the city

35 days or so in chennai during the midst of a music season was so liberating. Not because I’m some NRI running around in kakkhi shorts and a sporty sandal. Its ironically true and I will explain why.

I was somewhat faceless, like a nomadic traveller. There was no friend who spotted me when walking in Pondy Bazaar, no mael veettu aathi pinnal ponnu who chuckled at me atleast once a day, no paalakaran who asked when I dropped by, no librarian welcoming me like a bakra to his shop. Ok, a distant distant related maama actually found me in some kutcheri and asked me, ” ambi eppidida padippu poguthu?”. Something he should have asked me 10-12 years ago. That apart, I was a literally anonymous in my own city. And I’m grumpy about it but not then.

While I was enjoying the new found anonymity that I never had in Chennai, I’m irritated that Chennai has lost its small cityness. You know what I mean, more places, more automobiles, more people, more everything. This again sounds like a desi rant or cheran’s nostalgic movie episode but its very true.

Anyway, I find travelling so invigorating and its because of this anonymity but not in my own city. No.

alarms!

I’m losing the sense of time as I enter the shower. So planning to hang a small tiny clock just to remind that its already time…for whatever that’s next.

On the other hand(pun intended) alarm clocks have never won a battle with me. Including the ‘smart’ phone’s snooze clock that just stops vibrating after some time. Don’t mistake, I’m not a crazy 10 hour sleeper. I totally control how much I sleep or vice versa but never a clock decides its time for me to wake up. Occasionally banging doors and cooing sounds from a family member have worked but they have given it up too.

Today(30 mins past m.night now), I need to wake up by 6 and I have it all tuned in the alarm clock. Will let you know if it worked…for some reason, miraculously.

Is?

I stopped a favorite habit of sipping coffee some two years ago and never picked it up. But one of the things that I caught on my way back from Coimbatore last year was sukku coffee. How about a kaaramana coffee but with no milk/caffeine?

At the closing of another not-so-eventful day, same sunrise, same highway drive, predictable news, email, people and I’m thinking, Is there a point?

This Week

Another long weekend ahead but I’m probably going to be busy with a paper to finish and an important movie to watch.

Watched Angadi Theru last week and actually liked it. Candidly made. I’m usually the one who hates tear-jerkers but this one had some genunity to it. Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru wasn’t all the great as I expected. Except for Mouli who just melts easily into a character. Probably the missed Morgan Freeman of kollywood.

And Paiyaa. Surprise, I liked it. It was cliched but nevertheless wasn’t all that boring. Atleast Karthi with his extra make-up pulled it very well. Plus the songs made it easy to watch.

Watching Avatar on DVD killed the spirit of the film that I enjoyed watching in IMAX. On the big screen, I couldn’t pick up the animation as much as I did on DVD.

Raavanan album was a bummer. Sometimes experimentation can go over-board as you could…hear. Maybe I’m disliking Mani’s films since Sujatha isn’t around to ground it to the Tamil senses. With very low expectations, anything more than that will be a bonus.

Reading: Poetry after a long long time.
Writing: Short Short Story.
Listening: Dylan’s Simple Twist of Fate

This and that

Busy week at work and a busy week at home too. Hopefully I will get some time to read a book next week. Spring is almost here and so the news is that the tulips are blooming but I’m bored to drive down 50 miles only to wait 30 minutes to move five inches. Crazy crowd.

Caught up listening to the latest episodes of This American Life. How I wish we had an Ira Glass for All India Radio.

Did someone realize, Idai Vazhi Oru Modhal Sei from Goa has some subtly written sleazy lyrics? The moral police of Chennai seems to have missed the whole point. I actually liked the way Vaali managed to sneak in the sleaze. BTW, as discussed elsewhere, Goa was terribly boring. Didn’t find anything interesting except a single situational comedy.

Pedro Almodóvar’s film noir flick, Bad Education was a disturbing watch but nevertheless very interesting. Just like the Ira Glass comparison, I only wish we get a Gael García Bernal for kollywood. I dont even think anyone comes closer to his acting caliber. Such a pity.

High: My feed reading activity has picked up offlate. Been reading some good ‘critical thinking’ feeds for the last few days. Do we need critical thinking is a different question for a different time. For now its just good food for thought. No, not the 140 character types.
Low: Lots of things to catch-up. Quite a bit of read/writing to do.
Also saw: Horton hears a Who and loved it. ‘A person is a person, no matter how small’ – how true. Now thats a good book to gift a kid with.

Dassarwaley!

I actually didnt like the expression of AB at the end but who cares. Usually the first look of any Mani Ratnam movie has no resemblence to any other movies, other than his own. But this teaser reminds me of Omkara, don’t know why. Nevertheless, good hype so far.

Myshkin's Yudham Sei

myshkin cheran yudham sei

I like some parts of Cheran’s work but I never thought I would look forward to a film in which he stars. If not for Myshkin, this still photograph from Yudham Sei wouldn’t have landed here. Its only films like these that I look forward these days and not the Yendhiran types. Maybe I’ve grown old but hype works only in your twenties.

I hope Myshkin’s previous unreleased film, Nandalala hits the screen very soon. If not, the producers should release it direct-to-DVD.

Myshkin is by far my biggest hope of tamil cinema followed by or preceded by, in some cases, Selvaraghavan. Oh yeah, there is Mani Ratnam, as always.

you attract me towards you!

The leading scene to the song Mannippaaya is probably the only contribution of Vinnaithandi Varuvaaya to Tamil Cinema. And a very good one. It isn’t different but a very clichéd one. The way it was passionately shot made all the difference. With such a well rendered song from Rahman and Shreya, Gautam had only one choice, to build it up very well. The whole song was ecstatically sung and a major part of the song was picturized in the same way. Especially when Simbhu sings animatedly when driving a bike, been there done that.

The Alleppey night, the boat, the lyrics, the love struck Simbhu and Trisha, the choreography and even the graphically falling star all support Mannippaaya’s heat. One would wish if the whole song never moved from that place. As the song divulges into other dreamy sequences and montages, it looses the passion of the night where it starts. Nevertheless it was the only scene I loved in the film. And ofcourse, some parts of Aaromale.

Gautam sticking to Simbhu’s point of view and not showing an extra scene of Trisha when Simbhu not being present is good screen-writing but his biggest problem are the dialogues. He should probably take help from someone else or stop repeating the, “I want to make love to you” lines. Seems super artificial when squeezed into real-life situations.

P.S: The Thirukural harmony in Mannippaaya sounded unrefined.