Monday, June 29, 2009

Unnal Mudiyum Thambi

After my tiresome hunt for a nice, latest, cool, interesting, informative, encouraging movie in 2009 ( tough combo) I decided to watch some interesting movies of the 1980s, the ones that I had missed when I was to young to understand movie and too busy to waste three hours in a movie theatre...


I have seen a few frames and heard some songs from this movie 'Unnal Mudiyum Thambi', but don't recall seeing the movie from start to end.. So that's how, I picked up this diskette two weeks ago after a quick raid in a Planet-M outlet.


Starring Kamal Hassan, Gemini Ganesan, and Seetha, this Kavithalaya make is a wonderful gift to the movie industry by director, K.Balachander.


Mr. Pillai [Gemini Ganesan(GG)] is a veteran in classical music. His music means the world to him. His children were good at music too, and would accompany him for all his concerts. He was very proud about his talent in music and believed that one day his son Uday would become a famous classical singer too. Still, he never appreciated his son even once on his music talent. GG always told his son that he was very irresponsible and would not grow up to be successful. Uday was not too bothered until one day the arguments between the father and son became a little too serious enough to be ignored without a reaction. Uday spent some quiet time reflecting on himself and his life in general. He had been watching the old gardener of his palatial house. This gardener finishes all his work in GG's palace, and then does some tree plantations every day. When asked why, he replied to the wonder-eyed Uday, that he is doing what he can to help the environment. The idea and the determination of the old man thrilled Uday so much that he just decided that he will do what he can for the community, society, and life in general.

In his quest for opportunities to contribute to the world, Uday found a like-minded girl, Lalitha, and both of them together reformed the whole village where they lived. GG was a little upset about the son not focusing on music, but Uday excelled in public service, became the limelight of the country, and brought lost smiles back to some families in the village.

That's about the story. Wanted to keep it short, but could not cut the content more than this. It is such an inspirational story line. There is a balance of sensible comedy, practical screen play, flawless scripting, thought provoking dialogues and excellent music.

It is excellent to see the undisturbed culture and tradition of the South in the costumes, dialogues, lyrics and the scenes. It is hard to believe that the movie industry today has changed so much from what it was back in the 80s.

I am not saying about the style and other interests that keep changing over times, but about the base values. It is hard to believe that we rarely get to watch movies that portray the values and principles that were once the strength of India.

I don't think we should be surprised if some documentary movies come up in future, to teach the culture, tradition and principles of the yesteryear India - The land of rich cultural heritage and staunch moral values.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Word fever

There are couple of cool moments that kind of makes you wonder if people know that what they say is absolutely not making sense.

No, don't try to understand what you just read... It was just my attempt to use all the words that I have been often hearing at work - Cool, Couple of, Kind of, Absolutely, making sense.. there are more.. Excellent!! Strategic and the list is endless.

I am so tired of these words being used in almost every conversation, presentation, meeting, conference or whatever else that can have something to do with talking....

In my opinion, sometimes these words come in as fillers in between a technical/functional/management talks when the mind is busy trying to weave the next word into the sentence being spoken. In that case its perfectly okay...

But what would you say if you were to define a cool desktop, a cool feature, a cool outfit, a cool talk, a cool gift??? I fail to understand.. I recall someone from U.S.A once remarking... When asked what do you want from India, my daughter who goes to the University said, " Get me something that's 'cool', Daddy...." and this father comes over and asks me " How do you understand what she wants??" and tells me that teenagers are difficult to understand..... And I stood there thinking how do you define the 'cool' thing, just so I could help him with a suggestion on what to pick up for his daughter...

And when our people use these kind of adopted language at work when talking technical subject, it becomes difficult to analyze and understand what is being communicated.. Cool and Couple of and Excellent and Absolutely and Strategic are some corporate words that most often do not make sense :) in the given context.

This word fever is easy to catch.... I can relate to this because there are some words that I have recently started using because of the contagious nature of the word fever.. It just spreads from your circle... Applies to one and all.. I am going to make a conscious effort to identify the symptoms of the word fever and treat myself...

The evening sky

It was a rainy evening. I walked out of the lift lobby and stepped out to breathe in the pollution-free damp air. It takes a good ten minute walk to reach the main road.. a walk I usually enjoy everyday on my way back from office. I take my time to watch the sunset and look at the fresh flowers that adorn the lush green lawn beside the side walk ways. The I-Pod is a recent hit with me. So, with some melody on, I started my walk.

The sunset's crimson red was quite a sight.. It was more towards pink than orange.. Awestruck by the color combination and realizing that I cannot really capture this kind of a tint or shade on a canvas, I stopped to look at the sky one more time.. The clouds gave a nice touch of gray and white to the reddish pink colored horizon... Then there was yellow, light pink and purple shades in the sky...

[The last time I saw a similar ( but not the same) sight was on an early summer morning sun rise ten years back when we were huddled around a single engineering drawing that was next to impossible to decipher... I still recall throwing the book away and rushing to the hostel badminton quadrant to gaze the sky at dawn....]

