Archive for April, 2008

In which Chandrachoodan cops out

I am usually the most vocal of critics when it comes to the government and their efforts to improve something.
Which is why, either the government has either devised a way to brainwash me remotely, or they have actually done good. I think it is the latter.

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Chennai Super Kings Vs. Kolkata Knight Riders: Enjoyable.

I never thought I’d get into this. The IPL frenzie, I mean. Too much of pompous marketing hype, and a proof of what would happen if cricket was more than cricket and added bollywood and cheerleaders to the mix – thats what I thought. I had initially gotten some tickets from a friend, and had passed it on to some friends who showed more interest than me in the game. But when a couple of tickets were offered by a close family friend with the best seats in the stadium, it was a bit tempting to say yes, than to put it down and Yes I said.

This is the first time I am watching a live cricket match in the Chennai stadium and I am no sports reporter. So I hope the readers of this blog will be lenient should this fall short of an actual coverage.

The game was to start at 4pm today, but the ticket said that folks would be expected there a good two hours beforehand. Knowing how our folks have no sense of time these days – or are just enjoying an extra hour or so lazing on a saturday – we decided to play the first mover advantage and head to the stadium early. We reached there at around 2:45. The sun was still out. It was fairly hot, but a couple of folks – Mirchi Suchi, Benny Dayal etc were trying to keep a few people occupied and entertained with their live music.

At around, 3:30, the teams started coming in, and were going about their routine of stretches and excercises, and ten minutes before the game, the coin was tossed and Kolkata won it, preferring to bat.
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Blasphemy – a reading.

Hello!
Muni drinks Corona

If you can overlook the image of a Muni (demigod/warrior guardian/whatever) guzzling beer, you might want to come to Koyembedu tomorrow.
But first, a little background.

So, there’s a little thing Sharanya Manivannan and I are doing – trying to kick-start a poetry/performance/literature indie culture in Chennai.
And that’s why you should be in Koyembedu tomorrow – it is the fourth event – a poetry reading on the theme of blasphemy. RSVP here, or on my/Sharanya’s blog or to our e-mail addresses.

Nair Chaaya and Rumours

The Tamil Nadu Police, no no, Chennai metropolitan area traffic police are real tamilians. They have tamil in their blood, because they practice the belief of ‘kupakarai vizhandhulaum, meesai la maan ottalai’. This roughly translates to even if they fall face first, they don’t have sand sticking to their moustache. Of course the new age mosaic and non sand flooring surfaces are to be ignored.

How else does one explain the reversal from the new traffic arrangement to the old one along C P Ramaswamy Road and T T K road? If nair chaaya shop talk is to be believed (and it seldom is wrong) it mentions that the entire new arrangement was because Stalin found the traffic on TTK road a hassle, he wished to have free flowing traffic on TTK road, and the system, the nair chaaya shop informs me was promptly changed.

Viola, a month of chaos and confusion was there. The residents in the area of course hated the arrangement for it made their life terrible. And so a month later the system went back to the old one. The police of course today insist the change was because they found it hard to maintain traffic with the new system.
The nair chaaya shop goes onto add that Papa had to prevail over heir apparent that with elections coming up soon, pissing off the electorate is not a good idea, considering their dismal performance in their peetai of Chennai in the 2006 state elections. But the police even today according to the nair chaaya shop insist that they changed the system because it was too hard to maintain traffic (considering they had less to do under the new system with fewer junctions this excuse seems a farce).

The Media War

This was something that most Chennaiites waited for a long time. The old lady of Bombay finally stepping into the city of one of the best and the reputed newspaper of the country. The launch of The Times of India was talked about for a very long time. But finally on Monday it actually got launched. It will be interesting to see how TOI manages to break into the long and everlasting presence of The Hindu. The newspaper that has virtually managed to be a part of every Chennaiites routine. Whoever I am talking to these days is sadistically hoping that TOI breaks the monopoly of The Hindu. Some say they want a break from the ‘commy’ blah blah of Hindu (these are not my words, mere stating of people’s views so Hindu lovers please don’t mind!!) some say they need a spice in their daily news, which TOI hopefully would provide. So the reasons are long and never ending.

It is interesting to see how the print war in Chennai would turn out to be. Because i remember two years back Mumbai witnessed the same boom in the newspaper market. There was launch of Daily News and Analysis or DNA which poached all the Big guys from TOI, DNA again threatened to wipe out the market of TOI, by aggressive marketing campaign and with a hope of delivering fresh insight into news, DNA’s entry was grand. Then followed The Hindustan Times, which again propagated its famous tag line “Le there be light”. Two years down the line the print war has mellowed down. Probably newspapers have figured out their respective audiences

So who ate into whose share still remains a question but it probably encouraged these papers to innovate and break the monotony. Chennai i hope will have the same signs it is probably good news for readers who can expect some good reporting. Apart from this the benefits are also to reporters who have shifted from one paper to the other and managed to get fat salaries ;) advertisers who would probably figure out a better target audiences and people like me who have managed to find something to talk about!!! And as one wise man pointed out once upon a time “Nothing is permanent but change”, so way to go Chennai

An open letter to the Chennai Corporation

Dear esteemed Corporation,

Thank you, firstly and congratulations on the removal of the hoardings. In your new found zeal to do, you’ve even brought down legit, absolutely over-the-table billboards. But I am not complaining. It does look good. Especially the 20th instance of a faded-brown roof top and faux-art-deco balconies. I also love how the city’s characteristic colours have popped out. While earlier we had the boring reds and oranges and blacks and pinks and yellows and blues, we now have the very interesting moss-green and sun-dried-brick-brown. Quite a morale booster in the morning.

Attempted sarcasm aside, dear Corporation of Chennai, I suggest you work on the wires that clutter up our city’s (um…) skyline. They are ugly, knotty and are a pain to clone out in Photoshop. Gives me the carpal tunnel, I tell you, every time I have to clone out 100 wires hanging from every imaginable (and some un-imaginable as well) poles and hooks before uploading a photo to flickr.

Truly yours,

C

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