Monday, December 29, 2014

Bye Bye CIFF

Chennai International Film Festival got over on December 25th, but I’m updating this column late, because I had to travel for a long weekend (Got to give some excuse for being lazy!).

The last day, which was my 4th day in the CIFF. Having already seen 5 films in the festival, I thought of making the money worth spent (Rs 500 for the pass). This was not strictly on ROI, but to make use of the opportunity and see as much films as I can, else my main source is torrents. 

I had a chance to catch two films on the last day. Behaviour (Conducta), a film from Cuba. A film about a young boy and to-be retired teacher. The boy, who is having behavioral issues, due to his family condition is given support by the teacher, who in-turn makes him to realize his responsibility.

The next film was from Serbia, Monument to Michael Jackson. A light comic story of a man who proposes an idea of having statue of Michael Jackson in their town to get tourists.

Having seen two back to back films, we (Me, Mahesh and Bragadeesh) were hungry. The nearby eateries were crowded, so we had to skip the 4:30 PM show. We took refuge inside EA.

In spite of Mahesh reminding about the CIFF booklet, I missed it. When we went back to Woodlands the front office was closed and all the staff were busy for the closing ceremony. 

Overall, my first experience was good. Sacrificing (sleep) for an art always satisfies the soul!. I dont have any qualms about the event, some said last year there were 8 screens, whereas this year it was only 5. I sticked to Woodlands and didn't take chances in hopping theaters (Chennai Traffic!).

Next year, if I’m available in the city, I’ll surely visit CIFF-2015.

Previous CIFF-2014 posts

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Day 3 at CIFF

It was my day 3 (Wednesday 24th Dec) in CIFF (Chennai International Film Festival), but it was it’s day 7!!. I was absent for the 4 days. I thought catching up to three films, but had a chance to only see two. Got to get to the office at 5:30 PM.

Already missed out my “not-to-miss” films like Leviathan, Moebius and Winter Sleep, so I did not take time to go through the options available across different venues. The best bet is to go Woodlands and play “inki-pinki-ponki” and select the films.

The first film was “The Sentimentalist”, a movie from Greece. The announcer in her sweet voice said, the movie has dialogues both in English and Greek. And so, there is no sub-titles available as it will be easily understandable. But, in the entire movie, there was only one scene which had a dialogue in English, even in that half of the wordcount were “fucking.. fucking.. fucking”, otherwise marunduku kuda English dialogues nahi. I (most of us) had experienced today, the expression “it sounds like Greek and Latin”.

The movie was stylishly shot. In spite of no sub-titles, I was able to make a story out of it, the crowd politely accepted the movie without subs (I guess this is normal in a filmfest!).

For lunch, I did not want to take chances with Royapettai briyani’s shops. I don't have a steel stomach. Found a small veg hotel in Quaid-e-Millath Road. I owe them two rupees as I didn't have change!.

The next film was from the Indian Panorama section “Munnariyippu” starring Mammootty. 

The very first scene of the movie, when the credits starts we see a dead lizard is taken\dragged by a bunch of ants. This scene sets the pace of the film and we might interpret on how the main character Raghavan (Mammootty) might be dragged or nagged by others. BTW, it is good to see Mammootty set asides his stardom and performs for the sake of the character and not for his brand (I guess this is normal for Malayalam mainstream actors, but not lately).

By 3/4th of the film, we tend to guess on how the film might unfold, as Raghavan irks the viewers and the other characters in the film. But we fail to anticipate the climax. The full story of Raghavan’ past is untold, we tend to get only bits and pieces of it. Maybe, that's why the film succeeds. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Potti Maaripochi in CIFF

My Day 2 in the Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF)- I wonder why they want to add the word “International”, they should have kept just “Chennai Film Festival”. Is it because they screen movies from around the world?

Before starting every movie and in their promotions they add “In support from Tamil Nadu Government” and to note, there is a big banner in which it is written “From the blessings of AMMA”. Makkal’in Mudalvar’ presence is there, you cannot escape from amma in Tamil Nadu.

Back to the business part, I went to catch-up at least two films- 5 PM and 7:15 PM.

5 PM show in Woodlands was scheduled for a Bulgarian film Roseville, but they started to play an Italian film “Like A Wind” (potti maariduchi- I guess this is normal in an event like this!). Most of the audience realized it when the title got displayed, but the people who were telecasting\projecting it realized after 15-20 minutes. Then the movie was stopped abruptly and the Roseville film was started. When Roseville started, the lady in the mic announced they are playing the correct film now! An appropriate excuse could have been sought.

Back to the actual business about the film- Roseville. It started as an average Hollywood B-Grade film, like “people driving through the forest and a creature appearing from nowhere”. The plot moved like Kubrick’ “The Shining”. 120 minutes running-time was too much for the film, they could have reduced it to 90 minutes. Sound design and the background score were good.

