B for Bharat Matrimony

From a free profile to a paid profile managed by my aunt – Bharat Matrimony is a term/product/brand that most unmarried guys and girls would be familiar with in India. The brainchild of Murugavel Janakiraman – BM is one of the most successful brands in India and is the original matrimony portal that spawned other success stories like Jeevansathi and Shaadi.com.

Now coming to my comic relationship with BM. The profiles that get matched on my free profile, magically disappear when I search for them on my paid profile. Now this is a mystery that needs to be solved. Is BM pushing unsuspecting customers to become a paid-profile member by delivering randomly mixed photographs and dummy profiles. How is it that a number of these ‘interested profiles’ lack a photo and have random descriptions. I have had several friends stating how the algorithm that powers the portal does strange stuff. In all due probability it is a set of people playing around with names and dummy profiles to just ensure that there’s one more bakra/bakri signing up for a paid profile.

Poor parents creating profiles for their children in the hope that an American maapilai or London maatuponnu materialises from BM. The umpteen email reminders that keep coming in to the inbox despite unsubscribing, profiles that have chosen to reject you, again appearing in matches list; the comedy of errors never seems to end.

As I sit wondering what next after a long meeting at the bank for some corrections and complications in an existing loan account, I ruminate on the absolute hopelessness of everything. The novel – the magnum opus, the masterpiece, will never get written, the dull monotony of daily existence and ticking of boxes to meet the standards set by society and family will never change. This pointless ranting and writing on a free blog continues unabated. Other than having generous oodles of fat adding layers on to my already drunken boxer physique, the hair on the head is having a surprising outpouring of silver streaks, the stooping scarecrow like posture stoops further as I turn into a veritable hunchback from some old B-grade horror flick. No way is this A to Z challenge going to finish on time.

Till we meet again – yaedadhu ponnu irundha paathu sollunga ba!!

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A for Ashwatthama – A to Z Challenge

shikhandi-arjun-ashwathama_dialogue

Image Courtesy – Mrinal Rai

‘The Mahabharata’ for me ranks higher than ‘The Ramayana’ for the examination of the psyche of a multitude characters and how hubris destroys two clans despite the Lord Incarnate himself being on the side of a clan of warriors.

This year the ‘A to Z Challenge’ again decides to wake me up from my self-imposed exile from ‘Teerthadanam’. The past couple of years have seen me go from bad to worse, as the actual circle of people whom I counted to be my friends kept decreasing. With back-stabbing, rumour-mongering, and character assassination the order of the day; somewhere I have lost the ability to trust anyone. OK as always, I meander hopelessly. No further distractions, let’s start with Ashwatthama.

Ashwatthama, the son of the great warrior and guru Dronacharya and his wife Kripa. Growing up in extreme poverty his life changes once Drona becomes the guru of the Panadava and the Kaurava princes and Ashwatthama trains along with the princes.

Ashwatthama was born with a gem in his forehead and he is considered as an incarnation of Lord Shiva and is a Chiranjeevi — an immortal. Despite all the great warriors, it is believed that no one can defeat Ashwatthama. This is in fact proved by Krishna’s cunning act of making Drona believe that his son is dead when they kill the elephant Ashwatthama and conveying the half-truth to Drona that leads to his death of a broken heart as he decides not to retaliate in war and is killed.

Ashwatthama’s rage and fury is not contained and he slaughters as many soldiers from the Pandava camp as possible. His act of directing the Brahmashirsha astra at the pregnant Utthara’s womb invites Krishna’s rage. Krishna curses him that he will roam the forests and mountains for 3,000 years with blood an pus oozing out of his injuries and no mortal coming to his care.

Up in the northern plains it is believed that the immortal still travels seeking some form of redemption or the other. Once in a while, news-reports in dubious local newspapers list the spotting of a strange man with a bleeding forehead. We will never know the truth, but just think, a man who had no business of fighting a war between two warring clans, inevitably gets pulled as his father is the commander in one of the armies and he fights a hopeless war, despite everyone knowing that the Lord – Krishna would deliver victory for the Pandavas.

I sometimes wonder, how this life has played out so far… perhaps, I too shall end up like a nomad, a pointless bhikshu, wandering, seeking a purpose for this existence…Only time will tell..

Z for Ice Station Zebra

Imagine you are in a submarine, you are supposed to reach the icy top of the world before the Russians do and there is a saboteur in your ranks in the submarine. Based on Alistair Mc’ Lean’s pulsating novel of the same name. The movie directed by John Sturges, produced by MGM with an all star cast headlined by Rock Hudson released in 1968 and was a decent box-office success that built on the psychological fears of the Cold War era.

