Beyond Beds and Books – Hostel Life

In all these 20 odd years, last year was the first time I’ve stepped into the “hostel” system. I am very apprehensive about a lot of things in life and of course staying in a hostel was there in the list. I would take the effort to entirely blame my apprehension on my parents. They used to say something in the lines of “Ozhunga padikalana hostel la sethuduven” roughly translated to, “If you don’t study well, I will enrol you in a hostel. (They also said  ozhunga padikalana maadu meika anupiruven, which they should have; it being an extremely successful business opportunity, Bad luck! ) So hostels in my mind was more of a prison where disobedient children are sent. I grew up with this notion in my head and that culminating with my choosy food habits, cleaner surroundings (more specifically the washrooms), the inability to woo people with my not-so-awesome personality made me decide I will never fit in such places were sharing is quintessential. When I joined “the B-school” I had absolutely no choice but to opt for a hostel for various reasons from saving travel time to cooking your own food. I stepped into hostel without any other option, dreading it. Yes, DREADING it.

Boy, was I wrong! Little did I know that I would be having the experience of a lifetime. From ghost attacks to midnight birthday celebrations (of course all of us know someone would cut a cake at midnight on your birthday and we are still genuinely surprised and happy for just being around them) to talking till dawn break the philosophy of life (especially when we have exams the next day, we kind of time it like that), the midnight binge eating, the gossips, the pizza nights and what not. On a comparative note, in all these years, I have learnt a lot about myself and people at large this one and half years, for example, I know that I can now survive on “hostel food”, HOSTEL- washrooms, get afraid of dark ghostly figures in every corner,  not get afraid of ghosts because i am too tired and I prefer to sleep than think about ghosts, know that there are really warm people out there, people who are unrelated to you and still care about you so much, that even if you have a fight, a disagreement you end up vouching for each other, that you get to laugh at your shitty life because most of us are in it together and that it is a home away from home because it has the people whom you love and who love you for what you are. I know I will miss it in here and for most part, many of us would share the same thoughts.

P.S : No, I am not leaving the hostel right away! Yes, this post is abruptly right in the middle of the academic year. I am just penning thoughts when I am pensive and No, I am NOT stupid 🙂


Maadu meika- Rear cows





Its been a while now since I wrote. Here is my first movie review of the year. And I must say it was an extremely well orchestered movie

Last evening I happened to have the chance to watch the movie ‘visaranai’. Usually I read the reviews and if possible the plot even before I watch any movie.( I dont like to be surprised you see)  I missed reading about this movie though. Even before the movie started one of my well learned friend said this movie was not for women, there is too much violence. I am going to ignore the not-for-women-part for now. But violence, that would be a mild way of putting it. To realise that it was based on a true story made it all the more saddening. Installing fear among the inmates by not just physically thrashing them but the wails and shouts of the fellow inmates creates a sense of helplessness and fear. The movie did not just have physical violence, but also had a sense of psychological violence which is far more ruthless.

The system is corrupt. The rich and influential can get away with anything. Money matters and humans are replaceable. The system is a vicious cycle and that is exactly what this movie reminds us.
We do see news like this everyday. The latest being salman khan’s acquittal and the drunk women lawyer in delhi who manged to kill civilians in broad daylight and still got acquitted. (We can argue that atleast salman’s driving happened at night)
Yes, one can say such movies have existed in the past where the rich got away with crimes and the poor has borne the brunt of it. But what makes this movie different? The brutal honesty about the corruption and how the disease has spread its roots so much so that it can even influence honest men. We all are aware of corruption, there are times when we ourselves are party to it. This movie blatantly shows to what extent people push when they are driven by money, power and influence.
To write a book is difficult, bringing such a book to a two hour movie without adding any masala is herculean. The director did not waste any time to plunge into the plot and did not complicate the movie by adding too many characters or twisting it a lot.
The movie is a total winner. But how many would like to watch it through the intense dark and violent scenes is a big question mark. The movie has a superb screenplay,the English is very natural, unlike GVM’s movie lines. Apart from the story, screenplay and direction of the movie which were the actual heroes, the protagonists, antagonists all played their part to perfection.
To sum up, “Adipoli movie”(Malayalam for superb movie)

Why our politicians need to grow some….self respect

I really try hard to stay away from writing my opinion on politics and politicians and everything in between.

