Tuesday, August 28, 2012

RIP Eyak

Nope. The title is not a typo of meaningless words.

January 21

A quick look at Wiki for this date reveals several interesting events associated with it. It looks like a date favoured by destiny, for events of historical magnitudes. From Royal beheadings to Nuke sub launches to natural disasters, its a date which can be called a complete package of disaster. (The more i read about it, the more i feel our doomsday date could've been a month preponed by mistake!! )

In the year 2008, this date took a more sinister avatar. For stock brokers of the world, it was nothing short of Apocalyptic showdown, as stock markets of the world, tumbled like Indian cricket team, put into bat first, on a green top. On that very date, which had the business communities scampering for cover, another earth shattering event, happened almost unnoticed. Being unnoticed, being the reason for that event couldnt be any more oxymoronic. It was the day when Maria Smith Jones breathed her last at an young age of 89 in Alaska.

Ennada nakkal panren paakreengala. Oru 90 vayasu paati mandaiya poatathula enna earth shattering? Nyayamaana kelvi. Well, that paati happened to be the last person...illa..LAST PERSON to ever speak her native Alaskan tongue called "Eyak". Guess the linguists of the world would've mourned that day, for another precious instance of an unique human heritage was lost to time. When a language dies, its more than the death of a spoken tongue. Its the loss of an entire culture. An entire civilisation comes to an end bringing to  close a whole new lot of ideas and thoughts and literature and what not. It brings to a grinding halt a whole cycle of events. Infact, its so unfathomable that the whole impact is something that cannot be measured. And this lady, Maria Smith, her struggles to revive the language and her efforts to single handedly raise the awareness among the world of the impending doom is nothing short of commendable. That being the last representative of her culture, being the last person on earth to hold the knowledge of something that which was going to grave along with her, must've been too much of a weight to carry. She did leave her footprints on history by creating opportunities and leaving a small sliver of hope. She took to the task of creating a dictionary for her language, which is nothing short of a herculean effort for a single person to create a dictionary for an entire language. I couldnt quiet imagine her pain to know that she couldnt see another living soul take her language in her lifetime.

Being from a country divided (formed) on the basis of language, guess we always tend to assign more than required importance to them. And one look at the Anglo-French rivalry and the spread of Spanish having threatening to add more participants to the same, we may not be alone in pursuing this fanaticism towards the spoken tongue, the sacredness of which is a given from the fact that its anointed with the honor of "mother" prefix. A person strong on his words and vocab can stir passions so strong that they could cause more damage than the strongest of weaponery ever made. Languages have far outgrown their original purpose of being a medium of communication and have long become a symbol of power. The more dominant a language is, so grows the clout of those who use it. The fact that the Germans, French, Japs and Chinese to some extent have held on to their own, amidst the onslaught of English is something which is commendable.

The news of that lady's demise and that of her language raised some headlines in tamil literary circles with each one quoting Bharathi's prophecy that Tamil too will die a slow death eventually. Ippo varaikkum, the only major literature that we quote are often Thirukkural and Kamba Ramayanam. Though many might argue that there are scores of others, these two happen to be the popular choices along with sample songs from Bharathiyar and Bharathidasan. Down few decades, it might drill down to only Thirukkural, for its the T20 of tamil literature "stretching" to a mere line and a half. In the age of populist culture, guess there are few takers for classic literature and that sows the root for obsolescence. The more disnterested we become with what we have, hardly there remains any inspiration to create new and that ultimately results in another Eyak like situation. Wish there are more publications, manuals, research papers, books and much more happen in tamil. I dont know many languages. But to me Tamil will always be the sweetest of the few i learnt. Hope, it survives into the next millenia. Can't imagine a world without it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Everyone needs a Barney Stinson


There is an episode in "How I met your mother" series where Ted Mosby (the narrator/ hero) is pestered into breaking his routine of spending the evening at his favorite club haunt by Barney Stinson, who always claims to be his best friend. He promises Ted of a "Legendary" night out and takes him to an airport - one of his numerous hangouts to pick up gals. What follows is a goofapade which results in both of them travelling to Philly on a plane, following two good looking gals, only to find out that the gals are on their way to meet their boyfriends who were going to propose to them and due to the shenanigans of Barney, both end up getting arrested. When Barney, not learning from the events of that night, further confronts him with a challenge to lick the Liberty Bell , Ted gets obviously angry over Barney for messing up his routine life. But he succumbs and guess what, they do lick the bell which turns out to be one of those famous weird personal experiences story that wins galfriends for Ted. The episode ends with Ted realising that, how much ever crazy it may sound, Barney's ways did result in him winning a girlfriend.

