Thithi – an excellent watch

I saw this movie in the Maayajaal multiplex in Chennai!!!! This is the second time I’m watching a Kannada movie in Chennai.  The last one was Mungaru Maleh.

I saw Thithi with my wife and we both thoroughly enjoyed the movie.  The rural Kannada language used in the movie, the abuses, the dark comedy that comes through in the movie and how beautifully it has all been woven together – really made it an excellent watch.  The movie is layered and reflects (amongst other things) how each generation looks at things differently and prioritizes aspects of life the way it wants to.  It also shows traits of individuals – which goes beyond the generational barrier.  All four generations have been given equal importance.  There are no heroes here.

It was also a pleasant surprise to read about Century Gowda getting limelight on the streets of Manhattan

 

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Aswathy Gopalakrishnan has composed this well written review of this movie here

 

 

Saroja

Well this was a Tamil movie I saw when I was in Chennai.  It was a very good movie.  The director had excellent control of the screenplay ….and it didn’t go haywire.  I actually saw it in the theatre (which I rarely do).

Its surprising that I didn’t post an entry here.  Anyway here is the youtube song from the movie.  An excellent song.

One of the heroes in this movie is the son of playback singer SB Balasubramaniam.  At points this movie become bi-lingual (tamil and telugu) ……….but at its core it remains a Tamil movie.

LTTE and its demise

When I was in college – there used to be an LTTE sympathiser amidst us.  Those were the days when the Internet had just then made a foray into India (95-96).  I had a non-graphics VSNL student account.  Hence I was much sought after by this person – to download LTTE literature and some Kurt Kobain lyrics et al.

Once he even told me that he visited Rameshwaram to try to touch-base with some Tamil refugees there – to see if they could try to get him to cross the sea into Lanka and join the movement there.

I for one always wondered how this person could sympathize with the LTTE – despite them having killed our ex-PM Rajiv Gandhi.

Its been a long movement for the LTTE – when they started in 1983 and have now come this far with numerous failed negotiations/ceasfe-fire/treaties.  The organisation funded their movement on smuggling various contraband goods and people to South East Asia, Middle East, Africa and South America.  The revenue was huge.  They even supplemented it with ‘sympathy money’ (read: extortion money) from various Tamil Diaspora across the world.

Circa – 2008

The government of Rajapaksa have very successfully contained the LTTE and have inflicted many a crushing defeat to the LTTE.  There are many reasons why this is fair and what is happening IS RIGHT.  The government forces are just 2 kms from Killinochi which is the administrative capital of the LTTE.

There is a lot of turmoil amongst the LTTE.  They are a lost force who are desperately trying all the tricks of the trade to keep themselves alive and a force to reckon with.  Their last hope (they really don’t have any other cards up their sleeve) is to rekindle their Tamil brethren in Tamil Nadu and to build up some political steam so that it creates pressure on the Rajapaksa government – to tone down their military adventure.

The Tamil parties which form a vital link in the Manmohan Singh government – are losing no opportunity to play into the hands of the LTTE.  They are simply turning up the steam on the Union Government – to bring in some changes there.  I can still recall the politics of 1995 – when the Congress refused to have any bus with the DMK party simply because of them being LTTE sympathisers.  Things moved on and now the two parties share the same alliance and are in power.  But how could Sonia Gandhi forget that the forces which her allies support – are responsible for the brutal assassination of her husband.

The LTTE HAVE TO BE CRUSHED.  There simply is no option.  This political arm twisting should happen after the military rout and effective crushing of this guerilla movement happens.  The garb which all these parties are adopting is ‘the killing of innocent Sri Lankan Tamil civilians’.  The real reason is the LTTE.

If these parties are concerned – then the concern should be reflected in the genuine deployment of democratic institutions once the military campaign is over – NOT BEFORE THAT.

I don’t understand why some of the Tamil people continue to sympathize with the LTTE. It is one thing to be concerned about the injustice and discrimination meted out to Tamils in Lanka – but quite another thing to sympathize with the LTTE.  This organization killed its own brothers – who tried to provide alternate political voices to the Tamil movement.  They simply wanted to dominate the Lankan Tamil political voice – in every possible way.  Such intolerance.  This organization does not deserve any sympathy.

As such I don’t see too many people on the streets who support the LTTE.  It is mainly people from the PMK headed by Ramadoss.  This party is significant in the North West parts of Tamil Nadu – like Erode, Salem etc.  They directly support the LTTE.26e77f83-061f-46a2-a0c1-e70436753b242

The DMK has always had a soft corner for the LTTE.  However post 1991 and the Rajiv Gandhi assassination – their support is more discrete.  But 2008 and the precarious situation in which the LTTE finds itself ……..is not the time to be discrete.  Again as I said in the garb of civilian deaths – the DMK is supporting the LTTE and playing into their hands.

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This is a huge farce.  These parties – should really have added a caveat in their joint resolution – that they supported the military defeat of the LTTE while showing concern for civilian deaths.

This man:

AstroLTTE_news_1179550673125 is not the representative of the Sri Lankan Tamilians.  He is a plain-speak TERRORIST – who ought to be hunted along with his coterie  and decimated.  The end of the LTTE is the only true harbinger of change to the long standing problem of Tamils in the Lankan nation.

