Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sillunu Oru Kaadal…..

       Early on a Sunday morning I woke up hearing my mobile shouting the reminder. It was 7 AM and 7 of us at 70 kmph roared on mount road. Our destination: Satyam theater.

        I am neither writing a review of the movie or explaining the story for I feel the best way to experience the masterpiece is to watch it for oneself. The movie is so complete, perfect at all angles like a sphere, that leaves me bewildered where to start.

        I humbly agree, I’m not a movie buff, but this movie is very different in all perspectives, it’s introducing a very new concept in Tamil cinema. For those senile critics who lament the death of classical movies in Tamil industry, this is rejuvenation, a perfectly classical love story. But wait! Don’t retire with prejudice, this is yet again different in its genre and I’m here to explain it why.

         If a movie with no villain, no hero – charisma building theme, no soap opera, no background motivating factor, no bottom line, no slapstick elements, no caricature and most importantly, no climax.. could make it to the big screen, then it’s definitely one and only Sillunu oru kaadhal.

            Every frame in the movie is so complete and each one of it reflects the entire movie, its very complex to explain, it’s the hologram concept. Every moment blooms with love and the story elegantly sticks to its genre – romance.

            I’m a person who wouldn’t fall too soon for any hero and after remaining for 20 years as a fan of nobody, it’s a puzzle when I retired as such an ardent fan of Surya. Certainly this magnificent role adds yet another feather to his hat as a rounded personality and as a classical actor. He performs so naturally, that we never feel he’s an actor; it’s like watching everything for real. Jyothika appears as the ‘goddess of beauty’ throughout the film. I don’t find words to describe her beauty, yet her matured acting and equanimous handling of the character surfeits it! The little ‘3 roses’ girl demonstrates acting to impeccability.

             The roles for every character are perfectly tailored to consummacy; cinematography is unbeatable and the song ‘New York Nagaram’ would be a visual treat for any photographer other than being a dulcet. All the credit goes to the director Krishna, whom I’m not sure but my IAS friend confirmed to be a fresher. Definitely the best to debut into the celluloid world as a classical director amidst all those run of the mill commercial, frivolous, soporific fellows.

            Relax!, I’m coming to the story. It’s actually quite complex to explain yet simple. It’s not kind of one where the Romeo runs the entire world around doing all impossible stunts for Joliet. It’s about love in a family amidst a couple. Wait, it’s not like Alaipayuthey depicting everyday complications, but revolves on a more serious theme, faith and relentless love.

           What leaves me dumbfounded is the reality of the movie; definitely the odd mad out of Kollywood, it plays romance and love with utmost reality. In an era where big budget movies thrive on infidelity, this one which is about ultimate faith & supreme love in a family shines like a ‘lotus out of gutter’.

            The entire movie shows a nuclear family satiated with unconditional love, affection, passion with so much reality; something what everyone would ache for. It is a movie which wouldn’t get outdated – typically a classical trait – one which the entire family can kick back and enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.

            If only I get a chance, I would request the censor board to display the warning “ If you are in love and broke up, don’t watch this film” for there is a greater possibility that you might break into tears every frame for it shows love at its best – in a family.

            Although my friends were a little disappointed with Vadivel and the Sakala Vs Ragala guy doing only cameos, I feel this movie sports the best way to bring out laughter out of audience – with decent humour interlaced with storyline – in everyday events – by the protagonists – typically a classical trait. I see this ability of obviating farce elements only in this director after the maestro Mani Rathnam. The music – it’s AR Rahman the ‘Mozarat of Mardas’ – at one of his masterpieces in melody.

             I look forward a chance to meet the director for he, in this beautiful work which shows the practical way for eternal bliss in married life – in just the way I believed – through paramount faith, respect and unconditional love – the quintessence of Tamil culture.

             My heartfelt wishes for my Surya and Jyothika (my vote as the best actress) without whom this movie wouldn’t exist, for a married life, simply the way they relished in Sillunu Oru Kaadhal.

            All is said well, but the acceptance of this movie as a block buster is dubious as not many were enjoying it in the theatre. An era in which stereotyped storyline, spicy cosmetic heroism, unrealistic themes, infidelity, gaudy glamour, farce humour, vulgarity and violence only deem the throne, it becomes apparent that this beautiful classical work is destined a turbulent career; a clear harbinger for the death of classics in culture. What a pitiable fact.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My first air travel

        It should be 5:30 AM on Thursday; mom was waking me up frantically, I was about to encounter the most fantastic experience in my life.. Gd was going to fly! How great, right from my puerile days, till today as a Geo-technologist, I had always yearned for a chance to fly.
I made my best efforts to be on time for the check in. Nevertheless it had become my modus operandi. I was the last to get the boarding pass. Finishing the final security checks, I settled on a couch in the middle of the deserted Coimbatore airport. It was (as usual) silent, calm without anything much happening. Then came a roar announcing the arrival of DN 126, the plane which was going to satisfy my erstwhile desires.

