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On MODIfying, Developing and Changing INDIA

There was a country, a country of spirited and adept men, finding itself in the path of recovery from the heavy blows of imperialistic pas...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

There is a concept called a travelogue which avid travelers use to write about their travelling experiences in a dedicated blog.For a guy like me who mostly is confined to four walls of my home(more precisely to the PC ) that concept has never excited me.But here this time I am going to write about one of my travelling experiences where I visited a temple.Yes,its an account of a temple that I visited lately.Even though I am not highly religious, I am always deeply spiritual which I don't showcase.Apart from spiritual factors few other things about this trip caught my fancy and here I am to record them all.

(can see the absence of roof over the deity's head)

Rowthanallur is the name of the place where this simple yet most revered temple by locals  is located on the lap of a chain of hills and mountains.Green lush surrounding the temple  renders a serene look to the place.As soon as I stepped out of the vehicle the first of the many surprises was waiting for me.As far as I know the word temple that too a temple in Tamilnadu brings  the picture of towering gopurams* and sprawling mandapas* in your mind but oddly the deity of this temple has not even a roof over his head.I wondered his simplicity where his counterparts selected places beyond seven hills  and deep jungles as their home which later became our place of worship.

(The Shrine of Lord Aanjaneya)


Wondered at the fact I inquired my dad who lived in the neighborhood decades ago.He said that there is a folklore that the deity denied a roof for his temple and whenever anyone tried to build one there will be lot of hindrances.Even Aanjaneya appeared in one of his worshiper's dream who wanted to build the temple and told him that he wants to be in the open space and he doesn't require any shrine.Even when I visited the place the immediate place over the deity's head is open.The other deity Venkateshwara  whose shrine is few feet away from that of Aanjaneya has roof.And the other areas of temple like the administrative part has roof.Perhaps the god whose home is the entire universe would have not come to terms with the fact that he will be restricted to a small temple.
(Another picture showing the absence of roof )
The deity's statue is made up of a 9-10 feet single rock.The nuances and the subtle carvings of the statue exemplifies the olden sculpture prowess.There are generally two forms in which the deities appear in temples.One is shantha roopam* which forms the majority and the other is Ugra roopam* which is kind of  furious form.Goddess Kali is mostly associated with that form.Here in this temple Aanjaneya also appears in Ugra roopam*.It is said that with the full decoration on, during Saturdays some people get terrified seeing the deity.In olden days people seemed to be scared even to cross the temple alone.
(One of the chain of hills surrounding the temple)
The statue is made such that his weapon Gadhai* is in his left hand and his right hand raised above the head as a sign of blessing the people.There is a dagger in his waist and his tail raises over his head with a bell on the end.Teeth is elongated at the edges of mouth signifying the Ugra mood.Apart from that the temple is at the outskirts of the village where mostly it is devoid of human intervention.The hills,the tress and the chirping of birds proves a heart lightener. Even though the deity is of furious mood it is certain that there is a peacefulness that creeps into the mind after you do the dharshan* of the lord.

(The shrine of Lord Venkateshwara)
More than the lore,more than the interesting state of temple and more than the peace of mind that one gets after visiting temple I guess there is also one other factor which made me write this.If you analyse the name of the village or town where the temple is located then you can find.Yes,as the name "Rowthanallur" in which Rowtha,the altered form of Islamic name "Rowther", suggests the village and the near by areas are dominated by Muslim population. There lies the beauty where the lord has decided to place himself to send across a message. Even I heard(from my dad) that the area is known for the religious harmony and few section of Muslims even revere Aanjaneya and this miraculous temple.

In the times where the words temple and Masjid can not sit together in a sentence(even if it did its for the reason of scandalizing some issues),in the times when  politics can not run with out the name Ram, this messenger of Ram has sent out a message that temples are not the cornerstone for his worshipers and all the deity stands for is harmony and love.Even the very being of Aanjaneya suggests that even a soul in a beast form can elevate into divine form if it believes in right things and allows itself to be lead by love.This is what fascinated me than the other things which made me to take up writing about this in the blog.I guess its high time that we keep religion and faith inside the corners of four walls of hearts and act with compassion. Its high time that we take up love as our religion and treat fellow humans as human.Hope with the blessings of Lord Aanjaneya it happens.Let him give us the maturity to embark on the path of love.
(Close up shot of the Shrine of Lord Aanjaneya)

Catch up the Tamil version of this post @ http://veedhiulaa.blogspot.com/2011/09/blog-post_27.html



