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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Veppam review

Give Mahinda Rajapakshe a camera and tell him to make a documentary on world peace, let Ranbir Kapoor make a movie on manliness, ask Ilayathalapathy Vijay to make a video on the art of acting or challenge A Raja to make a film on the evils of corruption. If any of the four quoted instances happen anytime in the future, you may react the way you are likely to react after seeing Veppam.

You’d normally expect a director, especially a female, who has graduated from the Gautam Menon School of cinema, to make a stylish romantic flick complete with an overdose of English dialogues. But maybe Anjana Ali Khan wanted us to appreciate her daredevilry. Maybe she wanted us to acknowledge the fact that she has the potential to break stereotypes and to explore new domains seldom associated with female directors. Unfortunately for her, she has got her most important calculation wrong: had she apprenticed under the likes of Selvaraghavan or RGV, who have made films with similar characters that are scarily close to ones that we may get to witness in real life, Veppam could have been a noteworthy product. A question mark looms large over that possibility too, because the storyline is as stale as my canteen food and the “twist” in the movie is a disgrace to the word itself. A 5 year old kid who was sitting beside me in the theatre was narrating the overtly obvious second half to his dad who was listening with rapt attention! A forecast of things to come by a 5 year old is not such a crime in a Romantic flick, but for a whodunit script that wants to call itself a suspense thriller, it’s an offence that warrants capital punishment.

Veppam could have been the “Ok, watchable” kinda movie in spite of its hollow storyline if only a little more attention had been paid to the screenplay, the narrative. All characters in the movie are uncivilized people who hail from North Madras possibly, where education is as abundant as common sense among Justin Bieber fans. Ten minutes into the movie, it’s exceedingly apparent that the characters have been sketched by a Peter(Madras Basha word for an upper middle class person who finds it difficult to communicate in Tamil due to his/her familiarity with English) or by a person who has been trained or taught to think like one. So every time one of those Basin bridge characters speaks in Madras Basha, you find it hilarious because you can’t help thinking that they have been written in English and then translated. Veppam has one of the most ridiculous set of dialogues I have come across in the recent past.  Horrible!

To Veppam’s credit, it has a good looking protagonist (Nani) and an apt second fiddle (Nani’s elder bro in the movie) who have come up with good performances. Karthik and Nithya Menen are seen in extended guest roles as usual. It’s commendable on Karthik’s part to have accepted this kind of a role with so little scope, possibly to shed his “American Mappilai” tag but I think it’s going to take more of such efforts to convince us that he can be something else on screen.  Veppam has extraordinary music but unfortunately, it’s a misfit again. If the songs from Pudhupettai had been replaced by the ones in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, this is what it’d have looked like. The instruments used in the songs are the sophisticated ones, the ones that tales of romance yearn for; this kind of a movie calls for a few raw tunes with the spirit of the setting intact: we get the opposite.

But the most hilarious aspect of Veppam is the “ammaji” character. Outrageous casting. The character’s looks, her body language and the outfits that she sports in the movie guarantee her a place in one of those BRU ads where the maami says after a brief coy grin “ithu BRU naa”!

I am not daring enough to conclude that a GVM assistant or any Peter for that matter can’t make a good movie on people involved in shady deals in the dark streets of north Chennai. After all, Vishnu Vardhan surprised me with the chic Pattiyal, one of the best gangster movies I have come across in Tamil. It’s just that a GVM assistant is more likely to be coronated with the crown of success when she attempts a stylish romantic flick or a glossy cop movie where the focus is on characters that speak English most of the time. Anjana may go on to become a good director; this is her first attempt after all. But I presume that she’d boost her chances a tad more if she attempts a genre that she is familiar with. She’s just got to get her heart and mind together. Right now, they are miles apart!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ruminations of a fast bowler

Today(18-7) is Dennis Lillee’s birthday. Dennis Lillee, as avid cricket fans all over the world know, is the one of the deadliest fast bowlers to have seen the face of the earth. Dennis Lillee had everything going for him, his physique especially: a fast bowler’s dream! Tall, muscular, broad shoulders, a beautiful run up and a power-packed delivery stride. He looked like a monster in motion every time he ran in to bowl those formidable bouncers. Who can forget that little encounter against Thala Viv Richards, when he bowled four bouncers on the trot (there weren’t any restrictions on the number of bouncers you could bowl in an over those days) and followed it up with an absolute peach of a delivery that clipped the top of off stump? The best part about the encounter was that Thala Viv was not afraid to play that famous hook shot of his, even though Lillee was at his intimidating best! Thala Viv wasn’t even wearing a helmet, mind you!