I tried to stay away from “the sticker” campaign, sun tv’s non-sensical coverage of the rain, the ruling party’s crazy statements and posters(I need to write a separate blog on those posters, who designs them anyway!!!?? ) vijaykanth’s vacous, half-witted statements and if I go a little further north we have a whole list of hate campaign, not to forget the media’s coverage of highly unwanted “intolerant” issues. The icing on the cake today is Mr.Arvind Kejriwal, the Hon’ble chief minister of India’s capital.

Ab initio, I thought maybe a government other than the BJP or Congress would do India good.

…and then Kejriwal happened.

Can I be more wrong????

Street politics was Kejriwal’s favorite kind of politics. Now don’t get me wrong, atreet politics is wherein he, the CM and puts up office in the middle of the road. Dharnas and blocks for everything, he made life a living hell for the delhi people; which was already quite miserable thanks to the law and order there. I heard rickshawalas in Delhi banging their head for electing a clown. Thankfully, he resigned and the only reason one can quote is his inability to take charge . He repeatedly told the crowd that he will highlight on why he resigned the first time but there is still nothing from his side on that front. And then the gimmick on him not contesting for re-elections but the party people “forced”him to contest because they BELIEVED only HE can deliver (evlo tamil cinema pathurkom!! silly ) I think the delhi population’s mindset during the elections were similar to that of the americans right now.  Rock-delhi nationals-hard place and so finally he became the CM of Delhi ONCE AGAIN!!!

Delhi, by far, is one of the most unsafe places in India. Being the national capital people are scared to be there. My cousin, two days back, told me she doesn’t wear gold or anything even remotely resembling gold if she has to go to Delhi. No safety for men, women, children, animals, strays, pets and even dustbins. (Yes! i said dustbins.) Such is the governance there and he wants the odd-even plan. It is a great plan but definitely not in a city as unsafe as delhi. Changing the system may make this work; Come January 1st and we shall know how it will turn out to be.

Mr. Kejriwal is one of the most confused politicians I have ever had a chance to read upon. Highly double standard, who cannot accept criticism but a person who rambles away without substantial proof on anyone and anything. A person who is against corruption, but would associate with same corrupt people for funds; someone who lied thro’ his teeth about change and in the end is one amongst the frogs in the well. Hypocrisy!!

He has been quite active on twitter, choosing to talk back to anyone who talks against him andhe just took it up a notch today; that Mr. Kejriwal had to go into twitter and call the Prime Minister a psychopath and a coward reflects very well on our nation and its leaders. For all I care, let the PM be a psychopath, but being a CM Mr.Kejriwal needs to know what he can and cannot speak in social media. Doing cheap politics is not going to win him any brownie points. One can resort to using better language if insulting is the pregorative, british politics for example. Here we are all under the assumption that people who are well read can be better leaders.  I for one did not  expect such idiocy from an IIT graduate, Income tax Officer and a Magsaysay award winner. In the end it proves that money matters and he used Anna Hazare and the Aam Aadmi to fulfil his political ambitions and is now falling back on the social media to further his dreams.

As if sticking stickers on relief materials, watching porn in the parliment, hurling chairs at each other, sleeping in all the important meetings is all not enough, our politicians will have to resort to social media to insult each other as cheaply as possible. Thank you for showing the world that you can be digitally dumb too!!

Food for thought: While I was reading up on Kejriwal, he seems to support Lalu prasad Yadav, TMC and few other politicians; Isnt AAP main agenda is about corruption-free leaders. Just asking?!