Ok. Its just an episode from a comedy sitcom. So no judgements on the shallowness of the characters and their thoughts and actions. But matter is, it made me think about my own lifestyle. I like Ted Mosby in that series (my undying  LOVE for Robin Scherbatsky is tale to be told later..her smile is something to kill for..avvvvvvvvv..control gils..control) and often i could relate to the way he thinks. He is mostly a mokka person vachukangalen. And more than the mokkais oru sila similarities felt more than coincidental and guess thats the reason why people get hooked to stories illaya..that you being able to relate to the character in play. Ted's life is pretty predictable. He goes to office. Spends time with his friends, from college who share his apartment, at a club beneath their apartment. Avlovay. The only exception in his life being Barney Stinson. Maverick would be a calmer way of describing his character - a total antithesis of Ted. He urges Ted to live life to the fullest and voluntarily/forcibly makes him his wingman to "teach" him how to enjoy life. Though most of them are way over board to fall within acceptible norms, he often ends up on the right side of being right and almost makes one wonder whether his means really justifies the ends. But overall, he breaks the shackles of monotonous life and tries to deal with the situations he creates for himself. The way he goes gung-ho about every single aspect of life takes his character to a totally different level.

Many a time, knowingly or unknowingly we fall into this rut called routine. And taking a break becomes a mirage which no one has time to chase. This is when people like Barney's are seen as saviours of "real" life. As much one criticise their ways and approach, in the end, no one can deny that they ARE different. It may not apply for everyone. It may not be applicable every time. But sometimes, doing crack pot things, just for the sake of fun, sure beats the hell out of the comforts of a routine safe-play life. Whether it comes up tops or bombs out, afterall, in the end, we are left with an interesting story to tell, isnt it? A story where we can laugh at ourselves.

A life without crazy friends is something ..missing. So..here is a toast to all those carefree souls who make life interesting :))

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Trickling Thoughts - Innocence Lost Ignorance Regained

While watching Ramany Vs Ramany, the first thing that stuck me was the lifestyle portrayed. Right from the house to every person characterised, it takes one right back to those times. A typical, urban middle class, chennai household, with a lengthyyyyy hall connecting one entrance to another with rooms spanning about like train compartments. A mandatory tree or atleast a sampling of a plant at the entrance with a scooter rusting near the gate, with girls tying cloth peice as hair bands, their modern style statement of that time ala simran and square specs competing with googles..the list is endless. It seems like the original feel good series. You can even realise the infamous chennai mid afternoon peak summer heat with most of the actors seen wearing sweat stained costumes.

The series has two parts. In the first part the lead pair are Prithviraj and Vasuki. The story setup revolves around the troubles and travails of newly married couple. Especially when both of them are working and career oriented. Prithivraj being himself, is dumb and boring and tries his best to look funny. But the lady of the show steals the thunder with her performance. She is so very natural as a modern day girl who flirts effortlessly on screen and carries the show with her stellar performances episode after episode. The supporting cast Poovilangu Mohan and the lady who comes as his wife, she was a permanent fixture those days for villi characters, they do a commendable job. The way she merattifies Mohan with mere "hmmmm" and the way he responds meekly with another "hmmm" is really funny how much ever number of times they repeat it. Saying all this, the first part of the show was dry to say the least.

Its the second part of the series featuring Devadarshini and Ramji in lead that is rollickingly funny. The story moves around the theme of upper middle class married couple with a school going kid. Its so real and full of obvious situations from day to day life that, it hooks you right in from episode 1. Wonder who the writer is. She is BRILLIANT. The way she brings in humour into day to day situations is simply amazing. Devadarshini...WOW..what can i say. I've become a big time fan of her performances. She reminds a lot of Madhuram (NSK's wife) in her dialog delivery and acting style. Simply awesome she is. Even normal lines, she makes them into killer punchlines. She has been the soul of the series and deserves all the accolades. Suprising packet is Ramji. Never really liked his dances or his acting. But in this series he plays an able sidekick to Darshini. All the episodes are based on real life situations like how housewives handle sales person, voter id data mismatch conundrums, husband complaining on how unimaginative is the wife's cooking and her responses, issues surrounding festivals and their real worth...every single one of them is spot on. My favourite one being the episode where they go house hunting only to realise, they had been searching for the same house where they were living everywhere. It was so very apt and funny at the same time. Another one being their housewarming ceremony where everyone gifts wall clocks and how the new house echoes without any furnishings being done. Total ROFL epsiodes. The best part being, more than the humour, its the way in which one can easily relate to those episodes. Kandippa everyone would've witnessed such incidents in their own life and seeing the funny side of it rocks big time.

