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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Enna Koduma Saar Ithu?!?!?!

The following is a narration of an incident that happened last Friday. It’s one of those incidents that usually happens in movies and you tell a friend nearby, “Ithellam padathula mattum thaan da nadakkum” (all these things happen only in movies). But in movies, such an incident usually leads to an even more improbable incident. For instance, a ravishing female foolishly falls in love with the ugly looking hero with unkempt hair, who bathes only once every week because the hero’s attitude is too casual and simple; and something complex yet logically perplexing needs to be done to take the story forward. But since I’m no hero and since I’m in one of the many obscure ABC engineering colleges in India where there are no ravishing females as beautiful or foolish as cine-heroines, the story ends with the first incident.
Coming to the incident, it happened in the first case as a result of my biological clock getting reset. It’s not insomnia for sure because I sleep eternally in class and thus make up for staying up till 5 o clock in the morning on an average. As I had an exam on Friday and wasn’t anywhere close to falling asleep till 2 o clock, I decided to revise a few things before I made a virgin appearance in an examination this semester. I was damn confident that I wouldn’t wake up in the morning if I went to bed as late as that. So I started revision and by the time I was done, it was four o clock. After that, I didn’t see any point in going to bed as I wasn’t feeling sleepy and didn’t want to attend the next day’s exam half asleep. The possibility of me falling asleep in the exam because I didn’t sleep the previous day never struck me and my adrenalin was unusually charged up, pumping and boiling at 4.30 in the morning. So I started doing things that I usually do when I’m bored: played music, started writing, about a friend of mine who has been pestering me to write something about him and put it up on my blog (!?!?). After that I signed into Facebook and started chatting with a friend of mine who currently happens to be somewhere in North America( or so she says). She was the founding member of the vetti society back in school which consisted of her boyfriend Kabalath and herself. (I hope this statement doesn’t anger another friend of mine who proudly embossed the name “SRIGYOSS” on the first page of his 11th grade physics record.)
As soon as my north American friend pulled the curtains on a highly intellectual conversation that meandered over assigning some degree of meaning to the completely obscure and a deviously abstract display pic of hers (the photograph of a white cloth with a brown dot in the middle) that could be understood only by her and Stephen Hawking, a good friend of hers, I realised that it was six o clock and rushed to the hostel balcony to drink coffee. Soon I realised that I was running out of things to do. The newspaper hadn’t arrived either. After roaming aimlessly and waking up a lot of friends who wanted to study in the morning, I retired to bed with no other choice. It was 7.15 and I went to bed after checking the time on the alarm in my mobile twice: 7.35, it read.
I opened my eyes to a gloomy picture of quite a big mosquito sitting on my nose. I waved my hands over it and watched it fly off as I lazily reached out to my mobile. BLISTERING BARNACLES! The time on the top right corner read 21:58. “Ah, come on”, it can’t be. The sun was beating down hard on face, must be some problem with the clock; guess it tried aping my biological clock I thought. Yet I had a problem on hand. I wasn’t sure of the time and the bell symbol on the phone indicated that the phone alarm was yet to ring.
In a moment characterised by chaos and panic, I got up and put on my clothes and got out of my hostel only to witness a deserted picture of the hostel corridor. It was dark and amidst all the darkness a plump image with a divine aura surrounding it emerged, like a symbol of hope. I almost got my hands together to pray it as its presence reassured that I wasn’t late for the exam after all. As the figure came closer, I found it to be my friend Sibi, who walked up to me with a gleeful smile. I was about to say, “Machi two minutes wait pannu, we’ll go together” when he said those words, the words that shattered all hopes and left me gaping for a while!
 “Machi, exam eppudi da panna?” (How did you do the exam buddy?”) I stood right there, motionless and expressionless with an image of Premji saying “enna koduma sir ithu” flashing across my mind. As soon as my friend realised what had happened, he wasted no time in spreading the message. I explained the story myself to all my friends and watched each of them laugh to their heart’s content. (enna oru villathanam :X )
Today, the world is a different place. After an examination, the almost unavoidable question. “How did it go?” is not a part of my life anymore. It’s been replaced by “dai, exam ezhuthina la?”(Hey, you wrote the exam right?)
I haven’t told this to my mom and I sincerely hope she doesn’t come across this post. She reacts adversely to even the least significant incidents like my toothbrush falling off my cupboard. Mom, if at all you come across this post, I just want to remind you that all is well and my professor has agreed to give me another chance to write the exam.

