Monday, March 26, 2007

Dial T for Tamil Nadu, Part IV

I watched a number of Tamil movies. Looking for quality, I did not find much, so settled for fun. Tamil movies are of extremely low quality I should say. I am not talking about recent movies, but spanning the past 4 decades, I could not see how systematically poor screenplay, acting, and direction could have made success. Decade after decade of decadence.

I saw a very old Tamil movie called, "Maya Bazaar". It was a Telugu movie first, but I could appreciate how well the script was rewritten in Tamil. A fictional play, set in pre-kurushetra Mahabharata. The characters were not perfect, but they are shown to be what they are. Ranga Rao as Gadothgajan (Bhima's Son) is the most august figure I have ever seen on screen. The young Savithri in one scene acts like Gadothgajan, and wow, the transition was seamless, hilarious (as intended) nevertheless. You must have heard the "Kalyana Samayal Saadham" song. The only song where the laughter sets the rhythm. And the literary effort makes the movie on par with Kamba Ramayanam. Where is that kind of Tamil these days?

I will not pick on T. Rajendar's limericks like "Vaada en machi, vazhakkai bajji!", but something that people normally consider as the norm, like Vivek's humor. Somebody please inform T. Rajendar that there are many forms of Edhugai and MOnai. If you did not know, Vivek's is out of ideas and copies from equally lame Hindi movies. Even the bestest tamil writer's vocabulary is appalling. I think Bharthiyar is to blame. In order to sell his Swadheshamitran, he bribed the masses with a reduced day-to-day vocabulary in literature. Kannadasan was no good. His only advantage was being born in celluloid age.

In all this drought, I saw "Imsai Arasan, 23rd Pulikesi". The humor was new and refreshing. Excellent Tamil. I loved it. If you had missed the originality, probably you were not looking for quality. Again, a fictional South Indian sittrarasan's (King of a small kingdom) fight against the British.

There are reasons for cribbing. The language carries the burden of spreading the culture too. The Tamil diaspora, bringing back the goods of the international trades, infuses a sense of stupidity in the traditional values. Competence during bachelorhood is proven among the peers by having the most attractive boyfriend or girlfriend in college. This is blatant in the movie "Anbe Aaruiyire". In this movie Surya basically lives with a girl friend, a non-committed live-in relationship. His mention of Nixon's disgraced exit from the White house, is implying his knowledge in Western's history and thus a "learned" image.

This is not the case. In Tam land, we have something called "karpu", which the we folks pride ourselves. "Karpu" is not exactly virginity as most people believe. It is a feeling of faithfulness, of righteousness, of purity, of innocence. Karpu is self respect, to respect one own body and mind. It has no exact English translation. I am not a politician and so I do not need to be politically correct or even try to made the truth palatable. In Chennai, people do not live together before marriage. Yes, we do fall in love before we marry. A lot. But live-in relationships are not common. People might be interested in live-in relationships, but it is not the norm as this movie shows.

I am not judging the youngsters, but a knowledge of the Tamil literature, history and culture would not hurt either. Shaivite devotion is one of the most important part of Tamil literature. Stories from the 63 Nayanmars, given here. You don't have to be Hindu to appreciate the Shaivite devotion and Tamil literature.

To end this article, I would like to quote Vairamuthu in Aalavandhan. A short poem that was almost which gave me an unearthly vibe:
Pennai nambi pirakkum boedhe thoppull kodigal arupadumae
Mannai nambum maaperum maramum seerum puyalil verarumay
Unnai nambum uruppugal kooda orupozhudunnai kaividumae
Ithil pennai mattum nambum nambagam pina naal varayil kaivarumo?

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Man Write - Part II

The kind of recognition that the previous post gets makes my blood boil with testosterone. It is her only her fourth post and I already see most of my faithfully cute female readers taking her side. grrrrr. In cases of emergencies like these, it becomes a necessity for me to kick some butt with an apt rebuttal.

