Monday, March 27, 2006

adi thadi academy

with age comes wisdom. so what was that stuff they taught us in school and college? pointless question. the wisdom i've gleaned from so many years of movie watching is about to take tangible shape. it is time do something constructive. i'm planning on starting the rather cheekily named International Institute in India for Professional Practice of Movie Material (henceforth referred to as IIIPPMM). the main reason for this decision, is a concentration that is not offered in any university,college or film institute. IIIPPMM shall be the first institute to offer a graduate degree geared towards making violent,angry young men out of mostly vetti young men.

our vetti youth have always relied on tamil movies for their "original" acts in life and the recent trend has moved the focus away from US bound (or returned) youth to inner madras youth who anyway end up getting the lass. taking advantage of this trend, i predict that this program will be a runaway hit though the movies that inspired it haven't really made much. the course will of course cover all aspects of rowdyism and thuggery.

for starters there will be an "introduction to angry flashbacks" in which students will be taught the unique skill of choosing a template and filling in the blanks to get a teary/violent/blood-filled flashback that sufficiently establishes reason for the massive bone breaking that will occur later in life. there will be a final project in this course based on which the students will get to choose a girl from our other program that offers a post graduate degree on "how to love a rowdy". you have to understand that these girls are already literate (and zoom around on a scooty/sunny) unlike our vetti brethren who due to their childhood( see "intro to angry flashbacks" final project) have not had the same education. while this may seem like a swayamvara, it actually serves to irritate the less "bright" students and the prettier the girl is, the harder-to-get she'll play. thus irking all the youth just a bit.

the following semester this irritation will grow into a small rage that will be just right for the next course "solid DEInamics". this is a interactive class where students stand about 3 feet from each other and try to blast the other across the room by just yelling "DEI". other courses will teach valuable skills like choosing a nickname . the rationale is much like that of choosing your starwars name. you start with the vegetable you hated most in your childhood( or fake childhood from flashback 101), cut out the last part and add the name of a street on which your friend lived. this does not always work though.mine is something like "kathri fourth seaward", menacing eh? in between all this of course lies another course where you'll have to sneak off to meet with your life-partner in crime while the professors (real life rowdies of course) chase you all around the campus in a toyota qualis carrying aruvas. there is a bonus for students who totally avoid other students which is of course rather easy. how often have you seen rowdy heroes from five different movies set in the same city around the same time cross paths? it just doesn't happen.

for those that don't clear this stage, we'll be offering a shortened program. a diploma in sidekickonomics - the art of playing second fiddle. your girl will be stripped...wait, wait..i meant stripped from you and given to a more deserving, aspiring rowdy. you'll gravitate towards courses where they teach skills like telling bad jokes, advising your graduate friend and in general how to die in such a way so as to stoke that rage in your pal into a flaming anger.

finally the graduates from the angry youth program will get one year to setup and win a showdown with the graduates from the bad guys school of ultimate badness. at the end we'll call eminent personalities from the city who've all been rowdies to reminisce about their past. we are sure this will inspire our students to follow their chosen career path and beat up at least 20 people before donning white clothes, let loose a few doves and start colleges of their own.

as all ideas go this is all still in my head but i'm hopeful it'll pan out. if not a building, i'll probably create characters like harry paruppu and a magical rowdy school called "roguewarts" on a post-it note and hope that it becomes a best-seller. you'll all buy it right??

disclaimer: IIIPPMM is not affiliated to any other weirdly named official body. it is located on the very little gooey grey matter that helps power my feeble imagination.

Monday, March 13, 2006

the one two punch

by now its common knowledge that i'm a connossieur of fine motion pictures. continuing in the same vein i present to you 'thotti jaya'. a film that redefines words like trite and hackneyed in its own banal style. i was rather curious as to how they'll work the name of the movie into the story and had some glorious theories that evaporated in the very first scene. as a child the eponymous hero works in a restaurant washing dishes using thengai naaru in a 'thotti' full of water. now why they'd choose the thotti and not the thenga naaru as a title is beyond me. the boy quickly discovers that he doesnt really like washing vessels and that fate has more in store for him. fast forward a few years and our thotti has a beard and is now cleaning up enemies for his boss, a rather avuncularly named expected the story is unexpectedly predictable after that. he goes to calcutta to hide from the police where this girl quite literally bumps into him asking him to save her from some drunk goons. he brings her back home, tells her he is not the kind that suffers sitting in a plush chair in a ac cubicle just to play stickcricket(addictive.u've been warned). yet she chooses to love him. later he finds out she is cheena-thaana's daughter, the twist being that she herself did not know. he runs with her and due to some particularly inept project management practices cheena-thaana keeps losing the pair until in the end thotti kills cheena-thaana and then apologises to him. the first half was quick with only 2 songs and even better chimpu does not speak/act much. the second half drags as he gingerly breaks the arms of about 40-50 goons and causes orthopedists everywhere to declare holidays in his name. he also attempts to educate the masses that rowdies have hearts and though they may throw acid and break other's arms they deeply repent doing so. so next time you encounter that friendly neighborhood goon of yours do enquire about his health.

