Saturday, January 29, 2011

Let's 'Rock'

My place, Kerala, always stood at the cultural cross roads. Simply because, it’s slow in catching up with the changing tastes- be it in fashion, movies, music or any other form of arts.

When it comes to rock music, I can safely say, India as a whole has been very reluctant to catch up with the ‘Rock’ music. And the majority who have chosen it safely reside in the select metros. The population who despise the ‘Rock kids’ label them as Satanic, drug peddling, unclean couth. And the Rock kids regard the rest as under developed, prehistoric sissies.

There was a time when the churches labeled Rock music as Satanic chants. There were even ridiculous rumors like reversing the Rock songs will produce Satanic chants. Today many new age churches have chosen Rock over old age hymns to attract the Gen-X. It’s pretty amusing to see, the pastor’s son spotting a goatie and flashing a bull’s horn for the camera.

Last week something interesting happened in our workplace which resulted in the clash of these cultures. On the D-day some flex boards announcing a ‘Technofest’ suddenly materialized in the amphitheatre of our IT Park. We were bit amused because no prior announcements or advertisements were made. But still a few hours of entertainment is what anyone would love to get the minds out of the dreary deadlines. Sadly, no detailed list of programmes was given. Thus everyone assumed that there would be some musical performance from a celebrity, a few hot item dance numbers and a fashion show. After all this is the normal itinerary for any program in the city.

And the crowd assembled at the open air theatre by 7pm (Note: I use the word ‘crowd’ and not ‘audience’). There was no one to be seen in the stage for a program that was supposed to begin at 7. At 30 minutes past 7, a long haired guy came on the stage to do the ‘sound check’. The crowd thought he was there to sing. On the top of it the sound systems resembled the quality of a radio. The patience of the crowd was stretched. Then started the catcalls and boos. The crowd entertainment continued even when the real show started. Now it was the vocalist’s turn to get his patience stretched. Right from the stage and through the microphone, he gave choicest names to the genealogy (mother & father to be specific) of the crowd. He challenged them to come out in front for a confrontation. The division was like this. Some 20-25 head bangers in front who stood with ‘heavy metal’. A few people in the dark space who had no idea what ‘heavy metal’ was about and wanted to have a gala time booing. But no one dared to make it physical, resulting in police action and ultimate job loss. The ‘heavy metal’ band left in a huff and peace reigned as usual.

My good friend happened to be the manager of this band and I got a clearer picture from his ‘note’ in facebook. The fellow rock lovers lamented with him on degradation of our culture and the persecution a common rock fan suffered from the society. Here are a few excerpts.

1. always happens.... retards

2. Rock is religion.. so dont let down d religion.. fight fight fight....

3.Sadly the word "rock" has taken on so many disgusting meanings thanks to the god damn dumb fuck MTV culture....anyways fuck those re-turds.......may the metalheads live on...

4.This is the shit we go through everyday. But we have to agree, metal is for a niche section of society.....those who dont understand it, should just stay away.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The (ad)sensible comments

I don’t live with the illusion that I am a popular blogger. Once upon a time I have tried to be one. Then I realized I may have to compromise with the content and gave up on the effort. I once tried the Adsense and found out that I am checking my earnings every hour. It was extremely repulsive, besides I am content with what I earn for a living and so gave up that too.

The last day I was having a small talk with a techie friend of mine over tea. To be frank I wasn’t aware of the intricacies of earning over adsense and I found it very amusing.( He doesn’t know I had a blog of my own.) That’s when I realized the mystery behind one-two word comments I have been getting.

Please don’t misinterpret what I am getting into. I am happy with the fact that people make money out of blogging. And I am quite aware of the importance of making friends/marketing in the blogosphere. I am very happy when you do it in my space.

The problem is I have always been a stickler to sincerity- be it in real world or virtual world. I may not be successful in it, but I try my best to do things with 100% sincerity. So when I learnt from my techie friend that Google pays extra dollars for particular key words and there are people who lift content straight out of books and sites on health tips and stuff I got curious. One another assured content you can get many hits are pornography.

