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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tamil nadu politics

My thoughts have been the exactly the same as rest of Tamil nadu wrt recent events. It is just that these sentiments have zigzacked quite a bit this past year. We have been jumping off from one log to another in a sinking situation. Too many blinders.   

At first, we hated DMK for its 2G scam corruption and nepotism so much that TN that Jayalalitha won a historic consecutive term. Then when Jayalalitha was hospitalized, anybody other than sasikala became the new Mantra. We hoped Stalin would be able to break ADMK and form a government in case something happens to Jayalalitha. Well Stalin is DMK ( & his brother & nephews & half sister & so on). Suddenly DMK's corruption which still mattered after 6 years, wasnt discussed after 6 years and 6 months. 

Now we think Paneer selvam anyday over Sasikala. But what do we know about him? Is he corrupt and if so how corrupt? ( surely there are grades of corruption levels for Indian politicians). Is he a good administrator?  

We dont know.  In fact the only thing we know is Jayalalitha trusted him and he never betrayed that trust. 

One cant even say that about Sasikala. How much of Sasikala's corruption did Jayalalitha partake in will be more of mystery than how and why these two were that close. The latter part atleast JJ knew but I wonder if she knew about the former well.

By shrouding herself with all the relatives Jayalalitha had thrown out and by throwing out the very administrative team JJ put together, it is very clear that 30+ years of friendship that elevated her in status and materialism means Zilch to Sasikala. Nobody had heard Sasikala speak while Jayalalitha was alive. What we knew were only the stories in media. Her behavior post Jaya's death has been consistent with all those evil stories we read. 

I understand the need to keep Sasikala out at any cost but I am not sure if Paneerselvam is the elixir we are looking for or if he would be even a reliable log.  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Continuing on how clueless english media and Sasikala


- Another day another article on Sasikala without a single mention how much people hate her.

Vikatan - The tamil magazine writes one article per hour on how horrible sasikala is.

Updated: Not bad english media is finally catching up but the paid news articles of Sasikala has started appearing too.

Jayalalitha, Tamil nadu and English media

Just some points after reading multiple articles on Jayalalitha's death in English media.
1. Jayalalitha was super corrupt in 1991-1996. An meglomaniac. 100 car trail, an ugly and most expensive wedding. But her subsequent tenures have definitely not been blatantly corrupt. More importantly she implemented schemes that actually had a good impact on  normal lives.

Jayalitha was tempestous, petty and had a colassal ego. None of that takes away the good

2. No they werent all populist measures. Infact one of her strict and the right move - terminating teachers who were repeatedly going on strike ended up costing her election. She made rain water harvesting compulsory -  Believe it or not it actually had an impact. It should be made a pre-requiste across India - Karnataka should do it before fighting for cauvery water. 
She went to court for cauvery dispute - Karunanidhi never did this instead he only purely made politics out of it. Going to the court has been the best for tamil nadu since the agreements have been favorable to tamil nadu. In terms of law and order, she had always been good. LTTE were routed out during 91-96 tenure itself and sandal veerappan was caught when she was in power too. 
These are to name just a few.   

Sure populist schemes would have got her the vote bank but DMK does too. One cursory look, would reveal the popularity she enjoys among the middle class and upper middle class.They didnt vote for her for a mere promise of a bad tv.
I guess #1 made news and #2 doesnt. Because negative news travels faster.
There is a reason why she was re-elected this year.

3. That brings us to Sasikala. No tamil newspaper would talk of sasikala after Jayalalita as automatic ascension. Every single English media outlet has. As of now, every one in TN hates her and have always hated her. If you are talking about MLAS - no one voted for any MLA - most people voted only for Jayalalitha. People associate every corruption of Jayalalitha with her. Period. She might have got the right caste equations in politics but so does every political party. Sasikala is well versed in politics and she doesnt have to worry for another 5 yrs but as of today, she has negative public opinion.

English media has not even acknowledged sasikala's absolute lack of popularity( either they didnt understand or they were trying to curry up a good rapport). No tamil news paper/magazine would write about her in glowing terms. 

