People watching at corn stall in front of Pazhamudhir Cholai:

Mr.Stoned – Rendu corn.(Starts walking away looking like he just landed on Earth from an alien spaceship and for the love of his life, doesn’t understand where he is or what he is doing.)

Corn Guy – Saar, saar… Cup aa stick aa??

Mr.Stoned – uh?? haaa…. Apdi na?

Corn Guy – (picks up a cup in one hand and a whole corn kernel in other hand and posing exactly like these telemarketers selling dandruff creams on tv) Cup aaaaa, stick aaaaa??

Mr.Stoned – Uh… cup (and starts walking away again)

Corn Guy – Saar, yenna flavour?

Mr.Stoned – huh??

Corn Guy – Pepper and saltu, butter and saltu, masala.

Mr.Stoned – (mumbles like his voice is too precious for the world to hear it)Yennavo podunga.

Corn Guy – (slowly starting to sound like my mother when she’s about to yell at me for something) Eating aa packing aa?

Mr.Stoned – Eh?? haaa…. ummm… (looks towards the Fruit stall and starts walking as if he’s attracted towards it by the undiscovered magnetic field of oranges and apples) Yedho pannunga pannunga…

Now Corn Guy starts muttering under his breath and making the corn. Well, i did strain my ears to catch the pleasant things he was saying but unfortunately he wasn’t loud enough. He goes on to pack two cups of plain corn and then got back to his other customers. After a solid 10 mins, our guy comes out of the fruit stall empty handed, walks right next to the corn stall without as much as glancing at it, and continues walking out of the gate.

Corn Guy – Saaarrrr, saaaaaaaarrr……. Yoooooovvvvvvvv!!

Mr. Stoned has safely crossed the road.

Corn Guy – Saavu kraaki, vandhu serraanunga paaru, $#@$#, $$#!# <insert (in)appropriate family/mother/sister scolding here>

My genuine kostin : Ganja vaa illa patta saaraayama??



Ms.Salwar kameez with gym shoes (hereafter referred to as Ms.SKWGS) – Annaaaa…annaaaa

Corn Guy doesn’t seem too pleased with this newly forming paasamalar relationship.

“One cup corn. Half steamed. No pepper. No salt. No butter. No chat masala. ”

Corn guy mutters under his breath ‘Corn aavadhu podalaama illa adhuvum venaama’ which Ms. SKWGS conveniently ignores. He hands her the cup starts to make the next one.

“Annaaa, this corn is too steamed. I want half steamed only.”

Corn guy gives her a blank look and bends down again.

“Can you just take some corn seperately and heat it just for 3 and a half minutes with0ut adding water and give me. Annaaaa?? This is just killing all the nutrients in the corn. It is not at all healthy…”

“Dha paaru maa..Venaaam na vechittu poikittee iru.”

Ms.SKWGS mutters “Kaasu kuduthiten la.. Yaen solla maata” and walks away.

My genuine kostin: Ivlo healthy ya saaptu yenna dhaan saadhikka poreenga??



Very rotund aunty balancing two bags filled with grocery, one more with fruits and yelling into phone while giving instructions to the Corn Guy.

“Oru corn. Cup.” Goes back to yelling into the phone to Chinnu who apparently has chosen not to do the day’s homework.

“Yenna flavor madam? Pepper and saltu, butter and saltu…”

“Butter. Chinnuuuuu, Amma solradhu kekala night pizza vaangi thara maaten. ”

“Madam masala podalaama?”

“B-U-T-T-E-R. CHINUUUU… Kadhula vizhudha illaya daaaaa???”

“Ummmm madam, pepper….”


Now corn guy seems really scared and puts three spoonfuls of butter into the small cup of corn and thrusts it humbly into the aunty’s hands.

She got into a waiting car and screamed at the driver to go to….. well,no points for guessing this one. Pizza Hut.

Ok, We get it. Butter. Cheese. Pizza. Anything fattening.



P.S. No, you are not allowed to ask whether I was so vetti and jobless to eavesdrop on a sweet corn seller’s conversation for so long. It is known. It is understood. Move on.

Moral of the story – Selling corn is a tough job.



So I fulfilled my first resolution of the New Year. Ok, I did it only because I wanted to do it very badly, but still just saying. Unlike last year when I ‘saw’ the Chennai Book Fair (henceforth very creatively referred to as CBF) from a moving vehicle almost one kilometer away from the entrance, because that’s how the long the entry queues were, I ‘went’ to CBF this time. Yes! Now CBF is something that I fantasize about for a full year, and then finally don’t make it when it’s on and remain disappointed for the rest of the year. Rows and rows of books stacked high, the smell of freshly printed paper, the haphazard wandering about in narrow corridors, drinking tea off small paper cups while fingering through newly bought books, the sweet corn and pani puri stalls, ok almost everything about the fair gives me a high just thinking about it. Having spent the entire last year sulking about not being able to go, I promptly made it this time armed with loads of reccos, not-so-much of cash, a ‘carrier’ who I’ll need in case I buy LOTS of books (carrier = P, of course) and a mighty bad cold.

