Thursday, April 27, 2006


It's a lovely day!

I drag my feet out of the bed, forcing myself with yet another lousy day of the week. Sluggishly, as part of the morning rituals, I switch the computer on and surf through some of the insipid tales of Maran, Kaavya and bollywood when my drowsy eyes light up to this news on 'Ash panned in UK', reads the link, which leads me here -

'Aishwarya Rai -- is there a wishier, washier, wimpier actor anywhere in the known universe?,' asked The Guardian's influential critic Peter Bradshaw, giving Mistress Of Spices a single star (out of a maximum five) in the reputed London daily newspaper.

My day suddenly turns bright, colorful and sunny. No, I am not a brute! And yeah, I love Peter Bradshaw, whoever that gentleman is.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Thiruttu Payale

At hindsight, the cast wasn’t too impressive nor were the names too familiar, but the message, commendable. Jeevan plays the hero Manickam, who is a violent young man, influenced by his father’s way of making money through bribes. While he is academically a total dud, he cleverly plots a way to make easy buck through blackmailing a rich entrepreneur’s wife (Malavika) with a video confirming an affair between her and her husband’s friend (Abbas). The story then runs along the lines of a predictable movie with a lover and duets, finally approaching a very obvious ending. However, there is definitely some entertainment packed into the story with enough twists, turns, kinks, knots, Vivek and Australia.

Now, what struck me the most about the movie was the portrayal of the blatant reality on how parents’ way of life has a strong bearing on their child’s life, good or bad. The story is also based on the adage ‘mudal konal, mutrum konal’ and explicates how the first step towards debasement is often irreversible. The message is particularly applicable to this generation, where kids are exceptionally observant and curious with plenty of oppurtunities to commit mistakes, making child upbringing a challenge in itself.

These days, a lot of movies carry the ‘different’ tag, but are puerile or just unremarkable. But, Thiruttu Payale is markedly different. Watch it and if you like it, good! You owe me one. But, if you don't, blame it on Susi Ganesan!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006



It was the first day of the course. I was one of those few enthusiastic students who came to class before the lecturer. Students came in one after another and occupied the empty seats first. Slowly, when all the empty seats were occupied, people randomly sat beside anyone without too much choice. I was indulged in an unconscious and childish thought about who would sit by me.

"This one, looks brilliant," I thought and kept looking at the girl who entered the room, but she occupied the first available chair and shook hands with the girl next to her. I let her go off my sight and looked at the one that followed, "Ok, this one is fine too," I approved. He came in at the speed of light and found a place next to the person sitting in front of me.

Then another one entered. At once, everyone turned towards the entrance. He was tall, dark and fat. I felt bad for him, for I thought, he was aesthetically challenged. In addition to a strict diet in this life, it looked like, he needed another lifetime of diet, to treat his obesity. Who cared about his obesity treatment anyway? All that I cared about was getting a better neighbour for the day! He walked towards me with heavy steps. "Oh, no, Oh, no... Why is it that I always get what I don’t want?" I breathed a sigh of regret.

"May I?" he asked in a voice that was totally unrelated to his physique. "Oh sure!" I said, removing my bag off the chair. "Thanks. I’m Kaushik..." he added, extending his hand. "Mira..." I said with a smile camouflaging my disinterest. My palm felt tiny in his gigantic one. I sat there in utter silence developing a stratedy to evade any conversation.

The lecturer soon entered the room. He started with a round of his personal introduction and then asked each one of us to walk to the podium and introduce ourselves. Besides our names and academic details, he wanted each one to state our long term goal and objective behind joining the course. Siddharth, Mohan, Deepthi, Santosh and Neha finished with the obviously expected answer for the objective - doing CA. Their goals differed from becoming capable of managing their family business to working for MNCs. It was his turn now and he went to the podium. I noticed that his rear took ten seconds to follow him making the total waiting time more than the average. "I am Kaushik. I graduated from..." he went on... I gave no particular attention to the details. I looked at his face and noticed that his obesity gave him a forty-something look, while he must not have been more than 25, even if I assume that he failed four times during graduation. "My goal in life..." he started with uncertainty in the tone, followed by a brief moment of silence. "When I was a kid, I wanted to become a fighter pilot. I insisted that everyone called me Mr. Fighter Pilot," he said. I grew attentive and looked with an expectation of what he was going to say. "I've often put myself in trouble with my teachers for not responding to them when they address me with my first name. I was so passionate about becoming a fighter pilot. But, as I grew up, I changed my goal because I outgrew the cockpit and ended up here, working towards being a Chartered Accountant", he said, spreading his infectiously genuine smile to everyone in the room.

It was my turn next and walked to the podium while he approached his chair. This time, when I took a closer look at him, I found spontaneity, sense of humour, lightheartedness and the promise of a friend hidden beneath the layers of fat in his 130+ kgs of personality.

