Archive for May, 2007

Live Concert on June 24 in Chennai

The musicians: Mademoiselle K from France, and No Idea from Chennai

The venue: Buck’s Theatre, YMCA, Nandanam

The time: 7 pm

The date: June 24

Not a clue yet on ticket prices. But to hazard a guess, I’d say a 100 rupees.

IT Corridor: Those were the days when…..

I studied at the Institute of Hotel Management and Catering Technology at the Central Polytechnic (CPT) Campus behind the VHS hospital and alongside IIT in Chennai. Its located next to the Film Institute at one corner of the CPT campus, next to he village of Kanagam on the road that runs along the IIT campus perimeter. This was in the late Seventies when everything South of the CIT campus was scrub jungle through which a very rough ‘road’ (where the Ascendas IT Park is located today!) led to the village of Taramani.
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Madras Ba(a)shai in Thamizh cinema

While channel surfing last Sunday evening, I chanced upon an interesting and humorous yesteryear movie – “Bommalaattam”, that had a line-up of stars like Jai(shankar), Nagesh, Cho, Major Sundarrajan, V.S.Raghavan, Jayalalitha, Manorama etc. Cho was, as usual, at his comical best in the role of a city rowdy – Ja(a)mbajaar Jaggu (that gave rise to the famous song by that name), mouthing the well-known Madras Ba(a)shai effortlessly (btw, why do a few have nothing better to do, than trolling Wikipedia and objecting, like our famous Nakkeerar :-), to content that may all not have “notability”, but are informative nonetheless?)

Watching Cho got me thinking on who in the history of Thamizh cinema spoke Madras Ba(a)shai like a pro onscreen, and I could think of only three names (in chronological order of their introduction to the celluloid world):

Chandrababu
Cho
“Loose” Mohan

There have been others, but none of them ever came across as naturals as these three on this one. Maybe Kamal, but even he is reported to have said that “Loose” Mohan Annan is the best in the business. And the admirable part was that each of them (in the trio), put his own distinct stamp in delivering his lines – in the body language, timing, tonal inflection and overall expression. Today’s generation may not connect very well to the use of Madras Ba(a)shai in movies, due to their ever-changing tastes as well as suffering in general from ADD, but at one time it used to be the stuff of guffaws to a section of movie-goers, who, even while having a patronizing view of it, thoroughly enjoyed watching it enacted with uniquely Chennai-oriented theatrics.

Grounded in the spirit

Here’s the thing. The Chepauk Cricket Ground. Possibly the finest cricketing venue in the country, perhaps one of best, in the world. And it’s not just a frog-in-the-well’s viewpoint.
To quote Bob Willis (first quoted over at Recursive Hypocrisy)

The fastest pitch I have played on was not in Jamaica or Perth. It was in Madras. I just ran in and bowled as usual, and was plain stunned, when the ball just flew everywhere. That venue has produced some the widest range of pitches and some of the best too….

Or, to quote a better source – CricInfo:

the MA Chidambaram Stadium, noted for its sporting pitches. Better known as Chepauk, taken from the area of its existence, the first Test played here was in 1933-34 between Douglas Jardine’s England and CK Nayudu’s India. For long, Test matches at Chepauk were synonymous with the Pongal (Harvest) festival. There have been records galore at this venue.

(Emphasis mine)

And it’s there for the world to see. Cricket teams score consistently well here, bowlers have a ball (no pun intended, of course) bowling their hearts out. And umpires don’t dread their life. The grass is green, this side of the fence. Here’s proof.

Cheapuk-02
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Bookworms’ Library

The latest in the hearsay department is BookWorms Library. Here we go with a tag-cloud-like post on it:

Books Library Lending Online
HomeDelivery Mobile KKNagar
Static Donate Read Borrow
Subscribe Member Doorstep
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No one says…

You know, Someone’s grandmother always told Someone never to waste time in life explaining. Someone is bound to understand sometimes but Someone cannot understand Everyone all the time. Therefore Someone did not understand the grandmother and went on explaining for Everyone. Naturally, Everyone does not understand Someone and explanations remained pointless….

Yeah yeah, it was a meek attempt to play upon the Somebody, Everybody, Nobody game that most of us would have played in childhood. Anyway, the idea behind it (don’t explain! don’t!) is to tell you that the Metblog is a fun place where posts are written by people for the sheer fun of capturing their little moments in the city on a regular basis. We are not a newspaper, we are not an official city guide, we are not reporters on duty who can afford to cover every little happening in the city at the cost of our day job (as CC might put it, heck, we are not even paid). Yet, sometimes, we are a little of all of that. Sometimes, more. One might say we are an ongoing conversation about Chennai. Sometimes meaty, sometimes lean. Sometimes nourishing, sometimes a pain. Yet, pretty regular wouldn’t you say?

So, sorry to dampen that wild surmise dear reader hh, but cliched as it sounds, we write for love!

Get to know your chennai city better

A website seems to be picking up attention, which has a mashup tool of Google maps so called Wikimapia, and a wide variety of other choices to search for.
Chennai city

The best part is the events, members seemed to contribute in this section and the navigation is greatly categorized as “All Events”, “what’s going on”, “what’s coming up”, “what’s over”.

Local search is one more important feature, I guess the site has tied up with other search engines/ portals to give you the best results for your city. So next time you want to know the where abouts of a restaurant, this site is a cool place to hang around.

word of mouth one more interesting section where users recommend a service or product – bad and good times.

Ok enough of me telling stories, check out the website http://www.ilaaka.com

New industry makes its presence felt in Chennai

After the IT and automobile industries moved into Chennai, there’s another that’s been slowly creeping in without much song and dance. It’s most visible at traffic signals, parking lots, outside ATMs, restaurants and on busy commercial streets.

The begging industry.

And it’s not old people seeking help. Young, healthy women on most occasions carrying sleeping babies, are the ones contorting their faces in an attempt to tug at your heartstrings.

Trust me, it’s hard to refuse.

But I’ve heard enough of kids being kidnapped and forced into begging. Sometimes even maimed (handicapped kids apparently earn more). I’ve heard of infants being drugged and put to sleep so they can be easily carried around.

From what I’ve seen, the problem is too widespread and therefore beyond repair in Mumbai and Bangalore. Chennai still has a chance to contain it.

Madras Checks rule once more!

Madras Checks, one of our city’s contributions to world, and written about as such by Chandrachoodan in an earlier post, have made a serious come back on the fashion scene. The Gap, a major US brand, has a whole summer collection including jackets, informals, casuals and swim wear, and is aggessively promoting them in stores and the media. Seems like its an enduring contribution!

Chennai’s connection to a US $3B “business”

yogena chittasya padena vAchAM |
malaM sharIrasya cha vaidyakena ||
yoapAkarottaM pravaraM munInAM |
patanjaliM prAnjalirAnatoasmi ||

I bow to the sage Patanjali, who cured the imperfections of the mind through yoga,
the imperfections of speech through grammar and the imperfections of the body through medicine.

This is the prayer that is chanted at the beginning of Yoga classes the world over. It was composed by the famous Sanskrit poet Bhartruhari in praise of Sage Patanjali who codified Ashtanga Yoga (the eight-fold path of Yoga) and made it simple for common folks to practise and benefit therefrom. What has been practised for thousands of years as a physical exercise at the base level and as a life philosophy at the highest level, has not only spread its tentacles far and wide, but true to western orientation towards creating a market for anything under the sun, has also been made into a $3B commercial industry in the US for products and services, with patents and IP to boot.
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