Thursday, April 28, 2011

Inside Vs River

அகம் means inside or internal. In old thamizh speak, the familial relationship between man and woman, joy, between them, the home they create, personal indoor happenings was called அகத்திணை. The poem அகநானூறு deals with such internal related things. அகத்திணை has several facets such as 1.கைக்கிளைத் திணை 2.குறிஞ்சித் திணை 3.பாலைத் திணை 4.முல்லைத் திணை 5.மருதத் திணை 6.நெய்தல் திணை 7.பெருந்திணை. all these facets typically happened at home. அகம் was also used in contexts such as தாய + அகம் = தாயகம் (Motherland) or தமிழ் + அகம்.

Since all of this happens inside a house or home. Thamizhs referred to their house as அகம். Over time வீடு replaced அகம் as the word thamizhs used in order to refer to their "home". So usage of "என் அகம்" and "என் அகத்திற்கு" became "என் வீடு".Obviously I obtained this knowledge by asking a few thamizh literature enthusiasts. None of them really knew the origins of வீடு. Some thought that houses in the olden days came from ஓடு and so வீடு was derivative of that. But no one was sure. However, even though வீடு became popular over time, many continued using அகம் . But over time அகம் narrowed down in usage to members of specific caste. Also, over time வீடு became architected by madras thamizh as ஊடு. And brahmins began to shorten and mangle அகம் to ஆம் and அகத்திற்கு to ஆத்திற்கு. There is a small minority theory that अहम् from अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि fame was the origin of ஆம். Because in the context of अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि few do argue that the phrase means "ब्रह्म resides inside of 'me'" as opposed to "'I' am ब्रह्म". But except for 1 or 2 people who gave this as the reason the brahminical usage of ஆம் to refer to 'house' seems to originate from அகம்.

Coincidentally, ஆம் has competition in terms of bad usage. ஆறு means river. ஆற்றிர்கு is usage of ஆறு as in ஆற்றிர்கு செல்கிறேன். All thamizhs regardless of caste have consistently murdered this word to pronounce it as ஆத்திற்கு செல்கிறேன். While many often makes fun of people who use ஆத்திற்கு instead of அகத்திற்கு (as in 'enge thamarai Bharani'ya? Kaveri'a? )the reality is there no such word called ஆத்திற்கு. There is आम though. And its very tasty. But its a வட மொழி சொல்.

Disclaimer: All this is kelvi gnaanam. The purpose of posting it is to see if someone has a better explanation


P.S: Inspired by origin of 'summa'

Friday, April 22, 2011

If Money Comes - All 10 will go away

A very bad person, who was backed by a rich evil organization could have bullied you, hurled racist comments at you, caused you to become a drunk, caused you to lose your spot in the team. That person could have caused you your life's greatest heartburn.

But if that evil organization pays you the right price - you will be willing to shake hands, be teammates and laugh along with that person.




Credit: Above image belongs to cricinfo.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Anna Hazare II

I sometimes love it when politicians exploit the general public's weak command over basic logic.

Take this twisted logic for instance - The 'People' believe that in order for someone to be effective in the anti-corruption committee the person must have had a corruption-free past record. Given the gargantuan stupidity of the assumption that merely being a honest person is a *necessary qualification* (maybe they believe it is a *sufficient qualification* as well) for one to be capable of effecting policy changes - why shouldn't a politician take advantage of this strange notion of "qualification". In a way this must make it so easy for politicians to gleefully dismantle Anna Hazare's effort.

So we now have a situation where respective parties are saying following things:

People: A good eye doctor must have never worn glasses.

Anna Hazare: Even if there is a small hint that the doctor has worn glasses, I will take his medical license away.

Politicians: Person A in the committee may have done LASIK now. But he definetely wore glasses in 2006. Look at this a photo where he is shown wearing glasses

Person A: I never wore glasses in 2006. This photo has been doctored and a glass has been digitally placed in the photo.


None of this would ever happen if people didn't have a stupid assumption to start with. Or if Anna Hazare said that he does not care about whether someone in the committee had been corrupt in the past or not. People in the committee must be paid professionals who will execute a task for a salary. But we have this romantic, flawed, irrational notion called "Qualification". And we won't stop to think about it because its just too popular a notion already.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shri Rama Navami

Outside of Paanagam, I have three recommendations for Shri Rama Navami

1. Mahaveera Vaibhavam (a.k.a Raghuveera Gadyam): The very very unique and rapid style in which this prose is recited makes this one of the best Sthothras composed by Desikan. It takes several years for people to learn to recite this correctly. The entire sthothra is culled form different parts of Valmiki Ramayanam and is simply an abridged version of the entire Ramyanam. For once a composer puts the focus on the 'warrior' aspect of Rama. Listen here and read along here and here.

2. MannuPugazh Kosalai (Thaalattu or Lullaby for Rama): A fantastic carnatic style rendition of this prabhandham. A fantastic song for babies to listen as they go to sleep. This is recited sandhai style in a very fascinating way too. Refers to SenPonSei Kovil.