Before, catching up the next film got a chance to meet my fellow blogger Mahesh. Had a quick chat with him. Rushed in for little refreshment and "chucha".

Next film- Nuoc (2030), a Vietnamese film about raising sea levels. The cinematography was good in capturing the rough sea (Or is it my delusion, because I sat too near to the screen).

**Above Image from Nuoc film.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My First Day In A Film Fest

While reading this piece of writing, people may think I’m too excited and exaggerating my experience, but attending a film festival is in my list of “to-do” items for a long time, I kept skipping it for years. So there is no harm in writing about it!

On the 2nd day of the Chennai International Film Festival (CIFF), I took some time from my busy schedule (Iddu reel’u!) and narrowed on the 3 PM show at Woodlands. My target was a movie from The Netherlands- Tuscan Wedding, but I also had an option of 2.45 PM show at Symphony (Adomaya. Life Goes On - An Assamese film).

I was able to reach the theater sooner than I expected and thought of catching up the 2:45 PM show. I parked the bike (free parking only in Woodlands). As said before, I was excited. Walked into the theater and choose my seat.

They announced to switch off the mobile phones, everyone smartly put their phones in the silent mode. Movie started. With in few minutes, I realized that I forgot to take the key from the bike. I was sure the key is in the bike, because that’s my routine way of forgetting it. I was about to move out, but I don't want to ruin my first experience. For few minutes, I couldn't concentrate on the movie. From my past similar experiences, I know the key is perfectly camouflaged and it’s hardly got noticed by the people passing through it (I once, left it on a busy street), so I took a chance (Kurutu daiyriam).

I continued to watch the film. Occasionally, someone was whispering “hello.. nan theater’la irukeen” and some frustrated souls walked away in the middle of the film (May be they had forgot something like me).

Clap.. clap.. clap the film ends.

Oh!! what happen to the key ?- It was there in the bike and the bike was there untouched!.

Note: There is a photo exhibition happening in Woodlands. Theme- Cinema Halls.

Web link for the festival-

Monday, December 15, 2014

Enough Mr. Superstar

By the time you read this you might have seen the film or your friends would have already given their take on the movie as “mokkai”. Yes, they are correct the film is “mokkai”, when you go to Lingaa expecting the Bashaas or Padayappas.

They have taken a time-tested superstar formula- An intro song, powerful flashback and a bad guy. They neither over-cook nor under-cook the film, but they forgot to turn on the stove. Being in 2014 they took the movie which is meant for the year 1999. 

Lingaa is watchable on the whole, even though there are bits and pieces of dragging moments for every 15 mins. The intro song is from the dream of the hero, which is a complete lack of imagination, longgg flashback…wait.. wait.. I’ll stop here, I can see that you are saying “Thalaivar scene’la vandalee podum”.

My fear is when people like Rajani and Kamal can still be super heroes at the age of 60’s, will Vijay and Ajith follow the same. Long live Tamil Cinema.

Enough Mr. Superstar or enough of Mr. Superstar.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Mozhi ப்பராபளம்

This is the norm for most of the bilinguals like me in Tamil Nadu, especially while in school, we suffer from this Language’ophobia. மனேயல்லி ಕನ್ನಡ (வீட்டுல Kannada), வெளியில் தமிழ் and in school English. This was how I started my school days in a confused state till 4th Standard, but when I stepped into 5th standard, things became more complicated. Hindi and Sanskrit joined the race to torture me. I was put into this CBSE School in Sri Vidya Mandir (SVMS), Salem. 

Up until joining SVMS, my Hindi vocabulary was verrrryyy limited, like, “Ek.. doo.. theen”, “Chumma.. chumma.. de..dee”, “shoolay”, “namaskar” and not to forget “ek gaon main..ek kisan raghuthatta”. I was a hosteler then, so new joinees were pushed for a special tuition from 4:30 PM to 5:00 PM, while the rest of my friends were playing cricket.

Hindi teacher should be called as Ji or Pandit. Sanskrit sir as Sharma Ji. Tamil teacher as Ayya\Amma. English and other subjects as sir\madam.

Our Hindi tuition Ji was from Ambasamudram, he’ll say “ஒழுங்க படிக்கலே மணிமுத்தாறுல புரட்டி எடுத்துடுவேன்”.

Halfway through my 5th standard year, there came a circular “Students should speak in Hindi, while in Hindi period. Should speak in Tamil, while in Tamil class. Sanskrit in Sanskrit period. For English class and the rest of the subject- English is must”. 

We hostelers had a big doubt, “What language should we speak in interval and lunch period?”. So as days passed, one day during an interval period, I said to my friend Balu, “டாய், நான் one bathroom போயிட்டுவரேன்...”, suddenly someone caught my ear. It was my Sanskrit Sharma Ji (He was like Premji from Goa film). He said “Hey man, you talk in Tamil”.

