Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pre Marriage

The days have become lonely at the work-place. My fellow ‘bitch-the-management’ mates moved out. So there is no more ‘bitching’ sessions and the coffee breaks have grown shorter.

But there is a group sitting near me who gets together for short chats. Although I am not part of the gang, I love eaves-dropping into their tidbits while pretending to work.

And there is this really beautiful lady in their group who is fast approaching the upper limit of marriageable age (Yea, I dream of her always, err secretly). She started talking about a marriage proposal that came in her way.

The chat-mates got around and started tearing apart the boy piece by piece. She said, ‘I heard that the guy is professionally useless’. I gulped. The poor boy was being disrobed here without his knowledge. God knows, how many allegations are true.

Someday I would be disrobed too, may be a thousand times. Boy, marriage sucks…big time.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Turn the page- The Evil Offspring

In the days I started serious reading, I preferred English literature. They were supposed to improve my language and mould me into a global citizen. Recently I found out that my native Kerala is blessed with amazing writers which I have missed all these years. So I am into Malayalam now.

I have been reading ‘Asura Vithu’(Evil offspring) by M.T Vasudevan Nair. MT is one of the renowned Malayalam writers and has scripted some of the award winning movies as well.

One of his first books I have read is ‘Randamoozham’(Second Chance). Usually we read the Mahabharata in the popular point of view. Here he draws the picture in the point of view of Bhima. It was such a wonderful and touching portrayal. Bhima is shown as a soft hearted person taken for granted by all.

The climax where his mother reveals his paternity is very touchy. I wonder if the Hindu fanatics would have allowed such a book to be released today.

‘Asura Vithu' is set in world war days. It paints the picture about a rural village during those tough times.

MT’s command over language, issues and situations is remarkable. Today it would be impossible to touch up a whole lot of issues in a single novel.

The main difference between a good writer and great writer is his writings transcends generations. Even it would be difficult for me to put my favorite writer Kushwant Singh in the list of great writers.

Most of the issues MT mentions in ‘Asura Vithu' is still prevalent in our society. The most prominent one being the casteism, moreover, the influence of the rich in the caste equations.

Another feature being the degradation of families entirely dependent on agriculture. As a result a new breed comes up that prefers getting a paid job. Even today a farmer has only second rate status even though he grows our food.

WW-II is a sensitive area for India. India was dragged into a war we weren’t supposed to be in. MT shows the inflation and food shortage in rural India. The aloofness of the people to the morality of warring side is humorous.

Another sensitive and very relevant subject is infidelity. Men from rich families are allowed to spill their wild oats. In the end the unfortunate woman is married off to some idiot who gets a good amount as bribe.

Reading such books enhances our social outlook. But sadly these serious writers have been ignored today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Movie of the week- Inception

Almost every other Indian blogger you meet is a movie reviewer. There is a favorite term used by all ‘Paisa Vasool’. I have failed to understand or grasp the meaning of the term. I figured it out that if the actress looks gorgeous, wears sexy costumes, the lead couple dances in foreign locations and if there are toilet jokes, the movie is termed as a ‘Paisa Vasool’.

I have stopped going for these ‘Paisa Vasool’ flicks. It gives me headaches.

When Nolan came up with his new flick, I was caught in a dilemma. All the recent ones which came with huge publicity and hype turned out to be damp squibs. Is this going to be anything different? But Nolan has the reputation of churning out brilliant movies each and every time.

So on the first day, I stood in the queue. It had a variety of people from construction workers to school kids. It even had a bunch of young girls who were desperately trying to look older and sexier. Well, the problem here is that if school kids come for a movie unaccompanied on a week day, they can be caught by the police. I talked with an unskilled laborer who took regular sips from the brandy bottle in his bag. He had an off day since someone from the locality was stabbed.

