Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Nayanthara Mattrum Samantha

I am not big on movie reviews and probably have written not more than one.  And technically this is not a movie review but rather a discussion of certain movies or certain aspects of Tamil cinema that I have enjoyed recently.

Dark humour has been around in Tamil cinema for quite a long time though it used to be far apart and  far less frequent.

I think it started with the Venkat Prabhu and Co., that Tamil Cinema welcomed this genre back into its folds once again leaving the audience pleased and heavily entertained.

Chennai 28, Goa, Saroja - etc from this crew especially - I believe trained us well enough to be able to appreciate new comer spectaculars such as Soothu Kauvvum, Neram, Jigardanda, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kanam.

I love this new category of Tamil Cinema with its fresh bunch of actors, musicians and artists of all cadre.

Now add to this list the recent Naanum Rowdy Than.  Let me stop you right there if you started to object that this is not to be compared in terms of script or plot strength to the other ones listed above.  I totally agree on that.

But what I loved about this movie is - I never thought I would say that but - Nayanthara's acting!  I think I started enjoying her "style" from "Boss engira baskaran" but it was mild and barely there.

I did not like her - may be the script's particularly the dialogue's fault - in Raja Rani.

But in NRD, she has definitely done a commendable job.  Again there are script hiccups in this one too.

Despite being yet another DUMB HEROINE FALLS IN LOVE routine with the only character strength being her deafness, I think the movie is enjoying its success hugely thanks to Nayanthara's acting and dialogue delivery - not sure if she has used her voice in any movies before but it suited the role perfectly.

Moving away from Dark Humour and going to a what's called a MASS ENTERTAINER which I have nothing good to say about most times, is the movie "10 ennrathukulla".

Nothing great about the movie at all, if you were expecting me to say such things...   It was as awful as you would have guessed.  Once again SAMANTHA here has pulled off the DUMB HEROINE character very well.  For a change I was not watching just Vikram in a Vikram movie which is saying a lot for me.  And you could clearly see the variety if you compared this to her own another DUMB HEROINE performance in anjaan!!

*SPOILER ALERT*  I must say I did NOT enjoy her transformation and "mannerism" for her role 2 in this movie.

So, just wanted to say, good job ladies...!

Disclaimer: Given that I do not follow movies or actors/artists closely enough, I may miss details or other good works of theirs, please forgive me if you are a hard core fan or enthusiast.   This is purely based on my observations limited to the movies I have watched and enjoyed.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SHOTS - A Series of shorts - World Hunger

A good mentor of mine told me once - why don't you use your interests more to the benefit of your beliefs/philosophies/principles? 
I couldn't tell him this at the time because I was afraid of admitting this even to myself but I doubt if I can contribute to any of these "causes" that have me going anytime!! 
It is a question of doubt in myself and my faith!

So a small attempt towards testing it... 
The inspiration was a few two liner stories I read that someone forwarded on whatsapp. 

Story 1:
Her own lines - about people needing to be responsible for the quantity of the food they make or order - from her award winning journal article on World hunger flashed through her head. 
The very reason why she came to this favourite "inexpensive but partly non profit" food haunt of hers that served great quality food - apt for her celebration she had thought! 
She had almost chastised herself into not feeling proud of the fact that she did not choose any of the flash restaurants her Mentor had suggested to go - just for today - while she politely refused that that would be so hypocritical of her if she did go! 
She had instead chosen to dine quietly by herself in her favourite food haunt, rejoicing at her first victory and hoping to give her full at the internship she just won, to work for that very cause.
Not 15 mins after, ashamed of herself, her eyes brimmed with tears while she constantly whispered what she knew to be useless "Sorry" to the scores of hungry people old and young across the world that would not hear or be able to respond to that anyway. 
But she still counldn't bring herself to pick up that whole serving spoon of her favourite food that the new waiter mistakenly dropped on the floor while serving and was now looking at her expecting her to get him fired on his probable first day at work! 
Story 2:
She was pensieve more than upset. After so many years of experience she had grown numb to emotional shock and impact that might come with watching an infant as young as that pass away for lack of nutrition, not a sip of water or mother's milk! 
The world was indeed cruel and it hadn't changed in her 15 years of practice.  Her ability to respond more than react helped her cope with this kind of environment that she chose to work for. 
Her train of thought was dirupted when her son walking in - sweaty from playing to his heart's content all morning, on his last day of school holidays this season - and going for a glass of water dipping two of his fingers in to hold it right. He was still young, she knew.
But she couldn't stop from reacting to "that" and did not pause to think while draining that almost perfectly drinkable glass of water down the sink and feeding him a fresh glass to avoid him touching it. 
She did not know if she felt ashamed or angry or disappointed in herself and unfair world she lived in while mumbling a word of prayer for that infant soul!
Note: I'll try to shorten them in the ones to come.  I will switch "causes" but want to continue a series on world hunger.
But some interesting apps I came across are: 
Share The Meal - WHO
MOHAN Foundation - EDonor App
I am yet to explore these in full so more on them later.