I always felt that tamil series lack seriously good comedies on the lines of F.R.I.E.N.D.S or like so many other witty series abundant in English. The so called laughathons are drabs and in a way its not fair to expect them to churn out day after day top class stuff. During the era of weekly series, the quality of writing and the creativity was at its best. With the advent of daily soap cryathons, guess writers in general have become script spitting machines and very rarely one hits upon a decent episode or a portion of it at best. Which is missed in the ocean of crap they produce every day. The concept of never ending tv has killed creativity and
gone are the days when there wud be no program after 11.45. The circling symbol of DD used to spell end of the day and also the dawn of new day. Azhagan padathula kaatra mathiri ...samachar followed by static symbolically meant rest for everything. 24hours news venumnaalo illa ethachum story solanumnaalo..how the heck is it possible?!! Even the real brains behind those series would've become bored by now. The disease has grown beyond the description of over kill. And eventually the bubble will burst.

The series that came in before the dawn of the daily soap, seem to have a genuineness about them, how much ever one criticises the tuesday single set dramas of DD, they had real variety in content and performances were awesome. No wonder, so many of the senior movie artistes owe their alleigance to DD.
In a matter of a decade and half, satellite television has effectively ruined the drama industry.

RIP creativity.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Vedikkai manitharai pol veezhveno??


He was standing and wondering from the very edge of the cliff of confusion.

"Intha "purpose" "purpose" nu solraangalay...the ONE thing that is the basis for everyones life...that thing, that which drive people to wake up every day and look forward to that day..that which motivates them and makes them feel worthwhile..that which justifies their very existence...that which makes ones life meaningful...yen en lifela mattum athu ilaamaye poachu??"

HE felt totally at loss with himself with mind whirring at full throttle.

Ellaarum schooluku ponaanga..avanum ponaan. Or rather was sent to. Classmates computers padikanumnu aasapataanga. He went along with them. Aprum engineering, IIT nu ponaanga. For once in his life he didnt follow the mob. Ippo avann friends oru orutharum irukara range paatha, it may not be the best of decisions he ever made. But a very satisfying and happy one, he felt. Three years, where he went after the only thing he could ever do right in his life.

Again, vedhalam murungai maram eri, thirumbavum followed the aattu manthai and fell in the same kuttai as  his class mates. Enna padikarom, ethukku padikaromnu puriaama oru 3 years oattinathu thaan micham. Itha padicha intha velaikku thaan poganumnu oru basic idea kooda illama oru post graduation panna oray aal avana thaan irupaan. Just another course. Just another classroom study. Ipdi ellamay just another caseavay thonithay ozhia, he never felt passionate about them. Infact, it wasnt even for the money that learning those courses might earn. Till date he can't figure out what made him jump into that bottomless pit. Mob mentality maybe. In a group of 80 people if 60 go for one choice, mind automatica accepts it as right.
Elaarum velai thedinaanga..veri thanama thedinaanga...Everyone around were abuzz with excitement whenever any placement person came. Appovum seriousness uraikaama kadanay nu he went and wrote those exams and tests and took the first job that came his way. All his friends thought, lucky bugger, he will settle soon. Freshera pona, enga place pannuvaanga..entha technologyla poduvaangannu eagerness and curiosityoda motha batchum was waiting. Appovum oru interest ilaama eno thaano nu kudutha velaya pannittu, daily office kelambrapo eppoda veetuku povomnu busla yosichikittay..evening veetuku vantha udanay..naaliku officela enna panna poromnu yosanaiyoda sila kaalam odichi. Idam neria maarithu..aana avan manasu maaravay illa. Konjam konjama kooda iruntha makkalaam singlelenthu double triplenu status maara aarambichaanga. Every one went after their personal life in full vigour. Veedu..car..wife..babiesnu ..lifela settle aagarathunna ithelaam thaan pannanum nu everyone did.

