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Showing posts from 2017

Origin - book review

Usually Dan Brown’s book fall into the below set of process – when you are reading it you will feel the thrill of a roller coaster ride with adrenaline rush, as it reaches climax you would feel the excitement of a kid opening birthday present, after the initial few minutes of completing the book the mind would be reeling with all those information trying to process and after few hours you would be left wondering was the climax worth all those events that transpired in the course of the book. Also his novels will double up as travelogue for the respective city/country of the premise and would definitely send in flocks of tourists, curious to visit those places so beautifully crafted into his stories. In fact, locations have almost played the role of a key character in his books. Origin is no less different. And the guts of the guy to portray the king of Spain as gay!!! If you need any reference in stirring a hornets nest, Dan Brown should be on your speed dial.

Like all his novels, the…

Question for the ages

There was a dialogue in “SPYder” the last movie that I saw recently. It goes something like -If you kill a deer it’s a crime but not a goat. Maybe because their numbers are more. With so many humans abound, makes all the more sense to kill more of them – is the analogy with which the villain operates. With recent Vegas shooting makes one wonder on the psyche behind these psychos. That guy had made such elaborate setup to carry out his attack, it doesn’t look the act of an demented mind but more of determined to destruct. Had the killer been of a different colour and nationality, god only knows how many more countries would’ve been bombed to oblivion by now and how many hundreds of civilians would’ve paid the price with their lives and how many thousands displaced. As a race, we are in a race of our own to make a society of immigrants. Pretty soon those without a state for themselves would far outweigh those within secure borders.
Be whatever the ideology, its nauseating and scary to t…

Waterboarding - book review

Waterboarding – the second of the many to come published books by Brags.
The title might have come into prominence, post the war on terror initiated by the Americans and more specifically on the torture “treatment” meted out to the Guantanamo bay prisoners. The title is an allegory to the mental trauma of the hero, Ved.

The story is told through diary entries of the three main characters, Ved, Sara and Maya. The story opens with Ved, who meets with an accident and suffers amnesia. The missing pieces of his life are filled in by Sara and Ramesh, who hide the details about his girlfriend (ex) Maya. Maya texts Ved enquiring about his condition and seeing a text from an unknown number induces curiosity in Ved, who goes about figuring, who is Maya and why is she not in his life anymore. He also finds out the reason why Sara was not revealing the details and as he comes to terms with the reality and realizes what he wants from his relationships, his health condition has other plans. His ind…

Spider - review

This week-end movie watch was the latest toast of tinsletown – SPYder. Considering that it was a bi-lingual and for a fact that the telugu superstar has dubbed on his own in tamil, it still felt like a telugu movie with him on screen. But for him, the rest of the cast didn’t exhibit that vibe. Somehow it was still not connecting with Maheshbabu. May it’s the baggage of his super hits in telugu or because of so many dubbed versions of his telugu movies in tamil. Somehow, it still feels alien to watch him, despite his best efforts. May be the fact that, at the pretext of underplaying, he was plastic in emoting, didn’t help either. Somehow movie actresses and doctor roles don’t quite tally, at least in recent past. Almost all the loosu characters are shown as MBBS students or even practicing doctors, when their characterization wouldn’t even merit them to be tutorial passed.
After a really long time, tamil cinema gets a crackpot, psychotic and ruthless villain. The last one I could recol…

Attention seeker alert

Attention seeker.
Whenever I find this term bandied around, it makes me stop and observe that particular situation. For I feel, there is no greater insult to ego than being labelled as attention seeker. Agreed, there could be specimens who purposely do and even thrive on such activities. But for the innocent many, it’s a punch in the gut that knocks the wind out of them. The most recent instance I heard of this word was during the infamous “Big Boss” show, where one of the participant was labelled as such. That lady terms herself a failed actress and has been pretty vocal in her efforts to attain fame-dom through the program as her vehicle. She un-abashedly had taken part in every stupid task thrown at her and had “played” at the last legal extent allowed within the rules of the game and even secured top points. Yet the crowds didn’t vote for her and she had to lose out.
It’s just another reality show and the results are pretty much stage managed at every single step of the way. But t…

Kurangu bommai - review

What makes a movie a good one, might be the question for the ages. Does word of mouth publicity or viral spread or appreciative critical feedback or the performances of the artists and their honest attempt or is it the script and screenplay? Maybe is it a bit of all. For either or all of the reasons listed above, “Kurangu Bommai” movie, caught my interest.

