Sunday, October 30, 2011

Movie review - Ezhaam Arivu

Before I start writing up my thoughts on the movie, let me give a brief on what my expectations were based on the pre-launch claims made by the movie.

The movie raised a lot of expectation with their stills and claims of "never before role" for Surya. The story line claimed to bring back a forgotten hero "Bodhi Dharman". With all these claims and the director Murugadoss'a previous scripts like Ramana.. the expectations were justified.

So, lets see how the movie scored on these expectations.

The 6th century start was quiet thrilling. I basically sat at the edge of the seat hoping to see a mind blowing script all through the movie. The phase at which the 6th century moved was surprising and before I knew it, we were in the present. That was my first disappointment. I still hoped to see a challenging script.

Then comes the routine hero ogling at the heroine shots, nothing unique there. We get to know what the heroine really wants from the hero. Ok I will give this one to them since this was quiet unique for a Indian movie standards, come on, it’s not like she was asking for his sperm to have a test tube baby or something which is technically plausible..

Few rejections and a more than longer crash course of clinical science and DNA, which surprisingly an average circus boy grasps, the heroine gets the go ahead. So, somehow, centuries later, the hero seems to hold 83% of Bodhidharman’s DNA and looks exactly like him.. which is beyond my comprehension on science & DNA.

Mean while, there is a super powerful villain jumping across international borders with a liquid virus, that we are not quite sure how he managed to fly with and the most lamest attempt to spread it through a stray dog. Given that, a shaolin martial arts expert kills half of the city with just mind control?? All that the villain does is turn his head from left to right like a puppy dog and people kill themselves… come on!!!!

And besides, how could mind control give anyone the strength and power to apply martial arts themselves?? I think P C Sarkar does a better mind control than that.. I mean I can understand someone doing a bad version of duck quaking or a chicken laying egg b’coz of mind control.. but a sucker punch…. Mmmmm not so much.. infact, it became kind of boring beyond a point. Personally, I was hoping for some real stunt…

when the villain couldn’t do a mind control on the hero, he calls his master back in shoalin temple on mobile??? Wow, I would say technology wasn’t a strong imprint on monks or in shoalin temples… A shoalin master would never let his disciple use the martial arts for evil and a disciple would never dis-obey his grand master. This could actually be offensive to the world of martial art teachers and students.

And finally, when the forgotten hero is awakened in the hero’s DNA, which in itself doesn’t make much of a sense, how could he not use his mind control to kill the villain.. well I guess they figured stunt has to be there at some point of the movie… how else can one glorify the hero!!!

Besides the obvious weak links in the movie, there were quiet some major ones.

(1) Bodhi Dharman’s history is at most controversial.
(2) The origin and his life has been studied and dis-credited more than once.
(3) There are no records of him being a royal and to why he left india and went to china.
(4) His abilities are described as healing (medical practioner) rather than being a warrior.
(5) He is claimed to have coached Yoga to the Buddhist monks in china to strengthen them. There are records that place strong arguments that the martial arts were developed over this strength and he did not teach the art itself. Which bring a question about his warrior lineage!
(6) The movie accuses the tamils of forgetting a hero and his teaching, which is not justified. Its not like he spent his time spreading his knowledge here.. this was mostly the earliest record of brain drain.
(7) The lack of research in this movie is both disappointing and offensive especially, the scenes where they claim that the Chinese villagers poisoned their present god & that the shoalin master and disciple relationship is superficial.
(8) They kept justifying their decision to let go of research on any of this all through the movie, like saying that bodhi dharman went to china, b’coz he knew of the disease… b’coz he din’t want the disease to come into india.. etc., These were quiet obvious excuses and not justifiable.

Having said all that, the artist performance in the movie wasn’t pleasing either. Surya din’t have much to act as bodhidharman b’coz there wasn’t much of a script to communicate… it was mostly narrative and a few stunts. But the make-up was good. As Aravindan, I believe, the first half of the movie was no different from ayan or any other jumpy love struck hero movies he had done in the past. The second half again, barely had much to act except running most of the time or being sunk into a tank full of fluids and finally a fight. And he seems to enjoy being shirtless in almost all his movies lately. I get it, you exercise and have six packs… but somehow no one is telling him that he is over-doing his exercise and he is starting to look kind of constipated!!

