Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Obama - The Real Karuppu M.G.R.

Reminds me of a scene in Crazy Mohan drama. Tailor Baba Rao and Maadhu are in a serious argument. The argument gets to a point where Baba Rao gets angry and shouts at Maadhu in English and then turns around to ask Subbu (my favorite in Crazy's team btw) "inna saar naan solradhu". Subbu does not want to commit to either side and so says "athellam corrickto illayo, Englishu soopera keedhu ba".

I have never heard Obama speak. So have no clue as to what he has said so far. However, I am getting a feeling that what he has said about stuff is less relevant and less important to people who rave about him than how he has said it. We don't know whether he will make a good president or not but what we know for sure is that he will certainly win the grammar school English oratory competition. People keep raving about the way he speaks as if he were their 'athai paiyan' or 'maama ponnu'. Whatever he says they seem to go "wow! wah! wah! wah! sooper sooper. innama solraan paaren". They are like some mutant jihadi group who will kill anyone not praising Obama. Even if you don't know/care about Obama, just to irritate them, try saying "I think he will lose the next election" and walk away. You will get 350,000 million 'why's. And then there are these desi yuppies, who incessantly praise Obama, and who also assume that he is India's friend for the sole reason that he is a colored person.

Hollywood/TV Show hosts have shown that boot-licking not a specialty on one side of the Atlantic alone. Sometimes it looks as if these hollywood people applaud and praise Obama even before he has said anything. I swear, they are so despo'ly eager to clap for Obama, that some day he is going to stand and burp and fools like Bill Maher will applaud furiously. The over-hype and the quality of people supporting Obama should be a big concern for people who don't want the country to turn belly-up. They have put thamizh cinema artists, who praise Jaya/Karu, to shame. In fact you can say that America has finally caught up to Thamizh Nadu's innovation in this department and is now openly imitating it. The difference being that the common denominator in this Hollywood clique is anyone who talks for painfully long time on topics like (a) green (not 'raamar pacchai' or muslim 'pacchai' but environment pacchai) (b) atheism (c) pro-choice etc. Whereas in thamizh Nadu item (b) alone will suffice. A day will come when Arnold Schwarznegger will campaign for presidency with promise of free TV and $1 Pizza.

After living in the world of MGR/Karunanidhi/Rajinikanth - it is easy for a thamizh guy to understand that "how" someone says stuff is more important/relevant than "what" he says or really does. It may be less easy to reconcile to this though. A person could be blind, not have 2 hands and 2 legs. But if he sings a song in near-perfect thodi raagam, People are capable of interviewing this person for a plumber's job and selecting him. MGR re-giged his movie songs for election campaign and got the job easily. In Obama's case the dialogs written by his script writer was not for a movie (unless you believed Shakespeare when he said the world is a theater). I am wondering if what he says to his wife and children are also written by the script writer. You will certainly know that the "as I am suffering from fever" letter to the principal excusing his child from school - is from his script writer if its 3 page long, talks about "change" in the health condition and is in flowery English.

Somehow these simple sentences with 60,000 adjectives taken out of motivational therapy books have a tendency to win over people. Since the days of Indiran/Chandran the "unnamed interviewee" and 'suppie' were dinged by 'thengai' Srinivasan - not because they couldn't answer interview questions very well - but one wore a shirt with 'poonai bommai' and the other had sa/la Vs sha/La pronunciation problems.

Ellam "eye wasss".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

On Vayishaal

Have you seen a TV show where the hosts invite a "legend", a "veteran" or a very accomplished person in any field (usually it is from "cinema" or "cricket") as a "guest"? The host or regulars of the show feel this need to bend down and lick the ass of this very accomplished guest. Now, I get the whole "respect" thing. It is not bad idea to respect a person who has achieved something significant. Let us say you brought Steven Spielberg to a small-time TV show, you'd definitely see 'awe' and 'respect'. What is annoying here is too much respect. If you think there cannot be 'too much' respect, you cannot be more wrong. Case in point - any Tamil TV show when some big celebrity like SPB or K.B or even Malaysia Vasudevan is a "guest".

