Sujatha replies

Sujatha replies to the previous blogpost on his Katrathum Petrathum article, in the comments section of the blogpost itself. Here.

dear friend
Rarely I answer blog references One of the greatest pleasures in wriring is perceptive readers like you are reading every line and its echo is loud and clear
It was a general essay I wrote on turning seventy It had a global response The purpose is not to scare people about growing old and dying but to inspire a sense of urgency in whatever one wants to pursue in life and in its wake revise and simplify the targets
Sujatha
Posted by Sujatha at May 10, 2005 12:48 PM

Wow !! It made up my day. Thank a Ton.

Blogging about Blogging !!

The sky came down. Well, not exactly. None ever knew how it was to have Google go down for a few minutes or getting hacked. All this and more happened today evening at 3:00 pm PST to 6:00 pm PST. Read more on Gigaom.

The geeks of blogosphere came together to celebrate Dave Winer’s 50th Birthday. Looks like it was fun. If only it was around Seattle, I would have loved to be a part of it. Apart from wishing Dave on his 50th birthday, I would have got a chance to meet Scoble and Dave together and ask them why did they ever argued against Google’s Autolink issue.

Seth Godin on the interesting topic of The Digital Divide. Join the club, dudes.

Blog, on the go. Blogger delivers Mobile Blogging.

Sujatha forgets Ramya Krishnan

I know its a silly title to the post. But it has to be this way like Sujatha’s last week’s Katrathum Petrathum in Vikatan. Just as how Sujatha can easily describe toughest things with a sublime humor and practised ease. Sujatha in his weekly column, enunciates the issues of ageing and memory loss. More to it, without any pretence, he talks about the idea of death from the perspective of a rapidly ageing man. All this and more on the event of his 71th birthday. If you had missed the print edition, Desikan has published this Vikatan column, here.

Just like Desikan, it sent shockers to me. Not just me but many others who had commented about this in the previous post marking the Birthday of Sujatha. While describing memory loss, Sujatha describes about his evergreen memory with respect to nicest times of his life. His memory loss pertains to mostly petty things like, Who’s the girl who acted alongwith Rajini in Padayappa ? or What would you call an Aandhai in English ?. Did you just say, Ramya Krishnan or Owl to yourself now. I did. Then you are testing your memory to see if you have any memory packet loss.

In Srirangathu Devadhaigal, when Sujatha describes the world of Srirangam and the minute details as he enjoyed in his childhood, I’ve wondered if he had an elephant’s memory. The way he had recollected the pillars of Kamba Mandapam in the temple of Srirangam was immaculate. When I had been to Srirangam few years back, I went to the temple alone, in the wee hours of a calm day, to feel the pillars of Kamba mandapam and to relive the experience of Sujatha.

Now after a decade, when I read ageing brings acute memory loss to a your favorite writer whose memory you thought was robust, gives a selfish shock. The fact that you will also become soon like that. I’ve seen many old people reading the obituary columns as their first serving, in morning newspapers. I never knew it had an inner meaning as suggested by Sujatha. Above all this, Sujatha talks about Progressive Compromises. A term which anyone of us who has lived life can relate to. Probably its one of most abstract theories of life told in the most simple words.

Whatsoever, the column has all the fans and non-fans of Sujatha very upset. Many of them have left messages on Sujatha’s posts that they pray for his longevity. Even more, in this week’s column Sujatha had published a small poem that Crazy Mohan had sent to console Sujatha. BTW, here’s an interesting email of questions, that Latha had sent me.

….. Fyi, i still havent finished reading Kadavul Irukirara. But read Eppozhudhum Penn for the nth time. Man, sometimes I wonder if he ever transformed into a girl for a while and then got back to being a guy.

I must have read his article in this week vikatan n number of times. The emotions my face registered during the read must have given a freudian student enough to write 100 thesis. How does he manage to say so many things so very simply and in so little words. Enna memory ?! How can he quote so many people, at the right time, right place with the right facts. Only some people can grow younger every year and with such grace. I am 20ish now and when I see 16/17 year olds I feel I have grown old and trust me guru, I cant relate to most of their thoughts and opinions. I sometimes dont even approve of the latest fashion, the trend, the ‘take-it-easy’ attitude and how does this man, all by himself, keep track of everything thats happening/been happening for the past few decades. Enakku enna threiyuma kekkanum Sujatha kitte, if ever I meet him, I wanna ask him if he had time to check who his son’s friends were in school ? Did he ever get time to play cricket/carrom/chess with his children? Did he fight with his wife for less salt in sambhar ? Did he have misunderstandings with neighbours ? How did he manage office politics ? Parents meeting attend panni irukara? Theatre poi movie paarpara ille thiruttu vcd-ya? Thaligai panna theriyuma? Pondattikku kitchenle help pannuvara? Perumal sevikkumbodhu slokam solluvara? Beram pesi kaaikari vaangi irukkara ? Autokaaranoda sandai pottu irukara? Sight Adichirukara? Vasanth character avara ille vera yaaravadha?. Evalo questions. I just wanna know if he ever lived like a normal human being ?

