All we need is a change…

By now, the entire nation knows about Anna Hazare and there seems to be huge huge following for him. I went to Marina beach yesterday and there were about 2000 people near light house supporting Anna. I was definitely amazed to see such a huge crowd of normal ordinary people of this country. I saw people from all walks of the life, middle class aunties, oldies and lots and lots of youngsters – people who are probably in to the first or second year of college.

And there seems to some difference of opinion amongst different set of people:
1. People like Nandan Nilekani and Arundhati Roy seems to be okay with the “right for protesting” but definitely not OK with a single man dictating what the government should do

2. The opposition (if at all we can call it one) seems to be on the same line – “we are against the way the government handled the situation” but they don’t speak if they support or disagree with the bill

3. The government – it seems that it is completely indifferent to what is happening in the country. It definitely handled the situation badly but doesn’t seem to be thinking about breaking the impasse

4. And the public – almost everybody is with Anna. Frustrated, having lost hope with this country, they desperately need a change and are willing to support anyone who is willing to make that change happen.

The fundamental problem today is that people have lost confidence and trust in this government. And when I say government it is not about Congress. Why I say this is because, yesterday at Marina, I saw a small group of girls shouting “We want change in power”. It is not about changing this government and getting a new one. If that happens all we gonna have is a new government which is going to be UPA or NDA – and there seems to be a prediction that if election comes, UPA will win again. With a change in government, nothing is going to change in our day-to-day lives. We are going to get the same treatment from the policemen, ration shops, government offices and a dont-care-attitude from the fellow citizens. Traffic signals are going to be broken, roads are going to be bad, poor will not get access to proper healthcare, food and will sleep in roads – nothing will change. What every Indian (in India and abroad) wants is a change in our daily lives – things that we interact on a daily basis. Things that will make our life better. We want a complete overhaul of the system that we are in. And I believe that’s the reason everybody is inherently in the roads.

What Nandan Nilekani said in his interview is that through technology and automation these basic interactions of the general public needs to be cleaned up – made transparent, accountable and efficient. And he said that bringing Lokpal will only create another independent committee like Prevention of Corruption Act, CAG, etc… And here are few more views from different parties involved:

1. Government
From a government’s angle (I’m not talking about Congress here), I think it is actually a larger problem. For example, Team Anna were demanding for a public place to conduct the fast. And they wanted it indefinitely. Huge crowd may actually come in and the government definitely needs to think from security angle. The first thing that happened after Ramlila Maidan was chosen as the venue was that, right in the morning, we saw policemen, sniffer dogs and massive equipments sweeping the grounds. Being a country with not-so-friendly-neighbors and an equal amount of enemies within, the government will have to worry from security angle. What if a RDX blows up on the venue (Delhi being national capital too)? We will blame the government again. Secondly, we have the parliament where representatives from different parts of the country are functioning. As Nandan pointed out, there are definitely good people out there. And some serious business does take place. I do not know the ratio of good to bad politicians there, but I know people like Jaiprakash Narayan are sitting out there. And the Standing Committee seems to be very good where it healthy debates happen. And these are people representing different sections of the society – the tribal, Muslim, Dalit, Urban, Rural, etc…and the bill needs to be debated from all angles because it is going to affect the entire functioning of our country

2. Alternative theories
There is also another round of views about the people who are behind Anna. If you look at the kind of people who are behind Anna, most of them are from Urban living. That’s how it started at least and now it is spreading to the towns as well. The movement has spread through the media and Internet. And people in the Cities and Towns are the ones who have access to these – especially Social Media. Now, we cannot enact a law obliging the demands of certain section of the country. And that too due to mass following. I am not for this – but for example, tomorrow, India being a Hindu dominant country, what if some other person starts an “Anti-Muslim” movement and there is a mass following to it. I mean, people are not that stupid but it theoretically it is possible – the government is probably thinking about this too? And this thinking is probably beneficial for the larger benefit of the people. Or probably this is how government is run – you cannot decide Just Like That.

3. Political Parties
None of the political parties seem to be “actually” supporting the Lokpal bill. All parties are actually raising their voice against the way the government handled the situation. Nobody is mentioning that they are OK with “these these points in Anna’s version” and not OK with “these these points in Govt’s version”. I have read both the versions of the bill and what Anna’s version is trying to create is something like a parallel government. There is going to be a central Lokpal which will look at larger problems like 2G scam, black money, etc…and every state will have Lokayukta and similar setups at district, panchayat levels. Now this is actually parallel governance. No where in the world this is present and it may be dangerous also. Let’s not debate that. But the political parties – they are not going to be OK with having a parallel government.