I had managed to snoop around the CBF venue several times during the week and my first impression  was ‘Wow, they are majorly e-ottifying(which in case you don’t know, is the highly entertaining and productive occupation of shooing away flies and mosquitoes with bare hands, without the aid of advanced technology like the kosu-bat)this year!’. There was absolutely no crowd at the Fair during weekdays but I went on a holiday expecting sparse crowds perhaps, but Chennai had other plans. Half an hour after opening time, the place was packed and parking was already becoming a pain in unmentionable places. After managing to park in a weed-filled ditch and buying entrance tickets, rushed off inside the venue and whoa, it was as big as ever! And a LOT better organized as well. There were six or seven long neat columns dotted with separate shops for individual publishers/booksellers on either side. The place was well lit and the most useful feature was the presence of these huge hoardings right at the entrance to the columns listing out the shop names and numbers that are present there. Very nice touch! I remember this being there earlier also but it was a bit haphazardly done but this time it was done well. Thanks to these hoardings I didn’t have to navigate through the entire 600 plus shops to buy my books. I could just look at the board and check for the publishers who I want to visit and directly land there. Ka-ching!

This time I had gone to CBF with my mind fixed exclusively on Thamizh books because in Tamil Nadu’s capital city Singaara Chennai, hot-shot posh bookshops find it humiliating to stock up on thamizh literature except for absolutely indispensable treasures like ’60 வகை அசைவ சமையல்’ and ’30 நாட்களில் மலையாளம் கற்பது எப்படி’. So when you find separate rows for Twilight series and Chicken soup for the Agony aunt’s soul(ok, kidding), you hardly find a single shelf allocated for Thamizh books in Landmark or Odyssey. So CBF is the only time/place to stock up on regional reading unless you are superhuman enough to know how to order books from obscure publishing houses in Madurai or Kanyakumari. So I had my mental list all ready and scanned the hoardings for Uyirmai, Kaalachuvadu, Vijaya Padhipagam and other thamizh publishers and headed straight to these stalls. I did look around a bit here and there but amidst one stall of serious thamizh literature, I found fifteen others selling Panchatantra stories and self-help trash. And, as always these stalls were the most popular, being thronged by screaming kids and house wives looking to reach their man’s heart through the most obvious route – the stomach. Nice ambience actually if you don’t mind the pushing/jostling and high decibel levels.

Among the Thamizh publishers, Uyirmai attracted the largest crowds. I was even a bit surprised to see that there was hardly any standing space inside the Uyirmai stall with people jostling with full enthu and trying to grab books vigorously from shelves. And these people weren’t even the ‘Come-here-and-I-will-give-you-a-long-lecture-on-Sangam-literature’ jolna pai-soda butti wearing intellectual old types. They were all men and women, sorry, ONLY men of my age group, all under 30 and all looking very interested in S.Ra and Je Mo as much as they would be in Mc Donald’s burgers and evenings at some pub. In fact, it was such a relief to be at the Uyirmai stall after escaping the screeching kids and their screaming mothers in the other stalls. My only gripe at the stall was that I was the ONLY girl there and I couldn’t really hustle and jostle with hundred other men to lay my hands on the books. Now this is where the ‘Carrier’ comes into picture. Given his total distaste for books and reading of any kind except the technical, knowledge enhancing variety (yes, I live full time with a creature that you-tubes ‘brush gear assembly welding’ videos for ‘fun’ and orders Advanced mechanical technology from Amazon. Build me a temple 😐 ), P was being extremely nice and considerate, deftly catching and carrying all those books I threw him while being sandwiched between Guy-wanting-Sujatha-book and Guy-wanting-Jeyamohan book. He even gave me occasional suggestions like pointing out towards Sujatha’s introduction to Silapadhigaaram and saying ‘hey, that looks like something you may want to read!’ (Though his face looked totally distorted like the book was a slime ball worm and it was something I might want to eat and not read). I was happy he at least knew it was something I might want to read. And after frantic hurling of about 20 books into his now-buckling-under-pressure arms, I finally looked a bit apologetic about such a crazy haul, he magnanimously smiled and said, ‘Oh, no problem, buy as many as you want. Stock up.’ Of course, my eyes were beginning to widen like a tea saucer so he added, ‘As long as YOU pay for them.’ Being reminded about having to pay for them was my cue and I almost ran out of the stall to stop myself from looking or touching another book only to find myself in a serpentine queue at billing. Now wait, what was that? The cashier was totaling up values on his calculator and writing out a hand bill! Hello Uyirmai, pliss to be introduced to computers and databases! As the guy was furiously scratching ineligible book names on the bill and totaling up values (as fast as he was), a couple of people even dropped out of the queue, leaving their books behind. What a way to lose precious customers, especially when you are already running losses and a huge book fair like this would be a very important opportunity to raise revenues. Uyirmai please get electronic billing and ERP next year. Trust me, it’s not all that expensive. These things come as cheap as mobile phones these days and are an investment for any self respecting business venture.

I didn’t find any major cons at CBF this time. Maybe they could have had a couple of volunteers to guide people to issued pamphlets with stall locations because when the place gets crowded, it’s not feasible for a lot of people to stand near the entrance hoardings and search for the stalls they want to visit.

So there, after two hours of blissful book shopping, left the place to spend the rest of the Sunday smelling the books, reading blurbs and writing my name on all of them. After ages, a holiday well spent!


A friend was going through a very tough time recently. She put on a brave front and tried to keep it all inside until one day she could take it no more and burst  out with it to me. Clutching the phone so close to the ear that it hurt, I listened going increasingly numb with each passing second. She went on for what seemed like an eternity. I hadn’t uttered a single word through the entire conversation. Well, not really a conversation, more of a monologue. After unloading all that had been clogging her mind and eating into her life for so long, she hung up and I was left still clutching the phone tight to the ear, helplessly wondering if there was something I should have said to make her feel better. Something wise or witty. But well, as it was, I had not known what to say and she had hung up already. I felt stupid, lousy and totally not fit to be an agony aunt. A couple of days later she called back again.

