Thursday, June 28, 2007

On a rainy day in Chennai…

The only three seasons prevail in Tamil Nadu are – as they say – hot, hotter, and the hottest. While the entire neighborhood states namely Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra would be in the grip of heavy monsoon rains and flash floods, Tamil Nadu remains obliviously humid and equally hot as ever. And the monsoon rains circumvent the region –as they always did – save for some border regions of Kerala.

So the respite from the scorching heat only comes from a rare low-pressure formation in the Bay of Bengal or the Arabian Sea. Which brings occasional showers, cool breeze, cloudy skies, and thunder storms (which is very very rare by the way).

Thanks to the low-pressure formations – three now, one after the other in a row – in the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is blissfully out of the sun’s reach for the past three weeks. To top the pleasure up, there are occasional rains and cool breezes. Just enough to maintain the chill and not in excessive amounts to waterlog the streets.

The rain-drenched trees that look bathed and fresh, moist air, the concrete jungle that suddenly spot a swabbed look, the squeakily clean roads and the multihued umbrella heads in the pavements are an uncommon sight for a June Chennai.

Rains in Chennai in June? A rarity though. Coming to think of global warming, I wouldn’t give it a damn if Chennai gets a reprieve from the hot and humid sun in its name.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Space blues – Sunita’s longing to descend home

With Atlantis showing signs of recovering from its thermal bruise, Sunita’s homecoming is finally decided. The space station where Atlantis is docked ran into technical troubles and the computers stopped talking to their counterparts in earth. The Russian scientists were perplexed at this sudden development and had no clue what went wrong because functioning of the computers are crucial since they controlled the oxygen and water supply to the space station.

What would it feel to be aloof from the rest of the world where human life exists - with only a couple of fellow astronauts - trapped in a space station floating in air? I tend to think often. Terribly depressing or a sense of elation that I am actually on top of the world? Either of them would last only a few moments. The depression would perhaps descend as soon as it is realized that there are a few other fellow astronauts in the same plight. And the elation would drain as soon as it ascended giving way to another sense of accomplishment.

It is quite apparent that Sunita has obviously had enough of all these emotions. Visibly thin, in a recent message transmitted to earth, an emotional Sunita expressed her longing to fly back home from her space life.

Imagine a week on earth disengaged from any human contact and a terrible work environment?

Now wouldn’t you want those poor space souls to fly back to earth soon too?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Haunting Melody of ‘sealed with a kiss’

It was by sheer accident that I stumbled upon this oldie song. I happened to buy a compilation album – of greatest country hits – from a music store recently. I am familiar with few of the songs in the album but when the CD player reached this track and started playing ‘sealed with a kiss’, my heart was immediately filled with a sharp sense of melancholy.

The tune was just haunting to start with and the song started lingering in my head for a long time since the track was over. Although I haven’t been in a similar situation described in the song and has never heard this one before I still felt nostalgic.

Surprisingly, a brief research on presented me with the song’s original video. I also found out that my compilation album had only the cover version and the original was sung by Brian Hyland.

Take a peek at the video in the link given below with speakers / head phones on. Do let me know if (that) you liked it.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Little Miss Sunshine

What would you do if your family is seemingly on the brink of disintegration - the factors being bankruptcy, divorce, suicide, and a death? Little Miss Sunshine is all about holding on to each other when these situations threaten the familial bond.

A family sets on a long distance trip to fulfill the dream of their little daughter to win the pre-pubescent beauty pageant in California, which is 1000 miles away from where they live - Albuquerque. With milk bottle glasses, gaped teeth, and a little paunch the little girl is absolutely no beauty pageant stuff – yet the family decides to support the girl’s dream and sets out on the journey in their near-breaking-down VW bus.

Members of the family are the dad, who hopelessly tries to live on the concepts that he developed called ‘7 steps to success’, the mother who is determined to accomplish her daughter’s dream, the son who has taken a vow of silence until he finds himself in the air force, the ever-badmouthing and reckless drug addict of a grandfather, and the little girl whose attributes we discussed earlier.

As the movie unfolds and the journey unfurls, everyone in the family finds themselves losing out in their battle. Father Richard finds out that he has lost the contract to sell his program after which mom Sheryl threatens him for a divorce. Their son Dwayne finds his air force dream come crashing down when it is discovered that he is colorblind. Adding to the grief, grandfather dies at the motel due to drug overdose.

Nevertheless, the family reaches the pageant venue and manages Olive’s entry. What happens next is absolutely sidesplitting and basically becomes the crux of the movie. Follow your dreams, no matter how extraordinary they may seem. The movie ends with the same note.

Little Miss Sunshine is an adorable movie that is cynical and equally hilarious. It is worth a bet on a leisurely weekend and has melting moments coupled with heartwarming sequences that are sure to put a smile across your face. After all, life is all about putting up with the failures while still hoping that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Tu Tu Main Main Live – Yuvaraj Vs Yuvaraj

Yuvaraj has been asked to appear in the Gurgaon court in an assault case allegedly happened on the night of December 12 during Yuvi’s birthday bash. While this appeared to be just another piece of news for us, Headlines Today thought otherwise.

They decided to host a special program on the case with participations from Neelam Mahajan – the victim’s mother – her not-so (read ‘at all’)-outspoken lawyer and Shabnam Singh – Yuvi’s mom. What followed was a literal ‘tu tu main main’ type war of words, mostly from Neelam. Well, she claimed to be a journalist for twenty long years and it definitely shows.

Shabnam’s conversation – whenever she started with a sentence – was invariably hijacked by Neelam and at one point in the midst of the chaotic mayhem, Shabnam accuses Neelam of being a publicity hunter. There goes Gujjar Singh – the host – adding fuel to the fire by asking Neelam what her reply was to the publicity-hunt accusation.

Rest of the half an hour was a pandemonium mostly lead by the overpowering Neelam. When it was revealed that Neelam had agreed for a settlement to withdraw the case earlier, she went ballistic yet again – this time accusing the channel for defaming her and her family.

Finally, the ugly spat turned uglier when she decided to walk away from the studios while the camera was still rolling. She did not forget to forcibly remove the microphone out of her lawyer’s shirt before taking him – actually drag him to be precise – out of the studio.

All this time, the lawyer did not utter a single word and seemed perplexed. Poor thing.

Talk about soaps and the unrealistic saas / bahus clad heavily in designer saris and salwars that occupy prime time television. Fact is stranger than fiction.