Life was never the same after the advent of the Sun Network. There was a movie every afternoon on Sun TV! Every afternoon! Previously, movies could be watched only on the weekends, on TV, so this was cause for much joy, especially among those who didn’t have much to do in the afternoons.
Then there was Sun Movies. Three or four movies a day! When I wasn’t burning my skin off in the sun during the summer vacations, or watching Cartoon Network, or fighting with my sister, I’d be glued to these movies.
This love for movies were further kindled by themed movie weeks on Sun TV. So the late evening movies for a particular week would follow some theme. Like ‘Adhiradi vaaram’, where all the movies would be action blockbusters, or ‘Thik-thik vaaram’, where horror movies would be screened the whole week, or even a week full of Vithalacharya movies, or movies where Vishwanathan-Ramamurthy were the composers. There were also other more specific themes like Movies Where Hero And Heroine Cannot Be Together, or Movies Where Love Is Sacrificed For Higher Reason. Apart from Movies Where One Or More Protagonists Are Differently-Abled, or Movies Where One Or More Of The Protagonists Are Dying (Of Cancer). I’m not making any of these up.
This went on for around a year or two, before they filled late evenings with some or the other soap (which all deserve a post or three to themselves… remember Chitthi, anyone?). Then they had a common theme throughout, with every day of the week having one genre. Like there was a comedy movie every Monday, a love story every Tuesday (Kaadhal Sevvaai), a classic old movie every Wednesday (Kaaviya Budhan), an action flick every Thursday (Adhiradi Vyaazhan) and a superhit blockbuster every Friday (Superhit VeLLi). This, apart from two movies, one in the afternoon and another in the evening, every Saturday and Sunday.
And I sat fixated as often as I could. Watched heckuva load of Tamil movies. Amma and I would watch some Kannada movies too, on Chandana, but we stuck to comedies… Anant Nag’s Ganesha ones, or S. Narayan… we both still adore his Oho. Channels would promptly be changed if it was a Kashinath movie. But I hated Kannada movies back then. They seemed too serious and too tragic. When we didn’t still have cable, Amma and Ajji would watch the Sunday evening Kannada movie on DD, and cry and cry and then cry some more. One movie which freaked the heck out of me had Ambarish write a letter in blood to the leading lady. Years later, when a classmate wrote a love letter in blood to another, I felt very very very faint not because it looked like a crazed madman’s handiwork, but because it brought back repressed memories of this movie. And I stopped watching Kannada movies after this one wacko movie where Ambarish gets bitten by a dog and dies of rabies. He barked like a dog, ate food from an aluminum plate not using his hands, frothed at the mouth, and died. I swore to myself I’d never watch a Kannada movie again, and never one with Ambarish in it.
So Tamil movies it was. And God, they weren’t any less gaga. They might be cheerier, more hopeful, better-made and more watchable, but less crazy, they most certainly weren’t.
One of the more tragic ones I watched involved a lower-middleclass family, where the father was presumed dead in a train accident. They get his insurance money, and their standard of living suitably improves. But then, the father comes back, and the rest of the movie is about the shenanigans that result from trying to hide him from the rest of the world. It could have been a nice comedy, but it mainly involved the family politics, grinding poverty, maintaining self-respect, and endless mother-in-law daughter-in-law shenanigans, apart from the mother not being able to wear her mangalsutra and sindoor even though her husband is alive. It sapped the energy out of me.
Then there was this seemingly normal movie where a boy with a widowed mother falls in love with a girl with a widower father. The girl’s father suitably opposed the match like all movie dads, but then he went one step further. He spoke to the boy’s mother, saying there’s only one way we can stop them from marrying and making the biggest mistake of their lives. And the mother agrees. They both get married, and then he snidely tells the boy, now since I’m married to your mother, Heroine is your….? . Mindblown, simply mindblown.
