Mdeii Life - Anand Krishnamoorthi's blog
Monday, May 24, 2004
The music that I could not get hold of here in India, was a just a mouseclick away for my sister. I am now tripping on Preisner�s Music by Zbigniew Preisner, and The Essential Nino Rota film music collection by the inimitable Rota.
And now� jet lag
My sister and my nephew are here from across the globe. Apart from all the goodies, they have brought with them a generous dose of jet-lag; and it is contagious. My nephew especially, has passed it on to me when he insisted that I stay awake with him all night and play a dinosaur computer game with him. This at 3 AM!
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Sonia Gandhi has pulled an Arulmozhi Varman.
Monday, May 17, 2004
The road show
There is something about long road-trips. NH45 has always been great, this time around we also had a bit of NDA eulogising with Vajpayee�s smooth-as-a-baby�s-bottom four-lane expressways to drive on. If driving in the rains can be fun, at night, it can get pretty scary, especially when you have hypnotic wipers swishing in front of your eyes.
In our family, we are pretty accustomed to long road-trips. It is always been customary for one person, usually a fatigue-free youngster with the ability to keep talking, to sit next to the driver and keep him engaged and awake. This also includes the knack to sense any small somnambular deceleration or acceleration in the driving. This is always followed by a halt at a highway tea-shop (with names like Highway Hilton) and sipping hot cups of tea amidst the din of incredible radio tracks and the clanging of the kotthu parotta (not to be confused with any form of paratha). While caffeine is allowed to work its magic, the drive is resumed; with the elders and the kids comfortably asleep.
This time the �night-watchman�s� job fell in my hands. Even though I had played all day with my cousin�s very-friendly Labrador, even fancied some very exciting tennis-ball cricket on the terrace in the evening, I was foolish enough to say yes. And the swishing wipers were even more hypnotic. We tried music, but the favourite tracks were always soothing melodies. We then played some dappangutthu from the driver�s personal collection. Awesome stuff! After entering the city�s FM zone, I kept channel surfing to get the loudest music on offer. I then started talking about how �that lorry driver is on the verge of sleep� or how �that car is to be henceforth referred to as the kosu marundhu vandi� (fogging machine � referring to its emission problem). After lots of loud singing along with the radio, and countless Gounda Mani and Crazy Mohan jokes, I realised to my horror that I had ended up talking all to myself without even a customary �uhm� coming from the others. Soon it was time for Suryan FM�s R.J. �Yaazh� Sudhakar to come up with some really cheesy romantic poetry accompanying some great 80�s Ilayaraja and Kamal Hassan numbers. Then we quickly came upon Tambaram and then the airport, and soon we were at home. I was now so �beyond� sleep that it took me some serious blog-surfing to get some shut eye that lasted a lot more than 40 winks. Now I have �car-lag�.
After a small holiday
I usually am not too fond of summer rides to our village; especially during agninakshatram. The 6-hour journey takes a toll with the seat of the car sticking to your stiff backside. Add to this the exhaustion caused by roaming around in the intense Tamil Nadu heat. The only solace usually is a dip in the Cauvery. This time though, the trip to our village was too short to include a swim. There is very little water in the Cauvery anyway.
Nevertheless, both the painful-car-ride, and the not-able-to-take-a-dip woes were offset by the amazing weather. As soon as we left Chennai and its FM radio zone, we were greeted by strong winds, lashing rain and hail. My uncle had thoughtfully hired an air-conditioned Qualis, so while being protected from the sometimes-scary weather, we regaled in the idea of seeing good rains, snuggled in 20 degrees Centigrade of comfort.
Eventually it rained all through the weekend, in and around Trichy, in our village, in all our family temples, and also on our way back. The only sore point in the trip was the sorry state of the Cauvery, but good rains herald good news. Bittersweet thoughts for Chakra.
For a man known for path-breaking stylisation in his films, it is unfortunate for Mani Ratnam to have agreed upon such a shabby website.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
I usually am not a Pakistan basher and am all for friendly relations, but I have to express reservations about some noises coming from the establishment there. They talk about Sonia Gandhi and her being a �foreigner� being a stumbling block if India needs to convince the domestic constituency of any concessions to Pakistan. My objections stems from the fact that if Indians had ever considered Sonia to be a foreigner, we would never have made her PM in the first place (if she will eventually take up the post).