I was marvelled by the color combinations on the sky - Red, Pink, Purple, Orange, White, and Gray colors. A lovely color palette and the sky looked like a canvas painted by God. Apart from whatever scientific explanation this might have, I am a strong believer that no one.. just No one can actually paint such a beautiful picture.... With strong thoughts, I continued walking, gazing skywards.. For once, I didn't have to bother about traffic.. I am still walking inside the campus..... My music added an extra touch to the joy within me... I love scenery, but didn't know it so much till that evening....

Then there was the clear blue - what we call the sky blue, a tint that is very difficult to picture paint using any of the colors... There were white colors to compliment the art work... I looked back to see if I was dreaming.. didn't I just see crimson and all other colors?? Yes, they were all there and then there were these colors of a clear sky.... Then as far as I can see I saw gray ( a lighter tint) and some light blue patches here and there... The purple seemed to touch up with a little white combo, wherever there was blank space in the canvas, is what it seemed when I saw lavender touches. I wanted to capture the whole painting of the sky and didn't have the high end camera to shoot this.... Unsure if any camera could catch the complete picture though......

Once in a while I had to watch my step... when I did, a soft drizzle started and the flowers were all smiles, or so it seemed.. The bushes and plants on the side walk were all in the clearest of green color possible... I didn't know that the pollution ( I must say its minimal inside the campus) had all along been hiding the exact color.. It had taken a rainfall to wash the leaves and get you the real green color... The only color that was missing in the sky I thought... Then there was this dewdrop on a flower petal.. I stopped to see the flower and noticed there were so many dewdrops on all the flowers... I regained my senses and felt the soft drizzle on me.. It was absolutely heavenly I must say....

Next, I wanted to see all of these together at one shot.. Took a look once again and proceeded to walk with my glance skyward of course..... Spotted the rainbow and on the opposite side saw streaks of sun beams emanating from the golden colored clouds close to the crimson colored horizon. As always, tried to see the boundaries of each color in the rainbow... till date have not been able to say where the violet fades, indigo begins, blue spreads, green brightens,yellow glows, and orange merges with the Red... It was a beautiful scene in all with a complete color palette...

The next I knew is the noise of a security guarder's whistle that brought me back to senses.... I had reached the campus gate....Gave one last look at the seemingly canvas painted sky and took in as much as my eye sight can manage and proceeded on my way... In all this has taken me just about fifteen minutes.. fifteen minutes that made my day.... and gave me one more reason to trust God....

The heavy rains in the next few minutes made it look like the waters washing the colors off the sky. The next morning, this evening sky was the topic of discussion at most work desks... all these people had left office at the same time as me... :-) We were the lucky ones to have caught a glimpse of the best unreproducible painting ever....

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Postboxes go missing

I do not write letters these days, ( am sure most of us don't and social networking is in this shape today) and so there is very little chance for me to know that post boxes can actually go missing. They have painted it Red for everyone to see clearly...( Makes me think, should we research on why post boxes are mostly painted in Red? I have seen Blue and Green boxes very rarely.)


A bright Saturday.... If mentioning the time of the day would give a better idea, here you go.. It was 12:15 P.M. I had posted a banking form last week through a popular courier service and as it had to happen, it has not got delivered till today, even as I write this post. So I decided to resend it by post. At worst speed, it would still reach its destination in three days. I walked to the nearest stationery store and bought stamps, covers and glue stick. I wrote the address on the envelope right then and headed straight to the bank to get the form. Once done, I sealed my now complete postal cover with the new glue stick and gave my proud work an appreciative look..


Now, you have to understand that after my initial job hunt days, I have not been so smart to have a postal job completed in a single day - Buy the cover, write the address, write the return address, paste a stamp, place the letter or form or whatever needs to be posted, seal the envelope and then post it. If you see, its a total task in itself , especially in the Internet days.... So I was too proud than I can explain here..


It was 12:50P.M.. I came out of the bank and looked around. I have memories of the post boxes being hung on tree trunks and lamp posts in this city... I am still Bangalore, but since I have never recently posted anything, I say memories...So, I looked around and not finding any post box on the first few trees in sight I asked the security guards outside some offices and shops.. They didn't seem to know. They all directed me to a place called Tippasandra.

I had some work in 100 ft. Road, Indra Nagar. So thought I'll get that done. I took an auto rickshaw. On the way, I checked every corner, tree trunk, lamp post, compound walls of stores and .. lets just say everywhere...No Red box in sight. My watch showed 1: 15P.M when I finished my work and stepped out again on the pursuit of the Red Box.

This time, I decided to walk home. On the way, I continued my search.... all the way could not stop wondering about the fact that people in Indra Nagar have to actually go to the post office to post a letter and there is just no post box in a reachable distance.... The postal department would have taken a quick statistics of the number of letters in each post box in the Indra nagar zone and would have decided to take the red boxes off because there were few or no letters at all. When everyone else is talking about cutting costs, why would the India post spend time and energy and money to send someone to pick up letters in each post box?

