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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Kabali movie review

Rajninikanth the superhero of Mollywood is a phenomenon ,having seen him grow from his first film I could write about him reasonably well .
Discovered by the legendary K Balachander this bus conductor turned film actor from the film institute was low key in the beginning enacting a bearded somber sad antihero in his first film Apporva ragangal in front of a shining Kamalahassan ,in the next Padinaru vayadhinille he burst into film world as a villain totally different from any seen earlier ,

we all those days still remember the swagger of his delivery idhepedi irruku  ? as his wily cunning mannerisms took to work with the sly grin ,these  would earn him a charisma to die for and to get labelled as the style king would surface right from then ,
slowly and steadily Rajinikant would metamorphose into a super hero and reach a peak not heard of much which he carries even to this day at the ripe age of sixty five though a few of his recent films hasn't done well in the box office ,

Rajinis charm never stopped with his films ,his off screen image as the man who was not bothered to patch up his appearance ,to  the large scale adulation not only in India but in countries like japan etc
rajnis movies are events and are multi million affairs a whole industry is built on his films and so when Rajni announced a new film with a one film wonder called P Ranjith it was a bit of a surprise ,it was said he moved away from his tried and tested directors like Mani ratnam ,Sankar etc to try out creativity fresh and  youthful
Ranjith had earlier taken  Madras a very popular film and it was said this movie was the reason for his being selected by the great Rajnini !
I  did see the movie Madras and was suitably unimpressed as it was just another confused Chennai based film with countless youngsters getting drunk falling to girls or stalking them and finally getting into fights with street dances thrown in ,i found no spark of creativity
 in fact I started wondering how could anyone seeing this film take up its creator and I was proved right after seeing kabali
After so much hyphe and build up the movie I feel is dismal ,
poor script ,sad screenplay ,confused director who appears bewildered that he was made to take a movie of this order and did not know what to do and tried to make a copy of his previous one adulated about ( wonder for what ) with almost all the crew of his precious film

Rajinikanth the win win package of the film industry could be called the saving grace of the film in spite of his age ,he to a small extent does continue his swagger and his style to impress though he does look jaded and aged and a bit slow too
He definitely cannot continue this for long even with the best wigs in town !

Its all about an underworld don in Kuala lumpur ,Malaysia out to save the local Tamils getting released from  a 20 year prison sentence and like the legendary phoenix dusting off his past to get back at this perpetrators ,in the process he discovers he has a daughter who now is a skilled sharpshooter and much in demand in the udnerworld and also finds out his  dead wife was still alive in Pondicherry where our man flies in Air Asia ( Air Asia painted a plane for the movie publicity  )and gets her back strangely the wife seems not to have aged a bit and looks just the same as she was twenty years back Radhika Apte does an excellent job in spite of the director !!

then followed a litany of violent orgies in Malaysia and some in Bangkok where a confusing  number of villains in several garbs with one wearing obscene jewelry with a china man added for safety's sake ,
A lot of kuala lumpur is shown in excellent shots but then if only that was there at least it would have been a god documentary
Santosh Narayanan the music director should also have been in a trance after creating the one epic piece of welcome music when the don returns which has become catchy ,after this rhyme  he goes into a cocoon losing whatever talent he has to produce noises  !

with Rajini around fights are a must the fights but here that too wasnt  much to write about .
 even old malayalam films like idha ivide vare had more authentic ones ,not to talk of the many neweer films in all languages

The theme was a good one and Rajni could still have hit off as an new Brandon in a Godfather like film but for that  we needed a good story teller to create a good symphony from a bad story one needs a good director

the story lost its life by intermission and viewers were getting fidgety
post intermission it was a long short haul of endless shootouts and exhausted actors and disappointed viewers

Neruppuda ( that means I am fire )was the great catch phrase
sorry this was more like cheruppuda ( sipper thrown on viewers )

Rajni sir

please select a good man to direct your films the next time

Monday, July 18, 2016

my uncle OUK Nair

Use of telegram ( not the recent IT application in the news ) but the clickety clack Morse code way of conveying messages which only people of my generation would remember ,not the younger ones
Those days the telegram always heralded an emergency and one was tense to find out what it revealed ,if it just said a congratulatory or greeting message or an appointment order or a transfer order etc one was a little revealed ,it could say somebody was arriving by the morning train ,etc
the message we are sorry to inform that .......expired is the worst a telegram can bring ,
I got more than three WA and FB message at a speed no telegram could reach ,telling me that my fathers brother Oootil.Unnikrishnan Nair had passed away early today morning ,and in minutes i had also passed it to relevant people i knew .
Uncle had lived a full life of ninety seven years or more .
I talked of Telegram here is because my uncle unnimamma as i have always called him , on retirement was the Director of post and telegraph Department southern division in Hyderabad ,
that was four decades back .

