You and Me

You ask me if I am doing this because I didn't get any other job
You ask me if I like being sadistic and screwing my own career
You politely tell me that recession has affected a lot of people and all of them did find other jobs after a while, and you look pointedly at me
You ask me what my salary was four years back, what my salary was two years back and what my salary is now. I answer politely.
You wonder rather loudly if my chidlren's futures aren't doomed anyway
You ask me HOW i can see any kind of change happening in two years when no significant change has happened in 64 years.
You ask me how me, a compulsive pessismist, can be so optimistic about the lives of random children who would have ended up being criminals anyway
You say with a smirk, "well they would have been terrorists without you, now they will be small time criminals. big difference"
You tell me that my influence can never be so great that it will make the 7 hours that i spend with the children more important than the 17 hours they spend at home with abusive parents in broken homes, living in penury, listening to bad language and looking at people doing terrible things
Me?
I smile and say Sorry and Thank you.
Sorry for you that you can't see what I see
Sorry that you are positive about things like getting a raise, getting an auto, getting a pretty spouse but not positive about what I am extremely positive about
Sorry that you think I am a loser.
and Thank you.
A million times
Because this conversation just makes my resolve stronger
Makes me feel more positive
Makes me want to work so much harder to give my all to these children
Makes me want to work my posterior off, send my kids to college, come back to you in another 6 years and say "in your face bugger"
Makes me want to work harder, just so I can prove you wrong. (I know. I am cheap. And even if I fail I will know that I have tried)
Which wise man first discovered reverse psychology?
R.E.S.P.E.C.T Sir
:)

Chennai and me. We have a special story together. A love story. One which began ten years ago on a hot, humid and oppressive day in April 2001. And like all corny love stories it began with both of us hating the sight of each other and it ends with us professing undying love for each other. Oh well, at least me professing my undying love for Chennai.

I was 14. An enormously stupid, extremely immature, fat and lazy kid. The maximum Tamil I knew was 'pasikardhu' and 'naaye'. The former so I could tell relatives whose houses I visited when I came to Chennai that I was hungry and had to be fed and the latter reserved solely for cousins and the sibling when they cheated while playing UNO. Yes. I was painfully retarded, mentally and socially.
I had never felt the need to know more Tamil, and it was a blessing, as a grin and 'pasikardhu' was the maximum interaction I could have with relatives.

When I moved lock stock and barrel to Chennai in 2001, I hated it. With a fervor that would put the hate Jayalalitha feels for Karunanidhi to shame. I hated the weather. (ermm not that I had lived in Switzerland all along but Gujarat is less humid and has extremely pleasant evening and night temperatures). I hated the people. (Oh, what an Amit I was. 'What? People don't talk Hindi kya? abey yaar. kya yaar'). I hated my parents (I was 14 and at that age you are kind of programmed to hate your folks. It's the done thing. I thought since I was adopted my parents wanted to leave me in Chennai so they could live happily with my elder sister in Jamnagar). I hated the school I had just gotten admission in. (Sri Sankara Vidyashramam. 'nuff said). I hated my classmates. (Conversations like, "Hey yenna di. You are brahmin a? Why you are not wearing pottu. Does your father wear a white thread? Ayyo. You should not sit next to boys or talk to them" made no sense whatsoever to me). I pretty much hated life.

At nights I fantasised about catching a train and running away to Mumbai or something and become a blind beggar. "I hope my parents find me and see me begging on Mumbai station one day. That will teach them a lesson," I used to think. In my defense, I was enormously stupid. Really enormously so. I already mentioned that.

It was a slow transition. From a phase of absolute hatred to tolerance to indifference to a perfunctory like to an absolute and unconditional love for you we have come a long way haven't we Chennai? The 2001 me cannot believe that the 2011 me defends Chennai passionately and argues daily with people who say 'Chennai suxx yaar'.

Dear Chennai, You have given me so much I am not sure how I should start thanking you. You have made me what I am today. I have met all my best friends for life here. I have grown, as a person (ermm mentally and not physically). I am more patient, less short tempered and enjoy the heat so much so that if the mercury goes below 20 degrees I whine. I have found love. I have lost love. I have seen the depths of sorrow and the heights of happiness. Won some battles, lost some. Won some friends, lost few.