Friday, September 2, 2011


Dai naaye, this article is about you and is exclusively dedicated to you, as you have been pestering me to write one and put it up on my blog, for reasons known only to yourself. I am writing this only because I have nothing else to do, now that I have finished blatantly copying an assignment without much strain. I must thank the brilliant sound output of the JBL speakers on your laptop, Harris Jayaraj and the composer who originally composed HIS song for the same. I would also like to thank you for teaching me FEM today, a subject in which I hope to pass, thanks to you.
You have surely come a long way from the day when I laughed like I never have ever since or before, when you came up with a serious doubt when all of us had dived deep into the sea of applied thermodynamics. How could someone ask, after a semester of engineering studies, if density was the ratio of mass to volume or volume to mass? Others may find this hardly amusing because regardless of the effectiveness of my description, they’re likely to find it a mokka comedy. They’ll never be able to relate to it because: 1. They didn’t see YOU ask that doubt, that silly, characteristic expression on your face. 2. The timing can’t be recreated, not even by the scientists who recently simulated the big-bang!
When I first saw you and observed your reactions in class, I thought that you were one of those hopeless guys who would drop out after the first year. Very much in tune with my thought process, you failed in five of the six subjects in the first periodicals of the first semester (correct me if I am statistically wrong). The density incident only contributed to the Srivignesh-is-dumb thought that had stuck to my mind ever since I saw you. There was big air of mystique surrounding your entry into college. Every single person was talking about the guy who declined a mechanical engineering seat in NIT to join Amrita. My bullying-instincts itching severely, I badly wanted to rag this dumbass who opted for such a deal. And the dumbass was in attendance, right across my room and goodness-me, I was completely oblivious to it for quite some time, mainly because of two reasons: 1. All faces look the same during the first year of college. 2. I was busy with OTHER things.
But I wasted no time once I learnt about your whereabouts. I started bullying you everywhere: in class, in the hostel, in the mess, in the canteen, absolutely everywhere. I even gave you the nickname NIT: In memory of the famous college that you rejected. It became so famous that even Mallu dudes in our class, usually known to stick to themselves and the girls in the campus, started referring to you by that name! My ecstasy was short-lived as the film “saroja” released and people started calling you Bun: a character in the movie that happens to have a physique similar to yours.  After countless bullying and kalaichifying sessions, after becoming good friends, it was time for the spirit of equality to take over; it was time for us to get even. Thanks to some untoward incidents, that now look like sappa matter I came under heavy siege from you. You had successfully learnt to don the mantle of a bully and a kalaichifier, something that you had borrowed from me. The bullying and the teasing brought us closer and made us realise that we were of the same type. Rather, you had become my type. The scared, shy and taciturn bun was long dead by then. The sirripu don in you had taken over by then.
Cut, holidays, second year! We were separated by two floors and other things had kept us busy and we didn’t get much time to discuss things that were happening in each other’s life over a cup of tea in the night canteen. You were every lab in charge’s darling, as there was no one in class who could equal you in terms of submitting records on time after religiously copying them down from scarily long, totally incomprehensible notes. Inspite of repetitive warnings from you about a possible failure in the labs, I stuck on to my pudungi stance that I don’t see a point in chumma copying down stuff from a random notebook. And subsequently and fittingly, I failed in both the labs! REASON: I didn’t submit my records! Thanks for all the hardwork you put in as my lab partner in my absence, as I lazed around discussing about a movie I had seen the night before, mostly with Prahalad!
Cut, holidays, third year. By then, the logic behind you passing in all subjects without an arrear was beyond me! Though you were punctual and worked hard before the exams, I have always felt that you deserved to fail in any of the subjects. In my third year of college, I was spending most of my time in the company of you and your room mates. It was as if I had travelled back in time to the first year of college. Siddarth and Adarsh were missing though. Vijayanand, Arun and you had purchased laptops by then and I busied myself by playing ASHES 09 as you guys slogged it out before the periodicals. We were back to our vettiest best, discussing about pokemon, girls and college. Kulla thev***** had joined us by then and this led to the orchestration of eternally pointless discussions in the last bench of the volleyball court near the hostel. I committed a blunder when I posted a shirtless picture of yours on facebook. You got really angry and that was when I realised that you weren’t as sportive as I expected you to be. You had an emotional side and there was an iota of shyness still persistent. I didn’t let go after that incident though. I posted an image that featured you holding a knockout beer bottle, as if you were advertising the product. Thanks to the presence of your brother and cousins on Facebook, your teetotaller image back home took a serious beating. And I don’t want to apologise for that. I am proud of myself: evil laughter: P Saavu da Pun**
In the fourth year of our association, I am able to witness a significant level of maturity in you: the enthusiasm you displayed when L&T came to our campus to recruit students said it all. You suddenly seem to have let trivial things like vocabulary, aptitude and technical competencies bother you. The innocent, shy bun who struggled to string a few English words together to help a sentence make sense has given way to a new, enhanced Bun 2.0! We have also been lucky and gifted enough to have the one and only Steve koshy Mathew near our room. Ellam seri, but i am yet to understand why you wanted me to write this! But I tell you what; I will definitely treasure this more than you, when I read this ten years down the lane.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mangaatha review by a Thala "Fan"atic

WHY THALA, WHY? Why the hell did we have to wait for so long? But I tell you what, this film is surely a dedication for all of you that survived and endured the likes of Asal and Aegan, those of you who took the harder route of sticking on faithfully to your favourite star, unlike other fans who walked away at the sight of stars half his height and one-fourth his charisma! As a Thala fan who believes in his star’s ideology of being frank, honest and outspoken, let me make things loud and clear. Mangaatha is definitely not the best movie I have seen: in fact, it’s a very average movie that’s slow, occasionally immature and has a leading lady at her irritating best. Then why is it being celebrated and wowed over and over again by fans and critics alike. One word: THALA!