Any answers, Sujatha !!

P.S : Sujatha Replied. Purpose of this blogpost met. Comments closed for you-know-why 😉

Accelerating the Web, Google is at risk

Probably for the first time, I am very unhappy with Google. Even when they had plugged in My Search History, I was pondering why Google would go in for a service that makes this little privacy intrusion. It’s accepted that My Search History was a boon for people to come back and look at their search phrases, even after a year but then isn’t it like giving Google your email address and all what you search using Google.

Now with their latest offering of Google Web Accelerator, I am at an uncomfortable state even more. GWA is a plug-in that gets attached to your browser and whenever you hit a web URL, the page is either fetched from Google’s web server through pre-fetching mechanisms or the Google’s web servers nominated just for this purpose will get the page loaded from the respective website’s servers through differential or parallel loads. There is more to it than just this.

Google says that it gets the same information as what my ISP gets. Agreed. Why am I getting hassled here? Two Reasons.

One – My ISP is Comcast and Comcast knows what I am browsing. But there are umpteen ISPs around and I can switch to anyone of them any time. Google is ubiquitous and unique. Imagine just 25% of browsing population in the US installing GWA and using it regularly. If only this 25% of them browse 100,000 sites a day, the traffic to those sites gets routed through Google web servers. So those 100,000 web servers would get to know that most of their traffic came through Google Web Server and not the actual IP address or geography of the browsing source. Last night, when I installed GWA and at clicked on this blog URL for numerous times, the traffic page was showing that the hits came from Google Inc, United States and not from my IP address. Not only GWA acts as a free anonymizer[proxy] to the web but also grabs away the nominal information a site owner should know about his audience.

Two – Google as of yesterday knew my email address, my personal search history and my home address [if subscribed to Google AdSense]. Until now, if only I searched something with Google, I sent some information to Google. Now with Google Web Accelerator, I don’t need to search anything to give Google some pie. Whatever I browse/see/read/visit goes through Google and it knows all that. You might think what’s wrong with that. Being a Google fan/admirer/patron I feel Google is run by honest dudes who are just trying to enhance the web. But then, just too much of everything isn’t good. Having been involved with Data Warehousing technologies, I perfectly understand the power of analytics and business intelligence. With so much of browsing data and web page calls sent through Google, its as simple as building an OLAP cube to get the taste of web. Give a me that RDBMS/Flat File/XML that contains the URL calls and IP numbers, I can get you a scorecard for the web within minutes. With Google being a Data Mining company, this should be just a click away. They will eventually know what goes on in the web. Who sees what? And if only that data is used for enhancing user experience, I am the most happiest of all to salute Google. Will Google assure of that?

As I had supported the Autolink tool of Google, I said that Autolink is a service that’s available for people who download the Google toolbar and also enable the option. The so-called privacy intrusion happens only then. But even if 10% of broadband users subscribe to GWA, I think it’s just much info in the hands of Google. Autolink wasn’t a slippery slope like GWA. I’m just thinking if people were booing at the Autolink feature, imagine what they would do to GWA. Google is risking its brand loyalty and probably that’s the best way to run a successful company. However, appreciate the guts to take the risk.

After Starbucks it's Netflix


[Reed Hastings, CEO Netflix] [Pic: detnews.com]

As Starbucks is for coffee, Netflix is for movies, says Reed Hasting, Netflix CEO. I prefer to change Reed Hastings’ words. Like Google is for search, Starbucks is for coffee and Netflix is for movies. For all the three brands have been under-estimated when they came about. And slowly people started submitting to them. Now they rule their areas of operation, however modularized they are.

Having a Blockbuster right outside my apartment complex, I was tempted to join Blockbuster’s DVD by mail program so that I would also get some coupons for in-store movie rentals. After all I thought, brand doesn’t matter. A movie buff requires only a store with movies and it will do. After constant pressures from few of my like-minded friends, I landed at Netflix.

Netflix was a suprise to me. I got DVDs delivered in one day interval and I’ve been watching movies nearly everyday for the last month. More than my urge to watch movies, it’s Netflix thats pushing DVDs one after the other, three at a time, like a server robot to make me watch movies. Thats one reason I started the two-minute reviews category in the blog. Still, with the in-flow of movies, I’ve not been able to jot much. The more I watch the less time I get for other stuff. Cable no more attracts me. Even HBO seems so trivial. When I have Netflix, I can nearly watch any hollywood movie I wish, within a day’s time. Though I miss those days of watching a movie trailer in Star TV and waiting for it to be premiered, Netflix is a killer service.

A friend who went ahead with Blockbuster cancelled it’s service because even the first DVD arrived five days after him subscribing to it. Another friend gets movies regularly from Blockbuster. So Blockbuster isn’t any less than Netflix except that Netflix has seven years of pioneering experience in DVD rental-by-mail industry. They also have a stupendous back-end. Probably a well developed Data Warehouse I suppose. They analyze every subscriber’s movie likings and have put up a movie recommendation section that just rocks. Also their strategically placed collection centers play a vital role in Netflix’s progress.

