Friday, September 23, 2011

Shoaib Akhtar

This never ceases to amaze me. 2 days before his autobiography releases - Times of India reports that in his book, he has come down hard upon Tendulkar and Dravid for not being able to finish games. In reaction to this - a majority of experts and general public are taking digs at Shoaib for 2003 world cup and other such failings.

When will people's reflexes be programmed to immediately ask how much Shoaib's book publishers paid Times of India to report this as 'news'. Does anyone seriously believe that the guy who wrote the report read the autobiography and 'found' this out? Or is it that the publishers gave these snippets to the reporter and asked him to publish? Which is more plausible?

Pataudi

I have never seen him play. So I am unable to indulge in fake condolence that involves words like 'elegance' 'class' etc. More importantly, I don't care whether a blackbuck lives or dies. I actually have no idea what a blackbuck is.

The thing I am unable to comprehend is - although many people share with me the traits that I have mentioned above - a subset of them still choose to eulogize Pataudi and another subset chooses to criticize him for killing a blackbuck. Hard to figure out which group I should criticize first.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Anna Hazare - III

Let us try something fun just to keep the media frenzy continuing on. As time pass.

I would like to request Anna Hazare supporters to find out if he supports (a) gay people (b) gay marriages, (c) pro-choice vs pro-life on abortion and (d) reservation for BC (not MBC/SC/ST) communities in colleges and schools.

I agree that this may be totally irrelevant and may have nothing to do with the issue at hand. But as a social experiment - wouldn't it be fun to just have these people who want to change the country explain their stand on these issues. If not it would be fun if congress started a narrative that claimed Anna Hazare to be anti-gay, pro-life and anti-reservation. Then the team would be forced to explain their stand on these issues.

What would be even more fun is to watch the trade-offs the team would have to make if they were actually put in that situation. I am willing to bet that the intersection of pro-reservation and pro-gay is negligibly small. The team would have quite a survey on their hands.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Happy Thiru Onam

For those who keep track of their birth star: Today's Shravanam is ThiruOnam. For rest of the year, if you are born on shravanam star - you are shravanam wonly :-)

Vishnu temples in South India portray Vishnu in 4 types of poses. It is called 'Thiru kolangal'. The poses are "Nindraan" "kidandhan" "irundhan" "nadanthan" thirukolangal. An example of "Nindraan" is Thirupathi, where Srinivasa Perumal is in a standing pose. Oppiliappan is another example of standing pose. An example of 'Kidandhaan' is Srirangam where Vishnu is in reclining pose. An example of 'irundhaan' is Kanchipuram Varadaraja perumal, where perumal is in sitting pose.

Lastly, Nadandhaan. In Kanchipuram, Kumbakonam, Thiruneermalai and few other temples the Nadandhaan pose is gloriously portrayed. This pose is unique to the Vaamana avatharam. Each temple portraying the Nadandhaan thirukolam shows the famous raised-leg pose at a progressively higher and higher incline. The Ulagalandha Perumal Kovil in Kanchipuram (the uragatthan+Neeragatthan+karagatthan one) is the largest diety. The raised leg is so stunningly long that it is hard to see the tip of the leg without bending down and looking upwards. Thirukovilur (near Kadalur/Vizhupuram/Thiruvannamalai) is the main Vamana avatharam temple. Thiruneermalai near pallavaram has Vishnu in all 4 Thiru Kolangal.

King Mahabali is very dear to Keralites. I have heard that many Keralites, when they see Vaishnavites praying in Padmanabhaswamy temple on Thiru Onam - they say "Today is the day of our king Mahabali. Your vamana wouldnt exist without him."

So I'll leave you with my favorite two passurams: ஓங்கி உலகளந்த உத்தமன் பேர் பாடி and அன்றி இவ்வுலகம் அளந்தாய் அடி போற்றி

p.s: If anybody can locate more Vaamana avatharam based prabhandha paasurams - do leave them in comments section.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Mankatha

Its just surprising that no matter how bad a movie is - the concept of subjectivity still applies. Really, how bad should the movie be for everyone to categorically agree that the movie sucks? When does it stop being "its your opinion. I like it btw" and get right into terrain of being an objective, un-refutable fact. Let us take Sam Anderson - who this movie refers to - as an example of a person who does bad movies. Are there people who still use the 'subjectivity' ticket and claim that his movies are watchable too?

Mankatha should be classified as a factual example of a bad movie with Ajith saying "Bladu bladu bladu bladu" in trailers instead of "money..". Maybe it should be called "A Venkat Prabhu Bore". So that there is no argument on the subject. Sometimes these movie makers shouldn't be allowed to talk about how much fun they had while shooting the movie. And how cool everyone was and what a riot the shooting process was. I dont care if Ajith made biryani for the crew or if he made Punnaku. I'd rather all these people had diarrhea for 60 straight days and were retching vomit - provided they give me a good movie. This way they suffer and I'll have some fun. The other-way around, which is what happened with Mankatha, was annoying.

I think Ajith was the reason why the movie didn't work for me. His lack of acting ability, dancing ability, shabby dialog delivery, dead-man expression, and his poor presence bothered me no end. From the first frame where he bursts into the scene - I saw in him a flabby fat man with a un-hide-able paunch and one who could not fit into police inspector clothes without looking shabby and out of shape. Spending so much build up to show Ajith as cool has not allowed Venkat prabhu to make a movie that is actually interesting. Take the scene where Ajith waltzes to some western classical music as he shoots and kills some burning baddies in a fight scene. I am sure Venkat prabhu intended this to be a cool scene where he wants to portray Ajith as a person who enjoyed being part of tight, near-death situation. But it didnt land that way. Ajith looked pretty much like a stupid fat guy who is so stoned that he cant differentiate being in a duet song Vs being in a fight scene.

No amount of plot twists and turns could make up for the poorly explained, hastily described plot. The actual heist of stealing money from Arumugam Chettiar was dead on arrival and there was nothing clever about it. Premji Amaran's jokes fell flat. Venkat prabhu did not manage to pull a single joke that was irreverent or funny. Goa was more interesting.

I think he was better off making movies without these so called stars.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Teachers Day

Forget about teachers in 80s and 90s. That was a different world. Think about who would want to be a *primary/secondary school* teacher now. I see tomorrow's school teachers broadly falling into 2 categories (a) people who could not be engineers or doctors and pretty much failed in every single attempt to get a corporate job that paid more (b) women who would have otherwise been housewives. Teaching would have been their only shot at an 9-5 relatively low-pressure employment that did not interfere with child/family rearing.

The closest analogy to asking people to take up teaching because its a noble profession would be Anna Hazare supporters asking the corrupt to stop taking bribes because it is the ethically right thing to do.

Sure. Why not?