Tall ,lean ,handsome with a royal visage he was the youngest of my fathers three brothers and two sisters ,their father parameswaran moos was a well known traditional Ayurvedic physician of Malappuram district ,
Unnimamma joined P and T during the early fifties i think and made his way up steadily up .
He always had been my hero as he used to dress so well ,at any time , even in his ripe old age .
Unnimamma was dapper in neatly ironed shirts pants or dhoti ,he was stylish in his habits ,i remember he used to travel in first class only in the in the Railways
i also remember most houses he stayed ,Jolly cottage in Kallayi ,the huge official quarters on top of the P and T head office in Calicut beach .
At that time there was a P and T strike on and no one was allowed to enter the office ,we were staying for a few days then ,in the night Unnimamma was busy as he got phone calls from many ,i could hear his soft but stern voice handling the whole issue with no fear or favor but strictly as it should be ,all this made an impression of my young mind that sincerity and honesty and courage could deal with any obstacles and all we need is a clear conscience ,he never told me all this in so many words but his behavior conveyed ti to me and to all of us in the family
he had a soft corner for me as i had lost my father at ten years
unnimamma had great respect for my dad as he was his eldest brother and had taken care of him and other siblings in their younger age as they too lost their father when young,
i remember him in front of my father standing with great respect and speaking softly but they loved each other a lot

later in recent years whenever possible when in India i would make a point to visit uncle in Calicut ,
He was very interesting as a conversationist and had definite views on the political trash in Kerala which was more or less similar to mine and his sarcasm was greatly enjoyed by me !
he always used to comment on my growing tummy as he was fit as a fiddle .
to know that the karnavar or oldest member of our family is no more is sad ,but to me today is a day of remembrance rather than pain .
,Remembering him when he caught me a ten year old as i swooned after my dads cremation ,
remembering being taken to a doctor in Calicut for some problem i had ,
remembering him when he was so glad i got into medicine
so many small things i could recollect
may your soul rest in peace my dear uncle
please give my hellos to my beloved dad when you meet him wherever !

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Doctor bashing

Doctor bashing seems to be the latest of fads in India ,with the media and the law and the political leadership giving no support doctors do a thankless job with inadequately maintained hospitals and suffer from wrath of patients and their families who are spurred on by anti social elements .
Kerala a state where people call themselves literate but are silent against labor terrorism like Attimari and Nokkuooli namely blackmail by thugs on unloading and getting paid for looking at jobs ,both illegal ,but the people of the state who do not dare to whisper against such absurdities because they are cowards know that they can vent their fury on doctors who do their job sincerely .

Recently one more doctor who was brought a patient with chest pain and who gave him first aid  in his small set up and referred him to a higher center to be managed , faced the wrath of an unruly crowd ,when the patient died of his medical condition and no fault of the doctor ,the crowd bashed him destroyed his house and clinic and barred him inside the house for more than six hours and no law enforcing agency helped him till the IMA and other medical officer associations demanded justice to higher authorities ,the media too ignored the incident as none of the TV channels covered it much.
After threat of a strike by the IMA the police finally arrested by the perpetrators 
why should doctors be indebted to a society which treats them like this ? 

A society which has faith in illiterates who say vaccines are bad for health and consequent deaths of little children with Diphtheria and one doctor who herself got infected recently.
A society which believes in quacks and alternate medicines and relies on spurious supplements made by charlatans and has no question to ask them when they realize that they  have been duped by them as they land up in renal failure and other complications and run to the modern medical doctors for succor .

what kind of reaction does one expect from this indignant community treated so shabbily ?

one immediately gets answers like 
are you saying all doctors are above board ? is there no medical negligence ?
 nobody can vouch for those things as there could be many such instances but there are procedures of respite for all such cases ,taking over the law by anti socials is not the answer !

why are the political leaders who grace most association functions to give their lengthy speeches not uttering a word against this gross injustice ?

why is the media so silent ?

why are the people who benefit from the expertise and hard work of doctors against all odds expect doctors to be self sacrificing when they bash up doctors for any death or complications which are very common in medical practice !

its high time the medical associations took this very seriously and stopped all work and demanded they be given protection if they have to work and stop calling politicians to grace their functions till they support their cause .

The associations also have to legally move the courts which has been fair to the medical community always .

