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.

And that's how

Picked up a dozen packs of Milk Bikis from the local Indian store. It was in a new wrapper. I was shocked. While tripping in Chennai, I bought a Milk Bikis pack in a totally new packaging and found the design of biscuit completely changed. Instead of Britannia embossed in the middle and surrounded by flower patterns, it had squares all over the biscuit. That wasn’t the biscuit design thats imprinted in me. After all its probably the only biscuit of choice on any given day followed by Bourbon by the same company. Even though it had the same taste, it felt like a different biscuit.

So I was indeed shocked looking at the new pack today. When opened, to my relief, I found it had the same design. Somehow they haven’t changed the design, atleast yet, for the exports. So that’s good. And that’s how I got my biscuit back.

More Biki love, here and here.

Your City

I always believed it was the things you don’t choose that makes you who you are. Your city, your neighborhood, your family. People here take pride in these things, like it was something they’d accomplished. The bodies around their souls, the cities wrapped around those.

I wanted to quote this from Gone Baby Gone, when I read this post from Krish. BTW, GBG was a well written directorial debut from Ben Affleck. Yes, Ben Affleck as in Bennifer(Ben+Jennifer Lopez).

Blogging the Cricket Phenomenon

Where are these so-called-kings ? The Super Kings of Chennai. Chennai Super Kings‘ site still throws a – The page cannot be found. Khan’s Kolkatta team has their site atleast half-built.

There is a huge opportunity to blog this IPL cricket fever. Afterall movies and cricket unite us more than anything else. I’m sure there are companies out there cracking their minds to build sites and business models around this. Blogging will certainly play a huge role as the crowd becomes information hungry.

It’s not a stock market. No one is going to be benifitted on the short run. Only blogs that have a regular postings, great user interface, less ad-blocks and bite-size information will sustain the long run. But if you are crazy about cricket and would like to have your say on this arena of the blogosphere, just book your domain and start typing. If you are smart, I’m sure you wouldn’t want to start a IPL cricket blog on wordpress.com or blogger.com which are mere sub-domains. It’s already over-crowded there.

If you are bunch of college grads and would like to start a cool company around this IPL phenomenon, a blogging network, which hosts a blog/micro-news-site for each of the teams would make a great deal of sense. You don’t need tons of money to start this. All you need would be one hosting account these days, to host numerous sites.

As IPL grips India, the early birds to this IPL blogging will have a great say. So if you would want to start, today is the day.

P.S – BTW, I recently booked Go Chennai Super Kings !! [Go CSK] just so some damn domain squatter doesn’t walk away with this golden domain. I’m probably not going to do anything with it so if in case you really want to create a blog around this domain, I can certainly part with it.

Yahoo India Maps, Rocks

yahoo_maps_a.jpg

Yahoo India Maps has a new(don’t know how new it is) feature which can show the directions in vernacular language(Tamil in Tamilnadu) plus it also gives you the approximate autofare for a particular map. The autofare feature is a joke, atleast in Chennai.

Kalakkal Maa !!

P.S

kamarajar_salai_yahoo.jpg

Check out this snapshot. Congress Party is probably getting to do a major dharna opposite to Yahoo India Office. Get ready guys.

Vijay batting a new role

kuruvi vijay

Do you know Dr.Vijay(yes, he got awarded a doctor degree while you were busy working to get your next paycheck)is becoming the star ambassador of Chennai Super Kings Team headed by Dhoni (why is he not a Dr. yet?) himself.

From Hindu

“Being from Chennai, I wanted to support my team,” said Vijay, who will be involved in promotional events for the Super Kings. “I’ve always liked cricket, and in the last few years I’ve started watching more of it. I’m very proud that we have [M.S.] Dhoni, who is a strong leader, to captain our team.”

Super Kings Brand Ambassador and Former India captain Krishnamachari Srikkanth said Vijay would draw youngsters to the tournament. Asked if cricket needed the prop of cinema to lean on, Mr. Srikkanth said, “This is about the Chennai Super Kings, about kings in every field. And we have the Super King of Kollywood with us in Vijay.”

This proves why Pepsi and Coke go with cricketers and movie stars all the time. Because they go well with each other. I wonder if Kolkatta team will have Mithun as the their star ambassador.

I personally like India Cements owing the Chennai Super Kings. My college, Guru Nanak College is the home ground of India Cements team and I’m happy all the machis and chicks of Guru Nakak will get to see the stars practising everyday like we did those days.

Two things. One, Why Chennai Super Kings ? Why not Filter Kings ?. Two, if you didn’t know this already, the star ambassadoress(!?) for Chennai Super Kings is the latest action queen of kollywood, Nayanthara.

Saarang 2008 – Did you miss it ?

saarang%202008.jpg

I did. For the last three years. And it sucks.

Looks like this Saarang’s Pro Show was the largest crowd puller, ever. Hindu reports that the singer Karthik gave a rocking performance. I know how the stadium would have yelled for Engeyum Epothum.

Karthik returned to his rockish best with “Enakku Oru Girlfriend Venumada” sending fans into a frenzy before his hand lent a nice Elvis-y touch to “Baar Baar Dekho,” a surprise for retro-lovers.

Though what he sings mostly is in the realm of boy-band songs and love ballads, while performing, he does it with the attitude of a rockstar with plenty of scope for audience participation. Yes, it helps that Bennett is quite something with the lead guitar.

Calling the IIT Core members to the stage, he launched into what’s considered an anthem for the youth, “Mustafa Mustafa” for a finale.

Sensing they wanted more, he captured the mood with “Engeyum Epothum Sangeetham Santhosham”.

And, junta was on cloud nine: “ARaaa-raaaa-reee-reeee Yo!”

That was a glowing review. After posting this, I went back and found that the author of the article was Sudhish Kamath. That explains !!

BTW, Did you miss it too ?

Vijay TV's Super Singer

Vijay TV Airtel Super Singer Yet another show on the American Idol format. First it was Indian Idol and now it’s Vijay TV’s Airtel Super Singer contest. The winner of this super singer contest will get a chance to sing for Harris Jayaraj. The show runs from 8 pm every friday and saturday on Vijay TV.

Believe me this show is good. Just damn good. Not because this show is about music but the tamil touch to this international format is just exciting. And we have some super dooper singers amongst us.

The other day, a participant named Gowtham sang, Rahman / Hariharan’s Malargale song. I haven’t heard such an amazing control like that from an amateur singer. Nice balance and amazing sangathis. If one was watching this from the first week, they would understand how many singers we have in the country. Though the first round participants included many weirdos, atleast half of the crowd was nice stuff. As of now, the contest is on the fourth round with 20 or 24 contestants. And as it moves forward, its going to be more interesting.

In the initial rounds, the judges included SP Sailaja, Sreenivas, Maalathy and many others. After prelims it’s Anuradha Sriram, Sreenivas and Unni Krishnan. While its a nice trio, Anuradha seems to be too bossy and wouldn’t allow the other two to do the talking. I’m sure someone would let her know as the show moves on.

Instead of a screwed up film review or a kadi serial, I prefer to spend two hours a week for some nice music contest. Worth the time spent. With such shows, Vijay TV is slowly becoming the best channel for true entertainment. Two years from now, I would expect Vijay TV not to top prime time TRP ratings but to a gather a loyal viewer base.