Sunday, July 7, 2013

How history was taught in school

I go back to think of the times when in school I was taught history lessons...

I have enjoyed some of the classes but dreaded most of them. Mainly because all we had to do was write down notes and lengthy answers at a really really fast pace... we used to take turns to ask doubts entirely to give ourselves a break from this gruelling task.

I am completely unaware of how history lessons are taught in schools now... but this is how I would want it to be...

1. Tell it as a story maybe even as movies
2. Never make it mandatory to remember all the dates...
3. Make all questions as multiple choice
4. Give a complete disclosure that there are multiple versions of the same story
5. Leave it to the interest of the students to learn
6. Please don't dictate notes and make the students twitch their fingers...

Monday, June 3, 2013

Best Quote from Craig Ferguson - Effect of Email

I vividly remember watching and thoroughly enjoying this episode of "Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" where he was talking about Philately and how the word sounded like some dirty sex thing...

"What are you doing?"

"Uh?... Philateling...."

He went on to talk about how Philately is the nerdiest thing that one could do sticking their tongue to bits of paper called stamps and stick them around...

His banter continued and he started to talk about the effects of eMail... While I do not remember exactly word by word of what he said, this is roughly about it:

Email has totally ruined the Art of Licking...  People now do not know what to do with all the extra saliva and now have to start licking something else instead

I was a "Philatelist" while I was in school and I did feel offended the whole time he was making fun of stamp collectors - but its Craig Ferguson... He is funny.

Salary - I Love You!

I am not sure if I have been consistent in my performance at work but what I see consistently happening to me is my salary issues. I never have bargained or negotiated on my compensation so far and I think the lack of attention I pay to that department of my career is hurting me bad.

You know, the cosmic rule is you only get loved back just as much as you love someone. So just in case my Salary thinks I don't love her (refer footnote) enough, let me take this opportunity and make things clear:

"My Dear and Most Beloved Salary -

I love every bit of you to the infinite decimal value possible. I miss you so much and I cannot survive without you. I know I have boasted to my team how I do not care about money... I AM SORRY for that, I just got carried away and started acting like a jerk. I really did not mean it. Forgive me.

I have read that separation exponentially increases love. I KNOW THAT now... All those months when you never showed up, my love for you has multiplied at such a magnitude that mankind cannot possibly fathom...

Wherever you are, with whomever you are, I implore you to come to my widely open and empty bank account. I am sure I can spend you to the fullest extent possible, trust me I have the capacity to do that.

With warm regards and loads of dues to pay,
Yours Truly,
Kaarthik Padmanabhan
Account Number: 99191549999538"

P.S: Just in case if you are wondering how I determined that Salary is a "SHE", well, good or bad Salary is after all a "figure". Besides, the name rhymes with Valerie, Mallory. But most importantly I JUST IMAGINED it that way! All right? So stop asking questions and pray my Salary unites with me for now and forever!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

