Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Life has been good to me these past few days. No work still. Chennai cooling down. Tonnes of movies to watch. A few that surprised me..I mean you dont expect kollywood to surprise you. Mozhi being the first one. A very sensitive movie, a sensible movie and a wonderful background score.
And then there is paruththiveeran. Well at the outset it may seem to like one of those crass B grade movies that kodambakkam churns out, but once the initial 10 minutes pass, the movie grips you in a vicious kind of way. Have to warn you, the language is very difficult to latch on to, atleast initially- a very heavily loaded madhurai accent. The landscape and the colour tones are rugged and stunning. The music from yuvan, as fas as i am concerned, his best work ever. The "Ayyayyo" song rocketing to one of my all time favourites. Heard people comment that the dialogues are way too in your face, obscene or to put it in tamil "Pachcha pachhaya irukku". Well, for the uninformed, the people who are being characterised on screen, tend to speak that way in real life. And the ending seems to have put of a lot as well. Well, not going to spoil it for you, just in case, u have not heard of it and are planning to go watch it. The ending was the highlight for me. There was no more convincing way it could have ended. Any other way and it would have been just another movie. On the whole an in your face roller coaster, tinged with some original native humour. Not to be missed.

And now to the other wood that is famous - Bollywood. two movies which were made outside the standard circuit. Kabul express and Black friday. Well , yes i am still playing catch up as far as the releases go. Kabul express is a commendable effort. atleast for the way the team has tried to approach the subject. Black Friday -mmm, almost silent background for the entire movie. A chapter wise narrative and KK Menon repeating a "Hazaaron kwahishen aisi". Planned to watch it in two sittings as we started off around 1 in the night. Couldnt bring myself to touch the remote for the next 2 hours. Riveting. Period.

And of course have been gorging on hollywood fare. And the one that caught my eye was Little miss sunshine. Tired of watching movies that picture families as ideal islands of joy, here was a dysfunctional family that was trying desperately to make it onto the band wagon. The highlight being a beauty contest for 10 year olds. A road trip across the US of A and the pretences begin to fall apart. And how it all comes togethor in the end. Lampooning a lot of the things that is not correct in the US way of life. A few that i fear are making their way to the indian society as well. Full of poignant moments and humor that is different from the staple hollywood fare. Again, should have won an oscar instead of departed. But, best screenplay, well ok can make do.

Well, have to catch up on a lot more and as the prospects of me getting work anytime soon are lesser, you can expect a lot more reviews. Right now, leaving for the day. Whew! it has been a long hard day at work i should say.

Friday, May 25, 2007

I had a chance and I blew it

Life doesnt give second chances. And the lone chance that it does give, are ones that disappear before you can even spot them. And thus the day began...I got up early at 8.30 and to my surprise it was pleasant outside. The morning routine and then get to work by 10.30. Not having much of work these days and so was lazing around office. Only to see a friend pop up on GTalk. Well, just what the doctor ordered. A good friend for as long as i can remember. You know - the kind you know are good, though you dont talk much and even when you talk it is just the occasional chit chat. We got chatting and then chatting and it was soon 4.00 PM. Tea break for Yours truly. And in the past couple of weeks one of those rare days when i didnt doze off in my chair.Back from break and the session resumes in a tone and tenor markedly different from the normal. About friends relationships and the occasional gossip. And then the inevitable, you single question. I jump in and answer that, prompt to flaunt my single status. And she says ..."mmmmmm". "What mmm?" I ask.."Well am taken now?""Whoa!!!".. though i saw that coming it was a whammy when it did come. A sensible and gud looking gal, One of the very few that i know. And then the diggin for details begins.. I have all the time in the world and she is the master craftswoman when it comes to guys. I dig and i dig, only to come up empty handed .And out of the blue I say "You know I had a thing for you, back then". And now the "whoa" came from the other side. "When", "What", "Where" "why didn't you tell me" and out come the details. And the astonishment continues. I get a tonne of advice - " you know you are such an idiot , u call urself my friend and dont tell me this. Y da. " And all i could come up with was, well i thought u were taken.And that brought the next round on " did i tell u that and so on and on?"... A stunned silence for a while. Now the doubt deepens in me. By some freaking miracle of nature, was she giving me hints?I continued the guessing game. And the pointer narrowed down to Chennai. I freak out and sign off. It was 07.30 in the evening. Time flies to 10.30 and i was sure i couldn't sleep in that frame of mind. Should I call her? And finally I do. And we talk, all the while she just laughs, all the while deepening my mysery. And finally she has pity on me and out come the details. Let us leave the details aside cause they are not the focus anymore (Confidentiality sake, and the risk of getting murdered). Suffice to say, It was like that "ONE TIGHT SLAP" thing on MTV. A hit on the cheek that sends all the clutter from your head flying out the other ear.And then it strikes me, how all these years have been about me only that I did not notice the people around me, close to me. And she makes a few more stunning observations and I just crack. And the final nail was to be a passing shot, something which conveyed a very poignant statement "for years i haev given u hints and u never saw any, and now...and now....". Well I had a chance that lasted half a life time and I blew it. Well, to put it in mallu speak"Sankaran is again on the cocunut tree".And thus the day ended.....