Monday, November 23, 2015

SHOTS - Birthday!


She woke up to a mailbox full of birthday wishes...
Her shopping site memberships had gained her several families...
Well...That was the only kind of family she knew...


Her phone calendar woke her up on an alarm that sang happy birthday to her... 
Her Facebook aquantancies promptly responded to their own synchronised calendars and wished her well.
Strangers called her dear and liked her birthday morning selfie...
She was alone and not only in the house...


She walked out shy and slow to take a peek.  She could see what she was promised on her 15th Birthday!
Her fear came true to see Madam smiling at her conspiratorially when she walked out and an even harder glint to the man's eyes...
It was going to be no different this year then...Unless worse! She sighed and unconsciously reached to touch the almost invisible bruises on her body...

Note: All the love and wishes I received on my birthday and do every year, is something I take for granted!

While scores of people around the world suffer and birthday is just another bad day!


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Oh get lost! But take my love with you!

Oh get lost!
But take my love with you!

when you walk all over me and leave me on the floor
I hate you from my heart, from inside my soul.
All that anger flowing and drowning me foul.

And that's when I lose it and let you go through the door
Oh go to hell!
And there trotts my heart, with a wagging tail...

That's when I decide to drown deeper but with my heart gone...
And the burden of my love for you following you out...
Leaves me so light that I float back right up...
The bouyancy of this ironic life...

And again my zombie mind shouts...
Oh get lost!
And still there goes...my life and love with you...!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Just some thoughts

Sometimes we won't understand if someone spoke to us this way because there are a myriad of other things in play when we speak to one another such as our facial expressions, tones, body language etc., that only add fuel to fire or makes things go on an unnecessary and/or damaging tangent.

When written down there is only our own assumptions of tone so we can pause to think about if they truly meant it that way! 

So I hope everyone reading this takes a minute to review themselves and also pause before they think or speak next time.

People are so often so full of judgement and prejudices but do not pause to even consider the possibility of being so.

Sometimes they are so naive about it that it baffles the hell out of me as to how they can assume such things and be unaware of the fact that they are only "assuming" and it is not the truth.

Other times they are so adamant or arrogant about it or at the very least confident about their assumed facts that I am left amused and angry at the same time.

Get out of your heads people and pause before you speak or act!! Really!!

The other thing I find annoying is the fact that people can't let their younger ones make their own mistakes and learn.

They must "correct/help" them... But please! The best parent is the one that stays around, watches you make mistakes & learn from those but doesn't say "I told you so"!

The one that gives a pat on the back and says I learnt it the hard way too, you are only so much stronger for it now! 

Of course it all comes down to individuals but most mature young ones expect this treatment and the more you treat them this way from earlier on, the more they learn to be on their own and evolve to learn from their mistakes, isn't it?

Young people need others to have faith and confidence in them!  Give them that and they will be thankful to you for it forever.

I am learning of such mistakes I made myself too - of assumptions, judgement and handholding - that I did to a lot of people that had the misfortune of being "under" me or "younger" than me, and I just want to say sorry for being an ASS :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Truths about life as a Gen-Y

Disclaimer:  All opinions expressed here are my own.  You are not obliged to agree with any of these.  Do not post hateful comments either.
Thanks to Aruna Narayanan for making me feel good by clarifying that we were Gen Y and not Gen X.
The most overrated in life as a Gen Y

30 years of age ---

30 is not a deadline (not any other age for that matter).

