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I’m sick and tired of hearing things
From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocrites
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth

I’m sick to death of seeing things
From tight-lipped, condescending, mama’s little chauvinists
All I want is the truth
Just gimme some truth now

I’ve had enough of watching scenes
Of schizophrenic, ego-centric, paranoiac, prima-donnas
All I want is the truth now
Just gimme some truth

1989. After engineering and re-engineering, I decided to chase the great yem bee yae dream. Drew a blank in first half of the interview season, then suddenly three calls – IMT, BIM, and Anna U.


Osa and I flunked IMT, but the train journey was fun – highlight being the pavadakkari who fell heavily for Osa. BIM was a disaster. I told the panel that I wanted to do MBA because engineering sucks. All the panel members were, of course, engineers…


Anna interview. Stayed at Casa’s room in Sakthi Mansion, woke up to P. Orr & Sons jingle, brushed my teeth in pure salt water, took 23C to Anna…and became a Madrasi.


That day on Mount Road I saw Revathi. I figured stars on the sidewalk was an everyday thing in Madras…it would be 10 years before I saw another star in Madras, that was in Spencer’s, Revathi again.


Soon after I joined Anna U, Osa moved into Madras and Sakthi Mansion. It was just like old times, but after jamming and stuff, I had to trudge back to the hostel…I don’t remember why, perhaps Osa’s roomie hated me. Anyway, after a few months the roomie was out and Samy was in. The room had two cots, but of different heights. So whenever I slept over I ended up on the fault line between Osa and Samy. I spent so much time in the mansion that the owner threatened to send me a bill.


Around this time my senior Chacko invited his MIT-pal Puthu and his YMCA roomie Calicut Biju to join him at Anand Apartments…which would soon become the most hip joint in town…but then, that is another story.


By the end of the year, Osa was in Kolkata, Samy was in Cochin, and I started that kadavil njan maathramayi business…


Samy and Osa with Abby Paul, Dufai, 2007


Inspired by Manoj’s comment on the release of Padikkathavan…”What next, Kulikkathavan?”

Incidently, Sorry Bhai was Chitrangada Singh’s comeback vehicle.

A long time ago, one lonely evening, I made a list of my fav songs, the original soundtrack of my not-so-original life. Started writing a short story linking the songs – reliving the moments, revisiting the emotions, remembering old loves – but then, you know, I needed a break, switched on the radio… Sundari Kannal oru Sethi…oh man, I cried all night.


Later I found out that Nick Hornby had done something similar – not the crying – a book, called Songbook – and I dropped the project.


Slumdog Millionaire concept is pretty close – instead of songs in our life, bongs in our life…Siddhartha Basu and Anita Kaul Basu.




Now, I have two questions…question number 1: Why Taj Mahal?


Should all western movies shot in India show the Taj, even if the story is set in the slums of Mumbai, 1200 km from Agra…reminds me of an old school joke…guy had mugged up on The Coconut Tree…but in the exam, he was asked to write about The Cow…


പശു ഒരു നാല്‍ക്കാലിയാണു്‌. പശുവിനെ തെങ്ങില്‍ കെട്ടാം. തെങില്‍ നിന്നു്‌ നമക്കു്‌ തേങ്ങാ ലഭിക്കുന്നു. തെങില്‍ നിന്നു്‌ നമക്കു്‌ ഓലയും മടലും ലഭിക്കുന്നു. തെങില്‍ നിന്നു്‌ നമക്കു്‌ കള്ളു്‌ ലഭിക്കുന്നു. തെങ്ങ്…


Question number…um…number 2: Why Toilets?


Danny has a thing for toilets. The ‘autograph’ scene in SDM is as mild as Cheran’s Autograph when compared to the toilet scene from ‘Trainspotting’. Check it out.


Which kinda makes me wonder – perhaps, in the end credits, he was giving Rahman the ultimate compliment…sabhlatha king!



A classmate of ours is a big corporate honcho in Mumbai. Last week when I heard that another friend was planning a trip to the city, I gave him the tycoon’s number.


കൂട്ടുകാരന്‍: നല്ല കാര്യം. അവന്‍ ഫോണ്‍ വിളിച്ചാല്‍ എടുക്കാതെ ഇരിക്കാമല്ലോ.


Not airborne


Andrew Wyeth, Painter, Dies at 91
NYT Obit          Christina’s World          Online Gallery

300% more Oxygen. H2O4??

I already have an a/c with zero balance, want an a/c with some balance.

Monthakku thuppalle, vadakka!

All this talk about shrinking markets, diminishing returns and shrivelling marketcap seem to have got to the Vimal guy.


Waiting for stimulus, this Christmas season in Kochi. While on the subject, on Pongal day – it is all about timing – I got a mailer from Middle East Artificial Lift Forum (MEALF) 2009.


And a forward about Kodaikanal Villa Retreat’s honey-moon package.

Nice concept, but found on the site something that can perhaps be construed as a disclaimer.


Went for a movie. Horton Hears a Who! I thought the image of the engorged trunk on the poster appeared a little too phallic, and started researching subliminal marketing in the Hollywood. First scoop: the main characters in Toy Story are named Woody and Buzz…woody, buzz, toy…you mean nobody noticed this?


Happy Pongal!