And this is my take considering all these:

Yes, this whole movement may be started by the Urban population. And probably it will spread slowly to other places in the country. But Urban population are the ones who have seen things outside the country. They have been exposed to how proper governance happens in other developed countries. The rural population and the poor have in-numerous problems that they cannot even think about all these. When people are worried about next day meal they will not think about all these. So there is nothing wrong in the movement being started by the Urban population. It is for larger benefit of the entire country.

And the views that things needs to be changed at grass root level – like fundamentally people are corrupt and we need to change that. Yes definitely people are corrupt. I download pirated music and somebody doesn’t obey traffic rules and somebody else doesn’t pay taxes properly. People are definitely corrupt. Now here is where the definition of corruption needs to be made clear. Corruption in my opinion is altering a way of working/decision for the benefit of a single person or a group. When such alteration takes place, it results in a deviation from doing things the way it needs to be done which either results in sub standard service or no service. Now, coming back to the point of people being fundamentally corrupt. I download pirated music because – either i don’t respect or value the service that I get or I cannot afford to buy one. And there are no proper laws to check it. Now, last week I bought an app for replacing the stock keyboard in my Android. Now, that cost me Rs.200. But I bought it because, I used it before and I found it to be helping me and making my life easier. And it was affordable to me. So I bought it. Now I pay taxes properly. In fact, I declare my Savings Account interest and pay even Self Assessed Tax. Why do I do this? Is it because I want to contribute to the growth of the country? No, it is because there is a law and I can later by scrutinized. Now this is fear – fear brought in by enforcing laws.

APJ Abdul Kalam’s says that let’s start by teaching the kids to be good citizens so that at least next generation will be good and not corrupt. And Nandan’s view is also on the same line – instead of changing the people he is trying to change the last mile of the system that people access. This is definitely good. This is what will probably scale on the longer run. This is basically starting from ground up. But I beg to differ here. There needs to be fear amongst everybody (all walks of the life) that if someone does something wrong (against the law) then there is going to severe punishments. And this needs to start at the top level. We cannot have people like Raja, Hasan Ali, Deve Gowda, Yedurappa, Jagan Mohan Reddy walking freely in the country. The law should be made good enough to give faster punishments to people like this. Why start at this level? Why not from the traffic signals? Because if there is a law to first check the ministers – he is going to fear the system and act properly. He will ask questions to his ministry – then to his officers – then to the executives – to the people at the bottom of the chain. Now that way at every level things needs to be checked. Making people change is definitely not going to work – because of the fundamental nature of human being. Even in developed countries, people when intoxicated they run over pedestrians. If there is no one on the road, you may get mugged. Somebody might come in to the convenience store and ask for the money. If you don’t give it you may get shot. This is in developed countries. So basically we human beings, given a chance would like to go over the law and do what we feel like doing – our mind is still fundamentally animal. But under normal conditions, when we are in a society, the fear of getting punished is what keeps us under control. And that needs to be brought in. Through laws. Through tougher laws. A whole generation needs to be toughly punished to bring that fear in people. And this can start only from the top.

You cannot say that “I cannot sack Raja due to coalition dharma”. Now how mean is that?When the entire nation is debating and agitating about this bill, Sonia Gandhi leaves to US for some medical treatment. Okay, she is not occupying any government office. But as a leader of a political party and how influential she is in the country, she doesn’t believe in the country’s healthcare and flies off to the US. Because she can afford it. The power and money that can get her anything in this world. Cut through few years back, Vajpayee needed a knee replacement surgery and it got done in our own AIMS, Delhi. Now as a leader, you need to demonstrate to people of this country. People want a change right now and have no more patience.

All we ask is better roads, portable water, good shelter, affordable healthcare. To make our lives better. Nothing more than that.


The movie “Kanchana” seems to be a runaway hit with huge crowds flowing in the cinema halls. The movie seems to be a hit mostly in the towns and rural areas and moderately in the cities as well. I saw couple of reviews (online and in the print) which claimed the movie to be good and particularly they mentioned about the comedy sequences. It seems that “Kovai Sarala” (as mom to Lawrence) and “Devadharshini” (as “anni” to Lawrence) have done a very good job in the comedy scenes. This definitely kindled my interest and I started seeing the clips shown in TV and online.