Ippo varaikkum onnu puria maatenguthu..intha template thaan lifea? thanakkunu oru family....wife kooda sandais and samaathanams...relatives..functions...pulla kuttis..diapers..feeding bottle....kaathu kuthu...doctors.. clinics..school admission.....college seat nu ipdi oray maathiri thaan ellar lifeum irukku. How come they are not feeling bored? Aduthavan enna panraangaratha paathu paathu ee adichaan copyaa evlo life!!! oru stageku mela copy adikarathu kooda bore aagaatha?? or probably is aping others success, the most passionate thing in the world?? oru kaalathula kudumba thozhil nu irunthuchi. Thaatha clerk..appa clerk..paiyan clerk nu kudmbamay gumaastha kudumbama irukum...bank velai paakara generations...secretary velai paakara generations..musically inclined group...ipdi parambarai parambaraiya oray velaya pannitrunthu..oru generation mattum revolt panni vera stream try panna aarambichi sila per would've failed. Maybe its time to break the mould again??!! Maybe this is the reason for all those space explorations? to find out if any alien being has a better lifestyle?? For almost every sci fi movie depicts them to have better infra and tech than us. oru vela kathailalaam solra mathiri more than avanga science and technology..avanga lifestyle la pathi terinjika thaan makkal avlo eagera thedraangalo? atleast avangalachum differenta ethachum panrangalangara thedal?

The wind was howling in his ears. He felt as if it was trying to talk to him. He wanted to shout louder than the wind. Sun was slowly setting behind the hills. Another day was coming to end.

P.S: Was reading an interesting article on a similar theme..it was almost the size of a novel. Athulenthu oru kutti excerpt mathiri potruken. More than an excerpt its my take on that article :)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Toast of India


Nope. This is not a post on AMUL.

I read this article about an extraordinary Indian and it was so touching and exhilarating that felt it would be nice to share it in this blog.


http://kaipullai.com/2012/02/24/dr-elattuvalapil-sreedharan-the-bharat-ratna-no-one-talks-about/

As like any hero worshipper or fan, the author has sang paeans about this man and i hope there are no skeletons tumbling out by the time this post sees the light of the day. For now, lets bask in the happiness that this favourite country of God is blessed periodically with people who would give their damnest to get things done.

I've had the privilge to use two of your designs, the one at Rameswaram and the one at Konkan. Thank you for those innumerable wide eyed stare and wonder spots that were sprinkled all along throughout the journey. Your life and achievements are etched in stone examples for the saying, "success is not a destination, but a journey". No wonder people admire the course of engineering so much and fall head over heels for it. If this much can be achieved by one dedicated engineer, well, i can only say he did his course and job proud.

God bless you noble sire.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Trickling thoughts - Review time

"Dark Knight Rises" review kooda was planning to include "Vazhakku Enn 18/9" review also. Aana antha review padatha vida perusa poitathaala..splitting the post.

Intha padam paathavanga ellam gave very nice comments and review about the movie. Padikkaama pona kooda easya pass panidalam ngara nambikkaiyoda ezhutha pora exam maathri epdiyum padam nallathaan irukumnu oru nambikkaiyoda saw the movie. First half was like candid camera on street life in Chennai. Atleast second halflayaachum ethachum cinematica irukum paatha..right till the ending it was following the same tone. Last scenla vara revenge kooda sounded more thrusted to overcome the normal story line. Maybe..romba yatharthama kaatina kooda padam bore aadium pola. But the topic was different from the rest and semma important one at that too. Pasangalaam epdi cellphonea miss use panraanganu rombavay detaileda sollirukaanga. Same kutrachaatu came on my thalaimurai pasanga when internet and browsing centers ruled the roost. Probably ithuvum kadanthu pogum??!! Poganum. Heroineku en hero mela love varuthungrathuku perusa scene ethuvum ila. Antha cinema shooting scene where the kid, who initially rushes to the spot, filled with excitement on watching the shot, gets irritated at the number of takes his hero needs to complete a simple shot, is the only funny scene in the otherwise sober movie.

Gils verdict: Depressing at best. But could be eyeopener for some.

