Wednesday, August 21, 2019

2606 : Idhayam Thanguma?

In the song Bhoomi Bhoomi from Chekka Chivantham Vaanam, there is a riff in the middle where the main guitar crescendo syncs with the question - Idhayam Thanguma?, as a request that is asked as a dirge than as a real question.

Idhayam Thanguma means Can (my) heart bear this? Or can my heart also witness this loss? In the context of the song.

Something magical in the lyrics.

2605 : I am a loser in this race too...

I am flying to the white lands and the amount of security checks they conduct is not just miserable and such an “experience buster’, but they are also racially laden too.
Asian/beard and wearing run down clothes (which is exactly how I would describe myself in a sentence) - is always a “check”.
A white “American looking” individual is always “clean”.
I can rationalise how this works. Of course folks like me, who look like they can cause more harm in this world than the folks who look like Trump.
Seriously, I can rationalize, but it still hurts. 

Jerks. I had to cuss :-). 

2604 : Handsome is...

Arvind Swamy in Chekka Chivantha Vaanam. I dont remember if I ever had a man crush in my life, but this is the closest I have ever come it. He is my new role model. This is what I want to look like when I am 53. 

Fabulously alive. That’s what makes him handsome. 

And his relationship with both Jyothika and Aditi in the movie is sublime. He is flawed and yet he is alive. 

2603 : 96 and Chekka Chivantham Vaanam ranked

2602 : Chekka chivantha vaanam

After years I watched a Mani Ratnam movie (Yuva was my last one...) and I loved the movie. Arvind Swamy, Jyothika, Aditi Rao Hydari and Prakash Raj....each one to die for. And that in a movie which has Vijay Sethupathi.

Watch and be enthralled. BUT.....Keep the time slider below on. And when there is only 15 mins left. Shut the movie.

The difference between Vishal Bharadwaj and Mani Sir is, Vishal lets the madness takes over. And the whole cup floweth over. The characters‘  dark interplay is not just staged, its almost spontaneous.

And Mani Sir (conversely) holds back and leans back to the dramatic. Jyothika is an evil (in the movie) waiting to unleash, but that never happens...because she is never explored. The same is true to Arvind Swamy too....and the two other brothers are just too unidimensional. 

This movie could have been the Omkara of Tamil. It almost flirts and teases, but then just fails.

Mani Sir - almost becoming the legend that others always wanted him to be.

Fall in love with Arvind Swamy again. Yes, in a movie that has Vijay Sethupathi.

2601 : 96 the movie

Watch Vijay Sethupathi and Trisha in the offbeatTamil movie called 96. Makes you yearn for the feeling of falling in love again. 

Really makes you yearn. The actors are not just fab, they make you want to be someone who you have long forgotten.

As they say in the movie, there is difference between sandosham and nimmidhi. Seek help from a Tamil friend :-).

Will make your heart beat, not faster, but like crooning to a Ella Fitzgerald jazz record.

A line in the movie (written by the hero when he was a teenager for Trisha) “ If you do belong to your mom, because she carried you in her womb for 10 months, then you most definitely belong to me, the one who has carried you in his heart for 10 years.”

Genius Alert - The last but one scene, where Trisha and Vijay (Janu and Ram) are waiting for her to board the flight. And she very naturally holds his arms as they stare into the planes. And he, after a moment, withdraws his hand out of modesty (they are not married, they are childhood sweethearts who meet after 22 years in 2018, hence the name 96). And he slowly walks behind. She pauses, and 
re-traces his path, and then yanks his hand and pulls him back to the window. She again holds his hand in the exact same way, and when he resists, she wails. It’s a heartbreaking wail of someone who knows she is losing, and is helpless. In that moment, we all realise how powerless we are when faced with true love. She then holds his head and balks like a child. And in that moment, we are all losers. We as a collective have lost. The pain feels real. 

Take a bow :-).

2600 : Erosion of the simple

Long hauls I often fly business. And I still sometimes get miffed by the utter inane ness of the airport security and the overall “experience buster” of a trip gone miserable. They have most definitely taken the pleasure out of flying.

And yet, I have to remind myself every so often...even when I fly coach, I fly Emirates (as an example), which means it’s much better than flying Indigo as an example.

Get the drift?

There is degrees of luxury. I today fly to Delhi, instead of taking the train as I always did as a child. And yet almost always I complain of Indigo versus Vistara. Or even if I am dignified enough not to complain. I feel it.

Get the drift :-)?

We are victims of our own castles. The ones we build with brittle sand. 

One day, sure as fire, the next high tide will come along. It will take not just the castle, but it will bring crabs along.

On that day, I will have to remember that on the day of the tide, its better to be a fish than to be me.

A fish who survives for the day, and owns nothing...and yet roams along the entire ocean. No passport, no Indigo, no Emirates, no Business Class needed.

2599 : Salaam Bombay by L Subramaniam

Growing up one of the soundtracks that deeply impacted me was “Salaam Bombay”. I would listen to the entire album on repeat. It’s all L Sub and all of it is instrumental.

If you ever hear the violin more melancholic, you should ping me.