Recently I got a ‘nice review’ comment from a total stranger and steered on to his site. There were some four blogs in his name. One was on downloads, other was on health tips and other on ‘Hot Desi Girls’. Well the health tips gave a feel of bland plagiarism. The Hot Desi girls were pure sick, as the pictures were lifted from some other sites and pasted here. I am a great fan of internet pornography. But I make sure that I enjoy the ones who consciously pose for it. When you put in your space innocent pictures of girls who posed while with their friends or family and label them as ‘Hot Karachi girls’, it’s really sick. The advantage for the particular blogger is Google won’t label this site as porn, as there is no nudity. But imagine a situation when your sister/mother/daughter opens the internet and finds her photo in an adult site with a not so nice label.

This is not an anti-porn post. I wanted to make a simple request to anyone who reads this. When you blog do it out of honesty. Whatever your views be, whatever your fantasies be don’t make your space worthless by focusing only on the dollars. When you drop a comment on someone’s space, give him/her a hint that you read it. Show the guts to point out the negatives. If possible avoid the ‘Lols’ and ‘Nice post’. There may be times when you have nothing else to comment but otherwise, believe me, it’s an insult.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Movie of the week- Raktha Charithra 1,2

Today Friday implies the impending joy of weekends. But long ago it meant the excitement of new movies being released. My college was not far from the theatre area of the city. I would get in to classes for an hour, make plans and get out before the morning show began.

There was no compulsion to go for the classical or popular movies. I simply used to go for a movie if the poster excited me or even if the actress showed ample cleavage (That’s how I turned a lifelong fan of Namitha). But those were crazy times. One such crazy decision prompted me to go for ‘Vaastushastra’, perhaps the first RGV production I have seen.

The first question that would cross the mind of one who just watched a RGV film-‘Is this guy crazy?’ He might be. But that resulted in raising the benchmarks for Hindi Cinema. Sometimes it takes a crazy man to change the rules and prove that he doesn’t need a cash fat producer to finance his wild ideas.

Having said that I would not say his movies are perfect. I would not appreciate his screenplay or aesthetic sense or shallow stories. Still it would be tough to question his intentions.
‘RakthaCharithra’ is about the rise and fall of a real life politician, Paritala Ravi and his nemesis Suri. In the back drop of these two a host of events centered on political deceptions, blood feud, wicked men, lawlessness and helplessness unfolds.

Vivek Oberoi has proved his mettle in his moody characters. The role is very ideal and suited for him. But you shouldn’t expect a variety of shades. The grumpy expression is plastered throughout. RGV has assembled a very talented cast. Since he depends a lot on close-ups and deft body movements the talent is essential. Even a bit of over expression would be fine and would go unnoticed. But I will take an exception with Priyamani and Surya who came in the second installment. They provided the oomph factor but reduced their characters to mere caricatures. Most of the cast has been assembled from Andhra, Kannada and Tamil. I believe the model of sharing of resources beyond the borders have to be followed in India. It may cure the Hindi cinema of typecasting.

The music also needs a mention. RGV isn’t very fond of music and you may end up with funny chants in his pictures. But here it has been a variation. Thankfully the pace hasn’t been compromised and the narration moves on with the music.

Regionalism is a tricky part RGV negotiated very well. The theme is a local issue in Andhra. The movie was released in three major languages in India. The audience may not have related to the movie. But nowhere has he mentioned or stressed on a particular place. The loose regionalism helped everyone to relate to the movie.

Cinematography is the strong forte in RGV fims. ‘Raktha’ also is not different. The cinematography has been done impeccably. The blood, gore, violence and rapes have been captured so vividly that there is good chance that you may puke if you aren’t used to this stuff. Even though the product is of negative value, it’s unfair to ignore a good work. I have seen directors satisfying themselves with lax work in the name of financial constraints. A scene worth mentioning is the one in which a lady is kidnapped straight from a scooter by people in a jeep,
Sadly a particular floating motion has been lifted straight from DevD and there seems to be no reason for using it here.

