Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Endangered Species

India' endangered species is not tiger, lion, peacock or sparrow,, check out my latest cartoon.

I tried to do a "common man", Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman please excuse me for using it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Rs 12, Rs 5 and Rs 1

Last week some of our politicians made fun of poor people in the country, by declaring that a proper meal can be had for Rs. 12, Rs. 5 and Rs. 1. These three politicians hence forth called as “Three Indian Wise Men”.  The Planning commission few months before said the per capita income for an urban BPL Rs. 33 and Rs. 27 for rural, which puts 21% of our population below poverty line (BPL).  I guess these three wise men are endorsing the planning commission.  

Rs 1 – Get a boomer gum and keep on chewing all day.

The son of Kashmir, one among the three wise men, can say that for Rs 1 we can get one idli in Tamil Nadu.

May be one day these politicians will say, "look in Shivaji movie, Rajani got back his fortunes with just one rupee, why can’t these poor people be smart like Shivaji".

Image 1 and 2 are picture collage from the blogger
Image 3 snapshot from the movie "Shivaji" 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Johnny Mad Dog ( Liberia - 2008 )

Language : English | Country : Liberia | Director : Jean Stephane Sauvaire
Starring : Christopher Minie, Daisy Victoria Vandy, Casque bleu | Year :  2008

History- When the slave trade was abolished in North America some blacks tried to return back to their roots in Africa, but instead they found a new country, Liberia, in the west of Africa. With US supported government in place, things were quiet for some decades, but opposition grew against Americo-Liberian leadership.

In 1980, rebel forces under the leadership of Charles Taylor led a coup and toppled the government, this led to First Liberian Civil War. Later in 1999, Charles Taylor government was defeated by the rebel forces supported by Sierra Leone, Guinea (who were indirectly supported by USA); this is termed as Second Liberian Civil War. For more info visit the link.

Johnny Mad Dog ( Christopher )

Don’t get surprised by the poster- yes, if you had seen the Tamil film Mariyan, this guy will be familiar to you. His name is Christopher Minie and he is the Mad Dog in this film. This film depicts the role of child soldiers in the war.


Johnny calls himself Mad Dog who is around 16 to 18 years old leads a small group of boys. He is the commander of the group lead by a grown-up general Never Die, who lures these boys to war promising money. This is at the end of the Second Liberian Civil war, these rebel groups march into the about to be collapsed capital city. The kids go on rampage without any sense of remorse or respect. Death is always next door and they seldom care about others, in fact they don’t even care about themselves. 

General Never Die, takes only kids, these kids are forced to kill their parents, so that the guilt keeps them intact to war. Drugs, rape, torture is their everyday life in war. There is another story which is told simultaneously, a school going girl Laokale, city-bred, is forced to take his amputee father to the UN refugee camp as he is shot. She loses his brother when they stumble upon the Mad Dog group. 

The war ends, but Johnny gets nothing from his general, he was hoping for a big money, but is duped. Laokale meets Johnny in the camp, she enquires about her brother, but Johnny denies seeing him. She confronts Johnny and assaults him. The movie ends.

Laokale taking his father to hospital
Deceiving the kids

Superstition, drugs, trickery is used to lure the kids into the fighting, such as sacrifice of animals, fire dancing, calling of spirit by applying coke on the forehead ( There is scene in the Mariyan ), shooting the kids with empty-cartages to make believe them that they are invincible. 

The Will of A Child Soldier

The usual prayer to the dead, like “Rest in peace.. father.. son.. ghost.. amen”. But the kids have they Will song, see this video.

The language spoken is English, but of a different dialect, West African Pidgin English


The ending is very open- it ends when Laokale hits Johnny assuming that he killed her brother. It is left to the viewer - whether she believed Johnny or killed him. But one is for sure that the kids who got indulged in war were exploited by generals like Never Die and immoral governments. 

Not recommended for leisurely weekend viewing.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

The General ( USA - 1926 )

Eighty-five minutes of laugh riot                                                                                                 .