From not knowing a word of Tamil to saying, “Naan oru nermayaana pathrigayaalar. Yenna yedai poda paakadhenga” I have come a looooong long way. I can even read now. (Still halfway through mariyada raman in mahathaana kadhaigal)

I know you better the back of my hand. It is my modest boast that I know all the buses to all the routes in the city. From Stanley hospital in Royapuram to crocodile bank trust on ECR I know you. I really do. And the more I knew you the more I loved you. I continue to detest the smell of jasmine and the smell of fresh filter coffee but I identify you with that and tolerate it, just as you tolerate my sudden lapses into Hindi now and then, my odd #kogul jokes and my terrible Tamil pronunciation. I know the temples which give the best sakkarai pongal and the temples which give the best puliyodharai. I know the temples which have the lecherous sastrigal and advice people against going there.

It is here that I went from being a staunch believer who visited the temple every week and prayed every single day to an agnostic who was too scared to deny the existence of God to an almost evangelical atheist. From Sankara Vidyashramam, to engineering to information technology to journalism to a reporter not only have you defined my path from fervently religious to blatantly irreligious but also given me all the education which really matters. I feel a sense of stupid pride when I tell people that all the degrees I have, have been acquired in Chennai.

I love your beaches. They calm me down in ways that it is impossible to express. I have spent hours on your various beaches just staring into the sea and never wanting to leave. I love your kotthu parotta. I love your molagga bhajji and proudly took every new comer to the city to the beach so they could taste your mollaga bhajji. I keep telling people that a city without a sea shore is a city without character. In that sense I am glad I am not going to god awful Delhi or Bleaahhhangalore. I m going to a city which closely resembles you geographically but is light years ahead of you in all other senses. Mumbai. I hope you are half as good to me as Chennai has been.

Chennai. It's amazing how you have grown on me. From wanting to go back every single day to never wanting to leave this place it has been beautiful and wholly satisfying love story.
I love you Chennai and I always will. Hopelessly and compulsively. I go to Mumbai but my heart shall always remain with you. I might have an occasional fling with the city of Mumbai but do know that despite my infidelities I love you the most. My relationship with you will probably be the only long distance relationship I will ever have. One day I shall come back to you for I know that I belong in a city south of the Vindhyas and I hope it is you.

So long Chennai and on this lovely, overcast, rainy yet oppressive day in April 2011, this enormously stupid, slightly immature, rotund and still lazy woman bids you farewell. I haven't changed much have I? But, therein lies your beauty. Despite having changed me for the better in so many ways, you left my core untouched. And THAT is why I belong to you and you belong to me.

A tragedy called Life

So I was waiting at the pathology lab in Apollo for my 70 year old grandmother's tumor's biopsy results. Anyone who has ever waited for the results of a biopsy or a bone marrow knows what an awfully tense time it is. You do NOT want it to be cancer. You wish the biopsy has not detected any malignancy. A part of you wishes they would give you the report soon so you can look at the reslt and yet another part wants time to freeze just then so you need not know the result ever and things can just continue the way they are WITHOUT the biopsy results.

So while I was pacing up and down the lab, the 8789743th time thinking all kind of pesimistic thoughts, I saw this young thin, twenty something woman walk in and ask for her report. She was asked to wait as well and we both stood in the crowded lab, two women, tension writ on our faces, silently hoping the report does not contain anything untoward causing us to go into hysterics in the lab. Her eyes meet mine and I smile. She smiles back. At that same instant the woman behind the counter calls our names. Our reports are ready.

She hands us the envelope and it takes everything in me to not rip open the envelope. With slow deliberate movements I open the report and I almost cry with relief as soon as I sight the word "benign". Nothing else in the report makes sense and nothing else needs to. I see the other woman looking at her report in a puzzled manner. Just as she looks up, she meets my eye again and I raise my eye brows, as if asking her what the problem is. I now wish I hadn't done it.