The scenes that were claimed to be humorous definitely didn’t even bring a smile in my face – I don’t think I have a bad sense of humor. The so called scenes involved Lawrence going to “choo choo” and asking Kovai Sarala to come along since he is a kid at heart. Other scene was the introduction of Lakshmi Rai where they mock about the length of her skirt. Cut there and the next scene will be Lawrence jumping and being carried as a kid by Kovai Sarala, Devadharshini and yeah guessed it Lakshmi Rai too. And Devadharshini all through the scenes speaks in a worst possible modulation thinking it is actually funny.

I haven’t scene the entire movie and mostly will not after seeing these scenes. People do say that Sarath Kumar has performed well. So may be those portions of the film is actually better. But what is irritating is the fact that these scenes are actually being projected as the most funniest scenes in the recent times. Add to that, today, being independence day, Sun TV is airing some special program on this movie. The interviewer is actually very intelligent in asking questions like “How did Kovai Sarala manage to hold Lawrence in her iduppu?”. For which the Lawrence kept on explaining things and everybody were ROFL.

It was so disheartening to see where these guys are taking Tamil cinema to. What is currently happening is that the industry is giving all possible crappy movies and in between a little better one (read not-so-crappy amongst the crappiest ones) becomes a run away hit. This is what one of my friend told me – “dei…Venghai laam compare pannum bodhu paravala da”. That’s where we are now instead of comparing against “Yudham Sei”, “Aaranya Kaandam”, “Nandha Lala”, etc…

I firmly believe on a quote by Kamal Haasan “You cannot blame the audience saying that they are not mature to enjoy high quality cinema”. The audience are actually well matured and they definitely appreciate good movies. All you need these days is that little bit extra promotion for these good movies. If Kamal has thought about the same and did only the typical masala movies we wouldn’t have had “Kuruthi Punal”, “Virumaandi”, “Anbe Sivam”. Though there are so many other movies of his that can be mentioned, the reason for mentioning the above is that these movies paved way for some of the good movies that we see today. Ameer, Bala, Sasikumar and the likes saw and grew with these kind of movies and resulted in Paruthiveeran, Naan Kadavul, Subramaniyapuram, etc…

Let’s not get in to a debate if Kamal copied / inspired from Hollywood or Korea or whatever. But, I would say that he was at least 10 years ahead of what the rest of the industry was thinking. And those were days where you did not have internet. Probably people didn’t understand what he was trying to communicate through his script. Probably he was bad at the script. Probably he gets confused and can’t give a clean screenplay. But he tried. He pushed things. If I look back now, even Alavandhan was an amazing movie.The movie introduced camera technology for close double action sequences, some of the amazing stunts and visual effects.

What if Alavandhan, Kuruthi Punal, Virumandi were released now? These would have been blockbusters for sure. From my view it’s probably a loss for Kamal from the timing point of view. But I immediately get reminded of the dialogue in Devar Magan by Sivaji Ganesan: “Vedhai vedhacha udanae pazham saapadanum nna mudiyuma…innaiku naan vedhaikkaraen…nee pazham saapduva…apram un payan saapduvan…apram avan payan saapduvan…idhellam paaka naan irukka maataen…aana vedhachadhu…naan…idhellam enakku enna perumaya…?”

Google Plus

Though I gave a new look to the blog about 4 months back, I never took time to post anything after that 🙂 Sister’s marriage and work took all my time. Almost. So here is another attempt to write something consistently in coming days/months. Let’s see how much I keep it going 🙂

Last week ended with a lot of talk about Google Plus and this isn’t a review about Google Plus. Rather, I was totally amazed at how Google worked out this entire strategy. It started with a month or so when Google announced its plan to support only the latest browser. And over the course of last two weeks it started rolling out changes to the search page with a new toolbar in the top. Then Gmail got changed with a similar toolbar. In fact Gmail had few more noticeable changes such as the always docked menu, people widget on the sides, etc…I personally didn’t realize that Google was up to something. In fact even TechCrunch or GigaOM didn’t talk about any rumors.

But now, when Google Plus was rolled and if you connect all the dots, it all starts to make sense. Now after the roll out, you will see an unified top bar with the Plus widget on the top right. So if you have many Google products opened as tabs, you are more likely to share content using the toolbar. And behind the scenes, it is unimaginable on how Google rolled out such a massive change across so many of its products – with no down time and hiccups. When users were still using their products. When data was getting stored in their servers. Unimaginable. At work, we often discuss and try to arrive at such change management/deployment practices for smaller applications. But given Google’s scale, I just cannot imagine what kind of systems they have built internally.