“Hey…” she started, “I just hung up the other day. Didn’t even say bye…”

“Well, I didn’t even talk, for starters, so don’t you worry”

“Yeah, that’s what I called about. Thanks for listening Mi. Honestly. I’m so glad I spoke to you. I’m so glad ‘I’ spoke. For once I wasn’t listening to advice or being judged or getting scolded. I spoke. God knows after how long. Thanks for that. Really.”

I opened my mouth to say something, stopped, opened and closed the mouth two more times like a fish, and closed it shut again. Now was NOT the best time to tell her that I had actually been quiet and listened so much not because I was patient, understanding or sensitive but actually because I didn’t know what to say, how to console or what advice to give. Looks like my ignorance actually paid off and she felt much better after that monologue. Later rewinding that conversation, I understood that whatever she had said was absolutely true. Sometimes all you want is for people to listen to you. Just listen and not judge the situation, judge you, judge everybody around. I’ve felt the most relieved after long monologues with friends, after swearing, bitching and endlessly cribbing about how unfair things were, after dumping out all my angst in all possible ways, but mostly I’ve felt the best when they’ve just Listened. Listened and probably squeezed a hand or given a big hug or whispered a ‘it’s ok, this will pass’ over the phone. But what matters above everything else is that they listened. So maybe the next time someone comes to me with a problem, I’ll not be constructing soothing replies and tactical agony-aunt advice in my mind while pretending to listen to what they’re saying on the outside. Maybe I’ll just shut everything out and simply lend a ear. Because some things are best said when they’re left unsaid.

On a totally unrelated note, I realised that I’m so sentimentally attached to a lot of things in life that I’ve been using some stuff for years and years. Like, while combing today, I just realised that I’ve been using the same wide toothed pink comb for the *gasp* past eight years. I am not kidding. I’ve misplaced that comb many times, felt miserable thinking its lost but have always found it under the bed or below the medicine cabinet. It always comes back to me. And I don’t even feel like I’ve combed my hair if I don’t use THAT particular comb. How weird is that!  Ditto with Jemi, the stuffed pillow JP gifted me on a birthday couple of years ago.  I don’t sleep hugging stuffed toys or pillows (eeks!!), but if I don’t see Jemi propped majestically on the study table as soon as I wake up, as soon as I enter the room and as the last thing before I leave home in the morning, I end up feeling queasy all through the day, until I’ve seen Jemi in her usual place again. I get completely psyched out of I don’t find the particular pair of earphones I’ve been using for the past five years or if  that tattered bag I bought when I started college can’t be found when I look for it. It freaks me out that I’m so attached to these ‘things’. They’re not expensive, they’re not the best but somehow the memories attached to such stuff makes them all the more precious. I guess everybody has some stuff which brings back memories of fun times, of laughter and happiness, of friends and family, whenever they look at it. Maybe an old comb, a favorite dress, an autographed book or an old birthday card. And such things are treasured not for what they are but for what remind you of. Oh, and what do I say,talking and thinking up stuff like this, I freak myself out most of the time!! 😀

*Dedication Update*

This post is dedicated to Kavitha who I think is the only soul in the world who wants to read me and bugs me to death to write. Even if its nonsense. Thanks Kavi 🙂

When all else fails, there is music.

I’ve always wanted to make a list of the music that touches my heart – the kind of music that makes me laugh, that makes me nostalgic and gets me teary eyed,  the music which gets me tapping my feet and singing along with eyes closed, the songs that I turn to for solace when nothing seems to be going right, the songs that echo into the depths of my ears as I battle to bridge the space between sleep and wakefulness at nights. This is the first of many posts to follow, on the music that I live with. These are ten songs that are ALWAYS part of my playlist, irrespective of mood and time. Songs that I can never ever skip through to listen to the next number or change the channel when they play on television. These Thamizh melodies are some of the songs that I grew up with and I’m sure these will remain with me till I die.

Exactly in order of my preference, here we go…

Paartha nyaabagam illayo

Music: MS. Viswanathan

Singer: P. Susheela

Lyrics: Kannadasan

Film: Pudhiya Paravai (1964)

அந்த நீல நதிக்கரையோரம்
நீ நின்றிருந்தாய் அந்தி நேரம்
நான் பாடி வந்தேன் ஒரு ராகம்
நாம் பழகி வந்தோம் சில காலம்

A charming, debonair Sivaji, gracefully elegant,divine looking Sowcar Janaki, wistful lyrics with a touch of mysticism that seem to denote the torrential events to unfurl, sweeping melody and above all, the magical voice of P.Susheela. What’s not to love about this song? The outstanding orchestral arrangements at the time of minimal technology, the sounds blending into each other in layers without cluttering, but adding beauty as embellishments, the stylised singing befitting a stage singer, the song is perfect in every conceivable way. Every time I listen to this song, it makes me feel like I’m floating somewhere, weightless, nameless and ageless. This is the song of my lifetime.

