Showing posts from November, 2010

India is not corrupt

Scams, scams, scams. Wherever you look, there are scams. So many in fact that people are losing faith in everything. Unless of course, you are a cynic and say, as many do, that corruption rules India with a firmer hand than any Government, you must disgusted to see how everyone in power has been looting india. A report on Global Financial Integrity last week mentioned $462 billion has been siphoned out since independence, most of it derived from corruption and kickbacks.

Now, I am the kind of person who cannot even figure out how many zeroes exist in $462 billion but it certainly looks like an astonishingly large figure. In the mid-eighties, journalists went behind Rajiv Gandhi for the Rs. 64 crore Bofors scam and even though, we knew the actual amount purloined was much more, it was never in the league of today's scams. The Commonwealth Games scam alone is approximately Rs. 70,000 crores and growing. The 2G Spectrum scam is Rs. 170,000 crore. Yes, I am learning how to count but M…


The word "inspiration" evokes so many definitions. There is inspiration to be absorbed from every individual. May it be from the way they carry themselves to the way they speak to the way they lead their lives. Some people lead very carefree, laid-back lives and some have an almost "to-hell-with-the-devil" approach to life. They face problems as they come, never stress and smile even in the face of adversity. It is an amazing trait in my opinion to see people emanating a positive side even in difficult times. Some people push their luck to the best possible limit, burn the midnight oil and personify the basic essence of "hard work".

One such story that never fails to amaze me is by the leaps and bounds of Sudha Chandran. The much-acclaimed dancer who later became an accomplished actress who had not just a humble beginning, but a very tragic one. At the age of fourteen, when most of us were riding cycles or daydreaming of making our parents proud, Sudha lo…

Movie Review: Vaaranam Aayiram

I am not a very big fan of Tamil movies since most of them defy the concept of logic. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across filmmaker Gautham Menon's Vaaranam Aayiram. In English, the title of the film means "a thousand elephants". It is an ancient verse in Tamil written by saint-poetess Andal denoting the love between her and Lord Krishna. Vaaranam Aayiram is definitely one of those few movies that have the ability to touch your heart.

The story begins with a 63 year old Krishnan (Surya Sivakumar), getting his hair trimmed at a local saloon. He dies due to throat cancer on reaching home. The news is conveyed to his son, Major Surya Krishnan (Surya Sivakumar) who is on his way on a rescue mission. Remembering his father's advice that life should go on irrespective of whatever happens, Surya decides to go ahead with his mission but he is overwhelmed by emotions.

In a flashback Surya goes down memory lane. He reflects on his metamorphosis from childhoo…

Master Dialogue

An enterprising urchin caught the attention of female commuters on a Churchgate-bound local recently when he started mouthing Bollywood dialogues each time someone to spoke to him. When a commuter asked the boy to alight, as "men" aren't allowed in the compartment, he announced, "Abhi toh mere khelne-kudne ke din hain. Bada ho jaaunga tab rok tok lagana" (These are my days to have fun. Stop me when I grow up)."

As commuters giggled, he looked around when smiled like a veteran actor. When someone threatened to report him to the authorities and warned that he could get beaten up by cops, the boy dramatically stood with one hand firmly on his waist and said, "Waise mard ko dard nahin hota (Men don't cry)."

The final gem tumbled out as the train was leaving a station and a commuter had to run some distance to catch it. Our young hero cried out, "Aise toh aadmi life mein doich time bhaagta hain. Olympic ka race ho, ya phir police ka case ho (A …


I was walking home last night on a dark night and suddenly it dawned on me that the otherwise dark lanes were brightly lit. Though most of the shops were shut owing to the time I was returning home, the trees at the end of the roads were wrapped up with string lights. My first thought to this--what's happening? Is someone getting married? I continued to walk and noticed all lanes were beautifully done and lit up. Finally, I realized it is the Deepavali week!

As a child, this was the week I used to look forward to throughout the year. Back then, it was all buying clothes, firecrackers, meeting the family and extended family, prostrating at the feet of all elders in the hope of getting Rs. 100 from them. Festivals such as Deepavali used to be the only excuses where we got opportunities to meet my extended family.

Being born in a typical Tamil Brahmin family, we had days planned for specific rituals. The first day starts with the holy oil bath meant to commemorate the triumph over evil…