Language : English - Silent 
Country: USA
Director: Buster Keaton - Clyde Bruckman
Starring : Buster Keaton, Marion Mack 
Year : 1926

Comedy, a genre which is preferred by most of the filmmakers and also most sought after by audiences though out the world. Being one of the earliest genres, it wasn't easy in the silent era. Charlie Chaplin became a master in silent comedy, his films are world famous, his tramp silhouette is recognized by almost all movie goers, but what about Buster Keaton, not may know him, unless you are a movie-buff. He can do what Charlie Chaplin didn't do- mixing comedy with breath taking stunts, like Jackie Chan. FilmBulb is pleased to present the film “The General” (if you haven’t heard it). 

Buster Keaton
The story is set in 1860’s US civil war (between south and union) on the southern lines. Johnny Grey (Buster Keaton) is an Engine (train) driver. 

Annabelle, Johnny’ love, expects him to enlist in the Southern army and fight for the cause, but he is rejected by the recruiter because as an engineer he can be worth more than a soldier for the South.

The opposition Union troops plan a surprise attack on the South. They hijack his train (Engine – The General) to dismantle the tracks and communication (History – The Union won the civil war because of their grip in transportation and communication). Johnny persuades his quest to get back his engine, later he comes to know that his love Annabelle is also taken with the train accidentally. The rest of the story revolves around his adventures to get the engine and his love back.

Amazing Stunts
Hilarious is the least word that I can use, this film is more than the word. When Buster mixes comedy with stunts it is literally LOL. 85-minutes of laugh riot. The use of trains in action sequences is amazing. Laughs seem to emerge from almost all scenes, even in dialogues through the inter-title card, sample below, Johnny says when kicked out of the recruiter office.

A snapshot from The General

This film is not to be missed if you are a movie maniac.

Trailer of The General

Full Movie link in Youtube:- Link

Check out FilmBulb' other silent movie reviews - Tabu: A Story of South Seas ( 1931 ) | The Last Laugh ( 1924 )

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Agraharathil Kazuthai ( India, 1977 )

Country: India | Language: Tamil | Director: John Abraham | Year: 1977
Starring : MB Sreenivasan, Swathi, Veera Raghavan

Recently I stumbled upon the CNN-IBN Top 100 Indian films, while the list was not to my liking; I noticed this film, Agraharathil Kazuthai (Donkey in the Brahmin Colony) in the list. With my scanty knowledge in the films, I haven’t come across this film or title. It was said this film was released in 1977, so I turned to my mother who used to see more films in her earlier days, she said she had heard about this film, but haven’t seen it. Well if she hasn’t seen it then it is not a commercial release. It was labeled as “art” film and was deprived to major release. Luckily, I found this film in YouTube, the full movie. 


Narayana Swamy (MBS – MB Sreenivasan) a college professor, while returning from work a little donkey (He later names it as “Chinna) is seen in front of his house. Later he comes to know that the neighborhood mob have harassed and killed the mother donkey. Taking pity on the little donkey, he decides to make it as his pet or give refuge to it. As days progress his job as a professor is at stack because of this donkey, the college students ridicules him. The principal of the college thinks this will malign the reputation of the college. So he decides to takes the donkey to his native, a village. He leaves the donkey in his father’s house, an agraharam. He also appoints a mute girl, Uma, to look after the donkey and he leaves to the city.

As in the city, people ridicule this donkey-business in the village. Some people use this donkey for their own needs to intentionally bring disrupt to their neighbor’s. Everyone starts to blame the donkey and they kill it. After this, good incidents happen to some villagers and they inherit this to the donkey, terming it as a divine donkey and also plan to build a temple for it. The professor in the end learns that the donkey is killed, so he tries to give a funeral to the dead donkey, the fire then spreads to the entire village and eventually everything is burned down.

Symbols !!

The above said is the plot, but there should some inner meaning to it. This is not a fantasy story, but something is there hidden by the maker. Certainly no sensible being will make a donkey as pet. The professor is from the Brahmin caste, this is why the film is titled as Agraharam (Usually identified as a Brahmin colony). 

John Abraham
What does the “donkey” symbolize? Most of the religious seers or saints irrespective of any religion are first condemned. People don’t accept it and only after some “so-called adhoc” divine interventions or miracles they make these saints as gods. In this film the villagers (Brahmins) go on to associate the donkey as a divine power, while they initially hated it. I guess the film maker tried to ridicule the superstitions, “god” as it presented by man or it is a just plain donkey.

