Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tolerant India

//This blogpost is my entry for a contest in blogadda by the name Mera Bharath Mahan in partnership with PringOO //

I have always refrained from national building topics. It doesn’t imply that I am anti-national, but I have my reservations because I never experienced a sea-change or at least a spark when these so called patriotism inducing movies play out in theatres. Sure we might have got a small inclination to be a better person till the next day after witnessing an awe-inspiring speech/book/movie. But have we carried it forward in the longer run? (Lok Paritran? Where are you?) The next week we wholeheartedly succumb to the pressure around us. There is a nation-wide disease called tolerance. We tolerate our politicians, our neighbors, our boss, our colleague, our peers and even our worst enemies. When we want to do something for ourselves we go all the way to pacify these people because we want to achieve our goal. Our attitude to succeed is so powerful that, we just don’t bother to adhere to what we ourselves feel is right and just go by those people’s words. But when hell breaks loose, we blame it on the government/others that they are corrupt, they are the black-moles of this society, and what not. Mark my word if either you or I were to be in their place we might do even more damage to the society than what they are doing. We join forces to voice our disapproval/concern over adulterating issues, like the recent CWG fiasco. We keep shouting that, ‘look into China and see how well they had organized Olympics’. But do we really want to be treated like how the Chinese government treated their downtrodden? Do we know about the fact that the corruption charges were more severe there than what is alleged to be, here?  I am not asking you to tolerate what atrocities happen in the name of organization. What I am concerned is at the base – grass root level.

How many times have you thrown trash just because you are angry at someone?
How many times have you stopped moving ahead because you see hindrance from external/internal forces?
How many times have you decided against doing a social cause when you felt people around you will feel its waste of time?
How many times have you asked about the caste/religion of your acquaintance you have befriended recently?

Didn’t get what I am pointing at? Let me be more direct:

How many times have you stood up for what you feel is right without thinking what others might think about you?
How many times have you patiently briefed the authorities who are laying road for your street about the water stagnant areas of the road?
How many times have you called the city corporation to inform about the uncollected garbage that has been piling up by your street side?

I can go on and on about this. But what will that do? I will just end up ranting about my society and people around me (including me). We as a group are so tolerant to change and novel approach, why not use our tolerance level for better use?

Start by tolerating the banters of your family and not just your girl friend. Tolerate the urge to litter. Tolerate the constant disapproval chant that you hear when you are heading towards your goal and just move ahead from that place. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss. Tolerate the remarks that some immature people give for the good deeds you think you are doing. Tolerate the urge to ask about caste/religious details of your friend and castigate him/her. Tolerate the urge to succumb to others words and stand up for your wish. Tolerate the disdain look some government SERVANTS give and just convey your needs to them. Tolerate his slander and make sure the point it set across. Tolerate the anger that comes from not being responded to and continue doing your duty.

So what will happen if we try this? We will just end up being laughed at for our putting up act. Mind you this is not putting up and doing nothing – it is putting up to do something: the stubborn character to undergo anything, so that at the end the aim is achieved. You maybe a businessman, a director, a lecturer, an engineer, you all put with so many things in the day to day course of your life. But lets start putting up: viz tolerating the chant of evil so that what we think is better for us will be achieved. If every individual has this patience to endure pain we will have a good future and in the longer run a nation we can truly be proud of.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Aadi sales

Of the month of Aadi, discount sales, Women & anything worth to be nonsense.

It is the month of Aadi. A very (in)auspicious month for women in this part of the world. Since women are the world to us (guys) minions it is therefore deemed inauspicious for us too. Gone are the decades when men were admonished for even saying the term wife in this month of the year. Hiccups there might have been, but even the ‘male’ chauvinists dreaded to enter the black hole fearing to be sucked to death by their own masculine posterity that might birth later. It took us a lot of persuasion (even from the government) to find a safer alternative for this issue 

Aadi is also infamous for the ban on anything relatively new. Brushing aside the point that it's all plain nonsense; in an orthogonal point of view it's a big money saver indeed. But how can that be even remotely plausible when the power of authority is vested on the most guile sect that had & will ever walk on the earth. When they noticed our heavy pockets & bright smile, they invented the end of season sale that transformed itself to month throughout sale becoming the worst nightmare for all present and prospective servants.  