She comes to me and shows me her report and says, "Enna ezhudhirruku nu puriyardha?" (Can you understand what is written here?)

I take the report to read it. The woman's age is 30 and the report reads "acute myeloblastic leukaemia - end stage". For a moment I do not know how to react. I look at the woman who is still perplexed and waiting for me to say something.

I pause for a moment and say, "Ennaku therila.Neenga doctor kitta kelunga" (I do not know. You please ask the doctor)

She smiles and leaves and I feel devastated. In a chance encounter I now know something extremely vital about this woman's life that she herself does not know yet.

I wish there was something I could do, to give this woman more years to her life. She is 30 and married and probably has children and a whole life to look forward to. So many things to do, so many places to go, so many things to achieve. I wish I could give her some years from my life. It was so unfair, it was ridiculous. I do not even want to go into theological discourses now because it has been more than three years since I have rejected the concept of God and religion and have turned into an atheist.

Events in my life in the past one year haven't been what I would call perfect. It has been a very trying time for the me and also for the family. My resilience has been tested again and again and again. I have seen absolute highs and devastating lows and have striven hard to maintain my happy cheerful exterior through it all. It has not been easy and physically, mentally and emotionally it has been very draining and continues to be so. Not one to indulge in any kind of self pity I chose to lock everything that happened into the deep recesses of my memory, never to reach into that chamber again.

Though I have come out of all that has been happened to me a little stronger, a little wiser, I always thought given half a chance I would exchange my life with absolutely anyone's in this world. Always thought everyone I encountered was much happier and led a more normal life than I did. I craved for normalcy and routine.

For a million dollars and all the happiness in the world I would not want to be that woman.

Right when you think you have reached the lowest ebb in your existence, life comes along and gives you some perspective and makes you stronger again.

Stuppppid

It’s been so long since I have written anything silly and inconsequential that I fear I may have lost the ability to be stupid, which if you ask me, is tragic. I think every human is defined by the amount of stupidity he/she possesses. Personally I think that a person who can get in touch with their stupid side even after the age of 18 is a person worthy of respect. Anyway I digress.
So I have been doing so much of serious writing that I thought it was time to stop and write about pure truths of life like why does the boss, who is a rather good looking man, not think of trimming hair coming out of his ears. I mean seriously, it’s rather hard to concentrate on what he is saying when you are grossed out by hair in his ears. I mean yeah sure being all hairy is a sign that you are masculine but hair sprouting from your ears is probably a sign that you are not only masculine but also simian.

He is a rather good man – the boss. Somehow all through my career (2.5 years) I have had excellent bosses who have given me a long leash and understood that I function best when left to my own devices. I hate people breathing down my neck telling me what to do when I am quite sure of exactly what I am doing. The boss understands and even listens and nods intelligently when I present rather impossible ideas and gives me leads I can follow up on. He knows I hate staying late in office so always clears my copies very promptly and praises me when I do a good job. I might be earning peanuts now (actually less. Like P says we probably earn less than an NREGS worker in the country) but I like the job, the boss and the working hours.

Talking about P, the other day we were having a serious discussion about our prospects of marriage were. While P maintained that I was hot property because I had done my engineering and was a “techie” as she kindly calls me (If you ask me I think it’s a racist term. Techie. Like calling someone blackie. eww) I thought men would easily be turned on by the fact that she had literature, political science and psychology as her majors. I mean seriously, question to all you guys out there. Would you rather marry a girl who went, “Myself Wordsmith, software developer at CTS/TCS/Infosys. I done my engineering. I can remove viruses from your computer” or someone who says, “Hi. I am P. I am a developmental journalist working with XYZ magazine. My majors include psychology, political science and literature and I think capitalism with the face of socialism is the way for the world to go.” The latter you all would agree is such a turn on that if I were a boy I would instantly marry P. P of course thinks that being a techie has its perks. Like getting paid an obscene amount as salary, having weekends off (I am not even sure what the terms means anymore. I get a measly one day off) and having techie friends, who work in Amazon, who have unlimited access to kindle and e books.

