Thursday, July 19, 2007

Doctorate degree for Kanaga next year

Shilpa Shetty is now Dr. Shilpa Shetty. (Link via Confused.)
The Leeds Metropolitan University, apparently a leading university in the U.K., is conferring a doctorate degree on the actress, presumably for her eminent contribution to arts in India.

Now, anyone who's familiar with Shilpa Shetty's wide spectrum of works in Indian films (from "Chura Ke Dil Mera" of Main Khiladi Tu Anari to "Muthu Muthu Mazhai Muthaadudhe" of Mr. Romeo) would gleefully approve of this well-deserved conferment.
But, it's really a shame, that it required a foreign university to jump in and do this honour to the actress, who has served, and continues to serve, our own nation, in many wonderful ways, all these years.

Now, don't rationalize. They're not conferring this on her to atone for the rather unfortunate turn of events bordering on racial harassment that was inflicted on her in the now infamous T.V. show, Big Brother.
But, supposing that unfortunate incident did have an impact on this matter, I wonder what the degree of harassment and the resultant impact would have been if someone like Kanaga (yesteryear Tamil artist) went to participate in the TV show instead.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

சும்மாவா சொன்னாங்க பெரியவங்க...

Tch, chinna paiyyan… Ivan kitta poi idhellaam kettaa…” his amma often cut short any tangential discussion that bordered on his nuptial matters, much to everyone’s amusement. He was immensely amused himself. “How incredibly naïve!” he used to wonder.

He speculated, may be, to amma’s mind, he is akin to the typical village belle that one would see in a Bharathiraaja film, who, when reminded of her sexuality, would blush unreservedly and start, well, you know, dreaming. This annoyed him a bit. How the reminder itself is occasioned in those films further added to his woes. And, the suggestion that he might “get ideas” when given the right cues, made him indignant. Not just naïve, but also absurd, he asserted to himself.

When mothers patronize this much, can sisters be far behind? Elder sisters, as soon as they’re elderly enough – that is, once they’re married and start discussing velai vaasi and suchlike, acquire this outrageous, motherly attitude towards their younger brothers, out of immense affection and what not.

Like the other day, his sister offhandedly mentioned about this girl during the post-dinner talk on the current social affairs, suggesting to amma that she should consider her when his turn is up. A quick description of the girl is in order – damn pretty, fits quite well under the various models of orthodoxy and conventions the family conformed to, etc. And, this time, amma didn't hurriedly dismiss it. In fact, she seemed to give a serious thought to it, and he found it to be awkwardly funny.

And, naturally, he started weighing the plausibility of the option too. Looking back, he found, not once has he had thought of any particular girl in this refreshing angle – the angle of a “legitimately arranged” marriage to a singularly likeable girl. This angle itself wouldn’t have been one-hundredth as refreshing to him in usual circumstances. But, ‘likeable’ doesn’t even begin to describe this girl. ‘Gorgeous’ is the one that gets there, he said to himself. And, of course, as he mulled over it for a while, what loomed large in his mind was the utter ludicrousness of it all.

All this – the suggestion and the ensued short, serious thought – was over within two minutes and it has been three weeks since. Yet, that bit of ludicrousness in his mind hasn’t fully diminished yet.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


So, I’m tagged by Mithra. Yeah, yeah, I know, it is a teenager thing to do, and I constantly position myself as too old and numb for such stuff. But, silly, gentle emotions overtake snobbishness, when you’ve some idle time and your snobbery is getting you nowhere.

1. Players start with 5 random facts about themselves. The random facts must be both deeply philosophical and flatly ludicrous at once. (As a leeway, what the player says need not be random or factual as such.)
2. Those who are tagged must behave like nice people. They should post these rules, modifying them suitably if necessary, and their 5 random facts. They must not think of this as a teenager’s activity. Life’s all about such innocent fun (even if you’re in your late-20s, obsessed with more important things like the original identities of bloggers and blog-commenters, or in 30s and completely bald).
3. Players should tag 3 other people and notify them they have been tagged. (If they don’t feel like doing this, there’s another alternative: they should post 10 random facts instead of 5.)

Random facts about me:

1. Much as I project myself like someone who’s spontaneously absurdist in nature as far as life and such stuff go, I am deeply confused myself. Is the essence ananda or dukka, I kept asking myself and a dumbstruck friend for a few days when those two fancy words caught my eyes recently. Now, you tell me. Ananda ‘va, dukka ‘va?

2. I’ve this thing with wrappers of the things of the kind I cherish (and cinema tickets too). That is, I cherish things with their wrappers. So, even when I take off the polythene wrapper of a DVD I bought, I do that so carefully that I don’t tear it up more than just necessary, I keep the polythene wrapper safely in the shelf. I’ve the polythene wrappers of almost all the CDs and DVDs in my reasonably huge collection. (I even plan to revisit them sometime.)

3. Maths was my favourite subject at school and college (closely followed by history). When I was a little kid, I was fascinated to no end with numbers and patterns in them. A vintage example I remember is this: Exponents of 2 all miss being perfect numbers by 1. (Another favourite musing was this: While 5-times-5 was 25, 4-times-6 was 24.) I used to think I was special.

4. Until quite recently, I thought ‘vulnerable’ is an adjective used mostly in a derogatory sense!

5. In the past year or so, I’ve acquired this absolutely strange habit. Whenever I am writing something – a post, or, at times, even a comment, I search the web for various strings of continuous words (closed in double quotes) in what I’ve written to see if I am employing the words and expressions the right way, and get a precise idea of how expressions and figures-of-speech are being used as against how they must be used. Of course, the result of this is mostly nothing. (I did this a couple of times, even for this post. My grammar is bad alright, but this is too cumbersome an effort for nothing.)

I tag:
1. ‘I’ thambi; because, he’s jobless. (And, I could blackmail him to respond to the tag, by threatening to refuse to co-write the poignant story of a single Tamil boy who suddenly falls in love with a girl whom he last saw many years ago, that I’ve developed.)
2. Inlivenout; because, I think she’s basically a nice person. (She doesn’t have a blog anymore, so she can use my comment space. But, how do I notify her?)
3. Chenthil; because, I want to see an older and wiser man take up this thing so that I’ll stand naturally vindicated.