And I saw this one clip of a movie and couldn’t bear to watch it any more. So this guy has a rather cold wife who’s not being intimate with him. He takes her to a movie one evening. And from her horrified shrieks on watching it, we infer that it was an adult movie, and she is thoroughly disgusted and limp from shock. He tells her in a confrontational tone that he did that just to loosen her inhibitions after which she’d fall limp into his arms. Oh. My. God.
On the other end of the spectrum, there was this sweet movie on Young Love called Panneer Pushpangal. The western world (and the Star World-watching world) may have had its Wonder Years, and Kollywood had Panneer Pushpangal. It starred Prathap, who I used to confuse for Kokila Mohan, as a cool and with-it teacher at an Ooty boarding school, where the lead pair were students and fell in love. Of course, the girl’s mom was a witch and locked her daughter up, but the ragtag bunch of friends help her escape. She meets the boy, and then everyone wonders what to do. And then the movie ends. I rather liked this movie, I’ll admit, and wished my school had a teacher like Prathap. And I mention that movie here mainly because it has this wonderful, wonderful song.
Radhika (of Chitthi, Annamalai and Arasi fame) starred in a few more mindblerg movies I watched. First was this one where she woos Sivakumar as a village girl, going as far as getting each others’ names tattoed on their arms, after which he is transferred to the city, where he meets another Radhika who is a modern-dressing rich daughter of his boss. She keeps aggressively pursuing him, and he never gives in because he loves only the villager Radhika. He goes back to the village to find her, but she isn’t there and the whole village blames him for her disappearance. And then comes the shocker. Both the Radhikas are the same! It was an experiment where the rich girl was testing a potential suitor to see if he was only after her money. Oh, what problems rich girls have. Anyway he takes offense and spurns her, and her own father says while he supported her through this endeavour, he feels this sort of test insults any self-respecting man. Then both Sivakumar and Radhika down sleeping pills separately. After appropriate edge-of-seat shenanigans, the director makes sure both lives are saved and that they live happily ever after.
Another one was Meendum Oru Kaadhal Kadhai with Radhika and Prathap. They are two mentally-ill kids in an asylum, and are supervised by a progressive doctor played by Charuhaasan. Radhika is from a rich family who all don’t really like her, especially her scheming brother and brother’s wife, while Prathap has no one. They fall in love, get married and move to some new village with the doctor to have a new life. The village had a slew of quirky characters I don’t really recall, but most of the movie was pitiful while not being slapstick. Radhika ends up pregnant, and dies when Prathap is making her laugh or something…. most mindblerging natal death EVER. I didn’t follow what happened after that, but it might have involved the doctor dying after killing Prathap.
And then. This is the first mindblerging movie I watched, and the one which I was thinking about and then remembered all these movies I’ve talked about. I saw it first on DD one Sunday afternoon when they’d show regional-language movies, which meant this movie had subtitles. It starred Mohan as a Hindu boy, who falls for his sister’s Christian friend. She keeps away at first, actively asking him to get lost, but he persists and they end up in love [Aside: it never fails to blow my mind how easily couples before the Noughties fell in love in movies so quickly and based on so little! He saved my life, so I'm going to spend it with him! Or, she loves animals, so I'll love her]. His mother and her father can simply not submit to this match. They chain Mohan to a small room in their terrace, while the girl (who could have been called Julie and could have been played by Radha) is locked in her room, while presumably her wedding to a Christian boy was being planned. The separation proves too much for her, and as Christ is the reason she can’t be with her love, she hammers a nail through her palm, like was done to Christ. And obviously dies. He escapes from his shackles and comes to help her escape, but he only sees her little neighbour boy (every heroine in every movie before the late ’90s had one) standing in line for her funeral. He runs to the graveyard as they are reading out hymns before burying her, sees her dead, kisses her prone body and dies right there. Lovers dying, okay, fine, but nail through palm? That made my eight-year-old self squirm a whole lot when I saw a crucifix after that, and I took special care to never hold a nail in my hand, and was very edgy around hammers.