*Tamil terms for which this little mind doesn't know English equivalents. :P.Sorry even googling did not help.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I can't remember the last time I wrote something funny.When this thought came over  I decided to write something satirical and personal as satire comes easily to me and it has worked out well too in the past.But later to widen my writing skills I consciously avoided it so that I can try other styles.You can see that,of late posts were kinda serious,critical and hard hitting which is as a result.But now I needed a break and thought of sharing something funny  that happened few months back.But then, the post on Gandhi needed attention with August 15 approaching and I went with it.I said to myself that I will finish it off and lay my hands on the funny post.But unfortunately the post on MKG was/is not over and that particular post had to wait.While things were like this a week ago something happened and I can not stop myself from reacting to that.This one is not satirical nevertheless I thought I should write on it. So despite MKG,despite the need for satire here I am.

Life is all a search.As one grows up the number questions about human life and the world increases.Life is an eternal persuasion for answers in which most questions go unanswered or vaguely answered.But each time one finds an answer and get nearer to the truth, he tends to become a better person and get enlightened.The collective amount of answers by one's own analysis paves the way for what is called wisdom..End of the day not every time one finds an answer and not everyone is lucky enough to find answers.Having said all that, the point is one has to ask questions about the world,about what is right & wrong no matter what.Seeking the answer, finding it,attaining wisdom and all is secondary and it hardly matters because once a question is put forth, it is bound to transform into answer at some point.I can hear you saying, "Alright,so what is your damn question that makes you blabber and torture us like this?". But wait,before getting to the real question which formed the reason for this post let me tell you how it came into my mind.

It was just another day.And I was on just another travel to office in a MTC bus(I owe a big deal to the MTC buses.I don't know where else will I get ideas for my posts :P :P).What happened after that was also just another incident.But the effect it left was not just another experience.It invoked thoughts on a lesser explored domain.Let me stop building up and get to the act.As the bus which I was commuting in stopped near a SEZ ,which sheltered more than few IT firms,a bunch of crowd climbed up the bus.The bunch also constituted a section of girls. Among them one was extra bright good enough to catch my attention.She got into the bus and stood few feet away from me. She was simple,of normal complexion without much adornments and showy make-up. To be frank, she was not very attractive but the way she carried herself was very different.There was a certain elegance in her personality.(This is what I meant by extra brightness.Nothing else).

Look wise,the half-up casual braid was good on her.It lent a traditional look.And to be frank I was bit pleased if not completely impressed by her.Yeah,its me who is saying this.One has to take a break from saying range and all that at least once in a while,right?. (Evlo naal dhan nanum nallavanave nadikradhu).Moreover, not only a guy who keeps on looking at every girl he comes across has something wrong with him but also a guy who doesn't see any girl at all too.A few flirtations here and there won't harm.So that was my moment of violating my convictions where I was admiring a girl after a long time.But call it misfortune or some unknown sabotage,  it did not last long.The place where I have to get down was approaching. Hell,it was hardly 3 or 4 minutes that she got into the bus.I cursed god,fate and luck etc and  half- heartedly prepared to part from the brief romance.But to my surprise she also moved forward to the door to get down.Now what the hell is happening,I thought.

I was elated.She moved towards me and I was standing near the steps.She looked at me.I understood and moved to the side making some space.The bus stopped.We both got down.And again in a minutes the crisis came.I had to cross the road.I turned and looked at her.She was heading straight down the road.I was heart broken and  stopped for at least a consolatory farewell look or a momentary hesitance or at least an acknowledging gesture.But she had no time for any of it and walked past without any turbulence. There came the first question,How can girls just break a guy's heart,shred it into pieces and walk away just like that without giving a damn as if nothing happened.

I felt too bad.Won't anyone, if they see a girl slightly of their liking after a long time and end up walking away just like that?.What that girl would have lost if she had passed on a smile.That may be too much to ask from your point of view.But If I can take time to write a blog post on her and If I had admired her to that extent why shouldn't she smile at me or say a 'Hi' or even ask my mobile number.Is it a big deal?.I mean I am not expecting her to propose me or something which will be definitely too much.Even if she did I would not have accepted right away,you know.Why didn't she see or apprehend the worth of my brief romance?.

Forget about her,it might be too much to bring her and this incident into the analysis.But in general looking at things happening around,you tend to ask why the girls are so comfortable in breaking a guys heart.Do they know what it is to be a guy?.And how difficult it is?.(Indha bit ah thane avanga poduvanga saying,"Do you know how difficult it is to be girl and all that?).Yes,being a girl is difficult and also being a guy is difficult too.