Me: No, Tamil ji.. bath room is English!! He said, “come to the staff room”. He pulled my ear and dragged me to 2nd floor.

I thought, “Yov Sharma, நீங்க management-க்கு salaam போட என் காதுதான் கெடச்சதா!!"

I ended up paying Re. 1 for talking in Tamil. That one rupee was added to my mess bill.

உங்க மொழி அரசியலுக்கு என்ன மாதிரி எத்தனை ஊரூகாய் ஜாடியோ!

A small pawn in the divisive linguistic politics.

**Above image by the blogger

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Seven Habits of a Highly Smart Driver in Chennai

You might have driven bikes (motorbikes) in your town or city, but if you come to Chennai, you have to follow these seven habits of a smartest driver in Chennai.

1. Accessories & Checks

No helmet. You are going to become smart. So make sure you have your cell phone and earphones. Mirror -Don’t check the side mirrors, because a “smart driver” will never use it. Horn- Make sure the horn is working, because you’ll be using it often.

2. Traffic Jams

Traffic jams are like bread-butter-jam for you (we are still in 2nd point, see you are already smart). You have “n” number of ways to get in between them, just like a circuit board.

3. Traffic signal

Very rarely, you’ll stop for red, that too if the traffic police in waiting on the other end to catch violators. Even though you stop, you are the “smart” driver right, so you should stop after the zebra crossing & STOP sign.

4. Pedestrian Crossing

If you see a group of people trying to cross the road, you have to increase the speed and make sure you get past them, before they cross the road. You should think like Will Smith in the movie Independence Day, on how he drove the space shuttle through the closing door on the alien space ship (final scene. Ref the image).

5. Honking

You should constantly honk, because you are smart and always you’ll keep yourselves busy. Again, very rarely you’ll get stuck in a traffic signal. Once the light turns green, immediately (with in 10 nanoseconds) you have to start honking. If you don’t do it, then the guy who is in front your bike will start eating Saravana Bhavan full meals in the middle of the road. OK, be careful.

6. Narrow Roads

Sometimes, traffic will build in narrow roads (Usually, it will be your smart friend, who parked his\er car in the middle of the road), in this situation you shouldn't wait, you should take the other side of the road and block the incoming traffic. The same is applicable while waiting to take bridges\subways.

7. Taking calls

Since you are smart, you are always busy. So if you get a call while driving, don’t park the bike on the side of the road to take the call. If you don’t have earphone, put the cell phone on your shoulder and bend your head for 45 degrees to support. Keep talking.

There are still more pointers, but these are essentials. 

Happy Driving!!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Mobile App Art










All the above were done using a mobile phone app. I don't want to name them, I leave it for the people to decide on it.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

பாட்டி வடை சுட்ட கதை

பாட்டி வடை சுட்ட கதை. இந்த கதையை நம்ம தமிழ் cinema directors எடுத்தா எப்படி இருக்கும் என்று ஒரு கற்பனை. ஒரு producer-ரிடம் அவர்களே கதையை சொல்வார்கள்.

முதலில் Selvaragavan- Sir opening-ல சோழர் காலத்த காட்டுறோம். ஒரு பாட்டி தென் கோடி தமிழகத்தில் வடை சுடுறங்க, அதே நேரத்துல Jupiter பக்கத்துல இருக்குற Kipiter planet-ல ஒரு தாத்தா வடை சுடுறாரு…

Producer- செல்லாது செல்லாது. அடுத்த ஆள் வாங்க !

Shankar- Sir.. வடை சின்னதாதான் இருக்கணுமா ? நம்ப பாட்டி 100-அடி size-ல வடைய சுடுறாங்க. அப்போ பேரிய size dinosaur robot வந்து தூக்கிட்டு போயிடுது.

Producer- வடைக்கு budget பத்தாது தம்பி. நீங்க வேணும்னா சொந்த காசு போட்டு சுட்டுகோங்க. அடுத்த ஆள் வாங்க !

Manirathanam room உள்ள வந்து உட்கார்ந்து, producer-ர கொஞ்ச நேரம் உத்து seeing..

Producer- (அப்புராணியா asking) கதை எப்போ sir சொல்லுவிங்க ?

Mani- பாட்டி…..(silence)…. வடை….(silence)…. காக்கா…..(silence)..

Producer- அய்யோ தூக்கம் வருது. அடுத்த ஆள் வாங்க !

Hari enters the room with his 10 assistants, all carrying அரிவாள்-s

Hari- பாட்டி சுட்ட வடைய காக்க துக்கிட்டு பறக்க, பாட்டி “எஎஎய்ய்ய்ய்ய்…”ன்னு ஒரு பேரிய sound விடுது. அத கேட்டு ஊர்ல இருக்குற எல்லா பாட்டிகளும் 10-15 Tata Sumo-ல காக்கவ துறத்துறாங்க.

