Hillary and Chiru

Chiranjeevi launched his party Prajarajyam yesterday in Tirupathi amidst much fanfare and a huge fan following.

Hillary Cliton urged democratic party supporters to vote for Barack Obama to end eight years of poor failed Repulblican rule.

Chiru is from a middle class family who spent the better part of his 30 years in tinsel town, paving his way to become the leader of AP. It is not new in India that stars turn politicians overnight and hands down, they win elections. Although Chiru vouches to get rid of corruption, support agriculture, aid IT development and tackle Naxalites, only the future will tell us which of these will see the light of the day.

Hillary, the first ever woman who was so close to being the President, gave a emphatic speech to garner support for Barack Obama. Anybody who reads her transcript have to say that she said the right words and there is a ring of presidency in those words. Healthcare, Mortgage crisis, war, outsourcing and oil are the key issues threatening to topple the economy of US and she hit the nail on the head by shedding light on the failed Republican rule. She spent years as a New York Senator and has tangible plans for making the economy stronger and hope for a better tommorrow.

Looking at both these events, i wonder if India is heading in the right direction. Is it healthy for a nation that is developing at such a rapid pace to support yesteryear superstars to head the country? Are we encouraging people to choose shortcuts to get to the top? How much does Chiru really know about foreign affairs and infrastructure development? Are we asking the right questions? Will Indian politics ever get cleaner and greener?

God Bless India. Godspeed.

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Indian Sport: Chasing the dark

Lets be fair here; By a show of hands how many of us knew either Abhinav Bindra or Saina Nehwal before Olympics? Or even better before Abhinav won the gold.

To be fair, Abhinav winning the gold medal is a moment of great pride and joy for the nation, but by no means is this nation worthy of any credit, for supporting this man’s dreams. It belongs to him and his family alone. India is a cricket crazy nation and not only does this sport occupy most of the sports pages but it does not entertain the common man. People who make it to the indian team do it against all odds and even when they play they play against all odds.

Other than cricket, no other sport is watched and encouraged. Paes, Bhupathi and Sania Mirza stirred some interest in Tennis but that dint last for long. Indians spend more time measuring Sania’s skirt length than appreciate her forehand. Even CHAK DE does not motivate people to watch Hockey.

People like Abhinav Bindra and Saina Nehwal chased their dreams without any support from the government. They were not encouraged by the people of this country. They fought their battles alone to go about playing or shooting, to be precise, the sport they were passionate about. To say that their win brings hope for more olympic victories is like chasing the dark.

Bindra and Nehwal did not succeed because of the system; they succeeded despite it.

A band full of convicts

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh demands resignation from Shibu Soren

On 28 November 2006, Shibu Soren was found guilty of murder in the twelve year old case of the kidnapping and murder of his former personal secretary Shashinath Jha. Apparently Jha was abducted from the Dhaula Kuan area in Delhi on May 22, 1994 and taken to Piska Nagari village near Ranchi where he was killed. The CBI chargesheet stated that Jha’s knowledge of the reported deal between the Congress and the JMM to save the then Narasimha Rao government during the July 1993 no-confidence motion and an act of sodomy was the motive behind the murder. The charge-sheet asserted that: “Jha was aware of the illegal transactions and also expected and demanded a substantial share out of this amount from Soren.”

Shibu Soren walks a free man
The Delhi High Court on 23 Aug 2007 overruled the District Court and acquitted Soren, [4]. stating that “the prosecution has miserably failed in bringing home the charge against the accused persons. The trial court’s analysis is far from convincing and not sustainable.”

Manmohan Singh wins no-confidence motion.

Shibu Soren as Jharkhand CM?
JMM chief Shibu Soren on Tuesday staked claim for Chief Ministership of Jharkhand, demanding that the incumbent Madhu Koda should quit soon, failing which support to the state government will be withdrawn.

A well drafted screenplay which was enacted with finnesse. The audience is the common man who can clearly see the band full of convicts and the music of the guilty. How helpless are we really to stop this?

The Friday Night Knitting Club

36 hours on a flight from SFO to Chennai and the first thing i did was land up in Barnes and Noble to pick up a book to read when am not dozzing or seeing reruns of the movies in the flight. I had to choose between The Namesake, Berlin and Something borrowed. Then i saw this one and was captivated with the color of yarns – noth the best way to pick a book. Never to judge a book by its cover i flipped it open to read the first few lines. Ofcourse i read the synopsis and decided this would be a good one to carry along.
Georgia Walker is a single mom, a business women and a great friend. She and her daughter Dakota own and run the store – Walker and Daughter where the Friday Night Knitting club was born. Lucie – TV Producer, Darwin – Thessis student, Peri – visionary entrepreneur, K.C – laid off publisher, Cat – rich New Yorker and Anita – the wonder women have something to discuss, lament and rejoice during their club meetings. All are welcome whether they knit or not.
This book inspired among many other things, my hand at knitting. Sometimes when i read books i wonder if i would have been a different person if i were not born in India and then begin to ponder what are the things that restrict me and be the way i am. The answer almost always startles me because it is my desire or lack of it to pursue the things that interest me and get sucked in the daily monotone of life.
That said, some of the characters are beautifully portrayed like Anita who is wealthy but manages not to see the money but the life is people and value it. Georgia and Dakota get their share of the limelight but i think the number of characters should have been limited because some of them dont get the significance and are lost in your mind. Also the book is too long and somehow you wanted it to end more quickly. 
All said this book is refreshing for a first time author and i would recomment it.

Cheennnaiii

I have crossed half the globe and now am in Singapore. After an insignificant tour of the city, am all set to land in my favourite place in this entire world – Chennai.

Lets hope the rest of my flight is just as eventful( i slept thro most of it).

Kuselan: Out of Focus

Dolphins in Malayoor, you must be kidding. Superstar is shooting for Annamalai Part II or Chandramukhi Part II, not both. Z Category black cats is headed by overweight Senthil Nathan, now thats really crosses the line.
What was Vasu thinking?

When i watched Kuselan, i was constantly thinking what was running in the director’s mind. Surely he couldn’t beleive this was a great movie. Either he assumed we were naive and just having Rajni would satisfy our appetite or he thought we were dumb to notice the subtle potholes and visible disconnects in the movie.
He got so caught up with his success of Chandramukhi, which i have to admit was a good venture, that he had to stuff Kuselan with it and expected it to fly. Only the movie dint take off at all.

I walked into a packed theater in San Jose and was ready with confetti to greet the Superstar in Silicon Valley. Clearly i dint know there were so many Indians and Tamilians living here and was shocked with the efforts they had taken to promote the movie. Towards the last fifteen minute run, there were groans ,catcalls and witty comments by us. We couldnt wait for the movie to end, it was a treat to watch the Superstar but that was not good enough. Where the hell was the story we were promised?

I dont want to dig into the movie since am sure you can read the synopsis from the official website, but this was a good story. A poor village barber and a larger than life hero, bonded as school buddies. Rajni was doing the cameo and this was close to his real life persona but why was he called Ashok Kumar? Why dint they even have a fifteen minute flashback of their early days? How could Meena look so perfect with mascara when she was a barber’s wife with no bank balance? Surely, she is a better actress. Why do we have Nayan dancing in the rain suddenly? Vadivelu was loud and where did he lose his sense of humour?Mayil Sami, Manobala, Thyagu, Krishnan, Vijayakumar, Nizhagal Ravi and Prabhu never saw the light of the day.

Vasu wanted to give us the movie which had Rajni as-is. His focus was the Superstar and Chandramukhi. Pasupathy, the only relief in the movie who did some real acting, dint stand a chance. He was teary eyed and trembling inside out most of the time. The movie is a dampner and the director should learn from this mistake. This could have been one of the movies where we would fondly remember Rajni and see it several times to grin at his charm. Unfortunately, nobody in their right mind would do that. This is one of those off-the-shelf movies which we would forget in a week.

Kuselan – Out of focus.