I personally admire Lillee for his never-say-die attitude though my knowledge and visual memory of his famous conquests owe their birth and existence to YouTube and classics telecasted on Star Cricket. I also admire him for his sense of style. His moustache and those long locks he used to sport (before they had to give way to the vagaries of ageing viz. balding) Lillee quite fittingly played during the golden era of fast bowling. His stint at the international arena, characterized by grace, speed and power played alongside the very famous and the furiously fast West Indian brigade of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Joel Garner and Andy Roberts.  Not to forget the indomitable Imran Khan, though he wasn’t the fastest in business.
 The West Indian legends and Lillee gave way to the next generation of street smart quickies who were not all about pace and power. They had their core competencies in tact and also knew the art of standing up to a new generation of batsmen who were armed with helmets, high quality protection gear and brilliant bats. Shorter boundaries, fielding restrictions, restrictions on a supposedly “negative” line, restrictions on the number of bouncers that could be bowled in an over etc. placed serious limitations on the options available at the bowlers’ disposal. With the fielding restrictions in place, a delicate touch down to third man was all that was necessary to increment the score by four runs. These batsmen, on the other hand, weren’t afraid to shuffle across the line and play the leg glance or flick the ball through square leg or mid-wicket in spite of running a high risk of getting out LBW. Barriers were broken; 250 wasn’t considered a safe target anymore.
The changes in the game, mostly due to the Kerry Packer revolution definitely gave the batsmen an upper hand. It presented the bowlers with a heap of challenges. The new crop of quickies did live up to the challenges. Three fast bowlers from that era stood out. White lightning, Allan Donald, Wasim Akram, the Sultan of swing and the gentle giant, Curtly Ambrose. These three were distinct in their own way but then they carried forward the rich legacy of troubling batsmen with serious pace. They were the legal heirs of the tradition of bouncing batsmen out. Then, there were Glenn Mcgrath and Shaun Pollock, authorities of accuracy. They started the tradition of effective medium pace combined with deadly accuracy. Flashes of brilliance were on offer from the likes of Waqar Younis, famous for his toe-crushers and Courtney Walsh. This, according to me, was the last generation of pure and genuine breed of fast bowlers.

After that, we’ve had Brett Lee, Shoaib Akthar, Shane Bond, Lasith Malinga, Dale Steyn etc. but the fatal and the ferocious bouncers that were delivered with the sole aim of crashing into the human skull, toe crushers that yearned for blood and were intended to break the heels are now missing. The fire, the passion and the power that one usually associates with fast bowling is long gone. Yes Malinga knocks a slightly distracted batsman off his feet in a jiffy, but how enchanting a sight is it? The way he does it, his action, well, I’m unimpressed. You have to be a fan of the 90s brand of cricket, those low scoring encounters, the epic chases in Sharjah to see what I mean. Yes, Dale Steyn and Brett Lee bowl those leapers that brush the batsman’s chest on the way to the keeper but then it’s no where close to the ones that Allan Donald used to bowl. Where are the bodyline-type fast bowlers, the bloodthirsty ones who licked their lips on the way back to their mark, the vampires who considered the sight of blood dripping down a batsman’s forehead to be unmatched and the greatest in the world?

