Oct 31, 2006

Modern temples

Having been born and brought up in a religious family, I used to be fed with innumerable stories about the temples that I visited. I was always excited to visit new temples, since I have read a lot about them. Before I was 15, I had pretty much been to all the famous temples in TN, except a few in the Northern region, such as Thiruvannamalai and Thiruthani. I was curious to know how old each temple was, which king/dynasty built it, etc.
When I was in Chennai in '95, my cousin took me to the famous Nanganallur Anjaneyar Temple. Though it was nice with a tall Anjaneya statue, marble floors, and modern looks, I somehow didnt get the kind of feeling I usually get while in a new temple. Then, I moved to Bangalore and there were very few such historic temples (or hardly). When I went to ISKCON, Bangalore after its inauguration in '97, my initial amusement was more due to the glassy architecture and the Dwaraka-like main hall. The fact that this temple was built 'just like that' didnt go well with the conventional history-seeker in me.
ISKCON was the only one I would often visit, because of its proximity to IISc. It was more a case of 'something is better than nothing'. Added to that, the presence of too many stalls/booths selling all sorts of things was an irritating factor. Then I consoled myself that even in the temples of TN, people dont leave a chance to advertise/show-off anywhere.. e.g., some tiny fluorescent lamps with "Ubayam: X and family". Kashta kaalam..
Now, in US, kekkavey venam.. Most of the temples are of the "All gods under one roof" type in Florida. The temples in Tampa and Orlando were reasonably good. When my friend said he would drive all the way to Alabama for the 'Kumbabhishekam' of the newly built Puri Jagannatha temple, I was taken aback at his enthu. For him, it was an opportunity to visit his Oriya friends too. When I heard from cousin that there are about 40 temples around the Edison region of New Jersey, I was truly surprised. There are 'specialiazed' temples like Sri Ranganathar, Durga, Ram, Venkateswara and Shiva.
So, my experience of the past few years makes me believe that temple is a place to go and seek peace/blessings from God. Doesn't matter whether God really liked that place or not, or, for that matter, he choses to be there to listen to ur prayers, or not. It is little more holier than your home's pooja room; and, as I heard in a recent movie, temple is a place where the minds of hundreds of people converge at a given time.

Oct 26, 2006

Kamal's first wife syndrome

While talking about Kamal, my friend stated “In many of Kamal’s movies, the first wife/lover dies.. donno why he has to choose it that way”. We started counting such movies and it was really surprising to find quite a lot of them. Then I remarked that, his so-so relationship with his first wife in real life had something to do with it. Look at the list below.. quite unusual number of movies..

Wife/first love dies:

1) Ullasa paravaigal
2) Ilama oonjaladugiradhu
3) Sattam en kaiyil
4) Sigappu Rojakkal
5) Japanil Kalyanaraman
6) Oru kadhiyin diary
7) Vikram
8) Punnagai Mannan
9) Nayakan
10) Vetri Vizha
11) Mahanadhi
12) Paasa valai (Subha sankalpam)
13) Hey Ram
14) Virumandi
15) Vettaiyadu Vilayadu

Lover dies:

1) Ninaithaley inikkum
2) Chanakyan (Malayalam)
3) Guna
4) Maro charitra/Ek duje keliye

I cant think of any other actor who has such a ‘dubious’ record.. If I had missed any other Kamal movie, or if you feel about someone else having some such unique trend, shoot..
PS: Oru douttu: Indha madhiri reserach panna oru 'B.Phil.' degree-yachum yaravadhu koduppangala? :)

Oct 25, 2006

Meendum Billa?

The following discussion came along when I was talking to my friend: Now that Shahrukh has reenacted Amitabh in his latest 'Don', who will step into the shoes of Rajini's 'Billa' in tamil, in case it is remade? Vijay will be the first one to raise his hand.. but does he have the charisma that Rajini possessed in 'Billa'?