I’ve been wondering what the name of this movie is. Does anyone know? Please please tell me… I want to watch it again, this time with new eyes that are cynical about such dated movies.
But…. that might be jumping the gun. These movies were definitely cheesy. But they were gritty. And original. And had an honesty and creativity to them which is missing in later suave movies without bright lights and item dancers in shiny costumes. They had some really good music, and I don’t know how popular they turned out in their time, but their actors gave really wonderful performances in these movies.
The themes were bold and original. The filmmakers might have been wacko jerks with too many rich uncles, or they might have been thinkers, I’ll never know. But I’m glad these crude movies that lack even an ounce of finesse and subtlety got made. They were like alcohol experiments in undergrad where you experiment with a wide range of quality and quantity of drink before you figure out what works for you. The makers of these movies might have hit bull’s eye with exploring early-teenage love and jealousy with a Panneer Pushpangal, and I might be glad for that, but I’m also glad that they got the scenario of ‘What if a guy likes a girl but his mother marries her father?’ out of their systems so that none of us needs to explore that again.
Yeah, so I’m back at school. For atleast a year more. Lots of things to look forward to, lots to do, and all that.
I had a good flight back, mainly because I made sure to specify my meal preferences and stay awake during mealtimes so that I’m not overlooked when they come by serving the Ind-Veg maincourse. Ideally, a good flight should pass without incident, but turns out you can have an even better flight when things happen, as long as they are not happening to you
So at Immigration in Bangalore, I was stuck in the slowest possible queue there was. I was made repeatedly aware of this fact by the gentleman behind me, who had a flight in twenty minutes, and still had to clear Immigration and Security. Expectedly, he was shifty and whiny. It turned out that the reason for the slowness was this lady who was just not being cleared by the guy at the counter. Ten minutes later, I was at the counter, and the gentleman behind me had long gone as he shifted to another queue.
I saw the lady later and asked her just why had they held her up for so long. She said she was a diabetologist. And the guy at the counter was a diabetic. And kept shoving his prescriptions into her face, asking if she could recommend some tests, and if the medicines he was taking now were fine.
Really now, are people that unprofessional? Bah!
Innanga… anyaayama irukku…
I had to transit at Singapore. Turned out, all the security officers there were bantering away in Tamil. Including this ethnic Chinese woman. No hint of a Chinese accent, no nothing. I was so wide-eyed with wonder, I said “Innanga, anyaayama irukku, Tamizhnaat-lendhu 40 mile thaLLi vaLandha enna vida Tamizhnaatukku sammandhame illandha neenga arumeya Tamizh pesareenga”. [Translated: It's so unfair, you who has no connection with Tamil Nadu speaks better Tamil than me who has been raised 40 miles from TN]. And then added that it’ll be impossible to tell her apart in Chennai. To which this other security officer said ‘Even by her looks?’. To which I replied there should be some or the other opening for a funny motormouth in a Chennai radio station.
On an aside, it was absolutely surprising to see security officers smiling and talking and… laughing!
A couple of eyesores
So right from Singapore till Los Angeles, there was this canoodling couple in the seats behind mine. I wondered why they had two seats, when they were in fact occupying only one. Everywhere. Right from transit at Singapore and Tokyo to Baggage Claim at Los Angeles. Only one seat.
I wouldn’t have noticed ordinarily, but keeping myself from being dehydrated meant a lot of fluids consumed which meant a lot of trips up and down the aisle. And all the sleeping and movie-watching meant my hair’d get messed up and I needed to tie it back each time else I’d get a headache.
You know what pissed me off about the whole thing? I seemed to be running a comb through my hair atleast once every three hours, and not once, not once did I see that lady’s hairdo messed up.
This Wiki article is NOT kidding. NOT.
God Tumhe Shanti De
This Catholic priest was seated next to me for the long leg of my trip. I’m very very very surprised I never brought up religion. And even more surprised that he didn’t, either. Even while mentioning terrorism during the course of the long conversations we had when I was not fast asleep or watching a movie.