This brings us to J who is such a darling that knowing yourself you wonder if you deserve friends like these. J who works with Amazon (Yaaaas. Awesomely cool friends I possess) works for the kindle team and has generously loaned me his kindle to read books. Now if you know me, for me owning a kindle is my ultimate fantasy. I do not want cars, houses, jewels and private islands. I just want a kindle with unlimited access to Amazon’s e store to read whatever books I want to, whenever I want to. This is pretty much what I am doing right now and I cannot thank J enough. He of course being the loquacious and lucid guy he is always replies with a “Grmm.harrumph.hmmm.” when I gush about how exceedingly grateful I am that he has bestowed a kindle upon me. He is so much like a horse that way. So I have happily been spending sleepless nights reading for at least 4 hours every night to be able to finish as many books as I can

And this, ladeeej and gentlemens brings us to Steig Larsson. *Pause for effect* (If any of you went “Erm. Steig who?”, last heard, mortien is still an effective way to kill yourself.) Steig Larsson defies adjectives. He is probably the awesomest writer and story teller ever and never before have I felt sad about the death of an author. I have been hooked to the Millenium trilogy. The only books he wrote before he died an untimely death in 2004. If you love reading books and haven’t read the Millenium trilogy yet, PLEASE pick up a copy when you go to the bookstore next or mail me at wordsmith.writes@gmail.com and I shall send you pdfs of the book (Yaaaas. Highly scrupulous I yam!). I finished reading all three yesterday and I can’t believe there are no more books Larsson has written. It is such a loss to the world of crime thrillers that I can’t even bring myself to talk about it. After a long time I stayed up three nights in a row to finish all three books. Larsson may your soul rest in peace forever.

Soul reminds me that I have been doing a bit of soul searching. I have never been a very deep or philosophical person. I am rather shallow that way. But every human being has times in life when you start asking questions like, “What is the purpose of life”, “Is what I am doing something I really want to do”, “Is there some job in the world which would give me 100% job satisfaction?” and the likes. These moments are usually preceded by philosophical songs like Blowin’ in the wind, Mehfuz, dying in the sun, I believe in you, and the likes.
Songs have this effect of changing my thoughts. While I am equally capable of listening to “Mai tujhko chura laya hoon tere ghar se..tere baap ke darr se” and wondering about how funny Ponting’s face looks when he is about to lose, at the same time I can also listen to “I don’t believe in super stars, organic food or foreign cars. I don’t believe that heaven waits for only those who congregate.” and go into deep thought about the above questions. And I have realized that………..wait for it…..it’s gonna be……legen….dary (too much HIMYM yeah!)….. that what I am doing right now is also not what I REALLY want to do. I mean sure I am happy, sure I am good at what I do and have some kind of job satisfaction but I still think there is something else out there which I really ought to be doing. Something which probably makes a little more difference to the society than what I am doing right now. Maybe I am being too idealistic (have been blamed of this often) maybe I am the kind of person who needs constant change, maybe I just need to stick around longer than just quit things half way. But like I was telling G the other day what I really want to do right now is go to Nepal or sub Saharan Africa and live there, do some quality journalism, climb some mountains (in Nepal and not SSA), write a book and come back.

I think G and I get along well because we are constantly trying to outdo each other at being stupid and trying to gross the other person out. I am leading right now, by sending THAT video which made G almost throw up his lunch on his keyboard and swear to murder the people in the video. G and I have long discussions about things like, “how would a person who has cold and phlegm and snot coming out of his nose kiss a girl” or “is it better to have accidentally brushed your teeth with shaving cream or moov” or “why French women are much nicer and prettier that Indian women” (Women of India, this was an argument. I defended our brethren! :P). G being in France on an exchange programme is learning the language from a very petite and delicate looking girl and though doesn’t admit it has fallen head over heels with her. How else would you interpret these statements?

“Her eyes are blue man. So pretty and sea blue. Sighhhhhh”

“When she speaks English in that French accent of hers, she is the cutest thing ever man. Sighhhhhhh”

“She looks good in any clothes she wears man. Sighhhh”

“I have nothing to do today so I shall go and teach her some English”

If these, ladies and gentlemen are not signs of a man in love, pray tell me what it is then? :- G being G of course stoutly denies all these claims while continuing to lavish praises on her. The poor love sick puppy. :P :P

Ok. That’s enough stupidity for today. I hope to make this a habit. The writing I mean not the stupidity. That’s inherent. So long then!

