Me Thinks

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sad tale of Amerikka maaplai

I think all the current American maaplais and to-be-American maaplais should form an association and protest against the Indian film industry in general and tamil film industry in particular. Protesting against a movie, or a director or an actor is anyway in vogue, so why not do it before it goes out of fashion?

The character that comes as an America maaplai in movies is generally getting married to a girl who has had a love failure or has been divorced or raped or something. In most movies, the girl ends up dumping the American maaplai for her ex-love or anybody thats not from America. It could be an auto driver too. I am not saying that the reality is completely different from whats being shown. Why are the America maaplais always the "last resort"? Is that the case? You must be wondering why I am suddenly talking about American grooms. As a follow-up to the Dhanush interview, I watched his movie, Thiruvilayadal.

The guy that acts as an America maaplai(AM) in that movie could well have been replaced with a stone. The girl is all set to get married to the AM when the hero walks in. The surprised girl walks out of her sitting position in the "mandapam" and walks towards the hero. After a wordy dual between the girl's brother and the hero, the latter gets convinced that the hero is the best bet for his sister. Now, the girl refuses to agree with her brother and goes back to the mandapam to marry the AM. All the while the AM just sits in the same position without even moving his head to wonder whats happening. She is marrying you to spite her ex-love and her brother, pray do something, at least stand up and we'll assume you are reacting- I screamed from my cofortable position on the couch. No, absolutely no reaction there. He is ready to tie the thali when the girl sees the hero trying to flirt with another girl at the wedding and runs back to him literally and figuratively. Even then he just sits there.

The director knew this character was going to be a dummy one, so he decided to call that character an "Amerikka maaplai". What grave injustice! Come on maaplais, do something.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Last weekend was really nice. Visited some favourite relatives and because they have Sun Tv connection at home, we decided to stay up late and watch the Dhanush interview. I am so glad we did that.

The guy who interviewed Dhanush was Ananda kannan. You just have to listen to him for a few seconds and you'd know he is from Singapore. "Engaendhu azhaikkareenga?" is as agmark Singapore as it gets. Thats what he asked whenever someone called. Ananda Kannan, we chennai-ites make fun of everything even when we know we are not perfect. Azhaikkareenga means inviting, pesareenga means talking and koopdareenga means calling. You can ask someone where they are calling or talking from and when you asked where they are inviting from, we chennai-ites (and non-chennai-ites) couldn't help but laugh. As funny as it sounded, your "azhaikkareenga" and Dhanush's "gum-nu irunga" went together really well. Thats how we talk. But Ananda Kanna, you did do a good job 'la', especially while tackling some of the callers.

I've seen only one movie of Dhanush - Kadhal Konden. I think he did a pretty good job and ever since Dhanush has been one actor I like. He can dance (Manmada raasa) and he can act, 2 good ingredients. A lot of people talk about his looks (read bad looks). And once he married Aishwarya, there were even more talks and discussions. Poor guy. Its so easy to be a Rajini suck-up, ask Vijay. Once you become his son-in-law, you have the license to do that but Dhanush handled questions related to Rajini very maturely. When asked whether he would act with Rajini, he said there wouldn't be any visibility for others in a Rajini movie. I was impressed. A lot of callers asked questions on whether he was introverted, whether his wife would act with him, why he was so skinny etc. Ananda Kannan was losing his patience but Dhanush seemed unperturbed. It was like he expected all those questions.

When one caller asked why he got maried so early, he said "I've always wanted to get married soon. And immediately...(kalyanam pannittu tuck-nu...)", I am still wondering how he wanted to finish that sentence. He didn't complete it. His new movie Thiruvilayadal was discussed. One caller asked what the difference was between this Thiruvilayadal and the old one. If a person thinks, this movie is another "saami-padam" (in the true sense) like the old one, he or she needs some help. And I was most impressed with Dhanush for handling this lady, who was too excited to ask any proper question and ended up asking "Neenga unga wife kooda epdi pazhaaguveenga?"(How do you move with your wife?) Dhanush said "Husband maari pazhuguven". He has a good sense of humour too. I definitely like him now. I hope his latest movie becomes a hit.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Friend and Good Friend

This is my definition/discovery. A good friend is someone to whom you can say "I have to go now" and hang up the phone. A friend is someone to whom you say "What? I can't hear you, you are breaking up, you wanna call me later?" or "Someone is ringing the doorbell" or some other lie and you hang up the phone. I just hung up the phone after talking to a friend. And one of my voices is making me feel guilty. So what do I do? Resort to blogging. Now you be the judge.