Producer- தம்பி முடியல. அடுத்த ஆள் வாங்க !

Kamalhaasan- கதைக்கு போவதற்கு முன்னாடி, பாட்டிக்கு காக்கவுக்கு Hollywood-ல இருந்து வரும் Micheal Westmore 4-hours make-up போடுவாரு. OK-வா?

Producer- Not, OK. அடுத்த ஆள் வாங்க !

Goutham Vasudev Menon- (Only English) Before going into the story, let’s decide the title. Working title will be ”பாட்டி55” and the actual title will be “வடையை தாண்டி வருவாயா”.

Producer- தம்பி. Me no English. அடுத்த ஆள் வாங்க !

Bhagiyaraj- Sir, நம்ம பாட்டி கொஞ்கம் மாற்கமான பாட்டி. வடையில எப்பவும் முருங்ககீரைய தான் use பண்ணும். இத ஒரு நாள் திருடி சுட்டக் காக்கவுக்கு கசமுச…

Producer- நிறுத்து நிறுத்து.. நான் படமே எடுக்கல. பழயபடி நான் கிளி ஜோசியமே பார்க்க போறேன். 

***Above picture collage by the blogger.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Unlike Poles Attract

I did a play on some personalities, who will never meet each other. Some were contemporaries on their time, some were separated by ideas. Unfortunately, I can think on only three as of now.

Charlie Chaplin – Adolf Hitler

This is my only hand drawn work in this series. Pencil Art.

Jayalalitha – Karunanidhi

This is a photoshopped work, it fact this was done using, online photo editing tool.

Periyar – Pillaiyar

This is again photoshopped, created using the basic, good old MS Paint.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Me After Watching Kaathi

Title starts- “இது ஒரு கற்பனை கதை”. உண்மையை தானே சொல்லவந்திங்க, அப்புறம் எதுக்கு இந்த disclaimer. இந்த படத்துல வரும் கதை போய்யா ?

Jail-லில் இருந்து தப்பிக்கும் கதிரேசன். கல்கத்தா police இவ்வளவு மட்டியா? Jail-லோட blue print ஒரு கைதிகிட்ட காட்டுவாங்களா? ஒரு கைதியா வெச்சி இன்னோரு கைதிய புடிப்பாங்களாம்?

போலி passport, visa, ticket எல்லாம் ஒரே நாளில் ready பண்ணுவாங்களாம் ?

SIM மாத்தி போட்டா போதும், police trace பண்ணமுடியாது. அப்போ இந்த IMEI number எல்லாம் waste-அ?

ஒரு பெண்னை பாத்தவுடனே hero தன்னோட ticket-யை கீழிச்சி போட்டுருவாரு ?

Airport-ல jolly-யா பாட்டு பாடலாம். தப்புயில்ல.

ஐந்து பேர் point-blank range-ல சுட்டா ஒடம்புல ஒரு bullet மட்டும் தான் விழும், அதுவும் rightside-ல. “one-hour-க்குள்ள hospital போனா காப்பாதிடலாம்.

25 Lakhs cheque-க collector road-லயே குடுப்பாரு.

தண்ணீயா தேடி field-ல work பண்ணும்போது சுக்கு coffee குடிக்கணும். அப்போ சம்பந்தமே இல்லாம் Communism பத்தி ஒரு dialogue பேசணும்.

எந்த இடத்துலயும் மறந்தும் “அரசியல்வாதிகள்”, “ஆட்சியாளர்கள்”, “Government” என்ற வார்தைகள் dialogue-ல் வரவேகூடாது.

Coin சுண்டி விட்டா, நாலு அஞ்சி room தள்ளி இருக்குறவனுக்கு அந்த சத்தம் தெளிவா கேட்கும்.

கல்கத்தா police ஒரு கைதியை தேடி சென்னை வந்தால் அவங்க sightseeing-ல busy-யா இருப்பாங்க.

Mobile phone ஆடம்பரம், ஆனா “Selfie pulla” பாட்டு அவசியம். அந்த பாட்டு set table மேல வெச்சியிருக்குர glass-ல இருக்குற cola-வா ? இல்ல grape juice-சா ?

Corporate, MNC-யில் இருக்குறவங்க எல்லாம் கேட்டவங்க. Oh, அப்போ இது government release பண்ண படமா ?

ஒரு MNC-க்கு பிரச்சனை வந்த உலகத்துல இருக்குற எல்லா நாட்டு company-யும் ஒண்னா சேந்துப்பாங்க. Assam-ல இருந்து ஆள் எறக்குவாங்க.

City blueprint தி-நகர்ல இருக்குற platform-ல கிடைக்கும். ரேண்டு பத்து ரூபாய்.