Storywise it’s a simple revenge tale, but the way of telling makes it tad more interesting than countless many on the same topic. Also the strong supporting cast with excellent performance from the leads adds to its lustre. Vidarth, hero/producer, finally seems to have made his way onto the list of notable actors, with his improved knack of picking the right scripts that suits his style. Be it “Kutram kadithal” or “ Kidayaain karunai manu” or even “Aal” for that matter, none of his releases have major promotions, but for word of mouth support. And he seems to have mastered the art of underplaying, which doesn’t bother much even on r…

How much is too much?

The most fascinating aspect of the IT industry, is its constantly evolving nature. Several years back, I had posted about surviving in this industry and how this field is yet to witness its first batch of retirees – meaning, those who’ve started their career and completing it in this field alone. While those in manufacturing like traditional business domains, have a straight forward career path with definite milestones and end dates, IT always ensures that, being in this industry is like walking on a tread mill. You need to keep walking even to stand on the same place. The tech with which one might’ve started his career, would’ve become obsolete in few years’ time and worst part being, it would take away a good chunk of his professional profile, making him redundant.

With mobile phones competing with computers for processing speed and features, gone are the days, when IT was niche and specific to those from computer background. Nowadays, anyone with a half decent smart phone, knows mo…

En courage comes from encourage

At times, when I am more than bored, I skim through my posts from years back. As I see my own ramblings post after post, it was intriguing to understand what the trigger for all these posts was. I definitely didn’t had “Big Boss” Shakthi anywhere near me for sure. There goes my vow not to mention about that damn show in this space. It all boiled down to the very first appreciation I ever received.

As a follow up from the previous post, during school days, I was the elephant in the room, literally and figuratively, about whom no one spoke and spoke to as well and neither did i. It was a dull, excruciating, monotonous and ordeal for me, day in and day out. I was never active and never partook on any events. Whenever I was leaving from school I would see my classmates practicing for sloga competitions, oratorical, skits and dance and what not. I would simply walk away for I would never be invited for such things and I was way too timid and shy and would be terrified to even stand near su…

Remembrance

There was a scene from a recent tamil movie, in which a boy goes to class and gives chocolate to his class teacher. The teacher takes the chocolate and enquires the occasion for which he replies it was his birthday. She wishes him and asks who he is. The query raises sporadic giggles in the class and that stunned looking birthday boy, slowly tells the teacher that he belongs to her class.

I stopped watching the movie after that scene as it hit way too close home. I had the exact same scene happening to me in real life. During a PTA meeting, I accompanied my mom, who visited my class teacher and asked about me and my performance. She looked at me quizzically and asked are you in this section. I couldn’t quite fathom that question then as she quickly twisted it as a feedback, telling my mom that I am very quiet in the class. She then gave some very generic feedback on my studies and the discussion was closed. Till date I could never forget that incident and whenever I am reminded about …

Love

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It was a glorious evening when breeze slowly descended on the park. The day before was pretty warm and humid as the climate was at its finicky best. To those regular visitors and irregulars, it was yet another pleasant evening breeze that they enjoy when they visit the park, for the breeze in itself was seasonal. The die-hard regulars, at times skipped the park visit whenever they had other priorities. The trees on the park, wither and flourish per the season. The trash bins start their day empty and end with full bin. Even the park benches, probably the most stable of the lot, undergo a coat of repaint, once in a blue moon or when council elections are round the corner. But for Ove and his evening visits to the park, everything changed.

