Thursday, October 30, 2003

Memoirs of a R.C person!

One of my fellow Coolers, G (he, the "wanna-be gaboor", according to knowledgeable sources), sent me this piece as a email text forward. Being R.C is probably the single most important characteristic of a cooler, the other being that a prospective Cooler should be a male who has lost, if not all, at least some of his marbles. His comments should not make sense to anyone except another cooler and he should possess a tendency to act stupid all the time.

G's forwarded email touched a nerve so easily that I Googled it and got through to the original post on Sulekha. Read it, if u are the quintessential R.C guy! Read it...

So do us R.C's need a mask (like Mr.Stanley Ipkiss, loyal employee of the Edge City bank) to break the shackles that bind us? What da ya feel ?

Btw, the comments to this piece on Sulekha are interesting too. Don't miss. Add some comments to the page so that you help him lose his R.C tag. And yeah, that is not a place to exchange sob stories. So if you are R.C too, please refrain from commenting. LOL....

Tuesday, October 28, 2003


Thalaiva Kingsley!!! I know you got there thro Ram, but danks anyways for getting me here... Avaru Vazhi thani vazhiya irundhalum.. anbal sendha padai ulagam muzhuvadhum!!!

A hypothetical look at a desi version of "FRIENDS"

Shobha is certainly one hell of a FRIENDS buff. But so am I. I may not remember each and every guest actor/actress but I go as far as reading old scripts during lunch breaks. And I have ended up spilling food more than once over my table. Luckily haven't damaged my comp keyboard yet :). Previously when had Kazaa on my lab comp, we used to d/l old episodes and watch them at our convenience - during lunch breaks. Now no Kazaa..So only scripts...

Shobha has a FRIENDS centric post on her blog. She says a big screen version of FRIENDS would follow after the end of the tenth and last season, which begins soon. I wonder where she got that piece of info. Shobha, kindly clarify...

She also poses a hypothetical question. Who could star in a desi big screen version of FRIENDS. I started this post out on her comments box, but thought it would be prudent to post it on here. So here goes my cast for a Desi FRIENDS.

If I were to think of TV series or a movie that came close to capturing the essence of FRIENDS, it would be Dil Chahta Hai. Hence my cast is also the complete cast of DCH (weill almost)! This is the closest thing ever to the FRIENDS cast.


Chandler could be Aamir (funny, cynical and romantic as Akash in DCH)

Joey could be Saif (hopelessly stupid and romantic as Sameer)

Ross could be Madhavan (He's shown he can emote and also has a good comic sense, as is evident from his movies - AP, Minnale (RHTDM in Hindi) , Dum Dum Dum and Run)

Female parts... I dunno.. Cannot go beyond Preity Zinta for Phoebe cos she always seems to get these effervescent roles that make her jump up and down - a perfect fit for Phoebe. As for Rachel and Monica, this needs careful thinking.

Could we fit in Urmila for Monica? I think she could carry it off. Challenge is finding a fit for Rachel. The character is the most diverse. Because everyone else is just what they seem to be.

Rachel seems so normal at first sight, but then the things she does just gives her away.. Hmm..Sridevi could have been just right for this, at her heyday, that is. Sridevi as the bungling journo in Mr.India was just so Rachel! But then this is all hypothetical after all.. Hence Sridevi it is...

As for the supporting cast, Gunther could be someone like Rajpal Yadav (watch out for him in Mein Madhuri Dixit Banna Chahti Hoon). I would have gone for someone like Johnny Lever or Vivek for that matter, but both of them seem incapable of underplaying a character or remain silent for that matter. Come to think of it, Nagesh would have done much better. So Nagesh it would be, as Gunther.

And as much as I can try, I can't find someone from Bollywood suitable to play Janice. So, I am gonna look south and it could actually be Kovai Sarala.

Now am I missing some recurring character here ? Yeah, Ross and Monica's parents. Just pick one Rajshri movie and pick a pair of elderly actor/actresses who play the uncles/aunts. These characters provide the laughs while all the father/mother characters serve to jack up the tissue quotient.

I think it can't get better than this. To summarize...

Ross - Madhavan
Chandler - Aamir Khan
Joey - Saif Ali Khan
Rachel - Sridevi (i.e. the Mrs. Boney Kapoor)
Monica - Urmila
Phoebe - Preity Zinta

What say guys... Your views.. Shobha?

Monday, October 27, 2003

Intelligent work from Intel?

Found this link on Rediff. Check out particularly the last paragraph. I hope it comes through!

Friday, October 24, 2003

YSR and Dhanush – The gains from Kadhal Konden

Some time ago, I had posted a piece of Vidyasagar’s quiet entry into the major league. But a couple of months down the line, it seems that Vidyasagar’s is not alone in the company of ARR and IR. Along comes IR Jr. – YSR. Quietly he has taken his deserving place in this esteemed company, though in several steps lower (as of now) than his illustrious father.