With all these thoughts bringing back memories of my childhood when I was taught the art of letter writing at home... and about how we used to write to near and dear ones. I also remembered the numerous letters that I exchanged with my close friends in schools and college. And that was not too long ago...

With all the thought trails and continuing the pursuit of the Red box, I finally reached the same shop from where I had picked up the postal needs. Few months back, I recalled seeing a post box in the lamp post close to that shop. My watch showed 1:35P.M and I was kind of positive about getting the job done in a few minutes. Walked over to the lamp post and saw no signs of the Red box... It was so unbelievable that the only post box I knew of in that part of the road went missing.... I didn't want to give up.. Went ahead to search for the box, just in case it had been moved to another lamp post or tree trunk.

With some hope left, I spoke to the stationer and came to know at all post boxes in Indra Nagar have been removed and the one last chance I had was to walk over to the nearest hospital, called CMH. Still unable to believe that the only post box in that zone has gone missing and with fading hopes of finding a post box anywhere, I continued my walk towards CMH.

There it was, Red, Bright and for a second the India post sign on it seemed like it smiled at me... For the first time after my childhood's wide-eyed, ever-curious, wonder lessons about post boxes, I gave it a careful look. Nothing about the Red box has changed much, but somewhere deep, I felt that the post box is heading towards extinction and would soon become a museum artifact, an entry in the Indian History book for children and a definite entry in the Heritage City setups in future. [We have heritage village set-up today..... Dakshin Chitra, Chennai is a good place to visit in case you want to know what I am referring to here..]

It was 1:45P.M. I double checked if that post box is being cleared each day and was relieved to see that it gets cleared at 2:30 P.M every afternoon.

Hoping that India post has taken these boxes off this area in Bangalore temporarily for some valid reason, I headed home... Makes me wonder if I should start collecting some stamps too, just in case post box hits the museum... I can say, I had once used these printed papers to post mark my letters... :-)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Drink....

A sticker on a car read : Drink Coffee and Drive.


Definitely a very positive way of saying Don't drink and drive. The road tradition and some handed-over wisdom says that this statement refers to alcoholic drinks only, but if you take a careful look, this statement is not written for anyone to take it serious. Frankly, it is not explicit enough to understand what not to drink and the general psychology is to ignore sign posts that you dont understand or you dont want to understand.....'Who is anyone to stop me from drinking? How does it matter if I drink juice, coffee, soda, water and then drive??' If this sounds like a teenager questioning the sign post, yes, that's what most people do, I believe....

Another angle....


We all have a tendency to ignore the usual statements ( we are tuned to forget the significance of the often heard/used words, signs, expressions or just about anything for that matter.... )... if you are not sure, tell me how many times you respond to a 'Good morning' or a 'Good day' wish properly... Same goes with 'Take care'. Its often said and seen as a routine sign-off or send-off word... most often without any significance to the meaning....

No one really cares about the stereotypical statements however important they are.. at least, that's true of the 'No Smoking' or ' Don't drink and drive' or 'Wear Helmets' or ' Stop, Look, Go' signposts.

So this sticker which recommends drinking coffee while driving, surely stands out and may be, just may be there is a chance that someone will actually think of not drinking alcohol or not driving when drunk.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Birthday....

I have always believed that a nice wish can change your mood, change your thoughts, and change your way of life.. A birthday is one such occasion, when you get a chance to feel the difference and boost the feel-good factor within.

I knew that my phone means so much to me, but never realized it as much as I did today... It is my birthday and this lovely little electronic magic has transmitted so many valuable wishes to me over phone, from far and near and dear...

I knew Internet is a fantastic means to stay in touch, but never realized it as much as I did today.... It is my birthday and I have had a chance to receive so many wishes ( thanks to orkut) and most importantly send a thank you message in response.

It almost end of the day and I thought I'll take stock of the moments that made me smile today...

An early morning SMS wishing me a very happy birthday...
All the calls that I received today...
All the messages I received today...
All the calls I missed and returned today...
All orkut messages from my friends...
The emails from my friends...
The chocolate I had today...
The elaborate lunch I prepared today...
The appreciations that I got for the gooseberry pickle I made...
The Gulab Jamoon that I had this afternoon...
The sweets I bought for my friends...
My new bag...
The sweet little angelic baby I met in the shop this evening.. She and I became great friends :)...
The gift I got this evening...
The drizzly afternoon walk and the phone calls I made...
The IPOD time on a drizzly afternoon, in an auto on a road that seems like it is fenced with lush green trees...
The new drawing that captured petals of a gulmohar flower...
The quote on Bagavad Gita that I chanced to read today...
The Mango dish I had for dinner...
'Hey Akka, you have become one more year older.. Happy birthday....'... someone remarked... and I said, 'But you forget that I have also become a little more wiser'...

In all its been a great and blessed birthday.... :-)

Edhu? or What?

ஆசை எளியது. அடக்கம் வலியது. வறுமை கொடியது. உண்மை கசப்பது. குடும்பம் கூடுவது. கோபம் சிறியது. ஒற்றுமை பெரியது. நட்பு நிகரற்றது. பாசம...