In a world where Satyam stands for anything but, I found an antique shop on MG Road, Kochi, with absolutely the right name. AAKRI-ti.


And a designer boutique on Marine Lines, Mumbai, with…absolutely the right name.


Names fascinate me. During the long Friday evening bus rides from REC to Cochin, when too dark to read, too bumpy to sleep, I used to play a game…I would select a random letter, say G, and in my mind compile an alphabetic list of celebrities whose surnames starts with that letter…Art Garfunkel, Ben Gazzara, Clark Gable, Danny Glover, Elliot Gould,…all the way up to Zsa Zsa Gabor. Then to the next letter…

I knew it could be developed into a parlour game…participants picking up random letters from two bins…I got a J and a C…umm…Johnny Cash, yippy…but taime kittiyilla.

Sangham had a name game inspired by Malayala Manorama’s ‘everybody who is somebody is a malayali’ theory – Arnold Shivasankaran, Manisha Kuruvilla, Pete Sambashivan, Boris Bharathan, Sunil G. Bhaskar, Kapil Devassy, Anil Kumbalam, Margaret Thachil, Al Kora. To the list my wife recently contributed Rya Nair.


Sajeev and I took this art form to a higher level in Chennai, awarding all our fav colleagues mallu names: Gupta – Guptan, Aggrawal – Abraham, Popat – Pappachan. And once Sajeev was transferred to Baroda, while talking to him from office, invention of nicknames for colleagues became a necessity. Our friend from Packaging was kuppi, his assistant was dappi; the heir apparent was Yuvraj, the also-ran was Kaif…I can’t reveal more, I happen to like my job.

While in Rajagiri, Biju was Chavali and TV was Thanivali…thankfully the names never stuck. Osa was Achayan and Bob was Cristo for a brief period. Diji, son of Rajappan – RA Japan – couldn’t escape being called Japan. We could never have called Varghese anything other than Mookkan, or Pattar anything other than Pattar. Philip, the only guy who could hit high notes, had to be Top.

While the most bizarre nickname of our generation was Chaly’s – KM-squared KKC (don’t ask) – the most appropriate one was reserved for Varkey’s friend Babu…a very unique character, an absolutely one-in-a-million guy…The Babu.

Friends of Rojo (son of ROsily and JOhn) always had colourful nicknames – Wheeler Pappan, Drummer Babu, Bolt Murali – but the award for the most colourful name would forever belong to Prof. Balasubramaniam from Chrompet…Chrome Balls (Honourable mention – a skinny lady lecturer in REC who was tagged Manchester).

Sona Chandy was my aunt’s student – in Hindi, sona means gold and chandi means silver. I haven’t come across another name that works so beautifully as a translingual pun – except, of course, Rosemary PO (roze meri piyo in Hindi means drink mine everyday). BHH.

Vaal Kashnam 1. 1988. Cricket-Bonji season. Mayan was Suni’s neighbour then. The cricket kit was kept at Mayan’s place and whoever reached the ground first would collect it from the house. One day Mibu was the early bird. By mistake he walked up to Suni’s house and rang the bell. 5.30 am, Suni’s father opened the door.

Mibu: Mayane vilikkamo?
Suni’s father: Enthina
Mibu: Kalikkana
Suni’s father: !@#$%^&*

Suni’s sister’s name is Maya.

Vaal Kashnam 2. A few after graduation, Pattar’s Manipal gang got together at a friend’s house. While they were watching old college/hostel videos on the living room TV, the host’s sis walked up to the TV-stand, bend down to pick up a book…and at exactly the same moment on the screen appeared the image of an old friend, and the entire room erupted…Kundi, Kundi, Kundi

The girl underwent therapy for many years…

The first thing that crossed my mind when I heard about the 26/11 witness who was whisked off to USA for questioning was how closely it resembled the alien abduction stories…you know, the kind that goes, I was kidnapped by little green men in a flying saucer…


According to Thomas E. Bullard, folklorist and UFO researcher, most abduction experiences follow a fairly consistent sequence…


Green text from Wiki, Blue text from NDTV


1. Capture. The abductee is forcibly taken from terrestrial surroundings to an apparent alien spacecraft.

5 AM…Uddaiya went to toilet from where she was whisked away by the investigators…“I could not eat in the flight properly as they were serving chocolates, sandwiches and some other stuff”.


2. Examination. Invasive medical or scientific procedures are performed on the abductee.

“First, I was taken to St George Hospital….”


3. Conference. The abductors speak to the abductee.

“After I landed in America…I was asked several questions about the terrorists and Mumbai attacks


4. Tour. The abductees are given a tour of their captors’ vessel.

Uddaiya…spent 17-18 hours in her flight to the US, said she was told “we were heading to America”.


5. Loss of Time. Abductees rapidly forget the majority of their experience.

“Everything was over in two to three hours”…she said she was confused and surprised at what was happening around her. “I told the police that I had been to Satara”


6. Return. 
Uddaiya went missing on Sunday morning and returned to Mumbai on Wednesday at around 1.30 AM to her home.


7. Aftermath. The abductee must cope with the psychological, physical, and social effects of the experience.

She was taken to Cuffe Parade police station for recording her statement.


Wiki   NDTV

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January 2009