Starting with Poovellam Kettupar in 1999, where he had a bouquet of fine numbers (Nithyashree Mahadevan’s jarring version of one particular song not withstanding) that were embellished by the likes of Hariharan, Unnikrishnan and Srinivas, he has grown in stature today. He has been noticed by one and all concerned and I am sure that with the talent that has resulted in several hits this year, the big one is not too far.

Kadhal Konden is one such effort. While Dhanush seems to draw inspiration from roles essayed by Kamal Hassan in such movies as Sigappu Rojakkal and Guna, six pieces of YSR’s fine music combined with his strong background score only serves to highlight the angst in the life of a young man unable to forget his past as an abused child.

Shankar Mahadevan excels in Manasu Rendum which is my favorite in this set. First heard this song on the car ride to Indy on the day of the US GP and have been hooked ever since. The booming drum in the background somehow has me running the song repeatedly on my computer. Another addition to the “soul of Anti” collection. Vijay Yesudas’s rendition of “Kathal mattum” reminds me more of Unni Menon than KJY. Seriously until I saw his name on the credits of the song, I was under the impression that it was Unni Menon. A slow number that I would probably start loving on repeated listening. Nenjodu is Unni Krishnan all the way. Obviously modeled on Kanmani Anbodu from Guna, but Unni Krishnan and Sujatha lift this song to another level. Devathaiyai Kanden is one of Harish Ragavendar’s two efforts in this soundtrack, the other being Thottu thottu. Decent at best though I haven’t listened to these two songs more than a few times. However these two songs pale in comparison to Manasu Rendum.

Some of YSR’s last few efforts in the background score have hit the mark easily. Case at point - Mounam Pesiyathey. Kadhal Konden is no different and the background score only proves that YSR's earlier efforts were not mere flashes in the pan. But do I hear the opening bars of Bryan Adam’s Everything I do whenever Dhanush and the heroine share a tender moment? However it is fleeting.

As for the actual movie, Golf Dude commented that Kadhal Konden was a “well made Guna”. I would beg to differ here, only because Guna was made first. Kadhal Konden had it easy because all Selvaraghavan had to do was to build upon Guna, which I don’t think he has been successful in. In that sense I don’t rate this movie better than Guna. But full credit to the director for establishing the basis for such a character. Topics like child molestation have not yet come into focus in India and hence Selvaraghavan needs to be applauded for depicting these things on screen and yet not change the focus of the movie. An ideal platform for Dhanush to do his bit and he has done so effortlessly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Time for Bollywood to blow its own harp?

The latest issue of Time (Asia) has Aishwarya Rai on the cover, with photo features on 10 Indian Films to Treasure and Bollywood's Players. Also featured in this special focus issue on Bollywood are interviews with Aamir Khan (check out that beard and the unkempt hair on that dude in this pic!) and Amitabh Bachchan in addition to the other three mentioned earlier.

There are several notable absentees, in my opinion, in the list of Players featured. But what irked me much more is the list of 10 Bollywood movies that mentions trash like Devdas in the same breadth as classics like Sholay and Mother India. I am not against Sanjay Leela Bhansali, but I still cannot get over the fact that Devdas was considered better than movies like Kannathil Muthamittal (to name just one deserving movie) for India's entry to the Oscars last year. To be labeled “must watch” is too much. Devdas's only claim to fame was its premiere in Cannes. The accompanying cover story on Time mentions this - Why do our films stick to stereotype?" lamented Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee after seeing Devdas, which for all its well-deserved critical praise, was still the 12th version of the same love story since the original 1928 silent movie. But look out for Bollywood's PR machine to go on the overdrive in the next couple of days. And from now on for the next one year, every single director would quote Quentin Tarantino (as if we did not have enough from Bappi Lahiri accusing Universal of cultural imperialism. ROTFLMAO! Seriously… That coming from Bappi?).

And if there's one thing that strikes me, it is the constant portrayals of Bollywood movies as the best representatives of Indian cinema. How can that be so? When most of the Bollywood movies are shot abroad and some even go to the extent of passing off the countryside of the Czech Republic and Switzerland as India? In fact one of the movies omitted from the list of must watch Indian movies was Lagaan. Aamir innings (and the last ball six) in that climatic cricket match, though being fantastical, was just as close to fantasy as Sachin Tendulkar's blazing assault on Fleming et al. in Sharjah, circa 1998.

I am still waiting for the world to grow up to the pleasures offered by GOOD Indian cinema and all the hoopla about this mediocrity makes me sick. When will the world media recognize people who have been churning clean and technically perfect movies repeatedly over the years? Does the international media know what this means – All that glitters is not gold?

Update (Nov. 13th, 2003): This post is on the BBM #34 hosted by Shanks. Thanks to Ram for the nomination!

Quotes from the new age Bollywood

Last summer, I had meetings with Robert de Niro and Roland Joffe and Mike Leigh. They'd say, "When are you available? And I'm like, "Maybe at the end of next year." And they're like, "Wow, you can't be serious." But that's my life right now. --- Aishwarya Rai (Read the Time magazine interview here)

I met Quentin Tarantino and he'd heard about Kaante, which borrowed a lot from Reservoir Dogs. And he was so thrilled. He said, "I ripped that off from Hong Kong and now you guys have taken it from me.' Imitation is a form of flattery, you see. --- Rahul Bose (Read full interview here)

With my films, I'm targeting the urban multiplexes, the sophisticated media-savvy young crowd. Frankly, I couldn't give a f--- for the villages. --- RGV (Read full interview here)

Monday, October 13, 2003

Is Hayden really No.1?