Chennai Walk – VI Adyar Estuary

Okay …..this time around I took another route to the Adyar Estuary ……..the point where the river meets the sea.  I circumvented the Theosophical Soceity and took the road through the dirty Urur Kuppam ……..a fishermans colony.  But the effort was worth it.  The estuary is a tad lonely place.  But its very beautiful.  There is a dysfunctional broken bridge which ends right in the middle of the river.

There are various birds, fishes etc. which man the point. 


There are various fancy apartments, old palaces on one bank of the river and there is the massive Theosophical Soceity forest on the other bank. 


I had a good time here.  Here are the pictures from there.


Chennai Walk – Part IV

Well the next on my stop was the Elliots Beach in Beasant Nagar.  Here lies the dilapidated Karl Schmidt memorial.  Karl Schmidt was a Dutch man living in Chennai during the 1800s.  He happened to save the life of a drowning boy …….and lost his life doing that.  The British Governor of the times ………erected this memorial in his honour.  Elliots Beach has its own flavour.  My best beach is the Thiruvanmiyur Beach …..in my own backyard.  It has its own seclusion and privacy.

Beasant Nagar has other interesting places ……….like the Velankanni Church, the Ashtalakshmi Temple and the Subramanian Temple.  While the Velankanni Church is more like our Viveknagar Infant Jesus Church ………..the Subramanian temple has its own flavour and is well maintained.  The Ashtalakshmi temple ……….although more famous is really very poorly maintained.  The gopuras and vimanas are in pathetic shape and the brahmins there are super-consters.  We lost 200 rupees ……..conned by a brahmin there ……..in the name of God.  The interesting thing about the Ashtalakshmi temple is its concept of a tiered temple with the ‘Dhana Lakshmi’ at the very top on the 3rd floor.  Other lakshmis are all on subsequent floors.  You get a very good view of the sea from there.

My favourite part of the Subramanian temple complex is the ‘Dhandapani’ temple.  You have other temples here ……..which cover various forms of  Lord Subramania.  I like the Dhandapani temple because of the monastic form of the god and it gives you the feel of Palani (forgive me for my overt religious sentiments here!!!).


Also visited the Parthasarathi temple of Triplicane.  While Mylapore area with its Kapaleeshwarar temple is famous for Iyers of all shades ……..Triplicane is more so famous for Madhwas …….and more specifically Kannada Madhwas.  The immediate precints of the temple is more a hive of Raghavendra matha and Vyasaraja matha activities.  There are so many kannadigas here that it gives you a kick listening to Kannada devotional songs of Purandara Dasa while you walk the streets of Triplicane in the immediate precints of the Parthasarathi temple.





These kannada speaking people are the blue eyed kannadigas of tamil nadu.  There are the sect of Madhwas who migrated en-masse to Tamil Nadu – about 250-300 years back.  Their Kannada is quite different and has many tamil words in it.  Their choice of words are also very old kannada.  They would not call a baby as ‘Magu’ ….they would rather call it ‘Koosu’.  Its interesting talking to them.  One of our neighbours is a Madhwa Kannadiga from here.

Its very interesting ……….that Karnataka has its own blue-eyed tamilians.  When I mean blue – eyed is people who are from that place and who have lived there for centuries and who have preserved their distinct language/culture for centuries.  Around Melkote and Mysore you have many Iyengars who descended from the migration of Sri Ramanujacharya during the 1200s.  They still speak a pretty old Tamil with many words of Kannanda inter-spersed.

Ooty/Salem/Krishnagiri/Coimbatore have another sect of Kannada people ………more from the Vokkaliga and Badaga backgrounds.  They have their own Kannada which is different from the Madhwa Kannada.  They again are blue eyed Kannadigas who have lived there for centuries.

Similary Bangalore has another shade of blue eyed Tamilians who have been there for centuries …….and whose Tamil is quite different from the Mysore Tamil.  I can go on and on.

Check out my album for the pics

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Chennai Walk – Part III

Well I had always wanted to visit Fort St.George ………….the secretariat in Chennai.  Unlike the Vidhana Soudha ……….this place is not that grand – but has awful lot of history.  The St.Marys Church …although not that grand ……..offers some interesting picture spots.  Then you have the Fort Museum – which has many interesting curios.  Of all of them ……..what impressed me most was two artillery shells which were fired during World War I and II.  I had always known that Chennai was bombed directly by the Japanese one day during World War II.  However I discovered that it was bombed by the Germans as well during World War I …….and quite directly. 

The other interesting thing is the replica of Ranadheera Kanteerava ………with folded hands ….praying to Lord Narasimha ……inside the Srirangapatna temple.  Pretty interesting.  Fort St.George is a pretty uncrowded place as there is selective entrance there.  It makes for peaceful viewing.  Those interested in History ……..the Fort is a must see along with its museum. 

Pretty close to the fort is the Victory Memorial ……….which is an interesting place to stop by and take pictures.  The hilarious thing is that the Indo-China war of 1962 has also been mentioned here ………which India actually lost (forgive me for my unpatriotic curtness ……..but that is the truth.  But the beauty is that I live in India and am proud that I can blog about India’s military debacle.  If I had been in China ……… I would have been send to the Chinese gulag ….possibly for life …….for having written about a Chinese military debacle). 

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