Vallavan- a rant

NOTE: This blog-post contains spoilers. It is about Vallavan and will put you off watching the film. If you continue reading, you will be convinced of how important this is.

This is more a blog-post to get something off my chest than to inform (considering the topic’s probably slightly old). So, in essence, a rant. Sorry about that, but this is too useful a platform to not use. 😀

Basically, the problem started when we decided to watch this film called ‘Vallavan”. As a family, we aren’t huge Simbu fans, for quite obvious reasons really, summed up by this quote from somewhere ( 😉 ) “The man is so twisted backwards that he could actually jump up his own arse and die.” Well, so, really, that was clue number 1 that we shouldn’t watch the film.

And number 2 was as easy to spot: the movie was given away free with another one. Now, call me stupid but I’m guessing people don’t do that if the film is selling like hot potatoes (or pizzas, to make the idiom current).

And number 3 was easy too, if you think about it. The song ‘Loosu penne’ was a huge give-away. Any song with the poetic lines ‘bedroom-fan-um keezhe vandu enne ezhupputhe’ is a glaring clue.

So, failure to heed these prophetic hints lead us down the path of doom (in simple terms, we watched the (god-cursed) film).

And what a film it was. Before I start enumerating its faults, I shall say this for the movie: it was useful watching it in the sense that all movies in the future will be judged by its standard of poorness. It has redefined ‘bad’. And ‘torture’ too, come to think of it.

So, now for the faults (visualize me rubbing my hands in anticipation at this point: this is my only way of revenging myself on the film).

  1. It was illogical, by any standards. Not just a few logical flaws that you’d grant any film really, but the inconsistency was so prevalent that there came a point where there wasn’t anything left to be consistent with! ‘Weirdly disconnected events’, as my brother would say. Apparently, the hero is initially a doormat made of pure gold (a good thing somehow). And the heroine/villainess is mental. Such a solid foundation for a movie, wouldn’t you say? And the villainess is a talented hit woman plus mimicry artist. At this stage, you can’t decide if you want to wipe away the tears of blood first, or indulge yourself in some mocking slow-clapping.
  2. It had Simbu in it. Says enough really. In future, we have decided to stop watching any films involving anyone related closely/distantly to the TR family. Not a risk worth taking. Too many bad memories could actually push one over the edge.
  3. Reema Sen is supposed to be 16 for almost half the movie. This was so easy to swallow, like the rest of the movie. Not.
  4. It had Simbu in it.
  5. The climax involves Simbu somehow knowing (telepathy?) that Reema is going to be released from the mental institution and he is there to ‘receive’ her. And apparently, their ‘quarrel’ continues. Though, please God, please, if this is the only wish you can ever grant me, make sure it is off-screen.
  6. It had Simbu in it.
  7. Reema Sen is desperate to enslave Simbu. For starters, it begs the question ‘why?’. Still even if we ignore this fallacy and look beyond that, it is still pretty unlikely that he is going to make up with someone who makes him clear up vomit. Logically speaking (yea, logic did in fact survive this movie and is still alive, though in intensive care), she would pick a different victim, not someone who knew she was mental.
  8. It had Simbu in it.
  9. Don’t get me started on Nayantara and her changing her mind every half an hour, depending on the shape of the teeth of the person speaking to her.
  10. It had Simbu in it.

And the list, would you believe it (I think you would), goes on. Though as most psychiatrists would advise, it is probably not best to dwell on past horrible experiences. Forget and heal.

I have to acknowledge, however, that I feel the need to say, as Reema Sen (repeatedly) says, ‘Onna vidamaatten’. Too much water under the bridge and all that. Maybe we should get Simbu to direct a film involving me, driven mad from watching Vallavan, getting revenge on him, pure-hearted special gift to Planet Earth from God. I hasten to add, that was just a joke. Please, under no circumstances, take me literally. Logic and I will die from such an experiment.

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The ELCC gets a xero – RIP letter ‘Z’

I’ve heard stupid things before, but this is outrageously stupid… The English Language Central Commission has decided to scrap the letter z from the alphabet.