My take on Mr.and Mrs. Iyer

For a few weeks now, I was mulling over on what to write for its been a while since i blogged, bloggers block you can call it, if you may. I just finished watching Mr. and mrs. Iyer for probably the 100th time (I am not counting) Everytime I watch that movie I come up with a different perspective; probably something my mind wants to wants to understand. This time was no different. It struck me again and again how inexperienced and cushioned Meenakshi was. her cloistered upbringing was evident in her caste differentiation, limited friends, early marriage and a secluded guarded life without much knowledge about the harsh realities that exist. Konkana Sen was amazing; she did her south drawl, the big eyes surprise look, the “spashtamana” (thick accented) english was a little far fetched but then again deepika padukone was worse in Chennai express. I do not understand why the hindi filmakers think South Indians have mother tongue influence, especially the tamils. WE DON’T.

The characterisation between the lead roles cannot be more diverse. He was diametrically opposite to all her beliefs and values and Rahul Bose was at ease as always in his role.

I am digressing. I wanted to detail on the immaturity of the heroine’s character, that she could have waited before getting married is so evident (especially because of the bgm “If Only……”)When I had earlier suggested this movie to one of my friends he was pretty irritated at the fact that she was getting attracted to someone other than her husband. In his world, it was a crime, cheating maybe. I couldn’t agree with him back then and I can’t agree with him now.She has been sheltered and raised in a very orthodox manner. It is only natural for her to get attracted to a man who has been with her in dire circumstances, which she surely has not faced in the past.   If the heroine had known the world; as in a little more maturity, a little more life experience then yes, probably one can call her a cheater, an opportunist or any other expletives. But, here in this movie she was a naive young woman.If she had known exactly what she wanted, rather than just loving what was offered to her, there will be no questions of “what if…” One can know atleast to a certain extent what one one wants only when he realises what he doesn’t want.This is applicable from icecreams to husbands.

One should laud the director for the climax when Rahul Bose gives her the the roll from his camera. They accept reality and move on. A train journey to be remembered.

I believe experience, travelling and knowing people is significant. Being in India, especially women for the most part lead a very sheltered life. Agreed, India is definitely not woman friendly when it comes to single women safety but it imperative explore the world before getting hitched for good. Love is important, commitment and responsibilities even more so. But, you never know about yourself or others if you limit your world to a small circle of friends, family and relatives. The world is a big place and if statistics is right, there are over 7 billion people, there is too much to know, too much to learn and to much to comprehend and blinding oneself a little slower might turn out to be the best thing one does for himself.


I love Kamal Haasan but…..

The first look of kabali is all it takes to know what a massive film it is going to be. I am a big time kamal fan. But rajini’s style has been unmatched. I have been one among the many who was irritated and annoyed at the directors and Rajinikanth himself for still running around trees with heroines, saying punch lines because he is superstar; he is better than that. I used to love many of RajiniKanth’s movie back then. Some of the movies were legendary, that no one but him could play that role. To name a few, there is Mullum malarum, and the famous dialogue “கெட்டப் பையன் சார் அவன் ” and Nettrikan’s “சக்கரவர்த்திடா ” , Ninaithaale inikum, 16 vayadhinilae, moondru mudichu, baasha,moondru mugam, annamalai, ejmaan and the list goes on till before his last ten to twelve movies. He is someone who can play the hero and the villain(antagonist) effortlessly, be it avargal, moondru mudichu, chitti in endhiran, and even the small role in chandramkhi and many more. He was remarkable.  Directors and producers did not make him realise his age or his potential and thought his image as a young man should be there forever. It is unfair. Some of us who have loved rajini for his acting, style and dialogue delivery and not just blindly shouted “superstar vazhga” completely lost it. At one point I felt kamal’s movie “Uthama villain” was directed at him.

Each and every one of Rajini’s fan knows what an amazing actor he is. Everytime I have an arguement with a rajini fan( believe me , I’ve had plenty) they support him blindly and underlying all their support is a slight thread of yearning to see a different kind of rajini. This movie would just be that! Seeing the poster of Kabali, I was thinking, என்ன பெரிய Amitabh Bacchan, தலைவர பாருங்கடா. That he is playing his age and that his style and looks ceased nevertheless. For his style, he doesnt have to go under layers of makeup to look young and duet with heroines one-third his age. This would work. This would bring back the actor rajini and not the superstar rajini. If it makes someone like me happy, I can only imagine what it feels to the millions of devout rajini fans out there. I believe Ranjith would deliver what we all hope for.