Of course, in the last couple of hours he did mention that he was saddened that while the US calls itself a Christian country(?!), its citizens want to take religion out of everywhere, and that it is tragic that you can’t mention Jesus even if it’s a Catholic school you’re teaching in. I uncharacteristically let these observation pass, uncountered.
Hello Kitty World
The whole of Japan (or, rather, Narita Airport) seems to be some weird sort of Hello Kitty kinda world. Everything is ‘cute’, and I mean this in a weirded out sense. It’s like everything is trying to be something else, something cuter, something more likeable. I don’t know what makes me say this, maybe the weird hair colours, or the colours of every packaged product, or the Japanese script, or an overdose of articles like the ones here. Guess it’s the last one.
Anyway. All that action (and dragging along my luggage) has me tired. Should have some calm before the storm, let me hit the pillow.
After a long time, I watched the video of the remixed, hip-hop song Madai Thiranthu by Yogi B and Natchathira. When I watched it for the first time, the beginning didn’t make sense to me. One guy says, “Inna, Raja-saar?“. I later found out the ‘Raja-saar’ in question was Ilayaraja, who’d composed the original.
I wanted to listen to the original yesterday. Good ol’ Guruji dot come slash music came in handy. I searched for Ilayaraja, and man! I’d never realized before this that so many of the songs I grew up listening to were from him!
For starters, the soundtrack of Hey Ram. Each song is so rich by itself. I particularly liked the fusion of Vaishnav Jana To with Vaaranam Aayiram with South Indian wedding beats.
Another movie set in the same time-frame – Sirai Chaalai, dubbed in Hindi as Kalapani.
And then Agni Natchathiram. I didn’t pay attention to the storyline or anything, but I totally loved the tapori Raja Rajadhirajan indha raja which had in it typical ’80s disco beats. It totally suited its purpose – it was the intro track of a totally rebellious youngster (played by Karthik, who ceased to be a youngster a decade-and-a-half back), which instantaneously won a lot of hearts.
On the same lines there is Ilamai idho idho from Sakalakala Vallavan. Intro track of a richkid Kamal Haasan who’s actually a poor do-gooder in disguise to teach the baddies a lesson. He wears a blonde wig, and says “Hyappy nyu yeear yevverybody”… this was ten-fifteen years before his ‘I’m in the undezhhbeolly uf the aizhhczhaft’. Whatae lyrics… “College teenage penngaL ellorum enn-meedhu kaNgaL“… whou… ages since any song acknowledged the existence of women ogling at men, and even longer since a man flaunted that in his intro song. Rather liked this song after it was used to great effect in a Pepsi commercial starring Madhavan and a bunch of ‘college-teenage penngaL’… and a fat guy in a vest and lungi and a squeaky voice… and a Pepsi bottle.
Rather surprising is Raja-saar’s success in dik-chik dik-chik disco tracks, considering his best-known work is for Bharathiraja films. Which mostly if not always have a village theme.
One of those really nostalgic songs is Adi Aathadi from Kadalora KavithaigaL. Sathyaraj playing a village idiot… whoa! Insane movie, but very well-directed. And the music… no words left.
The soundtrack for the Parthiban-Nandita Das (yes, of 1947-Earth and Rockford fame) starrer Azhagi was another. It is a rather recent movie, with the first half set in a village. In an age where you only heard jing-chak urban songs and village meant gaana (think Pettai Rap and Nakka Mukka), it was really refreshing to have some different music, which was a throwback to an earlier era personified by Bharathiraja introducing the movie with “Enn iniya Tamizh-makkaLe…“.
He also did neutral-ish tracks well – sample Nizhalgal. Madai Thiranthu was about a wannabe making it big in the music industry.
And Anjali – staple Children’s Day fare in the days of Doordarshan. One of the very few movies for kids back then, it enjoyed cult status with folks of my age-group. And hence the soundtrack was popular too. The videos were of kids bossing over the adults… having code claps… screaming ‘yaaay!’ all the damn time… ubercool gang… what more does a kid aspire for?