Every single evening, he would turn up sharp at the exact same time. He would start with his routine of a brisk walk around the park and exactly after the third round, he would sit on the exact same bench. If it was occupied, he would go near the ben…

Anatomy of an alapparai

If finding a seat in crowded cafeteria is an art, I am Sam Anderson of it. Kaadhal Kondenla Dhanushku kuda kadisi rowla seat kedachirum, but I would often roam the length and breadth of the food court and still wouldn’t find a solitary seat. It’s even worse when I go with friends as I would often end up with the task of finding seats for all of us. If by some miracle, I do manage to find a couple of seats, it seldom lasts long. Every alternate second, someone or other will come and ask if anyone is coming to the table I am holding for my friends. It makes me wonder, why would people ask that question? Unless I carry a lunchbox like Mayabazar Ranga rao, it would make little sense for a single person to hog a whole table, right? And it’s not that people are that dumb, not to notice my single Tupperware dabba, sitting on the table and the only possible explanation could be I am waiting/holding the place for someone else. Unless they may think that, a single person sitting alone on a tabl…

Aah - Sujatha novel

Few months back when I had posted about “Saithan” movie, I had quoted that, the movie was based majorly on “Aah” by Sujatha. I happened to read the novel recently and was amazed at how fresh the story is, despite having seen its adaptation on screen and having read the story once long time back. Considering that it was first published quarter century ago, some of the situations and terminologies involved were astonishing!! The reason why Sujatha is much sought after even today, is his ability to weave futuristic technologies and identify, amongst those, which will be most relevant and would be popular and above all, present such a nascent idea in simple language, all the while making a story out of it!! Such was his genius to spot technologies that would change the world was that, almost all of his sci-fi stories from 2,3 decades back have become common place situations in present day world.

Going with the theme for the month, the works of Sujatha are master piece case studies on how …

Of words and meanings

When you are introduced to a new word, what would be your first feeling? Especially when its thrown as such a commonplace item, about which you had been so ignorant that, such a casual mention of it makes you wonder, why you never came across it in first place, till that time. I’ve had my fair share of such words and each time the emotions were no different.

I wasn’t even introduced to a computer, when during a theory class on operating system, my compskey (school time slang for comp. sci – computer science) teacher casually mentioned about THE word – “version”. It was the first ever time I was hearing about it and even before I could contemplate its meaning from the context or the sentence, he had passed on to several other topics. Yet that one word, kept lingering in mind, like that solitary wet cloth, refusing to fly away in wind, holding on to its clip. I asked my friend immediately after the class is over what the word meant. He was clueless but somehow wasn’t much troubled by it…

The art of opining

If at all there is a place to venture out with your opinion, internet should be the last, if not never, on the list. Especially social media. Such has been the abuse and opposition from trolls on SM platforms that, even to state your name can get you into controversy, based on your other opinions. The reason behind this post is due to the ongoing hue and cry over a lady and her comments on a south Indian star’s well known dud movie, which incidentally is acknowledged as a flop even by the star’s own fans, the response from the online community of self-proclaimed fans of the star and the aftermath. The effort taken by the trolls (as they are collectively and individually labelled as), who dug up several years old posts of that lady and established a criminal conspiracy behind her actions in targeting their hero alone for mockery and criticism, would put tax officials and CBI to shame. Armed with random links between posts scattered across several years, the trolls went hell bent on sha…

To be and how not to be

Whenever there is talk of a new political party being formed, the first thought that runs in mind is what difference these guys are going to make which the others haven’t tried before. This could be due to the fact that, none of the newbies, for that matter even the existing ones, ever share a detailed plan on how they will accomplish whatever they are claiming. They could say that due to the fear of the rivals copying their approach, they may not want to share it. But even after coming to power, the secrecy (cluelessness maybe) remains. Even if they are open, the lingering doubt anyone willing to throw in their hat into the political arena is mainly due to the fact that, how will they identify 200 good candidates who are honest!!?

Most of the major parties always have a figurehead around whom they rally. So it is, for the newcomers, say for example, if, at all, Rajini decides to start a party, unless he opts for an unconventional way of selecting candidates, in all probability it’s g…

Saboteur - book review

This “How to” and “How not to” seems to have become a theme for this month, at least for the first three posts. While the first one dealt with how not to screw up a good story, the second post was about how to package old wine in attractive container and make it a success. This post is again a review post, about a book that I got as a gift 2 months back. Either I am going dud by reading only ebooks, which has resulted in me going super dud on hardcopies or the book, “Saboteur” was such a page turner by itself!!! I want to believe the reason is a mix of both.