And aptly named Google Plus, is not about a social networking product aimed at Facebook. I guess it is the next version of Google as a company. Google as how it deals with information. If you look at how Google operated before Plus – it was a company aimed at organizing world’s information. It built products that enabled us search for what we wanted. And the products let user out of their sites as soon as possible. Like you don’t stay on Google search results page but you click and get out of there as fast as possible. And it was only Google’s algorithms that determined what results we got and what information we got access to.

With Plus, it is a fundamental change in Google’s approach towards how their products work and behave. In Plus, Google has built a product where they want users to spend more and more time. They have got nice animated UI which adds few more milliseconds for every request – I heard through an inside information that a 256ms response time code gets rejected. The response time needs to be lesser than that 🙂 The search page looks neat and Gmail has got a makeover and looks like for the first time Larry Page approved of all these changes that increases response time.

I guess the Facebook’s threat of having almost every internet user hooked into their site and creating and consuming information had a major impact at the top brass in Google. Google happened to realize that the way internet is being used by people is changing – there is a people aspect to it. People are no longer searching for information. They are discovering information. The internet is becoming more like a real world. I know information that I get to know through my friends, family, co-workers in the real world. I am more likely to buy a product that my friends and family and co-workers recommend. The same goes with watching a video to looking at an advt in TV. That’s how the internet is becoming too. And that’s where Google was becoming irrelevant. And Facebook looked like a major threat to it.

I think Google figured this out and took a real world approach to re-inventing itself. From Circles in Google Plus to “+1” in search results, the whole lot of changes reflect this. The “+1” near every search result is really cool. If I hit on that and it gets published in my stream, my friends are more likely to check those links. Now this is gonna push the Ad rates really high. Now switch to “Sparks” where Google sends you information/videos/pictures in your Google Plus stream. Here’s where Google takes an algorithmic approach to suggest you content based on your interest (Google already knows everything about us:) ). So in effect your Google Plus stream is both your social graph content (content that your friends and family share) and interest graph content (what Google’s algo decide). And imagine you “+1” the interest graph feeds – Google makes huge revenue there as well.

I think Google has taken a very very long term approach towards this. It has looked at how the web and internet is going to be in 3-5 years down the line and is building products / taking strategy for that long haul. The way they have pushed the web with HTML5, Google Chrome, Android, SPDY Protocol, etc…I guess no one understands the internet business better. Of course Facebook still has a whopping 750M users and there are rumors that Facebook might launch Skype based video chat. And Facebook will be quick enough to clean up and introduce many things. Guess its sleepless nights for the folks at Microsoft.

Edit – and after posting this blog post, I happened to notice that there is a “+1” at the end of the post 🙂

New look…

Came across a Bing search widget for blogs and websites. It’s a nice widget that can be easily added to any website or blog. You can get it here. Once it’s added, a nice search box gets added to your website/blog and viewers of your website can search the website. The search result is non-intrusive and appears in a nice pop up. You see the box on the right hand side of this blog. Since few weeks, I have started getting a feeling that Google is becoming the web’s Microsoft by trying to be a monopoly here – especially after the stupid drama it played against Bing. Hence I decided to add this Bing widget and let Bing also index my blog more (not that I create massive content here:)).

So, when I added this widget to the old layout, it became messy and I decided to change the layout of the blog. That’s when I was really impressed with the way blogger works. I just had opened Blogger in Firefox and my blog as an anonymous user in Chrome. As I choose a layout and start making modifications, re-arranging widgets, changing the color and things like that, I just keep refreshing in Chrome and I could see the changes in real time. I am pretty sure that blogger is running Google’s cloud and I am sure they will have replicated data to serve content faster to all users. With that kind of architecture and enabling on the fly changes to the blog’s layout – I was really impressed. Definitely a nice product and same with the way the widgets work too. It was pretty easy to add that Bing search widget – even a novice, non-techie user can do that.

Anyways, I set to try something and ended up changing the blog’s layout. So I hope to write more here…

Why Facebook?

Been discussing about Facebook lately with many people and there is a lot of action on the internet as well in terms of how powerful it is and how it is transforming the web and the way we use the web.