The associations also need to start a campaign that the community will not keep quiet anymore if their members are harassed like this ,they need to meet the local police officers and higher ups and get assurances on what action will be taken in case of such emergencies ?
Its not a question of whether there is medical negligence or not ,it is a question of people taking justice into their own hands when avenues for complaints against doctors like consumer courts or even civil or criminal case filings exist ,
if people who are naturally docile when it comes to corrupt politicians bureaucrats are able to do do anything they want with doctors it is the failure of the government to protect its subjects the medical profession and if the Government does not care for that then the medical community should also stop doing anything extra for the society till they learn their lesson ,

so the medical associations should consider this as an important agenda more than their CME and local functions as anyone of them could suffer this fate any time so they need to unite and stand firm at this juncture
doctors standing alone cannot be expected to fight this on thier own steam

Dr Harimohan

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Todays special

Food movies to me is particularly appealing since I have a passion for food as well as for cooking .
There have been a lot of Indian films based on food ,the legendary Bawarchi of Rajesh Khanna ,later  Amithabs cheeni kum,, the lunch box ,etc.
In Holly wood there have been plenty ,A matter of tastes ,Ratotulle ,No reservations ,Chef ,
A hundred foot journey,Fast food nation ,Just deserts ,etc 

I happened to chance upon Today's special in Netflix and went through it in one stretch as it was very absorbing .
The reason was the philosophy of the film was rhyming with my views on Desi cooking !

Yes its all about an Indian restaurant in downtown New York one of the hundreds one sees in Queens in the little India run by suit clad rheumy Indians eulogizing on  their curry .

Tandoori palace is one such restaurant run by an obese Hakim ( Harish patel ) ,
having lost one of his sons on whom he had great hopes of his becoming  a doctor he was depressed his son Samir (Aaasif mandvi who incidentally also wrote the screen play of the film directed well by David Kaplan )  is only a sous chef in an upmarket French specialty restaurant ,

Samir  quits one day when passed over for promotion unfairly !
He   plans to go to Paris to apprentice under someone to become a specialist in French cuisine but it wasn't to happen as he finds his dad go into an apoplexy on hearing Samir had lost his job and promptly has a heart attack and becomes bedridden .
His three uncles  play cards there most of the time ,the place is unhygienic , ill organised  with a crude clout of an immigrant with a spittoon as the resident cook 
 when Samir puts his foot down on the spittoon the man walks away leaving Samir with no chef .

Samir  remembers his meeting  a talkative cab driver Akbar once who prides himself as an expert Indian cook who knew  all the secrets of a Nawabi kitchen.
He manages to trace him down .
Thus Akbar brilliantly portrayed by Naseeruddin Shah comes to help out Tandoor palace 
Samir is amused at Akbars way of making the masala  powder ,definitely beyond his trained and professional knowledge as Akbar relies on no recipes but has everything in his mind ,
Akbar pontificates that   cooking rises from  three places ,the head ,the heart and the stomach 
He introduces Samir to the world of cooking with passion !
Madhur Jeffery the world famous cook expert and authour acts as Samirs mother in the film who gets impressed by Akbar and his panache .
The restaurant makes a U turn and crowds start pouring in and after a dust down it looks nice too ,

Samir becomes closer to Carrie his love interest , a fellow chef who comes to work for him to later become his fiancee .

And the day a star reviewer eulogizes on his restaurant he becomes suddenly  famous and there is a big line waiting to get into the restaurant 
His dad and mum who come then are  amazed at the change and Hakim hugs his son and Samir  is very happy at last his dad had appreciated him 
Akbar does the disappearing act as he is a man on the move but gives the masala pan to Samir and giving  him the confidence to go on  alone and succeed and Samir  just does that 
I would recommend this film  to all 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

unsung hero

It was early in the morning ,there was a soft knock on the door ,
she went and opened the door ,she stood there stunned ,
Brigadier Khanna her husbands best friend !
for some time nothing registered .and then it all flooded back ,
memories of twenty long years !
her eyes welled up in tears ,
she realized she should have called him inside ,
he too knew ,she was shocked seeing him after all these years
he was quiet and sad .
his dear friend Major Bashyam,they were together for long ,trained together , fought together and now he was alone in the army 
he was a senior officer now 

All these years he had dreaded this moment to go and meet his dear friends  widow ,
to tell her what happened on that day that fateful day in the remote Tawang valley in Arunachal Pradesh in the north east corner of India 
 but he had to tell ,he could not put it off forever .

please come inside Brigadier ,Iam sorry  ,it was a shock to see you after all these years
can I get you some tea ?
thats fine he said
he braced himself ,he  needed all the time he could get before he could tell all
she brought him the tea
he asked about her daughters they would both have grown up a lot
the elder one was just two years when it happened and younger one year ,now both above twenty
shes joined medical college in Chennai 
yes I heard so
he always wanted his daughter to be a doctor ,good
younger daughter is in college Khannaji
he would be  happy
and how are you Babhi ?