Of the few authors that I’ve Arthur Hailey is my favorite, for each of his books are almost like thesis on the theme of the novel. You read his “Airport” by the end of it your perception about the entire place would go for a 360 degree change, especially those airports located at places with extreme weather conditions. You read his “Hotel” or “Evening news” , it would give you all new dimension about these otherwise common place t…

Vikram vedha - review

Tamil movie world is split across, those who’ve seen Vikram Vedha and those who are yet to. Such has been the response the movie has been garnering that, people are already awaiting the next release from the husband-wife director duo. More often than not, the movie that wins at BO is not always because of the uniqueness of the story, that is never told before, nor always on the strength of the leads. There are times when, despite being so ordinary and repetitive, the art of storytelling, carries the movie to its success. Vikram Vedha is a perfect fit for such a case to study.
Even with success of author backed movies, there is somehow a reluctant tendency amongst movie makers to opt for such scripts. Whatever the reason may be, its high time, the tide changed. Also, rather than aping everything from Hollywood and Korean movies, lifting scripts from international movie festivals, we need to see within our treasure trove of stories, is another lesson for others to follow, which the succ…

WMW

Consider these two story lines –
Story 1 – Very contemporary with probably the most original storyline in recent times (unless if inspired from some foreign language film). Deals with murders that are being televised online and also has a tragic real time incident as backdrop and has an interesting twist which is untraceable.
Story 2 – pretty stale. Done to death backdrop of cop vs gangster. Involves lot of flashbacks and is almost predictable or the twists are hardly original.

Which of these stories would you bet on to be a winner at BO? I would want to bet on the former, for the only reason that the latter, being a cop story is dime a dozen.
The movie with story 2 is “Vikram vedha”, the recent blockbuster which is running packed houses, increasing in trend every day. The former being a damp squib of a dud movie called “Inaiyathalam” (Website). When I was watching Iniayathalam, I felt at many places, what reviewers mean by amateurishly picturized. There is a chase scene in a mall, wh…

Life lessons from the little guy

For past few years, I’ve been so much bogged down by negativity around me, especially colleagues whose professionalism, or the lack of it, drove me nuts. I was having trouble to fathom how people can be so irresponsibly idiotic and so callous at the same time. One common thread across all those characters I could find was that they were all connected to someone seriously higher up on the echelons and had their backing and blessing for no reason obvious to me. I decided to quit fighting the shadows and reset my priorities and opted for something that I didn’t want to do in first place. I had to shelve a lot of my ambitions and goals and literally kick myself into being someone I hated and like a soldier simply following orders without bothering on the logic, I forced myself into a different routine. Needless to say the pinpricks and ego bashing were severe and took a toll on me with stress levels shooting up to stratosphere. I seldom manage to compartmentalize issues and till the time …

Fiction crate - incentive for your interest

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Few weeks back I received a parcel, which had a slogan printed t-shirt and a thriller genre book by an Indian author. I knew that I’ve been nominated for the review and the parcel was expected but I had little clue on the concept of book curation and about the subscription box “Fiction crate”. Due to postal delay, the parcel reached me after a month’s delay and the hand written note along with the parcel, acknowledging the same, was a pleasant experience. It’s been a really long while since I received parcels with notes, that too handwritten. It was very personalized and was quite literally charmingly old world. There were some cute book marks as well and one trivia tag.



The tee shirt that accompanied had a slogan on book reading and felt it was tailor made for me, literally and figuratively!! I’ve started reading the novel a while back and will post a separate review on it later in this space. Thanks to Brags for clarifying that the concept was to post a review about this concept of …

Adhavadhu..enna solla varenna

Sometime back, went for a lunch meet with friends after a really long while. I don’t exactly remember the last time I had such a leisure meet with friends, not because I had been busy but off late had been shutting off myself without even me realizing it. The frustrations in office had crept to such an extent that it had totally changed my psyche and made me so much negative and angry that, I was lashing out at every single opportunity, at anyone, be it family or office. There was nothing extraordinarily different or path breaking in that meeting that set to light this thought process, but the very normalcy of the event made me realize, how far from it, I was.
Whenever I read through my older blog posts, more often than not, I would be stumped by the thought process behind certain posts, on what was the trigger and many a times, I couldn’t even believe it was written by me as I would never be able to attain such a mindset to write such kind ever again. The person of that moment used t…