சென்னை city-க்கு தண்ணீ இல்லான்னா மூணாவது நாள் எல்லோரும் கொடம் எடுத்த zombies-ச மாறிடுவாங்க.

மூணு நாள் மூச்சா போகாம pipe-ல easy-யா இருக்கலாம். 

City-ல இருக்குறவங்க, media கவனத்த திருப்பினா case-ச ஜெயிச்சிடலாம்.

Indian Judicial system can be influenced by the public outcry and media coverage.

கடைசியில் phone செஞ்சா போதும் police வந்து arrest பண்ணிடுவாங்க.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dayalu & Karuna

Imaginary conversation between Dayalu and Karuna

Dayalu- எனங்க இப்படி பண்ணிடிங்க ?
Karuna- என்ன ஆயிற்று தயாளு ?

Dayalu- வுட்டுல பஜ்ஜி சுட்டுட்டு இருந்த என்ன இப்படி 2ஜி-ல மாட்டிவிட்டிங்களே !!
Karuna- கவலை வேண்டாம் தயாளு.

Dayalu- என்ன கவுல வேணாம்..
Karuna- நான், நீ என்றால் உதடுக.. (Dayalu stops him)

Dayalu- நிறுத்துங்க. என்கிட்டியேவா!!
Karuna- கடலில் வீசினாலும் கட்டு மரம்மா.. (Dayalau stops him again and keeps her hands on her head)

Dayalu- நிறுத்துங்க. அய்யோ ராமா…
Karunu- ராமன் ஒரு ஆரியன்.

Dayalu- அடப்போயா. உன்னவிட அந்த CBI-யே மேல். நான் அவிங்க கிட்டயே பேசிக்குறேன்.


I wish, I can draw something in this Inktober month,, but the least I can do is to capture the ink bottle cover with my camera.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Special Bus

People travelling in TNSTC buses must have experienced it, especially during festive season like Deepavali or Pongal. A temporary migration happens from Chennai to other parts of Tamil Nadu. The roads leading to Koyambedu CBMT bus stand gets jam\biscuit packed. Once, I had to walk from Vadapalani signal to CBMT as the traffic became standstill for hours.

Recently (for few years) by the vazikathudal of Makal Mudalvar, TNSTC opens reservation counters for special buses. As a commuter, once we get the ticket, we see it as "S-P-E-C-I-A-L" ( Our 32 teeth will be visible...eeeee), but after we see and experience the bus, we will become like a "sappi pota mankottai"

So, here are things you will experience,
  1. Most of the time the tickets wont have the bus number. It'll be hard to hard to identify bus. 
  2. Once you are inside the bus, due to security reasons, it'll be hard to identify the seat. The numbers will be written using chalk. Sometimes, the number sticker will be there, but there will be paint on it, so we have to use Braille system to identify the numbers.
  3. The bus will always start late. They will have a special timing. If the ticket timing says "22:30", the bus will start at "22:30".
  4. Special conductor, who doesn't have experience in handling reservation tickets. He'll repeatedly verify our tickets, at least four times. 1st- He'll put a circle mark on the chart, 2nd- He'll draw another thick circle, 3rd- a tick mark, 4th- He'll shade the number and the chart will get a hole.
  5. Special driver, who haven't done long drives. Sometimes, he wont be sure which road to take too. Passengers had to guide him.
  6. Special ceiling, which lets water in, even if there's a drizzle.
  7. Special window, which cannot be closed properly.
  8. Special seat, which hosts all sort of insects.

Above pic by Sathish Kumar, who blogs at

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Last Train Home (Canada, 2009)

Direction: Lixin Fan
Language: Mandarin
Year: 2009

Most of us would have experienced it, while travelling on festival season like Deepavali or Pongal. I’m referring to the rush which happens in the Koyambedu Bus Stand and at Central Railway Station in Chennai. Thousands of people flock the terminus to go to their native. A similar incident happens in China, but in a larger scale. 

China is known for its human migration, millions of people migrate from the mainland to the cities. The cheap labor is exploited to give ‘Made in China’ brand. Every year, during Chinese New Year, about 130 million of people migrate\travel to their native place. There is a mad rush in every railway station.

Last Train Home is a documentary film, which follows a husband (Changhua) and wife (Suquin) who are working in a factory at Guangzhou, the third largest city in China. Their teen daughter Qin and son Yang lives some 2000 Kms in mainland. They are taken care by their granny in a village. We see the train journey thrice. The parents meet their kids once in a year. The relationship gets sour between them. Qin, discontinues her studies from the village school and take up a job in a garment factory in Guangzhou. Did her parents succeed in taking her back to school is the rest of the plot.

The film can pose some serious questions about labor, especially cheap labor. I fail to understand or find it odd in terms of humanistic values on why labor in countries like China is cheap, but whereas in US, UK,.. it is high. I can understand, it is economics, but that doesn’t mean two people doing the same job can be paid differently. Moreover the person who is less paid has to suffer more.

