In Kollywood we (never) trust

**Hasn’t been spell checked. Was just blowing some gas. Read at your own risk**

The latest picture postcard of Rajini[looking energetically as in Billa/Mr Bharath] in Sivaji makes me fear that this Shankar flick will also turn out to be another Baba. Baba was a flop mainly due to the hype that was created by media. Now that blogs are trying to match the media in every other area, news is spreading like nobody’s business on blogosphere.

If only someone kept track of that picture, it would possible be the most e-mailed picture in the last week or so. I got atleast 6 forwards of the same picture from various newspapers. Sujatha and Shankar should be grinding their teeth to catch hold of that photographer who paparazzi’ed the whole thing. Me too. Just because I am going to miss the surprise of meeting the ‘old’ rajini in a ‘new’ movie. Starting now, we will have numerous stories floating around on Sivaji that would even entice Shankar to include in the original script.

I was also bloddy irritated about Selvaraghavan’s pre-release marketing of Pudhupettai. While making a whole movie on gangsters, an interview that’s sounding as cheap as, “This is a special movie for Sneha. She is acting as a prostitute. It would be a milestone in her career”, doesn’t suit. For someone like him, I would expect a rather sublime interview and not being so obvious about the characters which spoils the whole fun of watching a movie. I care a damn if its a milestone for Sneha or not. Especially not before the movie. The pre-release marketing should only being hinting at what the movie is aiming to do. Whether its going to be a milestone or not is for the audience to decide. Also this attitude of glorifying someone is he shaves his head or he acts with lungi or if a heroine acts with a saree through out a movie, doesn’t stand a chance to make an impression. Come on dude, I’m expecting Pudhupettai should do atleast 50% of what Marti’s GoodFellas did to Hollywood. If only its turning to be a pot boiler, I’m no more bothered. BTW, Pudhupettai has many context based songs/themes that may not be once-more numbers but they will sure be an enjoyable watch.

I am this…I am that

Magazines run ads.

Books don’t.

What are blogs?

This is sheer co-incidence. Two days before, I decided to remove ads out of this blog. Two days later, I read Seth Godin’s introspective blogpost on Promotion, Self Promotion and ofcourse Ads.

If you are a blogger, you are sure to have thought about this, numerous times. Even if you aren’t one, Seth’s post would hint you the kind of promotional and self-promotional ads run by the blogs. Do read it.

Best of 2005

Roger Ebert’s Best Movies of 2005. Crash tops the list as Spielberg’s Munich is on the third while King Kong sits on number 9.

Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and U2’s Bono are Persons of the Year 2005.

Time’s Best Photos of the Year 2005.

Reuter’s Pictures of the Year 2005.

Google’s 2005 Year-end Zeitgeist. Looking at Froogle – Top Searches in 2005, you know how the world goes ga-ga over the whole IPOD thing. Indian version of Google’s Zeitegeist isn’t out yet. However going by the international zeitgeist itself you could expect Sania Mirza, Bipasha Basu and Mallika Sherawat to top the list.

10 Best Tech Podcasts of 2005. The Web 2.0 Show has been quite interesting.

Sify’s Kollywood Box-Office 2005. This essentially does not mean these are the ‘good’ movies. We know good movies and box-office are inversely propotional. Thalaivar’s and Jo’s Chandramukhi tops the list. And yeah !! read closely, No Comments for minuses on Chandramukhi.

Best of Indian Blogs ?. We are still in the process of nominating the Best Indian Blogs. If you haven’t nominated your favorite Indian blogs, read more on IndiBloggies. If the whole thing sounds a little geeky to you, cool off. Leave a comment here and I will try to nominate them for you with a mention of your name.

NY Time’s The 10 Best Books of 2005. Haruki Murakami’s Kafka On The Shore tops the list of fiction 2005. Ian McEwan’s Saturday is also one of them. They also have 100 Notable Books of the Year which features Rushdie’s Shalimar the Clown, Freakonomics, The World is Flat and also the expected Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince.

P.S – Will keep adding few more as they keep coming.

An Ad-free blog !!

I know it was me who jumped in at first to sign-up for Google Adsense, when it was introduced. Two reasons. To earn money from the blog and to also try out how Google Adsense works. Well, I haven’t earned more than what I spend on this blog. More than the hosting charges, its the time that I invest writing which is more precious. I do enjoy the experience of writing. Add to that joy the lots of typos and grammatically perfect sentences that would Wren and Martin, a run for life.

Just that I don’t want to earn money from the targetted ads. Hence I unplugged the Ad scripts from the templates. Adsene has been just outstanding as expected. Maybe I’ll plug back the Ad scripts after a few months. As of not this blog is Ad-Free. Talk about signing up for the Ads myself and taking it out with a dramatic post like this.

To keep the templates trim, the Go Seattle Photoblog is also not plugged out of the templates. I did notice that the flickr script has been running more than the expected time and sometime it’s frustating to see the blog getting loaded after a long time.