And my favourite at the moment – the soundtrack of Nayagan. In particular, the ‘item number’ – Nila adhu vaanathu mele. Insane lyrics that make no sense to me. But catchy. And the tune is no less.
When I was playing these tracks, my sister looked askance at me and gave me an expression which suggested my tastes had steadily deteriorated. She doesn’t know the nostalgia these tracks inspire, being born when Rehman had begun to reign and gotten interested in music when Himesh did. She doesn’t know these are the best there was back then, when synthesizers were a non-existent entity. To her ears, Ilayaraja sounds tacky – neither the mellow respectable tone of old songs nor the snazzy attractiveness of the new. And his voice… too forceful for someone that looks like him. And vocal sound-effects like ‘ta-jing, ta-jing’ have become slotted into uncool. The disco-ish beats of the faster songs sounds confused to her, who is used to It’s the time to Disco and Where’s the party tonight. The videos of these songs aren’t very inspiring to her, considering they were shot in an era where a nightclub was supposed to have bright colourful bulbs, and tackily dressed dancers.
She wonders how come Rakkamma Kaiya Thattu got voted as one of the top 10 songs of the millennium in a BBC-conducted online poll. Why not Rehman’s Vande Mataram?
Rehman is God in his own way, no doubt… I’m very impressed by the artfully-out-of-tune songs he composes – Kabhi Neem Neem and Yaaro Yaarodi, and I worship a lot of his other soundtracks, but of late I’ve begun to feel his songs lack the boldness and confidence Ilayaraja’s had. His songs do not bring out the beauty in lyrics or in the voice of the singer as much as Ilayaraja’s does.
A decade earlier, I would have said Rehman’s is for the urban elite, while Ilayaraja appeals to a wider section of the crowd… but now in the natural scheme of things, you have everyone in India not just TN humming Rehman’s tunes, and folks don’t much remember Ilayaraja’s usage of orchestras creatively in his music.. either ways, he didn’t get much reach outside of his home state… and maybe in Karnataka, thanks to soundtracks like Geetha(think Jothe Jotheyali). And Gultland, thanks to dubbed Tamil movies.
But finally, I’ll Raja-saar’s music has an earthy appeal to it. They are easy to sing, unlike other recent songs which rely less on the voice and more on effects. Even if you sing it wrong, it doesn’t sound so far-gone. It’s almost like he gets into the mind of the wannabe crooner and writes songs. Like he sings in the item number from Nayagan, ‘Adi Aathadi, naan paattaLi, unn koottaaLi‘ – ‘Lady, I’m a commoner, your comrade’.
PS: If you have no clue as to who Raja-saar is, he originally composed the music that was used in the soundtrack of Cheeni Kum.
PPS: This isn’t a very well-researched post. Please feel free to correct and provide addenda.
PPPS: What’s with my overwhelming Tam-ness these days? I’ve even begun to say ‘Yaazhpanam’ instead of Jaffna! My mum is beginning to wonder what is happening to me that I’m going ‘astray’ into deep interior Tamil Nadu from Bangalore, preferring Ilayaraja over Rehman, saying Ponniyin Selvan is an excellent book, reading Naachiyar Thirumozhi… maybe it’s just a phase. And… I’m still a true-blue Bangalorean at heart. I prefer MTR/Maiya’s over Adyar Ananda Bhavan any given day. And I is still the speakings of Benglur longvages. I’m sure you can be considerate enough to ignore the slight Tamil accent in my otherwise okay-ish Kannada. Oh, and I can read Kannada faster than I can read Tamil.
So Aamir Khan does it yet yegain. The farty-something shtar does a role that was originally done expertly by a twenty-something Surya. The crowd loves him, or so I hear, never mind that he’s atleast a foot shorter than Surya, atleast twice his age, and has house-elf-like ears.