This is a documentary, not documentary-style, but it looked like a feature film. A must see film, if you like to watch documentaries.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Motorcycle Diaries - 2

To access the suber bantasdic part 1 of this series, please feel free to click the following link at your own risk-

OK, now I have the bike or scooter or whatever you wish to call. The next step is to get a license, I inquired with my neighbors about the RTO office meant for the Vadapalani area. Everyone gave confusing answers. Then I thought for a right solution, you have to approach right people, with that conclusion, I went to a nearby driving school to ask about the RTO office, but came out agreeing a “fixed” amount, because for Learner Licence (LLR) it has to go through the driving school (True or false!).

After a day, I then went back to the driving school and gave the proof and photos. The guy there checked every documents and said “Everything is fine. Now you need to write a test

Me- (Gave him a blank look) grrrrr.

He said “No worries, I’ll write the test”, he took a paper which had some questions in it and thapu.. chipu.. dumm, he finished it and asked me to just sign. After few days, I got the LLR. The school guy said comeback after a month.

I felt as if I got a passport to heaven. For first few days whenever the bike is at stand, I used to cover it fully (safeguard it from angry birds). Cleaned (thodachi-fied) it daily (now it’s a dirt bike!). Used two locks- one inbuilt front lock and then out-built back wheel lock.

I was like a “Rules Ramanujam” while driving, which I’m still. With just having the LLR, I never bothered to get the actual license, I just kept on procrastinating, I thought the LLR is valid for 6 months until that fateful night came..

Ride Continues..

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2010, Thailand)

Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul | Country: Thailand | Language: Thai | Year: 2010

There has to be a particular reason if you like this kind of film. For me the reason is when I see such a film is it makes me to think, it raises more questions both cinematically and content-wise. 

The title of the film gives it all. This is film about a man’ past lives. You don’t need to question if the concept of reincarnation is true or not. If you question, then you’ll lose the film. This happened to me as I put the question before me while the film started, but my fellow viewing mate had different ideas, he saw with a little open mind, without much expectations and for him it was a fairy-tale. For some who has better understanding of the ethnic culture, this film might give a different experience.

Boonmee is in his deathbed, to say exactly he has a kidney failure and he counting his days. He owns a farm and lives near a forest. His sister Jen visits him from the city. While they were having the dinner, suddenly the ghost of his deceased wife, Huay appears and so his son who had disappeared long time ago, but he has now changed into a sort of a creature with red eyes. The film goes on to recall his past lives although he doesn’t actually say it on the screen. Once he was a princess who does it with a catfish. In another life he was like the same creature, which his son is now.

This is not a conventional ghost or spooky film. This is slow. Sometimes challenging with its pace and content which I couldn’t comprehend much. I enjoyed the visuals, the minute sound details of the forest. Having seen films which were driven by dialogues and literal story-telling, this was a different and unique experience.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Amedeus (USA - 1984)

படம் ஆரம்பிக்கும்போது சாலியரி (Salieri) என்ற ஒரு வயதனவரின் அரையை இரண்டு வேலையாட்கள் கதவைத்திறக்க சொல்லி தட்டுகின்றார்கள்.

பின்னனியில் சாலியரியின் குரல் “Mozart… என்னை மன்னித்துவிடு.. நான் தான் உன்னை கொன்றேன்..”.

அரையின் உள்ளே பெரிய சத்தம். வேலையாட்கள் கதவை உடைத்து உள்ளே செல்ல, கழுத்தை அருத்த நிலையில் இருக்கும் சாலியரியை உடனே ஒரு குதிரை வண்டியில் எற்றி hospital-லுக்கு அழைத்து செல்கின்றனர். அவர்கள் போகும் வழியில் ஒரு மாளிகையில் இசை விருந்து நடந்துக்கொண்டிருக்கின்றது. இசை வரும் திசையை நோக்கி சாலியரி ஆதங்கத்துடன் பார்த்து வண்டியில் செல்கின்றான்.

அந்த இசை அப்படியே மருவி, நம் எல்லோருக்கும் ரொம்ப தெரிந்த Titan watch விளம்பரத்தில் வரும் “பா.. பப்பா.. பா. பப்பா.. பா..” என்ற இசையாக மாறுகின்றது. அடுத்த நாள் காலை ஒரு பாதரியார் சாலியரியை பார்க்க hospital-லுக்கு வருகின்றார். 

என்னை தனியே விடு என்று சாலியரி கூற, பாதரியார் மறுக்கின்றார்.

இசை பற்றி உனக்கு என்ன தெரியும்?” சாலியரி கேட்கிறான்.

பாதரியார் தம் சிறு வயதில் இங்கு வியன்னா-வில் (Vienna) படித்ததாக கூறுகின்றான்.