This film is nowhere close to the likes of Saroja and Chennai28 in terms of quality and I’m sure Venky knows that. But Venky is a smart cookie who plays his cards intelligently: that’s precisely why he made Mangaatha! He has made a lot of compromises, it’s a genre which is not within his comfort zone at the moment, but then he has built up his game around his trump card: a calculated compromise which has eventually won the game for him, comprehensively at that. Unlike his other ventures, Venky has got himself to accommodate unwarranted duet numbers and romantic speed breakers into the plot, possibly to woo his leading lady (a saleable, popular star herself) into the ensemble. This is probably Venky’s biggest blunder as he should have realised at some point that he doesn’t need backup stars when the king of screen presence, who can literally walk his way through a movie and yet make it a success, is in attendance!

Mangaatha is bound to be a resounding success because its maker has effectively used the hype, the symbolism and the euphoria surrounding the movie in an innovative manner. It’s a sensational celebration, a coronation of a king’s attitude; a king who doesn’t mind calling himself one, without a hint of worry about the responsibilities that are attached to it. He doesn’t flaunt a six-pack, he doesn’t have one in the first place, he sees no point in blowing up one’s biceps to the size of balloons, he doesn’t dye or colour his hair, he doesn’t speak dialogues oozing male chauvinism and resorts to mouthing expletives if and when he gets a chance instead; he drinks, smokes and sleeps around. He is not a champion of the poor and he doesn’t hug the heroine in the climax as he dumps her earlier as soon as his job is done; instead, he hugs a bit**, shoots her and says something that would have made her repent her entire life for that one moment before she dies as cheap fans like me got up and roared. The director has intelligently gone in for a close up shot fully aware of the fact that those two precious words were going to be censored! Thala is bad, dangerous and menacing; most importantly, he remains that way till the credits roll. He doesn’t reform and head towards the Himalayas after speaking dialogues laden with ambiguity and hope. Full marks to Venky for the beautiful, consistent characterization.

Venky comes up with a mixed bag this time: he has erred quite frequently, his immaturity and inexperience showing up here and there. The film deserves some merciless scissoring and the film’s length would put the Mahabaratha to shame. Venky has this tendency to overdo certain things: the shot before the climax where Thala looks right into the camera lens in a staggering close-up with a sinister smile on his face is a tad too long. It makes us feel a little uneasy: the uneasiness of sitting in an interview and thinking for an answer as four stern-faced people stare at you, waiting. The scene where Thala makes Trisha understand that she has been conned, without any dialogues but with a single action very much in tune with the attitude of Vinayak Mahadevan is simply brilliant! But why the hell did he have to follow it up with a “soga paatu” in which Trisha sheds plastic tears, especially when Trisha’s foray in the film ends with that song? How many times do we hear Thala say “money, money, money” and “I’m impressed”? The scene before the climax where Thala charts out his plan with a chessboard is gimmicky and unwarranted, but it definitely serves his purpose: putting “Thala” at the centre of everything and giving him a chance to exhibit his inherent exuberance and an exhibition of the exorbitance of lazy elegance that he’s famous for! Come on. It’s a star vehicle, stop looking for logic and meaning or relevance in every scene. The same holds for the very first scene.

Most of the songs are horrible and are a pain to watch onscreen. But Vilayadu Mangaatha was brilliant and Thala looked awesome! Machi open the bottle is peppy and offers us a pleasant treat: THALA DANCE! @Thala: graphics thaaney? :D The background music is apt and beautifully enhances the feel. And the grand trumpeting to signal the arrival of Thala in his fiftieth Avatar: WHAT AN IDEA YUVANJI!

The rest of the cast don’t have much to do but Arjun does impress with an extended cameo. Mangaatha is a gamble that has been materialised with two big gambles in mind, two sacrifices done in the hope of achieving a bigger bounty: Ajith at the expense of Venkatprabu and the box-office result at the expense of the film’s quality. Fair deal, I should say! GAME WON! Make way for the king and for the first blockbuster of the year. Ajith fans, enjoy youselves and Venkatprabu fans, you guys have some waiting to do! And the others, it’s definitely worth a watch!

                                                            MANGAATHA DA!