With my vicious 30 in the vicinity, I too am confronting the great fear.


Your metabolism, physiology and all other things that keep you in 'Young & Growing' probably changed a decade ago so don't even bother!

Wear it with pride, after all age is just a number...No!?

Sex ---

It is not as big a deal as one is led to believe.
Legal Adults - Check
Consensual - Check (also involves not being intoxicated while making the decision).
Protection - Check
Then it’s good to go.
Even to write this I am right now overcoming a mental battle against it but I know this what I have said is correct.
Unique ---
"Everyone is uniform in their aspiration to be unique and the fact they already are unique as with the rules of a multidimensional universe".
                                             ---Ujwala B Joshi   ;)
Social Media ---
Not being a social media omnipresence does not mean you are a recluse. 
Understand the objectives of being a part of each and pick and choose.  Get over it, move on!
Shape and size ---
Honestly!  It doesn't matter because you are Unique ;)
I am not talking about fitness here or health.  
Yes, I did have to think carefully to choose which  of these almost synonyms that I am to undermine the hyoe of, if at all it is.
Fashion ---
It is so subjective (it is a long list so I am leaving it for you to think about what is it subject to or subjective of) that it shouldn't be so uniformly hyped.
Caste and Religion ---
Choose to believe what you may. 
Debating about it is a waste of time.
Proliferation ---
Don't do it unless YOU/YOURS and ONLY YOU/YOURS want to.
IQ/GeekDom ---

Though these are truly two different things, people seem to think of them as synonymous and everyone wants to be one! 

Everyone of us is either truly one - in a subject of our interest - 

and pretending to be one - in common subjects of interest -

while also pretending not to be one when we truly are - if the subject of our choosing is not quite platable to the crowd we are in.

Sexual Orientation --- 
It's always been there, either accepted openly or practiced secretly.   It always will be.  
As long as it is as per Sex above it should be good to go.
The most underrated or valued in life as a Gen Y
Water ---
Conserve Period
Green Earth/Renewable resources ---
Educate yourself if you disagree or die trying.  There is no alternate reality.
Survival Skills ---
Learn to DIY as much as you can. 
Learn to survive.  For WINTER IS COMING…. ;) :P

Monday, May 25, 2015

விட்டில் பூச்சியின் வாழ்க்கை விளங்கியது...!

Vittil poochiyin vazhkai vilangiyathu...
Muzhu nilavu kandu nan kannagatradu mind ra bodu.

Adan vazhkai enadanadu,
Unai kandu nerungiyathilirundu!

Ennai erikkum oliyum enai eerkkum visaiyum neeyagi poivittai... 

The wonders of (Associative) Memory, Emotional Overwhelm and othertricks of mind:

When I was between 8 and 10 years old, I used to speak Telugu fluently. 

I can't string a basic sentence together properly, if you asked me now.

How we are adept at forgetting things more than remembering!!

I grew up with my parents being able to speak 4-6 languages each, none of which I was taught to speak (or read or write for that matter) except for Tamil and English.

But today, if some one talks in those languages I was exposed to as a child, I can follow the meaning of a conversation or at least work out the context of it.

I would feel as if I was invading the privacy of the people conversing.

On the one side I would be eager to know how much I could understand and on the other, I would want to stop listening.

An Associative Memory is when some semblance to an old (archived?) memory brings forth responses/reflexes that you were not aware that you could/knew.

Two of the aspects of this have always fascinated me more than the others, that arising from music and that arising because of scent or odour.

Note how I said Music specifically and not auditory in general. 

Yes, I know... It does makes more sense when there is an order to the sounds as in the case with music and not just noise or abstract sound to evoke a long dormant memory or reflex.

And music being an easy & well known mnemonic (remember all those school rhymes), should only make it easy for my awestruck brain to make sense, every time it sings along a whole song without missing a beat or word, when that from a dusty memory, plays somewhere even I have no memory of actually listening to it ever.

My family was quite into Music when I was a child.  Our pursuits of music in its various forms have reduced and we almost do nothing but listen and may be share playlists these days. (As I'm sure is the case with most of us with "busy" lives making a living...) 