if you thought it difficult to follow such an act, fear not. thotti was rightfully succeeded by a screening of delta force 2. to watch chuck norris single handedly dismantle a whole south american cartel including drug labs, poppy fields, dangerous henchmen and ancient inca artifacts standing in the drug lord's bedroom is like flipping through a set of postcards of the seven wonders of the world. that was a random metaphor. what i meant to say was that it is beyond comprehension or description. i didnt catch much of the story, given that there was none. i could guess it was south america because there was mention of a president alcazar (nope not the one from tintin). because they named it thus there are some 4 or 5 commandoes who, while sweeping through the remains of aforementioned carnage, take care to attach explosives to each of the few strands of grass that survived norris. the ad breaks in between made me a little sleepy but i vaguely remember there was an ad in between for a drug that promised to make one look 20 years younger and i woozily wondered what would happen if a 19 year old took the drug. of course i woke up as soon as the annihilation resumed. between two breaks i counted around 174 roundhouse kicks from his right leg alone. the main villain is again a moron. having never seen delta force 1 , he puts chuck norris in an unbreakable glass cabin and releases nerve gas into it. chuck, never having learned prefixes like 'un-' , 'im-' or 'non-' , ignores the labels on the glass and breaks out of the cabin. after losing their entire economy, the natives lustily cheer chuck norris as the delta force arrives in time to airlift him.

the similarities were remarkable to ignore even at 2.00am. two heroes both wearing all black and sporting beards remorselessly breaking arms and necks of fellow humans to save what they treasure most - one his woman and the other his country. and to top it all both their names start with 'ch'. coincidence? i think not.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

bore yourself some coffee

the setting is quite familiar. one-time avid blogger has been posting rather infrequently due to various reasons. millions of readers grow weary waiting for posts, there is worldwide speculation about the blogger, a meme about the top 10 guesses for the absence of posts is started by the blogger himself. it traverses exactly 0 blogs. blogger dreams up vague topics then trashes them as they are worse than the meme idea. like a caffeine addict who has gone the first half of the day without coffee, a nagging feeling starts taking control. mere facts are hypothesised to have mucho blogging potential. some one-liners start looking like inner cores around which planets and solar systems could be built.

that is for most other avid bloggers. i am too lazy to get that worked up (or so i claim). i just decided to go the gimmicky way. it is fast, easy and i don't have to think. so what does an idea-starved blogger do when he/she is in the caffeine capital in the world (in the united states that is). he decides to blog about coffee. seeing that i've already praised the nectar to heaven i had only one recourse. i decided to rate the baristas of seattle.

any valuable scientific study such as this requires samples and most researchers who undertake such studies have vast armies of research assistants and government backing. i had a road map of seattle's downtown and my trusty piece of plastic. armed thus i started at the somewhat-tall-but-totally-not-worth-$14 space needle. needless to say there was a starbucks on its top. what was surprising that travelling a brief 600 feet vertically had caused the coffee to appreciate in value by about 60 cents. a quick calculation aided by my abysmal math skills revealed that if and when they put a starbucks on a space station (they surely will) one cup will probably cost the same as your arm(your cybernetic arm that is). the extra 70 cents made no difference in taste but a thought popped into my head. i had to rate the baristas so my 'millions of readers' could benefit from my experience.

the next cuppa joe was at another starbucks rather strategically placed near a bus stand at the base of the space needle. the very fact that it was cheaper by 60 cents made it taste better but my study was not one that would be swayed by external factors. the taste and taste alone would matter. it was a different blend. they called it nutty flavored. my sensitive palette however detected no difference. thats when it struck me that i had to use a wasabi equivalent in order to wash my mouth of the previous cup's taste. enter some breath mints. the next cup took awhile. a bus ride up to the south side of the city took me to pioneer place. this quaint side of town had relatively fewer starbucks per sq inch and my next cup was at tully's. i liked this cup a lot. the chalk board above the counter described it as smooth and bold. i thought it smelled good and was not too watery. 3 cups gone and tully's had been the best cup by far.

if u r a coffee drinker you proably also know it is a diuretic which means that it dehydrates the body rather quickly. which means that in studies such as this it is not enough if you find where the next sample will come from, you'll also have to make sure and locate somewhere that the previous sample can be evacuated in a sanitary manner. thankfully the coffee shops provided such outlets. the next stop was at a seattle's best shop. by far the worst cup i'd had that day. it was too light and i found after ingesting half a cup that i hadnt noticed the choice of a darker blend. by now the study was far from scientific and lacked the meticulous journaling that seem to accompany such ventures. nevertheless i pressed on and located this neat little shop called juan valdez. i found later that juan is the colombian guy with the donkey who symbolizes colombian coffee the world over. the coffee was good i taste buds were too tired to even realise that the drink was hot. i'd reached the extremes of coffee intake for a day and so i reluctantly gave up.

so that was that folks.i liked tullys but have thankfully gone back to drinking free coffee at work. then today my friend pointed me to this article on the web. i havent read it yet, will go fetch a cup and sit down to read it at leisure.