அப்படியானால் இதை தெரியுமா? என்று கூறிக்கொண்டு அருகில் இருக்கும் piano-வில் ஒரு tune-னை வாசிக்கின்றான் சாலியரி.

பாதரியார் தெரியாது என்று முழிக்கின்றார்.

எமாற்றம் அடைந்த சாலியரி “செரி, இதை கேள், இதை நான் முதலில் அறிமுகம் செய்யும் போது அரங்கமே அதிர்ந்தது” என்று கூறிக் கோண்டு வேறு ஒரு tune-னை வாசிக்க. அப்படியே shot சாலியரியின் இளமை காலத்திர்க்கு சென்று அரங்கம் நிரைந்த மக்கள் கரவொலியோடு காட்சி நிகழ் காலத்திர்க்கு வருகின்றது. பிரம்மிப்பும் மிரட்சியோடும் வாசித்த கையோடு பாதரியாரை பார்கின்றான் சாலியரி. ஆனால் பாதரியரின் முகத்தில் அதே முழி.

என்னுடைய இசை உனக்கு எதுவுமே தெரியாத ? 40-துக்கு மேற்பட்ட opera-க்களை எழுதியுள்ளேன். அக்காலத்தில் Europe-ன் மாபெரும் இசைக்கலைஞன் நான். செரி, இதை கேள் என்று நாம் முன்னர் கேட்ட Titan watch விளம்பர tune-னை வாசிக்க பாதரியார் முகத்தில் புன்னகை. அவரும் piano இசையுடன் செர்ந்து notes-சை hum செய்கின்றார். பாதரியாரிடம் ஒரு வித மலர்ச்சி, அப்பாட கடைசியாக இவருடைய இசையை நாம் கண்டுபிடித்துவிட்டோம் என்பதுபோல.

ஒ!! இது எனக்கு தெரியும். இதை நீங்களா எழுதினிர்கள் ? Wonderful என்கிறார் பாதரியார்.

சாலியரியோ, இதை நான் எழுதவில்லை. இதை எழுதியது Mozart என்று கூறுகின்றான். இப்படி ஆரம்பிக்கும் இப்படத்தின் நாயகன்தான் Amedeus Mozart. ஆனால் கதை சொல்லப்படுவது அவனுடைய எதிரி சாலியரியின் வழியாக.

1984-ஆம் ஆண்டு வெளிவந்த Amedeus முதலில் ஒரு நாடகமாக வந்தது. Peter Shaffer எழுதிய இந்த நாடகம் (படத்திர்க்கு திரைகதை) Mozart-ன் வாழ்க்கையை பின்னனியாக வைத்து கொஞ்சம் தாராளமாக fiction-னையும் சேர்க்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. Czechoslovakia-வை சார்ந்த Milos Forman இயக்கிய இப்படம் பல Oscar விருதுகளை அள்ளியது. என்னத்தான் இப்படத்தை அப்பொது கொண்டாடினாலும், பின் நாளில் மறந்துவிட்ட அல்லது கவனிக்கதவறிய வரிசையில் வந்துவிட்டது. ஆகையால் FilmBulb இதை தூசி தட்டி கொஞ்சம் எழுதவுள்ளது.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

காது... கேக்...காது

வர வர காது கொஞ்சம் கேக்”காது” ஆவுது. மூணு incident ஒரு வாரத்துல.


-சார், ஆர்த்தி பண்ணுங்க.
-தப்பா பேசாதயா. வம்பாயிட போவுது.
-சார், tweet பண்ணியிருக்கேன் அத…
-ஒ!! RT-யா

ஒரு சனிகிழம மதியம். Full-கட்டு கட்டிட்டு தூங்கும் போது. டிங்.. டாங்.. டிங்.. டாங்.., calling bell. கதவை திறந்தால்.

-சார், பொரியல்
-என்ன? பொரியலா? நான் சாப்டாசி.
-பொரியல் இல்ல சார் கொரியர் (courier).

நடு ராத்திரி. Office-சில் இருந்து வரும் வழியில் police-checking

-சார், எங்கிருந்து வரிங்க ?
-ஆபிஸ்ல இருந்து.
-சார், என்ன software நீங்க ?
-(I thought- police எதுக்கு software பத்தி கேக்குராரு) நான் பணிவா- என்ன சார் கேட்டிங்க ?
- என்ன சாப்பிட்டு வரிங்க ? beer-ரா.. whiskey-யா ? (சொல்லிட்டு சிரிச்சாரு. Comedy-யாம் !).
- சார் எங்க office-ல tea coffee தவிர வெர எதும் தரமாட்டாங்க.
- ஹி..ஹி.. செரி, கெளம்புங்க.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Hey Ram - Post 4/4

ஹே ராம் பற்றிய எனது முதல் மூன்று பதிவுகளை இங்கே படிக்கவும்.

