Friday, November 24, 2006

been there, done that

that mandatory i'm-back-in-india post
sat morning, filter coffee in a stainless steel tumbler..steaming hot but not for long..frantic search for the hindu crossie after finding someone had moved it from the top left corner of the last page. 1 clue solved on paper. yup..i'm back.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

nobody does it better

one after the other we've watched each bond deftly handle anything with wheels , tank treads or long sexy legs in nearly every photogenic city in the world from udaipur to moscow. while each one had his own style, he was still being paid by the queen to cavort around the world enjoying gizmos and girls and to me it seemed like he was not working hard enough for his paycheck. or so i thought. the first few minutes of this movie were enough to justify the salaries of many future bonds.

the bond character begins his nascent journey with a black and white opening montage that shows his first kill. the title song that follows hints that something is different by eschewing the sexy silhouettes and instead opts for some wonderful animation which along with a great song had me mesmerized for a bit. the main movie opens with a spectacular, gritty chase/fight that quickly leads us to another - the pace of the movie and the camera trying really hard to keep up with daniel craig as he races down streets and tarmacs. by the time the camera finally catches up, he has settled down with a martini built to order to play a round of poker. for a good 45 minutes or so you forget that it is bond, as he sits battling wits with his nemesis instead of using a pair of x-ray glasses to look at his cards and his girlfriend's choice of lingerie. this one is certainly a little different. martin campbell,knowing that his US audience has been trained on non-stop tv screenings of world poker championships, deftly swaps bacarrat for texas hold em and it results in an engaging game that everyone vicariously enjoys. i know i did.

the movie then switches to a gear that none of bond's aston martin vanquishes or bmws have ever experienced as he falls headlong in love with the bond girl. eva green does not emerge from the ocean in a bikini. she instead proves to be a bond girl who is aware of bond's nature - a side that other bond girls are happy to ignore. remember though that this tale is of bond's yesteryears. he will change and sadly so will his women. the movie however loses its pace at this juncture. we are forced to wait and watch till he shows up at the end again, utters the most famous line in movie history and monty norman's legendary soundrack fills the theatre for the first time in the movie as the credits start rolling. we now know for sure that bond is back.

Friday, November 17, 2006

change of address

i'll be temporarily relocating to my awesome madras from the 25th of this month till the 11th of the next. anyone who's around there at the same time and sort of knows me pls crawl out of the woodwork and give me a sign ( a mail will do). we can attempt to meet up and agree that nothing has changed one bit in all this time.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

vowel movement

the series of tubes that are the internet are, more so than ever, filled with jobs and money jostling for space with porn while shooting across continents. like the ever mercurial corporation water (no folks i'm not pointing rather slyly to trace amounts of mercury in chennai's water), these tubes lead to taps that pour these jobs in the far eastern (and southeastern) while drying up and spewing just air in others and the money into the coffers of the corporations of the west ( or so i heard) (wow 3 parenthesised sub-sentences within 1..wait now it's 4)..where was i? oh yeah so the internets are filled with these already. i say we add to the traffic and create global equality in yet another dimension.

during a nets basketball game i noticed a player named krstic. the paucity of vowels in the name struck me. here is a 7 foot man whose ancestors probably had no appreciation for the 5 greatest letters of all time and labelled him with a 3cm name. without a lot of research i promptly concluded that entire serbia & montenegro football team probably has lesser vowels than a respectable south indian last name. this imbalance is shocking. on one hand are people who are embarrassed by the shortness of their names while the ananthapadmanabhans of this world relax by drowning in bathtubs of leo coffee, secure in the knowledge that they have a million a's locked up tight.

so i propose a charity that is run not on money but on phonemes - the very letters that make our names. i'm still working it all out in my head, but i suppose that we (ie south indians with long names) will be the largest donators of vowels. from the chinese and the poles we shall take some x's, z's and y's . the russians can give us some v's and from africa's bushmen we'll get some clicks. its time someone made the rules up and led the way to a fair and balanced world where no one will be asked to spell their last names thus saving me about five minutes each time i call customer service. i will gladly give up the 7 vowels in my name. how much will you give to make the world, not only flat, but also a uniformly lengthy place?