Ha! I blow my nose in your direction. You will not get to see cheap insults like the aforementioned, fobbed off from Monty Python movies in a girl's blog. The all-too-easy to spot girly blog is not too far from being puked at. This might look a tad "male chauvinistic", but only to the fire-breathing feminist. I am not here to tout about guy blogs here, because I have seen some god-awful blogs, a shame to the gender. The point is, the female blog is no better! I might have a superior intelligence but my guess is, it is no rocket science to see the gender of a blog. It is just as easy as checking a dog for the sex, between the legs for some dangling bells.

Lets go over it. Every freakin female blog will have patches of pink. I do not understand the obsessive attachment to this color by girls, but I am tired. A pink background, majanta font,. It is like a female territorial cyber pissing... puddles of pink pee. I do not hate pink, but there is a subtle soft pink, a pleasant pink... but na-ha madam always paints it with the shadiest of shades.

The pink abuse is so deplorable that any guy who uses pink is immediately suspect of homosexual sympathies and teased to death. As though the females completely own this part of the spectrum.

Some people have a poor sense of color. Picking on this, would make my case look weak. I have more. I just love this topic. It is like a fountain, I cannot stop it now.

It happens atleast once in the lifetime of a female blog: the sneaky lame product placement. It is not as though the person appreciates the duality of the neo-cubist arguments in a Picasso but mostly about toiletry. About soap. About Shampoo. About cute blue boxes. About pens. Plastic, paper, hairpins. While women write about other stuff too, I have been told that they get these urges from deep within their infinitely complex minds to write about toiletry. A truly amazing species, aren't they?

But the best of all, is the amazing knowledge about femme fashion. Not only are they not afraid to use it on the unwitting stranger, they will not hesitate to use them if necessary. A deadly sentence like "The Capri better complements halter than the Prada". What the hell is a Capri? I would agree to this usage if there exists an accepted definition for the word. I mean, if a word does not even have a meaning, how do you wear it? Just wrap something around lady or even better, don't!

In case you forgot, I still love you all!

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Man Write

Are people unable to see the obvious or is it just me? I am a co-writer in this blog and I am here to stay. I was too shy to make any of my stories public, but then I was encouraged (read goaded) to join this blog. So, you guys can forget about me leaving. It is interesting, yucky and insulting all at the same time to think that I am Pratap's creation, but sorry to disappoint - I am just another purty girl. :(

Some readers here, based on my style think that my English is unladylike. Is there a lady English and gentleman English? I can think of kids writing about toys and bugs, teenage boys writing in adolescent anger, girls talking about love and cute things. But is there a difference in writing between a grown woman and a man? Is there a "man write"? Lets see...

In order to classify the gender of a written piece, we need some training data. Considering gender distribution of fiction authors, it is heavily lopsided, I mean there would be atleast a dozen male fiction authors than female authors. I feel like shit just saying that. Come-on guys, biologically girls grow and learn faster than guys and if you had started writing early on, we should have written more than men! So we cannot compare books because people would not have read many books written by women.

Blogs are a good data set. All you readers must have loads full of blog bookmarks that you read during work hours, which I am sure has a good mix. Without knowing about the author, can you really identify the gender of the blog?

Guy blogs are a dead giveaway. Guys always write about some favorite dish, that they think only their mom can make, and how they miss it once they are away from mummy. Stupid mummy's boy! If only they had moved their behind to help with their mothers, they would not be in such a pathetic state to appreciate their own torn singed smokey dosas, that only they can help themselves with.

Then there is the "girl" factor. Have you ever come across a guy's blog who does not write about his girl? Unbelievably predictable! She would either be some old college romance or some lost love because they did not have the guts to talk to her, or prematurely disclosed his feelings. The "girl story" would never end successfully, because if she had reciprocated, our hero would be drooling like a dog and not find time to bitch about it in his blog. You dont have to go too far to verify: this blog has plenty of "the girl" stories capped with the "I love all Tamil girls". Actually, if you notice, if they ever write a story, it would have a girl, and that girl in some form would have had something to do with his crush. How lame can they get?

Women bloggers on the other hand are dignified, grammatically and politically correct. A mark of perfection and beauty.

What are the characteristics of a "man write"? Do you know?

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