Yeah,it is very difficult to be a guy, not just a guy but to be a good guy or say an adequately-mediocre good guy like me :P.How many hardships a guy has to fend off from this scrutinizing world.Even I run the risk of damaging my image(which hardly exist) by writing my admiration for some random girl.Yes,If a guy says he was attracted by a girl then the look that follows him is like "You criminal!!"  whereas when a girl says "I like Surya.He is cute/sweet( or any other term which the boys exactly don't like) " or "I like John Abraham.He is very handsome " etc sitting in her living room in front of  parents, no judgments are passed.I am not emphasizing on the freedom girls enjoy but the way boys are Stereotyped.(This last point is not for fun..Trust me I am damn serious). Even though stereotyping is entirely different I brought it here to underline the difficulty of guys.The point is  if there are good girls there are good boys too.If girls have honor,principles boys have that too.(I guess I am digressing..Let me stop this here).

Hm-mm..A mini listen-hour has been staged.What else to say?.Is there anyting left?.Wait, even though the post is funny there has to be a message,right?.(Msg illana box office la nikka mudiyathu :P :P).Ok!.here goes one,

Dear Girls,

                Know that guys are not all the same.And don't break a guy's heart just like that.Even if the circumstance demands breaking it do make sure that there are less cracks.Especially if the guy is me then give a special consideration.(See I am writing a blog and all on this topic).And on a serious note these points are not made on behalf of all guys to all girls but from the guys who know their limit to only the girls who are good or conventional or not narrow minded or whatever you say. Importantly this is not for both guys and girls who are out of the above lot.


Yeah,I know this is too much of a reaction for a 3-4 minute,one sided,good for nothing,stupid  romance.(now you must know the reason for initial grand philosophies.You did not see this coming right?.. What to do.. Nonsense doesn't sell as it is.It has to be wrapped up with some fancy wraps. :p :p)..On a serious note,I know this particular instance is too trivial to complain but yet went ahead for the sake of fun and for trying something different.

Also the thing is these brief interludes are the ones which causes more anguish than other serious relationship problems as it is the case that the prick of a pin is more painful than a stab of  the knife.And finally If you think I was so smitten by that particular girl and the ramblings are as a result then you got me wrong.(Simply, Ada Tisha illana Divya.. Ah..next.. next..). One piece of info that I deliberately missed out is that the girl I saw in bus was from the same company I work for.She is from a different branch and her ID tag said it all.Given the fact that she is from my company and knowing her location its not very difficult to track her .But that was not worth it and the episode was nothing more than a  casual admiration.A passing cloud,its not a rain cloud :P.

DISCLAIMER:

  • By the way I talk please don't conclude like I have failed in love or some girl has overlooked me.(He he..Adhellam namma kitta nadakadhu.. :P :P).Yuck,disgusting,for heavens sake don't ever think like that.Love is too big a word and if there is anything that I am strong about in life then that would be not to abuse that word ever as much as possible.
  • These frustrations are only as a result of largely one sided one day or one week or few minutes romances.Nothing more than that.Company(that is me :P) is not responsible for any other inferences..
  • And also there are few points about girls which might be interpreted as offensive if there are any such it is purely for fun and no other intentions considered to the best of my knowledge.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

MACHI OPEN THE BOTTLE has been almost the campaign slogan for THALA'S grand 50th gambling GAME OF MANGATHA.But I was almost feeling like hung over before even stepping into theater with the courtesy of just a 3 odd hours of previous night sleep.(Won't say crap like its coz of expectation of the muvi).It is said that,In insomnia you're never really asleep neither you are really awake.(Guess mine should be described as the habit of bad timing of sleep than insomnia). I was in one such limbo state when I entered the theater with my friend. Since it was the second day of the movie the crowd mostly constituted with Ajith fans,few families representing neutral crowd and movie buffs as usual with the exception of few Non-Native girls(sadly along with muscly boyfriends).Point is there were not a lot of chances for excitement that can wake my spirit up out of deep slumber.So I had to gulp a cup of tea to liberate myself from the hangover, which I did and I rushed to the seat just on time.And the rest is as below,