Enakku carnatic music romba pudikkum. Mainly if the lyrics are in tamil and more so when they come out with techno fusion mix on popular keerthanais. Last one that i fell in love with was "Nee ninainthal aagathathu undo" by Sankar Tucker and the Vidya sisters. It was not just the name that lead me to it (sic) but the song and the rendition was awesome to say the least. Have posted about the same that very day i heard it. After a while, i stumbled upon another gem in the album "Music i like" by singer karthik. After SPB he is probably the one person, whose voice lends beauty to even otherwise normal song. His voice has a soothing calmness and kutti kutti cute variety that it feels like icecream for ears. In this album, he has come out with a variety of Keerthanais, mostly known by heart to people like "MahaGanapathim","Nagumohana","Brochera" and a mangalam song on Lord Rama (my favourite of the lot) along with a medley of Bharathiyar songs. Each song has been delightfully remixed with tecno sounds and are easy on the ears and quite hummable tunes too. Without spoiling the essence of the originals he has added his own syrupy special into the mix.

Gils verdict: Ennatha solrathu.karumbu thinna kooliya :)) Go for it :)

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Nostalgia 555

Possibly the shortest title ever in this blog :D What started as a walk in the park 7 years back has been an unbelievable journey. Start pannapo..Zee tv slogan mathiri Movies, Music and Masti was the theme. Well.ethukku ivlo bitta....it happens to be post number 555 published on this blog.

Unknowingly and knowingly many incidents in the past 7 years of my life had been chronicled to some extent, scattered amidst these posts. Doordarshanla Prannoy Roy program onnu varum..World this Week nu. This compilation post feels like that.

My pick out of the 555.  Here you go.

http://supershanki.blogspot.com/2006/06/2006-love-story.html - first ever story published in this blog and my all time fav story. Intha kathai padichitu intha mathiri namma lifela vantha epdi irukumnu nenachu paatha naatkal pala :) Ithukagavay office bus vachu pick panra mathiri oru officela velaiku seranumnu my friend used to tell. He was the one who forwarded this to me and asked me to post it. Neria thadava enakkay theriamaa intha storyoda impressionla egapatta versions potruken. Almost in all the posts romance scene na heroine will either pinch or punch :D athuku pullyaar suzhi started with this post i guess. Also the fact there there were some real life people who resembled the characters, added to it. A super mush love story.

http://supershanki.blogspot.com/2006/06/phases.html - first ever story written by me :) A story very close to my heart.

http://supershanki.blogspot.com/2006/09/paartha-mudal-naalay.html - my fav of the stories i wrote. Athenna therila..2006 poora oray luvs mayam in blog!!! :) Apdi antha year enna specialnu ipo evlo yosichaalum nyabgam vara maatenguthu.

http://supershanki.blogspot.com/2007/08/review-time.html - This movie released at a time when Indian womens hockey were actually winning and the experience of watching it in theater was awesome. This pick was also for a very special reason. Didnt realise it then. Will possibly never.

http://supershanki.blogspot.com/2007/05/kandan-karunai-remixed-d.html
http://supershanki.blogspot.com/2007/06/3-women-in-car.html
http://supershanki.blogspot.com/2007/04/unnnaikan-theduthayhic.html
http://supershanki.blogspot.com/2007/04/satti-sutathadaano-offence-meant-to-sat.html-

This was most difficult of choices. I was at a loss to pick the best one and ended up selecting four. A small sample to the amazing times we had at this very place. Boisterous bunch of people, always ganging up to pull each others leg and more than the posts, which were mere pretext, the comment section was the place were the action was and were the real battle field. Nyayapadi i should mark link to each of those bloggers. But they can be accessed from the link on the comments. Attagasamaana people. Amazingly fun and adicha koothelaam ipo padichi paatha..wow :) feels blessed to have enjoyed such wonderful company.

When i read them now, i realise, some of my wishes that i had expressed in this blog, had actually come true :) Like this one. And oru sila postslaam padikarachay the memories really hit hard. Ithana naala maranthu poiruntha neria mattersa intha oru post kelari vitruchi. Some happy and some otherwise. But interesting thing is, either way, they are in the past and have already been crossed.

Thank u guys for all your kind words and support all along and for a whole lot of wonderful memories.Innum ethanai naal vandi odum therila..till such time...will keep haunting this place :))