According to Cinema of Malayalam, the film was about to be telecast in Doordharshan, but was forced to cancel because of the protests.

MB Sreenivasan
The film was directed by John Abraham, more leftist, he made four films (rest three in Malayalam). While preparing for the fifth film, he died in a tragic accident. MBS, a Marxist joined Communist party, latter become a musician.

YouTube Full movie with English Sub-titles

External Links

Salami - July 23rd

Singham -2 !!

I was not particularly keen to watch Singam or Singam 2, but due to thaikulams pressure I had to take them. Singam invoked the nostalgic feelings in the people who got settled here in Chennai for the sake of employment. Majority of the population here are from other parts of the Tamil Nadu, so when DuraiSingam yells proudly of his hometown, most of the audiences thukified-their-collor, ahhhh namba oru da. That was only take-away in the part 1, rest usual masala Tamil flick.

In Singham – 2, everyone is villain, Rahman, Mukesh ( Bhai ), Danny, Rajendran, DSP, Suriya, Hari… the list goes on. I don’t understand why most of our heroes are obsessed with the Assistant Commissioner post, every second police film the hero is Asst. Comm, inda constable, SI, etu, hmmm petermax lightee than venuma. Suriya will get a new pattam after this film. “Kuval Thilagam”.

Great combo by brothers, Alex Pandian and Singam 2. There is a Tamil saying “Jann erina mozam sarukudu”. Singam-2 can be a box office hit, but it’s a drawback for Tamil Cinema in terms of content.

Inda matri padatula nadikalama Suriya thappella

Ashes Series

Second test match- England comfortably thrashed Australia in Lords. I thought Cook was very pessimistic, how did he expect to Aussies to chase 500+ runs!, he should have declared earlier. Australia lost the wickets at the right time; they had perfect timing in losing the wickets and not while playing the shots.

The match finished on 4th day, still one day left. Is this what Kumara Dharmasena would have thought?

It is high time for the Clarke and his men to learn cricket from their coach Darren Lehman, he has released a DVD manual.


Shivaji Ganesan, 13th death anniversary on 21th July.  A template for many aspiring actors. He expects more than just a statue in Marina Beach.  Is there a biography of Shivaji ?

Friday, July 19, 2013

No Signal - a short story

7.01 AM

Travelling in the bus has become a common practice for Nithya, especially after finishing her graduation. She was hoping to get placed through the on-campus interview, but she failed. Here she is sitting in her favorite chair and thinking about her miserable fate after seven hours of travelling. 

She tried to relax but her thoughts wavering about her mom’ health and brother’ education. Six months gone past like a flash since finishing college, still she is trying to find a good job here in Chennai. Last week she attended an interview for a Chennai based firm, Datapons, in her hometown, Coimbatore. She cleared every round, but in the final interview HR Uma said, “Nithya, we will get back to you as we need to discuss with our client”. This reply sounded as a “rejection”. 

But after couple of days the HR called back her, “Nithya, we had to conduct a telephonic interview with the client”.

For her it was like someone hitting her head with a balloon filled with water.

“You will get a call on next Tuesday morning 7 AM, be prepared, all the best…”

Right away she took a bus and came down to Chennai, because this is where she can get help from her friend Sudha.

Here they are waiting for the call. Because of eagerness she didn’t sleep well in the bus and so she looked very tired and dull.

Half-an-hour had passed and no sign of the call.

Subha asked, “Are you sure today is the call”.

Yes, I am sure, the HR said they will route the call from California.

“Hey!, its evening there, how can someone call you after business hours” questioned Sudha.

Nithya gave a blind look. She was not aware of these timing differences. She saw her mobile- the time is 7.43 AM and kept it back on the table.

Wait did she miss something, she took the mobile back to find there is no signal!, she jumped from the chair. Subha got frightened.

“No signal, no tower signal”, yelled Nithya and took the mobile to all corners of the room. They did all sort of tricks, turned off, on, took the battery out, put it back, but still no signal.

“Heh, look even my phone there is no signal?” said Subha as if she invented ether.

What is your card?

Airtel, yours?

“Vodafone. What to do now Subha? “ quizzed Nithya.

“Come let us go out and try.” said Subha and pulled Nithya towards the door.