Oct 22, 2006

6 Weirds - Wired by tagging

Ponnarasi tagged me (again!!) 6 weird qns. thrown at me.. and here are my quick, but not necessarily short, answers..
1) Psycho in me: Me??? Psycho?? neyyyy...... hey, wait.. (Psycho music playing) Well.. i am not gonna chase you with a knife in my hand. I do some crazy stuff... Almost everytime I cross a road, i get this feeling that an ultrafast vehicle is gonna hit me.. doesnt scare me or something, but gets me philosophical at times.
2) Thinni pandaram: Ullen aiya!! Suuuuper saappadu kidaicha kannu pidhungura varaikkum saappidama endhirikka maatten. My PhD guide said I 'eat well', so usually no need to worry about 'excessive ordering' during our dining-outs.. Once I declared shamelessly that I live to eat.. :)
3) Kids: I sometimes feel they are angels, bcos when God sends then to this world, he stays with them for a few years to make them feel secure. I luv kids and they luv me too. Firstly, my height attracts them and, may be most jovial kids feel special if I approach them. I dont mind doing kiddish stuff to keep them glued to me, and after that, they never forget me.
4) Dreams: I dont remember whether I mentioned about them earlier, but my favorite weird childhood dreamm was a fox sitting in our house's 'oonjal' stylishly, and not allowing me to play in the oonjal. Then, there was another one where I would be atop a slope and i jump... I dont touch the ground at all.. i keep flying in the air for a looong time.. This dream keeps appearing even now. Another irritating dream: If my work doesnt progress well and I get tense, I dream that I am gonna face an exam (mostly English, or sometimes maths) in my college, or at times, school and I am totally under-prepared. My agony during those few hours of of doing badly in the exam is undescribable. The irony is that, I scored first class in all my subjects in college.. just that I have forgotten what I studied for the English language in my second year. Duh.. what a punishment for that..
5) No weird: ????
6) Bore factor: If I hear some stuff from the same person second time, I immediately feel it is a waste of time and get bored. Bored with people who dont talk much. And I feel bored when think of the household chores waiting for the weekend. Bored if my co-passengers during a long journey just keep sleeping.
Thank god.. done with it.. I am not gonna tag anyone bcos I feel that getting tagged is a pain.. it adds pressure to the already pressurized minds of ours.. It is like a stone pressing us all the time until we write it.. It is soo dumb bcos one has to write only on the 6 given subjects.. It is a waste of a post bcos you have to write abut YOU, YOU and things dealing only with YOU. but, but, but, it is fun tagging someone after writing it... ;) so I merrily tag Ram, Sanjay, Aparna, Mitr, Aruna and Visithra. :) hehehe.... cf. the weird point #1.

Oct 21, 2006

Deepavali Wishes

Some 'Deepavali' malarum ninaivugal:

* Deepavali was understandably the most eagerly awaited festival for me - for the firecrackers. Months before Deepavali, I would start counting the exact hours left for that.. ;) The timeline is the 6 PM on the day before, i.e., the 'Naraga chaturdasi'. The excitement on those two days, was, unfortunately followed by the sudden low when I wake up the next day.. but then the 'Karthigai' festival always acted as a cushion to relieve the depression. Thanks Muruga!!

* Until my age 12, I always celebrated it with my parents; so when I had to be away bcos of my studies on the 13th year, I was really very sad.. c'd never really enjoy it. That was when I decided that I would never be out of my home during Deepavali, no matter what. I could keep that wish for 11 Diwalis after that, but for the 25th, I was stuck in Bangalore, despite my best efforts. And it so happened that, since then, I could never be with my parents.. :( Kaadhalukkaga thyagam!

* During my teenage, most often we would be celebrating it at our uncles/aunt's home. A very happy reunion time and with more people, it was always fun. Super samaiyal from Amma, cameraderie with cousins, smelling the smoke of 'saattai' and firing rockets towards the sky.. Each and every small thing was soo exciting.

* The hyper-enthu for the firecrackers continued until the mid-90's.. That was the sole purpose of Diwali almost.. The special programs on TV acted just as a breather in the middle of some real loud burstings. Most eagerly awaited program was 'Pudhupadal', showing a masterpiece Ilayaraja song from that year's Deepavali release. Some of the unforgettable songs include "Kanmani anbodu..", "Rakkamma kaiya thattu..", and "Sundari neeyum..".

* With the intrusion of Sun TV and its "Special-Live-from-Manila" programs, the sitting time in front of the idiot box slowly increased.. In '97 and '98, I really wished we turned the TV off and focussed only on the most important stuff.. but that was not the case to be.

* The past 2 years have been total bore here in the US.. no fireworks, no holiday, no nothing.. This year, even worse.. my other half will be celebrating it with her family and wishing me thr phone, while I will be sulking here alone.. Luckily, I got hold of a second-degree-cousin to spend the Diwali weekend.. so, hopefully, I will get a nice 'vaazhai ilai saappadu' and lots of fun with them and their friends.

Here is me wishing you all a very happy and joyous Deepavali 2006!! Burst away crackers on my behalf, and eat well too!! ;)

Oct 14, 2006

Loyal Cars

Have you ever wondered why the cars/jeeps in tamil movies commit suicide by flying several metres high in the air and crashing down, if its driver is shot? Viswasam, eh? ;)

PS: I was watching 'Narasimha' of our Gabdon, after a 'strong recommendation' from a friend.. Sema comedy within the first 20 mins of the movie itself.. I am celebrating my weekend with our blue-eyed, current-resistant, self-nail-plucking, ice-bathing 'Dravidan' saar.. ;)

Oct 10, 2006

X-Y coordinates

Recently, I couldnt help but literally do a 'ROTFL' act when I heard this incident from my friend.. only that instead of floor, it was my bed, since I was talking while lying down. "X-machi, Y-machi" song is being played on TV and, you know, the deadly 90-thara is scaring the hell out of us.. My friend's grandma gets up slowly from the sofa and asks "yaar adhu.. Mumtaj-a iva, ivlo gundayitta?" (Is it Mumtaj? She has put on so much weight) and the people around started laughing like anything.. Oh boy.. how I wished I was there !! Enna nilaimai.. :)


1) Lage raho Munnabhai: A brilliant concept.. Blending Gandhian thoughts with those of an underworld don.. Despite having a good share of lumped-throat moments, it is an enjoyable movie, bcos the LOL moments were always around the corner, thanks to the courtesy of Arshad Warsi. Sanjay Dutt is more of Gandhian and less of a dada here.. The romance of the old couple, and the take on 'Manglik' dhosham were the surprise packages. A must-watch movie.

