The Bangalore Chennai Techie Debate

March 27, 2008

The so called Bangalore Chennai debate is one every Madras bred Bangalore Techie is bound to experience.

I have been having this debate with myself for over a year now and have only found out that the choice between the two is a matter of brain vs. heart: brain being the career and growth oriented, cash obsessed monster and heart being the one that tells you where your soul is, though that might most likely have least utility or monetary value. 🙂

So, here is my list of 3 best and worst from the two cities:

Best of Bangalore:
1. Technology Job Opportunites
2. Work Atmosphere
3. Mild Weather

Worst of Bangalore:
1. It isn’t Chennai
2. Traffic (generally exacerbated by flyover constructions)
3. High Rents

Best of Chennai:
1. Culturally rich – with music, dance and drama (to be read with and without pun)
2. Scope to have a variety-filled life (classes, learning opportunities)
3. It is Chennai (the eternal home of the Madras bred, filter coffee loving being)

Worst of Chennai:
1. Seemingly never-ending summer
2. Auto drivers
3. Water (esp. during summer).

Having said of all, give the Techie his tech best in Chennai and the choice suddenly becomes very simple.

More ramblings on Madurai serial later.


Thoughts on Madurai – a Star Vijay serial

March 23, 2008

I must first say, I am not a serial-watcher, definitely not a regular one, but this village-flavored serial on Star Vijay has won me over. Madurai, if I recall correctly, has been airing for almost 10 months now. What initially seemed like a standard-revenge oriented storyline turned away from that very quickly.

The story is about family-feud and the efforts of the female lead, Meenakshi (Srija Chandran), to re-unite the siblings from an older generation. There are 5 siblings in question: Meenakshi’s father Doraipandi (Thennavan), Veerapandi (aka Mu Ra), older brother of Dorapandi, Lakshmi, Kamakshi (Vadivukarasi), and Murugesan. As one would expect, in all this is intertwined in a love story – that involving Meenakshi and Kamakshi’s son, Saravanan (Mirchi Senthil), and love trianges.

What struck me as rather different about this is the effort to move away from the standard-cry/plot fests that most serials are. Added to that is very good action from the leading charecters:

Meenakshi (Srija Chandran): rocks totally in the role of a stubborn village girl with a heart of gold. Her’s is probably among the stronger of characters that has remained fairly consistent till now.

Saravanan (Mirch Senthil): again rocks in his role. The romance between him and Meenakshi is subtle, realistic and enjoyable. However, on the flip side, his charecter has weakend from his initial rowdy/gangster/strong man. That this might be effect of Meenakshi’s taming of him and ridding him of the rowdy-ism is understandable, but he seems to have lost some of the macho-ness. Also, the fact that he isn’t able to tell his mother that he does not wish to be engaged to Azhagi (Murugesan’s daughter) or that his heart is elsewhere, given that he doesn’t live in his own home, but at Meenakshi’s.

Doraipandi: Characterized as a good father, is moderately stubborn but will listen to reasoning. His new-found respect for Saravanan is apt; this arc finds several comical bits which add to the story’s charm. Again, plays his part well.

Veerapandi: Fiery and stubborn yet compassionate man with principles on the one hand and deep grudges on the other. Gerald, the director has done well to let us see both sides of him. Excellent potrayal by Mu Ra.

Kamakshi: Veteran actress Vadivukkarasi plays Saravanan’s mother. She is portrayed as a selfish, ego-centric and stubborn woman who cares about nothing else but proving her point. As expected of any story, she despises Meenakshi and her father whole-heartedly and hopes against all hopes that Saravanan will agree to marry Murugesan’s daughter Azhagi.

There are a host of other characters which include the children on other siblings. The current focus (for the past 2 weeks) has been on resolving the Saravanan-Azhagi engagement confusion. Azhagi false-promises Meenakshi that if she sends Saravanan for the engagement, she will let her have him.

