On Coincidence…

Guest Blog #16 – Anand C

“can the loud clap of a cymbal change everything?”
– ‘The man who knew too much’ (1956)

“a large van coming across the street, onto a slab of glass, Lola and her boyfriend fleeing from the police…”
– Run Lola Run (1999)

“…discovering a little box of playthings that some child hid away decades ago… everything associated with childhood will one fit one day fit in a little box… is the way to true happiness improving the lives of everyone around you?”
– Amelie (2001)

“what if there are no conicidences?”
– Signs (2002)

“three youth. from three different strata. meet on the Napier bridge. their lives change irrevocably…”
– Aayitha Ezhuthu (2004)

Appidi Podu becomes a Manmatha Rasa


Gilli‘s superhit song Appidi Podu is emerging as this year’s Manmatha Rasa. Topping the charts in all the countdowns, it is creating rockers in kollywood. Though it would be an exaggeration to call this as equivalent to the Manmatha Rasa fame, Appidi Podu is the hum-of-the-mouth in chennai.

On an another note, I was watching Muthey Muththamma song from Ullasam in KTV yesterday. Just noticed that what a great singer we have in Kamalhassan. Especially they way he has huskily sung this song reminds me of what I felt while I heard Shankar Mahadevan‘s Sandana Thendralai from Kandukondain Kandukondain. It had the same fervour and passion. Karthick Raja had earlier told in an interview that it was real tough to make Kamal agree to sing this song.

I can’t imagine someone singing this song except for Kamalhassan. He is one hell of a singer, unexploited.

Farhan Akthar and his Lakshya

Farhan Akthar’s Lakshya is set to release this week. The movie has been hyped and expected just because of Dil Chahta Hai. Dil Chahta Hai tried to change the way people looked at bollywood films. Especially DCH But the expectation was ephemeral. Not many movies after DCH created the impact like what it did.

Out of a blue, on one fine saturday, if you are lazing through channels and you see this tall guy Hritik Roshan dancing like a Prabhu Deva in the recent super hit Main Aisa Kyon Houn. Especially those clandestinely beautiful Bharathnatyam movements where Hritik moves his fingers like scissors across his eyes, are certainly prabhu deva like ones. When I finally learnt that it was Prabhu Deva who composed the choreography, I couldn’t resist my curiosity. Now this is what Prabhu Deva’s uniqueness. He can add those magical movements even to a rather monotonous song.

Recently, during a talk show called The Lounge show in CNBC TV18, Farhan Akthar displayed absolute discipline and was very level headed, unlike many of his contemporaries. Simone D Singh who hosted the show was a show-off. With he not-so-glamorous-and-not-so-natural smile, she was parroting Frahan and kep me irritating. But Farhan maintained his cool even when Simone jumped sky high while mentioning about his wife who did the neo-urban hairdressing for the Dil Chahta Hai guys.

However, I didn’t like the feel of Dil Chahta Hai. It was very unnatural, especially the interiors and the story. But Aamir and Saif Ali Khan played their roles, appreciably well. The interiors, Aamir’s french beard and the Jaane Kyon Log Pyaar Karte song all inspired Kamalhassan in Panchathanthiram. Looking at the promos for Lakshya, it looks like Farhan Akthar has a long way to go. FYI, he also does the lyrics for Bend it like Beckam fame Gurinder Chadha’s latest flick Bride and Prejudice.Are you asking, what about Hritik Roshan?. Thats slightly doubtful.

Read this interesting profile of Farhan in Outlook, here.

Writer Sujatha – A Quintessential Interview


Writer Sujatha, a writer-par-excellence, reiterates about his life, the people, the writers, the books and the incidents that influenced him/his writings in this quintessential interview to Kumudam’s Theeranadhi. You need a userid/pwd to login.

He details his writing experience without any pretensions and also accepts that many of his good stories were written in an urgency to publish. He expatiates, ‘Stories which I planned to write in leisure were never written. I needed that urgency. It was like how Pudumai Piththan needed an urgency. He probably knew that he would not live for long and hence wrote tons before he died‘. Also his distinction between good and popular writing shows the profound writer he is.

writer sujatha

For a die-hard Sujatha fan like me, this detailed interview is a piece of rare literature for this interview will become a part of the Writer Sujatha‘s biography in the future to come.

As he mentions, one of his very detailed interview was to a magazine called Padigal (Steps). Incidentally, I have a copy of that interview which I collected from the famous old book shop in Luz, Mylapore. If anyone is interested to glance it through, send me an email and I can pass it on.