Look at what we have come down to, in terms of swing bowling! We have been relegated to such a level wherein we are forced to refer to Jimmy Anderson and Simon Jones as the modern day exponents of conventional and reverse swing respectively. What a disgrace, what a fall from the good old days of Wasim Akram and Imran Khan!?! The fact that Munaf Patel features in a playing eleven as a fast bowler is itself an ignominious retreat for the art of fast bowling! The cricketing world needs to reconsider bringing back a few rules:  lifting the restriction on the number of bouncers that could be bowled in an over in tests will definitely be a step in the positive direction. The BCCI may object, considering the inability of their batsmen to counter short pitched stuff, but then cricket needs to move forward and an endangered art needs to be rescued and restored to its past glory. The wide rule could be revised. Coaches need to turn back a few pages and revisit the history books of cricket to re-discover and implement the fitness mantras of the legends. The scheduling of matches needs to be looked into; over-kill of cricket is a problem that’s been discussed quite widely in the cricketing circles without productive results.

No one wants to see Tilakaratne Dilshan open the bowling for Sri Lanka in a world cup quarter final ever again. Take us back to the good old times. POWER, PACE AND PASSION, PLEASE!


When Vijay of Madrasapattinam fame set out to make Deiva Thirumagal, I, for one, wasn’t too excited. Vijay could go on to become a film-maker of repute in the future,  but ever since he released the first feelers of this film he’s been busy telling people that “I am not Sam, I’m director Vijay; I have an identity of my own.”

I still remember watching the trailer for the first time during the interval of KO in a theatre. I could hear comments like “Dai over ah nadikaatha da”, “Kudutha kaasuku konjam jaasthiyaave nadikaraaney” from behind. They were basically echoing my feelings on the issue. Vikram is a class act, no doubt, but then every time I see his antics unfurl as the supposed-to-be-gallant-but -devastatingly-funny-Kandasamy, I wonder what happened to the Vikram who amazed us with a relaxed depiction in Dhool. Every time I watch scenes from Bheema, every time Lingusamy frightens me with those close-up shots of the macho man’s overgrown Biceps, I sigh and yearn a tad more to watch the slim and fit Vikram who gave me goose bumps with an effortless performance as an aspiring cop. Every time he goes Mambo-ma-mia with the garish voice of his on isayaruvi or sun-music, I can’t help feeling sorry for another fantastic actor who wants to be a Kamal-like-all-rounder. Kamal is a once in a generation magician gifted with just about everything, why does every frigging actor want to be a Kamal Haasan.

Every Vikram fan out there would definitely agree upon the fact that Pithamagan is the actor’s best performance till date. But I wonder if it’s the best thing that could have happened to the actor: ever since, Vikram seems to be pushing and punishing himself by working too hard for every movie; the casual, laid-back and the totally unfussy portrayals don’t seem to find a place in Vikram’s priority list anymore. Yes he came up with Majaa but we still didn’t witness the Vikram we know, did we? My facebook news-feed is full of posts and comments heaping praises on Chiyaan. But as an uncompromising fan, I have to admit that I’m far from satisfied. You have to watch Pithamagan again to discover the underplay and delightful subtleties that Vikram is capable of. And you have to watch “I am Sam” before you watch DTM to understand the degree of over-acting that has come from totally unexpected quarters.

Vikram owes his success as an actor to the directors he has worked with. Almost obstinate dedication to the roles he has played thus far has helped Vikram reap rewards. He has worked under the likes of Bala and Mani Ratnam, who certainly know how to make use of the best efforts put forth by an actor. He has faced commercial success under the aegis of Dharani and Hari, who certainly don’t belong to the league of Mani or Bala but are masters at mass attraction (that, if you forget their recently-released forgetful ventures). But I feel it’s a gross waste of talent and effort when he works under people like Vijay and Susi Ganesan. It’s as if Vikram wants us to notice his “acting talent” one movie after another. Is there no end to his portrayal of larger-than-life characters?

Coming to Deiva thirumagal, it’s actually Vijay’s (the director) autobiography with a tweak at the end. Vikram has reprised the role of Vijay, a mentally challenged with an IQ of a six year old and Sara, the small child in the movie who has been used a metaphor to symbolize the audience. The child is six years old because Vijay assumes the audience to have an IQ level on par with the child. Nasser plays “Gowravam” Sivaji’s grandson, the way he positions his mouth consciously to indicate his parental lineage is stroke of directorial brilliance I say! 