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bret "The Hitman" Hart

An ad caught my eye while riding yesterday. Something, that made memories rush from the past and instantly brought a smile to my face and sent the adrenalin rushing up my brains. They are gonna be telecasting WWF (World wrestling federation) fights on Jetix. May praise be on the lord. A generation will be grateful to you. For people who are wondering, yes i am 24 and I do like wrestling. For people who missed the boat, this is something that you will never appreciate. An entire generation of boys, who grew up with a heightened sense of machoism and aggression and are better off due to that.
The Ad naturally came up for discussion during the elaborate lunch at work and people were immediately transported to their happy places. Names came tumbling down - the undertaker, hulk hogan, yokozuna and of course my all time favourite - The hitman. Someone suggested that wrestling was not for him and was quickly silenced with furtive glances and the discussion went on.
And as the discussion raged on, I was winding back to my school days. When RAW used to air at 4.00 PM on thursday Evenings and gully cricket stopped for that one hour. All kids in the neighbourhood indoors, much to my mom's irritation. Result, cable TV was cut in a month. Not giving up, we were soon meeting at an Old lady's house in the neighbourhood. Too much noise and complaints. Cable TV reconnected.
Gully cricket tends to be hard on the pocket. Especially when played with cheap rubber balls which tend to pop easily. And being the captian the onus of the sponsorship fell on me, which in turn fell on my mom. This also happened to be a period where the balls were breaking with alarming regularity and my mom refused to pay up.
It was "King of the Ring/ Royal rumble / Summer slam" I guess. A gud 3 hours at the end of which we saw "SABLE" make and appearance and take her clothes off...Almost. Mom saw that and we never had any trouble funding our cricket team after that. A special hitman glass, again from the latest duty paid shop was thrown in for gud measure :-) I still wonder y this sudden change came about in her.
The statutory warnings were always for small boys and we knew what we were doing and so had tournaments. On mats made of palm and coconut leaves, in the backyard, of our house. A broken nose put an end to all that. Or was it a broken head?? beats me.
Of course, we never gave up on wrestling. For the rainy day, we had stashed away a nice pair of triumph cards, imported all the way from bombay. Yours truly courtesy of being owner, being allowed an upper hand most of the time. Well those were the days, sigh!
And as I rejoined the conversation, it was thankfully still on wrestling and how my friend Aravind and his Bros had a photo taken with King Mable and Steve "The Rattlesnake" Austin when they came down to India. AND FYI the pic finds the pride of place in his room - STILL. I am proud of u my friend.

P.S - Readers will well be advised to catch up on jetix. Last heard, Undertaker is into his 8th life and hulk hogan had turned 67. And they are all set to clash for the title in a casket match. WOW

P.S.S - "The hitman" rules and will return.

Monday, May 14, 2007


I am penning this post at the risk of readers tracing a pattern to these updates. (Please detect the hidden message in the previous line intending to convey the increasing readership for the special crap that I dish out)

- It is official now. I am a bench warmer. For people who thought bench warmers were only associated to sports, take a break. This is a relatively new phenomenon that has been developed in software services firms, which have the propensity to recruit in terms of colleges (not heads) and then try and locate work for this very enthu crowd. Always for projects in the "PIPELINE".
Speaking of which, IT seems to be full of jargon like this. On second thoughts, let me not get into the jargon part of it.
The bench has been this "utopia" for me ever since i joined this company. This mysteriously wonderful thing that people talk about. No work, Late to office, leavy early to compensate for that. Ill-fated that i have been, in a company with very few long term projects, I got stuck into one that has been going on for the past 6 years...SIX years and from day 1 it was one word "SLOG". Have seen people around me enjoy this period. Heck, my roomie was on the bench for one whole year and then he moved onto IIM. Speak of luck.
And now that i am here at this wonderful place, in a gap between 2 projects, i don't want to leave. But I wil have to leave and the thought of working again makes my head spin. I will think of crossing the bridge when i come to it. SIGH!

