Whats in a name?

A few days back a friend of mine sent me a message that read “sowie”. We shall leave the person in question out of this narration for reasons I shall not go into. Anyways, it left me wondering what the hell it meant. So I did what any 21st century bachelor living in the emerging India with lots of time on his hands would do- I googled it (at work). The first hit was urbandictionary -at this point I must urge you to read on and reassure you that this recollection has nothing to do with my bachelorhood causing me to demonstrate my coochie-coos in public. As I educated myself with the various connotations and denotations of “sowie”, I noticed in the sidebar of the page, a list of other words that resembled “sowie”. One such word that caught my eye was “sowmya”. Intrigued on what urbandictionary will have in store for “sowmya” I clicked away. Apparently according to urbandictonary, sowmya is

sowmya
n. Tamil (south Indian) dialect
1. One hundred cats, usually the noising, singing variety.
2. Common proper name for a girl in that region.

Needless to say, the first definition got out of me a chuckle that scared the bejesus out of my colleagues, not to mention a raised eyebrow from my boss. Not contend with a light laugh, I decided to play “Curiosity Killed the Cat” and searched out “my name” . And with great vengeance and furious anger, I denounce urbandictionary for tarnishing, not just me, but all my brothers and sisters who share my plight. And can someone please tell me in which genius language does “my name” stand for

slang for the dirt underneath your testicles??

This is outrageous and I hope this post will have convinced a whole lot of you that there is this widespread hatred of those who share my plight. Join me, dear readers, in fighting this new societal evil.

P.S- To my friends- I have searched all your names and would wipe that grin off my face if I were you.

aaahhhhhh

My company’s 20th year celebration took place a few weeks back. It was kind of like a big thing- 20years in the market competing with the likes of Hitachi, Ranbaxy, Wipro and Nicolas Piramal and now even Siemens- that is a big freaking deal. If you’re wondering where the loyalty springs from, well, when I say “my company” it really means “my company”- I work in my family owned business (OK so its not yet mine- so there).

Anyways, backtracking a few months, the idea was mooted by one of our enthusiastic managers, who felt that the 20th year anniversary had to be celebrated. It was then decided that this time around we would invite only our employees & their families and keep our customers & suppliers for the 25th(yes we will last that long and will be much bigger). However, things like these have a way of getting around international barriers of space, time and dialect, we suddenly found ourselves hosting three of our major suppliers- one from Germany, one from Spain and another from Japan.

This recollection is about the Japanese and before you continue, I must declare my undiluted admiration for that country and its people. The following is supposed to be taken in with a considerable amount of light-headedness. If you are one who is prone to taking anything and everything under the sun as a slight to your ego or have some kind of undying support of the Japanese people, please proceed no further for your own good as any outta-line comments will be blissfully ignored. Plus also please realize that the events have been exaggerated a bit to add humor.

So the D-day arrived and yours truly was in charge of coming up with a video presentation that took the audience through the various facets of the company over the last twenty years. Considering the fact that yours truly is just 27(and very-very eligible) he did a pretty good job. However without my knowledge, I had also “been volunteered” by the company’s staff for various responsibilities. As the various guests were arriving, I decided to stand with my Mother and Aunt in welcoming them and guiding them to their seats. Soon our foreign dignitaries started to arrive and then it happened.

The entrance hall has two entrances (don’t ask)- one from the front and another from the back to allow people to enter directly from the car park. Our Japanese suppliers were driven down by my uncle personally and were brought in from the back. As we turned around to greet them I was informed by my mother that one was Executive Director- Sales and Marketing for India (a very big deal) and the other was Managing director – Sales and Marketing for South East Asia (an even bigger freaking deal). As customary to most Japanese executives both of them, when they learned that I was the son of two of the directors (now you know why I’m so eligible), promptly pulled out their visiting cards. At this point I had an instant flashback. I remembered my interaction with one of our German Business Partners. He was telling me

When the Japanese give you hees business card, if you take eet and put eet in the poke-et, eet ees like insult to heem. You take eet and you reed eet like eet ees a big story and you go ‘aaahhhhhh’ and only then you keep eet een your poke-et

So I decided to get into character. As I was acting out the part, you know the whole hunched shoulders and bent neck routine, vigorously nodding my head as if it was on vibrate mode, my twelve year old cousin slipped in beside me.

