TGIF dudes!!

vikram anniyan
[Pic: hindu.com]

How would it be if the celebrities congratulate and ask questions to Vikram on the event of bagging the National Award for the Best Actor. The Hindu does a great job on this. Read today’s friday features column, Vikram, the Victor. For the character that was given (though the characterization had its own issues), as an undertaker in Pithamahan, Vikram did a great job. This one question from Shankar and Vikram’s answer proves his zeal for excellence.

Shankar : I was doing a survey about people’s secret of success. What is yours?
Vikram : Hard work. I am like a bridled horse. I like to do one film at a time. Once I start it, my waking hours, sleep, dreams, everything revolves round the film and the character. At the moment, I am eating, drinking and sleeping only Anniyan. I have taken a short break to enjoy the award.

I was expecting today’s friday review to also carry small write-ups on all the award winners from South. But there was only this feature on Vikram. Others might come next week. Iyarkai starring Shyam and Kutti Radhika which bagged the best tamil film and Meera Jasmine for her performance in T V Chandran’s Paatham Onnu Oru Vilaapam. Thanks to Ashok R in reminding me that I hadn’t blogged a word on Vikram’s award.

I did miss the book reading session of Girish Karnad last tuesday at Landmark, Spencer Plaza. Looks like his new book, Two Plays by Girish Karnad – The Dreams of Tipu Sultan / Bali The Difference has caught the attention. The nice commentary on the book reading session is here, Karnad and the King, in by Shonali Muthalaly. She made me envious on the audience to the session.

There is some good news for Chennai residents to celebrate. The Madras Day is being celebrated this weekend on August 22nd. The venue for the Madras day on 22nd will be the cinema fame Rajaji hall. From Photo exhibitions to painting spree on the landscapes of Chennai, to talk shows and quizzes on Chennai, the Madras day turning out to be fun. A note on today’s Hindu is here, Doing their mite for Madras. The three — historian S. Muthiah, D Souza, and Sashi Nair, a journalist — have been urging public relations agencies, children, corporate houses, artists and Chennai Corporation to participate in Madras Day, the first of its kind to be held in Chennai. S. Muthiah, the historician is the one who writes the Madras Miscellany column in Metro Plus. For a peek into his amazing column read this column on Ellis R. Dungan who made M.S. Subbulakshmi a film star.

BTW it’s TGIF dudes – Thank God It’s Friday.

Yahoo Search Blog – New Kid on the block

Yahoo search launches it’s own Yahoo Search Blog like the Google blog. The most visible difference between the both search blogs being, that yahoo has opened up the comments feature and the author of blog signs below unlike the anonymous ‘The Googler’ signed google blog.

The first post written by Jeff Weiner, SVP Yahoo! Search & Marketplace writes “this blog is designed to provide a window into what our team is thinking and doing, in their own words (and maybe some guest bloggers as well)”.

Aye !! It also has a blogroll and one of the blogs to be listed is Google Blog. Should i say the blog race is heating up ?

Vasool Raja MBBS – A lovable don…doctor…don

vasool raja is a treat
[Pic: vasoolrajambbs.com]

Who would require a movie review for Vasool Raja MBBS? Actually it’s a crime to write a review for a movie like this. Wait. Read the next line before you think of firing me. You don’t actually need to read/write a review for this movie. The primary aim of the movie, I believe, is not to do any lifetime achievement in cinema. Rather the aim (other than cinema business) is to deliver laughs. And Vasool Raja does it royally and rightfully. Are you convinced now. Take a breather. Among the numerous laughs the movie gives, there is also an obvious kind pat to the doctors reminding them that patients need to be treated as humans and not as just cases.

Crazy Mohan known for this indomitable verbal and situational comic sense, has done a fantastic job for Vasool Raja. The only point is that, this movie is like Kathala Kathala has innumerous verbal jokes. Not the kind of comedy that you can remember until weekend and yap with him/her on the beach and laugh again with them. They are ephemeral in nature. Jokes like Dim Dip Dim and Manamirundhaal Marghabhandu are absolute crackers. Crazy is the uncrowned king of Tamil film comedy. Let Mouli forgive me for that statement. He wasn’t all that comical in his latest Nalla Damayanthi.