This screws things up entirely… recite the alphabet and you realize the tunes all gone!!!

Their reason  –

After carefully considering and debating the matter for over two years, the ELCC came to the conclusion that the letter “Z” should be removed from the English alphabet. The main objective of this change is to simplify the phonetic aspect of the language, and to unify the American and British spellings.

Come on this is no way going to unify the spellings… americans are still going to use ‘color’ instead of ‘colour’ and ‘gray’ instead of ‘grey’… how are you going to fix that?

and what about all the words using ‘Z’???

letter Z

Words using the actual Z sound will be replaced with x … that means

  • zero becomes xero
  • zoo becomes xoo
  • zone becomes xone
  • zodiac becomes xodiac

Words using ‘z’ with the ‘s’ sound, will now be written with the “s” (apparently this unifies the American and British spelling)

  • visualize becomes visualise
  • analyze becomes analyse
  • materialize becomes materialise

The second category is fine to me, but the first one… so does buzzer become buxxer???

Talk about how new keyboards will be made that ought to be real messed up!!!

So come June 1st and the letter Z disappears…But i have feeling that this is just going to be official,people will continue to use Z and keyboards will have z for years to come!!!

RIP letter ‘Z’

The stranger on the roof

I stood there peering through the edge, while wondering how this visit to the empire state building would be any different. The last time I was here was 9 years ago, that was a family trip, this part of a conference. I watched as the people ran from side to side taking pictures of themselves and their loved ones, a proof that they had once been at the top of the tower. Some stood there in awe admiring the beauty of the city from this height, while others bought gifts and curios at the gift shop inside. What people failed to realize though is the fact that anyone could have bought the same items they did at shops anywhere in the city, for half the price.

Empire State Building

Then I noticed him, a frail old man standing at one corner. Dressed in a shirt that was much too big for him and holding an old bag that seemed older than he was, this man wasn’t running around taking photos, or glancing at the city or even buying curios. He just stood there gazing. Then suddenly he looked in my direction. One look into his eyes and I felt something different. Why I do not know but I walked up to this strange old man. “Good Morning!” No reply. I then thought to myself, “Why do I even bother?” and was about to walk away, and just I was doing so I caught his eyes once again. There was something wrong, and so I ventured once again “Is anything wrong?” and again no reply!

Just as I walk away “Its just….nothing.” I turned around, there was something about this old man that filled me with sympathy even though I had hardly seen him. Was it because he could barely walk? Or was it because of that innocent yet deep look in his face? To this day I do not know. “If I can help you, I’d be glad!” at this point the man almost broke down. “I came here with my daughter-in-law, we had a fight and she left, I don’t have any money to get home.” I’m never a sucker for such stories, and yet this time it seemed so different. Someone tapped me on my shoulder “Hey, time to leave man, we have to be back at the pick up point if we want to go with the group on time!” Being on my own I didn’t have much money myself, but after digging around my bag, I handed the man $5, “That’s all I have right now, hope you can make it home with that!”

And with that I left for the place where the bus was supposed to pick us up. I felt within myself great happiness, I may not have solved his problem, but I had done the best I could. There the bus was long; apparently it was caught in traffic. The bus came and the group got on. I found myself a seat by the window! The bus was inching forward in the traffic jam. I glanced out the window and saw the old man walking. I watched to see what he would do. I watched in awe as he walked into the bar!

The tragegy, that is school – An Economics Class

“Remember class.The questionnaire is supposed to be ambiguous,”my teacher said.I stared at the board feeling bored in my economics class.I yawned helplessly for the twentieth time.My teacher noticed that.She’d noticed all my yawns apparentely.She raised an eyebrow which meant,”How can you possibly be so bored?”.I stared down at my desk and my notes which were illegible.She did not bother telling me to sit straight and pay attention.She was used to my lack of enthusiasm.