Today I got reminded of Meera Bhajan songs by LataMangeshkar (apparently recorded in the year 1978, I just came to know) that my mom used to listen to a lot.

And the surprise in store was that I could remember every song (and even the little breathing pause she takes in one of the songs which got recorded mistakenly.... :))

Similarly, this past week I was listening to quite a few of the old Indian Music either from Movies or those sung by the greats from their 'singing for Indian Movies' careers.

And some of these songs I still have not seen videos of, hardly ever heard them on radio or cassettes (given these are easily 40-60 years old) but I could remember (if not sing) every little 'nuance and tricky trek on the notes' along and at the exact places.

Always a pleasant surprise when that happens!

But a scent evoking memories is a different story altogether for me... This is something that I can't explain really well. 

The memories it brings back are sharp but still shadowy...

I wish I knew how to tune in to this and figure out the teasing memory... 

I've sometimes stopped in my tracks, trying to really reach out and snatch at the memory when a scent hits me bringing back half a story.

Sometimes it's like a puzzle, dropping a piece at a time, right on my head so it would jolt me (to being awareof it?) but pieces not always of the same puzzle.  

This is one of the most intriguing experiences.  Makes me curious (obviously), aware (of some foggy memory residing in my head), zoned out (from the present trying to remember the past), sad (when not able to completely recall) and all of this at the same time. 

Not to sound like a creep, I am pretty confident that everyone has these experiences especially if one has moved around a lot or has seen a lot of changes in life.  Some are just more aware of it, some less.

Who knows, may be I am just connecting to my 'present' on a parallel universe... ;)

Now not just memories but there's another activity of the ever busy neurons that intrigue me...

When I feel emotionally overwhelmed while I watch an extraordinary performance of any kind.

Idol and Talent shows are my best and worst entertainment in this sense.

I absolutely don't mind this in the confines of my own house and that of my loved ones, definitely a nuisance when I am out and about.

The best way to become the butt of jokes when among friends... Huff!!!

Well, memories and emotions are/were always my favourite topic of discussion even if it was only in my own head.

May be they are overrated like people say but I am sure I will always stay fascinated by them!!

OneNote and EverNote

Evernote clearly states that you can't edit an attached file on a phone.  

Could use a clear statement like that from OneNote too!  


Ennayum arasiyal vaadi aakkitteengale!


Ennayum IT blog eluda vechiteengale!


As I have stated many a times before, I am no geek nor a tech wiz of formidable experience or knowledge!


But I am forced to continue expressing review-like-opinions due to my experience trying to work with a few popular apps on my iPhone 5 with iOS 7.


It was a simple task of trying to open a text file attachment on my mail (app) and editing it or at least even 'selecting all' and pasting into my blogger app.


To make the long story short:


  1. Evernote would only accept the file from the Open In action on my mail box (or even from browser mail) and keep it as is - an attached text file into one of its notes.


Thankfully though I found Apple confessing this limitation(?) explicitly on many of their forums or help topics.


  1. OneNote 2013 mobile app though kept it more of a left to interpretation and common sense may be as some of you Wiz's might call.


Alas! I am not a power user and I am a mere mortal that is usually a READ ONLY user.


Anyway, it was not clear that until I wasted a lot of time searching around and checking various forums before my accepted that my TEXT file was suffering Unrequited and even Unacknowledged love towards OneNote 2013 mobile app.


An early indicator was that (made sense too), it said it needs an underlying app that can work with these attached/embedded files to work with them.


  1. After several futile attempts it was apparent there were not many simple (free apps) that would do this job though this seems quite basic for a smart phone to handle.


I am aware that I can convert it to different file formats that work better and then use it with various free apps such as PDF, DOC etc..,


But my "precious" is a 16 GB lightweight and while experimenting I conscious of the space that each of these apps claim.


  1. Another nasty surprise came from another close to my heart - the very "friendly" Google!


Yes, Google drive accepted my TEXT file graciously into its folds but did not let me Select All the lengthy content of my text file either to do a simple COPY!


Neither would it interface with Google Docs and let me open try opening it there.


  1. The work around was to open drive in WEB mode from Safari and then open the TXT file.  Then I could send it to Evernote, not as an attachment this time but a friendly Note, with all of the TXT file contents laid bare for me to Select All and Copy.