Vijay has employed various techniques to convey the message that he’s not Sam and that he is indeed director Vijay in disguise as Krishna, with an alarmingly low IQ level. First he ruins the most beautiful scene in “I am Sam” (the purchase of shoes for the kid); the characters sell their souls and manipulate their ideals if and when they feel like (Nasser and Amala Paul’s dad, cases in point. Not to forget Vikram’s change of heart in the climax!). Then there is the totally absurd, disturbingly cheap and crass comedy track featuring MS Bhaskar, his wife and Pandi. The court scene in the climax is an insult to “I am Sam”. What were Vikram and the kid behind those wooden bars in the court doing? And what was I supposed to do as they freely exhibited those circus-type antics? Without much choice and most predictably, I burst out laughing! I am often accused of being an unemotional, unfeeling *astard but this one was too hilarious to resist: only that the humor was unintended!

I wonder what would have happened if not for Santhanam and the two lovely ladies in the movie! The girl in the movie is super-cute and surely does know a thing or two about acting. Amala Paul’s got such an addictive pair of eyes and Anushka can act a bit I guess.( No I’m not talking about Shreya or Genelia) She doesn’t have much to do, but atleast she’s not annoying like the other leading ladies of today. And can someone explain the logic behind that song in the climax (duet?!?!?!) which arbitrarily pops up like an ICICI ad when one’s browsing a popular website? I felt like screaming Aala vidungada yabba!
Karthik Kumar, Tamil cinema’s aasthana American Mapillai has been given a makeover in this movie: he’s not an American Mapillai, but he’s just a Mapillai (cut American) in this flick! But yeah, a dismal fate awaits him as usual. Again, what a waste of talent!

Chiyaan, please! We’ve had enough of such rubbish. Take us back to the days of Dhil and Dhool or stun us with movies like Pithamagan and Sethu. We have enough actors to give such half-baked nonsense. (No, I’m not talking about Vijay (The actor. Hmmm, maybe I should rephrase.) ) And as for Vijay the director, please leave Hollywood classics and classy actors like Vikram alone. You will find actors of similar IQ levels (No I’m not talking about Vijay, the person who jumped like a Dolphin in Sura) in Kollywood.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Blogging is one of my favourite pastimes and like any other engineering student gifted with eons of free time, I also spend a lot of time on the umpteen number of social networking sites that have professionalized the art of joblessness. As I was massaging my ego by letting the cheap pleasure of my status messages, blog posts and pictures getting “liked” by a lot of people get to my head, I was simultaneously pondering over the credibility of the same. Every time I scrolled down to check the news feed from then onwards, every time my eyes rolled over a positive comment, I started questioning the very reason behind the same. The idea of a selfless “like” or a “comment” seemed farcical to me.

The phenomenon of getting “good one” or a “nice piece” comment is more common on blogosphere. The network of bloggers and their relationships have been fabricated in such a way that the idea of individuality can be made to look obscure. For a blog to be noticed, the blogger needs to check out other blogs and comment in a hope that his blog may be looked into. Indian minds or minds world over for that matter, function lazily. So it’s only natural that a person may be tempted to ignore the post, gift the blogger with a “good one” comment or a “like” and get away. The ignorant recipient of the “like” love is thus flattered into checking out the liker’s blog! A smart fellow, on the other hand, may return the liker’s favour by re-liking the post without looking into it!

The phenomenon of laziness is negated by the length of the posts on social networks as the length is directly proportional to the amount of time to be spent on it. But then, there are other significant factors that influence psyches and induce the basic instincts of selfishness to an equal extent, if not more.  Gender discrimination is one (not the kind you get to see on TV though; exact opposite in fact).  

1.       The probability of a post getting “liked” increases if you are a female. It doubles if she is holding a newly born puppy or a teddy bear. It quadruples if the girl is cute.