Economics

“Let us revise what we learnt yesterday,”she said suddenly.
I did not know anything.Great!
She questioned the class something which according to me was not english.She said,”Name a demerit of mail survery.”
As if i knew what that even was!One hand went up.It belonged to a girl who i referred to as “smart girl”.She said,’There is less opportunity to provide assisstance in clarrifying instructions,so there is a possibility of misinterpretation of questions.”My teacher beamed at her.I rolled my eyes.I stared at my partner who i commonly referred to as “nodding girl”.Whether she understood what was going on in class or not,she wouldn’t stop nodding.But it is a clever way of gaining the teacher’s partiality.I stared at my watch only to be distressed.We had two classes of economics today.This was the first class going on.And only fifteen minutes out of forty minutes were over.Perfect!
‘Yes,Miss Andal.”
Why did she call my name?
“Haan?,”I replied.
“I was hoping for an answer to my question”
“Sure.”I stood up uneasily.What was the question?
“Let me repeat my question,Miss Andal.What is the method of collecting primary data?”
“Umm…right!Primary data…”
All the student eyes in class were fixed on me.The door was ajar.I was contemplating on whether to run out of the class or not.
My teacher then said,”Do we have to wait all day?”
“No.I’m sorry but i have no idea about what you asked.”
She sighed.”Miss Andal,I think i’d like to give you an advice.Pay attention in class.It might actually help you during exams.”
I was so embarrassed.I sat down slowly.I saw a few girls giggling.Curse them!
Then my teacher said,”I think I gave you homework yesterday.I’ll be checking it after the first bell.Please keep your notebooks open on your desks.”
Great!I forgot my homework.She can’t possibly expect us to do our homework everyday.I never really do my homework.Besides, we are in the eleventh grade.No one checks homework anymore.Noone but her.I don’t think i have any excuses left.I’d already tried “My register fell out of the window” and “My register fell in the drainage” and not to forget”My sister tore my register”.They worked pretty well.brinngg!!!!!!Great!The first bell rang.My teacher walked desk by desk slowly.The pen in her hand looked like a gun.She came towards me and held a finger up to prevent me from giving an excuse.
“What is it this time?A dog ate it up?”
“Actually,it is simple this time.I forgot.”
“A good one finally.Miss Andal,how much does this subject trouble you?”
“More than necessary”
She smiled.”Take your seat.No point in actually telling you anything.”
“I can’t agree more”
She rolled her eyes.Somehow the second period passed uneventfully.The bell rang and i was so happy that i could dance.My teacher got up from her seat and winked at me.She went out of the class.I jumped up and took out my library card.I loved library and Physical Education.They were the next two classes.This is life!I was the first one at the door.I opened the door and saw a scary figure coming towards me.My economics teacher!I ran and sat on my chair.She came with a happy face and said,”Girls, good news!Your library and Physical Education teachers are absent.And i’m free these two periods.So i’ll be taking your class.”
I groaned.Great!This has to be the wrost day of my life.I yawned helplessly for the twenty-first time.She noticed that too.

By

Andal Srivatsan

Dear Parent, I love you but…

Oh ignorant parent of mine, there is only thing I will say to you.  And that is I’m not 5 years old any more. And if you can’t face that, you’re the child. And if you think that I’m still a child, tough. It’s time to break it to you, and I don’t think breaking it gently is going to help…

When you leave the house for a couple of hours, you give us 500 thousand million instructions, 90% of which you would hope I would have learnt from surviving to be 17 on Planet Earth. The useful 10% comes from the debrief about the washing machine and which button does what. That, and the all-useful “Here’s the emergency money”. The other 90%… for instance, I will not forget to eat because you haven’t told me. I won’t forget to wear a coat if I leave the house. No, I don’t intend to freeze myself for fun, although it has to be said it is a rare form of entertainment. I won’t forget my shoes either, when have I EVER forgotten my shoes? I will not forget to switch off the oven, although if the house burns down that would be good entertainment. And NO, I am not watching TV! Sound familiar? Yes, dear parent. We understand your increasing need to micromanage our activity so you can feel like the adult, but at one point it’s just too much to take. It is one thing to be the adult, and another to be a deranged, controlling psycho-maniac.