Friday, November 03, 2006

Domo arigato, mr.Roboto

conversations that begin with the question "what is name of the chief villain in giant robot" often end up increasing the ranks of sites containing words like jhonny sokko, giant robot and giant robot+monsters. they also often end up hitting the rewind button in the brain with the effectiveness of a two ton hammer.

i belong to the age when the number of channels on tv could be counted using the binary system. we had on and then off. the on state followed a rather strict schedule. monday - vayalum vazhvum, tuesday-some sad stage drama usually featuring a crying anandhi (thats her on the left) , wednesdays - chitrahaar, thursdays - i dont remember, it used to be honi anhoni or some such strange thing and fridays - olium ozhium. it was also the time when a sheet with some weird lines would be shown to indicate that there was nothing being transmitted. yup there were long stretches of time when there was nothing on tv (yikes!!). the national pastime was to wait till the swirling galaxy-like twin swooshes of dd arrived to some ominous (tabla?) music announcing that it was showtime. it was rare to see anything in a language that was not tamil, hindi or one of the million regional languages that usually got the 1.30pm sunday movie slot - the one that'd get turned on if u ever wanted to sleep after a nice sunday meal.

in between this cornucopia of high quality tv entertainment, we were also treated now and then to what can only be described as the best sci-fi series evvvver. we knew it as giant robot while the west knows it as jhonny sokko and the flying robot. it probably made several kids want to be a japanese kid with a flip watch on the wrist to control a giant robot. i was one of them. i could recognize the sounds that the robot made (as it went through some elegant calisthenics before its flight) from the playground and would be in front of a tv in moments. the villainous monsters were equally good (or bad). i dont remember the complete series but i do remember dracolon, the gargoyle gang and - as my friend pointed out the answer to the question - emperor guillotine. the search of course led us straight to you tube and so i have a video to show. i dedicate this one minute video ( though it is not mine) to our old black and white dyanora with its glorious 2 channel twisty knob.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

golt is my other tongue

as the story goes, my first spoken word was "koochu". nope, i wasnt trying to say koochiekoo to myself like adults who use that with babies assuming that something that sounds funny to them is obviously funny to everyone else. it is not. try explaining a joke. neither is it a mangled version of "couture" which if i'd been the offspring of a french designer and a super model might've been perfectly acceptable. koochu translates to "sit" in mana andhra naadu and in most neighborhoods of chennai. despite its obvious meaning it made my mom jump to attention and take notice. my neighbors then who were from the golt land often took care of me and somehow the rarefied golt air that i breathed while there had found its way into my vocabulary. i kind of lost touch after we moved and while hindi and english would torture me to no end, golt became, as the cliche goes, like hebrew and aramaic to me.

sometime in the late cable tv age, like a radio picking up ceylon signals on a rare night, i began picking up on it again. the signal was much stronger though and emanated from the strong transmitters of gemini and eenadu tvs. i spent a large portion of time on these channels in college and realised that despite the language, all djs were born with really strong neck muscles that enabled them to bob that head a million times a minute. and when the sunday cartoons ended after mowgli went swinging away to "cheddi pehen ke phool kila hai", i'd promptly switch over to whatever was on those channels.

so where is all this going. well it ends up in something i need. i'm one of the biggest tamil fans of golt cinema. i see them whenever i can and really like the music but it is kind hard to appreciate the song without understanding the lyrics. what i need is some information from the large golt population that regularly cause my blog to become unavailable (of course i know of none, so if u r there, pls raise your hand) to point to me some place that translates golt songs into somewhat proper english. actually i'm open to a barter...i'll translate any tamil song you like for a golt song.