Thenmadhurai vaigai nadhi

Music: Ilayaraaja

Singers: Malaysia Vasudevan, S P Balasubrahmanyam , P Susheela

Film: Dharmathin thalaivan (1978)

தேய்கின்றது பொன்மாலை நிலா

தேயாதது நம் ஆசை நிலா

இது வானம்போலே வாழும் பாசம்…

My playlist is never ever complete without this song. I’ve listened to this 40 times on loop once. Right from the piano bit that the song begins with, to that short and sweet cameo sung by Susheelamma at the end, to the seamless juxtaposing of the voices of SPB and Malaysia Vasudevan, to the simple yet lovingly earnest lyrics, I love every single note of this number. In fact, my love affair with Ilayaraaja’s music began with this song. For long, this remained the only Raaja song on my playlist. I was painfully ignorant of the Maestro’s other works and like a horse with blinkers, stuck to Rahman and the English music of my growing up years. The night this song played endlessly on my loop, it struck me as weird that I never tried discovering the music of the man who gave me this song that I love so much. That was the night I actually discovered Raaja and his music. The song remains all the more closer to my heart for that reason. And also, I loved Rajni in this song . He looked oh so dashing!!


Pennala pennala

Music: A.R.Rahman

Singer: S P Balasubrahmanyam

Lyrics: Vaali

Film: Uzhavan (1993)

தென்றலைப்போல நடப்பவள் எனைத்தழுவக் காத்துக்கிடப்பவள்

செந்தமிழ்நாட்டுத் திருமகள் எந்தன் தாய்க்கு வாய்த்த மருமகள்…

One of Rahman’s earlier numbers, this belongs to that age when his music was uncluttered and not too complicated to have to listen to it a million times before liking it. A man is about to wed and he describes his soon-to-be-bride to another woman in a fun, yet lovable way. I simply love Vaali’s lyrics, more so ever after seeing how women are described these days (case in point:  Kai thodum dhooram kaachavale. Yen pasi theeka vandhavale). SPB owns this song and how! This might be one of the very few instances when Rahman used minimal layering to great effect. A simple tune, some captivating lyrics, graceful, elegant singing and you have a bouncer of a song. My favorite lullaby, I’m always half asleep with a smile on my face by the time this song ends.


Thoda thoda malarndhadhenna

Music: A.R.Rahman

Singers: S P Balasubrahmanyam, Chitra.

Lyrics: Vairamuthu

Film: Indira (1995)

இலைமூடும் மலராக இதயத்தை மறைக்காதே

மலர்கொள்ளும் காற்றாக இதயத்தை உலுக்காதே…

The song opens to sounds of the forest, chirping of birds and flourishes mellifluously under the always awesome SPB-Chitra combination. Right from SPB’s magical voice starting to croon thoda thoda following a wispy flute note, this song is a lilting winner all the way. The entire song has a reminiscing tone, the mood shifting from love, passion, trepidation and sensuousness as the lyrics flow by. The sharp violin turns in the second interlude with the flute playing in between, when the grown up child-lovers kiss on screen is sheer genius. It’s almost like we hear their hearts beating fast with fear tinged passion. And most of all, the layering in music is not overdone and fits the song like a glove. A perfect midnight listen.


Raasaathi unna kaanaadha nenju

Music: Ilayaraaja

Singer: P. Jeyachandran

Film: Vaidehi Kaathirundhaal (1984)

யாரோடு இங்கு எனக்கென்ன பேச்சு

நீதானே கண்ணே நான்வாங்கும் மூச்சு

வாழ்ந்தாக வேண்டும் வா வா கண்ணே…

The ultimate pathos song for ages to come. The true beauty of the song lies in the fact that it has quite a cheerful melodic ring to it yet manages induce a sense of loss every time it’s heard. There is no sonorous single violin weeping in the background. No dragging choruses.  Instead all we have is some fabulous heavy duty opening orchestration and the crystal clear voice of Jeyachandran evoking bygone memories of a loved one. What I love about the song is that it brings out the very essence of Gabtun (err.. palakka dhosham)  Vijayakanth’s character in the movie. He isn’t wilting in the memory of the girl he so loved with all his heart. He isn’t singing sad ballads and waiting to die. He revels in the memories he has of her, of the anklet clad feet, jasmine flowers , the smile and the scent, he knows she lives within him and sings for her, with her, each night. If at all anyone feels the magnitude of his loss when he sings ‘vaazhndhaaga vendum, vaa vaa kanne’ it’s us, the listeners. That, my friends is the magic of the man called Ilayaraaja.


Minnale ni vandhadhaenadi

Music: A.R.Rahman

Singer: S P Balasubramanyam

Lyrics: Vairamuthu

Film: May Maadham

பால்மழைக்கு காத்திருக்கும் பூமி இல்லையா

ஒரு பண்டிகைக்குக் காத்திருக்கும் சாமி இல்லையா

வார்த்தைவரக் காத்திருக்கும் கவிஞனில்லையா

நான் காத்திருந்தால் காதல் இன்னும் நீளுமில்லையா…

The only other defining pathos song in Thamizh cinema in the last three decades. Magician SPB working wonders with his malleable voice yet again. Unlike ‘raasaathi unna’ which reflects an almost stoic , unconditional love that stands untarnished even with death, this number portrays the yearning and dejection of a young man who’s seen a sliver of sunshine in his petty life, only to be plucked unceremoniously off it just as he starts to bask under its warmth and glory. She is gone. He won’t accept it. The memories haunt him not to give strength but only to tear him apart. With lyrics like ‘kanneeril thee valarththu kaathirukiren, un kaaladithadathil naan poothirukiraen’, the pain is raw and immense. The agony of separation brought out in deep lows in the lyrics and the soaring waves of sadness in the stanza interludes, coupled with the dark visuals that complement the music, this song makes sense to anyone who has loved and lost. No, it makes perfect sense to anyone who’s loved.