I personally feel Aamir should start doing Chacha or Mama roles and stop going to college and romancing girls his daughter’s age. But before you can chide me for my tragic viewpoints on this evergreen ever-young thinking actor, let me tell you that’s not the point of this post.
So the Hindi movie is called Ghajini, just like the Tamil one. I haven’t watched the movie; so I first thought it ws some pidgin Sanskrit which meant ‘one who looks like an elephant’ or something. Shouldn’t that be Gajini, my sister asked. I said maybe the producer consulted numerologists or something.
But then, Wikipedia informs me that the movie is called so because the lead character is like Mahmud Ghazni, who tried, tried and tried again till he succeeded.
So, fine, Ghazni is suitably Tamizh-ized to Ghajini. And maybe they hoped to score some extra marks for sounding like Rajini. Quite normal in the scheme of things… Simran Bagga becomes ‘Simuraan’, Mumtaz becomes “Mumtaaj”… just like in Japan, they call a radio a “raa-dhi-yo”.
But what I fail to understand is why they retained the title in Hindi? It could quite easily have been Ghazni? ज़ exists in the Devanagari alphabet, unlike in the Tamil alphabet, where we have ஜ (ja) which is being considered ‘un-Tamil’, and so we are moving towards using ச் (cha) for everything from cha, ja, sa, sha.
Or is it the new norm to SouthIndianize Hindi? First you have Javed Jaffrey speaking tha ingleesh longvages like it is the spoken norms in the Bangalores. And now this.
What next, SRK saying “Call me Sarukkaan. Everyone in Kollywood does”?
So every Vamsi Krishna, Nijalingappa, Unnithan and Murugan I know is gunning for Obama. I think I know why.
For starters, the general view is that Southies have more melanin than the others, never mind the Kodavas (who are all Greek to us anyway) and Saurashtris. And that is ascribed to our constant exposure to Sun TV, Udaya TV, Surya TV, Teja TV, Suryan FM, S FM… And so it’s easy to suppose anyone of Obama’s complexion is one of our own.
I guess Mallu names – Achama, etc, Gult names – Chinnamma, Chilakamma, Seethamma, Kodava names – Chondamma, Poovamma, Nanjamma, all sound so much like Obama… and the Kodavas, martial race that they are, (they are one of the very few people in India allowed to keep arms without a license) I guess are enamoured by the ‘Barack’ in the name.
And the Kannadigas now… we all feel proud of being the home state of one of the very first woman freedom fighters in India – Onake Obamma. And we quite easily assume that this dark man is quite possibly a descendant, or a worshipper that he sports her name as part of his. Maybe the ‘Barack’ is to signify the armed resistance connotation.
Tams.. especially Tam-Brahms strongly support Obama like he were a family member or something (no, I’m not referring to Dayanidhi Maran-Karunanidhi here.. they are exceptions), because among the gallery of Ambi Mama, Mani Mama, Cheenu Mama, Badri Mama, Raghava Mama, Kittu Mama… Obamama doesn’t seem so new.
I find there’s an ethnic group in various districts of Karnataka called the Siddis who are of African origin. They only look African, but are in all other aspects, completely integrated into Karnataka… they have been here for five hundred years, apparently. So I guess these guys hail Obama as one of their own race…. oh, man, first the Kodavas, then the rest of Karnataka, and now these folks… why is Obama so allergic to Bangaloring, again?
Well, well, well… the Gandhis are not the only ones whose name rings a (Pavlovian) bell.
Just done with the morning paper where the PM’s security arrangements for his trip to Sri Lanka are discussed. They seem quite extravagant this time, due to the Tiger threat. Reminded me of the other time there was a Tiger threat with the Congress….