Coming to the negatives- RGV doesn’t believe in story telling. The film moves on from one murder to the next. The first installment is watchable as we are able to identify a bit with protagonist. But the second installment takes a complete U-turn. The hero in the first installment turns the villain here with no apparent reason to do so. Besides RGV has no enough story to stretch. The scenes tend to repeat themselves and dialogues seem to be a fake. To make the matters worse characters of Priyamani and Surya aren’t able to salvage the pride.
RGV hasn’t got over the hangover of ‘Sarkar’effect. Many sequences, camera angles, colour tones and mannerisms seem to be straight out of the sets of Sarkar. Apart from the technical aspects, there is a flaw in theme too. In the first sequence Paritala Ravi has been glorified and so is his ways. A basic question arises on the morality of the cinema. Towards the end of second installment we get the feeling that violence pays none. Sadly by then we will be bored!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The price for a decent life

Absence of a girlfriend/wife has got its own advantages. You won’t bother too much about the spiraling inflation. Besides, a comfortable pay packet has cushioned me from the price trends so far! I go to an ordinary dhabba for my week day lunches. I do not bother about the detailed bill at the end of lunch. I simply ask him to give the sum total at the end of it. I even pay up my friends’ share at times.

The last day I went along with my friend. Both of us weren’t feeling like having a heavy lunch. So we had a light one and were excepting a lighter bill. When the bill came up it shocked us not so lightly. I asked him to give the detailed bill. To our surprise the price of every item had doubled.
I looked at my hand. The finger tips were so orange. I ought to thank him for the free henna that comes along with Gobi Manchuriyan.

The point is the quality has come down and the price factor is not all bothered about it. Wait, I am not going to blame Manmohan or Sonia yet.
I went ahead and talked to my colleagues. Even the white collared with a comfortable pay packet is stunned by the price hikes. What about the not so higher ups?

And hey guys do you know Subway is one of the cheapest outlets in USA. Strangely here it’s one of the costliest. Have we finally become richer than the Americans?

The last day I went to get an ayurvedic sponge from Big Bazaar. A month earlier it cost 90 bucks. Now they have put it in a designer pack and a coloured solution went along with it for FREE.The increased to 190 bucks

Movies of the week- Water Lillies, A walk to rememeber

Well, I am aware that I have not been writing much on movies. It’s not because, I didn’t feel like it. After IFFK I didn’t feel like watching much. The DVDs I purchased lie in a sad mess. So this week I went ahead and watched two. I had great expectation in both, but sadly had to be disappointed!

When I pick up my monthly quota of movies, I make sure that there are a few foreign language flicks too in the cart. But the last week I had some difficulty in making my choices. And my eyes struck on a French with three girls in the cover. An interesting story summary and a lesbian undertone made me choose the flick ‘Water Lillies’.

‘Water Lilies’ is the story of three girls taken in the backdrop of synchronized swimming. The story revolves around the mutual relationships. The girls are teenagers so there is a lot of emotional undercurrent. Marie has an amazing inferiority complex and she takes a liking for Floraine. Marie and Anne have been childhood friends. But the relation between Marie and Floraine affects the one with Anne.

It’s the debut for the three girls and also the director Sciamma’s. Surprisingly the actors give no indication of debut while the director does. The movie has no other characters except the three. The relation with society and not even the parents have been indicated. And at times the director have gone abroad to glamorize things a bit.

Still the good part is feminine issues have been given a different viewpoint. In India the feminine issues always end up with wife beating or a rape or some other molestation and a bucket load of tears. I think we ought to take a cue from the western film world.

The second one was vouched by my sister. I checked in and found ‘A walk to remember’ stays in all time romantic movie list. I won’t say it’s a bad movie. It’s about a high school romance and I found it difficult to relate to that. Besides the characters are so made up and are very unreal. If you are heads over heels in love, this is a movie for you. Sadly I am not and I am not much of a romantic too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


One common soft spot for any Indian- Religion. Rest of the developed world would have discarded religion as fantasy for the weak and corrupt. But even the rapidly shining middle class of ours haven’t lost their penchant for ‘Religion’.