Maraindhirundhe paarkum

Music: K.V.Mahadevan

Singer: P.Susheela

Film: Thillana Mohanambal

பாவை என் பதம் காண நாணமா?

உந்தன் பாட்டுக்கு நான் ஆட வேண்டாமா?

மாலவா வேலவா மாயவா சண்முகா…

Being a sucker for classical song-dance numbers (this love affair was extinguished unceremoniously after watching the visuals of that beautiful number ‘sowkiyamaa’ in Sangamam. The least they could have done is use an actress who could *dance* and not just pose.), it’s no surprise that I love this Mother of all classical dance numbers. Padmini overshadows anybody else on screen with that most dazzling screen presence, dance and expressions (for once even the man of a million expressions, Sivaji Ganesan is reduced to a side show behind a pillar), but if there’s someone who manages to even outshine the queen of dance, its none other than  P. Susheela. What Padmini does with a hundred mudras and all the swirling dance moves, Susheela  manages to do better with a honey laced voice that textures itself to wrap around the song like a fresh coat of warm fuzzy chocolate over melting ice cream. Especially when she sings that almost-a-whisper-almost-a-caress ‘Shanmugaa’ at the end of each charanam, one can’t help closing the eyes and just enjoying the divine rendition. Yes, I close my eyes even at Padmini. Susheelamma deserves that.

Sundhari, kannaal oru seidhi

Music: Ilayaraaja

Singers: S P Balasubrahmanyam, S Janaki

Lyrics: Vairamuthu

Film: Thalapathy (1991)

கோடி சுகம் வாராதோ நீ எனைத்தீண்டினால்

காயங்களும் ஆறாதோ நீ எதிர் தோன்றினால்…

A love ballad. Poetry in sound and motion. A gem of a composition. Starting with the sound of ringing bells and the sound of approaching men and horse hooves with a flute playing raw bamboo sounds in what seems to be a somewhat distant land, this song is magical to say the least. The opening orchestration which throws up a million tiny details before giving way to the first pallavi, never fails to give me goosebumps every time I listen to it. I’m not much of a fan of S.Janaki but I love her in this song and I’m already tired of writing about how wonderful a singer SPB is. If I could grant immortality to one man, I’d choose this honey throated gentle giant. I have no words to describe the ease with with the pallavi and charanam blend into each other at the end of each stanza. All I know is this is how a song should sound and feel like. Just perfect.


Anal mele paniththuli

Music: Harris Jayaraj

Singer: Sudha Raghunathan

Lyrics: Thaamarai

Film: Vaaranam Aayiram

எந்த காற்றின் அளாவலில் மலரிதழ்கள் விரிந்திடுமோ

எந்த தேவவினாடியில் மனஅறைகள் திறந்திடுமோ

ஒரு சிறுவலி இருந்ததுவே இதயத்திலே இதயத்திலே

உனதிருவிழி தடவியதால் அவிழ்ந்துவிட்டேன் மயக்கத்திலே…

The only Harris Jayaraj number I call a favorite. If this song sounds as haunting and old-worldly as it does, I think a major chunk of the credit should go to Sudha Raghunathan. Being sung by a renowned classical singer, the song might have become a showcase for her sangadhis and become gimmicky but she sings the song with so much restrain and charm, allowing the trained singer in her to surface only when required, that you can’t help marveling at the beauty of it. Also this is one of the very few songs where Harris doesn’t arrange the music to sound like a church choir song. And on top, the lyrics are a dream.  Who thinks up stuff like a dewdrop on a flame and  raindrop in search of a tree these days? Thaamarai is the woman and she rocks this song big time.



Music: Vidyasagar

Singers: Sriram Parthasarathy, Sadhana Sargam

Lyrics: Vairamuthu

Film: Anbe Sivam

ஒரு வானம் வரைய நீலவண்ணம் நம் காதல் வரைய என்ன வண்ணம்?

என் வெட்கத்தின் நிறம்தொட்டு விரல் என்னும் கோல்கொண்டு

நம் காதல் வரைவோமே வா…

Vidyasagar does melodies quite well. Earlier there was malare mounamaa, another lilting melody, but Poovaasam belonged more to my times. The singer Sriram Parthasarathy (For a long time I thought it was Vijay Prakash) holds the song with his amazing singing right from the first few notes and never lets attention waver from him. Sadhana Sargam has no choice but to play second fiddle in this number, and she deserves it for her blasphemous mispronunciations of Thamizh here. In fact, Sadhana’s singing which gets slightly shrill when she touches the higher notes is the only dampener for me in this otherwise beauty of a song. And oh, Kiran Rathod also dampens the visual effect a bit but what the heck, when Kamal Hassan scorches the screen as the dignified Nalla Sivam, who dares looking at anything else?


So then, just writing about these numbers spread a warm glow to my heart and a cheer to my face. Until I meet you again with my favorite dance hits, dappankuththus, item numbers, thathuva paatu etc etc, Live with the Music.