3. Bhadrachala Ramadass by M. Balamurali Krishna: One of the best singers ever at his best.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Anna Hazare

I am pretty sure 99.99% of the people who claim to support the bill have not read even a single section or provision of the bill. This is the new idiot generation that is going to take India forward. The generation that posts Facebook messages and twitter messages endorsing support without spending even a minute to read and analyze the pros and cons of the bill. First of all - what does the title of the bill even mean?

As a social experiment - some political party must conduct survey on how many people supported the bill after reading through all its sections, analysing pros/cons and debating it with friends. Survey questions should include "why did you support the bill" and have a basic quiz on the bill. This will give upcomng politicians ideas on short-cuts to part the fool and money.

Peer Pressure' and wanting to fit in with the cool crowd has much more power than I estimated.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Fasting

It would be a crime to not quote India's biggest philosopher ever on the subject of fasting.





Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Faltering Lullaby

When people think of actress Sujatha the "kadal meengal" song comes to mind. But somehow I feel the pathos in the below song is very chilling. Listening to this song can have a profound effect on your mood. I know Ilayaraja deserves the credit for this. But here is a perennially sad actress at her best playing a very sad role.

Monday, April 04, 2011

The World Cup - A Sachin Tendulkar Story

I have never been this nervous while watching cricket. At some point during the quarter finals against Australia, I understood why. When Tendulkar nicked one off Tait and walked back - we were shown an image of man with small eyes staring upwards and walking back dejected. At that time I felt - Is the world cup dream over for this man? Is that it? He is the only reason why I watch cricket - Will I never see him again in an ODI?

Anyone who has followed Tendulkar's career closely, and many have, would remember the pain of 1996, 1999 and 2003. His very first batting line-up was Shastri, Srikkanth, Azhar, Tendulkar, Kambli, Manjrekar, Kapil and Kiran More. Not the best batting line-up but a combination chosen because of the 1985 B & H cup success. And in his very first world cup appearance Tendulkar went down the way Umar Akmal went down against India in the semi-final. With Shastri occupying so many deliveries, Tendulkar was forced to up the scoring rate and was out caught behind. India never really got going that tournament. The only matches we won in that entire world cup (against Pakistan and Zimbabwe) Tendulkar was the MoM - and a superb 81 against NZ going to waste because of Greatbatch's heroics. No Indian fan really expected India to win the world cup. The team had 3 ex-captains and were generally screwed even before the cup began. But that was the beginning of new India. As the oft-repeated cliche goes. A new economic India was born, The cable TV era began with Star TV coming to India. Liberating us from License Raj and DD. Sachin Tendulkar and A.R. Rahman were introduced to the new India. My generation began to dream.

1996 was to me was the ultimate Tendulkar's World Cup. It was a world cup where we had a real chance. And Tendulkar represented that chance. Anybody who was in college during the time - became part of the Tendulkar generation. He became the reason for watching cricket. And how? In New Zealand, thanks to N.S. Siddhu - who went on to be the worst T.V. commentator ever - we had discovered that Sachin could open and do a Greatbatch. Here was one man who could challenge anybody. The rest were humans. But Sachin was a cricketing god who could tame any team. Even Ambrose went for an economy rate of over 5 an over. McGrath was taken apart in Mumbai. Every single game barring the Pakistan game became a Tendulkar show. He was the highest scorer in the tournament scoring an amazing 523 runs. It was the one man batting line-up with Siddhu, Manjrekar, Azhar, Kambli, Jadeja, Mongia merely acting as props. Unsurprisingly no other Indian was in the top 20 highest scorers list. To put it simply, if Tendulkar failed. Game over. No one would forget the dropped catch in Gwalior by Bravo when Sachin was on 44. That won us the match. The stumping of a wide ball against M. Waugh was stuff of Greek tragedy. In that context - that we reached the semi finals was a super human effort. It showed the distance that one man could carry a average team. In a square turner of a pitch not very un-similar to what Gavaskar played his last innings on. Tendulkar tragically got stumped in the most freakish way possible. Game over. It was probably the saddest moment of my teenage years. No one in my age-group knew how the 1983 felt like. We wanted another one. And we had to wait.

1999. 5AM. A bunch of grad school students in Columbus, Ohio who had installed dish antenna illegally woke up to find out Tendulkar not in the team. Why? It took a while for the commentators to mention his personal tragedy. The only match he wasn't with the team - we managed to lose to Zimbabwe. Damn Sadagopan Ramesh. You may be Thamizh but I will never forgive you for that indiscretion. Even after Jadeja told you not to swing wildly, you did, and you gave away the game. That was the reason we didn't make the semi finals. This was a world cup where we actually had a batting line-up. It was the new generation batting line-up that had the core 3 batsman. This core would go on to redefine the country's cricketing future. Ganguly, Tendulkar, Dravid were that core nucleaus who were teamed with S. Ramesh, Azhar, Jadeja, Robin Singh. It seemed like a decent line-up on paper but the batting machine took a while to start given Sachin's absence and our fate was sealed by the time the first two matches of the world cup were over.

