Tamarind City

I know what you are thinking… It has taken me far too long to read this book. A book which is about my favorite place on earth – Chennai. A book written by someone associated with my favorite publication – The Hindu.

I want to say Ghosh nailed it. But I can’t… He gets close though. The book starts off slow and Ghosh ambles on about his love for Chennai and we wait for the book to focus…. On chennai. It does and he ensures that he travels the breadth and length of the city. From St Thomas mount to Sriperambathur, from Mylapore to Marina, from Triplicane to T M Krishna, from Appa Gardens to Amma, from George Town to Gymkhana club. Sometimes we feel that he has rearranged the archives from S Muthiah’s archives. But most of the time he sticks true to his quest.

Ghosh misses two very important facets of Chennai – koyambedu and kollywood. The koyambedu market is definitely a landmark that should feature in a travel book and kollywood is the arm candy of chennai. How did he miss that? Editorial arm wriggling?

But Tamarind city brings alive the streets of Chennai – the cacophony, chaos and the civility. We are painfully modest, traditional yet tech savvy, loyal yet accommodating… Chennai is truly where modern India began.

I read this book on a train ride from munich to vienna and instead of dreaming about the sights in the Austrian capital, Ghosh made me wistful of my filter Kappi. That my friend is a good book.

Reality Shows – No Brains Please!!!

Just when i was cheering Mavericks ousting Lakers from NBA and booing Lamar for his unsportsmanly conduct, i caught a glmipse of Khloe & Lamar – The reality show which aims to take a peek at the lives of Khloe Kardashian(ring a bell) and Lamar Odom. Frankly, i just wish they shut their windows tight…nobody wants a peak at anything. So as a confused follower of the first amendment to air anything, i turned off the idiot box.

Reality shows are where the big bucks are. I’m not even sure what constitutes to reality shows anymore. I thought MTV hosting candid camera was a reality show until you see the beelines of Kardashians, Jersilicious, Jersey shore, Real Housewives, Bachelor, Bachelorette, Apprentice etc… The only one i have watched an episode of is The Bachelor to satiate my curious mind.

From my (limited) knowledge, the first few episodes of the reality shows are astonishingly similar.

  • If the show is about a couple, their fairy tale wedding with cleavage sporting bridesmaids would be aired. Friends would ooh and aah about the proposal he made and how deep and meaningful their love is. Kekaravan kenaiya iruntha…
  • If the show is about a group of girls, it would talk about how they were best of friends and how their shared everything from lip gloss to life partners..Ahem..
  • The wife would have OCD and the husband would be ABCD…no…ADHD.. and we would be BOHH(banging our head heavily)
  • The wife’s/girlfriend/housewife’s ovulation cycle and how it is in their calendar to do it. You will even have an assitant consuting her black book to read this out to you… Its a matter of time before facebook status feeds have this information. Manangetta makkal, i say
  • They would fight about which frangrance their perfume line should be about, what color their million dollar nursery would be, which island they should vacation in…Thupuketta pasanga.
  • Finally it has to be about, how he doesnt spend any time with her, he is always at work, having fun with his men-friends etc.. sweetheart all our lives are like that!!

You would have to leave your brains behind if you want to watch atleast one episode of these shows, they dont even provide entertainment. Yet most of them are extremely popular…My take is if you want to torture somebody, then tie them to a chair and make them watch Khloe & Lamar. Mission accomplished.