I was originally using Orkut and before Facebook there were plenty of social networking websites such as MySpace, Hi5, Orkut, etc…I used to wonder why there is such a big deal about Facebook that everybody is talking about. After all it is a casual website where people mostly share photos and post things like “My cat ran away”, “Don’t feel like getting out of bed. Lol”, etc…In fact I read an article where one Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist called Facebook as nothing but a photo sharing website. And yeah, now there is a movie about Facebook and a book released. And one Russian investor bought 1% stake for $330 millions valuing Facebook at $30+ B. And that is about 1/3 of what Ford or GM is valued today (they are more than 100yrs old) in about 10yrs since it was built in a dorm. And yeah, the CEO is 28 years old and it has 500M users. Dot.

I was really very curious as to how such a simple service can be massively hit and why so many people love using it. When you really look at how users interact with Facebook, probably you get a hint why Facebook really matters and there are reasons why people spend like 40B minutes a month in Facebook (as claimed by FB engineering).

When I post a comment on one of my friends’ post, FB tells in my wall post that “I commented on his post” and it appears on others’ wall as “Raghu posted on that person’s post”. Similarly, if you look all around the way the posts, comments, photos, likes, videos appear in the feed you will notice things like “You and Amit like this post”, “Kumar shared a video”, “You and 330,000 people like Starbucks”. Even though it is just a way of letting the information display on a page, I think this is the whole deal about it. It gives a whole human feeling/touch in terms of saying “I like this”, “He said this”, etc…Now that’s how we interact with people and things in real world.

Few years ago, we used to maintain an address book online where we used to have the email ids of people. Now Facebook is our address book. And people in our friends list are real people. We used to have Yahoo IM friends like cooldude007, sweetgirl92. But in Facebook our contacts have a real identity. They are our college friends, co-workers, relatives, etc…And Facebook gives us a platform where we can interact with them easily. Now that was something missed out in Orkut, MySpace and a bunch of other Social Networking websites. They probably never got Social right.

And to realize the true power of Facebook and how it is transforming businesses, Honda India has a Facebook page where its customers regularly post complaints and Honda’s representatives respond mostly within a day. Now that’s a traditional manufacturing company being so active in Facebook. I read somewhere that a massive Colombian people revolution against the Guerillas started as a single Facebook page created by someone who was utterly angry against the Guerillas.

And Facebook can probably give a very tough life to Google too. Google today is probably the single company that has access to all the data that is getting created on the web. They make their money through the advertisements that they place on the web by crunching all these data created in the web. Google’s vision itself is about organizing information on the web. But the question is, what if all the information that is getting created in the web is created inside Facebook and Google has no access to it? For example, if you look at the companies that Google has bought in the past, like Blogger, Youtube, etc…these are products where internet users were creating data and Google wants all the data that is created on the web. What if people are creating Facebook Pages instead of blogging…Video links being posted in Facebook instead of Youtube. Facebook already has massive amount of organized data. Google invests so much amount of time in figuring out who created what kind of data, who is looking at what pages, etc…But Facebook already knows “Raghu likes this Page”, “Aamir likes Sachin Tendulkar”. It already has access to organized information and that is probably a big deal. These days, your competitor need not always be from your own domain. Microsoft would have never thought that Google will be its competitor and Sony wouldn’t have even imagined about Apple (iPod). Probably the same thing might happen for Google as well (Facebook).

And as a software developer, I am really amazed at the scale Facebook is operating and how their systems are built. I am already a fan of the “Facebook Engineering” page in Facebook. I am amazed at even imagining the kind of social graph that Facebook will be storing in their servers and how it will go through those graphs to tell me one small information like “You may also know Sunil” based on the “n” degree of connection in my social graph. And if I am a fan of “Sachin Tendular” page and there is a post on Sachin’s latest six in the Nagpur test, probably I and 330,000 other people would have “liked” the post. If it visit that page again and when Facebook says “You and 330,000 others like this” that is actually massive operation behind the scene at run time. Cannot imagine the data storage and caching that Facebook has built.

I am really amazed at how Facebook is actually transforming our lives and the social, political, economical impact that it can have in the future. And this is something that will be interesting to watch out as more and more people stay always connected.


…from Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya. Another awesome melody from ARR. And probably the only song that I know till date which has piano running through the entire song. Guess its Stephen Devassy at work. The song starts with lots of piano and as Shreya Goshal picks up stunningly it would appear as if the piano stops. But if you happen to listen using headphones and give closer attention to center-right of your head, the piano portion stay almost for the entire length of the song.