The only way to go out in that apartment is either go down or go to the top terrace. The two girls opted to go up. They were surprised to find few of their neighbor’s already there. It was unusual to see some elderly who don’t like to climb four floors, also a new married couple who were very late raisers.

For a while both the girls can’t figure out what their neighbors were doing. They were holding their mobiles, like a cricket umpire who would check for the light using a lighmeter. The apartment romeo Rajesh who is always proud of showing his thirty-two teeth to Subha came running towards her and said “You know, mobile phones are not working, hehee hee, from midnight no cable TV and also landlines are not working, eehhh”.

“Rajesh, Nithya got a telephone interview today from US.” informed Subha.

Oh! Is it congrats, all the best, have you..

Subha stopped Rajesh “hey, close your shutter-mouth, phones are not working, how she will get the call? “.

“Yes, correct, may be they would postpone it”, told brilliant Rajesh.

There entered the eldest man in the apartment, Rajesh’ grandpa came with an old TV antenna. 

The grandpa said smilingly “I knew this day will come and that is why I didn’t discard it”. The girls couldn’t find the difference between the smiles of grandpa and Rajesh.

After few moments, the whole apartment were inside Rajesh’ grandpa room. The only channel available was the state run DD channel. It was two minutes for 8 AM news. As seconds passed by, Nithya thought this problem should be everywhere in the world. The news confirmed the same and everyone were amazed as it was a new occurrence.

Nithya and Subha later went to meet the HR. Datapons was nearly empty only few were available. The security said the cabs were not able to pick the employees as the phones were not working. Around noon Uma came, she said they don’t have any information, but if this problem is not rectified soon then they won’t recruit at all.

Afternoon passed; evening came- Rajesh’ grandpa is now the hero of the apartment, while Rajesh’ iPhone and Alienware laptop were useless. People were still not coming into terms about this phenomenon. The government had no clue and the telephone companies were not sure about what they are missing. Aunties missed the TV serials, uncles missed their favorite female newsreaders, husbands missed wives, wives missed cats, lovers missed themselves, kids missed cartoons, eligible bachelors missed internet for bad, single guys missed Facebook, celebrities missed their tweets, networms missed Wikipedia and Nithya might miss the job.

Thinking of her mother and brother, Nithya was sitting on her favorite chair in front of her computer and wondering if all this is a dream.

7.04 AM

Nithya got a jolt and tried to get up suddenly.

“What happened?” asked Subha.

“Nothing, it is a dre..”, Nithya swallowed words and took the mobile, as she took it started to ring, it was Uma. "Nithya, we are connecting the call to California, hold on.".


Note: Pictures are used for illustration purpose only.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

In China They Eat Dogs - ( Denmark - 1999 )

Language: Danish |  Country : Denmark | Staring: Kim Bodnia, Dejan Cukic, Thomas Jensen
Director: Lasse Spang Olsen | Year: 1999

Watch the Trailer of this film-

The next world cinema in the blog is from Denmark. This the first time we are seeing a movie from Denmark. The language of course is Danish. Forget about the credentials mentioned, I thought of seeing this movie only because of the strange title.

Arvid - Hero
This is a comedy-action genre. Arvid, our hero, work' in a bank. He is leading a dull and boring life with his frustrated girlfriend. One day he accidently nabs Franz, a bank thief, who is trying to steal the bank.  Arvid returns home as a hero, but his girlfriend had already left him with nothing but TV.

Arvid is then attacked by a woman -Lasse, who says Franz tried to steal the bank because the money would help her to do an IVF-Artificial Insemination. With this guilt feeling, Arvid decides to help  Lasse. Arvid with the help of his brother Harald, who is a criminal restaurateur devise a plan to steal bank’ money van. Stolen money is given to Lasse. 

Harald - Arvid brother
Later they bomb the jail to make-escape Lasse’ husband Franz only to find out later that he is not her husband but brother. Disappointed Harald shoots Franz. Lasse vanishes with the money.  Everything goes in vain for Arvid, this is when Harold tells him that “In China, you can eat an entire dog without anyone caring. There is nothing wrong or right and all depends on the situation “.

There is a sub-plot, which is told simultaneously. It’s in English. A man arrives from California and drop into the bar near the bank. Chit-chatting with people in the bar he is waiting for Arvid .