Before proceeding let me tell you something.Like everyone my interest on the film had been heightened by the chart topping songs and the rocking trailer.I speculated like Ajith would be an undercover who acts as baddie to discover some crime and thought that in climax his cover will be blown away where he would come in cop outfit. Secondly,when people emphasized a lot on the climax and its big twist,I thought it should be Arjun who is the villain in disguise.But against all the speculations the opening was a real surprise.Ajith comes up just like that on screen without much fuss in a cop uniform( and blows away the undercover possibility).The opening was a no nonsense affair sans build-ups like the hero walking in slow motion swaggering with his footsteps echoing all around or some sidekicks singing praise of the hero or with a irrelevant song containing social messages showered on will.Rather it was cut to chase and was to the point.If that proved positive then there was also one negative side to it which is the fact that the opening was only to the point, cut to chase affair in the entire first half.

The film opens with Ajith, a cop, rescuing a smuggler (Arvind Akash) from other cops in a fake encounter.The fight sequence is followed by the opening Mangatha song in a retro club atmosphere. Next morning Ajith finds himself sleeping alongside Lakshmi Rai whom he has met in the bar the previous night(which marks the source of many funny one liners in the first half that entertains the "Kudimakkal" :P).In the meantime Ajith's girl friend,Trisha,visits him and Ajith has to literally chase out Lakshmi Rai.Ajith,then, gets acquainted with Aarumuga Chettiyar(AC) a smuggler/ gambler who happens to be Trisha's father through Trisha herself. There Ajith meets Arvind -a sidekick of AC- whom he saved and Vaibhav,one of the other servants of AC. As the time goes by,Ajith who has been suspended for his part in saving Arvind finds that there is a transportation of IPL betting money of 500 crores into AC's place and also learns that Vaibhav along with his friends ,Mahat-a bar owner,Prem-IIT passed out (his noodles manda and IIT student?, Seriously?..:P ) who is a friend of Mahat and the local Cop Ashwin has planned to loot it..

Arjun dons the CBI officer's role who is determined to route out betting scams in IPL.At one point Ajith encounters  the gang of four saying he knows their plan and warns them that they can not get the money as there had been last minute changes. He lends his hand for looting in an exchange for a share and the gang of four accept it.Eventually the four loots the money with the help of Ajith and keeps it in a safe place.They decide not to divide the money as both cops and AC are on the hunt for lost money. What happens in the next two days and how people try to betray each other and whether each individual's trick of taking the money without sharing it with others succeed,who finally takes it and what happens to the money forms the rest of the story.

To say about the movie,it is an out and out Ajith's blazing Sehwagisque aggressive game(This is my F**king game..) played with Laxmanisque artistry in Venkat Prabhu's ground.The way he has essayed the baddie role stands out.He is known for emoting even subtle,delicate feelings of the characters well and for his romantic hero image.His rare method acting skills in movies like Vaali, Citizen, Villain, Godfather testify what a fine actor he is. But this one is like never seen before.Top notch and exotic.(Ammo!!!).Never before I have seen him flinging cuss words with venom,laughing menacingly, threatening or ferociously shouting to this extent as he has done in this movie.(Ummah!!!). And dialogue delivery has been razor sharp with the crisp one liners.As VP says there are no punch dialogues but every dialog that Ajith says is with a punch.Simply put Ajith has been the deity of this 50th youthful fest orchestrated by VP..

Apart from Ajith ,the second half( and Climax) is the biggest plus and it is rocking except for the patho song which slackens the pace a bit.The direction and the scene conceptions (especially Arjun and Ajith confrontations ) are phenomenal.Bgm and the overall texture also adds to the narration.But the other part(1st half) is sluggish. There are lot of dents in the screenplay and it is exposed well in earlier part.People say the entire 1st half is waste but I feel that it is kinda average which had been deteriorated  by director.The tracks are good but their placement is very poor hampering the pace.Added to that Premji with his mokka,good for nothing jokes doesn't help.But then some dialogues,one liners and Ajith/Premji's pranks after boozing is funny and get applauded.The director has showed his necessity to establish the setting and plot (which is justifiable) before delving into the main act but making the audience wait for entire first half has proved a bit negative.

The carnival starts with the pre-intermission scene where Ajith -sort of - does a mono acting with the chess board planning to take all the money himself.It sort of depicts him as a mad man which he claims himself in the second part repeating the verse I am a mad man many times.(Ajith wanted it to be Batman Joker like and to an extent the disturbed obsession/mania has come out well especially when he says I'm a mad man).This particular scene and the scene in which he confronts Arjun, after having kidnapped Andrea are the real mass.(Geth..Sema Mass..).The pace that picks up in that pre-intermission scene almost sustain until the end making the other flaws in screenplay,direction and the likes dwindle and vanish finally when the audience comes out watching the bloopers.