All of these makes me wonder what quality of news am I getting about other states? I really wish every national newspaper has journalist who are also familiar with vernacular languages.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Aandavan kattalai

I know divorce is extremely painful for people involved but the divorce court scenes in Aandavan Kattalai made me want to check out the court in chennai on my next trip. The scenes were super hilarious especially with junior vakkil taking the cake. The characters are going on with their life's up and down in the movie but it is hilarious for you.

Wasnt entirely excited about Ritika singh before this movie, but she was quite good. Her cheek bones are naturally high - without any contouring(now, I dont know even the basics of make up). Not sure why the movie had to have a romantic track in the end. 

This was my first Vijay sethupathi in a theatre, my friend and I were expecting a private screening, unfortunately five other people were there. His performance was on the mark. So was every one else's. It is an ensemble cast including yogi babu( who nailed it in the last few scenes). Even in the last few scenes when it gets heavy, the two dumbos have to get him on a wrong bus! Pretty sure I will be watching this few times.

Got to know only after the movie that Kakka muttai director is the one who directed this movie too. Extremely surprising that some one who does festival circuitish can do a full fun movie too. (loved KM too). Next on my list - kutrame thandanai.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Indian stand up comedy

The one or two Indian stand up comedy videos I have come across on youtube were mostly about mocking a bit of cultural divide that exists. (  between upper middle class and lower middle class or ABCD ones were even worse). Even technique wasnt mastered in some cases with bad timing and stuff. It put me off. This one came on youtube recos with like a gazillion views and I ignored it for a week ( that is how bad the couple I watched long time ago were) but this  guy seems good.

Only watched 3 snippets. 2 of them were hilarious.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Game of thrones

I know I know I am late to the game. 

I watched the first episode quite a few months ago. And immediately judged humanity. I am consciously using the term humanity because it seemed as if the entire population (tv watching population) had watched this - atleast that is what it felt like. 

Just the amount of blood. I mean there isnt part of human anatomy which hasnt been injured in this series. 

But then started watching it again 3 months ago. After few episodes, I stopped again mostly due to the gore and partially because it consumes your attention completely. Tried watching something else but dammit you really cant watch anything else while this is on your mind. Nothing else is even remotely as interesting.

After few weekends of intense watching, I am now finally qualified for a certificate of completion. As an additional qualification, I can also predict the amount of blood that will splurt based on where some one is attacked. All in all a wonderful learning experience.

Despite the mocking memes- I saw a meme saying she is only on season 3 of Game of thrones while I was on the exact same season, I am glad I watched it now than earlier. I cant take ramsay bolton atrocities without the closure. Infact I wish they had prolonged the ending over few episodes.

I loved the episode 8 of this season. Infact a friend who has read the book says the TV series matches or is even better than the book. We all know what a rare complement that is. It is like a hollywood epic movie except this has gone on now for 6 seasons with 10 episodes each. 

Khaleesi was worth all that hype.  Love Jon Snow's character. Between them both I think I might choose Jon snow. There are hardly any characters left anyway.

Also Netlfix and other platforms, releasing a season a year is so passe. You need to start doing entire series on a single year.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mannar & Co.

With tons of pressure at work, as I was backing up my car one fine morning it suddenly stuck me. This Mannar & Co. business. 

For those who dont know, Mannar & Co is a comedy track in an old tamil movie. I have never actually seen the video but we had the audio cassette of the comedy track at home. It would have Thangavelu happily going to work everyday with lunch packed lovingly by his wife. Wife, a new bride would happily believe all the stories he would share only to discover One fine day that he wasnt going to work but just to park everyday. 

Fully dressed, lunch packed, he would be going to park everyday just as some one would go to work. 

We dont even have a comparable situation. For starters I dont have anybody packing me lunch. It wouldn't really matter to anyone else as I am the only one who really needs my paycheck. 

Nevertheless, this mannar & Co idea excited me enough that I went around telling couple of my friends. They got excited by the idea. one even suggested that I register the domain. A start up idea perhaps? May be I will pool in people like this and organize park lunches.... So on.

Alas, the joy was short-lived brought to an end by a quick google search. 

Mannar & co not only has a website but actually has a glass door input. A review at glass door! Vettiness of my fellow tamil netizens has ensured that there is nothing left for anyone else to do. I mean vetti stuff that is. 

And my mannar & Co bit the dust even before it could be started :(

PS: Here is a much more inspiring real life mannar & Co story that would warm the cockles of any book lover's heart.