2.       Boys have their own ways of attracting attention. Sympathy is the best way. Status messages that condole the death of a pet or a long message that elucidates the values of friendship and true love are most likely to get “liked” by girls.

3.       Other boys like the prospect of seeing a girl "liking" a status, so they "like" the same just like that, even though they don’t like it. Because they seem to think that a girl liking them becomes a possibility if and when the girl realizes the boy likes whatever the girl "likes". (Now that makes a good status message)

4.       Tagging is the most effective technique, irrespective of genders. For a post to be liked, all you need to do is tag a friend of yours. Now that friend’s ego gets massaged due to the fact that someone’s considering him/her important enough to be tagged. So he “likes” it.

5.       And then the most obvious and logical factor. The more friends you have, the more you are on the site, greater the possibility of getting attention.

Coming back to blogging, the possibility of a girl getting greater number of hits is higher because she is a girl. But then I’d still say it’s a man’s world. When someone likes a post or gives her a compliment, she can never be sure if that was for the post or her profile picture. Testosterone has always been mankind’s (not womankind: P) biggest problem! The same rule applies to a man too, but again the way the numbers function hits a roadblock of inconsistency here. You may not get noticed for your profile picture unless you’re Hrithik Roshan.
So what does it come down to? It’s a world of attention seeking rascals out there involved in a rat race. Why is it that I always seem to find an overdose of grace and excessive humility on social networking platforms? What happens to the “otha” prefixes and the “mairu” suffixes on FB? Why is it that I always find the Peter equivalents, even when the rest of the conversation is in vernacular? Why do we always have our best pictures as our DPs? I have never found a DP featuring oneself after getting a bad haircut done, though bad haircuts are quite frequent: not many talented hairdressers out there you see.
Negative commenting is an unknown phenomenon in the social networks. No one wants to call a spade a spade. Seldom does one feel the need to spit at a bad picture, seldom does one feel the need to condemn a shameless exhibition of private grief in public in order to evoke sympathy. Seldom does one feel the need to criticize a shoddy piece of work.
 Ignorance is the most popular form of response; every person is a Buddha at heart, as charming as the latest Bollywood sensation, as intellectual as Amartya Sen and as altruistic as Santa Claus. But conditions apply: only on facebook, orkut, twitter, buzz, G+ blah blah.



Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Ya so what’s he like?
He is, uh, yeah, he is good. He is confident, unemotional, smart, happy-go-lucky, laconic, considerate and open, mildly aggressive or energetic or whatever, you know. He has very strong notions and he is kinda religious about them.

And she?
 She, yes, yup let me see. She is emotional, the kind that wets its eyes after a touching movie. Her parents split quite early, so she has these ideas about marriage and relationships. She’s hot, talks a lot of nonsense, immature, does inexplicable and cheesy stuff occasionally, socializes at will, laughs a lot, popular. A verbose occasionally.

So what happened when he and she got together?
That’s 500 days of summer for you. And the following blog post is an account of the same seen through a pair of eyes that have gotten wiser with the experience of witnessing similar characters behaving in a similar way.
He and she get together for a casual experiment, an easy extrusion that stretches the boundaries of friendship a little farther: that’s how she describes it. He calls it a relationship, names it love, it’s magical, and he knew that she was the one as soon as he saw her.