And I don’t know how Shreya is able to render this song such flawlessly. I used to remember when she started singing in Tamil she used to miss a lot of “zha”. But that is probably because of Yuvan since he himself doesn’t pronounce “zha” properly. Since then, Shreya has improved a lot and I am really wondering how she is able to change her pitch / tone according to the lyrics and sing this one so beautifully. I am even more wondering how ARR would have explained all these to her and got the job done.

Needless to mention about ARR’s portion of the song. He almost picks up fast numbers or high pitched songs when it comes to singing by himself. When it comes to melody where most of the songs are sung at lower pitch, ARR does it at slightly elevated pitch – examples include Dil Se Re, New york Nagaram and this one. And when he gives a fresh tone for the “Anbirkum Undo” thirukkural, it creates such an impact on you. And guess that “Anbirkum Undo” and other thirukkural portions are probably samples of the “Thirukkural” album project that he and Blaaze are working on.

God Father…

Like most of the people out there, I am a big fan of Hollywood films and I like to watch a lot of action and Sci-fi movies. I go to these movies more for the visual and sound effects. And I never enjoyed comedy, romantic comedies and drama kind of movies – the slower ones I mean. One of my friend started watching some of the classic movies and kept telling me about them. Had always heard about Al Pacino and Robert de Niro as one of the greats but never managed to see their movies.

Everybody told me about God Father as a must watch movie. A year back, I managed to get the DVD and put it on. I stopped it after 30 mins since it was very slow for me. But recently I started seeing some of the classic – as told by my friend. Started seeing movies like “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”, “Good Fellas”, “Dog Day Afternoon”, “Heat”, etc… I kinda started liking Al Pacino’s performances and started seeing his recent movies like “Insomnia”, “88 minutes”, “Devil’s Advocate”. I thought he was doing little bit of over acting – comparable to Sivaji Ganesan in his late 80’s movies. But I started like this Gangsta, Mafjavascript:void(0)ia movies.

One fine day I happened to see “ScarFace” and that’s when Al Pacino completely blew me over. A story of a Cuban refugee rising as a Mafia leader, Al simply gave an outstanding performance in this movie – his slang, body language and everything. I am not gonna get in to details about this movie but this one made me watch God Father again. I just finished watching till Part II of it and now I know why it is #2 in IMDB top 250 movies of all time.

The first part shows an aging Don (Marlon Brando) handing over the control to his reluctant son (Al Pacino). The movie runs for close to 3 hours and it was a wholesome movie. It shows the life of the Mafia leader, their families, enemies, how the govt plays with them, how they are ruthless. Wonderful performance by Marlon Brando, the movie shows how Al Pacino transforms from a young war hero to a Don. The music adds a lot to the movie and if you happen to patiently sit through the movie – at the end of it you get the feeling of watching a wholesome movie…Al Pacino underplays a lot in this movie and he didn’t really wow me in this one. But the last scene where he takes control of everything, sits in the chair and one of the guy kisses on his forehand and the door of his room closes – wow, one of the best endings for a movie and it creates that impact on you.

The second part…its completely Al Pacino all over, though Robert De Niro gives his best performance in his first movie itself. Towards the end of the first part only Al Pacino takes control of the family and becomes the Don. In the second part he is an experienced Don now and completely controls the family, business and Nevada. With complete under play of his character he manages to show the power the Don has. For example,

1. When the Senator visits Al and stands up in front of him and points his index finger and gives order to Al Pacino, Al is sitting crossed legs and looks at the finger and moves his eye ball for direct eye contact with the Senator. That shows the power he has and in one eye ball movement he scares you off saying “Nobody points finger at me”. Marlon Brando shows it in the opening scene of first part in a different way by saying “Why do you come to me now? You do not offer your friendship anymore”.

2. When Al Pacino learns from his wife that she actually got an abortion done and it wasn’t a miscarriage, he shows his anger growing inside and gives a slap to his wife. Till this moment he would have talked very patiently with his wife telling that he is making changes in his life.

3. Scenes where he reunites with is sister and forgives is brother (who was a traitor to him) were so heavy with Al showing how much family means to a man and the background score that adds more fuel to the fire.

The characterization was just too good in the entire movie. All the brothers were contrast to each other – Michael(Al) being calm, composed and cool, Sonny is the hot headed guy and Fredo is the stupid, dumb guy. But the best part is that these characters live in the movie and they undergo changes in the due course of the movie. In 5 plus hours of the two parts the director shows the life of the main characters and how they evolve.

