Sunday, December 30, 2012


I feel...
Happy to have controlled the flaring,out-of-hand,tempestuous feelings but numb to the point of missing them.
Nostalgic so rarely that when I do feel so, it surprises me.
Too old to appreciate masala movies and too young to like movies with a message.
Too old to wear frilly, fancy,colourful dresses and too young for the elegant,boring, plain ones.
Too old to remain single and too young to get committed forever.
Too old to not take a stand in any issue and too young to get opinionated.
Too old to start something new and too young to get settled into a routine.
I feel all that at the same time. I enjoy the confusion.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The smug smile

The smug smile when she fails
The loud gossip behind her back
The 'I told you so' that reinforces your patriarchal instinct
The patronizing look
You can wipe it off your face
If you can't protect her, you don't control her either.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Madhubaanakkadai, Attakathi

While many fellow peehechdees follow American sitcoms, I am going local. The following para is dedicated to a Vijay tv programme. For the review of the movies, go down to the second.

It's not strange that almost everything that I read/watch nowadays stems from something that I hear on Neeya naana or Airtel supersinger. These, atleast, enhance my knowledge in some way. But the latest addition to this list is 'Saravanan Meenakshi' -- if anyone had not bestowed their ridicule on me before, now I know that I will definitely be honoured. But give me a chance. After those vetti school days watching 'Chithi', I have never watched any soap. And I started watching this one only after the lead pair got married - 10 episodes ago. It helps to have room-mates with different tastes - I would never have watched it if she had not watched that episode with the tv blasting in the hall at a high volume. Yes, I did ridicule her and everything about the episode. Later I youtubed for the earliest episodes of the serial - curious to know where this 'great love and chemistry' between the protagonists began. I was surprised by the story and screenplay - and impressed too. So now it's on my list of 'to be watched'. The best thing about the serial is it is so down to earth - the lead pair had not 'born and waited for each other' etc - both had ex-lovers, are very normal humans with their own whims and fancies - it's charming to see how they forgive each other and how their love carries them through - this is new for a Tamil serial - not the usual black or white character portrayal.

Getting to the movies - Madhubaanakkadai was mentioned on Neeya naana and Attakathi on airtel super singer :P ;).

Madhubanakkadai - What happens in a tasmac bar from morning till night... There is enough going on in this place to make a 2.5- hour movie! The characters that visit the place are so well sketched out - that you can instantly relate to them. Some of the dialogues pack such a punch. The curious students, the unemployed, the loser, the fraud, the ruffians - these are normal visitors to a bar. The mental farmer, the sewage-cleaners, the bar-workers who don't drink - they make the movie stand out. Watch it if you are one of those who like comic+cynical movies that might pique you on to some vetti contemplations upon India and her ppl. ;)

Attakathi - A thorough enjoyment. What a screenplay and what a hero! :)  A special mention for 3 of my fav songs - vazhi paarthirundhen, aasai or pulveli and nadukkadalula.....Who would want to watch hollywood or bollywood when blessed with such home-made wonders :))))))))))))

Monday, July 16, 2012

Once a chicken...

I chickened out of scuba diving. With all my gear on. 12 metres underwater. I refused to do the 2 basic, very crucial exercises that would have opened the door to an amazing world. The regulator recovery and the mask clearing.

I am still the chicken that developed a fever just thinking about the next day's swimming lesson; ran around the swimming pool, being chased by the instructor. I closed myself, refusing to let the sea water seep anywhere near my mouth or nose. I was mortified - forgot the basic swimming skills.  I gulped in the water like an ignorant,panicky fool. My first hour in the sea - 6 metres deep - holding on to the rope - I let panic set in heavily to the point of feeling like throwing up. Even the few, cute fish swimming around failed to distract me from my inside war. I had passed the test in the confined swimming pool - why could I not do it in the huge, endless expanse of salt water? I tried thrice. Every time I got out of the water, I felt so terribly ashamed at my inability. But when I got back in the sea to try again, my phobia-clogged brain failed me.  The sea overwhelmed me - scoffing at my attempts to conquer my fear.

