December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Wishes to all of U!!

Have a great 2008 filled with loads of fun ;-))

May ur life have the smile of the roses and be as fresh as the dew drops

Sudha Raghunathan Concert

Last evening, had been to Sudha Raghunathan Kutcheri in Naradha Gana Sabha. One word description- Amazing! What vocal prowess she has!!..years of dedicated practice is clearly seen. Even though, I didn't know head or tail of carnatic music, I could enjoy the show. Kurai Ondrum Illai left a lasting impact on me.
As usual the canteen also did not disappoint ;-)) A sunday well spent!

December 26, 2007

Kurudhi Punal - Indira Parthasarathy

A powerful Tamil Novel. Kuruthi Punal is based on the dalit struggle against upper caste, culminating in a climax that depicts the burning of dalits in kezhvenmani, an obscure village in Thanjavur ( a tragic real incident).

I particularly liked the satire style. Politics & politicians are ripped apart even though they don't play a big part in the novel. It was panned by many for not highlighting the true nature of the struggle (In the novel - it paints personal vendetta as against social upheaval) The author, Indira Parthasarathy justifies that is a novel based on the incident & it does not have to follow the original. Whatever, only very few mainstream novels dare to take sides on a very tragic gruesome incident. Kudos for that.

Wiki link to the kezhvenmani massacre. Incidentally, yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the atrocity. From Hindu

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Kilvenmani atrocity, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) will open a training school for agricultural workers and a new memorial hall at the village.

On December 25, 1968, 44 Dalit agricultural workers, including women and some children, were burnt alive by local landlords and their hirelings in reprisal against the agitation led by the All India Kisan Sahba demanding higher wages

Must read!

December 19, 2007

Vijay TV's Hatrick

Vijay TV seems to have hit the jackpot. Three serials - Three different genres.
Kana Kaanum Kaalangal - a school based story
Madurai - rustic rural romantic story - many native characters
Kaadhalika neram illai - singapore based love story - 4 principal characters alone

I don't get to watch them regularly. But heard they have hit bigtime. It is a welcome change from the ever sobbing mega-serials filled with women centric themes. Whatever - the three title songs are damn good. Better than the trash belted out in movies now-a-days.

Stupid Article in Outlook

Chicken A La South - a huge blunder of an article in Outlook.

The point that this article makes is very a "profound discovery" - It says the traditional Idli-Sambar diet of 'South Indians /Tamilnadu' has changed to non-veg. Now more veg people are turning to non-veg.

Some 80 per cent of South Indians are non-vegetarian, as opposed to 44 per cent of North Indians, according to the Indian Food Intake Survey 2007, carried out by Protein Foods and Nutrition Development Association of India and market
research agency Pathfinders: India.

So whats the great deal here? For eons Tamilnadu has been traditionally Non-veg with a very small minority of the population only eating veg. What a discovery now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So would South Indians, who, apart from battling the generic label of 'madrasi' they are all put under, are also assumed by their brethren in the north to be strict herbivores getting by on platefuls of idli-dosa-sambar. In reality,though, vegetarianism is a preserve of the Brahmin, others in the South have always had a thriving meats-rich cuisine.

Who are they trying to sell this point to? It looks like as though you came across an alien species and you needed to write an article about their corrected food habits you presumed as otherwise.

The Nadar down the street may well say 'I told you so' to that. He has for long griped that "ever since Brahmins starting eating eggs, the prices have gone up".

Ha..Ha..Good Joke...I'm saying good becos some extremely good jokes are coming later.

Abitha Sathish Kumar, head of academics at the Indian Institute of Fashion Design in Chennai, thinks the only reason so many biriyani shops have proliferated in her neighbourhood, Triplicane, one of the traditionally Brahmin-dominated areas of Chennai, is because many Chennai Brahmins have turned non-vegetarian.

I'm not blaming Abitha, man..the author, editor incharge should have some great sense of humour to let this get printed. Triplicane is also a muslim dominated area. Any chennai-ite would know triplicane is the place where any non-IT bachelor would get a room - there are soooo many mansions to cater to their needs. No wonder you have biriyani shops..