And when we venture into the dangerous land of the “outside world”, you cannot make yourself believe that we will ever have the skill to survive. I can find the bus stop without you escorting me, for my “safety” (Yes, because hobos live down my street and rather asking for money they find it more rewarding to attack defenceless young people walking by?). I can get on the right bus without falling, hurting my head and consequently suffering a coma, would you believe it? I can, yes, find my way back home even after its dark. The house doesn’t morph to form an igloo at night and mighty thanks to Edison for the invention of bulb, I won’t even need night vision. I won’t contract swine flu on the way because invisible germs have been sitting on me. I won’t die of a cold although I will pretend to, just to take the piss, and NO, me and my study buddy are not watching TV! What is this stereotype about teenagers watching TV all the time anyways?!

In some ways it makes sense. Even in the natural world, the animal will look after its offspring with over-protective care. Have you seen a  cat around its new-born kitten. It’s viciously protective. And yes, it is parental instinct to protect your child, but not to the extent to never letting us grow up. Parents merely assume that they know best. What a load of crap. Parents, you are just as flawed as us, and it’s about time you faced it. Just because you have been around for longer, does not make you instantly wise or flawless. Seriously have you seen yourself drive? Or run a red light, or get a speeding ticket? As I was saying, just as flawed. My all-time favourite is the omniscient and smug “You don’t know it. But you’re still  a child”. Is that right? Surely I can’t be old enough to take on the physically exhausting and mentally scarring task of cleaning my room?

Strangers in paradise :)

There are people we meet every day in our lives , I tried to look through most of them and understand a lot of things. But to my surprise there is one unexpected stranger I am stuck with for sometime and slowly getting addicted to…… A Beautiful stranger .
When I googled the synonym for “strange”, it read “foreigner, alien, outsider, visitor, guest, new arrival”..let me elobarate..yes she is a foreigner not from my mother land but from a father land, alien…her world and her thoughts ..her view ..her perception ..her ideology of life, a guest I will care for , a new arrival ..into my life in a difficult period when I was confused and condemned ..so that’s why I refer to her as a stranger .
 
Paradise lost and gained :
We are in this strange world of conversation…hmm.hmm ..Confession, confusion, consultation, conclusion. We have created this world for ourselves with the darkness around us and the light in our eyes and our thoughts to keep us awake all night long.This World is the most peaceful place where we have discussed every thing a human being can think about . Things that a girl can talk about to a girl and a man can talk about to a man …  distant from gender ,sex, colour, character biases.
Chaste as children of God we have never been scared to do things and discuss taboos , laughing and giggling at our worlds so far but yet so near . Thats how I see her…. I see the world though her eyes and she sees the world through my words. As it goes on  , can any one come between our  world where we are totally free from everything ? non stop , non censored , non committed , non violent 🙂
Neither I have never missed her in my dreams , nor has she missed my physical presence . I try to think of a perfect word to define our strange cross road???. I just cannot define her in a word , for the first time in my life I am unable to express my feeling and define a being  in my life. Am I not expressive? Doubts start to linger in my mind.
I am not scared in my mind , we still go over it again . I find it interesting that we are still not scared to open up about anything . After all the debate in my head about defining her, I finally feel foolish as I already did so at the very beginning as a BEAUTIFUL STRANGER and that is why we are not confused .
Defiant and determined, I do on not  want to lose this feeling of emotional bliss I am experiencing for the first time with out the prejudice of a physical need . Beauty in this world defined in a different way , differentiating  it from the cliché of the world and better defined as a stranger so known ,so far apart in thoughts ,yet so physically distinct and distant. Can the world take this definition?
So it is just a conjecture, a proposition that is unproven but appears correct and has not been disproven 😉

Stop stereotyping me, and I won’t criticise you.

