Wednesday, December 28, 2011

To name a few...

Movies. What it conjures up is a magical world of make believe, where we get to see our thoughts and dreams come alive through characters whom we identify ourselves with, stories which run parallel to ours, and lives we get to live as if our own. It moves us to tears or sheer rage, or rollicking laughter or intense pain. It all happens in the celluloid world. And we are forever in a relentless search, for that one which would stir us deeply and enrich us, as the few others, which have along the years, have helped us grow and discover the oddities life has to offer, and the means of embracing them.  

Thought, shall cover few of my favourite ones, and to start with two of Mani Ratnam’s awesome works of art.  Any time all time favourite is Bombay. Absolutely loved it, from the word go. The dark coastal town draped in black with the bellowing winds, the throbbing streets and chawls of apna Mumbai, the decor including  the quaint window panes of the sprawling kitchen and tiny bedrooms; and the moods captured, be it the intense pulsating romance, the mounting fear and terror that grips you, or the terrible  feeling of loss and grief that engulfs you, it is all there delicately interwoven.

It is amazing to watch Manisha Koirala emote, especially as an anguished mother (where she searches for her missing sons), was portrayed exceedingly well. It was a class performance I would think. And then the mesmerising music of AR Rahman. Such a medley of pure bliss. The soul stirring ‘Uyire..’, romance dripping ‘Kannalene...’ and the rocking ‘ name a few. Somehow the film offers such wholesome entertainment, that you are left with a sense of having experienced something totally beautiful, as true art should be.

"Kannathil Muthamittal', yet another masterpiece from Manirathnam, one of the few which was not made in Hindi. In my scale the ratings climb up, if the movie moves me to tears, each time I watch it. And this one never fails to induce the tear ducts even as I battle with it. Even when you know what is to follow, and you brace yourself, the intensity and depth of the feeling conveyed through sensitive words and expressions, reaches out to you so seamlessly. You cannot but wonder at the ingenuity of the artistes involved be it the director, the actors, or the script writers.

Two social issues handled here, Adoption and Tamil Eelam Rights. They were done so well, that at no point you are made to feel that they are being addressed or presented. You are entwined into the story and with the characters, so much so that you begin to live their lives, feel their sorrows, understand their loss, even as questions thrown at the viewers rankle your mind. We do trudge back home with a heavy heart, but only to delve deeply into the issues, arriving at our own debatable conjectures.The characters and what they experience become a part of us. And favourite song from a mix of great melodies, Kannathil...for the lovely lyrics.

The list is long, and hope to cover a few more, but as I write it makes me wonder what a bereft place the world would be without movies and geniuses who make them. Closing with a song from 'Dil Se', (somehow never did like the Tamil version, movie and music, try as I did), for the pure magic that blazes the screen with AR Rahman-Manirathnam synthesis.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


At the onset would like to state that I am not an authority in the subject, and I endeavour to write purely out of personal interest, and so if there are any discrepancies or deficiencies in the content, do let me know. Would gladly rectify.

Thirukkural a classic, written two thousand years ago, is still looked upon as a remarkable work of a genius nonpareil. It is even difficult to comprehend the extent of the poet, Thiruvalluvar’s wisdom, perception and insight into the multitudinous fragments that make up life.  As many are aware, the literary work consists of 1330 couplets, under three main divisions – Arathupal (Virtue), Porutpal (Wealth) and Kamathupal(Love). But the amazing part is the 133 subdivisions, each with 10 couplets, which covers almost the entire scheme of life. 

Going through the headings of these subdivisions one is left with a deep awe and admiration for the poet, who has covered topics as Therinthu Seyalvagai (Acting with fore-thought), Nilayamai (Instability), Sengonmai(Upright Government), Vinai seyal vagai (Mode of Action), Avai arithal (Judging the Audience), Natpu Aarayuthal (Choice of Friends), Nanri il selvam ( Niggardliness), kurippu arithal (Ascertaining other’s intentions), Pasapuru paruvuthal (suffering from sallowness), pulavi (feigning dislike) and many more.