I am a fervent kamal fan but Rajini will always be the blue eyed boy of the south.

Home is where the rasam is!!!

I am not a foodie. I believe in eating to live. The only thing that mattered to me for survival were coffee and curd rice. Irrespective of how delicious or bad the food tasted, my quantity of it remained the same. I don’t comment or complain about badly prepared morsels; this great attitude rocketed away to the moon in about three months. Roughly after I joined my hostel.

You see one must give our hostel cook an award. An award to congratulate on preparation of food that has absolutely no taste. I believe there are 6 different type of tastes, after my hostel food, there should be a 7th type, the null.
Potatoes are happy vegetables. Magical even,if i must say. They don’t even have to be cooked to taste good. But you see, our cook, he/she/it sucks the taste from potatoes before serving us and that is how we get tasteless potatoes. This skill set should be awarded.

For all those mothers who think that their child is fussy about food that you give, kindly send them away to a hostel, any hostel. Discussing deeply with fellow inmates (yes, I said inmates) I came to know that hostel food is bad EVERYWHERE. I felt we were special. So mothers, you can send them away to any hostel for about 3-6 months depending on their stubbornness. To the wives with husbands who do not appreciate food, try to get receipe from any cook that cooks in a hostel (There is definitely a secret ingredient, the tastetaker) or send them away to have hostel food for a month. After which, they will love any dish (crap) that you serve.

So here I am, at home, to the surprise and shock of my mom, gave her a list of things to cook for me, because I had an i-don’t-care-much-about-food attitude. I ate what was served by my mum. No demands. But a week from today my only job is getting my dead taste buds into action.
Rasam and potatoes were on the top of my list. (Rasam because my hostel made me lose hope completely, plain water would have sufficed)
Till today, I never knew I craved food so much. I have missed home for a lot of reasons but missing the food is a first. I never knew hunger till I went to that damned place and I blame and thank my mum and dad for feeding me all the time.

RASAM: I love thee. Thou shall forever be my favorite dish (only next to curd though)

I’ve had a sumptuous 3 course meal and 4 mugs of coffee already. LIKE A BOSS!!!

The title is plagiarized from a friend. It was too true to be refrained from using!!!!!

What if?

What if my stuffed elephant “ele” (yeah, thats its name) actually was thinking

Here is the point of view from the mind of ele

At the store: Oh!! pick me pick me I dont like this place, I feel caged and I have been sitting here like forever. I want to meet new people and go places. Pick me, choose me, love me!And he is elated once he is picked and paid for.

Yay, he shouts. At home the nice lady who picked me gave me to this really cute girl, but warned her against cuddling me or hugging me. I wonder why??! The little girl is adorable.She named me ele. I guess I like my new name after all. Come to think of it, this name suits me the best. She was an amazingly cute girl, she picked me up with my long nose, dragged me along with her wherever she went. I used to give her rides. she loves going for those rides, obviously she drags me with her feet.She used to feed me food and give me a nice shower from time to time. She never slept hugging me though, and even when she did the mother takes me away from her, breathing problem I believe! if only I could help. I missed her when she was not around. After a few years they kept me in a showcase,i felt sad. Seems she became a big girl and doesnt want to play with me. She had new friends, or that is what I thought.

One fine day, she picked me up and hugged me and cried so much. I have never seen her cry that hard. For all I know, she was such a strong person. I gave her my trunk and my little feet and made her hold me till she finished crying after sometime she started talking to me, just like the old days and then I guess she felt fine for she stopped crying. From then on, I was not there on that stupid showcase. I was free. She picks me up and takes me with her and talks to me, i think she hears it when i answer her back for she smiles and says she she feels good that she has me.She is so possessive about me that she doesn’t share me with her niece or nephew. It makes me feel loved and proud. I miss her and I know she misses me! We have a great time when we are together. Now, she is far faar away and I cant wait to meet her again.

Its just going to be the good old times once she comes home.