- Chennai finally got to me. This summer has been horrible. Chennai temperature usually hovers around 38 and peaks at 41. this year it has been hovering around 42 and yesterday peaked at 43. And my luck, I was riding around in bike all day. 8 to 10 in the morning, 2 to 4 in the noon and 6 to 8 in the night. Sweating like a sponge when squeezed, I was dehydrated beyond description. surviving on tender cocunuts and water. and sleeping all the while in between. I would have set a record of sorts by sleeping 8 hrs during the day time. The end result being i was unable to digest any solid food in the evening. And my sister, like an angel boils me some rice. Add water, Add salt, My grandma's pickle and that was the best damn food that i had tasted in a Looooong time. My sister is definitely a good cook...PERIOD.

And i guess that is enough ramblings for a night. So adios. As i go hit the bed.. Lot of sleep to catch up on.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The end of the road

It was just one of those days. Not much work. Warming my seat. attending the odd meetings and then head back home at the stroke of 6. Chennai was scorching at 43 and so stayed around in the a/c till 7. Said bye to all the friends at work. Even a junior in the project who had joined a couple of months back.
A comfortable ride in a little bit of rain and a refreshing bath later; i looked at my mobile to see tonnes of missed calls. Called back one of them, my partner in crime at work and he broke it to me. The Junior that i had bid goodbye had died in a road accident 15 minutes back. The suddenness of it was too hard to fathom. I was listening to music on my comp and it continued playing. The fact that he was no more was incomprehensible to me. By God's grace, I have not had to face the fact of people close to me dying and so never had to think about it. But there it was. His smile was still flashing across my eyes every once in a while.
I just sat there, for i dont know how long and then somehow collected myself. Made a few calls and others who were closer had reached the hospital and saw him lying there.. people there told me.."It is sad how people in the medical field treat the mortal remains. He was an accident victim. No visible injury except to the head. and he lay there on a stretcher next to the reception."
Surrounded by friends and strangers. Friends, all in their 20s, all trying hard to come to grips. Someone asked me to come there and i made excuses. I knew that i didnt have it in me to see him like that and then drive back home.
Sleep was hard to come by. Dawn and the daze had still not left me. Rode to the GH were the post mortem was happening. And saw what i feared the most. He lay there on the stretcher as though in sleep. And the sight was even more difficult to fathom. My stomach was churning - the heat the stench and above all the tears of all those around. In a few hours time all that would remain will be ashes. But imagining his seat in office as empty - there an hour ago, but now no more, still beats me.
Last May saw another accident that was cruel in every way. And this one so close to me, shook me beyond belief. Exposing a fragile side of my mind, that i am very uncomfortable with. And for all my bravado, something rung home "Death" scares me.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

A small tribute to an unbeatable legend

Brian Charles Lara - A Legend signs off

A lot of people say a lot of things about Lara...but for me he is what cricket is all about..passion..come what may..and there are comparisons with lesser people back home but the statistics (by Wisden Almanac) below say it all...

Top 10 test innings

1 DG Bradman 270 Australia England Melbourne 1936-37 262.4
2 BC Lara 153* West Indies Australia Bridgetown 1998-99 255.2
3 GA Gooch 154* England West Indies Headingley 1991 252.0
4 IT Botham 149* England Australia Headingley 1981 240.8
5 DG Bradman 299* Australia South Africa Adelaide 1931-32 236.8
6 VVS Laxman 281 India Australia Calcutta 2000-01 234.8
7 C Hill 188 Australia England Melbourne 1897-98 234.2
8 Azhar Mahmood 132 Pakistan South Africa Durban 1997-98 232.6
9 KJ Hughes 100* Australia West Indies Melbourne 1981-82 229.7
10 BC Lara 375 West Indies England St John's 1993-94 228.1

Top 10 One day innings

1 Richards I.V.A 189* (170) 1984 WI won by 104 runs Old Trafford
2 Richards I.V.A 138* (157) 1979 WI won by 92 runs Lord's
3 Jayasuriya S.T 189 (161) 2000 Sri Lanka won by 245 runs Sharjah
4 Kapil Dev N 175 (150) 1983 India won by 31 runs Nevill Ground,Turnbridge Wells
5 Saeed Anwar 194 (146) 1997 Pakistan won by 35 runs M.A Chidambaram
6 Gower D I 158 (118) 1983 England won by 54 runs Woolloongabba
7 Lara B.C 169 (129) 1995 WI won by 4 runs 120*
8 De Silva P.A 107* (124) 1996 Lanka won by 17 runs Gaddafi Stadium
9 Lloyd C.H 102 (85) 1975 WI won by 17 runs Lord's
10 Lara B.C 153 (143) 1993 WI won by 6 wickets Sharjah

P.S - I know this is a bit too late...but was offline for a pleej adjust