It is a known fact that Sonia Gandhi distrusted R&AW, and Indian intelligence in general. When her children were travelling in Europe, it was an Italian security agency that provided the needed security cover for the children of the then PM. When Raul and Bianca (apparently that’s what they were christened… can anyone confirm the (un)truth of this statement? While it sounds probable and not really something you can crucify Sonia on, it sounds suspiciously like the product of a Sonia-is-Italian-to-the-tips-of-her-toes person’s imagination) were crossing from one European country to another, one of the European agents there considered it his duty to inform his Indian opposite number of the same… when he was met with surprise and disbelief – the Indian secret agent had no knowledge of the PM’s kids being in the vicinity. And the European then quipped, “The movement of the Indian PM’s children are known to the Germans, the Italians and the Spaniards, known to all other than the Indians”.
Sonia Gandhi later went on to dismiss Indian security forces and bodyguards of the PM as ineffectual, and went on to embarass them for the same. She rubbed salt in their wounds when she made them train under Italian security personnel – a double snub as not only were Italian agents considered so inferior that their Indian counterparts didn’t even consider them worthy of even exchanging tips with, but our men were forced to train under them, be snubbed and bossed over and abused by them.
All that pales into insignificance when we come to the incident of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. After an incident where he was hit over the head with an unloaded rifle by a Sinhalese naval cadet after signing the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord, it was obvious the Tigers brooked no friendly intentions to him. Thus when R&AW warned Rajiv Gandhi against going to Sriperumbudur as no force on earth could protect him against a suicide bomber, Sonia suggested he go on with his plan and have Italian security.
And we all know what happened after that.
A while later, Nalini, the backup bomber got her sentence reduced from Death to Life Imprisonment. And now Priyanka has a private meeting with the same Nalini. She also says she pardons Nalini, and that it is her way of coming to terms with her loss. Only, Priyanka has no right to pardon her… it was a crime not against an individual, but against the country. Now there are talks of releasing Nalini to “better Indo-Lanka ties”.
Sonia also accused the DMK of being hand-in-glove with her husband’s assassins. And now she doesn’t hesitate to have an alliance with them for the polls.
Also, the enquiry commission appointed to probe into Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination which moved fast under the previous government is now moving much slower than before, when intuitively it should be the other way ’round.
This, along with a lot more instances, have caused an increasing number of people to wonder if there is a connection between LTTE and Sonia Gandhi. Or if Rajiv’s assassination was engineered by Sonia Gandhi.
If we choose to give credence to this theory, maybe the imagination wouldn’t have to leap too much to visualize the prediction I put forward here.
So there’s simply no chance of the UPA winning the next election, what with the backlash from both the Left and the Right. Now if Manmohan is mauled by a Tiger, maybe Madam can cash in on the sympathy wave that will result on the brutal assassination of an erudite scholar and statesman?
Or maybe this is simply too fantastic a route to take with no easy explanations to give for the assassiantions, and with too many questions asked with no easy answers… and you can’t foist blame too easily on the LTTE unlike the way you can on Al Qaeda.. the Qaeda has no mailing address, while the LTTE has its own website.
So maybe Madam will simply take the easier, tried-and-tested way out by declaring internal Emergency.
Or maybe all that hype will boil over and they’ll just concede defeat and take their seats as Opposition.
Or what the heck…. they might just return to power on their own “secular” steam.
I’m dying waiting for election season. News channels as well as the Blogosphere are never so alive and interesting and full of emotion as it is then.
PS: This one by Subramaniam Swamy makes for interesting reading – Know Your Sonia.
As the title might warn you, this post contains a considerable amount of Tamil untranslated, coz translating it would remove the quirky spirit of what is said.
I’ve always been amazed at the utter inability of some of my relatives to pronouncing words which most others seem to take for granted. I mean, you would expect people who don’t trip over the tricky Tamil “zha” syllable to call me Priya and not Pi-ri-yaa! That’s only the beginning – Padmavathi is Bathmavadhi, Lalitha becomes Lalidha, Mahesh is Magesh. Kamal Haasan is Kamalagaasan. Krithika becomes Kiruthihaa. And funnily, some of them go on to spell it that way! Like, a popular Indian blogger is named Kiruba Shankar. I wondered where he might be from, with such an outlandish name. Turns out he’s Tamilian. And the name? When I heard a relative trip over my neighbor Kripa’s name, I knew.