            There was an immediate queue; Gd made his best work to line in, alas, this time too, he was the last. This gave me some time to look around the metallic bird. It was a dilapidated American cargo carrier reaching its obsolescence. But the fact that, even this plane could transcend me was quite enigmatic.
Entering the aircraft last, I found only the last seat empty (happily it was a window seat). A cherubic doll from China came walking toward me. She was the airhostess, gave instructions to wear the seatbelts and using the floatation devices. The plane gave a jerk and started taxiing on the runway. The thrust was enormous and within minutes we were airborne. The sight of trees and buildings becoming miniaturized was spectacular. The doll was still near me, waiting to say something. I was the closest to the emergency exit and asked if I would volunteer to use it in case of emergency. Gd expressing his gallantry immediately accepted. She demonstrated the lifting and pulling mechanism. Exhibiting my propensity towards pragmatism, I too acted the same way showing her how I would pull. Nooo….. she screamed getting alarmed thinking I was pulling it.. she pulled my hand back. Gd comforted her saying that he was demonstrating back.
The plane made a constant acclivity. Rustic landscape, settling mist, mild morning sun, flocking bird groups, the pastoral Coimbatore district is a glee to look at. Once again, I felt penitent for not possessing a cam. I looked around at the people nearby. I was the only youngster. My neighbor much like CEG Dean, opened the first page in Deccan Airways magazine showing absolutely no interest in peeping out. I continued to delve through the window wondering how people could be so stolid.

         I saw the mother river of TN – Cauvery. Gosh, how wide was it!. The sight of it meandering was magnificent. Following it came the Mettur Stanley reservoir brim full. Several tributaries of the river were crisscrossing the farmlands in between. The pattern of development of urban areas around the river bank was immediately apparent. Urban sprawl and so many other concepts came reminiscing.

         I had plugged in my MP3 player (my sister gifted me) and was lost gazing through the window. I had the similar feeling; the lass was staring at me waiting to ask something. This time it was snacks. I gave her a chivalrous nod saying no, wondering if I had so much time to afford munching. There was a sudden turbulence and the plane jerked. My seat was adjacent to the massive propeller and I had weird hallucinations of the fans tearing down and I operating the emergency exit. There was another pitching and the plane ascended further more. The pilot announced us flying at 19,000 feet. A milky flow of clouds filled the window encumbering my remote sensing. We had been flying for 45 min now.

           The eastern ghats appeared like little mounds. Suddenly there was a huge green irregular pie. It was the Dindugul hills with cute hill resorts atop. I could see small milky falls at the sides of the mountains. The formation of several geological features were so conspicuous. Every geo informatics student should get a chance to make an air travel.
Another 20 minutes we reached the coastline of Chennai, the long Marina beach, Adyar river making its estuary, gentle waves in the ocean made a pleasurable sight. The pilot took us deep into the ocean before taking a turn. Then a sharp roll, we made a right turn. The ocean surface which had hitherto been silky gradually turned into a leathery texture with the sun put to my right. The transition was so spectacular, just like light entering gradually from a rotating polarizer; light accreting from a bulb attached to a rheostat.
Then some more rolls, we were circling above the ocean without permission to land. We flew over small fishing boats, large ocean liners carrying coal, oil and a large passenger ship. Finally the announcement to wear the seatbelt was made. I was still wearing the fetter from the beginning lost in my first air travel.

               DN 126 made a roaring, swift descent as it took me over the massive city. I could make out the harbour, the Chepak Stadium, the AIR tower measuring 229m ( it was my practical exam last time, I measured it using the radial spreading phenomena with a single aerial photo), the Triplicane MRTS junction, the Police HQ, Loyala college grounds. How much used had I become to this city.. it is just a span of 3 years since I had been to Chennai.
As we flew lower, I could see the bright shining golf ball.. It was the magnificent dome of College of Engineering, looking like an edifice. Hurray, I could even hear my Environmental prof. murmuring his lecture. It would be only a ‘stone throw distance’ we crossed the St. Thomas mount landing on the Kamaraj Domestic airport.

           The airhostess resuscitated the sleeping passengers. Like the rule of the thumb, I was the last to get down, this got me the opportunity to talk with the pilot. I congratulated him for making the travel so pleasurable and requested him to make more interesting comments while flying.

           The cab took us around the runway into the airport. Not bothering where others are going, I made a beeline to the restroom. Another surprise, five counters and half a dozen men queuing up in each with distorted faces, showing the peak of their patience. Typically Chennai, I wondered how free would my city be!

            Gd stood before a conveyer belt waiting for his bag. Some fifty bags passed by, I didn’t find mine. Frustrated I moved a little only to find 6 more similar conveyer belts. Gosh! How do I find mine? I searched frenzied for my dean (err.. he’s Mr. Deanlike). At last found him in the last near a display board showing DN 126. Relief. I felt how confusing would it be for an unsuspecting passenger! Typically Chennai.

          My little blue bag made its debut. Unlike its owner, the bag was the first to arrive on the belt (perhaps because it was the smallest of all bags). I picked up the little buddy and walked out modestly, ending my first air travel.