500 days of summer is a story that unravels the process of he becoming she and she becoming he with time, 500 days to be precise. The story that unfurls the mystery of gender-definition exchange, the female acquiring the male character traits and the male mastering the art of thinking like a woman when in love. (No, I’m not discussing trans-sexuality here; discussion entirely restricted to an emotional level)
So Joseph Garden Levitt (Tom Hansen) plays the heroine and Zooey Deschanel (Summer Finn) is our hero in this love story directed by Marc Webb. This beautiful evolution of characters as they fall in love or so it seems is wonderfully elucidated by a subtle exchange of words: the leads describe a certain couple (Sid-Nancy) whose relationship had come to a futile end when Sid stabbed Nancy. Summer says she feels that their co-existence reminds her of Sid-Nancy and their relationship. Tom says they have had a few arguments but he hardly feels like Sid and that he’s very happy. Summer’s reply, “NO, I’m Sid.”
500 days of summer is a wonderful exhibition of characters that look unnaturally real. The Boss who keeps smiling, the smile is almost omnipresent, even when he is addressing someone with utmost seriousness. The friends, with almost pre-historic views on love, antique enough to deserve a special place in a museum, enlightening the protagonist about the way forward. One can’t help thinking that these friends are the drawing room versions of bosses at offices. They’re criminally optimistic, punctuate their words with a pointless smile and are seldom up to any good, constantly feeding people with hope to keep themselves entertained.
The director makes a successful knock on the typical man’s mind and gleefully exposes the way it functions when in love, much to our occasional delight and the rare embarrassment too, at having once embraced the stereotypes exposed. Men possess this constant hunger to impress their love. They play a song loudly, just to see if the girl turns back to take notice and say hi.There is also this delusion of being an intellectual, of reading into a supposedly cryptic incident, of attaching cosmic significance to a seemingly symbolic happening, that’s never anything more than plain coincidence. When she sports an indifferent expression, he assumes that she’s bored: feels that it’s time for a movie when it’s not. When she indicates that she’s tired and wants to go home, he reads too much into it, thinking that she’s bored and that it’s his duty to keep her entertained. The result, they end up eating pancakes in the nearby hotel. A casual remark becomes his gospel; a satirical comment assumes the dimension of a colossal criticism. Then there’s the childhood fantasy, the fairy tales, the sad pop and the movies. Just because the lift bell goes gong before the door closes, which also happens to occur after a hot girl passes a positive remark on his taste of music and leaves, he assumes that she is the one. That’s how it is, you know. When you see the one, when she talks, bells and chimes make merry with sound, the weather is pleasant and the sun says hi. These are results of the intertwining of the girl’s mind and the man’s heart.

 One usually associates confidence, loquacity and opening up with men and shyness, confusion with women. But it works the other way when in love. The girl is casual, effortlessly walks up to kiss his man. She strikes a conversation about her relationship with him and inquires about his feelings for her without any fuss. But the guy is often confused, he doesn’t know if he has to ask her out or if he has to play the waiting game. She’s on his bed and he seeks reassurance and comfort interacting with his mirror image, a metaphor for chaos and duality. He’s not sure about her stance, about their relationship status. He keeps telling himself that it is a juvenile thing to label it and bring it down to a term like “boyfriend” but deep inside, he knows that he’d be much comfortable if it were that way.

Then there are the fun moments with the friends. The typical tendency of men to brand girls as bitc**s just because they weren’t able to talk to her or she refused to entertain talks with them or simply because she was hot (sour grapes), the friends asking about the guy’s extent of progress on the sexual ladders (the jobs, that is) and the guy simply replying that they just kissed and he’s still unemployed (read: no jobs yet). The way men interact is really funny. I just realized that it’s almost impossible for us (men) to strike a casual conversation about a good-looking female without a reference by someone at some point to her being a bitch with a cooked up story to justify the case.

The director also pays homage to the film “The graduate” with a few references to the flick here and there (the final scene of the movie also finds a place in this film). The scene where Summer lies naked on Tom’s bed, with her back facing the camera certainly reminded me of the 1967 hit. Nice way of saluting the film-maker who made the classic, a proto-type for many more romantic films.

Summer, the central character, rules this movie. Her characterization sets up the experience. She is the super-cute female who does what she likes. She’s the normal girl, she talks like a girl, she sings but then the abnormal tendencies suddenly spring up, later in the day when she’s in it with Tom. She comes up with the usual bullsh** that girls assume to be cute but she can be supremely stubborn and mature when it comes to a deep-rooted ideology or something about love, life and relationships. She’s very clear about what she wants right from the beginning and it’s just that Tom doesn’t see it. The character of the other girl in the movie, the little one, is surely the brainchild of a feminist, a tribute to the independent, contemporary, mature woman who can be super smart and talk serious sense when it matters. She speaks about the illusions in the mind of a man in love and the same getting shattered with consummate ease. She is the one he turns to in times of distress, the physical stature and incompatibility notwithstanding. Men are also dubbed as emotional bunnies and idiots when it comes to love, something i can’t agree to disagree with. The scene where Tom’s male colleague over-reacts after Tom completes a monologue is a subtle stroke of genius.