Watch the trailer here:

 

Those who love watching spy/army thrillers and don’t mind a bit of rambling dialogue and old school special effects will love the movie though it makes significant alterations from the original novel.

The movie is a good watch on a rainy evening, with a glass of single malt and something spicy and crunchy to eat! 🙂 🙂 🙂

And with that dear readers this exercise in vanity, a race against a deadline and artificial ego-boosting on knowledge of cinema is done 🙂 Whosoever read my posts – thanks!

A shout-out to Miss Shri Abirami who blogs at – https://astrogogal.wordpress.com/ and featured me along with other stellar bloggers at the half-way mark. Thank you Abi!

Other leading lights who have blogged with great panache, passion and dedication and whose posts I loved reading are:

Dhivya Balaji

Rajathilagam

Mokkai Mannan VSR aka Gils the Great!

Kavya Janani

Nandhini

Kishor

Megha

Sylvian

Sneha

Good luck friends! Make a great May 2017 ahead!

Y for Young Sherlock Holmes

Before RDJ and Jude Law made Sherlock Holmes ubercool on celluloid and Mr. Benedict C.; became a superstar on television and then to cinema, a movie came out in 1985. It re-imagined the Holmes-Watson friendship by putting them together in boarding school. Written by Chris Columbus, directed by Barry Levinson and produced by Amblin Entertainment the movie is a well-written and directed mystery.

We see the murders of prominent people, resulting out of eerie hallucinations. Who is the murderer? What have the members of the boarding school got to do with these murders? How does Holmes become the detective? Does he solve the case with Watson?

Watch the movie for answers! YouTube has scattered videos and dubious click-bait web-links – search for a good torrent. See the trailer below:

 

X for Mr.X in Bombay

In the 60s Kishore Kumar had a remarkable stint as an actor and worked in a number of reasonably successful movies that blended his comic flair and good songs to provide a safe bet for the producer. Mr. X in Bombay released in 1964 and was directed by Shantilal Soni starring Kishore Kumar, Kumkum and  Madan Puri in principal roles.

The movie has a bit of science fiction as we see a scientist creating a potion that leads to a death. Then there is a love story between the scientist’s daughter and the hero. Hero is eliminated by the villain, but hero returns and gets the heroine and the villain is punished. How does all this happen?? Watch the movie 🙂 There is an invisibility potion in the movie 🙂 that plays a key role 🙂

W for Waqt

‘Waqt’ means Time – a classic BR Chopra produced blockbuster with a stellar starcast, sample the names – Raaj Kumar, Rehman, Balraj Sahni, Saadhana, Sharmilla Tagore, Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor. Directed by Yash Chopra, the movie released in 1965 and broke all collection records at the time. The movie starts in a celebratory mode as we meet a prosperous businessman Lala Kedarnath played by Balraj Sahni his wife and three young boys and there’s a classic song in true festive mood.

Then an earthquake hits the town at night and there’s complete chaos as everyone is separated. The first child Raju lands up at an orphanage, the second boy Raju is adopted by a rich couple who find him lost and crying in the streets, the last child Vijay is with his mother Lakshmi. Lala Kedarnath is a broken man and seeks to rebuild his fortune.

We then follow each of the young boys growing up into smart men – Raju becomes a brilliant thief – oozing charm and class and is portrayed with panache by Raaj Kumar, Ravi played by Sunil Dutt is an advocate/lawyer and his engagement is called off when his unknown parentage and religion comes up. Vijay played by Shashi Kapoor is a driver in love with Sharmilla Tagore Ravi’s foster sister.

The movie with brilliant writing looks at how fate/kismat – works at every stage and moulds one’s life and at the end all the knots are conveniently untied and Lala Kedarnath and his family re-unite. Watch the movie for Raaj Kumar’s brilliant dialogues, amazing songs tuned by Ravi and a stellar show by all the characters.

 

V for VanjiKottai Valiban

Vanjikottai Valiban – The youth from the Vanji Fort

Another gem from SS Vasan with kings, queens, princesses, fights, wars, brooding, evil villains and love, romance, comedy and swashbuckling sword-fights – Vanjikottai Valiban was a blockbuster. Inspired by the Count of Monte Cristo, the movie stars Gemini ganeshan, Padmin, Vijayanthi Mala and PS Veerappa.

Watch the movie: