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Sunday, July 25, 2010


After a long time I saw a good malayalam film .
Malayalam films a decade back were known for its excellent creativity and were also commercially satisfying ,this slowly degenerated into poor copies of other South Indian language masala films ( not thier good ones ) with dance and songs alien to Kerala roots !
Thankfully the Shakeela specials have petered down these days .
Loudspeaker a movie by director Jeyaraj known for his offbeat but commercially viable films was a delight to watch .

Mammooty the hero is a bumbling simpleton who has no verbal brakes and lacks volume control for his voice box .
He is a village bumpkin by name Mic from Thoprankudy a remote village in the fringes of a forest.
He regales people with his racy tales of encounters with lonley killer elephants ,
coming to the city for badly needed money to buy back a piece of land where his father had died ,he comes across a wily broker looking for kidney donors .
The film is all about the relationship that develops between a donor and a reciever of an organ ,
NRI menon being the man who needs a kidney to survive.
Veteran journalist Sasi Menon known for his intelligent interviews in early Asianet and later national TV is suited to the role to a T ,
As a former astrophysicist in the U.S.A with a guilt conscience he carries the role with restrained dignity slowly warming to the exuberant and at time cosmetically non digestible image of poor Mic .

Mic the man with the golden heart brings out the talent in Mamooty in abundance and the viewer loses his hearts to his innate goodness so do the other characters in the film ,
A graceful Gracy singh ( Lagaan fame ) as a nurse is silent but beutiful ,there is no typestyled heroine or villain in the movie and even the wayward student gang in the flat where Menon is staying turn ptiful and apologetic after a bash with some goondas ably managed by Mic .

Photography is excellent specially when Mic and Menon travel to the aristocratic environs of Menons home and village
At the end Mic again steals the show by his heart and in the last scene the donor and reciever come together as friends
A wholesome satisfying and soulful movie indeed not many of this in the present genre .
would recommend all of you not to miss the DVD

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Bhopal Tragedy revisited

25 years back on a tragic day in Bhopal more than 15000 innocents succumbed to poisonous fumes leaked from the Union Carbide fertiliser plant due to gross ineptitude and negligence by the multinational corporate .

Warren Anderson the CEO who had the guts to turn up at the site immediately was escorted to his home U.S.of A. by the leaders governing our country at that time and is still scot free in senility .

As in all such tragedies the real victims are from the poorest dregs of society and they continue to suffer from its ills even to this day with the after effects of the noxious gas

Thier welfare has been ignored and thier rightful claims for compensation swallowed by a corrupt and inefficient bureacracy and politicians
Union Carbide which is now under a new ownership has shaken away all thier responsiblities and got away so lightly for one of the greatest man made disasters the world had ever seen ,

They would be thanking thier stars that this happened in India where the powers running the nation had helped them proactively and by default (the slow pace of justice in the country and its meagre sentences . )

The recent judgement of a paltry fine and two year imprisonement for some of those responsible coming after 25 years has only rubbed salt to the wounds .most of the accused have already got bail !

The real protaganist is ensoncsed in his old age within the security of his country ,

Murmurs of his extradition which surfaced recently in the media has died a quite death when fingers of suspicion started pointing to icons of the present ruling faction ,

probably another case of spiked news .

The British Petroleum oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico strangely coincided with theBhopal tragedy news revival .

Look at the indignation of president Obama and his countrymen at the oil leak causing immense harm to the marine ecology and consequently to thier country and its people

The offenders are made to pay for thier demanours through thier nose and made guilty by the media day in and out
imagine how they wold have reacted to a tragedy of the Bhopal scale ?
how would the offenders been sentenced ?
how much would have been the compensation recieved by the victims ?
they would have transformed a city like Bhopal in the 25 years into a veritable green paradise making Union Carbide pay for it

what we have instead is a still rusting and dangerous remnants of a killer factory in Bhopal even today !

All medical needs for generations of the victims and thier social needs would have been met ,or rather Union Carbide would have been forced to meet them

One feels sad our parlimentarians and rulers have no value for an Indian life ,

The very life they depend on like parasites for thier votes and petty existence ,

they pamper and preen to corporate demigods even the negligent ones who have harmed the nation and have squashed the lives of thier bretheren .

Our elected representatives throwing flowerpots in assemblies or cavorting with bar girls have no time to waste for the poor ,they only have words for them ,orations that hold thier verbal diarrhea

they turn to the poor only during thier coveted elections ,at other times they split them in the name of caste and religion and keep them in perpetual poverty and bleed them like vampires

they are disgusting !

Friday, July 16, 2010

Paul the predictor

This FIFA a wriggly slippery pound of flesh made more news than all those sweating on and off the field .
Somewhere in Germany in an aquarium Paul spread his buttoned tentacles over the can of food never knowing he was making histroy and being watched by millions on live TV .
None knows how his clairvoyant powers were detected and marketed ,but one does know now that he was strangely and uncannily correct in his predictions .
The joke now is Paul died laughing when asked when India would win the world cup .
Dont worry folks Paul is alive ,healthy,and kicking enjoying his customary aquarian fetishes .
There was a subtle hint of rivalry during the games from Mani the Singapoorean parakeet who pecked on a card depicting the winners ,of course having bet on Holland as the world cup winner Manis fame died a natural death and I assume he is back to picking cards for Solaippa Senguttavan and Chellapan Chettiars in the backstreets of India town in Singapore as he has been doing for ages .
There also was news on a crocodile grabbing a live chicken to devour it and make predictions .
The possiblities are endless .
One could have Redbum the baboon ,Grimace the gorilla ,or Slimy the snake ,becoming future astrolgers .
Indian politicians could wait with bated breaths on these soothsayers giving poor swamijis and astrologers a time out ,maybe thier parties could use them as lucky mascots ,the baboon would be ideal for most of them .
The South African president Zuma known for his prowess in the sleeping quarters with many wives to comfort him said his country needs no Pauls or Manis they generally throw bones to foretell thier future ,
so guys and gals go ahead and look up a Paul or Mani to know your tomorrows leave no bones unturned

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Summer in the Desert

Al Ain means the Eye
the garden city of the U.A.E.has been home to me for the last three years
It reminds me a lot of New Delhi .

Wide neat roads lined by greenery and flowers ,No high rises ( AlAin allows no high rises ) and a similar extreme climate

From October till April it is cool and pleasant ,
to make up for this the rest of the months are torridly hot ,

As summer advances it becomes a furnace and like Delhi the humidity is non existent so one does not sweat like a pig but only bakes like one !
With the mercury hitting almost 50 degrees celsius daytime lasting till about 7 pm and nights uncomfortably warm of the unenjoyable kind .
Airconditioning of course saves the day ,
My hospital is so cold at times we even shiver ,and the car AC isnt bad for an older version of Camry except once when the AC gas was low ,
The trick was to venture out only after 9 pm for the mandatory walk or in the dawn ,
I landed here in july and felt like being thrown into a fireball as I stepped out of Abudhabi airport,
The Hilton my home for the first month or so ,was as cool as a cucmber and the hospital car which picked me up daily before I got my coveted licence to ply one ,was cool too in spite of the talkative Pakistani drivers and a particularly talkative Mallu , one who was into stockmarkets and wanted the daily report from my Gulf news copy
( a subject in which I was totally unintrested just like sports ! )
It was a shock those days for me .
I still remember my bravado in taking a walk on Day two from my brother in laws house to view a nearby mall on a scorching friday afternoon promptly losing my way and searching for the house in deserted streets ,I almost died of a sunstroke that day with my in law calling me foolish to do such things in this place in summer !
With time I got wise and would rarely venture out without an AC coccon
Malls were great summer places as they were cool in climate and in visual delights of the consumer and the human kind !

Of course a swim at around 8 pm was heavenly with the water relatively cool and cleansing .
The zoo too has its night safari specials during summer but wonder what the animals do in the daytime !

The plight of labourers in the hot sun is terrible ,but the Government has made rest between 12 noon and 3 pm compulsory and made it mandatory that they are provided with airconditoned rest places
( our commies could learn a lesson from here ........they only exploit workers but never do anything for them )

The Jebel Hafeet a hill near the city would be a formidable place to go in the summer but its bare rocks could make you into a KFC special

Date palms become pregnant with sweet fruits at this time
The same AlAin demands light wollens during december and walking along the fully blown colourful flowers wearing a coat over the jeans and if possible a golfcap listening to good music was a pleasurable pastime to me
The good things about summer was that clothes got dry in a jiffy !
One could eat ice cream in tons if one didnt look down at the growing paunch !
and there was no need to off the Ac at midnite for fear of being frozen !
Traffic too was less as most of the citizens leave the place for summer vacation ,but getting into the car out in the sun for a long time was another thing ,the seat belt buckles could burn you and for the first five minutes one wouldnt dare touch the steering without a kerchief !
Long rides to Dubai and /Abudhabi are pleasurable too ,
once some friends and yours truly cruised off to distant Al Ruwais and Mirfi a beach resort with black long roads glimmering in the haze
with an angry purple sun directing his glare through the windshield ,the car AC barely won the battle .
One could see mirages of pools of water in the road ahead which disappeared as one reached them ,
slumbering on the drive was a distinct possiblity in such somnambulitic environments with the music driving your lids down ,sidewalk rest places ,hot mallu chais and some times a quick smoke were the only saviours against possible disasters looming ahead .
with all its glory summers arent my thing having lived in hot Chennai all my childhood I never liked hot places ( though always loved other hotter possibilities ! kidding of course )
The Arabs are a hardy lot to have inhabited a place like this and making it a paradise ,
one just could not think of an AC less U.A.E which did exist a few decades back as my uncle who had migrated here in the fifties and rose to the top used to recount ,those days all they had were fans which churned out hot air !
The recently introduced long Mercedes public buses are a great boon for those without cars ,to travel across the city in comfort ,
some years back the bus system was not so organised and older buses were never so sleek .

Maybe tomorrow will bring an envelope of glass around the city to make it the first totally airconditoned city
( ouch think of the environmental havoc it would cause what with the ozone layer business )

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