Iam going on ,
God has been kind to me
 My family ,his family ,we all  stuck together and we fought it bravely our loss 
 but for his being not there and not knowing what really happened we managed
but the truth has always evaded us
we ache to know what happened on that fateful day when he left us
you knew ?

yes I knew all along but I could never face you

she remembered
she was  just twenty three then married just three years back and with two small children
he had gone back to the front just a month back  to distant Arunachal pradesh and then the war broke out 
China invaded India 
those days it was all Indi china bhai bhai ,both ancient civilizations were thought to be good friends 
Pandit Nehru the Prime minister of India was at his height of popularity
 He believed he was the statesman the world was looking upto
 China his dear China with those great socialist ideals,he was left oriented .
what a great country with as hoary a history as his own India !
Panditiji had a lofty vision ,he admired socialistic countries 
He was lost in his dream of utopia 

There were whispers of China planning a campaign against India surreptitiously ,their army was being strengthened and closing in near the north east borders but none  believed that the Chinese would invade India

The defense minister Krishna Menon never heeded to warnings from the Indian army 
senior officers  were getting intelligence reports from the borders of an imminent attack 
India was ill prepared for any war specially in the hills of Arunachal pradesh 
they lacked good supplies winter clothes weapons and the morale of the soldiers were low as it was a hardy life with few comforts  ,
There were warnings from the army that China was  angry at India for its Tibetan adventure 
The Dalai lama was living in India protected by the Indian government and the Chinese never forgave India for this slight .

 And then one fine day the hills of Tawang woke up to a cold morning 
The  marching Chinese army highly trained and strong swept in ,the forces of defense were few and far between ,unorganized and scattered away at the onslaught ,
the invasion was swift and furious the Chinese advanced quickly with their well trained and equipped soldiers
it was child's play for them to drive in an unprepared poorly equipped army ,
it was no fault of the Indian army as they fought bravely against all the odds
it was a failure of the people who governed the country who played fiddle while Rome burnt and before India could bolster its strengthen and gather their forces the enemy  had made great strides into the country !
many perished many retreated
it was India's shame

she used to pray all the time those days
he was in the very place the war was on as a major in The ninth Punjab Regiment 
he wrote to her once during  the turmoil from the front 
he was safe and would come back
his dream to become a doctor would be fulfilled by   his daughters he wrote  then !

she never felt the danger,she was sure he would be back !
The days flew by and finally the Chinese  stopped their onslaught  after giving a bad lesson to India
they started going back 

It was then that she heard there was news of her husband missing in action !
he just disappeared 
 was he wounded or captured as a prisoner of war ?
 did he die?
 no one knew !
it was torture not to know !

After many days  a sad letter from the prime minister himself was received by her

We regret to inform the missing of your husband in the battlefield ,presumed dead in action 

how cruel !
a few matter of fact words had  just snuffed our her future her life her love and her hopes 

 the death knell for her
that day would be marked as terrible forever in her life always 
she felt all alone though her family and his family were there to comfort her 
but days went by and they never got any news nor his the body
India slowly limped back from its shame
Panditji died a broken man sad and sick 
India moved on 

The widow was strong ,she knew she had to be strong for her poor children ,she knew she had to study more become independent ,she could ill afford to brood over her loss ,it was her pay back to her husband who had loved their family but loved the nation more and gave himself for his country 

Do we Indians ever think of these great men and women of our great army who are fearless ?
,filled with love and pride for the country ,willing to sacrifice all for their nation !
how much can we do to pay our gratitude to these heroes our warriors our protectors !

she was bent on studying and she left her elder daughter with his parents younger one with her parents and joined Queen Marys college in Chennai to do her further studies ,
went on to do an MSC in nutrition  and became a qualified dieticin and served in many medical colleges in the state .
She rose up her career ,was in social activities and led a busy fruitful life 
Her children later stayed with their uncles and then  joined a convent in chennai and still later into a classy boarding school in a hill station .
with time her elder daughter got into medical college and younger one into college for completing her Pg and Bed 