You can also read this interview reproduced in desikan’s page here. I met desikan during this year’s Chennai Book Fair. Desikan is Writer Sujatha’s official biographer and also one of his biggest fans. His drawings on Srirangam decorates the latest publication of Sujatha’s Srirangathu Kathaigal. He also blogs here. Check out his Enn Per Aandal blog post for an interesting read.

Email Wars

The war is on. Yahoo Vs Google. Where is Hotmail, btw ? Who Bothers, anyway.

Yahoo unleashes it’s 100MB email space for every unpaid account trying to match the google’s powerful and relatively slow 1GB account. Paid Subscribers of Yahoo get 2GB. Mind Blowing.

Throw your PCs. The network becomes the PC.

World Themes for Indian Cinema (Part 4 of 8)

Co-Blogging Series – Anand C and Lazy Geek
classical dance montage

“If I worship thee for fear of hell, burn me in hell; if I worship thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise. But if I worship thee for thy own sake, grudge me not thy everlasting beauty!”

This hymm from Sufi saint Rabi’a sums up an artist’s approach to the arts (‘ars gratia artis’ or ‘art for arts’ sake’), the essence of Theme 4 of this series [story so far]. True artists are said to draw inspiration from their own experiences. A.R Rahman‘s “Thee Thee” from Thiruda Thiruda comes to mind as an example where the interweaving of the loud & pacy male voice and the soft & melodious female voice seems to subtly reflect the criss-crossing influences of Hinduism and Islam in his own life.

Classical Music and Dance are un-ending sources of inspiration. The mystical and symbolic nature and its ability to express subtle, multi-layered human emotions succintly is an excellent theme to explore. Traditionally, some memorable characters have been portrayed on celluloid. Sankarabaranam, Salangai Oli, Sindhu Bhairavi, Taal. And yet, some eminently forgettable characters (who can’t shake a leg to save their lives!) have come and gone, bringing down the genre with them (Ramarajan’s world record for the most make-up per sq. cm of skin notwithstanding). It’s time for a revival!

Read moreWorld Themes for Indian Cinema (Part 4 of 8)

Mani Ratnam and the "relative grading" syndrome!

Guest Blog 14 – Anand C

Good students are good students in the Indian education system, regardless of how well others perform. You get “first class” if you have 60%. Simple!

However in the American educational system you could get a ‘B’ if you got 60% and half the class scored higher than you. On the flip side, you could get less than 40% and still get a ‘B’ if most of the class is behind you. The key to decide which side of the ‘bump in the bell curve’ one sits on is which class you get compared to!

If Mani Ratnam’s Aayitha Ezhuthu is analyzed a la the Indian education system (i.e., by itself, not in comparison with his past films), he would get a great grade – commercially and critically speaking. Most current reviews though seem biased in one form or another by the “relative grading” syndrome.

What do you think?

Coffee day, makes my day !!

I’ve been an obsessive compulsive coffee lover throughout. I am one among the many south indians tamils who are addicted to the filter coffee culture. So what happens ? Invariably, I spend more time to decide on the coffee mix. So everytime we need to get filter coffee powder from shop, I give more instructions to that shopwala than to my hair dresser or my costume designer(lol..read tailor).

This evening when I gave the Coffee Day shopwala more complex formulas than e=mc2 for my filter coffee powder, he was amused by my interest in coffee. Told not many people were interested in coffee powder preparation. With 400 gms of Plantation ‘A’ and 100 gms of Plantation ‘B’ supreme(??), the coffee smelled best, only to me. He was apprehensive with that degree of mix and said he would like to know if at all it tasted good. Waved a bye so oddly.

But now as I drink the same coffee, the coffee tastes great and I am forced to give me a pat myself for the coffee lover in me. Very Pompous post this is. Right ?

What makes NEWS?

Guest Blog 13 – Anand C

I’ve wondered how news is prioritized and given preference and how they choose what is repeated again and again on 24-hour news channels. (Case in point: The same weekend that Britney Spears went through her “one-day” wedding in Las Vegas, NASA’s Rover landed had its historic Mars landing. It’s anybody’s guess as to which of the two got all the ink).

One of my friends (a professional in the print industry) seems to know why. According to him, the pocket guide to determine what is news consists of two high-level guidelines:

1. Someone died.
2. Someone got rich.

Evidently, degrees of separation from these two guidelines determines how much “human interest” a story has. Sounds morbid but true…

UPDATE: The NEWS being advertised as a ‘show’ is more scary. What happens when bad news is being delivered about a company that is sponsoring that segment? Also, news anchors create brands around themselves for being trustworthy. Now, who does the audience trust and more importantly, hold accountable – the TV network or the announcer? -a.