Cause. So what if Kotla might miss out on World Cup matches? It's better than staging yet another game between India and Sri Lanka.

Soon Daljit and Mishra will find followers. They'll charge through the streets of Colombo and Calcutta, they'll stage candle-light protests outside Galle Fort and Gandhi Memorial. For there is only so much India-Sri Lanka cricket that humanity can take. Twenty-two ODIs in less than 19 months to go with six Tests and three Twenty20s.

This week's tri-series final will be the 121st ODI between these two great cricketing nations, beating the record held by Australia and West Indies, who started playing ODIs against each other four years before this particular venerable contest began. The best rivals bring out the best in each other; India and Sri Lanka have for months been excavating the worst out of each other.

Tillakaratne Dilshan and Yuvraj Singh drop a catch a match. Harbhajan Singh sees Sri Lankans and starts firing balls into the pads. Muttiah Muralitharan's bowling shoulder almost came out of its socket, and to make sure it didn't fall out along with the next delivery, he vowed never to play India again. Mendis' middle finger is about to break. Nehra has refused to perform two acts in any one match: bowling and fielding.

How can one fall asleep with a Sangakkara lbw appeal for a ball pitched three feet outside leg just around the corner? Insomniacs' nightmare, more like

It's not the traditional boring contest, the kind Wisden and Cricinfo love to call an insomniacs' dream. Because there is always Sangakkara, who has become so desperate he has forgotten cricket rules, jumping up and down like he has stepped barefoot on a hot plate every time a ball as much as kisses the pad. And he doesn't even say "How was that?" How can one fall asleep with a Sangakkara lbw appeal for a ball pitched three feet outside leg just around the corner? Insomniacs' nightmare, more like. These matches resonate long after they are over. Painfully.

I don't know how Dilshan, the wannabe Sehwag, feels about it, but he seems to have scored 8000 of his 9000 international runs against India. And what of Gambhir, that greatest Indian opener since Gavaskar? We have forgotten the last time he scored a run against a team that was not wearing a shade of blue darker than his own uniform.

The only saving grace is the rare honourable man such as Dhoni, who slows the bowling rate down under the guise of discussing strategy, and gets himself banned for two ODIs. That's the closest we will get - in this corporate world - to Gandhi's Non-cooperation Movement.

Time the statisticians joined in the protest. Just like they don't consider matches against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and other non-Test playing nations when carrying out a qualitative analysis, all India-Sri Lanka matches should be disqualified. This torture has gone on for too long, and there should be hell to pay. Sehwag should stand at two double-centuries fewer, and five of Dilshan's international centuries should be struck off the record, never mind how delightful some of those innings were.

Only then will these sides stop fighting each other like slave-gladiators from Rome. Cricket needs Marleys, Dylans, Guevaras. The BCCI and the SLC want blood, like the emperors of old. Somebody has to stop them. Is there no one man enough to stand up to them? Is anybody listening? Maximus, anybody?

Monday, January 04, 2010

Ghajini gils

Crowded bus. I was searching for the khaki clad guy amidst the sea of humanity.

Suddenly one voice...

"Hi gils"

I turned in the direction of the voice and found one middle aged man smiling at me. I thought he must've called someone else with similar name and almost turned back when he said "Give me your go get your ticket and come" was sort of established that this guy knows me. But i couldn't recollect who he was. Since the crowd was too much i shamelessly gave my bag to him and went to get my ticket..wondering all the way who it could be. Since this guy knows my full name, and SPOKE to me, he definitely cant be my relative. So that angle was ruled out. Definitely not from my college as he spoke to me in hindi. Could he be from work? Is he wearing his ID tag? I was too proud to ask him who he was and it was too embarrassing basically. I decided to play along and praying that his stopping should come before mine.

"So..whats up" i asked.

"All fine tell me?"

Stumped again. I was looking for some distraction which would take me away from the conversation. But as luck would have it, the seat next to him became vacant. I was trying to read his name from his ID tag. But it was partially hidden. I didnt want to ask any question and get caught.

"How was the weekend" I asked.

"Nothing special man. Usual..what about you"

I mumbled my reply and kept quiet.

"So Gils..hows work" he a colleague?? Is my memory that bad?? or is he generally asking?

"Errr...yeah..going about you?" (aha..gotcha)

" should be knowing better right?" pat came the reply.

What the heck doest that supposed to mean??!!! It was like 20 questions game where i ended up with more questions each time i tried for an answer!!

I finally gave up. But felt the conversation(??!!) had gone too far to finally ask who the hell he is. So was biding my time waiting for my stop. Luckily for me that guy got down much earlier than my stop. I kept racking my brain as to who he could be. I almost missed my stop and got down running from the bus too ashamed of myself.

During lunch time, in office canteen again i saw that guy. I felt a sudden rush of adrenalin. So this guy works in the same office. Atleast that much is confirmed. I asked my colleagues who that person was. They looked at me weirdly and said he was the HR head!!!