2003 was the world cup of the awesome Tendulkar and the cup of bad captaincy decisions. We started by leaving out Laxman in favor of Dinesh Mongia. No matter what anyone says India's 2003 campaign was a 1-man effort. The only difference between 1996 and 2003 was that it was no more Tendulkar Vs India. It was more of Tendulkar vs the other team with Indians finally learning how to close matches without choking after their best batsman got out. There was finally some value to the 4th, 5th and 6th batsman (there was no value from the other opener and Ganguly). Sachin started with a 80 against Zimbabwe, went on to hand back Caddick a new ass, and hit some incredible 90s against Pak, SL and NZ. 673 runs. A level of maniacal scoring that surpasses any other sporting achievement I have seen. That we reached the finals inspite of Sehwag and Ganguly sucking beyond belief is a testament to the superhuman efforts of 1 man. And then the finals became Tendulkar Vs India. Again. This time we had a colossal moron of a captain who couldn't score crap against any test playing nation. And upon winning the toss and he chose to field. The least this totally useless fellow could have done is at least not cause us pain. To me - we lost the match then. To a few others we lost the match after Zaheer's frst over. To most the match was beyond over by lunch. I wonder why we walked out to bat. Might as well have completed the presentation ceremony at lunch. Only a few retarded morons thought the match was over after Tendulkar got out in the first over. To see him answer questions asked of him the post-match interview after winning the MVP award was heart-wrenching. It was the most painful thing. More painful than Ian Chappell sadistically torturing Lance Klusner when he won the 1999 MVP award.

2007: We deserved to lose. If there is a captain or a coach who thought that Sehwag or Ganguly (or anyone else) are better ODI openers than Sachin Tendulkar - neither of them deserve anything better than a first round exit. I cannot think of a cricketing strategy that has statistically failed more times, more reliably and more painfully than Tendulkar at #4. This suggestion alone is a high confidence indicator that the person suggesting it has no cricketing brains. I was glad that our exit was as shameful as it turned out to be.

And there we were. In the Quarter finals of the world cup 2011 against Australia. India was still undecided about Sachin Vs India. In the two matches against Eng and South Africa - India successfully pulled off a strong resistance to Sachin's efforts to win us the match. This Indian team had the best batting line-up I have ever seen in any team in any world cup. Every single person was capable of changing the match in their own right. So when Sachin was walking back towards the pavilion after getting caught behind to tait - I was thinking - is this the end? Has all the pain come to naught? Will the greatest batsman of my generation not win the world cup. Then Gautham Gambhir my pre-tournament favorite player stepped up his act. Then Yuvraj and then Raina. Finally it looked like this was India Vs the other team (way better than just Sachin Vs the other team). The icing on the cake was him winning the 3rd MoM award in a total of 5 WC clashes against Pakistan. To me beating Pakistan was high up the priority list. That Tendulkar screwed them over thrice in 5 times was a glorious achievement. Pakistan stand comprehensively defeated by India for the past 15 years. That Javed Miandad Six is buried somewhere in Chetan Sharma's retirement fund.

There were several points in the QF, Semis and Finals where I just couldn't bear the tension. This is the best world cup I have seen and featured some of the best matches involving India. Every single match against a test playing nation was closely contested, could have gone either way and was tense as hell. I am glad we won it the way we did. Just disappointed that Sachin didn't hit a 100 in the finals and take us over the line. Ironically his world cup campaign started in 1992 with a caught behind to Stewart and ended with a caught behind to Sangakara. But as a consolation price my 2nd favorite player stepped up his game and made sure all the bets I kept with anyone I knew didn't go to waste. Virat Kohli summed up the entire history of Tendulkar at the post-match interviews with one powerful line. And I can't believe he was this articulate so naturally. No one could have come up with that line even if they were given a day to prepare. And he said it causally - "Sachin has carried the nation on his shoulders for 21 years, it is time we carried him on our shoulders". They did that literally and metaphorically through their performances. It was the happiest day of my life. After almost a decade of cynicism I truly became a believer. Sachin was the only person I watched the game for. If he retired I may not watch cricket at all. He was the filter through which I enjoyed cricket and I am glad there was a happy ending.

P.s: Contrary to what experts are saying - I don't think this win completes Sachin's list of achievements. To me his cupboard is only 50% full. Lack of Test series wins in Australia and South Africa is a failure that frankly must make him feel ashamed of his 21 year old effort. I fully blame him for the 2007 loss in South Africa (which got re-confirmed later in 2010) and 2003 loss in Melbourne. He had his greatest chance to close out the series in India's favor and he failed. I'd be very surprised if Sachin himself viewed those failures any differently. He may repair the Australian record by beating a dead team this winter but I doubt if he'd be able to get a series victory in South Africa before he retires. That is a bigger gap than a world cup win. But thats for another day.