Hahahahahahaaaaa… No I’ve not lost it. I signed into my Gmail today wanting to clear up the mess in my inbox and ended up reading some of the most enlightening, thought provoking, life altering chat conversations I’ve had recently. They were so out of the world that I couldn’t resist posting some here. 😀 😀

Sample 1

This one was after a bessshhht friend who is an ‘almost’ journalist went to a World Cinema film festival with her first free Press Pass. God save World and Cinema!!

me: how did the film festival go?

padam la nalla irundhucha

u shud ve taken A (A, if you are reading this, note how highly I think of your cinema      appreciation sensibilities. 😛 )

he’d have enjoyed it much

R:   orey bore ya

I have realised I don’t have the patience for non commercial cinema man

me: u have patience for nothing non commercial

not just cinema

R: its soooo long and the camera dwells on each subject for at least 30 seconds and u       wanna tear ur hair out. see I don’t have the patience for looking at a man trimming his moustache for more than 2 seconds and 20 seconds of tat is like whoaaa

me: adhu kooda parava illa .. these film critics will write ‘that scene where he’s seen  trimming his moustache is so profound in detail’


me: as if avan meesai vetradhu holds the key to life

R: bulls eye man

one review I read celebrated him trimming his moustache


me: nejamava??



na summa velayaatukku sonaen


R: no man SERIOUS


“Basically he doesn’t want to be bothered. He doesn’t want to take the pains of finding a groom for his sister, which he knows will invite trouble about division of property etc. He is a man who is totally engrossed in himself. Throughout the film you see him preening himself; manicuring his fingers, trimming his moustache; oiling his body. He doesn’t share his fears, dreams or thoughts with anyone. He is obsessed with himself.”


idhu ellam 30 30 seconds ku film la kaatuva


oiling his body

George clooney body a irundha kooda parvailla


me: “the director makes a very subtle yet profound statement by holding his scissors at a 29 degree angle while trimming his moustache in leisure. Shows the vagaries and suffering of having a moustache and trimming it periodically in an understated yet impactful manner”


R: this u wrote a?

me: na art film critic aaga poren ya


can I use it in my review?

me: yeah I wrote



R: 😀

me: it’s the easiest I think

yaarkum puriyaadha madhri pesanum.

Sample 2

Early Monday morning. This girl, another close friend, pings first thing as soon as I switch on the laptop hoping for a good trouble free day. Confirms that my prayers are never ever answered.

K: Life is like a mountain. Reaching its peak is my aim. However trails are difficult to go through. But what’s important are – The lessons I’ve learned, Challenges I’ve experienced, and the people I’m with in my journey.

me: (thinking WTF) good morning de

K: good morning 🙂

paaru kalailaye am giving u such thought provoking quotes


me: :O


yenna koduma sir idhu

25 minutes later… K attacks again. 25 minutes

K: It’s not the presence of someone that brings meaning to life. But the way someone   touches your heart gives LIFE a beautiful meaning.

me: hey yenna di idhellaam??

yenna problem??



asingama thittu vaanga pora ni

K: status messages de

life bore adikkudhu nu sonnela

so am making it lively

me: (????)

Sabba!! What amazing friends I have!! What lengths they go to, to make life interesting for me!! Priceless!!

Sample 3

This again with my gonna-be journo friend after I gave her a link on how Gabtun is on  a recruitment hunt for Captain TV and told her she shouldn’t miss this opportunity of a lifetime for anything in the world. From Gabtun and cricket to Shahid and Priyanka, the bitching never ends. 😀 Srtictly not for Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra fans.

R: heyyy

Thanks for the link ya

totally saved my life ya

ever grateful a irrupen unnaku na

me: i know yaaaaaaaaaar

R*happy tears in eyes*

me: gabtun roxxxxxxx

R: totally yaar. captain toh ttly roxxx

me: i had those in my eyes too when I saw the link

felr sooooooooooo bad I wasn’t a journalist or into media

😦 u are sooooo lucky…

R: hey wat u rnt typin lik a moron. Lolzzzzz.. wat uncool lik u r typin full spllings and all?


vry vry lcky i m

i knw


R: 😀

me: chennai suxxxxxx

R: yaa. suxxx yaar. so hot dis city

alwys swtin

me: so happie dey lost ystrdy

aye balle balle

R: ya. so gld tat our gony (pnjabi guy na. lolzzzzz) plyed bad shots

me: super kings suxxx wonly cuz it has chennai in its name yaar

R: haan yaar. ttly

me: err

R: and preity wuz lukin soo hottt yaar

and yvraj’s tummy was lik so sexxxy

me: hey yaaaaaaaaar.. that trisha TOTALLY suxxxxxxxxxx (this is actually true)

R: shkin and movin and all

and tat ramesh powar toh luks lik southie only

all black

and yuck like southie


ya. trisha suxxxx, preity roxxxx

me: 😀



R: yenna achu?


me: my senior managers looking at me like I am crazy

R: and yenaala rhomba neram amit madri pesa mudiyadhu


me: I am laughing at the monitor like anything

R: :D. me too


but seriously u should read shahid kapoor’s tweets man

ayyo ayyo

mudiala yennala

me: :O



Don’t tell me

I god damn follow that fellow


R: “I’m Doin rubbish in da song I think but somehow ahmed khan always makes my rubbish look bearable”

😐 😐

I’m also going to from now on

me: lol


dear mr. kapoor one sumaal correcson. u r not doing rubbish. U R rubbish

R: 😀





me: but by rule I am polite on twitter

should just unfollow him I guess

R: ahh. i dont have any such rules. the point is even if I tweet rudely to him, not like he is gonna read and change

me: and EVERYDAY he says “ok tweeps me leavin 4 de day be bak and KEEP IT REALLLLLL”

saniyan avan

R: 😀

me: i feel like asking him man, are you for real?

unna pethaangala senjaangala

R: keep it real a? what the hell does that mean? *censored unprintable question here*


me: that too that good actor pankaj kapoor

I have doubts about his birth these days

R: serious a. perfect a in the middle of UP la oru field lendhu idha thookindu vandhiruppa nu i think. yuckk

me: worse yet is that priyanka chopra


R: heyy. i aint following her

adhuvum ipdi dhaana?

me: me neither

sometimes ppl RT her

I think she SHOULD marry shahid kapoor

the child would be a nightmare

R: lolzzzzzzzzzz


(Good news now is that there’s a Shayad Kapoor on Twitter who deciphers what Shahid Kapoor says and tweets them. Too bad it ends our Shahid bashing.)