And yeah, in the second part, Robert De Niro plays the young Vito Corleone. I heard this is his first movie – but it doesn’t look like. Simply pulled it through wonderfully. Almost everybody plays their role with perfection in this movie – Kay(Diane Keaton), Tom, Roth, Frankie, Fredo, the Senator…

One can clearly find out that Kamal and Mani Ratnam were greatly inspired by this movie and had some of the scenes straight into Nayagan. Scenes where the old Kamal runs his hand over his oiled hair, the DIG telling Kamal about his molested girl are direct lift-off from this movie. And yeah, the scene where Kamal successfully unloads the “stuff” and comes and gives it off as a gift to Reddy brothers – it is from ScarFace.

I am actually not able to express fully after watching these two parts – it is more of a feeling. It definitely would test your patience initially. But it is just a matter of time – once you cross that hurdle this movie would just amaze you. In fact towards the end of second part I was looking at the time left and was upset that the movie was going to end soon (after watching a 3.15 hours hollywood movie). I heard the third part isn’t this great – but having watched this much, I don’t think I would skip it.

And yeah, the sub titles made a lot of difference this time.

Killing time cost effectively…

1. Go and drop off your vehicle at a friend’s place in T.Nagar
2. Start walking towards the Mambalam railway station (through some crowded Ranganathan streets)
3. If you are a person who always has that extra space in your stomach to send something inside, you can send in some dosas and coffee on the way (20 mins killed and probably couple of minutes of your life too)
4. Reach Mambalam station and get a ticket to Park Station – this would cover almost half of the EMU (local train) route
5. Skip one train and catch the next one (20 extra mins killed)
6. Meanwhile you can check your weight in the weighing machine. Quietly ignore the number being shown on the card and start reading the “well-wishing” message on the back of the card
7. Get in to the train
8. On the way discuss on what’s to be done after reaching Park Station
9. Come up with the wonderful plan of getting MRTS ticket for Park to Velachery (That’s the complete route of MRTS)
10. Reach Park Station – by this time you would have killed another 20 – 25 mins
11. Try to figure out where this MRTS station in Park Town is – get info from nearby shops
12. Reach Park Town Station and get a ticket to Velachery
13. Wonderfully kill another 45 mins – the train goes through the heart of the city – Mylapore, City Centre, Mount Road (near the new Secretariat building), etc
14. Get down at Velachery and walk slowly towards the bus stop – on the way you may grab couple of Mirinda bottles
15. Reach the bus stop and leave couple of buses – reasons may vary from “too much crowd”, “don’t like the yellow color painting” to anything under the roof
16. Catch a bus to T.Nagar
17. In another 40 minutes types you would have reached T.Nagar back

Total distance covered – 40+ KMS
Total cost – 16 Rupees
Cost per KM – less than 50 paise

You can easily kill 3hours and if you get more creative can spend half a day like this. You can reach Central station and go till Ambattur side or may be Chengalpet. And once you reach there or on the way you can think of connecting routes and the next plan.

You end up with a happy feeling of going around the city and the best part of “no-dent-in-your-pocket”


…means “beloved” in malayalam and is a song in Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya. When VTV audio was released, I wasn’t really impressed with it immediately. But as the saying goes, you really got to listen to ARR songs again and again and it will fill you and elevate you completely.

This Aaromalae is another masterpiece from ARR. The song starts with a slow guitar and has a deep base in it. The wonderful part I liked is that the song depicts some kind of sadness and happiness alternatively. A deep cry of soul for the sadness and on the other side the person undergoes immense happiness for some kind of achievement – that’s what I could make out from the song. The song mixes Indian classical music and Rock towards the end. The song which starts with the slow guitar transforms towards heavy guitar in the end.

More reference to the song at: and

And I haven’t seen the film yet and will not be seeing it in all probability, but I guess this song appears when Simbhu gets a director chance from a producer and at the same time Trisha must have ditched him – and he must be traveling. A wild guess having known the crux of the movie.