  6)    The easiest route thus far though is to Simply Drop Box and use it on my Phone where I don't need another "Editor" but rather can open, Select All and Copy then and there on my phone's Drop Box!


The reason I chose the other routes initially were because I use these Apps already for other purposes and it was natural for me to go there and try given all the world singing praise for Evernote and OneNote for much more advanced things than copying All content of a mere TXT file attachment.


Well, guess I lost a little bit of my "dumb" through this exercise and it was definitely worth it for I learnt about a few of these below:


  1. IFTTT -- https://ifttt.com/ --- I am going to try this out this weekend and see if I can overcome my disappointment of finding Google Drive not being able to talk to Blogger or Google Docs directly sharing files across (talking about all of them iPhone apps here specifically). 


Google family iOS (phone) apps needs to be a little more sharing and caring!


But it's not limited to just that, you can apparently set up rules for various Apps and Sites to interact.  Worth checking out if nothing else.  Worth skipping a Sunday afternoon nap… :)


   2)    Plain Text (free and basic) and other editors (paid and rich ;)) from Drop Box!  Or their many rivals in the paid apps world of course.




   3)   Wonders of OneNote 2013 and Evernote.  Yes they do a lot of cool stuff unlike the boring and dumb - open a TXT file attached without an underlying text editor app!!


   4)   Little tips and tricks with each of the apps' settings on my phone and some of them lying in disuse (if not use, at least remove them).


  5)   Got me started with drop box - an app that I didn't care to use much before.  I know!!


Glad I hit a problem and spent some time waking up my common sense and bringing in some absent "app-sense"… :)






Wednesday, May 20, 2015

What pad??

I do not remember how I got introduced to this new friend but I did.

And we have been thin and thick over time... WATTPAD

I am pretty sure there are scores of Apps out there that does the same thing, may be some better and some worse.

This one does enough for me... For now.. Thought I should write about it before I tire and move on to something else...

It's been both good and bad. Bad being I don't read or finish the 'hard' books anymore and I get quite distracted with this when I am supposed to be doing other things... Like work for a living...

But well...even with 'hard' books I did that so this is only making it easier to do... The frequency of the crime is the only thing increasing not the crime or the gravity of it ;)

Now going for the good things:

I am usually slow in exploring things say an app. I don't just go in and try every feature on the day 1, just because...

My enthusiasm to explore is usually overtaken with a fascinating feature and there it stops till something bores me of it or if I feel like taking a break.

So the point is if you are looking for a review of the App and all its features then  I'm sorry this will be a disappointment.

Now there, that said...

WATTPAD has scores of people like you and me writing on it.  Anything and everything they feel like, stories, poems, shorties of any sort, series, read soaps where they publish the story in parts every week or every two days or any which way they prefer.

And then people like you and me read them, rate, 'fan' as the wattpadians call, even comment at any point in the story giving it good and bad feedback then and there!  

When you think about it, it's quite the same formula.  Writer's and readers social media.  Really.

You post, we read, follow, comment, vote etc.., But the opportunity like never before for budding writers to get live feedback, giving them a chance to change things to suit the mood.  And for established writers to gauge the reaction of the crowd.

Yes in a way I was debating with myself if this was truly good.  If you think about that was the beauty of writing, you write what you imagined and people either accept or reject. That makes you a true competitor or candidate.  Not knowing the judges preferences even as you are competing.  Oh well, I know, I am an idealist sometimes!!!

But what I noticed is all these 12 and 14 year olders writing! I just absolutely love that idea. A platform for children to cultivate an interest in writing.  

I've read several books on this App, the good, the bad and the ugly.

As far as I've checked the writing part of the app seems to be quite basic but again I have not really forayed into this yet.

This is more from me as a reader...

I think there could be more work on the writing part as well as privacy settings.

An app that is certainly keeping me more than just company! :)


I almost forgot that it also allows other languages apart from English to be written in and read in.  I couldn't find any written in Tamil yet though.

Oh and it has loads of free ebooks and classics available too!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

It's Cold... A Perpspective

Every single person out walking, from little kids to old women...are smoking!