Man in the bar - Death

In the end, inside the bar, things get mixed up, Harold engage in a gun fight with mafia. Arvid is killed in the cross-fire. The man who is waiting for Arvid is “death”, who takes him to heaven.

Although we see so many people getting killed in the film, the film sticks to its comedy genre.  Not sure if it can be termed as black comedy. If you have a sub-titled copy, then you can enjoy the funny dialogues. Did they get inspired from "Pulp Fiction" ! Maybe!

The entire film is in Youtube,

Monday, July 15, 2013

Falling Rupee

A recent picture collage from me, depicting the fall of INR Rupee against USD and major currencies.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Is this Child Labor too ?

Who is the darling of Indian TV commercial’s is it SRK, MSD or Salman Khan ??, I think it’s the kids. You can’t escape a television commercial without kids. A little chubby, cute, preferably maa neeram, mostly spiked hair is the avatar of the TV kid.

Data from 2008 - The Hindu

Child labor is illegal but every second commercial features a kid, is this illegal too. Earlier kids were featured into products which were in the kids segment, like chocolate, biscuits, toys.., but now they feature in every product. The admen job is quite easy- cast a kid in the ad - the product will sell.

On top of all these, now-a-days kids are featured in roles which were supposed to be done by adults, for example the Flipkart Ad. There is an ad for a hair dye product - Indulekha - group of school children discuss about the hair dye and will suggest it to their class teacher, can you beat this!!

Oh, now I think, this isn't illegal, it is just a TV ad, it is not real, these kids in the ads go to school, and they shot only on Sundays. Oh, I believe, I believe. Do the ad companies pay these kids or they do it for free?

What about the movies, Kamalhassan was once a child artist; this isn't a child labor too? 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mystery ball - Dot Ball

In cricket we get so many mystery balls now-a-days. Earlier especially spinner’ predominantly content with either leg break or off-break. Now they have various varieties on how the ball is delivered. 

When Ajantha Menidis came into international cricket, Indians were sweeping the pitch with their bat, later they picked him up and dispatched him to Moratuwa. Similar story for Malinga, as of now even in low scoring matches he concedes close to 6-runs/overs ( Last match Indvs SL 58/runs-10 ). When the other batsmen are trying to find-out how to face Malinga, Indians are shooing his deliveries to boundary. 

As a pure fiction let’s try some mystery deliveries,

  • Instead of holding the ball in his hand, Malinga can hide the ball in his head (in-between his hair). The problem is his greyish-yellow hair, maybe he should apply red.

  • Another trick for the bowlers is to keep the cricket ball inside their pant pocket and while they enter into the delivery stride they can take it out and bowl.

  • I read somewhere that Afghanisthan Cricket team is practicing a new type of ball delivery, it’s called “dot ball”. The bowler balances the ball on his index finger and bowls.

Dot by Chitti

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Music & Me - 1

Music and Indian' life is inseparable, especially with Tamil. Be it folk song, Carnatic, Gana, Tamil film song, devotional songs- these are close to our lives, irrespective of which class you belong. I’m going to share my joyful experience, remember these are prior to MP3, iPod days.

Most of Tamil population likes film music. Being born at the start of 1980’s, I didn't have much privilege of enjoying Illayaraja’ music on the initial release, but my parents used to say that I like “Idu Oru Pon Mallai Pozudu..” from Nizalgal when I was just a few months old baby. (Everyone will have a favorite song as a toddler).

At the age of 10,11,12… you don’t give much importance to music, there are lots of other distractions, like playing street cricket, riding a korangu pedal cycle, chasing dogs… Back then people relied on music cassettes,  Rs 30 – 40 ( called as Company cassette, original, just one movie ) and there was onr for Rs 10 ( Copied – Pirated, with two movies ). The other medium to listen film songs was DD, Oilyum Oilyum , they used to telecast 5 – 6 songs, if we get an extra song then it is a jackpot of the week.

The other source to listen is to have a “Musicals” shop near to your home or if you have a neighbor who had a good music system. One of my neighbor anna, an unemployed-youth had two big wooden speaker boxes decorating his living room and he called it as stereo set.

I am not sure how it was Madras bus services then, but in rest of Tamil Nadu it was private buses which ruled the route, every bus would have a better music system. An hour ride you can hear latest hits.