Sample 4

A totally demented conversation with dear friend RK avargal. Probably Ayirathil Oruvan effect but I really don’t understand why we started talking like this all of a sudden. That too both of us without any provocation like it was the most natural way to talk in the world.

RK: vanakkam 🙂

nalla irukiya?

me: nandraga ullen veti dog avargale

thaangal epodhum pola vetiyaagave uleergala?

RK: ippadi eppadi paesalam M avargale….naan eppodhum busy busy busy

me: hahahaha

ungal ku ore kaamedy thaan pongal

ka ka ka pooooooo (Pulikesi effect vera.. :D)

RK: he he he…mannaruku konjam kusumbhu adhigam dhaan…:)

me: 😀

veru yenna visesham?

makkal yaavarum nalamaaga ulaargala?

RK: neenga sollunga M?…em makkal anaivarum mika magizhchi odu ullargal

ungal rajiyathilirudhu aethaenum nalla seithi undo?

me: oru nolla seidhi… saari nalla seidhiyum illai mannaa’

makkal migundha bore’l ulllargal

R: he he he…


There are say, 100 plus such conversations which when revealed would lead to serious research on the evolution (or de- evolution) of the human brain. Scintillating questions like ‘What is the difference between tomato puree and tomato ketchup’, in-depth analysis of the mental faculties of others when our own faculties are bad enough to be put under observation, depressing rants, unforgivable mokkais and pure, unadulterated crap. Thank you, you mental people, my friends for all the entertainment these conversations provide long after they’re over. Any time, any day, they always put a wide smile on my face!

So, who are you chatting with now?

Filmmakers stamp their identity on each film they make. Like how a new born inherits from the gene pool of its parents and has brown eyes like the mother or stubby toes like the father, a film takes its all from the maker. Kids outgrow parents but a film can never outgrow its maker. Quentin Tarantino’s films, for instance, can be sniffed miles away from their format – long witty, thrilling or plain dangerous dialogue portions followed by bursts of brutal violence. His films are like stretching a string to its tautest, breaking point and then suddenly letting go. The violent twang resonates long after the string stops vibrating. James Cameron as we know by now, is more into ‘how you tell a story’ rather than ‘what is the story’. His films are lavish, unbelievably budgeted, shot like a dream and pull masses like a magnet. Trust me, if I had the vision to make a film like Avatar, it wouldn’t have let me sleep peacefully for the entire period I spend making it – which would have been ten years or more. But the man is incredibly collected about it, knows his job and is even gracious enough to put the Oscar snubbing behind and talk of the future already. Back home, a Mani Ratnam work is set apart by its distinct filming. Semi darkness, short one word repartee-like dialogues, urban tales, beautiful cinematography and classy music. Likewise Bharathi Raaja  is inseparable from  his deep baritone, yen iniya thamizh makkale and rural earthy subjects. Shankar is grandiose, Bala is morbid, Balu Mahendra is true to life and so the list goes on. The world is not ignorant to behind-the-screen geniuses anymore. When ManiRatnam made Dil Se with the mighty Shah Rukh Khan, It was and is still known more as the director’s product than the superstar actor’s. ‘A film by’ is no longer a push-over tag.

Last week, I managed to catch a film which had its maker’s name written in pink comic sans font with a Mont Blanc limited edition pen all over it. A film raved implausibly by critics who called even the few who lashed out at the film ‘perennial pessimists’, a film which orchestrated a much higher octane drama outside the theatres rather than inside them, the very Indian film by the very patriotic maker who chooses to wail down at least one Bharat Mata song at a crucial crunch scene in his film but premieres his films outside the country. The film which saw the usually ruthless Bollywood churn out whole hearted support to the superstar who knows he’s been proved right when he unabashedly calls himself the Badshah of Bollywood. The film though at the risk of sounding megalomaniac, is very aptly titled My Name is Khan.

With MNIK, they say, Karan Johar has broken away the shackles which bound him to designer clothes and glass palaces. I say, Eh? Mr. Johar undoubtedly stamps his name all over his product with perfectly manicured, rolex wearing hands but is that any indication that the end product spells class? As the film closed, the last frame freezing at ‘A Karan Johar film’, I remember thinking warily ’Right. Like we couldn’t see this all along.’

You know it’s absolutely a Karan Johar film when

Shah Rukh Khan is lovingly caressed by the camera from all possible angles and directions with unending close ups. It’s as though the camera has a love affair with him and thinks it’s a sin to shoot even a single frame without him in it.

