Thursday, January 29, 2009

Late action, late reaction...to Vaaranam Aayiram

I wanted to watch this film from MUCH before it was released over two months ago. Anyway, I saw it yesterday. I am still unclear about what Vaaranam Aayiram means (strength of a 1000 elephants?) or its real relevance to the film and its characters. I only know that an extremely corny dialogue right at the end by Simran (plays an older heroine/woman's role) had some silly reference to this phrase 'Vaaranam Aayiram'.

Suriya the actor, is one reason I wanted to watch this film. The director Gautham Menon is another. The latter has made some very good films although they did have disturbing scenes / concepts in them. Still, he can really make an actor look good and believable -- even better than good, really utilise him or her!

So, the film begins with a sickly, older Suriya. Now, his make up was much much better than Kamal's in Dasavathaaram in any of the avathaarams. (Feel bad saying ths considering I am quite a Kamal fan). Well, anyway, a fact is a fact. Simran in an older role was good until the last few scenes. Konjam sad her acting and dialogue delivery then. Why has she STILL not learned to move her lips the Thamizh way?!!

Then it moves to romance -- Gautham Menon always excels in portraying these 'moments'. Same in this film too.

The main theme however, is about father and son with emphasis on the way the son (also Suriya) looks up to the father. While this is a very nice and unique theme in Tamil cinema, the number of "Daddy-Daddy"s in the film ought to have been reduced by half at the very least. I mean, I am all for the Daddy syndrome but even I found this irritating -- then imagine other less-Daddy-obsessed folks!!

Apparently, this film has been inspired by the director and his father (now late). Hmmmm. Not sure how meaningful that is in Kollywood.

Some scenes were ridiculously long...

Suriya has given a mind blowing performance and is terribly endearing and convincing as a school boy, as a man in love and as an army officer (dashing is the only way to describe him). The father Suriya is fine but nowhere close to the son Suriya.

Sameera Reddy the second (young) heroine is not bad in the acting department for her first film. Acts Ok enough, but I feel there is something wrong with her fitting into a South Indian heroine-image. Maybe her jawline?! She is a girl whom, if you knew in person you would say "woo-hoo, HOT" but on screen...something's not right.

The second heroine Divya Spandana or something, is just about OK and sometimes irrittating although her acting was not very bad. (Am sure it is because people cannot act badly in gautham Menon's films!!) Second best. Frankly, nobody seemed to be able to match up to Suriya in this movie! Not even his older version.

Some call it soppy, others say it's like a documentary. Me, I think if you like Suriya, you are going to have to watch this and enjoy it!

Oh and the music by Harris Jeyraj is wonderful.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

As a child...

As a child, I have...
1. eaten paper, so I still recognise the taste. I was just polishing off a toffee a few minutes ago when I encountered that bit of non-food stuck in one of my teeth. It was paper. Due to a burst of nostalgia, I did not spit it out.
2. eaten rubber. In fact, in UKG, my 3-4 friends and I had a competition. We tore up our erasers / rubbers into bits -- at times we had to cut them by biting them, and then we placed all bits and pieces of everybody's rubbers on the table and said 1, 2, THREE, and then grabbed as many pieces of rubber as possible and the prize for the one to have grabbed the most was...to get to eat them all by herself!
3. eaten sand. I remember on one particular day the sand eating went so overboard that my mother heard about it and banned it forever...or at least till date. Now, however, my appetite for sand is NIL;)
4. eaten gooseberries with the natural dirt on them. :) That memory calls for another post though.
5. BRACE yourself...eaten 'nose-matters'. Absolutely yuck I KNOW but c'mon WHO has not tasted some nose matter in his or her childhood? The taste is unfortunately remembered as tangy at best and ...eeegads, even I can't do this...
6. chewed on cloth. Any cloth, mostly cotton. The taste of it is rather...tasteless!!

Childhood was so eventful, was n't it?
Sigghhh.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Toilet Cleaning

I have discovered that I like to clean my toilet. Not by hand (yuck, no) of course, but with a nice long brush, some pleasant smelling liquid cleaner and water. Well, how else does one wash a loo?!

To me this is new since I have never washed a loo before. The feeling of satisfaction is great and it beats dealing with too many people any day! Just me and my loo. A one-to-one experience!

The steps I take for this...
1. I spray the liquid cleaner over all surfaces of the WC and then spray with a vengeance on certain...'areas' which look...ugly-bugly-boo. Or should I say poo?
2. I let it soak for say 5-10 minutes.
3. I take the long handled toilet brush and clean with gusto.
4. I spray water here and there for extra lubrication.
5. I flush the loo.
6. I make sure the surfaces are clean, spotless and dry.

The timing for washing a loo must be perfect. It must be done just after it has been used and well before it will be used again, in order to prolong the 'cleanness time'.

Hmmm...So this post is perhaps the most vetti of all.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hmmmm

People are crazy and times are strange,
I'm locked in tight, I'm outta range,
I used to care, but things have changed.