I am the NRI that some of you will loathe for no apparent reason. I am the NRI who will get called a “vetti scene” for no apparent reason. I am the NRI that people will judge within seconds of getting to know me. And I am not one bit ashamed of who I am, or the fact that I am an NRI because that’s what life has dealt for me, and I’m not gonna weep about it, for no apparent reason.

So I was visiting my relatives in India last summer, and even before I could say anything I realised that there was a stereotype going on, and boy did it get on my nerves. We stayed at my aunt’s house overnight, and the next morning I woke up, made my bed and dadida… My aunt was surprised beyond expression that I had made my bed without waiting for anyone else to do it. She goes, “Wow, you kids are so goooood. I mean, given that you live abroad and all, you woke up and made your own bed!” A seeming compliment, surrounded by ludicrous assumptions. Just because I live in a different country, does not mean I don’t ever make my bed. I bit my lip, and let it pass. She was an ignorant 55 year old, and a sharp come back would only worsen the scenario.

But then came lunch time. And as ever, I dreaded it. I dreaded being forced to more than I would want to, and dreaded even more the aftermath of all that over-eating. But lunch went well, and she let me choose whatever I wanted, and let me be. To throw the game back into balance, she would then go on to criticise my clothes, my hair, and worst of all, tell me that I looked “too dark” to be living abroad, and ask me to use the white powdery stuff that is commonly used to make yourself fairer. I bit my lip, and let it pass. I wouldn’t fight the ignorant, because that was a criminal waste of time. Shallow much, o holy Aunt of mine?

I would then make my way to my Grandma’s house, who would unceremoniously comment on (care to take a guess?) my clothes, my hair and tell me I need to put on some weight. I don’t, that’s just the standard old generation thing to do. She would go the extra mile to tell me that I had to have my hair in pigtails (which being 17, I am far too old for) as my cousin did. I refuse to let her do my hair, not only because I hated the pigtails look, but also because I wouldn’t let myself be bullied by this old, frail woman. I refused to let anyone touch my hair, as they approached with the unholy coconut oil. Oh the icky grease of the coconut oil. Don’t tell me about the health benefits, I doubt there are any. Coconut oil is icky for all I care and not because I am an NRI but because I am a free individual I will not let myself to subjected to it. Yes, I will criticise this ludicrous oil-applying practice because I know I am a free individual. That’s got nothing to do with the fact that I’m an NRI. And as for my clothes, I dressed respectably. Just because I refused to drape myself in ludicrously uncomfortable saree or half-saree (which I have to admit is pretty and the ideal attire for a special occasion) every single day, does not make me a snobbish NRI.

More stereotypical comments came my way and I bit my lip once again. My other aunt tells me, “Girls, you will be very happy in this household. There’s all the good shampoo and the nice handwash….” Pause.  Why the assumption that the shampoo and the handwash would make me happy?! Surely happiness is a state of being, not a state of ownership?I was actually depressed at the superficiality surrounding me. I was depressed that relatives who had watched me grow up and had seen me everyday until 3 years ago, were only too willing to assume that I had somehow become superficial and shallow in the time I spent abroad. And what aggravated me even more was the fact that they put themselves higher up the morality scale because of these assumptions. I wanted to point out the various flaws in their glorified “tradition” and “values” and their inherent inability to look beyond the exterior. But I bit my lip, I let it pass. My depression and refusal to explain it, was interpreted as “Oh, she comes from abroad. Indian living conditions don’t suit her.” I was lost for words. (If you know me, you’d know how rare that is).

Next time, perhaps I won’t bite my lip. Next time, I won’t let it pass. I will defend my view knowing that I am justified by what I, as an individual believe in, and I didn’t need to dress a certain way, or do my hair up in plaits or apply a stupid fairness cream/powder to be accepted. Hell, I didn’t need to accepted in such a world, where fairness and pigtails gain you brownie points. I just won’t, because it goes against everything I believe I stand for.

All there is to say is that there are those who will get to know me for who I am and not judge me by my NRI tag. And then there are those who will attribute everything I do to my NRI status. That’s just all there is to it.