Shruti Hassan, looked pretty all through the movie and unlike the hero she seemed to have had a better role in the movie. However, the change of mind about loving the hero and making a master plan with a lot more weak-links than the movie itself makes her character sway a bit. Her dialogues sounded more matured; however, her facial reactions wouldn’t convey the strength in the words. She still has a good deal to learn.

Other than these two, the villain had most of the scenes but can’t say much there except squinting his eyes. Other few helpers in the movie did their part well.

I would rate the movie as a 3 on 10. This would probably satisfy the audience who look forward to a couple of duet songs, a skinny heroine and hero patronizing scripts, but for more evolved audience, it is quiet a disappointment.

7am arivu,sadly, hoped the audience to have less than average intelligence.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Banker attitudes

Have you ever wondered how these banks function... they are like jerry maquire!!! All they scream about is "GIVE ME THE DAMN MONEY" These suckers basically live because of us and they dare to kill some of us.

First they call every one during office hours all the time begging them to take loans, credit cards, insurance policies and what not. Then they link all our account with auto debits.. and they rip us with different blind charges in one with the other. When you ask them a question they say.. "sorry our insurance is separate from banking" .. like hell they are!!

I have had quite a nightmare with ICICI. I held savings accounts, credit card & insurance policy for my mom & sisters with ICICI. When they gave me the insurance policy they said i could back off anytime i wanted and they fixed an auto-debit to my credit card. I paid for more than a year and realized i couldn't use that stupid policy unless my mom was admitted in the hospital and only for a normal flu.. dental was not covered, serious diseases like cancer was not covered... god know wat else they covered!! but when i wanted to end the policy they said i had to pay for the rest of the tenure to close it like a preclosure.. since when did insurance become a loan??

It was not just the insurance policy that they auto-debited from my credit card, but they auto debited my savings account for my credit card. At one point they auto-debited everything i put into my savings account for my credit card.

So i started calling the customer support on ISD. Everytime i call them they put me on hold atleast for 10 mins and every single time it was a different agent with whom i had to give the entire fucking history. That took another 15 mins. As smart as they are, they would put me back on hold to discuss this with some lame manager who would get back to me later that never existed.

I write emails over emails with my questions and all i get is a reminder of my payment dues but no answers. Thatz when i decided i would not make my payments until they answer my questions and that i would let them do some work at least trying to trace me. It took them 2 years and some cheap techniques to track my contacts. In the mean time i got emails from gmail accounts from guyz i never knew saying i call them at some number.. some emails were as weird as.. "hey kanya...remember me?? call me at XXXXXXXXX" when i ask them who they are they don't reply with an answer but insist on me calling them. One such guy told me finally that he was from icici collections department. I asked him why he did not introduce himself formally he says RBI has approved this way of trying to get in touch with customers.. yeah right.

Finally after two years, today some guy called me and asked me if i was willing for a settlement. I told him i will not pay untill the bank answers my questions and he refused to give me his name and when i stressed on knowing him name he hung up on me. i tried calling back to the number and the number was invalid???

Who is to say these so called collection departments are legitimate. what if someone claims to be collections department, threaten us to pay and it turns out to be a online scam??

Guyz.. beware of such scandals. First the bankers and now they created an organization like CIBIL to threaten us with, they sell our information to CIBIL without our concent & even worse you have to pay CIBIL to get your own fucking credit report that has been tampered. Inspite of doing all this, they also have a collections department that threatens you with legal action & they even threaten you to affect your career and credit history.

I told him to go ahead & file a legal suit & i am more than glad to take my case to the court & show the proof of my conversations with the bank & pay the outstanding in the court. I would demand a clearance certificate immediately & my credit report cleaned up. I would also go for a compensation from the bank for all the threats they made me.

DON'T BE SCARED OF THESE BANKERS. They feed on us if we are weak. Its a shame that some people get away with scandals works millions & small customers are threatened & forced to kill themselves & their family!!!