Not much with Kamalhassan. He has not makeup stunt [except for the first few scenes]. No huge dialogues and no persistent pathos that would allow him to make a loud cry throughout. It seems that he has had his breakfast, took a walk around his house, saw the shooting spot and came inside to enact a role called Vasool Raja. Very casual like what we have seen before in Pammal K Sampantham, Michael Madana Blah Blah, Tenali and of course Panchathanthiram. It is an accepted fact that he has a flamboyant comic sense. He just underlines one more time.

Let this not make you think I’m fastidious, but Bharathwaj hasn’t been upto the expectations. Though he isn’t fully to be blamed for the not-so-good songs and their picturisation, he could have taken his time in the composition. I have really loved his music for his previous films and thought he could weave a magic, having Kamal as the cast.

I hate to compare the Hindi Bhai and the Tamil Thambi but it seems impossible. One reason, why I Munnabhai MBBS was because I saw a song clip in MTV. That song in the hospital where Sanjay Dutt expresses his romantic encounters completely blew me away with the music and the performance of Sanjay dutt. I was placing my bid on Kamal’s performance of the same song in the Tamil version. Instead of a similar song, it was replaced with a silly song called Azhwarpettai Aandava which sounds/resembles like that Kandasaamy song in PKS. A true let down. Also that belly dance song looked like a cheap insert unlike the hindi version.

We know that Airtel is the prime sponsor for the movie but every time anyone’s cell phone rings onscreen it has a loud AirTel tone. Annoying and the height of embedded advertising. It is very clear that the movie was super produced in two-three months. Kamal’s next film cop haircut is visible from that Switzerland duet. If only Kamal can ditch those absurd looking coolers that he keeps wearing in every duet of every comedy film, how nice.

Blessed are those who haven’t seen the original version. Yeah, if you haven’t seen the original, watch Vasool Raja for the sheer Crazy Mohan and Kamal combo. They deliver. If you are the unfortunate one like me, watch it still, for the Kamal version of the don-turned-doctor-turned-don. Limited Feast assured, still.

Takeovers/Consolidations – Order of the day

We walk through the dark corridors of time, as the software industry gets on with it’s midlife crisis. Now, who doesn’t talk about the hostile takeovers? At a point of time in 1995 to be exact, IBM’s hostile takeover of Lotus was considered a sin, the reason being it was the first hostile takeover ever in the software industry. But now, as the bubble starts to burst, IT companies have no more options but to get consolidated. Consolidation is too polite a name to be given for the hostile takeovers of bigger corporations on smaller or their contemporary competitors. Be it the Oracle’s hostile takeover offer of Peoplesoft or the Microsoft/Sap merger and Sun’s plans on buying out Novell, consolidation is everywhere.

This statement of Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Inc reflects how the bigger corporations suffer from the merger syndrome “We wanted to be a survivor and a consolidator, and we felt the only way to survive and prosper was through acquisition,” Ellison said this in June.

An article in ZDNet called Survival of software’s fittest, by Martin LaMonica triggered me to write this post. A passage from the article says, “The worst job in the world right now is a software salesman–there are too many software companies fighting for too few dollars in the marketplace.

I just loved the article for the facts that it reflected. Read it fully if you in anyway related to the software industry.

Lifestyle Show – A hole in your wallet

Life Style
[some more pics on lazygeek photoblog]

Wanting to have a good detailed look the show, though I had no intentions of buying anything, I did wander around the Hindu sponsored Lifestyle Show like a kid lost in some festival. I made it on the Friday evening itself, to avoid the weekend rush hungama. Someone who went on Sunday complained that he didn’t even get a full coconut poli to eat in the food court, not to mention the very very overcrowded exhibition center.

Even as you enter the show, you shell out forty bucks as an entrance fee. Forty bucks. That’s a huge amount for an exhibition. Unlike other lifestyle shows which are organized in the little kalyana mandapams, this one was organized in the spacious trade centre. Each store had it’s ample space which was very appreciable. Worth the money that I paid on the entrance.

The Hindu had it’s own display right in one corner of the show where they had vintage pictures of Olympics. Their VIP lounge was as small as their ads on weekend classifieds. People had to bump on each other to see what’s going on inside. And when I tried the stunt, I saw someone like Pepsi Uma chatting with someone like Prashant. Before I could confirm their existence, an excited teenager was already trying to stand on my shoulders and peek inside, so I withdrew, swearing against the organizers.