2) Perarasu: There is this diro Perarasu directing 'Dravidan' (dont confuse with the movie 'Dravidan' starring Satyaraj) Vijayakanth for 'Dharmapuri' in Dharmapuri, but this 'Perarasu' was not directed by that 'Perarasu' but by a debutant 'Udhayan' (No no , not 'Udayan' - the rehabilitation home of Kolkata, which Steve Waugh is associated with). mmm.. something happened to me after I watched not one but two Vijayakanths.... First half was OK.. second half was the usual boring stuff.. Anandaraj kalakkittar.

2 actresses, 2 coordinates, 2 friends, 2 Munnabhai's, 2 Vijayakanths and hence 2 tiny reviews.. 2 busy also.. ;)

Oct 4, 2006

Second heart

Wanted to write on this after watching 'Kabhie Alvida naa Kehna'.. ya.. about the 'second love' concept. Now, what is the thing with 'first love' or 'second love'? I think, Indians tend to give a lot of importance to the 'first love'. Many a times, without proper dating mechanism, two people get attracted to each other, get into the bond of love, and by the time they realize that things dont look all that rosy between them, quite some time would have passed. Not many have the guts to tell their partner that they better end the relationship which doesnt seem to be working. As a result, they somehow get married, with the sole intention of saving their first love.

The sole reason of the marriage being that, the differences cant be hidden under the carpet. They keep cropping up from time to time, and the marriage becomes a disaster. And now, the marriage is the one that is to be saved. Unable to sort out the differences, frustrations start to develop, and, when it goes beyond the threshold point, the marriage snaps away. Differences do arise between almost all the couples - love-married or arranged. But, in case of the former, the problems pre-marriage seep into the married life. There is hardly anything new to look forward to, and the bitterness is too much to digest. In that case, the people getting arranged-marriage start from a neutral , or some positive scale, if they interact nicely before the wedding; whereas the compromising love couples start from a negative scale.

Whether male or female, any break in relationship hurts a lot. The wound takes some time to heal. The healing time depends on so many factors.. for some, it is a slow, aerobic healing process - i.e., only time will do that. For some, there might be a medicine available luckily. What should one do? It makes sense that the wound is allowed to heal fast and quick, doesnt it? Simply bcos life is too short; past is past; and there is a certain time frame by which certain things are better done. That medicine is what the next love is.. if available in pure form, it must be accepted and the wound has to be treated.

Then, the thing about remembering the first love afterwards. mmm.. mind is like a monkey, it tends to jump from one tree to another but for one's own good, the monkey has to be taken off the back. No point in thinking 'what if's and 'but's about the first love, bcos it carries with it the danger of affecting the second love. As long as the second love doesnt become the sole reason for the break-up of first love, the relationship would remain healthy. IMHO, those who underwent a split of any sort better learn from the fiasco and act wiser the next time around after a relationship is forged. Love sincerely, express all your good feelings on ur partner, and let love be the best shield for tackling any crisis.

Oct 1, 2006

Weekend melodies: Unakku 2; Enakku 1.

Missing you so much this weekend... so some songs dedicated to our memories..

1) Kanmani...
Though this song as a whole is classic, my favorite moments lie in the first minute.. As the saying "Well begun is half done" goes, it lives upto the expectations generated by those lil moments..

* First, a chuckle before the song begins.. and another small one as Kamal asks her to write..

* Oru 'kadaikkaN pArvai' as Kamal says 'Kanmani'.. and as he says 'kadhalan', another glance and a smile after nodding 'aan'..

* When he says 'naan', she too whispers 'naan', and when he says 'padi', a deep but short look at him as she starts singing.. Her head nods were soo cute and natural. Where did you go, Roshini???

An unforgettable song..

2) Kannaley..
What to say of this one? I started liking it from the very first time I heard it in 1992.. and it wont be an understatement to say that I went to watch the movie especially for this song. Didnt get disappointment with the picturization.. White angels.. Sensuously sung by Yesudoss and Janaki.. beautiful camera work by Madhu Ambat. I lovvvvvvvve singing the song everyday.. :)

Now, my choice.. ;)

3) Vennilave...
How can I leave out my all-time favorite song? I can go on and on about this one, but I better shut up and let you see and enjoy the magic of full moon.. :)