Dunce at Dance

So I have joined salsa classes....For people who don't know me the dots were to let people who know me finish laughing and wipe their tears so they can read the rest of the post.
Yes. Given that I have the grace of a hippopotamus wallowing in water, dance would be the last thing people would have expected me to learn. After cooking and singing of course. And java. and coding. and learning to wear a saree. and... ohh i digress

I don't want to say I cannot dance. If Vijaykanth can think he can dance, Sam Anderson can think he can dance (AND act) I can dance yes. And you will agree too, if you are willing to look beyond little technicalities like grace, form, synchronisation, style and rhythm of course.
So it was my first class (and a free class. so yayyy!) and there I stood looking at all the pretty women dancing, their bodies curving at the right places, their hands and legs in perfect synch with the music, a lot of feminine grace and charm and giggling petitely at the boys at just the right place and time.

"Hah, I can do this" I thought. Yes, I can be hopelessly optimistic that way.

Now there is a huuuuge difference looking at someone dance and actually dancing. Its like any other activity. Swimming, Cooking etc. It looks ridiculously easy till you actually start doing it. When you see the girls doing salsa the first reaction is to snort, at the ease with which they move.

Left leg in the front, tap your right leg and the bring your left leg back. That seemed easy and in les than 10 seconds I had done the step three times.

And I would have been an expert salsa dancer, only I am slightly dyslexic. So I cant really differentiate between left and right. No really. I cant. I am the worst pillion rider to have. While I will be saying "turn left" I will be frantically shaking my right hand and vice versa. For the longest time I would imitate my eating action/writing action to actually find out which one was my right hand (I kid you not). And then my cousin, who suffers from the same disease, taught me the perfect way to differentiate between left and right. "Make an L with your forefinger and thumb on each hand. The one which actually makes a straight L is your left hand," she told me triumphantly. And since then thats how I have been finding out which is left and right. Would have worked great in salsa too, if only my partner werent holding my hands.

So this is the conversation between Random Clueless Guy (RCG) who was cursed in his previous life to dance with me and me.

Me: Will you leave my hand already? I cant find out which one is my left leg and which one is right if you keep holding my hand.

RCG: instructor told me to hold your hand

Me: I know. But how do I find out which one is left/right then?

RCG: instructor told me to hold your hand

Me: could you not hold my hand till I get my leg moves right, you retarded hulk of a Brontosaurus.

RCG (almost whimpering): instructor told me to hold your hand

I swear, even if i get married tomorrow there will not be a man who would hold my hand with as much fervor as that guy did. In the words of the wise P G Wodehouse "If I had had to choose between him and a cockroach as a companion for a walking-tour (salsa), the cockroach would have had it by a short head"
So anyway with RCG unwilling to let go off my hand it took me quite a while to figure out the moves. Hardly had I sighed in relief thinking that was all there is to salsa that the instructor materialised and said "Ermm. dont stamp. Just tap your feet and there is no need to run. Just dance the way you would walk" said the not so cute instructor.

I am not sure how many of you have read Asterix (the comics) and know Obelix, who was dropped into the magical potion as a baby and hence has immense strength. Rumor has it that as a child I was dropped into a bucket full of glucose and have had never ending energy, enthusiasm and speed ever since. There is no activity which I can actually do slowly. While most people walk, I run. While they eat, I gobble. While they talk, I shoot. While they dance, I imitate an induction motor.
For the life of me I cannot be slow in anything I do. I finish everything in jet speed and grace, style, delicacy have been my nemesises since my inception. I say inception coz even before I was born I wanted to come out fast and was a premature baby. (yeah yeah. This would be the time to crack those stupid 3rd jokes about premature babies).