There is ALWAYS a song being sung in chorus to ruin a perfectly well shot poignant moment. I loved that scene in church when SRK eulogises about his dead son in that typical Asperger’s way and just when we have those tears welling up at the corner of our eyelids and the lips start to quiver (very SRK-ish, I know) they start holding hands and singing ‘We shall overcome’ happily as if it was some strange fancy dress party in a Church. All the pain and suffering that was so evident a moment ago is conveniently forgotten. To top it up, the Americans sing in English and SRK in Hindi. I felt like this Bakra victim on MTV. Next time Johar plans to ruin such a scene, I think he should just make an appearance on screen and say, “Ok, now here comes the patriotic song I promised to keep in the movie. Wipe away the tears. This is a happy, hope giving, la-la-la chorus song. Enjoy.”

Rizwan Khan(SRK) travels day and night, hitching rides and on foot many a days, repairing his way through money but miraculously manages to stay as fresh as a newly blooming lily through all this. Face always cleanly shaven, make-up impeccably hiding his age and designer jackets to keep warm. He’s even punched on the nose once by a policeman and bleeds but by the time he’s in jail the bleeding is gone and everything is ‘made up’. Not a scar, not a swelling. When Kajol cries, a drop of tear runs down one corner of her left eye taking care not to ruin the mascara. When SRK is beaten up, blood trickles down his right nostril artistically so that maybe we wouldn’t have to feel his pain. And even when Kajol  laments hysterically, holding her son’s dead body in her hands, she wears a perfectly tailored pure white blouse without a single crease, with the hair styled perfectly and not a strand out of place. We are never allowed a glimpse of what Mandira goes through, what Rizwan’s life is or what post 9/11 life means. All we can see is the larger than life ShahRukh Khan, Kajol in  Gucci, Louis Vitton and Manish Malhotra as the camera worships them frame after frame.  If not a karan Johar film, what else is this?

ShahRukh Khan needs to meet the President. Ok. But why is he made to sit writing letters in the Arizona desert for that? IS the President going to be there to inaugurate a new irrigation project? And why should he pedal a bicycle to motor out rain water? Was it stone age when electricity couldn’t be used to power motors? You can pedal a bicyle all day long to punp out water, stupid. Only thing, the work’s done faster using electricity. And not knowing that is not brilliant but plain moronic and stupid.

So there. It’s a Karan Johar film all the way. He scares me more when he’s making these so-called sensitive issue based movies than when he’s making those KKHH’s and K3G’s. At least you didn’t have to take those seriously.

P.S. I did like MNIK. No, really. SRK has nice dimples. And I loved his duck-walk in the film. So cute!

P.P.S. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are getting so boring and repetitive. Yawn.

Things that couldn’t bring me out of self-imposed exile from blogging.

1. The stupendous success of Vinnaiththaandi Varuvaaya.VTV songs on every channel every minute of the day, VTV specials all the time, VTV ringtones and caller tunes all around! But strangely, though I liked the film, I didn’t even feel like tweeting or buzzing , let alone blogging about it when the whole of Tamil Nadu was obsesssing over the movie. It was then that I realised I had a blogging block which would be a tad too difficult to shake off.

2. The Great Indian Budget. Yawn.

3. New Secretariat Building. The extremely fascinating battery car which had the Chief Minister, Prime Minister and the Master Pupeteer huddled into it like these small kids in theme park toy cars, was a very tempting attraction, yes. But not tempting enough to blog yet.Instead of blogging, all I did was to have macabre sinister thoughts on how that would have been an ideal assasination location for terrorists who wanted to finish off 3 major thala(vali)s of the Nation in one go.

4. IPL and the overflowing love for Kolkata Knight Riders. The Go KKR’s and Korbo Lorbo somethings that people seem to be throwing at SRK on twitter ever since IPL started, made me want to scratch my nails on a wall. But no sir, it sure didn’t make me want to blog about it.

5. The five crore Mayawati garland. This one was real juicy with all the makings of a masala potboiler. The chauvinistic cruel landlord surrounded by goons, evil Akshaykumar like laughter, poor people huddling around at the mansion gates in pouring rain waiting for a glimpse of the landlord, he abusing them and kicking… errr… Glad I didn’t actually write a blogpost about it right? Right.

6. Absolutely utter monotony in life. Wake up.Work at home.Eat. Work at office.Eat.Work at home.Eat. Sleep. This day after day, month after month. Now if THIS couldn’t get me back to blogging, what on Earth could? Nothing? I thought so too.

But apparently there was one such thing. It might be old news but it caught my attention only today and it got me soooooo worked up and soooooooo excited that I almost shed copious tears of joy and relief and typed out this post in 5 minutes flat. At a time of unforeseen economic downtime and recession since the Great Depression of the 1930’s, at a time filled with political tensions and worldwide wars, at a time of great disparity of living standards with the depths of suffering and the heights of luxury co-existing among one another, here comes the ONE and ONLY hope. The one ultimate solution to end all pain and suffering. The one most potent device to wipe out all terrorists from the face of the world and send them all to moon with a mighty kick. The one stop shop to alleviate poverty, abolish racism and uplift people. The one and only means of deflecting hurricanes and tsunamis back to the ocean, protecting the environment from global warming and stopping alarming weather changes. The one event of utmost national/international/inter-galactic importance.

It is THIS

Now the world can be saved at the flick of the wrist and the remote control. Kids will stop crying, damaged old pieces will die immediately, Pakistan terrorists will jump into the Indian Ocean and kill themselves in the tornado that Gabtun re-directed there from Arizona. Aal Praablam salved attu tha touch aaf yae button. Gabtun TV is here. Aaauuunnn. What more do you want?

And if  THIS doesn’t get me to write a post, what will?