Archive for June, 2007

Kanimozhi gets it right

In a State where many women, particularly in the lower socio-economic strata of society, suffer endlessly at the hands of their husbands, its good to see a woman politician stand up and say something right. Kanimozhi did just that in Erode yesterday, speaking at a function organized on laws on violence against women. Apart from stating that men should also be aware of domestic violence laws (as a deterrent, I presume), she went on to question men’s notions that they are the guardians of women. This, in fact, restricts women’s freedom and burdens them as well according to her. She went on to exhort men to, “Leave it to us”! This is a refreshing perspective coming from a Tamil woman politician who is product of contemporary society. And, in my opinion, a step in the right direction.
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Goodbye. For the nonce. #1

Where do I begin? Where do I end? Do I begin? I do have to end. For the last few weeks, and more often for the last few days, I’ve been wondering what it is that makes a city, a city. And how one should bid it goodbye.

You see, I am leaving. I am, to employ a rather cliched phrase, cutting the cord and going out into the big-bad world to see if I can better my station in life. And I am worried that I will probably like the big-bad world out there more than I do this little place I have called hometown for this long.

It’s not just that I am leaving. It’s that I am leaving when I can just as easily stay back and probably do almost as good as I am outside. So, with quite a bit of guilt, and a lot more fondness for the city, I bid my goodbyes.
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Lessons from Mumbai

It’s only when one visits a metropolis like Mumbai one realizes how fortunate we are to live in a city like Chennai. For Mumbai is not only bursting at the seams, but only getting worse with more high rises, taller buildings, more cars and people- all competing for the same inadequate infrastructure. Add to that the industrial grime compounded by the salt air of the sea on three sides, and you have a grey, grimy city where everything corrodes very fast. Doesn’t make for a pretty picture! So what are the lessons we can learn from Mumbai? That we need to not only set some minimum standards for density according to road capacity, we should never compromise on these standards; That we should always ensure adequate public spaces for people at periodic intervals; That mass transit is the urgent need of the hour like Delhi has managed to accomplish within a few years; That we should decentralize as much as possible; That the city shouldn’t come to a halt with a few hours of rain; That quality of life should be a key consideration if we are to attract more and better investments for a vibrant economy. In other words, we need to ensure that Chennai becomes everything that Mumbai isn’t!

Karnatriix, Shoestring, ‘Maranagana’ Viji & J Rajasekaran live in concert

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Click on image for an enlarged view.

On 7.7.07, at Bucks Theatre, YMCA, Nandanam. 5 pm. Passes available at Coffee Day and Landmark. Or call 9884608884, 24521471, 9380954420, 99400 32732.

For more on the bands:
http://karnatriixtheband.googlepages.com/
www.karnatriix.com
www.shoestringtheband.com

New Traffic Arrangement at Thiruvanmiyur from June 30, 2007

Thiruvanmiyur Junction

A new traffic arrangement will be in place at the Thiruvanmiyur Junction with effect from June 30, 2007 and here is the report that appeared in “The Hindu” on June 23, 2007
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Garbage canned!

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They came. They cleaned. They left it behind for you to see.

Gastronomic Delights of Chennai

Supposing one were to leave chennai for a prolonged period of time, I am wondering what would be the gastronomic delights one would miss, more speficically in terms of places to eat which are not available outside. This clearly rules out the big hotels like Saravana Bhavan and Anjappar. Such places infact offer better value for money outside the country rather than in chennai. Here is my list of provisional gastronomic delights I would miss in Chennai.
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Piss, don’t kiss

Thinking of taking things into your own hands in public? Then let it be your… um..ahem…er, rather than your beloved.

Kiss in public and you’re likely to wind up with a bloody nose. So what if it’s just a peck and the lady is your wife of several years. This is a decent society. Respectable. And it says you cannot commit indecencies in public. What example are you setting for the youth of this nation? Huh?

Piss in public, on a vacant wall, and you will be felicitated for having inaugurated yet another common man’s lavatory in the city. A few others will join you. And after you have left, more will continue the good work. Alas, man who drinks water is also a man who must pass water.

So citizens one and all, by the law of the land,
You can unzip quietly and take in your hand
You can do it in public, just do it on a wall,
You can do it anytime, spring, summer or fall.
You can display your phallus to an unsuspecting crowd,
And draw absolutely nothing but an indulgent frown.
But smooch in public and you’ll catch one on the jaw
Our culture don’t allow it, and that’s the bloomin’ law.
So piss, don’t kiss, it’s safer that way
And I don’t blame you for wondering, who made us this way?

Statues and Cross Roads

Today is Kannadasan’s birthday. Nope, this is not a post on Kannadasan. Today, every politician worth his/her salt made a trek to his statue and garlanded it. the statue is located some where in T Nagar (I did not know until today, that such a statue existed). I was left wondering how long before all the cross roads in Chennai has a statue.

Under the current condition, and expected exponential growth in statues over the next 50 years, Marina beach might not be big enough to accommodate all the statues. My provisional list consists of

1) M Karunanidhi
2) J Jayalalitha
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Sivaji- over the top?

It seems everywhere you turn, you see something to do with ‘Sivaji’. Billboards on the roads, ads in the papers, reviews online, posts online, conversations in shops, at the airport- its everywhere. Makes you relate to Nandhu and his anguished ‘It’s only a movie!’ But it set me thinking, “What is it about us Tamilians that we can have such a reaction to a movie?” Why would people pay Rs 1500 to see a film? Or stand in queues at 1.30 AM to be the first few in line at the booking counter when it opens the next morning as GV Balasubramanian was witness to? Or go for a show at 3.30 AM at a cinema nearby that has a show at that ungodly hour because they want to milk the film while the frenzy lasts? No, it goes beyond Nandhu’s comparison with the queues for ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Jaws’, for those movies were a phenomenon in themselves. This is all about a star who refuses to fade away. Or is it about the fans who won’t let him do that? Read on…
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