I have an aunt in Nyakpur, the city so famous for its oranges. She makes a pilgrimage to Tiruppadhi atleast once a year. She’s also picked up some rudimentary Kannada – she now says “naanu barle”, a combination of the Tamil “naan varle” and Kannada “baralla”, both of which mean “I won’t come”/”I’m not coming” when I ask her if she’s coming home this month or what. A Mysorean uncle is getting quite Tamil-ized, he even says “Neeru Challidum”, instead of “Neeru Chalbidatte”.
Can’t blame them, can we? Tamil TV channels broadcast every damn thing in Tamil, including Powerpuff Girls and Superman cartoons. And also Chinese and English movies.
English: Oh, God! It’s hurting him!
Tamil: Ayyo, kadavulae! adhu avana kaayapaduthardhu!
English: (Titanic) Jack, I don’t know you, and you don’t know me!
Tamil: Jack, enaku unna theriyaadhu, unaku enna theriyaadhu!
English: We love you very much, forever
Tamil: Naanga unna romba rommmbaaa naesikarom, eppozhudhumae.
English: Princess hates the Powerpuff Girls
Tamil: Andha Raajakumaari-ku Powerpuff Girls-a pidikavae pidikalai.
English: “Dad! Look! A dinosaur!”
Tamil: “Daddy! anga paarunga, Palli!!” (palli=lizard, normally the ones on walls and behind tubelights, but what the heck)
And Chinese and English movies are replete with expressions like “Adi Aathadi!”, “Adi Aathi!” “Enna Raasa!”.
Countless endearments in English have been replaced with “En kannu-la?” or “En raasaathi!“. “Hey, buddy” turns into “Yenna machi”, “Yaen Machaan“, “Enna da maama“. Quite natural, that is; it’s a translation. But “You die today” turning into “Machchi, nee gaaali machi inniki” makes me smile. And “Inna? Nee perriiiyya pista-va?” from a Chinese monk was shocking at the least. And not to forget a white policeman saying “Naalu moththu moththina vaaya tharapaanga“. Or delicate-looking Chinese and white women calling their husbands “innaaangaa“, or other men “saaaar!” in total Madras spirit.
What took the cake was a bunch of Chinese drunk men singing “Ponaal Pogattum Poda“. But my personal favorite has to be this Chinese man opening a tap and commenting on its lack of flow with “Aatha, idhu ennadhidhu, thanni kaaveri-thanni maadhiri guppu-guppu-nu vardhu?“
And the icing on the cake:
My grand-uncle (now he isn’t one who trips over my name… he’s completely Bangalore-ized) tells me of watching the sports news on Sun TV and hearing about the exploits of this awesome tennis legend-in-the-making (or maybe legend… I’m not clued in to tennis, correct me if I’m wrong) called David NaLapaandiyan (notice the harder, Indian L), who plays for Argentina. Argentina! Now grand-uncle gets extremely concerned about this brawn-drain (i
f you see this phrase anywhere else, remember, you read it first here nope, just googled for it, and found it’s used quite often in the same sense… damn! I can’t patent that phrase and use the cash to buy coffee-table books with jang bang illustrations and tasteful photographs) that’s happening; I mean, why can’t this dude play for India?
Close up to headshot of Mr. NaLapaandiyan, and he turns out to be a complete Vellakaaran (white man), blonde hair and all. Okay… maybe he has a Vellakaari mother, he thinks. And then he sees the name, and in English, it is spelled David Nalbandian, and pronounced so on NDTV and elsewhere.
And… it’s an easy mistake to make… Tamilians are ubiquitous… seen in every damn part of the world. And not in corner-shops always – every second name in American, Australian, German, British or Canadian universities, or R&D labs or Corporate environments seems to be some Natarajan or Ramakrishnan, or Ramachandran, or Ramaswamy or Kandasamy, or Muniswamy or Subramanian…. Tams have their cake and eat it too