Shall just share a few, which appealed to me. It is a treasure trove, which I intend to fish, for more such gems.
நன்றே தரினும் நடுவு இகந்து ஆம் ஆக்கத்தை 
அன்றே அழிய விடல்.

Foresake even in the moment (of acquisition) that gain which, though it should bring advantage, is not fair to all.

எப்பொருள் யார்யார்வாய் கேட்பினும் அப்பொருள் 
மெய்பொருள் காண்ப தறிவு.
To discern the truth in everything, by whomsoever spoken, this is wisdom.

Quality of Action
வினைத்திட்பம் என்ப தொருவன் மனத்திட்பம்
மற்றைய எல்லாம் பிற.
Firmness in action is simply one's firmness of mind; all other abilities are not so.

Separation from loved one
நனவினான் நல்கா தவரை கனவினால்
காண்டலின் உண்டென் உயிர்.
My life lasts because, in my dream I behold him who does not favour me in my waking hours.

 A heavy topic maybe, but somehow felt that none of these couplets come across as irrelevant, even in today's context, which is what makes it an irrefutable 'reference book'.

(Translation version is available, of the above book. Get one for enlightenment!)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Time of the year

Distracted by the faint chirp of birds,
And besotted by nature’s symphony.
I willingly give in, to the lure of words
And within my self, I find harmony.

What’s with the seasons, you may ask.
That makes us spread wings at times,
And glide over the stars in the dark.
It’s the magic of the winter climes.

We shiver and swear, but love the air;
Snuggle and cuddle, in bundled up ware.
Socks and woollen gloves we wear
For this awful chill we have to bear.

New year is around the corner, I think;
And warm wishes galore, in the offing.
A small prayer, I would like to send in,
Let the good times and tides, gently roll in.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Do you remember..

Time for some quizzing!! Yes you read it right! Have been going through few encyclopaedias, the real ones; unlike its more popular online counterparts, are heavy, and they sit gloomily atop shelves, giving accusing and forlorn looks, at being abandoned and left to fend on their own. So with the noble intention of redeeming things, picked them up and went through a few of them. No heavy  stuff, just the light topics.

Well, the strangest thing that struck me while doing this was that, how in this age we're engulfed by information, and is all ours for the taking, at our bidding. And armed with this power of knowledge, we go about our lives, smug and seemingly ‘enriched’. But the brain, which used to be the reservoir of an amalgamation of knowledge and titbits, acquired over years, with great care and effort, seems to have been left with one job short. Retrieval. And with this faculty not being put into use, we may be in danger of losing some precious memories too, slotted or tucked away under the miscellaneous sections. The memory chip of ours may become obliterated, the function being outdated and redundant. Eerily reminded of scenes in WALL-E!

Well, I would be lying if I were to say I wouldn't be 'clueless' without Wikipedia or 'Google' around; but what I am trying to put across is that we are slowly being, or rather our grey cells are being overridden stealthily by the invasion of a species, which snares and weaves an intricate web, and in the process, rendering us a bit hollow, more so in the upper area, when left on our own. Its not going to happen in the imminent future, but I guess its a sad tale to foresee. And there definitely would be a few WALL-Es and EVEs ( prefer EEVA) around to set things right, if and when we turn into automated fixtures.

Anyways, here are the rules. Cross your heart, and solemnly say " I will not go to Google page. I will not hit the search button. I will try my best to retrieve what has been saved in my memory, by my very own nerve tissues" and then start the quiz, and let me know, how many you were able to get right. Here goes..and have fun!

  1. Subramanyan Chandrasekhar was known for –
  2. Where are the Aleutian Islands?
  3. Salties are refered to –
  4. Cyclops Polyphemus was –
  5. The country known as the Land of the Song –
  6. What are Frescos?
  7. Where would you find 'Wats' and what is it?
  8. Who or what is Aryabhatia?
  9. What is the difference between green tea and black tea? 
  10. One of the animals that can survive a nuclear bomb blast -