Month before the start of activity, the board of household affairs (which will always house only one member - the wife) arranges for a ‘minutes of meeting’ with its subordinate, explaining the salient features of project and its merits. It casually drops words like “makes me hot”, “sexy”, “you are so cute” et all to keep the worker in trance. Sometimes when magic don’t seem to work, a direct list of items sneaks in when the subordinate is at its weakest-best state, just after the team did arduous work for the night.

On the arrival of the month, they head off for the business trip with great planning sans any idea. As one might expect of that paradoxical situation, they globe trot seeking for the cheapest amongst the lot only to buy stuffs at a price higher than what they used to be during normal sale. Seeing the money racked in by consumer commodities retailers other entrepreneurs are rethinking their strategy to attack the market. Interestingly there are new players too.

The foremost to jump the bandwagon is non-other than TASMAC. It has come up with a novel enticing scheme where consumers will get discount according to the percentage of alcohol available in their goods. Close behind TASMAC is another government agency – The Ration shop. They are opening up a new brand under their chain which will function only in this month. It will be named – The antique shop. It will sell all the antiqued rice that the enterprise has been stacking for eons together. An emotional Mayor who recently mazed the rice remarked that this will bring to light the long lost old flavour to the present generation. Needless to say everyone is queuing up at the entrance of The Antique shops thanks to severe marketing through televisions & print media about the price tag which even a beggar won’t bother to receive. A visibly insulted beggar association had called for a press conference and said it will henceforth receive only pizza & burger as minimum food item. Utilizing the press conference, the beggars association unveiled its own scheme for the Aadi month. It will sell all of it utensils for a mere two crore Indian rupee. Industry sources reveal that Mr.Kalmadi has already booked all those utensils for the large banquette he is planning for the opening ceremony of CWG. Not withstanding the heat of its own suns, the SUN family going to give away free Vettaikaran & Sura dvds for people who watch Deal-a No Deal-a. An interesting bait of a deal indeed. 

Monday, August 2, 2010


Music: A.R.Rahman

Endhiran though being a sci-fi movie is a love story of a robot at the core. Just like the name of the film the music or rather the sound of the album is robotic and techno. Rahman here plays by the cards handed over by Shankar and we can clearly imagine the magnitude of visual that the song will carry. More than magnificence the audio of Endhiran is all about experience. So I stopped stripping the songs and started enjoying it thanks to the lyrics. We can go on and on about the lyrics itself as they are surprisingly the highlight of most of the numbers – a feat in itself for a Rahman number. This doesn’t mean Rahman has been pushed to the backstage. It is more of him pushing the lyrics to the front. Take for example “Arima Arima” song. Even though every other song of Rahman has wonderful layers aiding the lyrics or mood, the way the beats and arrangement of instruments in this song aids the powerful lines, reverberates throughout our soul: especially through the line “un pachai thennai ootru” which comes after the humungous line “naan atlantickai otri parthen agni koraiya villai”. The beats aren’t new to ears or for that matter the song. We have heard the likes of it as “mudhalvane”, “kapal yeri poyachi” to name a few. But the whole package makes all the minute basic details stand out. This approach is carried over to “irumbile irudhayam” song too. It is more of a Barbie meets techo-pop song which gets a facelift thanks to Rahman’s impeccable variations at every phrase overcoming the harsh electronic synthesizing of his voice, making the song sound fresh to ears. Lyrics here too astonish us with lines like “google kaanada thedal ennodu” credits to Karki. Krish n Krishy play the perfect partners increasing the peppy quotient especially at the end when parallel tracks of her’s & Rahman’s play to us. Tested, often heard, or even clich├ęd method you might say but the song is nothing of that.