Regarding the cast,Arjun(Action king..I'm impressed !!!) has done pretty well and his unbent cop role gives a boost to the movie. Vaibhav has got some scope to act and he fares decently if not brilliantly.Concerning the female roles only Lakshmi Rai manages some chance of performance.In parts she is sizzling as long as the shot doesn't get close up to her face :P.(not that she is ugly). And I must say few of her costumes in opening song and few of her moves in songs are irresistible .Also she gives that glam quotient in the first half providing some reprieve from the sluggishness. Regarding others,Trisha does her part in songs and couple of other scenes she was given. Anjali, Andrea and partly Trisha has been wasted and they only prove vital in pre-release promotions.Nothing in the movie for them.

Concerning male casting,Premji and Mahath's casting are eyebrow rising. Endhiran spoof and Simbhu spoof in climax only works for him. Newcomer Ashwin has given a decent performance.Arvind Aakash doesn't make any impact. Jeyaprakash as a goon and Subbu Panchu as CBI had done a neat job.Music?,its a chart-buster,Period. I liked the theme , Vilayadu Mangatha,Ballelaka and patho song.Initially I did not like Ballelaka but after seeing in theater I liked it.( See Disclaimer :P).Bg score is explosive.The theme was blazing with the movie.It was reverberating in my ears even after couple of days.Simply banging.


Regarding direction and script,Venkat Prabhu's contribution is mixed.Brilliant in parts and completely sloppy at times.My first reaction was negative and I was kinda unhappy with the script and screenplay in few places.But the raving reviews also gave positive points on VP,apart from Ajith, which I was able to get later.His decision to not justify and give reason for Ajith's grey shade tops them all.And his knack to mix the serious thriller with fun has paid off to an extent even though I feel personally that serious treatment would have made the movie more global than a rustic flick.(But not sure whether it wud have run like this).one liners for Ajith are rocking..We can criticize VP for lot of things but we should remember that it could have been worse if we look at the past.VP simply has been the KING MAKER..but leaves us saying GIMME MORE in first half.

All said and done I got to say few words about Ajith. First of all the actor deserves all the appreciation for choosing such a role.His diversion from conventional route and his grit to break the myth is evident from his decisions like the one in which he specifically wanted a negative role when heroes are so particular about image.Secondly he never had any problems to act as a 40 year old which none of the younger generation actors will have the guts for.I mean, will any of the present actors sport a grey hair and look like an oldie?.Thirdly,his magnanimity to share screen with Arjun and rookies like Vaibhav,Ashwin etc where ego problems rules the roost in Kollywood.All this goes on to say that he is in a different plane of acting and thinking.One needs sheer guts and tremendous confidence to do such things which are in abundance in his case.He has proved to be a MYTH-BREAKER in all aspects not only in reel life but also in real life. Remember, him disbanding his fan club?.Simply he seemed to have the below questions in his mind,
வெளி வேஷம் போடாட்டா இந்த வெற்றி கிட்ட வராதா?....
புது விதி எழுதடா...புரட்சியை செய்து காட்டவா டா ?....
for which he has come up with apt answers through Mangatha.He has won(opening collection is second only to Endhiran) without disguises and has done a revolutions of sorts(Quote by UTV's south cheif says it all." Ajith's Mankatha proves that running a fan club is not necessary to ensure great 'opening' when the star is in the hearts of fans/people.") and has set benchmarks...THALA POLA VARUMA...

                             

Verdict: The movie may not be a perfect movie(could have been better).Well,But then I went to see it for the second time and still found it exciting.Go without expectations and be put up with first half(which is not so bad),if you do that, you will love the movie for sure even if you don't have any liking for Ajith.For rest of the Thala fans it is a treat.Sheer celebration..


Disclaimer:
1.I have opened the topic with things like hangover,bottle etc.Hangover?..That is too much for a guy who will get real hangover upon just smelling the bottle..:P :P..I mean I'm a teetotaler(Endha ketta pazhakamum illadha nalla payabu artham.. :P :P)

2.I have said I liked Ballelaka song after seeing it and this has nothing to do with Lakshmi Rai even though she looked suave in the song.:P :P..(Ada..Evlo naalaiku dhan nanum nallavanave nadikradhu..:P
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