My conscious listening to music started when I was around fifteen. Illayaraja Vs AR Rahman, Walkman, CD’s… more to come in the next post.

ABOVE picture Collage by the blogger.

PS: Download 90's fame Sirippo Sirippu from this blog link

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Salmagundi - July 10th

Call this as salmagundi or salami; in Tamil we can call this post as Kothu Parrota. A mixed bag of everything,

1 ) July 10th – This day when the first Sepoy Mutiny happened in Vellore, this was 1806, much before the Sepoy Mutiny on 1857 ( Mangal Pandey ). This mutiny in Vellore was not against\for nationalistic agenda, but it was for the “dress code”.  So remember “Vellore mutiny” whenever you argue with your HR.

Stamp by India Post

2 ) Been to Chennai Museum yesterday, a new addition in the art gallery, it was named as “Yogi”, with due respects to the art I thought of a different title “Bhaag Milka Bhaag”.

Art by Aparna Sen - Yogi

3 ) Bhaag Milkha Bhaag releases this week - They should have kept the title as The Flying Sikh, instead of imitating the title "Run Lola Run".

4 ) Theeya Vellai Seyanum Kumaru, Kanna Laddu Theena Aasaiya, next such different title in Tamil Cinema is "Maan Karate" film staring Siva Karthekeyan,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

"After" Thoughts..

What is your “after “ thoughts… Here are some of mine...

After India winning the Champions trophy- Moral story of growing moustache

After watching few Ads - Why does soap, tooth paste and hand wash always kill 99.9 % germs, what happens to .1% germs ?

A quote -  Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon - E M Foster

Random thought on cricket - Vodofone, Digcel, Airtel, Aircel, MTN, 3 Mobile so many telecommunication companies are involved in sponsoring cricket, but cricket players are not allowed use mobile phones inside the ground ( Pavilion ) !!. There is nothing to do with the IanB pic, just njoy the phone and hair-style of 70's.

After seeing HD TV channels - Life in HD is cool, even the garbage looks clean

After Singam 2 release - Tamil Cinema hero's nadicha only Asst. Commissioner, DSP, CBI officer. What about taking roles like Ettu, constable, Head Constable, Writer, Beat-police !! Cha cha stright ta CM than vennuma.. Pettermax light ea venuma

After watching Soodhu Kavvum - Very good film. After three films in lead role, no proper foreign location duet for Vijay Sethupathi ? Directors adutha padathula oru chance kundungapa..

After seeing the fight on Food Security Bill -  Right to Information ( RTI ),  Right to Education ( RTE ), Right to Food ( RTF )..  what’s next govt....... Right To Live ( RTL ) !!

After seeing Jadeja & Raina fight - Few days before Afridi asked the Pakisthan team to learn from Indian cricket team, by this fight it's the other way around.

After seeing the buzz around Wimbledon finals ( Gentlemen ) - Example of Inequality - People are going excessively enthusiastic for Murray winning the Wimbledon ( call it as colonial hangover ), but consciously forgetting about India’ performance in Asian Athletic Champ'ship in Pune .

What you think after reading this post ? Semma adi for me !!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Politics in our plate

They say read between the lines while reading a newspaper, but the mainstream media is so tight lipped and it is hard to comprehend the truth in it.

There is an old Tamil saying “Kovil illada ooril kudi iruka vendam”; means “Don’t live in the area which doesn’t have a temple. The reason is in those days the temple gopurams (tower) were tallest in any given place and so whenever lighting strikes in the vicinity the tower will take it. There is another reason, the kalasams (finials) on the gopuram were filled with seeds ( Vedai Nellu ). These seeds can be used to restart the agriculture after a flood or if people had lost all their belongings stored in the house granary (Always on top portion of the house, called paran). 

Such is the importance given to the seed in olden days. What happened in 1990’s, the seed generation went to the corporates!

Back in 1990’s a handful of European and US chemical companies like Cargill (Monsanto), Dupont, Bayer invested heavily on genetically modified (GM) seeds. In 1970’s Green Revolution was started in India, this in short is usage of more fertilizers\pesticides and crossbreeding hybrid crops. 

As more new chemicals were released in the market, the same time in 90’s the GM companies introduced genetically modified (GM) seeds its genes were modified (usually with animal hormones), embedded with pesticides and chemicals.