This friend of mine is very sweet, nice and all but she has this weird habit of calling me up everytime she comes across anything thats related to India or Indians. When you are a new Mom and especially a stay-at-home one, you can easily spend more phone time with other new moms, whom you meet at the park or mall or wherever and some of them become your good friends eventually, well at least friends. Thats how I met Ms.Chitly-chatly more than a year ago. We've gone out for lunches together etc. The first time we went out for lunch, she was talking about how much she liked Indian food and went on and on and didn't stop till I said "You gotta come home sometime to try some Indian food". I didn't know about her habit then.

Another time she talked about bumping into an Indian at a salon. And then she called me once to say that a few years ago she had tasted pan at some place in New Jersey and asked if I had tasted one. Another time she called me to say she heard a few people talk about a good Indian movie called "Monsoon Wedding" and what my opinion was on that. Another time she called to ask if New Jersey had more Indians than Pennsylvania. All these phone calls are apart from the usual phone-chat sessions we have every month or week. She is having 2 Indian friends over for a dinner or lunch and you can imagine the number of times she'd call this time. "They are from the north.", "They would eat fish right coming from that city?", "Their names are X and Y, what do you think, typical regional names?", "So its alright to say Mr.Firstname actually? Thats how they call us", "I am sure it'd be a lot of fun to have them over, what do you think?" Yes, I've been chased by this friend of mine for the past 3 days and I can't talk on this topic for more than 10-15 minutes. And I am not a non-talkative person, just so you know. So I keep hanging up giving some excuse and man, she wouldn't quit. I feel bad, after all, I like her. Does he think I am intellecually incapable of talking about anything else? No, I should't accuse her of that. She does talk to me about other things - our kids, diapers, baby food etc. (Well, what else do you think Moms who are friends-because-of-our-kids talk about?)

And thats why I keep giving some excuse to hang up the phone. I rest my case.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Needed: A Miracle

How many times is one allowed to think or say "Everything happens for a good reason"? When bad things happen to good people or only bad things happen to good people, what is the motivation for them to believe in that adage? The most hurtful thing in the world is when you see a person you love go through agony and torture. And the only weapon one has during this time is what is called a Prayer. Now I am praying for a miracle to happen. A miracle, that would reinstate the faith one has in God. A Real Miracle. Please, please.....
Here comes the tear. hmmm, it feels a little better.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Some relatives of mine, for some reason, have always thought of me as "Peter" or "range-u". (For non-madrasis, peter is someone who speaks in English and range roughly translates to "hep") But anybody who has known me reasonably well would swear by my local-ness. I am as "local" as it gets. Wonder why some people have this opinion. Maybe because I went to a peter college in M'ras or maybe I used words like elevator, frisbee or Carribean cruise while talking in tamil, I don't know. Probably these relatives tell their relatives about me and these non-relatives tell theirs. Obviously, the last person in this chain doesn't hear anything good about me. Otherwise, why would they talk about me in the first place. All of what I've said is just my guess. Its possible no one talks about me and I am just assuming/showing a little self-importance. Now I digress. Let me get back on track. Why am I suddenly talking about peter-ness? This is why.

I established contacts with a non-relative a few weeks ago. (Non-relative = family friend or friend's 2nd cousin or cousin's nephew's cousin or anybody) I am generally very enthusiastic about inviting people over for lunch or dinner or at least a cup of chai. What are the chances of someone coming over for food and saying you are a bad cook? You invariably hear "Food is awesome". (Cheap me, I know) And I feel proud about my culinary skills. So I was trying to invite this girl home. I was on the phone giving directions etc. For every question I ask in tamil, I get an answer in english. She even said " I am exhilarated to meet you". Does anyone say that? I gave her benefit of doubt. She is probably used to speaking to people in english all the time.

Once the guests arrived, we were chatting. And again it was mostly english. More specifically, if I ask any question, the answer was always in English. I heard things like "I was admonished about the bad weather". I started to feel a little weird. I wondered "Is this person trying to impress me with GRE english or does she talk like this even under normal circumstances?" I was hoping, someone would call her on the cellphone, so I could see how she talks to her friends. Just as I had hoped, someone called and the conversation was in english and then she politely excused herself and went to a corner and spoke. Our place is not too big nor is it sound-proofed and I could hear full local tamil. OMG, what a peter act - I thought. Or maybe she thinks I am a peter and acts like this in front of me.

During the rest of her stay, I tried my level best to make her feel comfortable so she'd talk in that "local" tamil to me but my efforts failed. I kind of felt bad that she didn't feel comfortable enough. Well, at least she said I was a good cook and asked for a few recipes. Mission Accomplished.:-)