Before the show started the vultures descended (black tickets). The queue broke up and a circle formed around them. I managed to get a honest ticket but I accidentally purchased three(when we needed only two). I rushed back to the queue and offered the guys standing there the ticket. But surprisingly people were even frightened to buy the ticket from me. ‘Assholes, when some guy offers the ticket for extra money you are too eager to get it’.

Anyways the show started.

The movie, as usual, dwells on the complexities of human mind. As the human mind the movie is unpredictable and complex.

It’s about a guy, Cobb, who specializes in extracting information from his victims by travelling into his mind. During one such operation things go wrong and mission fails. His victim, who seems to know every move of Cobb offers him a proposition. He has to incept an idea into the mind of the heir of a business mogul. Although the mission is extremely dangerous Cobb agrees for it in exchange of freedom to go back to his family.

Meanwhile Cobb is a man with dark past and has to dwell with demons within before he accomplishes his mission. The trump card of the movie is how we are taken for a ride into Cobb’s mind and his past.

Nolan is a man with great ideas and you would see fabulous visuals in the movie. But this high budget flick wouldn’t have been possible if he had no huge backing. You wouldn’t see any huge blasts or weird creatures. But the special effects are one of the best in Hollywood. A whole imaginary world has been visualized and it comes to life on screen. Full marks to Nolan who comes up with these fabulous ideas each and every time.

Nolan always comes up with the best cast. And he strangely sticks on with almost the same guys in front of the camera. And they are doubtlessly the best too.

Screen plays are the trump card for a Nolan movie. The idea and story of ‘Inception’ Is a tricky one and it’s not the first time the idea has been dwelt upon. But the treatment had to change and that’s what has been done exactly. Any normal guy would have faltered in the pace. But with all the complexities of Cobb’s mind, the focus isn’t lost and the pace is constant through out. And as a result we get a pace thriller.

But Nolan has this penchant for complexities. I doubt if he made the story too complicated towards the end.

PS: I have almost all Nolan films- Memento, Following, Batman Begins, Insomnia, The Prestige and now Inception. How many have you seen?

Friday, July 16, 2010


Clown Mohan and Co. are going around telling everyone that everything is fine here in India and the recession is for the west.

But the trump card of Indian Economy, the IT industry, doesn’t seem to be doing well.

The most happening phenomenon in an IT company is ‘Jumping’. In his hay day a softie gets double the salary when he makes a ‘jump’. By the time he is 30 he will be earning a obscene paycheck.

During the recessions no company was willing to take the risk of hiring. The ‘jump’ slowed down. So the softie stayed on pledging allegiance to his company. The bosses weren’t so foolish. They cut the wages and increased the work and put all the blame on George Bush.

As soon as the economy started blooming again, the companies started getting new projects and they started poaching talented and frustrated people. So company A lured those of company B with 70% hike. This created a vacuum in B prompting them to go searching the ones in Company C.

This vicious cycle went on until everyone filled up all the existing posts with double the earlier pay. This in turn caused fall in profits. Bosses had enough of this ‘rat – eat- rat’ and they are coming up with measures to control the ‘jump’.

I believe some surprises are around to regulate the ‘jumps’. My dear friends, who are used to huge salaries, you might have to check in your greed a bit.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


My parents have been married to each other for some 25+ years. Dad and mom is very sensitive. Their egos get hurt easily and we get to see a fight once in 3-4 weeks. They recollect all the fights from DAY 1 and they blame each other.

The next day they won’t speak to each other for some time. Soon they team up together and we children get the scolding.

During the inter parent shouting matches my dad used to compare our household with the neighbor. They have a loving dad, smart mom and ever smiling kids. We never heard blood chilling shouts from their house.

‘The lucky man!’

A few days ago ‘The lucky man’ started growing a beard. One day my brother told me that everything is not sweet in the neighboring home. He started drinking and sister says the nagging wife is the reason.

My poor dad has no one to compare. He isn’t so desperate to start drinking and 55 isn’t a good age to start.