What I actually read into this kind of talk from across the border are these: one, their mindset is so stuck in a dictatorship that they cannot understand how there cannot be a continuity of leadership (understandable in a country whose leadership does not know the meaning of democracy); two, they, very much like their conservative counterparts in India, cannot stand a woman at the helm of affairs especially one who was not born into �the patriarchal-patriotic soil� (I might be reading too much here). Another thing is that so much talk about Vajpayee�s stature and personal chemistry with Musharraf is pointless. It was never Vajpayee and Musharraf taking the decisions, it was India and Pakistan. If in a dictatorship, Musharraf is all that there is in Pakistan, it is stupid to assume that Vajpayee is all that there is to India; because we are democracy where our elected PM only represents the people�s decisions. Just because the PM (merely a representative of the people) changes, it does not mean Indians, or their aspirations have changed.
These arguments might not go into actual diplomatic nitty-gritty where continuity, chemistry etc do matter (do they?). But what I actually am arguing about is the mindset of the Pakistani establishment.
It is funny that such sentiments are also echoed by some western sources. All this is probably because they assume that every third world country has to be a banana republic dictatorship, and is not capable of �western democracy�. No wonder everybody is �surprised that Indians could elect a �foreigner�� and try and make India appear to be feudal by talking about dynasty. Who the hell is George W Bush, if not another dynastic scion?
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Any kind of predictability and anything that can be predetermined is inherently in conflict with Indian democracy. This probably is due to things I most like about our country and what makes it really unique: its diversity, its resilience and its complete belief in democracy. I get almost nationalistically proud when I say that any other country with similar economic and social circumstances would not have done better. This is not because we as Indians have any magical power. It is because we are not afraid of anarchy. It is because we really are democratic. We do not pull undemocratic coups for the sake of stability in the stock markets, or for foreign arms or foreign money: dammit we don�t even pull coups to get rid of corruption. As violent and revolutionary our political films are, we aren�t, as a people. (I can�t stop talking about Indian films)
Everybody calls us a young democracy, and while we can lament about our masses living with a feudal mindset expecting both goodies and curses to be bestowed and doled out to us from the powers that be, we are remarkable (simply because of our diversity), to collectively come out as very democratic. A young democracy never tries to experiment too much. But the past few years we have experimented for the first time with coalitions, right-wingers and now, with the left. Our vibrancy and unpredictability makes us special.
Does this mean that the laptop is to be banished from Indian politics? Does it mean we start communes and co-operatives instead of entrepreneurship and disinvestment? What the free-market champions might call regressive would be looked up as being very progressive by the left, and vice versa. All over the world, both these types of people come under the �liberal� tag don�t they? I don�t think India would ever become a protectionist, insular, or exclusive economy or nation. (In fact there is always a fear of the right-wingers doing such things)
And one final note on the elections: if we now know that Indian isn�t shining, what about trying to really make it shine? That�s up to our new government. The Congress has been doing all the shouting, now it is for them to do all the work and for the BJP to do all the shouting. All you know, the BJP could kick out all talk of progressive economics and start taking regressive stuff all over again. But again, even Joshi and Modi have not done too well.
Monday, May 10, 2004
My computer, due for an upgrade, decided to help the cause by self-destructing. Of course, it was not entirely its fault that it had old parts, some as old as six years. Nevertheless, even though most of my files are backed up, I have lost some data. Right now I don�t even know what I have lost. I will know when I need them and miss them.
I know I have lost my address book, so this is a request to all those who have ever communicated with me by email, please mail me at aannaanndd@email@example.com (very silly anti-spam ploy).
My new computer too did not get off to such a super start. Got online and immediately, before I could download the patch, got sasser, blaster etc. I did everything from disabling restart in the RPC settings, downloading and installing the patch, using Symantec�s tool to rid my system after disabling system restore. Still nothing seemed to work. I kept having �restart trouble� every time I went online. I have now formatted my drive and reinstalled the OS and run the patch file I had thankfully saved. I just hope nothing happens now. Anybody with any relevant info, please get in touch.
Jag I can now see your videos!
CC, email me. I lost your ID too and I need some info regarding LII.
Monday, May 03, 2004
Ripples had written about the trailer of Shayamalan�s next movie and I checked it out online. Movie trailers seem to have a fixed format these days. The people who put them together either seem to lack imagination, or I don�t know if they are instructed to do so. Eventually, every movie from The Village, to The Lord of the Rings, to Scooby Doo seem to have the same kind of trailer. I guess it is time filmmakers themselves started cutting (editing/putting together) their trailers and other promotional material, rather than leave it to an ad agency. Yeah CC. I hate some of you guys, and your ideas of commodified creativity.
As my blogroll grows, I find it extremely difficult to keep track of all the blogs I read. Now that almost all of them have feeds, I think I�ll finally get myself an aggregator/reader. Any suggestions? (must be easy to setup and use, and must be free!)
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