What is going wrong with Kamal Hassan

I am a big fan of Kamal's. He is one of the best world famous actor who is gifted with great looks and amazing acting talents. I am sure it would be wrong to call it all gifted because it is all his hard work that has brought him through all these years to such stardom.
From his open statements on many different things through all these years he has time and again proved how solid and strong willed he is. Needless to say he has the best sense of humor and can swim through any tide with ease.
He is a living legend most people in his industry would be jealous of and admired by one and all. Besides acting he is a great dancer and a fabulous singer too.
But the past decade or so I noticed something going completely wrong in many of his movies...
I hate to say this but I disliked many of his movies. Its tough to accept to the fact but I just did. Actually I am a big fan of Ilayaraaja but that does not mean I will simply say all of his compositions or albums were the best. There are good ones, there are bad ones (more good though). I just will say I did not like it if I did not like it.
Back to Kamal Hassan,
Some of the movies I really disliked:
Hey Ram (music was world class!)
Movies that I enjoyed:
Vasool Raja MBBS
Unnaippol Oruvan
Movies that were good and I am not surprised of their hits: PKS
Almost all movies I disliked from Kamal where movies that he had directed. I think these are the key points that are pulling his movies down:
1. Kamal reads a lot and is very informative. He is trying to stuff all that into a movie and often times it glaringly shows out unable to blend with the script.
2. He is an atheist and is creating opportunities in the script to slip through a quirky comment and doing that over and over and over again creates a cliché.
3. Kamal is taking heavy global subjects that are extremely difficult to relate with by regional languages. His scripts are based for Hollywood movies and he is trying to present it to the Indian audience. Kelloggs could NEVER beat the South Indian Idly sambhar breakfast regime. What Kamal is trying to give is Kelloggs in a Sambhar sauce and it tastes horrible.
4. Language barriers - off late not just Kamal, due to budget constraints,  almost all top level directors attempt multi lingual ventures (mainly Hindi). The nativity is compromised in that process. I still think that Devar Maghan was Kamal's best script and movie... So was Virumandi. These fared well in South Indian languages too.
5. Overdoing of technology which is not yet fully settled. While I agree that someone should bring in a trend change, still doing it badly is a major blemish in ones career. For instance the DTH issue or to shoot a movie in a handicam was all in good intention but the output from the handicam was not that good. And the overdoing of make up get over through Indian, Avvai Shanmughi and then Dasavatharam was too much to fathom as one among the audience.
6. Kamal is caught and torn between the disparity among the divided audience and is desperately trying to make everyone happy but ending disappointing everyone. I personally feel that the tamil audience is very dumb (sorry if it is harsh). There is one section of the younger generation who have access to all foreign cinema and are trained to see movies with lesser hand holding and explaining. But the other section of the audience would get confused even when a flash back sequence is shown.
Kamal is fantastic with comedy and anything he attempts as an out and out comedy is  sure shot success. Only when he tries to stuff in too many things as part of a single movie he seems to lose track.
I am wishing and hoping Kamal would be back to his original form and do movies like Devar Maghan, Guna, Naayagan, Aboorva Sagothirargal, Mahanathi...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

World's best Dad

I distinctly remember this. I was in my 3rd standard in school. There was this big advertisement on TV about a bunch of fun and adventure board games that were available for you to get IF you collected and gave 10 or 20 wrappers of Maggi noodles.
There were sign boards about the same in almost every departmental store at that time. And to my eyes those games were like the biggest thing to attain in my life.
It was not a custom at my home to buy food outside and maybe noodles would be prepared twice or thrice in a year!
I started to plead with my Mom to make me more Maggi noodles... I kept telling her how I love to eat Maggi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But since I had a reputation of eating almost anything, my mother would have only cared to listen if I said I DON'T want to eat something... as it would have been a big surprise.
With my effort in luring my mom going futile I had to device another plan.
Idea #1
I thought I will stand outside the department store and see if people drop the wrapper... but then it hit my morbid brain that it is not some chocoloate or ice cream for people to eat and throw the wrapper around.
Idea #2
Check the garbage of neighbors to see if there could be any wrappers... but my dignity and societal status prevented me from treading that route. Also, there was HEAVY competition for this and neighbors had kids too!
Idea #3
I calculated putting to use all the math that was taught in school to know how much money it would cost to buy 20 of those noodles by myself and it was a HUGE investment for someone who could only get to SEE currency notes and never even get the pleasure of touching them. Besides I couldn't care less about the noodles... what would I do with so much noodles?
With no plan plausible and nothing that could be hatched out I automatically resorted to what every other 10 year old would do... REVOLT, CRY, TORTURE YOUR PARENTS, EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL.
Time was running out and the offer was closing really soon... my torture techniques weren't taking effect either... hiw easily a kid's sentiment gets ignored in a family! I wish I would grow old on the very next second... I had dreams of playing those board games... that was how obsessed I was on them.
At the point where I was in the verge of giving up there came a mail... a courier package... a BIG
parcel that had the logo of Maggi on it... I teared it open and inside were ALL 4 games that I was craving for. My father was smiling at me and told me then that he had actually written to the Maggi company attaching some money explaining about all the tantrums I have raised requesting them to send the games to us treating this as a special consideration. This was the greatest surprise for me and that moment I knew I had the world's best Dad.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Musicals and Me

Just realized this stupid habit of mine... Any article or news or blog I read AFTER watching a musical, I try to read it in the tune of songs from that movie itself...however non-rhyming it would be.

This happened in the past with Chicago and then Sweeney Todd and now with Les Miserables. I know it is stupid and I dont know if this happens for others too but I just keep doing this for a few days until I am over with the movie