Preserving the brand

Few weeks back I read an article on MGR, our ex-cm and ..well if you need me to explain who he was you would be the exact person as target audience for this post. The article was one of the several thousand written since his heydays and went on eulogizing the kind of person MGR was and how his legacy continues to live even after about 3 decades since his demise.

Whenever I read something about this man, I am always stumped by the unabashed adulation he manages to generate even by those who were never born in his lifetime, never been directly linked to him or never even witnessed his deeds in person. Yet, when they mention about MGR, they all go gushy mushy and all heartwarming, making him sound like a saint. Even current day superstars or crowd craze heroes never get such a warm reception or mention. Even for Jaya, who succeeded him and matched his legacy point by point, there is always a counter in the form of misdeeds done by her and on her scandals. Probably MGR had the advantage o…

Weekend movie watch

As mentioned on the previous post, “Sangili bungili kadhava thora” lived up to its expectation. It’s a done and dusted ghost genre with comedy theme but the presentation and the screen play is pretty neat and for a change there is a story with a message from the ghost itself and above everything it’s a positive message. Probably the director would’ve felt, ippolaam karuthu solanumna pei ye vanthu sonna thaan undu and considering the karuthu being that of supporting join family, which is as current a concept as that of black and white TV. Other than being the usual mish-mash of CG driven ghosts plus some comic scenes, there was a settled base of a family in search of its own house and their sufferings in addition to the concept of family staying together at all costs makes it a decent watch. Though the activities of Jeeva and Soori are kiddish, the scene where multiple Suri’s take form and Jeeva identifying the right one amidst all those ghosts by asking for his favorite dish was reall…

A movie watch that wasn't

Last weekend we saw Maragatha Nanayam movie. With almost every single review going ga-ga over the movie, I was tempted to believe that not all of that could’ve been paid review. But movie wasn’t worth the hype is what I felt. It wasn’t a bad movie at all. With the USP of the movie, weighing on mimicry (Yes. You read that right) of the heroine being dubbed with a male voice and same characters speaking in multiple voices, it “sounds” novel. But wish the screenplay could’ve been more engaging. Felt like, the director would’ve selected the last few hits of horror comedy genre and removed all the common elements to add this USP and created a movie out of it.
There is no romantic track or duet songs. Tick one.
No special effects or CG driven ghosts. Tick two.
But he has retained the comic portions to a greater extent, which works in parts with major chunk of the credit going to Nikki Kalrani (heroine) for the spunk with which she has donned the role and her body language of that of a rowdy…

Corporatization of greed

The recent news of layoffs in IT companies raised much hulla-bullao across all circles. For it was the only golden goose in job sector which paid good money upfront from fresher onwards, that lured grads from across all engineering and management streams to join IT. Till 2 years back, its common knowledge that, clear 12th, join any stream in BE and get into IT after 4 years of UG study, was the society norm. With engineering colleges mushrooming across, even, empty terraces, past year has seen several scores of those colleges shutting shop due to lack of patronage. Surprisingly, the younger sibling of ITI study, which had been given step motherly treatment all this while seems to have picked up steam this year with their admission coffers crying full. Why suddenly the golden industry has lost its sheen. The answer lies in one of the 7 sins – greed. When I say greed, i don’t just mean the promoters and major shareholders, but every single shareholder of those companies, who have been c…

Maru oliparappu

Romba kadupula edachum karuthu solalamnu paatha..aaru varusham munnalaye same karuthu told. Was listening to the song from Mayakkam enna movie and thought of doing a translation. Thedi paatha already postiruken!!! Original song “Ennenna seithom inge” from the movie.