As I was just about to launch into my ‘aaahhhhhh’, Mr. South East Asia goes, “Is this your son?”

So now I’m thinking an ‘aaahhhhhh’ right now could be pretty misleading. So I politely correct him and convey that I had not got myself knotted just yet.

When he quickly turns towards my mother and with total confidence asks, “So this is your wife?”

I swear privately to myself “No you moron that’s my mother- she is my father’s wife”.

I politely correct him again saying that I was not married yet and he was really giving my family cause for severe heartburn. You see, at this point any reasonable man would realize that he was really making a buffoon of himself and actually wait to exchange the pleasantries while the whole family tree was being spelled out for him. But reasonable men don’t end up becoming Managing Directors for South East Asia of Fortune 500 companies. Reasonable men don’t manage accounts whose target involve 10-digit figures. Men like him, who rise up to that level and en route to becoming CEO, don’t question their conclusions. They just go with their instinct. They are so sure of themselves that they just go on and on without pausing to consider, “Can I be wrong here?” They are supremely unselfconscious, to the extent that they are not the least bit aware of their own failings. So there was no way our friend here was going to take the hint. He rambled on swiveling towards my aunt

“So this must be your wife”

By now I must have got this beaten down, lost in translation look about myself, that my uncle stepped in and loudly said “NO THATS NOT HIS WIFE. SHE IS MY WIFE. HE (pause) IS NOT MARRIED”. He sort of even mimed the whole sentence not leaving anything to chance. And just like that, our man of the moment goes ‘aaahhhhhh’ and nonchalantly walks into the hall.

Unnale Unnale – The painful reminder

Half way through unnale unnale you get this uneasy feeling that the director/scriptwriter got an idea for a film and then cut the whole cast and crew loose, gave them a free hand to do what ever they felt like. Read the plot of the movie on its wiki page and will someone please help me understand what the hell the following lines mean?

“She falls in love with Karthik but tries to bring Jhansi and Karthik together, confident that she will win Karthik in the end.”

With a storyline like that, the movie meanders around aimlessly like a lost male driving in circles refusing to ask for directions bringing the car to a halt abruptly. Unnale Unnalle disappoints, not because it plays to the gallery but because it refuses to play at all.

There is plenty thats wrong with the movie. For starters, the movie starts with a strange sequence with a couple taking turns, talking directly to the audience about the differences between “men and women” when it comes to matters of love and life in general and then a voice over, presumably the director, proceeds to lay the foundation of what the flick is all about – “whats the secret in getting along”? There is a suggestion that “patience is a virtue” and those who hurry in matters of the heart get hurt – symbolically shows a schoolboy knocked down by a passing vehicle. This technique, if used inventively, has a very slick effect, but in the hands of a lesser director reeks of patronizing, self-gratifying, ain’t-I-cool ego massage.In other words, a lot of hot air.

The characters, their motives and actions are so unbelievable, that we wonder that even if the cast was more capable, the likes of Madhavan or Vikram and Jyothika, they would have failed to impress. For instance, Karthik, is supposedly a serial-flirt, who is a few notches above the average Indian male in finding relief to his sexual strokes by ‘enjoying with ponnuga’. According to him its just harmless fun that needs to be taken lightly- even something to the effect of meeting some strange woman in a dark theater on his birthday and deciding to have a coffee with her all the while lying to his girl friend, who is not with him on this special occasion. Jhansi, on the other hand, is a Dworkin-incarnate gone horribly wrong- who believes that ‘ponnuga oodu prachnai pasanga thaan’ – For the lesser informed, it means the problems for girls are only guys. There are times I wished I never knew Tamil so that I could avoid witnessing a butchering of such a classical language. Then we have Deepika, hot-chick who blows-cool when she is down under(pun totally intended), just released from the hells of a prudish family and whose raging hormones only help her in making fast friendship with pasanaga. A female spectral balance for all those male trolls who surf around Orkut asking “only” for friendship from unknown women. Hormones Galore. Then there are a few thrown in to provide comic relief- but the comedy(at least in the second half) is so contrived and disgusting that one feels its sole purpose was to distract you from the fact that the movie had no point.