Mani Ratnam's latest – A Romantic Comedy

With all the hulla-golla over Mani Ratnam directing Mahabharata coming to an end, there is some rumor on bollywood circles that Mani Ratnam is directing Aamir Khan, produced by Bobby Bedi. Well, its not Mahabharata but a romantic comedy. And I’m already thanking my stars that Mani Ratnam isn’t directing the three-series Mahabharata, atleast in the recent future. And I hope he never does it. I would love to see if he makes Mahabharata in Tamil. However, we know tamil cinema’s market isn’t as big as bollywood.

Anyways on the Mani Ratnam-Aamir Khan-Bobby Bedi project, Mid Day reports

Aamir Khan will be again seen in a comic mould after a long time. Mani Sir is directing and scripting; it’s a special project, as it marks the coming together of Aamir and Mani Ratnam for the first time. Talking about the format, Bedi adds, “It’s completely different from whatever romantic comedies you have seen so far. A lot of changes and incorporations are being made, so I can’t really talk about the story.”

Mani Ratnam directing romantic comedy seems very exciting given Mani’s mood to make some serious cinema, these days. Above all that is Rahman joining the team, will be a question to be answered in the coming days.

Iruvar is what Iruvar does

Baradwaj Rangan’s posts an old column on Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar in his blog, Blogical Conlclusion. Given the lucid flow and his ‘too’ perfect references to the most appropriate trivia/persons of Tamil Industry, makes this column an eminent research material.

I aspire to pen one such article on both Iruvar and Hey Ram. But after reading this column, I probably wouldn’t do that with Iruvar. If you are tamil cinema geek or a Mani Ratnam fan, this is a must read. One hell of a read, this is.

From Two People, One Industry

Iruvar has a breathtaking style that brings to mind Tamil cinema, both old and new. The film is a passage through time, and an early song sequence showing Anandan – this name is itself that of a small-time hero of the fifties and the sixties who starred in the likes of Vijayapuri Veeran and Veerathirumagan – romancing his lady is shot in black and white, with the elaborately ornamental wipes found in films of the Ambikapathi period. Vairamuthu’s lyrics here incorporate suitably chaste Tamil words, AR Rahman’s heavily Carnatic-style music appropriates the characteristics of early composers like G Ramanathan and SV Venkataraman, and this song is sung by Unnikrishnan and Bombay Jayashree.

Chinmayi's Anbulla Snehithiye

Chinmayi’s rendering of Anbulla Snehithiye is one of the best megaserial songs on Tamil Television. While most of the mega serial songs are fast paced and get on your nerves after a couple of times, Anbulla Snehidhiye’s title song was one of the best, those days. Chinmayi recently had posted that song on her audio blog. Do listen to this melodious number.

Anbulla Snehithiye was a late-night megaserial on Sun TV directed by Priya, an assistant to Mani Ratnam[for Iruvar and Dilse] and also an assosiate to Suhasini[for Indra]. Priya recently shot to fame with her debut directorial venture, Kanda Naal Mudhal, which I’m looking forward to watch. Priya also was the scriptwriter for Revathi’s directorial venture, Mitr- My Friend.

Anbulla Snehidhiye was probably the only mega serial, I watched regularly. It was broadcasted at 10:00 pm on weekedays, the time I had my dinner. With several of my favorites like Suhasini, Anu Hassan and ‘Fanta Illamai Pudhumai’ Swarnamalya, the cast was nearly perfect and the story, top notch. If you are wondering what the story was, it was adapted from the novel, Sister of My Heart by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

This title song was a household number and felt elated to hear it after a long time. Thanks to Mukund for pointing me to the post.

IBN Live – The media goes to blogs

I had no clue until Dilip Radhakrishnan pointed out that IBN Live was linking here to the review of King Kong. I’ve been hearing about IBN Live only for the last two days.

IBN Live is apparently a news channel from TV18 and CNN. Rajdeep Sardesai, The Big Fight guy from NDTV is leading this effort. From their site, IBN seems to be a pro-blog channel as they are calling for Citizen Journalists and an exclusive blog microsite from the journalists. Nice to know, the TV media is going the blog way.

IIT Saarang 2006

IIT Madras’ Saarang 2006 is happening from 24th to 29th January 2006. The dates were just announced and Airtel seems to be the main sponsor of the whole program. Donno what’s up with Hutch this time.

This year’s pro-shows aren’t announced yet. Sulekha sponsored a Saarang Blogathon for the last 2 years. Probably this time too, given that Kiruba is now in Sulekha. But the Saarang has a blog, Saarang Talk[Via Sudhish] written by Amrut. Per the blog, Amrut says that the blog would be a bridge between the Saarang and it’s audience.

Anyway, this is just a ramble post as I would be missing the Saarang this year. Saarang has it’s own spirit that ranges from being geeky to cheeky. Even if you are fast approaching your big 30s, you are sure to get charged up with the first encounter of the slogan, Live a Saarang !!.