If you ask me who is the world's best batsman at present, I would obviously say Sachin Tendulkar. But if the choices were given to be Hayden and Lara, I would have no qualms in settling for Lara. However the number crunchers at Pricewater House Coopers who rank the batsmen based on their performance don't seem to agree.

The latest rankings place Hayden above everybody else, including Lara and Tendulkar. But the 380 that has propelled him into the top spot for the second time in his career is not the top ranked innings since 1990. That honor still goes to Lara's epic 213 against Australia at Kingston in 1999. Vangipurappu Venkata Sai's 281 is safe too at the second spot. Both these knocks rate higher apparently because of the bowling attack that they were made against - a full strength Australian attack.

The legitimacy of these two spots cannot be questioned. But the positioning of Hayden's knock over several others - notably Stephen Fleming's 274 against Murali this year at his best and that too at home, defies reason. Also ranking lower is Saeed Anwar's 188 n.o against India in 1999 - a knock that carries more significance (atleast in my eyes), because he carried his bat through the innings with Srinath running through the other end with the next highest scorer being Youhana with 56. Pakistan won the test ultimately by 46 runs. If that does not increase the value of an inning, what will?


I posted these questions for someone from the PWC site to answer me and they did within 12 hours of my post. Here's their reply....
See the FAQ for a discussion of how a batsman's innings is rated. As
to why Hayden is above Anwar....well, that's just the way the weightings
work out. If Anwar had scored 5 more runs in that innings, he'd have been above


Well, numbers.... I don't know !! The FAQ did not exactly help me, but I found a link on the FAQ to a site that explains the formulae behind the ratings. Maybe you can get some ideas...
Dangerous and Petty Games

An interesting race at Suzuka on Sunday. Every minute of the race, something happened to interest the average racing fan. No better showcase for the thrills of Formula 1 than Suzuka 2003! A keenly contested incident filled race from minute one. Stratergic planning, inspired passing moves, mechanical failures, mid race shunts - there was everything that a Formula 1 fan could look for. Fittingly Ruebens Barichello won the race from pole, though it seemed for sometime that he was content to let Juan Pablo Montoya win the race while he blocked Raikonen and co. from disturbing Michael Schumacher's applecart. Michael meanwhile was fighting tooth and nail to get into points position. He even got a toast of his own medicine (all the fault was his though, as he himself admitted) when Sato clipped his front wing. Micheal also showed off his trademark blocking when he veered wide to cut off Ralf who was trying to pass him on the main straights. Seems he does not care even for his brother. Not that I would expect him to! Raikonen and DC finished two and three with Montoya retiring from the lead quite early. Takuma Sato, Christian Di Matta and Jenson Button all had a good race while Ralf Schumacher finished 12th.

An eventful year in F1, thus comes to an end. A better season, though not the best so far, for the BMW-Williams and the West McLaren Mercedes teams. Another championship pair for the Jean Todt, Ross Brawn, Michael Schumacher and Ruebens Barichello combination. Championships that was won equally by back room politics and some inspired driving too. No wonder that after all the events of this year, this happens....

Wednesday, October 08, 2003


I don't know about you, but I'm getting sick of pretending to be excited every time it's somebody's birthday, you know what I mean? What is the big deal? How many times do we have to celebrate that someone was born? Every year, over and over... All you did was not die for twelve months. That's all you've done, as far as I can tell. Now those astrology things where they tell you all the people that have the same birthday as you? It's always an odd group of people too, isn't it? It's like Ed Asner, Elijah Muhammed and Secretariat.

Ok.. That was one of my gurus Jerry Sienfeld (click here to read/download the complete set of Sienfeld scripts, unofficial though) on birthdays. Anyways.. Thanks for all the shirts.. My wardrobe was crying out for a revamp! Thanks for the cake too. As Akash/Sameer would affirm, I would have done anything for a piece of cake, particular one as good as yesterdays. Only that my hair would have been satisfied with much less cake than it got!

Saturday, October 04, 2003

New faces!

When I last updated my blogroll, I had signed off by saying that I might have missed some one. Actually I realized yesterday that I did miss some one. Sorry George! I enjoy your pieces so much that I am the first person who is surprised to have missed adding you.

The other new face on my blogroll writes for Cricinfo for his bread and butter and maintains a weblog for fun. Part of the QED team that has won the Landmark Quiz in Chennai more than once in the last few years. A familiar face at the QFI at Chennai - Samanth Subramanian! Welcome to the fold (I meant, my blogroll ;) )!

As an aside, Samanth's team mates are Ravi Venkatesh (last seen on SRMEC's campus) and Mohan. The last mentioned, I heard, was part of the IIT(M) team that thrashed Brickbeck College, University of London, the British National Champions, at the University Challenge Quiz on BBC.