Even if we made allowances for the characters, we find that they are never true to themselves(actor performance is another story). Nothing that happens in the movie makes sense neither does what any of the characters talk or feel- and do they talk and feel a lot or what? It is not clear why a guy like Karthik is interested in a girl like Jahnsi in the first place. Lets assume that he finds her a challenge worth pursuing as the movie makes it increasingly clear after their initial break up, Karthik does not miss her a single bit. It gets ludicrous when Karthik can’t fathom why Jhansi is so insecure and suspicious after a bride runs away from her broom-to-be(typo intentional) in midst wedding to plant a wet one on his cheeks. The explanation- he is a jolly guy who will never get serious. Finally we are exasperated when he begins to pursue her again in Australia where their paths cross conveniently during their “contractual obligations”. Jhansi, whose sole purpose is to act eternally scorned, constantly reminds Deepika that she is there on a contract, never really makes any effort to curb either Karthik’s advances or Deepika’s foolhardy behaviour. There is a brief altercation between the love-birds and suddenly we find Jhansi vying for Karthik’s attention. At this point we are interested to see how things peter out, but are treated with some holier-than-thou puritanical bullshit, where Deepika and Karthik exchange what the movie was all about. Girls should love the fact that guys like to fool around with other women and lie about it. With dialogues ringing “I like that ya” immediately followed by “I also like that ya”, the movie is a tiring three hour marathon of repetitive nonsense. The climax, although something we did not expect, gave us no closure and does not save the movie.

My biggest gripe is that the movie had the goods that could have made for an interesting watch if it had only stuck with certain stereotypes, like Minnale did so brilliantly, instead of trying to be different. A more intelligent treatment of the issue with a tad bit better acting and we would have had a decent movie worth the money and time. For instance we aren’t given any insight into Jhansi’s mind. Why is she so suspicious? A little narration of some incident in the past would have helped us at least understand if not empathize with her. We are left with two choices one in Jhansi and the other in Deepika- neither of whom(at least for me) are the least bit attractive, solely because we have no idea where they are coming from. Finally there is Karthik, who thinks looking like eye candy, makes up for substance. In the end, even though there is a lot going for it- a fresh cast, nice cinematography and visuals, above average music and an interesting theme- we leave the film disappointed because it never takes off, like a flight cricling the runway till it runs out of fuel. And thats one angry passenger reporting.

Throwball

Yeah, yeah, Germany was fun and stuff. It’s been almost two years since my trip and you can all stop pretending to give a rat’s ass and I will just move on. A few weeks back I was blessed with the opportunity to ‘mediate’ over a game of Throwball at my colony. Mediate is a very carefully chosen word as that’s all one does in game where the two teams concerned are loaded with matriarchs who play judge and jury along with a little throwball on the side. I have known many a man who had his self-esteem disseminated in an attempt at fair play. So mediate was all I did. All the men who gathered around to watch the spectacle, and there were quite a few of them, wished me luck. Apparently it’s a lot of fun watching a member of their pride get torn to shreds before their eyes. Its one of those ‘externalizing the internal’ sort of a thing where what one goes through with one’s spouse/partner or sister or daughter is brought to them live. Something to do with closure I would assume. Most of them sported a sly smile, bearing an uncanny resemblance to the pleasure some get in watching the lamb to the slaughter.