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Pets in our world

Dear friends, I had already once written about my pet world. I will make sure this is not repetitive and is more informative than the other.

I have a lot of people (friends & family included) who think i am a weirdo b'coz i tend to lean more on the animal world. No offense taken, rather, I sincerely pity the ignorance of such people. I see them as people who are scared of the unknown. I try to replace this unknown with the familiars so I can give them a chance to make an informative decision about owning pets.

So why do we need pets?

We really don't need a pet. But some of us just want one. Sometimes it is very difficult to express one-self in words. No language can do us the favor when it comes to saying what we really feel or when we do.. others don't necessarily hear us. When words don't help much, how do we expect others to understand our silence? This is where pets come in.

Somehow, these animals that we think as not equals tend to hear us more than any of our own. As adults, we seem to find peace with our pets more than with our fellow beings. It doesn’t matter how tired you are, how sad you are, how tensed or frustrated you are from work, yours pets always get you and they never leave your side. People who already own pets will know what I mean. So yes, I want a pet that sits beside me, looks me in the eye and makes me feel better about even the worst times in my life.

There are researches that have proved constantly, how pets help in keeping you and your family healthy. Besides, have you seen a kid with a dog as big as a Saint Bernard??  Apart from looking really cute, pets give an opportunity to the kids to learn to be active, independent and responsible, to share and be happy about it. So yes, I definitely want a pet for myself & for my kids to grow with.

I have seen how pets make a difference in many lives. For example, I had a family friend who had troubles conceiving a baby. There was a lot of pressure & a constant feeling of emptiness in their lives. Someone recommended that they either adopt a baby or get a pet. The couples choose to get a pet as their last attempt at relaxing themselves and a year later, they had a baby. This was possible b’coz their dog took their mind away from all the pressure & filled their emptiness to an extent. Today, they have a healthy happy girl who practically sleeps on her big hairy four legged friend. So yes, I want a pet so I can appreciate all the good things that these beautiful animals can do for us.

Ok, so we want a pet, but why do we have to encourage pet markets?

Well, this is a rather difficult question. In this world, we humans manage to find all illegal ways to make money. One of the ways is illegal pet markets that do not have suitable clean and healthy environments for juvenile pets to be kept for sale. Without having a proper authorized pet rescues such markets will not be totally removed only by a few of us making a choice to boycott them. How I see this is, yes, if you like a pure breed you can go to a breeder who keeps the pets in a good environment. This is like having your own baby & taking a pet away from such markets is like adopting an orphan.. so why not?? Yes you pay them, and they would continue.. but until we find an alternative effective pet rescue solutions, this will continue and you cannot do much about it. If it was not you, someone else would. A good pet rescue system involves government authorization, funds, networks etc. In a country like mine, such targets are very difficult to attain. It is even more difficult to sacrifice today for a possible tomorrow isn’t it?

We want pets, we get one – but what do we get?

Now, this is a very interesting question. What is the ideal pet for you? Humans have shown interest in a variety of animals as pets starting from a small fish in the bowl to pythons & alligators. But let’s get real here. I always believed that one needs an interactive pet meaning, the one that you understand. Every animal interacts in its own ways. The most acceptable pets world-wide are dogs, cats, birds & fish. Lets look at each one of them & see how to choose them.


Every breed has a distinctive nature. Every dog within a breed has distinctive personality. Look for what your requirements are. Create a checklist based on health, life expectancy, activeness, grooming & maintenance, social traits like the general breed’s reaction to kids, outsiders & other pets. Short list the breed (cross-breed) that suits your requirements. When you are at the breeders or the shop & you have a bunch of possible pups in front of you, let the pet choose you. Look for a puppy that is interested in you, the one that is not scared of your movements, that is active & healthy. It is very important to know that the puppy you choose has had the at least the minimum time with his / her mother. Only such puppies will be healthy and not overly dependent on his/her human friend. Look for any signs of illness in their eyes, under their paws and inside their mouth. Feel their stomach & see if you feel any hardness. If everything is clear, ask the seller to get the dog checked by a vet & certify as healthy before you take him home or ask him to let you get the puppy checked & get back to him within a day with feedback. Get the puppy checked, de-wormed & vaccinated if not done already & take him home.