At that time what is needed - to keep the momentum and the tempo of the audience interest at a high - is some sort of dignity and class in what you say to this guest. This is when the host/regulars of the show have to leave a lot of things unsaid. There is no need, absolutely no need, really really really no need, really really really really really no need to freakin' praise this accomplished person repeatedly. Just don't say the obvious. We know he is great. The host need not inform us that Monday comes after Sunday with great thrill and thunder. It is simply not entertaining. It makes me want to get on stage and spit on the host's face, slap her and ask her to shut up. Having a distinguished guest is an opportunity to ask a nuanced question, it is a chance to allow the guest to describe a particular aspect of his work that requires a lot of effort but is rarely noticed. Something along the lines that freakin' tells us that the hosts of the show and the audience have some semblance of intelligence.

Instead what we see is the hosts crawl on the floor and lick the fungus of this guest's boots. They make it an eulogy session where they don't talk anything substantive but heap platitudes upon platitudes on the person. It is a dumb While (1) { (begin praise) - praise - (end praise)} session. Thamizh people, especially, need to stop this habit of gushingly praise someone for hours together. It is an ungainly sight to see something like this;

Host: Sir you are super.
Guest:No..no.. all is god's grace and luck. I am not super.
Host: how can you of all people say this sir..imagine what you have done.. you are indeed - super!
Guest: no... no.. don't say that. there are other people who have done so much.. really i am not super.

You cannot believe the number of shows that has gone on and on with the above in infinite loop. The host does not even say in good detail an interesting aspect of what the guest has done. She simply says he has done "great things". The host is apparently thrilled to meet someone of this stature. She is overawed and is focussing totally on expressing her "personal" over-awe'edness here. Here is the thing you moron of a host! "this song ain't about you". Look at us here - the audience. Keep the focus on the audience. I can't believe people would like to see a show with no content. Who would want to see two people fight over whether one of them deserves to be praised or not? For once I wish someone would STFU and switch the script to say something like;

Host: Seri okay.. you are a sumba koo, idiot, makku plasthri
Guest: Okay you are right. Please lick my boot. I'll watch. And 'yes'. I am a "big hair". I am the greatest ever.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Airtel Super Singer III

So they managed to ruin this one too. They had an opportunity to make a decent show and instead they made it into a stupid ass mega serial. I have not bothered to watch this show for months now. I recently got to know that sucky singers such as Raginishree, Vijay Narayanan etc have been "un-eliminated" and are back in the fray. I was also told that the show went on to comment that some blogs had unfairly criticised Raginishree. I now agree with that view. The show and Raginishree are made for each other the same way Malathy & Manmadha Raasa, E & P, Flies & Garbage, Deivayani & Homely Girl are made for each other. Ravi is out of place in that show the way M.S. Subbulakshmi would be if she had to sing for an item song. He is the one who should really be eliminated.

I guess one has to give credit to Chinmayee when it is due. Any sensible person would walk out of this stupid show and she did.

On Positive Confirmation

Random Pregnant Woman: Aww.. my dress is such a mess. When I didn't have a kid at home and one on the way, I'd not even dream of dressing as badly as this.
Me: oh! not a problem! If I were in your situation I would have dressed up as badly, probably even worse.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sometimes you cannot learn from history

After screwing up an opportunity, you wish real hard that you'd get the same opportunity again. By some great miracle, when you get the same opportunity again, you realize that you are still the same person driven by the same set of characteristics and possessing similar levels of lack of information. All of which might force you to pretty much do the same screw up again.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Omakucchi Narasimhan - RIP

Some characters are fascinating just the way they are named. 'Thayir Vadai' Desikan, 'Omakuchi' Narasimhan, 'Typist' Gopu, 'Manager' Cheena, 'Loose' Mohan, 'dhanaal' K. Thangavelu, 'Thengai' Srinivasan and 'Kallapatti' Singaram. The prefixes that these people have to their names are sometimes obvious but as in most of these people's cases it evokes laughter even before they begin to say something.