Throwball is played on a court that pretty much resembles your badminton court- two boxes separated by a net in between. You would be forgiven to think that all there is to the game is a bunch of pretty little things throwing the ball at each other with the rally ending when the ball lands outside the court, or on the net, or in some cases is dropped. There’s much more to throwball than what meets common sense. Throwball is very much like your quintessential woman- a simple game complicated beyond comprehension for no reason. Did you know that ‘roll over the head’ has absolutely nothing to do with anything rolling over anyone’s head? Well except that you might end up having your head rolled over in case of one such event in the game. Roll over the head is a foul where the thrower (come on guys, cut me some slack here) rolls the ball while, well you guessed it, throwing. Since most of us are familiar with cricket, I found it impossible to believe that anyone could throw a ball without applying a spin, whereupon I was quickly put in my miserable little place by having it pointed out that the rolling could start after the ball left the hand and any rolling of the ball while it was still touching your hand was a ‘Roll Over the head’ foul. Flabbergasted? there’s more – tons more.

Throwball is full of these complex rules. Many of my predecessors made the grave mistake of questioning the motives (madness) behind such rules- an unpardonable act akin to querying why the toilet seat is to be placed up or down or on the mantelpiece or wherever (to date I cant remember what the deal is). Apart from being unfathomable, these rules are also unjudgable, for want of a better word. That, in my not so humble opinion, is the precise reason for these rules. Any and every call can and will be questioned and used against the referee as an excuse. An excuse to outpour the choicest of expletives, an excuse to question the functioning of his mental faculties and not to mention an excuse to make violent death threats. Throwball is like a women’s collective, where they hunt in packs, with the sole purpose being to remind men, in the most aggressive, ruthless and contemptuous manner, of our place in the social hierarchy. Which, for the ill informed, is far below them women.

In the end, I felt like I had just been through a paper mill. Alls well that ends well, I guess.

Now ain’t that cute!

When tt_giant calls you anna – you better move your busted-ass vehicle(hat tip- Miles Logan). So here I am, after a long hiatus staring at the computer looking for some material to write about, and I say to myself, “What about the Israeli onslaught on Lebanon?”

Its kind of stale news so I’ll save you the “bringing you up to base” routine and get down to brass tacks(hat tip – Winston Wolfe). Before you move on please understand this is an analysis and not some kind of morality check. However, I also feel its important to let known my political affiliation up front to save our commenters from playing the motive card. In the four years I spent in the States, other than feeding myself with daily doses of computer science, I decided to educate myself on world affairs and politics. You the know the usual run of the mill whos who in International politics, why he/she was doing whatever he/she was doing, and what kind of effects that was going to take place from a local and global standpoint. As all these mis-educations turn out, I found myself taking stances on a lot of issues that would have otherwise not been detected by my intelectual radar. Anyways, cutting a long story short, I realised I was a liberal for most part with a affinity towards fiscal responsibility (for the politically unintiated that means less taxes and less spending by the government with more accountability).

When in doubt, all you have to do is follow the money (hat tip- Deep Throat). There are various links in the internet breaking down the nitty-gritty details on American funding to Israel and here are a two of them

Christian Science Monitor

Washington Report

In short the US aid every year to Israel hovers around the 2 billion$ mark, and guess who pays for that- your friendly neighborhood American taxpayer. Out of this 2 billion odd hard currency 40%, roughly equating to about 1 billion dollars is military aid. About five years ago when Bush took office for the first time and the American economy, though having a surplus, was heading into recession proposed tax cuts for the upper crust.

So if you look at it though my eyes this is what you will see. Half of the American aid to Israel, funded by the American tax payer, is used by Israel to purchase weapons and weapons technology from privately run American companies who also get large tax cuts. Now that may not be cute honey but its definetly very very clever.