Here is the lyrics with translation – takes me immediately to the beautiful world of Kerala

Mamalayaeri Varum Thennal (O Breeze, blowing through the mountains)
Puthu Manavalan Thennal (O Breeze, decked up like a bridegroom)
Palli Medayae Thottu Thalodi Kurushil Thozhuthu Varumbol (Coming after worshiping the cross at the altar)
Varavelpinu Malayalakkara Manasammatham Choriyum (The Land of Kerala would grant permission for welcoming it)
Aaromale…, Aaromale…, Aaromale…, Aaromale… (O Beloved… O Beloved… O Beloved… O Beloved…)

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham (On this very auspicious occasion)
Sumangali Bhava Manavatti (O Bride! May you be blessed with a long wedded life)
Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham (On this very auspicious occasion)
Sumangali Bhava Manavatti (O Bride! May you be blessed with a long wedded life)
Shyama Rathri Than Aramanayil (In the inner sanctum of the dark evening…)
Maari Nilkayo Tharakame (O star! Why are you so reserved?)
Pulari Manjile Kathiroliyaay (Like a ray of light in the morning mist)
Akale Nilkayo Penmaname (Are you standing afar… my lady?)
Chanju Nilkuma Chillayil Nee, Chila Chilambiyo Poonkuyile (O Cuckoo! Did you shake the bent branch of the tree?)
Manchirathile, Malaroliye Thediyethiyo Poonthennal (Did the wind of fragrance come in search of the flames in the mud lamps?)

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham (On this very auspicious occasion)
Sumangali Bhava Manavatti (O Bride! May you be blessed with a long wedded life)

Aaromalae… Aaromalae… (O Beloved… O Beloved…)

Kadalinu Karayodiniyum Padan Sneham Undo? (Does the sea still brim with love to serenade the shore?)
Mezhukuthurikalayi Urukan Iniyum Pranayam Manasil Undo? (Is there still love in the heart to melt like candle wax?)

Aaromale…, Aaromale…, Aaromale… (O Beloved… O Beloved…O Beloved… O Beloved…)

Aaromale… Ohh… Ho ! (O Beloved…)

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham (On this very auspicious occasion)
Sumangali Bhava Manavatti (O Bride! May you be blessed with a long wedded life)

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham (On this very auspicious occasion)
Sumangali Bhava Manavatti (O Bride! May you be blessed with a long wedded life)

Shyama Rathri Than Aramanayil (In the inner sanctum of the dark evening…)
Maari Nilkayo Tharakame (O star! Why are you so reserved?)
Pulari Manjile Kathiroliyaay (Like a ray of light in the morning mist)
Akale Nilkayo Penmaname (Are you standing afar… my lady?)
Chanju Nilkuma Chillayil Nee, Chila Chilambiyo Poonkuyile (O Cuckoo! Did you shake the bent branch of the tree?)
Manchirathile, Malaroliye Thediyethiyo Poonthennal (Did the wind of fragrance come in search of the flames in the mud lamps?)

Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham (On this very auspicious occasion)
Sumangali Bhava Manavatti (O Bride! May you be blessed with a long wedded life)
Swasthi Swasthi Su Muhurtham (On this very auspicious occasion)
Sumangali Bhava Manavatti (O Bride! May you be blessed with a long wedded life)

Aaromale… Aaromale… (O beloved… O beloved)

Oh ho…

Why? And What?

It’s almost 12 hrs after the entire internet / TV spoke/emailed/FBed/tweeted about Sachin creating history. Let the record speaks for itself – more than 20yrs in crease, closing in on century of centuries, etc, etc…This is not about that…

After all these records and the benefits that it brings along with it, Sachin now is one of the highest tax payers of the country…Has enough money for generations to come, can afford a lifestyle that anybody would aspire for, access to all the gadgets in the world (a Ferrari 10 years back!!!)…Talk about respect / fame / influence – the whole nation worships him… Simply put, he would have got almost everything that one can get in this world (at least the materialistic ones). Still he comes to the crease for every other match and takes each match seriously… Still keeps himself fit and enjoys playing for the country.

He is such a nightmare to all the bowlers despite the fact that a whole new generation of bowlers have come. The whole game has changed so much – it is so aggressive now, the schedules drain you out, the fitness requirements are more demanding, etc… Yuvraj or Dhoni do not look as fit as him…And many of the team members today and the aspiring cricketers have many things as motive beyond just playing cricket – money, fame, lifestyle, etc…But he is somebody who is still playing for couple of important reasons – the passion for the game and the opportunity to represent the country.

If you are to apply this to another field or a job, what would one typically do after he/she gets so much? They would definitely like to retire and take things easy. I know some of my friends who are ready to retire now (at 28yrs!!!)

It is not just Sachin for that matter. Why would Steve Jobs still come to office? Why would Ratan Tata work so hard for Nano – he has got billions by just inheritance. Why would still Maniratnam make movies and why would kamal still act?

Just one reason – passion and enjoying what you do.

It is so important that you should do what you like or what you enjoy the most. If you do not know what that is – make an effort to find it at least.