The stick (kucchi) used during Homam is extremely thin. You have sticks that are probably thinner. 'Eer Kucchi'is thinner. Maybebecause Narasimhan was thin but not that thin, people called him 'omakucchi' Narasimhan. [ Note: It seems he acted in a drama that involved him playing a Japanese wrestler 'Yamakochi' and so he came to be called as Omakuchi]. He unfortunately passed away recently. I love small characters such as Omakucchi. They bring so much joy and are part of some classic movie moment. For example the clip below is one of the funniest moments in thamizh cinema and a seminal moment in the progress of Indian technological era.. Notice from 1:08 minute onwards how the situation moves from a simple conversation to a incredible theory on wireless communication. The way professor 'gounda' mani solves deep psychological problems with practical application of social science is fantastically mixed with 'wireless technology'. The great gounder has said everything. There is nothing that goundamani has not said which has gone on to be a worthy concept in this world. Blue tooth was not even a concept then but professor uses it so gracefully. Every sentence in this clip will be captured for the benefit of future generations "koyambattoorla mukkina kaidhi pannamaatangala" "dakalti" are key terms which cannot be explained in the scope of this blog.

The key thing here is that Omakucchi was there in that scene and says some of the most important dialogs. The reason his dialog is key because it evokes a response from the professor that will be etched in the annals of thamizh history. As important as it is "orrey kushtamappa" (said by ever teenager going through a troubling phase in 90s) is not the one I am talking about. 20 million years from now when aliens discover thamizh history and study about civilization this sentence will be found. If there has been a college student in the 90s who has not said 'arasiyalla idhellam saadharnappa' then the student has not learned anything from the Indian education system. Omakucchi was there. He is now no more. But the 'paint brush thalaiya' helped give us that moment.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

When "Thavakkalai" shot into world prominence as "The Little Superstar"

This is an oldie but a goodie. Our very own "thavakalai" ( frog ) is now an Internet sensation.

The Original

From the movie Adhisaya Piravi (adhisayam = Exotic/strange ? piravi = birth) starring Rajinikanth. The small guy who is dancing goes by the name 'thavakalai' but has now shot into international prominence as the "Little Superstar"/

How it got popular?

Youtube Remake 1:

You Tube Remake 2:

Youtube Remake 3

Youtube Remake 4

You Tube Legend
2 people claiming to be thavakkalai and Rajini.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

God and Anatomy

Debra: What is it with you guys? Why is it when one of you sees a pretty girl, he becomes a basket case? Why is how a woman looks the most important thing?

Raymond: That's God's way. That's why the eyes are in front. If what a woman said was the most important, then the ears would be here. That's just natural selection. There were guys like that, but, they died out.

Monday, March 09, 2009

My World

Step 1: Sleep at 5 PM.
Step 2: Get up at 6:30 PM and feel hungry.
Step 3: Call up Mayuri Restaurant and order 1 Aloo Paratha + Malai Kofta.
Step 4: Go to Mayuri 40 minutes later for pick up.
Step 5: "No such order received sir. Maybe you called the Bothell number. We have a branch there. We wrongly printed that take out number in web page. Sorry Sir."
Step 6: Bark at restaurant guy. Order, wait for 20 minutes, pick up, come home, eat, spill kofta on carpet, get yelled at by bharyal.
Step 7: 10:20 PM. Get call from Mysore Masala restaurant; "Sir. We are closing the restaurant for the day. When will you pick up your order."

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Monetizing Goodwill

Putting a price on anything is not an obvious process. All those pricing textbooks that you read are only good enough to tell you what to avoid. Given that an engineering education and a geek-desi background often biases you towards expecting logic in everything, I am sure many were horrified to learn that accountants put a monetary value to the "good will" that a company has. It is there in the balance sheet. The line item is strangely called "Goodwill". Not only did they do that, accountants put them as an "asset" in the balance sheet. It was the only and the biggest intangible item on the balance sheet and had no basis in financial flows of the company. It sort of tries to put an amount to quantify what the public thought about the company in their minds.