Netflix heavily relies on the well developed the American postal service. Else even day-dreaming a service like this would be waste of time. With heavy rumors surrounding Netflix being takenover by Amazon, though I hate consolidations in the industry, if only Amazon could add more value to the existing Netflix service, it would be a warm welcome. Also, Blockbuster planning to double-up it’s rental stores as collection centres would increase it’s service capabilities exponentially and would be a looming threat to Netflix. If only success depends on customer satisfaction, Netflix wins hands-down.

I already have 65 movies in a queue ranging from Psycho to Identity to Malena to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. So one day it’s Dennis Weaver trying to runaway from a truck driver in Spielberg’s Duel. Another day it’s Branko Djuric as Ciki becoming victim of a bombing in No Man’s Land. Be it Antonella Attili falling in love with movies and Cinema Paradiso, Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones writing a diary, Robert De Niro boxing his way with the Raging Bull, John Cusack and you getting crazy inside the head of John Malkovich, Shahrukh as the stupendous Mohan Bharghava catching the next AirIndia to India or even Nana Patekar doing a realistic act as Sadhu Agashe while couting Ab Tak Chappan, the possiblities with Netflix are limited by the number of movies released. Netflixing Life !!

Faces / Vikram / Anniyan

anniyan_vikram_av1

In the coming days, one would probably see these images multiple times on the blogosphere as Shankar starts to aggressively market Anniyan through the print media.

Its a kodambakkam culture to release promos via Ananda Vikatan. Kamal in the Iyengaar make-up with a gun appeared on the covers of Vikatan for Hey Ram, Shanmugi with Madisaar appeared similarly. There are many more such Vikatan introductions. Per the classical way, Shankar releases the first ‘different’ pics to Vikatan. I loved the one above. Very different Vikram. I am sure the disappointment of Anniyan’s music will be offset by the visuals. Atleast we hope.

Doesn’t that kick-off the countdown for Anniyan. I have added all the pics from Vikatan here, Faces / Vikram / Anniyan. Thank You Vikatan.

Happy Birthday Dude !! – Sujatha Rangarajan

writer_sujatha_bday.jpg

A friend of mine came from India last week. He brought along some Ambika appalams and Manga thokku bottles. I threw them aside and got hold of something else which I wanted desperately. Sujatha‘s Selected Shortstories Part II. He gave me a wierd look and said, “Machan Itha ethukku eduthundu vara sonna ? “. I smiled and started reading the first page. He wasn’t bitten by the Sujatha bug. I was, badly.

It wasn’t until I read Nila Nizhal I went gaga over Sujatha. Like Sidney Sheldon, I was thinking Sujatha was a female writer initially. I was amused when (s)he wrote about teenage bloopers in Nila Nizhal. It was just a beginning and it was there my journey alongwith Sujatha started. From the Purasawalkam’s Tana street potti kadai to Tambaram Sanitorium library to Mylapore Azhwar Kadai, I have bought/read/enjoyed Sujatha everywhere. I even carried a Sujatha novel to my first interview. To read when I got some spare time.

As a teenager, I was quite amazed how could realistically write a teenager’s mind in Aathalinaal Kathal Seiveer and that same amazement follows me through the wineshop scenes of Shankar’s Boys. When I watched Enn Iniya Iyandhira on cable, I had the book in my hand to follow it real close. With Anithaavin Kaathalgal, I was convinced that this guy wrote better romance fiction than many contemporary tamil writers. With Kanavu Thozhirchaalai I was sure that my interests matched Sujatha. I read Madhyamar and started worshipping. Roja, Indian, Mudhalvan, Kannathil Muthamittal and Boys continues to say what an interesting dimension a book writer can bring into a movie. I am still positive that my interests match Sujatha’s. What a stupid statement you would think. I am not bothered. But I relate to him so much. A millions of other fans join me. It’s probably this USP of relating to him makes him supreme than others in Tamil writing scene. Just last week, I completed reading his Madhyamar and Thoondil Kathaigal, again, in the bathroom. Though till day, Guruprasadin Kadaisi Dhinam continues to reamin as my all-time favorite of Sujatha.

Why would directors like Mani Ratnam and Shankar go back to Sujatha when they are savvy enough to pen screenplay & dialogues by themselves. When Mani Ratnam shot Uyire[Dil Se] he discussed the story with Sujatha. Sujatha then wrote the story in a novel format. The format was then converted to screenplay and dialogues were written.

Sujatha’s first story was published in 1954 in a magazine named Sivaji. His next story Athirchi was published six years later in Kumudam. So if we assume 1954 to be his official start date as a writer, he completes 51 years in writing.

I probably cannot finish the post as I have a tsunami of thoughts on his writing. So here’s wishing a man whose brains I would wish to own, A Very Joyous Birthday, as he completes 70 years on planet earth. Here’s Sujatha about himself –

sujatha_intro.jpg