I think I will end up quoting the entire article ;-))

..It just shows the mindset of people from elsewhere - Tamilnadu has been associated with veg eating people only while the absolute majority (see it is not even a 60% - 40% weightage - If I can be liberal - it would be 90%-10% weightage) has been ignored completely. It shows years of bias. Sometime earlier, even CNN IBN carried a report of how traditional chennai (read veg) is now changing to Non-veg! I guess these people just now woke up to the fact that Tamilnadu is different from what they thought it was. Talk about prejudice!!

December 13, 2007

Children vaccinations recalled

Toys were recalled..fine..
Nokia batteries were recalled...fine
Laptops were recalled..fine

Now, this is tooooo dangerous ...
"Merck and Co is recalling about a million doses of a childhood vaccine, after testing showed a sterilisation problem in a Pennsylvania factory....The company is not aware of any harm to children who received the vaccine, known as Hib, which prevents meningitis and pneumonia. The recall involves 10 lots of Hib vaccine and two lots of a combination vaccine for both Hib and Hepatitis B, a Merck spokeswoman said. She said the company did not find contamination in the vaccine itself, but in the plant where the vaccine is produced in West Point, Pennsylvania.Merck is one of the few drug makers that produces a significant number of vaccines."

More info here

Already the role of vaccination is being questioned in perpetuating autism. Vaccines are something we blindly trust & take it seriously. Hope this incident is a one time happening and never reoccurs!

December 11, 2007

Remix Songs

The latest trend in Tamil Filmdom is to remix old popular songs. But only very few click. Take the case of the songs that were released recently.

Ye Aatha Aaathorom-a: [Malaikottai] is strictly OK.

Engaiyum Eppothum: [Polladhavan] is below average for the simple reason, the original is still a big hit. It is not a joke to tamper with a cult classic.

Ponmagal vandhal: [Aghaghiya Tamil Magan] is easy on the ears. They have stuck to the original tune for the best part of the song with some rap interludes thrown here & there. Foot Tapping number. Watch Vijay imitating Sivaji in a black & white scene. Cool.

My Name is Billa: [Bila 2007] Disaster. I could just hear the sound only. Infact the entire Billa album lacks soul. Except for seval kodi, I didn't like any of the songs. Hope atleast the picturization of the songs save the day.

December 04, 2007

Vapi? Sukinda?

Rings a bell? Nope!

Well, these two places are very much in India. Their claim to limelight? - they find their way into the World's 10 most polluted places list collated by Forbes magazine.

Admist enjoying the cosy comforts of AC, cushioned chair, steaming hot coffee, AR Rahman song in the headphone, it was quite a jolt to read the article..
"In some towns, life expectancy approaches medieval rates, and birth defects are the norm, not the exception," Forbes says, quoting the Blacksmith Institute, based on a study this fall. "In others, children's asthma rates are measured above 90 per cent and mental retardation is endemic," said the study, done by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in New Delhi, among others.

"Sukinda is home to 97 per cent of India's chromite ore deposits and one of the largest open-cast chromite ore mines in the world," says the magazine. "Seventy per cent of the area's surface water and 60 per cent of the drinking water contain covalent chromium at more than double national and international standards," it adds. While the main types of pollutants are covalent chromium and other metals, the potentially affected people number 2.6 million.

Vapi, on the other hand, has pollutants because of the production of dyes, petrochemicals, pesticides, pharma, textiles, fertilizers, leather products, paint, chlor-alkali and mercury, Forbes says. "Vapi's groundwater is reported to be polluted 96 times higher than the World Health Organization's health standards ," says Forbes.

"In addition, local produce can contain up to 60 times more heavy metals - copper, chromium, cadmium, zinc, nickel, lead, iron - than non-contaminated produce in control groups."

Gosh! We seem to be separated by lightyears of development ;-(

New Arrivals - Departures


December 03, 2007

Divorce - Global Warming?

Hmm..there seems to be some connection!!

Increasing number of divorces are contributing to global warming, says a new study that suggests people should save their marriages to save the environment. After divorce a woman moves out and forms a new household, the study by researchers at the Michigan State University found that this leads to less efficient use of natural resources, more demand for land for housing, and higher expenditure on utilities, reported the online edition of News Australia.

They found that households where couples divorced registered a 61 per cent increase in the number of rooms per person, compared with a six per cent increase in households where couples remained married. Due to higher consumption per person, an individual in a divorced household might also generate more waste. These factors contribute to global environmental changes such as climate change and biodiversity loss, the study said.