The “corporate seed” and “artificial cross breeding” dismantled the traditional methods; the policy makers went hand-in-hand. The usual two yields\year (Bogam) became 4 to 5 per year. More production, more yields, more fertilizers\pesticides, more diseases and more pharma medicines in the market.

Nature Vs BioTech companies

An interesting battle between the nature and biotech companies. Crops were genetically modified to increase the yield and nutritive values by more pesticides\fertilizer. Of course initially the pests\insects were eradicated, but as seasons passed some pests developed “pesticide resistance”, means they made adjustments to their DNA to resist the pesticides ( Is this evolution ! ). Now the farmers who bought the 1.1 version of the pesticide have to buy 1.2 version to kill the pests and where do they go to GM companies. (This is like a software upgrade).

Protest in west against GM corps and food

GM Vs Hybrid

GM crops in India are only in cotton (Need more info on this), but we might be having GM foods in the market. From the “green revolution” we got hybrid corps. To note- there is a difference between GM and hybrid crops, but both use extensive chemicals and are against natural farming. Example, we get “seedless fruits”, this is unnatural. It is like humans are born without the capability of reproduction and if they want to reproduce they have to approach a gene company!.

Protest in India aganist Bt Brinjal

The GM crops need more chemicals (sometimes these chemicals were induced in the gene itself!) and more water. These crops are dwarf and the cattle (backbone for our agriculture) didn’t like to graze on it. (Thousands of sheep’s died in AP after grazing in the Bt cotton field). 

This is like a chain reaction new farming methods more water, pumps and tractors were used and the farmer became more depended on the electricity.

Cattle & Milk

Few years before doctors used to say milk is good, but now they don’t vouch for it. For my neighbor’ 1.5 year old kid, their doctor suggested to discontinue milk from the kid’ food!. In a TV program Neeya Nana Gopinath asked the doctors “why you guys are not suggesting milk now-a-days?”.

There is a major difference between the cows, one which got humps and another without hump. The milk from humped cow is A2 milk and from humpless is A1 milk.

Humpless Jersey breed

Humpless cows are mostly genetically modified or cross breed. They are big in size, lazy, can’t be used in farming work, falls sick easily, depended on medicines, short life span, produces greenhouse gas ( one which causes hole in ozone layer ), nutrient value is less, but gives more milk.

Humped cows, native Indian breed, small size, usually dwarf, active, can be used in farming work, adoptive to tropical climate, zero-maintenance, milk quantity is less, but its nutritive and good quality.

Humped Indian cow

The “White revolution” caused India to become the highest producer of milk in the world, surpassing America in 1998. This happened because of the invasion of the new methods on cross breed cows which are feed with urea, fish-meal, hormones and steroids. Vargeese Kurien the father of “White revolution” and MS Swaminathan father of “Green revolution” are the recipient of Magasaysay Award and also all Padma awards.

Humped cows are getting extinct in India. But considerable efforts are made by few to keep it alive. Remember cow-slaughter and beef eating is not encouraged by Hindus.

Iraq, Afghanistan and Seed

Coming back to the seed, there seems to be an interesting “connect the point”. Bush said there are WMD in Iraq, this proven untrue, as it was for oil. War against terrorism in Afghanistan, instead it was for opium.  Some people even claim it was not only for oil or opium, it was also seed.

Abu Garib, this is the Iraqi town where the infamous torture took place by US soldiers. In the same town there was world’s biggest seed center (Mesapatomia has 8000 years of rich agri-history), which was either taken down by the allied forces or someone looted it? Afghanistan had a similar center (Agriculture Research on Dry Areas), before the invasion to safe guard the seeds, it was taken to “Syria” (Check out today’ newspaper for the latest happenings in Syria).

In Tamil there is a saying “Nerupu ellamal pogaiyadu” means “no smoke without fire”. These international GM companies and wars might be a smoke.

The game changer

It is unimaginable of how much politics is involved in one plate of food and a glass of milk.

The new buzzword and the game changer now is “Organic”, which according to the experts is grown without using chemicals. In Chennai there are few exclusive shops which sell “organic” products. Is there a way we can check to see all their products are chemical free or it is just like “mineral” water?

References and Further reading