The things we do..
The places we go..
Blaming it all on fate
Living a life full of hate
Drowning in the sea of sadness
Loosing calm mind to madness
In search of a safety pod
To reach the lotus feet of God
Amidst reality so gory
Seeking the divine glory
To cross the sea of pain
The destiny we strive to attain

Searching for the meaning of life
Living on the edge of a knife
Lost in the concrete Jungle
Where good and bad mingle
Longing for elusive freedom
To reach thy divine kingdom
Where fire breathes coolness
and air relishes its stillness
Where smoke settles and solidifies
and falls, that gravity defies

Throwing the key in the dark
Hoping it would reach its lock
Forgetting the helping hands
Joining the maddening bands
Wanti…

Oru pada paadal - 12b

Ithey ratela pona aduthu "chakrathari" ' Shantha sakkubai" "Saarangadhara" padamlaam reviewku varumna nu kekara unga mind voice I also the hear. But enna seyya..topic patraakurai. Plus this theme has really caught up with me.

The movie 12B, I guess is the second movie for Harris Jayaraj after the immensely successful "Minnale". There used to be rumours (considering his current albums makes one wonder if it was true) that he came out of ARR's troupe, stealing some good tunes and wouldn't last more than few movies. But that was the time when all of Harri's albums were super duper hits with every single song becoming chartbusters. I keep mentioning the deathbed playlist . If the song "Poove vaai pesum poathu" is missing from it, intha kattai vegaathu. From a slow whistle sound of a flute, the song is all lazy elegance and special award should've been given to the choreographer for making this song a visual delight as well…

Oru pada paadal - Kabhi na Kabhi

This series is growing at an intriguing pace!! Vera topic edhuvum kedaikala reason apart, thought this was one movie, Kabhi na Kabhi, which didn’t had its due from songs perspective. The movie starred Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and Pooja Bhatt. Story wise it was one of the mokkaiest. But songs by ARR were pretty good to say the least.

My personal favorite and probably the best of the album is the “Shukriya” song. I first saw the video in MTV(??) with a somber Jackie mouthing lines belted out by SPB. Probably that was even the reason which caught my attention as the picturisation was nothing fancy. SPB voicing out for Jackie!! Couldn’t think of a odder combination. But the simplicity of the lyrics and the tune was pretty catchy and till date I couldn’t get a better version of the song in mp3 version. But this song has forever been there on my special songs playlist. The lyrics, technically being a birthday situation song, thanks the lady for being there for the guy in his times of trou…

Tamizh ji...vaazhga ji

“Ji..chillara vaangiteengala ”
“Ji..lunchuku polama”
“Ji..vandiya thalli park pannunga”
“ji..movieku polama”
Not sure when this epidemic started but my best guess would be around the time “Itharkuthane asaipatai Balakumara” movie, with the lead character quoting everything and everyone with a “ji”. A while back, it was ”thala” fever with everyone addressing everyone else as “Thala” and it even had several variants – “Route thala”, “area thala” and so went the list.
This “ji” thing has fast replaced “inga” as word of respect, like “You” in English which is for addressing both elders and youngsters alike and unlike “Nee” and “Neenga” differentiation in tamil. It used to feel irksome at the beginning, but nowadays it has reached levels of harrowing with everyone addressing everyone else as “Ji”.
Yesterday our network admin came to my team mate’s desk and asked “ji..what is your issue ji..ticket raise paniruntheengalay”
That lady responded that “illa ji..VPN connect aaga matenguthu ji”
OM…

Oru pada paadal – Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam

Wow!!! To even think of writing a review for so many songs looks a Herculean task. Imagine picturising them, writing, sequencing and acting for all of them!!! A movie, which adorns grandeur, right from its title to every single second of its running time, across all aspects of movie making. A movie, which can stand in its own right for its story (much borrowed theme) and lead stars performances and as much for its songs. Probably one movie of Salman that I can say for sure, would be many people’s favorite for saner reasons, unlike the mad craze and hype at present. In fact, he was voted the second or third most desirable person on the planet during its release I guess. And now to the man of the post – Ismail Darbar.

I hated this guy the most for a really long while, for he denied ARR of a trophy for Taal, by winning it for this movie. But if at all there was a worthy winner, it was never in doubt that it would be him. Wonder why he never composed much, considering the blockbuster hit …