New to the BSchool and in my first ever accounting course - I was so looking forward to the scientific process behind this. Coca Cola and Walmart are giants in the case study business. Every course that had case studies used these two companies always. It got to a point where if you lost something in your house, you'd have to removes tons of Coke & Walmart print out's to find your remote control or cell phone. Coke's goodwill $ amount was quoted as among the highest around and we were taken through the process in which it was calculated. And till date I haven't been able to reconcile with the "science" in the process. Frankly, I don't know how those accountants do it. What is more baffling is the complete absense of "Badwill" in some companies that have "goodwill". At least some "badwill" reflecting a collective public hatred towards the company in the liability section would have appeased symmetry seekers like me. Instead we have a fuzzy "Negative Goodwill".

In today's economy, I would like to see what happens to the millions of dollars of goodwill that banks have put out there. Citibank for example has $ 41 Million"good will" in their balance sheets. So do other banks. Will they be impaired and go down to zero in the next balance sheet? Shouldn't it move as "BadWill" and find a place in the liabilities section. Or will people say that NYSE:C still has "some" "goodwill" left? It is not just the banks. The interesting questions here are; Should any company have goodwill? And varying amounts of it? Sathyam computers had monetized goodwill!!! I would like to know - Is goodwill binary like virginity or marriage? Once you have lost goodwill can you re-acquire it? Either you have it or you don't and really you can't have a lot of virginity or be too married. Reminds me of the Seinfeld situation with Elaine;

Elaine at her job interview at Doubleday with Mrs. Landis.

LANDIS: Of course, Jackie O. was a great lady. Those are going to be some tough shoes to fill. Everyone loved her. She had such...grace.
ELAINE (gushing): Yes! Grace!
LANDIS: Not many people have grace.
ELAINE: Well, you know, grace is a tough one. I like to think I have a little grace...not as much
as Jackie -
LANDIS: You can't have "a little grace." You either have grace, or you...don't.
ELAINE: O.K., fine, I have...no grace.
LANDIS: And you can't acquire grace.
ELAINE: Well, I have no intention of "getting" grace.
LANDIS: Grace isn't something you can pick up at the market.
ELAINE (fed up): Alright, alright, look - I don't have grace, I don't want grace...I don't even say grace, O.K.?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The Benny Lava Phenomenon

How does one even begin to describe "Benny Lava phenomenon" when it is hard to even comprehend it. To put it simply - incredible. For those who know what it is - Admit it! We all saw Benny Lava and loved it, didn't we? No matter how familiar any one is on the viral nature of certain youtube videos, not in craziest moments would people have imagined that the Europeans would go crazy over Benny Lava. It appears from a cursory inspection of you tube that this Thamizh song is a rage among European teenagers and parties. It has almost become a cult, judging by the way some people are trying replicate the song in all its "integrity". They are trying to do the dance steps, the movements correctly and even hum the song's "oooo uuuu aaaaaa" correctly (as per Buffalax lyrics).

To The Uninitiated - a "lyricist" called Buffalax heard this thamizh song "kalloori Vaanil" featuring Prabhu Deva and wrote lyrics for it based on what he heard rather than, you know, anything that was really written. This song got named as "Benny Lava" (because thats how buffalax heard the word "vennilava"). This has also led to the rechristening of Prabhu Deva as Benny Lava. Resulting in some popular Prabhu Deva videos getting branded as 'Benny Lava'.

1. The Orginal Buffalax Video.

Here is the original video with Buffalax lyrics. Initially released in You Tube.

2. The Croatian Version.

Here are a bunch of crazy Croatian college students remaking the Benny Lava video.

3. The McCain Palin Version

Thanks to anon commentor.

4. The Benny Lava Cult

A. Here is an uplugged Version

B. The Benny Lava Project

C. De Benny Lava Guz.

D. Crazy Teenagers doing Crazy Indian Song

E. The Cult Of Benny Lava Spreads across languages and nations.

First it hits the hot chics, old chics, pillow party chics, drunken teenagers who aren't even singing the english lyrics correctly, mad children who are shouting " all nuns are gay", on radio as a brazilian ass shaker, teen girls who use words like 'like' a lot say 'its like a wierd song, a song for all occasions, from the british with love and they follow the rules of the song, they practice hard to get it right dont they?, some give up exams to get it right, more hot chics dance to benny lava, baby's day out in Benny Lava land, fred and holga do it too, these girls have achieved perfection,

F. Finally the Techno Viking Has His Say