This are my dogs, alex, bruce, eddie & happy

When it comes to dogs, it doesn’t really matter which breed you choose for your first as long as you had done your research. The reason being, dogs are relatively easy to take care of & they show signs of any illness relatively quicker & visible than other pets like birds.


Choosing a cat is not very different from choosing a dog. The same amount of research & checklists are required. However, the living conditions are different. For instance, your cats don’t need to be tied down once in a while or some of you may be allergic to cats and you may not know it until you choose one to live with you. Unlike dogs, cats need high play grounds, scratching poles, different food & toys, different vaccination & grooming requirements etc.,. So your research should include all these additional factors. If you don’t know whether you have an allergy to cats, try spending some time holding the cat close to you at the pet shop. If your eyes start burning & watering or if you start sneezing or find it hard to breath etc., you are probably allergic to cats. If you have kids, make sure they are not allergic either.

This is my sister's cat, he was rescued by bruce.


Now, birds are a tricky subject. Not everyone is good to have a parrot as a pet. Birds, unlike dogs or cats, take a long time to accept you as a family. When I say long, I mean really long. Some birds might take a few days, some take few weeks & some take months to accept you and your family, especially if you choose to get an adult bird. If you choose to get a chick, then the baby bird needs proper feeding that involves techniques, they need proper heating (warmth) and close monitoring like measuring their weights everytime you feed them and every day etc.,.

Bird’s lifespan can be as high as 80 years depending on the breed. This means more responsibility for their human friends & more commitment. Birds are generally very intelligent, very active, very creative, very destructive & very noisy depending on the breed. Because of all these, birds require a human friend who is willing to spend the time with them, train them, give them enough toys that are not harmful to them etc.,.

Not all birds get along with everyone in your family or outsiders or kids or your other pets. Even a small bird like a cockatiel can bite you hard enough to draw blood from your fingers. The most tricky part of having a bird as a pet is their health. Birds usually don’t show signs of sickness until its too late. So it is very important to observe their weight very often & also the amount of food they eat, the water they drink & very importantly understand their poop.. Yes you heard it right. You need to understand what the bird poop is made of & how it changes with the food they eat & what is healthy & unhealthy poop etc., These are the only things that would warn you about their health.

They have specific diet requirements & specific living conditions. They need to be used to eating different variety of food including vegetables, fruits, nuts, breads, rice etc.,. some birds can be very picky eaters & it can be a challenge to get them to eat variety food. Things like not using a Teflon coated cookwares or not using fragrant room freshners, pest control, even perfumes can be a challenge in owning birds as pets.

For the first timers, who wants to have a bird as the pet for the first time, it is very important to be careful about what you choose. I personally would not choose a chick from any breed, bcoz the feeding technique can be a challenge for both the human and the baby bird. Imagine feeding the baby every 2 hours and even in the nights and doing it right with the right food in the right temperature etc.,. if you choose to go for an adult bird it might be difficult for a first timer to understand the bird’s body language & could be intimidated. Once the bird knows you are scared of him, he is too smart to let you anywhere close to his cage.

Larger birds are highly territorial & very hormonal during the breeding seasons. They go through different phases that can be challenging for a first timer. A first timer can probably choose a weaned baby that is still a chick but can eat by himself. But you should learn to establish connection to the bird at an early stage so it is easy for you to keep track of his health closely. You might have to learn & train the parrot to let you hold him quickly so you can measure his weight everyday.

Once you have done your research and made a choice on the breed, you look for certain key things in a bird when you have to pick one. Similar to dogs or cats, the bird should show interest in you. As the seller to set up a room for only you and the bird for few mins to see if he shows any interest in you. As I said before, birds are very intelligent in their own way. This makes them very curious about everything around them & us. So if you are holding a mobile phone or a shiny keychain etc., the bird should be tempted to take a peek at it if he is interested in you. Other than showing interest in you, he should also be attentive of his environment. Any noise should make him turn around. A healthy parrot would be attentive, active, curious & noisy. Look under his wings for any signs of illness. Sometimes, their feathers under the wings may look dull or scorched in patches. This is one sign to look out for. As ever, look for their poop while you spend some time with them. So, one needs to research a great deal about the bird when they choose to have a parrot for a pet.