The automobile stores had real cars parked inside and a family was seriously inspecting a Ford car for more than 45 minutes. I did a whole glance of the show and came back to the same store to see the father was doing something with the steering and the mom inspecting the headlights very meticulously. When I went it was the vice versa. The salesman was already sweating was having a panicked look of having troublesome customers. I did give him a friendly laugh and I think he got the sense.

All the homemakers (inclusive of grandmas, aunties and moms) who were accustomed to watch the evening Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin did take a leave and assembled for the show. There were northies than the southies. The crowd was only in the pakistani choli shop and in the carpet/mats shops. With a huge variety of shops, it was a real entertainment for them, especially.

If there is one shop were everyone bought things, including me, was the one dollar shop. Deriving the idea from the US where $1 shops are primarily used only by desis to buy toiletries and gifts for the Indian relatives (that’s what they do and it’s a fact), this one dollar shop was also damn interesting. Cheap look-alikes of Nivea and St.Ives were also found. Bu interestingly they had some real nice coffee mugs for a throw away price.

Finally the food zone, which had some real good restaurants like Copper Chimney (where you pay through your nose) and China Town were present. But with their usual speed of serving dishes, I only thought, they would have tough time coping up with the rush on weekends.

If you are a yuppie, earning big bucks from a MNC firm and a little spendthrift, you can loose thousands in such shows. While such shows display the luxuries in life than what you actually have now, they are definitely a hole in someone’s wallet. If you were present on the weekend to this lifestyle show, the first thing you do on the monday is to walk into your boss’s room asking for him for a hike.

David VS Goliath and the spirit of August 15th

Guest Blog #29 – Anand C

I love the underdog. Among the few Biblical stories I know, one of my favorites is David VS Goliath… it never ceases to inspire.

As if reminding me of a religion I know nothing about, two little independent shops in the Northern California area keep emphasizing on the concept of the little guy – the underdog. Sheer inspiration in just their audacity in taking on the 600 pound gorillas of their industries… drumroll please…

Megabooks in University Avenue – located right next to a more than 50,000 ft. Borders bookstore and still surviving. Very aptly named, and rumor has it that one of the owners is called David.

megabooks.jpg

Red Rock Cafe – located two blocks from a Starbucks and catering to those who still care about the spirit of an independence of the shop as much as they care about the aroma of their coffee.

tn-redrock_mv.jpg

In their own little way, these two little icons are thematic of this blog, and fitting reminders of the spirit of August 15, no?

HmmM… Night?

Guest Blog #28 – Anand C

MNight.jpg

The title of this article caught me by surprise. The case that Michael Agger makes is cogent, even if he had to rely at times on exaggeration of the facts and ignore some rough edges to make his case (for instance, the fact that Praying with Anger, M Night‘s first film grossed $7,000 has *nothing* to do with anything). I would put this article somewhere in the middle of a spectrum, where one extreme is mindless icon-bashing and the other is a journalistic sincerity to preserve the essence of story-telling in film.

In spite of all its shortcomings, this piece does make one ask – “Is good story-telling defined by the sincerity of what the creator wants to say, or has it been reduced to saying what the audience wants to hear?”

Follow the Bloggers; No more monologues

There have been very few times when Bloggers have been noticed very closely. To be specific it’s only twice. The Salaam Pax was once. The second is during the recent Democratic convention held in Boston where 30 bloggers were acknowledged to blog about the convention. Even as the convention is over, the reports on blogger and their quiet vishwarup are rocking the net all over and this might be the breaking point. Bloggers from now may not be treated as a foster child of the mainstream media but as cutting edge cousins whom the mainstream biggies cannot fore go.

J.D.Lasica’s tech column in Online Journalism Review, lists why increasingly bloggers are preferred than the mainstream journalists, it is pretty clear that bloggers are getting their piece of the cake. Only thing, their share keeps increasing, exponentially. She also writes how this important graph called Inbound links: Who has the ear of the blogosphere? , show that even as more inbound links are towards the big brothers like NY Times and CNN, climbing down a few more, we can see how Boing Boing and Insta Pundit are evolving as believable news sources and how they have more inbound links than even Slate, Fox and others. Check the column for more on bloggers, blogging and other blah blah blah.

As Technorati CEO David Sifry saysThe Web is not chiefly about a library or a news stand. You have to start thinking about the Web as this humongous event stream. The Web is a set of ongoing conversations that weave together into this new kind of omnipresent social fabric, . Thats the essential reason why the main stream media cannot make any more lectures, they have to start the dialogue between their readers. No more monologues, please !!.