And then 20 odd years ago, I lost the album. I did not like the rip offs on youtube.

And then yday, I discovered it on Apple Music again. I have heard this album 3 times since yday already.

This is what happiness looks like. One besotted by childhood loves and transcended by divine music.

Do hear it if you can, you will be so immensely rewarded, you might almost weep.

2598 : Bhoomi Bhoomi from Chekka Chvinatha Vaanam

I loved the movie, a post somewhere around about it.
But I loved this song....could understand most of the song...but still required help.
Tamil is not my fact it is not even something I claim to understand.

The riff is infectious and also serves as a background score for parts of the movie.

Fantastic song. Rahman at his best. And Shaktisree Gopalan is just full of melancholy as she sings this philosophic song.

Run find this today. Lyrics below.

The lyrics are a blast. So is the song. Goes into my all time list.

Friday, August 16, 2019

2597 : Bob Works

Picture this.

My 8 year old girl tells me, she has been reading biographies.

So she says she has read all the biographies in the world. So I challenge her, "Really?", and she says "Yes."

Then she says "You know who Rosa Parks is?"
I say "Yes", "what did she do?" (my way of testing the daughter).
She answers "Black empowering movement".

"Martin Luther King"
"Yes, what did he do?"
"Black empowerment."

"Thomas Edison"
"Yes, what did he do?"
"Telegraph, electricity and bulb".

"Alex Graham Bell"
"Yes, what did he do?"

"Bill Gates".
"Yes, what did he do?"
"Invented Apple". DINGG....
I say, "wrong, he started microsoft....not apple, and the keyword is started".

"Bob Works"
Scratching my head. "No".
With a spiteful grin she says "He invented the iPhone".
Me "Really?" and I almost tell myself he might have worked with Jobs and Ive.
But then something goes DING in my head. And I politely ask her, "Did you mean Steve Jobs".
She smacks her head to the forehead, totally crushed and disappointed and says "Yes, sorry, thats what I meant."
But you see, her brain is working awesome...she stored Steve Jobs as Bob Works.

Hilarious and awesome :-)
Lovely memory.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

2596 : The Big Short

I read the book about 2-3 years ago, but had not watched the movie. Finally got a chance to see it.
As a person who lived amongst the living on the day Lehman went bankrupt (and was working at Lehman), I found it strange and wistful to be seeing a movie dramatised on the bad behavior of big banks.

Excuse my rambling :-).
Coming back, I loved the movie. Goes into my favourite list.

Go for it.

Image from Wikipedia

On my overall list it finds a mention

The Kominsky Method
Tabula Rasa
Orange Mittai

Friday, August 02, 2019

2595 : Deewana Dil Deewana From Kabhi Haa Kabhi Naa

I have posted at least 3-4 times about this song. The 1994 movie that contained the song is iconic in the way it built Shah Rukh Khan’s versatility in mysterious way (let me explain...a hero playing a losing no way to build your charisma in Bollywood...and yet SRK did this along with Kundan Shah (who died just a few years ago with very little fame and probably all he was left was with penury).


This song is a little gem. The harmony (and I am sure I have written this earlier too) between Udit Narayan and Amit Kumar is inspired.

I can never tire listening of this song. The lyrics, the music......yes....the lyrics are just way well written for a run of a mill movie.

And the way Amit Kumar sings the best lines of the songs (in terms of lyrics) always takes me back to a place and time when life was simple, happy and we all rooted for a hero who was losing. We were all heartbroken as SRK lost, and yet we felt something good in us emerge as for once we took sides with someone who was clearly the underdog.

Have a listen.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

2594 : The Son (Argentine movie on Netflix)

I saw this movie, quite liked it, but not in the sense others are raving about it. It hooks you but leaves you completely open-ended - which I am ok with, but it's almost bizarrely open-ended.

I would not rate it....not on my overall list. A bit like Super Deluxe. Very highly hyped....not necessarily my kind of movie.

It has too many loose ends and random occurrences for it to be a realistic alternative movie.

It's ok, but definitely does not make a cut in my overall list.

More on it here.
Images from Netflix.

2593 : Reading list 2019 : #27 Outcaste by Matampu Kunhukuttan

I liked this book because it told me more about my roots (Kerala Brahmins) than I ever previously knew.

As I read the book, I shriveled in the fact that I sometimes am unsure if I should even wear my identity (not that I do, but a country like India, you are your ilk!!...can't escape that).

This book singes, it hurts and at various points, it just cuts like a butcher's knife.

Is it a great read? If you are interested in identity politics like me, "yes", else it might just seem too self-involved.

Overall 8 on a scale of 10. It does shake your core, especially since it is based on a true story.

Brings my 2019 reading total to 4829 pages.

Image from

2592 : Nothing to Hide (French Film)

I ended up watching a movie called "Nothing to Hide "(French) and I just absolutely adored it. Worth every minute of your about 2 hrs run time.

Its an honest movie about how each of us is completely fallible. And each of us hosts a "cheat" (porn anyone???) and each of us has no allegiance to fidelity.

Welcome to the brave new world.

On my overall rank, it is right near the top.
The Kominsky Method
Tabula Rasa
Orange Mittai