The screenplay bears an uncanny significance to the mind of Tom Hansen, it oscillates back and forth, it confuses and is confused initially only to clarify and settle down at the end. The dialogues are delicate and delightful. And the lyrics of the song that keep playing in the background wonderfully merge with the situation and the music is apposite too. Best scene in the movie? The scene where Tom’s expectations and the reality are depicted simultaneously on screen. The door is gently shut on Tom’s expectations as we get a harsh taste of reality. Poetic and poignant!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Facebook destined to go the Orkut way??

How many of you still remember the terms scrapbook, testimonials, communities, fans etc... It’s been quite a while since all of us of united phlegmatically for the cause of dumping our once best friend online, Orkut, at the prospect of sending a friend request to a more popular, contemporary and spicy contender, Facebook. Suddenly communities and scrapbooks were not cool anymore and we started shifting to the likes of likes, status updates, wall posts, photo and video tags. Another online friend surfaced, his name being Twitter, but he operated on a parallel plane thus leaving Facebook unscathed.
 As facebook functioned normally, as more and more youngsters started getting addicted to it, as more and more parents started complaining and with every passing day, Mark Zuckerberg went laughing all the way to the bank. Just when we thought our relationship with Facebook was going to be eternal, Karma, the bit** infamous for her perpetuity seems to have struck with a vengeance. The monarch of the world wide web, his highness, the most revered Google has pulled  a rabbit out of his famous hat once again and the rabbit’s name is Google plus! Here’s what I got to know about him from the horse’s mouth (Google search, that is):

 How many times has your mom screamed at you for using the “f” word on Facebook after witnessing the same from her own profile? No one seems to have understood the embarrassment of getting screamed at, at the age of 20, than Google. Circles address this awkward problem presented by Facebook’s friends list by allowing users to categorise followers into groups like friends, family, work colleagues, classmates, neighbours etc. with an easy-to-handle drag and drop button.

Chat, photos and Hangouts
 The multimedia on Google+ is a super-power package: it’s complete with sharing, tagging and editing options with personalization, privacy and security options reaching new highs. Hangouts seem to be the most attractive feature: it’s like a group discussion about weekend plans with your group of friends in the neighbourhood at a local hangout spot! It’s functioning is simple: hangout, thus enter a VIDEO (a social networking first!) chat room which automatically sends out messages to your circles and the relevant people join in! All heads turn towards an addressee when he/she’s addressing. So instead of opening separate windows for each participant, the focus is always on the person who’s talking!

 Bloggers and content sharers better start licking their lips right away. Sparks is a collection of content (includes multimedia and articles) grouped by interest.  So it will help like minded people to get access to reputed and relevant content in addition to socializing with the people who share the same. The probability of increased circulation increases with clicks on the +1 button: Google’s equivalent of like button!

 Google has also devised a technology for all you couch potatoes that love taking photos but are lazy to share it on networks. With Google+, all you need to do is take a photo or shoot a video and it automatically finds a rightful place in your profile. Users of Android are likely to be the first beneficiaries of Google+!

Facebook is not likely to give up tamely without a fight. It recently acquired the mobile app Snaptu and is likely to strike a deal with Skype to address the “hangout” scare. Google on the other hand are eager to break the social network jinx and strike gold. They seem to be desperate to put the demons of Google buzz and wave behind them. Facebook’s financial might is formidable and the battle is surely going to be a very interesting one. Will Google succeed? Will history repeat itself? Do you think our attachment with Facebook will stop us from dumping it? We have to wait a little more for the answers. Before I sign off, I request you to share this post on Google+ sparks if you liked it. Oh wait, I almost forgot: share it on Facebook too!