Thursday, February 28, 2008


Had just taken the day off and was sitting at home doing nothing and so deceided to blog about Black- not about the movie Black but rather about about my favourite colour!
Black is popularly associated with the Devil and Dark Deeds. Afterall how many demonic witches and mean villains have we seen flaunting black! There are a lot of superstitions surrounding black- if a black cat crosses your path its bad luck, if you happen to see a totally black raven its supposed to signal sorrow, a black dot is supposed to ward off dhrishti etc! It seems there is even a ritual practiced in Palakkad for pregnant women, which involves the lady all dressed in black! In fact it usually symbolizes mystery and the unknown but for me it epitomizes simple elegance and confident style. Every time I go shopping I invariably choose some black dress or other at once - much to my mom’s consternation! She doesnt allow me to wear black on any auspicious occasion :-(
But seriously I believe that very few things could be more calming than gazing onto a black velvet night sky, studded with a thousand stars winking back at you and a shy moon playing peek-a-boo!
Black looks black coz it absorbs all the light without reflecting anything back.
And also it’s the best heat emitter. Now try wearing black on a hot summer’s day! Whewwww!
Black has a lot of significance in the world. Everyone must have heard about Black Boxes and Black Holes.
But have you ever wondered why one of the highest belts awarded in Karate is the Black Belt?
Because in Japan Black is considered as a sign of experience and wisdom!
In Hinduism, the much loved God Krishna was supposed to be black though he is depicted a shade of dark blue in pictures. And it is said that he was always surrounded by Gopikas! Afterall though India is obsessed with fair skin, the saying goes Tall, Dark & Handsome right?! I guess I should close this blog with the famous Tamizh song 'Karuputhan enaku pudicha colouruuuuu!!!"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Movie Magic!

Am not a great movie buff but out of the limited number of movies that I have seen I reeeaaalllyy love all Mani Rathnam ones. I have seen almost all his creations starting from the Murali-Revathy starrer Pagal Nilavu to Abhishek-Aish Guru, and not jus once but a lot many times. And mind you not only the ones which were hits- I even liked the ones which bombed at the box office, like Dil Se and Thiruda Thiruda. I admire his understated, crisp, elegant and subtle way of film making. It came as a striking contrast in an era of melodrama, when everything was loud- people, their voices, their clothes, their dialogues etc- much more suited to the stage than to cinema. In fact, there has been many jokes about his style of filming saying that one can hardly hear or see anything in Mani Rathnam’s movies!
I believe that his movies deal with everyday subjects, be it Patriotism as in Roja, Friendship & Loyalty in Thalapathy, Terrorism as Dil Se, Religious Fanatiscm as in Bombay, the finer nuances of a husband-wife relationship as in Mouna Raagam, Love & Responsibilities as in Alaipayuthay or the intricate Mother-Child bond as in Kannathil Mutthamittal or Social Awareness as in Aayutha Ezhuthu or even the simple love between siblings in Anjali with such sensitivity,without being patronizing or preachy.
They might not lead to a practical end- afterall I doubt if any one would go around like Arvind Swamy in Bombay’s climax or for that matter in Roja’s end- but thts ok as far as I am concerned, coz I hate tragic endings :-( Whtever horrors happen in the movie I always want a happy ending. Don’t wanna go home with a long face and a drooping heart after al!
Mani Rathnam’s movies might not appeal to the realist but they certainly appeal to my heart. Not surprising coz they deal with human emotions more than anything else. His characters stand etched in memory. They make me smile, cry, triumph, love and ponder.
Who can forget the playful and care-free Manohar of Mounaragam? When he is shot dead you jus cant help wishing it wasn’t that way. One can empthasize with Mohan when his wife shuns him coz of her failed past. But finally when the married couple unites in true filmy fashion, the hopeless romantic in me rejoices!
Or the powerful and commanding Velu Naicker? The touching scene when he makes a school going prostitute as his life partner. You feel a father’s pain and a daughter’s angst when his daughter herself confronts him and says that she is afraid to be with him. The question that Velu Naicker’s grandson asks in court ‘Neenga nallavara kettavara?’ is such a poignant moment- it reminds me that not all questions in life have answers and that Life is not jus black & white but therein lies various shades of grey.
Or the innocent and adorable Anjali? You can feel the longing of Revathy when her mentally challenged daughter fails to acknowledge her mother while still accepting total strangers. When Anjali’s sister desperately tries to shake her awake, you too mentally will her to get up.
Your heart aches for the abanded child and the helpless mother in Thalapathy. And you feel almost as proud as Mamooty to have a friend like Rajni!
And when the rampage and looting takes place in Bombay and the little boy throws up simple questions on God and Religion, which have complex answers to them, it makes you wonder why indeed does all this happen? Why are human beings so narrow minded and selfish? Is all this carnage really necessary? I can jus go on and on!
Another strong point of Mani Rathnam’s movies is music. Be it the Maestro Illayaraja or the Genius Rahman, almost all the songs in his movies are beautiful and evergreen. And definitely cinematography too. It lends an aesthetic appeal to his movies.After having watched his latest Guru more than a year back, I am now alongwith thousands of others, eagerly waiting for his next movie and the complexities, relationships and emotions involved with it, from the director who has touched my soul with his magic.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Culinary Escapades!

Cooking is a routine for some while its an art for others. I would say that its an adventure for me! I started cooking about a year back and though quite a few dishes have come out pretty well, I have had my share of disasters too :-)

I had lived alone in Uk for a short while and was in the process of experimenting with different dishes. So once when I was trying to do stuffed okra, I let it get burnt. This resulted in a lot of smoke and as I was desperately trying to open the determinately stuck kitchen window, the smoke alarm started shrieking! Now I was living in a quite locality and it was around 10 in the night. So I succeeded in waking up the entire apartment and everyone was bewildered and panicky! Finally I somehow managed to put it off and pacified them!

The other day, I tried my hand at making gulab jamuns. Hope you know that gulab jamun is a traditional Indian sweet, made up of fried balls of flour soaked in sweet, sugary syrup. Its a pretty easy dish to make and so I decided to go ahead with it. Now I had no idea that the jamuns increase in size when fried-so I rolled them up quite big and when I fried them they doubled in size! I also didnt know that they need to be fully immersed in oil to retain their shape. So the part in the oil was nice and round and the part above was all oblong! Finally I didnt know at what point I need to stop heating the sugar syrup. I transferred the jamuns to the syrup bowl and left them to soak in the same cooking vessel. So the syrup got too thick- when I came to have one tasty jamun, I found to my horror that they had all stuck to the vessel! So finally I had to soak them in water and scrape and scrub everything off :-(

So all I learnt was How Not To Make Gulab Jamun!

But these instances have not reduced my urge to cook and I have been continuing my trials with a fair part of errors!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...