So coming back to salsa. Now the main thing about salsa for the girls is the right and left turn. If you think of them as just turns you would be very sadly mistaken and would be in for a rude shock. They involve a lot more than just turning. What with your hand being twisted out of shape by your partner, your legs stamping on each other and the fact that you have to pack in a twirl and a twist along with a stylish movement of the hands in the end, the turning part is probably the most cumbersome in salsa. A stress buster here would be to 'accidentally' stamp on your partner's feet rather forcefully and gasp and say sorry. rather interesting watching his face go from red to purple to green to normal within 20 seconds in his attempt to stop a scream. Ah yes. We live dangerously. :P (Most times it was not even an accident for me. I swear on Mamta Kulkarni.)

So after 3 classes of twisting and turning and stamping and screaming I was told very politely by my instructor that I should practise the steps I had been taught and enter only after I had mastered them, which is a euphemistic way of saying that I cannot enter ever. Sighhh.

But i refuse to give up and have been going left tap tap, right tap tap, left tap tap, turn, twirl everyday much to the consternation of the people around me. Even you would be irritated if someone kept asking you, "Which is left. No No. Not your left. My left. but thats your right. so it would ideally be my left eh?" :P

C'est la vie

Joining journalism because you want to write is like painting "bump ahead" on road signs because you want to be a painter. In both the cases you are vaguely aware of the fact that you are technically doing what you intended to do and wanted to do but there is a little voice inside you which tells you that this is probably not the way you wanted to do it. And since the deed is already done and you are sitting in the middle of the road and painting yellow lines or writing "4 injured as bus crashes into tree" you start going into denial and start reassuring yourself that this is exactly what you wanted to do and that painting road signs is the closest you can get to being the next Van Gogh. You paint beautiful lines, use colors other than yellow, you hide little easter eggs in your lines which could have multiple interpretations, you stand back admire your handiwork and think "tomorrow the guy who will drive a car on this road is one lucky bastard because he is going to see all these beautiful lines and appreciate my creativity". In an almost arrogant way you go to your superior, throw your lines at his face and wait for his reaction, wait for him to dish out the Pulitzer (errrr. its equivalent for painting).
He gives you one look, erases all your lines, your beautiful lines each painted with so much love and care and creativity, draws one single straight yellow line and says "people driving on this road tomorrow just need to know their boundaries. No one has the time to appreciate the beauty of your lines," he says.
you stare mournfully as ugly looking yellow lines appear on the road with your name next to them and you promise yourself that this is what you wanted to do. ALWAYS.

Sighhh
Such is life

P.S: If you don't understand this and its relevance to my life..... you are a dork. yes, I am very polite. Thank you very much. Now I will go paint some beautiful lines.

Raavanan - a review

I remember when I was in class 7, in a remote town in the west of Gujarat - yeah my father's job was such that we would go to the remotest corners of the country where my father being a mechanical engineer would build whatever it was that mechanical engineers built and when there was the sign of even a leeetle bit of development my dad would be transfered to the next undeveloped place. My childhood hence was spent studying in a lot of loser schools which had no teachers and mostly no
students - we had this HUGE and beautiful school with lovely classrooms, lots of playground area,
excellent infrastructural facilities, lovely swimming pool and the works but no teachers, because
everyone refused to come and work in such a godforsaken place. So I remember my dad commenting, "Your school is like a beautiful woman....... with no hair". Which was absolutely true coz in spite of the fantastic facilities and all that jazz, we had no teachers. Raavan, I would say is pretty much like that. Breathtaking locales, excellent cinematography BUT no story whatsoever, no logic whatsoever. I was so shocked the whole time I was watching the movie that I could just watch open mouthed and most people thought I was over awed by the movie.

Some random thoughts from the movie.

1. Suhasini's dialogues are EPIC blade! Madam I can barely understand poetic tamil but even i thought your dialogues were terrible. Especially the ones where Beera and Ragini are in front of this huge idol of some God. What the hell were you thinking? "Anyway Mani has taken care of finding a picture perfect sexy location for the scene. So while people Wow at the scenery let me fit in some shitty dialogues"?
The dialogues are so run off the mill and fail to touch a chord except probably the chord which makes u squirm in your seat. JUVENILE dialogues!