Let The Fireworks Begin

Boiling Point
OK, I’m angry! OK, I’m not angry right now, which is probably good thing considering that I might write something that I’d later regret and end up having to apologize for. I was angry yesterday night after a First Day Third Show of Ilaya Thalapathy’s Diwali release ‘Sivakasi’. I have, in an earlier post, illustrated why, according to me, crappy movies are made. But this time, its personal. Its one thing to go for a stupid movie with family when you have nothing better to do, but its a whole new ballpark when you find yourself driving twenty miles out of the city, in a road full of assholes who think its not only cool to drink and drive but its too cool to drive while drinking(or the other way around if you must), pay 50 bucks for toll, 20 bucks for parking that’s 200 meters away from the building and find yourself waiting 30 minutes because of a show running late for a movie that smells like a 10 pound bag stuffed with 50 pounds of shit in a theatre that charges you 150 bucks for a ticket only to cut off the air conditioning half way through the movie. But all this would not be a problem had the movie been as bad as ‘Chandramukhi’ and the day you decided to treat yourself with a heap of rotting rubbish was not Diwali. My disillusioned and cynical-but-not-yet-bitter self has come to terms with reality, limitations of reason and the role illusions play in lifting the human shit- I meant human spit – no no I mean human spirit. And I told you I was angry yesterday!!!

It’s Just a Movie Right?
How offensive, crude, vulgar and non-sensical can a movie get? Watch ‘Sivakasi’ and you will get an idea as to how badly your estimation can go wrong. I will come out and say it! I don’t like Vijay whatever-his-last-name-is. But this is not about him or the movie. Forget that the story sucks, forget that the action sequences break every law of physics, forget that the dialogue and comedy are worse than any ‘Kadi’ joke you have ever heard and forget that every character in the movie is as close to reality as aliens paying us a visit. Lets forget all that. That’s part and parcel of entertainment, people get what they ask for. This ranting is also not about a few wasted bucks and time(though they add fuel to the fire). This is about the movie goers, the fans, the ‘thondargal’s. The people who want to watch these kinds of movies, cheer it, enjoy it and feel great after it.

Castings
First and foremost, what is this obsession Tamil movie goers have with this Iyyer or Iyyengar Atthu Ponnunga? No seriously!!! I spend most of my time with these ‘Brahmin’ girls and take it from me, they are not all that they are cracked up to be. Or is this some kind of forbidden fruit that all you Sc’s and Mbc’s and how many ever Non/Anti-OC castes that are out there want to taste??? Not content with taking all the seats in every freaking professional college this messed up education system offers and occupying every post in the institution that we try to pass as a Government, you guys are now casting your eyes on our ladies eh??? People, if getting it on with an Iyyer babe is your idea of a wild night out in the hay stack, just come out and say so. Cause then we can pass a bill for some kind of reservation. You know 69% of OC babes having to sleep with all you Anti/Non OC guys so that you don’t feel left out of all the fun in the sun.OC here has nothing to do with the Television Serial ‘The OC’, but Other Castes or as we fondly refer to as Out Casts.

A Class Apart
Secondly, why is every movie of Vijay whatever-his-last-name-is always about ‘High Class’ villains and ‘Low Class’ heroes. You know with the ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’ and ‘All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than other’ theme. ‘Low Class’ people are happier, hippier and whatever-more than ‘High Class’ people. Really??? That’s why half the songs in his movies are anglicised with ‘hey baby’s and ‘ooh mama’s(the mama here not being a mother but her brother). Maybe that’s why we find him dancing around in Ray Bans, Ralpf Lauren and Armani driving 350cc Yamahas that his ‘Low Class’ ass afforded him. Is that another illusion you ‘Low Class’ people entertain??? Wearing designer clothes, driving high-end motorbikes but staying simple and good at heart and giving philosophical insight to narrow minded, selfish, evil ‘High Class’ people and proving your righteousness by wooing away their ‘High Class’, rich bred, university educated, hot and horny but sensitive and moral babes for pure un-Adult-erated loving??? Wake up fuck-faces!!! You might want to give the whistlings and the cat callings a rest and take a long and hard look at the fuck-face staring back at you in the mirror. And by the way, who the fuck is ‘Low Class’ in a theatre that forces you to drive in your own vehicle and costs 150 bucks per head to enter??? So maybe ‘Low Class’ is not about money!!! It is probably about manner less, gutless, sexually repressed freaks trying to prove that they are not manner less, gutless and sexually repressed!!! Go get some free porn you stupid fucks!!!
And I said that I did not want to write something that I would later regret and end up having to apologize for!!!