Yup, Bob Dylan says it all for me today, with these words.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Alarm!

I just received a forward on alarm clocks from a friend S.
Alarm clocks and I go back a long way. Since when I can remember, I have never been early to bed and early to rise. Maybe it's just because I don't want to catch that worm or what, I don't know! Still, I do love sleeping and can go on and on about how I need my eight + hours of ugly sleep...
Anyway!
So obviously, I have always needed alarm clocks to wake me up. Sometimes they have the desired effect on me and sometimes not. But I tell you, one of the best things to have happened in the alarm world is the snooze button. I simply love the option to snooze (I feel all snoozy and ooozy and woozy just thinking of this great option). I can hit that snooze button with aplomb. There's a certain thrill in supressing the alarm for just a few more minutes and getting that many more (few) minutes of shut eye -- a thrill unparalleled that early in the morning. Ok, maybe not early. After all, what's sauce for the goose may NOT be sauce for the gander. (Is this saying correct?).

Ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring-TAP!-snoooooooooooooooooooooze.

I must now yak about a few of my favourite alarm clocks...this was much before the snooze button's arrival on the sleepyheads' planet: -

1. My father got quite desperate by the time I reached the ninth standard and bought me one hip looking triangular, black and white alarm clock which made the sound of a cock crowing. Apparently, he thought a farm-like environment was required to make me wake up with the sun. Unfortunately, it was rather too easy to lightly smack the top of this smooth-headed clock and go right back to sleep. The crowing did help the first few times though.

2. The next was a military / army green coloured alarm clock in the guise of a major-general-like doll. This fellow would start up a band and a drill routine to wake me up. There was even an alarmingly realistic trumpet sound in between to kick up more of a fuss. The only way to stop the alarm was to hit the top of the gun the fellow had pointed upwards. This worked slightly longer than the crowing alarm clock. Nevertheless, the novelty soon wore off.

After 1 and 2 above, my father had become increasingly resigned to having to wake me up himself, following any alarm clock's failed attempt. Only, he would put me on a guilt trip: "See, Appa (Daddy) has so much work to do during the day and am interrupting my sleep to wake you up. The least you can do is to wake up(and study)." Indeed. This was really the only ploy that worked on me and probably the only kind of guilt trip ever laid on me by my pretty-cool parents!


Reading various Enid Blyton books (red/green story books and so on) which had some mild morals-of-the-stories for sleepyheads, like a walking and talking bed that took the little girl away to some strange land for not waking up when told to ...and so on, did not really help in the long run.

Oh and then there was one alarm clock that I must talk about. It was my sister's. Again bought lovingly for her by my 'ever-positive-about-his-daughters' late father. This clock is rectangular and unapologetically yellow. Or is it orange? (So yellow, that it's hard to tell!) Anyway, this clock was a simpleton compared to the other two mentioned above. Clearly, my dad did not consider my sis a lost cause like me! Its alarm had a wonderful tune. Why I enjoyed this clock so much is because, I was then going to afternoon college whereas my sis had a full time job before which, she would try and wake up early in the morning to go for a bicycle ride. I had my own room but like all pesky younger sisters, I would pile on to her room from time to time on a lusciously padded mattress on the floor. Then when this alarm began its tune, it was sooo melodious (cos i was not the one to have to wake up) and soothing and...somehow satisfying that I snoozed after that with pleasure. Aaaah. What memories!:)

Now, I use my mobile phone alarm. So bland but delightfully fitted with the snooze option that lasts ten minutes. Ten cozy, glorious minutes.

As they say in German ...Bis Morgen! (Till the morning)
Cheers!
Note: Only the No. 3 alarm clock pic is the real thing since I still have it safe:) The No. 2 is close to what mine was. The pic for my No. 1 alarm clock is more for effect!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

What's with the lack of warmth?


Just by looking at a person or even hearing his or her voice over the phone, you can tell if he or she is amiable. True, some over-the-phone grumpies may seem pleasant enough in person...but most often warm people are warm across any medium.


I of late have been observing some mighty lukewarm people and it bugs me no end. Even with a 'Hello' you can make out the warmth or lack of it in the tone ...and therefore its meaning. Actually, I think lukewarm is downright rude.


But it's not the case with lukewarm water in the bath though!

Aaaah. Lukewarm water is just perrrrfect:)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Jana Gana Mana...

Whenever I sing the national anthem, I get the goosebumps at the very least, become all choked up, or downright teary eyed (if it is pms/emotional time;)).

All right, all right, (you raised eyebrow, you...) I KNOW I am no model Indian citizen, or a commando, or an army officer, or anyone 'important' in the country who actually can boast of 'serving' his or her country. In fact, am pretty sure I'm in the 'the-country-serves-me' bracket.
Ok, OHKAY.

But still, when I stand up erect (all solemn) and belt out 'Jana Gana Mana...', I FEEL it. I really do. Patriotism I think it is.