Even a forward thinking blogger like me would pour contempt and scorn on the saffron and green terrorists. But I would defend mine with all my might. Why? It’s my sacred duty.
When it comes to religion we turn our brains off. But some wise men turn theirs on. These wise men reap rich harvest at the expense of the rest. So here I am going to illustrate a a few wise men I have seen.

Kerala is a land enriched with NRI money. We produce nothing much except for the NRIs. Hence Kerala is a soft target for the god men. One guy who had an outfit of his own executed a strange practice. He placed a bucket in the congregation, quoted a few verses from the Holy book and asked them to deposit every piece of gold in their body. Rumors are that some of his close associates pitched in first and this led to a mass hysteria and every member in the huge congregation put in theirs too. This happened in many parts of Kerala and with in no time the outfit grew into one of the richest of its kind.

Splitting and setting up the churches have become a common practice down here. The moment you come across something you don’t like, you raise a revolt and set your own church across the street. It’s easy to find people with brains-off to follow them. Ideally they would want rich no brainers. A better option is to get a poor set of followers financed by the richer ones.

Traditionally churches were very much against alcoholism, but as time evolved it became quite okay to accept donations from liquor barons. Hence the teachings were diluted and social drinking became acceptable. The only sinful part was drinking local, cheap spirits and beating up your wife in the evening.

I know a girl- well educated and working in a reputed firm. While we were chatting, I came to know that she is the follower of a god man arrested recently for tax frauds. I love making fun of these people. She was adamant and stood on the fact that he was trapped. The funniest part came when she declared that the Chinese Premier too is a follower of our man. He is sending a big shipment of sound system worth crores in a ship.
I said, ‘Communist China sending a gift to Indian Church. China+India+Church -> Is not that a strange combination.’
I am sure the faithful would be still waiting for the shipment at the harbor.

Let me make it clear. I am not against a religion. I am not for the ‘Human is above relegion’. But when the religion grows above the teachings or deities it’s built on, we have a problem.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The 12 best

Hey guys, an year ago I managed to fulfill a dream of mine. I got a camera and got busy clicking.
Sadly, I didn't get much opportunity to travel. Some of the plans had to be cancelled. Hence the good part was I looked for things we see every day, but the beauty of which we ignore.In the first days of camera, it had a freak accident. I was so disappointed with myself, but I got it repaired and still the scars remain.

I have shortlisted 8 best snaps of mine. I thought it would be an easy task. But it took some days.With a heavy heart...I had to cancel out each photo one by one. The number went down from 70 to 60 to 12.

Now here goes the best 12....
Friends, my logic has always been a good photo need not come from a good camera. A good photo should be judged by the volume it speaks

Do visit and enlighten me how they look

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Some stale jokes....Read it @ your own risk