2. Some, a teeny weeny bit of credit could have been given to the audience. We are Indians. We KNOW our Ramayan. We KNOW Hanuman was a monkey and that he found Sita. We KNOW Jatayu was the first person to give news of where Sita is and was injured by Raavanan. We KNOW Raavanan had 2 brothers, one full of brains (Vibhishan) and the other full of brawans (Kumbhakarna). We KNOW Raavan had 10 heads.
I do not have a problem with people adapting from epics. Hell, Dalapathi is one of my favoritestest movies ever. The extremely subtle references to Mahabharatha made Dalapathi so beautiful. Which is why I found Mani's in your face reference to Ramayana in Raavan very jarring. And the scene where the policeman pulls Beera's sister's nose and asks "Shall I cut it?". Not.At.All.Suggestive.Of.Any.Epic. Eeeeeks.
And like a friend of mine commented, maybe Priyamani demands that there be a gang rape scene in the movie she stars in or she refuses to act.

3. Ok. So they base the entire movie on the premise that police is searching for Ragini who has been
kidnapped by Beera and taken into the heart of the forest where no one can find her because Beera keeps moving from one place to another etc. And in the end Ragini gets down from the train in the middle of nowhere with deep valley on both sides of the train track and 20 seconds later she is front of Beera. I can understand that they could not have shown her trekking through the jungles up the mountains, across the rivers to find Beera but her face, her pearly white dress show absolutely no signs of having lumbered through deep dense forests to find Beera. She looks like she is fresh out of a bath and going to a temple. :-\

4. And whats with the IRRITATING camera work, Mr.Mani. I do NOT want to see Abhishek Bacchan's left bicep's nerve or Aishwarya Rai's cornea. Neither do I want to know how close can u come to Aishwarya Rai's boobs without actually touching them physically. I am equally uninterested in the brand of sunglasses worn by Prithiviraj and in Ragini's heaving bosoms. I would have liked to see entire humans, walking, talking etc but all I could see was snatches of flesh here and there.

5. And my complete sympathies with Vikram. I am sure he loathed Suhasini's dialogues so much that he decided to improvise and say extremely profound stuff like, "chaka chaka chak chuka bak. dandanakka. danakanaka" instead of mouthing the insipid dialogues. I really cant think of any other reason why such gibberish would be present in the movie.

6. I think the EPIC WTF moment of the movie for me was when Dev tells Ragini, "Are you willing to take a lie detector test?". Eeeeeeeeks. We get it. Ramayan. yes. Agni Pariksha. Yes Yes. WE GET IT. ok? You didnt have to go out of your way to adapt Ramayan to modern times and in SUCH a lousy fashion Mr.Mani.
I had GREAT expectations of you. I am one of the many people who can watch your movies again and again and again and not get tired. But I think that is 3 agains more than what I would employ for Raavan. I have some advice for you - actually one

a. Stop teaming up with your wife. Please! :-

7. A lot of my friends are going, "tch. you just don't know how to appreciate art man. What stunning locales, what breathtaking cinematogrpahy. and the climax. Ooooh! What a place to shoot it". Ermmm. I could get ALL this and MORE just by sitting at home and watching National Geographic or Discovery Channels and plus I get the added benefit of not having to look at Aishwarya Rai's disgusting face. I also do not GET a lot of other things which people are talking about. I see what is there on the screen. I do not try to guess stuff like, "what could Ragini and Dev's relationship before her abduction be". "Whats going to happen after the end of the movie" (I think it was a feat that I survived the movie so I am not going to torture myself further by thinking what could have happened after it). Hell! I GET Mani's movies. I always have. But Raavan. I am glad I did not GET it or maybe my "getting" the movie was lost in Mani repeatedly nudging me saying, "Get it? huh? huh? Ramayan. Get it?"
Enough of "getting" there and I would not surprised if you don't get me! :P

8. In the words of my dad, the wisest man I know and who NEVER watches movies but watched Raavan AND Raavanan by mistake, "Mani Ratnam made Raavanan after he underwent a lobotomy". You can NOT argue with logic like that.

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