I admit at this point (oh damn, this post is falling apart!) that I don't even know the full meaning of the anthem -- except it is some sort of awe with which we skim India's many natural assets and cheer her on in spirit. But so what? It's the thought that counts, right?

Jaya he, jaya he, jaya he...
Jaya jaya jaya jaya he.......!

Usually, by the time I come to 'jaya he', I am all 'hic-hic' or have to swallow really hard to hit the high notes. Feel the same way about 'saare jahaan se acha' and actually learned this song just last year from my Carnatic music teacher's daughter, because I was not taught it in school. GRR to my school.

Jai Hind!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Hariharan ...Live

For the first time, I got to see singer Hariharan perform live last Saturday. I have always loved his voice -- soulful, deep, soothing, pleasing, strong yet not abrasive. Simply marvellous voice. Wonderful singing skills too. Versatile -- ghazals or hip hop, no probs. Sings with so much feeling and perfection in emotions, it is ...super!

At this show, he was as usual wonderful in his singing and is an excellent stage performer (which I expected after Blogeswari's account long ago) , although he did suffer a few bouts of irritation here and there it seemed to me, mostly because of one or more of the following reasons: -
1. The audience was rather on the reticent side -- maybe quite 'kezhamfied' (with many older people) and not as enthusiastic as they could have been (but not BAD, really)
2.The orchestra needed his constant prodding and guiding for pace, sound, effect, etc.
3. A guest singer was not as quick to the beat as she should have been and needed his prompting. 4. His own chorus singers -- 2 mamas (uncles) and 2 akkas (older sisters) were not up to his 'josh'/pace sometimes.
5. The 'technical-sound people' seated amidst the audience goofed up one song big time. Hariharan actually shouted 'stop it' at the end. But it was not even heard properly because that was how loudly they goofed up.
6. A few requests were shouted out from the audience and although he complied, I felt he was somewhat ...bugged. He was gracious all right, but sommething was missing.

Why I was bugged here and there:
1. Hariharan got his sons to sing 2 songs -- one solo each I think, and they were both only 'average' singers. The older one especially, bordered on lousy singing. The younger one can pass off in the rock scene. If I had been feeling bitchy enough (!!which I was not since Hariharan's singing is flawless and mind/heart blowing!), I would have felt very grumpy about having his sons forced on us when we had come to hear only Hariharan. (free passes notwithstanding!) Oh well, perhaps he was using them to take his voice breaks...am a wee bit Grr nevertheless.
2. The two male chorus singers at one point early in the performance were seemingly having an argument right on stage until one (main) female singer Lavanya (I think that was her name)shushed them. Silly behaviour on stage that too. Mamafyd behaviour.
3.' Lavanya' was pleasant and openly enjoying Hariharan's singing skills all right, but did she HAVE to be soooooo adoring of him and smiling 99.99% of the time? In fact make that 100%! NO aching cheek muscles, eh? Plus, this overly overt admiration of one's er, BOSS (for lack of a better word) does not look very nice on stage. I mean, even I was getting carried away with his voice, but i was not gazing 'smiley-ly' at him alllll the bloody time! Please, woman, some restraint. Thankfully, Hariharan did not turn all goofy himself. He was damn near perfect in fact. Anyway, Lavanya did sing very well as did the other female singer whose name I did n't catch.
4. The guest singer -- great that she got the chance to sing with Hariharan and great that she had the guts to, but then... I am jealous!!;)
5. The crowd. Silly folks. Either come out and enjoy a performance or don't show up. If you knew anything about Hariharan, you would know that you cannot be unenthu at his show.
6. The playback track was ON and it seemed almost like karaoke singing here and there -- this PISSED me off. I do not want to watch a talented singer like Hariharan LIVE, doing karaoke.
7. I never considered myself a 'radical Tamil' but when he sang the Hindi version of 'Thamizha Thamizha' from the film Roja, I was miffed.
8. In the above song, I made out a mistake he made because of point 6 above. My friends and I have performed this song in college and I knew straight off that he had made a mistake in the beats -- in that he missed two beats! Come ON, with 4 chorus singers and a whole orchestra, why not make your own music however modest? A singer like Hariharan can carry it through, OK?
GRRR.

Anyway, all I can say is that I have new respect for Hariharan -- because he is so good on stage as well and even does some impressive dancing!! Just a few steps, but cute. I am waiting for his next live performance cos I ain't missing it -- sons or no sons, adoring Lavanya or no adoring Lavanya and Hariharan's well-concealed irritations or no. Hariharan beckons!

What a voice, what a voice!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year Resolution

My new year resolution is to...
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.
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not wait until the end of the year to make resolutions. No attempt at improvement should have to wait even for a second! How profound is that, eh?

My point is, if I am going to wait to make a resolution, chances are that it won't stick, simply because I put it off for a grander moment in the hope that at least then, I may have whatever it takes to stick to the resolution. Correct?