A few years back I got an airtel connection which gave you 4400 free sms as long as you feed it with 44 bucks every month. Soon it became a craze for me to finish the 4400 ‘free’ smses. Sadly I haven’t been successful in finishing up the stipulated quota. I collect the phone nos. of every old pals and send them the stale jokes even if they beg, cajole and threaten me not to do so. I even love to send smses to people without revealing my identity. It simply drives them crazy. I have been thinking of sharing with you guys some of the samples I got in my mobile. I feel sorry that I am not able to sms you the jokes although I would be happy to do so. There is no feeling as good as the one you get when you sent it out an sms. MALAYALAM **1**Leader passes away. Mimikry artistukalkku theera nashtam. Oru Pradhana characteruneyaanu nashtamayathu. **2** Dubail oru lelathinnu 3 mallus poyi. 1 from Kottayam, 1 from Malappuram, 1 from Thrissur. 3 perkkum lelam pidikkan pattiyilla. They are informing their house Kottayam: Appan aano? Oh enna parayanna. Mudinja oru lelam aayirunnu. Njaan 10 inu villichappo avan 20 nu ketti villichu. Angane poyi poyi njanangu ittechu ponnu. Phone Bill-20 Dirhams Malappuram:Uppaa…Enthoruddukkathe lelanu. Oon 10 nu villichappa njamallu ketti 20 raakki. Pinnem aa bedakku pidichon ketti villichu. Pinne kettippe njamade kshema kett, Njammal ingadu ponnu Phone Bill-25 Dirhams Thrissur: appanaa, Jose aanu, Lelam oombeetta Phone Bill-1 Dirham Thrissur Rockzzz **3** Sex il pala sthreekallil pala reaction Velakkari: Vegam cheyyu kochamma varum Ayalkkari: Pathukke cheyyu shabdham purathu kellkum Kamuki:Kurachu koodi cheyyu. Novikkalle Bharya: Fan il enthu mathram azhukkanennu nokkiye! HINDI **1**why boys call girls ‘item’. Because item means ‘maal’.Maal means paisa. Paisa means Laxmi or ladki ghar ki laxmi hoti hain, to hui na ITEM. ”Rishta wahi soch nayi” **2** Mohabbat ko math chupao, usse zaroorat hai jatane ki. Pyaar ko math chupao, usse zaroorat hai dikhne ki. Perfume math lagao, thumhe zaroorat hai nahane ki. **3** Ladki waala: Beta drink karhe ho? Ji Han! Cigarette? Har Roj! Jua? Bilkul Danga-fasad? Aadat hai Tho koi positives hain ladke mein? Hain naa…HIV +ve ENGLISH **1**Q: How to kill an ant Ans: Mix chilli powder with sugar and keep it outside ant’s home. After eating ant will search for water. Place a water tank somewhere near. Push the ant into it. Ant will search for a fire to dry himself. Place a bomb near the fire. Ant will be seriously injured and will be admitted into hospital. There remove the oxygen tube from the ant and it will die. **2** Dad: what about your exam results? Son: I failed in 5 subjects. Dad: From now on, don’t call me’ dad’ Son: Aww come on dad, it’s just a class test. Not a DNA test **3** An explorer finds himself surrounded by tribal natives. He prays aloud, ‘God I am in trouble’ Heavens open up and in a majestic voice reply comes,’No you are not. Take that huge stone and slay the chief’ The explorer obeys. The voice comes back ‘Now you are in trouble’ **************************************************************************** I landed in a big embarrassment today. The laptop had complaints with its motherboard a month back. I got it repaired and today morning the lap went on a sudden strike. I thought it must be the motherboard again. I marched off to fire the repairman. Sadly it was a lady in the service section. She took out the battery, gave it a blow and restarted the laptop again. I grabbed it from her and closed the laptop. She found it strange. She gave me a lecture on how to handle the machine judiciously took it away from me and opened it when she found a majestic lady in her glorious semi nudity. She silently handed it back.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

A common scene in every household: A couple is getting ready for a party. As usual the male pulls over his clothing in 5 minutes. There is a good chance that he’s gone bald and so there is no time spent for combing. He waits in the living room.
As usual he has to remind his wife/ girlfriend to do it fast although he is fully aware that it’s of no much use. He is relieved to find that she has taken a few seconds lesser than the last party. Then comes the million dollar question
‘Honey, how do I look?’

So what would the girls expect?
a)To be frank you look better without all those make-up. The outfit might be the fashion of the season, but you are an ill fit in it.
b)Darling, you look fabulous in it. Can I adjust the edges a bit.

A smart guy decided to outsmart a great guru. He goes to him and asks a question
‘Guru, I have a small sparrow in my hand. Do you think it’s dead or alive?’

Guru saw the trap in the question. If he says it’s alive, the young man can squeeze it to death and claim it was dead. If he says it’s alive then he could set free the bird and say it was alive.
‘Son the answer lies in your hand.’

So this is my short gyan for you guys who are stepping into a new year. We have got many questions in our mind. The answer lies in our PERCEPTION.

As a thank you note: Thank you for keeping me going. However much you deny, a blogger needs to pump his ego for fuel. So hugs for the guys and flying kisses for the girls who have been with me through bad posts and good.

A small help for a friend and newbie blogger: My college days were anything but boring, thanks to a handful of guys. One among them has started to pen down his experiences in college and beyond. Non- Mallus may find the posts a bit tough to visualize, but go ahead and pay a visit.