We have been friends for over five years now and thenceforth, I hold him responsible for every dissatisfactory book I read, because, he taught me that it is iniquitous to judge a book by its cover.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Blending with the new year

I am yet to recover from the shock of getting warned by a cop. The offense is no more than the sinless appetite for 'idlis'. Idlis and dosais are my staple diet. I have this natural ability to smell sambhar from a distance of a couple of miles. Long story short, I am a typical Tamilian. Most of my friends/acquaintances here are north Indians who ask me to make idlis/dosas for every get together, be it weekend travel, potluck, dinner party or just-like-that. So, for our tomorrow's travel to San Antonio too, my assignment is fifty idlis.

Grinding the ingredients with the blunt Black & Decker blender could be more painful than grinding them with the conventional "kal ural". While I was doing the painful preparation, which took approximately an hour, I heard sturdy knocks on the door in-between the din made by the blender. I was caught unawares by the cop who showed up on the door. Even though I was sure that he had knocked the wrong door, I froze at his stiff upper lip smile and a brusque, "How are you doing?" "Good..." I said, clearing my throat. He didn't wait too long to announce the purpose of his visit - "your neighbours have some problem b'cos they feel you are too loud. "Me, loud?" I thought in utter disbelief. "Noisy vacuum cleaner or blender or..." he paused meaningfully. Unsure of how to react, I said, "could be the blender. But, I don't think it is so loud that it disturbs the neighbour..." He outspoke me - "well, you don't think so, but your neighbours do." He smiled a 'look-I proved-a-point' smile and I returned with a 'should I-or-should I not' smile and bid adieu.

While I have made up my mind to stick to rava idlis henceforth, I still cannot help thinking about who to blame - the fussy neighbours, my loud blender, the jobless cop or my appetite for idlis. Thus started my New year. Puthandu vaazhthukkal to you all!:)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


'Make up' is hard work!

The world thinks there are two kinds of women based on their ability to make up. Ones who wear 'make up' and the others who don’t. Let me introduce the third kind - the ones who try to 'make up'.

I am in awe of those women who have perfected the art of 'make up'. Mostly, these women just have it in them. Perhaps, the ‘sense of good looking genes’ have rolled into them for generations. Like woodward’s gripe water, these women have a long lineage of lipsticks and mascaras. Invariably, they spend more than half of their salary in making sure they look good at work. Their training must have started as early as their kindergarten days when they dressed up their Barbie dolls with mom’s make-up kit. Well, the point is - I am in awe of them!

Then, there are these other women who just couldn’t care less about how they look. I am not sure why most of these women hail from South of India, but unfortunately they do. Gokul Santol is the be-all and end-all of 'make up' for these women. To them, harmony of colors in make-up is an un-invented phenomenon. When you come across a lady wearing an inch of white coating on her face, just don’t give her those nasty looks. Do not even sympathize with her. She just doesn’t know. Ask her why ‘malli poo’ and ‘reebok shoes’ don’t go well together, and she may think you are kidding with her. The point here is - she doesn’t know and doesn’t know that she doesn’t know! Believe me, ignorance, in this respect, is BLISS.

Now, the heroines of my post - those who follow Robert Bruce’s lesson - try and try until you succeed. I sympathize with these women, and please, you do too - because I know what it is to try to make up without actually looking made up. I belong to this elite group of women. For us, comprehending the contents of the 'make up' kit takes about a year approximately, and an eternity, precisely. We are never sure about what goes where. Distinguishing between a blusher and eye shadow is the most difficult part of it. What finally comes to our help is ‘inky pinky ponky’! Lip liners are my best friends, while eye-liners are my frustrating foes. The former help me draw an outline on my lips and ensure that I color withing the boundary, right where a lipstick is supposed to be. On the other hand, if at all, there is a time I regret playing ‘mottai madi’ cricket, without learning a thing or two from my Barbie sisters, it is only when I fumble with eyeliners. The lines sometimes come out like graphs. Worst are the times when the line comes out perfectly right, because in that enthusiastic moment, I wouldn’t know where to stop. When the jolly ride of my fingers finally stops, it ends up like Saroja Devi’s ‘kuruvi vaal’ (sparrow-tailed) eye lines. In a make-up kit, there are at least four different brushes. I googled to know their names - Flat brush, cotton swab brush, powder brush and eye-liner brush. While powder brush is easily identifiable, the rest need some kind of logical elimination technique to arrive at the right identification. Removing the make-up is more painful than its application. Yeah, really! Doing and undoing something, in an interval of five minutes is painful. Isn’t it? But, ‘satisfaction’ or ‘give-up’ emotions never reflect on the mirror when we look at ourselves. And then the vicious circle of making up and removing goes on until, it is late for work or party or wherever. Thus, the saga of hard work and determination continues...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?