Director Gerald has recently thrown himself into the party in the role of Saravanan’s elder brother, Velmurugan. The part about the new inclusion of Velmurugan that I did not like was the fact that it seemed a bit like cheating to suddenly “add” a brother to Saravanan, given that Kamakshi often referred to the later as her only son. Velmurugan seems to be to vying for Meenakshi and she seems to be slowly falling into his trap(?) with the uniting thread being that Velmurugan shares her interest in uniting the family. To me, he is stealing Saravanan’s thunder: if he will be helping Meenakshi to unite the family, what is there for Saravanan to do? Furthemore Velmurugan has promised his mother that he would help her cause of marrying Saravanan to Azhagi, but on the other hand assured Saravanan that he will stop his engagement to Azhagi. After 2 weeks of Velmurugan, I’m not sure whether to trust him or and certainly don’t like him (as a character). The only thing about his inclusion that I see adds value to the existing plot line without taking away from it is intensification of the love-triangle; there are now two: Meenakshi-Saravanan-Azhagi and Velmurugan-Meenakshi-Saravanan.

Whew! That’s a lot of summarizing and typing. Perhaps this week we will know if Saravanan manages to wriggle out of the engagement with Azhagi, this time, by himself. More later.

Note to Mr. Dhoni: Tone down the boorish talk

March 20, 2008

Yes, we all know your “young” side won the ODI series in Australia. We saw the much-overdone celebrations and cash rain. Agreed, it was a good victory. But this is Indian cricket, where it is often the case where one is generally elevated to great heights only to feel greater impacts when pushed off the cliff.

I was pretty clear about the players I wanted in the side. It is sometimes very important to send the message across. That’s what I said to the selectors as well. You can see the kind of team I got. It’s very important because the process and the timing were criticised a lot.

Did you really have to say that? The message was for everyone to see and would have remained better, had you shut up.

The critics questioned this side but now that it’s performed you need to back it. We all knew, and you all knew, what would have happened if this side didn’t do well in Australia.…Now that it has done well, why don’t you appreciate the performance?

We all know that if it weren’t for the rained-out matches, the results could have been very different. And, the chief contributors were the bowlers and Tendulkar. The other young batsmen are yet to prove their worth with consistently good performances.

Need to watch the mouth Mr. MSD! Perhaps that is something you have yet to learn from the statesmanly Kumble.

Cricket Musings of the past few weeks – CB Series concludes, India U-19 World Champs

March 11, 2008

Much has happened in the last couple of week for me to catch up with on my blog. The long, almost never-ending tour of Australia was finally over, with India and Australia sharing the honors with victories the ODI and Test series respectively. The young colts in the Indian U-19 team brought home another World Cup. The IPL tamashaa also went on, but I won’t go there in this post.

As for India’s tour of Australia, I enjoyed the Test series much better that the ODI and the one-off 20-20. It’s rather sad that the Test series will be remembered more for the controversies, and the result on paper remains India 1-2. That should have read the other way around. A Test series win for India this time around would have been the deserved and fair result and a tribute to the Kumble-lead seniors. But that is over.

Moving on the CB ODI series, which was mostly boring to me at least, other than Sachin, nothing was worth watching (from the India-batting point-of-view). Rohit Sharma deserves some credit for the gritty 66 that helped see Sachin to his maiden ODI century on Aussie soil. But other that Rohit, none of the younger batsmen seem ready to form the core Team. Gambhir is impressive, but something in me says that he seems more like Yuvraj – riding on form rather than correctness. But having said that, I would pick Gambhir over Yuvraj on any day. Despite the ODI series win, I’m not very euphoric. And no, it isn’t because this side didn’t include two of my favorite batsmen: Dravid and Ganguly, but because, this side didn’t have the batting stability that the two senior member brought with them, even during their early stages. The young bowlers lead by Ishant Sharma, Sachin, and the rain-washed matches set the stage and shared the honors.

As for India’s victory in the U-19 World Cup, the image that will remain in my mind is of Virat Kohli shhh-ing his team when only one ball remained to be bowled to the South African side batting in the final match of the tournament. It’s not won until it is actually over and won. The kid has more maturity and sense of sportsmanship than many others in the cricketing world!