Successful Marriages aren’t made of fight-free life. It’s only when the tempers flare up that we bare ourselves out completely. So small fights are good once in a while. The ‘success’ is how well we patch up.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A peek to the finals

The World Cup was pretty good this time. We got good teams in the final and both of them should have won it long ago. No matter Spain wins it or Holland, the Cup of Life is going to be in good hands.

This time I noticed some interesting trends. I had to come in to terms with the fact that India is not a football loving nation. For an average Indian the best team is the one that wins and the best player is the one that scores the most number of goals.

The only thing we get to watch here is the EPL. So we were under the impression that England is a superstar team and will walk away with the cup. Since many analysts wrote that Brazil had a superstar team some went over to the side of Brazil.
I am happy that both of them made their early exits. As for England they had the excuse that the English media inflates the ego and abilities of the players to supernatural levels. In reality, it was just a bunch of ordinary players.
Brazil had no excuse to make. They had a vast talent pool and a coach who captained one of the best teams in France ’98. But sadly Dunga chose the safer and bad strategy of play.
It was humiliating to see such a shoddy display. As they marched majestically through the group stages, the weaknesses were exhibited. Still the pundits chose to close their eyes. As long as someone keeps on winning anything is fine.

On the other hand while I witnessed people booing and jeering Maradona, he was welcomed at his home with a rousing reception. That is the definition of ‘Champion’. ‘Champion’ doesn’t bother to win at any cost. He plays in his own way.

Many predicted Germany to walk away as the victors after their game against Argentina. But everyone overlooked the fact that Germany thrived against weak defense through swift counter attacks. Against Spain it was simply not going to work out. The Euro champions denied Germans the space and the young German team failed to switch strategies. German played on par with Spain and it’s the experience that saw the ‘Red Fury’ through.

If asked to predict, my mind says the Oranje would prevail. They have the composure and application mindset. But Holland is nowhere near Bergkamp era and I don’t want to see the glory hunter Sneijder walk away with the Cup. My mind guns for Espania!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Suicidal Love

I was working out at the gym when our instructor came around carrying the ‘obituary’ section of the newspaper.

‘What is the matter, Ashan?’

‘One guy from our gym committed suicide…..apparently love failure.’

The workouts couldn’t strengthen his heart!

The tabloids celebrated the suicide of Viveka Babji. They assumed the reason of suicide to be her boyfriend, who dumped her.

The tabloids took it as a chance to reminiscence the Kamasutra model’s sensous figure.

It’s rare to hear about a love story culminating in marriage. Even the rapid urbanity, intrusion of western media and culture hasn’t given our youth the strength to tide over the tough situations.

Recently I heard about a girl who developed cold feet at the last moment (after getting approval from both the sides) because her boyfriend refused the religious conversion.

A fiery female chauvinist wrote: The men who preach about preserving the caste honour never bother about the caste of whores they visit at night. Is this honour something that is worn in under wears?

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Friday was a day of rejoicing and on Saturday I cried along with millions.

On Friday we saw Brazilians being out-thought and out-played by the Dutch. I loved the Brazil of old- Brazil of Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho. Dunga has made the beautiful Brazil into a team of some 7 defensive minded players. So when Dutch imposed themselves in the middle the frontline of Kaka, Robinho and Fabiano ran out of ideas. I am pretty much happy to see Dunga cry.

But I don’t like the Dutch either. They have said good bye to the ‘Total football’ and plays to ‘win’. Can’t blame them everyone needs result. Moreover they haven’t showed their ability to play as a team. The race for self glory is evident in the way they play.

Argentina was obvious to fail. They had one of the weakest defense. But for the great man, Maradona, everyone chose to remain silent. Against a good tactical team Argentinian defense fell all over the place. It was a tragedy waiting to happen. Another black mark in the career of Maradona.

I would love to see Germans going through. The team is so young but plays with amazing composure and game plan. But we will have to see how they fare against a team good in the wings.