That guy has removed his mush and was sporting contacts it seems!! How the heck am i supposed to recognise a person in such a disguise. My team mate advised me to carry a card of my current address in my purse as he was very sure i am bound to forget that also one day and would be roaming around to find it. I politely told him to go to hell. He proved it by asking for my cell number!!!!

Bowled again.


Saturday, January 02, 2010

Waata week :)

Erkanavay poster adichi otathaa kuraiya oor poora damaram adichi told..still...EN BLOG..BLOGADDALA SELECT AAGIRUKU...woooohoooo :) Entha puniyavan/vathi soli vitanga therila. Antha anony birenduku zillion thanks. Maina thank panra inoru nanbi..SWARAM. Without her telling, i wouldnt even have known about it. And wish panni post poata Uncannykum special thanks :) I know of so MANY of my blogger friends whose posts come almost daily in the list of blogadda..but to me this is a big thing :) so vitta varusham poora pesitrupen itha pathiye :D

Aprum...long pending due...3 IDIOTS padam paathen :)

An actor who is known for his logical-commercial entertainers...throw in a director who gave us Lage Raho munnabhai...the expectation is akin to prime form Afridi and Jayasurya opening the innings. One cant be blamed for having sky high expectations from this duo or Hirani and Amir. I should say i was disappointed with what i saw on the screen. Neither it was a full fledged adaptation of Five Point Someone. Nor was it purely original. But padam paatha kathai..padathoda kathaiya vida konjam interesting :D

Me and one more of my colleague where the only people in my team who hadnt seen this movie. Elarum padathula vara dialogesa pesi mokka potutrunthanga. Both of us decided to have a new year resolution to see that movie. 31st evening opicelenthu seekrama kelambitu went to a nearby theater to book tickets for next day show. Kaasu kammia irnthathaala was plng to book it thru card. Aponu paathu oru aunty 180 rs ticket vachitu..avanga paiyan varathathaala ticket wastea poguthu..nee vaangikarianu ketanga. Enkita kasu kammia irukunga solitu i stood in queue. I had only 100 with me. Avanga 80rs loss pathena enaku motha 180yum waste agidum..enna show ipo start aga pogthunu sonanga :) seri solitu ticket vangitu theaterla pona..ennoda seat pakathula ukanthirunthathu Deepika padukone plus Sameera mix mathiri irunthichi.. aaha..ithallavo adhirshtamnu ukkara pona.. DOCOMO adla vara villi mathiri oru aal came and asked me to shift seats :( Antha padam pakrathu 2010 resolutiona irunthichi. kadisila 2009laye paathachu :D

Seri padam review solitu..kathaiya pathi onumay solalaina epdi... Padam first half ok...semma time pass..especially that speech scene...AWESOME :) aana neria jokes Netlenthu sutu potrukanga. Second half..thaaraba. Pity Aamir is nowhere to be seen in second half. He has done a tremendous job of a college guy. Kullama irukarathu is a big plus for him. Loose jeans..oru edathula nikaama aaditay iruakrathunu body languagela he rocks. Sharmaan is lot adaki vasichings. Madhavan ethuku irukaanay terila..mokka role. Kareena is good in some scenes..aana second halfla they make a mockery of her character. Pathu varusham kazhichi kareeta ava wedding dayla rendu peru varuvangalam..ilama kannu..ivan unaku etha aal ila.. Amir khana thaan nee katikanumnu solvangalam..ivalum kelambiduvaalaam. On the wayla doubt varuthaam...Aamirku kalyanam agirukumonu..itha vida kodumai..vaccum cleaner vachu prasavam pakarathu!! atha vida kodumai..aal izz well solli kozhandhaiku usir varathu!! enna kodumai Hirani ithu!!! Suthama logic ilatha second halfla ithelam ejpet panapdaathu come no gal student is available in the hostel during that time?!

Padathula Amirku aduthabadiya pattaya kalakathu yaruna..antha Tamizhkara payal thaan...Chatur ramalingam. AWESOME PERFORMANCE. Avlo kaamediaana oru speecha sirikama pesarathay peria vishayam. Evlo take edutharnu therila..but he brings the house down on that scene. Only original character in whole movie. 3 idiotsla kathainu perusa onumila..aana i loved the theme. It highlights how flawed our education system is. Had the focus been fully on this theme itself..maybe this might have been a step above Tare Zameen Par.

Songa pathi solliye aaganum. Aalz well has replaced "Hi" "Hello" as the greet reply..atleast for the time being :) and "Giveme some sunshine" song also rocks. Lovely lyrics. Shantanu moitra and vidhu vinod chopra combo clicks in this movie also.

Recent controversy..Chetan baghat is cribbing that he is not given due credit in the movie. Saar!! unga book padatha vida evlovo better. Dont go discrediting what you've written by comparing it with the movie.

Mothathula...3 idiots- Aaallzzz not so well with the movie. Sambrathayathukaga oru thaba paakalam.