And now after so many years his friend has come
 after twenty long years
 what was he going to tell her ?
a faint hope in her glimmered
was he somewhere ?
 I dont mind not seeing him ever but I want him alive  somewhere
please my God

it was not to be

The brigadier  softly whispered 
it was almost the end of the war  when it happened
the straggler Chinese army was going back after teaching India a lesson
The  battalion led by Major Bashyam  was fighting to the end and were giving back to the now retreating Chinese 
there was intense  firing the major and his soldiers fought bravely
the Chinese also  shot many
Major Bashyam was wounded but refused to retreat and go down to the field hospital but insisted on saving all his boys he went forward doing that thus saving many ,but a fatal bullet hit him !
if he had left  he would still be alive as much as I am now 
tears filled the Brigadiers eyes 
he was last seen  being shot and falling down 
they knew it  but in the thick do the battle  they could not get to him 
the air was full of fumes the weather was cold and heavy snowing gave poor visibility 
they never found his body as the snow was deep in  winter and it was all white

oh no it was all black she thought !

so he had left them , but she had to know yes the truth it was important even after two decades
A closure is always needed 
Two decades of a hero who had died for his country

this  is the story of his  brave widow who was the right partner for a brave officer

The country lives on by such sacrifices 
one among the many untold stories of unsung heroes 
The nation is proud of them and grateful to them .

Friday, May 13, 2016


what will we doctors do without you ?
Nurses and doctors are like the sun and the moon,
each needs the other to do their job well,
on this nurses day I thank all the efficient sincere and caring nurses I had worked in my 33 years of being a doctor .
During early medical college days they were foreboding and told us medical students to keep to our place and not touch anything in the OT ,
Internship days they were our masters as in a Government hospital their work was mostly ours and even to get a syringe we needed their largess,
slowly when we had our own  clinic ic  for two decades we had about five nurses working with us most sincerely  ,then they were more than family to us and our children grew up with their attention too as clinic was part of our house ,
In Lakeshore Hospital Cochin I always remember many sisters in the oncology department Sister P……. was very experienced and I still remember her encouragement during my first central line insertion and during all those bone marrow punctures , plural taps or lumbar punctures which became easy slowly ,
the sisters stood by us stolidly ,
in times of emergencies they were quicker and smarter and responded well ,
Many times i had admired at the care they give to inpatients their wounds their love in the bedside, feeding them, cleaning them and changing their dressings offering a consoling shoulder!
in  pain management  the nurses offered great support ,
Working in UAE in a John Hopkins hospital I came across nurses from seventy countries ,
most were loving and sincere and became friends.
 it was all a learning process getting to know them ,
Here too in Brunei when I see how they work quietly and efficiently and go about their jobs I really appreciate them .
on this nurses day I wish all nurses the  very best

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Rufus Uncle
If today my son is the captain of his college football team or if to him football is his passion one of the most important persons responsible for this would be the legendary uncle Rufus of Fort Cochin .

Uncle Rufus was an excellent sportsman in his youth , a bachelor he turned into a coach with time and had coached many who became part of the state and the national team too .
He was particularly keen on coaching younger boys aged around 10 to 15 and even at a ripe age of above seventies a robust Rufus uncle would be in the Fort Cochin parade grounds come rain or sun without fail to train his wards every evening .
He is now in his eighties and i hear he still continues .

Shyam too had gone to his classes for more than three years ,Rufus uncle as he was fondly called was a fatherly coach he never chided the boys but loved them but was also strict with their physical fitness and football skills ,he made them play in heavy rain soaked to their skins or in blistering heat ,many of his older students would never fail to visit him when in Cochin and also help out in training others
Shyam too got an opportunity to see his favorite Rufus uncle recently .
there is a small side story in this
shyams mother always gave him the right amount of money for the bus fare and not a paisa more as he used to travel alone to his football coaching .
once in a while when i was free i used to go to pick him up ,
once he asked me if he could have some fresh cakes in the bakery hotel in Fort Cochin famous for its soft pastries ,so we both went there .
A waiter came grinned widely looking at Shyam and said
"hi shyam didnt see you for long time " ,
my son immediately looked at him and fiercely started nodding at him and pointing at me with his eyebrows ,but i caught it and asked the waiter so he comes here often is it ?
"of course shyam is a regular ",i looked at a sheepish shyam
" and what do you come here for ?
" well to have some pastries " ,
but " where is the money after all your mother gives you just enough for the bus "
" most of the bus crew know me well and take only half the fare so i use it to buy this "
,i was laughing inside but i acted angry and told him if he wants to buy pastry or eat anything he needs to ask and not do things on the sly .
one more lesson he learnt while learning football

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