மேலே இருக்கும் பதிவுகளை படித்து பிழைத்து இருந்தால் தொடர்ந்து படிக்கவும்.

**Spoilers Ahead**

தீடிர் சந்திப்புகள், கமலின் விதவிதமான முகங்கள், காட்சிக்கு காட்சி மாறும் மொழிகள், காந்தியம், மதச்சண்டை, நிகழ் காலம்-Black & White, கதை பின் நோக்கி செல்லும் போது-Color என்று பல தடைகளை தாண்டி வந்துவிட்டோம். இப்போது படம் முடியும் நிலை. அம்ஜத் இறந்துவிட்டான். நண்பனை இழந்தநிலையில் ராமின் மனம் மாறி காந்தியை கொல்லாமல் அவரிடம் மன்னிப்பு கேட்டக செல்கின்றான். காந்தியை கோட்சே சுடுகின்றான். படம் முடிகின்றது.

மனமாற்றம் நிகழ்ந்ததா?

எனக்கு முதல் இரண்டு தடவை பார்க்கும்போதும் அப்படி தோன்றவில்லை. அம்ஜத் கூறும் ஒரு வசனமும் காந்தி கூறும் ஒரு வசனமும் (கருத்து) ஒன்றாக உள்ளதை ராம் சுட்டிக்காட்டுவான். இதுதான் மனமாற்றத்திர்க்கு காரணமா ? கடைசியாக காந்தியை சந்திக்க போகும்போது ராம் செய்யும் காரியம்- Wash basin முன்னால் நின்று கொண்டு துப்பாக்கியை பெட்டியில் வைப்பது. 

மன்னிப்பு கேட்க போகும் முன் துப்பாக்கியை உடைத்து (அல்லது dismantle) பெட்டியில் வைத்திருந்தால் காட்சி இன்னமும் நன்றாக புரிந்திருக்கும் என்பது எனது சிறிய முளையில் தொன்றிய ஒரு idea.

என்னதான் குற்றம் குறைகள் சொன்னாலும் ஹே ராம் தமிழ் சினிமாவில் கொண்டாடப்பட வேண்டிய படம். நாம் கொண்டாடினோமா ?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Motorcycle Diaries - 1

I was not very fond of riding bikes (motorcycles!), I should confess that I was extremely scared because I had an accident in my school days. This accident put me in an immovable state for 15 days, no bones were broken, but severe wounds (perunggayam). I tried to overcome the fear while in college, but it got worst, I went on to hit the railway track, fortunately no train was passing at that time otherwise the train would have experienced severe damages.

After coming to Chennai, there was no opportunity to have a bike, actually and factually- I didn't create the opportunity, whichever office I went cabs were given and when I want to roam around the city I used to take the public transport. Years went by peacefully, but then it became a necessity to have a bike. (Kudumbam Peruthudichi). I couldn't escape the crowd, I had to yield for it. I had to go for a gear-less. I went for Wego, which was new to the market then and a unique choice of white color. 

I was scared of driving in the city roads, as I’m experienced in seeing/feeling how the cab drivers maneuver their cars. In few days, after few kilometers of practicing, I felt the fellow drivers were very kind, may be everyone knew that I was new. The only secret I didn't know then was if the driver (bike) turns his\her head to right, it means s\he is going to turn right, no indicator or hand signal is needed. If you want to turn right, then turn your head right. If you want to turn left, turn your head left. So Simple. But, the biggest hurdle was yet to come. Licence.

To be continued..

PS: Later, this post writer became the first man to ride the Wego for 258.4 Kms in 5 Hours and 24 mins.

Photo Credit: IVaR

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Devils ?

One thing which made me feel bad in the recent Delhi zoo incident or should we call it as an accident is the way in which people behaved by filming the event. If I was in that situation, I wouldn't have taken a video of it. Many videos are floating in the internet of that incident, I haven't purposefully seen it and I wish not to see it, because it was purposefully filmed, which is of no use.

At this age of selfies, when two or more people meet they invariably end up in taking pictures, of course these are moments to be cherished, but not when someone is battling for his life.

Most of us have good mobiles, with a decent clarity which can shoot pictures and videos, but this does not give license to shoot everything. We have seen videos of accident happening on the road, those are not intentionally taken, just “accidentally shot”. I would like to pose a cliched question, “Will they take a video, when their near-dear ones are trapped like that guy ?”.

What is the purpose of shooting the video, are they going to watch it on a Sunday evening with their family\friends or share it in Social Media and troll on it. And, there is this mob mentality in social media, which shares the video by the tag line “Be aware of the tiger”, as if we don't know what a tiger can do. Pathetic.

This reminded me of the film, Untraceable. The story is to catch a serial killer. He streams the killing in a website, the more hits\visitors the website receives the sooner the victims are killed.