Having said all that, if you can move past all the above flags, having a parrot for a pet is the most rewarding of all. Imagine a pet that can actually understand you and sometimes reply in a sensible way. My parrots tell me “I love you” when I tell them the same. So all I have to say is “I love you” & I get it right back with kisses..

Here are my birds diya, feebo, chinna & some cockatiels that hatched in our aviary & hand trained by my little sister:

So guyz, if you think you want one of these pets to brighten your days talk to one of us who have one. Try to visit your friends who have pets & see what they can do for you & choose the right pet for you. Do your research, learn about these amazing animals & then make your choice. If you still think pets are not meant to be, make an effort to learn about them & not judge the people who have them….

Good luck guyz .. hope you all have a great life ahead.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


It doesn't matter how many movies you see, when there is a trailer that catches your attention you get your hopes up!!! This was one such movie which raised our expectations but failed to live upto it.

Every story has a underlying story line. What the trailer promised was a man who has a physic of a full grown man but has a mind of a 5 year old. It made the audience look forward to a playful story. But the director thought otherwise. He portraid an emotional bond between a father and his daughter. For this the man dint have to be mentally underdeveloped!!

This was not an original movie. I believe swati mudyam (chippukul muthu) was the original that gave an idea for this movie. However, there was no justice done to it's origin.

Psychologically, a mentally underdeveloped person such as the hero would not be able to take care of himself, let alone father a child. But the hero in this movie is well organized, follows a routine and is very perfect. Be it cutting the chocolates into perfect squares or taking the same particular road to work, boiling the milk for the baby the way he was taught.. etc doesnt really put his character upto the challenge it was intended to. This kind of meticulous behavior is more of an OCD(obsessive compulsive disorder) than mentally under developed. This in itself beats the character on which the story was built.

The first scene in the movies raises a question. How on earth was this hero able to have a baby in the first place. Just to avoid such discrepancies, the director made it a point to include some inappropriate jokes like "it is sufficient for one person to know the details(about sex)" twice in the movie. Such inappropriate jokes were uncalled for even if there was a need to show enmity between characters. This totally undermines the sanctity of innocence in the movie.

Then comes the court scenes which was built completely against the belief the movie was built on. The lawyer (heroine) tries hard in all possible ways to defend her client from being proven mentally unstable and in adequate to care for a girl child.. which was actually the truth. This shows that the director himself was in conflict or that he is not sure how else to proceed with the story.

A simple hug from the hero sends the heroine into dream state?? Really?.. Again this was just an excuse to let the heroine do the rain dance and had no relevance to the story!!! The movie puts unwanted weight on the emotions of the mentally underdeveloped person.. Who by the way is actually suffering from OCD which explains why he doesn't get distracted by anything like a 5 year old boy does, but is obsessed about everything including getting his child back. But what it fails to shows is the emotions of every other normal persons built around the kid and her father.

For instance, the gal's chitti who consistently sees the pain in the child or ignores it to her best. The way the kid's grandfather behaves, or the way the prosecutor behaves when he locks the hero up. This is all deliberate efforts of the director to impose the heroes character as superior to others and to create a sense of sympathy amongst the audience. There were other editing mistakes like how the lawyers traced his whereabouts to avalanchi or how the guy from Ooty changed his mind about his testimony in the court etc.,.

Having said all that, the ending was quite dissapointing as well. It shows that everybody around him were quite heartless to let him leave without his kid and that he himself doesn't keep his promise to his kid that he would never leave..

There were several similar movies both in the hollywood & in tamil industries that did a better job than this one.. to list a few, Rainman in hollywood.. padikatha methai (although not mentally challenging character.. but showed the innocence even better).. chinna thambi.. chippikul muthu.. etc...

The movie at best is a drama of conflicts. However, we cannot pass it without a word of appreciation to actor vikram & the kid who played his daughter. They have done the best with what they were given.

Other than that, there are a lot of "could have been different"s in the movie. On the whole, the movie did not do justice to the characters, actors or the story itself.