The rest of the trip I spent snorkeling - enjoying the unpolluted beauty of Pulao Dayang- I even caught sight of the humphead parrotfish,solemnly lurking near the coral (fringing) reefs close to the shore - a rare sight,even for divers. Those were the most beautiful moments of my life - to be floating above the corals close enough to touch - looking in awe at the little fishes swimming in and out of the corals. It reinforced in me what I was missing by not diving. But I felt thankful for whatever that kept those fringing reefs undamaged and the visibility so good in the deeper places. And that is why I would not recommend you to visit Pulao Dayang - let it stay unpopular. Let the corals flourish. Let the huge schools of jack fish stay under the jetty. Let the halfbeaks,jellyfish pay occasional visits close to the shore. Let me snorkel to enjoy their beauty. May be that way I can forgive myself for not diving.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nothing to write

Once in a blue moon something comes up,confuses me and makes the question marks,bulbs etc dance over my head. The period in between- I just wait to be confused.The question marks go to sleep frequently. I pretend to know all the answers. Sometimes I hate growing old. What used to enlighten me before, now only boringly reinforces. What must be done to stop age tainting the mind with 'answers'? Why are there so many 'answers' out there to put the mind to peace?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Crowley vs Crichton

It is impressive to read someone criticize a most popular and bestseller novelist with simple, logical and convincing arguments. 

I thought I'd read all of MC's novels until I chanced upon Micro and Pirate latitudes - published posthumously. After Micro (about a bunch of Harvard Ph.D. (Biotech) students - nice to read how EXOTIC Ph.D. life can be in a novel), it once again reinforced in me admiration for him - MC is a novelist with tremendous imagination and presentation skills. 'Gripping' would suffice to describe his books. He takes up an issue that intrigues him; after quite a bit of research, he picks up facts favoring his stand on the issue (ignoring the rest) and gives them to the reader in the most palatable fashion - in an absolutely amazing plot. I must admit, though, that I can see through his knack for biased selection of facts only in his 'biotech' plots (Next, Micro). It is amusing but not surprising that people (Politicians!!) quote from his novels and imagine that they are making a scientific argument - as Crowley puts, it is scary.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quest for Simplicity

For a year and a half, I have been fooling myself into believing that I have developed my aesthetic sense and that is the reason why I drown myself in music and movies when I'm supposed to be delving deeper into the Ph.D.

A boring mathematical concept - that was introduced to me atleast 5 years back but has never made any sense to me - was turned into something more fascinating by merely an hour of lecture by a Prof who is passionate about what he does. Start with the philosophy, make the applications clear and then show me the equations in the last ten minutes - otherwise everything looks unintelligible to me. You need to have mastered the concept to make it simple. I'm falling in love with his way of teaching.

I do fall...rarely, oh-so-rarely into a feverish 'research-mood' - I actually enjoy it. Problem is it comes in sporadic bursts. The complexity baffles my brains and soon I slip into a 'coma room'  - furnished by music, movies, airtel super singer and neeya naana. It is a simple, no-nonsense room which soothes the frayed nerves. But how will I ever reach the simplicity level that the Prof revels in and is able to make others revel in it too, if I keep escaping the complexities? I want to get through the maze and out. And hopefully remember my way through and show the others a simpler,straighter path. It seems like a dream. Don't slip away, Time!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Another year gone. Is it worth a review? Other than learning to 'fearless-swim' in the deep end of the pool, everything else feels incomplete or half-done from 2011. Peehechdee had few highs, some lows but mostly lifeless. Trips to Cameron Highlands and Tioman were refreshing. Many decent movies that kept me alive in Sg. I did take a huge step towards the end of the year - a nod to get married. The post-engagement/pre-marriage period is dreamy - you get all the attention in the world. And a welcome change in a lifeless Peehechdee. To discuss biology with an engineer fiance and hear his suggestions stimulates my half-dead brain cells - sometimes it is hilarious.

The year began with the chimes at the Bishan Buddhist Temple - the sound made me feel so positive. Watching a movie in the gorgeous Cinema Europa and a good one that - 'My week with Marilyn' ; reading and liking 'Revolution 2020' by Chetan Bhagat; falling in love with a couple of songs from Mayakkam enna looped endlessly in the ipod  - in the first week of the year-  hopefully herald that I have a lot of good 'movie-music-and-book-moments' this year.

The Road ahead looks filled- with the marriage fiesta, dressing-up, lot of good food ;), more frequent trips to India, a lot more skype-hours; hopefully & fingers-crossed for more experiments that work.....come whatever - a handsome, funny, young man near me to share every moment with.