The race between lyrics and music touches newer heights with “Pudhiya manida” song. Rahman cleverly borrows the tune that is used as a chant while performing mantras to evoke this enthiran. The complements from the metallic voice of enthiran SPB and carnatic based human SPB in the style of a prayer connects humans, robots and this music to God. A love story of a robot need to have a romantic number and there comes “kadhal annukal” songs where again Vairamuthu creates robotic-romantic lines sung by the rustic Vijay Prakash and the ethereal Shreya Goshal; perfect choices indeed. The way the pair sings “kaadhal annukal” pallavi in typical western style brings life to the metallic heart. But shouldn’t there be a song for the gallery when Rajini is the star? How will the song be if he turns into a robot? “Boom Boom robo” answers that with the line “auto auto karan, automatic karan”. Reminiscing “thigu thigu” song, this Yogi B and Swetha Menon number is laced with synthesized trumpet sounds and vocals akin to the “boom boom” song by the same team, clearly meant for the fun visuals like “boom boom” song. The “boom boom robo” hanger over continues to “Chiti dance showcase” track, which from the mix we hear, can outdo the brilliance that Shankar showcased in “kannodu kanbadellam” song. Interestingly the song shifts mood only to reveal that is would be used as bgm throughout the movie. The grinding sounds of motors and the eery-techo feel fuses well and doesn’t make us feel they are individual set pieces that will be used for different scenes mainly due to the fusion of rap & carnatic, that loops as the background layer. Unlike all these numbers that fits the theme of the movie, “Kilimanjaro” which will feature the human Rajini takes a different path; that of tribal sound. The paced rendering by Chinmaye & Javed Ali which stresses out at unexpected places and goes for sharp falls often, keeps us entertaining.

Within the framework of songs for great visuals and situations that are larger than life, Rahman has created entertaining tunes which might sound simplistic now but from what the lyrics promises, the visuals could bring out hidden layers of the song complimenting the charisma of Rajni for which the songs were created in the first place.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Friendship day?

“So why do you celebrate friendship day?” I asked my friend peeved over the poetic soulless words I had been receiving the whole of today. “Just to tell you that I respect our friendship” she replied patiently knowing I have got into the instant depression mode I get into often (always) when it comes to PR (Personal Relationship). But do we really need that. I know what you mean to me and so do you.” I reasoned out realizing that she is trying to cope with my errant mood. “Didn’t you like it when I told you? That is all this is about.” – She said flat. With that tone I know at least now I should stop being obsessive about my problems and be more considerate. Yet I replied “but … think this way, you tell me this year and the next year too. But the year after that you forget to. Won’t I feel sad that you didn’t wish me?” She stood silent …

It is not the concept of friendship day that am against at; but the way it is being handled. It’s been putting across a lot of negativity for an event which was created to eradicate that. It is said that the concept of friendship day was created to reduce the tension after WWI and also among individuals. Are we really extending our hand here? (And by that I am not questioning charity here.) A friend of mine published a list of best friends in one of the social networking sites only to hurt a close friend of that person in discussion. It seems that person is sad over not featuring in the list. Doesn’t that itself make up for true friendship: a person sad over not being loved. Poor souls people like them are. They are the ones who cling to words. As a matter of fact, who doesn’t? We get pissed off by few strayed words that the person really didn’t mean. If a person stands up for him/herself at the expense of hurting the other person; will that point to the fact that the friend didn’t understand the character of the hurt inflicting person and made that person to do such an act; or that it shows how intangible people are. In the wave of complete openness of thoughts thanks to the social networking sites, the impact of numbering out people who are truly close to a person has explicit side effects. But why blame the tool when we as a person speak ‘love you guys’ to people who we don’t really care about; while not to the person who means a lot. We classify people into categories like best friend, friend, acquaintance and bill board them. We tie bands in hands or even write all (?) the friends (really?) name is shirts and hands; displaying it to the world? Is it for others to know who means a lot to you? If so why not name everyone who you think are in the list? And there are the poor souls again coming in to the picture. They might have thought they were close friends and when this event comes up; their opinion takes a beating, creating an impression that they are gullible. What could have become a strong friendship will remain an acquaintance here on. Why should people close the doors so harshly? Some defend that they send forward message to all in their contacts, spreading the warmth; that in itself is a back stab. It is like saying you are not worthy to get words out of my heart so I am forwarding you fabricated ones.

“but … think this way, you tell me this year and the next year too. But the year after that you forget to. Won’t I feel sad that you didn’t wish me?” She stood silent … In her silence I realized if that happens then that would be the perfect time for telling her how much she means to me. When we start valuing recognition than the pleasure of being friends we lose out all the happiness in life.

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